Sean's Blog

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Opinion And Current Events

Saturday, May 21, 2005

I haven't been following events in Canada as closely as I would have liked, but the one thing about the blogosphere is that it isn't hard to get caught up.

PM Paul Martin and the Liberals have survived a no confidence vote by bribing a conservative MP (Belinda Stronach) with a "second tier" ministerial position and by adopting a budget that the New Democrats (NDP) wanted.

This no confidence vote was the result of the revelation that the Liberals have been using tens of milllions in public money to finance their political agenda and to maintain control of the government.

We'll see how the Canadian people react at the next election. If they let the Liberals get away with this then they deserve the banana republic that will result.

Hey MSM, where's the outrage?:
With the revelation that a copy of the Quran may have been desecrated by U.S. military personnel at Guantanamo Bay, Muslims and their governments--including that of Saudi Arabia--reacted angrily. This anger would have been understandable if the U.S. government's adopted policy was to desecrate our Quran. But even before the Newsweek report was discredited, that was never part of the allegations.

As a Muslim, I am able to purchase copies of the Quran in any bookstore in any American city, and study its contents in countless American universities. American museums spend millions to exhibit and celebrate Muslim arts and heritage. On the other hand, my Christian and other non-Muslim brothers and sisters in Saudi Arabia--where I come from--are not even allowed to own a copy of their holy books. Indeed, the Saudi government desecrates and burns Bibles that its security forces confiscate at immigration points into the kingdom or during raids on Christian expatriates worshiping privately.
Bibles are being desecrated everyday in Muslim countries, but that somehow slipped past Newsweek. If Muslims want the Quran to be respected perhaps a good start would be to quit the official desecration of other religion's holy books.

Personally, I'm sick of the media's deference to Muslim sensibilities while completely ignoring the outrages Christianity faces from Muslims.

Where's the balance Newsweek? Where's your cover story on bibles being confiscated and burned by Saudi Arabia and where's your story of Christians being arrested for simply practicing their religion in their homes?

Ann Coulter:
Somehow Newsweek missed the story a few weeks ago about Saudi Arabia arresting 40 Christians for "trying to spread their poisonous religious beliefs." But give the American media a story about American interrogators defacing the Quran, and journalists are so appalled there's no time for fact-checking – before they dash off to see the latest exhibition of "Piss Christ."

Assistant Managing Editor Evan Thomas justified Newsweek's decision to run the incendiary anti-U.S. story about the Quran, saying that "similar reports from released detainees" had already run in the foreign press – "and in the Arab news agency al-Jazeera."

Is there an adult on the editorial board of Newsweek? Al-Jazeera also broadcast a TV miniseries last year based on the "Protocols of the Elders Of Zion." (I didn't see it, but I hear James Brolin was great!) Al-Jazeera has run programs on the intriguing question, "Is Zionism worse than Nazism?" (Take a wild guess where the consensus was on this one.) It runs viewer comments about Jews being descended from pigs and apes. How about that for a Newsweek cover story, Evan? You're covered – al-Jazeera has already run similar reports!

Ironically, among the reasons Newsweek gave for killing Isikoff's Lewinsky bombshell was that Evan Thomas was worried someone might get hurt. It seems that Lewinsky could be heard on tape saying that if the story came out, "I'll (expletive) kill myself."

But Newsweek couldn't wait a moment to run a story that predictably ginned up Islamic savages into murderous riots in Afghanistan, leaving hundreds injured and 16 dead. Who could have seen that coming? These are people who stone rape victims to death because the family "honor" has been violated and who fly planes into American skyscrapers because – wait, why did they do that again?
Newsweek has done irreparable damage. They've retracted their story, but it's too late. The deaths and damage are done.

I did find it infuriating to read that reporters, at the weekly White House briefing just after the retraction, were still, somehow, blaming President Bush for Newsweek's horrible lapse in judgement. The reporters were angry that President Bush's spokesman wanted Newsweek to take responsibility for their actions and the reporters present were simply outraged at any criticism.

As the blogosphere is finding out, they can dish it out, but they can't take it when their inaccurate reporting is put under a microscope.

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Mark Steyn on tsunami relief and how it's like the U.N.:
The part of the tsunami aid operation that worked was the first few days, when America, Australia and a handful of other nations improvised instant and effective emergency relief operations that did things like, you know, save lives, rescue people, restore water supply, etc. Then the poseurs of the transnational bureaucracy took over, held press conferences demanding that stingy Westerners needed to give more and more and more, and the usual incompetence and corruption followed.

But none of that matters. As the grotesque charade Voinovich and his Democrat chums have inflicted on us demonstrates, all that the so-called "multilateralists" require is that we be polite and deferential to the transnational establishment regardless of how useless it is. What matters in global diplomacy is that you pledge support rather than give any. Thus, Bolton would have no problem getting nominated as U.N. ambassador if he were more like Paul Martin.

Who? Well, he's prime minister of Canada. And in January, after the tsunami hit, he flew into Sri Lanka to pledge millions and millions and millions in aid. Not like that heartless George W. Bush back at the ranch in Texas. Why, Prime Minister Martin walked along the ravaged coast of Kalumnai and was, reported Canada's CTV network, "visibly shaken." President Bush might well have been shaken, but he wasn't visible, and in the international compassion league, that's what counts. So Martin boldly committed Canada to giving $425 million to tsunami relief. "Mr. Paul Martin Has Set A Great Example For The Rest Of The World Leaders!" raved the LankaWeb news service.

You know how much of that $425 million has been spent so far? Fifty thousand dollars -- Canadian. That's about 40 grand in U.S. dollars. The rest isn't tied up in Indonesian bureaucracy, it's back in Ottawa. But, unlike horrible "unilateralist" America, Canada enjoys a reputation as the perfect global citizen, renowned for its commitment to the U.N. and multilateralism. And on the beaches of Sri Lanka, that and a buck'll get you a strawberry daiquiri. Canada's contribution to tsunami relief is objectively useless and rhetorically fraudulent.

This is the way the transnational jet-set works when the entire world is in complete agreement and acting in perfect harmony. Unlike more "controversial" issues like the mass slaughter in Sudan, no Security Council member is pro-tsunami. And yet even when the entire planet is on the same side, the 24/7 lavishly funded U.N. humanitarian infrastructure can't get its act together.
The U.S., Australia and others get little or no credit for actually helping the people who needed our help in the immdiate aftermath. All praise is reserved for a United Nations that has done nothing since they took over.

The United Nations is a sick and disgusting organization. If this is multilateralism then the world is better off without them because then at least we wouldn't be fooled into believing that anything is actually being done to help people around the world who actually needs help.