Tuesday, September 11, 2007
911 - Six Years Later - the Left still Hates 'Amerika'!!
The Reform Pseudo-Rabbi for the Chador
2. Israel hating Hebrew University professor, who claims settler
children are "Hitlkerjugend", finds some more "neo-nazis." Guess who they
3. More success for Olmert appeasement:
4. Kissing ISM toochis:
5. Six years after 911 - the Left still hates 'Amerika!'
September 11, 2007
'America the Ugly'
By NORMAN PODHORETZ
September 11, 2007; Page A19
In the immediate aftermath of the attacks on us that took place on this
very day six years ago, several younger commentators proclaimed the birth
of an entirely new era in American history. What Dec. 7, 1941, had done to
the old isolationism, they announced, Sept. 11, 2001, had done to the
Vietnam syndrome. It was politically dead, and the cultural fallout of
that war -- all the damaging changes wrought by the 1960s and '70s --
would now follow it into the grave.
I could easily understand why they thought so. After all, never in their
lives had they witnessed so powerful an explosion of patriotic sentiment
-- and not only in the expected precincts of the right. In fact, on the
left, where not so long ago the American flag had been thought fit only
for burning, the sight of it -- and it was now on display everywhere --
had been driving a few prominent personalities to wrench their
unaccustomed arms into something vaguely resembling a salute. One of these
personalities, Todd Gitlin, a leading figure in the New Left of the '60s
and now a professor at Columbia, even went so far as to question the
inveterately "negative faith in America the ugly" that he and his comrades
had tenaciously held onto for the past 40 years and more.
Having broken ranks with the left in the late '60s precisely because I was
repelled by the "negative faith in America the ugly" that had come to
pervade it, I naturally welcomed this new patriotic mood with open arms.
It seemed to me a sign of greater intellectual sanity and moral health,
and I fervently hoped that it would last.
But I could not fully share the heady confidence of my younger political
friends that the change was permanent, and that nothing in American
politics and American culture would ever be the same again. As a veteran
of the political and cultural wars of the '60s, I knew from my own scars
that no matter how small and insignificant a group the anti-Americans of
the left might for the moment look to the naked eye, they had it in them
to rise and grow again.
In this connection, I was haunted by one memory in particular. It was of
an evening in the year 1960, when I went to address a meeting of left-wing
radicals on a subject that had then barely begun to show the whites of its
eyes: the possibility of American military involvement in a faraway place
called Vietnam and the need to begin mobilizing opposition to it.
Accompanying me that evening was the late Marion Magid, a member of my
staff at Commentary, of which I had recently become the editor. As we
entered the drafty old hall on Union Square in Manhattan, Marion surveyed
the 50 or so people in the audience and whispered to me: "Do you realize
that every young person in this room is a tragedy to some family or
The memory of this quip brought back to life some sense of how unpromising
the future had then appeared to be for that bedraggled-looking assemblage.
No one would have dreamed that these young people, and the generation
about to descend from them politically and culturally, would within the
blink of a historical eye come to be hailed by many members of the very
"Establishment" they were trying to topple as (in the representative words
of Prof. Archibald Cox of Harvard Law School) "the best informed, the most
intelligent, and the most idealistic this country has ever known."
More incredible yet, in a mere decade the ideas and attitudes of the new
movement, cleaned up but essentially unchanged, would turn one of our two
major parties upside down and inside out. By 1972, only 11 years after
President John F. Kennedy had promised that we would "pay any price, bear
any burden . . . to assure the survival and the success of liberty,"
George McGovern, nominated for president by Kennedy's own party, was
campaigning on the antiwar slogan, "Come Home, America." It was a slogan
that to an uncanny degree reflected the ethos of the embryonic movement I
had addressed in Union Square only about a decade before.
In sharp contrast to my younger friends, I could not help fearing that
something like this might happen again. On the one hand, those who thought
that we had brought 9/11 down on ourselves and had it coming were in a
very tiny minority -- even tinier than the antiwar movement of the early
'60s. On the other hand, they were much stronger at a comparably early
stage of the game than their counterparts of the '60s (who in some cases
were their own younger selves). The reason was that, as the Vietnam War
ground inconclusively on, the institutions that shape our culture were one
by one and bit by bit converting to the "faith in America the ugly." By
now, indeed, in the world of the arts, in the universities, in the major
media of news and entertainment, and even in some of the mainstream
churches, that faith had become the regnant orthodoxy.
But it would be a great mistake to suppose that the influence of these
sectors of the culture was limited to their inhabitants. John Maynard
Keynes once said that "practical men who believe themselves to be quite
exempt from any intellectual influences, are usually the slaves of some
defunct economist." Keynes was referring specifically to businessmen. But
bureaucrats and administrators are subject to the same rule, though they
tend to be the slaves not of economists, but of historians and
sociologists and philosophers and novelists who may be very much alive
even when their ideas have, or should have, become defunct.
Nor is it necessary for the "practical men" to have studied the works in
question, or even ever to have heard of their authors. All they need do is
read the New York Times, or switch on their television sets, or go to the
movies -- and, drip by drip, a more easily assimilable form of the
original material is absorbed into their heads and into their nervous
The few people I knew who shared my apprehensions believed that if things
went well on the military front of what we were calling World War IV (the
Cold War having in our scheme of things been World War III), all would be
well on the home front too. And that was how it appeared from the effect
wrought by the Afghanistan campaign, the first front to be opened in World
War IV. For a short spell, the spectacular success of that campaign
dampened the nascent antiwar activity on at least a number of campuses.
But I felt certain that, as other fronts were opened -- with Iraq most
likely being the next -- opposition not only would grow but would become
more and more extreme.
I turned out to be right about this, and yet even I never imagined that
the new antiwar movement would so rapidly arrive at the stage of virulence
it had taken years for its ancestors of the Vietnam era to reach. Nor did
I anticipate how closely the antiwar playbook of that era would be
followed and how successfully it would be applied to Iraq, even though the
two wars had nothing whatever in common.
To be sure, this time, mainly because there was no draft, there would be
no student protesters and no massive street demonstrations. Instead,
virtual demonstrations would be mounted in cyberspace by the so-called
netroots and these, more suited to the nature of the new technological
age, would prove an all-too-effective substitute. And so on the sixth
anniversary of the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, the
main issues agitating this country are how quickly we can extricate
ourselves from Iraq and whether to fix a timetable and a deadline for
abandoning the field.
Here too the antiwar playbook of the Vietnam era is being very closely
followed. In 1972, Richard Nixon was elected by landslide to a second term
as president, but in campaigning against George McGovern's call for us to
withdraw from Vietnam, Nixon did not sound an opposing call to fight on to
victory. On the contrary: He too promised to get us out of Vietnam. The
difference was that he also promised to accomplish this with our honor
Today, like the McGovernites with respect to Vietnam in 1972, the
overwhelming majority of the Democrats in Congress, and all the Democrats
hoping to become their party's candidate for president, want America out
of Iraq, and the sooner and the more completely the better. And like Nixon
in 1972, many Republican members of Congress, along with a few of the
Republicans running in the presidential primaries, also want out, but with
our honor intact.
Well, Nixon did get us out of Vietnam. By 1975, when the North Vietnamese
communists conquered the South, not a single American soldier was left in
the country. But never in American history had our honor been so
besmirched as it was by the manner of our withdrawal. Having left with the
promise that we would continue to help save the South Vietnamese from
communism by supplying them with arms, Congress nevertheless refused to
send them so much as a bullet when the communists of the North were
already storming the gates. As President Bush recently reminded us, to the
sputtering rage of those who did not wish to be reminded, the price "was
paid by millions of innocent citizens whose agonies would add to our
vocabulary new terms like 'boat people,' 're-education camps,' and
It is impossible at this point to predict how and when the battle of Iraq
will end. But from the vitriolic debates it has unleashed we can already
say for certain that the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, did not do to the
Vietnam syndrome what Pearl Harbor did to the old isolationism. The
Vietnam syndrome is back and it means to have its way. But is it strong
enough in its present incarnation to do what it did to the honor of this
country in 1975? Well acquainted though I am with its malignant power, I
still believe that it will ultimately be overcome by the forces opposed to
it in the war at home. Even so, I cannot deny that this question still
hangs ominously in the air and will not be answered before more damage is
done to the long struggle against Islamofascism into which we were blasted
six years ago and that I persist in calling World War IV.
Mr. Podhoretz is editor at large of Commentary. This essay is adapted from
his new book, "World War IV: The Long Struggle Against Islamofascism," out
today from Doubleday.
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7. A Bris is good for you!
September 7, 2007
Challenge for AIDS Fighters:
Circumcising Africans Safely
Procedure Cuts Infection,
But Surgeons in Rituals
Lack Tools and Training
By MARK SCHOOFS
September 7, 2007; Page A1
(See Corrections & Amplifications item below.)
BUNGOMA DISTRICT, Kenya -- The recent finding that circumcision
dramatically reduces the risk of contracting HIV has global health
authorities mobilizing to offer the procedure broadly in Africa. But
introducing mass circumcision presents challenges, epitomized by a young
man in western Kenya.
Kennedy Sikuku went to the mud-and-wattle shack of Joseph Wanjala for a
circumcision. Kennedy's father thought his son was getting treated by a
doctor. In fact, Mr. Wanjala is a nurse and barred by Kenyan law from
doing the operation. Over a dusty floor, Mr. Wanjala carried out the
surgery to mark the passage of the teenager, then 17 years old, into
Mr. Wanjala couldn't stanch Kennedy's bleeding. That set off a three-week
ordeal in which Kennedy contracted a severe infection and escaped death
"by a whisker," according to a medic who examined him at his lowest ebb.
Fortunately, he was in a study evaluating the quality of locally performed
circumcisions, and the study team took him to a district hospital for
Boys in the Kenya town of Bukara wait to be circumcised by a medical team
from Marie Stopes International.
Circumcision offers one of the best ways to turn the tide against Africa's
raging AIDS epidemic, but implementing the procedure is fraught with
danger in a region with threadbare medical regulation, a shortage of
doctors, and patients who often are minimally educated.
In the "AIDS belt" of eastern and southern Africa, where the disease has
taken the biggest toll, rates of circumcision are generally low. Zambia,
Zimbabwe, Rwanda and Malawi all have circumcision rates below 20%. In
South Africa, the largest ethnic group, the Zulus, generally do not
Kenya is an exception, with more than 80% of men circumcised.
Complications from circumcision in this region of Kenya are common,
showing the risks that may arise if health officials push circumcision
The study in which the younger Mr. Sikuku took part assessed more than
1,000 boys and teenagers who received circumcisions in 2004. It found that
35% of those circumcised by ritual circumcisers, who have rudimentary
medical training at best, suffered side effects such as infections,
excessive bleeding and pain when urinating. Even among those who were
circumcised in medical settings, a category that includes private clinics
such as Mr. Wanjala's, 17% suffered adverse side effects. The rate is
often under 2% when modern medical approaches and equipment are used.
The results were published in 2006 in a report funded by the U.S.
government. Robert Bailey of the University of Illinois and Moi
University's Omar Egesah led the research.
The total number of sub-Saharan Africans with the AIDS virus reached 24.7
million last year, up from 23.6 million in 2004, estimates the Joint
United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS, known as UNAIDS. Providing lifelong
drug treatment for every AIDS patient is too costly for poor countries.
Technology to prevent sexual transmission of HIV has remained stalled for
decades, with no new intervention since the condom. Attempts to develop an
AIDS vaccine have foundered. Behavioral methods, such as abstinence,
monogamy and condom use, have rarely worked well enough to reverse the
trajectory of the epidemic.
WSJ's Mark Schoofs reports from Kenya, where circumcision is proving to
help protect men from AIDS, as long as the operation isn't botched, as
Circumcision is inexpensive and, according to recent studies, sharply
reduces the chance of getting infected. Removing the penis's foreskin
causes the newly exposed skin to thicken, making it more resistant to
microbes. Also, circumcision may improve hygiene and protect against other
infections, such as syphilis and herpes, that can contribute to HIV
AIDS experts long noticed that the epidemic was generally worse among
noncircumcising people. In Kenya, the adult HIV infection rate among the
Luo, who live along Lake Victoria and traditionally don't circumcise, is
estimated to exceed 20%, whereas it is just 7% for Kenya as a whole,
according to 2005 figures from the Kenyan health ministry.
Religious differences also play a role. In primarily Muslim West African
regions such as Senegal and northern Nigeria, boys are circumcised and
generally have a lower rate of HIV than in Christian areas. While
circumcision isn't religiously prohibited among most Christian groups, the
practice is less common. In Kenya, the province with the lowest HIV
prevalence is the heavily Muslim Northeast Province. Circumcision isn't
the only factor -- a study of Kenyan truck drivers found that Muslims
reported less use of prostitutes.
Early this decade, scientists intrigued by the observations set out to
prove the circumcision-AIDS prevention link. Three research teams working
in South Africa, Uganda, and Kenya conducted clinical trials in which a
total of 11,000 men were randomly assigned to circumcision and
noncircumcision groups, and tracked to see whether they were infected with
HIV. Such trials are considered the gold standard of medical research. The
three trials were separate from the one on circumcision safety that
involved Kennedy Sikuku.
In July 2005, the results of the South African trial came out, showing a
60% reduction in the risk of acquiring HIV. Still, given the daunting
practical hurdles and cultural sensitivities involved in recommending
circumcisions, policy makers didn't move to roll out the procedure widely.
Then, in December 2006, the results of the other two randomized trials
were announced, confirming the first result.
The new evidence spurred health authorities at the United Nations and
governments in the U.S. and Africa to prepare to offer widespread
circumcision. In March 2007, the World Health Organization and UNAIDS
formally recommended circumcision to prevent HIV, saying the science
suggests the policy "will result in immediate benefit to individuals." The
groups say they won't carry out the procedure themselves but will provide
technical support to those governments that choose to implement it.
Last month, the U.S. said it will provide funding for circumcision
programs through the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief. A
spokesman said the U.S. has already allocated $16 million, mostly for
preparatory work. In Kenya, the ministry of health is finalizing a draft
policy that is expected to declare male circumcision "should be promoted."
Circumcision doesn't make men immune to HIV, so they would still have to
use condoms or practice monogamy. But when combined with those behavioral
prevention methods, says Peter Cherutich, a member of the Kenyan health
ministry's male circumcision task force, the procedure "could make a huge
difference in the HIV epidemic."
The problem now for health officials is ensuring safe circumcisions. Even
medical personnel sometimes lack adequate tools, such as scissors that are
sharp enough to perform the surgery without leaving ragged edges. Ritual
circumcisers, who are culturally revered and sometimes less expensive than
medical doctors, frequently go without sterilization equipment and even
Circumcision is one of the oldest and most common surgical procedures, but
it can go awry. The penis is rich in blood vessels, and so excessive
bleeding and infection can occur if the vessels aren't properly tied or
cauterized. The local anesthetic most commonly used in Kenya, lignocaine,
can cause irregular heartbeat and even cardiac arrest if it is injected
into the bloodstream rather than into the tissue.
Five-year-old Clinton Libasia, named after President Clinton, was ritually
circumcised last month by 72-year-old Thomas Molama, who wore the
ceremonial skins of a leopard and a colobus monkey, as well as a leather
hat festooned with bells, colored beads, and white buttons. Mr. Molama
said no one trained him in removing the foreskin. He said he learned how
to perform the surgery in a dream.
Young Clinton removed his pants, and Mr. Molama's two assistants, wearing
tall feathered hats, held the boy tight. Mr. Molama, holding aloft his
gleaming knife, pulled the boy's foreskin taut and sliced it off. In less
than 20 seconds, the operation was over, and Clinton, crying profusely,
squatted off to the side, blood dripping into the grass. Mr. Molama
doesn't dress the wound or apply antiseptic, believing that the cut heals
faster without a bandage. After a few minutes, Clinton's father, Vincent
Libasia, who himself had been circumcised by Mr. Molama many years ago,
took his boy home.
Read Robert Bailey and Omar Egesah's study of circumcision complications
Social forces are motivating more Kenyans to have their sons circumcised
medically, not ritually. Education has spread the value of sanitary
medical procedures. The definition of a man is changing, from one who can
endure intense pain and be a warrior, to one who can earn a good living in
the modern economy. Christianity, which is widespread in Kenya, often
frowns on rites associated with indigenous religious practices. While
Christians don't see circumcision as a religious requirement, some
churches have started offering medical circumcisions as a service to their
Still, many Kenyans, especially those with little education, don't
understand the differences among doctors, nurses, and outright quacks.
Aineah Sachita says he performs circumcisions out of a private clinic that
charges the equivalent of about $4.50 for an operation. Mr. Sachita keeps
about $1.50 of that. He estimates he has circumcised 5,000 boys and says
none have had complications. With the equivalent of a 10th-grade
education, he says he learned how to perform circumcisions while working
at a clinic in Nairobi, the capital. He started as an office messenger, he
says, but ended up assisting with the surgery, actually cutting the
foreskin with scissors.
He produced a photocopied letter of reference from Kakamega Highway
Hospital recommending him as a nurse's aide -- but with his name in a
different typeface than the rest of the letter. The doctor who signed the
letter, Jacob Maleche, says he doesn't recall Mr. Sachita ever working at
the hospital and declares the letter not authentic. "We've had a lot of
problems" with forged letters, he adds. Mr. Sachita says the letter is
Mr. Wanjala, the nurse who couldn't stop Kennedy Sikuku's bleeding, works
at a provincial hospital. His superiors say he wasn't authorized to
perform the surgery outside the hospital. Authorities say the type of
makeshift, private clinic he ran during the circumcision season -- which
in his part of Kenya comes in August of every even-numbered year -- is
illegal. Mr. Wanjala admits his clinic was never inspected, a prerequisite
to a clinic being licensed, but insists it was legal.
Along with being a nurse, Mr. Wanjala is also a ritual circumciser. If his
client prefers, Mr. Wanjala will perform the surgery with one of his
ceremonial knives rather than surgical instruments, and with no
Kennedy, who received a "medical" rather than ritual circumcision, is
listed in Mr. Wanjala's log of patients, along with the payment of 400
Kenyan shillings, about $6. Mr. Wanjala says he doesn't remember the case.
Late on the day of his circumcision, Kennedy, weak and still hemorrhaging,
was taken by bicycle on dirt roads to the nearest government clinic.
There, the night nurse called on a local ritual circumciser -- not a
doctor -- to help her stop the bleeding. They failed, but the medic in
charge of the clinic succeeded the next day.
While he was recovering at home, Kennedy's wound got infected, and
gangrene set in. At the district hospital, where Kennedy was finally
taken, a surgeon says he operated and administered antibiotics, keeping
Kennedy in the hospital for five days. He is fine now.
To eliminate unqualified private practitioners, Dr. Cherutich of the
Kenyan health ministry hopes his country will provide circumcisions free
of charge. "Quacks are not into philanthropy," said Dr. Cherutich. "They
want money." To pay for the program, Kenya seeks support from wealthy
governments and international organizations.
With fewer than 6,000 medical doctors serving a population of more than 36
million, Dr. Cherutich says the circumcision task force will consider
training nurses to perform circumcision. That might not solve the problem,
he notes, because most nurses in Kenya are women, and most traditional
cultures have deep-rooted objections to women performing circumcisions.
Circumcision is more than a mere medical procedure. Meshack Riaga,
chairman of the Luo Council of Elders, decries circumcision as a
"betrayal" of Luo culture and fears it will be "forced" on his people.
But tradition doesn't hold as much sway these days. Even before the news
broke that circumcision provides protection against the continent's most
dreaded disease, young Luo men were increasingly opting for the surgery,
according to interviews with doctors and ordinary Luos. One reason is that
members of circumcising tribes have ridiculed them as not real men.
Amos Abong'oh, a 23-year-old Luo man who lives in Yala, not far from the
home of presidential candidate Barack Obama's paternal grandmother, says
he got circumcised last month because he believes it's more hygienic, it
can help him avoid HIV and his girlfriend wanted him to do it.
Write to Mark Schoofs at firstname.lastname@example.org
Corrections & Amplifications:
The U.S. government said in December that it would support
male-circumcision programs to reduce HIV transmission risk. This article
noted the U.S. government's statement of support last month, but failed to
mention the December statement.
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