Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Dick Cheney Threatens The United States

Dick Cheney has, apparently, moved into the land of Looneyville today. He seems to be uttering threats against the United States. This from AP:

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Vice President Dick Cheney on Tuesday warned Americans about voting for Democratic Sen. John Kerry, saying that if the nation makes the wrong choice on Election Day it faces the threat of another terrorist attack.

The Kerry-Edwards campaign immediately rejected those comments as "scare tactics" that crossed the line.

"It's absolutely essential that eight weeks from today, on Nov. 2, we make the right choice, because if we make the wrong choice then the danger is that we'll get hit again and we'll be hit in a way that will be devastating from the standpoint of the United States," Cheney told about 350 supporters at a town-hall meeting in this Iowa city.

If Kerry were elected, Cheney said the nation risks falling back into a "pre-9/11 mind-set" that terrorist attacks are criminal acts that require a reactive approach. Instead, he said Bush's offensive approach works to root out terrorists where they plan and train, and pressure countries that harbor terrorists.

Cheney pointed to Afghanistan as a success story in pursuing terrorists although the Sept. 11 mastermind, Osama bin Laden, remains at large. In Iraq, the vice president said, the United States has taken out a leader who used weapons of mass destruction against his own people and harbored other terrorists.

"Saddam Hussein today is in jail, which is exactly where he belongs," Cheney said.

Democratic vice presidential candidate John Edwards issued a statement, saying, "Dick Cheney's scare tactics crossed the line today, showing once again that he and George Bush will do anything and say anything to save their jobs. Protecting America from vicious terrorists is not a Democratic or Republican issue and Dick Cheney and George Bush should know that."

I'm afraid I have to agree with John Edwards this time. Cheney's statement reminds me of Maxine Waters (another resident of Looneyville) and her "No Justice, No Peace" mantra.

Let me get this straight, Cheney is warning Americans that if Kerry is elected we stand the chance of being moved back into "a pre-9/11 minset" where terrorists acts would be treated as crimes, and then he cites the fact that Saddam Hussein is in jail awaiting a criminal trial as an example of Bush's success??!?

Speaking of mis-speaking.

I think the Bush-haters have been getting it wrong all these years. Apparently, Cheney is the idiot, not Bush.

Anyway, to be honest, I do think that Kerry would, as a President, be likely to treat terrorism as a crime, rather than as an act of war. I do agree with Cheney that that is the wrong tactic, and that the Jihadi mindset percieves such a tactic as a sign of weakness. I do agree that showing weakness will likely lead to more terror attacks in the long run. However, I also believe showing strength will likely lead to more terrorist attacks in the short run.

And, truthfully, none of us really know. It's not really a question of terrorist operations, it's a war against an enemy; Islamofascism.

I agree that we have to treat terrorism as an act of war, and I believe we have to take the war to the Islamofascists and beat them, and then we have to beat them some more, until they, like the Germans and Japanese before them, are afraid to even lift a finger anymore.

That is the way wars are won.

That being said, I think Cheney is going down a dangerous path when he tries to make the case that a vote for Kerry is a vote for more terrorism.

He comes off sounding a lot like a mafia shakedown artist working the protection rackets; "You can trust the police to protect you, or you can come to me as a friend and ask that I help. But, if you trust the police for your protection it is likely that something bad will happen to you."

Is that the image the Bush Administration wants to project. Maybe they should take the mic away from Cheney's mouth.

Thesaurus Rex

Thanks to DhimmiWatch for making me aware of this article from Daniel Pipes:

I know it when I see it" was the famous response by a U.S. Supreme Court justice to the vexed problem of defining pornography. Terrorism may be no less difficult to define, but the wanton killing of schoolchildren, of mourners at a funeral, or workers at their desks in skyscrapers surely fits the know-it-when-I-see-it definition.

The press, however, generally shies away from the word terrorist, preferring euphemisms. Take the assault that led to the deaths of some 400 people, many of them children, in Beslan, Russia, on September 3. Journalists have delved deep into their thesauruses, finding at least twenty euphemisms for terrorists:

Assailants - National Public Radio.
Attackers – the
Bombers – the
Captors – the
Associated Press.
Commandos –
Agence France-Presse refers to the terrorists both as "membres du commando" and "commando."
Criminals - the
Times (London).
Extremists –
United Press International.
Fighters – the
Washington Post.
Group – the
Guerrillas: in a
New York Post editorial.
Gunmen –
Hostage-takers - the
Los Angeles Times.
Insurgents – in a
New York Times headline.
Kidnappers – the
Observer (London).
Militants – the
Chicago Tribune.
Perpetrators – the
New York Times.
Radicals – the
Rebels – in a
Sydney Morning Herald headline.
Separatists – the
Christian Science Monitor.

And my favorite:

Activists – the Pakistan Times.

The origins of this unwillingness to name terrorists seems to lie in the Arab-Israeli conflict, prompted by an odd combination of sympathy in the press for the Palestinian Arabs and intimidation by them. The sympathy is well known; the intimidation less so.

Reuters' Nidal al-Mughrabi made the latter explicit in advice for fellow reporters in Gaza to avoid trouble on the Web site www.newssafety.com, where one tip reads:

"Never use the word terrorist or terrorism in describing Palestinian gunmen and militants; people consider them heroes of the conflict."

The reluctance to call terrorists by their rightful name can reach absurd lengths of inaccuracy and apologetics. For example, National Public Radio's Morning Edition announced on April 1, 2004, that "Israeli troops have arrested 12 men they say were wanted militants."

But CAMERA, the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America, pointed out the inaccuracy here and NPR issued an on-air correction on April 26: "Israeli military officials were quoted as saying they had arrested 12 men who were ‘wanted militants.' But the actual phrase used by the Israeli military was ‘wanted terrorists.'"

(At least NPR corrected itself. When the Los Angeles Times made the same error, writing that "Israel staged a series of raids in the West Bank that the army described as hunts for wanted Palestinian militants," its editors refused CAMERA's request for a correction on the grounds that its change in terminology did not occur in a direct quotation.)

Metro, a Dutch paper, ran a picture on May 3, 2004, of two gloved hands belonging to a person taking fingerprints off a dead terrorist. The caption read: "An Israeli police officer takes fingerprints of a dead Palestinian. He is one of the victims (slachtoffers) who fell in the Gaza strip yesterday."

One of the victims!

Euphemistic usage then spread from the Arab-Israeli conflict to other theaters. As terrorism picked up in Saudi Arabia such press outlets as The Times (London) and the Associated Press began routinely using militants in reference to Saudi terrorists. Reuters uses it with reference to Kashmir and Algeria.

Thus has militants become the press's default term for terrorists.

These self-imposed language limitations sometimes cause journalists to tie themselves into knots. In reporting the murder of one of its own cameraman, the BBC, which normally avoids the word terrorist, found itself using that term. In another instance, the search engine on the BBC website includes the word terrorist but the page linked to has had that word expurgated.

Politically-correct news organizations undermine their credibility with such subterfuges. How can one trust what one reads, hears, or sees when the self-evident fact of terrorism is being semi-denied?

Worse, the multiple euphemisms for terrorist obstruct a clear understanding of the violent threats confronting the civilized world. It is bad enough that only one of five articles discussing the Beslan atrocity mentions its Islamist origins; worse is the miasma of words that insulates the public from the evil of terrorism.

Thank you for that Mr. Pipes. Someone ought to nominate you for a government post of some sort. Oh wait...

The Jews Must Be Losing Their Grip On American Power

Thanks to No Pasaran for making me aware of this article from the International Herald Tribune. In a discussion about how the people's of different countries around the world feel about George Bush, there is this revealing fact:

When asked whether they prefer Bush or Kerry, Israelis prefer Bush by about 55 percent to 45 percent, in sharp contrast to American Jews, who seem to favor Kerry by about 75 percent to 25 percent.

Now, if the Jews control America shouldn't Kerry be doing better?

By the way, you can bet the numbers were the same for the Bush-Gore election in 2000. That's just the way it is here in America; the Jewish vote, like the African-American vote, goes primarily to the Democrats.

Maybe we should infer from that that the Jews have about as much control as Black people.

Monday, September 06, 2004

George Bush Is Exporting Our Jobs and Destroying Our Economy

Thanks to the Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler (what a name, and what a blog, filled with much more unleashed anger than CUANAS) for making me aware of these numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and for August, 2004. When Bush took office in Jan, 2001 employment was at 135,999,000.

Somehow Kerry claims we lost a million jobs, but instead of ending up with 135,999,000 – 1,000,000 = 134,999,000, we have 139,681,000, a gain of 3.682 million instead of a loss of one million, and a difference of 4.682 million from Kerry's constant fictions.

All this after a virtual crash in the stock market just eight months before Bush took office, and then 9/11 just eight months after Bush took office.

The Surreal World Of Manhattanites
The Liberal World Of New Yorkers Is A Windowless Monad

Art Spiegelman, author of the criticially acclaimed graphic novel Maus, and the new In The Shadow Of No Towers, was interviewed by U.S. News And World Report where he made a statement reveals the level of his isolation from the real world:

U.S. News: You covered the Republican convention for the New Yorker.

Spiegelman: It's very disconcerting to find out that Republicans actually exist. Up to now, Republicans only existed in my mind and the electronic media. A lot of what has happened in the last few years feels like that Orson Welles War of the Worlds thing. It's presented as authoritative, but I have the suspicion that it's fiction.

I've read similar quotes from other Manhattanites and college professors over the years. Always, I am just as shocked by their ignorance as they are by the reality of the world around them.

Well, welcome to the real world Mr. Spiegelman, where there isn't complete lockstep agreement 100% percent of the time.

By the way, just because Republicans exist doesn't mean you have to be friends with them, ok?


"Whoever changed his Islamic religion, then kill him."
Salih Bukhari, Volume 9, Book 84, Number 57

Thanks to DhimmiWatch.org for making me aware of this post from the Washington Times:

Christians from across the country traveled to Falls Church this weekend to attend the first Muslim Background Believers Convention, a cross-cultural conference aimed at improving understanding and relations between born-again Christians from Muslim backgrounds and born-again Christians from Protestant or Catholic backgrounds. They speak only under fictitious names assumed for the occasion.

Sponsored in part by the Baptist General Association of Virginia, the convention kept the registration and entrance process under tight security to protect the participants, many of whom say they face death threats or ostracism from their families for leaving the Islamic faith....
"We need to bridge that gap and love one another," says Mr. Noble, who, like other Christian converts at the conference, was concerned about anonymity because, he says, the Koran dictates that those who leave Islam be considered apostates and can be killed.

"For a Muslim to convert to Christianity is a very risky undertaking," Mr. Noble says. "If he does not go back to Islam, he could face death."

Although it is rare for converts to be killed in America because of their faith, many face ostracism from their families or denial of entrance to their former countries, he says.
"I was called by my embassy and told I'd better repent or I could not go back home with my family," says the conference organizer, a former member of the government in his native country.

To avoid punishment, many converts don't tell their families that they have left Islam. However, the Christian faith teaches its followers to obey the command, "Go ye into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature," as set out in the Gospel of St. Mark (16:15). Not being able to share their new faith can be distressing, says "Dania Smith," who converted from Islam in April.

"I think I'm going to have to tell them eventually because I want them to be Christians, too," she says.

Until then, however, she fears discovery and ostracism from her family, who live near her Virginia home.

"I know they're going to disown me if they don't kill me," she says.

"Leana Copeland," another convert, has been a Christian since March. Her Muslim family, who migrated from Jordan, does not know of her conversion. Already ostracized by her brothers because of her marriage to an American, she keeps contact only with her mother and sister.

"My brothers haven't spoken to me in the last couple years, and that was only because I married an American," she says. "Can you imagine what they would do if they found out I was a Christian?"

I very much agree with Robert Spencer's conclusion:

This is not a solely Christian issue. Freedom of conscience should be a concern of everyone who professes concern for human rights. The human rights organizations should be the first to defend these people. But they have yet even to notice that they exist.

Now, let me be clear, I do not consider ostracism a human rights issue. I consider ostracism a healthy control within society. Actually, ostracism is one of the main purposes of this blog. A repeated mantra of mine is that certain people should be "castigated and laughed out of normal society."

As a person who believes in "freedom of speech" and "freedom of conscience" I do not believe it is in society's interest to make laws concerning forms of speech or matters of conscience, such as religious preference.

But I stop at death threats. I'm sure most of you would agree with me on this.

I'm guessing that some of the people quoted in the above article are resorting to hyperbole when they say their family members would "kill them." However, having read of this very thing happening quite often in the Islamic world, and a few times here in the U.S., I think it is wise for us to take them seriously.

Wahabbi Jihad In Chechneya

Thanks to Roger Simon for making me aware of this post over at WindsOfChange, wherein Dan Darling writes a relatively comprehensive article about the political structure of the Jihad in Chechneya. One significant thing to note; the native Chechneyans practice Sufi Islam. Sufi Islam is a particularly peaceful branch of Islam:

... the essence of Sufi practice is quite simple. It is that the Sufi surrenders to God, in love, over and over; which involves embracing with love at each moment the content of one's consciousness (one's perceptions, thoughts, and feelings, as well as one's sense of self) as gifts of God or, more precisely, as manifestations of God.

Jeez, man, Christianity could do with a little more of that.

So, you might ask, how is it that the separatist movement of a country which is predominantly Sufi came to a place where they considered Infanticidal Terror an option?

Read on and discover for yourselves the truth about The Invasion Of The Killer Wahabbi Monsters. Excerpted below:

First of all, claims that this has to do with the Russian military presence in Chechnya completely misunderstand the situation. The problem with Chechnya, more or less, is that the Russians tried to surrender after their failure to bring the rebellious republic back into the fold in the first Chechen war and it didn't work. The country was taken over by a mixture of international terrorist organizations, Wahhabi theocrats, drug cartels, and other criminal organizations that subsided more or less on generous funding from Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states.

This funding helped the Wahhabis to finalize control over the institutional infrastructure of the de facto independent state and led for calls for the imposition of sha'riah even though most Chechens (and Caucasus Muslims in general) are Sufis. The al-Qaeda presence in Chechnya was headed up by bin Laden's protege Amir ibn al-Khattab,

since the fall of Grozny in 2002 the Chechen Wahhabi fighters under Basayev have increasingly been in ascendance and are set up along the following lines:

United Forces of the Caucasian Mujahideen: The Russians refer to this group as the Supreme Military Majlis ul-Shura of the Mujahideen Forces of Caucasus, but this is the coordinating organization under which all of the Chechen Wahhabi groups operate that is headed up by Shamil Basayev. It also includes the Chechen sha'riah court, which provides theological rationales for activities such as that which we witnessed in Beslan.

Islamic International Brigade (IIB): Commanded first by Khattab and then his late successor Abu Walid al-Ghamdi (a relative of 3 of the 9/11 hijackers), the IIB is also known as the "Arab brigade" or the al-Ansar Mujahideen due to the high percentage of Arab al-Qaeda fighters in its ranks. While other Chechen groups contain al-Qaeda members serving either as "officers" or in some kind of a military advisor capacity, the IIB is unquestionably the hub of the al-Qaeda presence in Chechnya.

Riyadus Salikhin: This is a Romanization of the Russified form of Riyadh al-Saliheen or Garden of the Righteous, which I believe comes from Islamic descriptions of Paradise. This is basically the Chechen equivalent to the Tamil Tigers' Black Tigers suicide bombing squad and essentially performs the same duties for the Chechen Wahhabis.

Basayev's terror offensive ...

Since August 21, Russia has been subject to a wave of Chechen terrorist attacks masterminded by Basayev and bankrolled by al-Qaeda through the personage of an Arab national named Abu Omar al-Saif who serves as the network's paymaster in the Caucasus.

Here's a basic chronology of Chechen attacks prior to Beslan:

From August 21-22, upwards of 60 Russian and Chechen-backed troops were slaughtered in and around the Russian-controlled Chechen capital of Grozny.

On August 24, we had the twin plane bombings apparently carried out by members of Riyadus Salikhin that killed 89.

On August 31, a double suicide bombing in Moscow killed 10, also perpetrated by members of Riyadus Salikhin.

Basayev's reasons for selecting North Ossetia in general and Beslan in particular are obvious to one familiar with the warped nature of al-Qaeda and its fellow travelers. Unlike most of the North Caucasus, most North Ossetians are Eastern Orthodox Christians, so it "makes sense" to target them rather than say Russian Muslim schoolchildren in Ingushetia or Dagestan if you're a Wahhabi who subscribes to bin Laden's belief in a Huntingtonian-esque clash of civilizations.

I should point out that regardless of what one thinks about Russian involvement in Chechnya, the people of Beslan had no power whatsoever to effect Russian policy in region.

However, I should point out that Basayev's ambitions extend far beyond just Chechen independence, so everybody saying that a political solution to the Chechen war or Russian withdrawl from the region is going to solve the issue is going to be sorely disappointed.

Here's Amir Ramzan, one of Basayev's flunkies, in an interview with the Chechen propaganda website Kavkaz Center from last year:

Q: From your words I can assume that you operate not only in Chechnya but all over the North Caucasus.

R: Yes, very much so. Not only we carry out raids to various areas in the Caucasus, but we also form local Jama’ats, militant sabotage groups locally. We are joined by a lot of Kabardinians, Dagestanis, Karachaevans, Ingushetians and even Ossetians (Muslims).

Q: That means that those in Russia who say that you want to create a caliphate in the Caucasus from sea to sea, are right?

R: Yes, it is so. Since they are unwilling to negotiate with us, then we’ll be doing what we can. And there is a lot we can do. Next year the war will seize the entire Caucasus from the Caspian Sea to the Black Sea. I swear by Allah, this is only the beginning.

Note that his reference to negotiations refers to the establishment of a caliphate from the Black Sea to the Caspian, not to Russian withdrawl from Chechnya. So unless one wants Putin to consider placing millions of people in the hands of these madmen, there is really very little for him to negotiate with Basayev about.

Wow, it's almost as if there were a World War going on.

Putin Gets It

Thanks to PowerLine for making me aware of these quotes from Vladimir Putin's speech in response to the Islamofascist Beslan Massacre:

What happened was a terrorist act that was inhuman and unprecedented in its cruelty. It is a challenge not to the president, the parliament and the government but a challenge to all of Russia, to all of our people. It is an attack on our nation.

We showed weakness and weak people are beaten.

Terrorists think that they are stronger, that they will be able to intimidate us, to paralyze our will, to erode our society. It seems that we have a choice: to resist or to cave in and agree with their claims; to give up and allow them to destroy and to take Russia apart, in hope that eventually they would leave us alone.

As president, as the head of the Russian state, as a man who gave an oath to protect the country and its integrity, as a citizen of Russia, I am convinced that in fact we do not have any choice, because as soon as we allow ourselves to be blackmailed and to panic, we shall immerse millions of people in a series of bloody conflicts, similar to Karabakh, Trans-Dnestria and other well known tragedies.

We cannot but see the evident: we are dealing not with separate acts of intimidation, not with individual forays of terrorists. We are dealing with the direct intervention of international terror against Russia, with total and full-scale war, which again and again is taking away the lives of our compatriots.

The Islamofascists ought to ask Germany what happens when you have the combined forces of America, Britain and Russia fighting against you at the same time.

Sunday, September 05, 2004

Can Europe Be Expected To Understand America
When They Could Never Afford To Behave As America Does?

Belmont Club has an important post today on the subject of Russia's options in repsonse to Islamofascist Terrorism vs. the United States options:

Little public analysis has been devoted to options realistically available to Vladimir Putin in response to the massacre of schoolchildren in Ossetia. The fact is that the world has been spoiled by looking at the world through the prism of the American media. When President Bush stopped to consider his response to September 11, he had a range of options available only to a nation as unimaginably powerful as the United States of America. Japanese newspapers reported that President Bush was offered the nuclear option immediately after the attack, probably as an extreme in a range that included filing a diplomatic protest on the opposite end of the spectrum, which he rejected, choosing instead to do what no other country could do: take down the state sponsors of terrorism and pursue the terrorists to the four corners of the earth. America's unmatched power allowed President Bush to select the most humane course of war available. No European power, nor all of them put together, could have embarked on such a precise campaign for lack of means. It was a rich man's strategy, a guerre de luxe.

But no one who has seen the rags and hodgepodge of equipment issued to the Russian Special Forces can entertain any illusion that Vladimir Putin can go around launching raids with hi-tech helicopters, or follow around perps with robotic drones before firing, or use satellite-guided bombs to wipe out enemy safe houses that have been seeded with RFID chips. Nor will those detained by Russia gain weight the way detainees have done at the "inhuman" Gitmo prison. That's an American way of war which even Europeans can only regard with envy. The poor must respond with less. When the Nepalese saw the video of their 12 compatriots executed by terrorists in Iraq, they did what you could do with a box of matches: they burned the mosque in Kathmandu.

While Russia can do better than a box of matches, the reality is that its poverty and low-tech force structure will make any response that Putin may choose a brutal and largely indiscriminate affair unless it is subsumed into the larger American-led Global War on Terror. The real price of the European vacation from history is its abandonment of the first principle of civilization. Unless there is common justice, there will be vigilante justice.

In this post, Wretchard points to something that never occurred to me previously, but which might go a long way towards explaining Europe's, and the Left's, hysterical reaction to the War on Islamofascist Terrorism. Europe's experience, and therefore their knowledge, of war is the history of European wars. European wars, right up to the time of Ceaucescu's Romania and the recent conflict in Bosnia, have been brutal and bloody, inhumane on an almost incomprehensible scale. The lefts' knowledge of war is limited by their enforced pacifism, which causes them to turn away from the study of military technique and to file the footage (which they might happen upon on the TV news) of military actions under the heading of propoganda.

I, Pastorius, have tended towards pacifism in my life, so I understand the mindset. The Gulf War was a revelation to me. Back in the 80's the big media line was that America was losing the tech battle to Japan. Japan was building more stylish cars at a better price, cheaper and more reliable gadgets, etc. What was generally being lost in the hysteria was that America innovated and Japan refined. But, to be truthful, there was somewhat of a silence on the innovation front in the 80's, or at least that appeared to be true. The Gulf War (as well as the 90's tech boom - which does not matter to this discussion) proved those concerns to be unfounded.

Where had American innovation gone? It had gone into the military innovation of the Reagan era. Until the Gulf War, we were not aware of the amazing innovations in American military tecnology. I recall the Evening News bringing us footage of a guided missile, with a mounted camera, being fired from a fighter jet, and finding it's way down the air-shaft of it's targeted building before exploding. Shortly thereafter, the media attacked the credibility of this footage. They seriously informed us that less than half of these so-called smart bombs found their way to their target, but instead were liable to explode in the midst of civilians.

But, I Pastorius, gung-ho American (Chomsky reader) that I was, got the point; America was trying to develop more accurate weaponry, which gradually would mean less civilian casualties.

In fact, the Iraq War, itself, even though it has been largely fought in cities, has apparently produced surprisingly few civilian deaths. The media, which spent weeks and weeks on Abu Ghraib, several months back reported something in the range of 10,000 deaths caused by the Iraq War. There was no attempt made to distinguish between combatants and non-combatants. But, the point is, given media hysteria at a lesser American misdeed (yes, I am assuming that torture, when it is not official policy, is less evil than civilian death), I would imagine that, if civilian deaths numbers were to suddenly drastically increase, we would be hearing about it.

As Belmont Club points out, this is a very expensive type of War.

Saturday, September 04, 2004

Jihadist's Show Their Real Face - The Face Of Evil

I sit here today and find myself seething. What the Jihadist Islamofascists did yesterday in Russia is, to my mind, as bad, if not worse, than September 11th. The magnitude of 9/11 was clearly worse, but the fact that this time they specifically targeted children fills me with revulsion and disgust.

Yesterday, I saw cries of sympathy and compassion from around the world, coming out for the Russians. Today there is this, the European Union demands an explanation.

This echoes what happened to the U.S., post 9/11. On September 12th LeMonde ran the famous headline "We Are All Americans." I bought it hook, line, and sinker. By the very next day the tidal wave of America-had-it-comingisms were in full effect.

Here, from AP, is all you need to know in order to understand that the Russians did the right thing by storming the siege:

A police explosives expert told NTV television that the commandos stormed the building after bombs wired to basketball hoops exploded in the gymnasium, where many of the children were being held. A captive who escaped told NTV that a suicide bomber blew herself up in the gym.

A hostage who escaped told the AP that the militants numbered 28, including women wearing camouflage uniforms. The hostage, who identified himself only as Teimuraz, said the militants began wiring the school with explosives as soon as they took control. He, too, said they had placed bombs on both basketball hoops in the gym.

The bomb expert said the gym had been rigged with explosives packed in plastic bottles strung up around the room on a cord and stuffed with metal objects.

The militants, some with explosives strapped to their bodies, stormed the school in Beslan on Wednesday morning

The geniuses at the E.U. who are "demanding" an explanation of Russia are not stupid. They can read and process information. They just refuse to acknowledge the truth before their eyes.

Why would the Islamofascist infanticidal serial-killers wear bomb belts and plant bombs in a building they were occupying?

Even though that was a rhetorical question, I will answer for the fancypants over in the E.U. The answer is, the Islamofascist Infanticidal Serial-Killers clearly, from the very beginning of the siege, intended to kill themselves, and everyone else, if they did not get their way.

And what is their way? From Reuters:

MOSCOW - Rebels linked to the school hostage-taking seek independence from Russia and most want to make Chechnya (news - web sites) a sovereign Muslim nation.

They want to instate Sharia.

And what's more, the work of the Chechen Islamofascist Infanticidal Serial-Murderers is supported and masterminded by Al Qaeda. From Bloomberg:

Al-Qaeda Statement
A group loyal to Ayman al-Zawahiri, second-in-command to al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden, claimed responsibility for the assault in a statement posted on an Islamic Web site, Islamic Minbar.

Really, enough said.

Friday, September 03, 2004

Democratic National Committee Says Bush Has Assumed Dictatorial Powers

Here's a link to a page on Reuter's which features an ad, paid for by the Democratic National Committe, which depicts George Bush wearing a King's crown, with the headline, "Dethrone Bush."

They are implying that George Bush has subverted the Constitution, and assumed dictatorial powers.

You will not hear Bush respond to this.

Meanwhile, Kerry will whine and cry and threaten to sue over every Swift Boat Vet ad.

Tell me, which would be the worse crime of which to be accused, being a Dictator, or filing false papers with the military to win medals of honor?

The Democratic National Committee represents John Kerry officially. The Swift Boat Vets do not represent Bush.

My Road To Damascus

Anti-Chomsky posted a long, but important testimony entitled My Road To Damascus, which I will not attempt to excerpt here. However, I do highly reccomend reading it. One of his points is that Liberalism in it's "universalism" was destined to come to a place where it would reject Jewish "particularism". Thus, Liberalism was destined to fight against Israel, and, by extension, any Jew who supports Israel.

If this is true, and I believe it is, then Liberalism is also destined to fight against American "individualism", or Liberty.

Included in his testimony (that's the best name I can think of for his post) is his description of his ideological odyssey from "progressivism" to "conservative" (which is what he terms his current philosophical leaning).

His post echoes and elucidates so many of my feelings and so many of the steps in my own odyssey.

I, unlike Mr. Anti-Chomsky, was not raised Jewish. I was raised a Christian. I accepted Christ as my Savior, and as the Lord of my life, when I was 13 years old. I was baptised two weeks later. For the next five years I read the Bible and Biblical commentaries for probably 1 to 2 hours a day. Thus the Bible, and the Christian tradition, became my first intellectual training ground.

Then I went to college and lost faith in almost all that I had studied. The only two things I never lost faith in were

1) that God loved me, and everyone with an unaccountable and awesome love, and

2) that the "Christ story" (as I came to mystify it) - of God loving us all so much that he was willing to take on flesh, become a human and suffer great indignity so that his blood could enter the human continuum and inoculate our lives against death - was true in some Platonic lands of forms, or Jungian collective unconcious, even if it, perhaps, wasn't a real occurence of history.

I felt that I had to explain my Christian history in order to explain the following to you. When I was 27 or so, I began my long climb out of the intellectual and spiritual depression which into which I had fallen. It gradually became clear to me that what I believed in did matter. That the "Christ story" did make sense as a historical fact and in truth, it actually can be used as one way of explaining the changes in human society which have occurred during the last 2000 years.

I began to notice that all my hip friends who so rejected Christianity as being superstitious and intellectually barbaric were willing to fall for all sorts of pseudo-mystical b.s. (Astrology, Self-healing with crystals, Wicca, Paganism, Native American lore babbled by white americans who didn't make it out of their mid-life crisis intact, etc. etc. etc.). In short, they would fall for all the thousand gods of history but they would not get on their knees for the one faith which had clearly inseminated Western Civilization.

However, when I began to seek out fellow believers once again, I found an intellectual oppression almost the equal of the intellectual idiocy of my "hip" friends. Most Christians sit in such egotistical assurance of their understanding of the "truth" that they never feel the need to question, they frown on arguing and analysis. I find that sick and weak-minded.

My Jewish friends, on the other hand, who were also (as so many people do) returning to their faith in their late 20's and early 30's, did not refrain from questioning their faith, or analyzing the Bible.

For a couple of years, my wife and I seriously discussed converting to Judaism.

However, there was one small problem. I still believed in Christ, and, realizing there really is nothing more offensive to many Jews than a "Jew for Jesus", I decided that we would join a Church and do the best we could within the Christian structure. It has worked out better than I would ever have imagined.

One of the things that has helped us is that my wife and I have made a study of the Judaic roots of Christianity. Some of the stories in the "New Testament" only really come to life when one understands Jewish traditions and literature. I do not claim any expertise on this subject, I 'm just saying it helps.

Another thing we have started to do is celebrate Shabbat (that's why I often do not post on Saturdays. We are not very good at keeping the Sabbath (my wife and I are pretty undisciplined people, both of us being artsy types), but we are slowly integrating it into our lives.

Anyway, I go into all this so you might understand how I Pastorius, a former Chomsky-ite myself, came to spend hours everyday obsessing over CUANAS, this Christian blog which attempts to fight against anti-Semitism.

Because I have studied the Bible I know that the Jews gave us our entire faith. The Bible was written by Jews. Jesus was addressed as Rabbi. Paul was a Rabbi. His thought was Judaic, although he sometimes sold his ideas with a Greek spin.

Judaic thought is the foundation and life of Christianity. There is no separating the branches from the vines, nor the vines from the root. Read Romans. Anyone who would discount this idea stands to be pruned from the vine himself.

Now, a Christian can look at that literally (going to hell) or figuratively, but it remains true that the "New Testament" makes this point and makes it in some of the strongest language used in those letters which are so filled with love language.

I came to realize that, because Judaism is the foundation of Christianity, and Christianity is the foundation of Western Civilization, therefore, Judaic thought is the foundation of Western Civilization. The Christian Church gave Judaic thought it's worldly power to spread across continents into the lives of a large portion of the world's population. Jews not being evangelicals by nature, never tried to sell their ideas to the world at large.

Thank God for us Christian imperialists, huh?

I relate to Mr. Anti-Chomsky's odyssey. Mine, obviously is not the same on the outside. However, the feelings and the ideological progression were very close to being the same.

After 9/11, as I have mentioned here before, I began to spend hours reading the news everyday. At first, I was simply trying to figure out why there were so many people in Europe and America who thought we had it coming.

Then I started to see that the same people who thought we deserved 9/11 hated the Jews even more.

I will leave you with this, from the Comments section to the Anti-Chomsky "Road To Damascus" post:

Anonymous said...

My road to Damascus took place while I attended college at an "elite" northeastern University. I entered as a Naderite at age 18, but became quickly disillusioned with the sort of narrow-mindedness, groupthink, and ignorance displayed by the leftist on campus. I started to drift away during my first three years.

Then early my senior year, I discovered one sunny morning that a group of religious fanatics had murdered close to 3,000 people in an attempt to murder 50,000. The vast majority were civilians, and the vast majority were in my hometown of New York.

And sure enough, within days, before any U.S. action to defend itself had taken place, these "progressives" were out on campus denouncing the U.S. There weren't many of them, but they were there, and it occurred to me at this point that these people were not driven by an ideology, even an extreme one, but some sort of a reflexive, nihilistic hatred.

These people claimed they hated war, yet they wanted to do nothing to stop a war that had claimed millions of lives in Afghanistan, and was beginning to spill over into the U.S.

These people claimed that the rich were oppressors, yet they wanted to do nothing to stop a multi-millionaire and his army of wealthy bourgeois fanatics.

These people claimed they were for women’s rights, gay rights, and religious tolerance, and yet wanted to do nothing to stop a force that, in Afghanistan, had turned women into less than beasts of burden, murdered homosexuals, and had massacred thousands of "heretical" Shi'ite Muslims.

These people claimed they were against imperialism, yet they wanted to do nothing to stop the Pakistani/Saudi colonial domination of Afghanistan.

So that was the end of my self-identification as a “progressive”. I would rather be a thinking man than a mindless automaton, and if thinking led me to “incorrect” conclusions, so be it.

And no, I haven’t been to church since 9/11, either.-Nietzsche-quoting anonymous guy

Thursday, September 02, 2004

France Threatens Pre-emptive Use Of Nuclear Weapons Against "Rogue States"
World Ignores and Snores

From The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, with commentary from JoshuaClaybourne.com:

In the fall of 2003, the French media reported that a major shift in the country's nuclear policy was under way. On October 27, the headline of the daily Libération screamed, "Chirac's Small Bombshell: France Will Soon Revise its Deterrence Strategy in Order to Be Able to Strike 'Rogue States,' Even Preventively." The newspaper reported that France would announce a new nuclear doctrine that would take into account "rogue states" with weapons of mass destruction, and that new weapons were being considered to deal with such threats.

In the fall of 2003, the French media reported that a major shift in the country's nuclear policy was under way. On October 27, the headline of the daily Libération screamed, "Chirac's Small Bombshell: France Will Soon Revise its Deterrence Strategy in Order to Be Able to Strike 'Rogue States,' Even Preventively." The newspaper reported that France would announce a new nuclear doctrine that would take into account "rogue states" with weapons of mass destruction, and that new weapons were being considered to deal with such threats.

It has always surprised me that the media has let France get away with claiming to be a spokescountry for a "multipolar" world, when in fact France's policy for three hundred years has been remarkably consistent: Let France be France. Paris has never worried about entangling alliances, because it will simply enter or leave them as it sees fit. That its military is not always able to cash the checks its diplomats write is simply a consequence of France's domestic political problems and its rather poor (but beautiful!) geographic endowment.

The announcement that France also takes rogue states seriously never really entered into the American debate on multilateralism, especially partnership with France and Schroeder's Germany. Nor, somehow, did France's last round of nuclear testing manage to make a dent in its reputation as a bunch of brie-consuming appeasement chimps. And, of course, France's actions in Algiers and at home signify that the residents of the Elysée Palace (good photo here are far more anti-Islam than anyone has ever seriously accused those living in the Maison Blanche.

The rest of the article confirms that France, far from being weak of word, is indeed sharpening its saber. The same countries that concern us, concern them. As the French defense minister said in November 2003, "At the time when we see countries with non-democratic and sometimes uncontrollable governments--one could mention North Korea, Iran, Pakistan--at the time when we see a whole bunch of countries acquiring nuclear weapons, should we let our guard down?" And official French sources can sound downright Bushian at times:

Gen. Henri Bentegeat, France's chief of defense, expounded, "Each dictator possessing [weapons of mass destruction] must realize that, should he choose to strike France's vital interests, he would be immediately exposed to the destruction of all his centers of power and of all his military centers with sufficiently accurate weapons with an adequately limited yield." Such a "more targeted" nuclear deterrence is judged necessary to "threaten dictators for whom human life does not count and who would be ready to sacrifice their countries."

France is tough, man. How is it that they say these things and they don't get reported in the American Media? I've heard endless criticism that the Bush Administration is stupid and unaware of the basic facts and issues that concern to the people of the U.S., it's allies, and the world in general. But, this is the first hard evidence I've seen that maybe they really are unaware. The fact that the Bush Administration sits quietly and takes French criticism for U.S. "unilateralism", while France's goes around the world making pronouncements like this, tells me that one of two thihgs is true about the Bush White House; either

1) they are unaware of French policy,


2) they absolutely don't care what France thinks.

Now, I doubt George W. Bush himself reads The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, but I have a hard time believing that, as a group, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice, Powell, could be unaware of these French policy pronouncements. This leads me to the reluctant, and bewildering, conclusion that the Bush Administration not only doesn't much care what France thinks, but they don't have much concern (even here in Election Year 2004) about making their case to the American people. But it's almost impossible to believe the latter when you watch the Convention. This just doesn't make sense to me.

Am I crazy here? Don't you think the Americans would be shocked to know that while Old Europe castigates American unilateralism, they are actually instituting the same policy, on a grander scale (considering they are threatening Nuclear Retaliation against vaguely defined "rogue states", which the U.S. has not done) than the United States.

Don't you think that Americans in general (I mean in the 70-80% range) would see the blatant, historical hypocrisy of the European criticism of America? Wouldn't this effectively castrate the Kerry campaign considering he has been clearly arguing for following Old Europe's lead towards a kind of ill-defined pacifism?

This is one more example of Europe sitting around and acting self-righteous while they have us carry out their dirty work, all the while holding the trump card that (in theory) they would go even further than we would, if they had to.

They don't have to spend money on defense. We do their defense for them. And they criticize us for doing it. And all the while they are saying they wouldn't bother with the precision weapons and actual troops on the ground, they would just wipe "rogue states" off the map entirely.

And we let them get away with this hypocrisy.

Oh well, the convention isn't over yet. Maybe this will be brought up.

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Al Jazeera Will Broadcast More Of The Republican Convnetion
Than CBS, ABC and NBC Combined

SF Gate reports on Al Jazeera's coverage of the Republican National Convention:

For 40 million viewers in the Arab world, Al-Jazeera, a Qatar-based satellite television channel, provides a window into the intricate world of American politics. This week, its 16 reporters and staff will air 13 hours of broadcasts from the convention -- more time than the combined coverage of America's major television networks, ABC, CBS and NBC.

That is a travesty and ABCCBSNBC should be ashamed of themselves. I'm sure Dan Rather is turning over in his grave at this very minute. Al Jazeera's focus on the issues at hand is a clearly the result of the fact that the Arab world is not yet dominated by American Hegemony.

Back to SF Gate:

For many of Al-Jazeera's viewers in the Middle East, these insights into the American political system are more than an excursion into foreign politics, said Hafez al-Mirazi, the Al-Jazeera Washington bureau chief.

"American politics for them is almost domestic politics," said al-Mirazi. "The Arabic society wants to know how serious are the statements they hear about America's commitment to democracy."

Al-Jazeera's coverage of the U.S. political process may be equally important for Washington, analysts say. The success of the U.S.-led war against international terrorism and the course of its occupation of Iraq -- two issues that dominate the presidential campaign -- ultimately will be affected by the Arab world's perception of America's intentions.

"We failed to conduct our diplomacy with the Middle East, which led to resentment toward U.S. policies" there, said Najib Ghadbian, a professor of Middle East Studies at the University of Arkansas.

"If a credible channel such as Al-Jazeera covers the U.S. extensively, I think the educated and more sophisticated audiences may see that, yes, there is something to what the U.S. is saying, and maybe they are really interested in bringing democracy to the region," Ghadbian said.
Al-Mirazi agreed.

Al-Jazeera, which airs news and public affairs programs round-the-clock, also struggles to shake the image of a channel biased against America and Israel. Its broadcasts of unedited videos of Osama bin Laden, its often provocative talk shows and its gruesome coverage of the war in Iraq have earned it nicknames such as "Taliban TV."

A U.S. bomb hit Al-Jazeera's Baghdad headquarters last year, killing one reporter and contributing to the channel's strained relationship with the White House. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has called Al-Jazeera's coverage of the Iraq war "violently anti-coalition," and last month Iraq's pro-American interim government shut down the network's Baghdad offices for "inciting violence."

"It's important to change our image from 'Al-Jazeera, comma, Osama bin Laden's mouthpiece, comma,' " said Stephanie Thomas, the Washington bureau manager for the channel. "We have no agenda, no spin. We want senior American policy-makers to go on the air and talk to our viewers."

This seems like great news. I do wonder what they choose to edit out and how their commentators spin the content.

Thanks to Instapundit for making me aware of this.

Let's All Put A Moratorium On The Sam Harris Mentions Please

My friends out there in blog land. Please, stop giving Sam Harris attention. Every time you mention his book he probably sells another 100-500 copies, at least. His ideas are anachronisms posing as secular prophecy.

Here's what Publishers Weekly had to say about his book:

In this sometimes simplistic and misguided book, Harris calls for the end of religious faith in the modern world. Not only does such faith lack a rational base, he argues, but even the urge for religious toleration allows a too-easy acceptance of the motives of religious fundamentalists. Religious faith, according to Harris, requires its adherents to cling irrationally to mythic stories of ideal paradisiacal worlds (heaven and hell) that provide alternatives to their own everyday worlds. Moreover, innumerable acts of violence, he argues, can be attributed to a religious faith that clings uncritically to one set of dogmas or another.

Very simply, religion is a form of terrorism for Harris.

Predictably, he argues that a rational and scientific view—one that relies on the power of empirical evidence to support knowledge and understanding—should replace religious faith. We no longer need gods to make laws for us when we can sensibly make them for ourselves. But Harris overstates his case by misunderstanding religious faith, as when he makes the audaciously naïve statement that "mysticism is a rational enterprise; religion is not." As William James ably demonstrated, mysticism is far from a rational enterprise, while religion might often require rationality in order to function properly. On balance, Harris's book generalizes so much about both religion and reason that it is ineffectual.

Now, I am not as well-educated as Sam Harris. All I have is a B.A. from a lame State University. I am mostly self-educated. If I recall correctly, Harris is in the Doctoral Program at USC. Very impressive. But, tell me, with such a high-powered education, how is it that he missed the fact that these ideas, which he propounds as if he were the first to pluck them from the Tree of Knowledge, have actually been argued on a Western culture-wide level for several hundred years already.

These ideas reached their culmination and finally aquired their lethal power from, most notably, Nietzche and Marx, among other nineteenth century philosophers and social theorists.

These are the ideas that spawned the 20th century. These are the ideas that led to Stalinism, Nazism, the two World Wars, the Holocaust, Pol Pot, etc. All of those twentieth century catastrophes were the logical extension of the the ideas that Harris now puts forth as if they were original.

These ideas have already been thoroughly discredited.

So, why give him any credence? Each mention increases the sense of legitimacy he enjoys in society. With legitimacy comes power and influence. Do you want to contribute to the proliferation of discredited and dangerous ideas?

Ideas are capable of breeding terrible monsters.

America Is Optimistic - Britain Is Sour And Negative

Shout for joy, Melanie Phillips is back from vacation:

Optimists and reactionaries

Having just spent three weeks in the US, I was struck once again by how similar and yet how very different that country is from Britain. The thing that really hits you between the eyes is the optimism. You meet it again and again in everyday situations, particularly in the cheerfulness with which Americans deliver any services that are required. Instead of the surly jobsworths of Britain who are always doing you an enormous and onerous favour, American waitresses, counter staff, car park attendants and the rest all convey the impression that they are actually delighted to share the human race with you.

This sunny attitude is surely rooted in America's belief in itself as a force for good in the world, the certainty that American values can make the world a better place. This, of course, is precisely what gets up the nostrils of the cynical, sour, negative Brits.

I want to cut in here and say that when I visited England I found the people to be very pleasant. I did not have the typical American experience of rude waiters, shopowners, or people who would not help with directions. The English people were very helpful and polite. But, of course I, Pastorius, am one of the most charming people you will ever meet (see the rest of this blog for proof - that's a joke, ha ha).

However, I also found the English people, in general to be dour and almost ominously quiet. Same thing in France. There was an almost palpable, but inexplicable feeling of oppression. By oppression, I do not mean governmental oppression, in the classic sense. Instead, I mean a kind of spiritual oppression; the grief and despair of a people who see no hope.

It was a very strange feeling.

That's all completely subjective, of course. But, I'll bet Melanie would agree with my description.

Back to Melanie:

And maybe this helps account for the astonishing and irrational hatred of President Bush. For the dominant force in British society is the opposite belief, that this country's values are rotten and have to be replaced -- and indeed that the whole edifice of western culture is oppressive and coercive and has brought only misery to the rest of the planet. It is a profoundly reactionary viewpoint, anti-progress, which is increasingly having the effect of returning us to a pre-modern state of social anarchy -- despite the fact that it is espoused by people who call themselves 'liberal' or 'progressive'.

There was a time, of course, when liberal progessives believed they had a mission to improve the world by promoting values such as truth, law, justice, morality and freedom. That, of course, is precisely what Bush believes he must do (and, for that matter. so does Tony Blair). For that, he is denounced and vilified as a war-mongering imperialist. Democratic nation-building is now regarded as the new fascism. But the fact is that Bush has stolen the clothes from off the progressives' backs. Ironically, it is now Bush, the man of the right, who is the optimist who believes in building a better world. It is the left, by contrast, who now believe in preserving the tyrannical and murderous status-quo. In this respect, indeed, Bush is not conservative at all but an old-fashioned liberal radical (which is why truly reactionary conservatives such as Pat Buchanan hate him too, and have ended up singing from the same hymn-sheet as the progressives.)

And by golly, do they hate him. For although Britain has far more comprehensively lost its nerve and moral fibre, the culture of irrational hatred, lies and sheer unadulterated spite is raging in the US too like a forest fire. In a Borders bookshop in New York, I leafed through the following new titles: 'The I Hate (Dick Cheney, John Ashcroft, Donald Rumsfeld, Condi Rice) Reader -- Behind the Bush Cabal's War on Terror'; 'The Book on Bush: How George W (Mis)leads America'; 'All the President's Spin: George W Bush, the Media and the Truth' (sic); 'Billionaires for Bush: How to Rule the World for Fun and Profit'; 'Now They Tell Us: The American Press and Iraq'; and the number one New York Times bestseller (natch): 'Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them: A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right' (yes, really).

I see these books on display all the time, as well, but I have my own little way of dealing with the situation. I simply go around the store and pick out stuff like Pam Anderson's book, Mad Magazine, Romance novels with lurid covers, and, last but not least, Mein Kampf. And then I bring to Bushitler display and simply intersperse my collection of silliness and idiocy with all the hate-Bush books.

Sudanese Government Supports Killing and Raping Black Men, Women and Children

Thanks to JihadWatch.org for making me aware of this article from the Khaleej Times Online:

Janjaweed shares camps with Sudan govt army: Human Rights Watch(DPA)27 August 2004

WASHINGTON - With a UN sanctions deadline looming, an international human rights group on Thursday charged that the Sudanese government army was sharing at least five camps with Janjaweed militia blamed for massive ethnic cleansing in western Sudan.

The New York-based Human Rights Watch said the five camps were among 16 Janjaweed miilitia camps identified through its investigators in West and North Darfur.

Smoking gun; the Arab Muslim government of Sudan is sponsoring the genocide and enslavement of the black male population, the enslavement, torture and rape of black women, and the enslavement and rape of black children.