Thursday, April 10, 2008

Build the Wall

How many of our sons and daughters will have to be killed by illegal immigrants either in automobile accidents or by violent crime before our leaders experience a little electoral fear and trembling? Jamiel Shaw is the latest of a long list of people who would be alive today were our borders properly defended against the tidal wave of criminal and otherwise irresponsible aliens that has flooded this country in the last fifteen years:

What part of "close the border" does our political leadership not understand? Watch this to get a sense of the magnitude of the tragedy of our refusal to control who comes into this country:


Resurrecting the <i>Betray Us</i> Meme

It's been some time since I've seen anything quite so embarrassingly absurd as this column by Robert Scheer. The reader can't get past the first two paragraphs without wondering whether Mr. Scheer needs to be tethered to earth to keep from floating away:

General Betray Us? Of course he has. can hardly be expected to recycle its slogan from last September, when Gen. David Petraeus testified in support of escalating the U.S. war in Iraq, given the hysterical denunciations that worthy group received at the time. But it was right then -- as it would be to repeat the charge now.

This is a libel and although he wouldn't do it, Petraeus should sue Scheer down to his Birkingstocks. Listen to Scheer's reason for his slander:

By undercutting the widespread support for getting out of Iraq, Petraeus did indeed betray the American public, siding with an enormously unpopular president who wants to stay the course in Iraq for personal and political reasons that run contrary to genuine national security interests.

It's almost demeaning to respond to this sort of flapdoodle. In Scheer's mind it's an act of treason to hold a minority view on the war, if indeed it even is a minority view. It is furthermore an act of treason, Scheer declaims, for a military officer to support his commander-in-chief.

Never mind whether what Petraeus said was actually true or not, that evidently is of no concern to Scheer. What Petraeus said was a betrayal because it was not what Mr. Scheer, no doubt himself a highly acclaimed expert on Iraq and the military, wanted to hear.

Mr. Scheer also, mirabile dictu, has a fiber optic tube running right into George Bush's brain enabling him to discern exactly what the President's motives are, and he's here to tell us that they're not pretty. They're "personal" and "political," don't you know. Scheer is certain of this despite the fact that it defies all common sense since Bush has paid an enormous political price for his steadfastness in the war and his personal grievance with Saddam, who tried to kill Bush's father, was satisfied when Saddam was captured. Nevertheless, when the denizens of the paranoid fever swamps start popping their hallucinogens, common sense and rationality are rendered irrelevant.

Scheer goes on to embarrass himself further:

Once again, the president is passing the buck to the uniformed military to justify continuing a ludicrous imperial adventure, and the good general has dutifully performed.

This is gratuitously insulting, a not uncommon resort among the President's critics. How is the President passing the buck to the general? Congress called Petraeus to appear before them. What was he supposed to do? Refuse?

There's more to Scheer's column, but don't waste your time. You can probably find more thoughtful commentary in the student newspaper of your local high school.


Moral Inequivalence

In terms of consistently good content few columnists are the equal of Dennis Prager. His recent column got me to thinking...

Palestine is at least 1,400 years old, is one of the world's oldest nations, has its own language, its own religion and even its own ethnicity. Over 1 million of its people have been killed by the Israelis, its culture has been systematically obliterated, 6,000 of its 6,200 mosques have been looted and destroyed, and most of its leaders have been tortured, murdered or exiled.

It seems there should be far more outrage about this than there is. It seems that the U.N. should be doing more than it is to condemn Israel for its treatment of the Palestinians. It seems that the U.S. should be distancing itself from the Israeli government instead of drawing ever closer to it. Why isn't Israel a pariah among civilized nations? Why does anyone have anything, commercial or diplomatic, to do with it?

Perhaps because none of the above is true of the Israelis and their treatment of the Palestinians. It is all true, though, mutatis mutandis, of China and Tibet.

Prager's column is about the differences between how the world treats the Israeli/Palestinian problem and how it reacts to the Chinese repression of Tibet:

Palestinians have none of the characteristics [of the Tibetans]. There has never been a Palestinian country, never been a Palestinian language, never been a Palestinian ethnicity, never been a Palestinian religion in any way distinct from Islam elsewhere. Indeed, "Palestinian" had always meant any individual living in the geographic area called Palestine. For most of the first half of the 20th century, "Palestinian" and "Palestine" almost always referred to the Jews of Palestine. The United Jewish Appeal, the worldwide Jewish charity that provided the nascent Jewish state with much of its money, was actually known as the United Palestine Appeal. Compared to Tibetans, few Palestinians have been killed, its culture has not been destroyed nor its mosques looted or plundered, and Palestinians have received billions of dollars from the international community. Unlike the dying Tibetan nation, there are far more Palestinians today than when Israel was created.

....of all the causes the world could have adopted, the Palestinians' deserved to be near the bottom and the Tibetans' near the top. This is especially so since the Palestinians could have had a state of their own from 1947 on, and they have caused great suffering in the world, while the far more persecuted Tibetans have been characterized by a morally rigorous doctrine of nonviolence.

Prager points out that despite almost perennial U.N. condemnations of Israel there has never once been a condemnation of China. Indeed, China was voted onto the Security Council and enjoys considerable prestige as it continues its genocide against Tibet and offers its support to murderous regimes like the Sudanese, the Burmese, and the North Koreans.

You'll have to read his column to find out why he thinks this is, but here's a thought to tide you over: Yesterday's protests in San Francisco notwithstanding, being on the ideological left too often means never having to say you're sorry whereas being an ally of the U.S. too often means nothing you do to protect yourself is ever justifiable.

For many in the United Nations and on the secular left justice is merely a word that's used to surround oneself with a cachet of moral righteousness, but it doesn't actually mean anything.