Monday, February 27, 2006


Between work and real life, have been neglecting the blog. Definitely have a few things to comment on this week, which will appear in due course.
El Jefe and family attended a block party in his neighborhood last night: sort of a farewell for one of his neighbors. Always depressing to lose neighbors, particularly nice ones like the G's. We are losing the G's to a job transfer to the east coast. I do not think that there could be enough money in the world to pay me to live in the northeast, (Been There and Done That); but everyone is different. Hope the G's like it.
It's definitely a Monday. . . not even a vente (extra large) black coffee from Starbucks has managed to make me feel awake yet. The long boring deposition that I have to start reading as soon as I finish this little note definitely will not help matters. Yawn !

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Washington's Birthday

Happy Birthday to America's first and greatest President, George Washington.

The fact that there is a United States at all is due largely to George Washington, and in particular to his military leadership in the terrible fall and winter of 1776-77, when he kept the War for American Independence alive on sheer determination. Of course, while fighting the finest army on the planet with raw troops and militiamen who did not even have shoes, Washington had to keep one hand free to keep the politicians in Philadelphia off his back – these worthies all being convinced that they were better qualified to do his job. Had good sense not finally prevailed with the politicos, the British, in spite of everything, no doubt would have prevailed.
No Napoléon or Julius Caesar as a general, George Washington did the United States a significant service following the war by being no Napoléon or Julius Caesar as a politician, by quietly and competently performing his functions as President, and duly making way for his successor when his legal term expired.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Ohio Men

AP reports today that three “Ohio men” have been indicted on terrorism charges alleging that they “planned attacks to kill US and coalition military personnel in Iraq and other countries.”

Yeah, “Ohio men.” I’m sure an underground cell of fanatic Buckeye fans meeting at the pool hall on the outskirts of beautiful Anytown, Ohio are all hatching plots against those dastardly US military personnel over a few beers.

Of course, we’ve all got a pretty good idea what sort of “Ohio men” we’re really talking about here, even if AP wants to write the story without using the terms “Arab” or “Muslim” even once. God forbid the media recognize anything resembling the concept of nationality, or notice that there are real differences, sometimes lethal ones, between people.
The conventional wisdom looks pretty on the bullseye to me – not even the AP avoids giving the names: one Mohammad Zaki Amawi, apparently a citizen of both the US and the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan; a Marwan Othman El-Hindi, a US citizen born in Jordan; and finally, Wassim I. Mazloum, who came to the US from Lebanon in 2000.

One of these “Ohio men” has also been accused of twice threatening in conversations to kill or injure the President.

No doubt about it, “Ohio men,” probably even on the voter rolls. They were going to practice their demolitions skills setting off bombs on 4 July 2005, so that explosions wouldn’t be noticed while other Ohio men were setting off firecrackers.

Yeah, maybe the “Ohio men” are innocent, but I’m not putting anybody’s Ohio farm on it. Gotta make the ritual salaam to “innocent until proven guilty” though, which is more than the “Ohio men’s” friends in Iraq would be likely to do.

If these guys are guilty, it’s almost too bad they didn’t make it to Iraq, where some real Ohio men could turn them into chopped liver.
But more importantly, this little article, and the built-in, so politically correct, conceit that, despite our different backgrounds; differing religious heritages; different nationalities; different upbringings -- that all people are functionally the same, cookie-cutter interchangeable, captures perfectly for me all that is wrong with our political and media elites. It is delusional to assume mere possession of a passport, or entitlement to same, makes all who live here automatically the same. Most immigrants assimilate, but some do not, and it is patronising in the extreme, and whistling past the graveyard, to discount background: to assume that nationality and religion simply do not exist. Our enemies certainly do not.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Not to be Taken Alive

Mr. Osama Bin Laden says he won't be taken alive.
Well now, there's something we can agree with him on. Here' s hoping he dies a pitiful, squalid, slow and painful death, cornered in some hole, squatting in his own wastes, like the scummy, piratical rat that he is.
An interesting statement though, from him. Is Osama feeling some pressure ? Don't worry about being taken alive, boss. Not a problem. We're coming for you, soon enough. You can run, but you can't hide forever.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Lets Blast Dick, but Give Al a Pass

Tom Bevan over at the Real Clear Politics blog has an interesting question worth pondering: namely, why is the prestige press so much more interested in Vice-President Cheney's accidental blasting of his friend in south Texas, than it is in Vice-President Gore's deliberate blasting of his country in front of foreigners in Saudi Arabia last week ?
My own comments on Mr. Gore's utterances can be found here. We can only thank God daily that Gore lost.
As Mr. Bevan says: the press "... can't be bothered by Gore's remarks which, quite frankly, have more consequence and did more damage to America's reputation than Cheney's birdshot did to poor Harry Whittington." Who cares anyway, if a former US Vice President and once and future candidate for the White House accuses his country of "terrible abuses" while speaking in a place that forbids women to operate automobiles and prescribes beheadings and amputations for penal offenses ? None of that's at all important. The press (always watching out for the public) has to protect Mr. Gore's viability, to lead us peasants, after all. But if we can exploit an accident to make President Bush or his administration look bad... it's fair game huh ? No pun intended.
Makes ya wonder, doesn't it ?

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Uh Oh...

The French Foreign Minister, M. Philippe Douste-Blazy, stated today that the Iranian nuclear program is not civilian, but a "clandestine military nuclear program." M. le Ministre also said "The international community has sent a very firm message in telling the Iranians to return to reason and suspend all nuclear activity and the enrichment and conversion of uranium, but they aren't listening to us."
If the French actually notice that there is a problem with Iran, maybe it is really time to pray.

The Loathsome Left Coast

The University of Washington Student Senate has rejected a memorial for UW alumnus Colonel Gregory “Pappy” Boyington, USMC, recipient of the Congressional Medal of Honor. (Hat tip, El Jefe’s friend Mike D.). Colonel Boyington, a veteran of the American Volunteer Group (“Flying Tigers”), who fought in China before US entry into World War II; then when America got into the war commanding Marine Fighter Squadron 214, shooting down 28 Japanese aircraft before being himself shot down and taken prisoner by the Japanese on 3 January 1944.

Student “senator” Jill Edwards, unfit to shine Colonel Boyington’s shoes, stated she “…didn’t believe a member of the Marine Corps was an example of the sort of person UW wanted to produce.” Another “senator,” Ashley Miller, who would probably straighten out after a spell in a Japanese POW camp, argued “…many monuments at UW already commemorate rich white men.” She utters such obscenities about a war hero who spent summer vacations from the University of Washington working in mining camps and logging camps. What do you do summers, “senator ?”

Don’t believe me ? See the minutes, here, (pages 5, 7-9).

Oh, by the way, our tax dollars are at work for the “senators.” Wretchard at Belmont Club reports (citing another blog) that the Federal government is going to give the University of Washington $17 million for bioengineering research and for some educational instruction boondoggle. Isn’t that special ?

Meanwhile, a little further south in the People’s Republic of San Francisco, the San Francisco Examiner (Hat Tip: Belmont Club) tells us that the San Francisco Board of Supervisors has launched an “assault on a plan” to bring World War II Battleship USS Iowa to San Francisco for preservation as a museum for visitors. The plan is apparently “[l]ost in a sea of political correctness” the Board of Supervisors rejecting plans to bring Iowa to the city because the Battleship is a “instrument of war.”

USS Iowa’s too good for the People’s Republic. Bring her to Texas. There’s room at Corpus Christi, next to where USS Lexington now sits, or we can dredge the Ship Channel and find a spot for her at Houston, by USS Texas. Only way she oughta visit San Francisco is with shotted guns.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Book Review: Clancy's "The Teeth of the Tiger"

El Jefe has just blown through Tom Clancy's The Teeth of the Tiger (Putnam, 2003). I usually read a couple of books at once, and Tiger was easy sledding, consuming a couple of evenings after work and getting the Heir in bed.
Tiger is set in Mr. Clancy's Jack Ryan universe, the realm of all save one of his novels. Tiger is a fast read, but not the best of the series, and no doubt one reason for the book's difficulties is Mr. Clancy's decision to persevere with the Ryanverse. The first of the Jack Ryan novels, Hunt For Red October, was published in 1984, and since CIA Agent Jack Ryan put the kibosh on deployment of the Soviet Union's newest submarine, a lot has happened: Russia under new management; end of the Cold War; German reunification; two Gulf Wars; 9/11; the fracturing of're getting the picture.
If that wasn't bad enough, the author has to contend with all the upsetment Ryan and his cohorts unleashed in the Clancy parallel universe -- wars with Japan and Iran; the nuking of Denver; the Capital Building getting leveled; China invading Russia; environmental wackos trying to destroy the world; CIA Agent Ryan winding up as me brain-strain just listing this stuff. Future Ryanverse novels have to balance all these sets of books, and even with a certain amount of license, Mr. Clancy's credulity account is fast approaching overdrawn. The weird part is that this all could have been avoided, and Tiger made freestanding, because few of the old characters even make a cameo appearance. Longtime Clancy fans will miss John Clark and Ding Chavez.
Tiger is Mr. Clancy's answer to 9/11. Some very Al Qaeda-like baddies have concocted a sequel atrocity -- and, as El Jefe's dinner party friends could tell readers, they are copying from the El Jefe playbook. Jack Ryan is in retirement, and a Teddy Kennedy clone is President; and the CIA is (typically) clueless. Into the breach steps Mr. Clancy's brainchild, an off-the-shelf, privatized intelligence agency masquerading as an investment bank, using government intelligence to fund itself via insider-trading like financial maneuvers, to cover its anti-bad guy covert agenda. The organization is run by a retired John McCain-like Senator.
Mr. Clancy's organizational idea is the most intriguing part of the book, and Tiger would have been better with more space devoted to fleshing-out the implications of his institutional premise. The private intelligence organization in Tiger exists because traditional intelligence organizations are too hamstrung by legal requirements; too open to press scrutiny to do what is necessary, which is to conduct the struggle with Al Qaeda like it's a war -- by simply hunting down organization members, sympathisers, financiers and recruiters -- and killing them. No due process, no trial, just bump 'em off and put up the tombstone. Mr. Clancy proposes to beat Al Qaeda with its own rules.
Mr. Clancy may well be right that this is the way to go, (El Jefe tends to agree with him here), but Tiger's organization engages in some truly jaw-dropping activities. The covert intelligence organization is carrying on its struggle without the knowledge of the sitting President, with only the benefit of nods and winks by the military and intelligence bureaucracies who feed the covert gang with information and recruits without the knowledge of their legal Commander in Chief. The private little war is legally covered by Mr. Clancy's truly innovative use of the Presidential pardon power -- turning pardons into a 21st Century version of the French monarchy's lettres de cachet.
In any case, the bad guys carry out their awful plot, and the off-the-shelf spies are put on the case: brothers Aldo and Enzo (Italian-American, of course) respectively a Marine and an FBI agent; and the organization's rookie analyst, who just happens to be President Jack Ryan's son, Jack Jr., cousin of Aldo and Enzo. The brothers have their qualms of conscience, but get over them fast when they have a shoot 'em up with a bad guy death squad. Aldo and Enzo then have a merry time chasing around Europe after Bad Guys -- wacking them between stays in four star hotels; drives down the autobahns in Porsche 911's; putting Vitello Milanese on American Express black cards; with an occasional ruined suit to be cleaned by the understanding hotel valets. Wahoo ! Secret Agent Man saving the universe on good champagne ! Where can I sign up for this job ?
Jack Jr., fresh out of college, proves he's got Dad's brains by ID'ing the big bosses, and shows he's got Dad's stones when he joins the hitters as a substitute wacker. The President's kid on covert ops -- and right out of the box he does a job as a hitter ? Yeah, that's gonna work. A scotch or five on the plane home obviates any qualms of conscience.
No girls in this book, save for expensive hookers who all seem to be on the police payroll; a brief mention of a terrorist's unwitting girlfriend who appears to be totally unaware her sweet little Abdul ain't the Fuller Brush Man; and reference to Jack Jr.'s Mom, who scares off dates. This doesn't work: these are young men, and all espionage and no play makes Jack Jr. a dull superspy. A gun moll or two might have livened things up a bit.
A fun book. Clever bad guy plans. Evil bad guys you can really hate. Gun talk on, say, the merits of the Smith and Wesson 10 mm versus the Beretta 9mm. Bad guys getting theirs, leaving a nice, righteous feeling. An interesting organizational premise that Mr. Clancy should have elaborated on. The sequel's clearly set up, and I'm good for it when it comes out (later this year). Still, the Clancy books are beginning to stretch it.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Shootin and Swimmin...

Okay, the Cheney business isn't really worth commenting about...

Except that...I'd still rather go Huntin with Dick before I'd go drivin with Teddy !

Hat tip: Gates of Vienna.

Helen Thomas Says We're Ready

In her column for the Hearst Newspapers, Helen Thomas, who thinks we should listen because she's a Famous Journalist, says the US is ready for a woman President. We're lagging behind many countries which have "ended the male monopoly on political leadership" Ms. Thomas opines.
I'm sure Ms. Thomas thinks we're lagging behind in general. I'm sure she thinks it's time for us to rejoin humanity and follow in the footsteps of progressive (cough, cough) Europe.
Bet you can't guess which woman President Ms. Thomas thinks we're ready for. God forbid.

Make Mine Extra Crispy

The AP reports today that “thousands” of protesters rioted in Lahore, Pakistan today, so upset at the now notorious Danish cartoons that they destroyed four buildings house a hotel, two banks, a KFC restaurant and the office of a Norwegian cell phone company. A couple of movie theaters went up in flames -- at least the Paks won't have to endure Brokeback Mountain. Of course, the rioters had a grand ol' time screaming "Death to America !" Looking on the bright side, Bridgestone and Goodyear outlets might do well: apparently, you can't have riots in the Middle East without burning some tires.
The scumbags really seem to have a thing about fast food: besides KFC, they also broke the windows of a Pizza Hut and a McDonald’s. Religious health nuts, but not much for law and order. Go figure.
The protest, the article says, was supposed to be non-violent. Yeah, that seems to have worked pretty well. The party was organized by a "little known religious group supported by local trade associations and one of the main Islamic schools." A trade association ? Yeah, sounds like all this burning and trashing will be real good for business. Maybe it's the "Out of Business Trade Association" or at any rate, maybe the "Our Rivals are Out of Business Trade Association ?" And one of the "main Islamic schools ?" Hmmm, how does that work ? "Okay kids, read your lesson for tomorrow, go to Gym, then go burn KFC. Have a nice day !"
Like those zany French "youths" awhile back, the folks in Pakistan apparently got into the car-burning act, damaging some 200 vehicles.
The babies don’t like KFC eh ? They’ll like it much less if we serve them Extra Crispy via wall-to-wall B-52’s.

Giving Comfort to the Enemy

It’s nice to know we can always count on former Vice President Al Gore to stand up for our side.

Our would-be Robot President was in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia on Sunday, where he told the Jeddah Economic Forum that the U.S. government had committed “terrible abuses” against Arabs living in America after 9/11 and that “most Americans” did not support such treatment. Mr. Gore stated that Arabs had been “indiscriminately rounded up” and “held in conditions that were just unforgivable.”

Where to begin ? Abuses ? After 9/11 those arrested can count themselves lucky they were not summarily deported, or simply hung from the nearest lampposts. No, we wouldn’t really do that, of course, but it is an atrocity for Mr. Gore to accuse the US government of “terrible abuses.”
Does Mr. Gore really believe what he is pushing ? Evidently, he does, which just shows us how fortunate the US is that he was never President. The man does not understand war; and is apparently incapable of understanding it. But how nice of Mr. Gore to make propaganda for our enemies. Look what happened over the cartoons in the Danish papers ? Now all the idiots running around sacking embassies because of some stupid cartoons can cite the former US Vice President for “abuses” Arabs have suffered at his hands. Does he have any idea of the damage he is doing ? Does he care that innocent people may be injured, even killed because of his remarks ? Clearly not. I truly believe Mr. Gore and his ilk would burn down the whole world just to get George Bush.

The thing I find most repulsive about liberals is their complete lack of national feeling, their utter unwillingness to make distinctions between their own people, and foreigners. I suppose I am a bit 19th Century in that respect. I disagree with certain US policies, but I would never, never advertise my quarrels with US policy, or accuse my government of “terrible abuses” in front of an audience of foreigners, or in any way that would lend itself, as Mr. Gore’s tissue of lies does, to enemy propaganda.

Friday, February 10, 2006


El Jefe is feeling much better today, thank you very much. So is She Who Must Be Obeyed, who has also been sick. This is good, because I am not wanting to miss the big Gala for Heir's school tomorrow night.

In lieu of a full post, El Jefe offers the following grab-bag.

The 13 February issue of National Review, one of El Jefe's favorite publications, has arrived. Several interesting items in this issue's "The Week" section. First subject is nudity.

Paying attention yet ? On this subject, National Review says that a Federal Judge in Florida has found that local laws prohibiting public nudity are in violation of the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the Constitution.

Huh ? I must have missed the public nudity protections in the Bill of Rights when I took constitutional law. Sounds like this judge is just too cheap to buy Penthouse and Playboy (for the articles, of course).

In the same note, it is reported that an Islamic cleric in Egypt has issued a fatwa providing that nudity during sex invalidates a marriage. Oooookkaaaay, that definitely is one for the wacko department. On second thought, if this catches on, it might go a long way towards solving that demographic problem the Europeans have with Islam, bringing reproduction down to European levels.
I'm not sure which of these items is wackier. As National Review says: "So in the one place, citizens may not act together to ban vulgar, information-free displays they find displeasing; in the other, citizens may not act in their most private moments in ways they find pleasing; in both, normal and harmless human preferances exist, or are annihilated, at the whim of robed, arrogant, over-educated functionaries." Damn, that's good. Wish I'd written it.
Another sniglet, also from National Review, is about the creation, at the University of Kentucky, of the inaugural chapter of Gamma Gamma Chi, the first ever Islamic sorority ! "Panty raids at this house may be punishable by beheading."
Since I've had a lot of vege time, I've been catching up on the reading. Yes, yes, I know, I read anyway, but this sounds good, so I'm going with it. El Jefe is presently reading Alan Palmer's Twilight of the Habsburgs: The Life and Times of Emperor Francis Joseph, about the next-to-last Austro-Hungarian Emperor.
Francis Joseph was born in 1830, when Andrew Jackson was US President, came to the throne (in the middle of an abortive revolution) at the time of our war with Mexico, and died in the middle of World War I. Francis Joseph was certainly not a rocket scientist, and made his share of questionable decisions; but, on the other hand, probably not even a genius could have saved the Austro-Hungarian Empire: a ramshackle madhouse of mutually detesting national groups that called itself a country. The Empire was a true dinosaur: a multi-national, multi-ethnic bedlam in an age of ferocious ethnic nationalism.
On the plus side, the Emperor had a tremendous work ethic, and kept plugging through disaster after disaster: a succession of lost wars; revolution; assassination attempts on him; the murder of his beloved but unstable and troubled wife; the suicide of his son under scandalous circumstances; the murder in Sarajevo of his heir, (which started World War I). He was fortified by a truly touching religious faith, and complete belief in his duty to pass on the Empire -- his family inheritance -- intact, to his heirs. He had the good fortune to die before the annus horribilis of 1918 brought all crashing down.
Meanwhile, the cats, who are also the High Patronesses of this Blog (FLINKY, MILO and SUNSHINE), have all been giving me strange looks these past couple of days, wondering why we were all at home. They are now meowing for some attention, so I suppose this post must end.

Thursday, February 9, 2006

Snowed Under and now Under the Weather

I have been super-busy at work this week, and now El Jefe is somewhat under the weather with a cold. Posting will resume when morale improves.

Thursday, February 2, 2006

Syrians In Iraq

An interesting report out of Iraq today. Blackfive reprints what is apparently a US Marine press-release datelined Camp Fallujah, stating that Iraqi soldiers operating in the Ramadi area captured fifteen rebels, eleven of whom were Syrians.
The raid took place at a "factory in the Tameem district of Ramadi." Iraqi soldiers involved are identified as being part of 1st Brigade, 7th Iraqi Army Division. 36 AK-47 rifles were also captured.
Interesting to find so many Syrians in one place. All sorts of questions for them when their Iraqi captors get them into the interrogation cellar. Are the foreign insurgents segregating themselves from the Iraqi rebels, or being segregated by the rebel high command ? What percentage of the rebel manpower consists of gunboys from Assadland ? What are the backgrounds of these Syrians ? What sort of training do they have with arms, and who provided it ? How are they supplied ? Do they have Syrian contacts ? How did they enter Iraq ?
In any case, a good piece of work by the Iraqis.

Wednesday, February 1, 2006

Palestina Irredenta

As for the German nation, it needs charity from neither Mr. Churchill nor from Mr. Roosevelt, let alone from Mr. Eden. It wants only its rights! It will secure for itself this right to life even if thousands of Churchills and Roosevelts conspire against it.
Adolf Hitler, in the Reichstag, declaring war on the USA, 11 December 1941.
The Palestinians, Jack Kelly states in his excellent Real Clear Politics column today, have taken off the mask by giving Hamas a majority of seats in their recent parliamentary elections. If Mr. Kelly is correct, it just goes to prove that the Palestinians have a positive genius for stupidity. Yesterday, the British newspaper Guardian’s online edition ran a very well-written position statement by a Mr. Khalid Mish'al, described as the chief of the terrorist organization/political party Hamas’s “political bureau.” This document, reprinted online at the Los Angeles Times website (both available via Real Clear Politics), quite candidly sets out Hamas’s position.

Mr. Mish’al assures us that when Palestinians went to the polls last week, they were “well aware of what was being offered…and chose Hamas because of its pledge never to give up the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people…” More fools they. Nothing if not confident, Mr. Mish’al says that “Hamas has been elected mainly because of its immovable faith in the inevitability of victory…” and states that “… our cause is no less worthy, our determination is no less profound; our patience is no less abundant” than the “peoples of Vietnam and South Africa.”

Hamas is all about war. According to Mr. Mish’al: “[w]e shall never recognize the right of any power to rob us of our land and deny us our national rights. We shall never recognize the legitimacy of a Zionist state created on our soil…” Well, Mr. Mish’al, then you, and all those who are fools enough to follow your party, and possibly millions of other innocent bystanders, mostly Palestinians and Arabs -- are going to wind-up very dead.

Hamas represents the lethal convergence of two Palestinian political trends; the resurgence of Islam as a political force, supplanting the secular Nasserist nationalism of Yasser Arafat’s Fatah; and the continuing Palestinian desire to wipe Israel off the map, rather than make a deal with it. To be sure, Arafat and Fatah, when not playing terrorist, never did more than flirt with a deal, or talk around one. Fatah never sold out completely the wish-dream of driving the Zionists into the sea.

In diplomatic terms, the Palestinians have never been satisified with what Israel and the West have had on offer: some kind of an undoing of the results of the 1967 Six Day War. What the Palestinians want is an undoing of the Nakba (disaster) – the Israeli War of Independence of 1948.

Relations between states, however you pretty them up, are essentially still conducted on jungle rules. The Arabs can have Palestine from the Jordan to the sea, if they can but get it. Similarly, Germany can drink the waters of the Pregel; have Silesia, Posen, Pomerania, and Alsace-Lorraine back; rename Wrocław, Breslau once again; and, make Kaliningrad, Königsberg once more -- if it can only win a world war. France can have Belgium and the Rhineland – if it beats Germany and England; the Cherokee can recover northern Georgia, large parts of the Carolinas and east Tennessee, if they can but throw down the United States. The Austrians can have Pressburg back, should they thrash Slovakia. The processes that changed the ownership and names of all these places were all every bit as tragic and drenched in tears as the Nakba. It can all, every bit, be undone in return for mountains of treasure, oceans of blood, and eons more misery.

Nobody can deny that the Palestinian people are in an unenviable position. But they were offered half a loaf, in 1948. They scorned it, gambled on arms, and lost. The Palestinians learned nothing, and in 1967 they blustered like Mr. Mish'al today and blundered themselves into another war, and lost again. Now, the Palestinians, by choosing Hamas, have again chosen war. If Mr. Mish’al is serious about Hamas’s stand, they will get it in spades.
Mr. Mish'al proclaims that Hamas is "immune to bribery, intimidation and blackmail." Maybe, but how will it do against F-16's, 5.56 mm ball, and 155 mm H.E. ? Do the Palestinians, and the Arab nation, really have a death wish ? Israel has nuclear weapons. It really is double or nothing this time, and I know how I'm betting. If there is going to be no Zionist state in Palestine – there is going to be no Palestine, period.
The Palestinians are cheerfully, heedlessly, gleefully driving Israel to the far right, and ensuring that the US and Europe will regretfully avert their glances while the Israelis turn the West Bank into a giant prison/abattoir. The Palestinians have taken off the mask, and Hamas, like Chancellor Hitler for the Germans in the Reichstag, can bleat about the "legitimate rights of the Palestinian people" and can proclaim the impending suicide of Palestine to the skies if it wants. A Netanyahu government – certainly a good possibility now, is going to, in Mr. Kelly’s words again, take off the gloves.