Tuesday, December 02, 2003

Storm Clouds Over Europe

A friend sent me this and asked that I pass it along. After checking it for factual accuracy, I present it here. It is a warning, and an action plan.


I ask each of you to read this and perhaps reflect how lucky we are here in the US, but what are we doing about the rest of world. I am beginning to dislike the French very much! Rocks have been lifted all over Europe, and the snakes of Jew-hatred are slithering free.

In Belgium, thugs beat up the chief rabbi, kicking him in the face and calling him "a dirty Jew."

Two synagogues in Brussels were firebombed; a third, in Charleroi, was sprayed with automatic weapon fire.

In Britain, the cover of the New Statesman, a left-wing magazine, depicted a large Star of David stabbing the Union Jack.

Oxford professor Tom Paulin, a noted poet, told an Egyptian interviewer that American Jews who move to the West Bank and Gaza "should be shot dead."

A Jewish yeshiva student reading the Psalms was stabbed 27 times on a London bus.

"Anti-Semitism", wrote a columnist in The Spectator, "has become respectable . . . at London dinner tables." She quoted one member of the House of Lords: "The Jews have been asking for it and now, thank God, we can say what we think at last."

In Italy, the daily paper La Stampa published a Page 1 cartoon: A tank emblazoned with a Jewish star points its gun at the baby Jesus, who pleads, "Surely they don't want to kill me again?"

In Corriere Della Sera, another cartoon showed Jesus trapped in his tomb, unable to rise, because Ariel Sharon, with rifle in hand, is sitting on the sepulcher. The caption: "Non resurrexit."

In Germany, a rabbinical student was beaten up in downtown Berlin and a grenade was thrown into a Jewish cemetery. Thousands of neo-Nazis held a rally, marching near a synagogue on the Jewish Sabbath. Graffiti appeared on a synagogue in the western town of Hereford: "Six million were not enough."

In Ukraine, skinheads attacked Jewish worshippers and smashed the windows of Kiev's main synagogue. Ukrainian police denied that the attack was anti-Jewish.

In Greece, Jewish graves were desecrated in Loannina and vandals hurled paint at the Holocaust memorial in Salonica.

In Holland, an anti-Israel demonstration featured swastikas, photos of Hitler, and chants of "Sieg Heil" and "Jews into the sea."

In Slovakia, the Jewish cemetery of Kosice was invaded and 135 tombstones destroyed.

But nowhere have the flames of anti-Semitism burned more furiously than in France:

In Lyon, a car was rammed into a synagogue and set on fire. In Montpellier, the Jewish religious center was firebombed; so were synagogues in Strasbourg and Marseilles; so was a Jewish school in Creteil. A Jewish sports club in Toulouse was attacked with Molotov cocktails, and on the statue of Alfred Dreyfus in Paris, the words "Dirty Jew" were painted.

In Bondy, 15 men beat up members of a Jewish football team with sticks and metal bars. The bus that takes Jewish children to school in Aubervilliers has been attacked three times in the last 14 months.

According to the police, metropolitan Paris has seen 10 to 12 anti-Jewish incidents per day since Easter. Walls in Jewish neighborhoods have been defaced with slogans proclaiming "Jews to the gas chambers" and "Death to the Jews."

The weekly journal Le Nouvel Observateur published an appalling libel: It said Israeli soldiers rape Palestinian women, so that their relatives will kill them to preserve "family honor."

The French ambassador to Great Britain was not sacked -- and did not apologize -- when it was learned that he had told guests at a London dinner that the world's troubles were the fault of "...that shitty little country, Israel."

"At the start of the 21st century," writes Pierre-Andre Taguieff, a well-known social scientist, in a new book, "we are discovering that Jews are once again select targets of violence. . . Hatred of the Jews has returned to France." But of course, it never left. Not France; not Europe.

Anti-Semitism, the oldest bigotry known to man, has been a part of European society since time immemorial. In the aftermath of the Holocaust, open Jew-hatred became unfashionable; but fashions change, and Europe is reverting to type.

To be sure, some Europeans are shocked by the reemergence of Jew-hatred all over their continent. But the more common reaction has been complacency.

"Stop saying that there is anti-Semitism in France," President Jacques Chirac scolded a Jewish editor in January. "There is no anti-Semitism in France."

The European media have been vicious in condemning Israel's self-defense against Palestinian terrorism in the West Bank; they have been far less agitated about anti-Jewish terror in their own backyard.

They are making a grievous mistake. For if today the violence and vitriol are aimed at the Jews, tomorrow they will be aimed at the Christians. A timeless lesson of history is that it rarely ends with the Jews.

Militant Islamist extremists were attacking and killing Jews long before they attacked and killed Americans on Sept. 11.

The Nazis first set out to incinerate the Jews; in the end, all of Europe was ablaze. Jews, it is often said, are the canary in the coal mine of civilization. When they become the objects of savagery and hate, it means the air has been poisoned and an explosion is soon to come. If Europeans don't rise up and turn against the Jew-haters, it is only a matter of time until the Jew-haters rise up and turn against them.

French Anti-Semitism Finally and long overdue, your people, oppressed and disgraced by hatred and maliciousness, have achieved justice: now you enjoy full citizen's rights, but you'll remain Jews nonetheless." Franz Grillparzer (1791-1872), Austrian author.

A gunman opened fire on a kosher butcher's shop (and, of course, the butcher) in Toulouse, France; a Jewish couple in their 20s were beaten up by five men in Villeurbanne, France. The woman was pregnant; a Jewish school was broken into and vandalized in Sarcelles, France. This was in the past week.

According to the Anti-Defamation League, from September 9, 2000, at the start of the intifada, through November 20, 2001, there were some 330 acts of anti-Semitism just in and around Paris. In addition to literally scores of firebombings of synagogues, just before Rosh Hashanah, 200 Arabs attacked Jews on the Champs Elysees. The pace has only picked up since then:

In December, a French cinema in Paris refused to allow a Hanukah showing of
Harry Potter to 800 Jewish children because of French-Palestinian threats (the threats were confirmed by French police who then went on to do nothing, not even giving details). It was one incident in an eventful month when synagogues continued to be firebombed and a Jewish kindergarten was vandalized with anti-Semitic graffiti and set ablaze.

We can understand anti-Semitism among the French people. There is nothing the French love like their traditions and, on the question of hating Jews, they certainly have tradition galore. What, however, can explain the sometimes muted, sometimes defensively outraged reaction of French officials?

Simple. There are approximately 5,000,000 to 6,000,000 Muslims presently living in France and many more arrive daily. There are only about 600,000 Jews still living in France. Moreover, France has been the number one European exporter to Iraq, totaling over two billion dollars per year in exports since 2000. To those who are at a loss to explain why French elected officials seem "helpless" to stem the tide of anti-Semitism, I say that something smells awfully Vichy around here.

You already know that Israel is at war against a fearsome enemy, which has brought the fight to its streets. Much of the civilized world (well, at least on this side of the Atlantic), finally understands this fact.

What is not being acknowledged, however, is that this is not a war against Israel, or as propagandists and demagogues worldwide would have it, occupiers.

This is a war against each and every individual, Israeli or not, religious or not, Zionist or not, right, left or center, who identifies himself or herself as Jewish. Israel is only the publicized front line and if you are not in Israel, and the fight has not arrived at your front yard, just wait. Or, perhaps, we shouldn't wait. Perhaps history has finally taught us, of all people, that waiting and hoping for succor and sympathy from the nations of the world will lead only to more burned synagogues, pogroms, and, down the road, grim-faced dignitaries mouthing "never again" while dedicating yet another memorial museum. We cannot wait inactively and hope to have security or peace for our children or ourselves. We dare not privately rail against irrational, virulent hatred while letting the world believe that we remain disinterested, accepting our lot with equanimity or, worse, resignation. We can and must do more than simply grieve.

So I call on you, whether you are a fellow Jew, a friend, or merely a person with the capacity and desire to distinguish decency from depravity, to do, at least, these three simple things:

First, care enough to stay informed. Don't ever let yourself become deluded into thinking that this is not your fight.

Second, boycott France. Only the Arab countries are more toxically anti-Semitic and, unlike them, France exports more than just oil and hatred. So boycott their wines and their perfumes. Boycott their clothes and their foodstuffs. Boycott their movies. Definitely boycott their shores. If we are resolved we can exert amazing pressure and, whatever else we may know about the French, we most certainly know that they are as a cobweb in a hurricane in the face of well directed pressure.

Third, send this along to your family, your friends, and your coworkers. Think of all of the people of good conscience that you know and let them know that you and the people that you care about need their help.

The number one best selling book in France is "September 11: The Frightening Fraud," which argues that no plane ever hit the Pentagon.

Our only strength is the strength of our community and there can be no community without communication.

This is really scary stuff, Read it very carefully and thoroughly. We cannot allow this to continue. You MUST pass it on to as many people as you know, so we can curb this hideous anti-Semitic wave and squelch it ... before it grows and engulfs us all.

Monday, December 01, 2003

Peace or Piece

I don't know whether to laugh or cry this morning. Some Israeli dissidents, without even a strong minority of Israeli support, have offerred a peace plan that gives away even more than the fantasy plan advanced by Barak, yet the Palestinian shills involved can't even agree that this plan offers enough. More territory, including the Temple Mount, coupled with less security guarantees for Israel, means that this plan has absolutely no chance of passing any Israeli plebiscite. Yet even this is not enough for the Palistinian enemies of humanity.

Anyone with fantasies that the Pali leadership is serious about wanting any sort of peace that includes living Jews remaining in the Holy Land should have had their bubble burst, yet nobody expects the "antizionists" to discern any such thing. Even though their military strength is marginal at best, and even their terrorist reach has failed to kill more Israelis than automobile accidents, it is more clear than ever that they will choose no plan that limits their freedom to kill and die in the pursuit of Jewish blood.

Yet the atmospherics of the plan are comical. Almost all of the "World Leaders" who are associated with the plan are no longer able to wield power in their own countries. Famous has-beens starting with, of course, our own national joke Jimmy Carter, followed by such notables as Lech Walesa and former Presidents Mikhail Gorbachev of the Soviet Union and F.W. de Klerk of the Apartheid regime of South Africa. Yossi Beilin, the Israeli who is spearheading the effort has become so marginal in his politics that he no longer even qualifies (as, now, a member of the fringe Meretz party) for the Israeli Knesset. Yet the Palestinians who had allowed their names to become associated with the plan are now trying to end that association. About 700 guests, including many intellectuals and celebrities from both sides of the divide are due to attend. I haven't seen a guest list, but the Master of Ceremonies is said to be the noted self-hating Jew Richard Dreyfuss. I don't doubt that his buddy and fellow self-hater Noam Chomsky and the rest of that evil crowd will attend as well, but that is just my surmise.

The Palestinian position is so craven, so phony, that I will quote a news article that is sympathetic to the plan:
Ahead of his departure to Geneva, Rajoub underlined that his presence did not necessarily signify that Arafat was giving it his official seal of approval. "This decision reflects a desire by the Palestinian leadership to encourage the Israeli peace camp," Rajoub told AFP.

The decision by Arafat to despatch Rajoub and Fares to Switzerland came shortly after the Fatah central committee formally rejected the accord. But Fatah deputy Hatem Abdel Qader said that Arafat did not want to toss away the chance of gaining the upper hand over Sharon in their battle for international support. "President Arafat does not want to sacrifice the gains that the Geneva Initiative can bring him," Qader told AFP. "This is the reason why the Palestinian leadership has adopted an ambiguous rather than a clear-cut official position."

According to Fatah heavyweight Sakher Habash, Arafat is looking to seize the intiative as a chance to appear as a man of peace, thus portraying Sharon as an obstructionist for his rejection of the project.
To sum up - even though the Palestinian leadership has officially rejected the plan, they believe that the credulous international "community" will allow them to use their "acceptance" of the plan to their advantage. If they are right, and I believe that they are, it will be a sad moment in the history of the Jews. That's why I have to laugh. Or cry.

Friday, November 28, 2003

Something to be Thankful For

Love him or hate him, everyone must agree that our president has balls. Going to Baghdad in that big plane, right into the belly of the beast, tweaking the enemy's nose, having turkey with the troops, and going home before he was even missed, took some big cojones.

And no writer reported it better than Francis W. Poretto, the Curmudgeon Emeritus at Palace of Reason.
Imagine being one of those miscreants. Imagine learning, as they all have by now, that the man you'd most like to kill, the man you've already tried to kill once, has just flown quite literally into your midst, sat down to a hearty dinner with his retainers, and flown out again without mussing a hair.
Just a taste. Read the whole thing.

Tuesday, November 25, 2003

Honest Opposition

My mother always told me that if I wanted to criticize something I had to offer a positive alternative. I guess my mother was smarter than the mothers of those who oppose our president. All they seem to be able to do is tear things down. When they offer alternatives, they do not offer serious alternatives. They offer that we should turn over the Iraq situation to the UN, as if the UN hadn't already abandoned the country, as if G.W. hasn't already done everything in his power to get them to go along.

But the biggest dishonesty of the left is their failure to accept the plain honest fact that we are already in Iraq. They might have opposed our move into Iraq, but they will have to get over that now. "Working with world leaders to abolish war" (Dennis Kucinich) is a fine idea, but utterly dishonest. If elected, Kucinich would be the only world leader who has expressed an intention to abolish war. But, while Kucinich is in deep denial about reality, he is not alone. "Turn over operations to NGOs and the UN" (Wesley Clark) would run afoul of the fact that that they have already cut and run. And the best one is the almost unanimous agreement of the nine dwarves in the debates that, whatever else we do, we have to get these American companies in Iraq off of the gravy train. Alternative please? French and German companies perhaps?

The reason these democrats offer no solutions is because they believe that their credulous constituency seeks none, and needs none. The democrat party has shown an almost imperial propensity to ignore the issues of their constituency. And who can say that they are wrong? The blacks, to whom they offer nothing, grant an almost unanimous voting bloc to the democrats. The republicans, who give high office and endless deference to members of the black race, get almost no votes (10% in 2000) at all from that group. The trial lawyers, who finance the democrats almost single-handedly, get (and demand) nothing more than a total lack of tort reform, No action is demanded for all of that money. At least in that case, no action is a good thing. The seniors, offerred an entirely new entitlement for medicare drug benefits, are about to experience a filibuster from the democrats, attempting to block the first attempt to expand this entitlement in almost thirty years. But no serious observer believes that this stand against their interests will cost the left any senior votes.

But now we are involved in a world war. Our very way of life and even our survival is at stake. And the democrats? Have they offerred anything at all besides empty criticism of the Bush approach? Ok, they hate Bush. They really really wish that we had never disturbed Saddam Hussein and had stayed home. They can't believe that Bush ignored France and Germany on this one. But he did. Now what? These are men who actually wish to be put in charge of operations. One would think that they, or at least one of them, would offer a plan that reflects some simulacrum of reality. But if they have, I haven't seen it.

I believe them when they indicate the depth of their enmity towards G.W.Bush. I don't understand it, but I believe it. But until and unless they offer some semblence of a plan for moving forward, they are not electable. It is utterly dishonest. My mother always knew how to detect honesty. And, as a democratic pol for fifty years, at the age of eighty nine, even she will be voting for G.W. next November. Again.

Saturday, November 22, 2003

Ration(al) Energy

As I contemplate the world that my children will inherit from us, it pains me to see the extent to which crucial decisions regarding the shape of that world are founded upon junk science and demagogue-inspired hysteria. If only scientific decisions could be made by the dispassionate consideration of science, rather than the emotional feelings of misinformed masses. So much single-interest politics decides so many debates.

But wait a minute! Am I not falling into the trap set by the leftie crowd, which believes that so many political questions could be resolved if only the rest of us would realize that the left is correct, and not ideological in the least? Is there really a right and a wrong, even in science? Specifically, can the Global Warming and Nuclear Energy debates ever be resolved by consideration of the science?

In Europe, Germany has begun a total phase out of nuclear power generation.
Germany disconnected the first of its 19 nuclear power stations Friday, beginning an unprecedented phase-out that underscores differences between some European nations and the United States on securing future energy supplies.
....
Germany is the first major industrialized nation to renounce the technology. Under a deal negotiated after years of wrangling between the government and power company bosses, all Germany's nuclear reactors are to close by 2020.
....
In October 1998 a coalition government was formed between the Social Democratic Party (SPD) and the Green Party, the latter having polled only 6.7% of the vote. As a result, these two parties agreed to change the law to establish the eventual phasing out of nuclear power.
But the Greens, who were instrumental in pushing through this policy change, have no idea how the power generated by nuclear plants will be replaced. Presently about one third of electric power generation is handled by nuclear plants. Has anyone even considered how much extra air pollution will be created by this folly? And, aren't the Greens the same ones who are demanding that the German government comply with the Kyoto protocols? Consider:
Germany's other main fuel for base-load electricity is brown coal (which produces about 1.25 tonnes of carbon dioxide per MWh). Over half the country's electricity now comes from coal. Arising from the Kyoto accord, and as part of the differentiated EU "bubble", Germany is committed to a 21% reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 2010.
....
German public sentiment in the last few years has swung strongly in support of nuclear energy. A poll late in 1997 showed that some 81% of Germans wanted existing nuclear plants to continue operating, the highest level for many years and well up from the 1991 figure of 64%. The vast majority of Germans expected nuclear energy to be widely used in the foreseeable future. The poll also showed a sharp drop in sympathy for militant protests against transport of radioactive waste.
...
In November 1998 Germany's electric utilities issued a joint statement pointing out that achievement of greenhouse goals would not be possible without nuclear energy. A few days later the Federation of German Industries declared that the "politically undisturbed operation" of existing nuclear plants was a prerequisite for its cooperation in reaching greenhouse gas emission targets. Nuclear energy currently avoids the emission of about 170 million tonnes per year of carbon dioxide, compared with 260 Mt/yr being emitted by other German power plants.
But these are practical considerations. The fact that nuclear power is the cleanest and safest power generating technology has never been seriously refuted. The emotional effect, however, is the point of the exercise. Radiation is BAD. Children are in danger. Mean nasty capitalists will profit. Case closed. Who needs so much electricity anyway? We can conserve. Something else will be invented. Don't worry, better technologies already exist, but the bad capitalists have bought the patents and are keeping the technology off the market. When these greedy capitalists have no choice, all will be revealed. Power will flow. Air will be clean. Children will be happy.

The environmental movement today is some sort of an institutional Andy Rooney: All they have to do is complain. Their sole responsibility is to point out dangers. It will ever be someone else's problem to clean up the mess that these destructive policies create. In May the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service pointed out that "the Endangered Species Act is broken", due to the flood of litigation from environmental groups. These groups sue the government over the designation of habitat, even though there is plenty of evidence that this litigation hurts, rather than helps the animals they claim to support:
Faced with mounting numbers of court orders from six years of litigation, the Interior Department’s U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will soon run out of funds to designate critical habitat for threatened and endangered species, Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Fish and Wildlife and Parks Craig Manson said today.

More important, the flood of court orders requiring critical habitat designations is undermining endangered species conservation by compromising the Service’s ability to protect new species and to work with states, tribes, landowners and others to recover those already listed under the Act, Manson said.

In July, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will exhaust the funds required to meet its obligations to designate critical habitat under court orders and settlements for FY 2003.
....
“The Endangered Species Act is broken. This flood of litigation over critical habitat designation is preventing the Fish and Wildlife Service from protecting new species and reducing its ability to recover plants and animals already listed as threatened or endangered,” Manson said. “Imagine an emergency room where lawsuits force the doctors to treat sprained ankles while patients with heart attacks expire in the waiting room and you’ve got a good picture of our endangered species program right now.”
And so it goes. The Global Warming debate threatens to impoverish the developed countries, even as the science becomes more and more equivocal as to whether mankind-induced warming even exists, and there is no consensus that there is anything humans can do to affect global temperatures anyway. The Senate recently convened hearings on the subject, and before the hearings even began the Senators leading the inquiry, McCain and Lieberman, announced that the outcome was not in doubt, and the only reason that they were having the hearings was to decide on exactly what kind of legislation they would create. But then, most congressmen don't even believe that the place is on the level. But one thing is certain: over 90% of senators and congressmen are reelected come election time. And single interest politics trumps the science almost all of the time. As Spock once said: "Cry for the children."

Sunday, November 16, 2003

Retraction

Almost a month ago I announced that I could not support Bush for reelection. I wrote that no democrat could be worse. I wrote that voting for the least bad candidate, even though I disagreed with the way he was doing his job, was the wrong thing to do. I wrote that Bush was incompetent.

I was wrong.

Since I wrote that post a lot of American troops have died. American helos have crashed. And the reality of slipping approval poll numbers combined with a surging Dean candidacy have brought the concept of a President Dean into better focus. So I reevaluated my position from a fresh blank piece of paper (it's what I call Zero Base Thinking), and the only conclusion that I could make is that, despite his faults, there is no choice but to support G.W.Bush with all of my heart. And there is one single reason that trumps all other considerations: he will never abandon the American nation and people to the will of the enemy.

He, alone among the other candidates for president, knows that we are in a war of survival. He, alone among the candidates, has a strong moral center that can not be swayed by polls. He, alone among the candidates, is a man of his word. He, alone among the candidates, will support Israel no matter what happens. And, most important of all, when he says that we will never abandon the fight, unlike the other candidates, I believe him. And our enemies are coming to believe him as well.

It may be true that he has had some trouble getting his team on the same page that he is on. He has had some trouble managing the rest of his agenda. He has promoted a new and unnecessary entitlement program. He is a big government, protectionist, prohibitionist, deficit raiser. He represents what used to be the platform of the democrat party. But.

We are in a war against an enemy who will not stop trying to destroy us until he is soundly defeated. Such a defeat is something only a president can prosecute and win. The congress can slow or stymie a president who tries to do the wrong thing, but congress can not make the president do the right thing. Congress can not have vision or a coherent plan. President Bush does.

I am not going to shut my eyes, hold my breath and vote for Bush. I shall campaign for Bush. I shall try to get others to vote for him. I have embraced his presidency and will support his vision without reservation.

There is no other choice. He is not the least bad candidate. He is the best candidate. He is the only candidate.

Thursday, November 13, 2003

Words Have Meaning

Definitions of words are definite. Words Have Meaning. There is no doubt about it. The problem is, however, that we can not always agree on exactly what the meaning is. We can, however, always understand our own names when called

In my house we have two pre-teen boys running around, and the meaning of words is a source of frequent discussion. Even names can become a subject of heated debate. My youngest, we call Gobo, while my name for my eldest is Bogie. Gobo would rather be referred to as Bogie, while Bogie would prefer Sir. My wife insists that she can never remember which is which, so she calls them by no name at all, and relies on body language to differentiate the boys. Each of my sons has a host of alternative sobriquets for his counterpart. Yet no matter what name we use, we always know to whom we are referring, and we always know when our number is being called. When someone at the opposite end of the house yells out "DADDY!" it can sound an awful lot like "EDDIE!" (another name for Bogie) yet I always know when it is me they want.

Now we are advised that a majority of Europeans believe that it is Israel that is the primary source of instability in the world. We are also advised that it is Zionism that is a festering sore on the body politic, that this is not to say that it is the Jews that stand in the way of world-wide harmony. But we can put all of that on an equal footing with the viability of the purchase of a lottery ticket as a solution to a shortfall in this month's rent: it is not believable. With remarkable clarity, it is now apparent that a preponderance of opinion holds the Jews responsible for many of the world's ills. That an immense number of people agree that "these little people are the root of evil" as the composer of "Zorba the Greek" claims. 36 years ago Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. wrote stunningly that
My friend, I do not accuse you of deliberate antisemitism. I know you feel, as I do, a deep love of truth and justice and a revulsion for racism, prejudice, and discrimination. But I know you have been misled--as others have been--into thinking you can be 'anti-Zionist' and yet remain true to these heartfelt principles that you and I share.

Let my words echo in the depths of your soul: When people criticize Zionism, they mean Jews--make no mistake about it."
Yet a major American national political party allows a vicious anti-semite to contend for its presidential nomination, as if it is OK to lobby one's constituency to murder, as long as the intended victim is a Jew. But at least Brother Al doesn't hide behind words like Zionism as the excuse for his hatred. Why do we allow Europe to do so? Zion means Jew. We all know that.

Sunday, November 09, 2003

What Islam is this?

This was supposed to be a restful day. The wife had gone off with my youngest for some event at Sunday school, my eldest was safely asleep for at least the next two hours, and I had just settled into my chair with a cup of java and made the mistake of firing up the Windows box as the radio began a couple of hours of Breakfast with the Beatles. As the greatest ouvre of British music ever created played in the background, my computer screen revealed the most significant event since 9/11/01.

The murderous, death-and-pussy-seeking bastards have attacked, successfully, their own. Not for the first time; not by any means. But this time, everyone has noticed. Every Muslim, at least. At midnight, at the feast of Ramadan, Arab families in Riyadh celebrating Mohammad's sanctity together were deliberately blasted to kingdom come by their "brothers." The timing was deliberately chosen so as to kill and maim the maximum number of women and children, who were all consummating the end of the fast together with their men-folk.

This time even Reuters gets it:
RIYADH (Reuters) - Shocked and angered at an apparent suicide bombing against Muslim families in the midst of the holy month of Ramadan, ordinary Saudis said the bombing on Sunday would destroy any lingering support for Muslim militants.

Bombarded by brutal television and newspaper images of carnage caused by a midnight explosion at the housing compound of Muhaya, on Riyadh's desert outskirts, many were united in condemning the second deadly attack in their capital in six months.

"What Islam is this? They are terrorists," said Hamdan Youssef, a 39-year-old businessman.

The attack came almost six months to the day after May 12 suicide bombings in Riyadh -- which Saudis describe as their own September 11 -- killed 35 people, including nine Americans.
...
But Sunday's targets were overwhelmingly Arab and Muslim.
Just as on 9/11, in an instant, the world has changed. Muslims everywhere can no longer understand or support the death-craving lunatics, who have finally revealed their true agenda in terms that even a mutilated little girl could understand. No longer just bystanders. No longer any excuses. No person who has read and understood the Koran can accept these tactics: deliberately killing Muslim men women and children is NOT ALLOWED! This is not the work of believers in the teachings of Mohammad. This is the work of power mad fanatics who want something far more pedestrian that the reappearance of the Madhi. They simply want to replace the house of Saud and become the rulers of the oil kingdom. That's how al Jazeera sees it, and until this morning they were fans of bin Laden and his followers.
The deadly bomb attack on a housing complex in Riyadh represents the latest battle between the Saudi Arabian monarchy and its armed opponents in a war to eliminate the other.
So, my restful Sunday is shot. I will be reading, writing, and monitoring the situation for the next few hours, at least. I am interested to see how the Western media perceive this event. They have an almost unbroken string of misperception of events in the Arab world. Our intelligentsia and media seem to feel a commitment to avoid the truth about the war that we have been in for the last decade. But today is big. This is unavoidable. Al Qaida has revealed its new strategy. Since December of 2001, when bin Laden was killed (OK, maybe just horribly wounded, but I don't believe that he's alive) they have seemed to lack focus. But this latest attack is focused like a laser beam. It is temporal, secular power that its current leaders crave. This is great stuff. They want to kill their own. What a break for us. Even if they destroy the House of Saud, and take power in the desert kingdom, their credibility is shot among their own crowd. No Mahdi would violate the Koran in this way. This is not the beginning of a new Caliphate. This is a war for the oil wells and Mecca, between Arabs. I wish both sides the best of luck and good shooting in this next chapter of the war.

Let the Games Begin!