Steyn Sums Up Moore
Mark Steyn sums up Michael Moore's Farenheit 911:
Here's the way it works: if Bush is wearing the blue boxer shorts, they're a suspicious personal gift from Crown Prince Abdullah. If Bush is wearing the red boxer shorts, it's a conspiracy to distract public attention from the blue ones he was given by Crown Prince Abdullah. If he's wearing no boxer shorts, it's because he's so dumb he can't find his underwear in the morning.
Midway through the picture, a "peace" activist provides a perfect distillation of its argument. He recalls a conversation with an acquaintance, who observed, "bin Laden's a real asshole for killing all those people". "Yeah," says the "pacifist", "but he'll never be as big an asshole as Bush." That's who Michael Moore makes films for: those sophisticates who know that, no matter how many people bin Laden kills, in the assholian stakes he'll always come a distant second to Bush.
My thoughts? Well, maybe Michael Moore doesn't really hate Bush. Maybe he's doing some sort of sophisticated irony schtick wherein he's really just parodying "pacifists" and the "Bush is Hitler" crowd. He's on the record denying that his movie is supposed to taken too seriously. "It's comedy," he said when challenged on a particular. I mean, what could he possibly have stood to gain in argumentation from including that "pacifist."
No reasonable person could really believe Bush is a bigger "asshole" than Bin Laden. Bin Laden and his Wahabbi ilk are the ideology behind the Taliban which is the most backward, repressive regime I can imagine. Women were literally slaves in Afghanistan, as were men in another sense. Burkas, honor killings, public beheadings for the crime of heresy, stoning for the crimes of adultery and homosexuality, were the order of their "civilization."
How could Bush be more of an "asshole" than that?
Have you ever watched kids play house?
"Ok, you be the daddy and I'll be the mommy and it's time for you to go to work."
"Ok, and my job is to climb trees and throw dirtclods."
"Yes, and I'm going to knit a quilt now."
These "pacifists" and "Bush is Hitler" people are on the same order as children playing house. They do not understand how things really work, so they imitate reason-ability. They imitate a political world.
"Ok, now we're going to play war and I'll be the good guy and you be the bad guy. You run around and blow up stuff and I'll stand here and say 'shame, shame, shame on you."
They are not really participating in society.
Tom Brokaw Is A Big Fat Idiot
Thanks to LittleGreenFootballs for making me aware of this Tom Brokaw interview
with Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi:
Brokaw: As long as the United States military remains a conspicuous presence in your country working hand in glove with the new Iraqi government, won’t you always be seen really as an instrument of the U.S. military and therefore of America?
First off, great question, Tom. Why don't you go ask that question of Gerhard Schroeder considering seeing as how the American Military has a conspicuous presence in Germany as well?
Allawi: Iraq, as everybody knows, is the front state now
Probably not the best choice of words for Western consumption. I can see the Michael Moore's of the world going nuts with that one. But, oh well, you can't expect Mr. Allawi to know our colloquilisms.
— as the main theater to oppose and fight terrorism. And, with the help of international community and with the help of the region and with the help of the Iraqi people, we are going to win. We are going to prevail.
Brokaw: I know that you and others like you are grateful for the liberation of Iraq. But can’t you understand why many Americans feel that so many young men and women have died here for purposes other than protecting the United States?
Jeez, Tom. What are you trying to do make him feel ashamed of himself? Seriously, think about the entirety of the scenario. Limosine jounalist Tom Brokaw rolls up in one of his $4000 suits sits down in his Western effeminate pose and fires off that question to a man who is trying to restore order and dignity to a country of people that have been ravaged by one of the most brutal dictators of the 20th century
Allawi: We know that this is an extension to what has happened in New York. And — the war have been taken out to Iraq by the same terrorists. Saddam was a potential friend and partner and natural ally of terrorism.
What the hell
Brokaw: Prime minister, I’m surprised that you would make the connection between 9/11 and the war in Iraq. The 9/11 commission in America says there is no evidence of a collaborative relationship between Saddam Hussein and those terrorists of al-Qaida.
Doesn't Brokaw read the newspaper? It has been indisputably established that Saddam had links with terrorist organizations, including Al Qaeda. The question is whether he was part of the 9/11 plot.
Allawi: No. I believe very strongly that Saddam had relations with al-Qaida. And these relations started in Sudan. We know Saddam had relationships with a lot of terrorists and international terrorism. Now, whether he is directly connected to the September — atrocities or not, I can’t — vouch for this. But definitely I know he has connections with extremism and terrorists.
Mr. Allawi handled himself very well when you consider he was being asked questions by a big fat idiot.
A New Orifice For The Church Of England
Thanks to Melanie Phillips
Melanie Phillips points out the anti-Israel moral bankruptcy
of the Church Of England:
The letter to the Prime Minister from the Archbishops of Canterbury and York, backed by every diocesan, suffragan and assistant bishop in the Church of England, demonstrates once again the deep moral confusion and prejudice that has engulfed the church. It is not just that these church leaders are against the Iraq war...It is what they say about Israel which is so revealing, so disgusting and so intensely distressing.
For on this issue, they spectacularly depart from the principles of even- handedness which they commend ( their suggestion that Britain was ever an ‘honest broker’ in the Middle East is itself a gross distortion of history, given that it was Britain which betrayed its promises to the Jews under the Palestine Mandate, did its best to thwart the creation of the Jewish national home which it had solemnly undertaken to bring about and then turned a blind eye to mass Arab illegal immigration to Palestine while denying access to Jews fleeing the Holocaust; but let that pass). They expressly come at this solely from the perspective of Arab and Muslim opinion. There is no mention of the rights of Israel or the Jews as the principal victims of annihilatory aggression and prejudice. Instead, there is this:
‘Within the wider Christian community we also have theological work to do to counter those interpretations of the Scriptures from outside the mainstream of the tradition which appear to have become increasingly influential in fostering an uncritical and one-sided approach to the future of the Holy Land’.
This is an astonishingly revealing and disturbing paragraph. For in their coded attack on Christian Zionists —the one group which tells the truth about the Middle East and recognises that Israel is the historic and present victim of annhilatory terror, not its perpetrator —these Archbishops have sided with those in the church who promote instead an agenda of malevolent lies towards Israel and the Jews. Anyone who reads the venomously distorted, ahistorical diatribes about the Middle East put out by Christian Aid and other Christian charities or those Palestinian thinkers like Naim Ateek who are so lionised by the church hierarchy, or reads the remarks made about ‘Nazi’ or ‘apartheid’ Israel, and the resurgent claim within the church that the Jews are ‘excluded’ from God’s love and therefore their claim to the Promised Land, can see there is indeed an ‘uncritical and one-sided approach to the future of the Holy Land’ inside the church — but it belongs to the opposite camp, one that the Archbishops have now implicitly endorsed.
So what lies behind this? According to the Times, the Archbishops are worried by anti-Muslim feeling:
‘One of their main concerns is the damage caused by the conflict to community relations in Britain between Muslims and non-Muslims. Some of the strongest advocates for the letter were bishops from cities with large Muslim populations, such as Bradford. They are concerned by a rise in Islamophobia and fear that the September 11 attacks have desensitised emotions so that the treatment meted out to detainees no longer causes the moral outrage it should.’
But what about the rampant Judeophobia now on almost daily display in the malevolent and mendacious campaign to delegitimise Israel, and the corresponding resurgence of libels and prejudice against the Jews? On this, the Archbishops are totally silent. The Times also tells us that:
‘On Israel, the archbishops were expressing concerns among the bishops that the new steps towards a settlement should not be on Israel’s terms only’.
But the only reason a prospective settlement is currently being proposed on terms laid down by Israel is that the Palestinians have not stopped waging genocidal war against it. If they stopped doing so and showed they were really prepared to live in peace with a Jewish state, negotiations would re-open tomorrow. But they refuse to do so. The Archbishops are effectively saying that the perpetrators of this war against Israel should be given an equal right to lay down terms for a settlement. What astonishing moral bankruptcy from religious leaders. The Church of England is now squarely supporting the enemies of the west. It is high time other Christians rose up to denounce it and reclaim their religion for truth and moral decency.
Points Well Taken
Jack, over at Jack Of Clubs
makes a few good points
in response to my post on the importance of knowing and understanding Chomsky:
One of the beautiful things about our free, capitalist society (which Chomsky hates) is the division of labor in which we each have liberty to chose our pursuits and pastimes. I acknowledged in my original post that Benjamin Beersheva is "worth reading" and that he performs a "useful, perhaps necessary service". But there are other battles to be fought and, however influential Chomsky may be among the left (and only leftist sources are quoted above), his are not the only bad ideas that cry for rebuttal.
True. And there is this from Jack:
There are two ways of defeating bad philosophies. One is to attack them directly and refute them point by point. The other is to promote better and more attractive ideas of your own. We can call these the Military and Marketing metaphors, respectively (if you will pardon the alliteration). I make no secret that I incline to the Marketing approach, but both approaches have their virtues and each may be necessary in any given situation. There are certainly times when a knock-down, drag-out fight is called for, in intellectual arenas as well as physical ones. But one advantage of the Marketing metaphor is that it steals the initiative from the opponent and makes him react to you or risk becoming irrelevant. Though he has not been definitively defeated yet, I think Chomsky and all his ilk are on the verge precisely such an irrelevance in the face of the enormous success of the American vision.
I do want to make one more comment, in a non-controversial sort of way. I think the ultimate problem with Chomsky is not his irrationality, but his hatred of God which leads to a hatred of truth, liberty and all manner of other aspects of God's kingdom. The cure for such a hatred -- for Mr. Chomsky himself, if he will have it, but certainly for anyone else who may be influenced by him -- is the spread of the Gospel. This can be achieved through Apologetics or through Evangelism, thus reinvoking my Military and Marketing metaphors in somewhat less secular terminology. But again, there is no conflict between the two approaches: they are complementary.
Er, did I say non-controversial...?
The reason I have this fixation about Chomsky is because after 9/11 I started to hear all this lunacy come out of the mouths of my friends and family. I had a family member call from the U.K., on 9-11, and explain to me that the reason 9/11 happened was because the U.S. supports dictatorships all over the world. Another friend told me Afghanistan was all about an oil pipeline. And then there's the endless claptrap about the "Jewish lobby."
I have been surprised and horrified at the "blame America first" crowd. I have also been surprised and horrified at how often this crowd veers into kooky conspiracyspeak, and how the illogic always leads ultimately to the Jews.
After awhile I started to connect the dots and found they, when all connected produced a rather detailed rendering of the face of Noam Chomsky, right down to the Jew hatred
More On Clinton
Thanks to No Pasaran
for making me aware of this John Vincour article
from the International Herald Tribune:
PARIS: With Europeans lining up and shelling out to read Bill Clinton, he turns out to be a guy who insists on reminding people that two-thirds of the Democratic Party in Congress voted George W. Bush the specific powers he needed to make war in Iraq. Then, piling it on, he goes and says that France and Germany wrongly made light of the threat posed by Saddam Hussein.
For Der Spiegel, the Hamburg newsmagazine that has never found an American president subtle enough to match its tastes, this was clearly a problem as it completed its second installment of extracts. In its table of contents last week, it announced a conversation with the former president about "Bush's Iraq debacle."
In the headline over its interview, it promised Clinton's take on "the Disaster of the Bush Administration in the Iraq War."
As it turned out, the single time the word "debacle" came out of anybody's mouth in the Q-and-A, it belonged to the Spiegel people asking Clinton questions. The former president verbally sprinted in the other direction.
It was this kind of whoosh: Clinton said his successor was now moving toward a turnaround in Iraq that might take two to five years to achieve. In Clinton's view, sovereignty was being returned to the Iraqis, a new UN resolution had been passed, and the Iraqis were freeing the Americans from having to decide on everything.
"I believe that's good," he said. "Maybe our government has really learned that it's better that way."
Although you couldn't tell from the magazine's promotional material or headlines, Clinton also took pains to recall why the Democrats had backed Bush's request for war powers and, with it, to criticize the French and German attitude at the time, which he said would not have supported the use of force even if Saddam had refused to cooperate with the United Nations.
Clinton told Spiegel that whatever the state of the Iraqi Army, he didn't agree "with the German and French position that Saddam never did anything that he wasn't forced into" and "didn't constitute a threat." Clinton said: "If he did have chemical and biological weapons reserves, he would have been a danger. He could have passed them to someone else or sold them."
... for Europeans irritated these days by anything that sounds like an American's support for a non-capitulationist view of the United States' self-interests, Clinton's approach may have come as disappointingly as John Kerry's when he pounced on José Luís Rodríguez Zapatero's Spain for pulling its forces out of Iraq, and urged the Europeans to share the mission's risks and burdens.
The issue here is not Bush, whose admirers in Europe are squad-sized rather than legion. It is rather that Clinton's bottom line on America's world role - like that, as well, of virtually all the mainstream foreign policy players in Washington - may not jibe with the America that Spiegel, or Le Nouvel Observateur in France, another investor in his memoirs, or many of their readers, say they want to love.
"Bill Clinton was a great president," the French magazine wrote. "A cool president for a cool epoch. When the Net-economy propelled growth and melted unemployment. When the American hyperpower didn't deviate into autistic unilateralism."
In fact, Clinton specifically told Spiegel that when it must, America has to be able to deal with events alone (although acting in cooperation with friends is obviously preferable). Because there is considerable concern among European politicians and the media of being seen as anti-American rather than anti-Bush, which is as easy here as kicking a can, the publication of the memoir looked to some as a good chance, via Clinton, to be publicly counted among the Friends of a Well-Behaved America.
(French Foreign Minister, Hubert) Vedrine rejected Clinton's assertion accompanying the book's publication that Yasser Arafat's unreliability had been the essential cause of the failure of the Camp David accords between the United States, Israel and the Palestinians.
"Clinton is loading this on Arafat because, however brilliant Clinton is, he remains an American politician," Vedrine said. "He's a bit constrained on this point."
Nudge-nudge. Vedrine is not only saying that dark forces, which he is too discreet to name, run American Middle East policy, but that Clinton was not being forthright about a critical moment of recent history.
Hee hee hee hee hee. That's funny. We've Clinton over there setting those Euros straight. You know, they really should have known him by his cowboy accent.
I'm telling you, Bill Clinton doesn't get enough credit.
That's The Fact, Jack
I recently sent an email to Jack, over at Jack of Clubs
, to let him know about the Anti-Chomsky website. I thought he'd find an interesting resource. Well, he blogged
about it anyway:
Pastorius sent me a link to this relatively new blog with the comment that I might find it interesting. I do in the same morbid way that picking at a scab is interesting. Definitely worth reading, if you find analysis of Chomsky's intellectual pus worth bothering about. Personally I find him beneath my notice, so I don't spend a lot of energy lancing that particular boil.
Still, he has an influential voice, so I suppose someone has to do it. It's a useful, maybe even necessary, service.
Influential voice? Yes, I should say so. He's at the top of the Canon of our age. In the Bloomian sense, we can't help but wrestle with. From Keith Windshchutte's New Criterion article
... the liberal news media around the world has sought him out for countless interviews as the most promi- nent intellectual opposed to the American response to the terrorist attacks. Newspaper articles routinely open by reminding readers of his awesome intellectual status. A profile headlined “Conscience of a Nation” in the English daily The Guardian declared: “Chomsky ranks with Marx, Shakespeare, and the Bible as one of the ten most quoted sources in the humanities—and is the only writer among them still alive.” The New York Times has called him “arguably the most important intellectual alive.”
Chomsky has used his status, originally gained in the field of linguistics, to turn himself into the leading voice of the American left. He is not merely a spokesman. His own stance has done much to structure left-wing politics over the past forty years. Today, when actors, rock stars, and protesting students mouth anti-American slogans for the cameras, they are very often expressing sentiments they have gleaned from Chomsky’s voluminous output.
It is unfortunate, but true, that our society hates itself so much that a man like Chomsky is one of the defining voices of our time. We may disagree with the guy, but if he's right up there with the Bible and Shakespeare as a quoted source, then we must be aware of him. We must lance the boil and take a culture of the pus.
Just as it's a good idea to familiarize oneself with the various syllogism's of logic so that one may analyze arguments, we must also understand the rules of illogic posited by Chomsky, so that we may recognize the source material of the Wests collective suicide note. Noam Chomsky is the totem of left. He is the monolith around which the apes gather and bash their clubs.
We must understand him. Well, maybe not understand him. But, we must recognize him. There's a power in naming the demon. Thank God for Anti-Chomsky
Krauthammer (and Pastorius) On Clinton
Charles Krauthammer has written, I believe, a near great summation
of Bill Clinton and his Presidency:
Clinton was the fox. He knew -- and accomplished -- small things. His autobiography is a perfect reflection of that: a wild mish-mash of remembrance, anecdote, appointment calendar and political payback. The themeless pudding of a million small things is just what you would expect from a president who once gave a Saturday radio address on school uniforms.
Small, but not always unimportant. Clinton did conclude NAFTA and did sign welfare reform. His greatest achievement was an act of brilliant passivity -- he got out of the way of one of the largest peacetime economic expansions in American history. And though he takes personal credit for all the jobs created -- a ridiculous assertion to make about the decade of Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates -- he does deserve credit for not screwing things up. Presidents often do. He easily could have.
His great failing was foreign policy. Viewing the world through the narrow legalist lens of liberal internationalism, he spent most of his presidency drafting and signing treaty after useless treaty on such things as biological, chemical and nuclear weapons. All this in a world where the biggest problem comes from terrorists and rogue states for whom treaties are meaningless.
Like the 1920s, the '90s were a golden age permeated by a postwar euphoria of apparently endless peace and prosperity. Both decades ended abruptly, undermined ultimately by threats that were ignored as they grew and burrowed underground. Clinton let a decade of unprecedented American prosperity and power go without doing anything about al-Qaeda, Afghanistan or Iraq (where his weakness allowed France and Russia to almost totally undermine the post-Gulf War sanctions). And although al-Qaeda declared war on America in 1996 and, as we now know, hatched the September 11 plot that same year, it continued to flourish throughout the decade.
Looking the other way was largely a function of the age -- our holiday from history, our retreat from seriousness, our Seinfeld decade of obsessive ordinariness.
One is inevitably reminded of the quite unbelievable image of the president of the United States on the phone with a congressman discussing Bosnia while being simultaneously serviced by Monica Lewinsky.
What was always staggering to me about this scene was not what it says about Clinton's sexual practices -- I couldn't care less one way or another -- but about his unseriousness.
I never hated Clinton. On the contrary, I often expressed admiration for his charm and for the roguish cynicism that allowed him to navigate so many crises. Nor was I scandalized by his escapades. What appalled me then, a feeling that returns as Clinton has gone national revisiting his own presidency, is the smallness of a man who granted equal valence to his own indulgences on the one hand and to the fate of nations on the other. It is the smallness that disturbs. It is that smallness that history will remember.
I partially agree with Krauthammer. However, the smallness is not the moral failing many of his critics claim. Clinton's vision was as large as the time required. George Bush, whom I also like as a President came into office with a small vision. I recall the Presidential Debates of 2000 and the endless tedium about Prescription Drugs. I recall George Bush stating repeatedly that he was not into "nation-building." George Bush's vision grew because of Sept. 11th. In my opinion, George Bush has grown into a possibly great President on the order of magnitude of Reagan and Roosevelt. However, it remains to be seen.
I will not claim that Clinton would have grown as Bush did when challenged. We just don't know. Truthfully, I doubt it. However, I will claim this. Clinton just might be the greatest President we've ever had who was not challenged by a major event or set of events.
His legacy will lie in NAFTA and the economy for which Krauthammer rightly gives him the credit he deserves. However, there are two other larger, but subtle, things for which Clinton commonly does not get the credit he deserves. One Krauthammer mentions, but does not truly acknowledge. That is welfare reform. Krauthammer comments that Clinton "signed" the welfare reform bill. You will often hear conservatives make the claim that Clinton did not want to sign the bill. In fact, if I am not mistaken, he did not sign it the first two times it was presented to him.
Now, I, obviously, am not a historian. I am a bit of a goofball. But, I do have a pretty decent memory. And, one thing I remember (but am unable to find on Google) is that in 1992 Clinton gave an interview to Rolling Stone magazine wherein he outlined his plans for Welfare Reform, including an idea he called "workfare" which meant that people would be exected to contribute something in return for the "hand-up" they were being given. The bill that Clinton eventually signed was almost identical to what he outlined in the interview.
It is my opinion, based upon my recollection of the Rolling Stone Interview, that, when Clinton did not initially sign the Welfare bill, he was playing the fox with Congress. Clinton knew that Congress would want to pass something even more stringent than what he wanted so he negotiated by offering something less stringent than he wanted. In the end, he got what he wanted.
That's a pretty darn good President, even if it isn't huge vision.
And, by the way, only under a Clinton Presidency could such a Welfare Reform bill been enacted. And that is because of the other, more important, legacy of the Bill Clinton Presidency. And this legacy he will probably not be given credit for for some years to come, because it had nothing to do with policy instead it had to do with his personality, and his vision, and how they fit, and shaped, the zeitgeist of our nation.
Bill Clinton was the first American President who truly believed that all people who are citizens of America were truly equal human beings, whether they were black, brown, yellow, or white.
Clinton did have an unspoken equality intiative. His appointments to his cabinent included blacks, Hispanic, Jews, etc. However, that would have looked like a service to the politically-correct era if it had not been for the fact that Clinton clearly looked comfortable with all these different people. (Oops, I said "these people"
) He actually like them (oops, there I go again) not because of the color of their skin, but because of the content of their character.
While Clinton's equality initiative did not have a direct effect on public policy the power of his initiative can not be overstated, however rarely it is acknowledge. Similarly, Ronald Reagan had a powerful impact on the attitude of the country. Reagan gave us hope, where there had been malaise. Just as with Clinton, this was not a matter of policy, but a matter of his personality and his vision.
Why is it that commentaries on Reagan always acknowledge this aspect of his Presidency, yet Clinton's impact of racial equality is not acknoledged?
I think there are several reasons. One, is that the preponderence of people, who are white, believed that they, as a people, had already left racism behind. However, feeling "uncomfortable" with whole groups of people because of their skin color effects the way one treats those groups of people. It effects decisions of employment and marriage and friendship. That amounts to racism in effect, if not intention.
Another reason, Clinton's Equality Initiative is not acknowledged is, I believe, a residual momentum of the trivialization and hatred of Clinton which was fomented during his Presidency.
Clinton got a lot of bad press, almost as if there had been a vast right-wing conspiracy to bring down his Presidency. I recall Rush Limbaugh running commercials for a video explaining Clinton's closeness to the mysterious deaths of dozens of people. I recall Rush Limbaugh giving lip service to such ideas. That's some mainstream hatred.
I think it needs to be acknowledged that George Bush is getting similar treatment now, with all the "Bush is Hitler" propoganda. Almost as if there is a vast left-wing conspiracy
to bring down his Presidency.
Bill Clinton actually moved two mountains during his Presidency. The Welfare Reform Act, with it's stipulation that one could only collect welfare for two years, reversed the momentum of increasing benefits and changed the way Americans view welfare
. Welfare is a "hanup, not a handout." In addition, Clinton, with his openess and yes, "feeling", helped Americans redefine the way we view and treat people of color.
America is a much better place because of Bill Clinton's Presidency.
to see ingrate.
Power Transferred Over to Iraqi Government
What The Heck?
Yahoo posted this Reuters report
about the transfer of power to Iraq's new government. But there's something strange in the report:
Journalists had been hastily summoned for what was billed as U.S. administrator Paul Bremer's last news conference before a handover not due until Wednesday, but the confusion and tight security suggested that something extraordinary was afoot.
Two days early, Bremer was to dissolve the U.S.-led Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA), end more than 14 months of U.S.-British occupation and turn over control to an Iraqi interim government led by Prime Minister Iyad Allawi.
An explosion echoed over Baghdad about 90 minutes before the ceremony in the heavily fortified Green Zone compound, which contains CPA headquarters and some Iraqi government offices.
There in a small room sat Allawi, Interim President Ghazi al-Yawar, Deputy Prime Minister Barham Salih and Iraq's top judge, Medhat al-Mahmoud, sipping tea or coffee with Bremer and his deputy, British special representative David Richmond.
On a table between Bremer and Allawi, both in dark suits, stood the Iraqi flag, inscribed 'Allahu Akbar' (God is Greatest) in Saddam Hussein (news - web sites)'s handwriting, along with a vase of flowers.
Is that a typo? A miscommunication? Did they mean that the old Iraqi flag was there as a demonstration of what the Iraqi's have overcome with the help of U.S. forces?
I hope this gets clarified.
Anti-American and Anti-Semitic Hatred On Saudi TV
Thanks to LittleGreenFootballs for making me aware of these Memri.org translations
from Saudi Television:
Saudi Professor: Allah Permits Annihilating Christians and Jews
Sheik Dr. Ahmad Abd Al-Latif, a professor at Um Al-Qura University , was asked the following question on Saudi channel TV1 on May 24: "Some imams and preachers call for Allah to annihilate the Jews and those who help them, and the Christians and those who support them
Is it permitted according to Islamic law?" Professor Al-Latif responded: "What made them curse the Jews is that the Jews are oppressors
The same goes for the Christians, because of their cruel aggression against Islamic countries
while the truth is that this is a crusading war whose goal is to harm Muslims. This is why a Muslim is allowed to curse the oppressors from among the Jews and Christians
Cursing the oppressing Jews and the oppressing and plundering Christians and the prayer that Allah will annihilate them is permitted."
You know, honestly, that seems fair to me. After all, this is a free country. They can say what ... Oh wait, they don't live in a free country. Well, if they lived here, it would be alright for them to pray for our annihalation.
It would, however, embarrassingly immature, don't you think?
But wait, there's more.
Sheik Muhammad Al-Munajid, a disciple of one of Saudi Arabia's most revered religious leaders, Sheik 'Abd Al-'Aziz ibn 'Abdallah ibn Baaz , was identified in a report in the Washington Post on December 11, 2003, as running "a Web site that promotes intolerance of Christians and Jews and calls for holy war on Shiite Muslims," and was included as one of sixteen clerics associated with the Saudi embassy's Islamic Affairs Department who was stripped of diplomatic credentials.
Al-Munajid stated on Iqraa TV on April 15: "The issue is not one person, two, ten or a hundred going out with their guns to support their brothers. Defeating the infidels requires a much greater effort. It requires the mobilization of the nation. How can the nation be mobilized? I believe that the stupid acts of these Jews and Crusaders mobilize the nation. The big explosion will come! In spite of everything, it will happen!"
I remember a few weeks back Hassan Abbasi (does his name mean the abased one, by any chance), the "well-known Iranian political scientist and 'Theoretician' in the office of Supreme Leader Ali Khameini" threatened the U.S., saying,
"We have identified some 29 weak points for attacks in the U.S. and in the West, we intend to explode some 6,000 American atomic warheads ..."
I wonder if that's the same big explosion. It would be scary, if it weren't so funny. Or, is it the other way around?
Anyway, there's more:
Much of Saudi TV is based upon religious programming. Many of these programs refer to the spread of Islam throughout the world and the battle against non-Muslims. On a May 20 episode of Iqraa TV's 'Mushkilat Min Al-Hayat ' (Problems from Life), Saudi Sheik Abdallah Al-Muslih, chairman of the Commission on Scientific Signs in the Koran and Sunnah of the Muslim World League, used evidence from early Islam to support his claim that suicide bombings on enemy land are permitted according to Islamic law: "
Regarding a person who blows himself up, I know this issue is under disagreement among modern clerics and jurisprudence
There is nothing wrong with [martyrdom] if they cause great damage to the enemy. We can say that if it causes great damage to the enemy, this operation is a good thing. This is when we talk of Dar Al-Harb. But, if we speak of what happens in Muslim countries, such as Saudi Arabia
this is forbidden, brothers! This is the land of the Muslims. We must never do this in a Muslim country."
Dar al-Harb means "House of War." That would be us 'Murikins' for those of you keeping score at home. One of the most important distinctions the idiotic fundamentalist Islamofascists make is that of the Dar al-Harb vs. the Dar al-Islam. Two worlds. One good. One Evil. Anybody in the Dar al-Harb is worth killing.
People make alot of noise about George Bush's talk of good and evil. But, for all his simplistic distinctions (which truly I think are just tools by which he motivates people to apprehend the reality that we are at war) he, clearly, does not imply that, by evil, he means everyone in the Islamic world, nor does he mean everyone in any Islamic country, nor does he mean everyone in any of the Axis of Evil" countries.
He simply means those who would stop at nothing to destroy free democracies, and whose end goal is to set up Taliban-like societies. I think we can all actually agree that those people are evil.
I'm afraid to say it, but I think that Bin Laden has one point about us. We are shallow, lazy idol worhippers. Because, the truth is, I believe our dissension in the West has less to do with whether we can agree that Bin Laden and his ilk are evil, than it does with our disagreement over the "style" of the leadership which makes the good vs. evil distinction.
When it comes down to it, it's just a nasty spat over aesthetics. And it has a lot to do with that silly, atrocious, horrifying cowboy hat Bush is always wearing.
Anyway, let's get back to the Memri stuff:
The Coming Islamic Takeover of the U.S.
Saudis often discuss the issue of the U.S. becoming a Muslim state in the future. On a March 17 broadcast on Iqraa TV, Saudi preacher Sheik Said Al-Qahtani discussed this issue, as well as the cases in which Muslims are permitted to declare a defensive Jihad: "
We did not occupy the U.S., with 8 million Muslims, using bombings. Had we been patient, and let time take its course, instead of the 8 million, there could have been 80 million [Muslims] and 50 years later perhaps all the US would have become Muslim
What should a Muslim do if he is attacked in his country, on his land? In this case, there is no choice besides defense, self-sacrifice, and what religious scholars call Defensive Jihad
We attacked their country, and this caused them to wake the dormant enmity in their hearts
Especially since there is global Zionism, the enemy of Islam, and Judaism, and fundamentalist Crusaders
They interpret this whole incident as only the beginning and thus there is no choice but a preemptive strike."
Al-Qahtani added on another Iqraa TV show on May 5: "Allah said, 'prepare against them all the force and horsemen that you can.' What for? In order to strike fear into their hearts
At the same time, [we should] establish strategies for the future, even if only for the short term, and prepare
so that one of these days, even 100, 200, or 400 years from now, we will become a force that will be feared by the infidel states."
A war of demographic? Oh yeah? Well, we'll just retaliate with a war of psychographics on you, buddy.
Like this. Give us your tired, you lame, your most jihad-dreamy, and we'll give them a home in the suburbs with a TV in every bedroom and we'll just work our Infidel Jihad
Some Important Thoughts From Victor David Hanson
Here are some importants points from Victor David Hanson's National Review article
"Year Three: Where Do We Stand In This Disorienting War?":
For the first two years of this war, critics whined that we were "not getting the message out." But after Afghanistan and Iraq, the beheadings, and the bombings, most on the planet know that the choice is between civilization and barbarism. The key is not preferring the good cause in the abstract, but risking pain for the right choice in the here-and-now.
The Arab League hates us not because we are going to lose or install strongmen if we prevail, but because they are terrified we will win and sponsor consensual governments of the type that would put such ossified functionaries with blood on their hands out to pasture. Despite Abu Ghraib and whining over the West Bank, most Arabs know privately that the United States gives billions to Egypt and Jordan, does nothing while the Gulf autocracies cut production to jack up oil prices, saves Muslims in Afghanistan, Kosovo, Bosnia, Kuwait, and Somalia, and is providing billions to Iraq at a level not seen since the Marshall Plan...
...What they are not yet convinced of, however, is whether the United States intends to stay and fight to the finish, or — as was true after the murdering in Lebanon, after the expulsion of the Soviets in Afghanistan, after the 1991 failure to take Baghdad, after Mogadishu, after mostly silence in the face of 25 years of terrorist attacks from Teheran to Yemen, and after the pull-back from Fallujah and Najaf — it will tire, find an exit strategy, and head home. That "honorable departure," of course, would leave friends and supporters to deal with local fascists, as was true in the past in the case of the Taliban, the irregulars in Sudan, the mullahs in Iran, the Hezbollah killers in the Bekka Valley, and Mr. Sadr's Mahdists...
if the pulse of the strategic, tactical, and ideological theaters suggests we can win this war, the home front is not so bright. The few hundred American lunatics who tried to explain away 9/11 (or apologize for it) turned into thousands a few weeks later who swore we either would or should lose in Afghanistan. Now they are millions who see our ongoing struggle in Iraq as either immoral or inept. George Bush did not create this cascading antiwar movement. It was rather fueled by the blood and treasure spent to eliminate the Taliban and Saddam Hussein, together with a has-been '60s generation that felt there was still one more creaky return to the barricades left in them.
...Right after 9/11, some of us thought it was impossible for leftist critics to undermine a war against fascists who were sexist, fundamentalist, homophobic, racist, ethnocentric, intolerant of diversity, mass murderers of Kurds and Arabs, and who had the blood of 3,000 Americans on their hands. We were dead wrong. In fact, they did just that. Abu Ghraib is on the front pages daily. Stories of thousands of American soldiers in combat against terrorist killers from the Hindu Kush to Fallujah do not merit the D section. Senator Kennedy's two years of insane outbursts should have earned him formal censure rather than a commemoration from the Democratic establishment.
What a litany of distractions! Words — preemption," "unilateralism," "hegemony," — whiz by and lose all meaning. Names — "Halliburton," "Chalabi," "INC" — become little more than red meat. Vocabulary is turned upside down: "Contractors," who at great risk restore power and water to the poor, are now little more than "profiteers" and "opportunists"; killers are not even "terrorists" but mere "militants." "Neo-cons" are wild-eyed extremists; "realists" are no longer cynics — inclined to let thousands die abroad unless the chaos interrupts transit of oil or food — but rather "sober" and "circumspect," and more likely Kerry supporters.
We are winning the military war in Iraq and Afghanistan. The terrorists are on the run. And slowly, even ineptly, we are achieving our political goals of democratic reform in once-awful places. Thirty years of genocide, vast forced transfers of whole peoples, the desecration of entire landscapes, a ruined infrastructure, and a brutalized and demoralized civilian psyche are being remedied, often under fire. All this and more has been achieved at the price of political turmoil, deep divisions in the West — here and abroad — and the emergence of a strong minority, led by mostly elites, who simply wish it all to fail.
Whether this influential, snarling minority — so prominent in the media, on campuses, in government, and in the arts — succeeds in turning victory into defeat is open to question. Right now the matter rests on the nerve of a half-dozen in Washington who are daily slandered (Bush, Rumsfeld, Cheney, Rice, Wolfowitz), and with brilliant and courageous soldiers in the field. They are fighting desperately against the always-ticking clock of American impatience, and are forced to confront an Orwellian world in which their battle sacrifice is ignored or deprecated while killing a vicious enemy is tantamount to murder.
No, we — along with those brave Iraqis who have opted for freedom — could very easily still lose this war that our brave troops are somehow now winning.
Anti-Semitic Radio In New York
FrontPageMag.com posted an article
from Phyllis Chesler this morning which details the anti-Semitic lunacy of New York's WBAI radio:
What is it about listener-sponsored radio that has turned so ugly and doctrinaire? Do the vast majority of listeners who support it believe that hate speech and propaganda are forms of political analysis or have they been brainwashed?
According to journalist Bill Weinberg, WBAI has offered blatantly conspiratorial and anti-Semitic books as premiums in fund-raising drives. In 2001, they offered Jim Marrs’ THE HIDDEN HISTORY THAT CONNECTS THE TRILATERAL COMMISSION, THE FREEMASONS, AND THE GREAT PYRAMIDS.
According to Weinberg, Marrs complains that “the broad brush of anti-Semitism frequently has been used to besmirch anyone offering a conspiratorial view of history.” Having armed himself against his mighty, imaginary enemies, Marrs then portrays the “gigantic and secretive Rothschilds banking empire” as the “cover and indirect” power behind nearly every government on earth. Although Marrs admits that the Protocols of the Elders of Zion is a forgery, he concludes, “the Protocols may indeed reflect a deeper conspiracy beyond its intended use to encourage anti-Semitism, one hidden within the secret upper ranks of the Illuminati and Freemasonry.”
Bizarre, unfounded charges, but obviously dear to the heart of WBAI and their listeners.
Marrs legitimizes the Jew-hatred of Henry Ford, the Krupps and Hitler as mere over-reaction to the arrogant power of “international Jewish bankers.” Finally, Marrs argues that the Jews were behind Hitler, that Hitler was himself a Rothschild and the JP Morgan banking empire is a Rothschild “front.” To the best of my knowledge, such views were never challenged on-air nor was any balanced programming on the issue of the Jews, Israel, or Palestine ever presented on WBAI.
In 2002, listener-callers on WBAI stated that “Jew” comes from “jewelry.” The view was not challenged. Another caller claimed, “in many quarters, the Jewish community is considered the spoiled brat of America.”
Ralph Schoenman is another leading-light anti-Zionist at WBAI. He is the author of THE HIDDEN HISTORY OF ZIONISM, which condemns the Jewish state and compares it to both the former Apartheid regime of South Africa and the French colonialist regime in Algeria. Schoenman also claims that 1930s Zionists collaborated with the Nazis in the destruction of European Jewry as a way of achieving a Jewish state.
Sometimes You Just Gotta Love Your Enemies
Thanks to Melanie Phillips for making me aware of this interview
with Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Ahmed Queria from the Jerusalme Post:
The Palestinian Authority has no plans to dismantle the Aksa Martyrs Brigades, the armed wing of Fatah, Prime Minister Ahmed Qurei announced on Sunday. He acknowledged that the group is part of Fatah and said its gunmen are entitled to play a political role in the future.
"We have clearly declared that the Aksa Martyrs Brigades are part of Fatah," Qurei said in an interview with the London-based Asharq al-Awsat newspaper. "We are committed to them and Fatah bears full responsibility for the group."
Qurei said his top priority now is to safeguard the security of the Fatah gunmen who are wanted by Israel. He said they would be integrated into Fatah's institutions and would be paid salaries.
"We are working toward ensuring three issues for them on the basis of their adherence to the PLO's political program," Qurei said. "First, they have the right to play a political role within the framework of Fatah, and this is guaranteed for each member. Second, we are seeking to ensure their personal safety, because they are on the run and are wanted and threatened. We will achieve this with the help of the Quartet and the international community. Third, we will guarantee their living conditions economically and socially.
The Aksa Martyrs Brigades will not be dismantled."
Qurei has decided to step up his efforts to reach an agreement with Hamas and Islamic Jihad and has appointed former PA minister of communications Imad Falouji as his coordinator with them.
Thanks for being so forthright about all your plans, Ahmed. Geez, you just gotta love your enemies when they tell the truth.
I wonder if George Bush is aware that Mr. Queria expects his help in establising positions of power for the gunmen of the Al-Aksa Martyrs Brigade.
By the way, the Al-Aksa Martyrs Brigade claims responsibility for suicide bombings of buses and restaurants which kill innocent women and children.
Oh, and here's Melanie's
Let's not forget that Qurei is the (second) PA 'Prime Minister' who was supposed to be Mr Clean Hands. Let's not forget that the EU is funding this outfit and this 'Prime Minister' -- who boasts that the Quartet, no less, will guarantee the perpetuation of the PA's subsidised terror. Let's not forget that the road map required the PA to dismantle the infrastructure of terror, which its leader now says the Quartet sponsors of that same road map must instead consolidate.
But let's not hold our breath for the British or American governments, let alone the EU or UN, to start telling us the truth about the PA -- that it is part of the axis of evil and as such must no longer be subsidised, sanitised and sucked up to, but stopped.
Judge Us By Our Enemies
Anti-Semtism and Anti-Americanism
Dennis Prager puts all the hatred in perspective
There are basically two possible ways to look at anti-Semitism. One is that anti-Semites are essentially decent folks and Jews have usually been so bad that they have merited anti-Semitic hatred. The second is that the Jews have generally been a decent people who antagonized many of the morally worst people of their time and place.
Anti-Semites would, of course, choose the first explanation. Others would acknowledge that those who have hated the Jews have usually been the vilest of their generation. Whether Roman torturers, Crusaders who massacred Jewish communities on their way to the Holy Land, Nazis or communists – they all hated Jews. The monsters of the 20th century, the Nazis, made Jew-hatred the centerpiece of their ideology. And the monsters of our young century, militant Muslims, have done the same.
Why have the Jews – always among the weakest and smallest of peoples – attracted the hatred of the most evil people? Because of what the Jews represented. The civility of the Jews' lives and the values the Jews brought into the world – especially ethical monotheism, i.e., a standard of right and wrong based on a moral and judging God – made them loathsome in the eyes of those who led particularly uncivil lives and who celebrated moral chaos and cruelty.
Turning to hatred of America, the same questions and answers apply.
Either America is evil, and hatred of it is merited, or America is a decent country and the haters are evil.
The correct explanation is so obvious that only one who already hates America or who is simply morally confused would choose the first.
To assess the veracity of this, all one need do is compare America – a country that has liberated more people from tyranny than any other, and which has been a place of refuge, tolerance and opportunity for more people from more backgrounds than any other in history – with those who hate America.
Militant Muslims hate America. These people include the Taliban of Afghanistan, al-Qaida and other Muslim terrorists, the Islamic regimes of Iran and Sudan, members of Hamas and the many Palestinians and other Muslims who support it.
Now, what types of people are these, and what societies have they made or seek to make?
To call the Taliban primitive is to insult the many primitive peoples who were light years more civilized than these totalitarians who forbade girls to get an education and prohibited women from such innocent activities as going to the zoo. They murdered anyone who loved liberty, beheaded any Muslim who converted to another religion, and blew up some of the most priceless sculptures of the ancient world because those works of art were of a different religion. Is it a good or bad reflection on America that the Taliban hated this country?
Al-Qaida and other Muslim terrorists seek to impose Taliban-like regimes on everyone in the world, beginning with the Muslim world. They routinely slaughter innocent people – literally slaughter, as cutting off the heads of their human sacrifices is their preferred method of murder. They are monsters in human form. Is it a good or bad reflection on America that al-Qaida and other Muslim terrorists hate this country?
The Islamic regime of Iran has taken one of the brightest nations on earth back into the darkest past of human civilization. Their great ally is the genocidal regime of North Korea. Is it a good or bad reflection on America that the Islamists in Iran hate this country?
The Arab Islamic regime in Sudan has killed about 1 million non-Arab, non-Muslim blacks in the south of its country. Rape and enslavement of these blacks is routine. Is it a good or bad reflection on America that the Sudanese regime hates this country?
Hamas and its many supporters among Palestinians have developed a new theology of cruelty and death – that a Muslim boy who blows himself up while maiming and murdering as many innocent Jews as possible goes to heaven where he is then sexually serviced by dozens of virgins. In the annals of the history of religion, no analogous theology of cruelty and vulgarity has ever been devised. Is it a good or bad reflection on America that Hamas and its Palestinian supporters hate this country?
One more point. When you look at the roster of the America-haters and realize that none of them hates France or Sweden, this assessment of America-hatred is rendered even more obvious. America, largely alone, calls these groups and regimes what they are – evil. America, largely alone, wages war against them. America, largely alone (with Israel), prevents them from assuming far more power.
Dennis' distinctions lack subtlety, but I think his broad generalizations serve the purpose of clarity in this case. Of course America does things that are wrong. All Western Democracies step on toes, but generally we are a force for good in the world.
There are two things you will always hear when people tell you why there is so much hatred of America, or the West.
1) We support despotic regimes such as Saudi Arabia because of our cynical realpolitik approach to foreign policy.
2) We are econonmic imperialists and we use a disproportionate amount of the world's resources.
Both of those points have some merit.
Now, think about these questions:
1) Why do we face even more criticism when we abandon realpolitik and choose to do away with a despotic regime like the Hussein government?
2) If we use a disproportionate amount of the world's resources doesn't that mean we buy
a disproportionate amount of the world's goods? Doesn't that mean that a disproportionate amount of people in poor countries around the world have jobs because of us?
Israeli Racist Anti-Arabism
WorldNetDaily posted an article
today about Israeli racist anti-Arabism:
A majority of the Jewish public in Israel – 63.7 percent – believes the Israeli government should encourage Israeli Arabs to emigrate from Israel, according to a University of Haifa poll released yesterday.
The survey, conducted by the university's National Security Study Center, also found 48.6 percent of the Israeli Jews polled said the government was too sympathetic to the Arab population. The majority of Jewish respondents, 55.3 percent, said Israeli Arabs endangered national security, while 45.3 percent said they supported revoking Israeli Arabs' right to vote and hold political office.
What's that called again? Apartheid. 45% of Israeli citizens support apartheid? That's sick.
You know, Israeli is often accused of being an apartheid state. They aren't as the following paragraph from the same article attests:
Arabs living in Israel have more rights than those living in any Arab country, including the right to vote and hold office, and Israel's Arabs have a higher per-capita income than Arabs in the rest of the Mideast.
It is worth remembering that Arabs do enjoy freedoms in Israel which they enjoy nowhere else in the Arab world. However, if 45% of Israeli's think they shouldn't be allowed to vote, maybe the Arabs ought to start worrying.
And by the way, what do they mean by Israeli's? I'm guessing they must mean non-Arab because, if I am not mistaken, Israel's population is something like 20% Arab. That brings to mind two things:
1) The premise of the poll, or at least the way it is expressed in this article, is racist itself, because Arabs who live in Israel are
2) If the poll does include the Arab population, then if you take them out that would mean that an overwhelming majority of Jewish Israeli's want an apartheid state.
What's up with this? Is there something I'm not getting?
Hizbollah and Michael Moore Form Business Partnership
What a pair. WorldNetDaily has the scoop
. Michael Moore and Hizbollah are working together:
The company distributing filmmaker Michael Moore's Bush-bashing movie "Fahrenheit 9/11" says it won't reject an offer of help from Middle East terrorist organization Hezbollah.
As WorldNetDaily reported, terrorists affiliated with the Iran-backed network last week offered to help promote the film in the United Arab Emirates.
The movie industry publication Screen Daily reported, "In terms of marketing the film, [distributor] Front Row is getting a boost from organizations related to Hezbollah which have rung up from Lebanon to ask if there's anything they can do to support the film."
The story then quotes Front Row Managing Director Gianluca Chacra: "We can't go against these organizations as they could strongly boycott the film in Lebanon and Syria."
Terror-war supporting organization Move America Forward publicized the Chacra quote and reacted strongly against it.
"Michael Moore dismisses Americans who are upset with his film and the impact it has in undermining support for the war against terrorism," said Vice Chair Melanie Morgan. "At the same time, his distribution companies are concerned about offending the sensibilities of terrorists. That certainly gives rise to asking the question: Whose side are you on?"
This is America. Michael Moore has the right to make the film and if he brings truth to light, great. But, being willing to partner with Hezbollah is working with a sworn enemy of the United States and racist organization. Here's a quote from the Hezbollah website
At this time we are coming closer to fulfill the dreams of Imam Khumayni(A), Imam Musa as-Sadr(HA), and the Martyrs(A), and this is the restoration of al-Quds, and praying inside its mosque. This day is sooner than anyone could ever expect, and it is coming. Victory comes from no one but Almighty Allah.
It's worth noting that Islamic people already are allowed to pray in Al Quds. It's just that Al Quds is in Israel, which means only those Islamic people whom Israel allows to travel in their country are able to pray in Al Quds. That is natural. The only people who are allowed to pray in my church are those whom the U.S. allows to travel in our country. Therefore what Hezbollah really wants is either an absolute open border policy or the destruction of Israel.
Which do you think it is?
Andrew Sullivan Comes Out Against Bush
What would I do without LittleGreenFootballs? Once again, they've given me the scoop. This time the scoop is "What's up with Andrew Sullivan?" Andrew has been increasingly critical of the George Bush Administration recently. Much of his criticism is beyond reproach and yet, at the same time given context, exaggerated, in my opinion. For instance, who wouldn't agree that what happened at Abu Ghirab is wrong, but it isn't a reason to doubt the war effort. Likewise, the issue of Rumsfeld and torture.
If people on our side do stupid things it does not follow that the war is wrong.
The war would not be wrong unless, or until, the United States offers Iraq a worse situation than they had before.
Or, until the United States makes a change in itself that makes it's priniciples not worth fighting for.
And it is on such an issue that Andrew Sullivan is actually turning. It isn't Abu Ghirab. It isn't the torture issue. It's the gay marriage issue.
From Jonah Goldberg, via LittleGreenFootballs, comes this:
As even moderate readers of Sullivan's site can attest, his positions of late have been something of a moving target. I get lots of conjecture from our mutual audiences about "what's going on" with Sullivan and it varies in persuasiveness. Whatever his motivations, no one who reads his stuff can deny that he's moved increasingly into the anti-Bush camp, often for reasons that don't seem powerful or at least persuasive enough to match his pro-Bush conviction from, say, this time last year (See my "everyone into the pool" post below).
But I must say I was surprised to discover this link from the gay magazine The Advocate. It seems that Andrew had been unequivocal about his opinions on Bush in that publication but not in his blog. In his advocate essay he writes:
But it’s time to say something very clearly: Bush’s endorsement of antigay discrimination in the U.S. Constitution itself is a deal-breaker. I can’t endorse him this fall. Like many other gay men and women who have supported him, despite serious disagreements, I feel betrayed, abused, attacked.
I am very sympathetic to Andrew's concern here. I have, on this site, expressed my profound concern at the Bush Administration's positions on Freedom of Speech. Michael Powell and John Ashcroft, in my opinion, have said and done some horrifying things with regards to that issue. Michael Powell's statement that he would be interested in getting Congressional approval for the FCC to regulate Satellite Radio and Television is absolutely frightening to me. If Congress granted the FCC such power I would cease to believe that the United States would be worth fighting for.
Likewise, as I said, I am sypathetic to Andrew Sullivan's position on Bush and the Marriage Admendment. I, unlike many of my fellow Christians, do not believe that gay people always make a choice to be gay. I am a musician, thus I fall under the class of people called a "performer." I have known many gay people in my life. I don't feel uncomfortable with them. In fact, I am thankful for their contributions to society. And my exposure to gay people has led me to believe there are most gay people are born gay.
If gay people are born gay then I find nothing wrong with them sexually partnering with other gay people. I think promiscuity is wrong and hurtful to the individual. But, I believe having a lifemate is good. I'm a married. I know the benefits. My wife is more than just a sexual partner. She is a continual force by which I can measure myself. She keeps me in line and helps me to grow. I believe God ordained marriage and family as a growth initiative for humans. When you are forced to deal with one set of people for you whole life, then you are forced to grow.
I am less sympathetic to the notion of gay people adopting. When I say less sypathetic, I do not mean vehemently, or absolutely opposed. It's just that I don't know how to split the baby in the Solomonic tradition. I recognize that many gay couples would make, and already are, good parents. However, those are individual cases. And I believe that the pioneers of a movement are usually braver, and more committed to success, than the average people who follow. Therefore, as a society-wide principle, I am less inclined to believe that two mommies or two daddies is as good as a mommy and a daddy.
I believe that God made us male and female for a good reason. There is a balance created by having both a mother and father and this balance is necessary to society. Obviously, that balance is also upeset by infidelity, divorce, the death of a spouse, working too much, etc., but i have a hard time with the idea of adding one more problem to the list.
For this reason alone, I have not made up my mind on how I feel about gay marriage. I am for legal gay partnerships that grant all rights except that of adoption. Whether or not society chooses to call these partnerships marriage makes no difference to me.
But, of course, this argument of mine is completely moot because the genie is already out of the bottle. Gay people are already legally allowed to adopt.
So, as the not so great Kurt Cobain once said,
"Oh well, whatever, nevermind."
Getting back to the point, now we know Andrew's real issue with the Bush Administration. And, I must say, I think it is perfectly understandable.
The University Caliphate at Irvine
both posted articles this morning about the Muslim Students Union victorious jihad at University of California at Irvine:
Muslim members of the University of California, Irvine's graduating class will wear green sashes emblazoned with the word "shahada" in Arabic along with their commencement robes in tomorrow's ceremony – a reference some say is an incitement to violence that should not be allowed.
"Shahada" can be translated several ways, including as a declaration of faith in Islam, but it often is used in reference to "martyrdom" – especially martyrdom attained by suicide bombers.
Sally Peterson, dean of students at UCI, defended the university against critics who say the school shouldn't allow such a display.
Peterson admits the word "shahada," besides being a reference to Islam, "has also taken on many other meanings depending on where you sit. For some it is seen as 'kill all Jews' or it is seen as a reference to suicide bombers," she said.
Despite different meanings applied to the Arabic word, the administrator said UCI is not permitted to limit the Muslim Student Union members' freedom to wear the sashes.
"This is a public university, and we are not permitted – no matter how offensive the speech – not to allow it or we are violating the First Amendment," Peterson said, emphasizing, "Just because we support [the students'] free speech does not mean we support the content."
"It's clearly a violation of free speech if we do not permit it," Peterson said. "There has been significant case law to back this up."
This isn’t the first time anti-Semitism and anti-Americanism have reared their ugly heads at UC-Irvine. Many Christian and Jewish students at UC-Irvine say that they have been threatened and harassed by members of the MSU. UC-Irvine allowed the MSU to bring Amir Abdemalik Ali to its campus to provide a racist, hate-laced presentation called “America Under Siege: The Zionist Hidden Agenda.” He has made the outrageous claim that Jews staged September 11 in order to promote a universal war against Muslims. Not coincidentally, Amir also praises Hamas and Hezbollah, which have both been named terrorist organizations by the United States. Hamas also offers financial rewards to the families of “shahid.”
FPM contributor Arnold Steinberg points out the MSU has worn green armbands before, in support of Hamas. “The MSU also has displayed posters on campus that equate the Star of David with the Swastika,” he explained.
“Leaders of Hillel and other Jewish groups on campus have requested the administration record the speakers MSU and SAS bring to campus. The administration refused their request, even though the guests of MSU and SAS have reportedly called for an Islamic revolution in America and for supporting Hamas in its war against ‘Zionists’ -- and Western civilization,” he said.
Alkalima, UC Irvine’s Muslim student newspaper, once published a special report called “Zionism: The Forgotten Apartheid.” The report glorified Hamas and Hezbollah as noble warriors against Israeli oppression. FPM’s David Horowitz quoted the author’s intent behind the report:
“As the Zionists continue to colonize, torture and ethnically-cleanse in the name of the ‘peace process’ and the Americans continue to fund them, the respective staffs of Al-Talib (UCLA’s muslim magazine) and Alkalima feel it to be their basic duty to expose Zionism, its evils and its effects…Zionist-controlled world media has been purposefully distorting and misconstruing world events too long.”
UC-Irvine itself has contributed to the problem, hosting Imam Muhammad al-Asi in February, 2001, at the invitation of Irvine’s Muslim students. He told his audience, “The Zionist-Israeli lobby, referred to by the Jews themselves as the Jewish lobby in this country, is taking the United States government and the United States people to the abyss. We have a psychosis in the Jewish community that is unable to co-exist equally and brotherly with other human beings. You can take a Jew out of the ghetto, but you cannot take the ghetto out of the Jew.”
Thank You to Pierre Lellouche - French Member of Parliament
Thanks to No Pasaran
for making me aware of Pierre Lellouch - French MP - and his article
about Grandma Europa's spring-cleaning techniques, published in Le Monde. Here's an excerpt:
Over the last five years in France we have witnessed not only a banalization of anti-Semitic insults, including in the schools, but, what is more serious, an explosion of violence against our fellow citizens of the Jewish persuasion.
The level of violence of this nature recorded by the National Advisory Committee on Human Rights (CNCDH) was 743 acts in 2000, 216 in 2001, 932 in 2002 and 558 in 2003. There have been 180 since the start of this year! Not a day goes by, in our Republic, that one of our fellow citizens isn't assaulted, sometimes seriously, for the sole reason that he is Jewish.
All observers agree that this situation, which arose with the start of the second Intifada in the Occupied Territories, is directly related to the Arab-Israeli conflict and to the failure of integration in our country. Nevertheless, this completely insufferable state of affairs is literally unprecedented in our country.
Even in the 1930s, when the anti-Semitic press was particularly ferocious, Jewish children were not attacked and beaten in the Republic's schools. Students were not stabbed. School busses were not attacked. Synagogues were not burned. In brief, we were not witness to this sort of latent pogrom that is complacently "understood" if not justified by a certain elite and a certain press, not in the name of anti-Drefyfusism or of fascism but this time in the name of the rights of the Palestinian people and the of Arab "humiliation."
In sum, one can be pleasantly anti-Semitic in the France of 2004, with the added bonus of a clear conscience, resulting from the struggle for human rights! How can we fail to see that, in such a climate, some youths in search of their identity will take vengeance against the "feuj,"* a priori an accomplice, and therefore guilty, in the "massacres" imputed to the Israeli army in the Palestinian territories?
Because I feel that it is essential to react to this entirely unbearable and disgraceful state of our Republic, I took the initiative, as long ago as 2002, of drafting a parliamentary text seeking to stiffen the penalties for violence with anti-Semitic or racist intent visited on persons or property. This bill, personally supported by the president of the Republic and by the prime minister, was passed — and this is rare enough for me to emphasize it — unanimously by all of my colleagues, MPs and Senators like, on the right of the left. I would like to thank them again.
The only problem — but it is a sizable one — is that this law is quite simply not enforced. Not only is violence of an anti-Semitic nature continuing at an incredibly high pace in France, but, according to the information at my disposal, the law passed in the beginning of 2003 was used to bring criminal prosecutions only 20 times last year and led to convictions in only six cases out of 588. In 2004, prosecutors have so far pressed such charges in only seven cases...
This situation is at the very least preoccupying and results in a deep feeling of unease among many people in France. An unease worsened by other recent law-enforcement decisions that, contrary to their stated aim, seem to demonstrate what we'll call a certain tolerance, if not a thinly veiled complacency for certain statements that qualify as incitation to racial hatred or for certain violent, anti-Semitic acts in a given Paris institution of learning. As Alain Finkielkraut has said, "when they fall victim to anti-Semitic violence, France's Jews are quite firmly, and with dreasing courtesy, advised to address their grievances to Sharon."
How can one fail to understand that many French people, threatened, insulted, attacked everyday for being Jews, feel they have been abandoned by the Republic? That some are planning to leave their country or, as I have seen in my constituency in Paris, are leaving for the United States, Canada or Israel?
From many French citizens of Jewish persuasion I receive letters in which they express their astonishment that "the five assailants of the son of the rabbi in Boulogne-sur-Seine were released (for one of them, this was his second assault against a young Jew). Does this mean that our children and grand children can be struck for the sole reason that they are Jews and that their aggressors won't be pursued by the police? I don't know very well the words in the act you passed in Parliament but I thought it dealt with these assaults." Indeed...
Let us be clear: I have no intention of serving as a good-conscience alibi or as support, neither with my name nor with the legislation I introduced, for a situation in which, far from retreating, anti-Semitism is every day taking stronger hold of our country.
The first urgent measure that is required is to begin a precise evaluation of the conditions under which the law, both in police reporting and in the magistrates' decision-making, can be applied. Such a system exists for other laws (I am thinking of the law on household indebtedness, of which the follow-up has been entrusted to the presiding judge at the appellate court). The same must quickly be done for the law of February 3, 2003.
Accepting anti-Semitism in school in the name of the supposed ignorance of students who indulge in racism is not acceptable.
Once, there were yellow stars. Seeing swastikas affixed to France's Jews or their cemeteries is not tolerable.
Pierre Lellouche clearly has been blessed with an impressive endowment. His is a voice which will be cited in future generations as having been prescient and brave. Of course, for now he will ignored and/or castigated.
In fact, what is that I hear coming from over in Grandma Europa's direction? It sounds like one big collective,
"I wonder if he's a Jew?"
More On Grandma Europa's Spring Cleaning
The American Thinker posted an article
, by Olivier Guitta, entitled "French Justice Rewards Anti-Semitism." Here's an excerpt:
About three months ago, the French Jewish singer Shirel was performing at a gala attended by, among others, France’s First Lady Mrs. Bernadette Chirac. Upon entering the stage and during her song, Shirel was welcomed by young Muslims sitting in the first rows yelling, “Dirty Jew. Death to the Jews. We’ll kill you.”
If this were not disgusting enough, the loud silence of Mrs Chirac speaks volumes about the condition of French Jews today. It is not then surprising that recent Court decisions confirm this increasing trend of official hostility to Jews.
Two judicial cases vividly symbolize this trend.
First: during a very popular program on State TV, on December 1, 2003, a famous stand-up comedian called Dieudonne decided it was time for a virulent anti-Semitic act. He came on stage disguised as a religious Jew wearing Army fatigues, saluting the Nazi way, and yelling ” Israel, Heil “. He was then, of course, sued, because France has tough laws, perhaps a vestigial remnant of an earlier era, against anti-Semitism.
But last week the verdict came in: ACQUITTED!
Second: a young Jewish kid was regularly beaten-up and insulted inside his school for months, by two Arab kids employing the ever so common epithet nowadays: ”Dirty Jew.” The two aggressors never denied the facts, and were expelled.
But in response, the two miscreants filed a lawsuit against the school.
And last week, the verdict came in, stunning those French citizens with residual decency once more. The Paris tribunal condemned the school, ordering it to reinstate the two Muslim kids, and pay each of their families 1,000 Euros (around 1,200 USD).
In another similar incident, Muslim students persecuted a young Jewish girl at school.
Her family sued the oppressors, and, in the bizarre world of French justice, got condemned to pay a fine of 4,000 Euros (about 5,000 USD). So, they decided to appeal the decision and the Court of Appeals deemed that a 8,000 Euros (about 10,000 USD) fine was more appropriate.
Being a Jewish victim turns out to be very costly in France: not only physically and morally, but also financially. Perpetrating anti-Semitic acts, on the other hand, can be very lucrative. So, what kind of message does this send?
A few months ago, at an ice rink in the Paris suburb of Boulogne, a group of Muslim teenagers beat up a Jewish kid. The police arrested them, but the judge decided to release them, ordering one of them, a 14 year-old, to write an essay about anti-Semitism. What a severe sentence!!!
The young Israel’s father, deciding he had enough of France, went to the US Embassy in Paris to ask for political asylum.
Alain Finkielkraut, one of the leading French philosophers, interviewed on June 7, 2004 by the radio station RTL declared that: “The pogrom for the Jews" appears today in France like "a possible future.”
There might come a time not far distant where French Jews might have no choice but to leave the country of their birth, in search of liberty, equality, and fraternity.
I wish to God this article told us the response of the U.S. embassy to the father's request for asylum. I'm guessing it was denied, because it would cause a major international incident if the U.S. accepted a French citizens requests for political asylum.
I wonder if the French embassy would grant me political asylum because Bush is Hitler?
Somebody ought to try that. That would be a great stunt.
"I'm Not Anti-Jew. I'm Just Anti-Zionist"
Once again, big thanks to Little Green Footballs for making me aware of this article
from Rabbi David Wolpe:
Because They Are Jews
Enemies of Israel insist their hatred has nothing to do with Israel being a Jewish state. Can this be true?
By Rabbi David Wolpe
Recently I scrolled through a website devoted to discussion of contemporary literature. Suddenly dropped into the discussion, for no apparent reason, was the following remark: "And today the Israeli army shot a child, which is their favorite thing to do."
I felt a sickening roiling in my stomach. It was a familiar feeling composed of anger, frustration, fear, hurt. Could someone really believe this?
I read a good deal of news, much of it on the Internet, and see little discussion of the depredations of Syria, or Zimbabwe. I read nothing of India's 1 billion dollar fence, shutting off most of the desperately poor Muslims in Bangladesh. I know that there are 188 nations in the United Nations. Among them are North Korea, a slave state, and an assortment of despots and tyrants. The only state among the 188 that may not serve on the security council is Israel.
It is hard to credit all this to geopolitics. How can Israel be the one state that bears the brunt of such rage? Why is the vandalism in France, the community center burning in Argentina, the defacement of synagogues throughout Europe, all tied to the policy of this one small nation?
Where would all those who wish Israel to disappear want the Jews to go?
Back to Europe? Should every Jew live in America? Does anyone think that the Jews could simply live in peace next to Arabs in an Islamic state, when the Arab countries have never, in thousands of years, granted Jews equal rights?
Where were the vituperative voices were when the Jordanians controlled Jerusalem and turned the Western Wall into a garbage dump? For that matter, where were those voices when Assad killed thousands of his own people, or when the late King Hussein of Jordan slaughtered thousands of Palestinians?
It is no excuse for brutality to point out that others have been far more brutal. Yet when people write such inane bigotry as I found in the literature discussion, or call for the end of Israel like the British intellectual A.N. Wilson, one wonders what they must have made of Iraq under Hussein, or of Syria under Hafez Assad. I have heard calls for the end of this or that government but never for the end of the state. No one said Germany after two world wars should cease being a state. The world did not agitate for the end of Uganda under Amin. Only Israel. Only the state populated by and run by Jews. Remarkable coincidence, is it not?
It may be happenstance that people who live in countries where Jews were hated for millennia are saying that only Jews should not have a country, or criticize that country exclusively, or ignore atrocities perpetrated by other countries, or have deep understanding of those who are moved to murder Jews. It may show nothing but a sensitivity bordering on paranoia to be troubled at the juncture of ancient, enduring hatreds with modern censure. Criticism of Israel across Europe surely has nothing to do with the searing observation by David Cesarani in London's Guardian that "Indeed, the 'final solution of the Jewish question' was probably the only genuine pan-European enterprise of the 20th century." The last thing all Europe agreed upon was the elimination of Jews, and now it agrees on the unredeemable savagery of Israel. To assume a relation between the hatred that was and the vilification that is risks being called "a Zionist propagandist" one of those phrases designed not to describe, but to strangle discussion.
I know people in Israel whose children have been killed. Not because someone else was the intended target, not because of clumsiness or the heedless use of great force, but because the children were deliberately targeted. After all, the murderers last month of the Hatuel family stopped a pregnant woman and four children in a Jeep, and systematically shot each of them. Neither the mother nor the little children were armed. They were merely Jews. Imagine if it were done on the streets of a major American city. Here such a person is called Charles Manson; in the halls of the Hague, they are fighters for freedom.
Ouch, that hurts, doesn't it Europe? How could that mean, mean man say such mean, mean stuff?
Time For Spring Cleaning, Grandma Europa?
Thanks be to Allah and Dhimmi Watch for making us aware of this
Jerusalem - The Jewish Agency is bracing itself for the immigration of tens of thousands French Jews into Israel as a result of a growing anti-Semitism in France, a spokesperson for the organisation said on Sunday. ...
Vatikai said that a report compiled by the agency had found 30 000 out of France's 575 000-strong Jewish community were considering immigrating to Israel. ...
French Justice Minister Dominique Perben said last week that 180 anti-Jewish acts had been recorded so far this year, including cases of assault, arson and verbal insults. ...
Vatikai said the situation for French Jews was becoming increasingly "difficult".
I wonder if Grandma is rueing the fact that there isn't an efficient train system to take care of the problem.
We Run Away From Iran
The Wall Street Journal posted this article
, regarding Iran's nuclear program and the world's lack of will to do anything about the situation:
If Iran goes nuclear within the next year or two, don't blame the inspectors at the International Atomic Energy Agency. Earlier this month Mohammed ElBaradei's U.N. team issued yet another damning report on the mullahs, describing a pattern of deception and non-cooperation that all but screams "bomb program." But the international community, with the apparent acquiescence of the Bush Administration, is treating it all as a matter of indifference.
OK, that's a mild overstatement. IAEA member states have been going through the motions required by their inspection process. But when they meet today in Vienna the consuming issue will be whether to "deplore" Iran's deceptions or note them with "serious concern." The Iranians are protesting that they consider even those words as all but a casus belli, but they are reported to be privately pleased as punch that the IAEA will yet again fail to refer them to the U.N. Security Council for sanction.
For the record, here's a sample of what the latest IAEA report says:
• "The information provided to date by Iran has not been adequate" to explain the origin of traces of near-weapons-grade uranium found by inspectors.
• "Important information about the P-2 centrifuge [uranium enrichment] program has frequently required repeated requests, and in some cases continues to involve changing or contradictory information"; and
• "Iran's postponement until mid-April of the visits originally scheduled for mid-March . . . resulted in a delay in the taking of environmental sample and their analysis."
Or to put that all in context, inspectors had found multiple traces of 36% enriched uranium, which has no civilian use. Iran has not offered a satisfactory explanation. Iran had also lied about having a sophisticated P-2 uranium enrichment program of the kind peddled by Pakistani nuclear scientist A.Q. Khan. It turns out the Iranians have sought magnets for thousands of such centrifuges. Iran has not been able to explain experiments with polonium-210, a radioactive element primarily useful as a bomb trigger. Most incriminating of all, the Iranians barred access to sites for a month while they almost certainly sanitized them.
Remember that Iran is a petroleum-rich country that doesn't need nuclear power and whose former president has declared that "the world of Islam" should acquire the bomb so it can threaten the existence of Israel and thwart American "colonialism" in the Middle East. On Saturday, AP quoted Iran's foreign minister as declaring that Iran "has to be recognized by the international community as a member of the nuclear club. This is an irreversible path." All of this has finally provoked even the U.S. State Department to declare that Iran's nuclear activities "are in no way peaceful" and "specifically designed to create weapons."
As I've been saying, Israel to the rescue
And Now For Something Completely Different ...
Yahoo posted this article
from the LA Times this morning on "Pre-Death Experience." Here's an excerpt:
PHILADELPHIA — My brother took more trains, planes and automobiles in the last week of his life than he had taken in months, perhaps years. Those journeys were all the more surprising because they occurred in an intensive-care unit at the end of his three-year battle with bone marrow cancer.
Bedridden after being rushed to the hospital for what would be the final eight days of his life, Kenny casually mentioned that he was visiting Detroit. It was a rather odd place for him to be traveling — even if only in his imagination — because the hospital was near home in suburban Philadelphia and he didn't have any ties to the Motor City.
But it was near a border, a border he seemed intent on crossing, be it real or metaphoric.
"How far is it to Canada?" he wanted to know. "Where's the map?"
Though very weak, Kenny, 45, intermittently recognized and chatted lucidly with family gathered by his bedside. But he would drop in news of his varied travels: He had gone skiing one afternoon in Australia, he told us, stopped by North Carolina another day, and more than once had been "stuck in passport control."
At first, our family dismissed these journeys as confusion; we would laugh through our tears about the various places and modes of transport he had been taking. It must be the painkillers, we thought. Or maybe hypoxia, the oxygen deprivation in the blood that often contributes to delirium in sick people. Or that the cancer now was destroying his mind, just as it had racked his body.
But then our cousin Lynne mentioned that her parents had done a lot of similar traveling in the last days of their cancer battles. Uncle Larry (Lynne's father) had insisted that his passport and fanny pack be kept by his bedside; he was intent on keeping an imaginary 3 p.m. appointment with the emperor of Japan, where I was living then and where he had hoped to visit. He too had asked for a map — of Japan. Aunt Lois, who had died four years before, had talked about needing to catch a train, asking Lynne to buy her a ticket.
There seemed to be a pattern. A nearby bookstore turned up a 1992 title that offered some clues: "Final Gifts: Understanding the Special Awareness, Needs and Communications of the Dying."
Its chapter titles were uncanny: "Where's the Map?" and "I'm Getting Ready To Leave." Authors Patricia Kelley and Maggie Callanan, longtime Washington, D.C.-area hospice nurses, had heard similar talk so often from their dying patients — conveying this sense of moving from one place to another, of being in transition — that they concluded it must be a special language the dying have to communicate what is happening to them.
"It would be easy to say it's just coincidence, but when you see it over and over, there has to be something there," Kelley said in a telephone interview. "I do think people experience something we can't describe."
The authors termed the phenomenon "nearing death awareness" — a state they think reveals what dying might be like and what a person needs to die peacefully.
It has some similarities with the more widely known near-death experiences reported by some patients who are resuscitated on operating tables or at the scenes of accidents. They report seeing a bright light at the end of a tunnel, with people and events of their lives flashing as if in a kaleidoscope.
In contrast, however, those dying slowly often talk of preparing for a trip or of trying to finish something, Kelley and Callanan found, perhaps using language pertaining to their professions or hobbies. One dying man who liked to sail, for instance, talked about the ebbing of the tides; a watchmaker mentioned that the clock was not ticking fast enough; a carpenter described details of completing an imaginary house.
This article brought tears to my eyes. There is something so childlike about even the oldest, most experienced of us, when we are confronted with the overwhelming reality of our mortality. The Bible eloquently notes Jesus response to the death of his friend Lazarus:
Now, of course, Jesus knew that he could, as he proceeded to do, bring Lazarus back to life. But, that doesn't really do away with the pathetic rot of the human condition. The fact is, as long as we are in these bodies, we are flailing away at life, seeing through a glass darkly. We are musicians with inferior instruments. We are handicapped ballet dancers. We are Michael Jordan with polio.
And one day, we will all be in this position, unless our end is very sudden, where we will be in between, faced with something completely out of our control, like jumping into the deepest, darkest ocean. The mind scrambles to come up with ways of understanding.
In the words of the old bluesmaster,
"Meet me Jesus, please meet me on the other side."