3/08/2003

Former Secretarty of State Lawrence Eagleburger, when asked an Fox news if France is being given just enough rope to hang itself with, replied:

"I hope so."

Cool
OK, this is just bizarre:

The correct response to a lovelorn ostrich is to stay firmly on the other side of a fence. But this does not solve the real problem for Britain’s bird farms, who have found that ostriches become so attracted to humans that they fail to mate with their own kind.
Fixation with their owners has been identified as one of the main reasons why much ostrich farming in Britain was a commercial failure. Charles Paxton, a statistician at the University of St Andrews, said yesterday: “Ostriches indulged in courtship but it was directed primarily at human beings.”
From the AP:


He was the highest-ranking Palestinian militant leader killed since Israeli forces killed Abu Ali Mustafa of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine in August of 2001. Mustafa's death prompted the assassination of Israeli Tourism Minister Rehavam Zeevi in a Jerusalem hotel on Oct. 17, which in turn sparked Israel's occupation of the West Bank.




So, if I read this correctly, Israel's killing of a "militant leader" is what caused the assassination, which is the reason for Israel's occupation of the West Bank. This implies that the murder-bombing of innocent children is entirely unrelated.

3/07/2003

Unbelievable statement on the Beeb's website today. Talking about the criticism Martin Sheen has received for his anti-war stance, the BBC notes:

"Martin Sheen's President Bartlet is far removed from George W Bush. Bartlet is liberal, idealistic, intellectual and charismatic."

OK, so Bush is no liberal and you can even argue that he's not an intellectual, but given his statement about bringing democracy to the Middle East, how can it be honestly said that Bush isn't idealistic? And not charismatic? Please.

It's this sort of left-wing condescension that's proof that it's not Bush's "undiplomatic" rhetoric that leads to international distrust for American motives but a genuine dislike of Bush the man, independent of his actions.
The US is finally taking action against Mugabe:

The United States has announced it is imposing economic sanctions on President Robert Mugabe and 76 other government officials in Zimbabwe.
Washington accuses them of undermining democracy and using violence to stifle political opposition.


One of the reasons the anti-war crowd doesn't believe America is serious in its claim to support the democratization of the Middle East is out spotty track record elsewhere around the world. While I'm not a fan of geo-political inconstancy arguments (Iraq vs. NK, for example), it is difficult to credibly claim an invasion of Iraq is justified largely to alleviate the suffering of the Iraqi people when no action is taken against thugs like Mugabe. Thus this is an important step not only for the people of Zimbabwe but also for our efforts in the Arab world. Plus, as a side benefit, it is sure to piss off Robert's good buddy Jacques.
Want to know what the far left really thinks of our military? I give Mark Morford credit for having the guts to articulate their deeply hateful position. The whole article is enlightening, but here's a particularly putrid excerpt:

The military does not protect my freedom. Our soldiers are not out there right now safeguarding me, or you, or us, from some sort of total, '50s-era, Red Scare-esque dictatorial overthrow of our nation; nor is the military guaranteeing I have the right to write this column any more than it is protecting your right to read it, or to protest the war and speak freely and smoke imported French cigarettes and watch porn and drive really fast. Not anymore, they're not. Not this time.
More than ever before in recent history, the otherwise worthy U.S. military is right now in service not of the people, not of the national security, but of the current government regime and its corporate interests. Has it always been this way? Of course. But this time, with our smirky Enron president and cash-hungry CEO administration, it's never been so flagrant, or insulting, or invidious.
Our soldiers are not protecting our freedoms. They are not preventing more terrorism. They are not guaranteeing continued free speech. Because the only true threat to such freedoms is coming from within.

Britain is proposing an amendment to the US-UK-Spain Security Council Resolution setting a March 17th deadline for Iraq's final disarmament, declaring that if Saddam fails to meet this deadline, if "will have failed to take the final opportunity" given to it. This new deadline, if passed, seems like the ideal compromise given the current state of UN diplomacy. I find it inconceivable that the new resolution, with Britain's amendment, won't receive the necessary nine votes to make a French veto necessary. Moreover, this gives us the time we need to either pressure Turkey into changing her stance or to finish adjusting our war plans for a single-front war (although I'd guess that the military had already planned contingencies for this prior to the Turkish vote). While I'd love to see us start the war sooner, given the tremendous benefit Blair receives from a second resolution, the delay seems worthwhile.
Say what you want about the Palestinians, they certainly don't lack chutzpah. Another amazing statement from the PA today, this time from Dr Marwan al-Zaiem, spokesman for their Ministry of Health. When asked why Israel and not the Palestinian Authority should be responsible for distributing gas masks to the people of the "occupied" territories, he actually blames the Palestinian suicide bombings of Israel. As reported by the Beeb:

Dr Marwan al-Zaiem, spokesman for the Palestinian Authority's ministry of health, insists the intifada has sapped the PA's energy, time and resources.
"We don't have the capability to make a single preparation for such an attack," he says.
"The political situation is so bad now that people can't tell the difference between life and death, so nobody acts."


Essentially the good doctor is saying that because the Palestinian war on Israeli civilians has left the PA a broken organization, Israelis themselves should provide gas masks to people who cheer news that Jewish teenagers are blown up in cafes. What makes this all the more incredible is that the attack will come from one of the one of the major sponsors of that very intifada. And of course the BBC sees nothing absurd about this debate. Absolutely amazing.
Terrorist idiocy prevents even more bloodshed:

Tacurong, Philippines, March 7 (Bloomberg) -- A motorcyclist killed himself with his own bomb outside a Roman Catholic Church girls' school in the southern Philippines city of Tacurong, Agence France-Presse reported, citing police.
The attacker, who slightly injured two 12-year-old students, died in a hospital after his bomb exploded prematurely as he drove toward the school gate, AFP cited provincial police chief Bonfilo Dacoco as saying. Dacoco identified the man as Sammy Abubakar, 27.


A school for God-sakes? Yeah, freedom fighters.

3/06/2003

Yeah, go Harvard:

A petition supporting Israel’s right to exist and to defend itself has collected more than 1,000 student signatures since January, and organizers say they hope to present it to Representative Michael Capuano, D-Mass. before spring break.
Michael Kinsley paints an enlightening picture of the motivation and the thought process, such as it is, of left's anti-war arguments. He asserts:

"it is hard to dismiss the official reasons for this war as disingenuous without some theory about what the ulterior motive or unspoken war aim might be. George W. Bush is not taking the nation into war to avenge his father or as a "wag the dog" strategy to win re-election, as Bush's more cynical opponents have charged. He deserves more credit than that. Nor is he planning to conquer and occupy Iraq in order to bring human rights to the Iraqi people or start a chain reaction of democracy throughout the Middle East, as he and his supporters have lately augmented the official war aims. He doesn't deserve that much credit."

First off, it is intellectually lazy to dismiss the Domino Theory of Middle East Democratic Reform simply because you don't think Bush is smart enough to come up with it. Despite what Kinsley thinks, neocons have been arguing this point since plans for an Iraqi invasion were first put on the table. Yet let's even assume that this isn't Bush's motivation for attacking Iraq. Why does that make the theory any less persuasive? If Kinsley doesn't believe the liberation of Iraq won't help bring freedom to Iran and Saudi Arabia, fine, but let's hear an argument supporting that position. The motivations of the President for this war are irrelevant to the underlying analysis of whether an invasion will help democratize the Middle East.
But even more interesting is Kinsley's admission that because the left cannot buy Bush's stated rational for the war - WMD, terrorist links, etc - they need to invent their own "unspoken" rational. But why? Can't they simply argue the positive and negative effects that a war might bring? No, and I think Kinsley is admitting as much in this statement. The left can't debate the effects of the war because they know they'll loose that argument. Therefore they're forced to argue the causes for the war, claiming that because Bush has improper motivations for his attack, the action becomes illegitimate.

So what is Kinsley see as Bush's "ulterior motive?" Oil, of course. He recognizes that the left has been all over the map as to how this war is advancing the interests of the big petroleum concerns, so he lays out his view:

"The United States consumes about 20 million barrels of oil a day. Eleven million of those barrels are imported, but 9 million are from domestic oil production. Oil is oil, and when events—a war in the Middle East, or an OPEC ministers meeting in Vienna—affect the price of oil we import from Saudi Arabia and Iraq, it has the same effect on the oil produced in the United States.
In recent months, as America has threatened and prepared for war against Iraq, the price of oil has gone from the low 20s to the high 30s a barrel. American consumers, therefore, are paying an extra $15 a barrel, or $300 million a day, or over $100 billion a year as a "war premium" on the oil they consume. It's like a tax—imposed as a result of government policy—except that the government doesn't get the money. That's before the war even starts, and it is in addition to the $300 billion or so they're saying that prosecuting the war is going to cost directly. Of that $100 billion, $55 billion pays for the oil we import. But $135 million a day—a day—or more than $45 billion a year (minus some taxes) goes into the pockets of domestic oil producers."


Now Kinsley is quick to add that he doesn't "believe that President Bush is prosecuting a war against Iraq in order to enrich, or more accurately further enrich, his oil-patch cronies." You see, this is just his "paranoia" not an actual charge being leveled against the President. So Kinsley spends an entire column laying out an argument that the left's "war for oil" argument isn't unreasonable only to close the column by saying this argument is really impossible to justifiably make against the President. He claims that he cannot support a war based on the democratization of Iraq because he can't give Bush "that much credit," but then proceeds to lay out a "war for oil" argument that he's unwilling to stand by beyond the statement "all this happiness among his buddies must at least make a man like Bush, who is not plagued by self-doubt or a second thoughts in any event, even more confident as he marches forward." Amazing.

If this is the best anti-war arguments the left can put forward, I feel pretty good about my position.
Andrew Sullivan on British efforts to secure SC support through a new resolution giving Iraq a clear deadline for disarmament:

"The truth is, I fear, that France, Russia and Germany simply want to keep Saddam in power and to humiliate the United States in order to build their own relationship with the Arab satrapies and pursue their own priorities in the region. If that's their game, no compromise will satisfy them, whatever the British think. So let them veto."

He's absolutely right about the Paris-Berlin-Moscow axis, yet I don't think this is who we're ultimately trying to win over. The worst possible outcome for the United States would be to have its new resolution defeated not by a French veto but by a majority vote of Mexico and the other non-permanent members. Without knowing the details of talks between the US and the non-permanent members I can't be sure of anything, but I'd guess that if we do accept a modified second resolution it would be with the understanding that only that resolution would get the necessary 9 votes. This seems like the ideal outcome as polls show that if we have a majority of the council's approval, actual passage of a second resolution is irrelevant to Americans and Brits. France would either be forced to veto or to humiliate the Security Council, a win-win scenario for us.
Rumors are flying about President Bush's announcement of a 8:00 press conference tonight. Talk is that Bush will announce either the capture of OBL or make the final case for a war in Iraq, although the White House is denying both. My guess is, given the significant work the British are doing on a modified resolution on Iraq, Bush is going to announce both the final version of a new UN resolution on Iraq as well as a date - within a week - for a final vote. Additionally, he'll take the opportunity to press Democrats on the Estrada nomination.
I've been thoroughly disappointed with the human rights community's reaction to the Iraq debate. They've largely retreated to partisan and anti-war positions instead of realizing that war is the only method of bringing a brutal dictator to justice.

The Telegraph, however, has an amazing story about Ann Clwyd, a liberal backbencher and outspoken human rights activist who does support war for this very reason. The whole article was powerful, but I was especially moved by her description of one Iraqi political prisoner:

"It's the woman professor who haunts me most. A prisoner under Saddam, she gave birth to a girl, but couldn't feed her because the thin soup wasn't enough to provide breast milk.
When she begged the guards for milk, they beat her. She held that dead baby for three days, refusing to give it up. The temperature in the cell was stifling, the smell was horrendous, but none of the other prisoners complained. In the end, they took her away and killed her."
Just so you know - Blogger's driving me nuts today.
I've upped the odds on a second (18th) resolution by the Security Council as it now seems Blair has convinced Bush to give Saddam one (more) last shot in order to get the nine needed votes.
Unsurprisingly, the Israelis and Palestinians have differing claims on how several young boys died in an Israeli raid of Gaza today:

Palestinian witnesses said the eight were killed by an Israeli tank shell fired toward camp residents crowding around a burning building. The Israeli military said Palestinian militants trying to hit Israeli troops set off an explosion.

Given the history of Palestinian lies about Israeli actions - the Jenin "massacre," the Netzarim Junction shooting - how could any reasonable person believe the Palestinian side of events? When did unbiased reporting come to mean that you report both what happened and a lie about what happened as if both are equally possible?

3/05/2003

It's now looking likely that Turkey will allow US action from its soil, with the military coming out firmly in support of America today. General Hilmi Ozkok said:

"If we don't participate, we will suffer the same harm from war. However, our losses won't ever be compensated and we won't ever have a say in the aftermath."

Very well reasoned, General.
Not only are our arguments better than those of the anti-war crowd, but our protestors are far better looking.
Neat, I guess: The Boston Massacre occured on this date in 1770.
Brilliant piece in today's WaPo by the Czech foreign minister Martin Palous explaining why his nation joined with America to fight Iraq's totalitarian regime:

In recent weeks, we have heard it suggested that the Central and Eastern Europeans are once again behaving like servants and lackeys. As soon as we were liberated from the Soviet yoke, it is said, we immediately subjugated ourselves to the will of the United States.
In fact, the reason for our approach is not a need to serve anyone but rather our experience from the recent past. We know how dangerous and devastating totalitarian rule is -- not only for those who are enslaved by it but also for its neighbors and all of humanity. We would almost be inclined to say that such a system itself is its own worst weapon of mass destruction, not only lacking any restraints on the things it will do to subdue the people within its borders but also emanating its own deadly sort of radiation on the world scene.


Unlike the French who clearly cannot understand why the Iraqi people wouldn't want to remain under Saddam's rule, the Czechs (and the Poles, Hungarians, and other survivors of the Soviet yoke) realizing the importance of liberating the people of Iraq.

But my favorite line was when Palous politely declines France's invitation to know its place:

We follow with great concern the European debate on Iraq, and we welcome the common position adopted by the European Union's members in the past week. But although we have been advised by French President Jacques Chirac to be silent, we are convinced that we must speak up.

Diplo-speak for shove it.
Philippe de Croy over at the Volokh Conspiracy writes:

It’s in nobody’s interest to let the Estrada filibuster continue while we go to war. The situation cries out for some sort of compromise that allows both sides to save face. Here’s a suggestion: the Republicans give up on Estrada and the Democrats agree to give prompt floor votes to all other pending nominees – including (but not limited to) Owen and Pickering. The Republicans get almost everyone they want, the Democrats manage to avoid the one nominee they most don’t want, both sides win something, and the Senate can direct its attention to more pressing business. I realize this is hard on Estrada, who (as I have said) I would be inclined to support if I had a vote to cast; but a large minority of Senators fervently oppose him, rightly or wrongly, and that fact is entitled to some weight as well. In any event, a way out is needed, and soon.

I disagree. A huge part of the Republican victory last November was thanks to a base determined to see that its judges finally get a chance to be voted on. I understand what Philippe is saying about a compromise and, while he's right that his scenario would give Republicans a victory in two other important nomination battles, I see no need for compromise. Why is it in the Republicans' best interest to get this over with prior to a war? I say make the Democrats filibuster - make them actively filibuster - a qualified nominee while are troops are fighting in Iraq. Let's see where their priorities are.
Another suicide bombing today in Israel. There's not a lot I can or want to add - just that many of the passengers of the bus that was hit were students as young as 13. I guess to the Palestinians even little kids are Zionist Oppressors.
I particularly like Ash Wednesday - it's the one day of the year where Catholics are encouraged to be overtly proud of our faith.

3/04/2003

Just saw the Sheen boys' Visa ad again. Does anyone else think it's strange that this leftwing activist is doing a commercial for a company being sued for antitrust activities?
MP Carolyn "Americans . . . I hate those bastards" Parrish appeared on a Canadian talk show last night to say that she really does think America sucks (via Kathy Shaidle):

Appearing on Mr. Bullard's late-night talk show, Open Mike, the MP for Mississauga Centre rejected the TV host's suggestion that reporters took her statement out of context.
"No, no they didn't, they took it right in context," she told a studio audience of about 260 people who offered her repeated rounds of applause.


Most interesting though was her explanation of why she made the comment:

"It just came out of my mouth. It's obviously something I believe in because I've been working in Bosnia and the Middle East."

OK, maybe there are grounds to criticize our policy in the Middle East, but Bosnia? Didn't we stop the slaughter of thousands once Europe proved incapable of handling the situation? When we're hated for stopping genocide, I'm afraid nothing we do will ever win over the anti-American crowd.
Andrew Sullivan weighs in with the following criticism of Fox's morally hideous (and boring - I admit it! I watched!) Married by America:

"This is how Fox views the sacredness of marriage. And yet the same network routinely features speakers and pundits who bemoan gay people's sincere attempt to commit to one another as an assault on civilization. Motes and beams, don't you think? Or just more double standards from those who claim to support the institution of marriage, but, in reality, just want to keep homosexual citizens permanently stigmatized?"

While I agree Fox's view of the modern marriage is deplorable, his comparison between this view held by Fox and the Conservative positions of Fox News Channel is tenuous. Liberals have historically made a similar claim about network news saying that ABC, NBC, and CBS news can't be all that left-wing because that these stations are owned by major corporations. Yet major companies are in the business of making money and if putting liberals like Jennings and Rather on the air gets them ratings, that's exactly what they'll do. Similarly, Murdoch's only agenda with News Corp is profit and he's discovered that putting Kasich and O'Reilly on Fox News makes him money while reality TV has made Fox entertainment successful again. News Corp (seemingly) has given each wing editorial control over their content and each has positioned itself in the most profitable manner. There is no overlap between the editorial policies of the two nor should their be. I'd love to see more Conservatives speak out against these shows, although I suspect many don't because, like me, they actually watch Joe M and the other reality crap. But somehow saying that O'Reilly and company's pro-family positions are weakened simply because they ultimately share the same corporate owner as the producer of MbA seems like a stretch.
The BBC has a ridiculous sob-story about Pakistani illegals fleeing to Canada to escape US anti-terror regulations. One female asylum seeker, Abiya, whines:

"My dad and my brothers - they did not do anything illegally and they don't have any criminal record and stuff like that, But they were detained for two days - for no reason just for overstays, you know. Millions of people they are also living over here for many years and they also overstayed but they are not detained - why are we?"

And another, Parveen adds:

"Rules are changed, the policies are changed - after 9/11 everything has changed. I mean the media and the people are changed."

You say you've done nothing wrong. No. You overstayed your visa, that means you're here illegally. Just because we've unfortunately chosen to ignore this law in the past doesn't mean it should continue to be ignored. Yes the rules have changed - we're at war.
A new Zogby poll has Rudy Giuliani besting Senator Chuck Schumer by 45% to 40% in a theoretical 2004 senate race, a race between men with approval ratings of 62% and 77%, respectively.
Two interesting points on Schumer's favorables:
First, 17% of likely upstate voters are "not familiar" with Mr. Schumer. Come on people, he's your Senator! Secondly, his favorable/unfavorable numbers are an astonishing 47/33 among Republicans. Nearly 50% of New York Republicans like one of America's most partisan and liberal Senators? Astonishing.
More fun brought to you by the "moderate" Muslim population of Indonesia:

Jakarta, March 4 (Bloomberg) -- Aceh, Indonesia's western-most province, established the country's first Islamic Sharia courts, making it the only province in Indonesia to practice Koranic law, Detik.com reported, citing Supreme Court Judge Bagir Manan.
The province will have 19 district-level religious courts andone court of appeal, the report said. The courts can rule incriminal cases including charges of murder, thefts, adultery and alcohol consumption, and non-criminal matters such as commercial disputes, the report said.
Resource-rich Aceh started implementing Islamic Sharia law last year as part of an autonomy package the central government granted to appease calls for independence. Sharia law provides for punishments that include hand amputation for theft, and flogging or death by stoning for adultery. Selling and drinking alcohol is banned.

I had a very disconcerting conversation with a friend of mine yesterday. Although admittedly not very knowledgeable about the Church and its history, this friend does have an above-average understanding of world history as a whole. He said,

"Steve, has the Catholic Church ever found a dictator it didn't like? Louis XIV, Hitler, Franco, and on through today with Arafat and Hussein."

Now ignoring the slight historical revisionism on the Church's relations to the Third Reich, and not wanting to go back to Emperors such as Nero and Diocletian with whom the Church most certainly had disagreements, I was still very disturbed because I fear John Paul II's amazing work affecting the downfall of Communism is being forgotten among the current wave of dictator-coddling at the Vatican. Lest we forget, JPII, through his work with Solidarity in Poland was probably second only to Reagan among leaders who helped bring down the Soviet Empire. The Church had no problems picking a side in that fight. The Vatican recognized that the side representing freedom was good while the side who threw political dissenters into Gulags was bad. Yet now I worry that the great efforts of the Vatican to become a friend of freedom and liberty are being destroyed by its alliance with Arafat against a democratic Israel and by refusing to call out Hussein for his brutal repression of the Iraqi people.
It's a real shame.
This is why we needed troops in the Philippines - it's not a revolt, it's international terrorism.

3/03/2003

Islamic hardliners in Iran scored a big election victory today as Khatami's reformist allies "suffered their worst electoral defeat in six years." However the fact that just 49% of eligible voters turned out - and just 12% in Tehran - should be seen as a great sign for Iran's future. Since Khatami came to power in 1997, democrats in both Iran and America have been hoping that the "reformist" President could work within the system for liberalization. Yet it has become clear that Khatami is either unable or unwilling to make the changes needed, and this election proves the Iranian people's disenchantment with the entire Mullah-dominated system. As reformist candidate Mostafa Tajzadeh said following the defeat:

"Friday's polls mean people feel their vote in the past few years has been disrespected and is useless . . . It means people have lost hope of seeking democratic changes through the ballot."
From CNN:

[Martin] Sheen, who plays fictional U.S. President Josiah Bartlet on the NBC series, told the Los Angeles Times for a story Sunday that the show's staff has been "100 percent supportive" but top network executives have "let it be known they're very uncomfortable with where I'm at" on the war.

From twice-weekly columnists in the New York Times claiming censorship to Sheen's worry that it is his personal politics - not the increasingly preachy tone of his show - that is driving down ratings, comically predictable activists claim hardship from their politics even when none exists. Is it guilt at not making any real sacrifices to support their cause? Is it because they protest not to truly help others but to make themselves feel good? Who knows - I just sit back and laugh.
This is a good sign:

"Sen. Clinton fully supports the steps the president has taken to disarm Iraq of weapons of mass destruction," said Clinton spokesman Philippe Reines.
On the Rush Limbaugh show today, a caller was explaining his transformation from an anti-war activist to a Conservative. He had led a delegation of "traditional healers" and "tribal elders" on a prayer mission to Baghdad prior to the first Gulf War.
Rush, confused by who "traditional medicine men" were, responds,

"Oh, you mean witch doctors!"

See, this is why the right has a hard time convincing people we're not all crazed hatemongers wanting to convert everyone to Christianity. Obviously Rush didn't mean any harm by his comment, but we really can't go around calling people witch doctors if we want to seem fine with multiculturalism.
Now this is interesting:

Seven French nationals have filed a lawsuit against the President of the Palestinian Authority, Yasser Arafat, accusing him of crimes against humanity and genocide.
The seven - all relatives of Jewish victims killed during the current Palestinian uprising, or intifada - said Mr Arafat was responsible for the crimes.


It's going to be really interesting seeing the reaction to this lawsuit. My guess is that the French will grant him some form of immunity based on his position as a head-of-state, which will make getting Arafat to step aside for a democratically elected government all the more difficult.
Feel shame Brits . . . Feel shame . . .

Toyota boss: 'British staff lazier than French'
The scum roundup continues . . .

I did like this line from the BBC article on Israel's policy of targeting the families of terrorists:

"Palestinians condemn the measure as collective punishment."

So what is suicide bombing if not collective punishment?

3/02/2003

Glen Reynolds gives his take on the pro-Palestinian slant of the Catholic Church:

"the Vatican has consistently taken the side of Palestinians, and Arab Muslims generally, against Israel and Jews, to the point where I can't really believe any excuses that it's not about anti-Semitism. (I think that there have been a few minor condemnations of the increasing anti-Semitism in Europe, though I looked and couldn't find any.)"

While I'd agree that there is some anti-Semites among the Church's still largely European hierarchy, I'd say the real reason for their pro-Palestinian sentiment is the rejection of evil as a concept that I've discussed earlier. To most Conservatives, the Palestinians are so corrupted by a deep-seated hatred for the Israeli people that giving them an independent state is suicide for Israel. But what is a desire for genocide if not evil?
Yet consider how you would view the Palestinians if you took this little genocidal tendency out of the equation. If the Palestinians aren't looking to eliminate Israel - after all, cheering the indiscriminate killing of Jews would be evil - then how could they be the bad guys in this fight? Palestinians then become nothing more than a repressed minority, a people deserving of compassion.
This is what, I'd say, Church leaders are feeling today. Against all reasonable evidence, they've convinced themselves that Arafat and the rest of his thugs really do want a peaceful two state solution. From this light, it's easy to see why the Church then becomes pro-Palestinian.
It came out a while ago, but this article in Maxim is a definite "must read" for any American planning on traveling to Europe.
I laughed hard (Sorry Tim! I know it still hurts!) at Tim Blair's account of his old TV's death:

MY BEAUTIFUL TELEVISION - purchased new in May, 1985, and a life partner in eleven houses since - has just died. I don't think there was any suffering; I heard a bursting sound, then a kind of electric death crackle. Then there was nothing ... apart from the smoke. The terrible smoke.
Farewell, General GC191.