Saturday, August 07, 2004

Loud And Nasty Disagreement Is Not Censorhip It's Free Speech

Thanks to LittleGreenFootballs for making me aware of this article, entitled "Censorship Whining", from the Washington Times:

To hear liberals tell it, free speech is under siege. When crooner Linda Ronstadt imposed her unsolicited fawning views of America-basher Michael Moore on a Las Vegas audience at the Aladdin casino recently, a large portion of that audience did the principled thing: They got up and left. The management at the Aladdin asked Miss Ronstadt to do the same. These people must have been First Amendment insensitive; according to the New York Times, they interfered with Miss Ronstadt's "right to express a political opinion."

But didn't the audience members have the right to express their opinions? And didn't the Aladdin, which was footing Miss Ronstadt's bill, have the right not to be made a forum for political discourse? No, says Los Angeles Times media critic Tim Rutten. When the "drunken mob" at the Aladdin refused to take Miss Ronstadt's rants sitting down, the "most fundamental of liberties came under assault," he claims.

What would those be — the right not to have one's views countered by opposition? Apparently that's close to Mr. Rutten's sentiment. Notwithstanding the well-known leftist bias of the vast majority of the American media, including that of his own paper, Mr. Rutten slams Fox News merely for tending toward a contrary view. "Fox News," he raves, "is the most unapologetically biased major American news operation since the era of yellow journalism." His evidence? None offered. His reasoning? "It tilts right and Republican."

If his point is that free speech belongs exclusively to the radical left, Whoopi Goldberg would likely agree. After she was fired as spokesman for Slim Fast in the wake of her foul-mouthed Bush-bashing at a John Kerry fund-raiser, she wailed about "freedom of expression without fear of reprisal."

But "fear of reprisal" — read: of criticism — is everywhere among the left, including even major media players. CNN's Christiane Amanpour believes that the press has been "intimidated by the administration." And Dan Rather of CBS — check out this metaphor — worries about having "a flaming tire of lack of patriotism put around your neck."

Treating counterargument as a threat to freedom would be laughable if it weren't so insane. So would the whole "Bush lied" mantra, which is merely an attempt to avoid even acknowledging an opposing viewpoint. Rather than stand up and confront your opponents with reason, how much easier it is to just dismiss them as liars — or worse. Thus Al Gore calls supporters of the president Nazi brownshirts. The left-wingextremistgroup posts videos equating President Bush with Hitler.

Liberals apparently are tolerant enough to respect a dictator's right to fill mass graves with children. They just can't countenance anyone with contrary political views.

You'll notice that a repeat mantra of mine when I comment on incidents of anti-Semitic speech around the world is "these people should be castigated and laughed out of society. They do not have a place in respectable society."

What I ask is that good citizens to stand up and say it's not ok to say things like "the Jews secretly control the puppet strings of the U.S." or the "Jews make their Passover Matzoh with the blood of Arab children."

I never call for the abolition of a persons right to say these things. People should be allowed to say whatever they want. But, when they say something stupid, then society should call them on it. And if they persist in saying stupid things like, "Black people are inferior," or "Jews are dirty, money grubbing people," then they should not be given positions of repsonsibility and respect in a decent culture.

Loud And Nasty Disagreement is not censorship. It's free speech. And it's the duty of concerned citizens to speak up when they believe something needs to be changed.

New Links For You To Check Out

Check out my news links.

He Lives is a blog by a Christian Physicist and Nascar fan (go figure) who gives his thoughts on theological issues. Pretty interesting.

Memri and MemriTV do translations of Arabic print media and television respectively. Very important stuff.

The Magical World Of An Arab University Professor

Abd Al-Halim Uweis is a History Professor at Al Azhar University. In this video clip from Iqra TV, translated by, Mr. Uweis lets us in on his world of Magical Realism.

He believes the 9/11 highjackers may have collaborated with the Mossad, or the CIA. Really, he doesn't know. But, he's pretty sure it wasn't Mohammed Atta and his gang acting at the behest of Osama Bin Laden.

In a way, I have to concede one point to him, though. He poses the question:

But I say, what law in the world permits attacking countries because of individuals' mistakes? Let's assume that 20 or 30 Americans arrive in Egypt and destroyed, for instance, a big institution…

Moderator: Or in Germany…

Prof. 'Uweis: Yes, or in Germany. What international law permits the entire nation, 20-30 million, 100-200 million, or all the Arabs or all the Muslims, a billion and 200 million, to be hated, fought against, condemned, and have, in a democratic country, the USA, emergency measures of oppression taken against them, as though the US were a new USSR.

I'm going to be serious for a moment. I have thought about this since the start of the War. How could a person in an Arab country see the war differently than this? From what I see of their educational institutions and media outlets, they are taught that America is a force for evil, and that America hates Arabs and Islam. What's more, it does not seem that information is readily available to them on the reality that many governments in the Arab world actually support terrorism.

Saudi Arabia, Iran, Syria, and Iraq (until we removed Hussein) support terrorism materially. But how would your average Arab know this?

Add to their government enforced ingnorance the fact that your average Arab person wouldn't even consider groups like Hizbollah, Islamic Jihad, Hamas, or Al-Aqsa Martys Brigade to be terrorist organizations.

There's a very real dissonance between our respective perceptions of the world around us.

Well, guess what. Too bad. America calls those groups terrorist organizations and we are going to do our best to eliminate those governments who support terror.

A hint to those Arabs who don't understand our perception of the world: It's probably not a good idea for your governments to create a society wherein media outlets and government officials call America the Great Satan. It's probably not ok to call Americans infidels in a culture where the punishment for being an infidel is death. We understand the context.

What's more, it's probably not a good idea to call for the elimination of the Jews. We fought a war to stop the genocide of Islamic people in Bosnia, why would you not think we would get upset about calls for genocide against the Jews?

Now, if you want evidence that we don't hate you, then you have to look no further than the death totals in Iraq. It would be easy for us to destroy the entire country and kill almost everyone there. In fact, it would be easier to do that than what we are doing, which is trying to target only those nebulous terrorists.

And if you think "infidels" are evil then maybe you should think about the fact that we allow Islam to thrive in our country, and about the fact that George Bush himself said that we expect the democracy in Iraq to be a "Islamic Democracy." We are not trying to do away with your religion. We are trying to remove the radical, militant elements from your societies. We are trying to remove those governments who promote those radical, militant worldviews.

But, I must say, I completely understand why many Arabs would not understand us.

If anyone needs an example of Arab person who does understand our perspective go to my Links and click Iraq The Model

Friday, August 06, 2004

Stupid American

I saw a clear case of "Stupid American" today; A guy about 20 years old, riding a skateboard, in the street, on the streetside of parked cars, against traffic, during rush hour, while speaking on a cell phone.

What's more the guy was riding a narrow board with little wheels, which would much more easily be derailed by a rock laying in the street. And the guy was not looking down at the street as he was riding. He was far too enthralled with his phone conversation.

If he would have hit a rock, he could not have helped which way he would have fallen. His head very easily might have landed in the path of an oncoming car, making whoever hit him responsible for his death.

Thursday, August 05, 2004

Concerning L'Pentagate and European Hatred Of The United States

When I was in Paris, I had the distinct displeasure of coming across Thierry Meyssans books in a bookstore on Rue d' Passey (please forgive me if I have that name wrong). The area I stayed in was not a tourist area. It was a shopping area. Clothes, shoes, groceries. The bookstore was mainstream. It is true that Thierry Meyssan had the #1 book in France with L'Pentagate. So, I bought a copy to keep as a sort of morbid souvenier of France.

Anyway, check out this review, from, of another one of Meyssan's bestselling conspiracy/hatefests:

I love France. I think "most" French people are quite normal and pretty much like the average American. But, this "author" is the reason so many Americans boycott France and do goofy things like rename foods with "French" in the title. I suppose Meyssan also believes that Paris never fell to the Germans back in 1940--and the lunar landing was filmed in a hanger in Arizona--oh, oh, and I'm sure he believes that Elvis is soaking up sun somewhere on the French Riviera--give me a break. See Meyssan as he truly is--a disgrace to the French people--his book reads like the American unabomber, Ted Kaczynski, and his long-winded manifesto. A total BLOW-HARD.

See, the thing is, we Americans, goofy as we are, are not stupid. We know about the French proclivity for all things "Bush-is-Hitler." We know about Meyssan. We know about Michael Moore drawing raves throughout Europe for being so intelligent as to rate us, all of us, the "stupidest nation on Earth."

Hey Europe, I don't think it's wise to bite the hand that feeds. Ooh, what an "ugly American" thing to say. But, I'll tell you why I say it.

Think about it now. Let's connect the dots, shall we? America is best friends with Israel. right? And the Jews control the whole world, right? They're the brains and we're the muscle, right? Where does that leave Europe? I'd say it leaves you lacking in brains and muscle. Now, is it wise to anger such a powerful duo? Presumably, if between the two of us, we control everything then that would mean that everything you have somehow flows through the Israeli-American Axis before we graciously bestow it upon you Europeans.

How's that for some Meyssanesque nuancin?

A Sincere Note of Gratitude to Sheikh Al-Ansari has translated an article, which initially appeared in the the London-based Arabic language daily Al-Hayat, by Sheikh Abd Al-Hamid Al-Ansari, the former Dean of the Faculty of Sharia at the University of Qatar. The article is entitles "Following the 9/11 Commission, do the Arabs have the Courage to Reconsider their Position?" Here are excerpts:

"The 9/11 Commission depicted the full and accurate picture of the attacks, their planning, their perpetration, the perpetrators, and their nationalities. The report clarified that the idea of the attacks was conceived by Khaled Sheikh Muhammad, who admitted that he first discussed the idea of attacking the World Trade Center with commercial planes with his nephew Ramzi Yousef [the architect of the first World Trade Center bombing in 1993]. They discussed it again when they planned the Bojenka conspiracy in Manila [Phillipines] in 1995, which aimed at hijacking commercial planes on 10 American targets, including the 4 targets chosen for September 11, American intelligence [CIA] headquarters, the highest tower in California, and nuclear reactors. He presented the plan to Osama bin Laden and the Al-Qa'ida leaders, who at first weren't enthusiastic about it because of its complexity and magnitude, but in April 1999 bin Laden invited him to Kandahar and told him that Al-Qa'ida supported his idea. Bin Laden chose the first four suicide bombers after the original plan was changed.

Will We Now Admit that Arabs were behind the Attacks – or are We 'Incapable of Apologizing?'

"After September 11, we blamed the Israeli Mossad for planning the attacks. This belief prevailed not only among popular circles. Intellectuals and high-level figures held to this belief, validating it by their allegation that 4,000 Jews didn't come to work at the World Trade Center on that cursed morning, and by the arrest of the Jews who gleefully took pictures of the destruction [of the falling towers].

"Another group among us blamed the American extremist right for planning the attacks in order to provide a justification to attack Afghanistan and spread American hegemony in Central Asia. We are also very happy with the book written by the French crook Thierry Meyssan, 'The Appalling Fraud,' who became a millionaire thanks to our stupidity in translating the book into Arabic and disseminating it.

"One of the absurdities is that while Al-Qa'ida and its supporters are proud of their deeds, calling them the 'Manhattan Raid,' and even printing advertisements in London in commemoration of the 9/11 attacks, with pictures of the 'magnificent 19' – our religious, cultural, and political elite [are] struggling to deny that [the Arabs] could have had anything to do with it.

"Do we have the courage to criticize ourselves, to admit to our fault, and to apologize as many people do, or is it one of our hidden qualities that we are a people that are incapable of apologizing? Why won't we take the opportunity of the appearance of the 9-11 Commission's report to ponder why destructive violence and a culture of destruction have taken root in our society? Why won't we take this opportunity to reconsider our educational system, our curricula, including the religious, media, and cultural discourse that causes our youth to live in a constant tension with the world?"

Thank you to Sheikh Al-Ansari for having the courage to write this article and tell the truth.

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

You Don't See A Car Jacker Walking, Do You?

Last night I saw a comedian on TV who was clearly against the War. He made a series of jokes and comments about how we were fighting for Halliburton, rich people, etc. They flew in one ear and out the other, to tell you the truth. But, then he pealed this one off:

We invaded Iraq. That's an oil producing nation, man. And the price of gas is going up? What's up with that? I mean, you don't see a car jacker walking, do you?

Imagine that, a comedian lacking the intellectual rigor to realize that he just made a joke that flew in the face of all his "War for oil" illogic.

Now, that's funny.

Thanks To SoundVision (Islamic Website) For Speaking Out In Favor Of America

I became aware of from a posting on LittleGreenFootballs. Charles at LFG refers to SoundVision as a radical Islamic discussion forum. He may have knowledge of the site to which I am not privy, but here are excerpts from an article I found on SoundVision praising America for it's reaction to Abu Ghraib:

Know the True American Reaction to the Iraq Abuse
By Abdul Malik Mujahid

It was at the height of the Watergate scandal during President Richard Nixon's presidency in 1975 when, after his return from America, Syed Abulala Maudoodi spoke at Karachi University praising American democracy. The reaction of America towards the abuse in Iraq reminded me of his comments almost 30 years ago. What impressed Maudoodi, the most prominent Islamic scholar and the foremost Muslim critic of the West in the last 50 years, was the free press and the system of checks and balances of American democracy which he observed during the Watergate scandal during his stay in the US.

America's reaction to the torturous sexual abuse of Iraqi prisoners of war is a sign of a nation living its ideals. Although they are reacting to something extremely abhorrent and horrible, it gives me confidence in humanity and in America.

Yes. They were soldiers of the American occupying army who did the most horrific things to Iraqi prisoners. But what the Muslim world also needs to know is how America is reacting to it.

Seventy-three percent of Americans surveyed say Iraqi abuse was unjustified. Many
Christian organizations in American are speaking out. Everyone who matters in America is showing their displeasure over the images and asking for the understanding of the Muslim world.

The American media has not been as free and independent lately as the European media. But one cannot much complain about the coverage of the Iraqi abuse.

It was an American network, CBS, who broadcast the photos that outraged the world.
Almost all media has been repeatedly reporting the abuse. No one is trying to hide something that can clearly hurt American national pride.

Many media outlets have published the extremely damaging, still classified, Taguba Report.
Almost all editorials and op-ed page writers have condemned the abuse in the strongest possible terms.

The media continues to disseminate follow-up stories on the issue.

The media is regularly reporting the public's outrage.

No writer, editor or correspondent has been picked up by any intelligence or military agency to date for writing hostile stories against US military interests.

The US government has not banned any newspaper, TV channel or radio station due to the negative coverage that is causing the president's ratings to decline.

Executive and the Legislative Leadership:

Republicans and Democrats, Executive and Legislative branches of the government have all have been vocal in condemning the abuse.
The Senate has condemned it with 98 votes. (Editor Note: That's out of 100, folks.)

The House has also approved 365-to-50 a resolution that "deplores and condemns" the abuse of Iraqi prisoners.

President Bush and almost everyone in the executive branch have condemned it.

The military and general after general, have been publicly answering questions about this issue. This is significant because at a time of war, they are answering to the civilian leadership instead of using the ongoing situation in Iraq as an excuse to refuse to answer allegations.

The executive branch has made it public that there are more horrific pictures of abuse in existence and they are being shown to the Senate and the House.

The Senate is conducting a public hearing about the abuse live in front of cameras and via live broadcasts, where army generals and their civilian leaders are being questioned.
Transcripts are available on the Internet.
The House is doing the same.

The Military Response:
This is the institution facing tremendous stress. Let us see how the institution is performing under the extraordinary
pressure of the media, politicians, and the public besides fighting insurgencies in Iraq and Afghanistan:

It was an honorable American soldier from Pennsylvania who brought the abuse to the attention of investigators. On January 13, 2004, Army Spc. Joseph M. Darby, an MP with the 800th at Abu Ghraib, first reported cases of abuse at the prison. He is being praised by almost everyone in America.

The military officer who received the complaint did not sit on it. Within a day an investigation was launched by the military.

It was an American General, Antonio Taguba, who wrote the most damaging report to date on the abuses. He is being praised instead of being admonished.

No secret agency is kidnapping any reporter for reporting against the interests of the American military.

The Military Chief of Staff has not threatened to take over the country if criticism of the armed forces does not stopped.

This is the time for the Muslim world to stop watching Hollywood movies and see how America is handling a moral crisis involving abuse of their imprisoned enemies.

No it is not a perfect system. No human system can be perfect since we are not perfect. Of course, not everything is fine and good. There are many questions that have to be answered. But all of them are being asked by the media and leaders openly and publicly.

In case some cynic declares that all of this is being done to please the Muslim world, I would say maybe there is a bit of truth to that. But if America cared for world public opinion, they may not have invaded Iraq to begin with.

This moral outrage is not a fake show, it's the true reflection of how America is feeling at this moment. This is democracy at its best.

Come over here, Abdul. I wanna kiss you. Oh, sorry. Allah wouldn't approve of that, would he?

But, seriously, I really want to thank Abdul, from the bottom of my heart for that article. The situation at Abu Ghraib is disgusting, horrific, and morally reprehensible. There's nothing more to say than that.

However, the way we have been treated in the world's media does not jibe with reality. It's out of proportion.

Compare America's reaction to Abu Ghraib to Europe's reaction to the U.N. Oil For Food Scandal. I don't believe I have seen anything in the European Press on that subject. Or what about the fact that France, Germany, and Russia were illegally negotiating contracts with Saddam Hussein? What about the idea that that might have had a lot to do with their opposition to removing Saddam from power? What about the evidence for the idea that France is currently dragging their feet on the genocide in Sudan because of their oil interests in that country? Are these things discussed in European media? I have not seen evidence of it.

So, the European Media can't seem to find it's balance, but Abdul can.

Abdul, you the man.

Too Horrible To Be Believed?
Arafat's Grand Strategy

Hitler told Europe what he was going to do years before actual implementation began. Europe had a hard time believing him. Likewise, Arafat articulated his goals and strategies years ago, but the world refuses to believe him. FrontPageMag posted a heavily footnoted article, by Efraim Karsh (director of the Mediterranean Studies Programme at King's College, University of London) this morning. Here are excerpts :

For Yasir Arafat and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) leadership, the Oslo process has always been a strategic means not to a two-state solution—Israel and a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza—but to the substitution of a Palestinian state for the state of Israel.
As early as August 1968, Arafat defined the PLO's strategic objective as "the transfer of all resistance bases" into the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, occupied by Israel during the June 1967 war, "so that the resistance may be gradually transformed into a popular armed revolution." This, he reasoned, would allow the PLO to undermine Israel's way of life by "preventing immigration and encouraging emigration … destroying tourism … weakening the Israeli economy and diverting the greater part of it to security requirements … [and] creating and maintaining an atmosphere of strain and anxiety that will force the Zionists to realize that it is impossible for them to live in Israel."[1]

The Oslo accords enabled the PLO to achieve in one fell swoop what it had failed to attain through many years of violence and terrorism. Here was Israel, just over a decade after destroying the PLO's military infrastructure in Lebanon, asking the Palestinian organization, at one of the lowest ebbs in its history, to establish a real political and military presence—not in a neighboring Arab country but right on its doorstep. Israel even was prepared to arm thousands of (hopefully reformed) terrorists who would be incorporated into newly established police and security forces charged with asserting the PLO's authority throughout the territories.

In September 2000, Arafat launched a war of terror against Israel with precisely the objectives he had set for the Palestinian movement in 1968. Some analysts now argue that the Palestinians have lost that war. But the very fact that Arafat could wage it and plunge Israel into one of its greatest traumas constitutes a triumph of his strategy. Certainly the Palestinians have suffered reversals and losses. But Arafat has achieved his goal: he brought the Palestinian war from Israel's borders into Israel proper by the politics of stealth. He has every reason to hope that the work he began will be continued by the next generation of Palestinian leaders. That work is nothing short of the dismantlement of Israel.

How did Arafat bring it off? First, he articulated a long-term vision of Israel's elimination and succeeded in imbuing all Palestinians with its precepts, even as he shook the hands of Israeli leaders and a U.S. president. Second, he indoctrinated his people with an abiding hatred of Israel and its people so as to fortify them for war. Last, he chose an opportune moment, after he had gained maximum advantage from the "peace process," to resort to war and terror. This article examines each of the three elements in Arafat's visionary plan to liberate Palestine and the meaning of Arafat's legacy for the future.

A Strategic Plan
When Arafat began his "armed struggle" back in the mid-1960s, he took inspiration from the example of Algeria: a war of national liberation that had succeeded in the space of a few years in defeating a colonial power.
When he failed to replicate this model, owing in part to the low level of national consciousness among the Palestinians and Israel's effective counterinsurgency measures, the PLO adopted the "phased strategy." This strategy, dating from June 1974, has served as the PLO's guiding principle ever since. It stipulates that the Palestinians should seize whatever territory Israel is prepared or compelled to cede to them and use it as a springboard for further territorial gains until achieving the "complete liberation of Palestine."[2]

From the very outset of the Oslo process, Arafat and his lieutenants viewed the agreements as an implementation of this strategy, not as its abandonment. Arafat said just that as early as September 13, 1993, when he addressed the Palestinians in a pre-recorded Arabic-language message broadcast by Jordanian television, even as he shook Yitzhak Rabin's hand on the White House lawn. He informed the Palestinians that the Israeli-Palestinian declaration of principles (DOP) was merely the implementation of the PLO's "phased strategy." "O my beloved ones," he explained,

Do not forget that our Palestine National Council accepted the decision in 1974. It called for the establishment of a national authority on any part of Palestinian land that is liberated or from which the Israelis withdrew. This is the fruit of your struggle, your sacrifices, and your jihad … This is the moment of return, the moment of gaining a foothold on the first liberated Palestinian land … Long live Palestine, liberated and Arab.[3]

This vision of a "liberated and Arab Palestine"—that is, a Palestine in which Israel does not exist—was not mentioned in any of Arafat's interviews with the Israeli and Western media at the time. During the next seven years, until the launch of his terrorist war in late September 2000, Arafat played an intricate game of Jekyll-and-Hyde politics. Whenever addressing Israeli or Western audiences, he would habitually extol the "peace of the brave" he had signed with "my partner Yitzhak Rabin." At the same time, he depicted the peace accords to his Palestinian constituents as transient arrangements of the moment. He made constant allusions to the "phased strategy" and repeatedly insisted on the "right of return," a standard Palestinian euphemism for Israel's destruction through demographic subversion.[4] He leavened his speech with historical and religious metaphors, most notably the Treaty of Hudaybiya, signed by the Prophet Muhammad with the people of Mecca in 628, only to be disavowed by Muhammad a couple of years later when the situation shifted in his favor.[5]

I must admit, it is very hard to believe that someone can be so deceptive and get away with it for so many years. However, it is also very hard to believe that Arafat's method of deception could be so easily detectible (one strategy in Arabic, one in English) and yet still be so successful.

This why the organization is so important (in fact, now that I think about it, why don't I link to them). They translate Arab Media into English, so we can read what they are saying. From Memri we know that it is common to call for the death of Jews in major (sometimes even state-sponsored) media in Egypt, Syria, and Saudi Arabia.

Once one is confronted with the facts, one can choose to believe them, and act accordingly, or one can simply hide their head in the sand and say, as Neville Chamberlain did, "I believe it is peace for our time."

It's instructive to note that he followed that sentence, with, "Go home and get a nice quiet sleep."

Submit To The Jizya
Another Brilliant Idea Ascends OnThe European Horizon

How do they do it? How do they keep coming up with these ideas? It's, like, a creative flow, or, uh, some sort of flow anyway.

Many European countries are having trouble with the radicalization of much of their alienated young Muslim population. So, they think to themselves, "Let us see then, how best to handle this situation? France banned the headscarf. Norwegian politicians have proposed banning Islam itself, and now Andalusia, er, I mean Spain is considering paying protection money to Mosques.

There is a law, within the Sharia system, which says that there are three choices for non-Islamic people in an Islamic land, 1) conversion, 2) paying the Jizya (tax on unbelievers), 3) death.

Read this article from Robert Spencer:

The Spanish government, true to the principle of appeasement that it rode to power on after the 3/11 bombings, is considering paying money to mosques. The stated purpose is to make the mosques less dependent upon foreign money — particularly, of course, terror financing from Saudi Wahhabis or others.

That money is pouring in. The March 11 terrorist bombers were active members of mosques that betrayed strong Wahhabi influence. According to Antonio Camacho, the Interior Ministry’s secretary of state security, the new payment scheme is “about keeping them from having to look outside for financing because the state does not, in a way, support their activities.”

So are we to believe that because the state hasn’t supported Spanish mosques, they turned to the Wahhabis out of desperation? And so money will make the Wahhabis disappear? This is the sort of harebrained scheme that only true sons of Aethelred the Unready could dream up, or perhaps more precisely true sons of Marx and Engels, so besotted with socialism and materialism that they can’t fathom the possibility that anyone could be motivated by anything other than the desire for material gain. The jihad? Pah. They just want money. Give them some and they’ll quiet down.

Their misapprehension is elephantine. Consider the probability that many Spanish radical Muslims are familiar with the ideas espoused by Sayyid Qutb (1906-1966), the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood theorist whose writings are still widely available all over the world (including the United States today), and which are revered by radical Muslims as a comprehensive exposition of their program. In his exhaustive, thirty-volume exposition of the Muslim holy book, Fi Zilal al-Qur’an (In the Shade of the Qur’an), Qutb wrote: “As the only religion of truth that exists on earth today, Islam takes appropriate action to remove all physical and material obstacles that try to impede its efforts to liberate mankind from submission to anyone other than God. … The practical way to ensure the removal of those physical obstacles while not forcing anyone to adopt Islam is to smash the power of those authorities based on false beliefs until they declare their submission and demonstrate this by paying the submission tax.”

That would be the Jizya, folks.

Now, let me be fair for a second. The truth is Spain has already been paying a Jizya to the Catholic church since 1979. I don't know why they began such an asinine policy, but I do know two things:

1) The Catholic Jizya was intended to be temporary but, as with most government hand-out programs, it became permanent.

2) Such a payout to religion constitutes an egregious violation of the separation of Church and State, which, of course, is one of the basic tenets of Western Civilization.

Hey, hey, hey, Europe. Come over here. Get down on you knees. Ok, good. That's good. Now, submit to the Jizya.

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

Charles Johnson At LittleGreenFootballs Is A Friggin Genius

Nobody sums up a news story like Charles Johnson over at LittleGreenFootballs. Check this out:

Charles Comment:
In a change of tactics obviously influenced by their buddies the head-chopping mujahideen of Iraq and Saudi Arabia, Hamas has released one of those by-now-familiar Islamic videos, threatening that unless Israel stops trying to prevent them from firing missiles into Israel, they’ll fire missiles into Israel.
(That’s Hamas logic.)

News Story:
Hamas Issues Video Threat Against Israel.

CAIRO, Egypt - The Palestinian militant group Hamas has issued a video threatening daily attacks on the Israeli town of Sderot unless soldiers halt a monthlong operation aimed at stopping rocket attacks. Hamas, blamed for dozens of suicide bombings in Israel, has not issued such video threats in the past.

The video aired Tuesday on the pan-Arab television station Al-Arabiya featured three masked men surrounded by weapons and standing before a green flag emblazoned with the Muslim credo: “There is no god but God and Muhammad is his prophet.”

“We will continue to shell you every day to see what your defeated army will do for you,” the Hamas threat said. “Oh residents of Sderot, stop your army from carrying out their crimes and get them out of Beit Hanoun otherwise you will play the price.”

Hee hee hee hee.

And here's another one:

Charles Headline: Militants Killed By Activists

News Story:
Three Militants Killed in Gaza Explosion.
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip - Militants attacking an Israeli armored bulldozer inadvertently killed three other Palestinians Tuesday during an Israeli operation to destroy weapons-smuggling tunnels from Egypt.

The roadside bomb in the Rafah refugee camp went off a few yards from where the bulldozer was piling up dirt in a crowded residential area, according to Associated Press Television News. No Israelis were injured but three Palestinian men 200 yards away were hit by shrapnel, one so severely it took off half his skull.

Ten people were wounded, including a Reuters TV cameraman, according to witnesses and hospital officials.

The violence came a day after vigilantes killed three Palestinians convicted of collaborating with Israel — two of them in their hospital beds — highlighting the progressive breakdown of law and order in Gaza.

The Hamas militant organization said two of the casualties in Rafah were its members, and the Al Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades claimed one of the dead men. Neighbors confirmed they belonged to militant organizations, but were not involved in combat units.

Moments before, masked militants were filmed putting a detonator in an alley near the road. Palestinian ambulances were already standing by, as people in nearby buildings waved white flags to show the Israelis the buildings were inhabited by civilians.

Charles' summation:

They waved white flags to lure in the Israelis, while at the same time terrorists were planting bombs. All of it filmed by al-Reuters. And the explosives were probably transported to the scene in those ambulances that were “standing by.”

Such lovely people. Let’s give them a state!

When you lie to yourself, as Reuters and much of the media do, you get caught up in logical absurdities. Charles is a genius at seeing through these absurdities and summarizing them in a few devastating words.

Question: When is that mofo gonna get a book deal?

U.S. General Says Abu Ghraib Scandal May Reach All The Way To The White House

From Reuters comes this:

LONDON (Reuters) - The U.S. general formerly in charge of Baghdad's notorious Abu Ghraib prison said on Tuesday abuse of Iraqi captives was hidden from her in a cover-up that may reach all the way to the Pentagon (news - web sites) or White House.

Speaking on the same day a U.S. soldier at the center of the prisoner abuse scandal is due to face a military court, Brigadier-General Janis Karpinski said she was deliberately kept in the dark about abuse and humiliation of Iraqi prisoners.

"A very reliable witness has made a statement indicating that, not only was I not included in any of the meetings discussing interrogation operations, but specific measures were taken to ensure I would not have access to those facilities, that information or any of the details of interrogation at Abu Ghraib or anywhere else," Karpinski told Britain's BBC radio.

Karpinski, responsible for the military police who ran prisons in Iraq (news - web sites) when pictures were taken showing prisoners being abused, has been suspended from her post but not charged with any crime.

She said that those with "full knowledge" of what was going on in Abu Ghraib worked to keep her from discovering the truth.

Asked if a cover-up meant involvement of the White House or Pentagon, she said: "I have not seen the statement but the indication is it may have."

Photographs of U.S. military police abusing hooded prisoners in Abu Ghraib and accusations of abuse by British and other troops have fueled Arab and international anger, shaking President Bush (news - web sites)'s efforts to stabilize Iraq.

In Britain, an Iraqi witness alleged at a court hearing last week that UK soldiers had tortured detainees by beating and kicking them and pouring freezing water over them.

U.S. Private First Class Lynndie England, the 21-year-old military police officer who became the public face of inmate abuse at Abu Ghraib, faces a hearing on Tuesday to determine whether she will be tried on charges of abuse and committing indecent acts.

Karpinski told the BBC she never personally witnessed abuse at Abu Ghraib or at any of the prisons she commanded.

She has also said she was told by a military intelligence commander that detainees should be "treated like dogs."

It will be interesting to see where this story goes. I hope we get to the bottom of it, soon.

Sunday, August 01, 2004

What Do They Mean We All Look The Same?
Jack Answers

A few days back I posted an article about how the European High Level Advisory Group's "Dialogue Between Peoples and Cultures in the Euro-Mediterranean Area" posited the idea that promoting Christian Orthodoxy in Europe is a good idea because,

"... the enlarged Europe will move beyond the traditional relationship between Western Judeo-Christian Culture and Islam by incorporating people of Orthodox religion and culture: in addition to strengthening the role of Orthodoxy within the EU and beyond, this incorporation will transform the dialogue into a "trialogue". Furthermore, Orthodoxy sometimes leads to behavior which is surprisingly similar with that of Islam - particularly in relation to secularisation - which will have a major impact on, even radically change, the relationship between the enlarged Union and the Arab-Muslim world..."

I posed the question to my friend Jack, over at Jack Of Clubs, "What do you think they mean by that. Here's Jack's response:

Unfortunately there is not sufficient elaboration in the article to know exactly what they meant by the comparison between Orthodoxy and Islam. In my initial reading I had thought the reference was to the Orthodoxy Christians in Palestine, which would mean a basic similarity in their anti-Israeli stance. While this would certainly be an accurate observation (many Palestinian Christians refer to their Muslim fellow-Arabs as "brothers"), on a closer reading of the text it is clear that this is not what was intended. The Orthodox populations in question are evidently from the former Soviet Bloc countries that are now considering membership in the EU -- what Rumsfeld has referred to as New Europe.

In light of the second point, which refers to the Balkan region and which you do not quote, it seemed possible that the Orthodox in question were the Serbian people. This would also make a certain amount of sense in that the Serbs have been at war with their Muslim neighbors and can be said to have adopted similarly militant tactics. But it is difficult to see how this interpretation would square with the phrase "particularly in relation to secularisation" since Serbia is almost completely secularized.

So, I think your analysis that this is a secular culture looking with bemusement at all religions is probably pretty fair. The similarities in this case would be that both Orthodoxy and Islam have been resistant to modernization and both tend to be predominantly ethnic in distinction from the more cosmopolitan vision of Europe that is being advocated in this paper.

One point that may have occurred to you, but which you don't mention, is that this comparison is made specifically to de-emphasize the Jihad element of Islam. That is, it is not so much that the authors don't believe that this represents a real aspect of Islamic culture, but that they strongly suspect it does and want to hide that fact from themselves and their readers. Obviously, I have no direct evidence for this assertion, but some of the statements made in the executive summary and the earlier part of the article suggest this possibility to my imagination.

For instance, this statement about culture: "Culture is by nature egalitarian, giving equal weight to all its forms: it is therefore both the basis of and vehicle for an equitable relationship. But in no other area is there such scope for both misunderstanding and understanding: it is therefore the ideal area for equals to work together to clarify and enrich a Euro-Mediterranean relationship still littered with obstacles (mutual perceptions, role of the media, etc.) and denials (of rights, dignity, liberty, equality, etc.). Why should this relationship be made a priority? Certainly not to prevent a very hypothetical clash of civilisations, but rather in the certainty that the principal complementarities of the two halves of the Euro-Mediterranean area will, in the next half century, have been integrated into their day-to-day life: what we now have to do is prepare the ground for this." [emphasis mine]

To fully unpack this statement, and others like it throughout the article, would require a thorough discussion of the history of European thought, which we obviously do not have time for. But briefly this thinking divides cultures into three basic categories, often called Pre-modern, Modern and Post-modern.

The temporal element is crucial to this division, implying as it does a progression and, therefore, a necessary evolution of thought. This coincides with the "certainty that the ... two halves ... will have been integrated" in the quote above. The idea is to disallow the notion that ideas are to be judged on the basis of their truth, but rather to be accepted on the basis of their currency. Since I reject this notion, I prefer not to use the terminology and simply classify the three groups as Sacramental, Secular and Skeptical respectively. This has, admittedly, a somewhat Christocentric bias, since it would put groups like Islam and, say, the animist of Sudan in the Sacramental category, which is not a description they would probably approve. But since I do, in fact, see such cultures as essentially deviant from Christian truth, I am not particularly averse to this consequence.

The Sacramental or Pre-modern culture views all aspects of life as essentially integrated and related directly to a design of the universe as a whole. This design is usually expressed as the Will of God, although some cultures, such as Buddhism and Taoism, have a more impersonal view of the divine nature. In this view such disparate concerns as sexuality, politics, art and agriculture, though they can be discussed separately, are ultimately interrelated to each other and united under the divine plan. Thus the search for truth in one area has consequences in all other areas, and often implies very strict responsibilities that many people desire to escape. I could give examples, but I think most people can come up with plenty of their own without much prompting.

The Secular, or Modern, worldview was essentially designed to provide an escape from the responsibilities of Sacramentalism, without abandoning its comforting capacity to order existence. The main theme of secularism has been a mechanical view of the universe which operates on principles accessible to human reason. On this view of things, everything that occurs has a causal explanation but, lacking an intelligent will, makes no inconvenient demands upon human behavior. Initially, of course, it was thought that ethical standards could be derived from the nature of man, but such projects had a tendency to result in such disasters a the French Revolution and ultimately culminated in the concentration camps and gulags of the 20th century.

This failure, among other things, led to the view or set of views known as Post-modernism, which I have dubbed Skepticism. The post-modern critique of Modernism is based on the insight that Modernism's claim to Universal Truth was just as subjective and prejudicial as the earlier religious views it attempted to transcend. Every theory attempting to order life in accordance with some "meta-narrative" is questionable and is generally assumed to have its a basis in a will to dominance over others. Thus the post-modern ethic is based, not on Divine Will or its paler cousin Reason, but on such tropes as Cooperation, Understanding and, somewhat less robustly, Multi-Culturalism. An avoidance of conflict is thus a chief characteristic of this view, often resulting in the sort of denial seen in the quote cited above.

The curious thing about this view is that, though it pretends to a moral superiority over such retrograde cultures as Christianity and Islam, it cannot, by its very nature, directly confront them. To do so would be to admit the existence of some commonly accessible vantage point from which to offer its critique, in other words a meta-narrative, which is anathema to the whole project of this brand of Skepticism. At best it can note the putative "denials (of rights, dignity, liberty, equality, etc.)" which it ascribes to all such primitivisms. But such a critique relies on the moral inhibitions of the critiqued cultures to motivate them to respond accordingly. When it encounters a culture that rejects the very basis of the critique, such as militant Islam, this Skepticism really has no alternative but to retreat into condescending hauteur.

Jack nailed it right there. I must say though, that while I agree in some ways with his renaming and redefining of the three eras (Sacramental, Secular, and Sceptical) I do not fully agree. My opinion is, there really is such a thing as the Postmoder, and it is actually a stage in the development of human conciousness. Furthermore, it is my opinion that, within the last10-15 years, human kind has actually begun to move out of the Postmodern stage of evolution, into another stage which I call the Prefuture.

I will futher elaborate in a future post. For now, I just want to thank Jack for his thoughtful repsonse to my question.

I Recommend IsraPundit With Qualifications

For several months now the blog IsraPundit has appeared on my list of recommended blogs. I think they are an important source of information on Israeli issues and anti-Semitism. However, I want to state for the record that I do not generally agree with them on the issue of borders and how to deal with the Middle-East Problem.

Clearly, it could never be said that I would agree with everything posted on any particular blog. Just as a person does not agree with his friends on every issue, one will never agree with every posted viewpoint on a particular blog.

I guess one way to put it is, IsraPundit is like the friend you find to be knowledgeable and interesting but, with whom, you find little upon which to agree.

John Kerry Reporting For Doody

Belmont Club has an excellent post this morning which attempts to dissect Kerry's positions on issues of our current War and defense situations. As usual, Belmont Club writer, Wretchard is very thorough. It is worthwhile to read the whole thing, but the final paragraph is so important I want to post it to motivate you to read the rest:

Voters need more than an index of a Kerry administration retaliatory threshold to judge him as a potential Commander in Chief. Kerry should clarify how he plans to win, if not the present war, then at least a future one, if it comes according to his standard. The cast of characters, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan are unlikely to change. The electorate should be granted a glimpse into his roadmap to victory and whether he believes in the concept itself as distinct from mere retaliation. Any brawler with fists can retaliate but it requires a Commanders in Chief with a strategy to lead nations to victory. Even Bill Clinton was prepared to retaliate against Osama Bin Laden for the USS Cole attack by firing hundreds of cruise missiles at his training camps. But George Bush tried to defeat him and for this stood condemned. It is this precise striving for victory, not any single act of retaliation that has made George Bush so illegitimate in the liberal mind. For liberals retaliation is soley used to "send a message"; it always an invitation to negotiation, like the ones Johnson sent Ho Chi Minh without reply; it is never part of the solution itself. In this curious mental universe, force is immoral unless it is also pointless.

I must say, however, that while I think Wretchard is being thorough and fair in his attempted dissection of the Kerry Doctrine on Force. I think it would be easier to just look at two things Kerry has said in the past week to understand where he is coming from:


NEWBURGH, N.Y. (AP) - John Kerry said Friday he would put Osama bin Laden on trial in U.S. courts rather than an international tribunal to ensure the “fastest, surest route” to a murder conviction if the terrorist mastermind is captured while he is president.
“I want him tried for murder in New York City, and in Virginia and in Pennsylvania,” where planes hijacked by al-Qaida operatives crashed Sept. 11, 2001, Kerry said in his first interview as the Democratic presidential nominee.

Ok, so what if he gets the O.J. jury? After all, during the first World Trade Center bombing (1993) trial, Defense Attorney Ramsey Clark did successfully argue against the death penalty on issue of race.

Now, here's 2)

Any attack will be met with a swift and certain response.

John Kerry, reporting for doody.

Iraq The Model Goes Off On Spain, Australia, and Egypt

Thanks to No Pasaran for making me aware of this from Iraq The Model (blogger from inside Iraq):

I believe that the presence of this terror is just a matter of time, as hatred and deception can’t last forever, but the reactions of some parts provide it with the support it needs and give it a second chance. Yes, all we need is the will and determination to crush a company that is so close to bankruptcy but the disgraceful doings of some parts postpone it once again, like what Spain, Manilla and Egypt lately did.

What’s even worse and disgusting is that these governments smugly come and ask the admirably determined nation Australia to apologize while it’s them who must apologize to the whole world for their awful mistakes that encouraged terrorists and reassured them that their criminal tactics can work.These countries have found excuses for terror and gave the terrorists the motives to carry on with their plans as long as these plans can make "sovereign countries" yield in front of a true criminal action.They’re cooperating with the criminals and they make it easier for terrorists to increase their activities in Iraq and elsewhere.

This is the goal of terror and this is what these countries offered the terrorists on a gold plate. They’ve said clearly "do more of your work, as it will definitely bring an outcome that satisfy your sickness and illusions".

What happened today is a crime and these countries are partners in this crime whether they accept this fact or not. No can make us believe that these governments care about their citizens more than the governments of the USA, Italy, UK, Australia and other coalition members. Can anyone answer the question why those governments didn’t submit to the demands of the terrorists in their own lands, like Abu Sayaf in Philippines?!

The same applies to Egypt when dealing with the Islamic groups. Why was the sound of gunfire the only sound we heard when dealing with terror in their own lands? I believe the answer lies in the hypocrisy of these governments. They don’t care a sh*t about the lives of their citizens but they do care and A LOT about their individual and partisan interests. They follow the mob instead of leading them to what’s better for their future.

Can you answer the question what will be the response of Iraqis towards these horrible attacks? I’ll help you; These victims came to volunteer to serve their country as IP members and this is not the 1st time this happens and the response of Iraqis to such attacks was always more volunteers and longer lines. What does that tell you Philippine and Spanish government? If this is bravery and wisdom, then how should your actions be labeled?

Maybe it’s not your business? That would’ve been a more honest answer had you said it, but you’re not just cowards or stupid, you’re also hypocrites. This include all the "anti-war" crowd with all the clowns there such as Michael Moore and George Galloway and their likes. You make me SICK when you support the "Iraqi resistance" and call these killers a revolutionists. Did you watch your "resistance" today? This is what you support and this is how history will view you; supporters of murderers and criminals, and for what? Fame and money! Enjoy it. It won’t last, as the truth will soon be revealed and you'll be exposed to all as the disgusting parasites you are.

Whew! You better watch out Mohammed. Them's fighting words. People like Zapatero, Arroyo and maybe even the dread Chirac himself, may just get all up in a tizzy when they hear you called them out like that.