Self-Inflicted Sanctions?

Europe may not have the opportunity to impose economic sanctions and isolation on Iran — because its president has decided to inflict it on his own country instead. Mahmoud Ahmedinjad has decreed the cancellation of all economic contracts in nations where the Prophet cartoons have been published:

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad ordered the cancellation of economic contracts with countries where the media have carried cartoons of the prophet, the ISNA news agency reported.
The report said the hardline president had ordered the creation of an official body to respond to the cartoons, saying the regime “must revise and cancel economic contracts with the countries that started this repulsive act and those that followed them.” …
The list, which already included Denmark, where the 12 caricatures first appeared last year, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway and Spain, expanded Saturday to take in New Zealand and Poland.

The mullahcracy should be proud of their accomplishments since they arranged the election of the former mayor of Teheran to the presidency. In a few short months, the Iranians have all but declared war on Israel and the US, forced a showdown over their nuclear plans, and now face almost complete isolation from their former European economic partners.
One hopes that Iranians will see the coming collapse of their standard of living, as well as the foolishness of generating so many enemies all at once, and act to remove the mullahs and their mouthpiece from power.

Iran Gets Referral To UNSC

Iran got the expected referral to the United Nations Security Council over its intransigence on nuclear power today, with only three of the 35 board members supporting the mullahcracy:

The United Nations nuclear watchdog has voted 27 to three to report Iran to the UN Security Council over its resumption of nuclear activities.
Teheran immediately reacted to the vote, saying it would curb UN inspections of its nuclear plants and pursue full-scale uranium enrichment.
Today’s decision by the board of the 35-nation International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) marks a significant step on the road towards possible economic and political sanctions against Iran.
But no further action is expected until March, when Mohamed El Baradei, the IAEA chief, delivers a formal report on his inspectors’ inquiries in Iran to the Security Council.

The delay came at the request of Russia and China, both of whom want to give Iran a few weeks to cool off and start acting rationally. The three no votes came from the further reaches of the lunatics, and five abstentions from the appeasers: Cuba, Syria, and Venezuela voted no, and Algeria, Belarus, Indonesia, Libya and South Africa all decided not to decide.
Does this mean sanctions and isolation will come soon from the UNSC? Doubtful. As I said yesterday, the Chinese appear not to care about a nuclear-armed Teheran on its border. A CQ reader pointed out that it would just be the fourth nuclear power on China’s border — but it would be the first with an Islamist government that celebrates suicide and martyrdom, not exactly a rational actor on the world stage. Russia may or may not participate in sanctions. It would like to keep Iran as a client state in Putin’s attempt to restart the Great Game, but Iran also funds and supplies the Islamists in the Caucasus that bedevil Russian rule in its southern territories.
What the referral does is provide a replay of the Iraq debate for this year. The US and UK, this time joined by the French and Germans, will insist on action against Iran. If the UNSC passes such a resolution and actually enforces it, it will prove a significant victory for the US/UK alliance. If not, it will provide another example of UN uselessness on terrorism and nuclear proliferation, and give the US/EU partners an opening to accelerate their efforts to topple the mullahcracy from within.
We’ll discuss this development with Michael Ledeen of the American Enterprise Institute on the Northern Alliance Radio Network. He will be on between 2 and 3 pm, the last hour of our four-hour show, which begins at 11 am CT on AM 1280 The Patriot. If you’re not in the Twin Cities, you can listen on the web stream at the link, and join the conversation with Michael and all of us by calling 651-289-4488.

The Contrived Cartoon Network

It appears that the controversy over the Prophet cartoons has been somewhat artificially enhanced by Muslim imams in Denmark, according to the London Telegraph. Numerous readers and commenters have pointed towards this article by Charles Moore, who reports that not only did these cartoons appear months ago, but the Danish imams included a few more than European newspapers never printed in order to fuel the outrage of their followers:

The complained-of cartoons first appeared in October; they have provoked such fury only now. As reported in this newspaper yesterday, it turns out that a group of Danish imams circulated the images to brethren in Muslim countries. When they did so, they included in their package three other, much more offensive cartoons which had not appeared in Jyllands-Posten but were lumped together so that many thought they had.
It rather looks as if the anger with which all Muslims are said to be burning needed some pretty determined stoking. Peter Mandelson, who seems to think that his job as European Trade Commissioner entitles him to pronounce on matters of faith and morals, accuses the papers that republished the cartoons of “adding fuel to the flames”; but those flames were lit (literally, as well as figuratively) by well-organised, radical Muslims who wanted other Muslims to get furious. How this network has operated would make a cracking piece of investigative journalism.
Now the BBC announces that the head of the International Association of Muslim Scholars has called for an “international day of anger” about the cartoons. It did not name this scholar, or tell us who he is. He is Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi. According to Ken Livingstone, the Mayor of London, Qaradawi is like Pope John XXIII for Catholics, “the most progressive force for change” in the Muslim world.
Yet if you look up Qaradawi’s pronouncements, you find that he sympathises with the judicial killing of homosexuals, and wants the rejection of dialogue with Jews in favour of “the sword and the rifle”. He is very keen on suicide bombing, especially if the people who blow themselves up are children – “we have the children bomb”. This is a man for whom a single “day of anger” is surely little different from the other 364 days of the year.

Hugh Hewitt has posted thought-provoking comments today on how he imagines Winston Churchill would have reacted. Hugh has argued for the past two days that we should uphold the right of European newspapers to print the cartoons, but not endorse their publication in a knee-jerk reaction to the violent Muslim protests worldwide. He asks us to recall how we Christians feel about negative depictions of Jesus and how often we’ve protested anti-Christian media portrayals. And he has a point, for which I recommend CQ readers review his posts over the last couple of days to consider.
However, the point is not the offense to religious sensibilities, especially in light of the gasoline poured on this fire by Muslims themselves. It isn’t the restriction of idolatry, either; as Moore points out, plenty of artwork depicting the Prophet exists in the ummah. Muslims are angry because these cartoons criticize followers of Islam and the actions of the Prophet.
Editorial cartoons exist to challenge political thought and expose hypocrisy. Among religions, Islam should be the least protected from this form of speech, as it insists on involving itself in temporal political matters wherever it is practiced. Indeed, it insists on dictating political and legal matters, usually in the most extreme terms, and it uses the life of Mohammed as its claim on political and legal supremacy. Christianity hasn’t taken that position in centuries, focusing on the spiritual and individual rather than group diktat. Judaism hasn’t had the means to develop that kind of theocratic position for over two millenia until the establishment of Israel, and even then the Chosen have chosen a liberal democracy for themselves rather than rule by the high-priest descendants of Aaron.
That insistence on dictating terms of temporal power makes criticism, by cartoonists or editorialists, absolutely necessary in order to combat the stultifying reach of sharia. Islam sets the terms of debate. It cannot insist on temporal rule based on Mohammed and the Qu’ran and then expect people to refrain from criticizing either one. Christians understand this, even if they don’t pursue the thought intellectually to its end. If we Christians insisted on basing all government and laws explicitly on the four Gospels, we would necessarily be forced to intellectually defend each and every passage, as well as the life and actions of Jesus and his disciples and their assumed infallibility to rule on human activity.
For this reason, we must support the publication of the cartoons by European news organizations. Islam wants to impose its tenets on us, and if we give up the option of political criticism, we have moved more than halfway towards surrender to the Islamists. For those individuals who cross the line into unnecessary offense, the option to use free debate to argue the point will remain open as long as we defend free speech.
UPDATE: Michelle Malkin worked all night on a video presentation that connects a few dots. Be sure to watch it.

Which Jobs Are They Taking?

The Guardian reports that American crops have been left to rot in the fields, thanks to a sudden dearth of migrant workers for farm work. Is this the result of better border enforcement? No — it turns out that the illegal immigrants that do the work Americans don’t want have decided they don’t want them either:

After 15 years working in the fields of California for American farmers, Mr Camacho has found a new life: two months ago he started working at the Golden Acorn Casino.
“It pays better,” he says. “In the fields you work all hours, it’s cold and hard and you don’t get more than $7 [about £4] an hour. With this job I have regular hours, I know when I’m going to work and I know what I’m going to earn.”
Mr Camacho is not unique. Agricultural labourers, almost exclusively Latinos and at least two-thirds of them undocumented, are moving into more stable, less harsh employment.
The migration from agriculture is taking its toll on one of the largest industries in the US – and particularly on California’s $32bn a year sector. Faced with an exodus of labour to the construction industry as well as to the leisure and retail sectors, farmers are struggling to get their crops in. Ten percent of the cauliflower and broccoli harvest has been left to rot this year, and some estimates put the likely loss of the winter harvest as high as 50%. …
Mr Lopez – known to admirers and detractors as The Dog – has been working in the Imperial Valley around Calexico for 39 years. Each day he hires 600 to 800 workers, but this year he’s been unable to meet the farmers’ demands. “There’s lots of work and very few people,” he says. “We never make up our teams. You could pay them $10 an hour and it wouldn’t make any difference.” Most of the workers are paid $7.25 an hour, above the minimum wage of $6.75.

This has not been widely reported in the United States and rebuts the Bush Administration’s argument that the migrant workers take jobs that Americans are unwilling to do. It also undermines the union allegations that the migrants depress wages — it looks like salaries have jumped considerably regardless of the influx of labor. That also has been reflected in the labor statistics, where the jobless rate has dropped to its lowest in almost five years, 4.7%.
So what does this mean? It shows that illegal immigrants aren’t just interested in working the farms, nobly putting food on our tables and keeping its cost low. They share the same goals as American workers: less work for more pay. American businesses want greater efficiency at less cost, and so continue to employ these workers, even while their salary demands start to rise. It also shows the silliness of raising the minimum wage; in a healthy economy, labor gets its market-based value. Cutting off the flow of extra workers over our southern border would do more to increase the base wages for Americans than any artificial controls imposed by government anyway.
Economic justifications for guest-worker programs do not appear very credible. At some point, we have to wonder why Americans wouldn’t choose to work at casinos for anything north of minimum wage. The immigrants have indeed put themselves between legal residents and paying jobs, and we’re still not getting the crops harvested. Why would we want to make this a permanent condition?

Happy Birthday, Of Sorts

Today is the First Mate’s birthday, and unfortunately, we’ll be spending the morning celebrating at the Fairview University transplant clinic. She’s still not improving, but we’re trying one more round of IV treatments before the doctors give up entirely on the transplanted kidney. We also found out that her anemia flared up again, and now she needs two units of blood to get her oxygenation back to normal levels.
Fun way to spend a birthday, huh?
I’m blogging from the clinic while she gets her IV and keeping her company. The nurses always ask me whether I’m working when I pull out the computer, which gets a laugh from the First Mate and a tortured explanation from me. “Yes … well, no, it’s more fun than work … but sort of, I guess …”
On a happier note, I plan on taking the FM out to a big steak dinner later tonight — have to fight that anemia, and what better way than filet Mignon at Axel’s? After that, we may take in a movie if there’s anything out worth paying money to watch. Tomorrow we’ll go to Khoury’s for their excellent and elegant brunch, with the rest of the family joining us. She may not be chipper enough to join in the Super Bowl festivities later on, but knowing how she feels about football (except for Notre Dame football, natch!), it won’t put a dent in her day to miss it.
A big happy birthday to Mitch’s son Zam, who turns 13 today. Now Mitch has two teenagers at home, God help him.

Is Super Bowl XL Steelers Vs Stealers?

One of the more inspiring stories of the two teams vying for the Super Bowl win has been the relationship between the teams and their home-town fans. Everyone knows that Pittsburgh lives and dies each week with their beloved Steelers, more so than with any of their other professional teams, and that the character of the team itself reflects the character of its home town: gritty, hard-nosed, blue-collar, sometimes down but never out. For the Seahawks, the team doesn’t necessarily share in the same qualities as its setting, but this season the team forged a special bond with its fans at home. The 12th Man flag, raised at every home game and its logo sold on towels, t-shirts, and other merchandise, reflected the team’s appreciation for fan support making them almost invincible at home.
However, Texas A&M now says that the Seahawks are the ultimate Stealers, er, thieves — because the 12th Man has been an Aggie tradition for over 80 years, and a trademarked one at that:

Here at Texas A&M University, a school obsessed with tradition, there’s no more sacred a ritual than standing during an entire football game, just in case you’re needed on the field as the 12th Man.
So when the Super Bowl-bound Seattle Seahawks embraced the “12th Man” theme this season, the school moved decisively: A&M took the Seahawks to court, arguing that the 84-year-old Aggie tradition is so central to the school’s identity that the phrase has been trademarked — twice. …
The 12th Man tradition at A&M dates to 1922, when a student was pulled from the stands to suit up for a game in case the injury-plagued Aggies needed an assist.
The idea has evolved into a seriously regarded commitment by fans to stand ready to support the team. The school sells 12th Man merchandise, a 12th Man Foundation supports the athletic program, and the stands at Kyle Field are adorned with giant letters that read “Home of the 12th Man.”
The Seahawks’ history with the 12th Man dates to the mid-1980s, when raucous fans raised the roof at the now-demolished Kingdome. In honor of fans, the team retired the number 12 in 1984.

Ironically, this story appears in the Los Angeles Times, a city so inept that it managed to lose two NFL franchises within a decade because only 12 people would pay to see the Rams and Raiders play football. But I digress.
The Aggies have little choice but to pursue this legally if the Seahawks continue to use their trademarked phrase without gaining a license from the university. Trademarks have to be defended when infringed, or else the owner can lose them and they pass into the public domain. Coca-Cola used to threaten lawsuits every time a restaurant called any of their non-Coca Cola products “Coke”. Xerox did the same when publications used its name as a generic term for photocopying. Cellophane used to be a trademark, but has long since passed into the public domain thanks to careless maintenance of the trademark.
Not too surprisingly, the Aggies got a Texas court to issue an injunction, one which the Seahawks have roundly ignored. The ‘Hawks got the case moved to federal court this week but did not get the injunction vacated, so technically the Aggies could ask to have all Seahawks merchandise with a “12th Man” mention confiscated tomorrow in Detroit. It’s rather hard to imagine that a federal court will uphold this trademark, despite the Aggie’s tradition; the phrase has long been used by sports announcers to describe boisterous home fans, and I doubt even longtime football fans have any idea about A&M’s claim on the phrase. Still, until a federal court rules that the phrase has passed into the public domain, the trademark remains in force — and the Seahawks technically have stolen it.
My prediction for tomorrow: Watch the Steelers — the Pittsburgh Steelers, that is — jump out to a 14-point lead quickly, perhaps on an opening drive and a Seattle turnover, and then ride that to a 27-14 win over the Seahawks. Shaun Alexander will get held to under a hundred yards and maybe one touchdown, while the Steelers’ bigger offensive line will set up a rushing attack for its two featured backs (Bettis, Parker) that will result in almost 200 yards on the ground. Roethlisberger goes 20-28 and two TDs, while Hasselbeck goes 24-36 with a TD and two picks. Seattle’s a great home team, but only average on the road, while the Steelers have thrived on travel. Detroit will be a Pittsburgh-friendly venue, and the Steelers have already knocked off one team that went unbeaten at home (Denver).
And I’d better be right. I made a bet with Hugh Hewitt last night, on the air. If the Steelers lose, on Monday you’ll read a Hugh Hewitt post here at CQ rubbing salt in my wounds and probably talking about how great the Cleveland Browns really are despite not having won a championship in half a century. If I win, I’ll be posting my picture of Hugh wearing my Steeler’s cap. (He’s not letting me on his blog if I win, which should tell you how confident he is in his selection of Seattle as the winner tomorrow!)

Iran Issues More Threats About Referral

Iran threatened to walk away from a potential deal with Russia that would have supposedly kept Teheran from enriching its own uranium if the EU and the US force the IAEA to refer its case to the UN. However, it does not appear that the latest Iranian gambit will have much play with the IAEA board, which looks to overwhelmingly support the referral:

Javad Vaeidi, the deputy head of Iran’s National Security Council, said “there will be no way we can continue with the Russian proposal” if the Security Council becomes involved.
Mr Vaeidi acknowledged that referral seemed unavoidable, telling reporters: “This is an adopted draft. It means that the US and the EU-3 [Britain, France and Germany] are intending to kill two issues: first to stop diplomacy and second to kill the Russian proposal,” he said.
Iranian officials are due in Moscow on 16 February for talks on the Kremlin’s proposal to enrich uranium for Iran’s nuclear programme on Russian soil. The offer, backed by the United States and the EU, is intended to make it more difficult for Tehran to develop weapons. Iran has welcomed the proposal but says it needs work, leading to suspicions that it is stalling.
Mr Vaeidi also reiterated earlier threats that Iran will resume full-scale work on uranium enrichment and stop honouring an agreement giving IAEA inspectors broad powers to conduct short-notice inspections of his country’s nuclear programme if there is a referral to the Security Council.

China also did its best to undermine the effort to contain Iran, announcing that it will oppose economic sanctions against Iran “on principal”. No one really expected an oil-hungry China to go the distance on containing Iran, but this early exit from the unified front exposes their lack of farsightedness on the threat that Iranian nuclear power constitutes. Iran doesn’t just threaten the West, nor does it just threaten Israel; it threatens the entire region, including southern Russia, and therefore threatens the entire Southwest Asian oil supply and its exportation to all oil-hungry nations, including China.
The bigger news is that almost all of the rest of the IAEA board has thrown their lot in against Iran. Only the incorrigibles still hold out in opposition to a referral: Cuba, Venezuela, and Syria appear to lead the small contingent that wants to leave Iran to its own devices. The Western alliance that wants the referral asked for a one-day extension to get more of the board members to vote “yes” rather than abstain on the motion, but its passage looks like a lock at this point.
Will the Security Council do anything significant to stop Iran — impose economic sanctions at least? China would probably use its veto to stop it. However, the exercise might give Tony Blair and George Bush enough political cover to justify other action against the Iranians, especially a stepped-up covert campaign to push Iranian democracy activists to rise up against the mullahs. The presence of the Coalition forces in Iraq will shortly start declining, and with them will go a significant amount of Anglo-American leverage. If such action will take place, it should do so very quickly, while we have the necessary elements for pressure at hand.
Tomorrow we will discuss this topic with Michael Ledeen of the American Enterprise Institute on the Northern Alliance Radio Network. He will be on between 2 and 3 pm, the last hour of our four-hour show, which begins at 11 am CT on AM 1280 The Patriot. If you’re not in the Twin Cities, you can listen on the web stream at the link, and join the conversation with Michael and all of us by calling 651-289-4488.

Marching To Dhimmitude

The State Department has decided to give its opinion of free speech as it applies to the publication of cartoons satirizing Islam and Mohammed in Europe. Surprisingly, the department that represents America and its ideals of freedom abroad has decided to take this opportunity to scold the publishers rather than the angry mobs calling for violence:

Washington on Friday condemned caricatures in European newspapers of the Prophet Mohammad, siding with Muslims who are outraged that the publications put press freedom over respect for religion.
By inserting itself into a dispute that has become a lightning rod for anti-European sentiment across the Muslim world, the United States could help its own battered image among Muslims.
“These cartoons are indeed offensive to the belief of Muslims,” State Department spokesman Kurtis Cooper said in answer to a question. “We all fully recognize and respect freedom of the press and expression but it must be coupled with press responsibility. Inciting religious or ethnic hatreds in this manner is not acceptable.”

Is that how free speech works? We have the right to say and print whatever we want … until it offends someone, and then it’s unacceptable? I’m not advocating that the State Department should have endorsed the cartoons themselves, but one would expect America to at least stand for the right of publication and the necessity of sometimes offending people in order to produce the necessary change for progress.
Would the State Department have apologized to Nazis in 1938 for depictions of Hitler as a lunatic? It would have offended millions of German fascists. Have they demanded an end to artists’ depictions of Jesus and Mary in elephant dung and urine? No, and they shouldn’t. Let the Christians protest these artists and boycott those who exhibit their wares, but America should at least acknowledge the rights of the artists to produce and others to privately publish these images.
If this is some sort of lame attempt to win credibility among Muslims, it’s pathetic on two counts. First, it simply won’t work — we’ve interceded on their behalf before (in the Balkans, for instance) and it didn’t win us any brownie points at all. More importantly, it sells out a critical component of what makes America and its freedoms so compelling. Volunteering for dhimmitude does nothing but encourage the Islamist lunatics, something we’d hoped that the State Department had learned by now.

The Cartoon Network

Muslims around the world have banded together to violently protest the publication of cartoons depicting Mohammed and other aspects of Islam, threatening attacks on Europeans and their newspapers if apologies do not come soon, the Guardian (UK) reports. European leaders have taken their normal stance in defence of Western freedoms; they’re apologizing for them:

Europe’s political elite were scrambling last night to contain the furore across the Arab world at the publication of caricatures of Muhammad, with leaders stressing that freedom of the press did not mean freedom to cause offence.
With newspaper editors in half a dozen countries unrepentant at the decision to republish cartoons depicting the prophet, EU commissioners stepped in to berate the press and try to calm Muslim anger.
Anders Fogh Rasmussen, the prime minister of Denmark, where the cartoons were first published last autumn, said in an interview with al-Arabiya television that there had been no intention to offend. “We deeply respect all religions, including Islam, and it is important for me to tell you that the Danish people have no intention to offend Muslims,” he said.
The EU also entered the fray. Peter Mandelson, the trade commissioner, said that newspapers had been deliberately provocative in republishing the drawings. Franco Frattini, the EU justice commissioner, said that the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten had been “imprudent” to publish the 12 cartoons on September 30. Publication was wrong, he said, “even if the satire used was aimed at a distorted interpretation of religion, such as that used by terrorists to recruit young people, sometimes to the point of sending them into action as suicide bombers”.
Even Kofi Annan, the UN secretary general, was drawn into the debate, saying that freedom of the press should not be an excuse for insulting religions.
But not everyone was acquiescent. France’s interior minister, Nicolas Sarkozy, said he preferred “an excess of caricature to an excess of censure”.

I’m no fan of excessive offense against religion, but the civilized method of protest is boycott and debate, not threats of violence, kidnapping, and murder. In the Palestinian territories, bands of armed thugs raided hotels looking for Europeans to hold hostage. Iran demanded explanations from the Austrian ambassador (Austria holds the EU presidency). In Indonesia and Pakistan, the protestors demanded violence against Denmark and France, and Muslim nations around the world spent their legislative time condemning the cartoons.
It is beyond disappointing that the EU and national leaders in Europe do not show the same courage as the editors of these publications. How difficult is it to defend free speech? If the Muslims don’t like it, let them use the same freedom of speech to protest the publication by arguing against it on its merits, not by threatening death to anyone who breaks the tenets of their faith.
And while we’re at it, let’s ask our Exempt Media why they suddenly have too much “respect” to show images that might provide religious offense. Where were they when Chris Ofili created his dung-filled portrait of the Virgin Mary, or when Andres Serrano dunked a cruficix into a beaker of his own urine and called it art? They spent their efforts on publishing those images and praising the courage of the artists. Oh, but wait, there was one difference: Christians called for boycotts, not kidnappings and murders for the editors.
Perhaps the Exempt Media could at least publish this one cartoon that portrays Mohammed as smarter than most of his followers:

Too bad the protestors can’t take this advice. Too bad that EU leadership and the American media show such reluctance to defend free speech and the people’s right to know when it needs defending most. Too bad that these bastions of Western thought could be so cowed by the Cartoon Network.

The Sun Rose In The East Today, Too

Another day brings yet another statement from Hamas that they will never recognize the “Zionist state that was established on our land,” making it ever more difficult to insist that the terrorist group will moderate their position. The good news? They’ve offered Israel a hudna:

Defying international pressure, the militant Islamic group Hamas said on Friday it will never recognize
Israel but might be willing to negotiate terms for a temporary truce with the Jewish state.
Khaled Meshaal, the top leader of Hamas which won last week’s Palestinian parliamentary election by a landslide, made the offer to Israel via a column titled “To whom it may concern,” published in the al-Hayat al-Jadida newspaper.
“We will never recognize the legitimacy of the Zionist state that was established on our land,” Meshaal, the Damascus-based head of the political and military wings of the militant Islamic group, wrote in the column. …
They have said they might heed a truce with Israel as an interim measure that could include the establishment of a Palestinian state in the Gaza Strip and occupied West Bank, but would not abandon a long-term goal to destroy Israel.
“If you (Israel) are willing to accept the principle of a long-term truce then we will be ready to negotiate with you over the conditions of such a truce,” Meshaal wrote.

I see this as the Dread Pirate Roberts offer of peace. Fans of the movie The Princess Bride will recall that Wesley tells Buttercup about his uneasy relationship with his captor after being made the pirate’s valet. Every night as Wesley went to bed, the pirate told him, “Good night, Wesley. Fine job. I’ll most likely kill you in the morning.”
The Hamas offer is the most honest attempt at a hudna that Muslims have recently made. The truce only lasts while the Muslim can take advantage of it and strengthens his position at the expense of his enemy. It does not lead to peace, but only postpones conflict until the time of the Islamist’s choosing. Hamas insists that they will eventually destroy Israel, but wants to offer peace as long as Hamas can consolidate its power in Gaza and the West Bank.
Elsewhere, Reuters reports that the US will probably start releasing funds so that Hamas does not turn to Iran for funding. That’s almost as dumb as accepting a hudna. The point isn’t to co-opt Iran as a bankroller of terrorist groups — the point is to stop terrorist groups from getting funding at all. Hamas already gets money from Iran anyway. Receiving American dollars on top of that won’t lead to moderation on the part of Hamas, but embolden them towards more aggression, and give them the means to pay for it as well.
Cut off the funds to Palestine. Make the people there understand that with democracy comes responsibility for the choices made — and that choosing a terrorist group to run one’s country brings severe consequences to one’s global standing.