27 August 2014

Clueless

Seriously, how clueless can you get???

How naive and ignorant of the real world do you have to be to assume that this guy in Gaza is flashing a sign for peace??? Doesn't like EVERYONE know what this sign stands for in the Arab world?


The answer to my rhetorical question is "Only as ignorant as your typical British journalist from IBTimes".   Apparently this bloke and his daughter are "gesturing peace signs".

When the stereotype of "peace-loving Gazans and warmaungaring Israelis" does not match the reality, all you have to do is make up your own reality.




And a side remark re that victory:

Yair Lapid - still just a pretty face

More than just a pretty face? Dunno...
I don't know how to decipher this:
Finance Minister Yair Lapid visited Kibbutz Nahal Oz along the Gaza border on Monday and met with residents to discuss the current political situation. He told them that in his opinion, Israel should politically disengage from Palestinians in both the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.
Any ideas re this "political disengagement" thing?

26 August 2014

News of the Day

1. Tens of thousands of people became refugees after crossing Nigerian border to escape Boko-Haram's newly declared Califate.

2. Tripoli was conquered by Islamists.

3. ISIS captured the key military airport in Syria by using children-suicide bombers.

4. Russian tanks invaded Ukraine by crossing border in two separate locations.

5. Israel was subjected to 130 Jihadi missiles and whole areas of the country had to be evacuated.

6. ISIS successfully implemented several waves of terrorists attacks in Baghdad and two other Iraqi cities.

7. Ferguson and Sent Louis, Missouri are under the state of emergency. Rioting continues for weeks on end. 

8. Last but not least, President Obama has returned from his Hawaiian vacation. He has already started the countdown to his next Hawaiian vacation.


OK this last link is a spoof, but it feels more related to reality than the news coming out of the official White House.

Yaacov Lozowick's response to Mondoweiss

I hope the colleague Elder will not be angry, but I feel that this exceptional text should be repeated as frequently as possible and disseminated far and wide. So here it goes.

Lozowick's reply (published in full at Mondoweiss, to that blog's credit) is a very good synopsis of how Israelis think about themselves and this war, and why.

1. The Jews: It is an objective and implacable fact that Zionism is the largest and most significant Jewish project in at least 2,000 years, probably more. There are non-Jews who are Israeli citizens, there are Jews who intensely dislike Zionism, there are even a handful of anti-Zionist Jews in Israel. None of these facts can change the fundamental truth: in Zionism the Jews set out to re-create a national existence on the political playing field, in their ancestral homeland, and Israel is its expression, or outcome, or whatever you wish to call it. The fact that about 50% of the world’s Jews live in Israel strengthens this, (the proportion will soon tip over to more than 50%), and the fact that a majority of self-identifying Jews among the non-Israelis are Zionists, bolsters its strength, but doesn’t change it. You can’t have Jews pining for Israel over millennia and then going there, and not have it be the most important development in all those millennia.

You can rail against this for every remaining day of your life (until 120, as we Jews say), and it still won’t make the slightest difference, not even if you gather around you thousands or tens of thousands of like-minded American Jews. I think it was Abe Lincoln who once said in court something about the strength of a fart in a blizzard or some such. Live with it, Phil, because there’s nothing you can do to change it. Nothing.

(Apropos numbers: there were more Jews at the funeral of Max Steinberg last month, which I blogged a bit about, than all the committed Mondoweiss Jews together, and it was just one funeral).

2. Will defend themselves: Look, I know you’re convinced Israel is the once and always, perpetual aggressor. Of course this doesn’t explain how if we’re such aggressors the Palestinians keep multiplying and acquiring new assets such as the PA, parts of WB, all of Gaza, international standing etc etc. We must be really really bad at getting our job done. But as we both know, you and I can’t agree on the basic facts of this point, so let’s leave it as I said: A majority of the Jews worldwide and a total majority in Israel know we’re defending ourselves from enemies who would eagerly destroy us if they had the power, just as happened in the past. (Lots of non-Jews agree with us, by the way, either because we’ve got them under our thumb as you see it, or because it’s a simple fact, as I see it).

3. Even if it means killing: My PhD was about Nazis, and I know more about them than most people, so Godwin’s Law doesn’t apply to me. I can speak about Nazis as a scholar, not a demagogue. So here’s a thought experiment. Say that in order to end Nazism you had to kill 70,000 (not a few hundred) innocent, non-German civilians, Frenchmen, say. Would that be defensible? 70,000 dead French civilians, all innocent, many children, to end Nazism and as a by-product also end the Holocaust? Would that be moral? Permissible? Defendable in some later discussion? I ask because it’s not a thought experiment, it’s what the USA and UK did in 1944 as they went through France so as to destroy Nazism in Germany. Some goals, my friend, justify even horrible side effects, or collateral damage, or whatever you wish to call it. The reason being that the alternative, of allowing Nazism to stay in place, would have been far worse.

So If Israel has to chose between its own safety or refusing to kill any innocent bystanders whatsoever, we’ll choose to defend ourselves. You bet. Of course, we can seek shades of gray, alternatives of greater or lesser destruction, and we can argue about those and indeed, we must seek them and argue about them. But the basic framework remains solid. Our safety is to be assured even if there’s a price to it, even if some innocents die. As few as possible, hopefully, but the inevitably some, yes.

4. Just like every warring nation in history: Simple. Every single nation in human history, including in the 21st century, which finds itself at war, has one of two options regarding the moral dilemma in the preceding paragraph. Either it accepts that it will kill some inocents in order to protect ts goals, or it doesn’t care. The Syrian don’t care. ISIS certainly doesn’t care. The North Vietnamese probably didn’t care, so far as I can tell. I don’t think the North in your Civil War much cared. The US in WWII didn’t care at all when it came to German civilians in bombable towns. Hamas certainly doesn’t care – well, actually it does. It regrets it doesn’t manage to kill more Jews and Arabs who live among them.

Americans nowadays do care, as do the British, and a small handful of other mostly enlightened nations, Israel among them. Yet whenever they chose to go to war, they also accept they’ll be killing at least some innocent bystanders – and they then do. In Serbia in the 1990s, in Kuwait in the 1990s, in Afghanistan and Iraq in the 2000s, and yes, I’m sad to tell you, against ISIS in 2014 (and 2015? 2016? 2025?). No-one has existentially threatened the US since the 19th century, or maybe even ever. Which isn’t to say the US hasn’t fought just wars. But they were never about its very existence. And in every one of them they have killed civilians. Tragic, but true. And as long as the US continues to be at war, for whatever reasons, it will continue to kill civilians. As few as possible, one hopes, and one assumes they’ll take great efforts to limit the numbers, but to pretend you can go to war and not kill civilians is being willfully blind.

Israel, unlike the US, faces enemies who proudly broadcast their intention to destroy it, in the most basic meaning of the word “destroy”. So Israel must choose: will it defend itself even if thereby some number of innocent civilians die, or will it not defend itself, and thereby large numbers of its own civilians will die.

The answer is clear. Any other answer would be immoral.

So, that’s it. I know your methodology, and that of your fans. You’ll now turn to all sorts of other objections and whatabouttery. But I’ve responded to the questions as you posed them, and that’s enough. The whatabouttery is, by definition, about other matters.
The comments, of course, are exactly as Lozowick predicted.

The Media Intifada: Bad Math, Ugly Truths About New York Times In Israel-Hamas War

This. Should. Be. Read.

25 August 2014

More about that Izz ad-Din al-Qassam picture of martyrs

Something hidden in my memory kept nagging me since I have published the post with this picture:


Of course, pictures from Mecca with the mandatory bedsheets and happy pilgrims are a dime for a dozen. Take one, do some basic Photoshop job and here you are. But still... and then it clicked.

Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh, right, Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal, second from right, P.A. President Mahmoud Abbas, third from right, and Fatah member Mohammed Dahlan.

Aha, now it's clear. So these are (probably) the bodies used for the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam shahids. And then, and oldish Russian joke surfaced in my memory:

A freshly sentenced for the first time young thief tells his new prison mates about his last girlfriend. "You should see her boobs, guys [shows with his hands the approximate dimensions on his own body]! You should see her buttocks [again using his hands to demonstrate the latter on himself]. You should see..."
Here he is interrupted by an old and experienced prisoner: "Listen, mate, don't show on yourself. This is a sure cause of bad luck..."

Dear martyrs-to-be of  Izz ad-Din al-Qassam: you may have chosen the right bodies to use for that demonstration. Or the wrong ones, depends how you look at that. Bad luck, remember.

So there.

This is how it is done, baby!

Wouldn't want to comment on this.

24 August 2014

Turkey - ISIS - US - a tough love/hate triangle for State Department

After the barbarous beheading of James Foley, President Obama responded with a fiery speech:


Oops, sorry, a printing error, this picture should have been placed next, since the speech preceded the golfing affair:


Now that we are settled as far as visual aids are concerned, here is the speech:
This afternoon, an angry President Obama addressed the execution of American reporter James Foley at the hands of Islamic State militants, declaring "no just god would stand for" the group's actions "yesterday and every day." Foley, he said, "was taken from us in an act of violence that shocks the conscience of the entire world."

ISIS (also known as ISIL), Obama said, "has no ideology of value to human beings. Their ideology is bankrupt."

"People like this ultimately fail," he said. "They fail because the future is won by those who build and not destroy, people like Jim Foley."

While Obama offered no specific, altered course of action in Iraq, "There has to be a common effort to extract this cancer so it does not spread," he said. "The United States of America will continue to do what we must do to protect our people. We will be vigilant and we will be relentless."
Etc.

The Secretary of Defense, Chuck Hagel, echoed the sentiment, but with a twist:
At a Pentagon briefing, Hagel called ISIS' extremist ideology "barbaric," but warned that the group poses a dire threat that must be taken seriously.

"[ISIS] is as sophisticated and well-funded as any group that we have seen. They're beyond just a terrorist group. They marry ideology, a sophistication of strategic and tactical military prowess. They are tremendously well-funded," he said.
The twist is in that Hagel doesn't mention the expected demise of ISIS, warning instead about sophistication, military prowess and tremendous funding of these barbarians.

And even the foreign policy expert, Secretary of State John Kerry, had said something or other on Twitter...
“ISIL will be destroyed/will be crushed,” Kerry tweeted, using the acronym for an alternative name for ISIS, the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant.
Destroyed or crushed, ISIS or ISIL - at least I hope that all three above mentioned VIPs mean the same outfit, cause both ISIL and ISIS acronyms have many meanings, if you care to google a bit. Be a pity if University of Florida's Integrated Student Information System or Indian Society of International Law get a few Hellfires under their tails because of a misunderstanding between all the departments involved.

Anyway, the intent is clear and all the right words were said. Meanwhile there aren't any specific plans behind these words, but this is why these three gentlemen have the might of the Pentagon and its military thinkers and planners behind them. So, I guess, the dark forces of ISIS should be shaking in their stylish black outfits. Or should they?

But the high and mighty say things high and mighty, they don't have to go into boring details. People on the ground, however, like the State Department spokesman Marie Harf in this story, have to do the dirty work, selling bullshit explaining some difficult angles that their bosses just don't have time for.
In another heated exchange between State Department spokesman Marie Harf and AP reporter Matt Lee, the issue of whether any governments are funding ISIS / ISIL is proving to be a hot button issue. In this particular exchange, Qatar is the focus but other countries – specifically Turkey – should start getting spotlighted soon.
Qatar and Turkey again. How interesting. Be it Hamas with their particular thing about the Zionist entity and its eradication, or ISIS with their universally homicidal agenda, the same names pop up. And not just where generous financing is concerned (Qatar), but where logistics support and even training on the ground (Turkey) is being provided.
Along those lines and independent from Vermeulen’s findings, Shoebat.com posted a video of Terrorists (ISIS) crossing from Turkey into Syria with weapons and walking right past Turkish soldiers:

Last month, Shoebat.com reported on the ISIS fighter who proudly proclaimed that their success would not have happened without the support of Turkey.

Let’s not forget the leaked audio recordings of high-ranking Turkish officials in which they conspired to have ISIS / ISIS launch an attack on a revered Turkish Islamic tomb of Suleiman Shah and then use that event to launch Turkish forces into Syria. The Turkish government was also implicated in the attacks on Armenian Christians in Syria, as Shoebat.com reported.

As for Harf, she has repeatedly asserted that Turkey is a “Close NATO Ally”.
A high and mighty confusion, a "close ally" that is ever ready to stub you in the back and a poor unappreciated spokesperson who is just trying to do her job.

All in all it's probably better to be a POTUS... and the devil may care!

Einstein. Twice.

There is that feature on some sites that, when you are looking at an article, serves up a few links to similar ones. Sometimes it... take a look at this case:


Related or not? You decide.

And, speaking of Einstein:

23 August 2014

Three Hamas chieftains and the eulogy by Izz ad-Din al-Qassam

The three Hamas top dogs that have gone to request their mandatory award of 72 virgins made an interesting trio, being photoshopped by their Izz ad-Din al-Qassam PR branch onto a Mecca background. The following picture is taken from the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades Hebrew Twitter stream:


The verbal part of the eulogy says: "Shahids [martyrs] are heroes who fought heroically(sic!). Prefer paradise among the Palestinian martyrs."

Somebody with a Twitter handle @dkapchino responded to this: "I loath to say this, bro, but it rather looks like they are on the way to a Turkish hamam [bathhouse] to please each other with their peckers".

This is it. We report, you decide...

Re these "suspected collaborators" Hamas kills in droves

Seems to be a popular pastime Hamas encourages in Gaza strip each time something goes pear-shaped there:

Hamas militants killed seven Palestinians suspected of collaborating with Israel in a public execution in a central Gaza square on Friday, witnesses and a Hamas website said.
...
Another 11 people suspected of collaborating with Israel were killed by gunmen at an abandoned police station in Gaza earlier on Friday, Hamas security officials said.
I wonder: do all these folks volunteer for the duty? Or is there a competition for the role?

Paola Builes Aristizábal rules! Down with the judges!

Unspeakable:


No, it is not the lady in the picture that is unspeakable, it is the amoral behavior of the judges:
A leading contestant for the title of Miss Colombia has been stripped of her local crown and disqualified from further competition after judges discovered photos of her in a bikini and lingerie they felt were too revealing.
Cruel and unfair pervs, all of them. No worries, when the revolution comes...

The Council Has Spoken!

Council Winners

Non-Council Winners

22 August 2014

Dear Canucks, we love you anyway

Some Canadian with a chip on his shoulder (because of some Americans) posted this:


You know, looking at this I think about one thing only: where is the closest igloo to get away from this place?

For Louise.

Canadian Journalist Serves as Hamas Propagandist

Saša Petricic works for CBC. He is one of several western journalists, consistently staying "on message" in his reports from Gaza, sticking to Israeli atrocities, constantly retweeting his favourite sources.  He only has 2  twitter favourites, one of which is Al-Jazeera, but he follows a bunch of other "respectable" news organizations such as Russia Today and anti-Israeli NGOs.

Recently Petricic placed this photo on his Facebook profile:


Good stuff. As stated in the comments, "it should win next year's World Press Photo Competition".  
Except that Saša didn't take the photo. He did not provide the source, which is a bit sloppy for a journalist. The earliest version I could find actually comes from this openly pro-Hamas activist. In her more recent tweet, the source of the photo is eulogizing Mashaal and "Hamas Resistance". The "nasty Israeli/brave Palestinian women" shot apparently comes from Nabi Saleh. Nabi Saleh is a well known Pallywood movie set up site.

Here is my favourite Nabi Saleh comedy, complete with a blond child. Note that there are more cameras than "protesters" and how the mother (if I can call her that) is goading her kids to attack armed soldiers for the camera.

This is what we get for "unbiased Canadian media". Shoddy Hamas propaganda, without references to primary sources.  Saša's salary comes courtesy of the  taxpayer.