Thursday, January 26, 2006

If they hold elections, the terrorists have won

Hey, wait a minute...

The wailing has already begun from left and right. How could the Palestinians (these paragons of peace, this nation of terrorists) actually elect Hamas? How could they be so stupid?

Well, because Hamas isn't stupid. While Fatah was diverting aid money into their own pockets, Hamas was spending aid money on actual aid - when they weren't using it to kill the Jews, of course. Fatah delivered endless intifada for its people and Swiss villas for its leaders; Hamas delivered schools for its people and bombs for the Israelis. When your track record is one of delivering both bread and circuses, it's not really a big surprise when you win elections.

It will be interesting to see what happens next. The end of Western aid (if it actually ends) will not really affect the average Palestinian very much. Abdul bin Public never saw any of that money anyway. But it will breed resentment because he will believe (probably correctly) that that money would have improved his life with Hamas in power. And Hamas will feed off that resentment.

Not that they don't have plenty already, but a fresh supply of martyrs is always a useful asset.

Western governments now have a nice dilemma. If they cut off aid money, they have no chance of working with the new Palestinian government. If they continue to supply aid money, they might be able to work with the Palestinians and actually get some help to the Palestinian people, but it will also mean funding terrorist operations against the West.

That sound you just heard was a collective "oh, shit" from the world's diplomatic corps.

Well, maybe they can hope that power will corrupt Hamas just as much as it did Fatah.

It remains to be seen what a Hamas government will look like and what it will do. Don't be surprised, though, if they keep doing what got them elected. Bread and circuses. Schools and bombs.

Responsible government, democratically elected, bent on murdering its next-door neighbor. What a world.

Friday, January 13, 2006

DDG-106 to be named STOCKDALE

It says here:

New Destroyer Honors Vietnam War POW and Medal of Honor Recipient

"The Navy’s newest Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer will be named in honor of Vice Adm. James Bond Stockdale (1923-2005), the legendary leader of American prisoners of war (POWs) during the Vietnam War.

"Stockdale was the highest-ranking naval officer ever held as a prisoner of war in North Vietnam. His plane was shot down Sept. 9, 1965, while flying combat missions over North Vietnam. In recognition of his leadership and sacrifice he was awarded the Medal of Honor in 1976. Stockdale spent more than seven years in captivity at prisons in North Vietnam, including time at the infamous “Hanoi Hilton.” Four years of those years were spent in solitary confinement. While imprisoned, Stockdale is credited with organizing a set of rules to govern the behavior of fellow prisoners of war and for helping to develop a code for prisoners to communicate with each other that included tapping on cell walls.

"In addition to the Medal of Honor, Stockdale received 26 combat medals and awards, including two Distinguished Flying Crosses, three Distinguished Service Medals, two Purple Hearts and four Silver Stars. He was also named to the Aircraft Carrier Hall of Fame, National Aviation Hall of Fame, and was an honorary member of the Society of Experimental Test Pilots.

"His wife, Sybil, helped lead the effort to bring attention to the suffering of American POWs and to bring them home. The Stockdales have four sons, James, Sidney, Stanford and Taylor. More information on Stockdale is available at http://www.admiralstockdale.us."

Ever since Admiral Stockdale's passing, I've hoped the Navy would honor him in this way. I'm glad to see it done.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Is it just me...

...or is everybody in a really good mood today?

Cases in point: A little while ago, I went to the grocery store. As I stepped out of the elevator, I nearly collided with a woman and her dog. Not infrequent. The usual mutual apologies (by the humans) and shoe-sniffing (by the dog) ensued. Then the unusual part - it turned into a nice conversation (for the humans) and a good ear-scratching (for the dog.)

So, in a good mood because of that, I walk over to the grocery store. Not thirty seconds apart, two people ask if I need help finding anything. I tend to look a little lost when I'm not quite awake, but it was still awfully nice of them, and not the usual thing at all.

Now in the spirit of passing it on, I saw a short lady contemplating how to reach something on the top shelf. I wasn't blessed with enough height to play basketball, but I did get enough to reach the top shelf. So I did.

Then, as I was coming back into my building with armful of groceries, a woman carrying just as much stuff was leaving. She opened the door for me, I handed the her stuff out to her.

Love one another. Maybe that's the theme of the new year.