Filling Jesus’ sandals, does Tom Cruise stack up?

Filling Jesus’ sandals, does Tom Cruise stack up?
By Linda Kincaid
Thursday, January 25, 2007 – Updated: 07:28 AM EST

Is Tom Cruise the Jesus of Scientology? That’s what the London papers are saying. Call us old-fashioned, but that seems like a pretty high standard for Tom to meet. See for yourself how T.C. measures up to J.C.:


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Jesus: Where Jesus came from, according to the faithful.
Cruise: Where baby Suri came from, according to the skeptics.


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Jesus: Mostly on foot, rode into Jerusalem on a borrowed ass.
Tom: Sitting on own his ass in a speeding SUV with blacked-out windows.


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Jesus: Sinners, lepers and 12 guys who were called to help him.
Tom: Paparazzi, Scientology handlers and 1 woman (Katie) who needs help.


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Jesus: To the weak, the infirm, those seeking salvation.
Tom: To the celebrity-obsessed, acolytes of a dead sci-fi writer, his own ego.


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Jesus: Justice, mercy, forgiveness, service.
Tom: Above-title billing, points, exec-producer credit.


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Jesus: On the Mount
Cruise: On Oprah’s couch


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Jesus: “…God; thy neighbor as thyself.”
Cruise: “…me!”


* * * * * * *


Jesus: Publicly executed for the sins of humanity.
Tom: Fired by Paramount for his sins, but what has he done for us lately?

Tom Cruise hailed as ‘Christ’ of Scientology

Tom Cruise hailed as ‘Christ’ of Scientology

Thursday January 25, 2007

Tom Cruise

Tom Cruise

Tom Cruise has been hailed as the “Christ” of Scientology.

The actor, who is a devout follower of the religion, has been hailed by leaders of the faith as the “chosen one” who will spread the word.

High-ranking Scientologist David Miscavige is convinced Cruise, 44, will one day be worshipped like Jesus all over the world, becoming a prophet for the religion.

A source close to the actor is quoted by Britain’s The Sun newspaper as saying: “Tom has been told he is Scientology’s Christ-like figure. Just like Christ, he has been criticised for his views. But future generations will realise he was right, just like Jesus.”

Cruise, a top ranking Scientologist, joined the Church of Scientology in the mid-80s. His wife Katie Holmes has reportedly converted to the faith.

The religion’s founder, American science fiction writer L Ron Hubbard, claimed that extra terrestrial beings were sent to planet Earth by intergalactic ruler Xenu, who then blew up the aliens with hydrogen bombs in a volcano.

Democrats’ Silence On The Global Jihad

Democrats’ Silence On The Global Jihad
By Jeff Jacoby
Thursday, January 25, 2007

The surge is underway, and more rapidly than many of us were expecting. The influx of new troops into Iraq? No, of candidates into the 2008 presidential contest.  

So far this month, Senators Hillary Clinton of New York, Barack Obama of Illinois, and Chris Dodd of Connecticut, plus Governor Bill Richardson of New Mexico — Democrats all — have formally launched White House campaigns (or “exploratory committees”). Already in the race were former senators John Edwards of North Carolina and Mike Gravel of Alaska, former governor Tom Vilsack of Iowa, and Ohio Congressman Dennis Kucinich.  

Eight Democrats, eight would-be commanders-in-chief — all running for president in a time of war. So which of them, on getting into the race, had this to say about the nature of the enemy confronting us?  

“We are engaged in a war against an axis of Islamists, extremists, and terrorists. It is an axis of evil. It has headquarters in Tehran and Waziristan. But because of the unconventional nature of this war, it also has headquarters in cities throughout Europe and Asia and Africa and the United States of America, in cells that operate in the shadows but are prepared to strike us again as they did on September 11th, 2001.  

“The enemy we are fighting is . . . totalitarian. It is inhumane. It has a violent ideology and a goal of expansionism and totalitarianism. It threatens our security, our values, our way of life as seriously, in my opinion, as fascism and communism did in the last century.”  

Can’t match that assessment of the global jihad with the Democratic candidate who uttered it? Don’t feel bad; it was a trick question. Those words were actually spoken by Senator Joseph Lieberman at an American Enterprise Instituteforum on Iraq this month. Lieberman shared the podium with GOP colleague John McCain, who was no less blunt in his evaluation of the war and its stakes.  

For McCain, a Republican presidential hopeful, the struggle against the Islamists is the paramount issue of the day. His campaign website, while spare, highlights a recent speech in which McCain called stopping radical Islam “our most important moral obligation.” He described the jihadists as “moral monsters but . . . also a disciplined, dedicated movement driven by an apocalyptic religious zeal, which celebrates martyrdom and murder.” We are in a battle with “those who would shackle humanity, especially women, in a feudal theocracy,” McCain said. “We cannot afford to take a holiday from history.”  

Sounding nearly as resolute is former governor Mitt Romney, whose campaign website puts “Defeating the Jihadists” first in its list of key campaign issues. “The jihadists are waging a global war against the United States and its allies,” Romney is quoted as saying, “with the ambition of replacing legitimate governments with a caliphate — a theocracy.” Speaking in Israel yesterday, Romney asserted that “a central purpose of NATO should be to defeat radical Islam,” through means both military and ideological.

The Democratic candidates, by contrast, are virtually silent on the subject.  

Barack Obama launched his exploratory committee with an online video that mentioned the economy, healthcare, vanishing pensions, college costs, and the fractiousness of partisan politics. His only nod to national security was a passing reference to the war in Iraq, which he opposes. But 9/11 and its aftermath? The worldwide jihad? The global conflict between democratic freedom and Taliban-style repression? Not a word.  

Hillary Clinton’s highly praised kickoff video likewise included nothing about the overriding threat of our time. Her website does contain a speech she gave at the Council on Foreign Relations last October, but it is filled with windy rhetoric about diplomacy and international conferences and how we must address the “troubled conditions terrorists seek out.” New Yorkers don’t need to be told “that we are in a war against terrorists who seek to do us harm,” Clinton says. But if she recognizes that the future of the civilized world depends on winning that war, she shows little sign of it.  

What is true of Obama and Clinton is more or less true of Edwards, Richardson, and the others. The Democrats seem prepared to emulate John Kerry, who insisted in 2004 that “we have to get back to the place we were” before 9/11. Back, that is, to treating Islamist terrorism not as “the focus of our lives,” but merely as “a nuisance” that we need “to reduce” — like gambling, he said, or prostitution.  

Heading into the 2008 campaign, our political universe is still divided. On one side are those who see the Islamists as a nuisance to be controlled. On the other: those who regard them as an existential enemy to be destroyed. On the relative strength of those two camps, the next election may well depend.

Israel faces nuclear Holocaust warns Gingrich

Israel faces nuclear Holocaust warns GingrichNewt Gingrich: Haifa, Tel Aviv, Jerusalem facing mortal Iranian threat, says former US Speaker of the House; emphasizes ‘three nuclear weapons are a second Holocaust’
Yaakov Lappin

The Israeli people are facing the threat of a nuclear Holocaust, former US Speaker of the House of Representatives Newt Gingrich warned the Herzliya Conference held by the Institute for Policy and Strategy at IDC Herzliya on Tuesday afternoon. Meanwhile, he said, the United States could lose a few million people or a number of cities to a terrorist attack with weapons of mass destruction.Gingrich, who addressed the conference via satellite from the United States, said he thought Israel’s existence was under threat again for the first time in 40 years. “Israel is in the greatest danger it has been in since 1967. Prior to ’67, many wondered if Israel would survive. After ’67, Israel seemed military dominant, despite the ’73 war. I would say we are (now) back to question of survival,” Gingrich said. He added that the United States could “lose two or three cities to nuclear weapons, or more than a million to biological weapons.” Gingrich added that in such a scenario, “freedom as we know it will disappear, and we will become a much grimmer, much more militarized, dictatorial society.” “Three nuclear weapons are a second Holocaust,” Gingrich declared, adding: “People are greatly underestimating how dangerous the world is becoming. I’ll repeat it, three nuclear weapons are a second Holocaust. Our enemies are quite explicit in their desire to destroy us. They say it publicly? We are sleepwalking through this process as though it’s only a problem of communication,” Gingrich said. The former House speaker expressed concern that the Israeli and American political establishments were not fully equipped to take stock of the current threat level. “Our enemies are fully as determined as Nazi Germany, and more determined that the Soviets. Our enemies will kill us the first chance they get. There is no rational ability to deny that fact. It’s very clear that the problems are larger and more immediate than the political systems in Israel or the US are currently capable of dealing with,” said Gingrich.

‘Time to come to grips with threat’

“We don’t have right language, goals, structure, or operating speed, to defeat our enemies. My hope is that being this candid and direct, I could open a dialogue that will force people to come to grips with how serious this is, how real it is, how much we are threatened. If that fails, at least we will be intellectually prepared for the correct results once we have lost one or more cities,” Gingrich added.

He also said “citizens who do not wake up every morning and think about the possible catastrophic civilian casualties are deluding themselves.” “If we knew that tomorrow morning we would lose Haifa, Tel Aviv, and Jerusalem, what we would to stop it? If we knew we would tomorrow lose Boston, San Francisco, or Atlanta, what would we do? Today, those threats are probably one, two, five years away? Although you can’t be certain when our enemies will break out,” he warned. Earlier, Mitt Romney, former governor of Massachusetts, said that Islamic jihadism was “the nightmare of this century.” “The war in Lebanon demonstrated that Israel is facing a jihadist threat that runs through Tehran, to Damascus, to Gaza. Hizbullah are not fighting for the coming into being of a Palestinian state, but for the going out of being of the Israeli state,” he said. Romney emphasized that Iran could not be compared to the former Soviet threat, because the Islamic Republic was following a suicidal path. “For all of the Soviets’ deep flaws, they were never suicidal. Soviet commitment to national survival was never in question. That assumption cannot be made to an irrational regime (Iran) that celebrates martyrdom,” he said.

The former governor called for the utilization of the widespread opposition held by the Iranian people to their own regime, in order to facilitate regime change, while also adding that “the military option remains on the table.” “Iran must be stopped. Iran can be stopped,” Romney declared, receiving applause.

Ahmadinejad stormtroopers in Iraq

Ahmadinejad stormtroopers in Iraq

James Lewis
While the MSM and Democrats are too busy gazing at their navels to figure out the difference between Sunnis and Shiites, things are moving very fast in Iraq. The famous “surge” started in December, a month before it was announced in public, and it is having concrete results. A battle has taken place in Baghdad’s infamous Haifa Street, which used to be bandit territory. The challenge is to hold that territory.

El Sadr’s Mahdi Army is offering a cease fire and negotiations for fear of an American-Iraq Army assault. The challenge is how to tie Muqtada el Sadr’s hands by a combination of political/economic incentives and the threat of total destruction if he goes back to the armed option. Al Qaida is said to have retreated from Baghdad tactically, and is reported reported to be fighting in isolation from Sunni and Shiite death squads.  All this is good news; but the challenge is to hold, hold, hold. That is up to the Iraq Army, stiffened by American soldiers and political resolve.
The most significant new development is the arrest in Iraq of the operational director of Ahmadinejad’s storm trooper (Al Quds) brigade.
If the MSM were doing its job, this would be big headline news. First, the Al Quds brigade is Ahmadinejad’s own unit of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards, which he helped grow in order to conduct terrorist operations abroad, in Lebanon, Israel, Iraq and even Mecca.
They are the SS stormtroopers of the Islamic revolution.
The idea that a top officer of the Quds brigade would be caught with his pants down in Iraq is simply astonishing. It tears the veil from all the Iranian denials of direct involvement in arming and funding Iraqi death squads.
Recent documents also show that the Iranians have been aiding both the Sunni and Shiite sides against the government in Baghdad. The enemy of my enemy is my friend – for now.
Second, it is extremely peculiar that the Al Quds operations director would be personally involved in Iraq. He could easily direct Iranian subversion from a hundred miles away in Iran. This is therefore either a major blunder, or it may be a sign that the Iranians are having problems controlling their Iraqi puppet groups and their “rat lines,” supplying IEDs and personnel into Baghdad. 
Alternatively, it may be a sign of barefaced arrogance. The Quds command may have counted on the protection of the Al Maliki government. But the Americans shocked everyone by acting fast on high-value information, arresting the Iranian storm troopers regardless of the political waves it would make. This is very different from our previous compliance with Al Maliki’s efforts to protect Shiite militants. The Americans are getting mad.
At this point secular Iraqis want American troops to protect them, and to keep the government honest. It’s the question of what will happen after the Americans draw down that has the Iraqis covering their bets.
That is why the non-binding Senate resolution against the “surge” comes at precisely the wrong time, scaring our allies and giving hope to the bad guys. US politicians are in CYA mode, undermining the entire effort in Iraq and Iran.
Meanwhile, back in Tehran, which is one place this war will be decided, Ahmadinejad is finally arousing public opposition from “pragmatic reactionaries” like Rafsanjani and “quietist reactionaries” like Montazeri. The Americans’ arrest of Ahmadinejad’s good friends of the Al Quds brigade was bound to ring loud alarm bells in Tehran. The pragmatists are worried that Ahmadinejad’s militant fist-shaking threats will lead to a further tightening of the economic screws on Iran, and a joint Israeli-American series of strikes against known nuclear sites, possibly along with an embargo and other economic ratcheting of the screws. The United States wore down Saddam’s military over ten years of relentless quiet warfare under the UN sanctions.
Tehran must remember that.
The Saudis and Gulf states sound ready to back up Iraq’s Sunnis by funding them, and more important, by persuading them that in the short term, Sunni support of American policy in Baghdad is in their best interests. The alternative is a mounting threat of  Shiite imperialism coming from Tehran.
So Tehran’s pragmatists are arguing for a more moderate short-term policy. They still want their nukes, but they might be willing to wait a couple of years longer. Ahmadinejad seems to have a private timeline for Armageddon. But Rafsanjani didn’t become the richest man in Iran by pursuing personal martyrdom. Because Ahmadinejad is a single-minded fanatic, he will be hard to stop.
So we are in the midst of dubious battle. If the United States remains strong and smart, we can have a good outcome. If we are weak, ambivalent and stupid, or if the Democrats gain power in 2008, we can lose this one. And be faced with an Islamofascist Iran armed with nukes, an Iraq that cannot counterbalance Tehran and might even become its colony, and an Arabian oil supply right across the Gulf that is easily threatened by Khomeinist expansionism.
American firmness of purpose will make all the difference. It’s do or die.
James Lewis is the nom de plume of a frequent contributor to American Thinker. He blogs at 

Encouraging signs in Iraq

Encouraging signs in Iraq

Greg Richards
Nibras Kazimi has a column in today’s (Thursday January 25, 2007) New York Sun titled “Turnaround in Baghdad.”  His thesis is that we are making real progress in Iraq:

The wider Sunni insurgency – the groups beyond Al Qaeda – is being slowly, and surely, defeated. 

Kazimi is a skeptic about the reputation of Geneeral Petraeus, seeing severe flaws in the execution of his two previous assignments in Iraq, but nevertheless thinks that he may reap the benefit of progress that is already evident.  He thinks the turning point came in the fall:

Last October, my sources began telling me about rumblings among the insurgent strategists suggesting that their murderous endeavor was about to run out of steam.

Read the whole thing. 
Is there any other evidence to support Kazimi’s scenario?  We here at AT have been pointing to the remarkable surge in the value of the Iraqi dinar that started at about the same time and has continued right through today.  Since the September/October period, as can be seen in the chart, the Iraqi dinar has gained about 14% in value, a very large move for a currency. 
Following an initial slide in value, the dinar had been essentially flat since its introduction by the Coalition Provisional Authority in October 2003.  So the move since September represents a real change in its status.  Why has it advanced in value?  One reason is doubtless the increase in the interest rate – the Policy Rate – by the Central Bank of Iraq from 12% in September to 20% recently.
But this cannot be the whole reason, nor even the principal reason. Why?  Because if there were real fear that the regime would fall, this would be nowhere near sufficient inducement to buy the dinar, which will be worthless if the regime does fall.  What the increase in the value of the dinar very likely represents is a “voting with their feet” of the participants in the economy and an increase in the need for dinars for transactions within Iraq. 
This increase in value coincides with Kazimi’s hypothesis of a turning point in the military situation in October.  Of course, there can be no guarantees on any of these points.  But we, as citizens, want to strive to assemble our own mosaic on Iraq and not be panicked about the future when we may, after considerable sacrifice and effort, be finally cresting the peak of the hill there.

At last! A clear view Ex-CIA Director: PA Arabs Don’t Deserve State

At last! A clear view

Rachel Neuwirth
James Woolsey, former Director of the CIA, in an interview with Israel National Radio, has spoken a blunt truth.

Asked his opinion on the establishment of a Palestinian state, the former CIA director recommended that it not happen in the coming decades. He said that though the Jewish presence in this region precedes the Moslem claim – “for some Muslims like Arafat to deny that Jews were ever present here is idiotic” – the Moslems also have national rights in the area.

Openly avoiding the question of the nature or borders of a Palestinian state, he emphasized his opinion that “the Palestinians should not be granted the right to statehood until they start to treat Israeli Jews who settle in the West Bank as fairly as Israel treats its Muslim citizens.”

“An Arab Muslim living in Jaffa,” Woolsey said, “enjoys freedom of speech, religion, and expression, and can vote for his representatives in the Knesset, and doesn’t go to sleep worrying that some government element might come and kill him. I think that once the Palestinians start treating Jewish settlers with that same degree of humanity – and they’re very, very far from doing that now – at that point I think we have to seriously consider how they could have some degree of self-governing. I won’t get into the question of borders, but what I think is that the Palestinians must be held to the same standards as Israel regarding how they treat the other. I am sure this will be many decades from now, though, because their children are taught the Wahhabi doctrine of being suicide bombers and the like.”