Breaking the cycle, &c.


Someone in the Arab world has to break the cycle. Here I borrow a page from my colleague, friend, and hero David Pryce-Jones. Somebody’s got to break the cycle. What cycle is that? You know: The ruler comes in by murder and he goes out by murder. He gains power by murdering and he loses power by being murdered.

We have seen it a lot in the Arab world, and we’ve just seen Qaddafi cut down in the street. I’m glad the gaudy old monster is gone. I’m especially glad he isn’t ruling over anyone anymore. But we could have used a bit of Nuremberg: What about those thousand or so prisoners you murdered in the courtyard, Moammar? What about Lockerbie? Etc.

Rotation — orderly, bloodless, humdrum rotation — in office. One of the many gifts we perhaps take for granted.

For DP-J’s superb note on Qaddafi’s demise, go here.

I’ve quoted to you before what Jimmy Carter said in 2009 on receiving an award from the PLO: “I have been in love with the Palestinian people for many years.” He has been far less in love, of course, with the Israeli people, and with Jewish people in general.

Most of us fall in love with individuals. I believe it’s true that Carter fell in love with Palestinians as a class. I think his love is not pure, however, because I think it comes from, or at least is fed by, his hatred of the Israelis.

I thought of Carter’s love when I observed the Palestinians’ celebration of the return of their 1,027 terrorists in exchange for the soldier Shalit. Of all the peoples in the world, the Palestinians can be very hard to love.

Of course, we also must recognize that they have been lied to, by their leaders and propagandists, their entire lives. They have been betrayed by their politicians, capos, and intellectuals — Edward Said, for one (a big one).

I have a memory from the contra-aid debate, many years ago. Polls showed that a majority opposed contra aid. Sen. Charles Grassley, the Iowa Republican, said something like, “If all I knew about Nicaragua came from the mainstream media, I’d oppose contra aid too.” I loved him for that.

Back to Professor Said for a minute: I have once or twice quoted Paul Johnson, who called him a “malevolent liar and propagandist, who has been responsible for more harm than any other intellectual of his generation.”

Nice goin’, Ed.

There are two sides to Joe Biden — at least two sides. One is the jovial pol who’s a little bit goofy. Then there’s the nasty piece of work who says that, if you don’t pass the Obama administration’s latest stimulus, you’ll have rape and murder on your hands.

Which Joe is the “real Joe”? I have always thought Biden was nastier than most people gave him “credit” for. Of course, I watched the Bork hearings. The job they did on Bork was one of the most disgusting things I have ever seen in my entire life.

And the judge is one of the more impressive people you’ll ever meet. Great sense of humor, for one thing.

The presidential election next year ought to be a field day for Republican ad makers. The material is so rich. Let’s have a statement from Biden: “In my wildest dreams, I never thought it would work this well.” He was talking about the 2009 stimulus that poured so much of our money down a rat hole.

Another ad? I noted this in a Thomas Sowell column the other day: “Like so many people, in so many countries, who started out to ‘spread the wealth,’ Barack Obama has ended up spreading poverty.” Yes, statists and collectivists are pretty good poverty-spreaders.

Maybe “Joe the Plumber” should appear in an ad? He’s the commoner whom Candidate Obama — soon to be King Barack — rebuked in 2008. Remember what he said? He said, in essence, he was going to “spread the wealth around.” How has that worked out for the country (not to mention Joe)?

Last time out, Oprah Winfrey proclaimed Obama, rather dramatically, “the one” (I’m not sure whether that “o” should be capitalized). Let’s have that clip in an ad, followed by “I don’t think so” or some such remark. Louis Farrakhan proclaimed Obama the Messiah, as in, “When the Messiah speaks, the youth will hear, and the Messiah is absolutely speaking.” Again, I don’t think so.

The minister is not too high on Obama now, given the NATO war against Farrakhan’s friend Moammar Qaddafi (someone admired by the president’s ex-pastor, Jeremiah Wright, too). Still, Farrakhan in an ad, hailing Obama as the Messiah, would be great.

Hang on, got one more, for now: Susan Sarandon. The timelessly beautiful actress said of Obama, “He is a community organizer like Jesus was, and now we’re a community and he can organize us.”

How’s that workin’ out, y’all?

I was reading a dispatch from Tom Gross yesterday, and pondered this paragraph:

Following a previous earthquake in Turkey, an Israeli rescue team pulled a 10-year-old girl from the rubble after she had been trapped for nearly 100 hours. The Israelis rescued 11 other people alive and recovered 140 bodies. But now Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan refused an Israeli offer of help following yesterday’s devastating earthquake in Turkey.

Allow me to quote from an Impromptus in January 2010:

As you may have read, Israel has played a big role in relieving Haiti, following the hugely destructive earthquake. Unfortunately, the Israelis have a lot of experience in digging people out of rubble, etc. They are a people who have faced bombings over and over. At the end of 2003, there was a major earthquake in Bam, Iran. (Yeah, I know: “Bam,” an earthquake.) The Israelis were alacritous: They wanted to send rescue workers immediately. There was no time to waste, and Israel was very close, physically, to Iran. But Iran refused this aid and expertise. The government preferred that people die rather than suffer the ignominy of being rescued by Jews. This episode was a further indication of the psychosis prevalent in the Middle East. Fortunately, Haiti, for all of its sufferings, does not suffer from that.

Yes, Haiti is one up on someone, somewhere, in some fashion. Haiti saner than Turkey, as well as the mullahs’ Iran? It would seem.