Sunday, May 14, 2006


Mary Madigan at Dean Esmay Posts on Juan Cole

On his site, Informed Comment, Arabist Juan Cole has responded to Steven Vincent's widow's criticism.

In his response he displays the intellectual weight and the personal dignity of a tantrum-spewing five year old. He calls people names, he shows his contempt (and fear of?) women, he stomps his feet and he just doesn't understand why clueless Americans keep picking on him. AGAIN THIS IS SOMEONE YALE IS CONSIDERING for a PRESTIGIOUS PROFESORSHIP.

When you read this, remember that this is a college professor. This is a spokesman for the Left. This was a grown man. This is Juan Cole:

The wingnuts are going crazy over this contretemps, which is what is really interesting. I think it is because Vincent (murdered GI in Iraq) is a symbol for the pro-War American Right. He was inspired to his journalism in Iraq by September 11. That was his first mistake. The poor Iraqis had nothing to do with September 11...
..Everything I have said here is true. Clueless Americans don't understand the principle of gender segregation for the most part, and if they do understand it they are
horrified by it...
Again, this is supposed to be someone of the left who is embraced by the left. He is lecturing to "clueless" Americans about the properness of gender separation.

.. But in large swathes of the world, it just is not considered right for a male to be in the company of an unrelated female. It isn't just a matter of sleeping around, as my wingnut correspondents assume.

Again, this is supposedly someone who is worthy of obtaining a prestigious position at the History Department at Yale?

Clueless Americans don't understand gender segregation, and they don't understand clan honor as practiced in most Arab societies.

And Western society also no longer understands the "value" of slavery as practiced in Islamist Sudan, Mauritania, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, to name a few. (Ok so maybe that's taking the comparison a little over the top even if true)

But is this not complement to Western society? To the left's progress on moving America forward?

If Western society did in fact understand more in depth the "clan" tradition as well as other things in the Middle East that might in fact prevent sycophants like Cole or slick Saudi foreign spokesmen from getting away with 'erroneous patronizing' (or lies) on Western television - spoken in English of course.

We American men aren't dishonored in particular if our sisters sleep around, though I suppose in high school it can't be pleasant for a guy to have everyone taunt him that his sister is a slut. But in Arab culture, a brother can't show his face in public if his sister is known to be a slut.
Again, this is a guy who is worshipped by the left? and worthy of a prestigious job at Yale? What kind of classless clown is this guy?

Lisa Ramaci-Vincent, the bereaved widow of Steven Vincent - (both of whom Professor Cole slandered like an Enquirer columnist) - said -
  • "whatever Cole's qualifications, they do not seem to include really important virtues, such as decency, humanity, kindness, compassion and charity", she was absolutely right.

More from Mrs. Vincent on Murdoc's page.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006


John Bolton has been pushing for a restructuring of the Orwellian nightmare named the "UN Human Right's Commission".... Jimmy Carter is seeking to protect the most eggregious Human Right's violators.

After a very watered down version for a new "UN Huamn Right's Council" the UN General Assembly, dominated by despotic and dictatorial and anti US nations voted for it's members.

Big Pharaoh notes the new makeup -

Bahraini blogger Mahmoud thinks that it is barely understandable that his country Bahrain got elected, but Saudi no way.
  • Bahrain, I can barely understand. We’re on the cusp of change which could go either way. We’ve had some strides with reparation and held international rapprochement conferences here, as well as those for transitional justice, so at least we’re going through the motions, hence our election into the Human Rights body of the United Nations is barely understandable...
  • But what the hell is the rationale of electing Saudi in there? Can someone please enlighten me, as I’m at a complete loss as to why the UN/international community consciously want to destroy what is left of the UN’s reputation in the word?
    So is Saudi now going to allow some religious freedoms in the kingdom? And I’m talking about Muslim sects being able to perform their rights, let alone allowing Christians, Jews and Hindus have their own places of worship!
  • I wonder what the Relgious Policeman going to do with this one, it should be fun!
From the Al Jazeera Article -
  • Rights violators voted onto UN council
    Tuesday 09 May 2006

  • The United Nations has elected 44 of the initial 47 members of its new human rights council including five nations named by rights groups as among the world's worst abusers. Russia, China, Cuba, Pakistan, and Saudi Arabia, identified by Human Rights Watch (HRW), based in New York, as unworthy of membership on the UN body, were among those winning seats in a first round of voting on Tuesday.
  • But two others on the group's list, Iran and Azerbaijan, failed to win membership in the initial round. Kenneth Roth, executive director of HRW, said it was inevitable some rights foes would win seats. However, he said progress had been made over the discredited Human Rights Commission, shut down in March.
  • "It doesn't guarantee that the council will be a success, but it is a step in the right direction," he said.
  • Secret ballot
  • The council will be based in Geneva, like its predecessor, and its seats are being divided by regions, with eight set to go to Latin America and the Caribbean, 13 to Africa, 13 to Asia, six to eastern Europe and seven to western Europe and others, a grouping that includes the United States, Canada and Israel.
  • The 13 African seats went to Algeria, Cameroon, Djibouti, Gabon, Ghana, Mali, Mauritius, Morocco, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Tunisia and Zambia.
  • Asia's 13 seats were awarded to Bahrain, Bangladesh, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Jordan, Malaysia, Pakistan, the Philippines, Saudi Arabia, South Korea and Sri Lanka.
  • The eight Latin American and Caribbean posts were granted to Argentina, Brazil, Cuba, Ecuador, Guatemala, Mexico, Peru and Uruguay.

  • the seven slots designated for western Europe and others were accorded to Britain, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, the Netherlands and Switzerland. The United States did not run for a post.

  • Voting for the seats was held by secret ballot among the 191-member General Assembly. Countries needed at least 96 votes to win a slot.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Ayaan Hirsi Ali Speaks at Harvard May 9th

A video of her being interviewed prior click here. She is well spoken, elegant and attractive. More audio here

She spoke today (May 9th) at a public forum at the Center for Public Leadership :: John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.

Later she spoke here at Harvard (pictured). This event was only open to students and was sponsored by the - Harvard Dutch Cultural Society - A Discussion on Islam, Gender and Free Speech

AUDIO OF 2nd Event Here

More video on Swedish TV here
At the AJC I Used to Hate You
November 2005 on Danish TV "Look at the Prophet's words and deeds"

Impression of the 2nd event
Another here
Another rap up here

Misskelly summarizes the speech -

  • Ayaan Hirsi Ali: "I Really Wonder What You Are Doing Here at Harvard"
  • After listening to Ayaan Hirsi Ali's talk at Harvard JFK's School of Government this afternoon, I went up to shake her hand and let her know much I admired her. She is physically a slight woman. How can it be that such a small woman is so feared? How can it be that men would kill her for her ideas?

  • The event was the JFK School's "Profiles in Public Leadership," moderated by Professor Barbara Kellerman. Ayaan spoke for about an hour (I missed the first half hour, dratted day job!), and fielded questions for another half hour. You needed prior permission to attend the event and a picture ID to get in. There were four strong-looking guys in suits in the room, posted up front and at the doors to (a familiar site at local lectures by critics of Islam). About 125 people were there, mostly grad students and professors.

  • Ayaan spoke of her evolution in thinking about Islam and becoming a politician and activist. She was raised Muslim, but at some point decided that there was no God. Once she was free of the fear of God, hell and damnation, she was able to critically look at Islam and ask questions. After 9/11, she asked, is terrorism linked to Islam or not? Can Islam be refomed? Her answer to the second question: Yes, but it must be reformed by Muslims. And it cannot be reformed without negating (not just ignoring) certain parts of the Koran. "We must leave in the past that which belongs in the past."

  • From her experiences as a social worker in Holland, she saw that many immigrant woman and girls were victims of violence, including being beaten, enduring FGM and forced marriages. Holland, caught up in multiculturalism, didn't protect these women but deferred to the immigrant men. The females were at the mercy of the religious and cultural practices of their immigrant "collective." And Holland, like other liberal European states, was sacrificing the individual rights of women and children for the collective rights of the religious minorities.

  • She also spoke about making the movie "Submission" with Theo van Gogh. She wanted to have a dialogue with Allah, instead of just submit to Allah, she was asking Allah if it was right, just and moral to inflict violence upon women as many do. There is clear justification in the Koran and hadiths for men ruling over women and even beating them, and she had the texts printed on womens bodies in the film. She spoke movingly of the murder of her friend Theo, and the guilt that she bears some responsibility for that. His death made her more radical and more committed to her work.

  • The Q&A afterwards demonstrated the forces that Ayaan is working against. Most questions were to her were fairly hostile: How can an atheist reform Islam? What is your agenda? Why are you speaking about Islam when you are not a theologian? Isn't what you're doing extreme and dangerous and how is it serving the cause? Why should a Muslim listen to you? Aren't you setting up a straw man argument, saying that Muslims are either good Muslims or they're Osama bin Laden? Why are you only harping about Islam? What about the Hindu texts?

  • Ayaan was unflappable and graceful in her responses."I speak about Islamic texts because that is what I know. Religion is public, ideas are public. It is necessary and urgent to review, revise, and discuss Islam as a body of ideas. It is time to examine the links between reliigon and values."

  • One business school student (Muslim male) asked "If Islam is so oppressive to women, how can you explain that Muslim countries like Pakistan and Indonesia have had women prime ministers?" Her response to that was deadly: "In some Muslim countries such as Iran and Afghanistan, under sharia, women are forced to wear hijab, adulters are stoned (mostly women, not the men), daughters get half the inheritance that sons do, and a man can easily get a divorce, while it's very difficult for women to get divorced. In secular Muslim countries like Turkey and Indonesia, fundamentalist Islam is on the rise. Twenty years ago, Indonesian women did not go around in hijab, now it is commonplace. There is an attitude of denial in the face of a great deal of empirical evidence about the oppression of women. Anyone who denies this evidence is personally contributing to the subjugation of women." (That means YOU, Dude).

  • The last questioner (Bangladeshi woman) asked "Do you identify yourself as a woman? If so, why aren't you concerned with domestic abuse? Why are you only harping about Islam?" Ayaan was amused. "Yes, I identify myself as a woman, I think that's self-evident."

  • She replied that much of her work is against violence and oppression of girls and women around the world, which is easily confimed by reading her books and lectures. At this point, given the overt hostility of the questioner, Ayaan noted that debate and criticism of Islam is not the same as attacking Islam. "I'm not attacking Islam, I want to reform Islam." Here Ayaan asked "I really wonder what you (referring to all the grad students) are doing here" It was along the lines of "What are they teaching you anyway? Do you not know how to debate or discuss an issue?"

  • In closing she said "We need to find a balance between faith and reason." Phenomenal and remarkable woman, I feel blessed to have seen her in person. Afterwards, I hopped over to the Coop and bought an autographed copy of her book The Caged Virgin - An Emancipation Proclamation for Women and Islam. A very good day.

Michelle Malkin notes this review by an attendee who emailed -

  • [....]
  • The interview focused on the personal, biographical aspects of Hirsi Ali's life, deferring political issues to the Q&A and to another panel to be held tonight. It was interesting, especially in her description of the day that van Gogh was murdered. But I have little else to say about it.

  • The Q&A was marked by the number of Muslim students who objected to Hirsi Ali's criticism of Islam.
  • One student was strident, claiming that as a Muslim from Pakistan she knew nothing about the kind of Sharia Law, strict upbringing that Hirsi Ali claims to have had.
  • One was fairly polite, questioning why any Muslims should now listen to Hirsi Ali, who is now an avowed atheist, rather than to those who still follow Islam.
  • One was insistent, asking why Hirsi Ali did not criticize all violence against women (she did and referred to articles she had written about numerous cultures and the origins of repression of women in each of them).
  • But the questioner persisted. Why didn't she criticize Christianity and its sacred texts in the context of violence against women in America ? Why only Islam in that context?

  • How can I capture what it felt like? Hirsi Ali said things that you or I would take as the purest of common sense. For example, her film contains a scene of a battered woman, praying to God, tattooed across her broken body with the specific verses in the Koran that advocate that brutal kind of treatment by a man for his wife. It's wrong for a man to do that to his wife. It calls for the genius of Harvard graduate students of Political Science to somehow equivocate around that simple fact.

  • One telling moment came when an early questioner asked about the overall issue of assimilation versus cultural isolation in Europe. Hirsi Ali answered that she did not think in terms of assimilation and isolation but rather in terms of individualism and collectivism. The collectivist says that those people in this neighborhood all believe that a woman who is bad should be beaten by her husband. And those people are a valid collective.
  • Hirsi Ali contends that the collective ethos of any group is fine, but it ends when individual rights are violated. And she said in as many words that she is firmly in the camp of the indivualists.

  • Near the end, somewhat exasperated, it seems, by the wave of denial that Harvard's Muslim community had brought to the forum, she commented off handedly to her interviewer "what are they learning here ?" or something close to that.
  • It was depressing, Michelle. The Muslim elite of the elite (or a vocal part thereof) could not accept the simple empiricism of the case in war, the case in terror or the case in domestic brutality against Islam. They preferred, on the whole, to talk about something else.
  • But she was brilliant.

PBS Special on Hamas

PBS Special Documents Hamas - Radical, Dangerous and Angry to its core

Looking Inside Hamas: Search for Martyrdom, Hatred of Israel

May 8 (Bloomberg) -- Anyone hoping that Hamas's parliamentary triumph will convert that martyr-making machine into a vehicle of peaceful democracy may be seriously dismayed by a new PBS special.

``Inside Hamas,'' which airs tomorrow night at 9 p.m. New York time, strongly suggests the buzzard, not the dove, will continue to rule the roost in the Holy Land.

Reporter Kate Seelye begins in Gaza, ``a 6-by-25-mile sandbox'' that doubles as a powder keg. The streets are teeming with angry young warriors bearing automatic weapons and deep grudges, all strutting their stuff beneath posters of martyrs.

``I've come to find out if Hamas will lay down their arms and transform themselves now that they're in power,'' Seelye says.

This is high idealism, we soon learn.

Gaza is a beehive of discontent. Supporters of the deposed Fatah regime complain that the new government isn't doling out the expected benefits. Israel has closed the border, creating food lines. No matter, grump Hamas officials, the people ``can survive on salt and olives.''

When Seelye presses on the sorest subject -- recognizing Israel's right to exist -- teeth bare. She asks Mahmoud Zahar, a founder of Hamas and foreign minister of the new government, if the group will change its charter and recognize Israel.

``Why?'' he responds. ``To satisfy you?''

Liquor Ban

Hamas's victory in January has brought several changes to the region. ``We are facing a lot of sanctions,'' admits Zahar, ``but believe me the Arab states are going to help us.'' There also has been a flowering of Islamic fundamentalism, including a total ban on alcohol and a return to the veil for increasing numbers of women.

While Hamas's green banners hang from every lamppost, producer Marcela Gaviria's use of file footage of suicide bombings indicates red might have been the better choice. Since September 2000, the show says, Hamas has carried out 58 suicide attacks in Israel, killing over 300.
For now, the organization says it is in cease-fire mode, even as other militias continue their endless war with Israel.

Radical Islam

Seelye and her crew come across a fresh assassination scene, where an Islamic Jihad leader has been killed in a car bombing. Though there is no sign of Israeli collusion, a local militant has already rounded up, in his mind, the usual suspect: ``We will target the heart of the Zionist entity.''

Seelye also travels to the West Bank, home of 2 million Palestinians, many of whom welcome Hamas's victory like an outbreak of plague.

In Ramallah there is much worry, especially about the rise of radical Islam. A businessman named Hani Kort says Hamas's victory was a ``shock'' that is polarizing the region. ``Now you have to be a religious person, a conservative person, a Muslim person in order to be with Hamas,'' he says.

As the show winds down, Seelye again asks Zahar about negotiating with Israel. ``Talking is not our intention,'' he smiles. The Palestinian Authority's dialogues brought nothing, he continues.

``Why should we deal with Israel? Why? Why?''

``Will you continue your armed resistance?'' Seelye asks.

``Give me an alternative option,'' Zahar replies. ``We are not surrendering.''

Martyred Sons

His views are shared by a handful of hard-liners Seelye visits in an Israeli prison. Hussan Baram, who financed several attacks, says this is his sixth prison term.

``My conviction remains the same,'' he says. ``Twenty or 30 years in prison doesn't change anything.''

Perhaps the most chilling -- and telling -- moment comes as a proud father discusses the loss of four sons in the conflict.

``After the first one was martyred, I lost two, but God gave me another one,'' he says. ``When this one was martyred, then God gave me another son. May God reward us.''

Such blessings continue to flow. A suicide attack in Tel Aviv on April 17 killed nine people. When asked to condemn the atrocity, which was carried out by Islamic Jihad, Hamas declined, calling it ``a legitimate act of self-defense.''

Friday, May 05, 2006


Ehud Olmert is about to lay out his "timetable plan" for nearly full unilateral withdrawal from the West Bank. He continues to repeat that "it is all in the name of Ariel Sharon and his plan." There is still a picture of his good friend Sharon hanging above his desk.

However, now there are a lot whispers in Israel that Olmert has co-opted Sharon's name and is NOT carrying out Sharon's game plan but his own. (Or his family's far left-wing beliefs)

Last night I was listening to Jennifer Griffin on the John Batchelor radio program. She has interviewed Sharon 5 times over the past few years. The last time was 6 months ago when Sharon said the generous offer made by Ehud Barak - which the PLO rejected - would never again be offered.

Griffin and Batchelor stated their contacts in Israel - most notably URI DAN - (famous writer/reporter and Arik's longtime best friend) have stated that Olmert is lying about carrying out Arik's vision. Olmert is co-opting Sharon's name while he institutes something far different than what Sharon envisioned. It is likely more in the line of Olmert's own family's far left wing views.

DAN states that Sharon only intended to build the fence and withdraw from the 4 outlaying settlements in the Upper West Bank (Samaria) and then wait for negotiations with the Palestinians. Another words - wait for the Palestinians meet the Roadmap's Requirements and demonstrate a will for peace before entering in a path of mutual concessions and 'painful' compromises, as Sharon called them.


Gaza has become Hamastan. Hamas has been accused by Jordan of trying to smuggle missiles and others weapons into that country as well as scouting for potential targets there. Hamas was previously kicked out of Jordan for trying to incite trouble there. NOTE - both the PLO and Hamas consider the Hashemite Kingdom illegitimate and view them as occupiers of "Palestine" or the next piece to "liberate" after Israel.

Then Hamas was caught smuggling in weapons from China into Gaza and then stating that Suicide Bombings are a natural right. Civil War Watch in the Territories.

Even putting a timetable unilateral withdrawal is incredibly dangerous and forces Israel to do it unilaterally no matter what the Palestinians do or don't do in regards to the Roadmap or ceasing incitement and violence.

Monday, May 01, 2006


Aznar: 'NATO should invite Japan, Australia, and Israel to become full members'
and read this March 16, 2006:
Europe's Response to the Threat of Global Terror by Jose Maria Aznar, Former Prime Minister of Spain

  • If we trace the line between the West and the rest, Israel is on the same side as Europe, the U.S., Japan, and Australia. We defend the same values against the same enemies.
    Now it is imperative to defend our values and way of life against a new threat: Islamic extremism and terrorism. The new mission of NATO should be clear: to combat jihadism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.
  • If the Allies want to prevail collectively over the gathering threats, NATO must refocus itself on fighting terror, the major threat today. Indeed, this is an existential threat, if we bear in mind what Islamic terrorism plans for outsiders - "the crusaders and infidels" - and for Zionism, as well.
  • If defending our own values against the radical Islamists is the future of NATO, we must change the way the Alliance is conceived geographically and open its doors to those nations that share our values, that defend them on the ground, and that are willing to join in the fight against jihadism. Thus, NATO should invite Japan, Australia, and Israel to become full members.
  • Treating Israel as if it were not an integral part of the Western world is a big mistake that will affect our ability to prevail in this long war against jihadism. I think it is in our mutual interests to have Israel as a formal ally. The West cannot fight this radical tide without Israel.

The rest.

Meanwhile -

Volcanex 2006: If Israel is there, Sweden won't be
Haaretz: Israel summons Swedish envoy over NATO drill and granting visas to two Hamas Representatives.

  • Foreign Ministry Director-General Ron Prosor on Thursday summoned Swedish Ambassador to Israel Robert Rydberg to clarify Stockholm's decision to withdraw from a NATO international air force exercise because of Israel's participation, as well as reports that the Scandinavian country was planning to grant visas to two Hamas representatives.
  • Sweden called off its participation in the air force exercises to take place in Italy next month because of the involvement of the Israel Air Force in the drills.
  • While not mentioning Israel by name, Swedish Defense Minister Leni Bjorklund said that her country was withdrawing because "the Swedish Armed Forces were notified at a late stage that a state not belonging to the Partnership for Peace, and with which Sweden did not previously have bilateral military cooperation and which does not take part in international peacekeeping missions, was to take part in the air exercise."....
  • A Swedish Foreign Ministry official said, "The point of the operation is to prepare for international cooperation in preserving world peace. The participation of the Israeli air force changes the prerequisites of the drill."
  • Israeli officials have responded harshly to the decision. One government source said,
  • "The lack of sympathy for Israel in Sweden is out of proportion. Some government ministers spearhead the most anti-Israel approach in all of Europe, and particularly in Scandinavia. In meetings between senior Israelis and Swedish ministers, the Swedes refuse to listen to Israel's positions."...

'If one mentions Palestine in hate speeches and calls for massmurder against Jews, one risks nothing in Sweden. '

  • ...It is a crime in Sweden to express derogatory statements about ethnic, racial, national, religious and sexual minorities or to incite hatred and violence against them. Simultaneously the limits of what one can express in Sweden against Jews are being expanded gradually. All Jewish institutions in Sweden are being continuously guarded because of threats directed to Jewish individuals as well as to Jewish institutions, and the Jewish communities spend 25% of their budget on security.
  • The hate website Radio Islam continues to spew forth its coarse Anti-Semitism, spread lists of Jews (real or imagined) and conspiracy theories on its site without the security police or the prosecuting authorities doing anything about it. When the radical right-wing party the Sweden Democrats on the other hand, had one of the Muhammed cartoons on its web-site, it was closed down after a quick and direct intervention by an official from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
  • At the beginning of this year, the Chancellor of Justice*, Goran Lambertz, discontinued his preliminary investigation against the great mosque in Stockholm. Cassette tapes had been sold in the bookshop of the mosque with a violently Anti-Semitic contents. After a couple of broadcasts on the 26 and 27th November last year, the Stockholm mosque was reported to the police.
  • In his decision to discontinue the preliminary investigation Lambertz wrote that “the lecture at hand contains statements that are strongly degrading to Jews, among other things, they are throughout called brothers of apes and pigs.” Furthermore a curse is expressed over the Jews and “Jihad is called for, to kill the Jews, whereby suicide bombers - celebrated as martyrs - are the most effective weapon”.
  • The Chancellor raises the question whether the statements “should be judged differently, and be considered allowed, because they are used by one side in a continuing profound conflict, where battle cries and invectives are part of everyday occurrences in the rhetoric that surround the conflict.” Lambertz thought that the “recently mentioned statements in spite of their contents are not to be considered “incitement against an ethnic group according to Swedish law”. His conclusions were that the preliminary investigation should be discontinued because this case of incitement against Jews could be said to originate from the Middle East conflict. That is, in spite of the calls for ”killing the Jews”, these statements are not a crime in the legal sense in Sweden, because of the current conflict in the Middle East, according to the Chancellor of Justice. The logical conclusion is clear. If one mentions Palestine in hate speeches and calls for massmurder against Jews, one risks nothing in Sweden...

More here, along with a petition to sign


Past posts on John Bolton and here Remember John Bolton

As Scott at Power Line puts it 'John Bolton is the best American ambassador to the United Nations since Jeane Kirkpatrick and Daniel Patrick Moynihan.'

I might add that Moynihan, a liberal, was one of the most respected Senators on both sides of the aisle. He was heavily critical of the UN and Human Rights organizations that he thought spent comparably an inordinate amount of time criticizing leading Western Democraices versus the real scourges from Dictatorships and Despotic regimes.

As Roger noted this is good for business. It garners more donations from the 'chic' Western liberals...

"UN is like the Twilight Zone, says Bolton."

Then m.oments after the document arrived, the session was adjourned as the representatives of the developing world retired to plot - successfully as it transpired - how to stymie a series of radical reforms.

South Africa's ambassador pledged that it would be for only a quarter of an hour. "I know those 15 minutes," said a deadpan Mr Bolton. "We have a bit longer than that, I think."

If ever a scene epitomised the notorious UN inefficiency, which Mr Bolton has spent so much of his life railing against, this was it.

"You had nearly 150 permanent representatives waiting around for an hour and a half," he said in one of many breaks in the key meeting on budget and reform at UN headquarters in New York. "With their aides, that is roughly 400 people waiting for one document and now we are waiting again.

"There is an inherent amount of slippage in a process like this, but this really is business as usual."

America's bantam cock of an ambassador is something of a cult figure at the UN.
When meetings end he is followed by a crowd of cameramen keen to capture that famous walrus moustache and his colourful asides. Rival ambassadors salute his skill as a communicator and his diligence.


Eight months after President George W Bush made his highly contentious appointment, no one could suggest he has "gone native".

A long-term conservative hawk, in 1994 he said the UN could easily do without the top 10 of its 39 floors. He also said there was no such thing as the UN, just an international community that can be led by the US.

His language is a little more circumspect now but only a little. Has his opinion changed?

  • "It's exactly what I expected ... an organisation that needs substantial reform,"..."This atmosphere is like a bubble. It is like a twilight zone. Things that happen here don't reflect the reality in the rest of the world.

  • "There are practices, attitudes and approaches here that were abandoned 30 years ago in much of the rest of the world. It's like a time warp. I think that's not useful for the organisation."

UN officials mutter that far from helping to push through much-needed reforms to ensure embarrassments such as the oil-for-food scandal are never repeated, his methods have impeded the chances of agreement.

In December, he forced a six-month limit on the UN budget, infuriating the developing world, by making further funding dependent on the passage of key reforms.

America's EU allies, especially Britain, had to negotiate a compromise - "they pulled his chest hairs from the fire" said a veteran UN observer.

Mr Bolton rolls his eyes when asked if he is combative because he is not really interested in reform. "That criticism is a complete non sequitur," he retorts. "My stance is not combative. I would describe it as assertive.

"We feel strongly that we need reform. Condoleezza Rice said last September we want a revolution of reform. It's not often an American secretary of state calls for revolutions."
The deadlocked meeting ended with the hopes of the UN secretary-general, Kofi Annan - of streamlining its bureaucracy - left in tatters.


"I never thought of myself as a unilateralist or multi-lateralist one way or another. For most Americans it is a very pragmatic question to say what is the most effective tool to accomplish the goals of American foreign policy. They say, what is the way to advance our interest?"
When he leaves the post, he will have plenty more anecdotes to delight the Republican heartland - and all too few signs of change in his Twilight Zone.


Click HERE to see his full post without my comment he deleted.


Was this post over the top or not 'relevant' -or- does Richard simply have to cut off any debate with him appearing to get the last word? Could he be this infantile? You decide and please be honest either way. Thanks.

Benny Morris -
Yes the man Norm Finkelstein - the pre-eminent anti Israeli zealot - for years referred to as the pre-eminent historian on the topic. Paraphrasing here - "goes through the history in a dispassionate thorough fashion"?

Since you don't refute the fact that the Arab Palestinians often moved 30 miles to an almost exact culture and language versus the Sephards move to a foreign culture and language.... I'll assume you're granting that as well.

Since you do not have the answer to the question as to who was expelled by the Hagannah, who fled on their own before and after and who fled during either via "news" of the Zionists expulsions (more doubtful imo) or via "hyped propaganda" the Arab world was putting out......... (Of course, who could answer that) -

It seems rather arrogant to insinuate most fled due to the "Hagannah Aggressions".... while insinuating most Sephards left via a cute trick....

The latter seems rather silly to even strongly insinuate even if Ben Gurion did the above the charge is more valuable as a powerful piece of ‘emotional mud; for the jury - versus value as a measure of the main cause. Since you’re an academic I assume you realize this.

And things were so good for the Sephards that over 100,000 all who lived in Iraq for over 2500 years all got up and fled in a short period of time?
I guess the riots and mobs in Iraq and Egypt where Jews were lynched and murdered in public and the general atmosphere had nothing to do with it?

This is rather amazing since you imply that the Palestinians mainly fled due to "news" of the Zionist aggressions? How do you reconcile that apparent irony?

Oh, and for the record, how big were the Arab brother armies coming to fight the Zionists?
How big were the armies coming into Iraq or Egypt to help the Jews?

You also insinuate that the Arabs fled solely bcs "they heard" of other expulsions by the Israelis... Yet, many many Israelis have stated that the propaganda coming out of the Arab side at the time of "horrible Zionist" crimes were a major factor in their flight. I’m not talking about the rebuffed radio transmissions so don’t even use that as a red herring either.

And many fled after the war simply because they assumed the Israelis would treat them as the Arabs would treat the Jews if they were the victors. My neighbor said his Arab friends in Haifa got up and gathered all their stuff and left.

But to discuss the complex situation outside of you simplified reductionist thought that the Zionists simply caused them to flee is somehow unthinkable?

And this from the same person who harshly criticizes Jewish groups for not discussing the Holocaust in a rational manner? Hypocrisies abound here.

You also commit the biggest crime of a historian.

You analyze and pre-suppose history looking back knowing the end result already. Another words, since Israel won they should have known they didn't have to fight so hard and “cause so much Arab flight”. That's kind of like the person who chastises someone who shoots someone who breaks into their house in the middle of the night with his family in the house.

Well you get the point.