I was just over at the Muslim Wakeup! blog, and I saw this picture of a mural in San Francisco showing Rachel Corrie (there really aren't any Phaedo-recommended links out there for an overview of that whole thing, so just search Google) flanked by Mumia Abu-Jamal and Che Guevara. They are even running a modest little contest for anyone intrepid enough to hunt down and locate the mural.
Look out for Corrie. Protect her from the "friends of Israel." The first reader to correctly identify the location of the new Rachel Corrie mural will win a small, and probably worthless, prize from Muslim Wakeup.
I am currently taking bets on how long it will be before Charles Johnson sees this and posts it (along with the famous paper flag burning pic, naturally), assuming of course that he stops posting vile pictures of charred human flesh for long enough to pay attention. I give him two days at most.
I invite anyone who doubts that the Palestinian Authority media publishes incitement against Israel to check out this live feed for the Palestinian Satellite Channel. I just watched about 15 minutes of it, and then got sick of it. Throughout most of it, there was a "music video" (for lack of a better word) with a constant juxtaposition of images of the Dome of the Rock, soldiers attacking Palestinians, children throwing rocks at soldiers, injured Palestinians, and a woman weeping in sorrow. In one scene, they showed a group of Israeli soldiers standing around with a single Palestinian child, no more than 3 or 4 years old, standing behind them (to make sure you don't miss it, they pause the film and outline the child in a red circle). In the background was plaintive martial music, that projected a mood of sadness on the one hand, and militant fervor on the other (it was sort of a "We will triumph" kind of music). At the end, the dove of peace (they must have killed an actual dove for this), smacks into the ground and turns limp, while the singer asks "What has happened to peace?" After the "music video" was over (they rolled some credits), they played some more sorrowful music and showed some more pictures of the Dome and Al Aqsa. Then an anchor came on and started talking, but I stopped watching around that part so I don't know what he said (plus I'm not exactly fluent in Arabic).
The overriding fact that pops out when you watch it is the complete single mindedness: Al Aqsa, Al Aqsa, Al Aqsa (with a couple of Al Quds thrown in for good measure). It's like watching old war propaganda, except for the fact that it isn't old. If you were to watch this every waking moment of every day for your whole life, I can see how you could be brainwashed into thinking you should blow yourself up.
Have you ever received an email with pictures of someone taking a dump in another person's mouth? Well I just did. It was as beautiful as you might expect.
In other news, I sent a terse letter to Roland Foster yesterday, and I got a torrent of mail from him today, about 9 emails in all. Foster even visited this blog three times: in the morning, at noon, and in the afternoon. I have been waiting about a month to get some of this information, and I will finally be able to finish that off. There will be a nice long blog wrapping up the issue coming in the next week or so (I really mean it this time!).
The last notable thing in my email box, other than the 50 or so pieces of spam, is an update from the National Security Archive on the NSA FOIA exemption bill currently flowing through Capitol Hill. Read it, hate it, change it ... or something like that.
A Palestinian terrorist dressed as an orthodox Jew boarded a bus at the Mahane Yehuda market in Jerusalem, and erased 15 lives in an instant. The attack was supposedly in response to a targeted assassination attempt on a Hamas leader yesterday. That is just a bunch of bullshit. An attack like this was in the works for weeks if not months, this wasn't just slapped together last night. The plain fact is that Hamas will never accept the legitimacy of either Israel or a Palestinian state in the disputed territories, and they must be annihilated. There is no alternative. Even Shimon Peres, a dove by any standard, told Yedioth Ahronot two years ago that "On this issue [Hamas/Islamic Jihad -- YG] I recommend to kill and annihilate."
As for Israel's obligations vis-a-vis the "road map," I do not see that as calling for an end to the war against terror. To the contrary, it calls on changing the situation of ordinary Palestinians so that they may join Israel in the fight. There should not be any letdown in taking out terrorists. Israel's assassination attempt on Rantisi was not only justified, it was a welcome departure from the ordinary course of treating the so-called "political/religious" level of these groups as somehow separate from the "military" one. I don't accept the idea that trying to kill a murderous terrorist is the same as destroying innocent life. If the Palestinian Authority wants a state it must stand with Israel and destroy this terror, once and for all. If they don't make a fundamental change in their course here, there may not be a next time.
UPDATE: Israel has killed at least two more Hamas murderers (Tito Massoud and Sohil Abu Nahel) in response to today's suicide bombing.
My philosophy teacher (I'll call her B.M.) sent me an email asking me about the grade I got on a paper I had written about Pascal's wager, and I told her that I had gotten an A and that it would be no trouble for me to take the graded paper to her office so she could see. She wrote back saying that she trusted me, even though I had admitted to inventing a 'Christian Service' project at Salesianum. Here is the response I sent her yesterday:
Ha-ha, you read my website (I haven't updated it in ages). Well, the breakdown is that I went to a preppy Irish Catholic high school, and I am neither Irish nor Catholic. It did help me get in here though, and I had some awesome philosophy and religion teachers that taught me stuff I never would have gotten at a public school. Besides, some of the "real" Christian Service projects included such godly things as mowing a neighbor's lawn, or working at a normal job without pay. Overall, I think I was probably more honest than some of the others, which is galling since I was a complete fabulist.
Just in case you wanted to know.
I think that sums it up pretty well.
There is an astonishing article in Ha'aretz by Akiva Eldar on some of the behind-the-scenes action at the Aqaba summit between Israel and the Palestinians. Eldar has had a number of "exclusives" for Ha'aretz that have turned out to be, to put the point mildly, more complicated than originally reported, so this should be taken with a grain of salt (although he credits a "participant in the three-way meeting of the delegations" as his source for this story). Still, if true, I think it illustrates that Bush has a greater commitment to the "road map" than either Israel or the Palestinian Authority would have imagined.
According to the source, Dahlan gave an excellent five-minute synopsis of the situation, and concluded by saying to Bush: "There are some things we can do and some things we cannot. We will do our best. But we will need help." Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz burst in at the end of Dahlan's presentation and said: "Well, they won't be getting any help from us; they have their own security service."
You could see that Bush was irritated, the participant said, and Bush turned on Mofaz angrily: "Their own security service? But you have destroyed their security service." Mofaz shook his head and said: "I do not think that we can help them, Mr. President," - to which Bush said: "Oh, but I think that you can. And I think that you will."
Then Bush turned to Abbas - again according to a script insisted on by the Israelis - and said: "Mr. Prime Minister, perhaps you could give an overview of the situation in the West Bank and Gaza."
Abbas outlined the increasingly dire situation of the territories, saying that the humanitarian crisis was deepening, and that while recent actions of the finance minister had eased the problems, the insertion of new funding was necessary.
Sharon then interrupted and said: "The insertion of new funding must be dependent on your good behavior." Bush was again visibly irritated: "You should release their money as soon as possible. This will help the situation."
Sharon shook his head: "We have to deal with security first, and we will condition the release of their monies on this alone." Bush peered at Sharon: "But it is their money ..." Sharon said: "Nevertheless, Mr. President ..." and Bush interrupted him: "It is their money, give it to them."
After that meeting, Bush turned to National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice and said, "We have a problem with Sharon I can see, but I like that young man [Dahlan] and I think their prime minister is incapable of lying. I hope that they will be successful. We can work with them."