Cinnamon Stillwell

I’m the West Coast representative for Campus Watch, a project of the Middle East Forum. I was a political columnist for (San Francisco Chronicle online) from 2004-2008. I've written for the Algemeiner, Daily Caller, Washington Examiner, Independent Journal Review, American Thinker, FrontPage Magazine, Jihad Watch, Family Security Matters, Accuracy In Media, Newsbusters, Israel National News, Jewish Press, J-The Jewish News Weekly of Northern California, and many others.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Experts Discover Men and Women Are Different!

My new column at SFGate:

Experts Discover Men and Women Are Different!

Who would have thought?

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Iraq War Veteran To San Francisco: We Must Win This Fight!

Last year, I wrote a column for SFGate titled, "San Francisco Declares Itself A Military Free-Zone." It was about the city's propensity for anti-military activity and how taken to its logical conclusion, San Francisco might well become a military free-zone someday. The San Francisco school board's recent decision to ban the JROTC from the city's public schools would seem to back up that contention.

But plenty of Americans are fed up with San Francisco's anti-military values, which may explain why I continue to receive e-mails about that column more than a year after it first came out. The majority of them come from veterans and active duty servicemen and women who, to put it lightly, don't exactly appreciate the illiberal treatment coming from the self-proclaimed city of tolerance, San Francisco.

The latest of these missives came from a 24-year-old United States Marine Corpsman and Iraq War veteran who, like myself, was politically awakened by the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. He joined the military and fought for our country in Iraq where he was wounded and lost several friends. And yet, his dedication to fighting Islamic fascism has never wavered.

He's given me permission to reprint his e-mail below. Those in San Francisco who think themselves on the winning side when they oppose the U.S. military would do well to heed his words. I know I will:

I am a combat wounded Iraq war veteran and I just got done reading the article you wrote titled, "San Francisco Declares Itself a Military Free-Zone." I don’t think a lot of people actually understand the importance of the war in Iraq and the military in San Francisco and it makes me sad. Have any of these people even met a soldier? Have any of these people been to Iraq and seen the face of the enemy and fought them like I have? I don’t think so. Matter of fact, that loony toon pathetic excuse of an American, Medea Benjamin, has been to Iraq and went there to feed the enemy! By the way, I fought in Fallujah and two of my friends died there during the battle to take it and this piece of scum fed them. What a low life!

This is the most important fight of my generation - to secure America and the rest of the decent civilized world from extremists who are not going to compromise with us no matter what we do. I know this because they told us this all the time when we captured them. It is absolutely crazy to think we can pull out of Iraq and everything will be okay. I know these people because I have fought them and they will only see withdrawal as a sign of weakness and an opportunity to push us around some more. WE MUST WIN THIS FIGHT.

To the people that say we are committing war crimes or that Bush is a war criminal, YOU ARE WRONG. The United States fights the most touchy-feely kind of war you can fight, to the peril of the troops and to satisfy the craving of the crazy for political-correctness (the loudmouth part of society - ultra leftists).

Ask the people of San Francisco and they would say that soldiers in Iraq are committing war crimes. Ask an Iraqi terrorist or foreign fighter how they are treated in American custody and they would just laugh. Yes, in most cases they are treated with 1000 times more respect than they deserve. Do any of these people think that an insurgent would follow any kind of rules as they apply to prisoners of war? I think not. They would put you in front of a camera, use you for their propaganda and cut your head off with a rusty saw. That is the face of the enemy. I have seen it firsthand and it is terrifying.

Tell the people of San Francisco that no matter what they said or how they negotiated with these people or how anti-military or anti-war they were, they would meet the same fate (death) as any American soldier if the bad guys over there had their way.

America did not create this problem with our support for Israel or our economic and military success. We all have an opportunity to get it right and our nation has done it better than anyone else in the history of the world. We have an obligation to at least give the people of Iraq a chance for that, while at the same time fighting the people out there who will stop at nothing, not even San Fran pacifists, to destroy everything we have built.

They accuse the Bush administration of having a fascist agenda. Well, lose this fight and then they’ll see what a real fascist agenda is. They’re called Islamo-fascist for a reason, no matter how politically-incorrect that is.

Well, as for me, I’m healed from the rocket blast that almost ended my life in Ramadi almost two years ago and I’ve decided to re-enter the military as a reservist in a different branch (Marine Corps to the Army). I miss the three friends I have lost in this war very much and though it’s been a long time, I think about them everyday. They believed in what we are doing over there and knew the importance of the fight.

So please for their memories and the sake of all of us, don’t stop fighting the people among us who degrade the military and who have no clue about what they're saying. Keep going and tell the truth from the people who know it best!



Cross-posted at Kesher Talk.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

The Christmas Kerfuffle Revisited

Although I'm a day late, this seemed a good time to revisit an SFGate column I wrote last year providing a Jewish perspective to the kerfuffle over Christmas. It remains sadly relevant and I must say, all the politicizing of Christmas made it hard to enjoy this time around. Better luck next year...

The Christmas Kerfuffle
December 20, 2005

Upon leaving a San Francisco shop last week, I wished the clerk a cheery "Merry Christmas," only to be met with a surly "Happy Holidays" in return. With that simple exchange, our positions at opposite ends of the political spectrum were revealed.

The celebration of Christmas has indeed been overshadowed by politics in recent years, to the point where every greeting is pregnant with meaning. And even non Christians are swept up in the Christmas kerfuffle.

As a member of the Jewish faith, I've never once felt intimidated, bothered or offended by Christmas. In fact, I grew up celebrating Christmas and still do to this day. Not the religious aspects, but rather the festive trappings of the holiday. I also light the menorah candles each year to mark Hanukkah. While this might earn me the disapproval of traditionalists on both sides of the fence, I confess it simply to illustrate that one holiday need not endanger another.

Yet the political battle over Christmas rages on. Conservatives are upset over what has been dubbed the "war on Christmas," while liberals accuse them of overreacting to what is essentially a non-event. But who's right?

Click here to read the rest.

Cross-posted at Kesher Talk.