Thursday, February 28, 2008
Thanks to Instapundit, we see this on Drudge:
PRINCE HARRY FIGHTS ON FRONTLINES IN AFGHANISTAN; 3 MONTH TOUR
Thu Feb 28 2008 11:01:34 ET
They're calling him "Harry the Hero!"
British Royal Prince Harry has been fighting in Afghanistan since late December -- and has been directly involved in gun battle, the DRUDGE REPORT has learned.
The prince, a junior officer in the Blues and Royals, and third in line to the throne, has been a "magnificent soldier" and an "inspiration to all of Briton."
Prince Harry is taking part in a new offensive against the Taliban.
Ministry of Defense and Clarence House refuse all comment. Army chiefs have managed to keep the prince away from media and have encourage fellow soldiers in his squadron to stay quiet.
Nicely done, Drudge.
He's been on a "3-month tour" since "late December"; for two months, in other words. And for the remaining month of his time in Afghanistan, he can look forward to being a big fat target... along with the British soldiers serving with him. (Provided the Taliban can figure out which unit he's with... except that Drudge has helped them with that, too.)
Good Lord. Can't some people keep their mouths shut?
Hollywood Supports Sderot?
Well, some people in Hollywood do, anyway:
Los Angeles is proving to indeed be a "city of angels’". A host of Hollywood stars, including Paula Abdul, Sylvester Stallone and Jon Voight, will be participating Tuesday in a charity and solidarity concert for the rocket-battered town of Sderot in Beverly Hills.
Ynetnews.com also covered the event itself:
Dozens of Hollywood stars attended Tuesday the "Live for Sderot" concert, which was held in Los Angeles and dedicated to the children of the Qassam-battered town. City Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa also participated in the glamorous event, organized by the Israeli consulate as an opening ceremony for Israel's 60th anniversary celebrations, and US presidential hopefuls Barak Obama, Hillary Clinton and John McCain all sent their warm wishes to Sderot via videotaped messages.Hmm. Did Stallone make it? It's hard to tell; right now I can't find any press coverage of the event, except on Ynet.
The show was hosted by Israeli actress Noa Tishby, and included performances by Ninet Tayeb, violinist Miri Ben-Ari, Israeli-born American singer Elliot Yamin, Mike Burstein, Aki Avni and Oscar-winning actor John Voight.
My hat's off to the people who were there. In a just world, this would be a non-partisan event -- how political is it to deplore the launching of unprovoked rocket attacks against women and children? But it apparently does take courage to stand up with the people of Sderot.
It would have been nice for one or another of the Presidential candidates to actually be there, but this isn't high on their campaign calendars, and I can understand that. It's nice that all three sent messages:
In Obama's message, which was broadcast during the event, the Democratic candidate said that as a father of two girls, he "could only imagine the terror that these rockets cause." Senator Clinton voiced her sympathy for the people of Sderot, saying she was overwhelmed by the town's residents' courage and sacrifice.It's a pity that both Sen. Obama and Sen. Clinton could offer only sympathy. McCain's call to action is much more what I'd expect to hear from a Presidential candidate.
Republican candidate McCain stated that the world must not remain passive in view of the Qassam fire on the Israeli town. "It’s an outrage that this violence is claiming innocent victims but is not condemned by world nations. Everybody is entitled to live in peace," he stressed.
(Or is it a uniquely Republican message to say "everybody is entitled to live in peace"? It shouldn't be.)
Keep an eye on Sen. Obama with respect to his courting of the Jewish vote. He has quite a bit to answer for in his past; reconciling his past sympathy for the Palestinians, and his need to portray himself now as pro-Israel, ought to be interesting to watch.
For the record, by the way -- it's perfectly possible to be pro-Palestinian and pro-Israeli. There's nothing wrong, or even controversial, with wanting Palestinian children and Israeli children to grow up in peace.
The problem is that such an attitude is much closer to the mainstream Israeli position than to the mainstream Palestinian position. (Most Israelis would be fine with a Palestinian state next door, if we could count on them to keep the border quiet. The Palestinians, it seems, can't even allow a neighboring Israeli town to live without daily rocket attacks.)
(Hat tip: Solomonia.)
UPDATE: The guys at Powerline had the same thought about Sen. Obama's courting of the Jewish vote, but they say it better:
Obama doesn’t necessarily favor Iranian interests over Israel’s per se; he favors military inaction against Iran and Syria over military action. But when that bias leads to a double standard under which Israeli intelligence that counsels in favor of military action is discounted on principle, while intelligence that counsels against military action towards a power that threatens to destroy Israel gets a pass, Israel and its supporters are justified in doubting Obama’s claim that he is “a stalwart ally of Israel.”By all means, read the whole thing.
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
Indiana Jones and the... what?
Okay, I'll admit it -- I've long been a fan of the Indiana Jones franchise. And, as such, I'm looking forward to the latest installment: Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.
I can't help wondering, though -- where did that idea come from?
According to a plot synopsis on Wikipedia, an older Indiana Jones battles Soviet agents (aha!) for the Crystal Skull, apparently a South American artifact with mysterious powers.
Okay, I guess I understand the cop-out of fighting Evil Forces (Soviets, in this case) that no longer exist in our world today; after all, in the first and third movies, filmed in the 1980s, Indy fought Nazis. Still, was it necessary to abandon the quest formula used before? In the first movie, a priceless Jewish artifact was sought (the lost Ark of the Covenant); in the third movie, the focus was a Christian artifact, the chalice of Jesus.
(I'm leaving out the second movie, which, to my mind, attempted to compensate for a silly plot using utterly disgusting imagery. Perhaps Steven Spielberg & Co. are trying to emulate that one -- which would be a big mistake, in my humble opinion. Ask any die-hard Star Trek fan about the frustrations of lousy odd-numbered films.)
Here's a different idea for an Indiana Jones adventure. Having sought (and found) incredible Jewish and Christian artifacts, Indiana seeks out a stone statue of the Prophet Muhammad -- the last remaining one known to have been carved in Muhammad's lifetime, and thus the last remaining contemporary likeness of him. (Insert serious-sounding documentary evidence for this; explain that all other contemporary likenesses have been lost or deliberately destroyed. Add spooky stories about this particular statue surviving because it is reputed to have mystical powers.)
With that premise set up, Indy can chase around the globe for clues, pursued ruthlessly by fanatical Muslims who want to find the statue before he does (and destroy it). For the sake of balance, give Indy a Muslim sidekick -- his Egyptian buddy Sallah (John Rhys-Davies) from the first movie, for example.
What do you say, Mr. Spielberg and Mr. Ford? Tired of kicking people who can't kick back? Or would you rather not make an adventure movie that truly is topical?
And if you think I'm proposing this just because I'd love to see a poster like this:
...well, you may be right...
UPDATE: Sol of solomonia.com is much more skilled with Photoshop than I, and was happy to lend his talents to the project. Have a look.