Friday, May 02, 2008

Shabbat Shalom 27 Nissan 5768

A different look at why we are better
Stories of POW torture makes Gitmo look like Club Med

When the New York Times, NBC, CNN and MSNBC couldn't get enough of the"torture" allegations at Guantanamo Bay, did they ever mention Gitmo prisoners having electrodes placed on their testicles, being beaten on a daily basis, whipped with rods or even urinated on? No, I didn't think so.

When Jimmy Carter tells Charlie Rose that when it comes to terrorism in the middle east, Israel is "equally guilty" as Hamas, even though Israel targets terrorists in a purely defensive manner, while Hamas targets civilians including woman and children for the sole purpose of murdering Jews. How can any rational human being claim there is a moral equivalency?

Jerusalem Post writer Larry Derfner has fascinating article regarding the post traumatic stress affecting many Israeli soldiers who were once prisoners of war. The article, Stigma of surrender, focuses on Israelis who were viewed as cowards or viewed themselves as unworthy because they were captured by the enemy instead of being killed in combat. What is also noteworthy in the article is the inhumane treatment endured by the Jewish soldiers.

In the article Derfner talks with various ex-POW's who discuss in great detail the Hell they went through in captivity. Yom Kippur War POW Yitzhak Levy spent eight months being tortured in a Syrian prison. He recalls being beaten "with rubber hoses, with bamboo sticks. They placed electrodes to my genitals, to my ears." Refused medical care, he once used a razor blade to lance the infection in his testicles from the shrapnel of the grenade blast.

The accounts by Israeli soldiers of the horrific treatment they received is never-ending. The words "Geneva convention" are nowhere to be find in the captivity manual of Arab nations.

American soldiers fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan have had similar experiences. Unfortunately they never live to tell about it. As we have seen time and time again in video footage proudly aired by their captors, our boys endure a similar Hell before they are beheaded or burned alive.

Of course their captors also have a complete disregard for the Geneva convention, but for whatever reason, leftist politicians and their media cohorts claim that the fraternity pranks that went a bit too far at Gitmo is equivalent to the horrific treatment Islamic extremists place on their POW's. Do I even have to mention how water boarding is somehow in the same category as hooking a man's genitals to a car battery with electrodes?

What makes matters worse is that even after decades of testimony by former Israeli, Russian and American POW's and hostages, the very idea of humane treatment by Arabs and radical Muslim captors is non-existent. However when a few soldiers go overboard and humiliate a few terrorists the United States is vilified by their own press and various agenda driven Democrats.

Should the United States always take the higher road? The answer is yes. However that street must be paved with common sense and doing the common good.

If waterboarding may save countless lives then not doing it would be immoral. Should Gitmo detainees or any terrorist in American custody be given 3 meals a day, exercise time, prayer freedom and proper medical attention? Absolutely! That alone is why our way of life and values is better than theirs.

The fact is that there is nothing western nations could ever do that will have a positive or negative affect on how Arab or Islamic extremists treat our men and women in captivity. The sad reality is that if they find themselves in the hands of Hamas or Al-Qaeda they can expect unimaginable torture and almost a certain death.

Americans, Israelis and the rest of the civilized world must keep in mind that as the fight against Islamic fundamentalism continues, we are battling a foe that places no value on human life and offers no mercy to those they capture. Somehow the Jimmy Carter's, Rosie O'Donell's, Noam Chomsky's and John Murtha's of the world believe we are no better than Hamas or al-Qaeda. Now that is the definition of Insanity.

NY Congressman drive in luxury on taxpayer dime
Rangel, Meeks & Towns continue to represent hypocrisy

Your Congressman makes at least $169,000 a year. That salary doesn't include expense accounts or additional pay granted for higher level positions. While very few Americans will ever see that kind of yearly salary in their lifetime, we manage to raise families, make mortgage payments and buy our own car on much less. According to a recent CBS New York story, some congressman take advantage of a little publicized program that places the financial burden of leasing a car on the taxpayer.

While congressman Anthony Weiner and Jose Serrano take advantage of the program, they lease modest cars such as an Chevy Impala and Buick Lacrosse respectively. Their leases cost about $200 and $300 dollars a month. Even though these Democrats shouldn't be taken advantage of the taxpayer in this manner, some of their colleagues are taking their constituents for a luxurious ride.

Congressman Ed Towns leases a Lincoln SUV for over $700 a month. Charlie Rangel who is one of the most outspoken proponents of raising taxes leases a Cadillac Deville for just under $800 a month. Rangel rationalized his expense saying that his constituents want him in the best and would be offended he drove anything less. "My constituents would say with all the money he gets this is the respect he shows us," referring to the prospect of driving lesser car.

As elitist as Rangel is, he doesn't take the prize for sticking it to the taxpayer the most. That honor goes to Rep. Gregory Meeks. The six-term congressman drives a Lexus SUV at nearly $1000 a month courtesy of John Q Public.

Making matter worse is that the congressional car program also covers gas, insurance and all repairs required for the auto.

The question you must ask yourself is does your congressman partake in this misguided program? If so demand he or she reimburse their constituents for taking advantage of them, especially during a time the average family struggles to make a car payment and keep gas in the tank.

Add this one to the list of reasons we need term limits.


Yom Hashoah - Holocaust Remembrance Day

Today is the official day that Jews all over the world remember the Holocaust and honor the over six million Jews, including one and a half million children that were systematically murdered by the Nazis during Word War II.

On this day morning sirens will ring throughout Israel and all activity will stop while people stand in honor of those who died. Memorials and vigils often lighting six candles will take place all over the world.

Religious observances vary from synagogue to synagogue, but the overwhelming theme is remembering and insuring such a tragedy will never happen again.

Never again is now.

Paulie

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