The Spectacle Blog

Third Intifada imminent

By on 2.10.06 | 12:24AM

Spoke several excellent sources in re Israel and Palestinians, and all agree that a third intifada is imminent, though one did call it a war, not an intifada. Hamas will not relent on its position that it is committed to a violent defeat of Israel. The intifada will be run by Al Aqsa from the West Bank, especially the Balata refugee camp, and by Islamic Jihad from the West Bank and Gaza. The third intifada will include suicide belts as well as the first-ever rocket attacks from the West Bank into Israel.

Israel's response to the intifada is not predictable. Olmert is campaigning to the left to win as many peace-now seats as possible. Netanyahu will stay hard right and urge war and effective annexation of the territories.

Al Aqsa and Islamic Jihad gain with the new intifada by establishing credibility as the street fighters, while Hamas gains by assuming the role of diplomat to the Europeans: the Putin gesture to Hamas is the beginning of the reinvention of a terror gang into a freedom collective.

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Double Standard

By on 2.9.06 | 11:30PM

It hasn't been a good week for the editorial brain trust at CNN. As widespread rioting and intimidation gripped the Islamic world following the publication, in a Danish newspaper, of cartoons depicting Muhammad as an enabler of terrorism, the network decided to run only blurred-out versions of the offending images -- out of respect, CNN explained, for Muslim sensibilities.

But then came yesterday's episode of The Situation Room, Wolf Blitzer's risibly titled late afternoon round up of breaking news. During a segment on the cartoon controversy, Blitzer raised the question of whether Muslim outrage over insulting images of the Prophet might be a tad hypocritical, given that state-owned media throughout the Islamic world regularly run cartoons of greedy, hook-nosed Jews doing the devil's work. As Blitzer spoke, the screen was filled with one image after another of -- you guessed it -- greedy, hook-nosed Jews doing the devil's work... and, for a finale, a swastika embedded in a Star of David.

Not one of the images was blurred out.

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Pro-Lifer Assaulted at William & Mary

By on 2.9.06 | 9:55PM

Make no mistake about it. The so-called "choice" crowd doesn't favor choice. They favor abortion.

At a memorial for abortion victims Tuesday night, a female student was allegedly assaulted while passing out pro-life information.

Just imagine if pro-lifers assaulted a pro-abortion activist on a college campus. Why, if Katie Couric weren't in Turin, she'd be in Williamsburg for tomorrow's show. This incident will likely be met with total national media silence.

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Planning the Cartoon Intifada

By on 2.9.06 | 5:57PM

An editorial in the Saudi government daily "Arab News" today explained how representatives from 57 Muslim nations met in Mecca/>/> in December to organize their response to the Danish editorial cartoons that they believe blasphemed by publishing images of Mohammed. I read a passage from it this morning on the Laura Ingraham show. It has since disappeared from the Arab News website.

Fortunately, the same substance is still published on the IHT website. Here's the money quote, from the communique that was published at the end of the conference:

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Barr vs. Dinh

By on 2.9.06 | 4:08PM

Viet Dinh and our own Bob Barr had an interesting debate at CPAC this afternoon, moderated by RET. You can listen in over at my blog, where I've been podcasting.

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Get Along Home, Cindy, Cindy

By on 2.9.06 | 3:17PM

At long last, Cindy Sheehan, in declining a run for the Senate, has made a rationality-based statement:

"If I thought that running for Senate would bring our young people home more quickly I would do it in a minute, but I am not convinced that that would do so," she said.

What's next? Conceding that an all-volunteer military is comprised of individuals who have joined of their own free will?

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CPAC Moments

By on 2.9.06 | 3:01PM

After manning the AmSpec booth for a while and taking a spin around the Exhibit Hall at CPAC, I have a few thoughts. As with last year, it's amazing how big the "conservative" tent is. The ACLU's here, along with Conservatives for Peace, the Heritage Foundation, nativist groups, Americans for Tax Reform, and much more. If any group has ever been considered slightly conservative or Republican, they're here.

Best handout: Feminists are destroying the American family. Indeed.

Worst button: "Iraq" in a circle with an "x" through it. Fine. You're against the war. But against the country? Poorly worded.

Oh, and Sen. Rick Santorum's signing his ISI book. It appears as though he'll be there for a while, as there is a line of well-dressed young men and women (mostly guys in dark navy suits) earnestly waiting the senator's signature. He appears good natured about it.

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Iran and Ashura and 1914

By on 2.9.06 | 2:57PM

Spoke Tehran last eve re Ahmadinejad's standing among the poor and disenfranchised in Tehran and countryside. Ahmadinejad is considered a hero; he is most admired because he wears simple common clothes, is extremely pious, speaks flatly and to the prejudices of the mob. How popular? He is legendary box office popular. Ahmadinejad is front page news to the working man and his obedient wife and children. Ahmadinejad provokes expressions of chauvinism and defiance and bloodymindedness unto self-destruction.

Recognize that this is not on message with the Diaspora freedom fighters. However it is consistent with historical models. Nazis were never more powerful and popular than when they were under attack by UK and France before the war. During the war, the night and then day strategic bombing campaigns made Adolf a prince and god to the folk doing the dying in the cities. Suggest that the more Iran is isolated and under attack by West, by UN, by US, the more potent and aggressive Ahmadinejad and IRGC and mullahs can be at home and abroad.

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Well, well, well …

By on 2.9.06 | 2:15PM

AP is reporting that Sen. Harry Reid's staff is now confirming that it had contacts with the staff of lobbyist Jack Abramoff.

Reid's spokesman is denying that his boss, Sen. Harry Reid, of Nevada, Senate Minority Leader, and high priest of ethics (did we mention he was formerly seved on the Nevada Gaming Commission?) ever personally met with Abramoff.

Reid's spokeman might want to check with his boss about that denial to make sure it should be so definitive.

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EUnuchs Unter Alles

By on 2.9.06 | 1:58PM

They always find a way. The cartoon intifada hasn't even reached the Sudetenland yet, and they're already surrendering. This Reuters report describes the EU's plan to come up with a code of self-censorship to avoid further insults to religions. Franco Frattini, the EU minister for security and silly walks put it this way:

"The press will give the Muslim world the message: We are aware of the consequences of exercising the right of free expression...We can and we are ready to self-regulate that right." Huh? Self regulation leaves the discretion to the person whose expression is being regulated. Frattini is talking about an EU law to limit free speech.

Can someone explain to me why supposedly free nations want to be part of this French bedroom comedy now that it is demonstrably unfunny?

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