Saturday, August 27, 2011

Vampire in the Moonlight

Just when Maureen Dowd’s wrath-fueled Dick-Cheney-obsessed heart seemed to have quit its verbal throbbing at last, up she rises again to snap and snarl at him like a vampire in the moonlight.

The vice president’s effect on her has always fascinated—and repelled. Whatever’s at the root of it—did he callously refuse her an interview?—she’s come unglued over it, and her prose, which once upon a time (in the far distant past) had a kind of poison-toothed sharpness to it, is here nothing more than cartoonish aphorizing and spluttering incoherence, along the lines of what one might find splashed across the pages of an angry adolescent’s diary:

Having lost the power to heedlessly bomb the world, Cheney has turned his attention to heedlessly bombing old colleagues. . . .

[He] may no longer have a pulse, but his blood quickens at the thought of other countries he could have attacked. He salivates in his book about how Syria and Iran could have been punished. . . .
He acts like he is America. But America didn’t like Dick Cheney.

It’s easier for someone who believes that he is America incarnate to permit himself to do things that hurt America—like torture, domestic spying, pushing America into endless wars, and flouting the Geneva Conventions. . . .

A person who is always for the use of military force is as doctrinaire and irrelevant as a person who is always opposed to the use of military force.

The op-ed page of the New York Times would be an embarrassment to real editors; luckily for Miss Dowd, there dont appear to be any. She’s a little long in the fang to be thus tantruming in print, in any event. As nobody who pays her salary seems inclined to do so, putting a stop to it may necessitate the use of a cross, a wooden stake, and a tumblerful of holy water.     


Everyone has the right to a voice, even a voice so gratingly infuriating you want to still it forever with your bare hands. Say, for instance, Israel’s Independent News Center (Indy News Israel), “an English-language democratic and non-commercial collective of independent media makers that serves as the local voice of resistance against neo-imperialism in the Middle East.”  Top of its mission list: “To provide an English-language voice to resistance groups within Israel who struggle for justice and peace against the efforts of foreign powers and their agendas for our region.”

Fine. In a free society like Israel’s, even communism can live and kick. If you’re suffering a little nostalgie de la 1968, you’ll want to read the website’s fantastically idiotic About page in its entirety. But here’s a little taste:

Indy News Israel participants shall not act in a manner that endangers, intimidates or physically harms any member of the group, including by sexual harassment or acts of violence. Indy News Israel members shall strive to act in a respectful manner to other members of the collective as well as the public.  

It’s nice for us “members of the public” that the collective pledges to respect us and keep us safe from any nasty impulse that might be caught floating within the hive by some freak accident. The nasty impulse to rip off the work of others, though, doesn’t make the list. Today’s Indy News has a piece by someone called Mahmoud Abu Ghosh detailing the Palestinian Authority’s detention of a dissident professor at Nablus’s An-Najah University (really? The PA opposed to dissent? Can it be?). The trouble is, it’s a direct, no-attribution, cut-and-paste theft of an article by Khaled Abu Toameh that ran in yesterday’s Jerusalem Post.

In the struggle for justice and peace and resistance against neo-imperialism, plagiarism is apparently no crime. For the rest of us, though, it’s stealing, and Mr. Toameh would be well within his rights to join the struggle, resist agendas,” and sue the neo-imperialism out of Indy News.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Never Did I Ever

Not two months ago a Lebanese friend—a woman whos stood with fantastic bravery in opposition to the Syrian/Hezbollah puppets who have kidnapped her country over and over again—was speaking of Tahrir Square with tears in her eyes: “Never did I ever think the day would come that I would see people in the street of an Arab country demonstrating against their own government and never once burn an Israeli flag or even mention Israel.”

American Middle East “hands,” too, were disseminating that version of the Egyptian Spring as holy writ during months of celebrations over the triumph of freedom and democracy over tyranny. Doubtless many of them believed what they were saying—my Lebanese friend did so, absolutely and passionately. They certainly greeted any skepticism about the nature of the uprising with condescending dismissiveness: “This is their revolution. It has nothing to do with anything but their throwing off the shackles of a thirty-year dictatorship. No Israel, no Jews, no Palestinians. No Christians. Just Egyptians. The Muslim Brotherhood doesn’t own this thing, either. They’re diversifying, seeking to enter the political fray, tempering their Islamism.”

Of course, revolution is perforce a messy thing, whose beauty is all in the eye of the beholder. The myth these people were peddling of enmitylessness in the Springy Cairene streets had already been debunked early in the proceedings for anyone who wished to see the truth, in meticulous reporting by John Rosenthal and others.  

But whatever. Today, at any rate, there’s no mistaking the Zionist/Jew-hatred simmering hot in the Islamist Arab heart of Egypt: The Muslim Brotherhood’s insistence on abrogating the peace with Israel, the fatwa against Zionists, the death threat against the Israeli ambassador say it all. 

As for Free Egypt’s new democracy-loving leaders, they have issued a foul threat of their own (millennia of practice) to their neighbor and “peace partner”—and sole bulwark against Palestinian terror—Israel, to wit (and in rough translation): Velvet gloves, Jews, minus the iron fist, against Hamas; if not, if you go in strong and heavy and clean out the terrorists, we cannot be held responsible for the reaction of “the street.”  Now they’re bragging about Israel’s obedience. 

It remains to be seen just how long the Jewish State will tolerate the accelerating war against her by the murdering pigs who slaughter babies and turn out their mothers and their sisters to be blood whores in Gaza, ugly warnings from Pharaohland notwithstanding.

But never did I ever think the Cairene Spring would be otherwise.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Gnash Your Teeth, O Israel, and Rend Your Clothes

Tear your hair, mourn your dead, heal your wounded, and root out the bloody savages who shoot guns, mortars, and rockets at unarmed men and women going about their daily lives, and slit the throats of children and infants in their cribs.

And when you’re done with that, wrest back the Sinai from the hands of the Egyptians, who have lost the capacity, on account of the chaotic loss of capacity they’re calling “Spring”—or is it an intentional, a malign, unwillingness? Who’s to say? No “expert” expert enough—to prevent acts of terror committed against you from across that magnificent Mosaic landscape you handed over to them back in the mists of time and “Peace.”

And when you’re done with that, put the inhabitants of Arab-occupied Judea and Samaria—and their European defenders with their borne-in-the-blood anti-Semitism, and their sob-sister anti-Zionist American champions—on notice: They may go to the UN, get themselves declared a State, make Ramallah their capital—if Hamas will let them—and carry on pretending they are a noble people poised to create a civilized nation. But you know what they’re really after is the sight of your blood irrigating their olive groves, and you will never let that happen.

And when you’re done with that, send the rest of the world a message: Ha am im haGolan—the nation is with the Golan (and the Golan is part of the nation)—and you won’t be passing it along to Hizballah or Lebanon or Bashar Assad or whoever follows him in the Syrian sea of misery any time in the foreseeable future.

And when you’re done with that, turn your tear-stained faces toward the butchers of Iran.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Mengele Lives! (In the Pages of the New York Times)

This Sunday’s Times magazine features a cover story so abhorrently evocative of the twin-culling conducted at Auschwitz—first by soldiers screaming “Zwillinge!” (twins) as families spilled out of the cattle cars onto the train platform, and later by the abomination Josef Mengele during his experiments on them there—that it’s hard, even for those who ferociously despise the herd-mentality snob-fest of opinion-peddling  pretentiousness that is the New York Times, to swallow the idea that there wasn’t at least a minor insurrection against the editor of this journalistic treasure over his decision to publish what amounts to a eugenics-propaganda manual.

Is there one member of Jill Abramson’s religious order who views the subject of this article—“reduction to a singleton” for all those women who’ve spent their middle age and some not inconsiderable fortunes of money having intercourse with test tubes and basters in search of the perfect baby, but wish to avoid producing the inconvenient Zwillinge who seem more and more often to result, and fear the “chaos, stereophonic screaming and exhaustion of raising twins”; or, to put it in the native language some of us still speak, the killing in utero of one perfectly healthy twin so that women who are hormonally old enough to be grandmothers and way too irritable to be bearing children don’t have to sacrifice their peace of mind—as a piece of awfulness?  Maybe not.

The child-killing advocacy is couched in the tender understatement of current reproductive-speak—“pregnancy reduction”; “ethical dilemma”; “moral equilibrium”; “choice revolution”; “two-to-one patients” “options”—but the euphemisms are plenty crude enough, and anyway the truth will out:

Consider the choice of which fetus to eliminate: if both appear healthy (which is typical with twins), doctors aim for whichever one is easier to reach. If both are equally accessible, the decision of who lives and who dies is random. To the relief of patients, it’s the doctor who chooses—with one exception. If the fetuses are different sexes, some doctors ask the parents which one they want to keep.

Until the last decade, most doctors refused even to broach that question, but that ethical demarcation has eroded, as ever more patients lobby for that option and doctors discover that plenty opt for girls. . . .

The doctors who do reductions sometimes sense their patients’ unease, and they work to assuage it. “I do spend quite a bit of time going through the medical risks of twins with them, because it takes away a little bit of the guilt they feel,” says [one] doctor.

“I still wonder,” says a 45-year-old twin-reducer. “Did we choose the right one? — even though I wasn’t the one who chose.

That idea, that one’s gone and one’s here, it’s almost like playing God. I mean, who are we to choose? Even as it was happening, I wondered what the future would have been if the doctor had put the needle into the other one.”

That “needle into the other one” is a legacy bequeathed to the editors of New York Times, to their authors, and to their readers by the great heroine of feminists, mother of Planned Parenthood, and eugenicist Margaret Sanger, by way of Josef Mengele. The casual, unquestioning linguistic capitulation to it is a kind of depravity, and not fit to print.