William Katz:  Urgent Agenda

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EVENING UPDATE,  JANUARY 26,  2008


  Two great writers are at work today.  David Frum, in Canada's National Post, warns about UN plans for a Durban II.  Durban I, you'll recall, was an "anti-racism"conference held in Durban, South Africa, a week before the 9/11 attacks, that descended into an anti-Western and anti-Semitic orgy.  Durban II, the sequel, stars Libya as head of the UN's organizing committee, with seats already offered to Cuba and Iran.  It's planned for sometime in 2009.  I wonder how the new president of the United States will react. 

Canada has now announced that will not attend what one Canadian official called this "circus of intolerance."  Candidates for president should be required to make a no-go pledge, and avoid this farce.

Of course, you can be sure that any major speakers at the conference will immediately be invited to participate in anti-racism forums at American universities.  Maybe an honorary degree or two.

Mark Steyn, the second great, whose work has come under scrutiny by one of those "human rights commissions" in that self-same Canada, writes about the latest cave-in to militant Islam in Britain, where terrorism will now officially be labled "anti-Islamic activity."  No, this isn't a joke or a misprint.  It's a two-hands-up surrender.

Maybe there won't be another 9/11.  Maybe it won't be necessary.  There are plenty of people in the West who will just give in, and give in, and give in.  As reported here yesterday, our own Pentagon has fired an expert on Islamic teaching, apparently for telling the truth. 

He who controls the vocabulary, will control the nation.  Our language is under attack.  It is being changed by people who want to call terrorism "anti-Islamic activity."  And other changes are coming.  This is the tip of the iceberg.  Oh, I'm sorry.  I can't say iceberg.  Must not offend the global-warming "community."


   As if to emphasize the danger, Israeli defense minister Ehud Barak cautions, in an interview with the Washington Post, that Iran may have a secret uranium enrichment program, and is probably more advanced in other areas than we'd thought. A key quote:

We think that they are quite advanced, much beyond the level of the Manhattan Project. We suspect they are probably already working on warheads for ground-to-ground missiles . . . [and] that probably they have another clandestine enrichment operation beyond the one in Natanz.

Of course, Barak will be ignored.  I hope he's wrong, but he is probably right.  Washington seems today to be living in a fantasy world, returning to the policies of Bush 41, who never actually solved any problems, and who was all too willing to treat with dictators if some other headache could be kicked down the road.


   Further underlining what's happening while we snooze - the Spanish police, who've done great work despite their flaky government, may have prevented a series of tragedies, detailed in this report from Reuters.  The key quote:

The Al Qaeda-inspired cell planned to attack the Barcelona metro and other targets in Spain, Germany, France, Portugal and the United Kingdom, said the bomber turned police informant.

Repeat after me:  Its all a cultural misunderstanding brought about by American imperialist designs, neo-con magazine writers, and bikinis in European movies.

Look, we all know that.  


   There are two stories of fate today that remind us of our good fortune in seeing another sunrise.  One occurred just a few blocks from where this blog is written, in White Plains, New York.  I heard the sirens.  I saw the flashing lights.  Someone told me that whole sections of the town had suddenly been blocked off.  The New York Times reports on the tragedy.  Apparently - at least early reports say - an off-duty police officer stopped his car to break up a fight between two men.  He drew his weapon.  Two other police officers arrived at the scene, saw a man in civilian clothes with a pistol, and ordered him to drop it.  When the off-duty officer, a 23-year-old cop with little experience, didn't comply quickly enough, the arriving officers fired, and killed him. 

This is awful.  It looks like a young officer, stopping to do his duty, when he could have just driven away, was mistaken for a criminal.  It reminds us of the constant danger of police work.  I only hope the usual agitators won't come out to express their genius before the facts are known.

Late update:  Al Sharpton has just entered the case, getting his required face time on TV.  No TV, no Al.  I'm sure he'll bring his usual reason and judgment to this tragedy.  Yuch.

The second incident is equally heartbreaking.  Florence Cioffi, who'd worked at the World Trade Center, survived the 9/11 attacks when she took a coffee break at a very lucky time, and was able to escape.  Last night, not far from that scene, she was struck and killed by a driver who may have been drunk.  She was almost 60, and engaged to be married.

Count those blessings.


   Voting in the Democratic primary in South Carolina is under way, and, sadly, all the buzz is about race.  If Obama wins with vast black support, he might easily be marginalized as a one-faction candidate, unless he can show broader support elsewhere.  He's not being helpful to his cause, however, when he says things like this:

“After we won Iowa, everyone was so excited. Everybody said, ‘Oh, look at this, an African-American is winning in a state with almost no African-Americans and everybody is excited, young people came out,’” Mr. Obama said. “Well, you know what? The status quo does not give up that easily.”  

Bad move.  There's a bitterness there, and maybe it's understandable.  But Obama's strength, at least at the start of this campaign, was in his running as a candidate who happens to be black, not as an insurgent, with victimization thrown in for seasoning.  The more he portrays himself as man against the machine, and emphasizes young voters - a group the majority loves to ignore and sometimes sees as threatening - the more he becomes what he never wanted to be.

I may blog later on the Carolina results.  If not, tomorrow morning.

Posted on January 26, 2008.