Monday, February 18, 2013

Monday Links Part 1

From Ian:

Douglas Murray: Blaming the Victim
Since when is criticizing Islam a crime? Since when was defending the rights of writers, journalists and artists to say, write and draw what they like a crime? You really do have to rub your eyes. These are not Saudi papers or the Tehran Daily News running these smears — they are allegedly "liberal" papers in an allegedly "liberal" country in an allegedly "liberal" democracy.
If someone carries out a terrorist attack, they worry: Is the attacker to blame or are the victims? When a country suffers an outrage, are the people who carried out that outrage to blame, or might it be the fault of the country which has been subjected to the assault?
After 9/11, there were infamous examples of people claiming that America had "brought it upon itself." The Cambridge classics professor, Mary Beard, writing in the London Review of Books, famously commented, "However tactfully you dress it up, the United States had it coming." People will remember the infamous Ward Churchill's claim that it was the people in the Twin Towers who were "little Eichmanns," not the people who flew the planes into those towers.
When whole countries get the blame for attacks on themselves it is bad enough. But infinitely worse – because there is none of the solidarity available with which a country can console itself – is when an individual is blamed for what has happened to him. In particular, when what happened was an attempt on his life – whether failed or "successful."
When the Dutch politician, Pim Fortuyn, was murdered just before the elections in 2002, it was claimed that he had "provoked" people. The same was said of Theo van Gogh when he was murdered on an Amsterdam street in 2004: people said that he had brought it upon himself or even, amazingly, planned his death this way.

Exposing false ‘martyrs’ as suicidal
In the US, students are taught that suicide bombers are equivalent to a soldier who jumps on a grenade to protect his comrades.
This view is not only dangerous – because it glorifies suicide attackers and thus encourages future recruits – but also factually wrong. I have spent more than three years studying interview transcripts, suicide notes, “martyrdom” videos, and witness statements, and have uncovered more than 130 examples of suicide terrorists with classic risk factors for conventional suicide. I have yet to come across even one suicide attacker driven purely by ideology and altruism.
Those who volunteer are generally overwhelmed by personal crises and looking to escape their lives. Those who are coerced are usually weak and broken souls who’d rather die than risk trying to withdraw or disobey.

Quick IDF Action Nets Arab Shooters
Two Arabs arrested after they fired shots at Migdal Oz in the Etzion Bloc.
A quick IDF operation led to the arrest of two Arabs who fired shots at the kibbutz (cooperative community) of Migdal Oz in the Etzion Bloc Saturday night.
The shots were fired from the nearby village of Bayt Fajar.
A military source told Arutz Sheva that the source of the gunfire was identified shortly after the shooting began, and that a force from the Nachshon Battalion of the Kfir Brigade, which was on routine assignment in the area, was alerted.

Syrian Druze call on community members to defect from army
Leaders also tell coreligionists living on the Golan Heights to keep noses out of Syria’s business
Leaders of the Druze community in Syria on Saturday called on Druze soldiers to leave the army of President Bashar Assad, claiming it has betrayed its defensive mission and has become a tool of destruction.
They also called on Druze living on the Golan Heights in Israel, who have traditionally backed the Assad leadership, to keep from mixing in the conflict, saying they are far from the action.

Rebels: 1,000 Hezbollah fighters invaded Syria
Fourteen Hezbollah men killed in past two days in battles over control of villages near Lebanon border
Hezbollah's involvement in the Syrian civil war continues to grow. Syria's main opposition group claimed Sunday that no less than 1,000 Hezbollah men have entered Syria in the past 24 hours.
"It's a coordinated ground invasion," the Free Syrian Army spokesman said. "Hezbollah has started a war against us."

Egyptian police publicly beat to death man suspected of killing officer
Officers and police personnel arrested and beat to death a man they accused of killing a colleague at the site of funeral for the fallen captain in the southern governorate of Beni Suef
Egyptian policemen beat to death in public a man they believed was the killer of a police officer who was shot on Saturday morning in the Upper Egypt governorate of Beni Suef, according to Ahram's Arabic news website reporter.

Soccer fans shut down Egyptian city
Port Said residents disrupt rail services, close government office
Thousands of soccer fans enforced a work stoppage Sunday in Egypt’s restive city of Port Said to protest government “injustices,” disrupting rail services and forcefully evicting workers from factories and provincial government offices.
Egypt’s president Mohammed Morsi had declared a state of emergency and 30-day curfew in Port Said and two other Suez Canal provinces following a wave of violence that left more than 50 people dead last month. The state of emergency is still in effect, though the curfew was reduced to only two hours after residents ignored it.

Iran lawmaker says Fordo plant will never be shut down
Offer for easing of sanctions in return for closing uranium enrichment site is a step ‘to help Zionist regime,’ parliament leader says
A senior Iranian politician said Tehran would never shut down the controversial Fordo nuclear facility Sunday, insisting demands that it do so were aimed at helping Israel.
Alaeddin Boroujerdi, head of the Iranian parliament’s national security and foreign policy committee, made the comments several days after reports surfaced that the US and other world powers would offer to ease sanctions in return for shuttering the heavily guarded uranium enrichment facility.

Iran confiscates Buddha statues to stop promotion of Buddhism
An Iranian newspaper is reporting that government authorities are confiscating Buddha statues from shops in Tehran to stop the promotion of Buddhism in the country.
Sunday’s report by the independent Arman daily quotes Saeed Jaberi Ansari, an official for the protection of Iran’s cultural heritage, as saying that authorities will not permit a specific belief to be promoted through such statues.