Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Ion Mihai Pacepa on Russia & War on Terror Here the former head of the Romanian secret police describes how the former evil empire sponsored the current version.

Terrorism and violence against Israel and her master, American Zionism, would flow naturally from the Muslims’ religious fervor, Andropov sermonized. We had only to keep repeating our themes — that the United States and Israel were “fascist, imperial-Zionist countries” bankrolled by rich Jews. Islam was obsessed with preventing the infidels’ occupation of its territory, and it would be highly receptive to our characterization of the U.S. Congress as a rapacious Zionist body aiming to turn the world into a Jewish fiefdom.

The codename of this operation was “SIG” (Sionistskiye Gosudarstva, or “Zionist Governments”), and was within my Romanian service’s “sphere of influence,” for it embraced Libya, Lebanon, and Syria. SIG was a large party/state operation. We created joint ventures to build hospitals, houses, and roads in these countries, and there we sent thousands of doctors, engineers, technicians, professors, and even dance instructors. All had the task of portraying the United States as an arrogant and haughty Jewish fiefdom financed by Jewish money and run by Jewish politicians, whose aim was to subordinate the entire Islamic world.

In the mid 1970s, the KGB ordered my service, the DIE — along with other East European sister services — to scour the country for trusted party activists belonging to various Islamic ethnic groups, train them in disinformation and terrorist operations, and infiltrate them into the countries of our “sphere of influence.” Their task was to export a rabid, demented hatred for American Zionism by manipulating the ancestral abhorrence for Jews felt by the people in that part of the world. Before I left Romania for good, in 1978, my DIE had dispatched around 500 such undercover agents to Islamic countries. According to a rough estimate received from Moscow, by 1978 the whole Soviet-bloc intelligence community had sent some 4,000 such agents of influence into the Islamic world.

Monday, August 28, 2006

THERE'S NO BIZ LIKE THE AIDS BIZ Michael Fumento with some interesting facts about AIDS.

A high Ugandan official said that within two years his nation will "be a desert." ABC News Nightline declared that within 12 years "50 million Africans may have died of AIDS."

Problem is, those predictions were made in 1986 and 1988.

Yet Uganda's population has doubled since 1985. Nightline's 50 million dead by the year 2000 proved to be 20 million in 2005, according to the U.N. estimate. Further, "In sub-Saharan Africa, the region with the largest burden of the AIDS epidemic, data also indicate that the HIV incidence rate has peaked in most countries," says the 2006 UNAIDS Report.

Yet the United Nations itself has historically grossly exaggerated the world AIDS threat. In 1998, it estimated that 12 percent of Rwandans aged 15 to 49 were infected; now it says it's only 3 percent. Whoops. On the other hand, other agencies had estimated a horrific 30 percent of Rwandans were infected. James Chin, a former U.N. official who made some of the earliest global HIV estimates, says such concocted figures are "pure advocacy."

Former President Bill Clinton told conference attendees that "It's difficult to imagine how the world can grow unless we tackle AIDS." In fact, population growth is fastest in areas hardest hit by AIDS.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Mark Steyn: It's breeding obvious, mate One of the best Steyn columns ever. And most depressing.

Whether or not the western world is ending, it’s certainly changed. It’s a very strange feeling from the perspective of four decades on to return to a famous book C D Kemp wrote in 1964, Big Businessmen, a portrait of a now all but extinct generation of Australian industrialists. They were men whose sense of themselves in relation to the society they lived in was immensely secure. They had an instinctive belief in the culture that raised them and enriched them. To have pointed out such a fact at the time would have seemed superfluous: it was still shared by many forces in society – bank managers, kindergarten teachers, even Anglican clerics.

None of these pillars of what we used to regard as conventional society is quite as sturdy as it was, and most of them have collapsed. Many mainstream Protestant churches are, to one degree or another, post-Christian. If they no longer seem disposed to converting the unbelieving to Christ, they can at least convert them to the boggiest of soft-left political cliches. In this world, if Jesus were alive today he’d most likely be a gay Anglican vicar in a committed relationship driving around in an environmentally-friendly car with an “Arms Are For Hugging” sticker on the way to an interfaith dialogue with a Wiccan and a couple of Wahhabi imams.

Yet, if the purpose of the modern church is to be a cutting-edge political pacesetter, it’s Islam that’s doing the better job. It’s easy to look at gold-toothed Punjabi yobs in northern England or Algerian pseudo-rappers in French suburbs and think, oh well, their Muslim identity is clearly pretty residual. But that’s to apply westernized notions of piety. Today the mosque is a meetinghouse, and throughout the west what it meets to discuss is, even when not explicitly jihadist, always political. The mosque or madrassah is not the place to go for spiritual contemplation so much as political motivation. The Muslim identity of those French rioters or English jailbirds may seem spiritually vestigial but it’s politically potent. So, even as a political project, the mainstream Protestant churches are a bust. Pre-modern Islam beats post-modern Christianity.

THE MIDEAST'S MUNICH God, is this depressing and completely true. The war that is coming in the Middle East will probably rival WWII in destruction and death and will probably be the world's first nuclear war.

The war in Iraq has clearly sapped the moral strength of the Bush administration. The men of Munich acquiesced to Hitler because another world war like the first seemed unthinkable. The Bush administration clearly feels it cannot face another major confrontation even with a second-rate power like Iran. Yet by calling off the war on terror, it has only postponed that conflict.

"We have passed an awful milestone in our history," Winston Churchill said after the Munich agreement was signed. "Do not suppose this is the end . . . This is only the first sip, the first foretaste, of a bitter cup that will be proffered to us year by year." Despite the failure of appeasement, Churchill still believed the Western democracies would make the "supreme recovery" and take up the banner for freedom again. The United States and the forces of democracy will recover from this debacle - even with a Democratic Congress in 2006 and a Democratic president in 2008. The reason will not be because Bush's opponents have a better strategy, or a clearer vision, or even a Winston Churchill waiting in the wings. It will be because our enemies will give us no choice.

platform: Inigo Wilson: A Lefty Lexicon A Brit PR guy got suspended by the phone company he works for, for writing this dictionary of terms used by the Left.

N

Nazi - informal: describes non-Lefty views and useful to link with people Lefties don’t like. Thus Germany’s Nazi period is the only noteworthy formative experience of Pope Benedict.

NGO - Non Governmental Organisation – the repository of all moral authority in Lefty World and whose words and motives may never be questioned.

O

Organised labour - what Lefties used to be interested in.

P

Palestinians - archetype 'victims' no matter how many teenagers they murder in bars and fast food outlets. Never responsible for anything they do – or done in their name - because of 'root causes' or ‘legitimate grievances’.

Post-modern - modern French 'philosophical': literature claiming that no account of events can be trusted. 'Texts' must be 'deconstructed' for their hidden meanings - except those by post-modernists, to be taken at face value.

Progressive - describes ideas generally thought up around 40 years ago – that still don't work.

Q

al Qaeda - Muslim 'militants' who for some reason or other continue to kill far more Muslims than people of any other faith.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Short-Term Gain, Long-Term Pain Krauthammer on the Dems victory in CT and their approach to foreign policy. It ain't pretty.

But even assuming some short-term victories, where will the Democrats be when the war is over and President Bush is gone?

Lamont said in his victory speech that the time had come to "fix George Bush's failed foreign policy." Yet, as Martin Peretz pointed out in the Wall Street Journal, on Iran, the looming long-term Islamist threat, Lamont's views are risible. Lamont's alternative to the Bush Iran policy is to "bring in allies" and "use carrots as well as sticks."

Where has this man been? Negotiators with Iran have had carrots coming out of their ears in three years of fruitless negotiations. Allies? We let the British, French and Germans negotiate with Iran for those three years, only to have Iran brazenly begin accelerated uranium enrichment that continues to this day.

Lamont seems to think that we should just sit down with the Iranians and show them why going nuclear is not a good idea. This recalls Sen. William Borah's immortal reaction in September 1939 upon hearing that Hitler had invaded Poland to start World War II: "Lord, if I could only have talked with Hitler, all this might have been avoided."

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

LILEKS (James) :: the Bleat About halfway down discusses the Middle East and where we may be heading.

In the end, most Americans simply don’t care what happens to the Middle East aside from Israel. They’d like the region to be free; they’re happy when everyone gets to vote. They don't give a fig about Libya but it would be nice if Egypt was safe, what with all those museums and the like. They’d be perfectly fine if every nation in the Middle East was like France – open, free, stable, great vacation destinations, full of politicians and intellectuals who didn’t like the US but confined the rhetoric to tart epigrams or unreadable academic polemics. It’s the seething sectarian nutwad component that makes people weary. The looped scripts, the Jew-slagging, the misplaced blame, the unslakable aching sense of injustice over things that happened 500 years ago. Okay, well, sorry about the Crusades. Now you Persians apologize for Ionia and the war on the Greeks. C’mon. C’monnn, ya knuckleheads. I knew Darius, and he was a Party. Animal. But let’s send it all to the big Bygone House and hug, for Mr. Planet’s sake! (Bill Murray for UN Secretary General. Seriously.)
...
A nation that no longer cares about what happens Over There is a nation, I think, that has already made its peace, however subconsciously, with a horrible conclusion.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Jonah Goldberg on Farm Subsidies This one of my favorite subjects, the corporate welfare that sends money to ag states under the guise of helping out "the family farm."

Our system is so complicated — i.e., rigged — that it’s almost impossible to know how much agricultural subsidies cost U.S. taxpayers. But we know from the Washington Post’s recent reporting that since 2000 the U.S. government paid out $1.3 billion to “farmers” who don’t farm. They were simply “compensated” for owning land previously used for farming. A Houston surgeon received nearly $500,000 for, literally, nothing. Cash payments for agricultural purposes have cost the government $172 billion over the last decade, and $25 billion in 2005 alone. This is nearly 50 percent more than what was paid to families receiving welfare.

But those sorts of numbers barely tell the story of our appallingly immoral agricultural corporatism. Subsidies combined with trade barriers (another term for subsidy) prop up the price of agricultural commodities for consumers at home while hurting farmers abroad. This is repugnant because agriculture is a keystone industry for developing nations and a luxury for developed ones. Hence we keep third-world nations impoverished, economically dependent, and politically unstable. Our farm subsidies alone — forget trade barriers — cost developing countries $24 billion every year, according to the National Center for Policy Analysis. Letting poor nations prosper would be worth a lot more than the equivalent amount in foreign aid. But Big Agriculture likes foreign aid because it allows for the dumping of wheat and other crops on the world market, which perpetuates the cycle of dependency.