Tuesday, March 27, 2007
Pray for Tony Snow
This is not good news.
WASHINGTON — White House Press Secretary Tony Snow will undergo chemotherapy treatment after doctors found a cancerous growth in his lower abdomen, the White House announced Tuesday.
The cancer, originally in his colon, has spread to his liver, said White House spokeswoman Dana Perino. Snow spoke to President Bush Tuesday morning, who told Snow he and first lady Laura Bush are praying for him.
Please pray for Tony Snow and his family. They will need it.
Technorati Tags: Tony Snow,Cancer
Banned: The speech the UN refuses to hear
While it is no surprise that the U.N. is ineffective, irrelevant and corrupt, last Friday was another demonstration of its rejection of criticism and truth. A transcript of the remarks of Hillel Neuer, Executive Director of UN Watch, to the Human Rights Commission of the United Nations, is as follows:
Six decades ago, in the aftermath of the Nazi horrors, Eleanor Roosevelt, Réné Cassin and other eminent figures gathered here, on the banks of Lake Geneva, to reaffirm the principle of human dignity. They created the Commission on Human Rights. Today, we ask: What has become of their noble dream?
In this session we see the answer. Faced with compelling reports from around the world of torture, persecution, and violence against women, what has the Council pronounced, and what has it decided?
Nothing. Its response has been silence. Its response has been indifference. Its response has been criminal.
One might say, in Harry Truman’s words, that this has become a Do-Nothing, Good-for-Nothing Council.
But that would be inaccurate. This Council has, after all, done something.
It has enacted one resolution after another condemning one single state: Israel. In eight pronouncements—and there will be three more this session—Hamas and Hezbollah have been granted impunity. The entire rest of the world—millions upon millions of victims, in 191 countries—continue to go ignored.
So yes, this Council is doing something. And the Middle East dictators who orchestrate this campaign will tell you it is a very good thing. That they seek to protect human rights, Palestinian rights.
So too, the racist murderers and rapists of Darfur women tell us they care about the rights of Palestinian women; the occupiers of Tibet care about the occupied; and the butchers of Muslims in Chechnya care about Muslims.
But do these self-proclaimed defenders truly care about Palestinian rights?
Let us consider the past few months. More than 130 Palestinians were killed by Palestinian forces. This is three times the combined total that were the pretext for calling special sessions in July and November. Yet the champions of Palestinian rights—Ahmadinejad, Assad, Khaddafi, John Dugard—they say nothing. Little 3-year-old boy Salam Balousha and his two brothers were murdered in their car by Prime Minister Haniyeh’s troops. Why has this Council chosen silence?
Because Israel could not be blamed. Because, in truth, the dictators who run this Council couldn’t care less about Palestinians, or about any human rights.
They seek to demonize Israeli democracy, to delegitimize the Jewish state, to scapegoat the Jewish people. They also seek something else: to distort and pervert the very language and idea of human rights.
You ask: What has become of the founders’ dream? With terrible lies and moral inversion, it is being turned into a nightmare.
Thank you, Mr. President.
Good for Mr. Neuer. He spoke the truth while in the lion’s den. The reaction to his remarks from a responsible and serious organization would be to take his comments, respond to them or attempt to correct the deficiencies. Instead, this was the response from U. N. Human Rights Council President Luis Alfonso De Alba:
For the first time in this session I will not express thanks for that statement. I shall point out to the distinguished representative of the organization that just spoke, the distinguished representative of United Nations Watch, if you’d kindly listen to me. I am sorry that I’m not in a position to thank you for your statement. I should mention that I will not tolerate any similar statements in the Council. The way in which members of this Council were referred to, and indeed the way in which the council itself was referred to, all of this is inadmissible. In the memory of the persons that you referred to, founders of the Human Rights Commission, and for the good of human rights, I would urge you in any future statements to observe some minimum proper conduct and language. Otherwise, any statement you make in similar tones to those used today will be taken out of the records.
The only conclusion one can reach is that attempting to reform the United Nations is futile. It will continue to be an irrelevant and ineffective organization whose sole purpose has been subverted to criticize the State of Israel.
Technorati Tags: United Nations,Israel,UN Watch,Human Rights
Friday, March 23, 2007
Democrats Surrender to Islamic Terrorists
Joseph H. March
Public Relations Division
American Legion National Headquarters
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
218 Lawmakers Raise White Flag,
Passes Blueprint for Disaster in Iraq
Washington, DC (March 23, 2007) - The National Commander of The American Legion Paul A. Morin voiced his organization's strong opposition to the passage of the modified FY 2007 Defense Emergency Supplemental Appropriations request which barely passed the House of Representatives today.
"I said it before and I'll say it again, this is a blueprint for disaster" Morin said. "We strongly object to tying timelines for withdrawal to much needed funding for our troops on the battlefield. This binding piece of legislation passed in the House today is a road map to failure. It also just sent a clear message that emboldens our enemies."
The bill approved by the House of Representatives today includes two sets of restrictions, one of which ties the hands of battlefield commanders regarding the deployment of troops.
The defense appropriations subcommittee chairman, who is responsible for the deployment restrictions, said he is just trying to make the services follow their own guidance. However, the deployment limits could endanger lives by either preventing units from being deployed or by having some units leave Iraq when they are still needed.
The bill also includes a timetable for withdrawal of combat troops from Iraq. A phased withdrawal could begin as early as July 1st and would start no later than March 1, 2008, under the bill.
"Putting timelines on military operations is the equivalent to issuing battlefield strategies from the House floor for our troops fighting the good fight against terrorism," Morin explained. "Our enemies are not stupid. They know that their chance for victory depends on public opinion in opposition of the war."
"Members of Congress should not be armchair generals," Morin reiterated. "They need to understand that our deployed service members depend on this emergency funding to sustain and achieve their military missions."
The American Legion cannot support the $124 billion supplemental appropriations bill, even though the money is critically needed by troops, as long as it contains provisions that we believe micromanage the war.
"This 'slow bleed' process has begun thanks to just 218 votes," Morin said. "Nobody hates war more than the warrior, and nobody wants our troops home more than The American Legion family. Nobody wants to take care of our troops and their families more than we do, but mixing politics, pork barrel spending, and foreign policy is extremely dangerous."
This legislative request was to be focused on the immediate needs of our troops on the ground and their military leaders, not pork projects like the $74 million for peanut storage costs.
"We're talking about war and the safety of our troops, not peanut butter," Morin said.
Commander Morin strongly urges the Senate to reject this extremely flawed philosophy of timelines, restricting troop movement authority of battlefield commanders, and the superfluous spending.
The American Legion is supportive of many of the other provisions contained in the U.S. Troop Readiness, Veteran's Health, and Iraq Accountability Act, but we strongly believe the President's initial request is not the vehicle for these issues, especially the specific language that sets congressional deadlines and mandatory troop movements.
Morin issued this warning to lawmakers: "This legislation sends two clear messages to the insurgents: cooperate and America will leave in August 2008 or increase your terrorist activities and America will "cut and run" earlier. Two hundred and eighteen "yeas" shows us the House does not have the votes to override the President's veto, so let's stop playing scrimmage and send a clean bill to the President."
Founded in 1919, the 2.7 million-member American Legion is the nation's preeminent service organization for veterans of the U.S. armed forces, including active duty, National Guard and Reserves, and their families. A powerful voice for veterans in Washington, The American Legion drafted the original GI Bill and was instrumental in establishing the agency that today is the Federal Department of Veterans Affairs.
Technorati Tags: Iraq,Democrats,War on Terror,American Legion
Tuesday, March 13, 2007
Michael Yon from Iraq: Ernie is dead
Michael writes this week about how there are no more Ernie Pyles and how the enemy has control of the media. (For those who don't know who Ernie Pyle was you will find out by reading this dispatch). Not only does Michael report what is happening, but his writing is superb. You feel you are there. Example:
Many of the soldiers streaming into Iraq will spend a scorching summer with no air conditioners or running water. They will stink like soldiers; there will be no ice cream. There will be grit and filth, mosquitoes with malaria, foul smells from the burning garbage of the cities, snipers, and terrorists who will try to flatten their buildings with truck bombs. The soldiers will see things that age them a decade or more over the course of a single summer. Many will die here, others will lose limbs and a few will go crazy. They bring the final hope for Iraq.He goes on to write about how the press is covering the war from safe positions away from the front, and even from New York and Washington. Ernie Pyle, and his fellow journalists covered WWII in the field, with the troops, just as Michael Yon is doing now.
A future President of the United States might spend his or her 25th summer in downtown Baghdad, Ramadi, or maybe out in Diyala Province or up in Kirkuk, watching full moons rise and fall over the cities, hearing dogs bark in the night. Maybe the distinct POP will puncture the darkness, as an American sniper kills a man nearby who was carrying a shovel next to a road at midnight.
Machine guns and rifles will fire until they become so hot they glow. When big machine guns fire too long their barrels will begin to melt and droop. Lubricant evaporates and leaves the weapons dry, signaled to soldiers when the odor of hot weapons mixed with smoke and dust fills their nostrils and lungs. When the weapons fall silent, the air percolates with metallic clicks, tics and tinks, the sounds of parts cooling. During the silence the soldiers redistribute ammunition and check each other for holes. Sometimes the wounded do not know they are the wounded until someone tells them.
Some of the soldiers streaming into Iraq are raw and new to battle. Others are serving their second, third and fourth combat tours, having fought across Afghanistan, or down in Africa, or in some corner in a secret fight, on a special team of some sort, killing men in jungle camps in South America, in wars few people have heard about. Around the world, dangerous American soldiers will close in on men tonight and kill them in small battles that will never be spoken of. Al Qaeda turned it on, but is powerless to turn it off.Now, that's someone who can write, which mainly seems to be a lost art.
Terrorists started this war with killing, and now are suing for peace with more killing, lashing out at schoolyards, marketplaces, and soccer matches, blowing up kids, women, and men on their way to work or worship. All to win the battle for headlines, which they are certain to get; the greater the savagery, the bigger the font.
Our soldiers, meaning the soldiers from countries like the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, Germany, yes France, and the United States, are better in all aspects but one: The terrorists somehow manage to beat us all in our respective medias. We may own the air, but terrorists own the airwaves.
Read the whole article, and check back frequently to read his dispatches.
Technorati Tags: Iraq,Press,MSM,MediaMichael Yon
Saturday, March 03, 2007
The Significance of Purim - 2007
2. TIMING. The FOURTEENTH/FIFTEENTH DAYS of the Jewish month of ADAR commemorate the NATIONAL LIBERATION of the Jewish People in Persia and the victory of Judah the Maccabee over Nikanor, the Assyrian commander. The events of Purim occurred following the destruction of the 1st Temple by Nebuchadnezzar (586BC) and the exile from Zion, during the leadership of Ezra who returned to Jerusalem, in advent of the return to Zion and the reconstruction of the Temple (515BC). The sign of Adar is FISH, which is a symbol of demographic multiplication, in defiance of adversity. Moses – the role model of leadership - was born, and died, on the seventh day of Adar. Adar is the root of "to glorify" ("LeHaAdir").
3. PURIM AND THIS WEEK’S PORTION (TE’TZAVEH) are connected via the reference to the commandment to destroy the Amalekites, who intended to exterminate the Israelites on the way from Egypt to the Promised Land, and a similar role played – in Esther Scroll – by Haman, an Amalekite. Moreover, the name of G-D is not mentioned in Esther Scroll, while the name of Moses is not mentioned in this week’s portion of the Torah.
4. MORDECHAI, the hero of Purim and one of Ezra’s deputies, is a role model of principle-driven optimism, walking against the grain and sustaining one's (Jewish) heritage with pride, in defiance of a global power and in spite of the Jewish establishment, thus producing deliverance for the Jewish People. The first three Hebrew letters of "Mordechai" spell the Hebrew word "Rebellion" ("Mered"), which is consistent with the motto/legacy of the American Founding Fathers: "Rebellion Against Tyranny is Obedience to G-D"). Mordechai – who would not bow to Haman, the second most powerful person in the Persian Empire, and who would not compromise his values/principles as did the Jewish establishment - was a member of the tribe of Benjamin, the only son of Jacob who did not bow to Esau.
5. ESTHER, the heroine of Purim’s Esther Scroll (the 24th and concluding book in the Old Testament) was Mordechai's cousin. The name Esther is a derivative of the Hebrew word for "clandestine", "hidden", "covert" (Hester), which was reflective of her (initially) unknown Jewish identity at the royal court. In fact, the one day pre-Purim Fast of Esther (commemorating the three day fast declared by Esther in order to expedite deliverance), was cherished by the Marano in Spain, who performed Judaism in a clandestine manner. The Scroll of Esther is the only book in the Old Testament, where the name of G-D is hidden/absent. Some of the Sages suggested that the explicit name of G-D is absent because the Scroll of Esther is the only Old Testament book, which deals exclusively with the Diaspora and not with the land of Israel.
6. KING AHASUERUS-XERXES appointed Mordechai to be his top advisor, overruling Haman's intent to prevent the resettling of Jews in Zion, the reconstruction of the Temple and the wall around Jerusalem and Haman’s plan to exterminate the Jews. The King prospered as a result of his change of heart and escaped assassination. That was the case with Pharaoh, who escaped national collapse and starvation and rose in global prominence, once he appointed Joseph to be his deputy.
7. POLITICAL INCORRECTNESS underlies Mordechai's legacy. When Esther expressed reluctance to unveil her Jewish identity, challenge the King's and Haman's policy, and intervene on behalf of the Jewish People – lest she be punished by the King – Mordechai reproached her: "If you shall remain silence, there will be [divine] deliverance, but you and your family shall perish." According to the Sages, Esther avoided the fate of Job, who was a top advisor to Pharaoh, but did not contest the policy of Jewish extermination.
8. CONVICTION-DRIVEN TRANSPARENCY and BLUNTNESS are few of the lessons of Purim, as narrated by Esther Scroll, "Megilat Esther" in Hebrew. The root of "Megilah" is "Galeh" – exposed, overt, in-the-open – the opposite of "Esther"-"Haster". The contradiction between these terms is a cardinal lesson of Judaism – life is not a picnic; it is complex, full of contradictions and difficult dilemmas. Therefore, one should be driven by principles, rather than by shifty convenience, in order to attain one's goals. Just as the covert becomes overt, so is pessimism transformed into optimism, if one adheres to one's conviction, rather than to one's immediate convenience.
9. THE FOUR COMMANDMENTS OF PURIM:
*The reading/studying of Esther Scroll within the family – highlights the centrality of FAMILY, EDUCATION and MEMORY/COMMEMORATION as the foundation for a solid future.
*Celebration and Happiness – sustains the element of OPTIMISM and FAITH as the backbone of an individual and a nation.
*Gifts to relatives and friends – emphasizes the importance of FAMILY and social bonds.
*Charity to the poor (at least the value of a meal) – indicates the value of CONSIDERATION and CARING for the other person.
10. COMMEMORATION and DESTRUCTION OF A LETHAL ENEMY. The pre-Purim Sabbath is called "Memorial Sabbath" ("Shabbat Zakhor"), commemorating the war of extermination launched by the Amalekites against the Jewish Nation, since the Exodus from Egypt. One of Purim's lessons is that there are enemies, whose strategic goal is extermination and not accommodation. They should be treated as mortal enemies and not as partners for peace. Mordechai was a descendant of King Saul, who defied a clear commandment and spared the life of Agag, the king of the Amalekites, thus causing further calamities upon the Jewish People. Therefore, Saul lost his life and his royal position. Mordechai rectified his ancestor's record, by producing the demise of Haman (a descendant of Agag the Amalekite) and his family, thus sparing the Jewish Nation a major calamity.
Technorati Tags: Judaism,Purim,Jewish Holidays,Yoram Ettinger