Fox News' reports: Sharon Pledges to Negotiate Palestinian State After Terror Crackdown.
This cartoon was created in March 2002 and is from our book, Black & White World. For more cartoons like these, please click on the book link and consider making a purchase. Funds from book sales help keep this site going.
Our apologies to those who, like us, have been unable to log onto our site today. Apparently there was a fire in a building used by our web host, Hosting Matters. Things appear to be in working order now. So we'll resume our regularly scheduled program...
Fox News reports: Sharon-Abbas Summit Postponed. Excerpt: "Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat stepped in to assert Tuesday that he -- not his prime minister -- is in charge of the Palestinian side in negotiations with Israel, throwing plans for an Israeli-Palestinian summit into confusion. The dispute underlined the power struggle between Arafat and Mahmoud Abbas, the prime minister he grudgingly appointed under international pressure, as efforts to move forward on a new peace plan intensified. Arafat since then has been fighting a rear-guard action to limit Abbas' powers, objecting to the makeup of his Cabinet and inserting many of his stalwarts, retaining control of most of the Palestinian security forces and keeping for himself the final word over peace moves. This counters the Israeli and U.S. intention to sideline Arafat, charging that he is tainted with terrorism and had led his Palestinian Authority into corruption and inefficiency."
Arafat is "tainted with terrorism" yet the U.S. and Israel are still willing to negotiate with Abbas, a man who defends Arafat's leadership role in the Palestinian Authority. Peace for Israel cannot be achieved through negotiations with the puppet of their enemy, a power-grubbing, Israel-hating terrorist.
The Ayn Rand Institute features an excellent Memorial Day editorial by Andrew Bernstein, Honoring Virtue. Excerpt: "The meaning of Memorial Day is particularly pressing today when the United States is engaged in a war against fanatics who represent the extreme of intellectual, religious and political suppression. Freedom is unknown and utterly alien in the countries that support terrorists. They feel threatened by our most cherished principles and institutions, and so they seek to destroy us. Our soldiers who fought so courageously and so effectively against the Taliban and Saddam Hussein helped to overthrow both of those brutal dictatorships while defending the lives and freedom of American civilians. ... What protects us is our moral courage and our military might."
UPDATE MAY 27: Fox News reports: Seven Americans Killed in Iraq in Three Days.
Fox News' main stories: Suspected Al Qaeda Activities in Iran Contributed to Orange Alert and White House Says Iran Harbors Al Qaeda. Excerpt from latter: "The presence of Al Qaeda operatives working from Iran is a matter of very serious concern to us," Boucher said. "Whether they are there with the permission, not with permission, or what, it's the responsibility of the government to prevent these kind of people from coming to their country." ... Iran on Tuesday repeated its rejection of U.S. claims it was sheltering members of Usama bin Laden's organization and said it would not hesitate to confront the group.
This cartoon is from our book, Black & White World. For more cartoons like these, please click on the book link and consider making a purchase. Funds from book sales help keep this site going.
CNN's main story this morning is: Saudis: Three arrested in hijack plot. This is good news coming after the Riyadh terror attacks last week. But it's going to take a lot more to prove that the Saudis are truly an ally.
In August 2002, The Intellectual Activist's Robert W. Tracinski explained why Saudi Arabia is fundamentally an enemy not an ally: Blood for Oil. Excerpt: "For the Saudis ... stolen oil changed everything. The wealthier the West became, the more we enriched the anti-Western fanatics in Arabia. The Saudi rulers are vigorous promoters of Wahhabism, a fanatical Islamic sect that preaches -- among other barbaric doctrines -- that Muslims have a duty to hate non-Muslims. They have exported this hatred to the rest of the region, inspiring and sponsoring the Taliban, paying blood money to Palestinian terrorists, broadcasting anti-Jewish incitement and anti-American propaganda in their state-controlled press, and tolerating the free flow of money to organizations like al-Qaeda."
CNN reports: Lawmakers criticize Saudi Arabia. The Saudis lamely defend themselves with statements like this one: "Our top religious authority and body in Saudi Arabia issued a ruling, a religious ruling, saying that it is un-Islamic to call people 'infidels,' because that's inciteful."
Yeah, right. Like they're going to rule in opposition to the Koran itself.
And to underscore how much the Saudis are not our allies, LGF highlighted this report recently: Iran, Saudi Arabia are said to have agreed to finance an ambitious program to modernize Syria's military.
Because of the 9/11 atrocities, we have no doubt that the Bush Administration, U.S. military forces and U.S. intelligence agencies are earnestly doing everything they can to capture or kill every individual Al Qaeda member they can find. And they've had many admirable successes (one of which we noted in this entry about Khalid Shaikh Mohammed).
But at some point, this could be like trying to kill a fast-growing poison ivy plant one leaf at a time without attacking its roots. The "power source" of Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups is the states that sponsor them, which was the spot-on point of the Bush Doctrine. Yet Iran, the world's primary sponsor of Islamic terrorism, has to date only been given harsh words. And Saudi Arabia still appears to be getting the kid glove treatment.
A new editorial from The Ayn Rand Institute -- The Road to Victory Goes Through Tehran by Robert W. Tracinski -- offers this advice: "America needs to recognize that this war is inherently a conflict between two opposing value systems. Our enemies are driven by the theocratic philosophy shared, despite minor sectarian differences, by Osama bin Laden and by the mullahs who rule Iran. The destruction of the Iranian theocracy would do more than just eliminate the world's largest supporter of terrorism; it would do more than end a nuclear-weapons program that is far closer to completion than Iraq's ever was; it would do more than stop the Iranian-staged Shiite agitation in Iraq. The end of the Iranian regime would destroy the Middle East's laboratory of theocracy -- the leading example and exporter of a system of religious dogma enforced by terror."
This cartoon originally appeared in the January 2003 print edition of The Intellectual Activist.
Today, yet another Palestinian terrorist attack. Fox News reports: Wave of Violence Halts Mideast Peace Effort.
Charles Johnson at Little Green Footballs had an excellent comment at the beginning of this weekend's murder spree: "I'm so full of rage right now I probably shouldn't be writing. But notice something: these latest Palestinian atrocities were directed at the same enemies they always seek to murder -- Jewish civilians trying to go about their business and contribute to a functioning society. If the murderers really thought that Abu Mazen and his puppet government meant to shut them down, they would be attacking him and his Fatah cronies. They know the 'roadmap' is a meaningless charade and it's business as usual with Abu Mazen in charge, and that's what they're doing -- their filthy Jew-killing business as usual. We're going to hear that this is a 'message' to Abu Mazen that the 'militants' refuse to deal, and want to sabotage the 'peace process,' and it's all a pack of stinking LIES. There is no peace process, there is no roadmap, there is only Arab rejectionism and blind murderous hatred, and it's time to deal with it on their level and give them the war they want."
Another cartoon from our book, Black & White World, that unfortunately is still relevant. The cartoon was made in response a Saudi P.R. campaign designed to distance the Arab state from the 9/11 terrorists, most of whom were Saudis. At the time (and to this day as far as we know), the Saudi government was giving money to the families of Palestinian homicide bombers. They also allow Islamism to flourish.
LGF also noted this Yahoo News story: FBI Scales Back Saudi Investigative Team. Excerpt: "The size of the FBI contingent headed to Saudi Arabia to investigate the deadly bombings was scaled back amid concern about Saudi sensitivity to a large U.S. law enforcement presence."
We say it's long past time to stop being concerned about "Saudi sensitivity" when it comes to protecting American lives from the threat of Islamic militants.
This is our cover art for the May 2003 print issue of The Intellectual Activist. Here is an excerpt from Robert W. Tracinski's cover article, "The Dead-Enders: The Self-Selected Casualties of the War in Iraq": "[T]he desperate fighters in Iraq are not the only dead-enders left flailing ineffectually after the collapse of Saddam Hussein's dictatorship. There are many others, outside of Iraq, who are still stumbling down their own blind alleys -- not out of loyalty to a specific dictator, but out of loyalty to the ideas that make dictatorship possible. Today, exposed to the sight of the world, they are pursing those ideas to the logical dead end."
Robert Collier at the San Francisco Chronicle reports: Secular Iraqis uneasy with clerics: Muslim factions assert power amid leadership void. Excerpt: [Islamist] Authorities at Al-Sadr Hospital have ordered that women who are not wearing head scarves be rejected at the emergency room unless they are in critical condition. Doctors there and at five other hospitals that have been taken over by the mullahs have protested bitterly and have pleaded with U.S. forces to re-establish secular control. (Via LGF)
Some of you may have caught a glimpse of this cartoon here earlier today. You can now see it at The Intellectual Activist: Over The Rainbow.
On May 1, we posted a link to an editorial by Joshua Muravchik, titled The Road Map to Nowhere. The cartoon above was inspired by this quote from the editorial: "The announcement, which news reports said had originally been planned to follow the resolution of the Iraq issue, apparently was moved forward in order to give succor to those, especially British prime minister Tony Blair, who had gone out on a limb to support American policy toward Iraq. 'Mr. Blair and others have demanded publication of the peace plan to quell the anger throughout the Arab world over the Bush administration's perceived focus on Iraq to the exclusion of the creation of a Palestinian state, the cause the Arabs consider paramount,' explained the New York Times. In careful coordination, Blair followed Bush's announcement with a press statement of his own in which he declared, 'The most important thing we can do is show even-handedness towards the Middle East.'"
The Daily Telegraph's Barbara Amiel on the "road map": Until Israel is recognised, this road map leads us nowhere. Excerpt: "The Middle East is seething with its own difficulties: moderate Islam versus fundamentalism, tribal factions, religious splits and economic underdevelopment. Removing Israel would solve none of these. But the presence of Israel in the Arab/Muslim world has come to symbolise in some obsessive way all their fundamental failures and shortcomings. It is like a person with both a serious disease and a speck of dirt in his eye. His heart disease might kill him but as long as that speck of sand is under his contact lens, it is all he can think about." (Via LGF)
As the anniversary of Mr. Carter's Castro coddling approaches, he is again confronted with harsh realities that contradict his socialist sympathies.
In May 2002, Carter condemned the Bush Administration for suggesting that Cuba is pursuing biological weapons, which dictator Castro called a "lie." Carter praised the Castro regime for allowing him speak freely to the Cuban people, who are not allowed such freedom. The former U.S. president encouraged dissidents by publicly airing their calls for reforms. The BBC News reported at the time that Carter left Cuba on friendly terms. Excerpt: Organisers of the so-called Project Varela have handed in a petition bearing 11,020 signatures to the Cuban National Assembly asking for a referendum on civil liberties. Mr Carter said he believed the Cuban Government had not yet decided how it would respond to the proposals. "I think it's accurate to say the decision to deal with it -- or not -- has not been decided," he said.
A year later, we now know what Castro "decided": 75 political dissidents and independent journalists were recently rounded up and sent to jail for 28 years, and three men who tried to hijack a ferry to escape to America were executed.
In an Atlanta Journal-Constitution article by Moni Basu (Castro's crackdown strains budding ties), Mr. Carter stated: "Needless to say, I have been very disappointed by what has occurred in Cuba," Carter said. "The dissident movement has been severely crippled, and I would presume Draconian measures adopted by Castro will be maintained."
We would presume Carter was also "very disappointed" when the Draconian North Korea dictatorship broke the agreement he helped broker and started developing nuclear weapons. (The cartoon above is an allusion to this cartoon.)
UPDATE MAY 5: The Reuters' headline says it all: Intellectuals Launch Campaign to Defend Cuba. Excerpt: U.S. singer Harry Belafonte and U.S. actor Danny Glover are also among the personalities who have signed the two-paragraph declaration "To the Conscience of the World" so far, [Mexican sociologist Pablo] Gonzalez announced to a May Day rally in Havana. (Via LGF)
This cartoon is from April 2002 (and is in our book, Black & White World). Unfortunately, with the formal unveiling of the U.S. Roadmap to settling the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, it is still relevant. This "land-for-peace," two-state plan was distributed just hours after yet another pro-Palestinian homicide bombing.
In the Jewish World Review, Joshua Muravchik analyzes the roadmap, highlighting its fundamental flaw of moral equivalence: The Road Map to Nowhere: Do we really need another doomed Mideast peace process? Excerpt: "Not only does it call on each side, in virtually identical language, to 'cease violence' against the other, as if acts of terror and counterterror are commensurable. It also balances a demand that 'official Palestinian institutions end incitement against Israel' with one that 'official Israeli institutions end incitement against Palestinians.'" (Via LGF)
Last year, The Ayn Rand Institute's Elan Journo criticized the "trade" idea central to the roadmap: Israel's Suicide: The land-for-peace compromise will lead Israel only to self-destruction. Excerpt: "Although the land-for-peace doctrine seems to offer a mutually advantageous settlement, it is a vicious deception. Peace requires the cessation of Arab violence, particularly terrorism. To attain it, Israel is supposed to surrender territories crucial to its continued security -- territories that were won in the war instigated by Arab countries in 1967. To attain land, however, the Arabs are supposed to concede nothing; they need only withdraw their use of force. Like any aggressor, they are, in essence, holding the Israelis hostage. And like any victim, Israel, by paying the ransom, gains no value that it did not already have a right to."