Of only we – the human race – could control the cosmic forces at work in our galaxy!
To be more realistic, we could at least try to manipulate the forces that affect the climates of our own planet. The best we can do at present is make small local changes. Plant a forest and get more rain. That sort of thing. Sometimes we wonder if there’s anything we could do – for instance – to warm the planet a little. Wouldn’t that be good?
But for the foreseeable future it must remain a dream.
This is from PJ Media, by Tom Harris:
On December 15, … leading scientists appeared before the Canadian Senate Standing Committee on Energy, the Environment and Natural Resources to challenge global warming advocacy. The hearing was the first of its kind in Canada. …
Guelph University Professor of Economics Dr. Ross McKitrick led off the hearing, explaining that the foundation of the climate scare — the science as promulgated by the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) — cannot be trusted:
The so-called Climategate emails confirmed the reality of bias and cronyism in the IPCC process. … IPCC Assessments are guaranteed merely to repeat and reinforce a set of foregone conclusions that make up the party line.
McKitrick explained how his research showed that much of the warming seen in the IPCC surface temperature record is almost certainly a result of urbanization, agriculture, and other land use changes, not greenhouse gases (GHG). He also found that the 50-year record of temperatures measured by balloons does not show the warming trend forecast by climate models.
University of Ottawa (U of O) Professor of Earth Sciences Dr. Ian Clark addressed the committee:
We have not really seen any global warming for the past 10 years. … This is in stark contrast with the IPCC forecast of an increase of some 0.2 degrees per decade.
Clark explained that 20th century warming is merely one of a series of warm periods in the last 10,000 years. During these intervals, carbon dioxide — the greenhouse gas most targeted by governments around the world — was relatively steady:
CO2 had nothing to do with these warming periods.
Clark continued, showing that the last 500 million years show no correlation between temperature and CO2. He explained that water vapor is in fact responsible for the majority of the greenhouse effect. Clark also promoted the theory that the Sun, not CO2, is driving climate change. …
U of Ottawa Distinguished University Professor Dr. Jan Veizer spoke next:
Many people think the science of climate change is settled. It is not. … [The Sun] drives the water cycle; the water cycle then generates climate, and climate decides how much jungle, how much tundra and so on we will have, and therefore drives around the carbon cycle. … The sun also warms the oceans that emit CO2 into the atmosphere. Atmospheric CO2 is thus the product and not the cause of the climate.
Veizer explained that solar output must be amplified to explain recent warming:
The IPCC argues that because no amplifier is known, which is an invalid assertion, man made greenhouse gases must be responsible. … However, this is an assumption. … There is no actual empirical experimental proof that carbon dioxide is a driver.
Veizer then showed that changes in cloudiness can account for much of the past century’s warming. Clouds have an enormous impact on temperature, he explained, and cloud extent appears to be controlled largely by cosmic rays entering the atmosphere, which are regulated by the Sun.
Carleton University Professor of Geology Dr. Timothy Patterson discussed how his research in the fjords of British Columbia revealed consistent correlations between solar cycles and climate over the past 5,000 years:
Hundreds of other studies have shown exactly the same thing. … The sun, and not variations in carbon dioxide, appears to be the most important driver of climate change. … Solar scientists predict that by later in this decade the sun will be starting into its weakest solar cycle of the past two centuries, and this will likely lead to unusually cool conditions on earth, which may persist for decades. … It is global cooling, not warming, that is the major climate threat to the world.
Robert Spencer confirms our understanding that there is no distinction in reality between the Islam of those who act to bring about the destruction of Western civilization, and the Islam of 1.2 billion Muslims (or 1.4 billion – estimates vary), most of whom do not noticeably act to bring about the same end.
He writes at Jihad Watch:
The term “Islamist” is in common use to refer to Muslim individuals and organizations that adhere to Islamic law’s political aspects (most notably its denial of any legitimacy of a separation between religion and the state) and consequently most fiercely oppose America, Israel and the West in general. The implication is that Islam itself, in its authentic form, has no requisite political aspect, and no incompatibility with Western values or democratic government.
The problem with this is that it is a Western, artificial distinction, imposed by non-Muslims upon the Islamic world and lacking any real substance with reference to Islamic law as it has always been formulated by the Sunni and Shi’ite madhahib (schools of jurisprudence). Islam has always been political, and the union of religion and the state has always been essential to its political program; the idea that all this can and should be separated from Islam proper is the wishful thinking of Western analysts who do not wish to face the implications of the fact that these ideas represent mainstream Islamic thinking.
In line with this, I recently received this email from a Jihad Watch reader in Canada:
“A conversation with several friends on Facebook erupted into something quite extraordinary. An 18 year old Muslim student, from Western University and born in Mississauga had this to say about the distinction between Islam and Islamism:
‘case and point on why you dont understand Islam. No one makes this distinction [between Islam and Islamism] other then the Western world, for the sake of having a tidy little system to classify everything. Our religion and political ideology are one. Furthermore, I really wouldnt use the term islamist or Islamism. Many muslims, including myself, find the term deeply offensive.’”
In other words, in Canada, there is an entire generation of Muslims who openly subscribe to ‘Islamism’ as indistinguishable from Islam.
And that should come as no surprise. Except to willfully blind non-Muslim analysts in the West.
Islam is an evil ideology. It has no good parts or aspects, and there’s nothing in it that can be “reinterpreted” to be good. It is primitive, ignorant, and cruel. It is savagery justified by superstition, a vile survivor from the Dark Ages.
One could dispense with both terms, Islam and Islamism. Muslims hate to be called “Muhammadans”, but as followers of Muhammad, that is a perfectly apt name for them. Their religion can correctly be called “Muhammadanism”. The fact that they don’t want us to use the words to designate who they are, and the appalling creed they believe in, is no reason not to use them.
Two videos from Creeping Sharia to remind the West that Islam is waging war against us.
While leftists and other “humanitarians” in the United States and Europe are in a perpetual state of moral outrage concerning Israel’s alleged mistreatment of Palestinians, the savagery of modern-day Arab enslavement of black Africans elicits almost no reaction.
So writes Stephen Brown at Front Page in an article on the Arabs’ African slaves, particularly in Mauritania:
The most recent case highlighting this leftist hypocrisy concerns four anti-slavery activists in Mauritania, who were sentenced last week to six months in jail for protesting the enslavement of a ten-year-old girl earlier in August in Nouakchott, the country’s capital. … The convicted men belong to the Initiative for the Resurgence of the Abolitionist Movement in Mauritania (IRA), an anti-slavery NGO. …
Yet under Mauritanian law the criminal was the slave-owner:
The IRA discovered the child slave in Nouakchott, and reported the matter to police. Owning a slave was made a crime in Mauritania in 2007. It calls for a penalty of up to ten years in prison and fines ranging from US $2,000 to $4,000. A prison term of up to two years is also mandated for anyone who “facilitates” slavery. …
The law was nodded at:
The ten-year-old slave girl’s mistress… was arrested and charged but only has to report to the police once a week.
The slave child is nowhere to be found:
The child, for whom the demonstrators braved the government’s “draconian response,” is reported as still missing.
Why are the authorities allowing this obvious miscarriage of justice?
A problem in abolishing slavery in Mauritania, says one former slave, now an anti-slavery activist with SOS Esclaves, is that “the authorities themselves keep slaves.” …
SOS Esclaves is another anti-slave group in the country, which -
estimates there are about 500,000 black African slaves among the country’s population of 3.1 million. Their masters are Arab and Berber Mauritanians, who share only the same Islamic religion with their chattel. Unlike in Sudan, where the Arabs get their African slaves from old-fashioned, brutal slave raids, the Mauritanian slaves are the product of a system that has kept them in a state of bondage for generations, going back, in some cases, several hundred years. …
Laws made against slavery in Arab countries are a matter of window-dressing for Western observers. They mean little because sharia, the law of Islam, promotes slavery:
Slavery in Mauritania and other Arab countries will be difficult to eradicate. Slavery is an ingrained, centuries-old institution in Islamic countries. It is also legal under Sharia law …
From the seventh century to the twentieth, it is estimated 14 million Africans were violently enslaved and transported under harsh conditions around the Islamic world.
Black Africans became synonymous in Arab eyes with inferiority and with even something less than human. And since the Islamic world experienced no abolition movement … the black slave … continued to remain sub-human in the Arab worldview.
Which goes a long way towards explaining why black Africans are being hunted down, imprisoned, tortured, or just summarily murdered in Libya by the Libyan rebels whom the US, Britain, France, NATO are actively supporting – while the attention of those multitudes of leftists and other “humanitarians” whom Stephen Brown so rightly scorns is otherwise engaged.
The plight of the Arabs’ black slaves will not be the subject of UNESCO’s “anti-racism” convention, Durban III, to be held in New York later this month.
No doubt, like Durban I and Durban II, it will be an international hate-fest against Israel and the Jews.
Last November these countries voted against the Durban III session: Australia, Bulgaria, Canada, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Germany, Israel, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, the Netherlands, Palau, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Sweden, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, the United Kingdom and the United States. (Austria, Belgium, France, Greece, Hungary and Spain abstained.)
Governments (in addition to Israel’s) that have announced they will not be joining in the coven are those of: The Czech Republic, Canada, Australia, Germany, the Netherlands, Austria, and – reluctantly? – the US.
Should the United States refrain from any intervention in the world beyond its borders except in its own incontrovertible interest?
Or should it act as the world’s policeman? Does it have a “responsibility to protect”- if so, whom from what? Populations from their rulers? Vulnerable groups from any and all attackers?
To bring the debate to the moment and the actual, should the US keep its forces in Afghanistan after 10 years of fighting savage peasants and failing to crush them? Should there still be a US military presence in Iraq? In Germany? In South Korea? Should the US be fighting – as it is – in Libya, Pakistan, and Yemen?
Should it not be using force to stop Iran becoming a nuclear power? And immediately against Iran’s ally, Bashar Assad, the bloody tyrant of Syria?
Should it not be outspending China on defense?
Should it not be helping Georgia liberate two of its provinces from Russia?
Should it be protecting South Sudan from its northern neighbors and their Ugandan proxies? Or the Nigerian Christians from their Muslim persecutors? Or the ethnic African Muslims of Dafur from the Arab Muslims who are raping, robbing, hounding and massacring them? Or destroying the pirates of Somalia? Or putting an end to the Arab/African slave trade?
Can those who answer yes to the first question fairly be called “isolationists”?
David Harsanyi considers, in a column at Townhall, whether the label is apt when applied to those who want America to withdraw from Afghanistan and refrain from any further participation in the NATO intervention in Libya:
There’s been a lot of talk about an alleged turn in American public opinion — particularly among Republicans — toward “isolationism.”
In a recent debate among GOP presidential hopefuls, there was some discussion about ending the United States’ commitment to the tribal warlords and medieval shamans of the Afghan wilderness. This induced John McCain to complain about the rise of a new “strain of isolationism” … McCain sidekick Lindsey Graham went on to notify Congress that it “should sort of shut up and not empower Gadhafi” when the topic of the House’s potentially defunding the military — er, kinetic, non-warlike bombing activity over Libya — came up. It would be a mistake, he vented, for Republican candidates to sit “to the left” of President Barack Obama on national security.
So if you don’t shut up and stop carping about this non-war war of ours, you are abetting North African strongmen. Makes sense. It’s the return of Teddy Roosevelt-style Republicanism, in which arbitrary power (and John McCain’s singular wisdom) matters a lot more than any democratic institution.
Sure, some on the far right and swaths of the protectionist, union-driven left oppose international trade agreements and [are] endlessly freaking us out about foreign influences.
Our interpolation: Is this protectionist section of the left aware of the left-elite’s longing for world government?
But isolationists? Judging from our conduct in the real world of economy, we’re anything but insular. So perhaps McCain simply meant noninterventionists — as in folks who have an unwavering ideological aversion to any and all overseas entanglement.
That can’t be it, either. Maybe, like many Americans, some in the GOP are simply grappling with wars that never end and a war that never started.
And with plenty of troubles here at home, it’s not surprising that Americans have turned their attention inward.
We can’t be in a constant state of war. Then again, Afghanistan is not a war per se, but a precarious social engineering project that asks our best and bravest (or, as our ally Hamid Karzai calls them, “occupiers”) to die for the Afghan Constitution, which is roundly ignored — except for the parts codifying Islamic law, that is. But all these conflicts come with the price of endless involvement. We almost always win.
When and where? Since World War Two, where has America won a hot war? Oh yes – against Granada.
But we never really go home. …
Did sometimes. From Granada after victory. From Vietnam after defeat.
This week, we learned that Obama rejected the advice of lawyers at the Pentagon and the Justice Department who questioned his legal authority to continue this nonmilitary military involvement in Libya without congressional authorization. Instead, the administration offered a string of euphemisms concocted to bypass the Constitution.
Without any tangible evidence that this conflict furthers our national interests or any real proof that we are preventing a wide-scale humanitarian crisis, it’s not a surprise that Defense Secretary Robert Gates says we’re “leading from behind” — which is, in fact, as stupid and deceptive as the case it doesn’t make.
Are you an isolationist for questioning those who continue to weaken the Constitution? … Are you an isolationist for questioning this brand of obfuscation? Are you an isolationist for wanting American forces to win and leave the battlefield rather than hang around for decades of baby-sitting duty?
And Tony Blankley writes, also at Townhall:
I was one of the first GOP internationalist-oriented commentators or politicians to conclude that the Afghanistan War effort had served its initial purpose and that it was time to phase out the war. As a punitive raid against the regime that gave succor to Osama bin Laden, we had removed the Taliban government and killed as many al-Qaida and Taliban fighters as possible. …
But as the purpose of that war turned into nation building, even GOP internationalists had a duty to reassess whether, given the resources and strategy being brought to the new purpose, such policy was likely to be effective.
Now many others in the GOP and in the non-isolationist wing of the Democratic Party are likewise judging failure in Afghanistan to be almost inevitable. That is not a judgment driven by isolationism. Neither are we isolationist in our judgment (along with the opinion of Defense Secretary Robert Gates and almost the entire uniformed chain of command) that we see no national interest in Libya.
This is not isolationism; it is a rational effort at judging how best to advance American values and interests in an ever-more witheringly dangerous world.
Both Harsanyi’s and Blankley ‘s opinions are apt as far as they go.
But the problem is deeper, the questions that need to be raised about foreign policy harder than those they are answering.
Can America have a coherent foreign policy that America itself and the other states of the world can depend upon for any useful length of time? The two political parties are now so divided ideologically that foreign policy will depend on whether the president is a Republican or a Democrat. It will necessarily chop and change. Or if relations with some states stay more or less the same for a while, they will do so unreliably.
Could the very uncertainty characterize foreign policy usefully? No foreign state being secure in its relations with the US, each would have to be vigilant, tack according to the US wind, adjust to the changes. A case could be made that a Machiavellian preference to be feared by other nations rather than loved might serve America well.
But there are other developments to be considered. In countries throughout the world – led in this by Europe – there is an ideological tendency towards world government. The nation state is not liked: new political alignments, such as the European Union, are trying to phase it out. Democrats, for the most part, are in sympathy with the movement; Republicans are not. Democrats – like most leftists everywhere – have a vision of the UN turning into a world government; Republicans – many of them at least – would be happy to see the monstrous institution disbanded. It cannot continue long as it is: being a house of lies, it must fall down.
NATO is weakening. Letting Turkey into it was fatal. No longer secular, Turkey is now in the camp of Islam, inimical to the West.
The world as it was conceived to be after World War Two is changing kaleidoscopically under our eyes.
In relation to the rest of the world, what are American interests? How should they be pursued?
Should America concentrate on preserving itself as a fenced-in area of freedom on an otherwise unfree planet? That would be isolationism. Should it form a union with other as-yet-free nation-states: Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Israel? India perhaps? Honduras? Papau? …
What would such a union do, what would be in its joint interest – “spreading democracy”, “protecting civilians”, “building nations”? The questions troubling America now would trouble it jointly, and the answers remain as hard to find.
For those who have a taste for satire, here are extracts from a good one by Daniel Greenfield. It needs to be read in full. For all its bitter slant, it tells the truth clear as a trumpet blast.
We need a terrorist state. Where the politicians are terrorists, the police are terrorists and even the men sitting at the desk when you come in to drop off a form are terrorists. There are states that support terrorists, and give safe harbor to them, but that’s not good enough. We don’t want another Pakistan or Iran. We’re not half-assing it this time. What we want is the genuine article. Terrorists from the top down. Terrorists everywhere. A state where every branch of government and the entire country is nothing but terrorists.
Terroristine has been an ancient dream since 1973 or was it 1967. A generation of keffiyah draped thugs, KGB operatives and human rights activists have looked out into the darkness and called it into being. It is a vision of a country where everyone is a murderer and children are taught from a very young age that their purpose in life is to die killing people who don’t share their religion and way of life.
And now after 20 years of negotiations, treaties, suicide bombings, mutilations, billions of dollars in vanishing into Swiss bank accounts and the death of its Egyptian born leader [Yasser Arafat] of AIDS — Terroristine is closer than ever to coming into being. …
The question is can we make it happen? Yes, we can. Oh sweet Allah, yes we can.
I am proud of Obama for finally standing up to the Israelis and telling them that they must ethnically cleanse hundreds of thousands of Jews, from their ancient towns, villages and cities, to make way for Terroristine. Someone had to say it. And it was either going to be Carter or Obama.
By endorsing the 1967 borders, he endorsed the outcome of the Arab invasion of Israel in 1948. Every time his administration condemns a Jewish house in Jerusalem, he endorses the Jordanian conquest of the city. Why are the borders of the 1948 war so much better than the borders of the Six Day War? Because the Terroristinians came closer to winning that war. Came closer to driving the Yahood [Jews] into the sea and ululating over mile after mile of their corpses.
But the dream failed. Farmers armed with outdated rifles. Volunteer pilots from America and Canada. Refitted cargo ships filled with half-dead men, women and children straight from the camps. Used Czech artillery. They held off the armies of seven Terroristinian nations. Farm by farm, they stood off tanks and infantry. In Jerusalem, they fought for every house. And so the Zionist entity survived. Allah curse them. They survived.
But now it’s back to 1948 again. Every war undone. Every defeat turned to victory. Cut Jerusalem in two. Drive out the farmers. Burn their land. Dig up their graves. March the borders back to 1948. And fly the Terroristinian flag over dust and rubble.
Had they won in 1948 or 1967 or 1973, there would be no Israel and no Terroristine. The land would have become part of Syria, Egypt and Jordan. … But now there is hope for a two state solution. A state of civilization on one side and a state of terrorists on the other. Hospitals here, launching pads there. Schools here, bomb factories there. Life here, death here. …
Why do we need Terroristine? Peace. There can be no peace without a terrorist state. Not a chance of it. The only way we’ll ever have peace is to give the terrorists a country of their own. A country dedicated to terrorism. Only then will the Terroristinians finally give up on all the killing, and dedicate themselves to medical research, quantum physics and the arts. It hasn’t happened yet to. But it’s bound to. …
Would Kaddafi or Assad be killing protesters in the streets if there was a Terroristinian state? Would there be turmoil in Tunisia or Egypt? Would Saudi tanks be rolling over Shiites and Coptic churches burning if there was a Terroristine? Assuredly not. The moment the flag of Terroristine rises above the wounded hills, and its peaceful anthem, “Palestine is My Revenge” is heard in the land, then a great echoing sigh will rise up from the mouths of one billion Muslims. And the violence will cease.
The international community is impatient. Damn impatient. They want Terroristine and they want it now. The negotiations must lead to immediate productive results. Whatever Israel has offered in the past, it isn’t enough. It must offer more and more. Whatever it takes. …
Have any people suffered the way the Terroristinians have? … Have any other people been wholly subsidized by a UN agency dedicated only to them? Have any other people inspired such a stylish fashion statement?
No more excuses. The world demands Terroristine. Middle East peace demands Terroristine. How much longer can Israel expect to draw out negotiations with weak justifications about terrorism. We know they’re terrorists. That’s why we’re giving them a state. …
Yallah. One day the borders of Terroristine will stretch from Spain to Pakistan. Or beyond Why settle for Jerusalem, when we can have London, Paris and Hamburg too. Why settle for anything at all? Allah is generous to the believers. Our people are in Africa. Even China. The Great Satan himself bows toward Mecca. The old governments are falling. The Arab Spring is here. The pawns of the Kufir are fleeing before our eyes. We are all Terroristinians now. There is no other book on our shelves than the Koran. No law but Sharia in our hearts. And no nation but Terroristine. …
The profession of warrior is as respectable as any other, unless the warrior sells his skill to serve an evil cause.
The government of Somalia considered hiring Saracen International, a South African mercenary firm, to fight pirates and Islamic militants. A disapproving report in the New York Times may have squashed the idea.
Jeff Jacoby writes at Townhall:
That negative publicity may have undone the deal. The Times subsequently reported that Somali authorities “have cooled to the idea” of hiring private militiamen. “We need help,” a government official was quoted as saying, “but we don’t want mercenaries.”
Somalia certainly does need help. It is one of the world’s most unstable and violent countries. … It has been wracked for years by bloody insurgencies, and the central government, what there is of it, is under constant assault by al-Shabab, a lethal jihadist movement closely tied to al-Qaeda. Pirates plying the waters off Somalia’s shores menace international shipping.
The place is a hellhole, and each day that it remains one is another day of death and devastation for more innocent victims. Who is going to help them? The 8,000 peacekeeping troops sent in by the UN are inadequate to the job. “Western militaries have long feared to tread” there, as even the Times acknowledges. So why shouldn’t the Somali government turn to private militias for the help it so desperately needs?
It is fashionable to disparage mercenaries as thugs for hire, but private-sector warriors are as old as combat itself. Americans may dimly remember learning in grade school about the Hessian mercenaries who fought for the British during the American Revolution, but other mercenaries fought for American independence. … Many mercenaries have been heroes of American history. Among them are John Paul Jones, who became an admiral in the Russian Navy; the Pinkerton security firm, which supplied intelligence to the Union and personal protection for Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War; the Lafayette Escadrille, a squadron of American airmen who fought for France in World War I; and the Montagnards, the indigenous tribesmen who fought alongside American soldiers during the war in Vietnam. …
This is not an abstract argument. When Rwanda erupted in mass-murder in 1994, the private military firm Executive Outcomes offered to stop the slaughter for $150 million … The Clinton administration turned down the offer. In the ensuing carnage, some 800,000 Rwandans were killed.
In 1995, by contrast, the government of Sierra Leone hired Executive Outcomes to put down a savage rebellion by the brutal Revolutionary United Front. Within a year, the company had quelled the uprising and driven the rebels out. …
It may not be politically correct to suggest letting mercenaries deal with nightmares like Somalia and Darfur. But political correctness doesn’t save lives. Sending in mercenaries would.
For a state or nation to hire the expertise it lacks is eminently sensible. Somalia should hire mercenary soldiers; Zimbabwe and California should hire mercenary free-market economists; the Palestinians and Pakistanis should hire mercenary brains; the Germans should hire mercenary humorists.
But why stop there?
Many a failed state could turn into a law-and-order polity with a thriving economy if it would hire an administration.
It need not pick the personnel from one country only. It should make up a team consisting of the most competent administrators from a number of countries, most obviously the United States, Britain, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and Switzerland.
And why not hire a judiciary as well – from the same pool of mostly Anglophone lands where commonsense, rationality, learning, fair-mindedness, humane restraint, probity, and the capacity to adjudicate objectively may still be found?
The hiring state would continue to make its own laws, but would have to be open to the advice of the imported administration and judges as to what laws could and should be enacted if it wasn’t to waste its money.
We float this idea on the ether because it is a good one. We mean it seriously, but would be astonished if it were taken seriously by any failing state. We know that we don’t yet have the clout even of the failing New York Times.
Hamas, the terrorist organization that rules Gaza, is a creation of the Muslim Brotherhood, so it’s not surprising that it’s taking advantage of the failure of government in Egypt.
This comes from DebkaFile:
Gunmen of Hamas’s armed wing, Ezz e-Din al Qassam, crossed from Gaza into northern Sinai Sunday, Jan. 30 to attack Egyptian forces … They acted on orders from Hamas’ parent organization, the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood … to open a second, Palestinian front against the Mubarak regime. …
Hamas gunmen went straight into battle with Egyptian Interior Ministry special forces (CFF) in the southern Egyptian-controlled section of the border town of Rafah and the Sinai port of El Arish. Saturday, Bedouin tribesmen and local Palestinians used the mayhem in Cairo to clash with Egyptian forces at both northern Sinai key points and ransack their gun stores. …
Hamas terrorists aim to follow this up by pushing Egyptian forces out of the northern and central regions of the peninsula and so bring Egypt’s border with the Gaza Strip under Palestinian control. Hamas would then be able to break out of the Egyptian blockade of the enclave and restore its smuggling routes in full. …
For the last 30 years there has been a multinatinal force posted in the area to ensure that Sinai remains peaceful. Now for the first time it is needed to fulfil its mission and keep the peace as hostilities erupt.
So what exactly is it doing? It is going away. It is being withdrawn.
The Multinational Force & Observers (MFO), most of whose members are Americans and Canadians, are on maximum alert at their northern Sinai base, while they wait for US military transports to evacuate them to US bases in Europe.
This force was deployed in Sinai in 1981 for peacekeeping responsibilities and the supervision of the security provisions of the 1979 Peace Treaty between Egypt and Israel under which the peninsula was demilitarized except for Egyptian police. Ending the MFO’s mission in Sinai after thirty years knocks down a key pillar propping up the relations of peace between Egypt and Israel.
Early Sunday, the Egyptian army quietly began transferring armored reinforcements including tanks through the tunnels under the Suez from Egypt proper eastward to northern Sinai in effort to drive the Hamas forces back. The Egyptian troop presence in Sinai, which violates the terms of the peace treaty, has not been mentioned by either of the peace partners. Our Jerusalem sources report the Netanyahu government may have tacitly approved it.
The people of Gaza could seize this moment to overthrow the tyranny of Hamas. Will they? Right now no development in that region is predictable.
Afterword; The Egyptian military is reported to have re-sealed the Gaza border. Mubarak is reported to have fled to Sharm el-Sheikh in southern Sinai.
In Flanders Fields
composed in the trenches by John McCrae, May 1915
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
Was anyone really fooled into believing that Obamacare would provide more of the nation with better health at lower cost?
Now that the Health Care legislation has been passed and we can at last see what’s in it, as Nancy Pelosi promised we would, a great many bad things are being found in there. And a great many undesirable consequences are emerging.
Just one example of a nasty restriction buried deep: You may not be allowed to pay for treatment out of your own pocket. Section 2713 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act bans you from getting certain treatments at your own expense. You cannot buy immunizations and certain gynecological screenings, for instance, unless you first get government permission. (For more on this, see The Daily Caller here.)
And one highly undesirable consequence will be a severe shortage of doctors, as Investor’s Business Daily points out:
One of the marks of national health care is the waiting-list problem that plagues Britain and Canada. Delays in treatment have caused suffering and, in some cases, death. Soon, we’ll be waiting for doctors too.
Last week, the Association of American Medical Colleges reported that the looming doctor shortage will be worse than previous reports claim because of ObamaCare.
Rather than “a baseline shortage of 39,600 doctors in 2015, current estimates bring that number closer to 63,000, with a worsening of shortages through 2025,” says the medical college group’s Center for Workforce Studies.
Unless the country acts now, says the Center for Workforce Studies, we will be more than 91,000 doctors short in just 10 years. The number includes a shortage of 45,000 primary care physicians and 46,000 surgeons and medical specialists. …
Two years ago, the physician search firm of Merritt, Hawkins & Associates estimated that by 2020 the U.S. will need 90,000 to 200,000 more doctors than we will have. At that point, the wait to see a doctor for a routine visit would be three to four months. [Optimistically - JB.]
A year after the Merritt Hawkins report, Joseph Stubbs, president of the American College of Physicians, the country’s second-largest doctor group, talked about the arrival of “a catastrophic crisis” even before ObamaCare had been passed and signed. …
As alarming as those numbers are, the reality might be worse. The ranks will be thinned as physicians simply refuse to work under ObamaCare. In August 2009, 45% of doctors told our IBD/TIPP Poll that they would consider leaving their practices or taking early retirement if the Democrats’ version of reform were to become law. And it did.
The doctors cited various reasons behind their decisions to leave. But the most common explanations centered around the increased costs under the Democrats’ plan, the bureaucratic controls it would bring [mountains of paperwork, as in Britain - JB] and its lack of protection from runaway malpractice lawsuits. …
There’s an English proverb: “Every man at thirty is a fool or a physician.”
One might say that under Obamacare, only a fool would become a physician.