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Posts Tagged ‘blood’

No Such Thing as a Bloodless Victory

Thursday, September 13th, 2012

Obama’s clean war in Libya, the one that was won by lying to the U.N. and then dropping bombs and flying away while ragged bands of fighters whittled away what was left of the decrepit Libyan military, doesn’t look so clean anymore. The bloodless victory has seen its first blood shed as those same fighters coddled and protected by American jets and drones tore into the temporary consulate set up to liaise with the rebels, set it on fire and dragged the body of the ambassador who had helped their rebellion succeed through the streets while posing for snapshots with his corpse.

Those four dead Americans in Libya won’t be the last casualties because there is no such thing as a bloodless victory. Afghanistan and Iraq were both won with fairly light casualties through devastating displays of firepower. But what the United States is willing to do in the opening stages of a war, it is rarely willing to do once the dust has settled and its planners have drawn up flowcharts of how to get the local electricity grid back on line again. The rabble shooting off their captured machine guns know that they just have to wait a few months and then those boys in their shiny flying machines will come down to the ground, learn a few words of Arabic, smile at everyone and set themselves up to be killed in some dirty alleyway.

This is what our wars look like and it is why military cemeteries and V.A. wards are full of soldiers killed after the hostilities had officially ended. And even in a “clean war” like Libya where there was meant to be no occupation and no soldiers patrolling alleyways, there were still Americans to kill. The brave people of Benghazi, the ones whose deaths Obama told us, in the speech full of lies that he delivered in a belated defense of his illegal war, would shake the moral conscience of the world, got around to killing some of the men who were there to help them. And that too is an old story.

We came to help the Somalis only to die at their hands and not satisfied with that, we admitted record numbers of them to the United States, where they have tried to carry out their own local versions of Black Hawk Down, including the attempted bombing of the Portland Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony. We came to help the Afghanis and Iraqis and the Libyans and they kill us here and there and we learn nothing from the experience.

On September 11, the latest such date, our great victory in Libya began turning to ashes because the brave Libyan people we came to liberate bravely stormed our consulate and set it on fire, and then the even braver Libyan security forces tipped off the brave Libyan people where the safe house where the staff was evacuated to was located and the more of the brave Libyan people showed up determined to kill some Americans.

Government officials are busy telling us that the mobs in Benghazi and Cairo represented only a tiny fraction of a small percentage of an extreme minority of the population and their actions are in no way representative of the brave Egyptian and Libyan peoples who love us a great deal and would happily chase after us and pose for photos with our corpses if it wasn’t for the trouble they have getting American visas.

We have spent a great deal of time hearing similar reassurances about the brave Afghan and Iraqi peoples who were also not represented by the tiny minority with the guns. In Iraq, the Sunni insurgents and the Shi’ite death squads and the Al-Qaeda splodeys were in no way representative of anyone or anything at all. And these days they’re still killing each other, after several elections, but that is still in no way representative of the people they elected to shoot each other over sectarian differences.

In Afghanistan, if the Taliban were ever to run for office in a fair and clean election, the odds are very good that they would clean the clock with the opposition as thoroughly as the Muslim Brotherhood did in Egypt, Al-Nahda did in Tunisia, Hamas did in the Palestinian Authority and the AKP did in Turkey. And yes, quite a few of those women with the sad eyes who sometimes appear on magazine covers, would vote for the Taliban, because once the fighting stops and they take over, there will finally be order, even if it is the order of the whip, the cage and the grave.

It is rather important that we understand what the British understood, that while the Jihadi fighters of various flavors may be bastards, some are even foreigners, they are still their bastards. We are not their bastards and no matter how much we smile, how we grow out our beards, learn Arabic and hand out candy to children, they will steel ululate and cheer when they drag our corpses out into the street. A few will feel bad, some of them will even do something about it, but it is these people who are the true tiny minority that is not representative of the country and its people.

If we truly want a bloodless victory, then we can have it, so long as we understand how that’s done and what price there will be to pay for it.

Removing a tyrant and replacing him with the organized chaos of democracy will not be bloodless, it will be quite bloody, until the dust settles, and elections or no elections, a new tyrant places his fat ass on the throne. Once the tyrant is in power, it will be possible for us to open embassies and walk the streets, it will not be absolutely safe, but the sort of people who would be tempted to drag our bodies down the street will be dissuaded because they know that their nearest and dearest will then be dragged down the street, not by us because we’re too fussy and principled to act that way, but by the secret police of the tyrant.

If we do decide to get rid of one tyrant, it would be a very good idea to have a tyrant in mind to replace him. This new tyrant will not be our friend, but he might be sufficiently frightened of us to do what we say. In Libya, we already had a tyrant like that, and we hunted him down and watched him be sodomized to death by the brave Libyan people in the name of freedom, democracy and apple pie. And then nearly a year later, the brave Libyan people were playing with our ambassador’s corpse the way that they had with their tyrant’s– because once you unleash the savages, they don’t just go back to hoeing olive trees and dragging sacks of sand through the desert. Why would they, when they can make ten times as much by enlisting in a militia and burning our consulates to the ground?

The best to win a truly bloodless victory is not to set food in the bloody county or to allow anyone from their bloody county to set food in our country. It’s called a Cordon Sanitaire and it’s one of the surest way to keep that victory bloodless, at least on our side, once we’ve leveled the appropriate portions of the country that had it coming last. But even then war is not truly bloodless, once the fighting begins, then sooner or later blood will be shed.

Our technology is quite impressive. We can send a drone from around the world to take out a car winding around a dusty track in the north of Yemen. And a mob of savages can break into our consulate, use low tech firebombs to torch it and drag the body of an ambassador who died of smoke inhalation into the street and take photos of him with smartphones and then upload those photos to the internet in a fraction of a second.

That’s the problem with technocrats who imagine that technology makes things simple and clean. It doesn’t, it just makes everything happen that much faster. The same technology that has given us incredible firepower and reach has also brought the enemy and their propaganda that much closer. The society that can produce massive amounts of smartphones is also the one that produces massive amounts of bleeding hearts that pine for a bloodless victory and turn on the cause at the first drop of blood.

Technology does not make war cleaner and neither do ideals. The Chicago Progressives thought that they could fight a cleaner war by keeping the occupation out of it. They were wrong. They chose to use locals to guard a consulate that was not fortified so as not to upset or alienate the locals with a show of force. And now the Marines are coming to Libya and drones will patrol the country for Jihadist camps. Libya is becoming Iraq, just as Iraq became Afghanistan and Afghanistan became Somalia and every conflict fought against savages on civilized terms recapitulates the same terms of the same war whose lessons have still not been learned.

As the photos of the ambassador’s body showed up on the news, somewhere in the White House, fresh off the campaign trail, Obama probably rubbed his forehead, looked at the bloody mess and wondered where something as simple and clean as removing Gaddafi while letting the locals run the show had gone so wrong. The whole thing may pay off for him in the polls, an international crisis is usually good for a few points, but it will look less good when there are a few thousand US “advisers” patrolling Tripoli and trying to hold off the complete collapse of the Libyan government.

It’s not certain that this is what will happen and that is also the point– in war nothing is certain and the enemy gets a vote. War is not a story where one side determines the plot, takes the initiative and carries it through all the way from beginning to end. It is a stumbling struggle, like most real life fights, it is a clumsy exchange of vicious blows, many of which never land, but some of which do to surprising effect. Violence is not predictable, but sometimes it is necessary, and when it is necessary, it is best to do it swiftly and devastatingly, and then to dispense with the humanitarian gestures if your enemies have hardly gotten past the point of murdering their own daughters and are not at the cultural level to appreciate when you show up with water filtration equipment and portable generators.

Victory is rarely bloodless but it is achieved by deciding whose blood should be shed. War is the  pursuit of military goals through military means. For the last two decades, the United States has doggedly pursued humanitarian goals through military means and it is no wonder that our leaders are unable to choose whose blood to shed or to understand that making that choice is what war is. That crippling imbecility is why Al Jazeera is broadcasting photos of our ambassador being dragged through the street, it is why two-thousand Americans will not be coming home from Afghanistan, but the Taliban will be in Kabul in a few more years, and why we won Iraq and then lost Iraq, as we have won and lost every other war since the last time we fought a war as a ruthless and decisive campaign.

There are no bloodless victories, but we can choose whether to bleed our enemy or to bleed our hearts. And when our hearts bleed for the enemy, than the blood sooner or later stops being a metaphor and becomes a sticky dark red liquid on the boots of the brave Afghan people, the brave Iraqi people, the brave Libyan people or the brave Syrian people and all the other brave peoples we will set out to save from the hells they make for themselves.

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NY Haredi Rabbis Protest Upcoming Vote on Consent Waivers for Metzitzah B’Peh

Tuesday, September 4th, 2012

Haredi rabbis in New York are accusing the city’s Department of Health of “spreading lies” in order to pass a law mandating that parents sign a consent waiver in order to use the circumcision-related rite of metzitzah b’peh.

The health department is scheduled to vote next week on the waiver for the use of direct oral-genital suction, known as metzitzah b’peh. The form would indicate that parents are aware of the risk of infection.

Some 200 rabbis have signed a statement alleging that the department “printed and spread lies … in order to justify their evil decree. It is clear to us that there is not even an iota of blame or danger in this ancient and holy custom,” the New York Post reported.

The controversy over metzitzah b’peh was reignited in March after it came to light that an unidentified infant died Sept. 28 at Brooklyn’s Maimonides Medical Center from “disseminated herpes simplex virus Type 1, complicating ritual circumcision with oral suction,” according to the death certificate.

Health department investigations of newborns with the herpes virus from 2000 to 2011 have shown that 11 infants contracted the herpes virus when mohels, or ritual circumcisers, placed their mouths directly on the child’s circumcision wound to draw blood away from the circumcision cut, according to a statement from the department. Ten of the infants were hospitalized, at least two developed brain damage and two babies died.

The rite is not used in all Jewish circumcision ceremonies, but many in Haredi communities adhere to it. Haredi leaders have resisted calls to replace direct oral suction with alternative approaches used by some mohels, such as the use of a sterile tube or gauze to squeeze the blood from the circumcision wound.

Yigal Amir’s Brother: Rabin’s Family’s Crocodile Tears Don’t Move Me, They Profited Quite Nicely from the Murder

Monday, September 3rd, 2012

Hagai Amir, brother of Yitzchak Rabin’s murderer Yigal Amir, granted his first interview since his release from prison to the anti-Zionist, left-wing website 972, and attacked the Rabin Family, as well as, among others—the settlers. The interview followed a lengthy correspondence between reporter Ami Kaufman and Hagai Amir on Facebook.

Kaufman asked if Amir thought Netanyahu could bring about change for the good, to which Amir responded: “No one can change anything now. It’s too late.”

Kaufman: Too late for what?

Amir: A slow yet steady disintegration of the state.

Kaufman: Which will end in a bi-national state? The end of Zionism?

Amir: It depends how it ends. If they reach an agreement on a bi-national state, then Jews will be able to live here. But if there is no agreement, it will end like it did with the crusaders.

Amir then defines a Jewish state—unlike simply the state of the Jews, which he believes has no right to exist—is a state that cherishes Jewish values: Shabbat, Torah study, etc.

Both Hagai and his brother, Yigal, have been conducting many conversations with Hamas prisoners, including higher ups like Ibrahim Hamed, head of the Hamas in the West Bank, and Gaza-based Hassan Salameh.

Kaufman: Did you agree on anything?

Amir: On the important things we didn’t agree, of course. Too much blood has already been shed. From their point of view there is no way this state can be here. And I no longer know if Jews as individuals will be able to live here. Anyway, the atmosphere was relaxed, they respect us and we respect them and it is clear we are enemies on the outside, but for the meanwhile there is a ceasefire.

Regarding the struggle to preserve the settlements, Amir told Kaufman: “I would fight (literally) shoulder to shoulder with those Jews on their land if they themselves were willing to fight for their homes. But this is not the case, unfortunately.. 99% are not willing to fight, as you saw in the disengagement. It was clear to me back then that this is what would happen, They are simple bourgeoisie, not tough rebels. In my opinion, you fight for a home with a weapon in hand. He who is not willing to hold a weapon is not fighting for his current home, but for his next one.”

Amir told Kaufman that during his interrogation, “they took me to see the funeral to put mental pressure on me. Of course, this did not work. The Rabin family was never really moved by the blood of the murdered on the Altalena, whom the head of their family murdered. They knew how to live well in his midst. Therefore, the crocodile tears they cry do not move me. This family has earned a living quite well from this whole story. If it wasn’t for us nobody would have heard of them. The blood of the Oslo murdered is a thousand times more dear to me than the tears dropped for the one who killed them, with help from the Arabs.”

Amir told Kaufman, as, apparently, he had done several times before during their exchanges on Facebook, that he did not regret the Rabin assassination.

“Of course not,” he reiterated this time. “It didn’t just happen out of the blue. We thought about it for two years, we acted according to the Jewish halacha, and one must not regret doing a mitzvah.”

Dov Weisglass Knows What Caused Sharon’s Stroke

Friday, August 31st, 2012

It’s been more than six years that attorney Dov Weisglass, Ariel Sharon’s chief of staff and one of his closest confidants, is convinced that what caused Sharon’s collapse, in addition to the blood thinning drugs he was taking at the time, was a broadcast on Channel 10 Television the night before, about corruption investigations against the prime minister.

In an exclusive interview with Yedioth Aharaobot’s weekend magazine, Weisglass relates, “According to a senior doctor with whom I spoke after Sharon had lost consciousness, it was a deadly combination of blood thinners and a sudden, sharp increase in blood pressure. The doctor asked me if I knew of anything unusual that happened close to the time of Sharon’s stroke that might have caused such a sudden increase in his blood pressure. He asked me if Sharon had been upset about something.”

Weisglass concludes: “The more I contemplate these issues, there is just one thing that I can think of, and that is the broadcast on Channel 10.”

According to Weisglass, it was an opening report on the news broadcast, talking about Martin Schlaff and the Cyril Kern affair.

The Cyril Kern affair involved allegations that former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon received millions of dollars of bribes from Kern, a South African businessman, and from the Austrian businessman Martin Schlaff, through Sharon’s sons.

“The report said that in a message given by the Israeli police to the District Court, the police confirmed that they are conducting an investigation of Prime Minister Sharon who is suspected of taking a bribe from Martin Schlaff. Sharon was very upset after he heard this, mainly because it was the first time this was stated explicitly.”

Explaining how he would know these details about the news broadcast, Weisglass recalls that Sharon called him up immediately after the show.

“I felt the tension and anger in his voice,” Weisglass describes. “Sharon would become hoarse immediately when he was nervous, and during this conversation, he was extremely hoarse. He asked me ‘What is this?’ I told him that I would check it out and started making phone calls. I got back to him and told him that it was an old story from a few months ago. Apparently, another businessman, James Schlaff, Martin Schlaff’s brother, came to Israel and was at his parents’ home in Jerusalem. Police arrived and confiscated his cell phone and laptop. The attorney for James Schlaff made a completely normal appeal in court, to return these items. Either the police or the state’s attorney opposing the appeal said that these items were required in relation to a bribery inquiry. This is what leaked to Channel 10.”

Finally, Weisglass recalls, “I told him, ‘Arik, it’s nothing, forget about it. There are no new developments here.’ But I saw that he didn’t calm down.”

Rabbi Lau: I Didn’t See Such German Sensitivity to Jewish Blood During the Holocaust

Thursday, August 23rd, 2012

Rabbi Meir Lau, Chief Rabbi of Tel Aviv and Holocaust Survivor, attacked the Germans today with harsh words. Rabbi Lau said, “We don’t need their permission to live as Jews,” and added that, “I didn’t see such German sensitivity to Jewish blood during the Shoah.”

“It’s amazing, German spokesmen are sensitive to the cries of a baby and a drop of spilled blood like I did not see in my childhood. Then, Jewish children’s blood was worthless and trampled on by the boots of the Gestapo, while tens of millions of Germans collaberated or stood by and watched.”

Rabbi Lau continued to say that Jews don’t have anything to look for in Germany, but that we must fight this anti-Semitic law.

Rabbi Lau also attacked the idea, proposed by Rabbi Metzger, that German doctors would teach or certify Jewish Mohels on how to perform Brit Mila, he added that Rabbi David Goldberg, who was just arrested, has performed over 3000 successful circumcisions.

Informed Consent

Thursday, August 16th, 2012

http://haemtza.blogspot.co.il/2012/08/informed-consent.html

“There’s nothing about filing a consent form that is inherently in conflict with [Jewish law]”

This statement by Agudah Executive Director, Rabbi Dovid Zweibel  should be the beginning and end of a conversation about a proposed law requiring written informed consent to do MbP (Metzitza B’Peh) – oral suction of blood from the wound during a ritual circumcision (Bris Milah).

The controversy continues however. I am not going to rehash the arguments made in previous posts about the danger of a Mohel unknowingly transferring to the infant the sometimes deadly herpes simplex virus (HSV–1) via this method of Metzitza. Nor do I want to debate whether the low statistical probability of MbP justifies continuing a centuries old practice. The statistical chances for infection are indeed very low.

Despite the fact that major Poskim spanning several generations declare that the lack of MbP does not invalidate Bris Milah – some even requiring alternative safer methods – the fact remains that there is a strongly held view mostly among Chasidim that MbP is an absolute requirement of Bris Milah. They even go so far as to say that it is forbidden to substitute other methods like a sterile pipette or gauze to withdraw blood from the wound – that it must be done by mouth!

There is no point in trying to convince them out of this notion.  Much as I would like to, it’s not going to happen. They would do MbP underground if it were outlawed. And my personal opinion is that the government should not be passing laws that interfere with Bris Milah in any way including a ban on MbP. I would rather see our own Poskim banning it or at least discouraging it. But that’s not going to happen either.

The bottom line for me – which I believe to be the most pragmatic approach – is to educate the public about the dangers in an honest fashion and not exaggerate them.  To clearly explain that they do exist and that opting out of MbP will eliminate any possibility – no matter how remote – of a Mohel ever transferring the disease.

But the government does want to get involved in a way, with which I have no issue… a way that may in fact get more people to look toward those Poskim who permit or even encourage more sterile method of MbP.  New York City’s Board of Health is set to vote on a proposal that would require parents to sign a consent form before subjecting their children to it. I think this is a good idea. In this way the government can inform people of the dangers without any actual interference in the practice of MbP itself.

But that is not the way the Chasidic world sees it. They see it as a declaration of war. They see it as an assault on Bris Milah itself. From the Forward:

“Unless the city is ready to subpoena mohels or break the doors in of synagogues around the city, I don’t really think they understand what they’re trying to do,” said Michael Tobman, a political consultant who is working as spokesman for a coalition that includes Agudath Israel, the large umbrella group that advocates for ultra-Orthodox organizations, and various Hasidic sects. “This is a community absolutely committed to resisting this ill-considered effort, up to and including civil disobedience.”

As noted – Agudah is helping them out in this cause.  In light of the opening line of this post I cannot understand why they would do this. If there is nothing Halachicly problematic with signing a consent form, why are they opposing it? Rabbi Zweibel has even gone so far as to say that if the law is passed the Agudah Moetzes will not call for outright civil disobedience. In my view they should go further and require all Jews to follow the law of the land.

If a consent form is required, not signing it would not only violate Dina D’Malchusa it would prevent people from knowing that there are dangers. People have a right to know that – even if those dangers are remote. What benefit is there to not knowing? What benefit would there be to defying the law by not signing a consent form? Is it any worse than signing any medical consent form where there are dangers involved?

Israeli Pediatric Association Calls for End to Metzitzah B’peh

Monday, August 13th, 2012

The Israel Ambulatory Pediatric Association is calling for an end to a controversial circumcision-related rite that is also under fire in New York.

Direct oral-genital suction, known as metzitzah b’peh, should not be performed during Jewish ritual circumcision, the IAPA said. The association is calling on Israel’s Health Ministry to require maternity wards and clinics to advise parents against metzitzah b’peh, Israeli media reported.

IAPA is recommending that mohels, or ritual circumcisers, use a tube to take the blood from the circumcision wound, preventing direct contact with the infant’s incision.

The rite is not used in most Jewish circumcision ceremonies, but many in the haredi Orthodox community still adhere to it.

The controversy over metzitzah b’peh was reignited in New York in March after it came to light that an unidentified infant died Sept. 28 at Brooklyn’s Maimonides Medical Center from “disseminated herpes simplex virus Type 1, complicating ritual circumcision with oral suction,” according to the death certificate.

New York Health Department investigations of newborns with the herpes virus from 2000 to 2011 have shown that 11 infants contracted the virus when mohels placed their mouths directly on the child’s circumcision wound to draw blood away from the circumcision cut, according to a statement from the department. Ten of the infants were hospitalized, at least two developed brain damage and two babies died.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/israeli-pediatric-association-calls-for-end-to-metzitzah-bpeh/2012/08/13/

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