Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Assad Bombs Kill 18 Children--Without Chemicals!

The Jerusalem Post reports that bombs dropped by Syrian Air Force helicopters over the past three days on an elementary school, town square and public market in Aleppo have killed 16 children, 2 of their teachers and over 100 civilians. The barrel bombs, which were dropped from the back doors of helicopters on the Tayba primary school and other civilian targets in Aleppo, almost certainly were intentional attacks, since the helicopters would have been flying low enough to clearly identify their targets.

However, the United States government and the other Western powers surely can take pride in the fact that none of these children, or the more than 100 other civilian victims of the bombings, were killed by chemical weapons.

At the same time, news outlets are reporting that the Western governments have informed the Syrian opposition forces that the ouster of Bassar Assad will not be on the table in the upcoming Geneva peace talks on Syria. Apparently the prospect of an Al Qaeda takeover in Syria has convinced the U.S. and its Western European allies that the Alawite-dominated Assad regime must stay in power.

A NATO declaration of a no-fly zone could stop this airborne butchery. Surely, also, there is an achievable middle gound between the current Assad regime and an Al Qaeda takeover.

What a colossal moral failure on the part of the West. This will and should haunt the Western and American conscience for decades. Someday, perhaps, a U.S. President will apologize for allowing this slaughter of innocent civilians to continue, as former President Clinton eventually apologized for the failure of the U.S. to stop the genocide in Rwanda.

Of course, that apology will mean about as much to the dead of Aleppo as the fact that they were killed by bombs rather than chemical weapons.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Is the Choice with Iran between War and Peace, or between Conventional War now and Nuclear War later?

In today's Wall Street Journal, Norman Podhoretz critically assesses the diplomatic outreach to Iran by the Obama Administration. He suggests that the range of choices posed publicly by the Administration, between war and peace, is actually a choice between conventional war now and nuclear war later. I hope that he is wrong, but I fear that he is not.

Romanian "Christmas Carol" Celebrates Holocaust

Although I am an observant Jew, and therefore reject any belief in Jesus as Messiah or divine in nature, I nonetheless have always enjoyed Christmas carols. We learned them and sang them in music classes in the public schools of Phoenix. Had I requested to be excused from joining in singing the carols, I certainly would have been allowed to do so, but I never did. When I was in high school, I would even join my non-Jewish friends in caroling--indeed, often I knew the lyrics to the traditional carols better than they did. However, apparently, Christmas carols in Romania are a little different from what I am used to here. An international furor has erupted over a Romanian public television broadcast last week of a "Christmas carol" performed by the Dor Transilvan ensemble. Here is an excerpt of the lyrics:
“The kikes, damn kikes, Holy God would not leave the kike alive, neither in heaven nor on earth, only in the chimney as smoke, this is what the kike is good for, to make kike smoke through the chimney on the street.”
Peace on earth and goodwill to men, indeed. To the credit of the Romanian government, official condemnations came swiftly. JTA reports that Titus Corlatean, the Romanian Foreign Minister, has even called for the prosecution of the responsible parties. As a United States citizen who treasures our rights of free expression under the First Amendment, I feel that a criminal prosecution is too drastic a response. Nontheless, I am grateful that Romanian officials took the matter so seriously. What has always seemed utterly incomprehensible to me about Christian anti-Semites is their cognitive ability to hate the Jewish people so thoroughly while worshipping a Jewish savior whose earliest followers consisted entirely of Jews. The founders of the Christian religion, Peter and Paul, and probably three of the four gospel writers, were Jews. Apparently the Dor Transilvan would have celebrated with song the burning of Jesus, Mary, Joseph, James, Peter, Paul, Matthew, Mark, and John along with the other "kikes." If someone can provide a rational explanation reconciling such views with Christianity, I would be grateful. It seems to me to be more of a nearly inbred animosity, reflective of the maxm by our Jewish sages that "Esau hates Jacob" is a matter of natural law.