Benny Morris’s sobering Jerusalem Post article paints a picture of a Second Holocaust–a nuclear-armed Iran willing to sacrifice the loss of millions of its own people to have the satisfaction of destroying Israel, and an Israel whose own nuclear weapons would be of no real use against an enemy so resistant to deterrence. Is there any way out of this dreadful dilemma? The Sanity Squad discusses paranoia vs. denial, the West as the enabler of its own enemies, and Iran’s vulnerabilities. [LISTEN]
An exclusive report from PJM's Baghdad editor Omar Fadhil on the attack in Kerbala last Saturday, where five US troops were killed by a group who spoke some English, drove SUVs similar to vehicles used by top U.S. military officials, and flashed fake badges. These days have been terribly bloody for both the American military and the Iraqi civilians as large-scale sweeps in Baghdad are being prepared. While most attacks have much in common when it comes to their goals and the destruction and pain they leave, some attacks are of a quality that suggest some messages that are more dangerous beyond the immediate harm they cause.
Cathy Young reflects on her “fruitful 6 years for this ‘dissident feminist’” in her a href=”http://cathyyoung.blogspot.com/2007/01/my-final-globe-column.html”final column /afor the emBoston Globe/em.
by Roger L. Simon for PJ Media Last November 18, PJ Media presented exclusive video smuggled out of Moscow's Sheremetyevo Airport of Iranian dissident Zahra Kamalfar and her two children who had then been trapped in the airport's transit area - forced to drink and bathe from the toilets - for over 73 days. (See video here, other coverage here and here.) Kamalfar had escaped Iran with her family during a prison furlough and was fighting extradition back to the Islamic Republic while seeking political asylum in other countries. Incredible as it may seem - despite efforts by the United Nations Refugee Committee, the European Human Rights Court and lawyers and activists worldwide - Kamalfar and her family are still trapped in the same airport transit area over two months later.
Victor Davis Hanson casts a wide but finely woven net in today’s column @ PajamasXpress, “Prosecutors to Actors,” HERE.
Neo-neocon has an a href=”http://neo-neocon.blogspot.com/2007/01/psychology-of-psychology-today-about.html”interesting post /aon her experience with the ema href=”http://psychologytoday.com/articles/pto-20061222-000001.xml”Psychology Today /a/em article on “fearful” conservatives and “rational” liberals. She was interviewed for this particular article and surprisingly, her interview was left out of the article. Perhaps she didn’t tell the interviewer what they wanted to hear. I have this happen frequently. XYZ magazine, TV show, etc. calls me and asks my opinion on X and I give my unfiltered response–usually not what they want to hear–and the familiar, “We’ll get back to you, uhh….real soon”-click is the typical reply. I have even been told by some shows that “we will just keep looking for someone who agrees with our point of view.” “Good luck,” I tell them. My feeling on most interviews etc. is that if I cannot say what I want or it will be edited to the point that I do not recognize my words, why do it?
Imprisoned Egyptian Blogger Faces 9 Years in Prison for Championing Women's Rights, Free Speech, and Freedom of Religion. By Esra'a Al-Shafei Abdelkareem Soliman, also known online as Kareem Amer, is a soft-spoken 22 year-old Egyptian blogger whose basic personal rights have been abused by the Egyptian government. His only "crime" was to publish critical blogposts on the Internet. Due to the "secular" views expressed on his blog, he was expelled from Al-Azhar University and turned over the police prosecutor in Alexandria, Egypt.
Michael Ledeen writes on destructive lies underlings have told higher-ups in our government. Scott Johnson unearthed a whopper for The Weekly Standard. The latest big lie, according to Ledeen: “We now know that top American officials have known all along that Iran has been waging war on us in Iraq, but this information has been suppressed.” Faster, Please!
by Benny Morris for the Jerusalem Post [At PJM the editors review thousands of articles per month. In recent memory we cannot think of a more alarming, prescient essay that this one published today by Benny Morris. Morris is one of the most respected intellectuals in Israel and his conversion dove to hawk was widely heralded and criticized at the time. Morris, one of the "New Historians," wrote about this 'transformation' for the Guardian in 2002, saying, "I imagine that I feel a bit like one of those western fellow travelers rudely awakened by the trundle of Russian tanks crashing through Budapest in 1956." Today Morris goes even deeper into the darkening future of the Middle East as he looks at what is coming there, and to the rest of the world.] THE SECOND HOLOCAUST will not be like the first. The Nazis, of course, industrialized mass murder. But still, the perpetrators had one-on-one contact with the victims. They may have dehumanized them over months and years of appalling debasement and in their minds, before the actual killing. But, still, they were in eye and ear contact, sometimes in tactile contact, with their victims. The Germans, along with their non-German helpers, had to round up the men, women and children from their houses and drag and beat them through the streets and mow them down in nearby woods or push and pack them into cattle cars and transport them to the camps, where "Work makes free," separate the able-bodied from the completely useless and lure them into "shower" halls and pour in the gas and then take out, or oversee the extraction of, the bodies and prepare the "showers" for the next batch. The second holocaust will be quite different.
A Special Report by PJM Baghdad editor Mohammed Fadhil @ Iraq The Model "The last chance...." I hear these words a lot these days. You see it and hear it in the common descriptions or questions by the media for/about the new security plan: "Last chance for Maliki;" "Last chance for Bush;" "Last chance for Iraq." It is as if the new plan was a coin that can be flipped only once carrying victory on the one face and doom on the other. I think people who use this "last chance" idea are not helping either Iraq or America. Instead they are of the type of people who do not want to deal with the challenge seriously.
Today, I was reading Frank Luntz’s new book a href=”http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1401302599?ie=UTF8tag=wwwviolentkicomlinkCode=as2camp=1789creative=9325creativeASIN=1401302599″Words That Work: It’s Not What You Say, It’s What People Hear,/aimg src=”http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=wwwviolentkicoml=as2o=1a=1401302599″ width=”1″ height=”1″ border=”0″ alt=”" style=”border:none !important; margin:0px !important;”/in which Dr. Luntz offers insight into how to find and use the right words to get what you want out of life and includes a chapter on language in politics. I like to read the reviews and comments on the books I read and went to Amazon.com to see what reviewers like emPublisher’s Weekly /emsaid about the book. Here is what I found:br /br /blockquoteFrom Publishers Weekly: After repeating his mantra—”it’s not what you say, it’s what people hear”—so often in this book, you’d think that Republican pollster Luntz would have taken his own advice to heart. Yet in spite of an opening anecdote that superficially attempts a balanced tone, the book as a whole truly reads more like a manual for right-wing positioning./blockquotebr /br /”Okay,” I thought, “one negative review dissing an author’s politics does not make a good argument for believing that there is leftist bias in emPublishers Weekly’s /emreviews. I’ll look further and see what else I can find.” So I looked up Orson Scott Card’s a href=”http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0765316110?ie=UTF8tag=wwwviolentkicomlinkCode=as2camp=1789creative=9325creativeASIN=0765316110″Empire/aimg src=”http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=wwwviolentkicoml=as2o=1a=0765316110″ width=”1″ height=”1″ border=”0″ alt=”" style=”border:none !important; margin:0px !important;”/to check out his review:br /br /blockquoteFrom Publishers Weekly: Right-wing rhetoric trumps the logic of story and character in this near-future political thriller about a red-state vs. blue-state American civil war, an implausibly plotted departure from Card’s bestselling science fiction (Ender’s Game, etc.). When the president and vice-president are killed by domestic terrorists (of unknown political identity), a radical leftist army calling itself the Progressive Restoration takes over New York City and declares itself the rightful government of the United States. Other blue states officially recognize the legitimacy of the group, thus starting a second civil war. Card’s heroic red-state protagonists, Maj. Reuben “Rube” Malek and Capt. Bartholomew “Cole” Coleman, draw on their Special Ops training to take down the extremist leftists and restore peace to the nation. The action is overshadowed by the novel’s polemical message, which Card tops off with an afterword decrying his own politically-motivated exclusion from various conventions and campuses, the “national media elite” and the divisive excesses of both the right and the left./blockquote br /br /Hmmm…this seems to be a pattern–if the author leans at all right, his book is given a pretty negative review summarizing the book as “right wing.” What happens to the emPublishers Weekly’s /emreview when the author leans left? Miraculously, their book is suddenly engaging and intriguing! a href=”http://www.amazon.com/What-Liberal-Media-Truth-About/dp/0465001769/ref=ed_oe_h/102-8084700-9641738″Here is a review /aof Eric Alterman’s, a href=”http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0465001769?ie=UTF8tag=wwwviolentkicomlinkCode=as2camp=1789creative=9325creativeASIN=0465001769″emWhat Liberal Media?: The Truth About Bias and the News/em./aimg src=”http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=wwwviolentkicoml=as2o=1a=0465001769″ width=”1″ height=”1″ border=”0″ alt=”" style=”border:none !important; margin:0px !important;” /:br /br /blockquoteFrom Publishers Weekly: While the idea that a liberal bias pervades the mainstream media has been around for years, it gained new currency with the 2001 publication of Bernard Goldberg’s Bias and its 2002 successor, Ann Coulter’s Slander. Alterman (Sound Fury; Who Speaks for America?; etc.) now seeks to debunk the notion and goes so far as to argue that bastions of alleged liberalism like the Washington Post and ABC News “have grown increasingly cowed by false complaints of liberal bias and hence, progressively more sympathetic to the most outlandish conservative complaints.” He largely succeeds: whatever your politics, Alterman delivers well-documented, well-argued research in compulsively readable form. His chapter on business journalism, for instance, is a thrill-ride through the excesses of late 1990s optimism and the subsequent crash in stock valuations and mood. But he also counters that while the economy was peaking, major media outlets virtually ignored traditional left-wing issues like labor rights, which had been neglected, and income inequality, which was growing. In contrast, he says, the media fawned over chief executives while almost totally failing to confront corporate fraudsters. Alterman also observes that the center of American politics has shifted to the right in the last several decades, which he attributes to efforts by conservative think tanks and their financial backers. Whether readers agree with Alterman or not, his writing on the business of opinion making is eye-opening. This book will be required reading for anyone in politics or journalism, or anyone curious about their complicated nexus./blockquotebr /br /Well, you get the idea–I won’t bore you with more reviews–but I wonder, is the a href=”http://drhelen.blogspot.com/2006/12/scarlet-r.html”Scarlet R/a rearing it’s ugly head in the book reviewing world? Surely not!br /br /Oh, and a Disclaimer: strongThis is not a scientific sample–the negative reviews for right leaning authors and positive ones for left leaning authors are based on my observations only and not on scientific fact./strong If there is anyone out there who wants to do such a study–go to it and email me the results. Or do the experiment yourself and see if you can find a emPublisher’s Weekly /emreview that is glowing over a right leaning political book or very negative towards a left leaning book and drop a line in the comments.
All the leaves may be brown and the sky may be gray (despite Global Warming)… and Denny of the Mamas and the Papas may have succumbed to kidney failure. But California is about to enact bi-partisan legislation that would move its presidential primary forward to February, making the most populous state a major player in the coming election. Read all about this California Earthquake on the PajamasXpress blog of California political expert Bill Bradley – New West Notes.
People in the newspaper business seem awfully gloomy about the future right now, and with reason. But there’s one bright spot: Wall Street Journal publisher Gordon Crovitz, who describes himself as “the last person in the country with ‘newspaper publisher’ in his title who nonetheless is an optimist.”
Glenn Reynolds and Helen Smith talk about why he’s optimistic, about how the Wall Street Journal’s online edition came to be the fourth biggest newspaper in the country — bigger than the Washington Post or the L.A. Times — and how newspapers, and newspaper publishers, should be adapting to the new era. Plus, his view of blogging as “a great journalistic art form.”
Sponsored by Volvo USA.
The Glenn and Helen Show: Gordon Crovitz on the WSJ, Old and New Media, and Blogging as Art Form
by Paul Belien "Segregation! domination! demonstration! Integration! aggravation! humiliation! Obligation to the nation! Ball of confusion.... And the band played on." -- Temptations Last year one question out of Europe was "Is Paris burning?" This year it could become "Is Holland burning?" In Vlaardingen near Rotterdam, two police officers were wounded recently when they came to the rescue of an ambulance which was attacked by a group of 250 youths. One of the officers was hit by glass, the other was hit in the face. The ambulance was attacked in an immigrant neighborhood when paramedics were taking care of a young man who had been assaulted by other youths. The Netherlands are bracing themselves for more similar incidents this year. An official report published last week states that the Government has seriously underestimated "tensions between various ethnic and cultural groups of youths."
img src=”http://opinionjournal.com/editorial/hc_crovitz.jpg” border=0 align=rightbr /Today, we are talking with Gordon Crovitz, Executive Vice President of Dow Jones and the publisher of the a href=”http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000BDI72E?ie=UTF8tag=wwwviolentkicomlinkCode=as2camp=1789creative=9325creativeASIN=B000BDI72E”emThe Wall Street Journal/em/aimg src=”http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=wwwviolentkicoml=as2o=1a=B000BDI72E” width=”1″ height=”1″ border=”0″ alt=”" style=”border:none !important; margin:0px !important;” / about old and new media. He shares his insights on the future of newspapers in the digital world, the role of blogs and new media in spreading and shaping the news and how the emWSJ/em is at the forefront of this transition. br /br /You can listen directly — no downloading needed — by a href=”http://politicscentral.com/2007/01/19/the_glenn_and_helen_show_gordo.php”going here/a and clicking on the gray Flash player. You can download the file directly by a href=”http://richmedia.pjmedia.com/audio/politicscentral/glenn_helen_show/20070119-CrovitzWSJ.mp3″clicking right here,/a and you can get a lo-fi version suitable for dialup, cellphones, etc. by going a href=”http://politicscentral.com/2007/01/19/the_glenn_and_helen_show_gordo.php”here/a and selecting lo-fi. And, of course, you can always a href=”http://phobos.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewPodcast?id=116559643s=143441″subscribe via iTunes./a We like it when you do that. Check out past shows and look for new ones at a href=”http://www.glennandhelenshow.com”GlennandHelenShow.com/a.br /br /This podcast is sponsored by Volvo at a href=”http://www.volvocars.us/”volvocars.us/a.
Answer: explosive-formed projectiles – built for anti-tank missiles and nuclear weapons detonation. They are being used against our troops in Iraq. Manufacturer: Iran. How long they have been used: a long time. Who didn’t tell us until now: Our intelligence agencies. Where I can read about this: Faster, Please! (where else?)
Hugh Fitzgerald's Tribute to Dinesh D'Souza. Republished from Jihad Watch. In which Fitzgerald has read Dinesh D'Souza's book, %%AMAZON=0385510128 The Enemy At Home%%, and is not amused. Dinesh D'Souza's arrogance, in presuming to write about matters that he could not possibly have studied, arrogance about the most important matters, disqualifies him from ever again being taken seriously about anything. His dreamy belief that Islamic terrorism dates back to 1979 and the Ayatollah Khomeini returning from Neauphle-le-chateau to Teheran, ignores, as Robert Spencer mentions here, the entire history of terrorism directed against Israel, Israel as a state, and even before it was a state, against the Jews who lived in what was, historically, the Land of Israel. D'Souza ignores the terrorism used against the French in Algeria.
Iron Shrink, a self-described “libertarian and capitalist” psychologist (like myself) discusses a recent a href=”http://psychologytoday.com/articles/index.php?term=pto-20061222-000001page=1″Psychology Today article /a on the old tired thesis that conservatives are somehow flawed–and really, could there be any other conclusion in a psychology magazine? a href=”http://www.ironshrink.com/articles/070116_political_conservatism_study_methodology.php”Iron Shrink states:/abr /br /blockquoteIt’s a long one this week, kids, but worth the effort. You may have heard the news that conservatives are crazy. The February 2007 issue of Psychology Today offers a watered-down account of a 2003 study asserting that conservatives are dogmatic, closed-minded, and essentially less intelligent than liberals. That’s the tame version. br /br /As you might expect from a study that maligns millions of people, this one is overflowing with methodological problems, and that’s the topic this week. If you find these research methods to be acceptable because you agree with the conclusions, I beg you to reconsider. They may be “researching” you next./blockquotebr /br /a href=”http://www.ironshrink.com/articles/070116_political_conservatism_study_methodology.php”Read the whole thing/a.
As far as breaking news goes, it is a Matt Drudge Internet and everybody else is just "developing...." On this day in 1998, Matt Drudge @ The Drudge Report first broke the news that there was more to the Bill Clinton / Monica Lewinsky story than passed through the lips of the then President. The DrudgeReport headline that day went, NEWSWEEK KILLS STORY ON WHITE HOUSE INTERN. BLOCKBUSTER REPORT: 23-YEAR OLD, FORMER WHITE HOUSE INTERN, SEX RELATIONSHIP WITH PRESIDENT, and Hell followed after. In this one story, Matt
Don't Get Your Hopes Up For the Three-Way By Allison Kaplan Sommer, PJM Editor, Tel Aviv If the three-way summit for a Mideast peace deal announced by Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice actually materializes, it will be a toss-up as to which of the three parties shows up at the meeting in worse shape.
I spent a good part of the day at the doctor’s office dealing with a sick kid — what parent isn’t this time of year? While in the waiting room for three hours, I had plenty of time to read freelance writer Adrienne Martini’s book, a href=”http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0743272730?ie=UTF8tag=wwwviolentkicomlinkCode=as2camp=1789creative=9325creativeASIN=0743272730″emHillbilly Gothic: A Memoir of Madness and Motherhood/em./aimg src=”http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=wwwviolentkicoml=as2o=1a=0743272730″ width=”1″ height=”1″ border=”0″ alt=”" style=”border:none !important; margin:0px !important;” / I met Ms. Martini once as she used to be the editor of Knoxville’s alternative paper, emThe Metro Pulse/em, and a href=”http://www.metropulse.com/dir_zine/dir_2003/1314/t_gamut2.html”did a review /aof my documentary, emSix,/em before moving North to pursue other interests. br /br /The book tells the story of Adrienne’s decent into madness after the birth of her daughter and her subsequent hospitalization for postpartum depression. Apparently, the women in her family descend into madness after the birth of their children and the same happened to Adrienne. Unfortunately, like many mothers with postpartum depression, Adrienne buys into the delusion that out there, is some perfect mother image she is supposed to live up to–a one size fits all approach made up by the La Leche league mafia or some derivative thereof. br /br /Adrienne and her husband dutifully hire a emdoula,/em a woman who is supposed to help the mother during the birthing process. Her doula is also a lactation consultant who will help her with breastfeeding. “All of my college-educated bohemian buddies–very few of whom, I must observe, actually had kids at that point–told me that breast is best and chicks who formula feed are wimps who don’t care enough about their infant’s health to put up with a little discomfort.” During the childbirth, Adrienne feels that she cannot conquer pain like a “real woman” and “whimpers for an anesthesiologist” and feels like a coward, thinking that the doula and nurse see her as “weak and annoying.” Who wouldn’t feel that way, after listening to all of the bullshit this poor woman had put herself through prior to her delivery.br /br /Later, when her baby has jaundice and is becoming badly dehydrated from a lack of fluids because of some trouble Adrienne is having breastfeeding, she does not want to take her doctor’s advice to start formula and starts to “go on about how important I think breastfeeding is, about how much it improves IQ and overall health, about how it gives new moms a hormone lift and helps them lose the weight, about how I’ve been warned by my granola friends (none of whom have kids) that pediatricians are all in the pockets of the big formula companies and will push the stuff even though we all know breast is best.” br /br /It is no wonder after all the worry over being the “perfect mother” that Adrienne ends up in the mental ward of a local hospital in Knoxville believing herself to be a failure as a mother: “I’ll drive myself to the emergency room, where I’ll check myself into Tower 4, a local psych ward… I’ll stay there for a better part of a week, bonding with my fellow loonies while someone else takes care of my brand new baby becasue I am a failure. New moms are supposed to be joy made flesh, yet motherhood and I met like a brick meets water, I am drowning here, not waving.” br /br /I have never understood the machismo that women put themselves, or worse, others, through to try to live up to some non-reachable standard regarding mothering and childbirth–but have you noticed all the while, these same women are the ones complaining bitterly about how some men are too macho. What’s the difference? br /br /And for women who tend to suffer from depression or mood disorders, the delusion of the perfect mother is more devastating, because the dichotomy between what they are able to do as a mother and what they perceive they should be doing is usually greater than for those women not suffering from these disorders. Therefore, their wish to be the perfect mom is more likely to come crashing down around them and result in an exacerbation of their postpartum depression. br /br /As a psychologist, I have seen many more children in treatment because their mother was depressed and stressed out then I have seen kids who missed out on breastfeeding until college. Adrienne finally discovers this by the end of the book: Her daughter now “watches TV. She eats red dye and French fries and nonorganic produce, but generally not at the same time. The holier-than-thou mommy patrol, who believe in breastfeeding until college and growing their own organic flax, would be appalled. Which is fine, really, because they aren’t much fun to hang out with in the first place. I can be perfect and completely insane or good enough and sane enough.” Sometimes good enough is….enough.
An article in this month’s Psychology Today purports to describe what goes into the making of liberals and conservatives, and the motivations behind post-9/11 change. Short version of the answer: conservatives are fearful, liberals rational. The Sanity Squad has plenty to say about that, and the difference between headlights and lamps, epiphanies, ambiguity, tipping points, and political paranoia. [LISTEN]
New AQ is more Dangerous than Zarqawi, Military Intelligence Says. By Richard Miniter Al Qaeda terrorists are fleeing Baghdad in advance of President Bush's 21,500-man troop surge, a senior military intelligence officer told PJ Media today. Under orders from the al Qaeda commander in Iraq, Abu Ayyub al-Masri, fighters are streaming toward the Diyala region of Iraq. This confirms reports posted on Iraq the Model, which cited al-Sabah, an Iraqi government-owned newspaper.
"A gentleman asked me to marry him and I said no. I told him, 'I'm just beginning to fly again, I'm just beginning to be me. Don't take that away.'" Or, as the New York Times would put it: "51% of Women Are Now Living Without Spouse." This conclusion was reached "according to a New York Times analysis of census results." That method is widely known in journalistic circles as, "Slow news day on the social change front, better take another look at the census, Scoop."