Saturday, May 14, 2005

Vincente Fox: A Very Curious President

Vincente Fox is the most curious world leader I know of. The reason I say this is because his principle concern, as President of Mexico, seems to be the exporting of his own people.

Very curious.

Anyway, today he is caught in another strange position, from Reuter's:

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexican President Vicente Fox called recent U.S. measures to stem illegal immigration a step back for bilateral relations on Friday and said Mexican migrants do jobs "that not even blacks want to do."

In comments likely to raise the temperature of the immigration debate, Fox defended the role of undocumented Mexican workers in the United States to a group of Texas business people meeting in Mexico.

"There is no doubt that Mexicans, filled with dignity, willingness and ability to work are doing jobs that not even blacks want to do there in the United States," he said in a speech broadcast in part on local radio and reported on newspaper web sites.

Curiouser and curiouser.

The Viet Nam War and The Sense of Betrayal

Today seems to be history day on CUANAS, so let's look at the Viet Nam War, through the eyes of Neo-Neocon:

When I try to think of the psychological/political effects of Vietnam, two things come to mind: change is the first, and betrayal is the second.

Back in this essay, I mentioned that therapists consider there are three basic aspects of change: cognition (thought), emotion (feeling), and behavior (action). During the Vietnam era, changes occurred primarily in the cognitive dimension, while the resultant sense of betrayal was mainly an emotional response.

All three aspects of change worked in concert with and affected each other. Many people are still heavily under the sway of changes that occurred and perceptions that formed during and after the Vietnam War.

Prior to the Vietnam War (and for the first few years of that war) the press, for the most part, had been on the same page as the government and strongly supportive of the military. World War II had been a terrible war, and attacks by the allies on civilian populations and the decision to drop atomic weapons had come in for some criticism. But that war had had a moral clarity, nevertheless. The press wrote about it in a way that indicated they considered the US as representing the forces of good fighting the forces of evil. Postwar revelations (such as descriptions of concentration camps) served only to increase that conviction.

The "narrative" on which we (and our parents and grandparents) had been raised was a consistent one: America might have made a small mistake here and there, but our leaders were strong and decent, our fighting men moral and courageous, and we fought for justice and truth. Somewhere along the line in the Vietnam era that narrative changed.

... the military kept saying victory would come soon, but the war dragged on; many of the South Vietnamese leaders we supported seemed corrupt; we read in the Pentagon Papers that the government and military had kept some things secret from us; reports came back that the powers that be had never been committed to fighting an all-out war to win; My Lai, and other allegations made by some returning vets (or people who claimed to be returning vets) made us wonder whether our military was committing atrocities on a regular basis; Kent State made us wonder whether we students had also been targeted as enemies; and Watergate made us lose faith in the morality of the President.

What was the mechanism of delivery for all of this news of change? It was the news itself--in particular, television and print journalism. Before television, people at home had been much more protected from the reality of conflict, and could idealize it, romanticize it, and distance themselves more effectively from it.

War is not pretty, it is brutal; it involves doing things that most of us don't like to think about and usually don't have to watch. The young in particular tend to be softhearted and vulnerable to the sight of human suffering ... But those reactions, which are primarily emotional in nature and go very deep, can short-circuit cognitions about why a particular war is happening, and why it might be "the lesser of two evils," despite the horror. So the first change was in feelings about conflict: a more widespread horror of, and sensitivity to, war itself. It came from the fact that we were seeing the war every evening on TV, which was a first in US history--and, in fact, a first in human experience.

Still another change was in the way propaganda was used by the enemy. The North Vietnamese were unusually astute and knowledgeable about the psychological and sociological vulnerabilities of the US. By the late 60s, the enemy was well aware that the US press and public were wearying of the war, and that if they could exploit this fact they could prevail.

The US was attempting to fight a war of attrition in terms of bodies (we kill so many of you that you run out of willing fighters), whereas North Vietnam was attempting to fight a war of attrition in terms of time (we drag the war on for so long that you run out of the will to fight). In Vietnam, the North Vietnamese won this particular war of attrition. As North Vietnamese premier Pham Van Dong, Ho Chi Minh's aide, said to French war historian Bernard Fall in 1962: "Americans do not like long, inconclusive wars—and this is going to be a long, inconclusive war. Thus we are sure to win in the end."

Another change for the US was that this was a war that was conceptually difficult to understand and justify. It was fought for a seeming abstraction: the domino theory, as yet unproven. As time went on (and on and on and on), the question arose in people's minds (with the help of the press) as to whether this might be a mere civil war of local importance only, one we would do well to stay clear of. The Vietnam War was fought as a nasty guerilla war ... with all the problems, questions, and uncertainties that guerilla conflicts usually entail: who is the enemy? what does the populace really want? how can we kill the enemy without killing many innocent people, if the m.o. of the enemy is to hide among them, uniformless?

Then there was the fact that, despite this lack of conceptual understanding, all of the young men in the country were vulnerable to being called up to serve because of the draft. This particular combination--lack of a strong belief or clear evidence that the war was in our best interests, coupled with the fact that any young man could be drafted to fight it--led to feelings of special frustration and even rage on the part of those who might be called on to make the ultimate sacrifice ...

... geographic distance, combined with the lack of cognitive clarity about the reasons behind the war, and the powerful emotional valence of susceptibility to the draft, were a new and volatile mix in American history. For many, the combination led almost inevitably to action: antiwar sentiment and demonstrations, many of them pitting the younger generation against the older, whom they felt were callously sacrificing them on the altar of a war ...

During the Vietnam War era, strong emotions (fear of the draft, revulsion at the death toll) in combination with cognitions ("we've been lied to;" "we're losing the war," "this will go on forever," "the South Vietnamese don't even want us there," "you can't trust the government," "our servicemen are committing atrocities as a matter of course"), led to one overwhelming feeling: betrayal. Betrayal, in turn, often led to rage, bitterness, pessimism, and cynicism. And these cognitions and feelings were especially powerful in people who were young during that time, because youth and early adulthood are times of great emotional intensity. They don't call them "the formative years" for nothing--this is when lifelong attitudes begin to be shaped, sometimes as though in cement.

(Excerpted. Go here to read the whole thing.)

The Viet Nam War, and the Watergate fiasco, formed much of the background of my childhood. Add to these things, the casual racism and homophobia which I heard expressed by the adults in my life, and the "My country, right or wrong," idiocy which was rampant among the World War II generation, as they settled into middle age, and you can understand that I, also, grew up with the notion that America had betrayed it's value system of freedom and equality.

The Neo-Neocon's series on Viet Nam is important for all of us who have such memories. One of the points she makes is that the sense of betrayal is directly related to the level of blind faith one has entrusted in one's perceived superiors. Therefore, it is the height of ignorance to react to betrayal by investing one's faith with equally strong conviction in yet another man-made institution, such as the media or academia.

Yet, it seems that that is exactly what the Baby Boomer generation did.

The lesson to learn from this is that when one's systematized philosophy no longer makes sense, it's time to reject it, and reassess one's life. The Baby Boomers and all those tied to the reflexive "America is an imperialistic, war-mongering nation" mythos need to take a look around themselves, and wonder why their bedfellows have become a band of Jihadi's and Eurotrash anti-Semites.

Sometimes You Just Gotta Love Your Enemies

From Atlas Shrugged:

German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer said Wednesday that Israel still needs to have "military supremacy" over its neighbors. Fischer told Die Zeit the problem remained that Israel was "never really recognized" by its neighbors. "

This requires military supremacy," he added.

Fischer noted that in Israel there was "a lot of mistrust" of the Europeans when it came to security issues.

You just gotta love your enemies, when they tell the truth.

But no matter how much you love 'em, you still gotta ask the $64,000 question: If Fischer knows this to be true, then why the hell do they support the Palestinian Authority, whose charter (linked on the UN website) calls for the destruction of Israel?

John Lennon's Glasses (with blood) As Photographed For the Cover of Yoko Ono's Album Season of Glass Posted by Hello

There's Nothing To Get Hung About

From Contact Music:

John Lennon's widow YOKO ONO has attacked British television network CHANNEL 4 for planning to broadcast an interview with the late BEATLE's crazed killer MARK CHAPMAN on the 25th anniversary of Lennon's death.

The Japanese artist is devastated at the proposal and has warned TV bosses of the pain they will cause by airing the documentary.

Ono fumes, "I think it's horrible of Channel 4 to do this. It shows a lack of understanding of the painful memories of what happened to John's beautiful life.

"Myself, John's family and so many fans will be hurt by the showing of such a programme."

The interviews have been handed over to the network by journalist JACK JONES, who quizzed Chapman on three separate occasions for his book LET ME TAKE YOU DOWN - published in America in 1995. The title of the controversial tome is a chilling play on the first line of psychedelic BEATLES classic STRAWBERRY FIELDS FOREVER.

But Channel 4 insist the subject will be treated with sensitivity - and claim the programme is more about investigating the psyche of a killer, than about the deceased singer.

A spokeswoman says, "It's very much a serious documentary and will be handled accordingly,
"Neither Mark Chapman nor his family have received payment. The programme looks into Chapman's psychology. It is about the mind of the murderer rather than about John Lennon."

Do you think Yoko Ono and her friends would protest if Channel 4 ran an interview with Osama Bin Laden?

The Bible And American History

From The Weekly Standard:

A REPORT JUST ISSUED BY the Bible Literacy Project (more on this later) suggests that young Americans know very little about the Bible. The report is important, but first things first: A fair number of Americans don't see why teenagers should know anything at all about the Bible.

Scripture begins with God creating the world, but there is something these verses don't tell you: The Bible has itself created worlds. Wherever you stand on the spectrum from devout to atheist, you must acknowledge that the Bible has been a creative force without parallel in history.

Go to the center of Paris and drop in on the apotheosis of the French Middle Ages--Sainte Chapelle, whose walls are made almost entirely of stained glass. It "has rightly been called," writes the scholar Shalom Spiegel, "the most wonderful of pictured Bibles." The King James Bible, says Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch, "has influenced our literature more deeply than any other book--more deeply even than all the writings of Shakespeare--far more deeply." The poet and painter William Blake calls the Old and New Testaments "the Great Codes of Art."

America's foremost prophet offers his culminating vision in the second inaugural address--"With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right . . . " Lincoln's speech "reads like a supplement to the Bible," writes the historian William Wolf, with its "fourteen references to God, four direct quotations from Genesis, Psalms, and Matthew, and other allusions to scriptural teaching." "The best gift God has given to man," Lincoln called the Bible. "But for it we could not know right from wrong."

Ronald Reagan called America "a great shining city on a hill," three-and-a-half centuries after John Winthrop (sailing for Boston in 1630) anticipated a new community that would be "as a Citty upon a Hill"--invoking the famous verse in Matthew, "Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid" (5:14). Which harks back in turn to the prophets (Isaiah 2:2-3, Micah 4:2) and the book of Proverbs (4:18).

John Livingstone Lowe called the King James Bible "the noblest monument of English prose" (1936); George Saintsbury called it "probably the greatest prose work in any language" (1887). Nearly two millennia earlier, the great Pharisee rabbi Hillel described the ideal life: "loving peace and pursuing peace; loving humanity and bringing it close to the Torah."

Here is a basic question about America that ought to be on page 1 of every history book: What made the nation's Founders so sure they were onto something big? America today is the most powerful nation on earth, most powerful in all history--and a model the whole world imitates.

What made them so sure?--the settlers and colonists, the Founding Fathers and all the generations that intervened before America emerged as a world power in the 20th century? What made them so certain that America would become a light of the world, the shining city on a hill? What made John Adams say, in 1765, "I always consider the settlement of America with reverence and wonder, as the opening of a grand scene and design in Providence"? What made Abraham Lincoln call America (in 1862, in the middle of a ruinous civil war) "the last, best hope of earth"?

We know of people who are certain of their destinies from childhood on. But nations?

Many things made all these Americans and proto-Americans sure; and to some extent they were merely guessing and hoping. But one thing above all made them true prophets. They read the Bible. Winthrop, Adams, Lincoln, and thousands of others found a good destiny in the Bible and made it their own.

They read about Israel's covenant with God and took it to heart: They were Israel. ("Wee are entered into Covenant with him for this worke," said Winthrop. "Wee shall finde that the God of Israell is among us.")

They read about God's chosen people and took it to heart: They were God's chosen people, or--as Lincoln put it--God's "almost chosen people."

The Bible as they interpreted it told them what they could be and would be. Unless we read the Bible, American history is a closed book.

David Gelertner goes on to propose teaching the Bible as Literature in schools. Clearly, Americans do not want to break down the wall between church and state, but at the same time, it is true that certain understandings of the Bible were formative in the creation, and continual recreation, of America. In other words, the Bible, along with the works of John Locke, Adam Smith, Thomas Paine, Walt Whitman, Henry David Thoreau, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Harriett Beecher Stowe, Herman Melville, etc., is the source material of America.

In fact, the Bible can be said to be primary source material, because the works of all these other writers I mentioned draw upon the Bible, and are therefore tertiary. This is a battle that needs to be fought. To remove the Bible completely from the study of American history is to untether the founding of America from it's source material.

The truth is, American History has not been taught well for quite a long time. When I was in high school, back in the 70's, not only was the Bible never mentioned, but I don't recall ever having heard of John Locke either.

There are many reasons that to this day, I still do not consider myself a conservative. And the subject of education is one of them. As we sit here in the phantasmic and slimy light of the Postmodern era, the notion of school vouchers seems like just one more opportunity for relativism to exercise it's power in American society.

I think we have gotten it wrong on the subject of education, my friends. Rather than worrying about states rights, and libertarian fantasies of competition in the educational market place, I think it is time for America to sit down, as we did when we wrote the Constitution in the first place, and figure out who we are in history, and how we want to teach it. I think this needs to be done on a national level. And I think our history needs to taught in a cohesive and consistent manner across our nation.

If this isn't done I predict more and more revisionism in history. More and more competing "dialogues" on history. More and more, the truth of American History will disappear into the obscure clouds of trendy academic argumentation. If we add school vouchers to the mix, American History will become an idealogical buffet.

That conservatives don't see this reality betrays a willful blindness founded on greed, in my opinion. It makes sense to me that people would look at the quality of education provided by the American school system and ask themselves, "Why would I want my tax dollars to pay for this?" But, the answer to that question is not to subject history to the whims of the marketplace, but instead to treeat history as the delicate combination of art and science which it is.

History is made up of events which really happened, and the interpretation of those events. One thing our current marketplace ought to teach us very clearly is that the free enterprise system is not the best arbitrer between reality and it's interpretation. Such arbitration should be left to the wisdom and will of mankind, tamed by the immutable laws upon which this country was founded.

Jewish Leftists
Cursing Those Who Bless Them
And Blessing Those Who Curse Them

From Front Page Magazine:

An oft-stated rule of thumb is that when a reporter quotes unnamed sources, those sources invariably buttress the reporter’s own viewpoint and agenda. Case in point: James D. Besser, the Washington correspondent for a handful of Jewish newspapers (the New York Jewish Week among them) who for the past several years has lamented the growing ties between members of the Christian Right and pro-Israel activists in the Jewish community.

In an article last week on the mounting woes of lobbyist Jack Abramoff — a Jew closely associated with several leading lights of the Christian Right, including House Majority Leader Tom DeLay and political consultant Ralph Reed — Besser conjured the old boogeyman of right-wing anti-Semitism, painting a stereotypical picture of conservatives whose latent Jew-hatred is so close to the surface that a political scandal is all it might take to unloose the Furies.

Besser kicked things off by stating that “Allegations against super lobbyist Jack Abramoff — almost always identified as an observant Jew in news stories — may play into traditional stereotypes about greedy Jews and revive the traditional anti-Semitism of the religious right, some analysts say...” — before proceeding to name just one such “analyst” in his article.

Put aside for a moment this bigoted notion of conservative Christians and their feelings toward Jews (a notion discredited time and again in recent years, most notably when a much predicted backlash in the wake of the Jonathan Pollard spy scandal never materialized and when fears of movie-goers turning into pogromists after viewing “The Passion of the Christ” proved unfounded).

Focus instead on Besser’s claim that “some analysts” are sounding the alarm over a possible outbreak of anti-Semitism on the religious Right. As mentioned, Besser names just one, University of Richmond political science professor Akiba Covitz, whom Besser quotes as saying, “There will be some who will paint with a broad brush and say, this is what happens when you make coalitions with these cursed people, the Jews.”

(“These cursed people”? Talk about preconceived ideas as to how people think or talk. Anyone who’s had contact with conservative Christian supporters of Israel — whose love of Zion puts most Jews to shame and is hardly affected by the changing fortunes of individual politicians — will recognize the ludicrousness of Covitz’s statement.)

Besides Covitz, here’s how Besser identifies his other critical sources, presumably four separate individuals: “an official with a major Jewish group,” “a veteran Jewish lobbyist,” “a top Jewish activist,” and “an official with a Jewish defense agency.”

Relying on anonymous sources is bad enough, but Besser chooses not even to disclose the political affiliation of his unnamed interviewees. Then again, Besser is hardly a disinterested party in all of this. In an opinion piece last October, Besser worried that “More and more Jewish groups are welcoming the help of groups with which our community has absolutely nothing in common on the home front, while jeopardizing vital coalitions with groups like the Episcopalians and Presbyterians....”

Besser even has a handy excuse for the anti-Israel initiatives pushed by the liberal church groups whose friendship he covets: it’s the fault of the pro-Israel Christian Right. In an article earlier this year on the move by mainline Protestant denominations to impose economic sanctions on Israel, Besser speculated that this “may be one of the prices the Jewish state is paying for the growing and visible support of Evangelical Christians in this country,” and he rounded up several individuals who agreed that an intense dislike of Evangelicals and President Bush was fueling the liberal denominations’ hostility toward Israel.

Remind me to never stop and help this guy with his flat tire, will ya?

The Nuclear Option on History
What The WWII Revisionists Would Have Wrought

From Victor Davis Hanson:

As the world commemorated the 60th anniversary of the end of the European Theater of World War II, revisionism was the norm. In the last few years, new books and articles have argued for a complete rethinking of the war. The only consistent theme in this various second-guessing was a diminution of the American contribution and suspicion of our very motives. Indeed, most recent op-eds commemorating V-E day either blamed the United States for Hamburg or for the Soviet domination of Eastern Europe, or for our supposed failure to credit the Russians for their sacrifices.

It is true that the Russians paid a horrendous price. Perhaps two out of every three soldiers of the Wehrmacht fell on the Eastern Front. We in the West must always remember that such a tragic sacrifice allowed Hitler to be defeated with far less American British, Canadian, and Australian dead. That being said, the Anglo-Americans waged a global war well beyond the capability of the Soviet Union. They invaded North Africa, took Sicily, and landed in Italy, in addition to fighting a massive land war in central Europe. We had fewer casualties than did the Russians because we fought more wisely, were better equipped, and were not surprised to the same degree by a treacherous former ally that we had supplied.

The Soviets invaded the defeated Japanese only in the last days of the war; the Anglo-Americans alone took on two fronts simultaneously. Submarine warfare, attacking the Japanese and German surface fleets, conducting strategic bombing over Berlin and Tokyo, and sending tons of supplies to Allied forces — all this was beyond the capability of the Red Army. More important, Stalin had been an ally of Hitler until the Nazi invasion of 1941, and had unleashed the Red Army to destroy the freedom of Finland and to carve up Poland.

Do we ever read these days that when the Luftwaffe bombed Britain, Russia was sending the Nazis fuel and iron ore? When Germany invaded Russia, however, Britain sent food and supplies (to the Russians).

Yes, World War II started to free Eastern Europe from fascist totalitarianism, and ended up ensuring that it would be enslaved by Soviet totalitarianism. But Roosevelt and Churchill were faced with an inescapable reality in 1945 that to keep the Russians out of Eastern Europe they would have had to restart the war against their former ally that possessed it — a conflict that might well have gone nuclear in two or three years.

Read the rest.

Friday, May 13, 2005

Death of Pop Cutlure? Say It Ain't So, Joe!

The Anchoress has, what I think is a very important post today entitled The Death Of Pop Culture. I don't know that I wholly agree with her. I doubt pop culture is a fad about to go the way of the hula-hoop, but I think there is much truth in her observations. She uses this quote from John Podhoretz as a jumping off point:

... it can’t be a coincidence that the five major pillars of the American media movies, television, radio, recorded music and newspapers are all suffering at the same time. And it isn’t. Something major has changed over the past year, as the availability of alternative sources of information and entertainment has finally reached critical mass.

Agreed. So, what does Anchoress have to say? I will excerpt it very briefly, but I would suggest you go to her site and read the whole thing:

I think we’re seeing the first evidences of the death of Pop Culture, as brought to you by the once-invincible and insatiable machine of the news/entertainment industry.
Something has changed, but what?

Well, we know the media have not changed. Hollywood is still churning out mindless drivel with lots of blood and sex and things blowing up or caving in, but people are no longer fascinated.

Consumers of Pop Culture are not merely turning their heads in momentary distraction; they are doing a full-bodied turn away from the media gods and gargoyles which have held them enthralled for nearly 100 years. And the gods are both bewildered and jealous.

A pugilist who has taken a devastating hit and landed on the mat may jump back up insisting all is well, but as he staggers around the ring, the crowd will begin to abandon him; his opponent will let him believe he has regained his footing before delivering the final, crushing right. A blow to a boxers head may not be immediately fatal, but over time its consequences become apparent.

I suggest that when Mohammed Atta and his pals killed 3000 Americans in New York, and a few hundred more in Washington, D.C., they also struck a blow to the Popular Culture and its providers, which buckled their knees and left them breathless. Regrouping, that culture has spent the last four years staggering about the ring on wobbly pins, insisting that they are alright, that nothing has changed, but the crowd, sensing a loser, is starting to jeer.

I know this is true for me. When I turn on the TV and see Ryan Seacrest breathless over yet another performance absolutely crackling with mediocrity, when I hear the world is again just about to come crashing down on ER, when I see someone on Fear Factor sit down and eat a bug, I can't help but snort.

These people are the audio-visual equivalent of Nero fiddling while Rome burns. But the thing is, there are too many of us Romans running around putting out the fire. This one ain't gonna burn us down, so you might as well save your siren song for some other loser. Maybe learn some of them Middle-Eastern trills and and play it for Zarqawi baby, because we aren't giving up the fort.

The Media was always on the side of American decline, but we just thought it was for drama's sake. When 9/11 hit, and the media continued cheering for the other side, then we came to know the truth, and the truth makes me want to vomit. Now, why would I watch something that makes me nauseous?

Is Kingdom Of Heaven A Good Movie?
Hell Yeah It Is

From Dr. Frank:

Have you seen this movie, Kingdom of Heaven? I'll admit, it's no Troy, but it's still a hoot.
Kingdom of Heaven asks a question that has plagued historians for decades: what would happen if a late 20th-century, secular, agnostic, multiculturalist, progressive, sensitive Hollywood type were to be transported back in time to participate in one of history's grandest spectacles? Could one of the most embarrassingly culturally insensitive chapters of our history be rewritten or perhaps even avoided altogether, through the efforts of one determined, sensitive man who is as open-minded about stuff as we are?

It's a neat idea, and it is arguably needed now more than ever. So Ridley Scott, himself a knight like Walter Scott before him, sets the Wayback for the late 12th Century, and sends a former elf named Legolas back to medieval Jerusalem, just to see if he can single-handedly make the Crusades more palatable to modern sensibilities by forging a caring, mutually-fulfilling Christian-Saracen support network in the Crusader Kingdom.

Legolas has a degree of success, at first. Jerusalem folks, it is agreed, should stick together; Jerusalem folks should all be pals. Mohammedans dance with the infidels' daughters; Crusaders dance with the Saracens' gals. You're OK! No, man, you're OK! You and me are free to be you and me. These kids are all right.

And it might have worked, too, were it not for those meddling Knights Templar. Legolas ladles out prodigious quantities of chicken soup for the soul, and practically does himself an injury trying to buy the world a coke and keep it company, but there's just no way these Knights Templar are ever gonna be Peppers. No way.

It only takes a few bad apples to spoil the whole idyllic, culturally tolerant People's Republic of Jerusalem, and these Templars are apples of surpassing badness. So in the end, the butterfly effect is negligible. The wise and gentle Saracens are finally provoked by the diabolical Templars into sacking Jerusalem, despite Legolas's spendidly anachronistic touchy-feely neurotic handwringing.

Yet the handwringing does lend the story an otherwise hard-to-identify triumph-of-the-human-spirited-ness and transforms it into a Valuable Lesson for Us Today. As a caption reminds us at the end, the resulting conflict in the Middle East has lasted to this day. Maybe one elf with a time machine can't do it alone, after all. But, maybe, next time, with your help...

There's a long tradition of this sort of thing in movies, of course. Our hero will be the one guy with contemporary sensibilities, brooding and fretting amidst a swarm of depressingly ignorant, unevolved, unprogressive barbarians. He's not sure whether all this conflict is such a hot idea after all. "Maybe there's more to life than wealth and power and glory," the reluctant warrior will say. "After all, what has the minotaur ever done to me?"

What he really wants, he realizes, is a more just society, good schools for our kids, funding for the arts, abortions that are safe, legal, and rare, some cage-free eggs, a 12 pack of Kabbalah water, maybe, and the love of one special person who truly loves you for who you are deep down inside. Of course, in order to give love, he realizes, one must be open enough to receive love, which isn't always as easy as it sounds.

Above all, he really only wants to be the best parent he can be, even though it's hard to know if you've made the right choices till it's too late. Or that's how it seems sometimes. You need to set boundaries, but you need to give them the freedom to make their own mistakes, even when it hurts. It's a real dilemma. He throws down his weapons, sighs, pats the minotaur on the nose, and trudges off. We know how he feels.

CAIR's Response To Being Invited to Attend
The March Against Terror

Tomorrow is the March Against Terror in Washington D.C., sponsored by Free Muslims Against Terrorism. The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) - which many believe to be merely are a group that throws up smokescreens around Islamofascist terror - was invited to join the March. Here's their response, from Little Green Footballs:

It would be refreshing if FMAT could be more specific and host a Muslims March Against Jihad Terrorism. But according to Thomas Haidon, that is what the present March is. At least that’s how he represented it to CAIR’s Ibrahim Hooper in this phone conversation, of which he kindly sent me a transcript:

TH: Greetings, Mr. Hooper. It’s Thomas Haidon from FMAT calling. Asalamu aleykum.

IH: Wa leykum salam.

TH: I am calling with respect to our rally on 14 May 2005. I spoke with your colleague Rabiah Ahmed.

IH: Yes. Thank you. I though FMAT received our official response quite some time ago.

TH: Actually we have not. But we would like CAIR to participate in a stand of unity.

IH: Let’s be honest. Our organisations are diametrically opposed. The leadership of this organisation does not believe that FMAT represents the interests of the American Muslim community. We believe that CAIR does, and our organisation has spoken loudly and clearly against terrorism. We are not sure what this rally would accomplish.

TH: This rally is more than a rally against terrorism. It is a rally against jihad and the tradition of violence that aspects of Islam has fomented. We must speak openly and frankly about these issues. Are you ready to stand with us?

IH: Thank you very much, Thomas. FMAT has received our response. Asalamu aleykum and goodbye.

TH: Wa leykum salam.

My opinion on this rally is that, for now, whether it is successful or not, and whether the intentions were completely pure or not, it is a true opportunity for Muslims to stand against terror. As such, I believe it should be celebrated, and almost anyone who participates, should be applauded.

I hope that we can build on this. I don't think this is the time for cynicism.

Suspected Members of the Religion Of Peace
Detonate Grenade As Children Leave Christian School

From Little Green Footballs:

Yesterday representatives of the RoP bombed a Christian school in Kashmir as children were leaving.

Srinigar, India - Suspected Muslim rebels detonated a grenade on Thursday as children left a Christian missionary school in Indian Kashmir, killing two women and wounding about 50 people including 20 pupils, police said.

“Please save me, I don’t want to die. Call my parents,” screamed a girl, her leg covered in blood, outside the school in Srinagar.

Distraught parents, many of them weeping, searched for their children at the scene of the blast in the centre of the main city of Kashmir where separatist rebels are waging a 15-year-old revolt against Indian rule.

“The grenade exploded as the schoolchildren were coming out of the gate of the school as it closed for the day,” a police officer told reporters.

Bloodstained school bags lay near the school gates. Bystanders and police carried the wounded high school pupils to police vehicles which took them to hospitals.


Those Sophisticated Euros
Soccer Fans "Monkey-Chant" Black Players

From the Guardian, via No Pasaran:

Getafe (a Spanish soccer team) itself is no stranger to racism. In February, Osasuna striker Richard Morales was subject to persistent racial abuse but Getafe were fined a paltry £435 by the Spanish Football Federation. As the team coaches arrived for the match and the players made their way into the stadium, scores of fans rushed up to the wire fence and shouted 'nigger, nigger' at Daniel Kome, a Cameroon midfielder and Getafe's only black player.

In fact, he was the only nonwhite face I saw - except Zinedine Zidane and Roberto Carlos - until I joined a throng of people watching the game for free on a hill overlooking the ground. There, more than half the spectators, mainly kids, were of North African origin. Getafe is an immigrant town, but when it comes to football it is a metaphor for racial segregation. For some bizarre reason, even during the warm-up, Kome was to be seen training on his own, away from the rest of the squad.

That November night at the Bernabéu triggered an epidemic of racial abuse at Spain's football grounds. It remains etched on the memories of those who were present. Marcelino Bondjale, who was born in Equatorial Guinea, a former Spanish colony, and came to the country 25 years ago, was one of them. Now 44 years old, he is a teacher and general secretary of the Coalición Española contra el Racismo [Cecra], the Spanish Coalition Against Racism. 'There were almost as many black people on the pitch as in the stadium. I counted eight altogether.' His colleague from Cecra, Carlos Ferreyra Núñez, a doctor, said: 'Eight out of 10 people were monkey chanting. It was more or less the whole stadium. Even the VIP section was monkey chanting. 'When I came out,' commented Bondjale, 'people were monkey chanting at me in the street.'

Spain is in denial about its racism.

The exception? 'It is well known,' says Bondjale, 'that any time a black player gets the ball, there is monkey chanting - this is the norm. When monkey chanting starts, part of the crowd is silent, the other joins in. And nobody ever does anything. No one has ever been prosecuted for monkey chanting. The police can be standing two metres away and they never intervene.'

So, contrary to what Garrido claims, racist chanting is nothing new. But that night at the Bernabéu exposed the racism in Spanish football to the uncomfortable glare of international publicity for the first time. 'Since then,' according to Diego Torres, 'there has been a kind of disease that has been spreading, by example, around the football grounds.'

Atlético Madrid fans chanted racist abuse against Real's Roberto Carlos during the derby on 9 January, for which the club was fined a mere £435. Albacete and Real Zaragoza fans have racially abused Barcelona's Samuel Eto'o in recent matches. Deportivo La Coruña fans chanted racial insults at Roberto Carlos. The referee, to his credit, called a brief halt to the game.

The day before Getafe's game with Real in March, Paulo Wanchope was running through his toning-down exercises after a game at Málaga when a small group of home fans - his team's supporters - began racially abusing him.

'It all started,' according to Wanchope, who is from Costa Rica, 'when one fan started to shout all sorts of things at me with a megaphone. I was worthless. I made too much money. I decided to go to the stands and told him to say it to my face. He kicked me so I defended myself. Another fan hit me from behind. A small group of fans then started to make monkey noises and started shouting negro de mierda [black shit - the phrase that Aragonés used to describe Henry, to his clubmate José Antonio Reyes].'

To add insult to injury, the RFEF recently stopped its grant to the Coalition Against Racism. Carlos Ferreyra Núñez, the organisation's president, said: ' The Coalition feels that it is a punishment for speaking out against racism.'

The racism that blights Spanish football is not unique: on the contrary, in some degree or another, it exists in every European country. But, as Piara Powar, the coordinator of Britain's Kick it Out campaign points out, 'the special significance of the Bernabéu was that it was so high profile, with a global audience and huge numbers involved in the abuse'.

The most obvious previous occasion was the Euro 2004 qualifier in October 2002 between England and Slovakia in Bratislava when the crowd - in a country with barely any black people - erupted seemingly to a person in racist abuse, including even the stretcher-bearers.

Football is the fault line of racism in Europe. No other activity, be it cultural or political, commands the emotion, passion and allegiance, certainly of men, in the same way. Football is the cultural lingua franca of European men. Indeed, it is about the only activity in which men collectively and publicly express their own emotions.

What happened in the Bernabéu exposed, in all its raw crudity, the prejudices that inform Spanish society. Official, polite society - parliament, the media and the rest - contains, channels, constrains and seeks to deny these prejudices. Football reveals them.

There is another, very particular reason why football plays this role. As a game, it is a great leveller. Anyone can play it. You need neither money nor resources; you simply need time and space to practise.

If football was, until recently, the preserve of the white working class, now the archetypal player is black - and Brazilian, African or from the African diaspora. Football has given the world's poor a chance to succeed and find a place in the sun.

But Europe is a continent suffused with prejudice. Its status and identity, its history and sense of self, has, over centuries, been intimately bound up with a sense of racial and cultural supremacy. White skin became the signifier and affirmation of superiority. As a result of colonialism, much of the rest of the world was subject to its influence and fiat, often in barbaric forms.

If white was the metaphor for superiority, black, in the European mind, became the code for inferiority: that night at the Bernabéu, Shaun Wright- Phillips was the object of far more racial taunts than Rio Ferdinand or Jermaine Jenas simply because he is darker.

An interesting trait of racism is that the perpetrators - conscious or unconscious - are always in denial. It was so in the 1970s and 1980s, when monkey chanting and banana throwing were at their height in the English game and it was rarely ever reported on. And it was true again now as people in the game queued up to condemn the events in the Bernabéu while remaining silent about the racist practices that abound in the Football Association, the clubs and the media at home.

Paul Elliott, a former Chelsea captain who, like Barnes, was once the object of endless racial taunts, says: 'It is much better than the Seventies and Eighties, when the atmosphere was intimidatory. Back then the mindset was that you just had to put up with it; it was part of the game. It was conveniently swept under the carpet. It was taboo. It was never reported.'

The incidents of racist abuse are still legion. The Egypt striker Mido was abused by Southampton fans in March when playing for Spurs; there was the mass racist abuse by England fans in the match against Turkey at Sunderland's Stadium of Light in April 2003; there was the racial abuse of Birmingham's Dwight Yorke at Blackburn last November; and even claims of players being racially abused by their opponents. These are just a few examples.

Racist chanting may have been largely banished from the terraces, but racist attitudes still pervade the game. One only has to recall Ron Atkinson's remark this time last year about Marcel Desailly, that he was 'a fucking lazy thick nigger'. And it was no slip of the tongue. At a fund-raising dinner in January, he said: 'I can't understand why there is such a population problem in China as they have the best contraception going - Chinese women are the ugliest in the world.' Or, indeed, the FA's recent DVD - The Pride of the Nation - that featured what were described as the 20 best England players of the past 40 years. They were all white.

That football is the popular crucible of race means that it reflects the tensions and prejudices in wider society. Football has the capacity to exacerbate those tensions or ameliorate them. In Spain, it exacerbates them; in England, it probably ameliorates them. But that could so easily change.

It doesn't just happen in Spain...


While playing against Cremona for Internazionale in 1995, Paul Ince was subjected to taunts of 'nigger, nigger'. After he gave the crowd ironic applause, the referee booked Ince.

Torino's Senegalese defender Djibril Diawara nose was smashed by an opponent's elbow while playing Bari in 2000. As blood poured from his face, Diawara was confronted by Bari captain Luigi Garzya. Bari coach Eugenio Fascetti shouted: 'The nigger Diawara spat in Garzya's face! And the spit might even be infected! Why don't they just stay home, these niggers?'

During Lazio's Champions League game against Arsenal in Rome in 2000, Sinisa Mihajlovic called Patrick Vieira a 'black shit' and received a two-match ban. Racist banners are frequently displayed in the Stadio Olimpico, with no action taken by the authorities.

Treviso fans booed the debut of one of their own players, Oluwashegun Omolade from Nigeria, in 2002. At the next home match, the team took to pitch with black shoe polish smeared over their faces, in what was supposed to be a show of solidarity with Omolade.

During Euro 96 Edgar Davids spoke of racial tension within the Holland camp, claiming that black players were not allowed to attend tactical meetings. He was sent home early.

The problem of racist chanting in Dutch domestic football is so bad that referees have been given the power to abandon matches because of it. The first to do so was Rene Temmink, after repeated anti-semitic chants by Den Haag fans in a game against PSV Eindhoven last October.

Auxerre's Ivory Coast striker Bonaventure Kalou was greeted with the banner 'Kalou is invited to a banana tree' before his side's Uefa Cup match at Ajax in February.


Borussia Dortmund's Julio Cesar threatened to leave the club in 1994 after being refused admission to a local nightclub simply because he is black.


Kevin Campbell suffered racist taunts from his own chairman while playing for Turkish club Trabzonspor in 1999. Mehmet Ali Yilmaz said in a television interview: 'We bought a cannibal who calls himself a striker. He is coloured. A great disappointment to the club.'

We really need to get over this idea that Europe has anything on the United States. Racism is evil. In Europe racism is more accepted. This article makes it clear. The history of Europe bears this truth out as well.

I'm not saying there is nothing good about Europe. I'm saying America should not look up to Europe. Europe did, in fact, begin the project of building Western Civilization. But, Europe is no longer what it once was. Those things which we are attracted to in Europe are ghosts. They don't exist anymore.

The beautiful architecture? Those buildings are the skeletons of Europe's past. The works of art are the passing reveries of a more romantic time. The palaces and halls of government are monuments to a monarchical primitivism.

The history of Europe is more filled with racism and imperialism than it is with the march towards freedom. Even up to the 1960's France and England were still trying to hold on to the last vestiges of their crumbling imperialistic empires. America is more a model for Europe, than Europe is for America.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

The Rise of Islamism In Britain

From the New York Sun:

Every election has its memorable moment. For the 2005 British general election, that moment came when the Islamist George Galloway defeated the black, Jewish pro-war member of parliament, Oona King, for Bethnal Green and Bow in the East End of London. Mr. Galloway overturned a Labor majority of more than 10,000. As the result was announced, Mr. Galloway yelled exultantly at his ecstatic devotees: "Tony Blair, this is for Iraq!"

Mr. Galloway is not just a demagogue, but a defender of Saddam Hussein, Fidel Castro, and Yasser Arafat. Mr. Galloway is now the leader of Respect, a party dedicated to mobilizing disaffected Muslims and left-wing yuppies who are against Mr. Blair. A year ago, he was thrown out of the Labor party for inciting British troops in Iraq to mutiny. Mr. Galloway used to spend Christmas with his friend Tariq Aziz - Saddam's erstwhile foreign minister, who is now awaiting trial - whom he insists is a "political prisoner." Saddam's propaganda footage showed him with the dictator. But there he is, still sitting in the mother of parliaments.

The precise nature and extent of Mr. Galloway's involvement with the Saddam regime is, to say the least, still unclear. Since the regime fell, his conduct has been investigated by parliamentary, party, and charity officials. None of these inquiries found proof of corruption, and the Daily Telegraph lost a sensational libel case after it alleged (on the basis of documents found in the Baghdad foreign ministry) that he had been in Saddam's pay, though the newspaper is appealing. Mr. Galloway's name surfaced again in the course of the Volcker inquiry into the U.N. oil-for-food scandal, though the degree of his involvement in the scandal is yet to be seen.

In mid-campaign, Mr. Galloway's Palestinian Muslim second wife, Amineh-Abu Zayyad, gave an interview to the London Sunday Times. She told the press that when she heard he would call his new party "Respect," she wept. "How can he call it this when he doesn't even treat his own wife with respect?" After Ms. Zayyad alleged that she received calls from women who claimed to have had affairs with him, she said that Mr. Galloway tried to persuade her to stay in Beirut until the election was over. "George said it was the intelligence services, his enemies, that were trying to get at me." She now says she wants a divorce.

Pressed by a BBC anchorman, Jeremy Paxman, to say whether he felt proud of unseating one of the few black women members of Parliament in Westminster, Mr. Galloway lost his temper. "All those New Labor members of parliament who voted for Mr. Blair and Mr. Bush's war have on their hands the blood of 100,000 people in Iraq ... That is a more important issue than the color of her skin," he said, accusing Mr. Paxman of insulting all 15,801 Londoners who had voted for him. He then stormed out of the interview.

It is those voters, overwhelmingly Muslim, who should concern us at least as much as Mr. Galloway. Across the country, city after city with a large Muslim minority showed an above average swing against Mr. Blair and Labor. It seems pretty clear that the great majority of Britain's 2.5 million Muslims obeyed the instructions of their imams or community leaders and voted en bloc for whichever antiwar party seemed to have the best chance of defeating the Blair government. The Muslim defection from their traditional allegiance to Labor cost Mr. Blair up to half of the seats he lost and partly accounts for the unusually strong anti-Blair vote in London.

That Muslim vote is now also Islamist, in the sense of subordinating all other considerations to religious objectives. This is a new political phenomenon for a country that still fondly imagines itself to be a United Kingdom. It is also a phenomenon that is likely to outlast the coalition presence in Iraq, or even the present phase of the war on terror. Since the results of a recent Guardian opinion poll, among others, provides evidence that a large proportion of British Muslims not only thought the attacks of September 11, 2001, were justified, but would like to be governed by shariah law, it makes sense now to talk about an Islamist vote in Britain.

The implications of the emergence of a European Islamism are profound and worrying. The greatest Western scholar of the Islamic world, Bernard Lewis, has already warned that Europe may well become a Muslim continent by the end of this century. If that comes to pass, it may be that the British election of 2005 will be seen as a milestone on the road to what another eminent expert, Bat Ye'or, has already dubbed "Eurabia."

Euro-Fascism vs. Islamo-Fascism?

Thanks to Fjordman, for making me aware of this from Faith Freedom International:

Some Americans have a stereotypical view of Europeans as being appeasers. There is definitely an appeasement instinct in Europe, but it is first and foremost a continent of extremes, sometimes changing in rapid succession. The nations that only a few generations ago tried to impose their culture on large parts of the planet are now afraid of enforcing their cultural values even in their own lands. The ruthless nationalism of the past has been subdued and replaced with anemic multiculturalism and naïve pacifism. It won’t last. The pendulum will swing back.

If it appears as if the mainstream authorities are incapable of taking action to stop the ongoing Islamic invasion of the continent, faith in the entire democratic system could break down. Europe right now has all the ingredients needed for the rise of something akin to a new Nazi movement. It is an extremely dangerous mix of suppressed nationalism, high unemployment and failed economies, democratic detachment and a widespread sense of being betrayed by the ruling elites. Tens ofmillions of immigrants pour into Europe, changing the face of the continent forever without any real debate about the issue. People feel like strangers in their own cities, but are being silenced as "racists" if they object to this.

There is a widespread feeling that Europe is descending into chaos, and that the governments are unwilling or incapable of stopping this. If this situation continues, some people will cry out for a Strong Man to “cleanse Europe of foreigners" and restore its honour and wounded pride. And He will step forward.
There is never any shortage of self-proclaimed Strong Men once you call for them. By then, you won’t have a “Clash of Civilizations” in Europe, but rather a Clash of Fascisms: Euro-Fascism vs. Islamo-Fascism.

Ayaan Hirsi Ali fears that if we don't take effective measures, now, ''the Netherlands could be torn between two extreme rights'': an Islamic one and a non-Islamic one.” She’s right. MP Geert Wilders in Holland has proposed a moratorium on all non-Western immigration to the Netherlands for some years. Perhaps that is an approach that should be adopted by other European nations, too.

Major cities across the continent are now powder kegs of ethnic and religious tensions, built up after decades of failed immigration policies and an absence of a genuine debate. Common sense says that when you have a powder keg waiting to explode, adding even more powder is not the smartest thing to do.

When I post stuff like this, do I do so because I absolutely believe this is where Europe is headed? No, I am not at all sure. It's just a possibility, based upon demographics and the psychographic trends of a Europe without faith, and without faith in it's heritage.

I actually have a lot of hope that Europe is going to slap itself awake and get on the ball. The reaction in Holland to the Van Gogh murder was evidence of a European will to survive. The problem is, it was a violent reaction. Mosques and Islamic schools were firebombed. However, if I am not mistaken, no one was actually killed.

But, the point is, the Dutch exhibited people have begun, ever so tentatively, to stand up and say, "No more."

Will Europe wake up in time?

The Mission of the Jews

From Dennis Prager:

Ask believing Christians – probably from as young as 8 years of age – what their mission as Christians is, and it is overwhelmingly likely they will answer, "to bring people to Christ" or "spread the Gospel."

Ask any non-Christian what the Christian mission is, and you will get the same answer. Just about everyone, Christian or non-Christian, knows the Christian mission.

Now ask any Jew, religious or secular, "What is the Jewish mission?" and the most likely response will be: "What do you mean?"

Most religious Jews rarely talk about a Jewish mission. Rather, they are preoccupied with survival: of the Jewish religion (observance of religious laws) and of the Jewish people. Most non-religious Jews who identify as Jews are preoccupied with survival of the Jewish people.

In fact, the only large body of Jews with a mission are the Jews with the least Jewish religiosity. Such Jews have been disproportionately involved in secular ideologies such as Marxism, socialism, feminism, environmentalism, gay rights, animal rights and every other ideology of the Left.

Why? There are three major reasons:

The original religious impulse that started the Jewish people and sustained them for thousands of years has not died among Jews; it has simply been transformed into secular causes.

Jews often had terrible experiences under European Christianity and (though less murderous) under Islam, and therefore came to equate secularism with their liberation from oppression.

European nationalism excluded Jewish participation. In no country except the United States have Jews felt fully a member of the national group in which they lived. Therefore, Jews came to fear and loathe nationalism and developed a religious fervor for everything international.

The bottom line is that the less Jewish a Jew is, the more he is likely to feel he has a mission to humanity, and the more Jewish he is, the less likely he is to feel such a mission.

This is a tragedy of immeasurable proportions. It is tragic for humanity because the people who brought the Bible and its Ten Commandments to the world are often the most active in seeking its removal from the world. It is tragic for the Jews because Jews who abandon Judaism and substitute leftist values for Jewish ones (or equate them, which is the same thing) work against Jewish survival. And the Jews who do practice Judaism and are oblivious to any mission to humanity render Judaism irrelevant.

The Jews' mission is as it always has been – to bring the world to ethical monotheism. Ethical monotheism means there is one God and therefore one moral standard that He has revealed, and He holds all humans accountable to it. This is the point of Jewish chosenness. God chose a people – a particularly small undistinguished people (chosenness has never implied inherent superiority) – to make the world aware of the God of ethical demands and moral judgment.

Jews have never been required to bring the world to Judaism, but they were chosen to bring the world to God and to the values found in the Torah and the rest of the Old Testament.

Were Jews true to their mission, they would stand alongside Christians who work to bring the Torah's values to the world.

Jews should therefore be in the forefront of those spreading Judeo-Christian values. Some are, but most, religious and secular, are not.

The Jews are like the biblical Jonah, the Jew asked by God to carry a message to the great city of Nineveh. Jonah had no desire to embark on this mission and ran away onto a ship of decent non-Jewish sailors. God brought a terrible storm, and Jonah realized that the storm was caused by his running away from his divine mission. He was thrown overboard, and the seas calmed.

Most Jews are still running away from their divine mission and causing storms in many places as a result. Only by bringing the ethical monotheist message to mankind, and working with like-minded Christians to do so, will the world's seas ever calm down.

Listen, I don't pretend to have any inside scoop on the Jews mission, nor would I attempt to tell Jews what their mission is. I'm not a Jew. I do have romantic notions on the subject.

I think Hebrew is important to God, in that it is the language of the Torah. I think it is important to keep the absolute linguistic integrity of the Torah, right down to the jots and tittles. So, one of my romantic notions is that the Jewish people are chosen to carry the Torah through the ages.

Another notion is that Jews are here to teach those of us who are befuddled by morality - and thus, confuse it with a sort of Pollyannaish goody-goodness - the real meaning of Mitzvah; repairing the world. In other words, I think we gentiles tend to get caught up in not getting any dirt on us, and many times forget about the gritty practical reality of helping our fellow man.

So, those are my notions, for what they are worth.

Whatever God's mission is for His Chosen People, though, God Bless the Jews, as they have blessed us.

The Far Left and Far Right Have Found
Something They Can Agree Upon

From Front Page Magazine:

How much difference is there, really, between the far-Left, the far-Right, and overt white supremacists? How do the public stances of Michael Moore, Pat Buchanan, and David Duke compare? Proponents of both extreme views now think and sound so much alike, they sound like soulmates.

Somehow these fringe characters have moved so far around the edges that they have arrived at the same territory, spouting identical positions in copycat rhetoric on such issues as Iraq, the broader War on Terror, and the Jewish state of Israel.

Their own words are the best evidence. Take their view of America's war against terrorists and Islamic fascism. The two camps, if they can even be distinguished as such, are rabidly antiwar in precisely the same, delusional fashion:

  • “There were no WMD's. There was no connection to 9/11. This war was a malevolent hoax.” - Llewellyn H. (“Lew”) Rockwell Jr. (“libertarian” head of

  • “There is no terrorist threat in this country. This is a lie. This is the biggest lie we've been told.” - Michael Moore (leftist)

  • “Iraq had not attacked us, did not threaten us, did not want war with us, could not defeat us.” - Pat Buchanan (paleoconservative)

  • “There is no credible evidence that Iraq poses any real threat to the United States. Dozens of other nations have weapons of mass destruction.” - David Duke

But the extremists’ “pacifist” anti-Americanism just scratches the surface. Dig deeper and you’ll find that, for these fringe members, the current war only provides more proof of the cunning and manipulative nature of the Jewish race:

  • “It's all part of the same ball of wax, right? The oil companies, Israel, Halliburton.” - Michael Moore

  • “Who would benefit from a war of civilizations between the West and Islam? Answer: one nation, one leader, one party. Israel, Sharon, Likud.” - Pat Buchanan

  • “So, for whose benefit does America wage this war? The answer is Israel, Israel, Israel!” - David Duke

  • “The Israeli puppeteer travels to Washington and meets with the puppet in the White House. He then goes down Pennsylvania Avenue and meets with the puppets in Congress ... It is time for the United States Government to stand up and think for itself.” - Ralph Nader

  • “The Founding Fathers of the United States deeply feared that a foreign government [like Israel] might gain this level of control over a branch of the United States government, and their fears have been vindicated.” - Juan Cole (leftist University of Michigan history professor)

  • “The Jews are particularly adept at seizing or insinuating themselves into strategic positions in our society where they wield power far beyond the extent of their numbers....We White people of America have done nothing so far which would frustrate the Jews’ expectations or their ambitions of becoming the world’s slavemasters.” - Neo-Nazi author and publisher Ernst Zundel (Canadian neo-Nazi)

That the fringe adherents, both Left and Right, are most fundamentally anti-Jewish can be summed up in a favorite and pregnant Anti word: neocons:

  • “Neo-conservatism...has unleashed a series of wars against foreign countries that posed no threat whatever to the U.S.” - Lew Rockwell Jr.

  • “President Bush...was to exploit the attack of 9/11 to launch a series of wars on Arab regimes, none of which had attacked us.” - Pat Buchanan (paleoconservative)

  • “The warmongers anxiously want this war NOT to appear to be a result of the Israeli Fifth Column trying to strike down Israel's enemies one by one.” - David Duke (white supremacist/”former” neo-Nazi)

  • “We still tiptoe around putting a name to...the neoconservatives’ agenda on U.S.-Israeli relations...It's time, however, that we say the words out loud and deal with what they really signify. Dual loyalties.” - Kathleen and Bill Christison (left-wing columnists for ”Counterpunch”)

  • “Neocons say we attack them because they are Jewish. We do not. We attack them because their warmongering threatens our country, even as it finds a reliable echo in Ariel Sharon.” - Pat Buchanan

  • “Jewish roots and currents...make the neocon movement nothing more than a Jewish supremacist apparatus.” - David Duke

Isn't it amazing how that works? Oh brother. This is the way anti-Semitic propaganda/rhetoric was in the 1930's. Not only in Germany, but throughout the Western world. Events are repeating themselves, in approximately the same style, and with a similar malevolence. Rather than having a Hitler on the horizon, teeth dripping with drool at the prospect of killing the Jews, instead we have Osama Bin Laden and Hamas.

Read the rest.

DePaul - The University of Anti-Semitic Studies

From Front Page Magazine:

DePaul University, the largest Catholic university in the nation, has recently taken strides in embracing the anti-Israel fringe that has infiltrated its faculty and student body. In September of 2004, professor Thomas Klocek, after 14 years of service to the school, was suspended for verbally engaging members of the pro-Palestinian extremist group Students for Justice in Palestine, a group whose 2002 national conference was sponsored by the Islamic Association for Palestine, an organization that raises money for the families of suicide bombers.
In September of 2003, DePaul hired notorious Holocaust denier and Hezbollah defender Norman Finkelstein as a full-time assistant professor in its political science department. Now DePaul has made a strategic decision to become one of the leading universities in the country for Islamic Studies, filling the program’s faculty with professors resolved to spreading the word of anti-Israel zealots.

In September of 2004, DePaul launched its Islamic World Studies Program, offering students of the University both a major and minor in the subject of Islamic religion and culture. The program notes that “the core course work in Islam, language study, fieldwork, as well as opportunities for study abroad, and service learning would afford students an opportunity to develop an understanding of the Islamic world from local as well as international perspectives. This approach to the study of Islam is currently unmatched anywhere else in the United States and perhaps the world.”
What the program’s boilerplate doesn’t mention to prospective students is its overt pro-Palestinian slant, which encompasses both the faculty and course material.

Serving as the Director of the Islamic World Studies Program is Aminah Beverly McCloud, a follower of Louis Farrakhan who helped DePaul launch the department in response to what she believes is mass ignorance among Americans about the general Islamic world. McCloud has contended “that Islam was the core of civilization and a worldwide religion is absent from undergraduate study. The only thing talked about worldwide is Muslim terrorists.” Although McCloud insists that she seeks to teach students about facets of Islam removed from fundamentalist militancy, McCloud’s connections to, and use of books in favor of, Islamic extremism prove otherwise.

McCloud teaches the courses “Islam in the United States,” which has as its objective to leave students with a basic understanding of the history of the contemporary communities of Muslims in the United States; and “Islam in Global Contexts,” which attempts to provide “an overview of the worldview of Islam with a focus on its historical development in major parts of the world.”
One of the books McCloud uses as a required reading for both of these courses is Seyyed Hossein Nasr's book The Heart Of Islam: Enduring Values for Humanity. An apologist’s view of Islam, the text habitually conceals the darker sides of fundamentalist Islam. In the book Nasr writes, “When some people attack Islam for inciting struggle in the name of justice, they forget the Boston Tea Party and the American Revolution.” In this rudimentary and erroneous observation, Nasr is equating terrorist attacks and suicide bombings enacted on innocent civilians to throwing tea into the Boston Harbor.

Another book that McCloud has as a required reading in one of her classes is Nisanit by Fadia Faqir. A Publishers Weekly review of the book notes, “Mired in political rhetoric, this alarming first novel by a Jordanian native tracks a Palestinian terrorist, his girlfriend, and his Israeli interrogator. The subject matter – a terrorist's thought processes, his lethal acts (including the murder of nine Israeli settlers), capture, torture and attendant plunge into madness – is potentially gripping, but Faqir repeatedly proffers graceless, simplistic agitprop instead of careful plotting or characterizations.”
In the book, the Israelis are portrayed as malicious sadists, and the protagonist of the story, a terrorist named Shadeed, ponders the prospect of peace, observing, “It would never spread over their country until these aggressors [the Israelis] stopped polluting their air.”

The word Shaheed is Arabic for martyr. So, the bias of the book is clear. Of course, I have not read the novel, but it sounds like anti-Semitic propaganda to me. The Israeli's are sadists, and the terrorist ponder peace. Oh boy.

The thing that is being left out here is that both of the major terrorist organizations in the Palestinian territories, Fatah and Hamas, state clearly in their charters that their goal is the elimination of the state of Israel. In fact the Hamas Charter makes it clear that their goal is the killing of "Jews." But, the Israeli's are the sadists? For God's sake, the Israeli's are clearing out of Gaza so the people who want to kill them can have their homeland. Does that sound like sadism?

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Israeli Independance Day

From Anti-Chomsky:

Fireworks are going off outside as I write this, celebrating another year of the first Jewish state in two thousand years. Its difficult to express in words what it means to witness a miracle, much less to live one every day; so I leave the words to more talented pens than mine, to the dreamer and the scribe.

I believe that a wondrous generation of Jews will spring into existence. The Maccabees will rise again...We shall live at last as free men on our own soil...The Jews who wish for a state shall have it, and they will deserve to have it.
-Theodore Herzl, "The Jewish State"

Yes, most of the gentle Jews are gone. Yes, the Jew is now solidly inside the affairs of the world. Yes, we are aware of the resonance of hate that lingers like a stench upon western civilization. Yes, we will continue to be the other, to hold our own view of things. Yes, we are a single people...Yes, there will be peace one day. Yes, we will renew our people. Yes, we touch millennia of precious history when we walk the streets of Jerusalem, and climb the hills, and journey through the sand wastes of the land. Yes, there are flowers to plant, seedlings to nurture, young trees to tend, old earth to nourish, and new earth to put in - a garden of new dreams to bring forth, to add to old covenants and messianic hopes, and to offer to ourselves and to our broken and beloved world. Yes.
-Chaim Potok, "Wanderings"

And I say, "Yes," with them.

Arab Student Graduating From Bar Ilan University - One of the Israeli Universities the British Association of University Teachers is currently boycotting. Posted by Hello

I, Pastorius, Am A Serial Killer
The British Association or University Teachers
Boycott's Israeli Universities

From Opinion Journal:

On the eve of Passover, the British Association of University Teachers took a decision to boycott two of Israel's eight universities--Haifa and Bar Ilan--for their alleged collusion with the Israeli government in its mistreatment of the Palestinians. Haifa was also accused of curbing academic freedom. This decision is breathtaking, and it will surely feature in the annals of the European radical left and its perverse contribution to peace in the Middle East.
The AUT's secretary-general stated that the ban "should take the form described in the Palestinian call for academic boycott of Israeli institutions." The guidelines, available on the Web site of the Palestinian Bir Zeit University, demand that--"in the spirit of international solidarity"--scholars world-wide abandon any form of academic and cultural cooperation, collaboration or joint projects with Israeli institutions, suspend all forms of subsidy to them, and withdraw investments already made.

Although the guidelines mercifully "exclude from the above actions . . . any conscientious Israeli academics and intellectuals opposed to their state's colonial and racist policies," at least one renowned Israeli civil-rights activist was sacked from the editorial board of an international journal of linguistics during a previous round of boycotts. Her only crime was to have been a faculty member at Bar Ilan University, which, by virtue of its formal academic involvement with a Jewish college in the West Bank, is deemed worthy of a wholesale international ban.

The University of Haifa--my university--is a different story. This model Jewish-Arab institution, a most unlikely candidate for boycott, was declared to be untouchable by the AUT "until it commits itself to upholding academic freedom, and in particular ceases its victimization of academic staff and students who seek to research and discuss the history of the founding of the state of Israel."

The story embedded here is well worth telling, but not in the way the AUT tells it. "On May 15, 2002," the AUT boycott document declares, "Dr. Ilan Pappe, senior lecturer in Political Science at Haifa University, was sent a letter notifying him that he faced trial and possible dismissal from his position. . . . These accusations related to Dr. Pappe's efforts to defend a 55-year-old graduate student, Teddy Katz, whose Master's thesis was under attack by an Israeli veteran's organization because it documented a massacre of 200 unarmed civilians by the Haganah (the pre-state army of Israel) at a village called Tantura, near Haifa."

This, to put it plainly, is false. Mr. Katz's thesis was based almost solely on transcriptions of oral interviews he conducted with elderly Palestinian former residents of Tantura, who allegedly witnessed a massacre of their kin by Jewish soldiers. When veterans of the Israeli army force that attacked Tantura sued Mr. Katz for libel, a district court ruled that the empirical evidence was grossly manipulated in the course of transliterating the tapes. Mr. Katz had put words in the mouths of his interviewees that were never uttered. He agreed to apologize to the veterans, telling the media that radical activists--including Dr. Pappe--had led him astray.

On the basis of this ruling, the University of Haifa decided to reverse the impressive "97" grade already awarded to the thesis, and, in a mood of appeasement, asked Mr. Katz to rectify and resubmit his work. It was then sent out to five external examiners, a majority of whom failed it. It is fair to note that all examiners wished to remain anonymous.

Dr. Pappe, Mr. Katz's unofficial mentor, is an anti-Zionist scholar of great political energies who has been calling for a boycott of Haifa, his own university, for several years. He was, indeed, challenged by a colleague to an internal university disciplinary hearing, not for his connection to the Katz affair but for his enduring efforts to sabotage the institution for which he worked. Dr. Pappe's academic freedom was never on the agenda, and the university authorities did not dismiss him. Last Wednesday, the university's rector finally urged him to quit his job voluntarily. Assuming that several British and Palestinian institutions would happily offer him an academic post, his insistence on remaining a fully paid member of racist and colonialist Haifa University is something of a mystery.

Many of Dr. Pappe's colleagues, including this writer, are baffled and angered by his stance. But that is as far as it goes: Israeli public and campus discourse is rife--and comfortable--with clashes of opinion. Personally, I'd invite him to coffee, a guest appearance at my seminar, and a tough conversation--anytime.

All this seems to have escaped the fact-finding capabilities of our British colleagues. The AUT disregarded not only the methodological nature of the decision to fail Mr. Katz's thesis, but also the meticulous judicial investigation. (In fact, the AUT ought to have called for an international ban on contact with the Israeli judiciary, for having ruled that Mr. Katz had libeled Israeli veterans.) What is worse, the AUT never sent anyone to check out the facts at Haifa, and, I am told, never asked the university for its response. Minimal standards of due process were not met.

No one in the AUT has acknowledged the plain fact that Haifa University's classrooms, dozens of its approved and published theses, and long shelves in its library, display a broad array of historical and sociological research of modern Israel--work that is often as critical as Mr. Katz's, yet far better substantiated.

As a scholar of British history, teaching at Haifa with a doctorate from Oxford, I am, presumably, a target for this boycott. My colleagues and I will henceforth depend on the goodwill of non-AUT British academics--or on Britons of a nonboycotting temperament--in order to get invited to conferences, sit on advisory boards, and have our work published, reviewed and funded. In practice, I do not expect victimization. By and large, our colleagues in Britain will probably keep us within the free market of ideas. After all, as I tell my students (Jews and Arabs, incidentally), British thinkers pioneered the idea of free speech--indeed, at about the time when British ships roamed the high seas looking for places to colonize. So this story is not about endangered careers, nor even about the free flow of learning. It is about moral outrage. Perhaps, also, it is about anti-Semitism.

The AUT got it wrong in just about every possible way. First, by opting for an academic boycott. They say it worked in South Africa, which is, in the very least, doubtful. But South African universities practiced apartheid. At Haifa, a fifth of the student body consists of Arab Israeli citizens. A growing number of faculty, including former and present heads of departments and the new dean of research, are Arabs. Are they facing boycott, too, or does the AUT wish to see certified proof of non-Jewish denomination with every article submitted for publication in a British academic journal?

On a purely pragmatic level, this boycott will not work with Israelis. Despite its socialist pedigree, it smacks of the finger-rapping British governess. It oozes moral superiority. England expects every Israeli academic to do his duty? Thank you, but we're not impressed. We are too deeply entangled with British history ourselves.

Secondly, there is the issue of singling out Israel. Oh yes, Israel is occupying the West Bank and--until August--also the Gaza Strip. The occupation has lasted 38 years, and it has caused Palestinians much suffering. Their human and civil rights are being breached. About 60% of Israelis who answered the most recent polls are willing to end occupation in return for a secure peace. True, a large minority of Israelis still wish to keep some of the West Bank under Israeli rule, and the University of Bar Ilan sends lecturers to settlements there. That is apparently a sin.

It is obviously a far greater sin than wholesale brutality, or else the AUT would have boycotted Chinese universities before and after Tiananmen Square, or Russian universities as the occupation of Chechnya grew bloody. Israel is singled out because it's easy game--and because the AUT is not really in the business of promoting peace or reconciliation. It is in the business of delegitimizing Israel.

Thirdly, there is the timing. The boycott vote was held on the eve of Passover. This, in British terms, is a crime far worse than discrimination or hypocrisy: it is bad taste. (Still, let's try not to be so cynical as to assume that this was a premeditated way to prevent many Jewish members from attending the meeting.)

Fourthly, timing again. Israelis are now bracing themselves to disengage from Gaza. The majority of moderate supporters of disengagement is well represented in academia, among students and teachers alike. To help us muster political and moral strength for the most crucial inner conflict in the history of Israeli society, our colleagues in the U.K. are giving us a little kick in the ankle. How apt.

I, therefore, have two humble requests from the British Association of University Teachers.
First, do check your facts again--assuming that all this sound and fury is about facts at all. Second, just in case my résumé happens to please your political palate, don't extend any kindness to me by saying that peaceniks like me are off the hook. I am proud of being boycotted along with the University of Haifa as long as your deplorable decision stands. Don't chaperone me back into international scholarship under the patronage of the politically correct. This, I gather, is not what John Stuart Mill had in mind.

I've refrained from writing on this subject because honestly, I can not figure out a way to explain the absurdity of this boycott. I am, frankly, tired of having to write sentences like, "to single out Israel of all nations, for human rights abuse is absurd. Consider Sudan, or China, etc....."

I'm sick of it.

If one were to come to me and accuse me of being a serial killer, about all I could say in return is, "No, I am not a serial killer." Sometimes the absurdity and outlandishness of the charges renders a denial and a defense insufficient.

You know what? Maybe I'll just come right out and say it right now, if Israel is an apartheid nation, then I am a serial killer. I can't wait until you find the bodies.

Happy hunting.