Wednesday, July 19, 2006

This is Becoming a Habit....

The late-in-the-day posting, that is. Chalk it up to screwed up circadian rhythms. Poor excuse, I know. But it is what it is...

Tony Snow is good! And about as different from his predecessor, Scott McClellan, as two press secretaries could be. I haven’t been watching a lot of White House press conferences these days, but Outside the Beltway has a three minute and 28 second video clip of Snow just demolishing that relic from the Pleistocene Era, Helen Thomas. (If you don’t want to watch the video, the transcript of the entire presser is here.)One wonders why her press credentials weren’t revoked a long time ago. But now that Snow’s Da Man, I suspect she’s being kept around for entertainment value…and she offers up a lot of that. And while we’re on the subject of Thomas, the Media Blog at National Review has an interesting illustration of Lefty revisionism, which may be filed under “We’re Never Wrong, Ya Know.”

Charles Krauthammer gets it absolutely correct in his WaPo editorial today, on all counts. It remains to be seen if Israel will be able to get the job done against Hezbollah before the clock runs out. Not the military clock, mind you. I have no doubt the IDF can and will succeed; from what I’ve read lately the IDF estimates another week is required to achieve their military objectives. It’s the diplomatic clock I worry about. The longer military operations last, the more time Hezbollah and their apologists have to distribute video of demolished apartment blocks, wailing women, and cratered airport runways. And that video, sadly, has substantial impact on our Western sensibilities. It’s the same old movie, played all too effectively in every previous Arab – Israeli conflict. While I hope it’s different this time, past experience would indicate not.

In the comments to one of my posts the other day, Son Number One made the point that we’re not at war with Islam in general, just the fanatics of Islam’s fundamentalist, radical, jihadist branch. I replied that, although I’m trying very hard to keep that view, I’m not so sure. One reason for my uncertainty is the general lack of public opposition to the jihadis by mainstream or moderate Muslims. And, just in the nick of time, we get this editorial by Youssef Ibrahim in The New York Sun:

Yes, world, there is a silent Arab majority that believes that seventh-century Islam is not fit for 21st-century challenges. That women do not have to look like walking black tents. That men do not have to wear beards and robes, act like lunatics, and run around blowing themselves up in order to enjoy 72 virgins in paradise. And that secular laws, not Islamic Shariah, should rule our day-to-day lives.


The collective "nyet" was spoken by presidents, emirs, and kings at the highest level of government in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain, Qatar, Jordan, Morocco, and at the Arab League's meeting of 22 foreign ministers in Cairo on Saturday. But it was even louder from pundits and ordinary people.

Perhaps the most remarkable and unexpected reaction came from Saudi Arabia, whose foreign minister, Prince Saud Al-Faisal, said bluntly and publicly that Hezbollah's decision to cross the Lebanese border, attack Israel, and kidnap its soldiers has left the Shiite group on its own to face Israel. The unspoken message here was, "We hope they blow you away."


All in all, it seems that when Israel decided to go to war against the priestly mafia of Hamas and Hezbollah, it opened a whole new chapter in the Greater Middle East discourse. And Israel is finding, to its surprise, that a vast, not-so-silent majority of Arabs agrees that enough is enough. To be sure, beneath the hostility toward Sheik Nasrallah in Sunni Muslim states lies the deep and bitter heritage of a 14-century Sunni-Shiite divide, propelled to greater heights now by fears of an ascendant Shiite "arc of menace" rising out of Iran and peddled in the Sunni world by Syria.

The sooner this is settled the better.

Encouraging, to say the least.

I saw on the Weather Channel last evening that 19 states are experiencing a run of 100 degree (or more!) weather. Yeah, it’s hot. Note our average temp for the month, and the fact we’ll get a breather Saturday.

I really feel for those folks that are experiencing the heat plus high humidity. Been there, done that, and it ain’t fun. All you can do is grin and bear it. And turn up the AC.


  1. It seems that things are heating up all over. I read the transcript with Tony Snow (my computer is too slow to do video). You are right; he is good.

    I have wondered why more Muslims have not stood up against the Fundamentalist Muslims. I assumed it was fear, maybe. Or maybe it is similar to the one-sided reports from the MSM, and we are just not hearing all that is going on. Then I had that feeling that maybe they were just waiting to see what the outcome would be before choosing sides - maybe they were really hoping the Fundamentalist would succeed. By not speaking out, are they in agreement with the radical Islamists? It seems to me that this a war against Moderate Muslims too, and it is time they stepped up to the plate. I am glad you shared the link.

    I know you read Sketchpad Warrior - He is upset by reporter/photographer, Joao Silva, who took a photo of a sniper firing from a window supposedly at American Soldiers. The question being how could he stand there and take a picture doing nothing to stop the terrorist. Does that make the photographer guilty of aiding the terrorist? Are Moderate Muslims guilty of aiding terrorist when they do nothing to stop them and say nothing against them? Just some thoughts..

  2. Well said, Lou. I agree with you in no small part that it's probably fear that keeps moderate Muslims, including moderate imams, from speaking out. After all, when the head of state of The Islamic Republic (Khomeni) puts a multi-million dollar bounty on the head of a previously little-known author (Rushdie), forcing him into perpetual hiding in fear of his life, what's the moderate Muslim man-in-the-street supposed to think? Or, for that matter, how is he supposed to act? The radical Islamists are frickin' crazy, and their hate knows no bounds. I think one risks keeping body and soul together (or head and body) if one were too outspoken in certain parts of the planet.

    Re: that NYT photograph. Sketchpad Warrior ain't the only one...if you haven't seen this post over at Lex's place, do go. And don't miss the comments thread, particularly comment numbers 13 and 14. Lex delivers a well-deserved and well-delivered smackdown to an insufferable twit. Very good reading!

  3. "I really feel for those folks that are experiencing the heat plus high humidity. Been there, done that, and it ain’t fun. All you can do is grin and bear it. And turn up the AC."

    I don't *HAVE* any AC. I'll watch the Tony Snow thing in a bit, need dinner first. Gotta call my friends over at "10 minute" for some shrimp lo mein.

  4. Lex was definitely some good reading - thanks. I had to put in my two cents on the Joao Silva photograph - really irks me.

    It was 112 here yesterday. Toby wants to go to Lubbock this weekend to see his mother. I am looking forward to the cooler temps :)

  5. Laurie sez: I don't *HAVE* any AC.

    In which case, you get double the amount of sympathy, Laurie.

    And Lou...I saw on the WX Channel the temps y'all have in OK. Lubbock will indeed be a break; they're actually a couple of degrees cooler than what we've been having here. But, there's not much difference between Lubbock's 98 degrees and 100 in Portales...

  6. Heehee. The chinee was excellent, the Snow clip was amusing. Poor Helen.... she's just one of those people that I think was always "old", like Vincent Price. I remember when I first started taking an interest in politics in the Reagan years and thinking then she needed to retire. I think at this point, she could have a lead role in a Vincent Price movie. ;)


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