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Tuesday, September 07, 2004


leaving the archives behind for now . . . .

"We thank Gd we are here in Israel"

Jerusalem Post: Flipping channels in her Bat Yam home, Natalia Cheldaev saw the school her daughter Vilena had left just five months earlier when the family immigrated from Beslan, Russia. Confronted with horrifying images of the school held hostage by terrorists and the faces of people she knew, she reached for the phone.

"I immediately tried calling my former neighbors, but no one was answering," she said. "I found out that building was cleared out by special forces since it is next to the school."

The special forces might have left, but that doesn't mean the residents have returned.

"Our apartment building is all empty now," Cheldaev said, listing those who perished in the tragedy, including her best friend and her son, who had been Vilena's best friend.

"All those people who were seeing us off, half of them are now dead," she continued. "I still cannot comprehend what has happened."

Neither has her daughter, who has been told that the friends she asks about are wounded and in the hospital. "So many of her friends are dead. She won't be able to handle it."

If the family had remained in Beslan, 10-year-old Vilena would have been at School No. 1 when the terrorists took the students hostage.

"We thank God we are here in Israel," her mother said.

IAF hits Hamas training camp in Gaza

Fourteen Hamas terrorists were killed when IAF aircraft bombed an Izzadin al-Kassam training facility near Jebalya in Gaza. More than 30 Hamas members were injured in the attack. In response, Hamas fired five Kassam rockets towards southern Israel Tuesday. One landed near the electrical power station in Ashkelon and another one near Sderot, lightly injuring one man. (Maariv International)

The IAF targeted a soccer field used as a Hamas training camp at night, where members gather to prepare bombs and carry out shooting exercises. According to Palestinian reports, all those killed and wounded were members of the Hamas military wing. (Jerusalem Post)

Most Excellent Mark Steyn

in the Telegraph (UK)
. . . .

The new conventional wisdom is that it was the sheer meanness of the Republicans that earned them the bounce, and so Kerry's hitting back saying he's not going to be criticised by a President and Vice-President who weren't in Vietnam. If you didn't serve in Vietnam, you can't criticise John Kerry. On the other hand, if you did serve in Vietnam and you criticise John Kerry, that just means you're a "Republican smear artist". Either way, don't criticise John Kerry, because, if you do, he'll spend his next 10 campaign rallies droning on about how he's not going to take criticism.

The Kerry campaign is a bore that's degenerating into a laughing stock.

"Bush-despising" is no doubt very comforting to McCrum's beleaguered literati but in the end it's little more than snobbery - fine for cocktail condescension but utterly inadequate for an election campaign. You can't beat something with nothing, and Kerry is about as spectacular a nothing as you could devise - a thin-skinned whiny vanity candidate who persists in deluding himself that Bush's advantage is all down to "smears" and "lies" and "mean" "attacks". It's not.

Bush's something is very simple: his view of the war on terror resonates with a majority of the American people; when he talks about 9/11 and the aftermath, they recognise themselves in his words; they trust his strategy on this issue. For an inarticulate man, he communicates a lot more effectively than Senator Nuancy Boy.

. . . .

"This Russian school business works for the Republicans," a Democrat griped to me over the weekend. Alas, it does - because it's a reminder for those who need it that the war on terror isn't some racket cooked up to boost Halliburton profits but a profound challenge to America and the world.

Could what happened in Beslan happen in the US? Two months ago, the Minneapolis Star-Tribune reported on a fellow called Mohamad Kamal Elzahabi, a suspected terrorist who'd fought with his fellow jihadi in Chechnya and somehow wound up in Minnesota, where he'd applied for licences to transport hazardous materials and drive school buses.

Absolutely READ IT ALL.

Monday, September 06, 2004

Stolen Honor

a documentary "exposing John Kerry's record of betrayal"
I think Clinton's advice to Kerry to stop talking about Vietnam was great advice, and I would truly rather that era be put back to bed. It seems however, that it cannot; soldiers' nightmares are back to haunt us all.

Apparently, a for-profit Harrisburg, Pennsylvania corporation, Red White & Blue Productions, has produced a documentary called Stolen Honor which
investigates how John Kerry’s actions during the Vietnam era impacted the treatment of American soldiers and POWs. Using John Kerry’s own words, the documentary juxtaposes John Kerry’s actions with the words of veterans who were still in Vietnam when John Kerry was leading the anti-war movement.

Initial funding for the film was provided by Pennsylvania veterans.

President of Red, White and Blue Productions, Inc. is Carlton Sherwood, "a life-long newspaper and television investigative reporter," Pulitzer Prize and Peabody Award winner.

In addition to his investigation, Sherwood has first hand memories of Vietnam as a decorated, thrice-wounded, former Marine who served on Vietnam's DMZ. Sherwood also covered the anti-war movement as a journalist.

I tried to play the sample clips, but my computer wouldn't cooperate.

Is this competition for Farenhate 9/11? I don't know.

Is it sad and potentially divisive? Yes.

Is it really necessary for these vets to speak up now? Apparently.

Most of all, I dread hearing the Democrats' reaction. They don't seem to celebrate and defend freedom of speech when it's something they don't want to hear. What they actually celebrate and defend is Michael Moore's movie itself . . . not the freedom that allowed him to make it.

UK: Woman stabbed to death by man seen reading Koran

Manchester Online via Jihad Watch
A WOMAN was killed and another is fighting for her life after a knifeman went berserk in broad daylight in a Greater Manchester street.

It is believed the woman killed was attacked first by the man, who was carrying what appeared to be a kitchen knife with a six-inch blade and had been seen reading from the Koran.

The victims are not believed to have known their attacker.


Stan at Logic & Sanity has a new url for the aftermath and investigation, "if you want to follow developments as they are reported first from the russian sources."

Here is a smattering of his excellent and deeply-appreciated blogging/translations . . .


270 bodies have been identified.

Over 700+ received medical help.

The official total for the number of hostages is 1,191.

Officials say that many of the wounded were shot in the back as they tried to escape during the rescue operation.


- According to hostages, on the last day of the siege the terrorists did not allow anyone to use the bathroom.

- Some children ate plants that were in the building, because they were so hungry.

- Some children drank their urine, because of thirst.

- According to one of the hostages terrorists raped some older students.

- One hostage is saying that one of the terrorists was "nice", he sat quietly reading Koran and had a beard. "When I asked him if we'll be freed, he said: I don't know guys, I am not in the know".

- Terrorists had a cellphone and would regularly report to someone on the outside.

- Terrorists told children that the tap water was poisoned.

- When the hostages tried to escape as the storming took place they were shot in the back, one of the hostages claims that one of the terrorists who was shooting was smiling as the children were falling.


As I posted before:

323 dead, 156 of those are children.

But it gets even worse. 260 are missing.


According to the residents of Beslan, the real number of dead could be around 600.

I believe this is the biggest body count from a single terror act, after 9/11.


North Osetia's minister of interior, Kazbek Dzantiev, has resigned.


Russian intelligence has information that points to Abu Omar Asef as the chief financier of the terrorist act in Beslan. Abu Omar Asef is a wahabbi and Al Qaeda's representative in Chechnya.


According to German intelligence (as reported in strana.ru), the Arabs who took part in the hostage taking, were Syrian and Jordanian citizens who trained in Afghanistan.


U.S. government has donated $50,000 to the Russian Red Cross.


According to the hostages, the explosives were scotch taped to the basketball hoops inside the gym.They were remote controlled, but ended up going off accidentaly. The scotch tape couldn't hold one of them and it fell, going off in the process, its shock wave knocking down one of the terrorists and setting off another bomb. There was a great deal of casualties from that alone, and ultimately that accident is what caused the raid.

According to utro.ru's repoter, there are about 500 bodies in the morgue. The official number of dead is still at 323.

Unfortunately, I think we are going to see the final death toll somewhere around 600.

UK Times Online (via LGF)

AFTER more than 24 hours in the sweltering heat of the school gymnasium in Beslan, one of the boys trapped inside could not take it any longer. Summoning up his courage, he approached a hostage taker with a bayonet fixed to his assault rifle and asked him for a drink. It was probably the worst error that he could have made.

“Instead of giving him water, he drove his bayonet through the boy’s body,” said Stanislav Tsarakhov, 10, another captive standing nearby. “I don’t know if he died.”

The only terrorist of the group who was caught alive.

According to lenta.ru, the man shown on Channel 1 (Kulov) was of a dark complexion, unshaved and about 30 years of age. He spoke russian with a heavy accent, and during the questioning repeated several times "I swear, I want to live. I swear to Allah, that I did not kill a single woman or a child."

Relatives and neighbors of killed hostages attend the funeral ceremony in the town of Beslan in the province of North Ossetia near Chechnya, September 6, 2004. Flags flew at half-mast across Russia on Monday at the start of national mourning for 338 people killed when Chechen rebels seized a school, while questions mounted over President Vladimir Putin's policies. REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin

Relatives mourn for Madina Sozanova, 11, a hostage killed in Russia's school siege, after her funeral in the town of Beslan, September 6, 2004. Grief-stricken mothers and fathers trudged through mud and rain on Monday to bury children killed in a Russian school siege as criticism mounted over the way the Kremlin handled the crisis. At least 335 people, half of them children, were killed during a bloodbath that ended last week's 53-hour siege of the school by Chechen separatists. REUTERS/Viktor Korotayev

Two girls hug while they stand at the destroyed
school gym in Beslan, North Ossetia. (AFP/Yuri Tutov)

AP: The school seizure came a day after a suicide bombing in Moscow killed 10 people and just over a week after two Russian passenger planes crashed following explosions, killing all 90 people aboard . . .



Naomi Ragen

I have not been able to recover from the terrorist attack in Beslan. Terrorism is not the enemy. Terrorism is a tactic of the enemy. Who, then, is the enemy that fights all those who identify with the civilized world -- the world in which children and their mothers arecherished and protected, even in war? The world in which school buildings, and ambulances, and hospitals, and holy places are respected and left out of armed conflicts as neutral zones? The world in which children are taught to love thy neighbor, even if he is different and follows another religion? A world in which there can be no excuse for wiring a school building with explosives, starving children and shooting them and their mothers in the back when they cry, and finally blowing up the roof over their heads, burying hundreds in rubble?

The enemy is the man who shot Tali Hatuel when she was nine months pregnant and then shot her four little girls in the head at point blank range.

The enemy is the man who blew up elderly Holocaust survivors at their Passover Seder in Netanya.

The enemy is the man who blew up the nightclub in Bali, who laid the bombs on the train tracks in Madrid.

The enemy is the political framework that train this man and rewarded him.

The enemy is the country or countries that financed the political framework.

The enemy is the leader of these countries.

The enemy is the religious leaders of these countries, who did not teach their people right from wrong.

The enemy is the congregations who sat through the hate-mongering sermons.

The enemy is the head of the family who went home and beat his wife, and strapped suicide belts on his sons, and slit the throats of his daughter and sister for supposed violations of the family honor.

The enemy is the child who grows up in such a culture and becomes one of its perpetrators.

The enemy is the Western nations who turn a blind eye, looking to excuse this behavior so it will not have to do anything about it.

The Sunday Telegraph, Le Monde, Neue ZurcherZeitung, Bild, all claiming the problem is that the Russian government has brought this on itself by angering the Chechans. It is the victim who is to blame. Just as Israelis deserve what they get. Tali Hatuel deserved what she got. Her little girls. The little children of Beslan. The only way to stop the murderers of children from murderingis to give into their demands, these newspapers claim.

I disagree. The only way to stop murderers from murdering is todestroy them. And if you say this is impossible, I say: think back sixty years. The Thousand Year Reich is the dust of history. We destroyed their leaders, their governments, their buildings, their youth movements, their philosophy. We destroyed it all. We didn't negotiate. We didn't appease. We didn't try to show them our softer side. We uprooted the evil from mankind, because no negotiations, no fence, no signed agreement, no borders, no words were effective against them.

Long before September 11, I wrote to this list:

If an Israeli grandmother and her grandchild is not safe in a playground, then no grandmother and no grandchild anywhere in the world is safe in a playground.

If the children of Beslan were not safe in their school, then no child and no school is safe anywhere in the world. Until this enemy is destroyed root and branch, without mercy or equivocation.

The breakdown in morality which we witness everyday is finally engulfing us. Those in the Western news media who call armed terrorists, men who wire schools with explosives and murder women and children, "hostage-takers" and "militants" are setting themselves up to mourn their own children.

A generation ago, fifty million people died because the reaction of their governments and their religious leaders and their press came too late. The Neville Chamberlains saw to that. Too late. And for us, who have our Shimon Peres', and our Yossi Beilins, and our Chiracs, and our Kofi Anans, and Michael Moores and John Kerrys, will it also be too late?

For the children of Beslan, the answer is yes. And for your children?

Copyright Naomi Ragen, 2004.

Unbelievable, but you'd better believe it

Islamic cleric supports targeting children
Telegraph (UK) : An extremist Islamic cleric based in Britain said yesterday that he would support hostage-taking at British schools if carried out by terrorists with a just cause.

Omar Bakri Mohammed, the spiritual leader of the extremist sect al-Muhajiroun, said that holding women and children hostage would be a reasonable course of action for a Muslim who has suffered under British rule.

In an interview with The Sunday Telegraph, Mr Mohammed said: "If an Iraqi Muslim carried out an attack like that in Britain, it would be justified because Britain has carried out acts of terrorism in Iraq."

Mr Mohammed, 44, who lives in Edmonton, north London, but is originally from Syria, also claimed that the Chechen rebels were not responsible for the deaths of more than 350 people - at least half of them children - who are so far known to have died in Beslan."
The Mujahideen [Chechen rebels] would not have wanted to kill those people, because it is strictly forbidden as a Muslim to deliberately kill women and children. It is the fault of the Russians," he said.

The father of seven came to Britain in 1985 after being deported from Saudi Arabia because of his membership of a banned group. He has since been given leave by the Home Office to remain in Britain for five years but the Government is reviewing his status.

He gave an interview yesterday to promote a "celebratory" conference in London next Saturday to commemorate the third anniversary of the September 11 attacks.

UPDATE on Conference celebrating 9/11

from MEMRI:

Al-Muhajiroun leader Omar Bakri, a Syrian residing in London, told the paper by phone that the convention would feature Al-Qa'ida "surprises," with the screening of a never-before-shown video. He said that the convention will focus on "the anniversary of the division of the world into two great camps – the camp of faith and the camp of unbelief," and would take place September 11, 2004 from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Bakri added: "On this day, we will talk about the ramifications of these [9/11] operations for Afghanistan and Iraq… We want the world to remember this operation … that lifted the head of the [Muslim] nation."

Bakri called 9/11 "a cry of Jihad against unbelief and oppression," and said that the aim of remembering it is to "revive the commandment of Jihad among the youth of the [Muslim] nation."

Bakri said that the convention will also feature a lecture about the Islamic religious roots of "slaughtering the infidels" . . .

John Sasso announces his resignation as the campaign manager for Michael Dukakis in this Sept. 30, 1987, file photo. Democratic presidential nominee Sen. John Kerry , D-Mass., named Sasso, a longtime ally and Boston operative, to a newly created position at the Democratic National Committee to give Kerry control of the party without upsetting its current leadership structure. (AP Photo/File) AP - Sep 05 11:53 AM

Story at CNN.

Also see this in today's New York Times: Kerry Enlisting Clinton Aides

Former President Bill Clinton, in a 90-minute telephone conversation from his hospital room, offered John Kerry detailed advice on Saturday night on how to reinvigorate his candidacy . . . . In an expansive conversation, Mr. Clinton, who is awaiting heart surgery, told Mr. Kerry that he should move away from talking about Vietnam . . .

This appeared Saturday in pan-Arabic newspaper al Sharq al Awsat

The Painful Truth: All the World Terrorists are Muslims

by Abdulrahamn al Rashed, general manager of the al Arabiya news channel
reprinted in the Telegraph (UK):

It is a certain fact that not all Muslims are terrorists, but it is equally certain, and exceptionally painful, that almost all terrorists are Muslims.

The hostage-takers of children in Beslan, North Ossetia, were Muslims. The other hostage-takers and subsequent murderers of the Nepalese chefs and workers in Iraq were also Muslims. Those involved in rape and murder in Darfur, Sudan, are Muslims, with other Muslims chosen to be their victims.

Those responsible for the attacks on residential towers in Riyadh and Khobar were Muslims. The two women who crashed two airliners last week were also Muslims.

Bin Laden is a Muslim. The majority of those who manned the suicide bombings against buses, vehicles, schools, houses and buildings, all over the world, were Muslim.

What a pathetic record. What an abominable "achievement". Does all this tell us anything about ourselves, our societies and our culture?

These images, when put together, or taken separately, are shameful and degrading. But let us start with putting an end to a history of denial. Let us acknowledge their reality, instead of denying them and seeking to justify them with sound and fury signifying nothing.

Continue . . .

As Charles said at LGF, keep in mind that the Arab satellite TV channel managed by this author frequently promotes the cause of global jihad. Still, what al Rashed says is nothing short of miraculous, and the moment -however fleeting- should be appreciated.

Beslan is Russia's 9/11: it will change the world

William Rees-Mogg, in the London Times
IN THE past three years, the world has been adjusting to the consequences of 9/11. That one event has dominated American politics and policy. It has divided the Nato alliance, with France and Germany taking one line and the United States and Britain another. In both America and Britain it has been the central issue of political debate. It has been a major influence on the increasingly unstable world market for oil. It has been the crucial event in the growth of Islamic terrorism.

On the day of 9/11, I was asked to write a short piece for The Times, reacting to the event. I thought that the nearest to a comparable date was December 7, 1941, the day of Pearl Harbor, 60 years before. The American people responded to that with an absolute determination to destroy the power which had attacked them. They have done so again. President Roosevelt called it “a date which will live in infamy”. The consequences included the dropping of the first nuclear bomb on Hiroshima; in many ways they persist in influencing the present.

Many other people saw 9/11 in the same way. Clearly we were right. Like Pearl Harbor or the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo on June 28, 1914, 9/11 was one of the days which changed the world. Now we have to ask whether the hostage-taking of the schoolchildren of Beslan on September 1, 2004, the 65th anniversary of the outbreak of the Second World War, was another of these historic tragedies. In Russia, at least, that is how it has already been understood.

Beslan is for the Russians another terrible event which changes everything. It changes many of the major factors of world relations, the future of Russia itself, including the future of the Putin presidency, the war against terrorism, including both Russian and Western relations with Islam, the response to the growing threat of nuclear proliferation, the basic relationship between Russia, Europe and the US, the probable outcome of the American election and possibly even of the next British election, the future of the world oil market, the future of the Middle East, and particularly of Iraq, Iran and Saudi Arabia, even the economic development of the emerging superpower, China.

Beslan is what strategists call “a low-probability, high-impact event”. Potentially it changes everything.

It never takes long

Islamic "scholar" blames Israel for Beslan
AP/China Post - Taiwan: Ali Abdullah, an Islamic scholar in Bahrain who follows the ultraconservative Salafi stream of Islam, condemned the school attack as "un-Islamic," but insisted Muslims weren't behind it.

"I have no doubt in my mind that this is the work of the Israelis who want to tarnish the image of Muslims and are working alongside Russians who have their own agenda against the Muslims in Chechnya," said Abdullah.

Sunday, September 05, 2004

Remember Ma'alot

from Wikipedia
The Maalot massacre was a terrorist attack in Maalot, Israel, that occurred on May 15, 1974.

On this date, which corresponds with the 26th anniversary of Israeli independence, Palestinian terrorists broke into the high school in Maalot, a community in northern Israel. The terrorists immediately killed a security guard and some of the children, the remaining children and teachers were held as hostages.

In the morning, the terrorists were identified as members of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine who had infiltrated into Israel from Lebanon. They presented their demands: release Arab terrorists from Israeli prisons, or they would kill the children. The deadline was set at 6:00 p.m. the same day.

The Knesset, the Israeli parliament, met in an emergency session, and by 3:00 p.m. a decision was reached to negotiate, but the terrorists refused a request for more time.

At 5:45 p.m., a unit of the elite Golani Brigade stormed the building. All of the terrorists were killed in the assault, but not before they used firearms and explosives to kill 21 children that afternoon. All told, 26 people were killed and 66 wounded (not including the terrorists), including several people murdered by the terrorists on their way to the school the night before.
Todah to Esther Sarah for the reminder.

If the world had said NEVER AGAIN -and meant it- after Ma'alot, where it was just Jews after all, would the siege at Beslan have come to pass?


Sharon called Putin Sunday to voice shock and condolences over the Beslan school disaster and call for concentrated political and intelligence efforts to destroy the scourge of terror.

Russian president sent condolences to the bereaved families of 16 victims of the twin Beersheba Palestinian suicide bombings. Earlier Russian condemned Beersheba terror attacks.

Instapundit finds some good news in StrategyPage

American combat losses continue at a historically low level. Since March, 2003, American troops have suffered 7,900 casualties (including 976 dead.) This is an unprecedented killed to wounded ratio of 1:8. In past wars, the ration had been 1:4 or 1:5.

American combat deaths over the Summer were 42 in June, 54 in July and 66 in August. There are the equivalent of three American combat divisions in Iraq, each running several hundred patrols and other combat operations each day. Never have combat divisions, operating in hostile territory, kept their casualties this low.
He also has a very funny image here.

My daughter's homework

My daughter, new to the sixth grade, is struggling with her first homework assignment. She is to find newpaper articles about each of the three presidential candidates, and from them, summarize the candidates' views on issues.

Do try this at home. All the articles about Nader have to do with whether he is able to get on the ballot in any given state, and all the articles about Kerry have only to do with his criticism of the current administration. I am not exactly a poor Googler, and I seriously can't find one recent article where Kerry's view, not his opposition, on an issue, is explicated.

If this is indeed the most important election of our lifetime, for the position of Unipolar Leader of the Free World, then something is very, very wrong with the way we're going about it.

Google [Kerry + issues], and you will find that U.S. Medicare premiums will increase by $11.60 per month in 2005, and John Kerry is steaming over it. And he's going to ("so help me Gd") "restore fairness and economic sense to the United States of America." Does that count as an issue? For my daughter's sake, I hope so.

What is the fascination with Nazism?

Can anyone make sense of this ?
(from Christopher Buckley Op-Ed in today's New York Times)

". . . . the chant "Four more years!" which on the 100th utterance begins to sound as if Leni Riefenstahl is filming the occasion . . ."


Granted the man is out to ridicule, as he does here:

The Democratic convention left one with a nice Chablis buzz. This convention left one braced and bucked up, with that post-rodeo or Nascar race feeling, seized with the impulse to squirt a cheekful of philosophical tobacco juice onto the Guccis of the nearest economic girlie-man.

Okay, we get it, Democrats are suave and debonair while Republicans are a bunch of stupid, unsophisticated rednecks, or as one of my recent ex-friends said to me, mindless flag-wavers.

But Nazis?

Buckley's agency, the Greater Talent Network, Inc., describes him as "one of the country's leading humorists and satirists," but I don't think he's funny.

Furthermore, I don't see any connection whatsoever, from which to make a joke, between Bush supporters chanting "four more years" and Leni Riefenstahl, whose films glorified Hitler and popularized Nazism. The connection is manufactured. I can only ask, for what possible purpose?

IRAQ: Saddam's No. 2 Arrested

MSNBC News: BAGHDAD - Iraqi and U.S. forces arrested a man believed to be Izzat Ibrahim al-Douri, the most wanted Saddam Hussein aide still on the run, in a bloody raid in which 70 of his supporters were killed and 80 were captured, Iraqi officials said on Sunday.

He said Arabs from outside Iraq had been among the people protecting the man, who was suffering from leukemia. “He’s in a very deteriorated state of health,” he said.

Target: Children

"Nazis have always made a point of specially targeting children.

The German Nazis went out of their way to murder Jewish children.

The Palestinian nazis make special efforts to target Israeli children.

The Chechen nazis learned from the Palestinians."

-- Steven Plaut

Read Mark Steyn: No other word for it but slaughter:
What happened in one Russian schoolhouse is an abomination that has to be defeated, not merely regretted. But the only guys with any kind of plan are the Bush administration. Last Thursday, the President committed himself yet again to wholesale reform of the Muslim world. This is a dysfunctional region that exports its toxins, to Beslan, Bali and beyond, and is wealthy enough to be able to continue doing so.

You can't turn Saudi Arabia and Yemen into New Hampshire or Sweden (according to taste), but if you could transform them into Singapore or Papua New Guinea or Belize or just about anything else you'd be making an immense improvement. It's a long shot, but, unlike Putin's plan to bomb them Islamists into submission or Chirac's reflexive inclination to buy them off, Bush is at least tackling the "root cause".

If you've got a better idea, let's hear it. Right now, his is the only plan on the table.

Talkin' politics at the gas station

Okay, so it came out at the gas station this morning that I'm a Bush supporter. We've known all these guys for years and they know a lot about our lives, but only this morning did we get into politics. The young manager, who's a helluva nice guy, said he thought we should just take care of our own and not mess about in the world. Not until all of our own people are fed, have medical care and can read. Once we're perfect, he said, then maybe we can help out in the world. Whenever and wherever we do, though, he said, there will be those who oppose us.

I played the Holocaust card: If America hadn't gone in to stop the Nazis, my family might not exist. You should have seen his immediate turnaround: that's different, that's a matter of world domination, every country had a responsibility to stop Hitler.

I would have explained that today it's a matter of world domination, too, but my daughter's competing in a horse show this morning that starts in six minutes, ten minutes away.

Zev Chafets makes the case in today's Daily News: The jihadists' dream is a return to empire. Read it all, and distribute it widely. I'm taking it to the gas station, after the horse show!

Newsweek poll confirms Bush Bounce

NEW YORK (Reuters) - President Bush emerged from the Republican National Convention with an 11-point lead over Democrat John Kerry, according to a Newsweek poll released on Saturday, the second straight survey showing him ahead by double digits.

The Newsweek poll of 1,008 adults conducted on Thursday and Friday showed Bush leading Kerry by 52 percent to 41 percent among registered voters, with independent Ralph Nader at 3 percent. The survey had a 4-point margin of error.

That represented a 13-point bounce for Bush since an Aug. 5-10 poll by Princeton Survey Research Associates International for the Pew Research Center, Newsweek said. Polls for months had shown Bush and Kerry running neck and neck.

A Time poll released on Friday showed Bush leading Kerry by an identical margin in a three-way race with Nader. . .