- The Washington Times - Friday, April 12, 2002

The coming disaster

"Israel is serving as the testing ground for future attacks on Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Washington, London and even Moscow. Should the suicide bomber the new secret human tool of terror prove to be a successful, unchallenged weapon, there will be plenty of fanatics ready to take trips to the United States, Britain or France. There they will join their cells already planted in those countries, pick up their explosives belts and create the same devastation and panic that we have seen so often in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.

"In comparison with a chemical or nuclear device, this weapon is much less complicated: It consists of a functioning brainwashed true believer who has deluded himself into thinking that if he blows himself up and kills as many infidels around him as possible, Allah will bestow the favors of no less than 72 virgins awaiting him in Islamic heaven. To sweeten the deal, Iraq's Saddam Hussein will grant the surviving families at least $10,000, according to the Israeli press. This is a win-win for the suicide bomber.

"Meanwhile, the West will suffer the deaths of innocent civilians, experience economic chaos and expose itself to constant blackmailing. If the suicide terrorists succeed and bring Israel to its knees, the West is likely to be next in line. The intent and hope of the suicide-bombing industry is to force the infidel Christian in the West to see the light of the real God (Allah) and surrender to demands by any terrorist group. With luck and determination, so they think, the West may even convert to the Islamic faith."

Ranan Lurie, in "Arafat has mastered history's lesson; the West has not," posted March 18 in www.jewishworldreview.com

Great American dragon

"The United States is a series of paradoxes for newcomers. Every plus is married to a minus. It is the land of opportunity and yet the opportunity is often to work in a meatpacking plant. Newcomers have fled war zones for the safety of our country but, in the United States, they find themselves in our most dangerous neighborhoods. They are in a country with sophisticated health and mental health care but often cannot afford even the most basic treatments.

"They come for our wonderful educational system, but often their children are educated by television and learn all the wrong lessons. And finally, they come because of the generosity of the American people, and yet once here, they must deal with an unfriendly and grossly inefficient INS. The INS is the great American dragon that all must slay to enter the gates of the promised land. A recent newspaper article reported that of the 115,000 calls made to national INS offices daily, only 500 are answered.

"In Nebraska, we create illegals, then arrest and deport them. The INS in Nebraska doesn't have adequate staff to help newcomers secure legal status. People wait three years for routine papers to be processed. Yet, the INS raids meatpacking plants to round up illegals. Refugees live in fear of the INS. It's a Kafkaesque situation."

Mary Pipher, in her new book, "The Middle of Everywhere"

Hollywood vision

"After winning Best Actress for her role in 'Monster's Ball,' [Halle] Berry went on a long, hysterical, unhinged rant about the barriers she was breaking down for her race, the footsteps she was following in, and the discrimination that she encounters as a serious actress of color. Halle Berry, whose mother is white, was the Miss USA runner-up in 1986 and a successful model before she turned to acting. She gets $2.5 million per picture.

"The morning after the Oscars, newspapers across America were, appropriately, filled with derision. But not Variety. Where everyone else in America sees ostentatious excess and self-aggrandizement, Hollywood sees restraint. There's a war going on and instead of paying tribute to the people who are doing important jobs, Hollywood gave us 'The We're Justifying Our Existence Oscars.'"

Jonathan V. Last, writing on "How Hollywood Sees Itself," at Weekly Standard Online at www.weekly-standard.com

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