Try a little tenderness . . . but only if you have a death wish *UPDATED*

A repeated thread in the comments lately has been the claim that the reason the terrorists are mean to us is because we’re mean to them. If we behaved more “morally,” they would inevitably yield to our good example. My response to this kind of argument has always been the same (and I’ll quote from my own comment, because I’m too lazy to retype it):

Regarding Gandhi: His pacificism worked only because Britain was not a nation that was going to respond in a bloody, violent fashion. It wasn’t Gandhi’s morality that won India’s freedom, it was England’s. The same holds true for MLK’s non-violent protest. While the South may have had profound racist problems, it was the fact that America as a whole was a moral nation that his tactics work.

When one has an enemy that revels in blood and conquest, that makes no secret of its desire for world domination, and that is vocal in its hatred and disdain for you, whether that enemy is Nazi Germany, Iran, or your average Islamist, your restraint and morality is not only irrelevant, it is a red flag before that blood-thirsty bull.

Forbearance cannot be a one way street. If all the pacifistic forbearance is on one side, and all the violence on the other, you simply end up with a bunch of dead pacifists — and, worse, dead pacifists who have engendered the slaughter of everyone else unlucky enough to be yoked to their sides.

The question in any war isn’t just your own nature, it’s your enemies’ as well. As Mike Devx pointed out in the same comment thread, while the British were initially somewhat violent in their response to the Indian riots, they pulled back, sickened by their own violence. The opposite was true for the Germans. Their tentative forays into aggression in the 1930s against Jews, Communists, homosexuals and the mentally ill excited their blood lust. Rather than pulling back, they accelerated the killing, and became ever more murderous and creative in their brutality. What finally ended the blood soaked orgy in which they’d engaged for more than a decade wasn’t their own horror at what they’d done, but the fact that America, once roused, had the military might to destroy that regime.

With that in mind, you should read Aaron Klein’s Schmoozing With Terrorists: From Hollywood to the Holy Land, Jihadists Reveal Their Global Plans to a Jew! or, at the very least, read the American Thinker’s review about the book (from which I quote, below). As the book’s title indicates, Klein, an Orthodox Jew, was able to talk to Islamists all over the world and they spilled their ideological guts to him. These guts show that, contrary to MSM and Progressive claims, they don’t want to live peacefully by our sides, their primary goal isn’t simply to clear the US out of Saudi Arabia, and they’re not at all interested in adopting Western values:

The Arab Palestinian leaders with whom Klein spoke are very candid about their dreams not only to wipe out Israel, but to establish a worldwide caliphate. Their plans for American society should awaken anyone who thinks the Arab terrorists are only Israel’s problem. And it should also smack awake all the moral relativists who equate Israel’s security measures with hegemonic brutality.

A deputy commander of Fatah’s al Aqsa Martyrs Bridade, Nasser Abu Azziz, explained to Klein that when sharia law is imposed in Western countries, “these sick people [homosexuals] will be treated in a very tough way,” explaining that the Islamic leadership will “prevent social and physical diseases like homosexuality.” All the terrorists whom Klein interviewed agreed that homosexuality would not be tolerated in the US once Islam rules.

And homosexuality is not all they condemn. The failure of western women to conform to Islamic standards of dress will reap harsh responses including, if necessary, torture. Sheik Hamad, a Hamas cleric, said those women who refuse to cover themselves in conformity with Islamic values would be punished either by imprisonment, whipping or stoning. And we aren’t just talking about Madonna’s bustiers: under the standard described by Klein’s interviewees, even Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg — who does in fact wear a robe — would be a target for stoning. She’s omitted the head covering.

[snip]

Klein’s interviews show that Palestinian leaders have also, and repeatedly, perpetrated a vile hoax on their acolytes. The myth of the seventy-two virgins in paradise who await each martyr is a theme echoed and believed by those who extol and consider suicide bombing an option. Klein’s subjects do not explain how the appetite for virgins fits with the love of Allah as an incentive for becoming a suicide bomber.

When asked about the source for the promise of the seventy-two virgins, Ala Senakhreh, West Bank chief of Fatah’s Martyrs Brigade, insisted such a promise was made in the Koran. When pressed about where exactly that promise could be located, neither Senakhreh nor any of his dozen henchmen clerics present could find such a passage. After much anxious searching, the Sheik became increasing hostile and Klein quickly left. He had apparently discovered the point at which the terrorists’ hospitality collided with their refusal to be questioned closely about their ideological weapons.

These are not good people, and wishing will not make them so. As Mike Devx pointed out, they are the modern equivalent of Nazis, people who embrace murder both as a vehicle to achieve their social and political goals, and as a pleasant pastime. They can be stopped only by brute force, not by peaceful example. And because everything veers back into American politics right about now, that fact alone is a good reason to vote for McCain over Hillbama.

UPDATE: Just so you can see the faces of the enemies of Western civilization.

UPDATE II: I’ve switched to a new server, so you can feel free to look around here or check out my new site, which not only has the old stuff, but also will move forward into the future with all my new material.

What happens when the OTHER wall breaks

You and I never lost track of the fact that, even as Israel was being castigated for building a wall between herself and those who would blow her up, Egypt sat complacently behind a wall separating herself from the same people. It popped into the news a couple of times when smallish breaches occurred, but now it’s really made the headlines:

Tens of thousands of Palestinians poured into Egypt from Gaza Wednesday after masked gunmen used land mines to blast down a seven-mile barrier dividing the border town of Rafah.

Men and women walked unhindered or rode in donkey carts over the toppled corrugated metal along sections of the barrier, carrying goats, chickens and crates of Coca-Cola. Some brought back televisions, car tires and cigarettes and one man even bought a motorcycle. Vendors sold soft drinks and baked goods to the crowds.

They were stocking up on goods made scarce by an Israeli blockade of their impoverished territory since last week and within hours, shops on the Egyptian side of the divided border town of Rafah had run out of stock.

As you can see, most people didn’t go there to blend into the Egyptian population and vanish, they went there to shop: which tells you that the Egyptians, had they wanted to, probably could have made this stuff available to the Gazans all along. They didn’t for the same reason that has seen Arab nations, for 60 years, allow Palestinians to rot in the terroritories — they don’t give a flying whatsit about the Palestinians well-being; they care only about their being a perpetual festering sore keeping Israel visible as the bad guy to the rest of the world.

The crystal ball was accurate once again

Here’s what I wrote yesterday:

Laer does a fantastic post about Israel’s decision to cut of power to Gaza. I would be more impressed if it weren’t for the fact that I know that, in a day or two, when Palestinian shrieking reaches fever pitch, the UN, Europe and the US will gang up on Israel and demand that she act in a more humanitarian way. And Israel, instead of sticking to her guns and refusing to provide supplies to those trying to destroy her and every one of her citizens, will yield — and the Palestinians will be heartened once again.

And here’s the news today:

Israel resumed fuel supplies to the Gaza Strip’s main power plant on Tuesday, offering limited respite from a blockade that plunged much of the Hamas-ruled territory into darkness and touched off international protests.

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said she had voiced her concerns to Israel, which has argued that sealing the borders could make the Palestinians stop rocket salvoes.

“Nobody wants innocent Gazans to suffer and so we have spoken to the Israelis about the importance of not allowing a humanitarian crisis to unfold there,” Rice told reporters travelling with her to Berlin for a meeting on Iran.

“Nobody wants innocent Gazans to suffer….”  Somewhere, lost in that whole little touching intro is the fact that Israel cut power to Gaza because those innocent Gazans, over the course of the two days before the fuel shutdown, lobbed 53 rockets into Israel.  Apparently a few in Gaza very much want innocent Israelis to suffer.

It’s only when one digs halfway through the story that any mention is made of those rockets — and then one learns that Israel caved, not because the rockets stopped, but because they merely lessened:

Israel’s decision to allow in emergency supplies followed a decline in the number of rocket attacks.

Islamist Hamas refuses to renounce the fight against the Jewish state and opposes peace moves by Abbas, who condemned the Israeli closure as harmful to diplomacy.

Palestinians launched at least one rocket into Israel from Gaza on Tuesday, causing no damage, compared with 45 salvoes on Friday and Saturday, the military said.

Israel will go down in history as the only country in the world that supplied the enemy with the weapons of Israel’s own apparently inevitable destruction.

George Bush may well be right

Although I think he’s fallen into the stupidity trap that plagues all American presidents who get embroiled in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, I actually don’t doubt the possibility that Bush will force through another peace agreement within the next year.  These agreements are easy to reach, with the Israelis so desperate for peace (especially under the craven Olmert) that they’ll agree to anything; and the Palestinians willing to agree to any plan proposed because they have no intention of abiding by any proposal, at least not for the long haul.  The Palestinians’ widely trumpeted long term goal is the destruction of Israel and the death of all Jews.  To achieve this goal, they are willing, in an entirely unprincipled but effective way, to say “yes” to any proposal that comes along if it will buy them time and gnaw away at Israel’s position.  Israelis used to win because they were smart; they’re losing now because they’re acting dumb.

Footage of Jewish history

Here you will find amazing film clips from almost one hundred years of 20th Century Jewish history, including images and testimony from Eichmann’s trial. It is a reminder that, while the Jews wanted Israel as an escape from bloodshed and tyranny, the Palestinians joyfully imagine their lands awash in a sea of blood.

Hat tip: Crossing the Rubicon

UPDATE: More on the blood Palestinians long to have on their hands. And if you click over to this last link, remember Golda Meir: “Peace will come when the Arabs will love their children more than they hate us.”

Random thoughts about Annapolis

Regarding Annapolis, I’ve had little to say. I feel as if I’m watching a car accident in slow motion, horrified by the spectacle, but helpless to do anything. I do have one hope, though, and one comment. My hope is that the Arab nations attending get into “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” mode and recognize that they may need to form an alliance with Israel against the greater threat that is Iran.

The comment is that I know the outcome is going to be the same old, same old: Palestinians are going to emerge with tangible benefits based on their promise never to be bad again. This will happen regardless of a long history showing that this is one promise they can’t keep.

How about this instead: If Palestinians promise to go 40 years without attacking Israelis, and do in fact keep that promise, then they will get X, Y & Z.

By the way, that 40 years is a deliberate number that you may recognize from the Bible: God determined that 40 years in the desert was a sufficient time for the old, slave generation to die out and a new nation to be born, deserving of its own land. Maybe 40 years of self-imposed peace amongst the Palestinians will be enough to see the fading away of the hatred that currently animates them so that a new people can be born.

Of course, my wish will never see the light of day. As always, Israel will make concessions and get nothing in return but bombs dropped on her citizens. As many have said, until the Arabs take the first step of recognizing the Jewish state’s right to exist, everything else is meaningless, pointless window dressing. As Bernard Lewis said in a WSJ article (which, unfortunately, is behind the subscription barrier as of this writing):

If the issue is about the size of Israel, then we have a straightforward border problem, like Alsace-Lorraine or Texas. That is to say, not easy, but possible to solve in the long run, and to live with in the meantime.

If, on the other hand, the issue is the existence of Israel, then clearly it is insoluble by negotiation. There is no compromise position between existing and not existing, and no conceivable government of Israel is going to negotiate on whether that country should or should not exist.

UPDATEA little boost for my theory that the Arab leaders showed up because their fear of Iran outweighs their hatred for Israel.

Here’s how the story could have been reported, Part II

A few months ago, I took umbrage at a BBC news story that reported that Israel killed Palestinian children and only saw fit to mention, in the 5th and 6th paragraphs, that the children were fiddling around rocket launchers when Israel fired its missiles. I felt that the news was being reported to demonize Israel, and that’s why it led the story with the dead children. Just to refresh your recollection, here are the headline and first three paragraphs of that story:

Palestinian children die in blast

Three Palestinian children have been killed after an Israeli tank shell hit northern Gaza, Palestinian doctors say.

Israel’s military confirmed it launched an attack, saying it had targeted people setting up a rocket launcher.

Doctors said two boys aged 10 and 12 died of shrapnel wounds. A 12-year-old girl who was critically injured in the blast died also in hospital.

Two months later, I now have an interesting comparison study about how newspapers report child deaths in the Middle East. As you may recall, yesterday Hamas, a Palestinian organization, fired into a crowd of supports of Fatah, another Palestinian organization. Here are a few headlines and first paragraphs.

From the BBC:

Deadly clash at Arafat Gaza rally

At least six people have died in gunfire at a rally in Gaza City organised by Fatah to mark three years since the death of Yasser Arafat.

The violence occurred when Fatah supporters began taunting Hamas police and throwing stones, witnesses said.

From the London Times:

Bloody anniversary wrecks hopes for peace between Gaza factions

Seven people were killed and more than 100 wounded yesterday when Hamas paramilitary police clashed with Fatah supporters during a massive Gaza City rally marking the third anniversary of Yassir Arafat’s death.

In the worst inter-Palestinian clashes since the Islamist Hamas drove its secular Fatah rivals from the Gaza Strip in June, the self-appointed Hamas police force fired on a demonstration and beat protesters, claiming that Fatah snipers on rooftops had triggered the violence.

From Sky News:

Gunmen Open Fire At Gaza City Rally

At least five people have reportedly been killed at a mass rally marking former Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat’s death.

Hospital officials said 50 others were wounded when security forces opened fire in Gaza City.

From the AP (via the Winnipeg Sun):

7 killed as Hamas open fire on Fatah rally

GAZA CITY — Seven civilians were killed and dozens were wounded in a clash between Palestinian factions yesterday when Hamas police opened fire after protesters began hurling rocks.

On the anniversary of the 2003 death of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, a rally of more than 250,000 Fatah supporters posed the strongest challenge to Hamas rule in Gaza since the Islamic militants seized the territory.

From the New York Times:

6 Palestinians Killed in Gaza at Fatah Rally

GAZA, Nov. 12 — At least six Palestinians were killed and more than 100 wounded here on Monday when a rally by the relatively pro-Western Fatah movement to mark the third anniversary of the death of its founder, Yasir Arafat, ended in armed clashes with its rival, Hamas.

Doctors at two Gaza hospitals said all of the dead and most of the wounded were Fatah supporters who had taken part in the rally.

None of these stories, from major news outlets, make any mention of children amongst the dead after this Palestinian violence. Yet, surprisingly, at least one child was, in fact, a victim of this internecine bloodshed. I discovered that tidbit in paragraph 9 of a London Times story from today looking back on yesterday’s events.  Yesterday, buried deep in its initial report of the event, the London Times did have witnesses report that children were in the line of fire, but it mentioned no juvenile deaths.  The New York Times also didn’t mention juvenile deaths in its initial report, although I think it gets credit for reporting the Palestinians’ dawning realization that they opted for a sizzling Palestinian fire in lieu of the warmer, more humane, Israeli frying pan:

At Shifa Hospital in Gaza City, Afaf Abu Tayeh, 45, was waiting by the morgue. She was there to look for two sons, ages 16 and 17. “The Israelis were more merciful than them,” she said of Hamas. “They beat children in front of my eyes.”

Maybe it’s just coincidence, but I think there is something going on when the death of children is reported so differently, depending on who is doing the shooting.  And I think that what is going on is that the media, either purposely or because of an inherent, uncontrollable bias, views Israel as a demonic child-killing country (sort of the modern blood libel), while it is loathe to give any openings for too many value judgments regarding the Palestinians, whom the media has championed for so long.  And all the while, as we excuse the Palestinians for their bestial conduct towards others as well as to themselves, we give them carte blanche to continue with such behavior, so that more children will die.