Thursday, July 27, 2006

Cowboys, Mullahs and High Stakes

Hat tip to Cox and Forkum for the cartoon. You can read their related commentary and links HERE. An excerpt they have from the Jerusalem Post:

STRENGTHENING the view that opposition to war against Iran and its proxies is suicidal, it was reported Sunday that Bulgarian border guards along their border with Romania had intercepted a British truck filled with radioactive materials for building a so-called dirty bomb. The components, which included dangerous quantities of radioactive caesium 137 and americium-beryllium, were stored in 10 lead-lined boxes addressed to the Iranian Ministry of Defense.

According to the Daily Mail, this was the second time in less than a year that a British shipment of nuclear materials had been stopped by Bulgarian border guards.
Last August, Bulgaria stopped a shipment of zirconium silicate, which can be used as a component of a nuclear warhead, at its border with Turkey en route to Iran. ...

[I]t is impossible not to recognize the Bush administration's centrality in the current [Israeli] campaign [in Lebanon]. Not only is the US rearming the IAF with bunker buster bombs, it is making certain that its own public and the international community recognize that what is at stake here is far greater than the well-being of Israel's citizens.

As President George W. Bush has made clear, this is not just Israel's war. This is a campaign of the Iranian-led axis of jihad that seeks to dominate the entire free world. ...

[I]t must be hoped that now that the US, Israel and other Western states are acknowledging the true nature of the war against Israel, they will abandon their suicidal demons and use this campaign as a stepping stone for neutralizing its chief instigator: The Islamic Republic of Iran.

(bold emphasis mine) It's about time we start taking this threat seriously. This isn't just about Israel and Lebanon. Iran wants to escalate this war. Will it somehow be better if we wait until they have nuclear capability as well?

...Israel, at the urging of the world community, sowed the seeds for this current situation when they withdrew from Southern Lebanon years ago. The Israelis responded to world opinion (usually a mistake) by pulling back without any agreement from either the terrorists in Hezbollah or in Lebanon. The idea behind the pullback was that maybe, just maybe, Hezbollah and Lebanon would be content to honor the international border between the two countries and leave Israel in peace...

...Israel tried to do the right thing. They withdrew. They sought peace. They asked nothing more to be left alone. The Islamists in Hezbollah and their supporters and enablers in Lebanon, Syria and Iran saw this as a sign of weakness. Israel is tired. Israel doesn't want to fight any more. Israel is weak. Israel can be defeated.

These Islamic murderers see the same weakness in the United States. Oh, to be sure, for a while they feared George Bush. In George Bush they saw an American leader who understood their intentions and who was bent on their destruction. Soon after Bush showed his resolve by invading Afghanistan you saw Muslim leaders starting to backtrack. They were starting to retreat back into their holes ... until, that is, the American left stepped forward...

...As the Democrats intensified their attacks on George Bush over the war in Iraq, the Muslims started to see the weakness they were looking for. Another Western weakness ripe for exploitation.

Right now Israel is paying the price for appeasement. Some in Israel thought that there might be a better way ... a way to live in peace with radical Islam. They now know better.

Do we? ...

(bold emphasis mine) How is it possible to appease anyone, when the only thing they want from you is your destruction?

The Fragility of the Good Life
...No one praises Reagan, Clinton or Bush for the past amazing performance of the U.S. economy. Instead, it's taken as America's new birthright.

We expect almost instantaneous success in everything we do. Most in the media are thus tired of the present wars in the Middle East and think the enormous human cost is not worth the goal of offering freedom to millions, even though we have suffered far fewer fatalities in Iraq and Afghanistan than a generation sacrificed in Vietnam.

As we near the fifth anniversary of Sept. 11, most have forgotten the dangers of a terrorist attack. Often the public appears to worry more over the Patriot Act and wiretaps, as if our own leaders pose a greater threat to the United States than do mass-murdering Islamist terrorists.

But could our good life really sometime come to an end - as the histories of past affluent societies suggest it will? Imagine al-Qaida attacking the New York Stock Exchange or an unexpected North Korean missile taking out a West Coast city. What if Beijing suddenly had to sell off billions of its accumulated American dollars? Or how about a good old 1970s-style recession in which interest rates hit 20 percent, with inflation and unemployment each hovering near 10 percent? What would millions of younger Americans do - people who have known only the prosperity, material surfeit and mostly peace and security of the 1980s and 1990s?

Prosperity can also be deceiving. Many Americans, despite superficial affluence, are in debt and often a paycheck away from insolvency. By historical standards, they are pretty helpless. Most of us can't grow our own food, don't know how cars work and have no clue where or how electricity is generated. In short, few have the smarts to survive if the thin veneer of civilization were to be lost, as it has been from time to time in places like downtown New Orleans...

...In our own new age of war, terrorism, huge debt, high-priced gas and frightful weapons and viruses that we try to ignore, we should remember that civilization's progress is not always linear. The human condition does not inevitably evolve from good to better to best, but always remains precarious, its advances cyclical.

The good life sometimes can be lost quite unexpectedly and abruptly when people demand rights more than they accept responsibilities, or live for present consumption rather than sacrifice for future investment, or feel their own culture is not particularly exceptional and therefore in no need of constant support and defense...

Stability and prosperity too often breed complacency. It could be our undoing, as it has been for many civilizations that have gone before us.

DEARBORN ANTIWAR PROTEST: 10,000 unite for Lebanon
...At one point, a speaker held a portrait of Hassan Nasrallah, Hizballah's secretary-general. The crowd burst into applause.

Rana Abbas-Chami, deputy director of the Michigan Chapter of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, called Israel's violence "appalling, unfathomable and unforgivable."

"The sad reality is that the United States and Israel have decided that they are at liberty to determine the value of human life based on what side of the border you fall. The U.S. is just as guilty as Israel is. History will not forgive, nor will it ever forget, these crimes." ...

What the hell are these Islamic cultists doing in our country? They should be arrested, interogated, and deported. Now!

Is that "too judgemental"? Well mabye some judgement is sorely needed. These creeps are claiming that the U.S. is guilty? Here is a reminder of some of Hizbollah's past deeds:

-- 1982: Muslim extremists (mostly Hezbollah) began a nearly decade-long habit of taking Americans and Europeans hostage in Lebanon, killing William Buckley and holding Terry Anderson for 6 1/2 years.

-- April 1983: Muslim extremists (Islamic Jihad or possibly Hezbollah) bombed the U.S. Embassy in Beirut, killing 16 Americans.

-- October 1983: Muslim extremists (Hezbollah) blew up the U.S. Marine barracks at the Beirut airport, killing 241 Marines.

-- September 1984: Muslim extremists (Hezbollah) exploded a truck bomb at the U.S. Embassy annex in Beirut, killing 24 people, including two U.S. servicemen.

-- December 1984: Muslim extremists (probably Hezbollah) hijacked a Kuwait Airways airplane, landed in Iran and demanded the release of the 17 members of al-Dawa who had been arrested for the bombing of the U.S. Embassy in Kuwait, killing two Americans before the siege was over.

-- June 14, 1985: Muslim extremists (Hezbollah) hijacked TWA Flight 847 out of Athens, diverting it to Beirut, taking the passengers hostage in return for the release of the Kuwait 17 as well as another 700 prisoners held by Israel. When their demands were not met, the Muslims shot U.S. Navy diver Robert Dean Stethem and dumped his body on the tarmac.

-- June 1996: Muslim extremists (13 Saudis and a Lebanese member of Hezbollah, probably with involvement of al Qaeda) explode a truck bomb outside the Khobar Towers military complex, killing 19 American servicemen and injuring hundreds.

(source: More of John Kerry's Retroactive Campaign Promises)

What are we waiting for? Again: How is it possible to appease anyone, when the only thing they want from you is your destruction?

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