Cinnamon Stillwell

I’m the West Coast Representative for Campus Watch, a project of the Middle East Forum that focuses on Middle East studies. I was a political columnist for SFGate.com (San Francisco Chronicle online) from 2004-2008. I've written for the American Thinker, Frontpage Magazine, Family Security Matters, Accuracy In Media, Newsbusters, Israel National News, The Jewish Policy Center, J-The Jewish News Weekly of N. CA, Intellectual Conservative and many others. More info at CinnamonStillwell.com.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Speaking Tonight at the San Francisco County Republican Women, Federated

I'll be speaking tonight at the monthly meeting of the San Francisco County Republican Women, Federated. I'll be discussing my political shift from left to right, my SFGate columns, and my new position as Northern California Representative for Campus Watch.

I don't believe the meetings are open to the public, but I'll be sure to report back any exciting news.

Update (5/24): It went great! Small crowd, but it was an intimate and enjoyable evening. More speaking engagements to come...

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Michael Moore's Love-Letter to Castro's Dictatorship

Speaking of sickos, Michael Moore's new "documentary" (docuganda is a more apt term) of same name tries to make Cuba's dictatorship look like a healthcare paradise on earth. But as usual, when it comes to much of what constitutes "liberalism" these days, it's really just a case of the enemy of my enemy (i.e. the United States) is my best friend.

In his latest column, Rich Lowry examines "Michael Moore's Sick Propaganda:"

Is all that ails the U.S. health-care system that it's not run by a communist dictatorship? That has long been a premise of apologists for Fidel Castro who extol the virtues of medical care on his totalitarian island nation. Left-wing documentary filmmaker Michael Moore is reviving this Cold War relic of an argument in his new movie on health care, "Sicko," which premieres in a few weeks and favorably compares the Cuban health-care system to ours. Moore ostentatiously took a few sick 9/11 workers to Cuba for care. "If they can do this," Moore told Time magazine, referring to the Cubans, "we can do it." All that the Cuban government has done, however, is run a decades-long propaganda campaign to convince credulous or dishonest people that its health-care system is worth emulating. These people believe -- or pretend to believe for ideological reasons -- that a dictatorship can crush a country's economy and spirit, yet still deliver exemplary medical care.

Cuban health care works only for the select few: if you are a high-ranking member of the party or the military and have access to top-notch clinics; or a health-care tourist who can pay in foreign currency at a special facility catering to foreigners; or a documentarian who can be relied upon to produce a lickspittle film whitewashing the system.

Ordinary Cubans experience the wasteland of the real system. Even aspirin and Pepto-Bismol can be rare and there's a black market for them. According to a report in the Canadian newspaper the National Post: "Hospitals are falling apart, surgeons lack basic supplies and must reuse latex gloves. Patients must buy their sutures on the black market and provide bed sheets and food for extended hospital stays."

{snip}

The only reason to fantasize about Cuban health care is to stick a finger in the eye of the Yanquis. For the likes of Michael Moore, the true glory of Cuba is less its health care than the fact that it is an enemy of the United States. That's why romanticizing Cuban medicine isn't just folly, but itself qualifies as a kind of sickness.

Read the whole thing.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Earth to Democrats: Don't Abandon Iraq!

Lost amidst the daily calls for immediate withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq emanating from the Democratic Party is the fate of the Iraqi people and its fledgling government. While the anti-war camps claims the moral high ground, in fact, what it is demanding is not only irresponsible, but morally reprehensible.

But the interests of political maneuvering have come to outweigh those of humanity, not to mention American national security. Does anyone really suppose that our enemies have not taken notice?

This is the message from Iraq's U.N. Ambassador Feisal Amin al-Istrabadi, according to an interview with the New York Post:
Iraq's U.N. ambassador has a stark message for the American people: Don't abandon us now.

"We have to know we have a partner here, that we have a partner we can rely on," Ambassador Feisal Amin al-Istrabadi told The Post in a rare interview.

"This country is at war. We are at war together. We are allied together at war against a common enemy," al-Istrabadi said. "We have one way forward: together."

Al-Istrabadi's remarks came as he warned that the debate in Washington over the course of the Iraq war is being "poll-driven" because of the 2008 elections.

It's also being closely monitored by a key enemy, he said: al Qaeda.

He also warned, "If there weren't a single American soldier" left in Iraq, al Qaeda members and other terrorists there would be "killing people, massacring them by the hundreds and thousands every month."

"It's a very real threat. It is a clear and present danger," said al-Istrabadi, who is also Iraq's deputy permanent representative to the United Nations.

Rather than a public debate that focuses on American withdrawal, al-Istrabadi said that now is the time to press ahead with the surge in U.S. troops to crush insurgent forces in Iraq.

"We've made remarkable progress, and so it seems to me that this is the time to redouble the commitment, to help us to complete that process," he said.

But instead, he noted, the early launch of the U.S. presidential campaign has turned America's war policy into a political football.

"It's been very painful to watch the political process in Washington, because it seems to have very little to do with Iraq," al-Istrabadi said.

"It seems to be poll-driven, based on internal political dynamics," he added. "It's more poll-driven than it might have been at this point in the middle of May 2004 [the last presidential-election year], in terms of the issues and how they play with voters."

"Because of this acceleration of the presidential race, I think we have less of the ability of the elder statesmen of both parties to find a reasonable compromise that is based on international interest, as opposed to what may be popular."

Al-Istrabadi's comments come as the Democratic-controlled Congress, as well as Democratic presidential candidates, including Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama, have stepped up efforts to bring troops home and end the war.

Al-Istrabadi, who drafted Iraq's interim constitution and who was the principle author of its bill of rights, said he was shocked by the recent passage of Democratic-sponsored legislation to fund the war in two-month increments.

"Our mutual enemy [al Qaeda], which has a variety of funding sources available to them, is not thinking about funding only 60 days at a time," al-Istrabadi said. "It seems to me you fight fire with fire. I don't know how you fund a war 60 days at a time."

He sharply criticized proposals for a timeline to withdraw the troops, warning that such moves are "not helpful" because they send a strong message that al Qaeda only needs to wait out the United States.

"Some of the pronouncements about early withdrawal make one scratch one's head as far as trying to square that with the ultimate interests of the U.S. in the region, which have got to be predicated on stability," al-Istrabadi said.

He claimed the debate between Democrats in Congress and President Bush is being closely monitored by al Qaeda in Iraq, which al-Istrabadi described as a cunning and sophisticated enemy that is not to be underestimated.

"There are real enemies who are watching the debate, who understand what's happening here and who think they can affect the outcome of the debate," he said.
I echoed these sentiments in a March column:


As the fourth anniversary of the Iraq War approaches and anti-war groups gear up to hold rallies across the country, it might behoove the movement to think about the consequences of its actions. Demanding an immediate withdrawal of troops from Iraq, pushing to remove funding from military efforts and exaggerating the problems in Afghanistan only strengthen the enemies of freedom, while creating insecurity in burgeoning democratic governments. In this way, the actions of the anti-war movement may actually end up prolonging the conflict.
Anybody listening out there?

Update (5/22): Former Nebraska senator Bob Kerrey says much the same thing to his fellow Democrats in a column at the WSJ's OpinionJournal.com (h/t Lew of Right in a Left World).

And James Taranto, in an item titled "Unholly Alliance" (no doubt in reference to David Horowitz' eerily prescient book of same name) in today's "Best of the Web," notes that:
"...the donks and the mullahs--even if not, strictly speaking, allies--are working in concert to bring about an American defeat."
Indeed.