Friday, August 25, 2006

Syria's Empty Threat

Several times over the past week Syria has threatened to close its border if UN troops are stationed there to help keep the peace in southern Lebanon.

The interesting question is why does Syria think this threat will scare anyone? The only group that would be negatively impacted are the terrorists. A closed border would effectively stop the supply of Iranian rockets and ammo heading to Hezbollah.

The last thing Syria intends to do is stop the terror group from replacing arms lost during its recent battles with the IDF. If anything I bet Syria is using every road and dirt path possible to ship rockets and ammo into Lebanon.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Journalists Gone Dumb

I'm a journalist and despite the rather poor image we hold in the world I do try to behave professionally.

This includes asking the right questions. Today an international group of astronomers decided that Pluto was no longer a planet. The various stories covering this decision, which I disagree with, were straight to the point covering all the issues that went into the decision. However, a story by the Associated press had this little gem:

NASA said Thursday that Pluto's demotion would not affect its US$700 million New Horizons spacecraft mission, which earlier this year began a 9 1/2-year journey to the oddball object to unearth more of its secrets.
"We will continue pursuing exploration of the most scientifically interesting objects in the solar system, regardless of how they are categorized," Paul Hertz, chief scientist for the science mission directorate, said in a statement.

The only way I can believe that this answer was generated was in response to this question.

"So, how does Pluto's new status impact your mission?"

Why would any reporter ask that question? Did he or she expect NASA to respond with "Damn them for changing Pluto's planetary status. We are recalling the probe and canceling the $700 million mission. Why bother investigating since Pluto is now only a Minor Planet."

Of course, the mission will continue!! Geez.....

I'll Gladly Stop Enriching Uranium Tuesday, If You Pay Me Today

My brother did not realize it at the time, but 20-years ago he invented the diplomatic strategy used so well today by Iran and North Korea.

He would tell our parents that he would try harder and get better grades on his next report card if only they would immediately give him $10. My parents, being much smarter then the UN and EU honchos, of course refused. This led to my brother bringing home another disappointing report card. For those of you who think that a $10 investment would have resulted in straight As, well I say you should apply for a job as Kofi Anan's sidekick.

My parents knew two things. Two things that to many world leaders have not come to understand. First, never submit to blackmail. Secondly, they knew my brother's modus operandi. He was not likely to try any harder no matter what concessions he received.

So how come the UN and EU cannot use these simple, logical parenting tools when dealing with the Iranian mullahs and North Korea's crazed dictator?

My guess is because they don't want to be seen as the bad guy. My brother would be furious when his tactic failed, and I'm sure he thought mom and dad were horrible people. But in the end he realized he could not manipulate people in order to get what he wanted and he became a better person.

Kofi and company also are not willing to play the bad cop in dealing with the world's problem children. After all it's tough to maintain a multicultural, political correct front when you tell the leader of a third world shit-hole that they can't have a nuclear bomb and then back it up with force.

What these fools refuse to learn is they are the enabling force behind many of the worlds problems.

If the UN had stood up to Saddam Hussein in 1992 by strictly enforcing an arms embargo and not letting him get away with ignoring UN resolutions then the Mideast today would be a better place. Instead he was allowed to go his merry way and the region is a hell hole.

The exact same situation is now transpiring with Iran, Lebanon and Syria. The UN passes resolutions demanding action and the nation's involved either ignore the ruling or simply say, "No thanks" and do what they wish.

The problem here is that instead of simply creating an uneducated, spoiled child the world is creating demanding, uneducated nations that will soon have nuclear weapons.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Let Hollywood Burn

The next time the Hollywood hills explode with wild fires I say let them burn until nothing is left but the charred remains of BMWs and this is why.

JonBenet Murder Suspect's Relatives Offer Book, Movie Rights to Agent

Thursday, August 17, 2006

ACLU Strikes Again

If there is ever another terror strike on the U.S. the ACLU may very well be to blame.

In that organizations on-going effort to stymy law enforcement agencies from protecing us it has managed to have the NSA wiretapping program halted. According to an Associated Press article, the NSA must stop its anti-terrorism activities that had it checking phone lines for terrorists plotting attacks.

I find it hard to believe the ACLU so blindly follows its doctrine of fighting against everything it perceives to be a danger to our freedom, even when this ends up endangering thousands of people.

You cannot have freedom without security.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

A Good Take on Islamo-Fascism

I don't have the time to be original today, but here is a great column from the UK's Guardian, of all places.

Monday, August 14, 2006

The President Has A Blog

The Iranian President that is.

So if you would like to take up any issues with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad just go to I recommend leaving a positive review of the latest Salmon Rushdie novel.

There is an English version available by clicking the flag in the upper right hand corner. I love how the English marker is the blue field of stars from the American flag super-imposed over the Medieval Crusader flag.

Just for fun check out his daily poll which asks, "Do you think that the US and Israeli intention and goal by attacking Lebanon is pulling the trigger for another word war?" The majority of those who answered said No so maybe Iran will change its tune about the West.

Exploding Bras

If the terrorists really want to win over Americans they should be caught wearing explosive- laden bras. This way when the FAA bans them at least male passengers will be pleased.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Dying To Explode

Oliver King, a columnist in the UK paper The Guardian latest piece What Really Motivates Suicide Bombers quotes extensively Professor Robert Pape of the University of Chicago the author of Dying to Win: The Strategic Logic of Suicide Terrorism.

Pape's conclusion is the suicide bombers are detonating themselves for secular, not religious reasons. Primarily because they are furious that Western troops are based on Arab lands and they see these attacks as the only method of forcing those troops out. To solve the terrorism problem Pape comes thislogical, if wrong in my opinion.

His remedy, outlined in a piece he wrote for the New York Times last year is that the west should "rebalance" its strategy by withdrawing its forces from Muslim lands and instead support efforts of governments there to tackle the extremists.

Pape has simply not listened to what the Islamists are saying. While many may site Western presence as one reason, the majority point to the Palestinian/Israeli situation and a general animosity against the West and its ideals.

CBS' Bob Simon, who I recently railed against, interviewed two failed suicide bombers in 2003 who were captured by Israel. Here is a sample:

"He wasn't trying to make me wear an explosive belt. He was giving me a ticket to heaven. Because he loves me, he wants me to become a martyr. Because martyrdom is the most exalted thing in our religion. Not just anyone gets the chance to become a martyr.”

That does not sound like a secular reason for dying.

Most importantly the suicide bombers see their death as a one way ticket to martydom and heaven. It would seem the line of thought is "Since I'm not really dying, merely changing locations why not press the detonator."

Dr. Ariel Merari, head of the Center for Political Violence at Tel Aviv University agrees in the CBS interview.

"They just saw the new door, the new life. Strongly people believe here and in Islam that you don't die,” adds Merari. “When you join an army, there is a possibility to die, but in this case you are not going to die … As a martyr for Islam and and for Palestine, it is absolutely sure that you are going to come out alive.”

This is the pivot point that our politicians and military have to figure out. Fighting suicide bombers is akin to battling zombies. Both are already dead so to speak so the threat of death cannot be used to stop them from attacking. Theoretically the pool of potential suicide bombers will never dry up as long as its filled with committed Muslims.

The only method to deal with this is you have to make a suicide bomber wannabee's life on earth not worth leaving. As long as he or she believes something better is waiting on the other side, then they will strap on their bomber belts and attack.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

To Wage War or Not To Wage War

Over at GScobe today my intrepid fellow blogger ponders whether, or at least how, the West should fight an insurgency.

Reading this piece on Hezbollah's growing appeal and turning over the oft-repeated dictum that insurgencies win by merely existing, I wonder whether the West should reconsider engaging in this type of warfare. Is it essential for the West, or for the U.S., to "master counter-insurgency" as so many wags put it? Does our survival depend on it? Can we even do it?

To me the question is not should we fight, but how can we not fight. After all the Iraqi terrorists/insurgents attacked us after the fall of Saddam. At that point we had two possible responses, pack up and leave or fight back. We had no choice. Israel has even less of a choice since Hezbollah and Hamas are dedicated to its total destruction.

The trickier "how to fight an insurgency" question not difficult to answer, but very hard to implement given the current state of the world.

The direct method of beating, say the Iraqi insurgents, is to eliminate their support. Iran and Syria, in this case. We threaten these two nations on a regular basis, but each knows we are unlikely to back up our chest thumping with bombs and therein lies the problem. As long as we are willing to let arms, people and money flow into Iraq from its neighbors we will not win.

Israel faces the same problem and has also refrained from turning the terrorist's supply spigot off.

I can only imagine that neither the U.S. nor Israeli governments has kept the conflicts localized because each does not to deal with the international condemnation that would follow any such attack nor put a damper on the world's economy, another surefire result of any fighting to involve oil soaked Iran.

I'm amazed that the world would rather see several low-level conflicts continue indefinitely then to take direct action to end them once and for all.