Saturday, December 18, 2004

Dhimmi Watch Banned In London?

The following quote is a comment left on the JihadWatch website:

I was using the internet in my local library in London. I could access www.jihadwatch but when I tried to click onto dhimmiwatch the computer wouldn't let me, saying that is was censored by the borough as hate speech.

I'm beginning to suspect that sites with jihad in the title might be allowed as they assumed to be pro-Jihad but those with dhimmi in the title are banned as they are assumed to be anti-dhimmitude.

I think I have a few British readers. If any of you happen to read this, could you tell me if this is true? This sounds a little hard to believe.

UPDATE: Sue, a reader from England wrote in and said she had no trouble accessing Dhimmi Watch. She speculates that it is just the policy of the library. That sounds plausible.

Anti-Semites Reign In The Streets Of Oakland

There was a protest rally the other day in Oakland, against AIPAC. The anti-Semities came out in full glory. Go here for the photos and read the story, from ZombieTime.

The Mystery Achievment of Lasting Power

From Mystery Achievment:

The Twilight Of The False Gods

For all the gods of the nations are idols,but the LORD made the heavens.--Psalm 96(95):5

After reading the news story on the poll of Europeans and their firmly and uniformly negative opinion of President Bush, I knew I wouldn't be able to sleep without conducting a poll of my own. Luckily, I'm married to a European, so a pollee is always ready at hand. As we were finishing up with dinner, I told my wife about the poll and asked her why she thought so many Europeans felt that way about Bush.

Now, whatever my wife thinks usually comes out of her mouth in an instant. So I was surprised when her initial reaction was an unusually long and thoughtful pause. She lowered her eyes. Then, looking up (but not at me), she answered:"

We're an old, tired continent. We're sick of fighting wars. All we want is serenity and stasis."

She looked old, tired, and sick as she said it, too.

Putting aside for a moment the corruption and perfidy of the Euro-elites that deserve to get hit by every piece of monkey feces flung at them, could my wife's answer be a clue to the results of the poll, as well as a window into the psyche of the average European? Is this why Europeans seem unable to muster either the effort or will necessary to defend themselves?

Thanks to a post by my fellow lizardoids at Marlowe's Shade, I think I've found the answer in three essays by the redoubtable Spengler of Asia Times. Trying to expound on all of them in a single post would try your patience and mine both, so I'll leave you with a key excerpt from the second one, followed by a suggested order in which to read them.

For today's Europeans, there is no consolation, neither the old pagan continuity of national culture, nor the Christian continuity into the hereafter. The French know that Victor Hugo, Gauloise cigarettes, Chateau Lafitte and Impressionist painters one day will become a matter of antiquarian curiosity. The Germans know that no one but bored schoolboys will read Goethe two centuries hence, like Pindar. They have no ambition but to die quietly, no concerns except for those amusements which might reduce boredom and anxiety en route to the grave. They have no passions except hatred born of envy. They hate America, a new kind of universality that succeeded where the old Christian empire failed. They hate Israel, which makes the Jewish people appear all the more eternal in stark contrast to Europe's morbid temporality. They will pass out of history unmourned even by themselves.And now, a suggested order of reading:

1. The Sacred Heart of Darkness

2. Why Europe Chooses Extinction

3. Tolkien's Ring: When immortality is not enough

By the time you're done, the Bible quote at the top will make sense.

There's No Denying It
America Has Done Something Right

A few days ago I posted an piece entitled "There's No Denying It, France Has Done Something Right" which credited France for getting rid of Al-Manar TV. Well, America has now followed France's example:

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States on Friday designated al-Manar television — the mouthpiece of Lebanon’s Hizbollah anti-Israel guerrillas — a terrorist organization, prompting an end to its U.S. satellite transmissions.

Lebanon’s ambassador called the designation unacceptable censorship and an attack on freedom of speech.

The State Department listing came less than a week after France banned broadcasts of al-Manar’s satellite channel following accusations that its programs were anti-Semitic and could incite hatred.

The United States already considers Hizbollah a “foreign terrorist organization.”

“The designation is to put al-Manar television on the Terrorist Exclusion List because of its incitement of terrorist activity,” said State Department spokesman Richard Boucher.

In response to the new designation, al-Manar was removed from the satellite which beamed it into the United States on Friday, the satellite’s owner Intelsat told Reuters.

Alright America. It's about time.

Hat tip: LGF

Fake But Balanced

From Graham Lester:

Fake But Balanced (Ten Satire Stories I’m Too Busy To Write):

Fugitive Woman Caught after She Disguises Herself as a Blonde and then Forgets Why She Fled

Congressman’s Family Urge His Selection as Homeland Security Chief, Want to Spend Less Time with Him

International Association of Cannibals Endorses Atkins Diet

Scientists: More Research Funds Needed to Prove Link between Cause and Effect

Innovative Therapy Program Helps Murderers Choose More Appropriate Targets

Postal Service Delivers Letter from Jesus after 1,963 Years, Blames Lousy Handwriting

New John Nash Theory Cracks Mystery of Parallel Parking

Botox Support Group Fails: Members Unable to Open their Mouths

Scientists: More Attractive Women Gave Early Humans Breeding Advantage Over Ugly-Ass Apes

Stephen Hawking Smacks His Bitch Up

From the NYT, comes an interview with Stephen Hawking. Here's an excerpt:

What is your I.Q.?

I have no idea. People who boast about their I.Q. are losers.

How can we know if you qualify as a genius physicist, as you are invariably described?

The media need superheroes in science just as in every sphere of life, but there is really a continuous range of abilities with no clear dividing line.

Are you saying you are not a genius?

I hope I'm near the upper end of the range.

With all your intense erudition, why do you bother writing pop-science books about the universe, the latest of which is the illustrated version of ''On the Shoulders of Giants''?

I want my books sold on airport bookstalls.

Are you always this cheerful?

Life would be tragic if it weren't funny.

You have long been associated with Cambridge University, in England, and I'm wondering whether you find Americans to be equally knowledegable about science.

I have found far greater enthusiasm for science in America than here in Britain. There is more enthusiasm for everything in America.

How can you say that? Just last month a Gallup poll found that only 35 percent of Americans accept Darwin's theory of evolution, while 45 percent prefer the creationist view.

Maybe it is because people in America have less sense of belonging to a tradition and culture than in Europe, so they turn to fundamental religion.

Do you believe in God?

I don't believe in a personal God.

Ok, I am convinced now. He is a genius.

I must say, though, that I believe Americans turn to religion instead of tradition, not for want of it. America was founded on one beautiful, sustaining, and everlasting principle;

"F%&k Arbitrary Cultural Traditions"

In addition, of course, religion and "booty" were the initial motivating forces behind European's settling in America. So, the truth is, we have carried on our "traditions" pretty darn well, haven't we?

Back to Hawking's comment, I also think that American's are more likely to question "Darwinism" because American's are more likely to question everything. And that, of course, is because we hate tradition.

Al Qaeda Calls For Muslims to
Hack Pieces Off Their Own Bodies

Charles Johnson on Islamofascists and their death cult:

There’s no better demonstration of the primitive nihilism of the Al Qaeda ideology than Osama bin Laden’s recent call to attack the oil fields of Iraq. These resources are crucial to Iraq’s hope of building a real future for their people; attacking and destroying them is just like hacking off pieces of their own bodies.

It’s the Death Cult of radical Islam, writ large.

Is it my imagination, or is Charles Johnson getting even better at what he does lately?

Friday, December 17, 2004

Ali (at Iraq The Model) Smacks His Bitch Up

Apparently Juan Cole, and other generous liberals of his ilk, have been accusing the brothers at Iraq The Model of being CIA moles, or something. Likewise, apparently, the brothers also feel used by right-wing pundits who quote them to justify American patriotism. Thanks to my friend, "the unknown blogger", for making me aware of this response, from Iraq The Model:

When are both sides going to realize that it's not only about them! That there are millions of Iraqis, Afghanis, Iranians..Etc who are suffering daily and who are trying to find a solution and a way to achieve their dreams (with the help they are getting from America) and who do not have the slightest interest in supporting any party in America. The world is bigger than you and your partisan conflicts and frankly I'm getting sick of it. Take this crap somewhere else and leave us alone! We have enough problems to deal with and we are not interested in supporting any party anwhere, as simply we cannot afford the time or the effort.-

By Ali.

Turkey, The EU, and The Hudna

My good friend Jack, over at Jack of Clubs, has posted a very worthy meditation on the possible admission of Turkey into the EU. The whole thing is worth reading. However, since it is multi-faceted and lengthy (a la Wretchard at Belmont Club), I will only quote the portion that bears most on the issues I discuss here at this blog:

... the question of Turkish occupation of Cyprus (...) is the real sticking point for EU membership. Cyprus was admitted into the EU as of May 2004, but the rejection, in April, of the UN proposal to unify Greek and Turkish Cypriots has resulted in continuing tension. Specifically Turkey has refused to recognize the island nation. As noted by the London Times:

But because the UN blueprint was not endorsed by both communities, Cyprus entered the EU divided on May 1, with the Turkish Cypriots effectively excluded from membership pending a settlement.
Their breakaway state is recognised only by Turkey whose 35,000 troops in northern Cyprus are regarded as occupying part of EU territory.
In the run-up to the EU summit, the Greek Cypriots had dangled a veto threat over Turkey, hoping to win concessions from Ankara, including its formal recognition of Cyprus.
Greek Cypriots argued it was absurd that Turkey refused to recognise an EU member, whose agreement it needed to begin accession talks.

So, the compromise sounds like a step in the right direction. However, the BBC report is disturbingly vague on what exactly this compromise consists of. Specifically, what does it mean that the Turkish Prime Minister "insisted signing the protocol was not a formal recognition of Cyprus"? A close inspection of the actual language of the statement suggests that this compromise is merely a bureaucratic expedient to smooth over legitimate questions about Turkey's commitment to freedom:

As a result of meetings between Turkey and the EU, the paragraph in the final declaration of the EU summit about Cyprus was changed. In the revised paragraph, it was said, "the European Council welcomes Turkey's statement to sign the protocol regarding the adaptation of the Ankara Agreement, taking account of the accession of the ten new Member States."
In the first draft prepared by the Netherlands, which holds rotating EU presidency, it was said, "the European Council welcomes Turkey's decision to sign the protocol regarding the adaptation of the Ankara Agreement, taking account of the accession of the ten new Member States."
As a result of the change, the European Council welcomed Turkey's "statement" to sign the agreement instead of Turkey's "decision" to sign the agreement.

So, Turkey has not actually decided to acknowledge the sovereignty of Cyprus, it has merely verbally stated that it will do so. A subtle point, perhaps, but indicative of continuing intransigence.

Subtle? Only to Western ears, I believe. I think this is an example of the kind of treaty-making which is common when the Islamic world is dealing with non-Muslims. Other examples of this kind of dissimulation are the concept of Hudna, and the reality of Arafat's Phased Plan. I believe that all three (Hudna, Phased Plan, and Turkey's "statement" to sign) are manifestations of the same Islamic Hudna stratagem.

I say "Islamic" because the concept was initiated by Mohammed himself.:

... "hudna", often mistranslated as a “ceasefire” or armistice, connotes no more than a temporary respite in the war between Islamic forces and non-Islamic forces.

The authoritative Islamic Encyclopedia (London, 1922) defines "hudna" as a “temporary treaty” which can be approved or abrogated by Islamic religious leaders, depending on whether or not it serves the interests of Islam, and that a “hudna” cannot last for more than ten years.

The Islamic Encyclopedia mentions the Hudaybia treaty as the ultimate “hudna.” Arafat also referred to a hudna in his speeches when he would refer to the Oslo accords. In the words of the Islamic encyclopedia, “The Hudaybia treaty, concluded by the Prophet Muhammed with the unbelievers of Mecca in 628, provided a precedent for subsequent treaties which the Prophet’s successors made with non-Muslims. Muhammed made a hudna with a tribe of Jews back then to give him time to grow his forces, then broke the treaty and wiped them out.

Although this treaty was violated within three years from the time that it was concluded, most jurists concur that the maximum period of peace with the enemy should not exceed ten years since it was originally agreed that the Hudaybia treaty should last ten years.”

From A Soldier's Perspective

From Time In The Desert, by Kermit, a soldier serving in Iraq:

The past couple of days have been neat....We have been preparing for an upcomming mission that take a little more work to get ready for than normal. Will probably be a few more days before everything is set to go... in the mean time, yesterday, we had the USO come and they brought some people to see us... John Elway came and threw some footballs. Some female announcer from Fox Sports News came (she recently posed in FHM magazine), as well as the comedian who played, amongst other films, in the Water Boy with Adam sandler... he was the Cajun guy that no one could understand when he talked.... that guy was funny... from talking about how we should get Steve Irwin(Crocodile Hunter) to come and help us in our search for Osama Bin Ladin... to talking about his time in Vietnam as a infantry platoon leader...

The icing on the cake, however, was Robin Williams, who opened things up with a big "GOOD MORNING BAGHDAD!!!!" I have seen some of his material back in the days prior to his acting career, so I knew that he was a funny guy... but man this guy is hilarious! After seeing him perform like that, I wonder if they just hire him for a part, and just have him run with it, because I bet he wouldn't follow the scripts, if he's liek he was there....

It was real nice to get that kind of show. They all spent time signing autographs as well, and all wished us a merry Christmas.

Other things in the news over here..... a fellow soldier over here walked by me and said "84 days". I asked him what he was talking about, and he told me that that's how long we have left if everything goes according to plan... or thereabouts anyway. Man, only a couple months left! I remember thinking, after only a couple months here, that this time would go by so slowly.. but it has flown.... we have done so much over here. Between trying to improve the situation for ourselves, and our replacements, along with the main mission of helping ensure that the people here in Baghdad have a safer place to live, so that they can focus on developing themselves into something functional.

Also, I have read about this fiasco about armor on vehicles over here, and that story about National Guard soldiers asking Hon. Rumsfeld questions regarding it..... I want to say my piece to that.... The reason that the soldiers that are down in Kuwait are not getting uparmored trucks, or kits for their trucks, is because those of us up here, who are in the fight, haven't all gotten them yet. I drove a "soft" vehicle my first 4 months here, out on mission... through the town, etc... I don't want to hear anymore of that nonsense. The truth of that matter is that the Army is, and has been, providing us with the ability to protect ourselves better, however, the supplier is only making the stuff so fast. That doesn't change the mission that we have, or the risks that we soldiers have taken when we made that oath... including those National Guard members who signed up for "the college money". Guess what buddy.... you joined a crew that teaches you to shoot real bullets at real people... what did you think you might get activated for????

Alright, Robin Williams! Thank you for that. As far as I know, Robin Williams is opposed to the war and thinks very unfavorably of George Bush. So, he is the man for going over and supporting the soldiers. That is very admirable.

Why Would Anyone Oppose Elections In Iraq?

From PowerLine:

Last night, the Trunk and I taped a television show. We waited for the taping to start in a green room that included a couple of liberals who derided the "disaster" in Iraq and sneered at next month's elections. Why? Beats me. Arabs are about to vote in an election, I believe, for the first time in world history (except in Israel, of course). Why isn't that worth celebrating?

Haider Ajani has translated the results of a poll of 5,000 Iraqis, taken in and around Baghdad, that appeared yesterday in the Arabic newspaper Alsabah:

What will you base your vote on?
Political agenda----------------------------65%

Factional origin----------------------------14%
Party Affiliation---------------------------- 4%
National Background----------------------12%
Other reasons--------------------------------5%

Do you support dialog with the deposed Baathists?

Do not know----------------------------------1%

Do you support the postponing the election?

Do not know---------------------------------2%

Do you think the elections will take place as scheduled?

Do not know---------------------------------4%

As we've said before, the only people who want the elections postponed are the ones who want them never to take place. The vast majority of Iraqis can't wait to begin exercising their privileges as free citizens. And it's good to see that an overwhelming majority expect the U.S. to stand by its commitment to January elections, rather than giving in to the terrorists and Democrats. They have learned, I guess, that President Bush is a man who says what he means and means what he says.

I think Afghani's count as Arabs, so wouldn't Iraq make the second Arab election in history. Which would only go that much further to prove just how extraordinary George Bush, and his vision for the future, is.

"It is the Jews, isn't it?"

From Mystery Achievment:

... an interview with Jeffery Gedmin, director of the Aspen Institute in Berlin. It is entitled, "Experiencing European Anti-Americanism and Anti-Israelism".

"I must say I have never before seen all of the elements of the decadence and madness that characterize European politics assembled in one place as they are here. The America-envy, the godless and soulless utopianism and materialism, the complete lack of ability to distinguish between good and evil--they're all here. I warmly recommend reading Roger's and Davids' excerpts. Some select bits:

"As a Catholic I was struck by the amount of virulently anti-Semitic hate letters and email I received. There were many dozens of items. I was called a 'Jewish war criminal,' a 'Jewish pornographer.' Pardon my language, but more than once, these texts stated that I was a 'Jew f***er' or 'a son of a whore, who should be covered with napalm.' [...]

Gedmin illustrates how obvious this anti-Israeli bias often is. "Not so long ago there was a story on the front page of a prominent German mainstream newspaper, the Sueddeutsche Zeitung. Above the fold, in color, was a photograph of an elderly gentleman with tears running down his face. Any human being would look at that gentleman and feel some empathy. The caption of the story said that he was a Palestinian farmer and Israeli defense forces had just razed his grapefruit field."

This was immediately after a lethal Palestinian suicide bombing against Israeli civilians. This event was covered on page six of the same issue, without a photograph, in a brief text. The article on the destroyed grapefruit field on page one was much larger than the one on page six about the murderous Palestinian suicide bombing."

Gedmin says he could offer many more examples. "In 2002, I gave a speech on Iraq before a business group in Frankfurt. Afterwards, during the coffee break, a German international businessman came up to me, talking about Iraq in a very friendly, warm, casual sort of way. Then he said, 'Can I ask you one question about American policy toward Iraq?' I replied, 'Sure, ask anything.' And in the public space with several people standing around, he asked, 'It is the Jews, isn't it?' I said, 'What do you mean?' He explained, 'It is the Jews in the United States who are driving the entire Iraq campaign, is it not?' I was shocked that this could happen in public in 21st-century Germany.

Gedmin believes that networking and disseminating information can counter the anti-Americanism and anti-Semitism that are regnant in the Old Continent. But his recurring theme of Europeans being tone deaf to certain ideas seems to undermine that belief. And if Europeans who agree wtih him won't even speak up to defend him (see the interview for that anecdote), then all the networking in the world won't amount to squat.

I have a very hard time understanding how Germany still breeds this kind of paranoid (Protocols-type) anti-Semitism, after what I understand to be their very sincere attempt to learn the lessons of the Holocaust.

Don't they know that the road to the Holocaust began with blaming "the Jews" for most of the evils in the world?

The Myth Of Legitimacy

Little Green Footballs points to an article by Daniel Polisar which explains "The Myth Of Legitimacy," that Arafat enjoyed as a result of people like Jimmy Carter:

This belief that Arafat must continue to be recognized as the "chosen" representative of the Palestinians is not limited to the State Department, but represents a position widely held among Western leaders-so much so, in fact, that at a summit in December 2001, the nations of the European Union passed a unanimous resolution declaring that Arafat must continue to be treated as the "elected president" of the Palestinian Authority.4 In April 2002, a few months and a few dozen suicide bombings later, the EU's chief foreign policy official, Javier Solana, was still stressing that Arafat is the "legitimate leader of the Palestinian people and [the] interlocutor of the international community," while Ben Bradshaw of the British Foreign Office announced that "We're quite clear that Yasser Arafat is the democratically elected president of the Palestinian people."5 This position has also been championed by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, who asserted in a recent op-ed in The New York Times that the PLO leader had become the Palestinians' president through "a democratic election in the West Bank and Gaza which was well organized, open, and fair."6

The reason for all of this emphasizing and re-emphasizing of Arafat's status as the legitimately chosen leader of the Palestinians is that without it, one might easily reach the conclusion that everyone-Jews, Arabs, Americans, and Europeans-would be better off with him gone. Indeed, for many in the West, the claim that Arafat is the Palestinians' legitimate, democratically elected leader is his last line of defense.

But is it true? To take statements such as Jimmy Carter's seriously is to argue that while some national rulers are best viewed as illegitimate usurpers, Yasser Arafat is more like the leaders of democratic countries, who come to power through a fair expression of the popular will-and that as such, he cannot reasonably be replaced. Such a conclusion, however, would have to stand on more than the observation that an election was held in the West Bank and Gaza in January 1996 in which Arafat received nearly 90 percent of the votes. After all, plenty of dictators do that well in elections aimed principally at reinforcing their rule, and this phenomenon is particularly widespread in the Middle East.

There's more, if you are interested.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Chirac's Grand Vision

From John Vinocur of the International Herald Tribune:

In the American mind-set, there's nearly a lifetime to go - think Super Bowl and, maybe, Iraq's elections in the meanwhile - before George W. Bush comes to Europe in late February to make things trans-Atlantically whole and wonderful again.But European markers are coming down already. In London, the talk in Downing Street runs in the direction of Bush "doing something substantive about the Israeli-Palestinian situation" if he wants to make good on the reaching-out-to-Europe notions that the administration uses to describe his trip.

In Berlin, the Germans clearly want better relations, but have made sealing the "fissures" and "breaches" more complicated by clamoring to sell arms to China and insisting last week that they require a permanent UN Security Council seat with veto power, like the big fellas. This, although a UN panel on reforming the Council does not recommend a German veto, and the Bush administration would likely choke on the idea. The French, theoretically the ally with the furthest to go in improving ties with Bush administration, (Colin Powell describes the White House as specifically hoping to "mend" the relationship) have smartly laid out through a speech by Jacques Chirac a blueprint of where they want to be positioned in terms of the United States.

The speech was made last month and has gotten only marginal attention. This is curious in the view of an aide to a European prime minister because he considers that Chirac was trying to explain for the first time how his multipolar view of the view of the world can be compatible with good relations between the United States and Europe.

In the speech ... Chirac is forthcoming, saying things that the Bush administration would presumably like to hear. Terrorism is not some kind of nuisance as John Kerry promised to make it, but a threat Chirac described as "present and growing." France and the United States are on the same line, "with exemplary cooperation" (no reference to Iran, though) on the issues of weapons of mass destruction and nuclear proliferation, Chirac said. And, he stressed, finding peace in the Middle East "should rally America and Europe together," as should cooperation in reducing poverty, and environmental protection.

If Chirac has been mocked at home for wanting to be the next Third World hero, a French Nehru or Nasser, he persists with the mantra that a "new reality" of a multipolar world "is challenging the longstanding pre-eminence of the West and all its models." This development, he says, "has paved the way for the assertion of another modernity that is emancipating itself from us."

Not exactly George Bush's view of a world clamoring for democracy in the context of a global battle against jihadist terrorism. But Chirac tries in the end, at least, to baste Europe and America's future together by saying, "I believe that [Europe's] harmonious dialogue with the other major poles in the world is helping to promote the universal values that are at the heart of the trans-Atlantic link."

In the French case, Bush could take the advice of all those in Washington who say respect France but do not exaggerate the importance of what it says about the world's future. This argument maintains that since Europe will never be a superpower, it makes no sense for the United States to overreact to French theorizing.

A counterargument accepts over- reaction as a mistake, but makes the point that the United States shouldn't just let lie an approach to the world that essentially defines America as the globe's biggest problem.

Doing this tends to legitimize French and German ambitions to lead Europe at Britain's expense, and leaves in the lurch the countries in Europe and elsewhere that see their development secured in a comfortable relationship with the Americans - and not rebranded by Chirac as their counterweights.

I really don't understand the objection to a "multipolar" world view. The reality is, no matter what anybody says or does, it is a multipolar world. Nations do, and always will, hold competing opinions, and each opinion carries with it a certain amount of weight given the relative economic and military clout of the individual nation. There is nothing the United States, or France, can do to impede that reality.

So, I guess what people are reacting to when they object to the concept of a multipolar world is the idea that France believes it must consistently oppose the United States in order to set up a counterweight, or even a bulwark, against our rampant, outrageous hyperpower. But, I don't really think that's what Chirac has in mind when he refers to multipolarity.

It is Chirac's fault, however, that he is perceived to have that opinion. He has made statements in the past which would lead one to conclude that this is what he has in mind. But, the reality is he would not set himself against the United States, if it went against French interests. For instance, France is very strong in it's prosecution of Al Qaeda terrorists. As far as I know, they are also very diligent about cooperating with the United States in the pursuit and capture of terrorists, and their financial holdings.

However, Chirac is an old-fashioned political leader of the "Realpolitik" school. His strategy, which he insists upon defining with the postmodern, and somehow progressive-sounding, word "multipolarity" is, in reality, Machiavellian triangulation, plain and simple.

Chirac's multipolarity means that he is willing to weigh the balance between France's true and immediate interests in any given situation, against the longer-term interest of decreasing American power. So if, for instance, Chirac knows that rampant Muslim immigration, and the attendant anti-Semitism it brings with it, is a danger to French society, he is willing to weigh that against his interest in triangulating out America's influence within the Arab world. He is thus willing to make short term sacrifices, within his society, in order to defeat America in the long term.

This is hardly a new idea. Instead, it is one of the oldest principles of war. Really, you've got to raise a glass to Chirac, because while many leaders are only thinking of what they can do to get them elected next year, he is outlining a grand vision for France's future.

Saluer, Monsiuer Chirac

UPDATE: Diane comments that,

"it's not about taking down the US at all. I don't really believe Chirac wants to take down the US, at least not in the long run. (He doesn't mind damaging it in the short and medium term, obviously.) But it's really just a racket. It's more about *pointing at* the US and saying Look at them, now *give us money* and sign this treaty which accumulates power in our direction."

Good point. When I said France wants to "defeat" us, I didn't actually mean that they want to take us down. To destroy America would run counter to the interests of Realpolitik. The amoral power gaming of realpolitik would dictate that it is in France's interest for America to exist because we make a lot of cool stuff, and we buy a lot of their goods. No one wants to lose America as a market.

But, yes, I do think that France wants to "defeat" us in the sense that they want to beat us and, in so doing, take a good deal of our power away from us and keep it for themselves.

Idolatry and False Devils

Thanks to Graham Lester for making me aware of this quote from G.K. Chesterton:

"Idolatry is committed, not merely by setting up false gods, but also by setting up false devils; by making men afraid of war or alcohol, or economic law, when they should be afraid of spiritual corruption and cowardice."

The UN -
A Weapon Of The Global Jihad

Anne Beyefsky from National Review writes:

Every schoolchild or member of the public who walks into U.N. Headquarters today (and the entire month of December) will be greeted by a large display in the front entrance put on by that main U.N. body, the Committee on Palestinian Rights. It includes a series of pictures "Fashion for Army Checkpoints," that conveys the alleged degradation of being searched for a suicide bomb strapped to one's body. Of course, nothing is said about the degradation of being blown up by a suicide bomb strapped to those bodies who manage to avoid such searches.

Is this just a problem for Israelis? Not if one compares the extensive Palestinian exhibit gracing the U.N. lobby with the minimal display they managed to squeeze alongside on the subject of AIDS.

But the public U.N. entrance is just the tip of the iceberg. There is only one entire U.N. Division devoted to a single group of people — the U.N. Division for Palestinian Rights (created in 1977). There is only one U.N. website dedicated to the claims of a single people — the enormous UNISPAL, the United Nations Information System on the Question of Palestine. There is only one refugee agency dedicated to a single refugee situation — UNRWA, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (in operation since 1950.)

Is this just an Israeli problem? Not if you're a Dalit in India, a farm worker in Zimbabwe, or a Tibetan, and your rights are not on the U.N. agenda...

How about the takeover of the General Assembly emergency-session procedure? These sessions began in 1956, and since then six of the ten emergency sessions ever held have been about Israel. The 10th such session began in 1997 and has been "reconvened" 13 times, most recently this past summer.

Is this just an Israeli problem? Not if you were one of those people who thought a million dead in Rwanda or two million dead in Sudan might have warranted one General Assembly emergency session.

For the past four decades the United Nations has become the personal propaganda machine of the nom de guerre of Arab and Islamic states — Palestinians. Their aim is to demonize, debilitate, and destroy the state of Israel — the thriving democratic beachhead in their midst — for a start. The original U.N. mission, to protect the equal rights of men and women and of nations large and small, has been hijacked and corrupted by nations that neither share the universal values of the U.N.'s Declaration of Human Rights nor have democratic intentions.

This is true, and this is why I commented the other day that:

... what is cracked about the European illusion is their utter refusal to deal with the fact that the UN itself is a decadent entity, where belligerent, and morally illegitamite, nations such as Iran, and the Sudan, have an equal vote in the initiation of discusions and reolutions. Such a system ensures an atmosphere of moral chaos, and a momentum directed away from Democracy and Human Rights.

But, in commenting on the above Anne Bayefsky piece, Mr. Mystery Achievment goes me one further:

Anne makes a point I've been trying to make here and on other blogs for a while now: The U.N. is now a full-fledged instrument of global jihad. Period. I had thought that the transformation had begun sometime around the mid-70s, with the infamous "Zionism=Racism" declaration. But, as Bayefsky documents, its seeds actually go back to a few years after the end of the first Arab-Israeli War--closer to 50 years than 40. Anything else it pretends to do by way of resolving conflicts, educating children, or fighting disease and hunger in other parts of the world is a sham--a smokescreen to distract attention from the only mission it approaches with any heart or effort. And that mission is the destruction of the Jewish state of Israel.

How can the U.N. be expected to do anything about AIDS when it's dying of IDS (Israel Derangement Syndrome)?

I have, for a very long time now, clung to the notion that the UN needs to exist. But, I'm really starting to believe that it does need to die, and soon. It seems that it is just too sick to be made well.

No doubt, there needs to be a functioning international consortium, open to all nations, in order to facilitate communication and to deal with problems. However, such a consortium needs to function under a completely different set of criteria.

I believe the new international body would best be set up in such a way that any given nations participation, and power within the international body, would be based upon a hierarchical structure which would, in turn, be based upon the nations human rights record. In other words, the better the nation is at Human Rights, the more power it's voice has in the international consortium.

There's No Denying It
France Has Done Something Right

From Eursoc:

France has finally pulled the plug on Arab-language channel al-Manar, accusing the Lebanon-based broadcaster of inciting racial hatred.

Al-Manar had been on probation with France's highest court since August, following an outcry when it broadcast a series based on the anti-Semitic conspiracy theory The Protocols of the Elders of Zion.

The broadcaster is backed by Lebanon's Islamist "militant" group, Hezbollah.

Against a background of rising anti-Jewish violence in France, Al-Manar was ordered to stop broadcasting anti-Semitic propaganda. Its foreign editor responded that Paris was bowing to "pressure from the Jewish lobby" by threatening the ban.

However, it appears that the channel was unable to keep a lid on the hate speech for long: In November a speaker claimed Israel was deliberately infecting Palestinians with the HIV-AIDS virus.

Of course, when the Nobel Prize committee can award its Peace Prize to crackpots who insist that AIDS was invented by western scientists to kill black Africans, Al Manar's editorial team could be forgiven for believing it was open season on absurd conspiracy theories.

Nevertheless, France's Council of State concluded that al-Manar was unable or unwilling to conform to French law and ordered the channel's European facilitator to block transmissions from the satellite within 48 hours.

This is good news and France is to be commended.

I don't believe Eursoc got it quite right here, though. My understanding was that until very recently al-Manar had been banned from France. And then, somtime within the last month or two, the ban had been lifted. The rumour was that France had lifted the ban as part of an agreement to effectuate the release of the hostages in Iraq. Melanie Phillips has written about it here.

But, apparently, France's tolerance of the vile anti-Semitism can go only so far, and, as I said, that is good news. Especially for Jews who live in France.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

15 Facts About The UN's Anti-Semitism

Thanks to Mystery Achievment for making me aware of this, from Israpundit:

1. Before 1990, Security Council passed 175 resolutions, 97 were directed against Israel (It is 55% of all resolutions).

2. Before 1990, UN General Assembly voted on 690 resolutions, 429 were directed against Israel (It is 62% of all resolutions).

3. The UN was silent when Jordanians destroyed 58 Synagogues in Jerusalem.

4. The UN was silent while the Jordanians systematically desecrated the ancient Jewish cemetery on the Mount of Olives.

5. The UN was silent while the Jordanians enforced an apartheid-like policy of preventing Jews from visiting the Temple Mount and the Western Wall.

6. The UN was silent while for 18 months Israel was terrorised by indiscriminate suicide bombing campaign unleashed by PA leadership.

7. There are 54 Muslims countries in the UN. As well as many more are others Arab oil dependant states.


9. Israel is the only country excluded from the U.N.'s regional group system… Since Israel does not belong to any group, it is the only country of 190 member states that is not eligible to serve on the numerous U.N. commissions…

10. In recent years, the U.N. Commission on Human Rights has annually passed five resolutions condemning Israel. This year, they passed seven. By contrast, each of the following countries/regions has been the subject of only one resolution: Afghanistan, Burundi, Congo, Cuba, Iran, Iraq, Myanmar, Russia/Chechnya, Sierra Leone, Southeast Europe and Sudan…

11. Nov. 29 is the United Nations Day of International Solidarity with the Palestinian People. No other people has a U.N. Day of Solidarity…

12. Israel is the only state to which a special investigator with "an open-ended mandate to inspect its human rights record" is assigned by the U.N.

13. It is the only state targeted by two special committees and special units of the U.N. Secretariat ostensibly devoted to the Palestinians but in reality dedicated to Israel-bashing worldwide, costing millions of dollars a year.

14. UNIFIL, the U.N. force stationed on the Israel-Lebanon border, hid a videotape of Israeli soldiers being abducted by Hezbollah in October 2000. After finally admitting to having the tape, the U.N. would only show an edited version (in which Hezbollah faces were hidden) to the Israeli government.

15. UNESCO, in Paris, began passing resolutions about protection of Jerusalem holy sites and access for Muslims in 1968. No resolutions about protection or Jewish access were passed from 1946 to 1967 when Jordan controlled Jerusalem and barred Jews from entering…

Really, how can one deny that anti-Semitism is the motivating force behind such inequities?

What other explanation could there be?

Sometimes You Just Gotta Love Your Enemies
American Muslims Honor The Ayatollah Khomeini

World Net Daily has a piece today on the Islamic organization honoring the Ayatollah Khomeini, and what it might portend. Once again, click on the link if you would like to see the poster advertising the event:

A Texas Muslim organization held a special event honoring the late Iranian leader Ayatollah Khomeini, advertised as a "tribute to the great Islamic visionary."

With the aim of cultivating "the unity of the Muslim ummah [brotherhood] around the globe," the Metroplex Organization of Muslims in North Texas, a Shia group, invited prominent local and national Muslim leaders to the seminar Saturday, including Mohammad Asi, the former imam of the Islamic Center in Washington, D.C., who has been monitored by U.S. law enforcement for ties to Tehran's radical regime.

Asi wrote in a 1994 public letter to Khomeini's successor, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei: "I ... swear allegiance to you as leader of the Muslims."

Other speakers included the director of the local branch of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, which casts itself as the nation's leading Muslim civil-rights group, and an NBA player.
A Dallas-area Muslim leader who has been honored for his civil-rights work told WorldNetDaily he spoke at the day-long seminar in Irving, Texas, and heard a couple of other speakers.

But Mohamed Elibiary claimed he was not aware of the event's general theme and "tribute" to Khomeini.

In a phone conversation yesterday, WND directed him to an ad for the seminar posted on the Metroplex Organization of Muslims in North Texas website, which includes a photo of Khomeini alongside a message speaking of "Islamic revolution."

[Editor's Note: Since the publishing of this story, the Muslim group has removed the page. The link goes to a Google, cached version.]

The leader of Iran's Islamic revolution in 1979, Khomeini famously viewed the U.S. as the "Great Satan" and said "Islam makes it incumbent on all adult males ... to prepare themselves for the conquest of countries so that the writ of Islam is obeyed in every country in the world."

Elibiary – known for his Muslim lobby and vote-mobilization efforts as president of the Plano, Texas-based Freedom and Justice Foundation – stated that this was the first time he had seen the flyer.

Replying to a question, Elibiary said he disagreed with the thrust of the message, which reads:
"'Neither east nor west' is the prinicipal slogan of an Islamic revolution in a world of hunger and oppression and outlines the true policy of non-alliance for the Islamic countries and countries that in the near future with the help of Allah SWT, will accept Islam as the only school for liberating humanity and will not recede or sway from the policy even one step.

"I don't know what they mean by revolution," Elibiary commented, "but I see myself as a Westerner."

The Muslim leader said he doesn't foresee America becoming an Islamic nation.
"I don't think it's possible," Elibiary said. "We'll always have choice of different faiths. I don't see that disappearing."

He said he is very aware of debates within Islam on such issues, "but I don't bother with them."
Asked his view of Khomeini, Elibiary, reared in the U.S., said he didn't know much about the Shiite leader and his revolution.

"All I know is what I grew up learning about it, the hostage crisis," he said. "All I know about him is negative stuff. I have never read his writings. I never bothered to learn any positive stuff about his history."

'Grand strike against New York'

Middle East scholar Daniel Pipes told WND he finds the Dallas-area event a troubling step in the direction of Great Britain, where radical leaders freely speak of overthrowing the government.
"Historically, in this country, Islamists have had the decency to pretend to not have the view they have and try to accommodate American opinion," said Pipes, director of the
Middle East Forum and a presidentially-appointed board member of the U.S. Institute of Peace.

"In a place like Great Britain, they don't worry about that anymore," he said. "While on the one hand, that clarifies matters and makes it easier to see who's who, on the other hand, it shows a disdain for majority opinion that is troublesome."

The imam Asi drew attention with an October 2001 speech at the National Press Club in Washington in which he called 9-11 "a grand strike against New York and Washington" launched by "Israeli Zionist Jews" who had warned Jews working at the World Trade Center to stay home that day.

If America contines to offend Islam, he warned, "the day of reckoning is approaching."

You've just got to love your enemies when they tell the truth, don't you? I mean, these people are making it very clear for us. There's no doubt how they feel about us infidels and our whole infidel country.

This reminds me that my local library has a children's book on the Ayatollah Khomeini. I saw it there about a year ago, before I started this blog. I remember picking it up and thumbing through and being apalled by it's generally positive appraisal of Khomeini, and by the books morally neutral language.

I'll have to down and check the book out and write something on it.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Look What The Cat Dragged In

Once again, thank you to Little Green Footballs. Click on this link to see what some Muslims are up to in the United States.

Proud To Have Such Enemies

Thank you to Little Green Footballs for making me aware of this, from Associated Press:

WASHINGTON - International resentment of the Bush administration has spilled over to include bad feelings for the American people, too — at least in three European countries that opposed U.S. policies in Iraq.

People in France, Germany and Spain are more likely to have an unfavorable than favorable view of Americans, Associated Press polling found.

Just over half in France and Germany said they viewed Americans unfavorably. Almost half in Spain felt that way, while a third of Spaniards viewed Americans favorably.

The U.S. rift with longtime allies France and Germany is the most serious in years, and relations with Spain have been particularly frosty since Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero withdrew Spanish troops from Iraq last April.

I'm not really joking with the title. Read the post on Thomas Friedman below, and you will understand why. I really do believe that France, Germany, and Spain are on the wrong side, and it's better that they don't like us. If they liked us, we would know we were doing something wrong.

What Does CUANAS Mean?

CUANAS is "Christians United Against the New Anti-Semitism"; a non-apocalyptic group of Christian Zionists who are apalled by the spread of anti-Semitism in the modern world, and are endeavoring to do something about it. Some of our members are in other countries working to foster better relationships between Christians and Jews, while some of us work to make this blog a source of information about the new anti-Semitism and it's effects.

Our goal is two-fold:

1) To educate Christians and non-Christians alike that anti-Semitism is once again rearing it's ugly head in our world.

2) To let Jewish people know that there are Christians out there, who are interested in helping, and who do not merely see Jewish people as the key needed to unlock the door leading to the apocalypse, and the return of Christ.

We hope we do good work.

How Small Groups Of Fanatics
Are Driving Our World To Lunacy

From Thomas Friedman, in the New York Times:

On the flight over to the Persian Gulf, I was reading an article in The Financial Times about NATO fighting with itself over whether to send a few dozen more trainers to Baghdad to help the Iraqi Army. I couldn't help but wonder to myself: Let's see, there are now 26 countries in NATO. If each NATO country contributed just 100 soldiers, roughly speaking we could have five NATO soldiers guarding every polling station in Iraq for the January election. That would be a huge help. After all, what does NATO stand for today if not for helping to protect a free and fair election in Iraq that is being opposed by a virulent minority whose only motto is: "You vote, you die - elections must fail." Is it so much to ask that each NATO country contribute 100 soldiers for a long weekend to advance the prospect of Iraqi elections? Heck, I'll throw in the air fare myself. I have so many frequent-flier miles, I could even fly over a few hundred soldiers from European Union countries that aren't in NATO.

Wait a minute, did I say European Union? Do you know how many trees have been cut down to publish studies about the European Defense Initiative - the E.U.'s quest to build a military force independent of NATO and America? Whole forests have been devoted to studies of E.D.I. So I was thinking: What does E.D.I. stand for today, if not for sending 500 E.U. soldiers to Iraq for a long weekend so that Iraqis might begin to create the first real bottom-up democracy in the Arab League?

Wait a minute, did I say Arab League? The Arab League has been sniping at the U.S. from the minute it toppled Saddam's tyranny, constantly barking that the Iraqi government there was not representative. Well now we're trying to help elect one that would be the most representative in the Arab world, and what is the Arab League doing? Virtually nothing. Why couldn't it offer to send some Arab and Muslim soldiers to protect polling places in the Sunni towns of Iraq?

If only we could call the Iraqi election, "A Seminar on the European Defense Initiative: Why NATO Is passé and E.D.I. Is the Future"; then we could get thousands of Europeans to take part. If only we could call the Iraqi elections, "A Seminar on George Bush and Genghis Khan: Why Bush Is Worse"; then the Arab League would send so many people, we'd be turning them away. We'd be talking pay-per-view on Al Jazeera.

Hey, look, I have no idea what sort of government the Iraqis might elect. I believe it's their first step in a thousand-mile journey to make that country something halfway decent and normal. But I do know this: There are a lot of Iraqis who would really like the chance to vote on their future, just once, and there is a virulent minority that is butchering people there just so they can never have that chance. Yes, the Bush team's incompetence in securing Iraq is a travesty. But even with all that said, is it such a hard call for Arabs and Europeans to figure out on whose side they should be? Do these people really feel good about not lifting a finger?

"We in Iraq have a lot of disappointment with many of our neighbors," Ghazi al-Yawar, Iraq's interim president, told me the other day while he was visiting Washington. President Yawar described Iraq's neighbors as sitting on a fence "dangling their legs and munching on pistachios," while "the forces of darkness" try to rip Iraq to shreds. "We do not understand why a vicious suicide bomber who claims the lives of innocent civilians is a terrorist in one country and in Iraq he becomes a freedom fighter," added Yawar, a bright and decent man.

The situation in Iraq is a microcosm of what is going on in the whole Middle East today.

Everywhere you turn, the debate is over but the fight is not - because determined minorities are determined to thwart the will of majorities, and the majorities are too weak or divided to push back. The vast majority of Israelis want to get out of Gaza, but a determined, potentially violent, fanatical Jewish minority has been holding them back. Among the Palestinians, the debate is over, but the fight is not. Most Palestinians clearly want an end to the conflict with Israel and a chance to live a normal life, but a determined minority from Hamas has been resisting. Most NATO countries (I hope) would prefer a decent outcome in Iraq, but a determined minority, more worried about an American success than an Iraqi failure, is holding NATO back.

So let the record show that when Iraq finally decided to hold a free and fair election, all the bad guys decided to come and "vote" and all the good guys sat on the fence, dangling their legs, eating pistachios.

As Edmund Burke said, "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." However, when the "good people" "sitting on the fence eating pistachios" spend their time castigating America, who is willing to lay it on the line to effect the triumph of good over evil, then you have to wonder if they deserve to be considered good people at all.

For instance, while this article is about Iraq, I am intrigued by the next to last paragraph which contains the words about how most Israeli's want out of Gaza, and most Palestinians want the intifada to be over, but "determined minorities" are holding these things back from coming to fruition.

Really, these are not "determined minorities" at all. The angry roar of condemnation against Israel's security fence has been almost universal, and yet, how can they be expected to disengage from Gaza when they are being attacked day after day by suicide bombers.

And, as for the idea that most Palestinians want an end to the fighting, I find that a laughable notion when you consider what passes as popular entertainment in the Palestinian territories.

But, just for the sake of argument let's give Friedman the benefit of the doubt and say "Oh yes, the Palestinians want peace." Once again, it really isn't a "determined minority" who are holding these things back from being accomplished.

It is the huge, seemingly all-pervasive leftist media. It is everyone who calls suicide bombers "freedom fighters", "activists", and "the resistance", thus granting them the moral authority, and the political momentum, to continue on in their destruction. It is everyone who attacks Israel for the leveling of houses which are used as bomb factories and bases from which to build tunnels into, and under, Israel in order to blow up yet more people.

Of course, people will say, "Well, it couldn't possibly be that all those houses contain bomb factories and tunnels." You know, they're probably right about that. But how is Israel supposed to know? How are they supposed to be surgical in their stikes when they enter cities with booby-trapped bombs strung across main streets. When parents are sending their children into the streets to serve as rock-throwing decoy and cover for "activists" with rockets launchers?

All these people who twist the meaning of words to justify evil, and who malign the motives of free democracies who are trying to carve out zones from which peace can be launched, all these people are participants in the "resistance." They are part of the war effort for the other side. They are the "propagandists" of evil. In that they are willing apologists for mass-murder, it would not be entirely inaccurate to call them the Joseph Goebbels of our time.

Monday, December 13, 2004

It Only Took Him 81 Years To Figure It Out

Thanks to JewSchool for making me aware of this, from ABC News:

Dec. 9, 2004 - A British philosophy professor who has been a leading champion of atheism for more than a half-century has changed his mind. He now believes in God more or less based on scientific evidence, and says so on a video released Thursday.

At age 81, after decades of insisting belief is a mistake, Antony Flew has concluded that some sort of intelligence or first cause must have created the universe. A super-intelligence is the only good explanation for the origin of life and the complexity of nature, Flew said in a telephone interview from England.

Flew said he's best labeled a deist like Thomas Jefferson, whose God was not actively involved in people's lives.

"I'm thinking of a God very different from the God of the Christian and far and away from the God of Islam, because both are depicted as omnipotent Oriental despots, cosmic Saddam Husseins," he said. "It could be a person in the sense of a being that has intelligence and a purpose, I suppose."

Flew first made his mark with the 1950 article "Theology and Falsification," based on a paper for the Socratic Club, a weekly Oxford religious forum led by writer and Christian thinker C.S. Lewis.

Over the years, Flew proclaimed the lack of evidence for God while teaching at Oxford, Aberdeen, Keele, and Reading universities in Britain, in visits to numerous U.S. and Canadian campuses and in books, articles, lectures and debates.

There was no one moment of change but a gradual conclusion over recent months for Flew, a spry man who still does not believe in an afterlife.

Yet biologists' investigation of DNA "has shown, by the almost unbelievable complexity of the arrangements which are needed to produce (life), that intelligence must have been involved," Flew says in the new video, "Has Science Discovered God?"

The video draws from a New York discussion last May organized by author Roy Abraham Varghese's Institute for Metascientific Research in Garland, Texas. Participants were Flew; Varghese; Israeli physicist Gerald Schroeder, an Orthodox Jew; and Roman Catholic philosopher John Haldane of Scotland's University of St. Andrews.

The first hint of Flew's turn was a letter to the August-September issue of Britain's Philosophy Now magazine. "It has become inordinately difficult even to begin to think about constructing a naturalistic theory of the evolution of that first reproducing organism," he wrote.

The letter commended arguments in Schroeder's "The Hidden Face of God" and "The Wonder of the World" by Varghese, an Eastern Rite Catholic layman.

This week, Flew finished writing the first formal account of his new outlook for the introduction to a new edition of his "God and Philosophy," scheduled for release next year by Prometheus Press.

Prometheus specializes in skeptical thought, but if his belief upsets people, well "that's too bad," Flew said. "My whole life has been guided by the principle of Plato's Socrates: Follow the evidence, wherever it leads."

Last week, Richard Carrier, a writer and Columbia University graduate student, posted new material based on correspondence with Flew on the atheistic Web page. Carrier assured atheists that Flew accepts only a "minimal God" and believes in no afterlife. (Pastorius note: Phew!)

Flew's "name and stature are big. Whenever you hear people talk about atheists, Flew always comes up," Carrier said. Still, when it comes to Flew's reversal, "apart from curiosity, I don't think it's like a big deal."

Flew told The Associated Press his current ideas have some similarity with American "intelligent design" theorists, who see evidence for a guiding force in the construction of the universe. He accepts Darwinian evolution but doubts it can explain the ultimate origins of life.

A Methodist minister's son, Flew became an atheist at 15.

Early in his career, he argued that no conceivable events could constitute proof against God for believers, so skeptics were right to wonder whether the concept of God meant anything at all.
Another landmark was his 1984 "The Presumption of Atheism," playing off the presumption of innocence in criminal law. Flew said the debate over God must begin by presuming atheism, putting the burden of proof on those arguing that God exists.

I hope it only takes a few more days for him to realize that God loves him.

Anyway, I admire Flew's reasoned approach. He's very brave. Can you imagine changing your mind (and, in some sense negating your life's work, the work that made you famous) about one of your most deeply held beliefs when you are 81 years old? To say to youself, and to the world, that you now believe that you were wrong? That does take some courage.

I agree with Flew about Darwinian evolution. Christians who blindly hold to the idea that there is absolutely no such thing as evolution do Christianity a disservice. Evolution may not work quite the wonders that scientists think it does, but that does not mean that it can not, or does not exist as part of the logical machine of the universe.

Now, on to Flew's assertion that he does not believe in the kind of God that Christians believe in. Maybe he ought to pick up a copy of his old friend C.S. Lewis' book Mere Christianity and give it a reread. It's probably been years since he's thought about those arguments. There are logical arguments for the belief in a personal God who loves us and wants the best for us, and Lewis lays them out well in Mere Christianity.

And, I am guessing that, when Flew says that the God of Christianity is a despot like Saddam Hussein, he is referring to the popular understanding that all non-Christians are going to burn in hell for all eternity if they don't confess in words, during their lifetime, that they believe in God. Once again, it is my opinion that Chrsitians have done our faith a disservice by stubbornly clinging to dogma, and not having a nuanced discussion on this issue. On this subject I would suggest Mr. Flew read the work of his fellow country Peter Cotterrell, Mission and Meaninglessness, paticularly the "Ten Thesis" chapter.

To tell you the truth, the beauty of this world, trees, mountains, children, birth, and even death, are enough to convince me that God cares about us. But then I am an artist, so it's not surprising that aesthetics would work on me. As Flew is a logical Philosopher type, well then, he needs to approach it that way.

I'm sure tens of thousands of Christians all over the world are praying for you Mr. Flew.

UPDATE: The Anchoress blogged about this several days ago. Sorry I missed it.

Sunday, December 12, 2004

Europe Poisons It's Own Well

British Historian Paul Johnson says Anti-Americanism is racist envy:

Anti-Americanism is the prevailing disease of intellectuals today. Like other diseases, it doesn't have to be logical or rational. But, like other diseases, it has a syndrome--a concurrent set of underlying symptoms that are also causes.

First, an unadmitted contempt for democracy. The U.S. is the world's most successful democracy. The right of voters to elect more than 80,000 public officials, the length and thoroughness of electoral campaigns, the pervasiveness of the media and the almost daily reports by opinion polls ensure that government and electorate do not diverge for long and that Washington generally reflects the majority opinion in its actions.

It is this feature that intellectuals--especially in Europe--find embittering. They know they must genuflect to democracy as a system. They cannot openly admit that an entire people--especially one comprising nearly 300 million, who enjoy all the freedoms--can be mistaken. But in their hearts these intellectuals do not accept the principle of one person, one vote. They scornfully, if privately, reject the notion that a farmer in Kansas, a miner in Pennsylvania or an auto assembler in Michigan can carry as much social and moral weight as they do. In fact, they have a special derogatory word for anyone who acts on this assumption: "populist." A populist is someone who accepts the people's verdict, even--and especially--when it runs counter to the intellectual consensus (as with capital punishment, for example). In the jargon of intellectual persiflage, populism is almost as bad as fascism--indeed, it's a step toward it. Hence, the argument goes, the U.S. is not so much an "educated democracy" as it is a media-swayed and interest-group-controlled populist regime.

The truth is, on the European Continent there is little experience of working democracy. Italy and Germany have had democracy only since the late 1940s; Spain, since the 1960s. France is not a democracy; it is a republic run by bureaucratic and party elites, whose errors are dealt with by strikes, street riots and blockades instead of by votes. Elements of the French system are being imposed throughout the EU, even in countries such as Denmark and Sweden that have long practiced democracy with success. In a French-style pseudodemocracy, intellectuals have considerable influence, at both government and street levels. In a true democracy, intellectuals are no more powerful than their arguments.

Second, anti-Americanism is a function of cultural racism. An astonishingly high proportion of European elites know very little about U.S. history or culture and even deny that they have a separate existence apart from their European roots. It is strange that those seeking to bring about a European federal state or union have at no stage sought to study the lessons Americans learned during the creation of the U.S. in the 1780s. After all, the U.S. Constitution (suitably amended) has lasted for more than 200 years, and within its framework the country has emerged as the richest and most powerful society in world history.

You might think, therefore, that European elites would seek to learn something from such a successful process. Not at all: The view is that sophisticated, civilized Europe has nothing to learn from "adolescent" America. What these Euro-elites particularly abhor is the way in which the framers of the Constitution made every effort to involve the population through the process of public debates, town meetings and ratification votes--and this at a time when Europe was still governed (for the most part) by the absolute sovereigns of the ancien régime.

This cultural racism is particularly directed at the supposedly "know-nothing" President George W. Bush and his "gung ho" Texas background. The European intelligentsia gets its notion of America chiefly from Hollywood, TV soaps like Dallas and fiction. Few of them have any experience of America, outside of three or four big cities. Middle America is unexplored territory. The fact that the U.S. has proved a highly efficient crucible for melding different peoples into a human sum greater than its constituent parts is seen as a misfortune in Europe because it produces a cultural stew that lacks purity of any kind and is therefore at the mercy of commercial forces.

Third, European elites tend to look at Americans as a subcivilized mass, whose function is to be obedient consumers in a system run by big business. The role of competition in U.S. economic life--and in every other aspect of life--is ignored, because competition is something Continental Europeans like to keep to a minimum and under careful control.

Although Americans are seen as highly materialistic consumers, they are also despised and feared for their spiritual interests, their participation in religious worship and their subscription to creeds of morality. Europeans see no inconsistency in their condemnation of the U.S. for being at one and the same time paganly unethical and morally zealous.

The truth is, any accusation that comes to hand is used without scruple by the Old World intelligentsia. Anti-Americanism is factually absurd, contradictory, racist, crude, childish, self-defeating and, at bottom, nonsensical. It is based on the powerful but irrational impulse of envy--an envy of American wealth, power, success and determination. It is an envy made all the more poisonous because of a fearful European conviction that America's strength is rising while Europe's is falling.

I believe that Johnson's points are largely accurate. However, just to be completely logical about this, let's be honest and say that it is not impossible for a Democracy to elect a bad, or even insane, leader. We elected Richard Nixon. The people of Georgia elected George Wallace to be governor back in the 60's. Until very recently, Strom Thurmond sat in the Senate of the United States.

--- As a side note: It is less likely, however, that a country like the United States (with it's rather strict adherence to the two-party system) would elect an insane leader than that a country like France such as France would elect a racist (LePen) because of the fragmentation of it's party system. Hitler, for instance, was elected (I believe with approximately 10-15% of the vote if I recall) in just such a fragmented system. ---

It is one of the tenets (which I repeat ad nauseum) of this site that whole societies can, and do, go insane from time to time. Germany did in the 1930's and 40's, and, it is my contention that much of the Islamic world is suffering in the grips of insanity at present.

But, on the other hand, to assert that George Bush is insane, or that he is evil, is insane itself, and is completely unsupportable. Where are the concentration camps? Where is the mass murder? Where is the suppression of dissenting opinion?

I can understand why much of Europe is angry with the U.S. They have been laboring under the illusion that the United States would not go against the will of the United Nations, unless Europe (read France and Germany) said it was ok to do so. It has always been ok for France to get into little adventures in places like the Ivory Coast, but it is not ok for the U.S. to work according to it's own will.

Such an illusion actually makes some cracked sense. The truth of the matter is that the U.S. is the most powerful nation on Earth, and is therefore the most influential. The question of how we could expect to lead the world to a place where nations do not unilaterally make war upon one another in the future when the most influential of countries will not play by such rules, is a completely valid proposition.

But, what is cracked about the European illusion is their utter refusal to deal with the fact that the UN itself is a decadent entity, where belligerent, and morally illegitamite, nations such as Iran, and the Sudan, have an equal vote in the initiation of discusions and reolutions. Such a system ensures an atmosphere of moral chaos, and a momentum directed away from Democracy and Human Rights.

In addition, Europe refuses to acknowledge their own hypocrisy in the leadup to current war, when France, Germany and Russia argued against the War not for moral reasons, but for financial reasons. Not only were existing contracts with the Hussein regime a motivation against going to was against Hussein, but additionally, they were also on the take through the UN administered Oil For Food Program.

The United States is not a completely moral entity either. There are probably myriad tertiary issues, as well as some primary issues, where we are not without moral culpability revolving around the War and other problems on the world stage. This is undeniable. But, if the world wants to turn the United States into it's Great Satan, they are making a big mistake, and doing themselves a great disservice. Because our system, and all the economic, scientific, and cultural blessings that flow from it, is the last and best hope for humanity.

James Woolsey:
Why We Are Fighting The War On Terror

This is an excerpt of a speech given by James Woolsey at Restoration Weekend 2004. In it he pretty much outlines the same points that I outlined in my post of a week ago, entitled Why We Are Fighting The War On Terror:

Well, let me share a few thoughts with you this morning on what I have come to call the Long War of the 21st Century. I used to call it World War IV, following my friend Eliot Cohen, who called it that in an op-ed right after 9/11 in the Wall Street Journal. Eliot’s point is that the Cold War was World War III. And this war is going to have more in common with the Cold War than with either World War I or II.

But people hear the phrase World War and they think of Normandy and Iwo Jima and short, intense periods of principally military combat. I think Eliot’s point is the right one, which is that this war will have a strong ideological component and will last some time. So, in order to avoid the association with World Wars I and II, I started calling it the Long War of the 21st Century. Now, why do I think it’s going to be long? First of all, it is with three totalitarian movements coming out of the Middle East.

I want to say just a word about each one. And I am not going to further deal with North Korea during these remarks. People can ask questions about it if you want afterwards. North Korea is crazy enough to be part of the Middle East, but it doesn’t happen to be. In any case, I think it’s important that we are, as was the case in World War II, actually at war with not one, not two, but three totalitarian movements.

These movements hate each other and they come from somewhat different roots. They were all affected by the chaotic history of the early part of the 20th century. They insult each other. They kill each other’s members from time to time. But like the Nazis and the Communists, they are perfectly capable of working together. And they have; and do; and are now; and will, if they think it’s in their interests to do so.

First of all, there are the Middle East Fascists. I use that term advisedly about the Ba’athists in Iraq and Syria, because they are Fascists. There’s no point in mincing words. The Ba’athist parties were modeled after the Fascist parties of the ’20s and ’30s. They function like them and they’re anti-Semitic like them. They’re Fascists.

Every time I hear the word “insurgent” to describe the enemy in Fallujah, it grates on me. What we ought to call them is what they are, which is Fascists. They call themselves the Party of Return, because what they want to do is bring Ba’athism, i.e., Fascism, back to Iraq. We’ve been at war with that totalitarian movement since around 1991, probably when the first President Bush organized the coalition to throw Saddam out of Kuwait. Saddam called 1991 the mother of all battles because it was just a battle in a long war. He tried to kill former President Bush in ’93, fired at our airplanes all the time in the ’90s. So that war never really has ended. It’s going on in Fallujah, in the Sunni Triangle today. It’s going on in the support for the terrorists and for fellow Ba’athists/Fascists that the Syrians are continually sending across the border.

This movement I am not terribly worried about for the long haul, because their ideology is dead. It is nothing but a rationale for power, the way the Communist ideology came to be, as the 20th century moved on, an excuse for power. No one, I think, anymore really believes in the Ba’athist vision of a unified Middle East under Ba’athist rule. But they will be troublesome for some time, and they are a group that has to be defeated.

The second and third groups are also totalitarian in exactly the sense Mussolini meant it: total commitment required, total control – the objective is a total vision of the world – [and] are both Islamist movements; one from the Shi’ite side of Islam, and one from the Sunni side of Islam. The first: the Vilayat Faqih, the Rule of the Clerics in Tehran – Khamenei, Rafsanjani and his colleagues. And the second: the Islamists of Al Qaeda’s stripe, underpinned, in many ways, by the Wahhabis of Saudi Arabia.

I always say Islamist rather than Radical Muslim or anything of that kind because I don’t think we want to credit either Khamenei or Osama bin Laden – or, for that matter, the Wahhabi – with truly representing the great religion of Islam. I think that Khamenei and his gang in Tehran and bin Laden and the most extreme of the Wahhabi clerics are Muslims to just about the same extent that Torquemada was a Christian. Torquemada ran his life as a power behind the throne in Ferdinand and Isabella’s Spain by burning Jews, Muslims and dissident Christians at the stake, stealing their money. His behavior was about as far from that preached in the Sermon on the Mount as it is possible for an individual to be.

And I don’t think we need, in current terms, to grant either Khamenei’s or Osama bin Laden’s claim that they represent Islam. They are trying to be as totalitarian movements, to take over an important position in one of the world’s great religions. But we have hundreds of millions of good and decent Muslims we need to make common cause with. And we don’t want to grant, at the outset, that our enemies represent them.

The Islamists in Tehran have been at war with us for something like a quarter of a century – just over a quarter of a century, actually. A few days ago was the 25th anniversary of their having seized our hostages in Tehran in 1979. They, through their instrumentalities such as Hezbollah, have conducted terrorist attacks against us for over two decades, going up to Khobar Tower.

So that movement is also one that, unfortunately, has more legs and more power and more steam, I think, than the Fascists. It controls the instruments of power of the Iranian state. It controls its oil money. It controls its intelligence services. It controls Hezbollah. And it will be with us, I am afraid, for some time. But it has a weakness that the Sunni Islamists don’t have, because, as Bernard Lewis says, there is only one country in the Middle East – excluding, I think, Israel, there is only one country in the Middle East where the United States is genuinely and broadly popular, and that’s Iran.

And the reason is because Khamenei and his fellow members of the rule of clerics are solidly at odds not only with common sense in the way a society can decently be administered, but they are at odds with the mainline Shiite tradition, which is one of separation of Mosque and State, with one very old historical exception, the Shi’a have generally not believed in the union of Mosque and State. They have not been in favor of theocracy. And Ayatollah Sistani in Iraq today speaks for that so-called quietest tendency or movement, the notion that Mosque and State should be kept apart. And it’s one of the reasons why I think we have some source of potential optimism about the direction of Shiite Islam and its political objectives in Iraq.

... Khamenei and his henchmen – are at odds with the mainline Shiite tradition.

So, although we need to worry about them a great deal – we especially need to worry about them getting nuclear weapons – I think that their ideology has some important weaknesses, which unfortunately are not shared by the Sunni Islamists, the third group. This group has been at war with us, off and on, for a long time, but pretty much intensely for about a decade, since ’94/’95, when bin Laden turned his attention from what he calls the near enemy, such as the Mubarak regime of Egypt, toward the far enemy, or us, whom he calls the Crusaders and the Jews.

The Sunni Islamists have a couple of advantages that the Shiite Islamists don’t. First of all, the tradition of Sunni Islam in many points in history is one of the union of Mosque and State in the Caliphate. When bin Laden says that the darkest day in the history of Islam was 80 some years ago, and you calculate back and it’s 1924, and you ask yourself why, it’s because that’s when Kemal Ataturk disestablished the Caliphate, the union of Mosque and State in Turkey.

The union of Mosque and State in theocracy is what bin Laden is pointed toward. First, his radical world vision is to unify the Arab World, destroy Israel, expel the United States from the Middle East, then to unify all of Islam, then to unify all of the world that had once been under Islam, such as what they call Andalucia, namely Spain, and then finally the world as a whole.

Now, this may seem like a crazy vision to those of us in the West, who are not part of this tradition. But it’s no crazier than Hitler’s 1,000-year Reich or the dream of world communism. Totalitarian movements have these kinds of heaven-on-earth dreams. And it is a decided advantage to the Sunni Islamists that they are operating pursuant to something that has historically been there, from time to time, and sometimes for centuries, within Sunni Islam.

They also have another advantage, which is that they are fabulously and phenomenally rich. They are operating with the funds from wealthy Saudi families and from others in the Gulf. They are sustained by oil money. My acquaintance, on whose show I was a few weeks ago, Bill Maher, who I don’t agree with on most things I can think of, except oil, Maher has a book out called When You Ride Alone You Ride with Bin Laden.

It’s a picture from a World War II poster of a man driving and a ghost of Hitler sitting next to him. It was to encourage carpooling and saving of gasoline. And the theme was when you ride alone, you ride with Hitler. His book now is called When You Ride Alone You Ride with Bin Laden. And the overall point in this book of Maher’s is that oil is really the sustaining structure and financing mechanism for not only the terrorist attacks on us but much of the political movement and structure of things in the Middle East, which creates very serious difficulties.

We can get into this some in questions if you want, but the point is that in the late 1970s the Saudi royal family, particularly, had two things happen to it. They got very, very frightened because of the takeover at the Great Mosque in Mecca by the Islamists – that was nearly a coup against the Saudi state in ’79 – and also the shah falling to a Shiite Islamist theocracy right across the Gulf.

They got very frightened. And they also got very rich, because foreign earnings from oil sales to the Saudis were about $2 billion a year at the beginning of the ’70s. By the end of the ’70s, they were $20 billion a year headed up. Lord knows what they are today at $50 a barrel of oil. But oil earnings in the last quarter of the century have meant that the Wahhabis and families who are generous to them have been able to fund Wahhabi beliefs and proselytizing in the world to the tune of some $70-75 billion – that’s with a ‘b’ – over the last quarter of a century.

The Saudis essentially struck a deal with the Wahhabis, which was, here is all the money in the world you could ever want. Take over the education in the kingdom. That’s fine. Take over education in Pakistan, madrassas of Pakistan, set up religious institutes in the United States. Here’s all the money you ever want. Just leave us alone. And that bargain has, more or less, stayed until relatively recently, when there have been some terrorist attacks inside Saudi Arabia. None yet on the royal family.

But it is a very serious problem. To give you an idea of what it means, I was scheduled to be in a – I won’t call it a debate – a “discussion” over in the Pentagon some months ago with Adel Al-Jubeir. You see him on television from time to time. He’s a very smooth young Saudi spokesman for the Crown Prince on foreign policy issues.

I did a naughty thing. I went on the Web the night before and, through the Mideast Media Research Institute Web site, downloaded
the main themes that the Saudi Religious Ministry had sent out the previous week, drawn from the Saudi imams’ sermons in the kingdom the Friday before. And the Saudi Religious Ministry, every week, takes these, consolidates, develops the major themes that it likes and wants the Wahhabi mosques, whether in Los Angeles or in Rawalpindi, to emphasize in the following week.

This week these three themes were a) that all Jews are pigs and monkeys, b) that it is the obligation of all true Muslims to hate and, where possible, to kill Christians and Jews, and c) American women routinely sleep with their fathers and brothers. Incest is a common way of life in the United States, and that just shows how rotten the Americans are.

Now, this is not some one military officer or some one minister who has happened here saying something like Christianity is better than Islam, and everybody says oh, no, no, no, you can’t say that. No, no. This is not an individual; this is the Saudi government’s planned dissemination of doctrine for Wahhabi ministers, imams around the world, to emphasize the following week. This garbage has been going on for a quarter of a century.

So, if you wonder why sometimes the young men in the streets of Cairo or Fallujah are particularly angry as the news comes from Al-Jazeera, their imam is saying these sorts of things at the mosque. It’s not too hard to figure out where the money is coming from for that, and why it is happening.

Woolsey goes on in his speech to say that he believes the Islamist hate us, and make war upon us, because of our freedom. I don't quite agree with him on that. I think they look at our freedom and see only the licentiouness and moral decay, so I don't think it's quite our freedom they hate. They hate our decadence, yes. But, I don't know that I believe that that's even the reason they make war upon us. I think they make war on us for the same reason mountain climber's say they climb mountains. Because they're there. It seems to me the Islamists believe that it is their role in destiny to take over the whole by the sword, or conversion for Allah.

It's hard for Westerners to understand such a world view so we sit around and hypothesize that Islamists resent our freedom, they resent our "imperialism", etc. But, you know, I have spent many years around fundamentalist evangelical Christians, so I have known quite a few individual Christians who also believe that is the role of the Church in history to convert all of humanity. Christians, in general, believe that it is best for everyone to become a follower of Christ.

Being that I am immersed in such a culture it is not hard for me to understand that Islamists might think the same way. The difference between the Evangelical Christians and the Islamists, is the convert or die message. Christians have not, for many hundreds of years now, killed people because they refused to convert. The Islamists are an extreme group of Muslims who still, basically, live in the Dark Ages in terms of their simplistic, and frightening, view of the world.