Archive for September, 2011

Fouad Ajami on the History of Palestine at the UN

September 25, 2011 Leave a comment

Fouad Ajami is a Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution and a frequent OpEd writer for the Wall Street Journal and other publications, and is/was a frequent commentator on the Talking Head TV shows, such as Charlie Rose.

He had an OpEd today in the Wall Street Journal, also available on the Hoover Institution Website:

Today’s column has a rich history of the first time that the question of Palestine as a nation came before the UN, in 1947. According to Ajami’s account, both Israel and Palestine were were to live side-by-side in a partitioned Palestine. It took some heavy lobbying, but they secured the necessary 2/3 vote for statehood.

Israel became the 58th state, while Palestine refused the 59th state, figuring that their Arab brethren would vanquish Israel.

Beyond Ajami’s vivid writing style, the history and the backstory behind those UN machinations many years ago are compelling.

A small sample of a short but worthwhile read:
“Arab diplomacy had sought the defeat of the resolution, and the Palestinians had waited for deliverance at the hands of their would-be Arab backers. The threat of war offered the Palestinians a false promise; there was no felt need for compromise. The influential secretary-general of the Arab League, the Egyptian Azzam Pasha (by an exquisite twist of fate a maternal grandfather of al Qaeda’s leader Ayman al-Zawahiri), was to tell a talented, young Zionist diplomat, Abba Eban, that the Arab world was not in a compromising mood. “The Arab world regards the Jews as invaders. It is going to fight you,” he said. “War is absolutely inevitable.”

“The partition line shall be nothing but a line of fire and blood,” Azzam Pasha warned. And history would vindicate him. Six months later, with Britain quitting Palestine without even a ceremonial handover of responsibility, war would break out.
But the scenarios of doom for the new Jewish state were not to be fulfilled. Israel held its own. And the Palestinians who had bet on the Arab cavalry riding to the rescue were to know defeat and dispossession.”


More Trouble in Minneapolis

September 20, 2011 Leave a comment

Troubling column by Ruben Rosario in the SPPP the other day, concerning the street mayhem that takes place downtown, and the apparent ennui on the part of the Minneapolis Police:

According to Rosario’s column, the five suburbanites were attacked by a gang of ne’er-do-wells no further than 30 feet from the Precinct Headquarters downtown. When one of the attacked sought assistance from the officer inside the precinct, the officer responded by a shrug of the shoulders.

The story continues by reporting when the victim tried to enter the precinct, he was told to get out. A couple of Mounted officers came to the scene, but couldn’t bring themselves to write a report on the incident.

When the victim returned to file a report later that day, once again he was stonewalled by the city, receiving nothing more than a form letter stating, “We regret that this case does not meet our threshold for investigative assignment at the present time”.

In the meantime, the city with the Boy Mayor made it an imperative to hire a Bike Coordinator.

I certainly hope that the voters in Minneapolis keep this in mind the next time they elect their Mayor/City Council. It’s another reminder to all of us that elections have consequences.

Obesity: The New Global Warming?

September 15, 2011 Leave a comment

Just in time for the Global Warming alarmists to be discredited, both by questionable science, worse politics, and misguided evangelistic zeal, here’s the latest crusade: Obesity is the new global warming.

From the Weekly Standard:

The stated goal of the fat fighters is to fashion “integrated interventions throughout society—individuals, families, local, national, and international,” as well as “interventions across the life course for all demographic groups to reinforce and sustain long-term behavioral change.” Notice that’s all demographic groups, whether overweight or not.

A job so huge and important can’t be left to free individuals making personal choices. It’s a job for the international community. Thus, obesity prevention “should be considered in relevant trade, economic, agricultural, environmental, food, and health agreements and policies.” The paper urges that the U.N. “coordinate policies and funding to prevent obesity … across its agencies” (maybe through a body like the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change?). The World Health Organization “should develop global standards, particularly for food and beverage marketing to children and for nutrient profiling.”
Just when you think it can’t be more Orwellian, consider this:
“Anti-obesity ideology holds that people are getting fatter because corporate villains wield undue influence in their greedy quest for profits, so all parties are urged to “limit the influence of commercial interests in policy making.” ”

Here’s the Money ‘graph:
“With the coming anti-obesity campaign so similar to the global-warming juggernaut, it seems clear that modern liberalism has devised a new strategy for imposing policies that it can’t attain through ordinary politicking. First, identify a crisis ostensibly caused by modern lifestyles and/or capitalism. Next, launch a multifaceted international response to prevent allegedly looming catastrophe. Third, act as if the desired policies are objective, scientific solutions. Fund it all by imposing onerous taxes on an expanding list of villainous enterprises, et voilà: Liberalism rides to the rescue. And if the strategy fails on one front, as it appears to have with global warming, find another crisis and start again. “

The Perfect Green Unicorn

September 9, 2011 Leave a comment

What a phrase that pays…

Walter Russell Mead, the author of such a memorable phrase, has the bonus of being a deep thinker. In a Post today he writes that while the ideas behind funding of some of the solar initiatives may be appealing, the concept seems to be political, rather than economic.

“This looks like the perfect green unicorn: an heirloom variety, organically raised, grass fed, free range, locally sourced.”

If Walter Russell Mead isn’t part of your reading rotation, he should be.