LA Times op/ed writer argues “Innocence of Muslims” does not pass “free-speech test”

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I rarely find myself at a loss for words, but this column pretty much gets me there. Excerpts:

While many 1st Amendment scholars defend the right of the filmmakers to produce this film, arguing that the ensuing violence was not sufficiently imminent, I spoke to several experts who said the trailer may well fall outside constitutional guarantees of free speech. “Based on my understanding of the events,” 1st Amendment authority Anthony Lewis said in an interview Thursday, “I think this meets the imminence standard.”

Finally, much 1st Amendment jurisprudence concerns speech explicitly advocating violence, such as calls to resist arrest, or videos explaining bomb-making techniques. But words don’t have to urge people to commit violence in order to be subject to limits, says Lewis. “If the result is violence, and that violence was intended, then it meets the standard.”

Indeed, Justice Holmes’ original example, shouting “fire” in a theater, is not a call to arms. Steve Klein, an outspoken anti-Islamic activist who said he helped with the film, told Al Jazeera television that it was “supposed to be provocative.” The egregiousness of its smears, the apparent deception of cast and crew as to its contents and the deliberate effort to raise its profile in the Arab world a week before 9/11 all suggest intentionality.

The point here is not to excuse the terrible acts perpetrated by committed extremists and others around the world in reaction to the video, or to condone physical violence as a response to words — any kind of words. The point is to emphasize that U.S. law makes a distinction between speech that is simply offensive and speech that is deliberately tailored to put lives and property at immediate risk. Especially in the heightened volatility of today’s Middle East, such provocation is certainly irresponsible — and reveals an ironic alliance of convenience between Christian extremists and the Islamist extremists they claim to hate.

Sarah Chayes, former special assistant to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, is a resident associate at the Carnegie Endowment and a contributing writer to Opinion.

Professor William Jacobson:

Empowering the people who start fires to determine what we can and cannot say is how freedom of speech dies in this country.

We already are pretty far down that path.

Should we burn the Constitution now, or …?

Update – 7:30 PM: AllahPundit pwns Chayes. Read it all.

Intelligence source: There was no anti-film demonstration before Libya Consulate attack

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Via Fox News:

An intelligence source on the ground in Libya told Fox News that there was no demonstration outside the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi prior to last week’s attack — challenging the Obama administration’s claims that the assault grew out of a “spontaneous” protest against an anti-Islam film.

“There was no protest and the attacks were not spontaneous,” the source said, adding the attack “was planned and had nothing to do with the movie.”

The source said the assault came with no warning at about 9:35 p.m. local time, and included fire from more than two locations. The assault included RPG’s and mortar fire, the source said, and consisted of two waves.

The account that the attack started suddenly backs up claims by a purported Libyan security guard who told McClatchy Newspapers late last week that the area was quiet before the attack.

“There wasn’t a single ant outside,” the unnamed guard, who was being treated in a hospital, said in the interview.

These details appear to conflict with accounts from the Obama administration that the attack spawned from an out-of-control protest. The Libyan president also said Sunday that the strike was planned in advance.
U.S. officials, in response to the claim that there was no demonstration at the time of the attack, told Fox News there was a small protest earlier in the day — but they did not dispute that there was no significant or sizeable demonstration at the time.

Is the “anti-Islam filmmaker” being turned into a scapegoat over what looks to be attacks coordinated to happen on the anniversary of 9-11? Will we ever know the truth?

Disturbing: Suspected ‘anti-Islam filmmaker’ taken in for ‘questioning’ by the feds

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Absolutely chilling:

Updated at 10 a.m. ET: A man purported to be a filmmaker involved with the anti-Islam video sparking violent unrest in the Middle East and North Africa was escorted by deputies from his Cerritos, Calif., home shortly after midnight Saturday morning, NBCLosAngeles.com reported.

Media and law enforcement had been staking out the home at the end of a cul de sac in the Southern California city for about 48 hours when Nakoula Besseley Nakoula emerged wearing a coat, hat, scarf and glasses.

L.A. County Sheriff’s Department spokesman Steve Whitmore confirmed to NBCLA that Nakoula, 55, was taken to the Cerritos sheriff’s station for interviewing by federal probation officers aimed at determining whether he violated the terms of his 5-year probation by uploading a video to the Internet.

“We are in an assist mode,” he said.

Whitmore added that Nakoula, who has denied involvement in the film in a phone call to his Coptic Christian bishop, agreed to the interview prior to the deputies arriving at his home, that the move was “entirely voluntary” and the man was “very cooperative.”

In “assist mode”? To who?

Look, we all know what’s going on here but it’s being done under the pretense of the “filmmaker” being “suspected of violating his probation.”  Do not be fooled.  This ‘film” was released months ago but he is only now being taken in for questioning why exactly?  Because radical Islam is literally setting the world on fire, and the feds want to put on a dog and pony show to indicate to the Muslim world that they are “doing something” about this filmmaker who so offended the sensitivities of fundamentalist thugs who hate Western values.

Let me also say this: Nakoula doesn’t sound like a paragon of virtue, but he was expressing his First Amendment rights to an opinion some people don’t agree with. Does he deserve the treatment he is receiving by the press, other critics, the feds, and the Obama administration?

My friend @JCinQC nails it here:

If you’re not gasping in shock and outrage over this, you should be.

What else should send your temperature rising today? Read the article I linked above. We now know more, courtesy of the MSM, about the history of this “filmmaker” than we do the history of our own President. This is insane, and it’s not just the feds who should be called to account over the “questioning” of a man for engaging in his right to free speech, not just the politicos and administration officials who are blaming this man for Islamofascist rage in the Middle East (and who have shut down questioning by the press on the Benghazi murders), but also the mainstream media who give more of a d*mn about an obscure filmmaker’s life story than they did about the Democrat nominee for President Barack Obama in 2008.

I went on quite a rant this morning about this on Twitter. Relevant tweets are below:

I repeat – this happened in America:

‘[the filmmaker] was escorted by deputies from his Cerritos, Calif., home shortly after midnight Saturday morning.’

Wake up, America. Before we have no country left.

Arab Spring: US ambassador murdered in Libya, US embassy in Egypt besieged

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**Posted by Phineas

Hurt feelings.

The Islamic World sent its regards on the anniversary of September 11th:

Looks like President Obama’s much-touted Arab Spring has become the Arab Autumn.

Tuesday Muslim militants stormed the American Embassy in Cairo, tore down the U.S. flag and raised their own banner. In Libya, militants stormed an American consulate, set it on fire and killed four people, including the U.S. ambassador to Libya.

The alleged reason: Someone made a video that insulted Allah. So, naturally that’s the United States’ fault. Never mind the $9 million a day U.S. bombing of Libya to rid those folks of Col. Qadhafi and his amazing hat collection. Never mind the $1 billion in annual aid to Egypt and not-so gentle nudging out of democracy-challenged President Mubarak last year.

Apparently the ever-so-sensitive Muslim feelings were hurt by a short, badly made video criticizing Muhammad. The video had been available since at least July (h/t Howie), but it took until, oddly enough, until September 11th for the mobs to become enraged enough to actually do something, much like the murderous riots over the Muhammad cartoons several years ago.

If the words “coordinated” and “pre-planned” come to mind, you’re not alone.

Libya is, of course, by far the worst of the situation so far: at least three, perhaps four Americans are dead, including Ambassador Christopher Stevens, who was visiting the Benghazi consulate at the time. I don’t know if the consulate had any Marine guards, but there’s a disturbing report that the Libyans hired to protect the consulate first whisked to ambassador to a “safer” location, then told the mob where he was:

Wanis al-Sharef, a Libyan Interior Ministry official in Benghazi, said the four Americans were killed when the angry mob, which gathered to protest a U.S.-made film that ridicules Islam’s Prophet Muhammad, fired guns and burned down the U.S. consulate in Benghazi.

He said Stevens, 52, and other officials were moved to a second building – deemed safer – after the initial wave of protests at the consulate compound. According to al-Sharef, members of the Libyan security team seem to have indicated to the protesters the building to which the American officials had been relocated, and that building then came under attack.

For what it’s worth (and it isn’t much) the Libyan president (more like the “Mayor of Tripoli”) has issued an abject apology:

Libya’s interim president has apologized to the United States for the attack on the U.S. consulate in the eastern city of Benghazi that killed the American ambassador and three of his staff.

Mohammed el-Megarif described the attack as “cowardly” and offered his condolences on the death of Ambassador Chris Stevens and the three other Americans. Speaking to reporters, he vowed to bring the culprits to justice and maintain his country’s close relations with the United States. He said the three Americans were security guards.

While I don’t hold the Libyan government at fault in this –they’re just too weak– this atrocity cannot go unpunished. Though we often criticize (and sometimes rightly so) our diplomats for being too accommodating, Foreign Service Officers are accredited representatives of the United States, often spending years away from home working in very dangerous places to further American interests. They are entitled to absolute protection by the host country under centuries-old international law and, when that protection is denied or fails, it is the duty of the United States to retaliate for any outrage. Our diplomats, volunteers all, deserve no less.

President Obama must do more than issue a condemnation or fire a perfunctory volley of missiles at some tents. If the Libyan government cannot bring these barbarians to justice, Obama must order the intelligence and military services to hunt these people down and kill them. If an organization was behind it, he must order their destruction. Whether it’s accomplished tomorrow or years from now, the enemies of the United States must know they will pay a fatal price for killing our people.

Anything less will be interpreted by the jihadists as weakness and only invite more atrocities.

RELATED: In a new low for US public diplomacy, while trying to fend off the mob in Cairo, the US Embassy there issued a groveling apology for Americans exercising their natural right of free speech. On September 11th. What a surprise, it didn’t work. (And if you want a legitimate reason to criticize our diplomats, here ya go.) Questions: The Embassy in Egypt is sovereign American soil. It is entitled to protection from the host country. Where the Hell was the Egyptian Army during all this? Did Muslim Brotherhood member President Morsi approve of his Salafist allies’ actions? Does he understand the words “act of war?” And about our Smart Power leadership: When it became clear the embassy was not getting the protection it needed (or any at all), why wasn’t the Egyptian ambassador hauled into the State Department and read the Riot Act? It was 3AM. Why wasn’t Obama on the phone with Morsi demanding he clear the streets? We give them a billion dollars a year in aid Cairo desperately needs, and I say that gives us a damn lot of leverage. As in “if those streets aren’t cleared in two hours, or if any American or native embassy employee is hurt, kiss off every last cent.”

RELATED II: It’s been noted in several places that the peaceful and tolerant Muslims barbarian mob in Cairo raised the al Qaeda banner. It’s a little more nuanced than that, as Raymond Ibrahim explains:

Some clarifications for context: Islam’s black flag with the shehada and sword inscription is not an al-Qaeda banner but rather Islam’s most ancient banner, popularized by the Abbasid caliphs in the 800s. In other words, these protesters were not imitating al-Qaeda; rather they—and al-Qaeda—are imitating Islam’s heritage, replete with jihad against the infidel. Same with the phrase “worshippers of the cross”—Islam’s ancient appellation for the hated Christians.

Read the whole thing. As Ibrahim explains, Muslim outrage over their hurt feelings is especially hypocritical, given the wretched and often murderous discrimination against Copts in Egypt.

RELATED III: Governor Romney and President Obama both held press availabilities on the North African crisis. For what it’s worth, I think Romney said the right things and acted like a president should act. He also wouldn’t let the press get away with trying to cover for Obama by presenting Romney’s criticisms as the problem, not the events in Egypt and Libya. President Obama, on the other hand, took no questions and voted “present.” Again. For those who criticize Romney and say “politics should stop at the water’s edge,” I reply “forget it.” The Democrats haven’t played by those rules in years, and we shouldn’t unilaterally disarm.

RELATED IV: Sarah Palin unleashes her night stick on Obama. Boom! You don’t want to miss it.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

Taliban behead 17 for the heinous crime of dancing

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**Posted by Phineas

Taliban execution woman

“Life and Liberty under the Taliban”

And here I thought the judges on “Dancing with the Stars” were harsh:

Insurgents beheaded 17 civilians in a Taliban-controlled area of southern Afghanistan, apparently because they attended a dance party that flouted the extreme brand of Islam embraced by the militants, officials said Monday.

The killings, in a district where U.S. Marines have battled the Taliban for years, were a reminder of how much power the insurgent group still wields in the south — particularly as international forces draw down and hand areas over to Afghan forces.

The victims were part of a large group that had gathered late Sunday in Helmand province’s Musa Qala district for a celebration involving music and dancing, said district government chief Neyamatullah Khan. He said the Taliban slaughtered them to show their disapproval of the event.

All of the bodies were decapitated but it was not clear if they had been shot first, said provincial government spokesman Daoud Ahmadi.

Information was only trickling out slowly because the area where the killings occurred is largely Taliban controlled, Khan said. The Taliban spokesman for southern Afghanistan could not be reached for comment.

Many Afghans and international observers have expressed worries that the Taliban’s brutal interpretation of Islamic justice will return as international forces withdraw. Under the Taliban, who ruled the country from 1996 to 2001, all music and film was banned as un-Islamic, and women were barred from leaving their homes without a male family member as an escort.

Gee, people are concerned about the Taliban returning to power (as they almost certainly will), just because they decapitate people for dancing? Shoot women for going out of the home unescorted? Throw acid in school girls’ faces for daring to learn to read? Whatever for?

Thanks to President Obama’s waffling and halfhearted commitment to Afghanistan (remember when it was his “right war?“), this is what the Afghan people have to look forward to. Obama’s already announced our withdrawal date. The Taliban just have to wait.

And then the party will really get started.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

#TempleShooting: Killer in Sikh Temple murders identified

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To say the suspected domestic terrorist was deeply disturbed is both a vast and obvious understatement:

Wade Michael Page, the tattooed white supremacist and former Army soldier police say gunned down six Sikhs in a Milwaukee-area temple before a police officer killed him, spread his message of hate through several rock bands for more than a decade before mounting his bloody rampage Sunday.

Playing guitar and singing in various bands — including Definite Hate and End Apathy — in the obscure skinhead punk scene, the 40-year-old Page spewed his lyrics at ear-splitting volume in small underground bars and on independent record labels. In an April 2010 interview with Label 56, the label that carries End Apathy’s music, Page described the message behind his songs.

“The topics vary from sociological issues, religion and how the value of human life has been degraded by being submissive to tyranny and hypocrisy that we are subjugated to,” Page said.

White power lyrics, which frequently discuss genocide against the Jews and other minorities, are so violent and twisted that the music is typically available only over the Internet, according to experts. In a song called “Self-Destruct” by End Apathy, Page growls his dismal vision of life in the U.S.

     “You betray your dignity for this miserable life,

     Refuse to think for yourself, you want to be led.”

On End Apathy’s MySpace page, band members call their music, “a sad commentary on our sick society and the problems that prevent true progress.” Other bands on the Maryland-based music label include Force Fed Hate, Final War, Absolute Terror and Spirit of the Patriot.

Heidi Beirich, director of the Southern Poverty Law Center’s intelligence project, said Page had been on the group’s  radar since 2000, when he tried to purchase goods from the National Alliance, a well-known hate group. She said the group has evidence that Page attended “hate events” around the country.

“He was involved in the scene,” Beirich said.

FBI Special Agent in Charge Theresa Carlson said Page was known to law enforcement authorities, but did not give details. Carlson said authorities are interested in learning what role Page’s ties to white supremacy played in his attack.

“We are looking at his ties to white supremacist groups,” she said.

Also, according to Fox News, though Page was at one time in the military, he was never stationed overseas.

Bryan Preston comments:

The man who attacked a Wisconsin Sikh temple Sunday has been identified as Wade Michael Page. He is a former Army vet who was less than honorably discharged from the service in 1998. The military has three classifications of discharge; honorable, less than honorable, and dishonorable. The vast majority of discharges are honorable. A less than honorable discharge is a strong indication that Page was a troublemaker who had built up a long record of not being a very good soldier, and that his discharge was not voluntary. He was ejected from the military in 1998.

That record is relevant to establishing that Page, who was killed by police after he murdered several innocent people inside the temple, was a very troubled man. That won’t stop the left from blaming Rep. Michele Bachmann, because she has been questioning whether the US State Department has come under undue influence by the Muslim Brotherhood, but then again that’s what the left does. When tragedy strikes, many on the left strike out at the latest boogeyman or woman on the right, never letting facts get in the way. Never mind that Sikhs have almost nothing in common with the likes of the Muslim Brotherhood, and have not been singled out by Bachmann or anyone else looking into the Brotherhood.

As prime examples, Twitchy.com has compiled a sampling of the far left’s (unsurprising) attempts at blaming the rampage on “the right wing”, and Gov. Scott Walker is one of their top vote-getters for being the “main” inspiration for the shooter.  Here are a couple of random tweets:

And:

“Never let a tragedy go to waste.” -Liberals

American Sikhs are by and large peaceful, and unfortunately are often mistaken for radical Islamists stateside due to how they dress, their beards, etc. CNN reported on instances of “bias crimes” against Sikhs reported since 9-11, and the number – according to the Sikh Coalition, is in the 700 range:

(CNN) — Immediately after the September 11, 2001, terrorist acts, Sikhs came under attack.

Mistaken for Muslims because of their beards and turbans, they became ripe targets for zealots seeking revenge.

The first person murdered in retaliation for the 9/11 attacks was a Sikh — a gas station owner in Mesa, Arizona, named Balbir Singh Sodhi who was shot five times by aircraft mechanic Frank Roque.

In the intervening years, the Sikh Coalition, a New York-based advocacy group, reported more than 700 attacks or bias-related incidents.

Some Sikhs had their houses vandalized; others were spat upon. In some extreme cases, Sikhs were set upon by groups of people and beaten.

As the incidents waned, the community had hoped the worst was behind them — until Sunday, when a man shot and killed at least six people at a Sikh temple outside Milwaukee, wounded a police officer and was himself killed by another officer’s bullets.

Though a motive has not been established as yet by the authorities, for purposes of discussion, let’s say these were “revenge”-style killings. It goes without saying that there isn’t any place in our society at all for “revenge” killings, but there’s also no place in our society for opportunistic jerk offs on either side of the aisle who use deadly tragedies in order to score political points even before the first death is reported – and in the case of the left, it’s usually by falsely portraying the perp as someone who was “immersed in right wing culture.” If they can successfully establish that, regardless of the actual facts of any given case, then their next MO is to suggest and/or imply that it’s indicative of a “right wing climate of hate” and as a result, right wing ideas should be ignored. Facts don’t matter, especially the fact that most if not all mass murderers operate by their OWN ideology independent of “left or right.”

Furthermore, there’s also no place in our society for the rank ignorance currently on display by the mainstream media and leftists when it comes to give a more complete accounting of the modern history of aggression towards the global Sikh community. Why? Because if they did, they’d have to acknowledge that Sikhs are – sadly – well-acquainted with being targeted for hate and persecution by Islamofascists. Naturally, you’ll hear next to nothing about this because it doesn’t fit the MSM’s sanitized narrative about radical Islam.

I wasn’t home yesterday at all to blog about this but I did Tweet the various reports that came through several media outlets. My heart sank as the reports that people were killed came through. My thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families.

Kindergarten graduation in Gaza

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**Posted by Phineas

June is a happy time for students, when school lets out and summer vacation begins. For some students and their parents, it’s a special moment: graduation time, when the children get to show their proud parents all the neat things they’ve learned, such as reading, writing, and hating Jews:

“I want to be a suicide bomber when I grow up!”

And what kindergarten graduation is complete without the kids putting on a play?

Next year we learn “Two Minutes Hate!”

These and other photos come from Saraya, the web site of Palestinian Islamic Jihad, in an article called “Culture of resistance implanted in the hearts of the children of Gaza.” One of the children quoted showed the journalist he learned his lessons well:

One child, Hamza, wearing the uniform of the Al Quds Brigades of Islamic Jihad and carrying a wooden weapon, said “I love the resistance and the martyrs and Palestine, and I want to blow up he most Zionists in a process of martyrdom and kill them.”

“Process of martyrdom” means “suicide bombing,” for those without a program.

It’s often said the children are our future. If that’s the case in Gaza, it’s a future as imagined by George Orwell.

Translation and photos courtesy of Elder of Ziyon, where you can see many more.

via Power Line

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

#Gitmo: Def. attorney for 9/11 terrorist asks women to “cover up” out of “respect”

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Via Fox News:

The defense attorney who wore a traditional Islamic outfit during the rowdy arraignment of the accused Sept. 11 terrorists is defending her courtroom appeal that other women in the room wear more “appropriate” clothing to the proceedings — out of respect for her client’s Muslim beliefs.

Cheryl Bormann, counsel for defendant Walid bin Attash, attended the arraignment Saturday dressed in a hijab, apparently because her client insisted on it. She further requested that the court order other women to follow that example so that the defendants do not have to avert their eyes “for fear of committing a sin under their faith.”

At a press conference Sunday at Guantanamo Bay, Bormann said she dresses in a hijab at “all times” when she meets with her client “out of respect” for his beliefs. Asked why she requested other women do the same, Bormann said, “When you’re on trial for your life, you need to be focused.”

Bormann, who is not Muslim, claimed the issue came up several years ago, when a paralegal wore “very short skirts” and it became a distraction for the defendants. She said that on Saturday, “somebody” was also dressed “in a way that was not in keeping with my client’s religious beliefs.”

“If because of someone’s religious beliefs, they can’t focus when somebody in the courtroom is dressed in a particular way, I feel it is incumbent upon myself as a counsel to point that out and ask for some consideration from the prosecution,” she said. “Suffice to say it was distracting to members of the accused.”

Oh, bite me, woman. As I said on Twitter earlier, if I could get to these trials I would make it a point to wear the most offensive thing possible in front of the “defendants” – not because I’m the flashy type but because I despise Islam’s oppressive, violent treatment of women and Islam’s deadly disdain for western culture.

Screw them!

Fruits of Smart Power: the jihad against Freedom of Speech

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**Posted by Phineas

I’ll bet the Arab liberals, such as Wael Ghonim, who naively thought they could work with the Islamic supremacists are feeling like idiots right about now.

…a shadowy organization calling itself the “Jihad Group to Cleanse the Country” is threatening On TV (1), one of the nation’s leading liberal media stations, which regularly exposes the Islamist agenda. It sent a letter to the president of the station threatening to target its studios and facilities, as well as kidnap some of its top reporters and journalists, holding them for a $20 million ransom or otherwise “liquidating” them. The message further threatened other media and organizations dealing with On TV with “painful and severe punishments.”

The reason for all this? The letter accuses On TV of “seeking to destroy the nation and create chaos to implement the American and Zionist agenda”—or, more accurately, the media policy of the station is exercising free speech, and thus exposing the nefarious agenda of groups like this “Jihad to Cleanse the Country.”

The Obama Administration and the Clinton State Department don’t bear the blame for the rise of jihadism and Salafism in Egypt and elsewhere in the Muslim world, of course; those processes have been at work for many decades. But they are responsible for the over two years in which they formulated no policy for the transition that was obviously coming in Egypt, did nothing to smooth the way beforehand, and then reacted spasmodically when the revolt finally hit. All that Obama/Clinton “smart power” accomplished was leaving us with the distinct possibility of the Arab world’s largest nation coming under Muslim Brotherhood control, with all the inherent dangerous implications for regional stability.

It also serves to illustrate again how utterly antithetical Islam –when practiced as Muhammad intended– is to the values of Western civilization. After all, Muhammad himself had poets murdered who criticized him, while modern Europe has seen several times the assassination or attempted assassination of critics of Islam.

Now that the fires have been lit, this pot isn’t done boiling, yet.

Footnote:
(1) The same TV station reported as criticizing the proposed “Farewell Intercourse” law described in an earlier post.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

(Video) Pat Condell on Israel and the United Nations

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**Posted by Phineas

Pat Condell’s back to ask a very good question: Why in the name of sweet reason would anyone who isn’t brain-dead or a Western leftist (but I repeat myself) ever expect Israel to do anything ordered by the UN, which is dominated by genuinely barbaric and Antisemitic dictatorships with appalling human-rights records?

Preach it, Brother Pat!

Oh, and he asks another good question: Why on Earth is the US still hosting and paying for this Club Med for Tyrants?

RELATED: At PJMedia, Claudia Rosett asks a question of her own — Guess who’s buying flowers for Pyongyang?

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)