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Two stories recently illustrate once again that our nation differs from many others.

This report of a poll taken on knowledge of the Bible, Bible reading habits, church attendance, and prayer showed that Americans top Europeans by quite a bit in all categories except church attendance. Poles topped Americans 91% to 77%.

And this news shared by Brits at Their Best (scroll down) about a recent BBC article that reported Britains traveling or living in the U.S. found our country safer and calmer than Great Britain. The BBC mentioned guns and less public drunkeness as reasons, Brits at Their Best also suggested Christianity.
From the Sidney Morning Herald, observing ANZAC Day. Hats off to our allies in every war we have fought since WW1.
I'm going to begin my participation in this fine blog with a question. I know I got the idea from somewhere else, and I'm really hoping it wasn't here...

The new President, whoever he/she is, will have many opportunities in the first months of office to set the precedent for his/her tenure. One of the most important of these, at least symbolically, will be the selection of the country for the first international visit as head of state. So...

Where would you go?

I'll start.

I'd head to India. It's the world's largest democracy and has the second largest Muslim population of any country. It's one of a handful of countries poised to join the ranks of the top-tier economies (along with Brazil, China, and Russia.) Due in part to a lack of domestic natural resources (as well as being somewhat shut out regionally by China), it's become a global leader in alternative energy, primarily wind power. A visit by a newly-elected President to India would show the world that the U.S. is willing to adapt to the changing global power structure, but that the U.S. will have a very decisive say in the direction of that change. A visit to a democracy, even one that struggles at times, would show that the U.S. is not ethno- or Euro-centric, but IS opposed to political oppression (read: China.)

I had considered France, to shore up what should be a strong alliance, or to Canada, to throw a bone to our number one trade partner. But I decided that these were too "global North", and that a Presidential visit in 2009 should reflect the direction of the 21st century, which seems to be heading toward the rapidly growing (in numbers, economy, and power) global South.

What do you think?
A very thoughtful analysis on The Jawa Report.

He argues that we need to begin speaking of Iraq War 1, which was to topple Saddam's regime, and Iraq War 2, which is against various Islamists especially Al Qaeda. Iraq War 1 is over. There is nothing to be gained in continuing to debate it. It is a misleading practice of political leadership to continue to talk about opposing THE war in Iraq. The issue to discuss is Iraq War 2 against the various Islamists. But we must achieve mental and verbal clarity to do so.

Read the whole thing.

Link from Instapundit.
The government of China has a disgusting track record of support for dictators in Africa. China is the key supporter of the genocidal government of The Sudan. And now, this story, on Chinese arms shipments to the beserk government of Mugabe whose rule is killing his own people of Zimbabwe.

From Gateway Pundit.

These sorts of actions are what you get when a government has no moral principles. Mere power politics, so what if the peasants die. Still buying Made in China?


But thank goodness for union workers...
The South African Transport and Allied Workers Union announced today that they would not unload the ship's cargo.
News 24 reported:

Durban - Opposition to a shipment of arms being offloaded in Durban and transported to Zimbabwe increased on Thursday when South Africa's biggest transport workers' union announced that its members would not unload the ship.

SA Transport and Allied Workers Union (Satawu) general secretary Randall Howard said: "Satawu does not agree with the position of the South African government not to intervene with this shipment of weapons.
Great article from The Telegraph.

On the day in 1982 that the British task force set sail to recover the Falkland Islands from the Argentine invaders, Margaret Thatcher was asked on television: "If you fail, would you feel obliged to resign?" "Failure?" she answered, "Do you remember what Queen Victoria once said? 'Failure - the possibilities do not exist'."

The remark goes to the heart of Mrs Thatcher's essential political message, and of her character. It shows her romantic patriotism, her confidence in her own sex, and her dauntlessness.

And I did not know this: the name "The Iron Lady" was given her in derision by Red Star, the newspaper of the Soviet Army. She accepted the term not as an insult, but as a compliment.
China is an old empire. It contains a variety of regions, religions, and ethnic groups forcefully brought under the control of the empire. Some regions are restive.

Tibet has been in the news recently, protesting Chinese control and the government attempts to eradicate Tibetan culture and identity. But they are not alone. Muslims in Xinjiang have been agitating for several years. They now are in full protest mode. Story here from The Times of India.

Can China remain intact? Probably. The central government has a near monopoly on force and no compunction against using it. Every dollar you spend on Chinese goods helps the government of China crush dissent.
For those of us who cannot speak or understand Arabic, MEMRI TV provides an invaluable service. MEMRI records Arabic television then provides English translation across the bottom of the screen. Here are some examples of the hate-filled stuff being seen in the Arab world.

#1722 - Hamas Cleric Wael Al-Zarad Calls for the Annihilation of Jews and States: If Each Arab Spat on the Jews, They Would Drown in Arab Spit

Al-Aqsa TV (Hamas/Gaza) -
February 28, 2008 - 00:02:42

#669 - Palestinian Friday Sermon by Sheik Ibrahim Mudeiris: Muslims Will Rule America and Britain, Jews Are a Virus Resembling AIDS

Palestinian Authority TV -
May 13, 2005 - 00:04:56

#1049 - Film Seminar on Iranian TV: Tom and Jerry - A Jewish Conspiracy to Improve the Image of Mice, because Jews Were Termed "Dirty Mice" in Europe

Channel 4 (Iran) -
February 19, 2006 - 00:03:20

To see these and many, many more, go to the website of MEMRI.