I Took This Shift Because Of Her --- Politics - Justice - And Wrestling With The Angel
Saturday, July 23, 2005
Japanese Say They Aren't Interest In Things Like War
It looks like Americans have a bit more grasp on reality than the Japanese. From AP:
WASHINGTON - Americans are far more likely than the Japanese to expect another world war in their lifetime, according to AP-Kyodo polling 60 years after World War II ended. Most people in both countries believe the first use of a nuclear weapon is never justified.
Those findings come six decades after the United States dropped atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The war claimed about 400,000 U.S. troops around the world, more than three times that many Japanese troops and at least 300,000 Japanese civilians.
Out of the ashes, Japan and the United States forged a close political alliance. Americans and Japanese now generally have good feelings about each other.
But people in the two countries have very different views on everything from the U.S. use of the atomic bomb in 1945, fears of North Korea and the American military presence in Japan.
Some of the widest differences came on expectations of a new world war.
Six in 10 Americans said they think such a war is likely, while only one-third of the Japanese said so, according to polling done in both countries for The Associated Press and Kyodo, the Japanese news service.
"Man's going to destroy man eventually. When that will be, I don't know," said Gaye Lestaeghe of Freeport, La.
Some question whether that war has arrived, with fighting dragging on in
Afghanistan and Iraq as part of the U.S. campaign against terrorism.
Now, check this out. Susan Aser has the right idea.
"I feel like we're in a world war right now," said Susan Aser, a real estate agent from Rochester, N.Y.
The Japanese were less likely than Americans to expect a world war, less worried about the threat from North Korea and less inclined to say a first strike with nuclear weapons could be justified.
"The Japanese people take peace for granted," said Hiroya Sato, 20, of Tokyo. "The Japanese people are not interested in things like war."
Wait, I gotta write that down. "The Japanese people are not interested in things like war." Check. Thanks Hiroya. I got it.
That wouldn't have anything to do with the fact that, as is also the case with Europe, we are your freakin' military.
The lesson here is, when you pay for another person, or country, to have a free ride, they forget reality. The idea that a Japanese person, just sixty years after the Rape of Nanking, could tell us that the Japanese people aren't interested in war, is both laughable and illuminating.
It is dangerous to have people live in this kind of derangement. When people are not connected to the world by practical concerns, they are liable to follow their own delusions down all sorts of rabbit holes. Such thinking is what leads otherwise intelligent people to be able to say with a straight face that America is the biggest threat to world peace.
I think one of the lessons to come out of the War on Terror is that we have to force our allies to become responsible once again for their own defense. Otherwise, we have no true partners, only resentful teenagers, pissed off that we won't lend them the car.
Thursday, July 21, 2005
From Jihad Watch:
Fox is reporting no trace of chemical agents found. Police confirm explosions on three subways and a bus. There are reports that only the detonators exploded, not the bombs. A man was lead away from 10 Downing Street by police. University Hospital near Warren St. subway was in lockdown after a suspicious man wearing a sweatshirt with wires sticking from it was spotted. From IrelandOnline:
Terrified Tube passengers were evacuated from trains today as police dealt with “incidents” at three different London Underground stations.
Emergency services were also called to a bus in east London amid reports there was a device on board.
Passengers evacuated from Warren Street Tube station reported seeing smoke in the carriages before the evacuation.
There were also unconfirmed reports of an explosion.
A British Transport Police spokesman said: "One person has received an injury at Warren Street. We cannot confirm what the injury is, how it was received or who serious it is. We are still waiting for more information.”
Sosiane Mohellavi, 35, was travelling from Oxford Circus to Walthamstow when she was evacuated from a train at Warren Street.
“I was sitting in the carriage reading a book and I smelt something burning, like wiring or tyres, and it just got more intense. Suddenly people panicked and started screaming and were walking on each other’s backs trying to get the hell out of there.
“I couldn’t move, I didn’t know what to do, whether to run or not. People ran and left their shoes and belongings when they smelt the burning,” Mr Mohellavi said.
A British Transport Police spokeswoman said Warren Street, Shepherds Bush and Oval stations had all been evacuated.
She said the incidents were “ongoing”.
Underground services were suspended as the alert spread.
London fire brigade said there were reports of smoke coming from Oval station, which crews were investigating.
A Scotland Yard spokeswoman said: “Emergency services personnel are responding to reports of incidents at three locations on the Underground – the Oval, Warren Street and Shepherd’s Bush.”
Victoria Line passenger Ivan McCracken claimed a traveller’s rucksack had exploded on the Tube outside Warren Street station.
He told Sky News: “I was in a middle carriage and the train was not far short of Warren Street station when suddenly the door between my carriage and the next one burst open and dozens of people started rushing through. Some were falling, there was mass panic.
“It was difficult to get the story from any of them what had happened but when I got to ground level there was an Italian young man comforting an Italian girl who told me he had seen what had happened.
“He said that a man was carrying a rucksack and the rucksack suddenly exploded. It was a minor explosion but enough to blow open the rucksack.
“The man then made an exclamation as if something had gone wrong. At that point everyone rushed from the carriage.”...
Interesting, because just yesterday, an extremist cleric in London warned that there would be more to come:
THE radical cleric Omar Bakri Mohammed defied the Government’s clampdown on extremism yesterday by warning on a new website that the July 7 bombings “are not the first and will not be the last”.
As Charles Clarke, the Home Secretary, declared that hardline preachers such as Bakri Mohammed, Abu Qatada and Yusuf al-Qaradawi could be deported or excluded from Britain, the site blamed the Government, the British people and moderate Muslims for the atrocities.
The site carried a picture of the wreckage of the No 30 bus in Tavistock Square and condemned the fatwa against suicide bombs signed by 500 imams as “clear blasphemy against Islam”. It attributed the bombings to al-Qaeda and said that the British people should accept Osama bin Laden’s truce offer “otherwise you will have nobody to blame but yourself for what has and will most probably happen again”.
Websites run by Bakri Mohammed’s followers are monitored and regularly taken down by the authorities but al-Ghurabaa (the strangers) was still online last night.
It was also promoted in an internet chatroom where extremists glorified the London bombs and praised Bakri Mohammed and bin Laden.
Why are they not attacking the United States? I'm sorry, as much as I respect the work of our security forces, I don't think they are all-powerful. Somebody would have to get through if they were trying.
I hope this is not the calm before the storm for us.
The other day, Ken Livingstone the Mayor of London lectured Western nations on why we deserve Islamofascist terror attacks. Here's the Livingstone quote:
Decades of British and American intervention in the oil-rich Middle East motivated the London bombers, Ken Livingstone has suggested. ... he argued that the attacks would not have happened had Western powers left Arab nations free to decide their own affairs after World War I. Instead, they had often supported unsavoury governments in the region. ... Mr Livingstone was asked on BBC Radio 4's Today programme what he thought had motivated the bombers. He replied: "I think you've just had 80 years of western intervention into predominantly Arab lands because of the western need for oil. "We've propped up unsavoury governments, we've overthrown ones we didn't consider sympathetic."
Watch now, as The Astute Blogger shows Red Ken that the law of the jungle applies to logic; that is, he who has the bigger logical apparatus, will surely tear the more poorly endowed to shreds
Well RED KEN - as he is known - is just flat out WRONG. Let's look at the FACTS:
During the Cold War the USA had to align itself with some unsavory leaders; this was practical, and not unlike how FDR and Churchill used Stalin to defeat Hitler. Some unsavory Arab nations fell in that category. Let's examine them closely, though: Iraq, Syria, Egypt (until 1970), and Libya, were all "clients" of the USSR; (2) Iran was a "client" of the USA and the UK - AND IT WAS BETTER FOR IRANIANS UNDER THE SHAH; Algeria and Morocco and Tunisia and Ethiopia were more influenced by the French and the Italians and the Germans than either the USA or UK; Jordan was "NEUTRAL" - remember, it was the late King Hussein (a Hashemite descendent of Mohammed) who defeated Arafat and kicked him into Lebanon (without aid from either the USA or the UK!). AND FINALLY: In fact, the EU has largely been anti-Israel and pro-Arab since Munich in 1972 - which is 33 - YES THIRTY-THREE YEARS AGO! So nearly VERY ARAB ALIVE TODAY HAS EXPERIENCED A EUROPE AND A UK WHICH IS MUCH MORE PRO-ARAB THAN IT HAS EVER BEEN PRO-ISRAEL.
ALSO: much of the world's oil comes from outside the Arab world: Africa, Canada, Venezuela, Mexico, the North Sea nations and Russia produce as much as the Arabs do. The USA and the UK do NOT get most of their oil from Saudi Arabia. While Middle Eastern oil is vital to the West, it is equally vital to the ENTIRE WORLD. Leftists who contend that the West got rich by stealing resources or labor from the Third Word are NUTS. If that was truen, then Africa and Soiuth America would be rich NOW - soince colonialism died fifty years ago. BUT THE FACT ITS... that "Arabia" and Africa and South America have gotten POORER - just as Asia got richer. WHY IS THIS SO: Because Asia largely embraced freer trade and free markets (China did in 1979, and stopped being a poor basketcase as a result!). Socialism is what makes the Arab world poor. YUP: Baathism is nothiong more thasn Islamic Scoailism. Youi can look it up; just Google BAATHISM.
BUT THE MOST GLAROING ERROR RED KEN MAKES IS THIS: the Arabs - especially the jihadofascists - do not see the world in terms of oil-producers and oil-users, or divided into Western versus "oriental", but Islamic versus infidel. And to them there are two types of infidels: the dhimmi who pays tribute to Islam (and therefore may live, albeit as a second-class human) and the infidel who must be murdered. Arab jihadoterrorists actually go even further: they divide the world into the ummah and the others; the Ummah is the Arab/Islamic people - which transcends nation-states.
STILL NEED MORE PROOF? Well, the Buddhas of Bamiyan had NOTHING to do with Europe or Arabia. And the Hindhus slaughtered at the Ayodhya Temple in India had NOTHING to do with Europe or the West or oil or Israel. YOU SEE, the jihadists have goals that transcend the Middle East and London and NY and Israel. They want to re-establish the caliphate under Wahhabist sharia, and they will kill or convert anyone that gets in their way. THEN, they will exact a trubute/tax from the rest of the non-Muslim world.
SO: Red Ken Livingstone is just plain wrong on the facts - (the BOTTOM-LINE FACT is that the last 80 years and Europe actually have VERY LITTLE to do with what's bugging the jihadoterrorists; their gripes go back much MUCH further and much MUCH farther afield).
Red Ken fits VERY neatly into the DHIMMI category of the jihadofascists: he is willing to retreat, to pay ranson and even blackmail for a moment of pseudo-peace. Red Ken is an anti-Semitic, anti-American cowardly piece of crap.
NEED MORE PROOF?! Well, just a few days ago, Red Ken EQUATED HAMAS and the Likud Party ! This is another example of his anti-Semitism and idiotic moral equivalency; it is TYPICAL of the Left. In fact, HAMAS is a genocidal racist Jihado-terrorist organization which wants to eradicate the ENTIRE state of Israel. Whereas Likud is a pluralistic and democratic PUBLIC political party that (a) made peace with Egypt and returned the ENTIRE Sinai to Egypt - (dismantling every settlement which was there); and (b) is unilaterally withdrawing from Gaza; and (c) signed the ROADMAP FOR PEACE - which Abbas is violating EVERYDAY (by NOT disarming the terrorists)!
Leftist jerks like Red Ken - who equate, or CONFLATE, conservative politicians with genocidal jihadofascists - are dangerous fools who should drummed out of public life and into rat-holes or snake-pits where they would feel right at home.
It's sad to see a man so thoroughly humiliated like that. But, you know, it's all part of the circle of life.
If men like The Astute Blogger didn't come along and remove the memes of weaklings like Red Ken from the meme pool, then they would breed, and our whole world would become filled with the disgusting site of their logical decrepitude.
Thanks Astute Blogger. Good work.
Wednesday, July 20, 2005
Calls For Government Regulation of Religion
From The Anchoress:
OTTAWA, July 19, 2005 - Just as Senate approaches the final vote on the gay ‘marriage’ bill, C-38, Canada’s national public radio CBC Radio has aired a commentary by a retired professor from the Royal Military College calling for state control over religion, specifically Catholicism.
While parliamentarians dismissed warnings by numerous religious leaders and experts that such laws would lead to religious persecution, former professor Bob Ferguson has called for “legislation to regulate the practice of religion.”
“Given the inertia of the Catholic Church, perhaps we could encourage reform by changing the environment in which all religions operate,” Ferguson began his commentary in measured tones yesterday. “Couldn’t we insist that human rights, employment and consumer legislation apply to them as it does other organizations? Then it would be illegal to require a particular marital status as a condition of employment or to exclude women from the priesthood. ”
Ferguson continued, “Of course the Vatican wouldn’t like the changes, but they would come to accept them in time as a fact of life in Canada. Indeed I suspect many clergy would welcome the external pressure.”
Continuing his comparison Ferguson stated, “I envisage a congress meeting to hammer out a code that would form the basis of legislation to regulate the practice of religion."
It looks like them Canadians are really thinking through the issues of the day.
I've got an idea, let's regulate what comes out of people's mouths when they open them. Oh yeah, and how about if we form a government oversight commitee responsible for regulating the press, and another one in charge of searching and seizing everybodies property, and ...
Yes, yes, I can see it now, if we just make enough laws, we can have a perfect world, where you know, everybody who is tolerant is cool, and everyone else is, you know, in jail.
Melanie Phillips points out what should have been so obvious, but has eluded me the past four years:
It is surely no accident that the word 'struggle', which is
- used in Marxist thinking to sanctify the attempts by the workers or the self-designated 'oppressed' to destroy western civilisation, was
- also found in the defining creed of Nazism --'Mein Kampf'-- and is
- the meaning of the word 'jihad'. Nazism and Communism required the submission of free peoples to their ideology -- and 'submission' is of course the meaning of the word 'Islam'.
The word struggle is not by itself evil. The word Israel also has the connotation of struggle with God. But, the idea the way it is taught is that Jews struggle with God and, in doing so, come to know him better. One struggles with the Torah, or with the words of Jesus the Messiah, in order to understand their application in our life.
Similarly the word Jihad can simply mean to struggle inwardly.
However, when it is used in the sense of struggling against the infidels and the Jews, then it is similar in connotation to the way the word is used by the other two totalitarian fascisms of the 20th century; Nazism and Marxism.
From Associated Press, via Jihad Watch:
CAIRO, Egypt (AP) - A statement in the name of a group that claimed responsibility for the London bombings threatened Tuesday to launch "a bloody war" on the capitals of European countries that do not remove their troops from Iraq within a month.
"This is the last message we send to the European countries. We are giving you one month for your soldiers to leave the Land of the Two Rivers. Then there will be no other messages, but actions, and the words will be engraved in the heart of Europe," Abu Hafs al Masri Brigades said in a statement.
The "two rivers" in the statement refer to Iraq's Euphrates and Tigris rivers....
It vowed to launch "a bloody war, God willing," against Denmark, Holland, Britain, Italy and other countries "whose soldiers are roving and having fun in Iraq."
It was one of at least two groups to have claimed responsibility for the July 7 bombings that killed 56 people on London's Underground and a double-decker bus.
"We promise you that these will be the last words," the statement said. "After that, our Mujahedeen will say something else in your capitals."
The group has no proven track record of attacks, and experts are skeptical of its statements. The organization has claimed responsibility for events in which it clearly did not play any role, such as the 2003 blackouts in the United States and London that resulted from technical problems.
We Are Not Afraid.
London Mayor Ken Livingstone makes a point I've been making for over a year here on CUANAS. From Jihad Watch:
Less than two weeks since the London terror attacks, the city's Mayor Ken Livingstone has sparked controversy by defending the use of suicide bombers in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and charging that Israel had indiscriminately slaughtered Palestinians in acts that "border on crimes against humanity."
"Given that the Palestinians don't have jet planes, don't have tanks, they only have their bodies to use as weapons," Livingstone told Sky News in an interview.
Yep, exactly, Mr. Livingstone. The Palestinian suicide bombers are the Palestinian Army. They are the military hand of the elected parties (Fatah and Hamas) that run the Palestinian Authority. They express the military will of the people of the Palestinian territories.
Therefore, Israel is within their rights to respond to Palestinian suicide bombings by attacking the Palestinian territories with the Israeli Defense Force.
In fact, they would be smart to do what any other nation would do when the army of another nation invaded their borders and set off bombs. That is, Israel should beat the Palestinian military into absolute submission. They should beat them until they no longer have the will to fight back
Wow, what do you know? Red Ken and I can agree on something.
Many people in Britain are shocked that the suicide bombers who attacked them on 7/7 were British citizens; shocked that these young men grew up in their midst, going to British schools, playing cricket, and running fish and chips restaurants.
The Anchoress links to this piece by Michael Ledeen:
That the London killers were native Brits surprised a lot of people, which is testimony to our capacity to forget our own history. Why were so many well-educated and well-informed people surprised, even shocked? Why were the facts ignored?
George Orwell got it just right when, in the winter of 1940, he bitterly observed "highly civilized human beings are flying overhead, trying to kill me."
He knew what his countrymen, and most of the intellectual elite of the West, have relegated to a quiet intellectual closet: that Hitler and Mussolini had created monstrous mass movements in two of the most civilized, and most cultured countries in Europe.
The Duce and the Fuhrer were wildly popular in the countries of Dante and Vivaldi, Beethoven and Goethe; they were not the products of some alien culture. They sprang from the most profound beliefs and passions of the highest cultures in the world (and those passions and beliefs spread to France and England, as well as to central and eastern Europe), which is why there was hardly any effective popular resistance in fascist Europe.
The great evil was only abandoned by the Europeans when it was defeated on the battlefield.
The horrors of Communism have been similarly removed from active memory, albeit through a slightly different mind game. The ideals of Communism are still unaccountably admired in our popular culture — just a few days ago the Brits themselves voted Karl Marx the greatest intellectual in recent times — even though it is grudgingly admitted that it worked out badly in practice.
This sort of deception sank to dramatic depths in Italy during the dark years of the Red Brigades terrorists, when the leaders of Europe’s most sophisticated Communist party proclaimed the brigadiers "misguided comrades."
Both fascism and Communism inspired mass murder and individual martyrdom for "the cause," just as radical Islam does today. Like Osama bin Laden and his ilk, Hitler and his cohorts raged against the democracies.
Both blamed the free peoples for Germany’s and the Muslims’ misery and bragged of the superiority of Aryans and Muslims over decadent, corrupt, and self-indulgent free men and women. Stalin went one step further, blaming democratic capitalism for the misery of the entire world, while proclaiming the superiority of the new Soviet man.
Freedom and democracy do not protect us against such people; Indeed, in the past century, free nations elevated them to power, and kept them there until we dominated them. The evil can't be explained by economic misery, or social alienation, or even by the doctrines adopted by the terrorists. The problem lies within us.
Nasra Hassan, who interviewed terrorists and their families, noted in Saturday’s London Times that:
None of the suicide bombers — they ranged in age from 18 to 38 — conformed to the typical profile of the suicidal personality. None of them was uneducated, desperately poor, simple-minded, or depressed. Many were middle-class and held paying jobs. Two were the sons of millionaires. They all seemed entirely normal members of their families. They were polite and serious, and in their communities were considered to be model youths. Most were bearded. All were deeply religious...
To be sure, those terrorists came from Palestinian camps — not from London or San Francisco or Amsterdam, but we can recognize the London bombers, and the Amsterdam killer, and the San Francisco jihadi. They are not misfits or sociopaths. They are people who find it fulfilling to kill us and destroy our society.
As time passes, we will meet more and more of them. And, in the fullness of time, we will remember that Machiavelli warned us half a millennium ago that "man is more inclined to do evil than to do good," and that the primary role of statesmen and other leaders is to contain the dark forces of human nature.
Evil cannot be "fixed" by some social program or suitably energetic public-affairs strategy, or by "reaching out" to our misguided comrades. It must be dominated.
Otherwise it will dominate us.
Most of us who live in the United States meet Muslims quite often. Many Americans, such as myself, have had the pleasure of being friends with good people who happened to be Muslims. Because this has been our experience we know that moderate Muslims exist in abundance.
However, the problem is, while condemnations of terrorism, and expressions of horror at terrorist acts come from the Muslim community, we don't see calls for the hate literature to be cleared from Mosques. we don't hear loud public condemnations of Imams who preach Jihad. And, when there is a Muslim March Against Terror, barely anyone shows up.
In recent days, I have begun to change my rhetoric on this issue. I have always been very careful to make a distinction between those Islamofascists, or Islamists, whom I call the enemy, and the majority of moderate Muslims.
I will continue to make that distinction, because I believe in it. However, I will now add to my distinction the idea that moderate Muslim can expect to be increasingly distrusted in Western society until they start making serious changes in the way they deal with the radicals in their midst.
Here's an article by Andrew Bolt, from the Australian Herald Sun expressing frustration with the lack of forthright action by the moderate Muslims Mr. Bolt believes in:
It's time we accepted the difficult truth: many of the Muslims we invite to live in Australia want to destroy us.
FOR four years, since the September 11 attacks, I've begged our Islamic leaders to drive extremists from their mosques.
For four years I've also reassured you that most Muslims here are moderate.
I've even insisted they have some moderate Muslim leaders, and last week again endorsed Sheik Fehmi Naji El-Imam of Preston mosque as a man of peace.
How eager I was to praise. Heavens, I described as "moderate" the Melbourne-based Islamic Information Services Network of Australia (IISNA), which purged from its website articles I'd noted claiming democracy was a sin, Jews were behind September 11 and Western society was a pollution.
But was I just kidding myself? Isn't it becoming terribly clear that Islam -- at least the Islam of Australia's Arab sheiks and imams -- is hostile to our society?
Isn't it now obvious we should never have let into our country those imams who now preach hate?
Isn't the evidence that some cultures -- Muslim Arab ones -- pose more problems than their importation at this rate is worth? Isn't multiculturalism making these problems worse?
I know these are dangerous, hurtful questions. I also know many Muslims will feel deeply offended, loving this country and obeying its laws, and I wish only I heard from them far more often.
But the London bombings, perpetrated by home-grown Muslims, makes our silence on such issues not a sign of civility, but suicide.
So let me admit that the past few days have been terrible for those of us who thought we could count on Muslim leaders for real help against the Muslim extremists who threaten us.
Such setbacks we've had.
Only last week I'd praised Sheik Fehmi as a good man, who'd condemned the London bombings. But a day later he was asked about fellow Melbourne sheik Mohammed Omran, a friend of a suspected al-Qaida boss, who'd claimed September 11 was really the work of a US-based conspiracy.
"He is entitled to his own thinking," Fehmi replied meekly. Then, asked if Osama bin Laden and his al-Qaida terrorists had committed those attacks, he added: "We cannot say. We do not know these things."
How can Muslim leaders fight terrorism, when the most moderate of them won't condemn even bin Laden, or admit that monster's self-confessed guilt?
Fehmi was not my only disappointment. I checked the IISNA site this week, and among the announcements of classes and prayers found this advice to a reader who'd asked if it was a sin to kill non-Muslims:
"In regard to non-Muslims who are at war with the Muslims and do not have a peace treaty with the Muslims or are not living under Muslim rule, then Muslims are commanded to kill them, because Allah says . . . 'Fight those of the disbelievers who are close to you, and let them find harshness in you.' "
In a Melbourne bookshop run by Omran a Herald Sun reporter this month found books being sold that command Muslims to ready for war and to hate Jews.
In Sydney last week, the Islamic Bookshop, Australia's largest of the kind, was found (again) selling similar poison near the Lakemba mosque, including a book with tips on how to blow yourself up and kill plenty.
"The form this usually takes nowadays is to wire up one's body, or a vehicle or a suitcase with explosives and then to enter among a conglomeration of the enemy and to detonate," it says.
"There is no other technique which strikes as much terror into their hearts."
Again and again we're told such things aren't typical. Apologists, too often Muslim converts with little clout among ethnic groups, claim Islam means peace. But again and again we are left feeling like dupes.
Faced with such evidence whichever way I turn, what else can I think about Islam -- or Arab Islam, at least -- but that it is an enemy of our culture, our society?
As I said, Muslims can expect to be increasingly distrusted if they don't start making serious changes. Here are my suggestions:
1) start by contacting Christian churches, Jewish Synagogues, and Mormon Temples down to their mosques for a day of gathering up the hate material, and carting it to the recycling plant.
2) call the FBI everytime they hear of Islamist terrorists recruiting people on campus or in a Mosque.
3) eject Imams and other speakers from Mosques when you hear them say things like this and this.
When mainstream Muslims start taking strong action against such hatred, then they can expect the level of respect for their community to rise dramatically. Until then, they can expect suspicion.
Note: This is the second time I have posted this list of things Muslims can do to win respect. You can probably expect to see this repeated by me ad nauseum in coming weeks.
Tuesday, July 19, 2005
Baron Bodissey has a good post, over at Gates of Vienna, on Congressman Tancredo's remarks about nuking Mecca. There is also quite a lively and sometimes enlightening (in oh so many ways) discussion going on in the comments section. Read it. Read it.
Baron, having read more of the comments now, I see that you and I are in agreement. I do not think that now is the time to be discussing nuking Mecca. I don't think it is the time to nuke Mecca.
However, I think that if Saudi Arabia were to fund a nuclear attack on multiple American cities that we should retaliate in kind. And, I believe that somehow the United States should make that clear to them in advance. In fact, I think the Bush Administration probably already has. And, I think that if we can believe Bush's stated policy already, he has probably gone so far as to warn them that they had better be aware of what terrorists are doing inside their country, because they will also be held accountable for what they should have known about.
When it comes to the possibility of terrorists using nuclear weapons, we can't afford to not be very explicit in our communications with those countries who pose as friends, but seem to act as enemies.
I have to express my frustration, and my disappointment with Ed Morrisey and Hugh Hewitt on this issue. Yes, I agree with them that Tancredo should have kept his mouth shut, but I believe they are almost going to the opposite extreme in their criticism of him.
For God's sake, Morrisey proposed that if we were to be hit with nuclear weapons in multiple U.S. cities, our repsonse should be tactical hits against the Iranian and Syrian airforce, the Iranian nuclear power plants, and Saudi holdings within the U.S.
Boy, that would really show them, huh? All that Bin Laden said about the West being so weak that we lack the will to fight would be proven true.
The Supernatural Blog has a great piece posted on the politics of the Disengagement in Israel. Here's a little excerpt:
Good arguments have been made by both sides and the debate has generally been rational and reasonable.
It's worth noting that the very existence of this newfound disagreement between the pro-Israel blogs is evidence that Israel is making painful, difficult and potentially compromising (in terms of their security) decisions in order to move towards a possible end of conflict. When everyone agrees, nothing is happening. Disagreement is a sign that things are moving ahead (or behind as others may argue) - all the while nothing seems to change in the Palestinian camp.
It's a pity that Israel isn't receiving the credit due for even considering these moves.
Arguments for and against the disengagement are often provided, but here is a quick look at what the disengagement plan actually is - as described by the Israeli government.
Israel has concluded that there is currently no reliable Palestinian partner with which it can make progress in a bilateral peace process. Accordingly, it has developed a plan of unilateral disengagement, based on the following considerations:
i. The stalemate dictated by the current situation is harmful. In order to break out of this stalemate, Israel is required to initiate moves not dependent on Palestinian cooperation.
ii. The assumption is that, in any future permanent status arrangement, there will be no Israeli towns and villages in the Gaza Strip. On the other hand, it is clear that in the West Bank, there are areas which will be part of the State of Israel, including cities, towns and villages, security areas and installations, and other places of special interest to Israel.
iii. The relocation from the Gaza Strip and from Northern Samaria (as delineated on Map) will reduce friction with the Palestinian population, and carries with it the potential for improvement in the Palestinian economy and living conditions.
iv. The hope is that the Palestinians will take advantage of the opportunity created by the disengagement to break out of the cycle of violence and reengage in a process of dialogue.
v. The process of disengagement will serve to dispel claims regarding Israel's responsibility for the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.
When there is evidence from the Palestinian side of its willingness, capability and implementation in practice of the fight against terrorism and the institution of reform as required by the Road Map, it will be possible to return to the track of negotiation and dialogue.
Go read the rest.
By the way, there is no issue regarding Israel which is more divisive within the camp of those who are pro-Israel. I have pretty much stayed out of this fight, because I don't understand the various proposed borders and their political/strategic import. I have not been to Israel. So, I couldn't understand. I imagine that I could read and read and read, and still probably only understand a bit of what one could easily see if one were there. But, I will say, the writer of the Supernatural Blog seems like a reasonable guy to me.
I wonder how many new enemies I will have created for myself, just by writitng the previous sentence.
Inside The Mind Of A Suicide Bomber
An interview with a terrorist, from the Times of London:
What motivates a suicide bomber? Our correspondent talks to a young Muslim who survived his intended 'martyrdom' and describes the terrorists' rigorous training
AT DAWN, when the three men heard the morning call to prayer from a mosque in the village below their hideout in the hills, they knelt and uttered the traditional invocation to Allah that Muslim warriors make before setting off for combat. They put on clean clothes, tucked the Koran into their pockets, and began the long hike over the hills and along dry riverbeds to the outskirts of Jerusalem.
In the Palestinian neighbourhoods of East Jerusalem, they walked in silence so that their accents, the guttural vernacular of Gaza, would not arouse suspicion. It was June 1993, and they were members of the Palestinian fundamentalist group Hamas. Along the way, they stopped to pray at every mosque. At dusk, they boarded a bus that was heading toward West Jerusalem, filled with Israeli passengers. When the driver thwarted their attempt to hijack the vehicle, they tried to detonate the homemade bombs they were carrying.
The bombs failed to go off, so they pulled out guns and began firing wildly. The shots injured five passengers, including a woman who later died. The young men fled the bus, hijacked a car at a red light, and forced the driver to take them toward Bethlehem. Israeli security forces stopped them at a military checkpoint, and in a gun battle two of the young men and their hostage were killed. The third hijacker, whom I will call S, was struck by a bullet in the head; he lay comatose for two months in Israeli hospitals. Finally, he was pronounced brain-dead, and the Israelis sent him back to his family in the Gaza Strip to die.
But S recovered, and when we met, five years later, he told me his version of the events. By then, he was married and the father of three sons. Each of them had been named for shaheed batal — “martyr heroes”.
In Gaza, S is celebrated as a young man who “gave his life to Allah” and whom Allah “brought back to life”.
He was polite as he welcomed me into his home. The house was surrounded by a high cement wall that had been fortified with steel. We sat down in a large, simply furnished room whose walls were inscribed with verses from the Koran. On one wall was a poster showing green birds flying in a purple sky, a symbol of the Palestinian suicide bombers.
S had just turned 27. He is slight, and he walked with a limp, the only trace of his near-death. He invited his wife to join us, and he answered my questions without hesitation.
I asked him when, and why, he had decided to volunteer for martyrdom. “In the spring of 1993, I began to pester our military leaders to let me do an operation,” he said. “It was around the time of the Oslo accords, and it was quiet, too quiet. I wanted to do an operation that would incite others to do the same. Finally, I was given the green light to leave Gaza for an operation inside Israel.”
“How did you feel when you heard that you’d been selected for martyrdom?” I asked.
“It’s as if a very high, impenetrable wall separated you from Paradise or Hell,” he said. “Allah has promised one or the other to his creatures. So, by pressing the detonator, you can immediately open the door to Paradise — it is the shortest path to Heaven.”
S was one of 11 children in a middle-class family that, in 1948, had been forced to flee from Majdal to a refugee camp in Gaza, during the Arab-Israeli war that started with the creation of the State of Israel. He joined Hamas in his early teens and became a street activist.
In 1989, he served two terms in Israeli prisons for intifada activity, including attacks on Israeli soldiers. One of his brothers is serving a life sentence in Israel.
I asked S to describe his preparations for the suicide mission. “We were in a constant state of worship,” he said. “We told each other that if the Israelis only knew how joyful we were they would whip us to death! Those were the happiest days of my life.”
“What is the attraction of martyrdom?” I asked.
“The power of the spirit pulls us upward, while the power of material things pulls us downward,” he said. “Someone bent on martyrdom becomes immune to the material pull. Our planner asked, ‘What if the operation fails?’ We told him, ‘In any case, we get to meet the Prophet and his companions, inshallah.’
“We were floating, swimming, in the feeling that we were about to enter eternity. We had no doubts. We made an oath on the Koran, in the presence of Allah — a pledge not to waver. This jihad pledge is called bayt al-ridwan, after the garden in Paradise that is reserved for the prophets and the martyrs. I know that there are other ways to do jihad. But this one is sweet — the sweetest. All martyrdom operations, if done for Allah ’s sake, hurt less than a gnat’s bite!”
S showed me a video that documented the final planning for the operation. In the grainy footage, I saw him and two other young men engaging in a ritualistic dialogue of questions and answers about the glory of martyrdom. S, who was holding a gun, identified himself as a member of al-Qassam, the military wing of Hamas, which is one of two Palestinian Islamist organisations that sponsor suicide bombings. (Islamic Jihad is the other group.) “Tomorrow, we will be martyrs,” he declared, looking straight at the camera. “Only the believers know what this means. I love martyrdom.”
The young men and the planner then knelt and placed their right hands on the Koran. The planner said: “Are you ready? Tomorrow, you will be in Paradise.”
Note that S wanted to carry out his suicide operation during the time of the Oslo Accords, which had led to the Palstinians having control of their territory for the first time. In other words, when things were getting better, and people were living in peace, that was the time he wanted to blow up a bunch of Israelis, because "It was quiet. Too quiet."
The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation has banned the word terrorist. And they are giving there reasons in a very forthright and specific manner. From Little Green Footballs:
‘Terrorist’ and ‘terrorism’: Exercise extreme caution before using either word.
Avoid labelling any specific bombing or other assault as a “terrorist act” unless it’s attributed (in a TV or Radio clip, or in a direct quote on the Web). For instance, we should refer to the deadly blast at that nightclub in Bali in October 2002 as an “attack,” not as a “terrorist attack.”
The same applies to the Madrid train attacks in March 2004, the London bombings in July 2005 and the attacks against the United States in 2001 ...
Well, if that's not offensive enough already. Now, they explain exactly why they are adopting this policy:
Terrorism generally implies attacks against unarmed civilians for political, religious or some other ideological reason. But it’s a highly controversial term that can leave journalists taking sides in a conflict.
By restricting ourselves to neutral language, we aren’t faced with the problem of calling one incident a “terrorist act” (e.g., the destruction of the World Trade Center) while classifying another as, say, a mere “bombing” (e.g., the destruction of a crowded shopping mall in the Middle East).
See how that works? They so don't want to call what happens in Israel a terrorist attack, that they will even refrain from calling 9/11 an act of terrorism.
Man, oh man, you just gotta love you enemies when they tell the truth.
Monday, July 18, 2005
Wretchard links to a web site called United Against Terror, where men of the British Left state their reasons for choosing to stand against the Islamofascists.
Wretchard comments, "If liberal readers have ever wondered what it was like to have lived in the "Great Days" when men fought against Nazism, shake yourself awake. Those days are come.":
Marko Attila Hoare (Faculty of History, University of Cambridge)
I sign this statement as a supporter of the legitimate struggle for freedom and independence of the Palestinians, Chechens and other enslaved Muslim peoples caught between the Scylla of colonial oppression and the Charybdis of Islamofascism.
To every genuine national-liberation movement, sectarian hatred and pogroms of civilians are as alien as the foreign occupier. In German-occupied Yugoslavia during World War II, the anti-Nazi Partisans preached brotherhood and unity between Muslims, Christians and Jews; they were known to execute their own officers and soldiers if they so much as stole chickens from local peasants, let alone massacred civilians.
Al-Qaeda's Islamofascist network - targeting Jews, Kurds, Shiites, women, homosexuals, moderate Sunnis and ordinary civilians everywhere - represents, by contrast, the very antithesis of a genuine liberation movement.
Everywhere, Islamic extremists have aided and abetted the oppressors of Muslims. In World War II, the Islamofascist Grand Mufti of Jerusalem Haj Amin al-Husseini helped incite an anti-British revolt in Iraq; he subsequently visited Nazi-occupied Yugoslavia to mobilise Bosnian Muslims to fight in the SS.
Islamist terrorism in Daghestan in1999 provided Russia with the pretext for its genocidal reconquest of Chechnya. Elements in the Turkish and Israeli security services encouraged Islamic extremism as a means of dividing and weakening secular Kurdish and Palestinian nationalism respectively, helping to create a Frankenstein?s monster that is claiming the lives of Turks and Kurds, Jews and Arabs alike.
There can be no freedom for Muslim peoples without the defeat of the Islamofascists and everything they stand for; and there can be no defeat of the Islamofascists without liberty for all Muslim peoples.
Christopher Hitchens (Writer)
Association with this statement and with many of its fellow-signatories involves two commitments. The first is the elementary duty of solidarity with true and authentic resistance movements within the Muslim world, such as the Kurdish guerrillas in Iraq and the Northern Alliance in Afghanistan, who were fighting against Ba'athism and Talibanism (and the latent alliance between the two) long before any American or British government had woken up to the threat.
It should go without saying that, though the suffering of their peoples was intense, neither Jalal Talabani nor Ahmed Shah Masoud ever considered letting off explosive devices at random in foreign capitals. I have my political and ideological differences with both groups, but these differences are between me and them, and are not mediated through acts of nihilistic murder.
My second commitment is equally elementary. The foreign policy of a democracy should be determined only at election times or by votes in Congress or Parliament. It is one hundred per cent unacceptable even to imply, let alone to assert, that a suicide-murderer or his apologists can by these means acquire the right to any say in how matters are decided.
Both of these observations, and indeed this very statement, would be redundant if it were not for the widespread cultural presence of a pseudo-Left, and an isolationist Right, both of whom have degenerated to the point where they regard jihadism as some form of "liberation theology". The old slogans are often the best, and "Death to Fascism" is life-affirming in these conditions.
Stephen Pollard (Writer)
Beyond the murder and the carnage inflicted by terrorists, there is a further insidious danger to our liberty, that posed by those whose words and deeds give support to the terrorists, and whose warped values lead them to side with those who murder above those who promote freedom.
The Guardianista fellow-travellers of terror, who stress its supposed causes, are the useful idiots of the Islamofascists. The terrorists are the operatives of an ideology which has no concern with Palestinians or Iraqis, whom they murder without compunction. They have no concern with anything but the destruction of the West.
At a time when Islamofascism seeks to destroy liberal, democratic civilisation and to replace it with theocracy, it is imperative that those of us who believe in democracy and liberty stand up and fight. Not just against the obvious enemy, but also against the enemy within - those who claim to be on the Left, but whose views have nothing in common with the decency for which the Left ought proudly to stand.
Oliver Kamm (Columnist, The Times)
Many years ago, Conor Cruise O'Brien identified an attitude he termed "unilateral liberalism". This is a stance acutely sensitive to threats to liberty arising from actions by democratic states, but curiously phlegmatic about threats to liberty from the enemies of those states.
O'Brien was alluding to attitudes to terrorism in Northern Ireland in the 1970s. But many of us on the Left can recognise a similar tendency, and worse, in the response of progressives to the atrocities of 9/11 and other acts of suicide-terrorism against established and emerging democracies.
The terrorists give allegiance to a totalitarianism both with recognisable twentieth-century forebears and with a still more atavistic - literally mediaeval - character. They oppose the US and its allies not for our sins of commission and omission, but for what we exemplify: liberal political rights, pluralism, religious liberty, scientific inquiry and women's emancipation.
Their contempt for human life and disregard for the principle of non-combatant immunity stem not from despair and anger, but from nihilism. "Unite Against Terror" expresses a tougher-minded liberalism on this central political issue of the early-21st century. More than that, it is a call for simple human decency and an insistence that human rights are indivisible.
Adrian Cohen (London)
London is still reeling from the suicide bombings which hit it on 7/7, killing 54 civilians. We have yet to understanding the impact that these attacks will have on our society. Since September 2000 there have been 160 suicide bombings in Israel and many more attempted suicide bombings, in a country with a population comparable to that of the greater London area. 514 people, including many infants, children and elderly citizens, including Holocaust survivors, were killed in those attacks; thousands have been maimed.
Those killed and injured include Muslims, Jews and guest workers of neither religion. Israel is a society which perceives itself to be under an existential threat.
The ideology of those pursuing this campaign, the funders, the mentors, the bomb engineers and the direct perpetrators are predominantly members of Hamas and Islamic Jihad, or under their influence; organisations which openly embrace the destruction of the state of Israel and espouse overt anti-Semitism; organisations now intent on subverting the Palestine Authority and undermining the peace process.
For those who truly believe in democracy and civil society, regardless of their views on the politics of the Middle East, there can be only one legitimate position which is an unqualified condemnation of all suicide bombing whether in Western Europe, Iraq,Turkey or Israel.
Peter Tatchell (Human Rights campaigner, London)
We are witnessing one of the greatest betrayals by the left since so-called left-wingers backed the Hitler-Stalin pact and opposed the war against Nazi fascism.
Today, the pseudo-left reveals its shameless hypocrisy and its wholesale abandonment of humanitarian values. While it deplores the 7/7 terrorist attack on London, only last year it welcomed to the UK the Muslim cleric, Yusuf al-Qaradawi, who endorses the suicide bombing of innocent civilians.
These same right-wing leftists back the so-called 'resistance' in Iraq. This 'resistance' uses terrorism against civilians as its modus operandi - stooping to the massacre of dozens of Iraqi children in order kill a few US soldiers.
Terrorism is not socialism; it is the tactic of fascism. But much of the left doesn't care. Never mind what the Iraqi people want, it wants the US and UK out of Iraq at any price, including the abandonment of Iraqi socialists, trade unionists, democrats and feminists.
If the fake left gets its way, the ex-Baathists and Islamic fundamentalists could easily seize power, leading to Iranian-style clerical fascism and a bloodbath. I used to be proud to call myself a leftist. Now I feel shame. Much of the left no longer stands for the values of universal human rights and international socialism.
This is what I was saying in the days after the elections in Iraq, when the people of the "Left" here in the United States mocked the courage of the Iraqis with their cynical hatred of what America had helped to accomplish.
Deep Thoughts by Paul Johnson...
I have admired the lucidity of thought of Paul Johnson for a few of years now (I know I am a late comer to discovering him) and for all of his thoughtfulness I have never known him to be religious (based on his self admissions during interviews on Dennis Prager's radio show). In this context the following is a doubly interesting and thought provoking piece by Johnson in Forbes... (Hat tip to The Anchoress)
"Thoughts on the Existence of God"
Paul Johnson, 06.20.05, 12:00 AM ET
"Of all the fundamentalist groups at large in the world today, the Darwinians seem to me the most objectionable. They are just as strident and closed to argument as Christian or Muslim fundamentalists, but unlike those two groups the Darwinians enjoy intellectual respectability. Darwinians and their allies dominate the scientific establishments of the West. They rule the campus. Their militant brand of atheism makes them natural allies of the philosophical atheists who control most college philosophy faculties. They dominate the leading scientific magazines and prevent their critics and opponents from getting a hearing, and they secure the best slots on TV. Yet the Darwinian brand of evolution is becoming increasingly vulnerable as the progress of science reveals its weaknesses. One day, perhaps soon, it will collapse in ruins.
Few people today doubt the concept of evolution as such. What seems mistaken is Charles Darwin's theory of natural selection, whereby species evolve by infinitesimally small stages. Neither Darwin nor any of his followers--nor his noisy champions today--was a historian. None of them thought of time historically or made their calculations chronologically. Had they done so, they'd have seen that natural selection works much too slowly to fit into the time line allowed by the ages of the universe and our own planet. The process must somehow have been accelerated in jumps or by catastrophes or outside intervention. There are five other weaknesses the Darwinians cannot explain away either. The best summary of these can be found in Richard J. Bird's Chaos and Life (Columbia University Press, 2003), page 53. Warning: This book is tough going but will reward the persistent. If the theory of natural selection is incorrect, then the Darwinians' view that there is no need or place for God in the universe is itself weakened, though not necessarily overthrown. Physics, however, increasingly tends to suggest that there is a God role, particularly with regard to the origin of the universe. We now know this occurred about 13.7 billion years ago, and our knowledge of what happened immediately afterward is becoming increasingly detailed, down to the last microsecond. Few now doubt there was a Big Bang. We know when it occurred and what followed. But we are just as far as ever from understanding why it happened or what--or who--caused it. Indeed, all calculations about the Big Bang are based on the assumption that nothing preceded it. It took place in an infinite vacuum. There was no process of ignition, or traces of it would have been left. Hence, this fundamental happening in history seems to conflict with all the laws of physics and our notions of how the universe operates. It was an event without a cause. It also produced something out of nothing. More: It produced everything out of nothing. The expansion of the universe has proceeded ever since, and all the creative processes involved in it--including Earth and homo sapiens--were written into the laws laid down in that first tremendous explosion. We do not have to believe in an entirely deterministic universe to see that the first microsecond of history foreshadowed everything that has followed over the last 13-plus billion years. If the laws of physics cannot explain how and why this event occurred, we must invoke metaphysics. And that means some kind of divine force. I've been rereading what Sir Isaac Newton wrote about God in the second edition of his Principia (1713). Newton saw God not as a perfect being--or any kind of being at all--but as a power, what he termed a "dominion." "We reverence and adore Him on account of His dominion," he wrote. This power was exercised "in a manner not at all human … in a manner utterly unknown to us." Newton knew God only through His works. "He is utterly void of all body and bodily figure, and can therefore neither be seen, nor heard, nor touched." Our knowledge of Him is limited "by His most wise and excellent contrivances of things."
"...and the Word Was God":
This notion of God as an impersonal power or force, wholly outside the laws of physics, fits with the role assigned him as author of the Big Bang. And since that primal event there has been no need of further intervention by God in the affairs of the universe. Or has there? I've also been reading Guy Deutscher's The Unfolding of Language (Metropolitan Books, 2005) and reflecting on the nature of words. Speech is the greatest of man's inventions and the mother of all others. Yet, in truth, nobody invented it. Its emergence and evolution proceeded in ways that are still almost a total mystery. It is as close to a miracle as anything associated with human beings. Both the Hebrews and the Greeks, in different ways, believed there was something divine about "the word," or logos. The Greeks thought the word was the abstract principle of reason exhibited by an orderly universe. The Jews thought it the image of God, the beginning and origin of all things. It is possible, then, that the giving of the word to humanity was the second intervention of the metaphysical force or dominion in the process of history. That, I think, is the conclusion I have come to in these difficult matters. What will be the third, I wonder?"
Ed Morrisey at Captain's Quarters is in quite a lather today:
We have enough problems fighting the war on terror in the measured, strategic method used by the Bush and Blair administrations without Republican Congressmen recommending the bombing of sites held sacred by Muslims across the political spectrum. Yet today, Tom Tancredo (R-CO) suggested that a nuclear attack on an American city could result in a bombing run on Mecca.
Tancredo was asked how the United States should react if several cities were hit with nuclear weapons by extremist Islamists. Tancredo answered:
"Well, what if you said something like — if this happens in the United States, and we determine that it is the result of extremist, fundamentalist Muslims, you know, you could take out their holy sites," Tancredo answered.
"You're talking about bombing Mecca," Campbell said.
"Yeah," Tancredo responded.
Ed Morrisey says:
I think the "ultimate response" to Tancredo's apolcalyptic fantasy is that we don't bomb civilians in response to terrorist attacks, no matter how seductive such a response might seem. The idea that the US would retaliate in such a manner should be repulsive to any rational person, no matter where they fall on the political spectrum. The war on terror targets the terrorists and the governments which fund and/or shelter them, not the civilians who happen to live there.
What Ed Morrisey is saying here sounds very noble and measured. But, let's face it, what he is saying is that if the United States is hit with nuclear weapons in several cities, and millions of innocent people die, and millions more are effected for the rest of their lives by the winds of radioactive fallout, and our economy takes a hit 100-1000 times greater than the hit we took from 9/11, that we should retaliate with restraint that seems beyond turning the other cheek.
I mean, for God's sake, look at how Morrisey thinks we should react to being hit with multiple nuclear weapons:
Here's what we should make clear will happen if we suffer another major attack in the US, especially one that uses WMD or causes significant losses:
1. Take out the air forces of the two nations we know to support terrorists -- Syria and Iran.
2. Destroy all nuclear facilities in Iran, to the best of our intelligence.
3. Bomb all known militarily-related manufacturing facilities.
Jeez, maybe we could take out the Mecca Cola factories too, while we're at it.
Remember all that talk after 9/11 about how Bin Laden believes that America is too weak and decadent to respond to an attack? Well, if nothing else has served to convince the Islamofascists that we are not serious, a response like Morrisey suggests surely would.
Morrisey makes one good point. He comments:
... who is Tom Tancredo to make these threats anyway? He doesn't have anything to do with the military chain of command or the national security systems that would make those kinds of recommendations. He certainly doesn't speak for the President ...
Yes, that's true. And that's why Tancredo probably should have recused himself. But, in my opinion, Morrisey is off base as well, although perhaps not in as offensive a manner.
Does Morrisey discount the strategy that helped us win the Cold War, Deterrence through Mutually Assured Destruction? A policy that held the Soviet Union, and the United States for that matter, at bay for forty years is not a policy to be scoffed at with a simple phrase like "should be repulsive to any rational person."
I will ask in turn, who is Morrisey to make these judgements anyway?
The truth is, our government has probably issued threats of this nature behind the scenes. For myself, I will only say, I have no idea what to do in such a situation, and I'm glad I am not the one who would have to make such a decision. But, how will we deter a country like Iran from giving nuclear weapons to terrorist organizations, if we do not issue such threats? How would we deter Saudi Arabia from funding such an operation?
Come on, Mr. Morrisey, you need to think this through a little further. Or maybe you should just recuse yourself.
A reminder, from Ben Stein, that we're all in this together, some of us just get paid better:
I read about men and women who are taking fire from insurgents in Iraq and being blown up by homemade bombs that the Pentagon refers to as improvised explosive devices. The people being blown up are maybe corporals, and they get $1,900 a month, including combat pay.
Or I read a letter from a buddy of a member of the Navy Seals who was killed recently in Afghanistan when his helicopter went down, and he was getting maybe $1,950 a month, fighting the Taliban and fighting Al Qaeda (which killed 3,000 innocent men, women and children on American soil on Sept. 11, 2001). That means the guy at the hedge fund is getting as much as, say, 10,000 of these corporals per annum.
What keeps going through my mind is that there is a big, yet always unstated, connection between these two groups of men and women - on one hand, the megastars of Wall Street and corporate boardrooms, with their vast paychecks, yachts and horse farms in the Hamptons, and, on the other, the grunts in body armor chasing down terrorists half a world away in 130-degree heat.
The link is that the men and women of Wall Street and of corporate America do their very important work - and it is vital work, indeed - inside a box of security and safety created by the courage of the men and women who wear battle dress uniforms and ride down the highway of death in Iraq in armored personnel carriers handling machine guns.
The men and women in the Armani suits, who get the huge paychecks - and who, again, do work I sincerely appreciate and admire - could not exist for long if they were not being shielded by the men and women in uniforms and boots.
And I do not mean only the military. I am also talking about the police officers, the firefighters and other first responders; the Department of Homeland Security folks; the airport security people; and the people in the C.I.A., the F.B.I. and the National Security Agency. All of them offer their time and their lives and their families' sanity to protect the country.
Remember that it all depends on the fighting men and women, not on the people in finance. It depends on the guys whose names you will never know, guys who come home and work - not at jobs in which helicopters ferry them to secret-deal meetings in New York or London, but at jobs in places like a car wash in Burleson, Tex., where one of the men who captured Saddam Hussein is working without complaint and with barely mentioning that he was in Iraq.
That is, if they come home with all their limbs - or if they come home at all.
I work with a women whose husband is about 45, and works an engineer, presumably making around $100K a year. But, you know what? He won't be making that for long, because he's in the National Guard, and he's being called up for a tour of duty, for the second time since 9/11.
And, he's happy to serve.
In other words, there are people who make a great living, and then choose to sacrifice it, in order to go overseas and protect our great country.
Bat Ye'or, via Jihad Watch says that Britain is completely trapped in dhimmitude:
Dhimmitude is characterised by the victim's siding with his oppressors, by the moral justification the victim provides for his oppressors' hateful behavior, and by the destruction of the victim's own self by a mental enslavement of love and admiration toward his oppressors. Willfully serving his oppressors, the dhimmi loses the sense of his own rights and humanity. He loses the possibility of revolt because revolt arises from a sense of injustice, and the dhimmi justifies the injustices done against him because he is utterly destroyed as a human being.
Perfect examples of this are Edward Saïd, Christian janissaries, and dhimmi Churches throughout history till today. I studied this mentality in all my books.
Mental dhimmitude has been implemented in Europe over the course of 30 years by politicians, intellectuals, the Churches, and the media, all of whom sided with the jihadist Palestinian terrorists against Israel's wars of liberation from dhimmitude. Europe's uncritical alliances with and support for the Arabs' jihad involved a self-inflicted dhimmitude, since Christians are treated the same as Jews under Islamic law.
The Europeans' justification of jihad and of Jewish dhimmitude explains their current lack of reaction. A dead body does not react. European governments, especially the British, have bought their security from the terrorists--starting with the Palestinians in 1973--by promoting an anti-Israeli and anti-American policy and an anti-Semitic hate campaign.
Tony Blair's posturing in the wake of the London bombings is the cover-up of this cowardly policy that seeks protection from the terrorists by offering them Britain as a safe haven, from where they have sent killers in Israel, America, Bali, and other places. Having for so long and continuously justified injustice against others, the British people go along with the same injustice when it turns against them.
For thirty years, Europeans were taught that they have to love Muslims and Islam, and now they are receiving back the exchange for this love which is nothing less than the other face of their hate of Jews and Israel.
Meanwhile, Melanie Phillips says Tony Blair's latest speech is proof of the opposite; that he and the British people are coming around to a real understanding of the evil of their enemy:
Tony Blair’s speech last Saturday on the threat that we face was excellent and seminal, a step-change in his rhetoric on Islamic terror, and should be read in full. He spelled out more clearly than he had ever done before why the argument that the London bombings were carried out in response to Iraq or indeed to any other conflict is exceptionally stupid and ignorant:
‘This ideology and the violence that is inherent in it did not start a few years ago in response to a particular policy. Over the past 12 years, Al-Qaeda and its associates have attacked 26 countries, killed thousands of people, many of them Muslims…
They demand the elimination of Israel; the withdrawal of all Westerners from Muslim countries, irrespective of the wishes of people and government; the establishment of effectively Taleban states and Sharia law in the Arab world en route to one caliphate of all Muslim nations...
‘From the mid 1990s onwards, statements from Al-Qaeda, gave very clear expression to this ideology:
"Every Muslim, the minute he can start differentiating, carries hatred towards the Americans, Jews and Christians. This is part of our ideology. The creation of Israel is a crime and it has to be erased. You should know that targeting Americans and Jews and killing them anywhere you find them on the earth is one of the greatest duties and one of the best acts of piety you can offer to God Almighty."
Just as great is their hatred for so-called apostate governments in Muslim countries. This is why mainstream Muslims are also regarded as legitimate targets.
‘Their cause is not founded on an injustice. It is founded on a belief, one whose fanaticism is such it can't be moderated. It can't be remedied. It has to be stood up to.’
Quite. But will he do so?
It does sound like Britain realizes they have a problem, but like an alcoholic who needs to disentangle himself from the cycle of their abuse, the British need to understand all the ways in which they are currently lying to themselves.
They need, for instance, to understand that sometimes when Muslims condemn terrorists killing "civilians" or "innocents," that they aren't condemning what we would call terrorism in general, but instead, they are condemning terrorists who would kill Muslims along with all the other infidels.
On July 8, 2005, less than 24 hours after the bombing in London, the following prayer was heard on Palestinian state-owned TV:
"Annihilate the Infidels and the Polytheists! Your [i.e. Allah's] enemies are the enemies of the religion! Allah, disperse their gathering and break up their unity, and turn on them, the evil adversities. Allah, count them and kill them to the last one, and don't leave even one." [Suleiman Al-Satari, PA TV, July 8, 2005. View an excerpt of this sermon online here]
This call for the genocide of all Infidels is particularly striking coming as Britain was still reeling from the London terror attacks - especially since PA religious usage routinely includes Britain in the "Infidel" category.
Such a call does not represent a new policy - or even a shift in policy. While the PA is careful to exclude this hate ideology from the image it presents to the foreign media, to its own people in Arabic the PA has always presented itself as part of a greater Arab-Islamic conflict against the West.
This enmity is focused primarily on the US and Britain, who are seen as the dominant forces of Western civilization. This enmity is neither time nor event dependent, but is presented as part of Allah's plan. The ultimate victory is predetermined, Palestinians are taught, and Islam will eventually rule over Britain and America.
The following is a review of some of this religious hate expression towards Britain as reported in the PA media.
Britain is among the Infidels
"America, Britain and Spain ... are uniting to strike at the people of truth [i.e. Muslims] in their homeland. This is the Infidels' way, Oh Muslims... The United Nations, to our regret, has become Dar al-Nadwa [literally 'House of Assembly,' the term for the pre-Islamic meeting place in Mecca], because that is where the Infidels meet." Ibrahim Mudayris, PA TV, February 28, 2003. View an excerpt of this sermon online here]
"The Infidel countries under the leadership of the US made up an excuse and justification to wage their dirty war [post 9-11 war in Afghanistan] against Islam and the Muslims... Concerning evil Britain, which directly brought about this corrupt entity [Israel] on Palestinian land. Britain forgot that it is the height of terror and the height of hatred against Islam and Moslems." [Yusuf Abu Sneina, Iman of Al-Aqsa Mosque, PA Radio, December 28, 2001. Hear an excerpt of this sermon online here]
Prayers to Allah to destroy Britain
Dr. Ikrime Sabri, Mufti of Jerusalem, highest-ranking Islamic figure in the Palestinian Authority, just 18 days before the September 11 attacks against America in 2001:
"Oh, Allah, destroy America and its supporters and collaborators. Oh Allah, destroy Britain and its supporters and collaborators." [Ikrime Sabri, PA Radio, August 24, 2001.Hear an excerpt of this sermon online here]
"It is our obligation to prepare for the soldiers of Allah who are advancing in the will of Allah, glorified and praised. We will prepare a foothold for them. Allah willing, this oppressive state will disappear, the oppressive state Israel. The oppressive country America will disappear. The oppressive country Britain will disappear - those who caused our people's Catastrophe [PA term for the establishment of Israel]. [Muhammad Ibrahim Maadi, PA TV, June 8, 2001. View an excerpt of this sermon online here]
Last Friday, Charles Krauthammer had a piece in the Jewish World Review which contained a line I believe will go into the history books:
"Decadence is defined not by a civilization's art or music but ultimately by its willingness to simply defend itself."
We look into the face of an enemy who is calling for our destruction and we talk about forging ties with them, about our common shared interest, about working together in the interest of peace.
We're dead if we don't stop this nonesense.
The question then is, how can we put a stop to it. The answer, in part, is to demand that Muslims cease and desist from such incitement. Yesterday, fellow CUANAS contributor Publius 2000 posted an excerpt of and interview with Victor Davis Hanson which contained a passage which I think is relevant:
... we have to tell Muslims of good faith, the end is over for tolerating this type of behavior. If you go to a mosque, and somebody stands up and says Jews are apes and pigs, or the West should be destroyed, then you have a duty as a resident or a citizen in a Western country to oppose that. And if you don't do it, you're abetting it, and you're complicit in it."
Sunday, July 17, 2005
Mein Kampf, and A Novel About
Islamic Nuclear Terror Against U.S.
Mr. Fjordman has become my favorite European blogger of late. Fjordman:
Burak Turna's previous book, about a Turkish hero who destroys Washington DC with a nuclear device, was the only book to beat Adolf Hitler's "Mein Kampf" on the bestseller list in Turkey.
Of course, Turkey is a beacon of Islamic modernism, and all its close to 80 million inhabitants should be allowed to join the 15 to 20 million Muslims already in the EU. The problems we have with 20 million Muslims will disappear as soon as we get 100 million Muslims. Our leaders tell us so, so it must be true:
Turkey Shrugs Off Success of Hitler's 'Mein Kampf'
The current No. 1 bestseller in Turkey, ahead of "Mein Kampf," is "Metal Storm," which depicts a U.S. invasion of the country. The Turkish hero avenges his homeland by destroying Washington with a nuclear device.
Clash of civilizations comes to a store near you
Burak Turna, who has developed a large following in Turkey, hit the bookstands this month with his second political fiction, "Third World War," which is about a clash of civilizations. His first book, "Metal Storm," co-authored by Orkun Uçar, describing a Turkish-U.S. war sparked after an assault on Turkish troops in northern Iraq by U.S. forces, is a bestseller in Turkey with over 450,000 copies sold to date.
Muslims Call It "Sacrifice"
The uncle of Shahzad Tanweer, one of the four London bomb suspects, has defended his nephew's actions as a desperate "sacrifice" in an interview with the British tabloid newspaper. "These suicide bombers are desperate people," Bashir Ahmed told the Sunday paper.
"They are not getting their rights. They can see that their brothers are not getting their rights, so they take extreme action."
"This lad has made a name for himself in the world. Muslims call it a sacrifice, the Europeans call him a terrorist," he was quoted as saying.
Tanweer's uncle laid the blame for the rush-hour attacks on London's transport network at the feet of British Prime Minister Tony Blair and US President George W. Bush, warning, "There will be more".
Citing US policy in Iraq and the Middle East, as well as its treatment of detainees at the Guantanamo Bay base in Cuba, Ahmed told the paper that Western disregard for the rights of Muslims was driving young men to violence.
"Britain and America are saying that they will defeat terrorism. I am saying that terrorism can be finished in one second," he said. "Why can't Blair and Bush apologise for the way they have abused the human rights of Muslims. They should apologise. They should stop these injustices."
Jeff Jarvis at Buzz Machine, points to two articles, one each from a British and Dutch writer, which discusses the possibility that mindless multiculturalism might be coming to an end in Britain. First, here is Dutch novelist Leon de Winter, from the New York Times. Hat tip, the Anchoress:
For centuries the Netherlands has been considered the most tolerant and liberal nation in the world. This attitude is a byproduct of a disciplined civic society, confident enough to provide space for those with different ideas. It produced the country in which Descartes found refuge, a center of freedom of thought and of a free press in Europe.
That Netherlands no longer exists.
The murder last year of the filmmaker Theo van Gogh, whose killer was convicted this week, and the assassination of the politician Pim Fortuyn in 2002 marked the end of the Holland of Erasmus and Spinoza.
No, the Dutch suddenly did not become intolerant and insular. But these killings showed the cumulative effect of two forces that have shaken the foundations of Dutch civic society over the last 40 years: the cultural and sexual revolution of the 1960's and 70's and the influx of Muslim workers during those years of prosperity....
When they came to the country, often under long-term government work visas, they were faced with a highly educated but apparently decadent society in the grip of a cultural revolution. Many were astonished: was this country some sort of freak show?
No, it certainly wasn't. Under the effusive "anything goes" exterior, the majority of Dutch people held on to their disciplined Calvinist values. To the immigrants, however, this core was all but invisible....
And thus the delicate mechanism of Holland's traditional tolerant society gradually lost its balance. The news media, politicians and artists gnawed away at the traditional values of Calvinistic civic society, while in the bleak Muslim suburbs resentment grew among the Moroccans' Dutch-born children, who found the promise of an affluent life unfulfillable.
Meanwhile, the news media and politicians maintained an unofficial ban on any discussion of the problems of immigration: after all, in progressive Holland only socioeconomic problems were admissible. It was simply not acceptable to discuss problems relating to religion and culture.
Then, there's this, from Michael Portillo, writing in the Sunday Times of London:
Tolerance was clearly never meant to mean that Britain should allow those with roots outside the country to flout human rights and the laws of the land on the pretext that things were done differently where they came from. The Ayn Rand Institute is right to say that it is dangerous nonsense to pretend that all cultures are morally equivalent. Such sloppy thinking corrodes our ability to distinguish good from evil.
It is tempting in a tolerant society to want to see other people’s point of view. If Islam has thrown up its extremists, we can recall the excesses committed over centuries in the name of Christianity. We can understand that a devout Muslim might find western society licentious and irreligious. But the time for sophistry has passed. Our citizens and our society are under threat from those who believe that difference is a justification for terror and murder. Our country has the right to assert its values and require from everyone living here compliance with our laws and respect for our standards.
Britain’s woolly thinking about multiculturalism has helped to make us vulnerable.