Monday, October 22, 2012

Stories (and rants) below the fold

JONATHAN FREEDLAND AT THE GUARDIAN: “When Israelis kill Arabs there is outrage. But Assad’s brutal campaign has cost 30,000 lives and there’ve been no protests.”

(via Instapundit:)

Of course, he only reports the Assad atrocities, (this is the Guardian after all). And just ignore the AlQaeda among your ranks. True, Assad has WMD (some of which may have been Saddams) but he is trying to keep them out of the hands of the bad guys who will use them outside the country.

and Fides has this report:
"bombs continue to fall on the area of Almidan, of Armenian majority, launched by armed opposition groups which is located in Bustan el-Bacha: they have killed several people, injured so many and destroyed many houses ". Some groups in the rugged opposition, where there are also jiahadisti groups, "fire on Christian houses and buildings, to force occupants to escape and then take possession " the text concludes.

Some blogger (sorry I can't remember the link) remarked that Syria was similar to the Spanish Civil War before World War II, where the fascists fought the Communists, and that the best position of the west was to stay out of it..

 For 50 years, the elites in the West lamented that the Communists lost in Spain and hyped (correctly) on Franco's atrocities there, yet in the view of history, we now can find out about those unreported communist atrocities (e.g. Barcelona, kidnapping children to send for "education" to the USSR) and of course, history suggests that if they won, it would have just been worse (albeith unreported), while the "good points of the Fascists (e.g. the 30 thousand Sephardic Jews and others saved by Franco) has usually been ignored.

Nowadays, with the internet, we can find both sides of the sad story. In this case, the minorities will be ethnically cleansed or killed, and no one will notice, because it has nothing to do with Israel.


And if you think Assad is "evil", look at what the lack of a strong leader has led to in central Africa:

AFRICA/DR CONGO - More than 30 armed groups in the east of the Country: "the weakness of the State favours their proliferation"...
Those wars have led to a couple million killed or died from disease.

Hobbe's Leviathan suggests that sometimes an elightened dictatorship is not the worst option.

So why not Democracy? Because tribal customs stress cooperation and against violence, so many are passive in the face of violence: That's how they survived. And, as someone pointed out to me, in tribal areas, it's easy to kill anonymously, via poison, by opening the door and throwing a poisonous snake inside, or by simply blocking the door to the traditional house and setting the thatch on fire.

Another argument for good (but hot) concrete block houses with tin roofs.

I don't know whether to laugh or cry about this headline from a right wing blog:

The United Nations Special Rapporteur on Counter-Terrorism and Human Rights has warned Americans not to elect Republican Mitt Romney in next month’s presidential election, saying that doing so would be “a democratic mandate for torture.”  The UN’s Ben Emmerson was referring to Romney’s refusal to rule out the use of waterboarding in interrogating terror detainees, a practice that President Barack Obama has ended.
I've written against torture in the past, but the dirty little secret is that President Obama no longer tries to capture terrorist leaders alive to torture them for information: Instead he just lets them be targeted and killed by drones. And I'm not sure this is an improvement.

On the other hand, having lived through a war where "insurgents" killed 32 of my friends (because they could, i.e. the victims were unarmed doctors/nuns or priests and working in rural hospitals and schools), I am not exactly a pacifist.

Belmont Club essay points out the same thing, quoting Pundita's blog, which calls non violence an American Fairy tale.

But short of teaching 12 year old schoolgirls to shoot those who threaten them, I'm not sure what you can do to protect innocent civilians against those who don't follow the rules of humanity.

On the other hand: compare and contrast: The Russian 1905 demonstrations and People power.

One didn't work, and the result was a very violent revolution 12 years later. The other succeeded, and the result is a very messy democracy.


Also from Instapundit:

MAMMOGRAM, PLEASE!:  In response to President Obama’s false claim that a reduction in government funding for Planned Parenthood would result in millions of women foregoing mammograms, a pro-life group, Live Action, decided to have 2,000 members call local Planned Parenthood offices to schedule the test.  Small problem: Planned Parenthood doesn’t offer mammograms (never has– it refers them out).
and although that was why Koman stopped funding them, the uproar by activists made them "change their mind". The result? the walk for breast cancer is now a dud. link2

The dangers of urban farming.
The scientists found that larger slums and a growing demand for food are pushing humans and animals into closer contact, which could fuel the spread of epidemics.
Attention Michelle:

forget the veggies that kids throw away. Just add powder to the junk food.


the "October surprise" is Gloria Allred's story saying Romney, acting in his role as a bishop, urged a mom not to abort her child after a heparin overdose.

The UK Mail has a story where, unlike the above case, the mom who had a blood disease that required daily injections of heparin, did carry the child to term.

and as a doc, yes,too much heparin might be a medical indication for abortion, but of course, the main benefit would be to the docs, who won't be sued for a live baby damaged because they didn't monitor the blood tests closely enough.


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