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a different side of Israel

Tag: George Bush (page 1 of 2)

Duck George, Duck!

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M8GOrc0-Ygg[/youtube]

When I saw this I was actually surprised by the responsiveness of the American president. Not bad at all. I think that most world leaders, especially some of the guys we have here would definitely have gotten whacked by one of those shoes.

I was also surprised by the ease with which one could approach the US President and the really slow reaction of the Secret Service. They were really in slow mode. I guess all the good guys are watching the new guy 🙂

In any case about the shoes themselves: In Iraqi culture, throwing shoes at someone is a sign of contempt (Al Jazeera) in case you had any doubt.. So of course is calling someone a dog.

And on the topics of dogs… This is a new YouTube hit:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GVuBPaJsNQc[/youtube]

Ahmadinejad in New York

President of Iran @ Columbia University.
Image via Wikipedia

I wouldn’t be surprised to see in the near future a Broadway premiere titled “Mahmoud Superstar”.

The man is a celebrity! A notorious one — but a celebrity none the less. He is fond of the media, and arrived yesterday in New York like a Persian Prima donna.

Why has he come to the country which he despises so much? So he could speak freely in the United Nations’ General Assembly. I wonder if George Bush would be given the same honor if he came to Iran?

What’s on Ahmadinejad‘s agenda? The usual propaganda: “We’re not developing nuclear weapons, but we have all the right to do so.” , “Israel is a disgrace that has to be wiped off the face of the Earth” , “…so does America” , and on and on.

If I’m not mistaken, it’s the second time he arrives in New York in the past year or so. Perhaps he’s just too fond of Macey’s. Perhaps he’s scheduled a dinner with TomKat.

To be honest, he’s a funny man. I would go see his shows, if he happened to turn into a stand up comedian. But the UN’s General Assembly is no place to try out your new jokes. It’s a tough audience.

7 Years to 9/11

It’s been seven years since the world’s largest terror attack. Thousands of people died within minutes, in one surrealistic September morning. And then the world changed forever.

What would the world be like if there was no 9/11? Would America still go to war in Afghanistan and Iraq? Would George W. Bush still be elected for a second term? Would the Georgian conflict and the possible emergence of a second Cold War still be happening?

We don’t know. And it doesn’t matter. This is the world we live in, and we have to do our best with what we’ve got. More than 3000 people did die 7 years ago, and this wasn’t a Hollywood special effects scene. Personally, I still cannot comprehend the full meaning of that morning in New York. The mind cannot deal with such surrealism, so we try to repress what happened — and once a year, the unreal penetrates through our defense shield and we remind ourselves that life is ultimately uncertain.

US Secret Service is operating within Israel

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CFT8cW8YNZo[/youtube]

Yehezkel Ben-Shabat?

Yahara Goren?

Shimrit Harari?

Bush in the Knesset

Bush in KnessetThis last Thursday, President George Bush gave an historical speech in front of the Israeli parliament. Bush has paid a three-day visit to Israel in honor of Israel’s 60’s anniversary.

In a pro-Israeli speech, Bush has expressed his nation’s support of Israel. Bush said how proud America is to have such a close friend as Israel. President Bush opened his speech in Hebrew: Yom Ha’atzmaut Samech [happy Independence Day]. Bush’s Hebrew is far more impressive than his English, that’s for sure!

“I’m honored to be here… America is proud to be Israel’s closest ally and best friend in the world; our alliance is unbreakable,”

“You have worked tirelessly for peace and freedom. When Americans look at Israel we see a pioneering spirit, talent and determination of a free people refusing to let any obstacle stand in the way of their destiny,” said Bush.

Did Bush say something that we have not heard before? I doubt it…In response to some of Bush’s compassionate statements, all Knesset members and visitors rose to their feet in applause. Indeed, it has been one of the greatest kiss ups that our nation has seen in the last sixty years.

Picture: Haaretz

The Oil War?

Oil WarPicture: The Washington Post

In a mode that could clearly say: “I told you so”, critics of America’s involvement in Iraq are now saying that the U.S. Administration sent the troopers there for one primary reason: to shore up a reliable source of crude oil that would keep flowing into American storage facilities, and hence into American citizens gas tanks for at least another 15 to 20 years. With Iraqi petroleum reserves estimated to be at least 10% to total world supply, and if major American oil companies like Exxon-Mobil and Amoco controlling the pumping of fossilized, primeval Earth in most of Iraq, then it would be a win-win situation; the winners being Uncle Sam and Co. of course.

Unfortunately, for President George Bush (an oilman himself) and his assistant, Vice President Dick Cheney (of Halliburton Corp. fame); things didn’t work out the way they wanted them to. Now that Iraqi and (presumably) US forces are staging an operation against Shiite militiamen in the oil rich Iraqi city of Basra, this oil war doctrine seems to be more relevant than ever. Iraqi oil production has been plagued with a scores of problems in both Iraq’s southern region as well as in the northern, Kurdish controlled sector.

Maybe this explains why so many top American officials have made so many “surprise visits” to Iraq in this 2008 election year.

Ever since the invasion of March, 2003, production and exports of Iraqi crude oil have been beset by a combination of old production equipment in bad repair, as well as countless incidents of sabotage by Iraqi insurgents and foreign elements who simply do not want Iraqi oil to fall into the hands of “The Great Satan”, no matter what the price to Iraq’s own economy. As oil has been this country’s major export (and was used by Saddam Hussein to fleece his pockets during his 30 year reign) not being able to produce and export sufficient quantities has resulted in the country’s economy becoming an international basket case.

Now, more five years later and 4,000 American way dead, this precious resource seems even more distant from American and other Western automobile gas tanks. Countries like Israel, who once feared possible attacks from Iraq with weapons of mass destruction, called WMD’s for short, now fear another oil rich country, Iran, whose leader, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has often called for Israel to be “wiped off the face of the map”. Despite the fact that the U.N. Headquarters is still located in New York City, American governmental officials, and especially New York City officials should have been more prudent than to let this man come twice to address the opening of the U.N. General Assembly, as well as speak before such a pristine academic institution as Columbia University. For it is Iran’s sponsored militiamen who are now fighting Americans in southern Iraq, as well as providing training and arms to Hamas militiaman in Gaza and to the Hezbollah in Lebanon.

Oil is now fetching more than $100 a barrel, and the U.S. Dollar is even weaker than currencies like the Israeli Shekel. It appears that the time has come for some serious stock-taking in regards to just why American forces went into Iraq in the first place, instead of simply letting Saddam Hussein and his cronies remain there as a possible buffer against the real world enemy – Iran.

Condi Tries to Put Humpty Together Again

While U.S. Senator Hillary was reveling in her March 4th Democratic Party primary victories, another American public servant, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, was back in the Middle East trying to mend fences between Israel and the Palestinians following the recent escalation of violence that has left 4 Israelis (including 3 soldiers) and at least 90 Palestinians killed in missile attacks and military actions during the past few weeks.

Rice in IsraelRice met with both Palestinian Authorities in Ramallah and Israeli leaders in Jerusalem to try to deal with a situation that is beginning to look more like the character in the Humpty Dumpty nursery rhyme, rather than an optimistic solution to an ongoing problem in which there just doesn’t seem to be a solution – at least as long as both Israel and the USA refuse to deal with the Hamas organization in Gaza.

The problem concerning Hamas, and it’s leaders Khaled Mashal ( who sits is Damascus) and former P.A. prime minister Ismail Haniyeh, has gone from bad to worse ever since Hamas won out over Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah organization in a bloody civil uprising in early 2006. Hamas has been held responsible for firing most of the Qassam and other rockets at Israeli towns and villages; and now more recently at the 120,000 population city of Ashkelon., only 10 kilometers from Gaza’s northern border with Israel.

During Rice’s meeting with Israeli officials, even Rice had to admit that the prospects for peace do not look very good; and despite her boss’s (President George Bush) good intentions, it appears doubtful that a satisfactory solution will be reached before Bush leaves office in January, 2009. During Rice’s meeting with both Israeli P.M. Ehud Olmert and Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, Olmert told Rice that Israeli reprisals against the Palestinians, as well as harsh economic sanctions will cease immediately is the Palestinians cease their rocket and other types of attacks against Israel. It was also said that although agreements were made to resume talks between the factions, no peace agreement can be reached “even in 100 years” unless the Palestinians renounce their aims for “armed struggle” which can only interpreted as the eventual destruction of Israel.

Whatever agreements can be made will not hold water without Hamas’s involvement, and this doesn’t look at all likely – at least in our lifetimes that is. Gaza is in such a sorry state that it is now being said by foreign aid officials who have been working there that the situation of the people is “worse than it was at the time of Israel’s occupation of it in 1967”. More than 80% of the population are not able to survive without aid assistance of food and other basic necessities; and there is a complete breakdown of sewage disposal and fresh water infrastructures.

Condi appears to have left again with nothing more than a hollow promise for continuation of talks between Jerusalem and Ramallah. It looks like this mess is just one of the problems that will be awaiting the new U.S. president when he or she takes office next January 20th.

“Brer Rabbit” Nasrallah Pops Out


Just like the Uncle Remus character Brer Rabbit, Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah also popped briefly out of his ‘rabbit hole’ yesterday to attend a special rally to commemorate the annual Shiite Muslim Ashoura holiday on Saturday. Surrounded by more security guards than even George Bush, the Sheikh made his way to a special podium where he addressed an enthusiastic crowd of thousands of his followers, complete with more than a few harsh words to the Israel government.

In fact, his words did get to Israeli officials in Jerusalem, especially involving the Sheikh’s willingness to trade what he claims are body parts of Israel soldiers for Hezbollah dead and captured militants still in Israeli hands. And judging from the amount of bodyguards surrounding him, including a crowd of at least 200,000, Nasrallah is very much aware that he definitely has a “price on his head”.

But again like that mischievous fictional character in American writer Joel Chandler Harris’s children’s books, ole “Brer Nasrallah” has a few tricks up his sleeves as well. He has to have, as he was a definite target in July, 2006 when Israeli warplanes dumped several tons of smart bombs on where he was thought to be hiding in south Beirut. He obviously wasn’t home at the time, and his whereabouts were a matter of mass speculation which give his proposed location as being in a number of places, including Damascus.

Nasrallah has tried to make deals before, most of which were more bluff than huff. The last major exchange was in 2003 when three dead Israeli soldiers and one live civilian, Elkana Tenenbaum were returned to Israel in exchange for over a 1,000 Hezbollah and Lebanese men.

Nasrallah may be deciding though that enough is enough regarding his continuing to live underground. And agreeing to another large scale deal with Israel, including possibly the two captured IDF reserve soldiers Eldad Regev and Udi Goldwasser, it might be enough in his favor to allow the Sheikh to come out of the “brier patch”. It must be a real drag living underground for so long, and seeing the sunshine and so many of his adoring fans much have been a real adrenalin rush for Hassan. Whatever deal is finally worked out won’t vindicate the Sheikh’s actions in the eyes of Israelis however, as virtually everyone south of the (Lebanese) border would like to see his “head on a pike”. And it wouldn’t be surprising if a lot of non-Hezbollah Lebanese wouldn’t mind seeing him out of the way as well.

But getting to him is probably more elusive than Brer Fox getting to Brer Rabbit. And like Uncle Remus said about Brer Fox’s chances to have rabbit stew , so are the chances to flush the Shiekh out of wherever he is hold up.

Sderot Slammed by Scores of Kassam Rockets

No sooner had U.S. President George Bush departed Israel when Hamas led Palestinians in Gaze began inundating Sderot again with Kassam missile fire. The IDF responded by not only striking Hamas and Islamic Jihad militants with air to ground missile fire by also by ground incursions into the Strip which has resulted in more than 22 Palestinians killed including the son of former P.A. Foreign Minister, Dr. Mahmoud Zahar. Zahar (a case of mistaken identity?), who now holds the same position for the Hamas entity, vowed during mourning for his slain son that Israel will pay severely for this act.

Zahar’s words seems to be taking concrete form as Israel’s southern town which borders on the Eastern edge of the Strip has been hit by more than 70 Kassam rockets and mortar fire in the course of three days. Several Sderot residents have been injured including a young girl who was sitting in front of her computer when a Kassam slammed into her family’s living room. She was injured, by miraculously survived.

Israel Defense Minister Ehud Barak visited the beleaguered town and vowed that Israel will not tolerate this kind of action. Tolerate or not, the Kassams keep coming and more and more Sderot residents are evacuating the town, including a number being once again assisted by billionaire Arkady Gaydamak, who is financing the relocation of Sderot school children to safer locations. For the ones who have not left, increasing problems of trauma and hysteria have kept at least a fourth of the children away from school.

Israeli retaliation strikes has also resulted in another problem when exiled Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal announced on Wednesday that Hamas has cancelled the negotiations aimed at gaining the release of captured Israeli soldier Gilad Schalit. “We will not resume these negotiations until the Zionest enemy discontinues their attacks on our people”, Meshaal said when interviewed in his headquarters in Damascus.

With what is currently going on in the south, which is literally a war of attrition between Israel and Hamas, it’s highly unlikely that the IDF will heed Mr. Meshaal’s warning as the Israeli public will not tolerate such actions against fellow citizens for much longer. Hamas leaders in Gaza, including Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh may be getting the message, as it was reported from a senior Hamas official that they would like to halt the rocket and other attacks that are resulting in a continuance of IDF selective targeting of Palestinian militants. Israel Defense Minister Barak replied that Israeli forces will increase their pressure on the Gaza Palestinians until they do cease these rocket attacks. Meanwhile, at least 15 Kassam rockets have hit Sderot Thursday morning alone, injuring one woman and traumatizing many other residents.

What now remains to be seen is who will prevail in this current “war of the wills”.

Bush: We Should Have Bombed Auschwitz

Bush at Yad Vashem 2008U.S. President George Bush appeared to have been moved to tears during his visit Friday morning at the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial in Jerusalem. As he viewed many of the exhibits showing scenes from Auschwitz and other death camps where many of approximately 6 million Jews perished during WWII, Bush, who was accompanied by Israeli notables such as Prime Minister Olmert, President Shimon Peres, former Justice Minister Yosef (Tommy) Lapid (himself a Holocaust survivor) and Yad Vashem Chairman Avner Shalev, was said to have shed tears at least twice.

As he viewed the exhibits, the President appeared to be so moved that he was quoted from Shalev as saying “we should have bombed it (Auschwitz) ” in reference to the map of the camp compound that was supposed to have been the one that then President Franklin D. Roosevelt was shown when he decided not to have U.S. Air Corps bombers attack during bombing raids in the later months of WWII.

Bush was said to have made this statement following his placing a wreath on a memorial containing the ashes of Jews murdered at six extermination camps, including Auschwitz, Bergen Belsen, Buchenwald, and Treblinka. This was the President’s first personal visit to Yad Vashem as he did not visit it during his visit as Governor of Texas in 1998. Though he did not appear to express it, he surely can testify that nobody can deny that the Holocaust existed, and in such a terrible scale.

That Bush was moved by his visit to the memorial, as well as his visit to the Jewish State is indicated in the words he wrote in the Yad Vashem guest book: “God bless Israel, George Bush”. He also made the point of shaking hands with members of a choir composed of young Israeli schoolgirls and posed with them for pictures.

The President ended his visit to Israel with a short tour of the Galilee and Lake Kineret, including the Christian holy sites of Capernaum and the Church of Beatitudes, where historian say Jesus gave his Sermon on the Mount. The next stop on Bush’s Mid East tour is the Persian Gulf State of Kuwait. Though no final agreements were made by either Israel or the Palestinians during Bush’s short visit, the President seemed optimistic that a peace treaty will be made between the parties by the end of his term as President. He did note that Jerusalem “will be a problem” in regards to solving its final status.

The meetings with both Israeli and Palestinian officials have not concluded what will be done in regards to the Palestinians living in Hamas controlled Gaza, who took to the streets and demonstrated loudly against Bush’s visit, which did not include any contact with Hamas leader and former P.A. Prime Minister Ismail Hananyeh. These protests also included firing 12 Kassam rockets and at least 11 mortar rounds at the Israeli town of Sderot and nearby areas.

Bush said that he is willing to return to the region before his term expires to help implement a final peace agreement The only problem here is how to include 1.5 millions Palestinians whose leaders do not seem willing to go along with what their Palestinian brethren in the West Bank are involved in. Bush will most likely be pondering this problem during the remainder of his 8 day Middle East visit.

Bush’s Visit and Presidential Primaries

Victories in the New Hampshire presidential primary by Republican Senator John McCain, and Democratic Senator Hillary Clinton appear the have little correlation with President George Bush‘s visit to Israel today and several other Middle Eastern countries. McCain, who is usually depicted as a bit of a hawk, won comfortably over his closest rival, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney; while Clinton, barely got by her closest rival, Illinois Senator Barack Obama. While it’s still too early to tell who will wind up as their party’s official nominee, the next few weeks will definitely tell which way the political winds are blowing for hopefuls in both major political parties.

As for Bush, in what will most likely be his last major visit to the this part of the world, he really doesn’t have to worry what happens to anyone representing his political party, the Republicans, as most of the people running are not depending on his support anyway. That means that Mr. Bush can concentrate of trying to realize some of his plans concerning implementing a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians, as well as making sure that oil rich countries like Kuwait and Saudi Arabia remain under America’s sphere of influence in order to keep that increasingly expensive commodity, oil, flowing into American refineries, and hence into American SUV’s.

Iran, especially after their aborted attempt to create an international incident with American naval vessels in the Straits of Hormuz, is another factor that Bush will have to deal with until he leaves office on January 20, 2009. Concerning who will be replacing him, all the outgoing president can do is to wish his successor will, whoever that person may be.

Perhaps that’s what is good about being an outgoing two term president. He is not really what is known as a “lame duck” as he is not under any serious political cloud such as an incumbent president is when losing a re-election bid. His vice president, Dick Cheney, is too old and too sick to run for the office, and Bush himself doesn’t appear, at this point in time anyway, to be personally indorsing any of his party’s candidates, including John McCain.

Bush’s main “cloud” if one wants to call it that is the matter of the U.S. led invasion of Iraq and its aftermath; which will be a main concern for his replacement, especially if he (or she) is a Democrat. Other issues, including the ongoing War on Terror and the current goings-on the Middle East (the focus of his current Middle East visit) will also carry over to his successor as no major breakthroughs will probably come to pass this year. And this is despite assurances by Israeli Prime Minister Olmert and P.A. Authority President Abbas that there might be some encouraging steps made towards a final peace between Israel and the Palestinians.

Other problems including global warming, a possible U.S. recession, Pakistan’s current sate of flux, and Al Qaeda leaders Osama bin Ladin and Ayman al Zawahiri still presumed to be alive and kicking will be left to whoever is sitting in the Oval Office next January 21.

As for Bush, it will be back to Texas barbeques and Lone Star Beer, or whatever tickles his fancy.

Will Bush’s Visit Save Olmert Politically?

Bush In IsraelU.S. President George Bush’s first official visit to Israel is only days away, but many political analysts are already speculating on whether the President’s two day visit will result an any improvements in the current state of relations between Israel and the Palestinians. Coming virtually at the same time as the outcome of the New Hampshire presidential primary, Bush’s visit will probably not have an influence on the political chances of any of the Republican candidates, including present front runner Mike Huckabee, who won the Iowa Caucuses over other hopefuls Mitt Romney, John McCain, and Rudolf Giuliani.

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is also hopeful that the President’s visit will result in some kind of break-though in the current situation which not only has resulted in Palestinian fired rockets reaching the city of Ashkelon, but new acts of terror by members of the Palestinian Fatah organization that Olmert is trying to win over in an alliance against the Hamas controlled Gaza strip.

Bush, shown with both Olmert and Abbas at the recent Annapolis Summit is himself more or less in a “lame duck” political situation in which members of his own political party are trying to distance themselves from his foreign and domestic policies, including those running for public office. In addition to meeting with Israeli government personalities, Bush will also meet with P.A. President Mahmud Abbas and members of his government in a specially arranged meeting in Jericho. Hamas leader and “former” P.A. Prime Minister Ismail Haneyah will not be on the President’s agenda, for obvious reasons.

One thing for sure, however, is that the Bush visit will send a strong message to Iran concerning the President’s feelings about that country’s nuclear program, despite the recent NIE report that the Islamic Republic abandoned it’s nuclear weapons development program in 2003. The President’s visit will help reassure both the IDF and the Israeli government that President Bush still believes that Iran continues to pursue its goal to become a nuclear power.

The big question concerning this topic will be what will happen when Bush leaves office in January, 2009.

Bush will probably try to persuade Olmert to make some kind of concessions with Abbas, including the dismantling of some outpost and “fringe” settlements as a prelude to more serious disengagements that are being planned in the coming months as part of the agreements between Olmert and Abbas at the Middle East Summit in Annapolis Maryland. The only problem from that conference was that most, if not all, of the agreements appeared to have come only from Mr. Olmert and not from Mr. Abbas.

Outside of causing a nerve wracking traffic tie up in much of central Jerusalem during the President’s visit, the prospects of any real breakthroughs being made is a bit doubtful and all that will probably transpire will be a lot of media publicized hand shaking and dinner speeches. Bush will at least see for himself what he has only seen previously in video clips such as parts of the “security wall” in Jerusalem as well as the usual diplomatic sites such as the Yad Vashem Holocaust exhibit and museum and the Kotel or Western Wall in the Old City. Aside from a short visit to Jericho, the remainder of Bush’s visit will be either within the King David Hotel or at the Knesset, where the President is most likely scheduled to address members of Israel’s parliament.

Olmert, who recently has expressed his wishes that former and now comatose P.M. Ariel Sharon was able to assist in solving the country’s political and security problems, will not gain much from Bush’s visit, especially with the chances of a U.S. Democratic Party Presidential administration more possible than ever. What many people in Israel are currently wishing is that a new Israeli government administration will soon be elected to replace the one so ineptly administered by Mr. Olmert and his Kadima Party cronies. That hope is at least as strong as many Americans have regarding replacing the current Republican Party led one in Washington, led by the guy who will disembarking from Air Force One at Ben Gurion Airport this coming Wednesday.

Olmert’s Last Stand

Many of you may recall that infamous episode in American history when U.S. Brigadier General George Armstrong Custer and his 7th Calvary regiment were defeated and massacred by Sioux Indians led by Chief Sitting Bull in the Battle of the Little Bighorn. That historical episode, which took place in the summer of 1876, reminds me of another “last stand”, still being played out Israel’s Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is becoming embroiled in so much political and personal controversy that he very much resembles Custer in many ways.

For one thing, Mr. Olmert directed then IDF Chief of Staff Dan Halutz to wage war against the Hezbollah in Lebanon in July 2006, and Gen. Halutz (a real-life stand-in for Gen. Custer) vowed to “blast Lebanon back into the Stone Age”. Well, blast he did, but much of northern Israel got ‘blasted” as well by at least 6,000 Hezbollah fired rockets. Now, with himself under criminal investigation for a number of offenses, the P.M. is desperately pulling at straws to try to work out some kind of deal at the upcoming “peace conference” in Annapolis Maryland. Recent public opinion polls conducted in Israel have resulted in at least 53% of the population believing that Olmert should be suspended from his position as prime minister until the investigations are concluded. Olmert has other ideas, however, and appears to be trying to keep his job by making the impossible become reality in a deal with a Palestinian leader who only represents a portion of the entire Palestinian People.

Of the people polled, at least 65% also believe that Israel shouldn’t withdraw troops from the West Back as they fear that a similar result will happen as did in Gaza following the unilateral pullout in August, 2005. The respondents said that they fear a an even bigger danger, with much of Israel’s most populated areas put in direct line of fire from Kassam and Katyusha rockets. An even larger number of respondents (77%) fear that PA Authority President Mahmud Abbas does not have the strength to win out over a possible take-over in the West Bank by Hamas, as occurred in Gaza.

Olmert appears ready to do whatever he feels necessary to make a good impression at the conference, despite whether or not the result will be good for Israel. What is presently going on in both Israel and the Palestinian Authority is vastly different than the situation prior to the Camp David meeting in July 2000, when then P.M. Ehud Barak offered P.A. Chairman Yasser Arafat nearly all of the Israeli occupied lands, including most of East Jerusalem, on a silver platter. The result of this was not only Arafat’s refusal, but the Second Intifada uprising less than three months later. Though not mentioned in the opinion poll, it’s interesting to note that Ehud Barak is now Israel’s Defense Minister.

What will happen at “Camp David III” remains to be seen. But with the P.A. now split in half and Olmert himself under investigation, the results of the George Bush sponsored Annapolis meetings will most likely not be any more productive than the Bill Clinton sponsored Camp David one.

Meanwhile the “Indians” are tightening their circle around “Custer” and his men and Little Bighorn II will probably end up a similar way.

We Would Invite Hitler Also

John Coatsworth, Dean of the School of International Relations at Columbia, said over the weekend that “if Adolf Hitler himself had arrived in the U.S. and wanted to speak at our university, we would certainly let him. If he were willing to engage in moral debate in our university student forum, he would be welcomed as everyone has a right to express their views”. This statement by a prominent member of the Columbia U. faculty was backed up by Mr. Lee Bollinger, the university president, who has the ‘distinction’ of introducing their special guest, Iranian President Mahmoud Achmadinejad, who is scheduled to speak Monday at 1:30 P.M. EST.

No doubt Mr. Ahmadinejad’s speech, followed by a question and answer forum, will be “interesting”, to say the least. Trying to compare the Iranian leader with perhaps the most notorious man in history, might be another matter, however, as Mr. Ahmadinejad appears to be a bit more clever than The Fuehrer was, and this will most likely be brought out in his speech; assisted by a contingent of interpreters to convert Ahmadinejad’s native Farsei tongue into American English. Hitler never had the opportunity to set foot in America, probably due to “logistical factors” as well as his being a bit ‘pre-occupied’ with events going on Europe prior to the outbreak of World War II.

Had the Nazi dictator been able to make it over to New York, the most likely visitation venue at the time, and had the defunct League of Nations been situated there, instead in Geneva Switzerland, it would have been interesting as to what kind of reception he would have received. Hitler and his entourage, undoubtedly including his propaganda genius Joseph Goebbels, would surely have flown over in the dirigible Hindenburg, in order to show their pride in German manufacturing ingenuity ( he would have needed an arrival like this to make up for his athletes’ poor showing against a superior American team in the 1936 Olympiad, held in the German capital, Berlin).

Upon arriving in New York, The Fuehrer would undoubtedly have gone into a tirade on the League on Nations podium, with his usual lambasting of Jews and Communists; and with probably large numbers of protestors outside as now will be the case with Mr. Ahmadinejad. Hitler would also say that he was not pursuing the possession of weapons of mass destruction, including a new type of super bomb, later to be known as a nuclear bomb. When later asked why his country was zealously persecuting minorities, especially Jews, Hitler would most likely have laughed and said: “you see, we are merely trying to ‘purify’ the German people and rid it of vermin and other forms of pests. This is the only way we can be strong!”

Are these words, actually spoken by this mentally disturbed individual, really much different than the words spoken by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who said that he wants the Zionist State of Israel “wiped off the face of the map” and that his words “are the Iranian People’s words”?

Judging from the state of world affairs during the mid to late 1930’s, had Hitler actually arrived to the U.S. would U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt have invited The Fuehrer to dinner at the While House? After all, American relations with Nazi Germany were actually fairly cordial prior to Germany’s invasion of Poland on September 1, 1939; much more so than the present state of no relations between America and the Islamic Republic. Roosevelt might even have wanted to make amends for “embarrassing” The Fuehrer by sending 18 black athletes, including the immortal Jesse Owens; who won 4 gold medals. The Afro-American part of the American delegation wound up with 14 gold medals, 25% of all such medals won in the entire games.

There are no such problems facing U.S. President George Bush; and he will certainly not extend any kind of invitation to the Iranian president to visit Washington. Even at the General Assembly, as occurred last year, the two men’s paths will not likely cross; even though Bush will also speak before the General Assembly. 70 years have passed since the time when Adolf Hitler might have shown up in News York; had it been “logistically feasible”. And yet, not much has really changed in so far as tyrants being tyrants.

No Gays or Nukes in Iran

Many were ‘delighted’ to hear Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad declare that “there are no homosexuals in Iran” at his appearance before a selected audience at New York’s Columbia University of Monday, September 24. Many more were even more thrilled to hear him say before the U.N. General Assembly on Tuesday that “the nuclear issue is now a closed subject and will only be discussed within the framework of the IAEA”. All this is good to know, and makes everyone who hasn’t been following this absurdity more apt to eat their Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes without burping. I think that the most reassuring statement yet by the visiting Iranian leader was in regards to his grand visions of the future, Some of these ‘visions’ include a demise of Western powers, especially the United States; and the creation of an Israel-less Palestine, to be brought about by “democratic referendum” .

With all this “good news”, why are a lot of people, even the leaders of countries like France and Germany so worried? I’m not referring to this boogeyman’s usual enemies like the U.S. and Israel. I’m referring to former friends of the Islamic Republic like France and Germany, both of whose leaders used their forum opportunity before the General Assembly to speak out against the dangers of Iran becoming a nuclear power. Why this new stance by German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French president Nicolas Sarkozy? This is something that had previous only been espoused by people such as U.S. President George Bush and Former U.K. Prime Minister Tony Blair (especially following the Iranian ‘detainment’ of several of Her Majesty’s naval personnel).

And why was Columbia University President Lee Bollinger so “frank” when introducing his special guest as “a cruel and petty dictator”? Perhaps people are finally starting to wake up in regards to the potential danger of this man who doesn’t seem to give a ‘didly squat’ concerning reactions to his ideas for a new world order. As he later said himself, when addressing the world body: “the age of the empires are over”. I presume that by ’empires’ he was referring to his adversaries, and not to his own country, formerly known as Persia, and once one of the greatest empires in the world. In fact, the Persian Empire once threatened to overwhelm the entire known world, and was only held back by the combined efforts of 300 of Grecian King Leonidas’ personal warriors, and the victory of the Grecian naval fleet over the Persians at Thermopylae.

All that was a long time ago, however, and now a new religious imperial threat, in the form of militant Islam, threatens to once again overwhelm much of the modern “Known World”.

It is truly amazing that a demigod such as Ahmadinejad can come to a place like New York and express his views within the combined aspects of free speech and diplomatic immunity. It’s the policy of diplomatic immunity that has caused so many problems in the past, especially during the Cold War between the West and the Soviet Union. Diplomatic immunity has allowed people traveling with diplomatic passports to get away with virtually anything – even murder. As long as two countries are not in an actual state of war with one another, their representatives can freely come and go as they please under the guise of diplomatic immunity.

Besides proudly saying that homosexuality does not exist in his country (or heterosexuality either, unless people are married); he also said that all groups living in Iran, including women and minorities such as Jews have democratic freedoms and “proportional representation” in parliament.

With all this “good news”, why are so many so anxious for Mr. Ahmadinejad and his entourage to go back to where they came from? It’s early Autumn in New York; but from a political point of view for Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, it might as well be the dead of winter.

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