Peace through victory - the American way.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Humiliating Lebanon.

United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan has weighed in on Israel's blockade of Lebanon. Annan says it's an "humiliation" that must be stopped. (Here.)

Shame words get used a lot to describe events in the Middle East. Everything is so humiliating. The Americans had to liberate the Iraqis because they couldn't do it themselves. The presence of Americans in Iraq is a continuing humiliation. The American bases in Saudi Arabia were humiliating. Israel's treatment of Palestinians is a humiliation. Iran won't be humiliated by giving up their nuclear program under international pressure. Now Israel's blockade of Lebanon is humiliating. Never mind that the blockade is in place to prevent Hezbollah from receiving weapons from Iran or Syria. Something Lebanon and the UN supposedly favors.

What ought to be humiliating for Lebanon is the infection of its body politic by the Hezbollah virus.

Hezbollah is a state within a state. It's got its own armed militia that is so strong Lebanon's army is reluctant to take it on. The UN is reluctant to carry out the mandate of the ceasefire and disarm the Hezbollah paramilitary force. Hezbollah operates at will within Lebanon and without regard to the interests of the Lebanese government. It dragged Lebanon into a war with Israel when its paramilitaries crossed the border and killed and kidnapped Israeli soldiers. It has shot rockets from Lebanon into Israel and the Lebanese government was unable to do anything about it.

Hezbollah's presence and strength within Lebanon shows the world that the Lebanese government does not control its own destiny and does not rule its entire country. For a government, it doesn't get much more humiliating than that. But don't hold your breath waiting for any Arab or Moslem leader to put the situation in those terms. Apparently only the actions of Crusaders or Jews are humiliating.


Technorati: , , , .

Republished once to fix Technorati links.


Monday, August 28, 2006

They Are Fighting A Holy War Whether We Are Or Not.

Two Fox News journalists were finally released by Islamist terrorists but only after the captives "converted" to Islam. (Here.) Not that there's much room for doubt but the conversions were coerced.
"'We were forced to convert to Islam at gunpoint, and don't get me wrong here, I have the highest respect for Islam and learned a lot of very good things about it, but it was something we felt we had to do because they had the guns and we didn't know what the hell was going on,' [Steve] Centanni said."
This event demonstrates a problem for the United States about the War on Terror that ought to be obvious to everybody but apparently isn't. Our enemies are not fighting a geopolitical war; they are fighting a religious war.

The Islamist motivation of the terrorists imposes a special burden on their fellow Moslems. Moslem leaders must demonstrate that Islam is not the enemy. To do that they must condemn each and every atrocity committed by Islamist terrorists in the name of Islam.

Moslem leaders must condemn the forced conversions. They also must disavow the forced conversions as theologically invalid.

This is just like the question of the meaning of "jihad." Moslem leaders constantly tell us that jihad means personal struggle not holy war. Of course, we don't need to be told since we're not the ones killing people in the name of jihad. The people who need to be told what jihad means are the terrorists. In this situation, non-Moslems don't need an explanation that the conversions aren't valid. We don't recognize their validity. The people who need to be told that forced conversions aren't valid, are the terrorists who forced non-Moslems to convert or die.

There's an old saying that "silence gives consent." The terrorists forced their captives to convert to Islam. By doing so the terrorists believed they were acting on behalf of Islam. If Moslem leaders or clerics remain silent about these forced conversions their silence will amount to an acceptance of the conversions. Their silence will be consent and permission for more forced conversions to come.

Modern Christians aren't fighting the Crusades. They don't conquer for the cross anymore. Non-Christians are no longer forced to convert or die. It's time for modern Moslems to mirror that and put a stop to forced conversions. Stop your fellow Moslems from fighting this jihad. You're either with us, or you're with the jihadists. There is no middle ground.


Technorati: .


Sunday, August 27, 2006

Hold Those Natural Disasters Until Late Morning, Please.

Fox News Sunday was supposed to have New Orleans City Council President Oliver Thomas as a guest this morning. (Here.) Show host Chris Wallace announced on the air during the show that Thomas had overslept and would miss the show. He also announced that Thomas missed a meeting on Hurricane Ernesto. Can that be true? What does that say about the city's performance recovering from Hurricane Katrina and preparing for future hurricanes.



Friday, August 25, 2006

Padres Land Utility Player With Weak Bat.

The Padres have made another blockbuster trade. Tampa Bay's utility player Russell Branyan is now a Padre. He played the corner outfield and corner infield positions for the Devil Rays in 64 games this year. Productive hitters are the Padres most pressing need. So how does Branyan measure up?
"He's hitting .201 with 12 home runs, 10 doubles and 27 RBIs." (Here.)
O boy!


Labels: ,

Monday, August 21, 2006

George W. Lincoln Meet Abraham Bush.

Some commentators have noted parallels between George W. Bush and Abraham Lincoln. The wartime presidencies, the internal political dissension over the war, the curtailment of civil rights, the changing rationales for the war. Mister Americano believes the comparison is apt and that Bush will one day be regarded in the pantheon of great presidents along with Lincoln. Although it would help matters if there were modern parallels to Grant and Sherman.

Now Best of the Web's James Taranto points to another similarity between Bush and Lincoln.
"Nor is Bush the first president to be elected and re-elected while losing his state of birth both times. That distinction he must share with Abraham Lincoln." (Here)
Bush is such a Texan that people tend to forget he was born in Connecticut, a state he failed to carry twice.



Tuesday, August 15, 2006

It's The English, Stupid.

A story in today's San Diego Union-Tribune shows a way forward on immigation. The article describes the improvements in English proficiency among California students from Spanish-speaking households. (Here.)
School officials say the increase in fluency among students is real, and they credit new laws at the federal and state levels for the improvement.

Proposition 227, which California voters passed overwhelmingly in 1998, changed the focus of schools from bilingual education to an English-immersion model. Now, parents who want their English-language learners taught in a bilingual setting must go to the school and sign a waiver. Otherwise, the children are “immersed” in English in the regular classroom.

Since 2002, the federal government's No Child Left Behind Act has required schools to report test scores of English-language learners, and other special-needs children, in their own subgroup rather than lumping them in with the scores of all students.

Both laws have placed significant pressure on schools, and more specifically classroom teachers, to raise the English proficiency level of their students. If schools don't, they risk being cast as “underperforming” and face sanctions.
Laws designed to improve English proficiency among immigrant children are working. Proficiency in English is probably the most important step in assimilating immigrants into America's culture. For those Americans who are afraid of the influx of immigrants from Mexico this story should offer reassurances at America's ability to assimilate that population. For those Americans who claim to care about immigrants but oppose laws that mandate English education and accountability in education, may this story cause them to reconsider their opposition.


Technorati: .


Sunday, August 13, 2006

The Wrath Of Aguirre Continued: Why San Diego Needs An Appointed Not Elected City Attorney.

Face it San Diegans, you made a mistake when you elected Michael Aguirre to be our city attorney. I'm excluding myself because I voted against the guy. Today's Union-Tribune article about Aguirre's management has led to excessive turnover and a loss of expertise is just the latest example of the serious problems in the city attorney's office. (Here.)

Being city attorney should not be a political position. The city attorney is a lawyer for the city not a politician or a policy maker. The position should be an appointed job. It's time for San Diego to stop electing our city attorneys and start hiring them instead.



Monday, August 07, 2006

There's Wildfire Fuel In Those San Diego Canyons Too.

Several years ago wildfires decimated San Diego County. (Here.) Many homes in the backcountry and on the outskirts of the city were destroyed. Their proximity to the fuel, brush and trees, doomed the homes. Three years later some in San Diego are pushing an initiative to preserve the many canyons that exist within the city limits. (Here.)

It's not known to many outside San Diego that our city is not just a coastal town. The attraction of a canyon view within San Diego's city limits rivals the best coastal views along our beaches. There are many canyons running throughout the city bringing a bit of the backcounty into urban neighborhoods. My densely populated neighborhood is flanked by canyons and is three miles from downtown and the harbor. In my twenty years of living here I've seen possums, racoons, skunks, and squirrels cross my backyard. One summer a pair of small foxes spent their days lounging on a ledge of the cliff that encloses my yard. Once a hawk swooped down to my patio and grabbed a dove that was feeding there.

I have to admit I like the canyons, the skunks notwithstanding. Canyon preservationists use a pretty metaphor to describe the canyons as "the lungs" of San Diego and relentlessly accentuate the positive. (Here.)

Yet there's something else about canyons that isn't so benign. The vegetation in the canyons is fuel for wildfires. And these canyons aren't far away in the backcountry next to a few scattered homes here and there. These canyons are found throughout the city right next to thousands of homes.

The people who lost homes in the Cedar fires three years ago mostly lived in rural San Diego County. But back in 1985 residents of Normal Heights, a neighborhood well within the city limits of San Diego, saw their homes burned to the ground by a fire that started in a nearby canyon. (Here.) Perhaps preserving the canyons isn't such a great idea, after all.


Technorati: , , ,


Saturday, August 05, 2006

Flaunting The Cracker Within.

If you're an anti-illegal immigrationist and you don't want to be called a racist (here and here), you might not want to make statements like the one made recently by a leader of a group affiliated with the Minutemen. (That's pronounced my-newt-men, as in men who are minute: "Exceptionally small; tiny. See Synonyms at small. Beneath notice; insignificant.")
"'These people coming here are the poorest of the poor, the undesirables – not everyone, but the vast majority,' [Jeff] Schwilk said. 'They include a large criminal element, and many of them are diseased. We are all compassionate people, but there is a limit to our compassion'" (Here.)
You've got to wonder whether somebody who uses the word "diseased" to describe illegal immigrants is thinking of them as human. The word "diseased" is not typically used to describe people who are sick. It usually refers to animals or meat. Don't agree? Well, I hope you keep your diseased kids home from school when they aren't feeling well.


Technorati: , .