March 18, 2015
Who will be the first GOP presidential aspirant to follow suit?
Posted by JohnGalt at 3:51 PM
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Savor the victory a bit more
WSJ Ed Page:
President Obama might also reflect on his own contribution to Mr. Netanyahu's victory. Israelis surrounded by hostile nations sworn to their destruction are most likely to take risks for peace when they feel secure in America's support. But Mr. Obama's looming concessions to Iran’s nuclear program have united Israelis and Arabs in opposition. The President has also been so personally and overtly hostile to Mr. Netanyahu, even trying to stop and then belittling his speech to Congress, that he invited a backlash.
It isn't Mr. Obama's habit to admit error, or to be gracious to his opponents, but it would serve the interests of both nations if he were. Israel's raucous democracy is imperfect, like America's, but it is the only reliable one in the bloody cauldron of the Middle East.
Posted by John Kranz at 3:36 PM
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March 4, 2015
Deeds not words
No links to back up my assertions this time, although I looked. The video excerpt of National Security Advisor Susan Rice's speech to AIPAC most often posted is the one where she "proves" that her boss' bad deal with Iran is a good deal because she repeats the mantra "no deal is better than a bad deal."
In the same speech she said, and I have to paraphrase because I'm going from memory of seeing her say it on FNC yesterday morning - "We must judge Iran by its actions and not its words." By "words" we can consider those of Iran's president when he said, "And God willing, with the force of God behind it, we shall soon experience a world without the United States and Zionism." Setting aside for now the Islamic Republic of Iran's military exercise to sink a 1/100th scale model of a US aircraft carrier at the peak of "negotiations," this advice is quite sound. Many recent examples of deeds not matching words support Ms. Rice's statement. One such example is quite well known - "If you like your plan, you can keep your plan. If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor."
Posted by JohnGalt at 11:38 AM
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Or, as Jim Geraghty said "Great News! Obama's Drawing a New 'Red Line' with Iran! We Can Relax Now!"
@JG: Rice's speech to AIPAC
[learning to properly cite quotes...]
Has been widely reported as "openly derided." That woman has no shame; she's a natural for a Clinton appointee!
Following right after was the widely-applauded speech
by the NJ Senator with a distinctly non-jewish surname that directly contradicted Rice's most salient points.
It will never threaten Israel or its neighbors, and it will never be in a position to start a nuclear arms race in the Middle East. Not on my watch.
Let us do all we can now to get an agreement that dismantles Iranâ€™s illicit program and ensures that it will not have to be a military response
Bolded above was one of the more promiment snide tweets from Dems in response to Bibi's speech. If I tweeted, my reply to them would have been: "he has plans - it's NOBama!.
Nice to see that bi-partisanship is still alive, and sad w/o surprise to note how distant POTUS is from it.
January 27, 2015
Israel shows US an ambassador
Ron Dermer gives an impressive speech in Florida, cited here and noting:
“The Prime Minister’s visit here is not intended to show any disrespect for President Obama,” he continued. “Israel deeply appreciates the strong support we have received from President Obama in many areas – the enhanced security cooperation, heightened intelligence sharing, generous military assistance and iron dome funding, and opposition to anti-Israel initiatives at the United Nations.”
perfect opening moves.... then to answer the WHY doe Bibi wish to address congress:
Th[at] is not just the right of the Prime Minister of Israel. It is his most sacred duty — to do whatever he can to prevent Iran from ever developing nuclear weapons that can be aimed at Israel.”
along the way, saying we have learned from our history that the world becomes a more dangerous place for the Jewish people when the Jewish people are silent
Hat Tip: PowerLine
An impressive stroke; wonder if the Manhattan Media noticed? Why do so many prominent Israeli's have just-across-Mayberry names? And while I'm on a postulating parade: who's the last ambassador we had that was worth a damn?
More Bebi, now.... faster, please.
Posted by nanobrewer at 12:42 AM
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While we're reading Powerline, let's give this one a look. Perhaps there's another reason the White House doesn't want to be seen with Bibi - they're participating in the Israeli election, and not to Netanyahu's favor. Izzat legal?
Hat tip: KHOW's Mandy Connell.
July 28, 2013
Source: @tikchik (via @ConservCityGirl via @AHMalcolm)
Posted by John Kranz at 11:24 AM
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How to tell if somebody really means it when she says never again.
Yep. Reminds me of a FB meme I saw yesterday. "You go ahead and give peace a chance. I'll cover you in case things don't work out."
March 22, 2013
All Hail Taranto!
Plus, honorable mention for "Attainder? I Barely Knew Her!"
Posted by John Kranz at 5:01 PM
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September 14, 2011
Revenge of the Jews; Dem Seat Turns in NYC
AP: GOP wins in NY House race, seen as Obama rebuke
Retired media executive and political novice Bob Turner defeated Democratic state Assemblyman David Weprin in a special election Tuesday to succeed Rep. Anthony Weiner, a seven-term Democrat who resigned in June after a sexting scandal.
The heavily Democratic district, which spans parts of Queens and Brooklyn, had never sent a Republican to the House. But frustration with the continued weak national economy gave Republicans the edge.
Turner has vowed to bring business practicality to Washington and push back on spending and taxes.
The race was supposed to be an easy win for Democrats, who have a 3-1 ratio registration advantage in the district.
Turner, a 70-year-old Catholic, vowed to push back on Obama's policies if elected.
Hat Tip to Drudge for the title.
Posted by JohnGalt at 12:04 AM
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May 24, 2011
Israel: The US will trade Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton and Harry Reid to you in exchange for Benjamin Netanyahu and a member of the Knesset to be named later. Deal?
Posted by Boulder Refugee at 7:54 PM
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Nice idea BR but you need to offer Israel something it really wants. Instead of our worthless celebrity politicians let's offer them our status as host of the U.N. They could build the new Ivory Tower for World Socialism on the Golan Heights. I'll bet the votes might start to take a different vector soon afterward.
JG: I'll take that bet. Having America as the host nation hasn't made the votes noticeably pro-America; I don't imagine hanging their shingle in Israel would make them particularly pro-Israel, and a few of the usual suspects would take it as a golden opportunity for some strident Israel-bashing. Of course, there's a critical difference leaning in your favor: in the absence of John Bolton, Israel would be more likely that America to take exception and do something about it.
I would like to see the UN out of New York, and us out of the UN. How's this: we build them, at our expense, a shiny new headquarters in some foreign city that we're likely to bomb into dust someday. THAT might make for some friendlier voting...
My suggestion of the Golan Heights was that it would be in the path of invading Arab armies, or at least rockets, and this would affect diplomatic opinions through simple self-preservation.
Still laughing about JK's simile... How big is the bottle of JDH again?
The Arab armies won't come through the Golan Heights - mountainous and easy to defend. Strategic because you can hit Haifa with artillery from them, or going the other way, Damascus. Not that artillery matters much in this day of cruise missiles and smart bombs, but it mattered in 1967.
I kinda like KA's idea of putting the UN in places closer to their mission. Some candidates: Tehran, Lagos, Mogadishu, Kandahar. Maybe they'd get some work done rather than chasing the maids.
I'd favor relocating the UN to the same place we relocated Osama bin Laden. Of course, I'm also the guy who would have favored relocating the UN to Dresden in 1938. That would have either done away with a reason for the war, or firebombed two birds with one stone. Either way, a win.
JG: I value the merits of your strategy, and enjoyed it immensely. My only objection is that, given the respect that others in that neck of the dunes have for UN pronouncements (read: Saddam Hussein's submission to UN sternly-worded letters of consternation), oncoming Arab hordes would disregard the UN the way Germany disregarded the Maginot Line - with the same result.
So, you're saying the UN and its dupliplomats might get wiped out? Gee, that'd be too bad.
I still say this falls under the heading "win-win."
May 22, 2011
Remember the Sudetenland
President Obama addressed the American Israel Public Affairs Committee policy conference this morning, days after giving away Israel's most valuable bargaining chip in a negotiation that Israel's "peace partner" has no interest in negotiating over. As is usually the case, his error lies in his premise.
Now, I have said repeatedly that core issues can only be negotiated in direct talks between the parties. (Applause.) And I indicated on Thursday that the recent agreement between Fatah and Hamas poses an enormous obstacle to peace. (Applause.) No country can be expected to negotiate with a terrorist organization sworn to its destruction. (Applause.) And we will continue to demand that Hamas accept the basic responsibilities of peace, including recognizing Israel’s right to exist and rejecting violence and adhering to all existing agreements. (Applause.)
I suppose this has never been tried before. Nobody ever thought to "demand" that Israel's enemies not attack her. It does seem so simple doesn't it? Perhaps a written agreement not to invade, signed by the recognized leader of the portending aggressor would be of more value if it included such a "demand." What a different world it might be if only Neville Chamberlain had thought of this.
Instead, Chamberlain presided over an agreement that handed over the The Sudetenland to the Germans. "The Sudetenland were areas along Czech borders, mainly inhabited by ethnic Germans" and "was of immense strategic importance to Czechoslovakia, as most of its border defenses were situated there, and many of its banks were located there as well."
Posted by JohnGalt at 1:45 PM
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March 25, 2010
From the UK Telegraph:
The Israeli prime minister arrived at the White House on Tuesday evening brimming with confidence that the worst of the crisis in his country's relationship with the United States was over.
Over the previous two days, he had been feted by senior Republicans and greeted warmly by members of Congress. He had also received a standing ovation from the American Israel Public Affairs Affairs Committee, one of the most influential lobby groups in the United States.
But Mr Obama was less inclined to be so conciliatory. He immediately presented Mr Netanyahu with a list of 13 demands designed both to the end the feud with his administration and to build Palestinian confidence ahead of the resumption of peace talks. Key among those demands was a previously-made call to halt all new settlement construction in east Jerusalem.
When the Israeli prime minister stalled, Mr Obama rose from his seat declaring: "I'm going to the residential wing to have dinner with Michelle and the girls."
As he left, Mr Netanyahu was told to consider the error of his ways. "I'm still around," Mr Obama is quoted by Israel's Yediot Ahronot newspaper as having said. "Let me know if there is anything new."
Posted by Harrison Bergeron at 10:38 PM
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On the plus side, the Israelis' blinders are off. Any inclination to believe Obama's rhetoric is now gone. Israel will do what it needs to do with full knowledge that it must go alone. It is unlikely to remain patient for the endless "sanctions" routine.
Cutting Israel Loose
Three Sourcers with exceptional memories may recall an election-era comment in which The Refugee questioned a Jewish friend's fealty to Obama. Her reply was that Obama was fully committed to support and defend Israel - after all, he said so. The Refugee has not heard from her lately, but wonders if she is starting to evaluate Obama's words versus his action.
The Refugee postulates that Obama's recent over-reaction to the Jerusalem settlement-building flap is the building of a case to cut Israel loose. By trumping up a case against Israel, Obama can justify failure to confront Iran and failure to act in defense of Israel when Iran inevitably attacks, or failure to assist Israel should it feel the need to pre-emptively strike. Conspiracy theory? Maybe, but just because I'm paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get me.
Victor Davis Hanson pens a great piece in today's NRO, worthy of the full read. He does not come to the same conspiracy theory as The Refugee, but his conclusion has the same result.
So we are watching unfold a sort of Chicago-style Realpolitik, flavored with the traditional academic leftist disdain for the Jewish state. The subsequent result is not so much a cut-off of U.S. aid as a subtle shift in perception abroad: Israel’s multiple enemies now are almost giddy in sensing that America is not all that into protecting the Jewish state, intellectually or morally.
When Israel's enemies believe that it stands alone, they will not hesitate to once again attempt to annihilate it. Let's hope the IDF has a Joshua or a David in its ranks. The bible has no heroes named Barack.
Posted by Boulder Refugee at 11:26 AM
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jg: many have believed, and some Israeli leaders have obliquely admitted, that an Israel abandoned by America and being overrun by Islamists retained a nuclear option as a last resort, and nobody knows for certain how many warheads Israel possesses. Samson defeated the Philistines, even though it cost him his own life (Judges 16); hence, "the Samson option."
You're definitely right that we've been no great help to Israel of late, but I'm hoping they never have to pull that trigger.
ka: Thanks for the explanation. I had never, ever, even fathomed the notion that Israel might detonate said weapons on their own soil. My "Neutron" reference was meant to imply using those weapons on the capitol's of Israel's enemies, and any more as may be necessary to halt the invasion of Israel.
This option goes away if Tehran gets the bomb. Then it's a game of MAD [mutually assured destruction] with a madman [Ahmadinijad.] About this, America's president seems shamefully unconcerned.
I'd say it's a safe bet that the Samson option would be a last resort of the deepest extremity - just as Masada was a last resort centuries ago.
Ahm-on-a-jihad may be a madman, but if I learned nothing else from Osirak and from Entebbe, it's this: never go in against an Israeli when death is on the line.
I recently confided in dagny that I'd like to trade our president and journalists with those in Israel.
How much do you suppose we'd have to sweeten that pot?
A running back, two draft choices, and an undisclosed amount of cash.
Which is more than what Stupak's vote cost, but less than Landrieu's.
May 15, 2008
... And he smote them...
The Refugee is sure you'll hear the following quote many times if you haven't already. However, it's worth repeating. During an address to the Israeli Knesset on that country's 60th anniversary, President Bush said,
“Some seem to believe we should negotiate with terrorists and radicals, as if some ingenious argument will persuade them they have been wrong all along. We have heard this foolish delusion before. As Nazi tanks crossed into Poland in 1939, an American senator declared: ‘Lord, if only I could have talked to Hitler, all of this might have been avoided.’ We have an obligation to call this what it is - the false comfort of appeasement, which has been repeatedly discredited by history,” the president said.
This is the best "money line" of this campaign. It lays bare the foolishness of Obama's foreign policy in a way that even the most partisan cannot deny (although they will try to change the subject). The volume of Democrat howling is testament to its accuracy and effectiveness.
GWB can serve a very effective role this election by framing the argument in a way that McCain cannot. Let's hope he keeps it up.
Posted by Boulder Refugee at 5:08 PM
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Most excellent. Well done W, to actually say this in public, and well done BR, to immortalize it here. This surpasses even the now, nearly abandoned 'Bush Doctrine.'
I am stupefied and a bit amused, ls, that the Obama campaign took this personally. President Bush stood in front of the Knesset (about which the piece you link says "Dubya's first mistake? Choice of venue.") He is addressing the Israeli Parliament on the occasion of their nation's 60th anniversary.
No civilization ever fared worse from appeasement than European Jews. And like it or not, President Bush's most significant foreign party credential has been his opposition to appeasement. He fought appeasers in Europe, the MidEast, in his own State Department, and in his own and opposition parties. Oh yes, and he fought against a "Community Organizer" and State Senator from the State of Illinois as well.
That the Obama campaign heard this speech in that context and decided to be outraged strikes me as a comical acceptance of an anonymous charge. It's as if I give a speech about wife-beaters and puppy-dog kickers and you complain that I am running you down. I say "I never said anything about LatteSipper..."
I laugh at the "outrage" but I fear that Senator Obama is so thinned-skinned and Senator McCain is so obliging that we will have no real discourse in this campaign.
Based on BR's post, and much of the commentary written since Bush's speech, Obama would seem to have a lot of company in inferring that he was the target of the appeaser comments.
You're correct that a lot of the hawkish commentarial has pounced on relating this to Senator Obama. And it occurred to me that my comment contradicted br's post. But I thought, hey, I've been nice to br for three days now...
On another reading, I am going to split hairs. BR said that the speech "lays bare the foolishness of Obama's foreign policy." Not the Senator, but his policy.
President Bush said that the appeasers are wrong. BR may rightly include Senator Obama among the appeasers. My point holds that it was in no way a political attack.
Enjoy the WSJ editorial How to Enrage a Democrat.
If nothing else, we now know what it takes to make a Democrat go nuts. One word: "appeasement."
Notwithstanding that President Bush named no names in his speech to Israel's Knesset on Thursday, Barack Obama instantly called it a "false political attack." On him, of course.
GWB's comments could just as easily apply to Jimmy Carter or Nancy Pelosi. ("The road to peace goes through Damascas," - gimme a break.
The Refugee is in line with jk; me thinks Obama doth protest too much. All he had to say was, "I agree with President Bush that appeasement is wrong." Instead, he said that attacking appeasement is wrong. This is a Freudian moment if there ever was one.
As the saying goes, "If the shoe fits, wear it." Obama is giving Cinderella a run for the money in the slipper department.
December 12, 2006
I always thought Larry Miller was a liberal.
But I don't think so anymore.
[Greta Van Sustren's] guests were (INSERT INDISTINGUISHABLE ARAB NAME), from Hamas, and their attorney, Stanley Cohen. No, that's not a joke. Would that it were. Stanley Cohen, the attorney for Hamas. Check that handle again: Stanley Cohen. I mean, if you tried to make up a better name than that, you couldn't do it. Let's give it a shot, though, shall we? Irving Lefkowitz. Nah, too obvious. Lew Fishman. No, no, sounds like a carpet salesman. Isaac Bashevis Singer? Now I'm reaching. Nope, you just can't beat good ol' Stan Cohen. Yes, Stanley Cohen, folks, a hard-left, righteously indignant true-believer, an honors graduate from the William Kunstler School of Just-Not-Getting-It-And-Never-Will, who had flown all the way from New York to sit next to his wonderful client over there in not the land of milk and honey. Stanley Cohen. A man who, if he listened very carefully, would no doubt hear voices in the next room planning to blow the eyes out of more of his nieces and nephews. Stanley Cohen, and even typing that name right now and remembering this horrible man damning his own people again and again and again, I crack a nervous smile, because they're my people, too, and, God help me, if I didn't laugh, I think I might cry.
Posted by AlexC at 12:29 AM
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Yup. Actually Larry has been writing for the Weekly Standard online off and on for quite a while.
Rich Lowry once confused Dennis and Larry Miller in The Corner, causing Jonah Goldberg feign confusing (then Solicitor General) Ted Olsen with Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen.
Both Millers, Mark Steyn, and Goldberg have an incredible gift of being able to serve up harsh, razor sharp clarity with humor and deft wordplay. They can say things a "serious" column cannot and can make their points stick with humor. Each is a valuable resource in the arsenal of freedom.
December 8, 2006
How much is that peace treaty in the window?
Why hasn't Ned Lamont thought of this? Or George Soros?
Israeli gambling billionaire makes bid for peace
"Avi Shaked is offering the Palestinian prime minister US$1 billion, if he and his Israeli counterpart agree to sit down and reach a peace agreement."
If this works then I nominate Bill Gates for emperor of the world. He can just buy tranquility for every feuding tribe on the planet!
Seriously though, consider why it is that if Haniyeh and Olmert "just sit down to talk" Haniyeh gets 100 grand. Olmert? zip. And if they "reach a peace agreement" then Haniyeh gets another 900 grand. Olmert? zip.
What is this if not tacit admission that it is NOT IN THE INTEREST OF [gang of thugs calling themselves "the Palestinians"] to achieve peace?
Posted by JohnGalt at 7:22 PM
October 19, 2006
In Case You Were Wondering
Crazy guy in Iran who happens to be President.
"The Zionist regime is counterfeit and illegitimate and cannot survive," he said in a speech to a crowd in the town of Islamshahr in southwestern Tehran.
A guy who works
"The big powers have created this fraud regime and allowed it to commit all kind of crimes to guarantee their interests," he added.
for a crazy guy in North Korea.
If President Bush continues to ask North Korea to "kneel," war "will be inevitable," and it would begin on the Korean Peninsula, North Korean Gen. Ri Chan Bok told "Good Morning America" anchor Diane Sawyer, in an exclusive interview inside North Korea.
If only we had a topical quotation from Hugo Chavez, Robert Mugabe or Fidel Castro, then we'd have a crazy trifecta.
A general who impliments policies of a government who's crazy to respect a religion that can't respect itself, or it's gays, or it's women, or religious minorities, or... or... or... ad nauseum.
The U.S. military spokesman says there has been a 22 percent jump in attacks during Ramadan and the drive to secure Baghdad has "not met our overall expectations."
The spike in violence during the Islamic holy month of fasting was "disheartening" and the Americans were working with Iraqi authorities to "refocus" security measures, Maj. Gen. William B. Caldwell said.
Note 1: Out of respect, weren't we supposed to scale back our military activities around Islamic holy days? I'm glad the other side got the message. As a reward, we should treat their prisoners nicely. Maybe they'll stop the beheadings.
Posted by AlexC at 11:51 AM
October 16, 2006
Palestinians and Founders
You need a to have a lobotomy before become Secretary of State?
Rice compared the vision of Palestinian statehood to that of American independence and the civil rights battles in one of the strongest endorsements from the Bush administration to the idea of an independent Palestinian state.
"I should never have grown up in segregated Birmingham, Alabama to become the secretary of state of the United States of America," Rice said, adding that eventually, once these visions do come true, "we wonder why did anyone ever doubt that it was possible."
Remind me again of who plays the role of George Washington, Patrick Henry, Martin Luther King? I guess the by any means necessary Malcolm X strategy is evident. Benedict Arnold?
Flashback: Some Condi '08 debate here.
(tip to HotAir)
Posted by AlexC at 10:55 AM
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Yes, Hot Air. I've had my fill, Ms. Malkin, thanks.
You suggest that Rice’s rhetoric is over the top, which may be fair but you open your post with the lobotomy assertion.
Secretary Rice is talking about THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE. Not Arafat. Not Hamas. She is saying that THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE have the same right to liberty as did the American colonists. And that the United States is committed to providing THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE with democracy.
She is also right to claim it as a huge accomplishment of the current administration. While Madeline Albright broke high heels chasing Yasser Arafat out of peace talks, in a post-Saddam world, the Palestinians are living under a government freely elected. And Rice points out that many of THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE are getting buyer's remorse about their choice (and let’s not forget who the other guys were).
Rice did not compare the founding fathers to terrorists, that was contrived by Ms. Malkin.
Lastly, the photo in the JP is not adjusted very well. If she were saying something they liked, would she get a better processed photo?
I still believe in Sharansky. I still believe that the promotion of freedom is the only solution to MidEast terrorism (more so after Lawrence Wright's "The Looming Tower"). Secretary Rice is still a forceful and eloquent advocate of promoting liberty in the MidEast. Representing the State Department (the Senior Partners' envoy on Earth now that Wolfram & Hart has closed), she must advocate the diplomatic line.
She is the best Secretary of State in modern history and a compelling promoter of liberty.
Now now JK.
1) Hotair != Michelle Malkin. It's mostly other guys. As is the post I linked. But no matter. It's the messenger, not the message, I suppose.
2) Hyperbole is one thing. An absurd analogy is another.
3) Palestinian people, fine. Where are the equivalent leaders? Who's bravely throwing tea over the side of a boat? No one.
4) Here's the speech: http://www.state.gov/secretary/rm/2006/73895.htm
1) mea culpa, I thought HotAir and the post were both Michelle Malkin’s. She is innocent and ThreeSources regrets the error. "Bryan" echoes bad reporting from Nathan Guttman at the JP.
2) It is not an analogy. She did not draw the parallel or analogy, that was the work of Guttman. She compared them in terms of difficulty. She ponders the "impossibility" of MidEast peace, noting how hard the revolution, civil war and civil rights struggles looked before America made them happen.
3) You’re asking about Bryan's misrepresentation of Guttman's misrepresentation. Rice never said anything close.
4) Thanks for the link. Perhaps Bryan at Hot Air and Guttman at JP might read it.
Sorry for the all caps but I strongly feel Secretary Rice does not deserve the opprobrium dished out by Guttman, Bryan, and ThreeSources. She calls for freedom and is attacked from three unlikely sources.
October 5, 2006
Dead Sea Oil
An Israeli company has found some small amounts of oil in the Dead Sea.
Initial tests have found that the site would yield between 100 to 150 barrels daily, said Eli Tannenbaum, geologist for the Ginko oil exploration company. While this is minuscule by global standards - No. 1 producer Saudi Arabia produces 9 million barrels a day - Tannenbaum said there are signs that larger amounts of crude are nearby.
This stuff is everywhere. You just have to have the right market to produce it.
Posted by AlexC at 8:26 PM
August 12, 2006
France Sandbags US Another Time
Taranto would put that in his "Bottom Headlines of the Day." Dog bites Man. A week ago, France and the US were together Mon Dieu! on a cease fire resolution. But when we got to Turtle Bay -- stop me if you've heard this story -- France had been persuaded by Arab diplomats to pull support and demand more concessions from the forces of freedom
The WaPo has the lugubrious details.
UNITED NATIONS, Aug. 11 -- The U.N. Security Council unanimously approved a resolution Friday that calls for a halt to the fighting between Israel and Hezbollah and authorizes the deployment of 15,000 foreign troops to help the Lebanese army take control of southern Lebanon.
The resolution calls on Israel to begin withdrawing all its forces from Lebanon "in parallel" with the deployment of U.N. peacekeepers and 15,000 additional Lebanese troops. It gives the international force the mandate to use firepower but no explicit role in disarming Hezbollah, leaving the fate of the Lebanese militia to a future political settlement.
I am amazed that PM Olmert is buying into this. Charles Krauthammer pointed out that diplomacy doesn't get you things that your army doesn't win on the ground. It is perhaps a military defeat for Israel.
But I wish we had fought with France for another week and let the IDF waste a few hundred more rockets.
Posted by John Kranz at 11:13 AM
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How does the United Nations have any authority over Hezbollah? They're not a nation. They're not a party to any sort of international treaty.
Color me ridiculously skeptical.
While I'd prefer a bold, self-confident policy supporting Israel's right to anhillate Hezbollah and everyone and everything in their way, I'm largely supportive of the administration's handling of this "international crisis." They've taken the diplomatic and multilateral route so the Dems can't bash Bush with the "cowboy" argument, and the only impediment to further IDF progress is, another UN resolution! Hah!
Israel says, "We'll stop shooting on Monday." The Hezbos say, "We'll stop shooting when the Israelis are out of Lebanon." Israel says, "We'll leave Lebanon when someone else gets here to either kill or be killed by the Hezbos." Final answer: Israelis get to continue killing Hezbos.
Don't misunderestimate my analysis. I'm not saying this is some kind of picnic for Israel. Their kidnapped soldiers are still unaccounted for, and they're losing 7 soldiers per day on average in this campaign. But they have no alternative but to allow 7 or more civilian deaths per day until the end of time if they take the Democrat's prescription of "capitugotiation." Instead, the IAF is racing to occupy all the territory from the border to the Latani river. Whether held themselves or by Frenchmen with blue helmets, they'll not retreat hastily again to allow Hezbo weeds to regerminate unabated.
I'm hoping for the best and am heartened by recent incursions.
I cannot help but feel that it is a huge victory for Nasrallah, and a reminder that Islamicists can misbehave, maim and kill innocents -- then run to France and the U.N. for protection. Strong Horse, Weak Horse.
August 5, 2006
Turtle Bay Two-Step
"Countries Near Agreement on Resolution" the headline reads. In the matter of open warfare between Israel and hateful religious zealots armed with military ordnance by the hateful religious regime in Iran, an agreement to resolve the situation has nearly been reached between: Paris and Washington.
Dagny wonders, "Who is going to deliver that message to Hezbollah?" "I think it may have to be delivered to Iran on their behalf... via B-52," I quipped.
Seriously though, I think Israel should tell all the meddling busybodies in foreign capitals who seek to end Israel's vigorous self-defense that they will stop trying to kill Hezbollah fighters and destroy their weapons "just as soon as you get your ass over here and make us."
Posted by JohnGalt at 1:15 AM
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I also heard an insinuation that a "multi-national force" is in the works for deployment in southern Lebanon. The idea is, supposedly, that neither Israel or the religious fanatics with military ordnance will be threatened by the other and, therefore, fire upon them. The problem with this strategy is that the RFwMO are threatened (ideologically) by the mere EXISTENCE of Israel. Don't expect the soldiers of some other nation(s) interspersed between them to change that reality.
If a militarily capable force is placed in southern Lebanon I fear that, one day, they will be faced with a choice between shooting back (at Hizbollah) or running away. Since this "multi-national" force is purportedly intended to be led by France, we all know which option they will choose. (Will the US Army come to France's rescue - again?)
Oddly enough, the French won't participate in any UNtied Nations force (although leading the charge) until Israel and Hezbollah stop shooting at each other!
Will the Litani River become the next Maginot line?
July 19, 2006
I thought the DNC talking points after the renewal of combat in Lebanon included the line that "This is World War III." I surmised that they wanted to be able to claim that World War III began under Bush's leadership... that warmongery begets warfare.
I just listened to former supreme commander of NATO, General Wesley Clark in an interview with a local talk radio show. The first questions for the general were, "Who is our enemy and what is the name of the war we are currently in." Simple enough questions, right? Fat chance.
Clark said only Republicans like Newt Gingrich or (can't remember the other guy) call this "World War III" or "World War IV" respectively. Alternately, the General says we are not even engaged in a war. Instead, we have a "loose conglomeration of individuals trying to pursue their own ends." He admitted that they use terrorism as their method, but his solutions were all "law enforcement." The natural question then is, "Whose laws?"
The big picture of the Clark interview is that he can't see the big picture in human events. Doesn't he read the Australian newspapers? (Or he sees it but is forced to deny it because Bush named it first: Axis of Evil.) Those who deny any link between al Qaida and Iraq also deny any link between either of them and Hamas or Hezbollah. Or Iran.
In answer to the questions the General never answered:
OUr enemy is every nation, organization, or "loose conglomeration of individuals" who practice Islamofascism and attempt to impose it on others by force.
The name of the war is "The Islamist War."
There, now let's go win the frackin' thing.
UPDATE: On last night's show, Bill O'Reilly said, and I paraphrase, "Regarding the war on terror, Americans can be divided into three camps: One says bomb the crap out of them, the second says it's all America's fault, and the third says I don't want to hear about it, let's go to the beach." Dagny and I are proud members of the "bomb the crap out of them" camp.
Posted by JohnGalt at 10:57 AM
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The WSJ Ed Page suggested that September 11, 2001 was the start of World War IV, WWIII being The Cold War. This Republican is happy with that terminology. I worry more that people forget there is a war than they think it started under President Bush.
The World War appellation ties in 9-11, London, Madrid, Mumbai, and the current Israeli two front conflict.
The Islamist War ... a bit like our 2 conflicts with Iraq ... seems to be an extension of the Crusades. A clash of ideologies.
Bill O'Reilly would be another good reason not to get AlexC's 103" plasma screen. I favor a muscular response but would be loathe to characterize it as "bombing the crap out of 'em."
We've said some harsh words about President Bush over the years but I have to say that I am bursting with pride. His unwillingness to reach moral relativism, his unscripted comments with PM Blair that were caught on mic -- he is doing it right and we are very lucky to have him in the White House.
Like I said, I was paraphrasing. I think "bomb the crap out of them" was just the way I remembered it.
As for the president, I very much agree. (I'm biting my tongue now to prevent mention of the pending stem-cell bill veto. Let's debate that in a separate thread.)
I missed the paraphrase bit, mea culpa.
I would still suggest that there is more nuance in the BTCOOT demographic. Israel will lose ground as Reuters and the BBC highlight civilian casualties over the campaign.
(New post above for stem cells, BTW)
Arithmetic of Pain
It has been a few years since I have enjoyed being on the same side of an issue as Alan Dershowitz. He is reflexively leftist but he is a bright fellow and nobody can question his passion. He wears it on his sleeve.
In a guest editorial today in the WSJ, the Harvard Professor makes a good point about terrorists. They are culpable for casualties on both sides.
While Israel does everything reasonable to minimize civilian casualties -- not always with success -- Hezbollah and Hamas want to maximize civilian casualties on both sides. Islamic terrorists, a diplomat commented years ago, "have mastered the harsh arithmetic of pain. . . . Palestinian casualties play in their favor and Israeli casualties play in their favor." These are groups that send children to die as suicide bombers, sometimes without the child knowing that he is being sacrificed. Two years ago, an 11-year-old was paid to take a parcel through Israeli security. Unbeknownst to him, it contained a bomb that was to be detonated remotely. (Fortunately the plot was foiled.)
This misuse of civilians as shields and swords requires a reassessment of the laws of war. The distinction between combatants and civilians -- easy when combatants were uniformed members of armies that fought on battlefields distant from civilian centers -- is more difficult in the present context. Now, there is a continuum of "civilianality": Near the most civilian end of this continuum are the pure innocents -- babies, hostages and others completely uninvolved; at the more combatant end are civilians who willingly harbor terrorists, provide material resources and serve as human shields; in the middle are those who support the terrorists politically, or spiritually.
The laws of war and the rules of morality must adapt to these realities. An analogy to domestic criminal law is instructive: A bank robber who takes a teller hostage and fires at police from behind his human shield is guilty of murder if they, in an effort to stop the robber from shooting, accidentally kill the hostage. The same should be true of terrorists who use civilians as shields from behind whom they fire their rockets. The terrorists must be held legally and morally responsible for the deaths of the civilians, even if the direct physical cause was an Israeli rocket aimed at those targeting Israeli citizens.
Israel must be allowed to finish the fight that Hamas and Hezbollah started, even if that means civilian casualties in Gaza and Lebanon. A democracy is entitled to prefer the lives of its own innocents over the lives of the civilians of an aggressor, especially if the latter group contains many who are complicit in terrorism. Israel will -- and should -- take every precaution to minimize civilian casualties on the other side. On July 16, Hasan Nasrallah, the head of Hezbollah, announced there will be new "surprises," and the Aska Martyrs Brigade said that it had developed chemical and biological weapons that could be added to its rockets. Should Israel not be allowed to pre-empt their use?
The MSM need to pick up this point, and it would be helpful to share it with our European allies. The cop is not guilty of murder, the hostage taker is.
Posted by John Kranz at 10:16 AM
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July 18, 2006
Although Hizbullah has suffered a harsh blow from Israeli air force strikes which took out a good percentage of their available weapons, Syria was continuing to smuggle arms into Lebanon to rearm the group, IDF Operations Branch Head Major General Gadi Eisenkot said during a press briefing Tuesday.
Thus far, the IAF managed to intercept a number of trucks transporting rockets from Syria to Hizbullah, including trucks laden with the 20mm-diameter rockets with warheads like the one that hit the Haifa train depot Monday, claiming eight lives. Maj.-Gen. Eisenkot said he would be very surprised if official elements in Syria were unaware of these transports.
I have this funny feeling that this war isn't going to end in a week or two.
Posted by AlexC at 11:02 PM
The World We Don't Want
The lead editorial in today's Wall Street Journal (Free link) presciently correlates the current Israeli conflict with the Ghost of Iran future if Tehran's nuclear ambitions are not stopped.
The war between Hezbollah and Israel is a tragedy for its victims, but it could also be a clarifying moment if the world draws the proper lessons. To wit, this is a preview of what the Middle East will look like if Iran succeeds in going nuclear.
The threat of a nuclear Iran isn't primarily that the mullahs might actually use such a weapon if they got one. The more immediate threat is that Iran would use the weapon as a shield to pursue its hegemonic ambitions throughout the Middle East, promoting terrorist attacks on its enemies and intimidating anyone with the nerve to fight back. The Hamas-Hezbollah double assault on Israel is a portent of things to come unless the world gets serious about Iran's radicalism.
All the more reason to let the superior Israeli armed forces establish superiority and damage the arms turned against them.
The better and necessary response is to let Israel's counterattacks continue until Hezbollah's military power is substantially degraded. As for the G-8 and the U.N., they can be constructive by moving swiftly to impose sanctions on Iran for rejecting the generous offer to negotiate directly with the U.S. It's clear now that Tehran perceived that offer, which was promoted by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Undersecretary Nicholas Burns, as a show of weakness.
Iran is testing the world right now. And if there is to be any hope at all of a diplomatic solution to its nuclear program, the mullahs have to see that their military option won't be tolerated.
Posted by John Kranz at 11:17 AM
July 17, 2006
Stand with Israel Rally - NYC
Pamela from Atlas Shrugs attended the Stand With Israel Rally in NYC today and gives a weblog report. She has great coverage on her site 'Atlas Shrugs' including some great photos of Hillary swallowing her bile when Elie Wiesel said, "Thank God Bush is in the White House."
Great stuff Pamela! Check it out.
UPDATE: Here's the Rush Limbaugh program transcript of Pamela's "breathless" call to the show on Monday. Man, she was on fire! (And if you look close on Pamela's post, you'll see that the very first trackback ping is: Three Sources!)
Posted by JohnGalt at 4:37 PM
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Not many times I wish I lived in New York, but I would have liked to have been there.
July 16, 2006
Iranian Nukes? We'll Soon Know
We knew this was coming sooner rather than later when we witnessed the "elections" of Ahmadinejad in Iran and Hamas in the Palestinian territories. When the "imperialist" American administration and the "Hitler" and "Ghengis Khan" like Israelis did nothing to provoke open warfare with Iran, those swell Iranian mullahs grew tired of waiting. As Robert Tracinski writes, "If, in the face of repeated threats and provocation by an aggressive dictatorship, you refuse to go to war, the war will eventually come to you." Two years after the 'forward strategy of freedom' swept the Syrian army out of Lebanon, Hezbollah was under growing pressure to leave as well. No reasonable person should have expected them to leave peacefully. (What do you think they are, pluralistic democrats? No, they're Islamofascists you fools!)
A timely example of such a fool is Connecticut Senator Christopher Dodd, who said on Fox News Sunday this morning that, essentially, it's Bush's fault! Dodd attributes the military action in south Lebanon to diplomatic failure:
"It seems to be that you have to go beyond just understanding the friendship, which is important, but for Israel's benefit and our own, we have missed, I think over the last number of years, the ability to really engage in the kind of diplomatic efforts in the middle east. From 1967 up until the end of the Clinton administration, every administration has remained very, very engaged in the middle east. This administration unfortunately has seen the word diplomacy and negotiation as somehow a favor to your enemies. I think unfortunately we've allowed this time to elapse over the last several years, the resolution 1559 was adopted two years ago, and the administration's done nothing in my view to really insist that the Lebanese rid southern Lebanon of Hezbollah and so this time has gone through without really engaging in the process thus we find ourselves today, Israel certainly has the right to defend itself. What it's doing is absolutely necessary. If Lebanon and Syria will recognize that those soldiers need to be returned and also Hezbollah has to get out of southern Lebanon then I think you could bring a cease-fire about."
To be fair, it has been nearly five years since Islamofascists unilaterally slaughtered 3000 American civilians with airliners. But despite this, why is Dodd still endorsing the realpolitik appeasement cum stability strategy of the past thirty years? Does he genuinely believe that it will lead to regional and worldwide peace if we just give it another decade or three to work itself out?
I can't say whether it is a symptom or a cause of America's confusion in general, or Dodd's in particular, but there is clearly a filter in place between the events of the mideast and the front pages of America's news media. Compare some recent news excerpts in America to those in, notably, Australia:
WSJ- 'World Leadership Reacts To Escalating Mideast Violence'
"Haifa was hit with at least 20 rockets fired by Lebanese guerillas, in retaliation for a wave of bombings by Israeli airplanes early Sunday morning when about 18 powerful explosions rocked southern Beirut."
AP (via Houston Chronicle)- 'Hezbollah rocket barrage kills 8 in Haifa'
"Hezbollah's firing of at least 20 rockets at Haifa and 30 elsewhere came after Israel unleashed its fiercest bombardment yet of the Lebanese capital, starting after midnight Saturday."
And, in the most offensive of my three examples,
Chigago Tribune- '2 dead on Israeli warship; jets attack Lebanon anew'
"A draft resolution under consideration, from Lebanese Foreign Minister Fawzi Salloukh, demanded the release of Lebanese captives and detainees in Israeli prisons, and supported Lebanon's right to "liberate them by all legitimate means."
Meanwhile, Israeli warplanes renewed attacks on Lebanon early Saturday, targeting bridges, fuel depots and gas stations in the east and south, security officials said."
""You wanted an open war and we are ready for an open war," Hezbollah leader Sheik Hassan Nasrallah said in a taped statement broadcast Friday. He vowed to strike even deeper into Israel with rockets."
The clear message to American voters: The "cycle of violence" continues and Hezbollah/Lebanon are defending their sovereignty from Israeli aggression.
In contrast, Australians read the following headlines:
The Australian- 'Militants' missile hits ship with Iranian troops' help'
"Israel says the troops involved in firing the missile were from the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, an elite corps of more than 200,000 fighters that is independent of the regular armed forces and controlled by Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei."
"A military official said the group was also believed to have longer-range projectiles that could hit the Israeli commercial hub of Tel Aviv."
The Australian- 'Strikes to intensify in four-stage strategy'
"In the first stage, which began shortly after the Hezbollah incursion across the border last Wednesday, Israeli warplanes attacked missile caches in south Lebanon and elsewhere, particularly those housing long-range missiles.
Fifty caches, some hidden underground and in private homes, were reportedly destroyed. It is unclear what percentage of the 13,000 missiles known to be in Hezbollah hands that accounts for."
"In the second stage, which began early on Friday, warplanes attacked the heart of Hezbollah power, shattering high-rise buildings in south Beirut housing the militia's command structure as well as the home of Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah, who was reportedly trapped for a while in the underground command centre when the building above it collapsed."
"The third and fourth stages are still secret. However, the sources said the operation calls for each of the four stages to be more powerful than the previous one."
"Israeli officials say the international community will not force Israel to stop before its goals are achieved."
Sydney Morning Herald- 'With US backing, Israel determined to go for the kill'
"Israel's goal is to either eliminate Hezbollah as a security threat, or altogether. The broader goal of the US is to strangle the axis of Hezbollah, Hamas, Syria and Iran, which the Bush Administration believes is pooling resources to change the strategic playing field in the Middle East.
Whatever the outrage on the Arab streets, Washington believes it has strong behind-the-scenes support among key Arab leaders also nervous about the populist militants - with a tacit agreement that the timing is right to strike."
"Israel and the US would like to hold out until Hezbollah is crippled. "It seems like we will go to the end now," said Israel's ambassador to the US, Daniel Ayalon. "We will not go part way and be held hostage again. We'll have to go for the kill - Hezbollah's neutralisation."
These stories give a far different perspective on the current munitions exchanges: Israel is under attack by Iran-sponsored terrorists embedded in a third nation, Lebanon. Hezbollah rockets target Israeli civilians while Israeli laser-guided bombs target, Hezbollah rockets. Contrary to the protestations and accusations of one Christopher Dodd, the Bush adminstration has clearly been working in concert with regional and world governments to lay the groundwork for Israel to help Lebanon exorcise Hezbollah from its cities and countryside without manic diplomatic attempts to protect the terrorists.
Dodd warns that, "This could spin out of control to such a degree that we have a major, major war in the middle east." The reality is that the cold phase of that war has been raging since at least 1979, with Iran's Islamic revolution. Iran has decided it is time to turn up the heat on this war and it certainly appears that Israel, the Bush adminstration and key western governments anticipated it, were prepared for it, and are in the process of winning it.
There is little reason for concern that Israel's defense forces will fail in this effort. The two areas of concern are that diplomatic failures will allow allies like France and Russia to reverse course and, more ominously, that Iran's threat that attacking Syria " ... will definitely face the Zionist regime with unimaginable damages" portends their possession and imminent detonation of a nuclear bomb. Let us hope that western intelligence and military authorities have this matter as well in hand as they appear to have Hezbollah's rockets.
Posted by JohnGalt at 1:59 PM
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I hate to respond to a thoughtful post with an anecdote, but I have been thinking about Senator Dodd all week. I did not know he was on FNS, I have that TiVoed and will watch it soon.
I have been considering the Senator from Connecticut who is still respected by his party because I purchased some Contra Cafe coffee on July 4, and it recently showed up. The coffee is great and is grown by former freedom fighters in Nicaragua.
I think of Senator Dodd because I remember his fighting President Reagan tooth and nail. I think of he and Kris Kristofferson as leading the pro-Sandinista movement in the US. Rather than admit he was wrong, Dodd -- 20 years later -- opposed the nomination of Otto Reich to be Assistant Secretary of State. His crime? Supporting democracy against communism in the Western Hemisphere.
And one quibble. I would disagree with conflating the Iranian and Palestinian elections. The election in Iran was a farce and remains worthy of scare quotes. The election in palestinian-controlled-Isreal, however, was legitimate.
I'm not happy that they chose Hamas, though people should remember the other choice was Fatah. They were, however, real and legitimate elections and their constituencies are getting the government they deserve.
I include their number in my accounting of folks living under self elected government.
Yes, I hesitated to group them together for the reasons you mentioned, but I was trying to economize on words in this post, believe it or not. In defense I'll point out that when your democratic choices are limited by force or by "belief in unproven things" it is not a free election in either case.
I can live with this quibble though. My charming bride said she wasn't sure she shares my sanquinity that western intelligence and military authorities have this matter "well in hand."
That comment forced me to consider the source of my optimism. I re-read my own post to find the answer: The unprecented combination of Israeli resolve to "to to the end now," and not go "part way and be held hostage again," coupled with supportive words from key Arab leaders. The Israelis are implementing the Bush Doctrine and no one of consequence - not the multiculturalists of Old Europe nor the Islamic apologists of Egypt or Saudi Arabia - dares, strike that, chooses, to stand in their way. Selfishly, they all want Hezbollah "crippled" or, better yet, "neutralized."
July 14, 2006
I Chose Sides Long Ago
I don't have much to add to the debate. I suspect anybody who knows me know where I stand.
I stole the flag image from Larry Kudlow. He writes exactly what I believe.
Israel is doing exactly what is has to do. It’s messy, but it’s appropriate. Israel has every right to defend itself. Their freedom, democracy and independence depend on it. Their very existence is at stake.
Posted by John Kranz at 3:44 PM
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Just keep in your prayers that the Untied Nations stay out of it! They've known for years what Hamas and Hezbollah have been up to in Iraq, Syria, and Iran and let is slide. Now, Israel is finally doing what we should have done in 2003!
It's a miracle that Israel has shown as much restraint as it has in the past.
Imagine if Seattle were being attacked by rockets from Vancouver.
How long would we wait before visiting justice upon the Canucks?
How is it thsat the U.N. can put a resolution against Isreal together in a day or so and we are still waiting for the resolutions against N. Korea and Iran?
I'm not sure of the timing of this, sugarchuck, but the Security Council did (finally) unanimously approve a resolution that, according to Secretary Rice, condemns NK's missile launches and forbids the supply of missile components to NK from outside states. I mention this not in defense of the UN, but in appreciation of the diplomatic skill of Rice and Bolton.
I'm sure that AlexC knows that it is not the Lebanese who are launching Iranian rockets deep into Israel's cities, but Hezbollah terrorists. So Israel has a similar problem to the one we faced in Afghanistan and Iraq: killing the cancer without killing the patient.
July 13, 2006
Just What We Need
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Thursday an Israeli strike on Syria would be considered an attack on the whole Islamic world that would bring a "fierce response", state television reported.
"If the Zionist regime commits another stupid move and attacks Syria, this will be considered like attacking the whole Islamic world and this regime will receive a very fierce response," Ahmadinejad was quoted as saying in a telephone conversation with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Hasn't this happened before? The entire Islamic world decides to get it on with Israel only to get taught a lesson.
Posted by AlexC at 10:30 PM