Saturday, August 20, 2005

Why is Ariel Sharon evacuating Gaza?

The Secret of Gaza
By David Frum

Why is Ariel Sharon evacuating Gaza?

It is not because he believes that a decent Palestinian state will emerge after the Israelis withdraw. Nobody believes that. The almost universal consensus among experts on the region is that post-occupation Gaza will became a Mediterranean Somalia: an unstable failed state in which gangs compete for power and extremist Islam finds a sanctuary.

Nor was Sharon responding to international pressure. His plan for unilateral evacuation surprised and displeased the United States and the European countries. They wanted Sharon to negotiate with Abbas. They wanted the deal to involve all the Palestinian territories, not just Gaza. And they wanted the whole thing to happen very, very slowly.

Israel’s strategic situation did not force Sharon’s hand: Israel was more than capable of holding Gaza for years to come. Domestic public opinion is not the explanation: Sharon won Israel’s 2003 elections by ITAL opposing END ITAL a Gaza withdrawal.

So why, why, why?

Let me try a theory.

Israel is the victim of an organized international hypocrisy.

After the experience of the 1990s, few people retain an illusions about the likely character of any Palestinian state. The Palestinian leadership is corrupt through and through. The only effective opposition to that leadership is violent and extremist. Palestinian public opinion utterly rejects coexistence with Israel. A Palestinian state, whatever its borders, will wage terror war against Israel – and give sanctuary to Islamic extremists from around the world. It will murder Israelis and threaten the security of Europeans and Americans.

European and American political leaders recognize this depressing fact. But they also recognize that Palestine issue has excited passions throughout the Muslim world – and among Muslim minorities in the West. These leaders believe that if they want to quell Muslim extremism, they must be seen to work toward the creation of a Palestinian state.

In Charles Dickens’ novel David Copperfield there is a character who answers every request with a sigh: Ah, if it were up to him, he would of course say “yes” with pleasure – but his partner, Mr. Jorrocks,* is so very difficult ….. In just such a way, European and American political leaders favor a “peace process” that moves the Palestinians ever closer to statehood, without ever quite reaching it; a process that positions the Israelis as the Mr. Jorrocks of the world.

Ariel Sharon has decided to put an end to this play.

The world wants a Palestinian state? Very well – let them have it. And the result, as we are seeing, is something close to panic in the foreign ministries of the West. Not just the West: the Middle East too. The Egyptians do not want a Hamas state on their borders. They had expected Ariel Sharon to place a cordon between Egypt and Gaza. He has said he will not do so – that he is leaving the job up to the Egyptians. And indeed last month Israeli Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz announced that 750 Egyptian soldiers would soon arrive to replace the Israeli Defense Forces.

Is this Egyptian role on the border a precursor to a larger Egyptian role within Gaza? Egypt after all remains far more vulnerable to Islamic extremist ideology than Israel. The Egyptian authorities have crushed the extremist movement within their borders. Do they wish to see a jihadist state emerge on their borders? It seems unlikely.

Could it be that Sharon is calling the bluff of Western governments and the Arab states? By creating the very Palestinian state that those governments and those states pretend to want but actually dread – Sharon is forcing them to end their pretense and acknowledge the truth:

The Palestinian leadership is incapable of creating a state that can live at peace with anyone, not Israel, not the other Arab states, not Europe, not the world. Somebody else must govern the restless and violent Arab-majority territories west of the Jordan River. Israel has suffered four decades of condemnation for doing the job. Sharon is now resigning the task to anybody else who would like to step in and take over the job. Nobody wants to. But Egypt and Jordan may soon realize that they have no choice. If there is a secret behind Sharon’s plan – that is it.

* I should of course have said Jorkins. Thanks to NRO's Dickens-loving readers.

The Betrayal

The attacks of 9/11 changed things for a lot of Americans. But Israelis and her supporters abroad were also subjected to a similar each-shattering change with the start of the so-called al-Aksa Intifadeh and the international response to it in following months and years.

It’s all on record, but to make a long story short, Israel was urged by the world to negotiate with the PLO and agree to a two-state solution with a shared Jerusalem. Throughout the Oslo years, and despite incessant Palestinian terrorism and incitement, Israel ceded significant amounts of territory. The Oslo process culminated in 2000 when Israel offered a peace deal that would have satisfied about 95% or more of Palestinian aspirations (at least what the Arabs told the world would satisfy them… all along they told their own people in Arabic that nothing short of Israel’s destruction would suffice.). After rejecting Israel’s peace offerings at Camp David, the Palestinians responded with an unprecedented terror war that claimed nearly 1000 Israeli lives.

There was a sort of unwritten understanding between Israel and countries in the EU, as well as the United States, that if the Palestinians failed to live up to their side of the bargain, Israel would have the political and moral backing needed to deal with the fallout.

In the end Israel was stabbed in the back. When Israel was forced to take on the terrorists unleashed by the PA, the world screamed foul. Pinpoint killings of terrorist master-mind bomb-makers and the like were met with condemnation. Non-violent means to protect Israeli civilians—like the highly successful security fence—were met with anti-Israel UN resolutions, negative ICC rulings, and divestment campaigns.

I have no reason to believe that anything will be different following the Gaza disengagement. Once the Palestinians begin lobbing rockets into Israel and committing other terrorist outrages, Israel will respond with force—hopefully devastating force. The Arabs will use the UN to bash Israel and the Europeans and the rest of the world will jump on board.

Israel can handle the military and security challenges ahead. Her supporters need to help out with the battle for public opinion. That means you.

Charles "K-Hammer" On Disengagement

Israel's disengagement is not a prelude to the end of Israel. It's not a signal that terrorism works. Israel is merely making a strategic move to more defensible positions.

In the following article Charles Krauthammer elucidates what some of Israel’s post disengagement deterrent measures might look like. As I wrote before, whoa be to those on the receiving end of Israel’s wrath.

Israel should announce that henceforth, any rocket launched from Palestinian territory will immediately trigger a mechanically automatic response in which five Israeli rockets will be fired back. There will be no human intervention in the loop. Every Palestinian rocket landing in Israel will instantly trigger sensors and preset counter-launchers. Any Palestinian terrorist firing up a rocket will know that he is triggering six: one Palestinian and five Israeli.

Israel would decide how these five would be preprogrammed to respond. Perhaps three aimed at the launch site and vicinity, and two at a list of predetermined military and strategic assets of the Palestinian militias.

Read the whole thing here.

Why Palestinians Still Live In Refugee Camps

Why Palestinians Still Live in Refugee Camps
By Alex Safian

"Why do Palestinians in Gaza still live in refugee camps? Did the Israelis force Palestinians to stay in the squalid, overcrowded camps?

Palestinians still live in refugee camps, even when the camps are in Palestinian Authority controlled areas, because the PLO opposes and prevents refugee resettlement. As the PLO slogan goes, A Palestinian refugee never moves out of his camp except to return home (ie, to Israel)." Read the rest. Hat tip: Zorkie at Discarded Lies

Thursday, August 18, 2005

From Beirut to Gush Katif

This article sort of makes me feel like a naive idiot in relation to my previous post.

Aug. 18, 2005
Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, as The Jerusalem Post correctly noted in its editorial on Tuesday, is hoping that disengagement will produce diplomatic benefits for Israel. As he declared in his speech to the nation Monday night: "Now, the Palestinians [will] bear the burden of proof. They must fight terror organizations, dismantle its infrastructure and show sincere intentions of peace in order to sit with us at the negotiating table. The world awaits the Palestinian response."

But as the editorial also correctly noted, the closest analogue to the current unilateral withdrawal from Gaza is Israel's unilateral pullout from Lebanon in 2000. And if there is one thing that the Lebanese pullout conclusively proved, it is that no such diplomatic benefits will be forthcoming.

When Israel left Lebanon in May 2000, the UN formally certified that it had indeed vacated every inch of Lebanese territory. The government consequently assumed, just as Sharon is now assuming with Gaza, that the onus would henceforth be on Lebanon: Either Hizbullah would have to voluntarily stop attacking Israel, or the Lebanese army would have to deploy in the south to prevent such attacks; if neither of these two things occurred, the world could be expected to treat Lebanon and its Syrian occupiers as the aggressors and support an Israeli military response.

What actually happened, however, was the following:

Hizbullah, defying the UN's certification of the international border, claimed an additional piece of Israeli-held territory for Lebanon and used it as a pretext for continuing attacks against Israel. In the intervening five years, it has kidnapped four Israelis and killed more than two dozen.

The Lebanese army flatly refused to deploy in the south to prevent such attacks.
Despite the continued attacks, the European Union still refuses to declare Hizbullah a terrorist organization.

Every Israeli military response to a Hizbullah attack continues to elicit an immediate UN condemnation.

The international community has refused to exert either diplomatic or economic pressure to persuade Lebanon and Syria (which effectively controlled Lebanon until this spring) to act against Hizbullah. The UN Security Council did call on Hizbullah to disarm, but neither the council nor any member state has threatened penalties for noncompliance.

This July, after Syria withdrew from Lebanon, Hizbullah formally joined the Lebanese government, but announced that it had no intention of either disarming or halting "the resistance" [i.e. attacks] against Israel. The new Lebanese prime minister, Fuad Saniora, then announced that the government supported this decision. Yet even this open defiance of the UN's demand that Hizbullah disarm failed to elicit a condemnation from either the UN or any member state, much less actual pressure on Lebanon.

Even the US, which does consider Hizbullah a terrorist organization, responded not with outrage, but with lavish praise for the new government – "you will not find a more supportive partner than the United States," Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice told Saniora in Beirut – and offers of financial aid.THUS THE pullout from Lebanon, despite being praised by the entire world at the time, produced neither international pressure on Lebanon to halt anti-Israel attacks nor greater international understanding for Israeli military action against such attacks. And the international community is not even pretending that its response to the Gaza pullout will be any different.

Indeed, the world has already made it clear that far from "awaiting the Palestinian response" to Israel's gesture, what it is awaiting is further Israeli concessions.

The UN, the EU and the US have all said openly in recent weeks that following the withdrawal, they expect Israel to move rapidly to realize the road map's plan for a Palestinian state in all of the West Bank, Gaza and east Jerusalem. None of the three has conditioned this demand on positive developments in Gaza following the pullout.

Moreover, pursuant to that goal, they have issued a list of specific concessions that they expect Israel to make immediately after the pullout, all of them potentially devastating to Israel's security. Yet even the US, traditionally both the most sympathetic to Israel's security concerns and the toughest on Palestinian terror, has declared that Israel must make these concessions even if the Palestinian Authority has not yet started taking action against the terrorist organizations:

Israel must give the PA full control of the Gaza-Egyptian border, thereby forfeiting its ability to prevent arms and terrorists from pouring into Gaza after the pullout.

It must also create a "safe passage" between Gaza and the West Bank, thereby forfeiting its ability to prevent terrorists or weapons from pouring into the West Bank via Gaza.

It must preserve the customs union between Gaza and Israel, which allows goods to move between the two without customs inspections, and also end the stringent security inspections it has instituted in place of such checks – thereby forfeiting its ability to prevent arms and explosives from entering Israel via Gaza.

It must substantially increase the number of Gazans allowed to work in Israel, thereby increasing the odds of terrorists entering Israel in the guise of workers.

It must allow the PA security forces to acquire large quantities of additional arms, even though PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas has repeatedly declared that such arms will not be used against the terrorist organizations, and despite the fact that, to date, such arms have been used almost exclusively against Israel.

In short, far from showing greater understanding for Israel's security needs following disengagement, the international community's response has been to demand that Israel concede all the safeguards most essential to its post-pullout security.

But given the Lebanon precedent, that is hardly surprising. The only surprising part is that Sharon, or anyone else, should ever have expected otherwise.

Pros and Cons of Disengagement

As I recount my postings on the Gaza disengagement, I realize that my views seem a bit schizophrenic. I support the disengagement, yet I don’t believe it will decrease the violence. In fact, I think it will make it worse, certainly in the short term. So, why do I support the disengagement?

Reasons for disengagement:

1. The population of the shtakhim (The West Bank and Gaza) has a population of about 3 million. Israel cannot indefinitely rule over this population with its military. Thus, Israel has two basic options: come up with a self-rule scheme with the Palestinians and their leadership, or grant the Palestinians Israeli citizenship. The danger of the latter proposal is demographic. The population of Israel is about 6 million, roughly one million of which are Arabs. The Arabs, both within Israel and in the shtakhim, have one of the highest birthrates in the world. Within a few decades the Jews in Israel would be a minority. It’s also an unrealistic solution. You think the debates in the Knesset are raucous now, imagine when Hamas and Islamic Jihad control a quarter of the Knesset! It’s literally a non-starter.

2. I’m not a military tactician, but from my understanding the Gaza strip and the settlements therein do not enhance Israel’s security. Some argue that the manpower needed to protect a mere 9,000 Israelis amidst 1.3 million Arabs could be put to better use elsewhere. Makes sense to me.

3. Although Israel has already ceded land to the Palestinians—only to learn that the Palestinians were about as ready to rule themselves as a newborn baby is to walk (bad analogy—newborns aren’t fanatically violent)—the disengagement offers yet another opportunity for the Palestinians to prove they are responsible (don’t laugh). The world is watching them.

4. Disengagement puts the onus on the Palestinians to make peace and reciprocate with peace-building steps of their own. This means at a minimum to disarm Hamas, Islamic Jihad, the PFLP and the so-called al-Aksa Martyrs Brigades. In short, the Palestinians can no longer allow various armed factions to operate with impunity. The world is watching them.

5. Disengagement has enhanced Israel’s image. Chirac, hardly a friend of Israel in the past, recently invited Sharon to Paris and gave him the red carpet treatment.

Reasons against disengagement:

1. Unilateral disengagement gives the Palestinians something without them having to give anything in return. The band Rush was wrong: you CAN get something for nothing. Those who support violence will view the Israeli withdrawal as vindication of their strategy. If they believe the strategy of terrorism works, it will only embolden them to continue the strategy. Thus, more violence.

2. The Palestinian Authority (PA) has never taken any serious actions against Hamas, et. al. Hamas et. al. will grow stronger and Gaza will become one big hornet’s nest of terrorism. Groups such as Hezbullah and al-Qaeda will find a comfy home there, and the level of violence will increase.

3. Israel already ceded most of Gaza, Jericho and the surrounding area in 1993 to the PA. Later, Israel ceded all the major Palestinian cities in the West Bank and even some smaller villages to the PA. These moves, however, did not endear Israel to the world. Then, under Ehud Barak Israel offered to cede the Arab neighborhoods of Jerusalem (and parts of the Old City) as well as almost the entire West Bank and Gaza in exchange for a final status peace deal. The Palestinians rejected this offer and went to war. Although the international community initially condemned the Palestinians for resorting to violence, it did not take long before Israel found herself the object of international opprobrium on a scale hitherto never seen in the past. International goodwill can disappear like a desert mirage.

Despite all that, the hope:

It is hoped the Palestinians will finally smell the coffee and not, to use an old but apt cliché, miss yet another opportunity to miss an opportunity. Maybe, just maybe, this move will jump-start the moribund peace process.

If the Palestinians fail the test:

Without 9,000 settlers (and the soldiers guarding them) for the Palestinians to attack, using terrorist and guerilla methods, the Palestinians in Gaza will have to rely more and more on traditional military tactics if they wish to continue their jihad. Israel has the strongest military in the region. Armed forces to armed forces, the Palestinians haven’t got a chance.

The Palestinians will be making a huge miscalculation if they continue the violence after disengagement. PM Sharon has already said that Israel will respond harshly to any post-disengagement violence. The Arabs would do well to remember that despite the small number of radical settlers, Israelis as a whole are united. Israel now has greater international support than ever before, and the consensus in Israel is that if the Palestinians continue the violence, the gloves come off. Maybe people have been lulled into complacency by the image of the “new Sharon.” But Sharon is a pragmatist. If the violence continues or worsens, pragmatism will suggest a good ‘ol traditional Sharon-style military response. Whoa be to those on the receiving end.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Training At Bally's

I attended two training seminars today as a part of my overall training to be a personal trainer at Bally’s Total Fitness. So far, Bally’s seems like a good company to work for. The guy who led the training seminars was great. He was funny, nice and laidback. Before we began the seminars, he said, “If anybody needs to use the bathroom, feel free to do so. They are located…”

The reason I’m mentioning this seemingly minor detail is because I actually quit a job after only one week of training because the managers did not allow me to use the bathroom.

Background: I had proctored an exam early in the morning. I had to be at training for the said job (a waiter position) shortly thereafter, which meant I had to bolt from the university and drive at breakneck speed in order to make it to training ten minutes early (“because if you are on time, you are late,” they had told us—ass-holes). There was no time for me to relieve myself. Once I arrived they made us stand in a line for over 20 minutes as we all waited to learn how to punch in. Then they had us sit at tables in the dinning room. Meanwhile, the morning coffee I had drank hours ago was begging to come out, so after I sat down I approached a manager and said, “Excuse me. Before we begin, could you tell me where the bathrooms are?” In a dismissive, condescending manner he replied, “We’re beginning now. Please take a seat.”

I was shocked—and fucking furious.

But it gets worse. On the wall of the dinning room was some feng-shui shit with trickling water, which really made want to pee. Plus, they never gave us a break. Oh man, my bladder was in agony. But I knew I really hated these people when we were told we had to memorize every ingredient in all the mixed drinks, yet the alcohol beverage manger kept referring to notes as she read us the ingredients! Hello?! Way to lead by example. Hypocrites.

Anyway, I’m excited about this job not only because I love fitness, but because I really believe in the product/service I’m selling—health! I’ve been very impressed with the people I’ve met who work at Bally’s. I’m happy to say that I won’t feel like a phony doing my job. I really want to help my clients obtain their fitness goals. I’m excited to be able to convey some of the vast exercise knowledge that I’ve built up since the age of 16.

Update On Menezes Murder

The NYT ran a story today headlined: London Inquiry Contradicts Police on Death Of a Suspect. The article refers to the killing of Brazilian Jean Charles de Menezes, who was shot 7 times in the head and once in the arm by British police. It now appears that the officers followed him onto a train, although Menezes was unaware he was being followed; thus he was not fleeing arrest. Without any resistance from him at all, the police pinned his arms to his side and pumped his head full of bullets.

Right after this incident happened I surmised that something fishy had occurred. On 7/25 I wrote:

I’m going to go out on a limb here. It seems to me that the plainclothes British police who shot Brazilian Jean Charles de Menezes, 27, did not act professionally. Reports are now indicating that Menezes was shot EIGHT times!—seven shots to the head, one in the shoulder. I’m no ballistics expert, but from what I understand, one shot to the head at close range with any caliber of gun will immediately incapacitate anybody. Certainly two or three will do the trick—pow, pow, pow, you know, a typical rapidly fired volley. But eight shots? Pow, pow, pow, pow, pow, pow, pow, pow. Count it off. Eight shots, pointblank range. Okay, he's dead. Obviously I do not know what was going through the “Bobbies” minds, and I was not present at the shooting, but the sheer volume of shots leads me to wonder if anger and rage might have played a role in the killing of Mr. Menezes. Were their minds clouded by anger and rage over the recent bombings? What motivated the shooting? Revenge?

The British have always been quick to condemn any and every Israeli counter-terror measure. But once they got a taste of what Israelis have been dealing with for decades, look at the reaction. The hypocrisy kills me. I wonder how British people would feel if the Israelis joined a vote in the UN that condemned the British police for their anti-terror actions? What control or authority does mayor Ken Livingstone have over the police in London? Maybe he should be tried for war crimes, or crimes against humanity, or extra-judicial execution? Or better yet, try him for being an anti-Semitic, Israel-hating twat.

Coalition Of The Oppressed

Last Tuesday when my pal came over for our weekly no-girls allowed pot-smoking hangout session, we decided to watch Def Poetry, because we felt like making ourselves projectile vomit. Okay, I exaggerate. But we found the show to be entertaining, although not for the intended reasons. Let’s just say it should be called Def Comedy Poetry, because if you don’t take yourself as seriously as all of the self-righteous alleged poets on the program, it’s pretty damn funny.

It’s also incredibly predictable. Almost every poet waxes, uh, poetic, about how oppressed they are. And it’s not just the black poets who do it, they all do: Hispanics, nerdy whites, geeky whites, dorky whites (all the white poets on the show are either nerds, geeks, dorks or a combination thereof), humans with vaginas, Jews, and even East Asians. Almost every poet bitched about how hard life is for them in America, although to be fair there was one poet who talked about how lucky we all are to live in America—and he didn’t get booed off stage. But that’s probably because he was black…

Anyway, after laughing at all of these self-righteous semi-rhyming sob-stories, a young Korean poet stepped on to the stage and started gripping about the tensions between inner city blacks and inner city Korean store owners. Fair enough, I thought. I mean yo—she was flowin,’ and her humanity was showin,’ and so my sympathy was growin,’ until she started insinuating that the “white” police routinely ignored the pleas of Korean store owners who were under attack or being robbed. Why? Because Koreans are Asian and obviously evil whitey doesn’t care about them or the inner city, that’s why (And No!—it’s not racist for non-whites to assume that most whites are racist.)

But any modicum of sympathy I might have had for her story evaporated when I remembered—through my marijuana clouded brain—that my late grandfather, a pharmacist, owned a store in Milwaukee’s inner city, not much unlike her Korean parents. My hardworking grandfather was robbed COUNTLESS times. Once he was SHOT in the back from a SHOT GUN as he ran for his life during a robbery. Another time he was PISTOL WHIPPED into unconsciousness in front of my shocked grandmother who had the fortitude of mind to fake passing-out in order to spare herself a similar beating. Literally, my grandparents’ store was robbed countless times. I grew up on stories of these robberies, some of which were hilarious. Once, my grandfather was held up and he bolted out the back door and ran out into the ally only to run smack-dab into the same robber who had held him up! Or, the time they opened the store and discovered some guy who had stayed the night reading porno-mags (In between begging for free candy, I recall sneaking over to the magazine rack to glimpse at those same magazines.).

But I digress… Did it ever occur to my grandparents to blame society for not preventing every robbery and petty crime in their store? No! Did they ever become racist against black people and Hispanics? No! Did they ever inculcate my parents or their grandchildren to feel like victims? No, no, no!

I don’t think it ever even occurred to my grandparents to draw a connection between their store getting robbed, the police not being able to prevent it or responding quickly enough, and anti-Semitism. It didn’t occur to them because for one, there is no connection, and secondly, we don’t go through our lives feeling or acting like victims. This doesn’t mean we aren’t aware of anti-Semitism (anybody reading this blog knows how I feel about it), but we don’t use it as a crutch or an excuse.

There’s a whole bunch of people out there who will never admit it, but they have a perverse attraction to being able to feel or identify as a victim. I know because I’ve encountered it numerous times in my life. On many occasions people—usually other minorities—have intimated to me that because I am Jewish, I can also lay claim to the badge of honor otherwise known as the oppressed minority club of America. Well, that’s a club of losers that I want no part of.

The seeming desire to be a victim, to latch on to victim-hood, is what’s so annoying and yet pathetically funny about Def [Comedy] Poetry. Almost every poet, despite his or her ethnicity, tries to latch on to victim-hood status. That is why the white poets are self-identified geeks, nerds, or dorks; they need that moniker to earn their victim credentials. The Def poets all seem to think that being victims makes themselves and their shitty poetry more “real.”

Please, keep it coming. It’s funny.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Experts: Inbreeding main cause of Arab infant mortality

Hmmm… and maybe the cause of some other pathologies?

"Honor" Slaughter In Pakistan Rages On

34 people killed for ‘honour’ in 2005
By Aayan Ali

LAHORE: There have been 34 honour killings of 25 women and 9 men in Lahore this year.On January 4, Rana Shamshad killed his sister Khalida in Hanjerwal police precincts because he suspected that she would marry of her own choice.

On January 14, Ziaullah strangled his wife Shahida for allegedly having an affair with neighbour Muhammad Arshad in Sandha police precincts.

Yakoob Khan, father of Mehboob, and Ayesha, niece of Riaz, were killed and four others injured in Misri Shah police limits on January 23. Mehboob was involved with Ayesha on which Riaz shot her dead and later attacked Mehboob and his family at their house.

Kashif and accomplices gunned down his sister Rabia Muzaffar in Gulshan Ravi police limits on February 10 for wanting to marry a man of her choice.

Shaukat Ali, a resident of Factory Area, was assassinated on February 12 for allegedly having an affair with Shabnam.

Nazir and Sabir Hussain, Shabnam’s brothers, and her father Allah Dita shot Ali dead at Gulistan Colony.

A mother of four was killed by her brother in Sandha police precincts on February 23. Shahnaz, 32, married Zafar Ali after getting a divorce from her first husband. Muhammad Azam, Shahnaz’s brother, shot her dead for “loose morals”.

A man shot his sister dead in the Factory Area on March 2. Munir shot Naseera, 28, a resident of Chungi Amar Sadhu, for having “loose morals”.

On March 5, Shahbaz, Adnan and Mola shot dead Shumaila in Shahdara Town police limits for refusing to marry Adnan.

Javed killed Mushtaq, 21, in the Wahdat Colony police jurisdiction on March 7 for allegedly having an affair with his sister Parveen.

A man shot his sister dead for allegedly having an affair in the Manga Mandi police jurisdiction on March 8.

A man killed his sister in Garden Town police limits on March 9.

Hina Basharat, 16, worked at a beauty parlour. Haroon, a resident of Mustafabad, Shahdara, shot dead his 19-year-old daughter Sumaira on March 14 over the suspicions that she was involved with a man.

On March 15, Yaqoob Masih shot dead his wife’s cousin Tariq when Tariq tried to intervene in a dispute between Masih and his wife in Sherakot. On the same day, Maqsood Masih strangled his cousin Uzma Bashir to death for eloping with a man in the Race Course police jurisdiction.

Shakeel, Shahid and Saghir shot dead their brother-in-law Tariq in Gujjar Pura police jurisdiction on April 13. Tariq Mehmood married Misbah against her parents’ will.

A married woman and her lover were murdered in the Baghbanpura police jurisdiction on April 28. Sakina, mother of four, had an affair with Imran and eloped with him on April 17. Her brother Riaz killed her and Imran after she returned home.

And it goes on and on.

Hat tip to evariste at discarded lies, who pointed out that "Lahore has about 6 million people. So in US terms, that would be about 1,700 honor killings a year in the entire US population (assuming 300 million of us)."

I think the root cause of all this is the Israeli occupation and US policy in the Middle East.

Women: A Root Cause Of Islamofascism

In Praise of Hirsi Ali
By Roger L. Simon
Hat Tip: LGF

"Women's rights are the very center of the War on Terror. In fact I would argue Islamofascism at its core is more than anything else an expression of rage against women and that Islam itself is not much better on that score. That is why to me Ayaan Hirsi Ali is one of the great positive figures of our time, a modern Joan of Arc who surpasses the original Joan in a moral sense and is at least her equal in pure guts." Read the rest.

(I can't help but be reminded of a debate I had with a leftist feminst who nearly choked when I got her to admit that Bush was right to overthrow the Taliban in Afghanistan-Semite1973)

Drug Testing Is Bullshit: The War on Marijuana

For most of this summer I refrained from partaking in one of my favorite guilty pleasures—smoking pot. The reason: On a number of occasions I was on the cusp of getting an interview at the local newspaper here, and they drug test. Thus, I was unable to occasionally enjoy a puff on the weekends—or on Tuesday nights when my buddy comes over—lest a piss test turned up positive. I guess you can have a raging alcoholic work for a newspaper, but God no, not a pot smoker.

For the time being I am not looking to work at the local daily, and so I’ve ended my moratorium on marijuana. With graduate school starting soon, and having recently been hired to be a personal trainer (hooray for me!), my plate is full for now. But this whole experience got me thinking: I’ve come to the conclusion that drug testing is complete bullshit and primarily affects the most harmless of all drug users—pot smokers.

Here is why: Most drug testing consists of urine analysis. A person who smokes marijuana, say, on the weekends, may have marijuana in his/her system for as long as 12 weeks. This is because THC—the chemical that gets you high—metabolizes in fat cells. However, other drugs do not metabolize in the body in the same way. For example, amphetamines can only be detected in urine for 1-4 days; cocaine (crack, freebasing, mainlining the shit) can be detected for 4-5 days; codeine and morphine, 2-4 days; heroin, 8 hours; methamphetamines (crank), 3-5 days; and finally PCP—3-7 days!

So as you can see, a fucking CRACK-HEAD only has to keep him/herself clean for 4-5 days in order to beat a piss test; a responsible marijuana smoker like myself will probably not even be able to “detox” in the span of time between applying for a job, getting the interview, and finally having a drug test. I could conceivably smoke PCP—then freak out, strip naked, climb a tree, and sit there all night scratching myself like a crazy person as I hallucinate—and then a week later pass a drug test! I could go on a coke binge and in less than a week test clean. I could get PISS DRUNK and wake up hung-over and take a drug test and pass with flying colors. But if I take a bong hit on a Saturday night, and then smoke a couple joints with my buddy on Tuesdays, I’ll fail. I won’t get the job because I’m a “drug user.”

And that is why drug testing is nothing but an insidious, unfair and shortsighted war against the harmless pot smoker.

Finally, if you are a marijuana smoker and might have to face a drug test soon, here are some hints on how to detox quickly:

Do not eat fatty foods. THC hangs-out in your fat cells.

Likewise, burn fat—do cardiovascular-intensive exercises.

Drink lot’s of water and cranberry juice. The jury is out on this, but a lot of people swear by it.

Go online and purchase a supplement that masks THC in your urine. Some places test for such supplements, but if you have a drug test, you might as well go down fighting.

Good luck.

Update on Gym Etiquette

It’s okay to brush your teeth in the sink at the locker room—just don’t do it buck-naked. I went to wash my hands before leaving and saw a middle-aged guy hanging over the sink—naked—and practically gagging himself with a toothbrush. Disgusting.

Oil Prices

The Michael Moore conspiratorial left argue that we went to war to gain control of Iraq’s oil; you know, to keep those oil prices low for the American consumer. But judging from the increasingly high oil prices of late, I’d say that sinister plan backfired royally.

Don’t expect the far-left to let facts and reality get in the way of their mindless conspiracy theories, though.

And one more thing, if the democrats want a shot at winning the next election, they should distance themselves from the loonies who are on the fringe of their party.

"Overcrowded" Gaza

The Gaza strip is in the news a lot these days, and with it comes the usual inaccurate descriptors of Gaza. Gaza is routinely described as “teeming” with humanity, suffering from a “high population density” because it is “overcrowded.”

The Gaza strip is about 7-10 miles wide and about 25 miles long, or 220 square miles, or 360 square kilometers. The population is roughly 1,376,289, according to the CIA world fact book.

As it may have already occurred to you, every major city in the world has a higher population density than “overcrowded” Gaza. If that’s the case, why all the emotive terminology used to describe the Gaza strip and its population?

Monday, August 15, 2005

Babies Caught Up in 'No-Fly' Confusion

Look, let's fight terror intelligently. I don't care if a passenger on an airplane is named Osama bin-Laden, Yasser Arafat, or Ayman al-Zawahiri—if he or she is a BABY, let 'em fly! Sheesh. The security guards who prevent babies with no-fly names from boarding a plane must be the same Einstein’s who pulled my grandma out of line to check her shoes for explosives. Idiots.

Researchers Aim To Grow Meat In Test Tube

Mmm, yummy.

Hey, maybe they could mix some "beef" with "eggplant" and "potato" to create test tube mousaka?


NYT and Disengagement

The NYT ran an article today about the religious, ultra-nationalist Jewish teenagers who are making withdrawal from Gaza as difficult as they can for the army.

“Young, proud, and dismissive of the state’s authority, they have vowed resistance to the pullout, which they say is against God’s will.”

Allo?! Earth to datim (religious Israelis)—God didn’t lift an anthropomorphic finger while six million plus Jews were exterminated during WWII; I doubt He will stop the pullout. Please, let the soldiers do their difficult jobs. If you care so much about the state, move your asses to the Galilee, which has an Arab majority. Galilee is beautiful; lot’s of biblical stuff happened there, you’ll like it.

I am for the withdrawal, but for tactical reasons. Don’t think for a second, however, that Israel’s withdrawal will bring peace and quiet. Another article on the same page pointed out that in Gaza City “Hamas strung blazing green banners: ‘Resistance wins,’ read one, ‘so let’s go on.’” In the Palestinian lexicon, “resistance” means terrorism, suicide bombs, the like.

The sage editorial writers of the NYT’s are well-aware of the Palestinian penchant for violence, even if they play stupid. In an editorial today entitled “Only the Beginning,” they wrote that “the so called road map for peace calls for Israel to work with elected Palestinian officials to create a plan for a negotiated Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank and Gaza.” It doesn’t seem to phase the NYT that Israel pulled-out (is pulling-out…) of Gaza unilaterally, meaning without any negotiations and with nary a clamp down on terrorist activity by Abbas.

The editorial continued: “The responsibility of the Palestinians is to clamp down on terrorist activity against Israelis. Clearly Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, must demonstrate he can stop extremists from Hamas who labor under the mistaken belief that they will one day destroy the Israeli state.”

We’ve heard this “clamp down on terrorism” lip-service before. The NYT and the rest of the mainstream media and governments from around the world (save those governments that are diametrically opposed to the existence of Israel) have been mouthing this same pro-forma pronouncement for over a decade now. The said NYT editorial dedicated about 550 words calling on Sharon to continue to cede territory to the Palestinians but gave only a mere 42 words about the Palestinians needing to crack down on terrorism. One would think that on the eve of this momentous Israeli move, the NYT would finally ease the pressure on Israel and put some on the Palestinians. Think again.

The editorial ends by warning Sharon (Israel) that “if there is any chance for peace, there are many more steps that must be taken.” Read: Israel must cede more and more territory. It is so typical of the NYT and the MSM to pretend that only Israel holds all the cards for making peace. In the real world, it takes two sides to make peace. When is the world going to finally hold the Palestinians to civilized standards and expect them to behave in a manner becoming of a people who are deserving and ready for a sovereign state?

You know what? Fuck Palestine—Free Tibet!

(Yeah right. The truth is that the poor Tibetans—unlike the Palestinians—don’t have the entire Islamic world backing them and blackmailing the UN in their favor. But who knows, maybe if the Tibetans start blowing shit up, people will take notice? Probably not; the world opinion seems to think that ZERO sovereign Tibets are enough and the world is in need of a 23’rd Arab state.)

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Can't Wait For School To Start!

Well, school is starting soon, and I can’t wait. I’m just shivering with excitement thinking about reading academic articles with titles like, Normative Political Correlates of Agenda Setting in Local Media: A Rearticulation of the Homologous Evaluative Approach, or Qualitative Functional Perspectives of the News Room: Reflecting on a Naturalistic Case Study, or Covariational Typology in Case Study Methodology: A Structuralist Interpretation of Althusserian-Hegemonic Theory… yada yada yada.

In most cases, these jargon-laden titles are academese for My Ideas Are So Fucking Bad I Have To Obfuscate Them With Obtuse Gobbledygook: A Case Study In The Suckers Who Actually Think I Know What I’m Talking About.

With this type of attitude, you may be wondering why am I bothering with school in the first place? Well, I want “M.A.” on my stupid resume, that’s why. I’ve been told it will make me just a tad bit more employable. So, I’ll just keep jumping through these hoops for one more year until they give me my damn certificate.

Watch our world: I’m almost ready to conquer you—I just need to get one more liberal arts degree.

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