Saturday, April 09, 2005

Islam = Stoning?

Baron says Tariq Ramadan, the Islamist Professor who had his work visa revoked by Homeland Security, is proving his skill at the practice of taqiyya. From Gates of Vienna:

Ramadan's claim to fame in the US lies in Homeland Security's revocation of his work visa last year. He'd taken on a prestigious tenured position at Notre Dame and had done all the preliminary work -- found a house, schools for the children, etc. -- and was within nine days of leaving Switzerland for South Bend when the news came. Despite all his connections, which included Bill Clinton, William Cohen and a designation by Time magazine as one of the top 100 spiritual innovators, Mr. Ramadan was considered a risk.
It could be his family: Grandpa was the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt; Dad helped establish the Saudis' proselytizing World Islamic League. That was before moving on to Switzerland in 1961 to start the Islamic Center of Geneva -- where Osama bin Laden studied. Then there's his brother, Hani, the director of Geneva's Islamic Center. Swiss intelligence thinks he's involved with Middle Eastern terrorists. And Tariq is on the Board of Directors.Lee Smith, weighing in on the debate last year, dubbed Ramadan "gentle Jihadist" for his views:

Ramadan is a cold-blooded Islamist who believes that Islam is the cure for the malaise wrought by liberal values. His revision of the jihadist paradigm -- peaceful but total -- is brilliant in its way, and he may well turn out to be a major Islamist intellectual, far surpassing even his grandfather's influence. His cry of death to the West is a quieter and gentler jihad, but it's still jihad.
There's no reason for Western liberals to try to understand that point of view.So there Tariq Ramadan sits in Geneva, his chance for tenure as a US academic gone...for the moment. What's a fellow going to do to get back in the swim?Here's one way: issue a 'world-wide' call to Muslims for a moratorium on hudud:

We are officially launching today an international call for an immediate moratorium on corporal punishment, stoning and the death penalty in all majority Muslim countries...
This call for a moratorium is being made considering that the opinions of most Islamic scholars is neither explicit nor unanimous (indeed even without a clear majority) as far as the comprehension of the texts and to the application of the Hudud.
Ramadan further said the political systems and the state of the majority Muslim societies do not guarantee just or equal treatment of individuals before the law.

A still more grave injustice is that these penalties are applied almost exclusively to women and the poor, the doubly victimized, never to the wealthy, the powerful, or the oppressors.

Furthermore, hundreds of prisoners have no access to anything that could even remotely be called defense counsel. Death sentences are decided and carried out against women, men and even minors (political prisoners, traffickers, delinquents, etc.) without ever given a chance to obtain legal counsel.
The explosions began immediately. The former President of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) chose a reductio ad absurdum to make his point:
"When this call comes from a respectable scholar like Dr. Tariq Ramadan, it may encourage others also to disrespect the laws of Allah...some may start calling for moratorium on the family law of Islam also, and some others on the business and finance laws of Islam, and some may ask for moratorium on the whole Shari'ah".
Yet another worthy, this one a member of the European Council for Fatwa and Research and the International Association of Muslim Scholars (IAMS) fretted that "such a call will only stir too much ado about an issue that is by no means a priority... "It will further beef up seculars and enemies of Islam, who will step up their war on Islam."
There were predictions and imprecations and scoldings. Muslims would be pitted against one another. This was the fault of women: it occurred after the woman-led prayer in the United States and the opening of a women-only mosque in Holland.
Now a call for a moratorium on hudud from Switzerland. Who would close Pandora's box?Ah, hudud. The justice and mercy of Islam, the peaceable kingdom. Allah forbid that an adulteress go unstoned, a lewd adolescent unhanged.
Meanwhile, where hudud has reached its fullest flower, they're
selling girl children in the streets of Tehran.
Tariq Ramadan has proven again his skill at the practice of taqiyya. A virtuoso performance: he sounds so Western and compassionate and a rule-of-law kind of guy. Meanwhile, he never has to worry that this un-Islamic idea will ever be implemented.Is this genius or what?

To reiterate, Baron's point is that Ramadam is merely a dissembler throwing up a smokescreen of moderation, so that we in the West can look at the Islamist agenda, and fool ourselves into believing it is not a threat. I thank Baron for pointing this out. I wouldn't have thought to criticize Ramadan's pronouncement from this perspective.

But, equally amazing is the fact that when a well-known Muslim scholar calls for cessation of stoning, respected Muslims the world over see his call as a threat to Islam itself. Does Islam = stoning?

Hmm. Well, apparently, to some respected Muslims, it does.

Give Chemical Weapons A Chance

No Pasaran asks:

Why can't those clueless Americans listen to pacifist Europeans like Zapatero, and make the world a safer place by refraining from turning to violence and refraining from choosing the (outdated) military option?…

Which clicks through to this, from Barcepundit:

WHAT ELSE DID SPAIN SELL to Venezuela, besides transport and ocean surveillance planes, as well as patrol boats? Well, according to Spanish news agency Europa Press, during the first half of 2004 Spain sold to Chavez

chemical warfare agents and radioactive materials to Venezuela worth €539.603 according to a report entitled "Spanish exports of defence materials and related products and technologies".

The report, produced by Spain's Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Tourism, was revealed to Europe Press. Venezuela appeared as the twelfth buyer of such defence material to Spain for the period that saw José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero winning the vote over Partido Popular.

Chemical Warfare Report's statistics show that Venezuela was the only country under the category "countries to which chemical warfare agents and radioactive materials were sold". Worth noting that the said category includes "biological and nerve agents destined to chemical warfare" of which Venezuela bought €30.374.

Another €509.229 consisted of "paramilitary and security material" which encompasses "firearms or gas weapons, bombs, grenades, explosives, armoured and all terrain vehicles, water canons, telescopic sights and night vision devices, etc."

(original information in Spanish here)

This is an extremely serious issue, which so far has been virtually ignored by the Spanish press, focused on the boats and planes controversy. No mainstream media have covered this, and I only found three articles via Google News on small local newspapers (one, two, three, all links in Spanish). Interestingly, without reporting on the exact date of the deal, all three blame the Aznar administration for the sale that took place during the first semester of 2004, although Zapatero took office on April 17th. That is, the semester was virtually split in two near-identical halfs, the first one with Aznar as PM and the second with Zapatero.

I still don't have solid information about the date, but I'd be willing to bet that it was under Zapatero. Why I'm saying this? Well, first because after all Zapatero has been getting cozy with Chavez since day 1, and, actually accused Aznar of supporting the 2002 coup that briefly ousted him (why would Aznar sell WMD material to someone he had tried to oust from power?). But mainly because if it had been under Aznar, the issue would not be silenced by the pro-Socialist MSM. I can assure you that it would be all over the place opening TV and radio newscasts, and would be on page 1 on El Pais, almost a Socialist-party house organ, since it would cast a darker picture of Zapatero's predecessor.

Well, I guess all those anti-war protesters who demonstrated in the streets of Madrid didn't get what they bargained for in Zapatero. He's not a Pacifist. He's just anti-American. Gee, who woulda thunk it?

That Hugo Chavez is a real piece of work, cozying up to Fidel Castro, and stocking up on chemical weapons and radiological agents.

Don't Ask
Don't Tell

Melanie Phillips on Michael Howard, the Conservative Party candidate for English Prime Minister. From Jewish World Review:

The British Conservative party has elected Michael Howard as its first Jewish leader — and potential Prime Minister — since Benjamin Disraeli led the Tories in the 19th century.

This has occurred when much of the Jewish community in Britain feels besieged by an upsurge of anti-Jewish hatred. So how can a country whose deep vein of prejudice is once again open and flowing be sanguine about the possibility of a Jewish Prime Minister?

Some Jews see no problem in Britain — quite the reverse. Howard's rise demonstrates, they purr, that Britain has changed, that it has developed a new maturity, that British Jews have finally become truly accepted. From which Panglossian optimism, one can only marvel at the infinite human capacity for self-delusion.

For Britain is where the veteran Labour MP Tam Dalyell claimed a 'cabal' of Jews was controlling Tony Blair and George Bush — and was then promptly excused as a lovable eccentric. Where the following day, the BBC TV current affairs show Newsnight concluded that Dalyell had a case, and a 'tightly-knit' group of Jews really did control US foreign policy.

Where Israel is repeatedly dehumanized and delegitimized as an apartheid or Nazi state. Where almost two thirds of the public believe it is the biggest threat to world peace. Where attacks on Jews have increased. And where friendships between Jews and non-Jews founder over claims by the latter that the Jews are all-powerful, and that the establishment of Israel was a terrible mistake.
In this hostile climate, however, Michael Howard has climbed to the top of the greasy Tory pole after the sacking of the previous party leader, Iain Duncan Smith. So how does one explain the apparent contradiction?

The situation of diaspora Jews has always been characterized by many such ambiguities and nuances, by a profound ambivalence in the general population and a precarious balancing act over Anglo-Jewish identity.

Howard's triumph is an astonishing turnaround. As Home Secretary in the last Conservative government in the 1990s, he became the most unpopular politician in Britain, as much because of his personality as his tough policies. He was widely viewed as sinister and menacing, leading his colleague Ann Widdecombe to make her infamous claim that he had 'something of the night' about him.

So what was she getting at? Howard provoked a notable repugnance not associated with other, even harder men of the right. This was clearly because he was viewed as an unctuous, oily, slippery, devious, too-clever-by-half lawyer — all epithets associated in the public mind with Jews.

True, under Margaret Thatcher's earlier regime there were no fewer than five Jews in the Cabinet. But this was an aberration, caused by Mrs. Thatcher's personal admiration for the Jews which was not shared by her colleagues, who objected that there were 'more Estonians than Etonians' in the government.

Now, though, Howard is being hailed as the savior of his party which is falling over itself to describe him as charming, decent, honorable, upright, fair, fastidious and virtuous.

So have the Tories suddenly learned to love the Jews? Not quite.

The Conservatives are in the grip of a protracted nervous breakdown, because they've been out of power for six years and the country regards them as a hopeless joke. So lacking are they in talent, and so bad is their disarray, they would have elected a Martian if they thought he might win the general election.

Howard is by far the most successful politician they've got. He has authority and experience, and through his forensic approach does serious damage to the Labour government in House of Commons debates. He is therefore the Conservatives' only reliable weapon. And the Tories will do anything to win power.

Crucially, moreover, Howard's Jewish profile has always been low. True, in his leadership bid he drew attention to the fact that he was the child of immigrants. True, he says Jewish values are still 'an important guide and influence on my life', and he attends a (Liberal) synagogue on the high holydays. But he has never made much of his Jewishness. His wife, the former model Sandra Paul, is a member of the Church of England; and his son Nick not only became a Christian, but provoked controversy as a student when he started trying to convert Jews to Christianity as well.

Despite the gushing compliments about Howard in the media in the past week, there have still been uncomfortable reminders of the prejudice lurking below the surface. With the press going overboard to describe how his father fled the Nazis in Transylvania, there was also a reference to Howard posing as a 'proper English gentleman 'who stood for 'those very Anglo-Saxon virtues of fair play and decency' — whereas according to his enemies, he was a 'chilly, calculating, heartless, ruthless, ambitious, calculating political machine, bent on passing himself off as something he wasn't'. In other words, not an English gentleman at all.

On Newsnight (again), the renowned anchor Jeremy Paxman asked another Tory MP: 'What makes you think the country is ready for a man of Transylvanian origins?' And in an apparently subliminal link, he followed this by saying Howard might as well have 'something of the night' emblazoned on his forehead.

When Howard was asked by a newspaper what he had felt about this extraordinary line of questioning, he displayed a rare unease and muttered something about Paxman's reputation for disobliging remarks. His reticence tells you everything you need to know about Britain's supposed 'maturity' towards Jews.

For Howard surely knew that for a Jew to complain about anti-Jewish prejudice in Britain is to provoke that very thing. That is the true measure of Anglo-Jewish status: you are accepted as long as you never come into conflict with the values of the surrounding community. Whatever they hit you with, you are supposed to take it in silence — the defining characteristic of the diaspora Jew.

And this surely lies at the very heart of the terrible bitterness over British attitudes towards both Israel and the Jews. For the British think there's nothing wrong with the Jews as long as they agree with the generally accepted view that Israel is the cause of world terror because it is an apartheid or even a Nazi state.

Those Jews who agree with this analysis, and also agree that claims of resurgent British anti-Semitism are a figleaf to conceal the crimes of Ariel Sharon, are the Good Jews. They are welcomed at the most fashionable dinner tables; they are lionized in the universities, publishing or the media.

Those Jews who say Israel is defending itself against an attempt to destroy it, that its dehumanization by the media breaks the bounds of legitimate criticism, and that Jew-hatred of a kind that was assumed to have vanished forever is now horrifyingly respectable, are the Bad Jews. They are not merely socially and professionally ostracized. They are regarded as not really British at all.

Anti-Semitism is now the prejudice that dare not speak its name. Everyone knows that 'real' anti-Semitism was what caused Howard's father to flee Transylvania for Britain. Everyone also 'knows' that the victims of the Nazis have now turned into Nazis, that anti-Semitism is history, and that it exists today only as a shroud waved by whineing Jews.

In other words, the newly 'mature' British like Jews as long as they dump upon Israel, and deny the now rampant public prejudice against them. The British like Jews as long as they turn the other cheek when people commit mass murder against them. They are the good Jews: the Jews who die, just like Michael Howard's picturesque relatives. The bad Jews are the Jews who fight back.

The British believe they are not anti-Jew but anti-Israel. (So do many British Jews on the left, who encourage them). But they are not merely against the government of Israel. The agenda now is that the creation of the Jewish state itself was the big mistake that has led to world terror, and that the very idea of a Jewish state is racist. People now say this to me all the time.

So what would happen if Howard were to speak up loudly and firmly in support of Israel's measures for self-defense, and against the new anti-Semitism? He would be taking a big risk of being fingered for double loyalty. For what troubles the British even more than the individual Jew is the collective Jew. Jews who publicly identify with each other are considered suspect. The British public will overlook a politician's Jewish heritage as long as it's kept to the level of something consenting adults do in private, and as long he doesn't identify with Jewish peoplehood.

The idea that British Jews are not really 'one of us' is deeply rooted in British society. Even though prejudice based on Jewish identity went underground after the Holocaust, the successful dehumanization of Israel by the media has legitimized the revival of the ancient canard of world Jewish power and other familiar tropes of Jew-hatred. British Jews, who have always trodden an existential tightrope, nevertheless believed until very recently that they were as British as anyone else. Now, they find themselves in the hideous position of being forced to denounce their own or bite their tongues as the price of social acceptance.

Michael Howard has said: 'Being Jewish is no bar to playing a very important part in public life in this country'. True, but at a price. A Jewish politician who is determined to become Prime Minister would be brave indeed if he put his head above this particular parapet. Whether such a situation constitutes a 'new maturity' to be celebrated about Britain is quite another matter.

A Jewish French Prime Minister?

In light of the post below, let's talk about the man who might be the next French Prime Minister. From Powerline:

For decades, American conservatives have been waiting for the French Thatcher or the French Reagan to emerge. It's pretty clear that he/she isn't coming anytime soon, but Nicholas Sarkozy is. Sarkozy has served as France’s interior minister and minister of finance, and recently was elected leader of France’s major center-right political party. He is thus well-position to run for the presidency in 2007. I have written about Sarkozy here (focusing on his Jewish roots and overtures to American Jewish leaders) and here (noting his success in fighting terrorism while interior minister). Sarkozy is no Reagan or Thatcher, but he has been a breath of fresh air in top-level French politics.

Now Sarkozy has written a new book about religion and the state, La Republique, les religions, l'esperance. Timothy Lehman reviews it here. Says Lehman:

By appealing to, and indeed clearly appreciating, religious believers in national life, “Sarko” seems to be breathing new life into demons long thought dead and fanning the flames of spirits that haven’t yet been killed. France’s elites are not taking kindly to his ideas: In an interview in L’Express, he was told that his book was “disturbing,” and he was derided for his “offensive manner.”

The issue of the place of religion in public life is always a difficult one, and more so in France than in the U.S., given the French traditions of anti-clericism and "laicite," the mass influx of Muslims, and the existence of virulent anti-semitism. Lehman is impressed by the way in which Sarkozy has dealt with the issue:

La Republic vigorously challenges France’s existing laws and status quo, reinvigorates questions about the soul, and throws into doubt widely accepted and encrusted beliefs about the temporal and the eternal. While Sarkozy’s practical concern is how to improve French society and promote tolerance among Muslims, Jews, Christians, and nonbelievers in France, his overall approach to the question of religion and society has much in common with the views of many American conservatives.

I never knew, until the last few days, that both Sarkozy and Howard (Conservative party candidate for English Prime Minister) were both Jewish. That's an interesting and very notable development.

And the fact that Sarkozy is more open to religion in general is, I believe, a very positive development. Are things looking up?

A Jew As British Prime Minister?

The other day a relative of mine called from England to chat. I was treated to the usual criticism of Bush. On this occasion I decided to tell him that I simply don't want to hear it anymore. I asked him what he would do if I subjected his country to criticism everytime I talked to him. He said he wouldn't mind. So I said, "You wouldn't mind if everytime I called you, I gave you a lecture about how anti-Semitic the English media is?"

No, he said, he wouldn't mind.

I don't believe him, but that's his assertion.

Anyway, because the subject of British anti-Semitism came up, he said to me, "You may think we have a problem with anti-Semitism over here, but do you know that it is very likely that we will have a Jewish Prime Minister in about a month. Michael Howard is Jewish."

That was news to me. I had no idea. Then, my relative pointed out that the United States has never elected a Jew to run our country (that's true), nor have we had a Jewish V.P., nor to his knowledge, or mine, have we had a Jew elected to be Governor of any state.

Now, the truth is, that there is a lot of backroom anti-Semitism in America as well. I have been in more than my share of Country Clubs around these United States, and I have some knowledge of the Country Club as an industry. There are Clubs all over the place where it is understood that Jews are not allowed.

In fact, one time I called a club to inquire about visiting, and the young receptionist enthusiastically explained to me that club was very exclusive. I asked her what she meant, and she responded, "Oh, you know, we don't allow blacks and Jews and stuff."

I swear to God, that really happened. I'm actually laughing my head off as I type this, because I know it sounds like I'm making it up, but that really happened. In fact, I responded by laughing outright when the girl said it, and then moved on to the next question I had.

It's just so funny that the girl was so naiive that she thought it was ok to just rattle something like that off to just anybody who calls in.

Anyway, if I ever stop laughing here, I could get to the point. And the point is ...

if there are these kinds of barriers for Jews, and blacks for that matter, having entrance to high society, it should not come as a surprise that they are less likely to be able to attain certain positions of power in our society.

Now, clearly, Jewish people do attain positions of power in the business world and the government too. And, in fact, I do believe that the kind of anti-Semitism reflected in the country club industry is rather old school and that most of it is dying out with the WWII generation.

But, having had so much direct exposure to it, I will not argue against what my English relative says.

Well, it will be interesting to see what will happen if Howard does beat Tony Blair. I imagine we will see a lot of this:

Michael-I-Love-Golda-Meir-Howard yet again revealed his double standards this week when he condemned Mayor Ken's Nazi comment.

Howard said, "Politicians from all parties should campaign with civility and courtesy. It is important for all politicians to be mindful of their language."

Are loyal MPACERS laughing out loud yet? I mean, pull another one!

This from the Conservative Party leader who attacked Sheikh Al-Qaradawi in the House of Commons and demanded that he be kicked out of Britain!

Where was the civility and courtesy by Michael Howard for Sheikh Al-Qaradawi?

This from a man whose Party, the Conservative Party, backed the Iraq war and made it possible for the attack to go ahead. Even now in February 2005, Howard states, "I supported the war on Iraq. I STILL believe it was the right thing to do."

Where was the civility and courtesy by Michael Howard for the innocent Iraqi people?
This from a man who often speaks of his admiration for the most anti-Palestinian Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir, infamous for her belief that there were no Palestinian people because they did not exist!

Just to put that in context, by the way, Golda Meir's point wasn't that there is no such thing as people who are called Palestinians, but that there has never been a state called Palestine, so the idea of a people called Palestinians returning to their homeland is preposterous. The Palestinian people were one of the tribes of people who lived in the state of Jordan, just as there are multiple tribes of people living in most Arab countries, and just as there are multiple tribes of people living in the United States.

Anyway, Mr. Howard, if you are elected: Have fun.

Give Charles Johnson A Book Deal

A week ago I wrote a post wherein I said someone ought to give Charles Johnson, of Little Green Footballs, a book deal.

This is the third or fourth time I have attempted to start this meme. The thing is, I am not merely kissing ass when I say this. I really think the man's story is compelling.

Now, let me explain. I am in my forties and I was a liberal Clintonite, and a Bush-hater, until September 11th, 2001. My head was turned around almost the instant I watched the first tower fall.

My daughter was very young at the time. As I watched those moments unfold, she was pleading with me to put on a video of The Little Mermaid. I looked at her and I began to cry. I thought to myself, "What kind of world have I brought her into? There is going to be a major war. It could go nuclear. That's the world into which I brought my daughter. What am I going to do to protect her?"

I felt desparate for about three seconds.

Then, something kicked in. A voice in my head said, "You didn't bring your daughter into the world to have a cute, happy life. You brought her into the world to teach her to be good, and to know God, and to love Him by making the world a better place. That is your responsibility. And it is good."

I was changed, in the blink of an eye.

If you go back to Charles archives for August of 2001 and read through to Sept 12th, you will see that something similar happened to him. And, of course, something similar has happened to millions of us.

As far as I'm concerned, his story is our story.

We have been changed. Whereas, we used to think of life as being a pursuit of gratification, we now believe that we must be willing to sacrifice for the greater good of humanity. Whereas, many of us used to whine about what our country was not doing for us, now we are seeking out new ways, such as blogging, to serve our country.

Charles story is all the more dramatic because of the fact that he commonly receives death threats. There was an interview with him in the LA Times recently in which the writer noted that he was shaky, and nervous, and not at all the image of a jazz musician. He told her that he had lost a lot of friends, and that he receives death threats sometimes.

The thing is, if you listen to his interview on RightTalk Radio from the other day, you hear the voice of a pretty laidback guy. I think the disconnect can be explained by the fact that we aquire our voices over time, but our demeanor is, largely, the result of our mood. The man is under pressure, but he doesn't back down.

Those who are young need to understand how striking it is to see such paradigm shifts are in those past the age of 30. What has happened in our country is extraordinary. I can not believe the events before me as I watch them unfold. We are in a time of social upheavel which just might surpass those of the vaunted sixties.

If you agree with me, pass this meme along. Let's do what we can to get Charles story out there. It might be an antidote to the anti-American poison that is being spread in our media.

Threatening The President With Death
Is Protected Free Speech
According To The Court of Appeals

From Little Green Footballs:

SAN FRANCISCO—A federal appeals court Friday overturned an inmate’s conviction for writing a crude, rambling letter endorsing President Bush’s death at the hands of terrorists — two weeks after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

The letter from Oregon State Penitentiary prisoner Jonathan Lincoln, who was charged with threatening the president and given an 18-month sentence last year, read, in part: “You will die too George W Bush real Soon they Promised That you would Long Live Bin Laden.”

Corrections officials intercepted the letter; Lincoln had been serving a 46-month sentence for robbery.

A unanimous three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said the letter was protected under the First Amendment, calling it “Lincoln’s crude and offensive method of stating a political opposition to the president.” The court noted “such political hyperbole does not constitute a ‘threat.”’
Lincoln's attorney, Michael Levine, said his client was mentally disabled. He was released from prison last month and lives in a Portland, Ore., halfway house.

You know, if he's mentally disabled then I feel sorry for him, and I don't think he should be put in jail for his crime. But, it is an crime.

The problem with the decision of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals is that it will now serve as a Precedent. From now on, we can all threaten the President in such a manner, and when we are brought up on charges, our lawyers can simply point to this Precedent, and judges will be bound to let us off the hook.

Does that sound like good law?

A German Warns America
About The Rise of A New German Extremism

From Medienkritik:

The German NPD, a hard right nationalist Neo-Nazi party, has purchased a large indoor tennis hall in Grafenwoehr, Germany, the site of a major US military base, to hold large anti-American rallies, festivals and events.

But it gets worse: According to the NPD, the new hall is to be dedicated as follows:

"On the occasion of the separation of the USA from Great Britain on the 4 of July (so-called Independence Day) we plan on Sunday evening, July 2, 2005 to inaugurate our liberated zone with a large anti-American culture festival.

Motto: "No to slavery, the rule of money and imperialism: Dissolve the USA now!" Further major events are planned."

The frightening part of this all: The slogans of the Neo-Nazis are strikingly similar to those of the hard left in Germany. The last time the two combined politically in this manner, they overthrew the Weimar Republic and destroyed German democracy. Anyone worried yet?

NPD Stickers: (left) "Peace Instead of US Wars" (center) "Germany for us Germans!" (right) Stop the World Arsonist USA and its German Henchman!"

(Pastorius Note: Click here and scroll down to see photos of the NPD stickers)

Here, now, is the translation of a major news article from SPIEGEL ONLINE on the NPD's plans:

"NPD Wants to Use Tennis Hall as "National Center"

The NPD has purchased an indoor tennis hall in Bavarian Grafenwoehr and wants to establish a "national center" there for large events. The mayor is appalled and is worried above all about the reaction of the Americans: Next to it lies the largest troop training facility of the US Army (in Germany).

Berlin - Finally - the NPD celebrates in a press release, the party has a "large object" in which it can hold large party rallies, concerts and other events. The hall will also be put at the disposal of other hard right parties such as the DVU and the Republikaner.

Helmut Waechter, the mayor of the 7,000 resident town near Regensburg, was shocked. He confirmed the purchase of the hall to SPIEGEL ONLINE that was unfortunately not preventable. The empty hall was sold by Dresden real estate developer Wolfgang Juergens to the NPD.

It plans an anti-American festival for the dedication on July 2, two days before the American national holiday. That is a particular provocation, because a large US training facility is in Grafenwoehr. The Americans plan the deployment of an entire brigade to the town, there are supposed to be investments in the hundreds of millions already planned. 8,500 soldiers and family members are to move there.

Waechter is worried about the image of his community. The US command still hasn't heard anything, but "you never know how sensitively the Americans will react" he said. He worries that the news of the new neighbors will reach the Pentagon. Neo-Nazis already showed up at the facility to protest against the troop facility a few years ago in Grafenwoehr. "That went by very quickly though" said Waechter.

Clearly, part of the blame must be directed at Gerhard Schroeder and Joschka Fischer and their Red-Green government for exploiting anti-American sentiment in Germany for the past three years for political profit. Let's not forget that not so long ago, Gerhard Schroeder's Justice Minister was comparing the methods of George W. Bush to those of Hitler to win an election.

The German left-wing media, above all SPIEGEL, Stern and Sueddeutsche Zeitung and the publishing houses that have released the most outrageous anti-American garbage over the past years, deserve an equal portion of the blame. Just a few months ago SPIEGEL ONLINE ran an article depicting the United States as having become "as scary as Osama Bin Laden."

This all represents nothing more than the chickens coming home to roost...reaping what you sow.

Perhaps these groups will finally realize that they have spread the seeds of anti-Americanism to the point that even Nazis can successfully exploit the sad phenomena. Soon the growing Fascist movement in Germany will be able to intimidate and threaten American families in Grafenwoehr.

And how can the US government and the US military put the wives and children of US soldiers in a community like this? They are planning to move in thousands more Americans and invest hundreds of millions in this area? Are you kidding me? If someone hasn't contacted the Pentagon, the White House, the State Department and the US Congress about this, we had better start doing so now people! (Here is a link to the US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations. You are welcome to post copies of your emails and letters in our comments section.)

There can only be one response to this: America needs to pull its troops, families and money out of Germany and keep pulling them out until this stops. There are plenty of other nations in Europe where American troops would be welcomed with open arms and where American financial investments would be greatly appreciated.

The SPD (Schroeder's Social Democrats), the Greens, the PDS (Communist party) and their friends in the media who have ceaselessly exploited anti-Americanism in Germany need to be thrown out of their positions of power and discredited. Germany is drifting towards extremism, irrelevance and economic mediocrity because of them.

When will enough be enough???

Do you hear this? This is a concerned German citizen warning America that we need to watch our backs in his country. He is worried for us. The one thing that I don't understand here, though, is, if dangerous extremism is on the rise, why would he think it would be a good idea for America to leave.

During the 1920's, the Nazi Party ascended to power largely through the use of violence and intimidation. If the American army leaves Germany altogether, will that not give the NPD free reign to do whatever they please?

Read on:

NOTE: Mr. Wolfgang Juergens, our "real estate developer" from Dresden, said that it was a pleasure for him to sell the NPD the tennis hall. Mr. Juergens officially sold the tennis hall to the NPD's chairman for Lower Franconia in Bavaria, Uwe Meenen.

Uwe Meenan has authored a number of articles including "The Flag of the Fourth Reich" and coauthored an article entitled: "The Fall of the Judeo-American Empire." Here is an excerpt:

"On 11 September 2001, there occurred the overdue general attack of the Islamic Middle Ages upon the Judeo-American Civilization, which is Modenism and thus Barbarism, in its own main depot. These attacks were executed by the resurrected martyrs of a medieval Mohammedan warrior culture, which offers itself in sacrifice and takes as many as the enemy into death with it as it can.

The Holy War and its martyrs are the crown of Islamic culture. Attack upon civilization, resurrection of cultures, and the smashing of the USA, including its global Jewish influence-apparatus, along with the ending of the Jewish State and the simultaneous construction of a world order based upon the freedom of the various peoples, is the inseparable complete process of the anti-capitalist world revolution, at whose victorious conclusion Western values and their utilization process will be broken and the sovereignty of the nationalities established."

I agree that we had better take take notice of these events and do something about them, before they overtake us. However, as much as I have been a supporter of the Bush Administrations plans to remove American troops from Germany, we really need to consider what the effect of such an action will be on the German political process.

While it is true that many Germans resent our military presence in their country, and while it is true that our presence there is a holdover from the Cold War, it is also true that for many Germans, their only contact with real Americans is with our GI's. So, if we remove our troops, will that not leave a vacuum into which the NPD and the far-left can inject it's anti-American fantasies?

Friday, April 08, 2005

The Clash Of Civilizations?

A comment from Belmont Club reader, Tilo, with a couple of Wretchard comments interspersed:

I often wonder if Pres. Bush understood the exact nature of the battle that he was going to fight when he invaded Iraq. I believe that he had a notion about Democracy and it's contagious effect that was probably right. I don't think that he ever understood that he was entering into a fight for the heart and the existence of Islam. But it is something that Imams around the world understood instinctively. The message went around the world and the true Muslim faithful, the ones that understood the survival requirements for their religion, shot into action. Democracy needed to be defeated on the Arabian penninsula or it would be the eventual death of Islam as a religion which dominated the lives of 1.3 million people.

The Muslim faithful will tell you that Islam is not just a religion, but a way of life. The more hard core elements will tell you that Islam and Democracy cannot co-exists. You must either live by the laws of god or the laws of man. Islam, more so than Judaism or Christianity, defines and regulates every aspect of life. In many ways it is more of a collection of laws, of does and don't, of modes of behaviour, than it is a source of spiritual guidance. This means that if you allow people to vote for the things that regulate their daily lives you will quickly run into contradictions with how Islam mandates that they must run their lives.

The coming of democracy, for most Imams, means that the influence of the mosque will diminish in the lives of most Muslims in the same way that the influence of the Church has diminished in the lives of westerners. For Islamists, the installation of Democracy in the middle of the Arabian peninsula was immediatley recognized as a fight for the life of Islam. The fight to save Iraq from Democracy immediately rose to the very top of the lists of Jihads that must be fought for Islam. Blowing up some Americans in America would be pointless if Iraq were lost.

Whether Bush did it intentionally or not, when he entered Iraq he created a magnet for Islamists. He defined the field where the fight would be held. It reminds me of Hannibal pillaging the Italian countryside while delivering several major defeats to the Roman army. But when Rome sent it's armies to Carthage, Hannibal had no choice but to leave Italy and defend his home turf.

I can't help but think about Professor Huntington's "Clash of Civilizations". One of his points, of course, is that around the world, Islam has bloody borders. I think that he saw the "Clash" as occuring along those borders. Bush seems to have inadvertently bypassed that clash. If the worldwide Islamist ideaology can be thought of as a host, then Bush can be thought of as a mosquito that has injected that host with an ideology that will defeat it from the inside. With the hoped for success of that democratic ideaology, maybe Prof. Huntingtons clash along the borders need never reach the levels that he feared it would.

But as this Weekly Standard article points out, radical Islam has long been injecting its Western European host with a parasitic ideology, which they no longer bother to hide.

On March 8, tens of thousands of high school students marched through central Paris to protest education reforms announced by the government. Repeatedly, peaceful demonstrators were attacked by bands of black and Arab youths--about 1,000 in all, according to police estimates. ... Some of the attackers openly expressed their hatred of "little French people."

One 18-year-old named Heikel, a dual citizen of France and Tunisia, was proud of his actions. He explained that he had joined in just to "beat people up," especially "little Frenchmen who look like victims." He added with a satisfied smile that he had "a pleasant memory" of repeatedly kicking a student, already defenseless on the ground. Another attacker explained the violence by saying that "little whites" don't know how to fight and "are afraid because they are cowards." Rachid, an Arab attacker, added that even an Arab can be considered a "little white" if he "has a French mindset."

Naturally, the Left turned a blind eye. Pacificists led Europe to the brink of extinction in the 1930s with their 'never again'. Their eyesight has not improved since.

Julliard, writing in the Nouvel Observateur, expressed dismay at the lack of public outcry over this display of racial hatred. He added that the left had already made the mistake of not denouncing violence in schools or soaring crime rates. And he sharply rejected the view endorsed by most left-wing organizations and individuals that the violence was an expression of class struggle, a clash between rich and poor. "Anyone should be ashamed," Julliard wrote, "after all we went through in the 20th century, to offer such a coarse explanation. . . . There is no good and bad racism."

What a sad condition. To have remembered everything and to have learned nothing.

I don't quite agree that it is a "clash of civilizations." To say that it is is to believe that the people of the Arab world would choose to live in such a manner if they had a real choice. What we are seeing in Iraq are real signs of Democracy. The Iraqi Assembly just elected a moderate Kurdish man to be Prime Minister. They would not have done this if they wanted to create an Islamist country in the mode of Iran.

Really, in the end, I believe that people who think, when all is said and done, that Arabs want to live under Islamist tyrannies, basically think Arabs are stupid. I believe you have to be a sort of racist at heart to believe that any one group of people would want to live under such a government.

Converging Territories

This photo provided by Moroccan photographer Lalla Essaydi is her photograph titled 'Converging Territories #2' The photo is part of the NAZAR, Photographs from the Arab World exhibit which opens Friday, April 8, 2005, in Houston. The exhibit features a contemporary view of Arab cultures in the Middle East and northern Africa from the works of 18 Arab photographers. (AP Photo/Lalla Essaydi, HO)

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Blogger Is Screwing Up Again

It has eaten two posts already. Let's see if this works.

More Of The Same Old Thing
From The Palestinian Authority

Israel is attempting to unilaterally disengage from the Palestinian territories. This means they are removing their troops. The military occupation will be over. This makes the Palestinians angry. What gives? From Front Page Magazine:

As the Bush Administration moves to host Palestinian leaders this month and to give them much more money ($390-Million), and as the Israeli government is fighting an immense internal battle to withdraw from the Gaza Strip, the Palestinians have escalated their anti-Israeli and anti-American rhetoric and diplomacy.
The U.S. and Israel have given credit and money to Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas for restraining violence and incitement, but official Palestinian media still call terrorists "martyrs," never refer to Arab violence as "terror," and still send coded calls for violence while intermittently trimming some of the cruder forms of incitement.

Eager not to be seen as obstacles to peace, Israeli officials have downplayed the Palestinian incitement, eased security restrictions and released convicted terrorists from jail, but these actions have hardly mollified the Palestinians.
"We're talking about the Judaization of Jerusalem," asserted PA Prime Minister Qreia in comments were broadcast on PA official Television Thursday (March 24), and he repeated them again on March 28 and March 29.
"This is aggression with a capital 'A,.'" Qreia added, using a term which has special significance because "Israeli aggression" would be a cause for the Palestinians to resume full-scale warfare against Israel, according to the internal Palestinian summit in Cairo last week between.
"O ye faithful, We have said in more than one sermon that Syria and Iran are the next two targets of Zionist-American aggression," asserted Sheikh Youssef Abu-Sneina, in a recent fiery sermon from Jerusalem broadcast over "Sawt Felasteen" (Voice of Palestine) official Palestinian radio (March 18).
What is the non-Arab observer to make of these comments, this harsh tone, when Palestinian officials publicly tell the West -in English-how much they want peace and want democratization? How is one to make sense of the fact that regular Palestinian leadership and the official media new shows regularly intersperse words like "salaam"-peace-and "jihad"-holy war?
For the typical Arabic-speaking Palestinian who understands the nuances, the messages are clear, including:
--Violence against Israel is still an option, though it is against Palestinian interests to use it flagrantly right now, because it would be counterproductive militarily and diplomatically;
--The Palestinians are not in the pocket of the United States or the West, but they will take Western money and invite Western intervention when it suits Palestinian interests;

--There is no message of "compromise" with Israel, and there will be no Arab or Islamic or Palestinian normalization of relations with Israel until all Palestinian demands are met.
These messages come also at a time that the Palestinian Authority (PA) has reached out to the extremist Islamic groups-HAMAS and Islamic Jihad-not to give up their weapons, but to become part of the PA and the PLO-both formerly headed by Yasser Arafat and now by Mahmoud Abbas.

What gives? Well, the answer is they don't want the Jews to be in Israel either. When the Palestinians refer to the "occupation" they do not mean the military occupation of the Palestinian territories. They mean Israel. And, even though our media does not report it, they come right out and say it. It's in the Palestinian Liberation Organization Charter which is located on their official UN website.

Dutch Release Terror Supect
Samir Azzouz Had Detailed Maps of a Nuclear Reactor
And Bomb-making Supplies In His Home

From Little Green Footballs:

A Dutch court has acquitted teenager Samir Azzouz of plotting terrorist attacks against Dutch landmarks and ordered his release. The 18-year-old was sentenced to three months for illegal possession of firearms, but will be released because he has already been in detention for 10 months.

Upon hearing the decision, Azzouz, who was dressed in white Islamic garb, looked over his shoulder and smiled at his defence lawyer and at his wife sitting in the public gallery.

Azzouz had been in custody since June 2004, when police found detailed maps of Parliament, the Intelligence Service, Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport and a nuclear reactor at his home.

At his trial last month, prosecutors called on the three-judge bench to sentence him to seven years’ imprisonment and revoke his voting rights for 12 years.

Prosecutors alleged that Azzouz was a Muslim extremist prepared to die for the cause of fundamentalist Islam. A nationwide terror alert, which lasted for several weeks, was put in place after police found the maps, apparent bomb-making supplies and notes on how to attack buildings.

Investigators also found a pellet gun, ammunition clips and a silencer for automatic weapons, night vision goggles and a bulletproof vest at Azzouz’s home. A written statement, determined by experts to be in Azzouz’s handwriting, expressed hope that his infant daughter would join the extremist Islamic struggle.

Lead prosecutor Roger Lambrichts said Azzouz, who comes from a Moroccan family, associated with members of a terrorist group known as the Hofstad Network, together with a man accused of killing Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh in November.

Azzouz’s defence lawyer Victor Koppe said the material found at his client’s home could in no way have been used to cause an explosion and that the evidence against him was weak.

Yeah, evidence was weak. Doesn't your kid have a detailed map of a nuclear reactor lying around in his bedroom?

Talabani, the Kurds, And the Jews

From Neo-Neocon:

I was reading a thread at LGF about Talabani's selection as interim President of Iraq, when I saw this remark by a commenter named sandspur:
Just saw a little clip of Talabani on FNC. Sorry I can't quote him verbatim, but he said that Jews, Arabs, all will be treated equally.
As extraordinary as Talabani's election was, this comment seemed even more extraordinary. Why mention Jews? Unfortunately, I haven't been able to find a link for the quote. But in researching it, I came across some other information that I found fascinating.
There are almost no Jews left in Iraq, although it once teemed with them, and the Jewish presence there was ancient. At the time of WWI, one-third of the population of Baghdad is estimated to have been Jewish. But anti-Semitism in Iraq increased during the early 1940s, influenced by Nazi-inspired leaders who staged a coup (and I don't mean "Nazi-inspired" as a metaphor; I mean it literally). Violence against Jews intensified after the state of Israel was established, and most of the Jews of Iraq left the country.
Well, it turns out that this mention of Jews by the Kurdish Talabani was no fluke. Today, while researching this, I came across an extraordinary article written in 2001 by Michael Rubin, entitled "The Other Iraq."
According to Rubin's article, written before the Iraq war that deposed Saddam, many Kurds were already expressing approval of Israel and studying the country as a model for their own autonomy and liberation. Victims of persecution and genocide themselves, they could identify.
What's more, they despised the Palestinians for their support of Saddam. The older generation of Kurds remembered the absent Iraqi Kurdish Jews fondly, and even the younger generation were able to listen to Israeli radio, watch Israeli TV, and access Israeli websites, unlike the inhabitants of the rest of Iraq.
So Talabani's statement doesn't come out of the blue, although it was a total surprise to me. I was ignorant of this long history of relative goodwill in the Kurdish part of Iraq towards Israel and the Jews.
The plot thickens, though, because this long history gets even longer--and more astounding--when genetics are factored in. It turns out, as this article relates, that a team of scientists (Israeli, German, and Indian--that's quite a story in itself!) discovered in 2001 that the Kurds may be the closest genetic relatives to Jews in the entire world.

Hmm. Don't know what to make of that, but I hope it bodes well for the Jews status in the Middle East.

Article From Washington Post - Sept. 11th
Six Hours After The WTC Towers Were Hit

Look what I found. This is an article published just six hours after the WTC was hit on September 11th:

Security Officials Trying to Identify Culprit
By Steven Mufson
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2001; 1:01 p.m.
When Ramzi Yousef, the mastermind of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, was captured in Pakistan and flown into New York City in a helicopter, he wistfully told the Federal Bureau of Investigation agents with him that if he had enough money and a big enough bomb, he could have taken down one of the towers.

This morning other terrorists did just that, in what Robert Blitzer, the former head of domestic counter-terrorism for the FBI, said was “a major act of war.”

But war with whom? To retaliate, the United States must first figure out who committed these acts of terrorism. And the Bush administration and counter-terrorism experts today were trying to figure out whether Yousef’s comrades in the Osama bin Laden organization were behind it or whether some other group was to blame.

“We don’t know anything here. We’re watching CNN too,” said an official at the National Security Council, where the top counter-terrorism expert Richard A. Clarke was holed up in the situation room.

“In effect, the country’s at war but we don’t have the coordinates of the enemy -- yet,” said Leon Fuerth, a professor at George Washington University and former national security adviser to former Vice President Al Gore.

Suspicions turned immediately to the former Saudi businessman Osama bin Laden, who has been coordinating terrorism attacks against the United States from bases in Afghanistan and who the United States tried unsuccessfully to target in cruise missile attacks during President Bill Clinton’s administration.

“My view is it’s probably a bin Laden operation, given the complexity of the operation and given the targets’ high visibility,” said Blitzer, who noted that bin Laden has issued calls for his followers to bring war home to Americans.

Blogger Has Been Down

Blogger is finally up again. I'll try to get some posts up.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

The History of Nazi's and Jihadi's

Here's a page which displays a series of photos showing the history of the relationship between the Nazi movement and Jihadi Islamofascists.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

The Strategy For Victory In The War On Terror

Austin Bay asked a friend of his who is a "well-informed senior officer" now serving in the Middle East, to define victory in the War on Terror. I think he does give a good definition of ultimate victory, but he also, along the way, gives a good picture of the grand strategy of this war:

Victory in this ideological struggle that has galvanized America since 9/11 will occur when terror is no longer an attractive option for Muslim youth, and when moderate Muslim voices dominate the debate about the future of Islamic societies in a globalized, modern world. Military action is a necessary, but insufficient component of the formula for victory. The end state we desire can only be achieved through coordinated diplomatic, economic and social action backed-up by well-targeted military engagement.

In the months since September 11, 2001, we have made tremendous strides in this battle against al-Qaida and its Islamic extremist partners around the world. These significant achievements must be understood and appreciated. However, there is a long way to go.

The extremists that brought terror to our shores are intent on achieving – by force of arms - a xenophobic and repressive state based on a skewed understanding of Islam. They desire a future for the Muslim world that looks like something out of the seventh century with an extremist and intolerant interpretation of Islam. Their future-world would be a much larger version of the backward and authoritarian regime in Taliban-led Afghanistan, with no scope for liberty, basic women’s rights, or the freedom of religion. Such a future runs counter to basic concepts of freedom and human dignity, and is not what the vast majority of Muslims want for their children or grandchildren.

The extremist-terrorists, however, are clever in hiding their ultimate goals. Their campaign plan is to mask their objectives while playing on unfounded, but deep-seeded fears in the Islamic world about the west via an intimidated news media, and with help from co-opted financial, educational and weapons smuggling organizations across with regional and global scope.

Our counter to the extremist plan is to apply unrelenting military pressure on the leadership and terrorists operatives that spearhead the ideology, while simultaneously applying the western financial, diplomatic, educational and social skills necessary to help Islamic states build effective governance that cares for people’s needs, allows them political participation, and dampens the appetite for violent action against perceived repression. This battle between moderation and extremism requires all nations to engage in the struggle – pressuring terrorist networks, and helping the governments of the Islamic world to succeed for their people.

In the short-term, we look to stabilize Afghanistan and Iraq, building the institutions necessary for these sovereign states to fight off terrorists and to provide the services necessary for their people. We made strong progress in Afghanistan during 2004, and fought through elections in Iraq in early 2005; we remain positive about the future, but there is still a hard fight ahead of us.

In 2005, we also aim to help Pakistan and Saudi Arabia help themselves to fight and win against the terrorist threats confronting them. With Coalition support and patience, Pakistan made enormous strides against the Al Qaida network during 2004. We will continue our partnership with Pakistan. Saudi Arabia is now keenly aware of the menace it faces, and will continue to be a focus of our efforts to build regional counter-terrorist capabilities and strong participatory institutions during the coming years. We are also embarked on programs across eastern Africa, the Levant and South Asia designed to engage their governments and people in constructive programs to inhibit the potential for terrorist movements taking root in their borders.

Across the CENTCOM region, our focus is on building indigenous capability to confront terrorists, deny terrorist sanctuary, to develop capable intelligence agencies and military forces, and to assist progress in the development of inclusive, democratic, and just societies that meet the legitimate aspirations of their people. This focus calls for continued movement toward fewer, rather than more US troops; toward sustained counter-terrorism training and assistance programs to the military forces in the region; and toward sustained support for a moderate, peaceful process of forward progress in the Muslim world. Holding to these priorities, we and our Coalition allies can assure that victory is achieved in the struggle against the terrorists that attacked our way of life.

It's interesting to me that in his summary of what he expects to see in 2005 he doesn't mention Iran and Syria. I have to wonder if his omission is a result of his individual focus and role in the WoT, or is it that he thinks that such talk is better left for even more "Senior Officers."

What do I know, but I think the focus of the War will shift to Iran next. We may win a few countries over to a more moderate form of government, but it won't be worth much if the second most extreme regime in the Middle East aquires nuclear weapons.

English Academics Practice Academic Colonialism
And Outright Racism

From Little Green Footballs:

Israeli academics who refuse to condemn the government’s actions in Palestinian territories risk a boycott by the UK’s leading lecturers’ union, The Guardian reported on Tuesday.

According to the report, The Association of University Teachers’ annual council scheduled to meet April 20th, will, among other things, debate a proposal to boycott the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, in addition to the Tel Aviv University and Haifa University, which, according to a claim, do not condemn Israel’s policies in the territories.

The proposal states that the boycott excludes “conscientious Israeli academics and intellectuals opposed to their state’s colonial and racist policies”.

Sue Blackwell, a lecturer at Birmingham University and one of the authors of the motion, said: “We are now better organised. One of the reasons we didn’t win last time was that there was no clear public call from Palestinians for the boycott. Now we have that, in writing.”

Gargi Bhattacharyya, executive member and president-elect of the AUT, said: “I will be supporting the call for the boycott. Things aren’t getting better there for our [Palestinian] academic colleagues, they are saying the internationally emotional pressure is an important and a peaceful way for us to support them.

”I think within the sector there is a lot of concern about what’s happening in Palestine and a huge concern that the Palestinian education structure has been destroyed. Potentially there’s a lot of support," he said.

The Guardian also reveals new evidence that British academics are turning down offers to work with big research organizations in Israel, citing their objection to the government’s policies.

Israel is a multi-cultural society. The Palestinians, on the other hand, want to ensure that no Jews live in Palestine. That's why they oppose settlements. Palestinians live in Israel, and the Israeli's are fine with it. But, when a Jew moves into Palestinians, it's opposed. Explain that.

As for colonialism, Israel has occupied the Palestinian territories since 1967. Before that time, the territories were owned by Jordan. In 1967, five Arab nations lined up their armies on the border of Israel ready to attack. They broadcast the following message on the Voice of the Arabs,

... there no longer exists an international emergency force to protect Israel. We shall exercise patience no more. We shall not complain any more to the UN about Israel. The sole method we shall apply against Israel is total war, which will result in the extermination of Zionist existence.

So, what did Israel do? They attacked the Arab armies and defeated all of them in just six days. And, in so doing, they wound up with the territories. Before the Six Day War, the territories were not considered the homeland of the Palestinians. They were considered Jordanian land.

Those are the facts of history.

Now, the thing is, in England these "academics" (who seem strangely ignorant of history for people of their intellectual heft) are accusing Israel of colonialism, right on the eve of Israel disengaging themselves from the territories.

It is the stated position of the Sharon government that they are unilaterally removing all Israeli armies and settlements from behind the security fence. So, the Palestinians will finally be left to govern themselves.

So then, if that's the plan, why are the academics now accusing Israel of colonialism?

The Root Causes Of Terrorism?

Dymphna, at I Could Scream, tells the story of Dr Marc Sageman, a forensic psychiatrist and a fellow of the Foreign Policy Research Institute. Mr. Sageman who used to be with the CIA always bought the idea that terrorism was the result of causitive forces, that terrorism comes from poverty, broken families, ignorance, immaturity, lack of family or occupational responsibilities, weak minds susceptible to brainwashing - the sociopath, the criminals, the religious fanatic, or, in this country, some believe they're just plain evil.

After 9/11 Marc Sageman set out on a little intellectual odyssey:

After leaving the CIA, I was happy in my naive belief that I had left all that behind me. But after 9-11, like everyone, I wanted to do something. What people were saying about the perpetrators shortly after the attacks was simply not consistent with my own experience. I began to apply the principles of evidence-based medicine to terrorism research, because there really was no data on the perpetrators.

Dymphna relates that,

Dr. Sageman began collecting biographies, some four hundred of them. He limited his analysis to men who specifically targeted "the far enemy" in order to eliminate people whose goals were more nationalistic and less purely Salafist.

Guess what? Everything you thought you knew is (mostly) wrong. The terrorists are not a bunch of disaffected adolescents, à la John Walker Lindh. Using a social-network analysis of his group, here are some of Dr. Sageman's findings:

Ninety percent of these men came from intact homes.

Three quarters of them are middle class or better.

Sixty three percent had gone to college (compared to five or six percent in the third world.
Same thing for their careers: they were mostly scientists, engineers, and architects. Few had any religious training.

Seventy three percent were married; many had children. Of those who were not married, most were too young.
This is just a sample of the facts Dr. Sageman addresses; he deserves much credit - not to mention our gratitude - for his work in uncovering our assumptions.

Go here to read it all and uncover the rest of what you thought you "knew."

Go here to get his book, Understanding Terror Networks.

Pope John Paul II And The Jews

From Powerline:

... the prayer Pope John Paul II left at the Western Wall when he visited Israel:

God of our fathers, you chose Abraham and his descendants to bring Your name to the nations: We are deeply saddened by the behavior of those who in the course of history have caused these children of yours to suffer and, asking Your forgiveness, we wish to commit ourselves to genuine brotherhood with the people of the Covenant.

The Anchoress posts the story of how Pope John Paul II saved a Jewish girl who had somehow escaped a Nazi death camp:

In January 1945, at 13, she emerged from a Nazi labor camp in Czestochowa, Poland, a waif on the verge of death. Separated from her family, unaware that her mother had been killed by the Germans, she could scarcely walk.

Death was approaching, but a young man approached first, "very good looking," as she recalled, and vigorous. He wore a long robe and appeared to the girl to be a priest. "Why are you here?" he asked. "What are you doing?" Edith said she was trying to get to Krakow to find her parents.

The man disappeared. He came back with a cup of tea. Edith drank. He said he could help her get to Krakow. Again, the mysterious benefactor went away, returning with bread and cheese."Try to stand," the man said. Edith tried - and failed. The man carried her to another village, where he put her in the cattle car of a train bound for Krakow. Another family was there.

The man got in beside Edith, covered her with his cloak, and set about making a small fire.His name, he told Edith, was Karol Wojtyla.

From Front Page Magazine:

Some called him the "Jews' Pope" a title bestowed upon a much respected and admired religious leader.

John Paul II. He was the Polish Pope who visited Auschwitz in 1979, just after taking office. He was the Pope who, in 1986, visited the synagogue of Rome. He was the Pope who came to Jerusalem and visited the Western Wall in 2000.

The Pope actually liked Jews. As a young man Jews were his friends and colleagues. In his final years he had more to do with Jews than any other Pope before him. Much has been written about the Jews Pope's attitude toward Jewish-Christian relations. He has been credited as a hero and great humanitarian responsible for enforcing a change in the attitude of the Church toward Antisemitism.

On most issues the Pope was a theological conservative. When it came to approaching Jewish issues, he was a theologically visionary.

For the Pope, Antisemitism was wrong, plain and simple, wrong. Antisemitism symbolized the Dark Ages. Given his understanding of history and the Bible, the hatred of the Jew on the theological level was totally unjustified. Moving away from Antisemitism was moving the Church, finally, out of the Dark Ages. Theologically eliminating the hatred of the Jews was the perfect symbol of the modernization of the Church.

As Someguy over at Mystery Achievement says, Jews are our elder brothers in the faith. I know that this is not a majority opinion among Christians or Jews. However, it is my view as well. We share the same faith. We only differ on the whether or not Yeshua (Jesus' Hebrew name) was the Messiah.

To me, it is not surprising that Jewish people would not believe that Jesus was the Messiah. He did not come as a conquering king of Israel, as they were promised. Of course, as a Christian, I believe that Jesus fulfilled Old Testament prophecy. And I also believe that the Jews will see that Jesus is their King when He comes back and does rule the Earth from His Throne in Israel.

God warns us Christians not to be arrogant towards the Jews. If we are we will be cut off and cast aside. Paul called this relationship between God, the Jews, and the gentile believers, a mystery, and he indicated that "all Israel will be saved." I would say Pope John Paul II seemed to understand this mystery.

The Iranian Declaration of Independance
The Seventy Million People Of Iran
Declare That The Iranian Government Is Finished


An extraordinary development in Iran. A group calling itself The Seventy Million People Of Iran has sent a letter to it's own government and the heads of state of the rest of the world, warning that the Iranian government is coming to an end by June 16, 2005. All contracts will then be null and void. From Regime Change Iran:

An open letter submitted by the opposition inside Iran to the government of Iran and to the world leaders and media.
To the Government of the Islamic Republic in Iran,
We, the 70 million people of Iran, hereby joyfully and unequivocally declare that your time has come to an end, and we demand that you submit to the will of the Iranian people and peacefully surrender the power to its rightful owners, the people of Iran, immediately.
We no longer consider you our legitimate government and hereby warn all foreign governments that all transactions, and contracts signed with this government after June 16, 2005, will be null and void.
We, the people of Iran, will no longer stand idle to witness the destruction of our country, a great civilization where the first declaration of Human Rights was created, yet where sadly, gross violations of our civil liberties happen everyday.
We, the people of Iran, have suffered indescribable horrors under your reign of terror. We have lost brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers, sons and daughters, friends and countrymen at your bloody hands. You have sold our pride, identity and honor and stolen what is rightfully ours. You have managed to recklessly tarnish our national pride, international prestige and have damaged our proud Persian civilization. You have lived up to your reputation as a totalitarian regime.
We were ravaged by a needless and brutal war; had our cities bombed, our livelihoods destroyed and generations of our budding youth slaughtered at your command. In addition to these human casualties, you have wrongly aligned us with thugs, terrorists and international outlaws who detest freedom and democracy.
Now, our youth wander without any hope in their lives, addicted to the poisons that are the fruits of your rule. Our daughters are beaten, abused and sold into slavery to nations who feed on our vulnerabilities. Most of our nation’s best minds and able bodies flee for fear of their lives, taking with them a part of our wealth, legacy and prosperity.
These are the things your “Glorious Revolution” has brought us: poverty, sickness, crime and hopelessness. You have destroyed the religion in whose name you act. You have destroyed the very fabric of our culture and motherland.
Yet this is not enough. Your pursuit of nuclear weapons and irresponsible foreign policy has pushed Iran to the brink of foreign intervention and potential military attacks which will result in massive loss of life. Your quest of nuclear technology, if it were for peaceful purposes, might have been acceptable to the Iranian citizens. However, during the last 26 years you have proven, beyond a shadow of doubt, that your government is not trustworthy. You have consistently deceived us and the other nations of the world. You have not only threatened our existence, but that of the world.
Yet you are our problem, our inner demon that we must face, and ultimately destroy. We will not stand for any assault on the land that gave us nourishment and life. We will not stand for the destruction of our homeland as foreign powers may attempt to put an end to your nuclear ambition. Your time has come to an end, and we are ready to embark on a new journey towards our true destiny. We are prepared to bring you down.
No longer will we stand idly by. The end of one of the most bloody, brutal and totalitarian regimes is OVER. You can choose your own destiny. We will give you what you never gave us, a chance to flee. Either you leave peacefully or you will face our wrath and judgment.
Your own meaningless and rigged elections will be your undoing. You have until the 16th of June, 2005 to return power to the people, and forever leave our beloved Iran. Should you be so unwise to stay, on the 17th day of June, the Election Day, we shall prepare for your demise as we stay at home, once again, to declare our solidarity. Beginning on June18th and every day thereafter, we shall strike like a furious flood to cleanse our nation from your filthy existence.
We will come out in our millions to demolish your entirety with our will. We shall start national strikes, interrupt communication and transportation networks, seize the capital, government buildings and the banks and if you have been so foolish to stay behind, you will experience our rage. Retribution will be swift for those who stay behind and stand in our way.
History has proven time and again that people always prevail. We will recreate history as East Germans, Romanians, Yugoslavians, Georgians, Ukrainians, and Lebanese have done recently. We will assure that you fade into the annals of our beloved nation’s history like so many other invaders before you such as Alexander, the Arabs and the Mongols who could not conquer our spirit.We, the people of Iran, shall confirm our solidarity in support of this Declaration. On the 10th of June, we shall convert the cities into ghost towns, as we will stay together at home with our lights turned off from 6:00 pm until midnight.
We have asked all governments of the world to support us by issuing formal declarations on the 10th of June. The world will endorse us fully; they will support those who fight against evil. All nations will abandon your dead regime and recognize that the future belongs to us, the true owners of the great nation of Iran.
The international community recognizes that the Islamic Republic is the pillar of international terrorism and nuclear weapons proliferation left standing. The removal of the Islamic Regime is the key to winning the War on Terror, and Iranian citizens are the key holders. We are allies of the world’s nations and a source of global stability. We can all come together in friendship, peace and mutual benefit.
The world recognizes that if governments continue to appease these madmen, as Hitler was appeased until he was too strong, it is they who will suffer like we have suffered in the last 26 years. It is they who will face nuclear terrorism in their homelands. There is only one path to peace. We, the 70 million Iranian people, hold the keys to the fate of this Islamic regime, and by extension much of the Middle East.
We, the people of Iran, are joined together as one voice, one fist, and one will. We, the 70 million people, will defeat our inner-evil. We will fulfill our dreams, together, as one.
We, the 70 million Iranians.
(This 70 Million Iranian People’s Declaration has been submitted by the opposition inside Iran to Iran of Tomorrow Movement (IOTM) for distribution to the world leaders and media. IOTM supports the struggle of the Iranian people towards freedom and secular democracy in Iran.)

I'm not sure who the Seventy Million People of Iran. Let's just hope they really do speak for the people of Iran. I do know that they are, in some way, affiliated with SOS Iran, an organization with a mailing address in Encino, CA.

UPDATE: Tom at the Kafir Constitutionalist commented that this is the Iranian Declaration of Independance. I concur, and so I have changed the title of this post accordingly.

UPDATED AT 2:17 pm: A reader wrote in with the following bit of pessimism,

I would like to believe that the declaration represents a serious endeavor but it's hard to. I hope for their sake it's not like seven guys shooting their mouths off with nothing to back it up, hoping it will magically 'get something started'.

Another thing I worry about: if that's what it is, then, even if there are a couple uprisings or whatever, but they're quickly put down by the mullahs - in other words if whatever movement this represents is just too weak - then presumably our government would be reluctant to extend itself to get involved.

So we'll get blamed for not living up to Bush's rhetoric, not backing it up. And this will discourage future uprisings because theywon't have faith.

I mean, look at the part of thedeclaration where they ask foreign powers to recognize them on June 10th. That's a gamble on their part. If it falls through and is ignored - and I'm afraid it might be - they totally look like they're bluffing -which I'm afraid they might be.

My comment: Arghh!