Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Those Happy Faces

For more than sixty years it has been the recipient of aid from the United Nations, Europe and the United States. In fact, "the highest per capita aid transfer in the history of foreign aid anywhere." [Note: Commenters have noted and it has proved true that Israel actually receives more per capita than Palestine in foreign aid, the figure being $420 versus $300 per capita. This correction is hereby made. I will be more careful next time.] Statesmen all over the world have paid homage to it. It's leadership has been praised and defended by Jimmy Carter. Charities have been established to support it. Fund raising in its name takes place every day. It has been provided with security training and weaponry by the International Community. If any country deserves to be called the proud creation of enlightened diplomacy and peacemaking, this is is it. Caroline Glick says, 'Welcome to Palestine. And it is a nightmare.'

In the State of Palestine 88 percent of the public feels insecure. Perhaps the other 12 percent are members of the multitude of regular and irregular militias. For in the State of Palestine the ratio of police/militiamen/men-under-arms to civilians is higher than in any other country on earth.

In the State of Palestine, two-year-olds are killed and no one cares. Children are woken up in the middle of the night and murdered in front of their parents. Worshipers in mosques are gunned down by terrorists who attend competing mosques. And no one cares. No international human rights groups publish reports calling for an end to the slaughter. No UN body condemns anyone or sends a fact-finding mission to investigate the murders.

In the State of Palestine, women are stripped naked and forced to march in the streets to humiliate their husbands. Ambulances are stopped on the way to hospitals and wounded are shot in cold blood. Terrorists enter operating rooms in hospitals and unplug patients from life-support machines.

In the State of Palestine, people are kidnapped from their homes in broad daylight and in front of the television cameras. This is the case because the kidnappers themselves are cameramen. Indeed, their commanders often run television stations. And because terror commanders run television stations in the State of Palestine, it should not be surprising that they bomb the competition's television stations.

So it was that last week, terrorists from this group or that group bombed Al Arabiya television station in Gaza. And so it is that Hamas attacks Fatah radio announcers and closes down their radio station claiming that they use their microphones to incite murder. Because indeed, they are inciting murder. What would one expect for terrorists to do when placed in charge of a radio station?

And so it is that in the State of Palestine, journalists - whether members of terror groups or not - are part of the 88 percent of their public who are afraid. Sunday they protested outside the offices of one terror faction or another that controls the Palestinian Authority.

Speaking to The Jerusalem Post, reporter Ala Masharawi explained, "No one goes outside, no one moves without thinking twice. Gaza's streets have become terrible streets, especially at night. Gaza is a ghost town."

As the Post's Khaled Abu Toameh reported last week, in the State of Palestine, Christians are persecuted, robbed and beaten in what can only be viewed as a systematic campaign to end the Christian presence in places like Bethlehem. As Samir Qumsiyeh, owner of the Beit Sahur-based private Al-Mahd (Nativity) TV station lamented, "I believe that 15 years from now there will be no Christians left in Bethlehem. Then you will need a torch to find a Christian here."

The pseudonymous Spengler, writing in the Asia Times, argues that Palestine is partly the Frankenstein creation of Western guilt and international fantasy. They are people forced into a time trap, in a kind of ghastly ethnographic museum, except that their native dress consists of explosive wrapped round their waist, and their colorful dances celebratory gunfire fired up to rain down on their heads, because we want to remember them that way. Viewed from that perspective, the misery described by Caroline Glick is not a bug; it is a feature.

the Palestinian Arabs became wards of the United Nations after the 1947-48 War of Independence. Their numbers surged because of better medical care and nutrition than they previously enjoyed as well as child subsidies. That is why the 700,000 Arabs who fled or were driven from Israel grew into the 4 million "refugees" registered with the UN in 2002. I place the term "refugees" in quotation marks because in no other case has the third generation following a population transfer retained official refugee status.

Despite the best intentions of Shimon Peres and the Israeli socialists, it seems delusional to imagine that any combination of light industry and tourism will provide a livelihood for a Palestine with 5 million inhabitants (including the non-refugee West Bank population). The Palestinian entity cannot exist without subsidies, and it cannot extract subsidies from the West or from the Muslim world without constituting a military threat. The existential choices for Palestinians come down to dispersal or perpetual war.

The collateral damage inflicted upon the people of the Third World by the Left in pursuit of their fantasies will someday rank with the Slave Trade and the Holocaust in the annals of historical outrage. It is the last form of imperialism. And the worst.


I've added this video by following the link provided by Buddy Larsen. While I don't think all mines are good and all environmentalism is bad, I think most institutionalized environmentalism is actually run by rich people from the first world. Poor people in the Third World couldn't even begin to participate in setting the Green Agenda. In my own experience, international environmental jobs are the most sought after, high-paying and jet-setting jobs open to locals in the Third World.


Blogger Peter Grynch said...

This suggests a possible solution to the Palestinian problem- Dilution!

Open up Palestine's borders and let people from countries even worse off immigrate to get in on the international aid largesse.

Many Zimbabweans would jump at the chance if you threw in some free land, and Somalis would be quite comfortable. In a few years expect a sizeable Venezuelan presence as well.

Don't forget to tell them that the invite is BYOG (Bring Your Own Guns)!

1/30/2007 03:42:00 PM  
Blogger sam said...

If Syrian President Bashar Assad truly wants peace, let him come to Israel like assassinated Egyptian leader Anwar Sadat, so asserted Vice Premier Shimon Peres during a rare television appearance on 'Doha Debates', an annual BBC event held in the Qatari capital.


Peres was also asked to address Israel's achievements in the last war against Hizbullah, "if there were any."

Hizbullah is no longer on Israel's border and its leader Hassan Nasrallah has admitted that he would never have started the war if he had known in advance that there was even a one-percent chance of the outcome being the same, replied Peres, who went on to say that for these reasons he does not understand why there is talk of an Israeli defeat.

Learn From Sadat

1/30/2007 03:44:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmo said...

Wretchard writes, "The collateral damage inflicted upon the people of the Third World by the Left in pursuit of their fantasies will someday rank with the Slave Trade and the Holocaust in the annals of historical outrage."

Amen. But it's just as likely they'll claim the failures were due to underfunding (like U.S. schools) or was undermined by 'enemies' (the way the West 'sabotaged' the Soviet experiment).

And let's not forget to set the disastrous impact of Left's social engineering experiments, its doctrinaire DDT bans and Luddite witch-hunts against genetically modified foods in the Third World right alongside the mountain of corpses, the economic immiseration and the environmental devastation of that enslaved portion of the planet we used call the Second World. Let's also not forget the wasted lives and resources which free peoples have been forced to expend in battle with such a malignancy.

1/30/2007 03:47:00 PM  
Blogger Ticker said...


I remember the sneers with which the International Rice Research Institute, which developed high yielding rice varieties, was regarded as is still regarded by the Left. The institute was described as the devil incarnate. Incompetent. How it would be overtaken in an instant by Leftist agriculturists were they given (by whom?) a fraction of the institute's money. And I mostly believed it then because I didn't know better.

In retrospect, those Leftists were objectively making an argument for their prejudices at the price of mass starvation. It didn't bother them then, it doesn't bother them now.

1/30/2007 03:54:00 PM  
Blogger 49erDweet said...

w makes a valid point. The left doesn't really "care". Leftists only desire that they "appear to" care.
Odd. Twisted. So what else is new?

1/30/2007 04:17:00 PM  
Blogger Reocon said...

A Sunni/Shiite alliance?


January 30, 2007
U.S. Ally and Foe Are Trying to Avert War in Lebanon
BEIRUT, Lebanon, Jan. 29 — In an unusual collaboration that could complicate American policy in the region, Iran and Saudi Arabia have been mediating an agreement to end Lebanon’s violent political crisis.

Leaders of Hezbollah, the Iranian-backed party trying to overthrow Lebanon’s government, have recently visited the Saudi king in Riyadh, according to officials who attended the meeting. And Prince Bandar bin Sultan, the Saudi chief security adviser, has met with his Iranian counterpart, Ali Larijani, in Riyadh and Tehran to try to stop Lebanon’s slide into civil war.

“The only hope is for the Iranians and Saudis to go further in easing the situation and bringing people back to the negotiating table,” said Radwan Sayyed, an adviser to Prime Minister Fouad Siniora.

The Saudi-Iranian efforts have put Washington in an awkward position, since it is trying to reduce Iran’s regional influence. But since a stable Lebanon is also an American priority, American officials have watched the efforts without interfering. . . Iran and Saudi Arabia have been involved in Lebanese affairs for decades. Saudi Arabia has close ties with the Hariri family and has invested large sums of money rebuilding Beirut. Recently, as Iranian backed parties have taken over in Iraq and as Iran has tried to establish itself as the regional superpower, Saudi Arabia has begun, at American urging, to press back.

1/30/2007 04:25:00 PM  
Blogger Ticker said...

One of the most remarkable characteristics of leisure activists who have made the Third World their special "concern" is that they are truly and fundamentally ignorant of what it is like to be poor. Tim Blair posts about a British author who sneeringly wonders why Australians should work hard to attain attain aethetically meaningless goals.

He had not been to Sydney before and expected a “philistine nation” of “jolly, uncomplicated fun-seekers”. Instead, he found a city in thrall to American values and a puritan work ethic that robbed life of joy and meaning. Middle-class Sydney, he writes, is “packed with career- obsessed workaholics”. When they are not working the longest hours in the developed world, they pursue perfect bodies through joyless fitness regimes, or obsess about property prices. Always, they are looking around anxiously, in the hope that others aren’t doing better than them. ... While Britain has “its Posh and Becks”, — obvious examples of conspicuous consumption — cultural differences, including a more entrenched class system, has put the brakes on the spread of consumerism in Britain.

"The British, compared to the US or Aussies, are less easily convinced that money will get you further. The British elite have been around for an awfully long time and there is not the crassness of the Australian rich."

You see this kind of thinking all the time in the development set. One environmentalist argued that electricity was ruining the third world. That village life was so much happier back when people would sit in front of their huts and tell traditional tales. Of course he would hardly have gotten his highly paid environmentalist job if he lived in a country without light bulbs.

I recall being in one Manobo village which sold woven baskets to tourists but used plastic buckets themselves. Being able to understand the language I soon realized they were laughing at the tourists who were in paroxysms of admiration for the woven baskets. "Just let them try," they said, "to carry home water from the river in those baskets." The woven baskets look like a good deal only when you had tap water at home.

Peter Drucker, I think, told the story of how one developmental expert disparagingly related how shopgirls in the Third World bought lipstick instead of spending the money on some organic nutri-snack. But Drucker countered the shopgirls preferred the lipstick because in their context (perhaps because they were looking for boyfriends) it brought more utility than the nutri-snack.

One of the greatest conceits is the idea that a self-appointed moral superiority gives its holder the right to tell other people what to do. The bwana isn't gone; just moved to the Left.

1/30/2007 04:25:00 PM  
Blogger Ticker said...

Richard Lugar writes in the WaPo about keeping our eyes on the prize. Then we won't have to keep wringing out hands when the Saudis and the Shi'ites scheme. We can scheme too.

We need to recast the geo-strategic reference points of our Iraq policy. Some commentators have compared the Bush plan to a "Hail Mary" pass in football -- a desperate heave deep down the field by a losing team at the end of the game. Actually, a far better analogy for the Bush plan is a draw play on third down with 20 yards to go in the first quarter. The play does have a chance of working if everything goes perfectly, but it is more likely to gain a few yards and set up a punt on the next down, after which the game can be continued under more favorable circumstances.

The president's plan is an early episode in a much broader Middle East realignment that began with our invasion of Iraq and that may not end for years. Nations throughout the Middle East are scrambling to find their footing as regional power balances shift in unpredictable ways.

At the center of this realignment is Iran, which is perceived to have emerged from our Iraq intervention as the big winner. We paved the way for a Shiite government in Iraq that is much friendlier to Iran than was Saddam Hussein. Bolstered by high oil revenue, Iran has meddled in Iraq, rigidly pursued a nuclear capability, and funded Hezbollah and Hamas.

But the pendulum of Middle East politics may be swinging back against Iranian assertiveness. Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, the Gulf states and others have become increasingly alarmed by Iran's behavior and by widening regional sectarian divisions. Because of this dynamic, U.S. bargaining power in the Middle East is growing. Moderate Arab states understand that the United States is an indispensable counterweight to Iran.

This opens up opportunities for solidifying our broader strategic objectives, and it offers a backup option in Iraq. Even as the president's Baghdad strategy goes forward, we need to plan for a potent redeployment of U.S. forces in the region to defend oil assets, target terrorist enclaves, deter adventurism by Iran and provide a buffer against regional sectarian conflict. In the best case, we could supplement bases in the Middle East with troops stationed outside urban areas in Iraq. Such a redeployment would allow us to continue training Iraqi troops and delivering economic assistance, but it would not require us to interpose ourselves between Iraqi sectarian factions.

The secretary of state's recent trip to the Middle East and the dispatch of an additional aircraft carrier to the Persian Gulf showed that the administration understands the gravity of what is happening in the region. The United States should make clear to our Arab friends that they have a role in promoting reconciliation within Iraq, preventing oil price spikes, splitting Syria from Iran and demonstrating a more united front against terrorism.

Actions in Iraq should be judged according to whether it contributes to an overall victory, not according to a choice between "cut and run" and "stay the course".

1/30/2007 04:34:00 PM  
Blogger Boghie said...

I believe that 15 years from now there will be no Christians left in Bethlehem. Then you will need a torch to find a Christian here."

Didn't Emperor Nero say something similar...

Actually, Nero used Christians as torches to provide non-fossil fuel energy to light his evening atrocities. Really, not very different, eh…

1/30/2007 04:36:00 PM  
Blogger Ticker said...

I have recently shifted the Belmont Club to the "New Blogger" platform and there have been complaints that the avatars disappeared. Can any comments say whether their avatars are still visible?

1/30/2007 04:44:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

Bwana the Green Goblin:

1/30/2007 04:46:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmo said...


It's a witches brew of rigid ideology, power lust and greed. The Left wants control over that which it cannot create. It can't generate wealth and progress but will settle for controlling those who do.

The most challenging aspect of the battle is the Left's mastery of Gramscian jitsu. That is, in this case, accusing its political enemies of seeking to build an authoritarian state when the Left is engaged precisely in just such a project.

Indeed, look behind any of the Left's shrill indictments -- from stifling of dissent to war criminality -- and you will see it engaged in precisely the behavior it pretends to deplore.

Which is why the Left's Third World cruelty is presented as compassion, why all of its debilitating schemes masquerade as one form of virtue or another -- and why anyone who disagrees with them must be the opposite of virtue.

Which is also why the Left has not been, and will likely never be, called to account.

They have the power to ask the questions . . . for now.

1/30/2007 05:00:00 PM  
Blogger Meme chose said...

While it's extremely tempting, when we look at the damage they have wrought all across the planet, to ascribe evil intent to leftists of various sorts, I don't think generally speaking that's right.

A shocking level of irresponsibility, yes. Ignorance of the way other people live, yes. A level of vanity and disdain rivaling Marie Antionette, yes. A hopeless gullibility in the face of wily psychopaths, yes. A distinct blindness to the impact of proposals which just happen to benefit people like themselves, yes. A culpable willingness to resort to force in pursuit of their utopian visions, yes. I could go on, but still without alleging evil intent.

Personally I take most of them at their word when they talk about their 'good intentions', I just wish we had better ways of educating leftists out of their characteristic faults and better ways of protecting ordinary people from their consequences.

1/30/2007 05:30:00 PM  
Blogger Ticker said...

meme chose,

I'd say the ratio between the well meaning and malign in the Left is about 95-5. Most people in the Left are idealists and the 5 percent who really matter know how to exploit it. And they rig things so that their spokesmen and their martyrs come from the 95 percent. If you do a generational study of Leftist movements it will be obvious that a cohort of survivors, composed entirely of the the malign, make their way steadily make their way up the apparatus, while the rest make their way into the ranks of the legends and the pantheon of deceased heroes. That's why every Leftist movement, from the Bolsheviks to the Third World Left, eventually and by reverse natural selection, creates a class of monsters at the top, like Abimael Guzman of Peru or Jose Mario Sison of the Philippines, leading a parish of true believers, from which the occasional bitter heretic must be ruthlessly purged. Every time one of their "activists" die these vampires play it up for all that it is worth, all the while living lives of ease and luxury elsewhere. It's an old story, one which would be familiar to students of Mao, Stalin, Castro. They stand on a mountain of blood, the blood of their own.

You are right about the Left consisting mostly of the well-meaning, but the difference is, you don't hunger to squeeze that fact for what it is worth. Their leaders do.

1/30/2007 05:42:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmo said...


In most cases, I'd say you're correct. I'd add that Leftism taps into some pretty basic human characteristics among the so-called 'well-meaning' -- not only a desire to do the 'right thing', but also a darker need to be 'right' and to be seen 'doing right'. Also, envy and spite masquerading as a 'desire for social justice'. Frustration born not of powerlessness but of an unwillingness to accept or understand the nature of power, especially when it is possessed by others, even legitimately.

But I can't accept good intentions as a substitute for results -- much less an excuse for harm.

1/30/2007 05:46:00 PM  
Blogger Habu said...

There is no possiblity of Islam ever accepting the values of the Enlightenment. It cannot do so- Islam would be gutted of its core tenets. It is nonsense to think otherwise. Just read the Qur'an and the ahadith, and the sunnah. Read ibn Ishaq's hagiography of Mo (uswa hasana, al-insan al-kamil)- and contrast it to the message of the Buddha or Jesus Christ. And Locke, Voltaire, Rousseau, Mills, Austin, Bentham, etc

1/30/2007 05:46:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmo said...


Leisure activists, like others who think possessing a passport confers worldliness and multi-cultural bonafides, are often the first to engage in chauvinist values projection they insist comes only from ignorant provincials.

It's hard to explain to someone decrying 'third world sweatshops' why workers in developing countries don't go from subsistence farming (or destitution) to union scale and a pension in one go; why modernization is a process, not an event, etc., etc.

How do you explain all of this to people who live in the Western Pleasuredome -- but think everyone else lives in a bubble?

1/30/2007 05:49:00 PM  
Blogger Habu said...

before this country becomes a bigger nightmare just when are we going to round up the Muslims and deport them?

Yes, even the native born Americans.
How long do you think it will take Keith Ellison on the Judiciary Commmittee to start introducing Sharia law into bills?

When an attack comes to US soil again how long will it take to kill a sizeable portion of the Muslim Community in the US.
You do realize it will happen, both the attack and the retribution.
I say they'll lose 20% within a week and most of the mosques. Whose gonna protect them..all our troops are deployed and the cops as in LA in '65 and Rodney King will just be onlookers.

1/30/2007 05:59:00 PM  
Blogger Ticker said...


I fear the backlash, not in the least because ordinary Muslims, like people in the Left, are just people. The other day I set next to three giggly Muslim girls, with headcloths, all talking about what they were going to shop for and where they were going to eat afterward. None of them deserves to be strung up. We all know people worse than "them", some of them our acquaintances and in-laws, maybe, who deserve worse than these girls.

But here again we are the mercy of what Cosmo called the Western Pleasuredome. The Left is going to stop us from going after the killers, the very same killers who would "honor kill" these ladies in a heartbeat because they live in a world of fantasy. But the characteristic of fantasy is that, when reality comes, the adjustment is not only abrupt but often as unreasoned as the initial fantasy itself.

If, heaven forbid, a nuclear or biological attack should strike a Western city, these very same sensitive people, who only yesterday were worrying about whether their oranges were organically grown, will have to grope through a toxic, radioactive city. And they will respond with the same primal hysteria. My bet is that, in their fear and terror, they will demand that we kill "them" all. If Global Warming terrifies them, when they can only imagine it, wait until they walk through a city blinded, burned and faces slashed to ribbons by flying glass. Bummer, man.

In the end fantasy is maintained by ignorance. Living in a Bubble is not a condition, it's a way of life. And for the poor people in the Third World, who must live according to the edicts of those in the Bubble, fate will be crueler than has been vouchsafed to the Palestinians.

1/30/2007 06:17:00 PM  
Blogger Peter Grynch said...

Interesting factoid: Banning DDT has resulted in 43,000,000 deaths frm malaria. Malarial deaths before the ban had decreased so sharply that it was believed malaria would be ttally eradicated.

Since many third-world countries have limited health care budgets, the resources devted to treating malaria victims would therwise be used t prevent more millions f preventable AIDS deaths.

Thank you Rachel Corrie, "Silent Spring" indeed...

1/30/2007 06:33:00 PM  
Blogger Habu said...

Much of what you say is right,correct, and sane.

The way man reacts to attacks by antithethical philosophies and religions of course is not. Is there a tower high enough and a bull horm loud enough to stop the retribution. No.
The little girls will be as innocent as those who were killed in any war you care to name. That is the way it is. One thing currently restrains an Islamic backlash in this country right now and that is that our leaders have steadfastly refused to acknowleged publicly what the citizenry knows. That a clash of cultures has been underway for decades. Once a leader emerges who will utter that truth Islam in this country will be an untenable philosophy to maintain as will the lives who adhere to that philosophy.
And one thing is certain. A credible leader will make that statement.

1/30/2007 06:36:00 PM  
Blogger Alexis said...


What you're talking about sounds like the old argument about loggers and old growth forests. I'm one of the few environmentalists who thinks creating alternative work for loggers is crucial to real environmentalism. You're right that too many others just don't care.

One wonders why leftists couldn't try to use green politics as foreign aid. For example, why not give away windmills as foreign aid? Villagers get subsidized electricity, environmentalists promote green energy, and rich lefties can use the "cause" to assuage their guilt for being so lucky in life. Win-win-win scenario. (There must be some negative side effects somewhere...)

There was a time when dams were the currency of Washington pork barrel politics. The same thing can be done with windmills, geothermal energy, and tidal electrical plants. Is it pork? Yes. Is it "wasteful spending"? So what's new? At least some good might come from "green bribery".

I live in a rural state where the local congressmen have embraced coal-fired ethanol plants. However, the greenhouse effect isn't helped by "clean coal" used to create the ethanol, it's dependent upon tariffs against third world sugar, and the price of tortillas for poor Mexicans has skyrocketed along with the price of corn. I don't want people to starve (and immigrate here en masse). I am feeling increasingly uncomfortable that my home state's economic interests are becoming increasingly dependent upon promoting the misery of people from the Third World.

1/30/2007 07:45:00 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Sorry, but $86 million to Jihadi vampires in Palistan, plus guns and bullets, is not a mental disease the Left is currently suffering from.

1/30/2007 07:51:00 PM  
Blogger Ticker said...


I'm think using resources according to the best practice is best way to live. "Environmentalism" as a philosophy is good. But it has become divorced from science and become political. And that's bad for environmentalism.

There world may indeed be warming up and the carbon models may in fact be right. But they are, like all scientific theories, just models. Not eternal truths governed by imprimatur.

The destruction of the Philippine dipterocarp forests has been accomplished by the absolute refusal to take the forests off the commons and grant land rights over them, at least to the upland tribesmen. They are no one's and hence they are everyone's. But mention "property rights", especially the "property rights of the poor" to those who secretly believe all property (except their own) is theft and you are talking to a brick wall.

Nor has there by any progress in trying to curb illegal logging by engaging in the commercial production of wood. Wood is something that is supposed to come from a sacred forest, not grown like a crop. No Greenie would hear of it.

And that's amazing, because I looked high and low for any extant example of let us say Greenpeace, sustainably managing a significant patch of forest. Say 100,000 hectares. Can you buy commercial wood from a Greenpeace woodlot? Or get fish in commercial quantities from a Greenpeace fishery? Help me, someone, if you can.

And yet they know how to tell others to manage a natural resource, even though they haven't got a shred of a working model to prove they can do it. It's like someone passing judgment on experiments without having run a single experiment themselves. Most of these environmental organizations aren't scientific institutes, they are advocacy groups. If you look at their budgetary breakdowns, they are almost entirely spent on media relations and fundraising. This is a catastrophe for real environmentalism, equivalent to letting the drug industry fall into the hands of the snake oil salesmen. I believe in pharmaceuticals as I believe in using the environment well. It's the snake oil that troubles me.

1/30/2007 08:29:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

Damn, wretchard, another magazine-quality toss-off. You is gooood, man!

1/30/2007 08:45:00 PM  
Blogger Anointiata Delenda Est said...

W said...
I'd say the ratio between the well meaning and malign in the Left is about 95-5.

But the ratio of the left that wants power over all is 100-0.

The malign 5% will achieve it by viciousness; the well meaning by 'love'.

They love you so much they'll protect you from GM rice, from social injustice, from Darwinism, from the ungrateful right, and ultimitately from reality. Heck, they'll even protect Sydneysiders from hard work - no, worse, from becoming American.

Their weapon is not the gulags, but condenscension. You just misunderstand, poor you. Nothing that 20 years studying for a PhD won't fix. Oh, the love. They'll even make it 'free', ie get somebody else to pay.

But what their love will not protect you from is their hate if you don't join their religion of anti-freedom - inspired by a deep fear of a humanity free.

And all they want in return is submission.

Sound familiar?


1/31/2007 02:35:00 AM  
Blogger plainslow said...

The industry they need, would open up prime NY Real Estate. The UN. It should be in Gaza so the diplomants can see thier handywork.

1/31/2007 05:34:00 AM  
Blogger Herr Wu Wei said...

Right now we and the Saudis are providing lots of weapons and training for Fatah in Palestine. This is not social welfare, but reportedly is the new US war time strategy. Apparently we have formed an alliance with Israel and Sunni countries like Saudi Arabia as well as old friends like Jordan & Egypt. This is to fight a proxy war against Iran & Shiite proxies like Hizbollah.

1/31/2007 06:55:00 AM  
Blogger Evan said...

I documented awhile back the extent to which the PA is a welfare racket and predicted that violence would follow the aid cutoff. It is the single biggest welfare dependency in the world.

1/31/2007 07:02:00 AM  
Blogger Cosmo said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

1/31/2007 09:11:00 AM  
Blogger Cosmo said...

ADE: I share your sentiment.

Wretchard writes:

"And yet they know how to tell others to manage a natural resource, even though they haven't got a shred of a working model to prove they can do it."

That's because it's not about results, but about throttling economic activity in order to control it.

Economic strife works to the Left's advantage, in that it increases disenchantment with free market capitalism and those presently in political power, forcing more people to see a reformed (read: socialized) state as a source of relief. A public with little understanding of, or patience for, economic fundamentals -- folks who think the President can 'create' jobs -- certainly helps.

Similarly, statists masquerading as environmentalists do not care about massive economic fallout from their proposed 'Great Leap Forward' -- the Kyoto Protocol. Mao not only remained on his virtual throne for nearly two decades after his economic delusions starved 30 million of his own people, but was able to encore with a ruinous 'Cultural Revolution'.

Unfortunately, hobbling industry and commerce through ruinous regulation, legal action, media witch hunting and soft-Left indocrination in our schools will not redound to the discredit of the Left. The impact -- but not the cause -- of the Left's economic mis-management will only be used as evidence to support more intervention and control (see: Hugo Chavez).

Look at those areas of the world which have fallen under one form of U.N receivership or another. Or recall -- those of you who've had the experience -- the shabby decrepitude of even the wealthiest communist country. Can we name a single nation developed by foreign aid and NGO busybodies, let alone an unqualified success story, like Japan, Taiwan, Singapore or South Korea?

Look at our universities, which have adopted the tactics of the 'struggle session' and 'class enemies campaign' to intimidate and indoctrinate students, and now use openly political criteria to ensure the admission of the politically-favored.

Look at our arts, entertainment and the press, all now hew -- Gang-of-Four-style -- to the service of redefined notions of 'justice', 'equality', 'diversity', 'tolerance' and such.

What Wretchard wrote about environmental know-it-alls applies to everything the Left touches.

1/31/2007 09:16:00 AM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

Cosmo's ...shabby decrepitude of even the wealthiest communist country never applies to that 5%, tho. The Nomenklatura is always fat & happy, privileged & wealthy, free of constraint from vox populi, and well-protected by a secret police.

1/31/2007 09:36:00 AM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

Why is everyone leaping in to blame "the West" and the UN? Shouldn't the dreadful Palestinians their very own selves be just the teensiest bit responsible for their own behavior and depraved evilosity?

The West didn't force them to elect and re-elect Arafat any more than the West forced Lebanon to get involved with Hizbollah. No one forced them to begin their tacky little intifada's -- that was their own stupidity and greed.

And absolutely NO one in the West introduced the Palestinians to the concept of suicide belts, blowing up civilians, and the use of photoshopped movies and pictures to disseminate their lies to a gullible audience. That is a uniquely Arab trait that we are now watching Hizbollah glom onto (with the expert aid and assistance of whatever Palestinians have managed to make it into Hizbollah-land).

If you choose to sleep with the Devil, in this case named Arafat, then you *will* become the devil yourself. I think it's the choice of every single individual Palestinian who ever wanted something for nothing that they've been behaving this way ... and the only thing they've succeeded in accomplishing is to prove "you gets what you pays for".

1/31/2007 09:44:00 AM  
Blogger weswinger said...

The book "Explaining Postmodernism: Skepticism and Socialism from Rousseau to Foucault" by Stephen R. C. Hicks provides historical perspective on how today's left can make common cause with Islamism and environmentalism without cognitive dissonance.

Picture old Jean-Jacques Rousseau dancing around naked in the woods during the day and paving the way for the Terror and the Tyrant (that would be Napoleon) with his writing at night. He'd fit right at in at Berkeley (beloved alma mater).

1/31/2007 09:48:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"If you choose to sleep with the Devil, in this case named Arafat, then you *will* become the devil yourself." (Nahncee)

Do laughing with the Devil and dancing with him count?

1/31/2007 09:58:00 AM  
Blogger Cosmo said...


You're right.

Enthusiasts for rule-by-elite-fiat don't understand that unaccountable authority (for our own good/the good of the people) always seems to end up in the hands of smooth operators and the ruthless. Starry-eyed idealists get shoved to the side -- or shot.

The result is an inevitable coalescing of power and influence into a single backscratching monolith of corruption, patronage and oppression -- with all of its attendant waste and fraud -- where fealty and connections are more valuable than merit and performance.

In the West, we get the institutionalized incompetence of secondary education in the form of teachers' unions, or the virtual tenure of gerrymandered congress critters.

In dictatorships and peoples' republics, we get vicious, often deadly struggles for supreme power concentrated in the hands of a very few.

My interpreter's parents in China, both highly educated, whiled away their retirement in a Stalinesque apartment block while I attended
dozens of drunken banquets with party members who spent most of their sober hours horsetrading favors with other similarly-connected functionaries. Oh, and the state picked up the tab for those banquests, too.

1/31/2007 11:24:00 AM  
Blogger Tiny Bunch said...

I know it's not on thread but something alexis said prompted the idea.

When the US does good with foreign aid, like building a dam or a bridge, why don't we chisel "Courtesy of the United States of America" in bold letters in the native script?

That kind of stuff keeps Senator Byrd elected in West Virginia.

1/31/2007 11:39:00 AM  
Blogger unaha-closp said...

Wretchard writes:

And that's amazing, because I looked high and low for any extant example of let us say Greenpeace, sustainably managing a significant patch of forest. Say 100,000 hectares. Can you buy commercial wood from a Greenpeace woodlot? Or get fish in commercial quantities from a Greenpeace fishery? Help me, someone, if you can.

They want to sell you commercial quantities of timber being trees undisturbed in a forest. They want to sell you millions of fish swimming peacefully in the sea. They try to sell you this on the basis that we all need these things. You're not buying?

1/31/2007 12:16:00 PM  
Blogger unaha-closp said...

To have these things for the good of our common future, is the hook.

1/31/2007 12:28:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmo said...


To the extent we're 'to blame' it is in enabling the dependency, excusing the violence and tolerating the irresponsibility you correctly deplore.

Similarly, race hustlers blaming 'whitey' for the various maladies affecting the African-American community have a point -- it's just not the one they think they're making.

It isn't racism behind things like the erosion of the African-American nuclear family -- it's the patronizing, pandering, enabling and low expectations of meddlesome white liberals which has done the most damage (intentional or not).

1/31/2007 12:36:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

I'd say that the intentionality of the "liberal plantation" damage done, probably falls within that 95% vs 5% estimatation. The 5%, people like Ted Kennedy, certainly have made careers out of running a "hands off my poor people" policy house.

1/31/2007 12:59:00 PM  
Blogger Martian Barista said...

In trying to make sense of this conflict, perhaps concisely described as the Left vs the world, I have to wonder "What is it that's colliding?"

Steven Pinker interestingly suggested that what may be clashing are different kinds of emphases hardwired into people's brains, with one bit of wiring emphasizing or construeing the "social" while another perceives the "economic." I'm not sure how exactly this would work, but perhaps its a way brains try to prioritize the salient facts present in human society, i.e. there may be few other examples of such wiring insofar as there are few other examples of such complex social behavior. So we're stuck with our brain imaging our introspection, barium and beer.

To the same point, I once had the difference between Europe and American described to me as this: "Europe built a society while America just tried to build an economy." In my own sense of the world, I think there's great congruity between those models as well as what I see as preferred on each side of the pond. Insofar as we could break down the conflict as a cultural one that's come to masquerade in politics, I feel there may be some weight to this take.

But the idea I find more interesting also comes from reading too much Steven Pinker: could the clash we are seeing now be part of an intellectual conflict between different ideas of the human mind? For instance, hardwiring vs blank slates? - with Communism or Statism or Islamism vs the rest of the world merely being the flag-bearers of some other causal trend?

And those mysterious Marxist laments of alienation, cultural hegemony, class consciousness, exploitation etc etc seem to depend upon thinking of the cause of human behavior in a certain way. Conversely, expecting that Iraqis can construct a democratic republic, I think, requires considering that the human mind may work in another way.

Where is the worse consequence for preferring one model of the human mind over another? One wrong move and you mistake incredulousness for evil, gullibility for loyalty. Effectively, do differences between these ideas even matter? Its hard to think of relations between big human organizations in terms of constituent brains, but those are the atoms, no? Or are ideas the atoms? Hell if I have a clue...


1/31/2007 01:17:00 PM  
Blogger Griswel said...

The left is on a quest for power, and their "ideas" are merely the sales package, just as equality was for communists.

Look at DDT. Which kills people, DDT or malaria? A million or more people die every year from malaria, which DDT virtually eliminated from the US, but which poor countries are unable to use (largely) because of the left. Those who live through it suffer as well.

The left does not care.

1/31/2007 01:51:00 PM  
Blogger Cedarford said...

Wretchard is wrong about the Palestinians being the worst welfare mooches on the planet, per capita.

The title of welfare queen of the ME justly goes to Israel.

Palestine gets 1.3 billion in foreign aid, with refugee camp populations in adjacent countries factored in. EU provides half that aid, with the balance coming from the USA and Arab nations - principally Iran and KSA.

Israel gets 3 billion a year from the just the US taxpayer, no strings attatched. In addition, it got 2 billion extra in the 90s for "loan guarantees, Jewish refugee resettlement loans " that no one expected them to pay back. Israel also benefits from one billion in annual aid from the wealthy Jewish Diaspora, which is conveniently in the USA the only foreign country you can donate to and get a tax deduction for.

Since 1948, the money given to the Israelis by the US taxpayer dwarfs the Marshall Plan by a factor of 4. We have given the small Jewish state more foreign aid than Latin America, the Carribean, and all of subsaharan Africa has received, combined. A telling indicator on the power of the Jewish Lobby. In addition to aid, Israel has also received some 60 billion in so-called "reparations" from Germany, Austria, and now payments from other European lands and corporations, inc. many in the uSA - for Holocaust lawsuits where lawyers give most of the settlement money to Israel.."On Behalf of All Jews".

Now, even though Israel's per capita welfare money has vastly exceeded the amount the Palestinians get, there is another argument posited by supporters of giving Israel more welfare, but cutting off the Pals:

The Palestinians have squandered their welfare money. While the Israelis have wisely used theirs to provide universal health care, build industries, cut their defense costs and establish the 16th-highest standard of living on the planet. Welfare money is wasted on the feckless Palestinians. But the Israelis know how to make money turn into more money.

Now that may be true, and akin to two welfare recipients. One who doesn't work the system that well and who blows it on cigarettes, lottery tickets, and big color TVs. The other who can really work the system, gets 4 times as much money as his naive co-recipient, invests his welfare checks in education, stocks and real estate and businesses to live well and prosperously.

While using welfare aid wisely to create social welfare systems the main donor nation can't seem to afford and a class of millionare and billionaire businessmen set up by industries created from welfare aid is laudable and commendable - Taxpayer funds for the influential and powerful are not welfare, but pure pork.

The pattern of the rest of our foreign aid, though some of it may go to Swiss bank accounts of corrupt 3rd worlders - is theoretically for allievating terrible suffering, or helping a nation develop out of poverty. Except Israel.

The question should be not only why the Palestinan welfare mooch is not restricted and monitored in use of his welfare check, but why the Israeli wealthy welfare queen is even getting a check at all.

I suspect the answer would be why a profitable multibillionaire's business got a 90 million dollar agricultural subsidy in 2006. Because the multibillionaire CAN.

1/31/2007 02:04:00 PM  
Blogger John Aristides said...

Here are the numbers on the aid we send to Israel.

Also: "There are many other costs of Israel to U.S. taxpayers, such as most or all of the $45.6 billion in U.S. foreign aid to Egypt since Egypt made peace with Israel in 1979 (compared to $4.2 billion in U.S. aid to Egypt for the preceding 26 years). U.S. foreign aid to Egypt, which is pegged at two-thirds of U.S. foreign aid to Israel, averages $2.2 billion per year."

And this: "Even excluding all of these extra costs, America's $84.8 billion in aid to Israel from fiscal years 1949 through 1998, and the interest the U.S. paid to borrow this money, has cost U.S. taxpayers $134.8 billion, not adjusted for inflation. Or, put another way, the nearly $14,630 every one of 5.8 million Israelis received from the U.S. government by Oct. 31, 1997 has cost American taxpayers $23,240 per Israeli."

If these numbers are accurate, it does raise an eyebrow on purely national interest grounds, no?

1/31/2007 02:19:00 PM  
Blogger Martian Barista said...

Griswel, Re: Malaria and DDT

If you've read this blog long enough, you'll recall Wretchard mentioning the "Golden Hour" we're perhaps late into, and how were hamstrung to efficiently use it. DDT recalls a impelling example of the squandering of a golden hour by the do-gooders you mention:

"In the period from 1934-1955 there were 1.5 million cases of malaria in Sri Lanka, resulting in 80,000 deaths. After the country invested in an extensive anti-mosquito program with DDT, there were only 17 cases reported in 1963. Thereafter the program was halted, and malaria in Sri Lanka rebounded to 600,000 cases in 1968 and the first quarter of 1969. Although the country resumed spraying with DDT, many of the local mosquitoes had acquired resistance to DDT in the interim, presumably because of the continued use of DDT for crop protection, so the program was not nearly as effective as it had been before. Switching to the more-expensive malathion in 1977 reduced the malaria infection rate to 3,000 by 2004. A recent study notes, "DDT and Malathion are no longer recommended since An. culicifacies and An. subpictus has been found resistant."["

From wikipedia

What is striking to me is how unambiguous the data is. If you remove DDT, you see upticks in Malaria incidence. Nothing performs better than it, even though DDT may no longer be the best bet against the Malaria "emboldened" by humans indecision. It really makes you wonder, why the hell would you ever stop using it? In each of the sad cases documented in Wikipedia, you see the same plausible politics: constituents or elites are alarmed at a few thousand deaths and think this too high a cost for the already morally compromised chemicals. Then lo and behold, their daeth rates increase by at least an order of magnitude. Scratch one up for the microbes.

Even with incidences of evolved Malaria, DDT is still effective because not all strains are so resistant. What a FUBAR tragedy.

Wretchard apt for the holocaust parallels. Malaria right their sorta seals the deal.

1/31/2007 02:26:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmo said...

Careful, guys, about knowing the price of everything and the value of nothing.

The good child makes the most of what comes his way and attracts more of it, gets raises in his allowance and ingratiates himself to his benefactors, schools himself and invests, innovates and creates and in the end is of value and benefit not only to those who invested and encouraged him, but to the family and community at large.

Meanwhile the delinquent squanders whatever comes his way -- be it money or opportunity -- and demands more of both, seeks shelter among doting aunts who offer uncritical sympathy, gets used and abandoned by those he believes are his friends, carries a monstrous chip around on his shoulder and blames everyone but himself for his life's serial failures.

The Palestinians -- and much of the larger, grievance-obsessed Arab and Islamic world -- are like the Steve Buscemi character in the Wedding Singer, the ne'er-do-well brother who delivers a drunken, bitter toast to the groom. Every family has someone like him. And when the requests for money turn into resentful demands, when you've put him up one too many times on the couch only to find he's swiped a few of your credit cards in order to buy more dope, there is nothing left but contempt.

Hell, we give away stuff like access to GPS systems and have a dozen carrier groups maintaining order on the high seas. We paid for the privilege of ransoming our own cities during the Cold War to protect Europe. No one's paid us back, but I know there's a return on those investments, even if they are difficult to calculate.

What's the value of efficient trade, safe sea lanes and a free Europe? I dunno, but I CAN measure the economic activity of a smoothly operating free-market global economy.

So, I wonder how much trade value, market capitalization, investor ROI, innovative products, etc., have resulted from investment in Israel and the network effects of another healthy member of the global trading community? At least they're not spewing toxic violence at the West, then blaming us for it.

1/31/2007 03:28:00 PM  
Blogger Ticker said...


You are right about Israel receiving more per capita in aid than Palestine and I have corrected and retracted the assertion on the main post.

1/31/2007 05:09:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

Israel is an ally, and has since 1947 been under steady attack by forces hostile, or at least inimical to, the interests of the USA.

Also, if and when the shit hits the fan, we're going to be damn glad to have Israel with us.

1/31/2007 06:38:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmo said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

1/31/2007 07:10:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmo said...


You took two sentences to state what took me seven paragraphs.

What was that old saying about the virtue of brevity?

Hats off.

1/31/2007 07:12:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

Cosmo, just stating the basics. Gold is great but you can't eat it. thanks for kind word.

1/31/2007 07:24:00 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

1/31/2007 08:06:00 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

US "aid" is less to Israel and more to American companies. It suffocates local Israeli companies and their prospects for local and global contracts. From my point of view, US "aid" to Israel does more harm than it does good, and I hope it would stop.

Note to Cedarford:

What you're forgetting is that for every one dollar Israel received from the US, the Arabs received ten from the Russians (then Soviets). Also, Israel paid back much of its loans, but the Arabs never did.

1/31/2007 08:41:00 PM  
Blogger Utopia Parkway said...

Here's one thought on the reason for our "aid" to Israel Israel, oil, and realism

The majority of the "aid" is currently military and 75% of the money must be spent in the US to buy US-made materiel. I'm pretty sure that this year 100% of the money will be military. See U.S. Assistance to Israel

And of course there's always this

1/31/2007 10:20:00 PM  
Blogger Robert said...

Does the per capita aid figure for Israel take into account the million and a half Arabs - presumably regarded by the Left as "Palestinians" - who live in Israel, many at the expense of and in tolerated opposition to the Israeli nation? The Israelis educate, feed and house these "Palestinians" as well as their own people.

2/01/2007 10:36:00 AM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

If your brother has been marked for death by some cult, do you lend him a hand, or not?

The former costs you a tiny fraction of a percent of your income.

The latter costs you nothing at all, unless your brother gets murdered.

If your brother gets murdered, what does that cost you? Still nothing?

Or everything?

And if next the murderers come for you--and the rest of your family?

What will that cost you?

2/01/2007 12:24:00 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...


I think the relationship is even closer than that. I'm sure that on more than one occasion I used the world "we" when referring to the US. And that's because in my mind, both countries and cultures share the same existential space. You really have to go to Israel to see and understand how much the two countries and cultures are intertwined and interlinked. From fashion, to entertainment, to food, to technology, to military tactics and equipment, to politics, the fusion of the two cultures has even been extended into everyday language with the use of "Anglicized Hebrew".

2/01/2007 02:04:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

Mat--and another similarity--both governments are useless except to hold the room against something even worse!

2/01/2007 05:36:00 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...


Haha! You laugh, but I wouldn’t wish Ehud Olmert on my worse enemy. :D

On the other hand, I wouldn’t mind Dubya declaring war on Israel. That oil refinery north of Haifa could probably use a trillion dollars in reconstruction money.

2/01/2007 06:10:00 PM  
Blogger Alexis said...


If France had stood with Israel in 1967 (and the next decade), would Israel be more influenced by French culture and cuisine?

2/01/2007 09:51:00 PM  
Blogger Alexis said...


...I wouldn’t wish Ehud Olmert on my worse enemy.

I'm intrigued. You wouldn't wish a man with the personal qualities of Mr. Olmert to be the leadership of Hamas, Fatah, Iran, or Saudi Arabia...?

2/01/2007 10:04:00 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...


My dad had a Peugeot 304 in the 70's, Chevy Malibu in the 80's, VW Jetta in the 90's. I drive a Canadian made Honda Civic.

I don't think French cuisine ever made it into Israel, if it did I'd be too young remember. I do remember some French film and music as a kid in 70's Israel, most of it repeat programing from the 60's. By the 80's that programing completely disappeared.

2/01/2007 10:19:00 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

No, I wouldn't. Cause then they'd sign a peace treaty with Israel, which I think would be an even greater disaster for Israel. :)

2/01/2007 10:23:00 PM  
Blogger What is "Occupation" said...

In fact, "the highest per capita aid transfer in the history of foreign aid anywhere." [Note: Commenters have noted and it has proved true that Israel actually receives more per capita than Palestine in foreign aid, the figure being $420 versus $300 per capita. This correction is hereby made.

why correct it, explain it by printing the next few sentences, it continues...

In relation to a gross national income for the average Palestinian of $1,327 last year, any cut in foreign aid and tax revenue is serious.
In effect, Palestinians have a third-world income - a few dollars a day. And they live next door to first-world Israel, with a per capita gross domestic product (GDP) of about $22,200 last year. Israel gets about $420 per capita each year in aid from the US, partly as a result of the 1979 Camp David peace accords between Israel and Egypt. Though that's more aid per capita than Palestinians get, Israel is less dependent on it.”

so $420 Dollars to the Israelis verses $300 Dollars to the Palestinians.

$22,200 / 420 $1,327/ 300

yep those dam greedy jews....

OK let's look at this from a few points of view.

1. Most of the aid to the Palestinians is for free food, free shelter, free schools & universities, free hospitals & free hospital care, free government job programs, free roads, bridges, infrastructure, free new government buildings, in general free public works projects. Since the palestinians use up all other moneys on making war on israel they get others to bail them out by buying everything for them.

Whereas most of the aid to israel is to assist it in defending herself from the hostile arab nations/peoples that are in a state of war with israel. And to assist Israel in absorbing Jewish refugees that are still escaping from africa, select islamic lands and russia.

This dollar amount was to be the same as the amount egypt ALONE receives (camp david accords/ j carter) If we are to look at dollars given, why not include the aid to Egypt, jordan, lebanon, arabia (and others) as well since a hugh amount of aid is given to offset those same countries & people hostile actions to the state of israel?

Why not add up the cost to keep oil shipping lanes open? after all this is aid also...

Gulf War One & Two, actually is aid....

so in the end, to somehow imply that israel “gets” more than the palestinians is on the surface “factually correct” but really does not paint an honest picture of the real aid paid to the arab & israeli worlds.

Most of the aid to israel is needed BECAUSE of arab/palestinian wars, and most aid to the palestinians is because they use choose to use most of their resourses MAKING WAR.

2. Israeli is made up of 25% Palestinian population. So if we reduce $420 by .75% we get $315 per capita, now we need to add that % to the Palestinian side of AID quotient SINCE that AID benefits palestinians. So add that $105 per capita amount to the Palestinian figure of $300, it comes out to $405 in AID to Palestinians. We could conversely do the same mathematics in reverse to be fair...

Let’s see, What percentage of the Palestinians that get international aid are Jews?


just a thought..

2/03/2007 10:03:00 PM  

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