This video has a few errors (there were no Starbucks in Beirut in the 1970s), but its overall points are correct. Israel is on the side of the angels. Hamas is not.
Today is Erev Yom Hashoah, the eve of Holocaust Remembrance Day. In Israel, it is a poignant moment honored by every citizen (or at least, every Jewish citizen). In the rest of the world, it is a moment to be forgotten, ignored, or denied.
Back in the 1930s, no one could believe that the Germans, considered the most civilized and advanced of all Europeans, could become so bestial.
The tragedy today is that, when we look at the Islamists, we’ve already seen how bestial they are, and still nobody believes their oft repeated goal of reinstating the Holocaust.
Long ago, Tacitus said “Proprium humani ingenii est odisse quem laeseris. (It is a principle of human nature to hate those whom you have injured.)” Or as people have more recently noted, the Europeans will never forgive the Jews for Auschwitz.
UPDATED: Thanks to Sadie for reminding me that I wanted to include a video showing just how strongly Israelis feel about Yom Hashoah’s two minutes of silence. Can you imagine Americans coming to a halt this way?
Long, long day. Really long. I spent it with my mother, an experience that always exhausts me. Age has sucked everything but the life out of her. There’s no vestige anymore of the person she once was. That saddens me, even though I know it’s the way of things. A day spent with her is no longer a day with Mom, which used to be my delight, but is, instead, a day spent with a very frail, very slow, somewhat confused, usually grumpy, very passive-aggressive, lovingly narcissistic, obsessive compulsive person.
I don’t regret the time. I still love the person she was, so I care deeply for the person she is, but I always arrive home completely drained. It takes energy for me to slow down to her speed (which is the same reason I never enjoyed toddlers) and it takes even more energy for me to deal with her relentless negativity and to track, and respond appropriately to, her often obscure conversation. I’m a grumpy person myself, so I’ve told both the kids to kick me in the tuchus if, when I’m old, I whine endlessly. I’ve told them to feel free to threaten me with their absence if I don’t clean up (or cheer up) my act.
Thankfully, I’ve now had a couple of hours to decompress. My husband took my daughter and her friends to the movies, the dogs are washed and resting nearby, and the mouse is making music on its creaky little wheel. Everything is peaceful. I like peaceful, since it gives my brain freedom. And with that mental freedom comes the urge to share my thoughts. Here goes:
The new Nazi salute rises in Europe. Its practitioners say it’s a joke, because they angle their stiff arm downwards, not upwards. Their claim that it’s a joke is a lie, of course. They pair this neo-Nazi salute with the same venomous anti-Semitism that led the Nazis to create the gas chambers. Also, it’s very bizarre to see black men do this salute, since the Nazis believed firmly in black racial inferiority Hitler, as many recall, was livid when Jesse Owens swept the races during the 1936 Munich Olympics. How dare he prove false one of the Nazi’s racial theories.
Andrew McCarthy has penned one of his best posts. In addition to shredding the purported facts in the now-infamous New York Times whitewash of Benghazi history (which I won’t dignify with a link), McCarthy zeroes in on the real purpose behind the story — and it’s not just to salvage Hillary’s reputation:
[T]he objective of Kirkpatrick’s novella is not to persuade; it is to shrink the parameters of newsworthy inquiry to a punctilious debate over nonsense: The cockamamie trailer and the dizzying jihadist org chart.
Coherence and historical accuracy are not what the Times is after. The aim is to drag our consideration of a jihadist act of war down a rabbit hole of nitpicking over which jihadists did what. Meanwhile, the Obama administration’s derelictions before, during, and after the massacre — the matter of greatest consequence — remain studiously outside this wearying crossfire.
Remember, the Times-Clinton tag team has run this play before. Start with a president using a young intern to turn the Oval Office into a brothel and then perjuring himself over it. Ought to be a removable offense, right? But the next thing you know, after some epic media investigation dictated by Democratic talking points, we find ourselves kvetching over whether it was really sex; whether she was of consenting age; whether he really lied; whether the lies were really “material”; whether a president’s Oval Office trysts are really part of his “private life”; and “what the definition of ‘is’ is.”
See? None of the ever tinier questions or answers matter. The idea is to exhaust the American attention span until enough people are persuaded that it’s time to — all together now — move on.
McCarthy ends his post with dozens of the big questions, the ones that need to be asked. The tragedy of those questions, a tragedy in many ways greater even than those four lonely, violent deaths in Benghazi, is that no one will ever ask them. The media surrounding Obama and Hillary doesn’t want to know the answer to those questions, and Obama and Hillary will be careful to avoid every coming into contact with the people willing to ask them.
Caroline Glick sees a silver lining to that same New York Times article. She believes that the Times, while trying to whitewash Obama and Hillary, accidentally admitted an important truth: Radical Islam, which is a worldwide phenomenon made up of many groups and individuals, is the problem. Al Qaeda is just one tiny drop in the Islamist ocean. This reality runs counter to Obama’s own narrative.
Since bin Laden’s death, as you know, Obama has been boasting that al Qaeda is dead, meaning that America no longer need fear massive terrorist attacks or global warfare. With that fiction in place, Obama has felt free to pal around with Iran, the Taliban, the Turkish government, etc. The New York Times just blew that fiction to smithereens. Either al Qaeda was the main actor in Benghazi, which means that Obama lied when he said it was defeated, dropped the ball in Benghazi, and lied after the fact; or al Qaeda didn’t commit the Benghazi massacre, which means that Obama lied when he said al Qaeda was the only Islamic enemy, and that he’s been exposing America to terrible danger by refusing to acknowledge terrorists other than al Qaeda.
I agree with Glick in principle, but believe that only a small subset of Americans will appreciate these subtleties. Either they support Obama and Hillary or they don’t. Nothing else matters.
Jonathan Marks writes a brilliant take-down of the antisemitic American Studies Association.
And speaking of the travesty that is modern academia, if you can get behind the Wall Street Journal’s paywall, please check out Heather MacDonald’s masterful exposure of the rot at the heart of UCLA’s English literature department. Shakespeare is out and now English majors must take “a total of three courses in the following four areas: Gender, Race, Ethnicity, Disability and Sexuality Studies; Imperial, Transnational, and Postcolonial Studies; genre studies, interdisciplinary studies, and critical theory; or creative writing.”
It sure sounds as if the English Lit department has been transformed into the Marxist Social Issues department. The students will learn how not to think. Well, they’re actually learning how not to think in every department at every major American university. (In years past, I might have excluded the sciences from that blanket statement, but the sciences’ impassioned embrace of the global warming hoax reveals that academia is tainted in toto.) Worse, these English majors will never learn learn about the beauty of their mother tongue nor will they be exposed to big ideas about human kind. Instead, their prose, and the thoughts underlying that prose, will be like this:
At its most intimate, colonization involves bodies, altering how subjects experience and conceive of desire, hunger, touch, comfort, pleasure, and pain. This panel seeks participants from all disciplines engaged with the objects of early American studies to contribute to a discussion of method and theory for understanding early American carnality. In particular, it is concerned with the intersection of bodily sensation with evolving understandings of empire, nation, encounter, and resistance. How was colonization effected through and affected by sensation? How do theories of affect and intimacy impact current early American historiographies, and vice versa? How might Americanists reconceptualize our understandings of the significance of empire and colonization through attentiveness to early American sensation? Proposals that consider race, gender, and/or sexuality dynamically or that explore economic status, religion, local conditions, or ethno-cultural identities as part of carnality strongly encouraged (though naming some themes is not meant to exclude other possibilities).
Each panelist will present a 10 minute paper and be paired with a respondent who will provide prepared comments. Respondents will ideally be non-early Americanists in order to foster temporal interdisciplinarity.
Mr. Bookworm doesn’t understand why I’m resistant to spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to send my children to big name colleges. It’s not just that they’re rife with antisemitism and anti-Americanism. It’s because major universities such as UCLA are neutering and Marx-icizing their English departments, meaning that the universities’ ultimate goal is for America’s “best and brightest” (or at least, her “A” and “B” students) to be taught to think and write in the way of American academics.
Everything you need to know about the Obama administration: It frees from prison Lynne Stewart, an unrepentant Communist who actively aided Islamist terrorism against the US, even as it gets ever-more-deeply involved in a down and dirty fight with nuns who refuse to let the government force them to violate their religious conscience. My money is on the nuns. Obama may have a rigid ideology on his side, but the nuns are members of God’s army, and they will not give up the fight. Fortunately, the Archdiocese of New York is not playing nice but is, instead, telling the world exactly what the Obama administration is doing — and what it’s doing is discriminating against traditional religion.
Mary Tudor (1516-1558) lost Calais, the last English outpost in France. She found that loss so horrifying that she said, “When I am dead and opened, you shall find `Calais’ lying in my heart.” Barack Obama has lost Fallujah, the city that American troops, especially Marines, bled and died for, probably in greater numbers than in any other geographic site in our decade long battle against Islamists in Iraq and Afghanistan. He hasn’t said a single word about this terrible loss, nor does he seem to care that he’s allowed ten years of hard-fought military victories to vanish in the blink of an eye. When Obama dies and is opened, not only will no one find ‘Fallujah’ lying in his heart, no one will find a heart.
Tom Blumer details the five myths people have to believe in order to accept the Obama presidency as anything other than a disaster. Two involve the economy, one involves Obamacare, one involves climate change, and the last is about national security. 2014 may well be the death of all these myths, but we’ll still be saddled with two more years of Obama.
The Democrat party used to have genuine liberals in its numbers — people with a broad, classic education who envisioned a world that was better with America, not a world better off without America. They may have been useful idiots who were unaware that they represented the pretty front of hardcore Leftism, but they were real.
These old-time liberal Democrats were the people who believed in equality of opportunity, not equality of outcome. They believed that men and women were different (and viva la difference), but that women were entitled to equal treatment under the law. They would have scoffed at the notion that men, and all their biological impulses, are dangerous and perverse, and should therefore be destroyed. They believed wholeheartedly that blacks were their brothers and sisters, and deserved full standing under the law. They would have been shocked to hear that the blacks were to be treated economically as marginally intelligent infants and sexually as uncontrolled adolescents. That’s how the KKK and Jim Crow viewed blacks, and true liberal Democrats fought against those demeaning stereotypes.
Old-time liberal Democrats believed that Israel was a feisty nation, rooted in the Bible, burnished in the terrible crucible of the Holocaust, and to be applauded for fighting against the forces of Communist and Arabist darkness. They would have been unable to comprehend a world in which their party mouthpieces bellowed loudly that Jews are the new Nazis, simply because they are trying to protect their whole country and their individual citizens from being overrun by genocidal, anti-Christian, misogynistic, homophobic, medieval minds.
Those old-time liberals Democrats, who did truly exist, are gone now. To those of you like myself who were once Leftists, but now identify as conservatives, you’re not imagining it: the political party you left beyond has truly gone ’round the bend. They’re all Marxists now.
When seconds count, the police are always minutes (74 minutes in this case) away. Thank God for legal guns.
CNN was able to obtain footage from surveillance cameras showing the first day of the four-day-long attack that al Shabab Islamic terrorists made against the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya. The video makes for horrifying viewing. It’s terrible to watch because we, as sympathetic and empathetic humans, must always be disturbed when we watch the slaughter of the innocents. It’s also terrible to watch because the “Western” look of this mall brings home the fact that Islamic terrorists are waging all-out war against us, i.e., Americans and others who live ordinary capitalist, Judeo-Christian lives.
What struck us, though, as the most terrible thing of all about the footage is the Islamists’ relaxed, calm, and calculated approach to the slaughter of the innocents. It is no exaggeration to say that their “business as usual” attitude is precisely the same attitude the Nazis had when, in a businesslike way, they shot or gassed six million Jews, plus gypsies, homosexuals, Catholics, communists, and anyone else they didn’t like. (It’s worth noting that the Islamists are no more fond of Jews, homosexuals, or Christians than the Nazis were. Just sayin’.)
The first second of the video shows relaxed shoppers strolling through a store in the Westgate Mall on September 21. Suddenly, although there is no audio, you know that the terrorists have started shooting outside the store, as dozens of panicked people begin running frantically for cover.
One clerk hides himself beneath the front counter, only to have an Islamist walk in and casually, without thought or effort, shoot him. The terrorist then walks away. The clerk, lying in a spreading pool of his own blood, struggles to right himself. His efforts are wasted. As he sits up, another terrorist walks by, and with the same casual air as his comrade in slaughter, delivers the killing shot.
Another surveillance camera shows terrified shoppers racing through an open area of the mall in their efforts to escape from the gunman. Many drop to their stomachs and begin crawling away. Some no longer move.
A mother with two children appears on the scene, pushing a shopping cart. In the cart is a wounded child. Behind her follows a blood-stained, limping teenage girl, with her hands in the air. And then, behind that teenage girl, we see the explanation for this little procession: A gun-toting Islamist is herding these hostages along. (We are pleased to report that the woman, her two children, and the other children that she rescued all survived the attack.)
The surveillance footage shows several of the terrorists wandering through stores, their gait relaxed, and their guns at the ready. Some are seen talking on cell phones. Authorities believe that they were not talking to each other but were, instead, receiving real-time instructions from outside controllers. One terrorist sees a body lie on the ground and fires an extra bullet into it . . . just in case.
The most disturbing thing of all about the whole video is that the terrorists are not in a frenzy of rage or insanity. Rather, they are exactly like workers in a slaughterhouse. On this first day, they know that they are in charge, and that’s despite the fact that there is surveillance footage showing two white men (meaning, two men who were obviously not the all-black al Shabab terrorists) holding revolvers and obviously making a plan to protect the civilians sheltered behind them. It’s believed that these men were security guards or perhaps off-duty policemen. Despite their obvious bravery, they were no match for the heavily armed killers.
The Islamists carry themselves upright and unafraid, they talk on the phone, and they break for prayers, with butts in the air for Allah. It’s very disturbing to realize that kids running around at a paintball game show more tension than these terrorists do. These killers know that, on this first day, they are unstoppable. Knowing this, they obviously enjoy themselves as they massacre the innocents.
It is important to emphasize the terrorists’ appearance because we need to understand their character in order to appreciate the war we’re in. And make no mistake – even as Barack Obama makes nice with the Muslim Brotherhood, and despite President George W. Bush’s constant claim that “Islam is a religion of peace,” Islamists have declared war against the West.
There are millions of peaceful Muslims throughout the world, but the religion itself is premised upon Holy War and at least 10% of Islam’s followers take this mandate very seriously. Given that there are currently 1.6 billion Muslims around the world, the 10% of true believers means a worldwide army of 1,600,000,000 Muslims who actively or passively support what happened during those four days in Nairobi.
This is an asymmetrical war. The Islamists fully realize that they cannot defeat our military, so they don’t bother. They also recognize that, because they are an informal network that spans the globe, rather than representing any specific country, it’s extremely difficult for western armies to meet them on the battlefield. After all, Western armies wage war against nations, not against loose alliances of individuals.
The result is that the Islamists attack the softest targets – unarmed civilians and, optimally, children. This most recent attack against a civilian population was not aberrant. It was entirely consistent with an ideology that routinely attacks schools and other soft targets, as it did in Beslan, Russia, and as it repeatedly does in Israel.
As long as Western leadership is in denial about what is going on, we are all sitting ducks, or fish in a barrel, or turkeys at a shoot, or whatever other metaphor you want to use for a helpless population that is perpetually at risk of experiencing a slaughter against which it cannot defend itself. The only two things we, as individuals, can do are to (1) exercise our 2nd Amendment rights so that we can try to defend ourselves in the event of an attack or, at least, take a few of them with us when we go; and (2) elect politicians like Allen West, who understand that Islam is engaged in an existential war against the West, and that the West can win only by destroying the Islamists. (This doesn’t mean killing all Muslims, but it does mean waging total war against the 10%.)
(This post originally appeared in somewhat different form at Mr. Conservative.)
Because I’m now a semi-official journalist, I’ve been working hard to write up-to-the-minute posts about the horrible Boston Marathon bombing. Here’s the latest Mr. Conservative post, which I was able to write following my Twitter feed. It’s been substantially updated since I wrote it, so it’s (a) under Katie Kieffer’s name, since we worked on it together, and (b) it has a ton of graphic images, so click on it with care. It’s really quite amazing how quickly news gets consolidated there. I knew I was on to something when several reputable sources tweeted the same story. It doesn’t mean it’s true — the media is often wrong — but it does mean that I wasn’t going off half-cocked based upon a single tweet. The post isn’t all me. Katie Kieffer, another conservative blogger contributed parts of it. Because we were in a rush, you can probably see the seams between our two writing styles.
That was the news part. Here, at Bookworm Room, is where I get to talk about this tragedy, as a tragedy.
I have absolutely no doubt but that this is an al Qaeda or al Qaeda-affiliate attack. It has all the hallmarks — symbolic locations; crowded venues; multiple simultaneous explosions; and a Saudi national found, not at the scene, despite his shrapnel wounds, but quite far away. Innocent men don’t run. We’ll hear, of course, that it was his instant fear of Islamophobia that caused him to run from the scene despite his wounds, but that story just doesn’t seem very credible to me.
As I said in the Mr. Conservative post, I find it highly ironic that an Islamic attack — assuming that’s what this was — took place in Boston. Boston is the bluest of the blue. Moreover, the Boston Marathon is very much an upper middle class event, with liberal suburbanites from all over America running in it. In terms of the “War against Islam,” Boston has shed its image as America’s patriotic heart and has thrown itself firmly behind a world view that says America is an international bully, using Islamophobia to drive the oil companies’ secret wars for oil.
There are two ways Boston can go. It can be a liberal mugged by reality and get over its delusional belief that, if America will just do whatever the Islamists want, they will leave us alone, or it can go the way it went with gun control — enacting liberty-limiting laws that do nothing to prevent future tragedies, and allowing its native son, John Kerry, to grovel apologetically before the authors of this bloodshed.
My thoughts are with the people of Boston, as well as with those who were not of Boston, but got caught in the disaster. I hope that tragedy leads them to smart decisions, not foolish ones.
Here are the President’s remarks from his post-bombing statement from the White House. It says nothing:
Good afternoon, everybody. Earlier today, I was briefed by my homeland security team on the events in Boston. We’re continuing to monitor and respond to the situation as it unfolds. And I’ve directed the full resources of the federal government to help state and local authorities protect our people, increase security around the United States as necessary, and investigate what happened.
The American people will say a prayer for Boston tonight. And Michelle and I send our deepest thoughts and prayers to the families of the victims in the wake of this senseless loss.
We don’t yet have all the answers. But we do know that multiple people have been wounded, some gravely, in explosions at the Boston Marathon.
I’ve spoken to FBI Director Mueller and Secretary of Homeland Security Napolitano, and they’re mobilizing the appropriate resources to investigate and to respond.
I’ve updated leaders of Congress in both parties, and we reaffirmed that on days like this there are no Republicans or Democrats — we are Americans, united in concern for our fellow citizens.
I’ve also spoken with Governor Patrick and Mayor Menino, and made it clear that they have every single federal resource necessary to care for the victims and counsel the families. And above all, I made clear to them that all Americans stand with the people of Boston.
Boston police, firefighters, and first responders as well as the National Guard responded heroically, and continue to do so as we speak. It’s a reminder that so many Americans serve and sacrifice on our behalf every single day, without regard to their own safety, in dangerous and difficult circumstances. And we salute all those who assisted in responding so quickly and professionally to this tragedy.
We still do not know who did this or why. And people shouldn’t jump to conclusions before we have all the facts. But make no mistake — we will get to the bottom of this. And we will find out who did this; we’ll find out why they did this. Any responsible individuals, any responsible groups will feel the full weight of justice.
Today is a holiday in Massachusetts — Patriots’ Day. It’s a day that celebrates the free and fiercely independent spirit that this great American city of Boston has reflected from the earliest days of our nation. And it’s a day that draws the world to Boston’s streets in a spirit of friendly competition. Boston is a tough and resilient town. So are its people. I’m supremely confident that Bostonians will pull together, take care of each other, and move forward as one proud city. And as they do, the American people will be with them every single step of the way.
You should anticipate that as we get more information, our teams will provide you briefings. We’re still in the investigation stage at this point. But I just want to reiterate we will find out who did this and we will hold them accountable.
Thank you very much.
UPDATE: Here’s your opportunity to compare today’s statement to the one Barack Obama made (complete with politically correct convolutions) the day after the Benghazi terrorist attack.
I strongly condemn the outrageous attack on our diplomatic facility in Benghazi, which took the lives of four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens. Right now, the American people have the families of those we lost in our thoughts and prayers. They exemplified America’s commitment to freedom, justice, and partnership with nations and people around the globe, and stand in stark contrast to those who callously took their lives.
I have directed my Administration to provide all necessary resources to support the security of our personnel in Libya, and to increase security at our diplomatic posts around the globe. While the United States rejects efforts to denigrate the religious beliefs of others, we must all unequivocally oppose the kind of senseless violence that took the lives of these public servants.
On a personal note, Chris was a courageous and exemplary representative of the United States. Throughout the Libyan revolution, he selflessly served our country and the Libyan people at our mission in Benghazi. As Ambassador in Tripoli, he has supported Libya’s transition to democracy. His legacy will endure wherever human beings reach for liberty and justice. I am profoundly grateful for his service to my Administration, and deeply saddened by this loss.
The brave Americans we lost represent the extraordinary service and sacrifices that our civilians make every day around the globe. As we stand united with their families, let us now redouble our own efforts to carry their work forward.
Incidentally, that was also, technically, on American soil, although not as many were injured. (I’m also unclear on the precise death toll for today, so I can’t make a comparison.)
Somewhere between yesterday and today, my brain went AWOL. I had a wonderful idea for a short and sweet post yesterday but never got the chance to write it down. Today, I have the chance, but absolutely no ideas, neither short and sweet ideas, nor long and boring ones. I’ve been reading the news, and find it redundant. The genius in the White House has flat-lined. The news today is the same as it was yesterday and the day before. Obama has completed his re-volution on gay marriage (“I was for it before I was against it before I was for it, but it’s none of my business anyway, because it’s a state ‘thang'”); he’s stood by helplessly as Europe, in thrall to the same economic ideas he espouses, is going into an economic death spiral; Islamists, easily recognizing a weak horse when they see one, are on the move in one place and biding their time in another (point randomly to a map and you’ll get moving Islamists or biding Islamists somewhere in the world); and the economy at home is finally being recognized as a Depression, rather than a series of interconnected recessions.
I mean, really, what insight can I offer at this point? What can I say about this president that hasn’t been said before? Yes, he’s an amateur, but he’s also been very effective at transforming America from a first rate capitalist country (or, at least semi-first rate); into a second rate wanna be socialist disaster. Regarding his amateurism, he reminds me of the dojo dictum: always spar with the black belt, not the white, because the former is much less likely to hurt you than the latter. A good fighter is as adept at not harming a friend as he (or she) is at inflicting maximum damage on an enemy. Regardless of Obama’s motives (anti-colonialism, socialism, hostility to whites, etc.), he’s managed to muck things up but good.
One of the muckier mucks, of course, is Afghanistan. At the Watcher of Weasels website, some of the Council members (moi aussi) have weighed in with their opinions about that debacle — one that tragically, involves the spilling of American blood in the pursuit, not of an honorable victory, but rather a craven, unfocused, purposeless withdrawal.
What!? Me gloomy? Nah, I’m always happy on Mondays. In Obama’s America, this is what happiness looks like.
I’m a scientific ignoramus. Although I’ve been skeptical of global warming from the start, my skepticism hasn’t been rooted in a sound grasp of facts and scientific principles. Instead, it arises because of my source problems: I deeply distrust the people touting climate change.
From the moment Al Gore started mouthing off about it, and triggered massive hysteria in the MSM, Hollywood, and the Leftosphere, I backed off. To me, these people’s embrace of the issue lacked any coherent thought or rigorous analysis. For them, it was simply another nail in the Bush Derangement Syndrome coffin, and a convenient way to do indirectly what they’ve been trying to do directly : handicap America’s ability to compete in world markets. That’s why, even though I agree with some of the goals — most notably getting the whole world off Arab Oil so that we’re not funding the Islamist instruments of our own destruction — I’ve absolutely refused to buy into the whole Global Warming mantra.
Others, fortunately, have more knowledge than I do, and they’re not buying into it either. The latest knowledgeable person to speak out is Brian Sussman, a metereologist, who explains that the Global Warming crowd has made its case by ignoring some facts and exaggerating other facts completely out of recognition. And he does it all in lucid prose, easy for the lay man to understand.