Saturday, December 03, 2005

Great Moments In
The History Of The People's Revolution

Sometimes you just gotta love your enemies. This is one Ayatollah Khomeini:

We are at war against infidels. Take the message with you. 'I ask all Islamic nations, all Muslims, all Islamic armies, and all heads of Islamic states to join the Holy War. There are many enemies to be killed or destroyed. Jihad must triumph... Muslims have no alternative... to an armed Holy War against profane governments... Holy War means the conquest of all non-Muslim territories. It will be the duty of every able-bodied adult male to volunteer for this war of conquest, the final aim of which is to put Koranic law in power from one end of the earth to the other.'

Like I always say, you gotta love your enemies, when they tell the truth.

Thanks Aya, baby.

Is It A War On Terror
Or, A Civil War In The Western World?

I'm pimpin' Dag's Blog. Dag's got a good blog. It's a fine blog, really. Take a look at Dag's blog. Here Dag gives us another way of looking at our current war:

Here, at this blog, we declare that this war of ours is a war for the future of Human life as either modern middle class people or the return to the past, a time when people were farm animals or, in the case of Islam, also the slaves of Allah. We declare that this war is one for the mind of Man. How shall the mass of Mankind live?

Some people among us demand the power to control the way others live and think. They have a vision of what Human life should be, and they use force to impose their visions on the world's people. Some demand that people live what they term a "natural" life. Others demand that people live as they choose personally and privately. There is an irreconcilable conflict between the two powers. We are at war therefore.

Here we define the sides as Modernists and Left dhimmi fascists. Muslims are thrown into the mix as bulk on the side of our enemies. They are the cannon fodder of this struggle, on the side of our Left dhimmi fascist enemies in the West. Our true enemies are our own people. It is they whom we must identify and conquer so we can move ahead to our goal of Human progress in the world.

A Breathtaking Quote
In Support of Mass-Murder
From Ramsey Clark

Ramsey Clark, the former Attorney General of the United States, is acting as Saddam Hussein's lawyer. As such, he is now, quite literally, defending mass-murder:

The first charge being brought against Saddam Hussein is that in 1982, after his motorcade came under fire near the mainly Shiite town of Dujail, he ordered the torture and murder of 148 men and boys. It’s a relatively minor item in the catalog, but there it is.

The first prosecution witness in the case, Wadah al-Sheikh, has actually testified that he knows of no direct link between Saddam and the killings. The defense team has to hope that it can prove the same, or perhaps suggest that no such massacre occurred. Not so Ramsey Clark. In a recent BBC interview, he offered the excuse that Iraq was then fighting the Shiite nation of Iran:

He (Saddam) had this huge war going on, and you have to act firmly when you have an assassination attempt.

Just go back and read that again. Ramsey Clark believes that

A) the massacre and torture did occur and
B) that it was ordered by his client and
C) that he was justified in ordering it and carrying it out.

That is quite sufficiently breathtaking. It is no less breathtaking when one recalls why Saddam “had this huge war going on.” He had, after all, ordered a full-scale invasion of the oil-bearing Iranian region of Khuzestan and attempted to redraw the frontiers in Iraq’s favor. Most experts accept a figure of about a million and a half as the number of young Iranians and Iraqis who lost their lives in consequence of this aggression (which incidentally enjoyed the approval of that Nobel Peace laureate Jimmy Carter). And Ramsey Clark says that the aggression is an additional reason to justify the massacre at Dujail.

A few days back, Neo-neocon had a great post on Ramsey Clark. It's worth reading the whole thing, but here's an excerpt:

One can argue that even dictators need defense attorneys, and that is most certainly true. It's a nasty job, but somebody has to do it. And yet someone is already doing it; Clark's lamentably eager services are hardly needed.

Yes, Clark never met a dictator he didn't like, and this has been the case for decades. And yes, Clark is probably the most extreme leftist alive today who actually held a position of power in a Presidency--in his case, that of Lyndon Johnson, under whom he served as Attorney General.

Clark seems to have sympathy for any suffering he personally witnesses. He didn't see Saddam's victims, so perhaps they are not real to him. But he sees poor old Saddam now, and it just about breaks his heart:

"The United States, and the Bush administration in particular, engineered the demonization of Hussein...Hussein has been held illegally for more than a year without once meeting a family member, friend or lawyer of his choice. Though the world has seen him time and again on television — disheveled, apparently disoriented with someone prying deep into his mouth and later alone before some unseen judge — he has been cut off from all communications with the outside world and surrounded by the same U.S. military that mistreated prisoners at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo... The United States has already destroyed any hope of legitimacy, fairness or even decency by its treatment and isolation of the former president and its creation of the Iraqi Special Tribunal to try him."

Clark's sympathies are activated by the suffering of old Nazis, as well, according to the Spectator interview:

He has defended Lithuanian and Ukrainian exiles accused of Nazi war crimes, and he felt strongly for them. "It is terrible to see the fear which such indictments strike into men’s hearts, and the shame they feel before their families," he tells me. "I have seen defendants being spat at in the face during trials."

Perhaps he just believed that his own clients were innocent, but his pity extends even to the Nazi leaders themselves: he thinks it ‘terrible’ that eight of them were executed at Nuremberg, and that Rudolf Hess was sentenced to solitary life imprisonment in Spandau.

This goes far beyond the amount of sympathy one would need to have in order to do a decent job defending someone. In some strange and dreadful alchemy, it seems that those suffering peasants of postwar China, those blacks who were disenfranchised (and worse) in the American South, and those who died in Vietnam, have morphed over the years in Clark's mind into the dictators and war criminals who arouse his sympathies now.

It's quite a journey.

of Britain?

JMJ, over at Fu2rman, links to a Daniel Pipes article looking at the possibility that Prince Charles may be a secret convert to Islam. I'm going to post the entire Pipes piece, because I actually think this could be very important to the future of Europe:

Is Prince Charles a Convert to Islam? In a 1997 Middle East Quarterly article titled "Prince Charles of Arabia," Ronni L. Gordon and David M. Stillman looked at evidence that Britain's Prince Charles might be a secret convert to Islam.

They shifted through his public statements (defending Islamic law, praising the status of Muslim women, seeing in Islam a solution for Britain's ailments) and actions (setting up a panel of twelve "wise men" to advise him on Islamic religion and culture), then concluded that, "should Charles persist in his admiration of Islam and defamation of his own culture," his accession to the throne will indeed usher in a "different kind of monarchy."

All this comes to mind on reading an article titled "Charles Breaks Fast with the Faithful in Muscat" in today's Dubai-based Gulf News, which reports on some of Charles' activities during his current five-day visit to Oman:

He toured the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque for almost two hours and "took keen interest in studying various sections at the mosque, including the main prayer hall." As his spokesman put it, "The Prince was particularly keen to come to the mosque today to see the fantastic building and remarkable architecture which Prince was fascinated with. The Prince has a great love for Islamic architecture and I can't think of finer example than this mosque."

He "spent a considerable time at an exhibition of Islamic calligraphy and held meetings with Sheikha Aisha Al Siaby, Head of Public Authority for Craft Industries and Taha Al Kisri, the Head of Omani Society for Fine Arts to discuss various aspects of Islamic art."

He "broke fast with a large congregation of people from different nationalities as he sat with folded legs on the floor in the open. He ate date and drank juice at the call of Iftar."

None of this, of course, is evidence that the Heir to the British Throne has changed religions, but his actions most certainly would be consistent with such a move, and especially the implication that he had kept the Ramadan fast. (November 9, 2003)

Dec. 18, 2004 update: Prince Charles put himself in the middle of an Islamic theological issue that again could suggest his conversion to Islam – for if that is not the case, then on what basis does he opine on the Islamic law requiring that apostates from Islam be executed? Jonathan Petre of London's Daily Telegraph reports on a private summit of Christian and Muslim leaders at Clarence House on this topic sponsored earlier in December by the prince. Apparently, however, he did not get the results he hoped for, with one Christian participant indicating that Charles was "very, very unhappy" about its outcome. That may have been because the Muslims at the meeting resented his public involvement in this topic.

July 14, 2005 update: And what does the good prince have to say about the murder by Islamists of 55 in London a week ago? He put fingers to keyboard and produced "True Muslims Must Root Out The Extremists" for the Mirror:

some deeply evil influence has been brought to bear on these impressionable young minds. … Some may think this cause is Islam. It is anything but. It is a perversion of traditional Islam. As I understand it, Islam preaches humanity, tolerance and a sense of community. … these acts have nothing to do with any true faith. … it is vital that everyone resists the temptation to condemn the Muslim community for the actions of such a tiny and evil minority. If we succumb to that temptation, the bombers will have achieved their aim. Likewise, in my view, it is the duty of every true Muslim to condemn these atrocities and root out those among them who preach and practise such hatred and bitterness.

Comment: This sounds to me like the same apologetics churned out by the Muslim Council of Britain and other Islamist bodies.

Aug. 2, 2005 update: At the funeral of King Fahd in Riyadh, the Associated Press reports, "Non-Muslims were not allowed at the ceremonies." So far as I can tell, Charles did not attend the ceremonies. (There surely would have been a press uproar if he had.) We can conclude that whatever his inner faith, he is not presenting himself as a Muslim in public.

Sep. 4, 2005 update: Prince Charles revealed in a letter leaked to the Daily Telegraph that he had strained relations with George Carey, then archbishop of Canterbury, over his attitude toward Islam. Particularly contentious was his expressed intent, on becoming king and supreme governor of the Church of England, to ditch the centuries' old defender of the faith title and replace it with defender of faith and defender of the Divine. The letter reveals the archbishop's reaction.

I wish you'd been there for the archbishop! Didn't really appreciate what I was getting at by talking about "the Divine" and felt that I had said far more about Islam than I did about Christianity - and was therefore worried about my development as a Christian.

According to royal aides, Charles did not much respect Lord Carey's views and the feelings were reciprocated.

Oct. 29, 2005 update: "Prince Charles to plead Islam's cause to Bush" reads the Sunday Telegraph headline. The text by Andrew Alderson tells how the prince of Wales
will try to persuade George W Bush and Americans of the merits of Islam this week because he thinks the United States has been too intolerant of the religion since September 11. The Prince, who leaves on Tuesday for an eight-day tour of the US, has voiced private concerns over America's "confrontational" approach to Muslim countries and its failure to appreciate Islam's strengths.

Apparently, he "wants Americans - including Mr Bush - to share his fondness for Islam."

Nov. 2, 2005 update: That Daily Telegraph cited in the previous update made the rounds, perhaps even to the White House. In any case, George W. Bush had a little zinger ready for the good prince in his welcome for him and Camilla at the state dinner:

In the first part of the 20th century, our nations stood together to ensure that fascism did not prevail in Europe. In the second half of the 20th century, we worked tirelessly to defeat the totalitarian ideology of communism. And today we're fighting side by side against an ideology of hatred and intolerance to ensure that the 21st century will be one of liberty and hope.

Charles did not reply to this comment, limiting his response to projects for the underprivileged and fond memories of Winston Churchill.

Nov. 3, 2005 update: Ali Sina proposes a reason for Charles' attraction to Islam, suggesting that he may be tired of democracy: "Does he secretly envy the Islamic system of government where the rulers have absolute power and can even impose morality on their subjects?"

Nov. 5, 2005 update: Sharp-tongued Julie Burchill asks in "What's not to like about Islam if you're the Prince of Wales,"

I wonder why Prince Charles seeks to big up powerful, theocratic Islam — which already controls so much land and wealth and yet will kill and kill to gain more — and not vulnerable, pluralistic Israel? Why doesn't he invest as much energy in defence of the persecuted and murdered Christians who suffer for their beliefs under Islamic regimes?

She then answers her own questions, much as Ali Sina does:

Well, I think I know why; because cleaving to Islam is the one way that men who wish to appear liberal and enlightened can promote reactionary ideas. Monarch-worshipping, woman-oppressing, non-democratic — what's there not for Charles to like!

Nov. 13, 2005 update: Charles' efforts to promote Islam does his mother no good in Al-Qaeda's eyes. In a just-reviewed videotape, the organization's number two, Ayman al- Zawahiri, calls Queen Elizabeth II "one of the severest enemies of Islam" and blames her for what he calls Britain's "crusader laws." In addition, he criticizes British Muslims who "work for the pleasure of Elizabeth, the head of the Church of England" and ridicules them for saying (his words, not theirs): "We are British citizens, subject to Britain's crusader laws, and we are proud of our submission . . . to Elizabeth, head of the Church of England."

I had wondered about the fact that he didn't stick up for his mother after the death Fatwa was put on her head. But, alas, I thought he was probably just a pussy. He certainly looks like one. (Do I sound a tad angry this morning?)

I don't respect men who won't stick up for their families.

Anyway, JMJ at the Fu2rman blog, offers up the possibility that perhaps Charles wants his mother dead.


Yes, this could be important to the future of Europe that the future King is a schill for even radical Muslims. Or, Charles may simply succeed in doing even his self-absorbed wife was unable to do during the course of her bull-in-a-china-shop life; destroy the Monarchy.

Perhaps, the people of Britain will finally throw them out and confiscate their riches.

As it should be.

I like the Queen, but her progeny are a bit thick.

Israelis Trained Kurds In Iraq

Thanks to Papa Ray for leaving this for me:

Exclusive: A number of Israeli companies have won contracts with the Kurdish government in northern Iraq to train and equip Kurdish security forces and build an international airport, Yedioth Ahronoth reports; al-Qaeda warning of attack prompts hasty exit of all Israeli instructors from region.

Dozens of Israelis with a background in elite military combat training have been working for private Israeli companies in northern Iraq where they helped the Kurds establish elite anti-terror units, Israel’s leading newspaper Yedioth Ahronot revealed Thursday.

According to the report, the Kurdish government contracted Israeli security and communications companies to train Kurdish security forces and provide them with advanced equipment.

Motorola Inc. and Magalcom Communications and Computers won contracts with the Kurdish government to the tune of hundreds of millions of U.S. dollars.

The flagship of the contracts is the construction of an international airport in the northern Kurdish city of Ibril, a stepping stone towards the fulfillment of Kurdish national aspirations for independence.

In addition to Motorola and Magalcom, a company owned by Israeli entrepreneur Shlomi Michaels is in full business partnership with the Kurdish government, providing strategic consultation on economic and security issues.

The strategic consultation company was initially established by former Mossad chief Danny Yatom (Labor) and Michaels, yet Yatom sold his shares upon his election to the Knesset.

But that’s not all. Leading Israeli companies in the field of security and counter-terrorism have set up a training camp under the codename Z at a secret location in a desertic region in northern Iraq, where Israeli experts provide training in live fire exercises and self-defense to Kurdish security forces.

Al-Qaeda warning prompts hasty Israeli exit

Tons of equipment, including motorcycles, tractors, sniffer dogs, systems to upgrade Kalashnikov rifles, and bulletproof vests, have been shipped to Iraq’s northern region, with most products stamped ‘Made in Israel.’

The Israeli instructors entered Iraq through Turkey using their Israeli passports, undercover as agriculture experts and infrastructure engineers.

The Kurds had insisted the cooperation projects were kept secret, fearing exposure would motivate terror groups to target their Jewish guests.

Recent warnings that al-Qaeda may plan an attack on Kurdish training camps, prompted a hasty exit of all Israeli trainers from Iraq’s northern Kurdish regions.

The Defense Ministry said in response to the report that, “We haven’t allowed Israelis to work in Iraq, and each activity, if performed, was a private initiative, without our authorization, and is under the responsibility of the employers and the employees involved."

Even though the Al Qaeda warning has halted business for now, this is very good news. The wall that has prevented Arab-Israeli cooperation seems to be crumbling, slowly but surely. Israel now has better relationships with Pakistan also.

If people can cooperate in business, they can slowly learn to cooperate politically. Heck, maybe even become friends.

Papa Ray noted, in his comment to me, that this will mean that many Shiites and Sunnis are now going to want to kill the Kurds all the more.

We'll see.

I'm Back

Yesterday was another travel day. I did the stupidest thing. I went to the wrong airport. The airport I was supposed to have gone to was an hour away, and there was no way I would make it. Luckily, I was able to get a ticket out last night, but it involved a long layover, which means I didn't get home til 2:00 in the morning.

During the course of the week, I visited various spots in Florida, and I must say, Miami is a beautiful city, although I would hardly know it, because I spent most of my time working.

All work and no play makes Pastorius a typical blogger, right?

Thursday, December 01, 2005

The Look of Success In Iraq

Evan, from the Future Uncertain, referenced at YARGB:

I suppose the battle of Iraq is won or lost to the extent to which it is not or is a contributor to the Islamic madness. There are several measures one could use, say five years after withdrawal: Is it serving as a jihadi incubator, as Afghanistan did (and the banlieues soon will)? Is it plagued by pathological conspiracy theories and hatred of the infidel, particularly Jews? Is consensual government holding? I am cautiously optimistic that these questions will be answered the way the civilized world wants them to be.

There was this extraordinary scene recently, a day or so after the "dungeon" with 174 prisoners was revealed. A senior Iraqi minister had to sit there and explain this, and take hostile questions from both Iraqi and foreign reporters. He looked just like a harried press secretary in any Western government, a scene familiar to all of us.

We take this for granted, but it would've been unimaginable in any Arab country two years ago. I hope that enough Iraqis have now crossed the mental bridge to normalcy - they are turning their backs on indispensable strongmen, on suicide bombing, and the other repellent aspects of so much of the Muslim world.

Disgusting scandal? Harried President? Hostile Press? Yeah, that sounds like Democracy to me.

New German Chancellor Merkel:
"We Can Not Fail In Our Fight Against Terrorism"

It looks like Germany elected the right woman for the job. Angela Merkel grew up in East Germany. Yes, that's right, behind the Iron Curtain:

"We will not be blackmailed," said Merkel in her first speech to the German parliament since taking office last week. "We cannot fail in our fight against terrorism."

In a video delivered by the kidnappers to a public TV station in Baghdad, the kidnappers demanded the German government to stop cooperating with the Iraqi government and threatened to kill the hostages otherwise."

Read the rest at No Pasaran:

Intellectual Fashion Models
And The Obliteration of Meaning

Words are tools we use to form concepts. Without a word to apply to a thing or abstract idea, we have little mental control over the world around us. We have little ability to understand the world around us. A person who does not know the names of the varieties of trees, does not tend to notice the details of said trees as readily. In fact, he may not recognize a particular tree as being the same tree from season to season. (I should know, for I have, only in the past few years, learned the names of trees.)

A Jacaranda Tree would serve as a good example of what I mean. From season to season, a Jacaranda looks completely different. During the winter it is barren. During the spring, it breaks out in a riot of purple flowers. In the summer, it is all green leaves, waving in the breeze. And, in autumn, it's castanet-like seed pods fall along with the green leaves. Until a few years ago, when I fell in love with the purple canopy that hung above a certain street in my neighborhood, for those blessed weeks of spring, I did not give any thought to Jacarandas. I would wander by them, and not notice. But, when I saw a whole three block area of houses canopied and glowing, unfolding like a lavender hallway to heaven, then, I had to know the name of those trees.

Oh, I could have remembered them with the words "lavender hallway to heaven," (and believe me, I do remember many things in such florid language) but I would not have come, as readily, to recognize the continuum of the Jacaranda Tree, as it progresses through the year. I would always have been looking for those purple flowers, and, in missing them, not realized what I was seeing.

In learning the word Jacaranda, I was able to encompass and synthesize the annual experience of a Jacaranda Tree. I was able to file all the various experiences of the Jacaranda (the barren branches and trunks of autumn, the purple canopy, the waving green leaves, and the Castanets) into one word, one idea. And, I was able to recognize the Jacaranda, as a Jacaranda, throughout the year, no matter in which neighborhood I saw it.

Now, why the hell am I going on about Jacaranda Trees?

Because, lately, I have been thinking about how words have been abused, and have thus, lost their meaning. A couple months ago, I wrote a post wherein I explained why I would no longer be using the word Islamofascist. Basically, I realized that the word fascist brings with it, all the ways in which it has been used in the past few years. It means Ronald Reagan. It means George Bush. It means Nicaraugua and the Contras, and American Foreign Policy, it means Tipper Gore, and people who don't want teachers putting condoms on bananas in the classroom.

Yes, it means all these things, but it doesn't mean Mussolini, or Italy in the 1940's, or trains running on time, or rounding up Jews, and hauling them off to Germany on trains.

Similarly, the word Nazi has lost it's meaning. Once again, it means George Bush, and it means American Foreign Policy, but it also means a guy who will serve you a great bowl of soup, but will be a complete dick the whole time he's taking your order.

When words like Fascist and Nazi have their meanings thus obliterated, they no longer carry with them the seriousness they once did. They're actually more like lifestyle accoutrements; handy phrases to bandy about, in order to gain entre in certain social circles.

For a long time, I have wondered how anyone could seriously call Bush a Nazi in a time of war, in a time when we face an enemy who, when it comes to killing, really do say, "to the Jew first." But, now I know. The reason is, the word "Nazi" is no longer connected to Germany of the 1930's and 40's, it is no longer connected to Hitler, or concentration camps, or to the industrialized murder of six million Jews.

Oh sure, most people know something of the Holocaust, and most know it was a very bad occurrence in history, but the real meaning of the word Nazi is not fixed in their heads. The meaning of the word swims blearily in their mind's eye.

Thus, when we are confronted with the modern day version of Nazism, when we hear Bin Laden and Hamas, and Hizbollah call for "Death to the Jews," we do not recognize it. It's more like part of the background of undefined things which float by us day to day, unnoticed.

And, of course, the word evil is not acceptable anymore either, especially when it is applied to truly evil people. Oh sure, it's ok to say American Foreign Policy is evil, but that's because the word doesn't mean anything serious. As I said, it is a lifestyle accoutrement.

I thought back today, to the days when I used to wander into Border's looking for some mental stimulation, and periodically I would pull a Chomsky book off the shelf, because he had been recommended by people whose intelligence I had admired. And, I would order a cup of coffee, and make sure to let the girl behind the counter see that I had a Chomsky book in my hand. You know, so that she would think I was hip. And then, I would go sit down in one of those stinky Borders cloth chairs, and I would read Chomsky's drivel, all the while, holding the book up for all to see. (Nowadays, by the way, I am more likely to cringe when I have to ask a Border's clerk for help finding a book, as I did a few weeks back when buying Robert Spencer Pollitically Incorrect Guide to Islam.)

And, later, in social circumstances, I would try on Chomsky's words and phrases, like one would wear a new shirt, or jacket, or maybe even an unusual, but cool, hat. These words were magical in their ability to conjure up an aura of hipness, "Pinochet, Chile, Cambodia, manufacturing consent, the Tuskeegee incident, etc., etc., etc."

You see, if I was able to bandy about a few flashes of history in a way that served to discredit United States Foreign Policy, if I was able to conflate the evils of the world, and then magically inflate those of Ronald Reagan, and George H.W. Bush, then I could appeare to be hip.

Oh, but the Lefties may object. They really believe this stuff. Oh yes they do. I was just a poseur the whole time. I lack integrity, and the courage of my conscience.

No, it's not that simple. I really did believe those things. I was a truly angry individual, and those ideas served to justify my anger. Whether or not I knew those ideas, and anti-American condemnations, to be true in totality, whether or not I was convinced that I understand just how they jibed with the reality that I had been watching unfold during the course of my lifetime, I did actuallly believe those things, and I did so, with a religious fervor. I was an evangelist of anti-Americanism. I use to preach my hatred of America to my band members, to my girlfriends, and later, to my immigrant wife, who would look at me like I was crazy, and later, after I had come around, admitted to me that she thought my behavior was childish, and sad.

Well, now, I, also, know it was childish and sad. Such wrath is born of the personal, not the political. I had issues with my family, and with myself, and I still do to this day. But, when the towers fell, I saw, clearly, for the first time, that there were people out there for whom anti-Americanism isn't simply a psychological phenomena, or a fashion statement, but instead, that for men like Bin Laden, anti-Americanism meant they were willing to go to any lengths, to do anything they could, to kill as many of us as possible.

Why my fellow intellectual fashion models do not come around, I can not say. Maybe, the depth of their pain is greater than mine. Or, maybe, their sense of history is weaker than mine, and maybe, the meanings of words never took root for them. Maybe, they truly can not recognize evil, because, sadly, they are left with no word for it, and thus, no concept of it.

Yes, I think that is it.

Was The Hirsi Ali of Norway Murdered?

A female Muslim Norwegian politican, who was known for speaking out against radical elements of Islam, has been found dead, under somewhat mysterious circumstances. And, the Norwegian media is advising people that it's probably a suicide, so it's best not to question.

From Fjordman:

The Death of Samira Munir - Accident, Murder or Suicide?

Of Pakistani origin, Samira Munir proclaimed herself to be a muslim. She was not, however, your average muslim woman, not by a long shot. For those familiar with Irshad Manji, the Canadian author who wrote the book The Trouble With Islam and runs the website Muslim Refusenik Samira Munir can probably be best described as a Norwegian counterpart or equivalent of Irshad Manji. Samira spoke relentlessly and very courageously for the rights of women in the muslim immigrant community in Norway, how they were faced with threats of forced marriages, so called honour-killings and female sexual mutilation. She also warned Norwegian politicians of dire consequences of their neglect and indifference.

As a matter of fact she entered politics herself. she was elected to the municipal assembly in Oslo as a representative for The Conservatives. As one would expect she received no support whatsoever in her struggle for the rights of muslim immigrant women. Quite the contrary, one of her party colleagues, a real muslim, threatened her with a lawsuit for some of her statements. Rumours have it that within the party she was not looked upon favourably at all, they feared that her outspoken critics of muslim leaders may cost them muslim votes. Her proposals to improve the conditions for muslim women in Norway were continuously sabotaged and backstabbed by the rest of the party, including a proposal to copy the French ban on hijab i public schools. She spoke about how muslim girls who in public said they wore hijab of their own free will in private confided in her that they were being forced and threatened to do so, and urged her to carry on being a voice for those who had neither the possibility nor the courage to speak for themselves.

In several interviews she told that she was being harassed and receiving death threats, not only against herself, but also against her family. Then, on November 14, 2005, the website of Human Rights Service brought the shocking news that Samira had died under circumtannces which still seem mysterious, to say the least. The story was that she had been run over by a train at a station on one of the suburban lines in Oslo.

For someone who recently had claimed she was receiving almost daily death threats this seemed highly suspicious. It was made even more suspicious by the fact that the PC media in Norway for several days did not mention by a single word what had happened.

Earlier the same day as she was killed she had participated in a radio discussion where she defended the ban on hijab in universities in Turkey. After several days the mainstream Norwegian media eventually broke the story, but in a very muted way. Between the lines they kind of suggested that she had taken her own life, and that out of “respect” one should not try and dig deeper into the story.

Although the mainstream media hardly reported the case at all there has of course been a lot of discussions about it in Norwegian internet forums. Many seem convinced that she was murdered by some Norwegian muslims who pushed her into the track as a train was passing. Some suggest she was doped and placed on the tracks to await an arriving train. The latter is based on the fact that one report claimed she was killed between two stations, rather than at a particulalar station.

Considering all the hatred and all the threats she had received from muslims in Norway that does not seem unlikely, to say the least. The fact that the Pakistani ambassador had summoned her twice may even suggest that the Pakistani ISI (Interservice Intelligence) was involved.

There are many uncertainties about Samira’s tragic death. But even if it was a suicide it does not add up. A healthy 42 year old women, and the mother of two, does not just jump in front of a train for no reason. As a matter of fact there has to be a very good reason. If that is what actually happened we will probably never know the true reason in detail, but a few facts we do know.

We know that both she and her family were being harassed and received death threats, and we know she was being very concerned about the development of the muslim immigrant community in Norway, becoming ever more radical and extremist. The pressure against her, and the bleak outlook for the future can surely be enough to drive a person to commit suicide, and the lack of support from within the conservative party most certainly did not make it any better. So even if the final act was one of her own choosing her blood remains on the hands of Norwegian muslims and their islamophile friends in the conservative party.

I Was Too Trusting

Earlier this evening, I posted that the Flight 93 Memorial had been redesigned. Well, I was wrong:

The redesigned flight 93 memorial, announced today, still contains all of the features that made it a terrorist memorial. Architect Paul Murdoch’s infamous red crescent is still there, still planted with red maple trees, still inscribed in the exact same circle as before, and with the same two crescent tips still intact. Thus the crescent bisector defined by these crescent tips is also the same as before. It still points almost exactly to Mecca, making the crescent a Mihrab (an Islamic prayer station, where the believer faces into a crescent, towards Mecca, to perform his ritual prostrations).

The design still incorporates a separate upper terrorist-memorial wall, centered precisely on the red-maple crescent.

There are still 44 translucent blocks on the flight path to the crash site, matching the total number of dead, instead of just the forty translucent blocks that are dedicated to the forty murdered Americans.

Lastly, the Tower of Voices part of the memorial is still an Islamic prayer-time sundial.

I guess I just have to get used to the idea that every MSM news story is, likely, deceitful.

How much do you have to hate America to create this?

The first story originated with the New York Times, by the way. The second is an analysis by the blog, Error Theory, via Little Green Footballs.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

The Flight 93 Memorial Is Redesigned

Good news. We will not be assaulted by the "Crescent of Embrace":

Designers of a Flight 93 memorial have made a bowl-shaped piece of land its centerpiece, replacing a crescent-shape design that some critics had said was a symbol honoring terrorists, officials announced Wednesday.
The new design for the memorial, to be built on the site of the Sept. 11, 2001, crash near Shanksville, features most of the details of the original, which was unveiled in September after a worldwide design competition.

But a round, bowl-shaped area would replace a "Crescent of Embrace," a crescent-shaped cluster of maple trees.

In September, Rep. Tom Tancredo, R-Colo., criticized the design in a letter to the National Park Service Director, saying many questioned the shape "because of the crescent's prominent use as a symbol in Islam and the fact that the hijackers were radical Islamists."

Paul Murdoch, president of Paul Murdoch Architects, which designed the memorial, had called the criticism of the crescent an "unfortunate diversion," but said they were sensitive to the concerns.

In both old and new versions of the design, a tower with 40 wind chimes welcomes visitors to the site, where they can then walk to a large circular field ringed by 40 groves of red and sugar maple trees, symbolizing the 40 passengers and crew who died. There will also be pedestrian trails, a plaza from which to view the crash site, and a white marble wall with the victims' names inscribed.

In the Flight 93 National Memorial's newsletter, Murdoch described the new design as an "evolution" of what was announced two months ago, reflecting input from the public, the competition's jury and others.

The circle enhances the earlier design by putting more emphasis on the crash site, officials said in the newsletter. A break in the trees will symbolize the path the plane took as it crashed.

Congratulations, everybody. Good work.

Who's Running Guantanamo? The ACLU?

The other day, my friend, Always On Watch put up a post on a shocking fact of life at Guantanamo.

Are you ready for this?

Well, as you probably already know, the United States Military sees to it that the Islamic Jihadis imprisoned at Guantanamo have a Koran, and a Prayer Rug, and whatever other paraphenalia they need to practice their religion.

And, you know what? That's fair enough.

However, you know what they are not allowed to have?

A Bible.


Because, it's considered a danger.

Go read the Always on Watch post:

AP Editorial Masquerades as News

The following article appeared, verbatim, on the AP "News" Wire tonight:

Bush Attempts Hard Sell on Iraq Progress

WASHINGTON - President Bush's depiction of Iraqi security forces as "helping to turn the tide" is difficult to square with persistent setbacks in handing control of the country back to its own people.

His suggestion that Americans are solidly behind the mission also understates opposition at home, and his hard sell on the rising quality of Iraqi forces overlooks complexities on the ground.

Bush on Wednesday declared the Iraqi army and police forces are "increasingly taking the lead in the fight against the terrorists," even as recruits patrol Iraq's most violent cities barely three months after learning how to use weapons and police forces struggle to get officers to come to work.

The president, in a major speech on Iraq war aims and in an accompanying strategy paper, acknowledged all has not gone as planned, speaking several times of a need for "adjustments" along the way.

Still, the White House paper cited a number of positive statistics on the recovery of the Iraq economy, asserting "our restore, reform, build strategy is achieving results."

The International Monetary Fund, in its latest World Economic Outlook, in September, issued a more sobering view.

"The new government faces daunting medium-term challenges, including advancing the reconstruction of the country's infrastructure, reducing macroeconomic instability and developing the institutions that can support a market-based economy," the survey stated.

The IMF staff cited a "volatile security situation" as one of the biggest challenges and said only "slow progress" had been made in restoring Iraq oil production to prewar levels.

Bush, making his remarks at the U.S. Naval Academy, spoke as if the debate about Iraq were limited to Washington and only politicians were questioning the mission.

"When you're risking your life to accomplish a mission, the last thing you want to hear is that mission being questioned in our nation's capital," he told cadets. "I want you to know that, while there may be a lot of heated rhetoric in Washington, D.C., one thing is not in dispute: The American people stand behind you."

Bush's public standing and support for the war have declined. In an AP-Ipsos poll taken in November, 62 percent said they disapproved of his Iraq policy,and his overall job approval rating dropped to 37 percent, the lowest level of his presidency.

The president spoke of "an increased focus on leadership training" to build a core of midlevel and higher ranking officers needed to guide and lead an Iraqi force that can operate on its own.

It takes years to develop a strong officer core, and the process has been a particular struggle in Iraq. The deficiency was highlighted recently when Iraqis put out a call for more former officers from Saddam Hussein's army to rejoin the armed forces. Bush did caution it would take "time and patience" to train enough Iraqi forces to carry the fight.

"As the Iraqi forces grow in number, they're helping to keep a better hold on the cities taken from the enemy," he said.

Indeed, large Shiite cities in the south now are largely controlled by Iraqi forces. But throughout central and northern Iraq, cities that are either Sunni Arab or ethnically or religiously mixed have proved more difficult to stabilize.

In Samarra, only 100 of the 700 police on the city payroll are showing up for work most days, even as U.S. soldiers prepare this week to turn over control of the inner city to Iraqi forces. The Americans tried twice before to do that in the city of 200,000 but failed when insurgents moved against police.

As he did before the invasion, Bush tied Iraq to terrorism, to make the case that a stable Iraq would make for a safer America.

He declared, "The terrorists have made it clear that Iraq is the central front in their war against humanity. And so we must recognize Iraq as the central front in the war on terror."

Iraq was not, however, the terrorists' chosen battlefield until Saddam was defeated and extremists poured across unsecured borders.

I'm guessing that none of my readers need to be told that that is NOT a news article, but that it is, instead, an opinion piece.

However, I thought it was worth noting anyway.

Who The Hell Is AP/Ipsos Anyway

You're not going to believe this one. From No Pasaran:

The most recent AP-Ipsos poll, released on November 11, brought bad news for President Bush
writes John Rosenthal.

The headline told the story: "Poll: Most Americans Say Bush Not Honest". Coming just after the indictment of vice presidential aide "Scooter" Libby for perjury in the so-called CIA leak affair, the implication was clear: the majority of Americans were beginning to get what Democrats and Frenchmen had understood all along (or almost): "Bush lied!"

But this was not the first time that an AP-Ipsos poll had been the bringer of bad tidings for the President. … Why, if one were to judge by AP-Ipsos polling, one would have to conclude that American attitudes toward their President -- and indeed themselves! -- were beginning to seem positively… well, French. Americans were finally acknowledging that they were mistaken for re-electing the malevolent boob -- and that they were themselves uncivilized and fat to boot.

But, then again, if one were to judge by AP-Ipsos polling, George Bush would not have been re-elected in the first place. On October 22, 2004, just ten days before the presidential election and at a time when other polls almost all showed Bush in the lead with just a smattering of ties, the AP released an Ipsos poll showing John Kerry with a three-point lead. …

So, maybe Americans are not turning French, after all. Maybe the anomalous AP-Ipsos results have to do rather with the firm that is doing the polling.

What exactly is Ipsos?

Read the answer (the one neither the American nor the French MSM will tell you).

AP press releases identify Ipsos coyly as an "international polling firm". Ipsos's own releases on its AP work describe the company as "a leading global survey-based market research company" -- as well as "non-partisan" and "objective". One would hardly expect them to say otherwise. But here is what neither AP nor Ipsos want Americans to know and assiduously avoid saying: Ipsos is a French polling firm. Not that this should matter per se. But AP and Ipsos undoubtedly fear that to many Americans it might or that, in light of the current climate of Franco-American relations, it might at least raise some doubts about Ipsos's impartiality and objectivity.

And what is worse: about this particular French polling firm, these doubts would be highly justified. On its home market, Ipsos is well known precisely for the unreliability of its polls and for being especially tight with the French political establishment.

Here's how a November 2001 profile in the French economics weekly l'Expansion described the cozy relationship of Ipsos co-President Jean-Marc Lech to the occupant of the Elysée Palace:

During the two seven-year-terms of François Mitterrand, he was one of the advisors to the prince and he held open house at Copenhagen, the famous restaurant on the Champs Elysées not far from the "castle". Since he began working for Jacques Chirac, he has left the Champs and stays put in the XV arrondissement at lunchtime. Now, he merely delivers his confidential polls personally to the antechamber of the President.

According to the latest Ipsos financial report, a holding company controlled by Lech and his partner Didier Truchot controls 35 percent of Ipsos capital and nearly half of the voting rights in the firm. Ipsos's international expansion in the late 1990s was, incidentally, largely financed by the Artémis investment group of French businessman François Pinault. This is the same Artémis and the same Pinault that were heavily implicated in the Executive Life fraud and that only avoided being indicted in US courts presumably through the intercession of Pinault's close personal friend Jacques Chirac and by coughing up some $185 million. Artémis sold its stake in Ipsos when the firm went public in 1999.

There's more, and you can go read it at Tech Central Station:

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Ahmadinejad Is Seeing Visions
And, Apparently Thinks He's Some Kind Of Messenger of God
Can We Start Bombing, Already?

From Radio Free Europe:

Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad says that when he delivered his speech at the UN General Assembly in September, he felt there was a light around him and that the attention of the world leaders in the audience was unblinkingly focused upon him. The claim has caused a stir in Iran, as a transcript and video recording of Ahmadinejad's comments have been published on an Iranian website, There are also reports that a CD showing Ahmadinejad making the comments also has been widely distributed in Iran. Is the Iranian president claiming to be divinely inspired?

Prague, 29 November 2005 (RFE/RL) -- According the report by, President Ahmadinejad made the comments in a meeting with one of Iran's leading clerics, Ayatollah Javadi Amoli.

Ahmadinejad said that someone present at the UN told him that a light surrounded him while he was delivering his speech to the General Assembly. The Iranian president added that he also sensed it.

"He said when you began with the words 'in the name of God,' I saw that you became surrounded by a light until the end [of the speech]," Ahmadinejad appears to say in the video. "I felt it myself, too. I felt that all of a sudden the atmosphere changed there, and for 27-28 minutes all the leaders did not blink."

Ahmadinejad adds that he is not exaggerating.

"I am not exaggerating when I say they did not blink; it's not an exaggeration, because I was looking," he says. "They were astonished as if a hand held them there and made them sit. It had opened their eyes and ears for the message of the Islamic Republic." reported that during the meeting, Ayatollah Amoli said that "carrying out promises and restraining from fooling people" is the most important duty, presumably of officials . However, it is unclear whether that comment is made in reaction to the claim made by Ahmadinejad.

Critics And Skeptics

Iranian legislator Akbar Alami has questioned Ahmadinejad's apparent claims, saying that even Islam's holiest figures have never made such claims.

Alami told ILNA news agency that it is hard to imagine that someone who is delivering a speech can at the same time focus his attention on the eyelashes of all the people sitting at a distance from him and categorically tell a leading Qom cleric that they did not blink.

Alami said he hopes the film of Ahmadinejad’s comments has not been distributed by people close to the president to make criticizing him "taboo among ordinary people."

However,, a conservative website, reported that the meeting between Ahmadinejad and Ayatollah Javadi Amoli was private. [Editor's note: has no relation to RFE/RL's Radio Farda.] The website accused unspecified Ahmadinejad opponents of distributing the CD of the meeting to insult him.

Hossein Bastani, an Iranian journalist based in France, told RFE/RL that Ahmadinejad's comments can be interpreted in two ways.

"One analysis is that this government believes that it came to power with the votes of the so-called lowest class of the Iranian society and these are classes that believe more in such supernatural tales," Bastani said. "Therefore, this government tries, by propagating such rumors, to gain a dogmatic, charismatic, and holy status among those whom they think support them. The second view is that despite the fact that they are trying to fool people, maybe they also believe in these things that are being repeatedly published about them and said by them. This is more dangerous.”

Growing Trend

Since the presidential elections in Iran, many bizarre stories and rumors have circulated about Ahmadinejad. Many of them are related to his devotion to the 12th Imam, also known as Imam Mahdi, who according to Muslims has disappeared and will return at the end of time to lead an era of Islamic justice.

During his September speech at the UN, Ahmadinejad called for the reappearance of the 12th Imam.

In mid-November, during a speech to Friday prayers leaders from across Iran, Ahmadinejad said that the main mission of the revolution is to pave the way for the reappearance of the 12th Imam.

In recent weeks, the president's aides have denied a rumor that he ordered his cabinet to write a pact of loyalty with the 12th Imam and throw it down a well near the holy city of Qom, where some believe the Imam is hiding.

Ahmadinejad's supporters said such rumors are being circulated about the president by opponents in efforts to defame him.

Tacit Approval?

But journalist Bastani said that many of the reported stories are based on comments made by Ahmadinejad and his cabinet members.

"Inside Iran, no one in a news [organization] takes the risk of publishing incorrect information about the president, who also controls the Information Ministry, [so] spreading lies about him has serious consequences," Bastani said. "In recent weeks and months, there has been much news similar to the meeting between Ahmadinejad and Ayatollah Amoli. These [reports] include the allocation in at least two cases of heavy budgets for the Jamkaran mosque [at the well where some believe that Imam Mahdi is hiding] or comments by the president that have been quoted by the Iranian media in which he had said in an official meeting that the Hidden Imam will appear in two years."

There has been no reaction from President Ahmadinejad to the distribution and publication of his claim that a light surrounded him while he was addressing world leaders at the UN.

Mohammad Ali Abtahi, an adviser to former Iranian President Mohammad Khatami, has warned against the misuse of religious sanctities and written on his website that it is natural that, at a time when the world is expecting a plan to end the deadlock over Iran's nuclear issue, attention is paid to the comments by the country's president.

Ahmadinejad has been criticized inside the country for his seeming lack of tact and his confrontational style on the international stage. His comments about his mystical experience at the UN could well lead to further criticism.

You know, maybe liberals ought to take a long, hard look at Ahmadinejad. That's the face of a real religious madman. Liberals have been so set on calling Bush a Hitler, and insinuating that he takes orders from God, that they probably won't be able to see the real thing staring them in the face.

That's the problem with redefining things. Once you're redefined a word or an idea, then, when the real thing comes along, you no longer have a classification for it. When humans do not have a classification for a thing or idea, they tend to have a very hard time seeing it.

I say this having considered it carefully, Ahmadinejad is showing signs of being a having some sort of Paranoid Personality Disorder.

Check out the list of delusions that can go along with such a syndromd:

Delusions: One the cardinal symptoms of paranoia and other disorders, most notably schizophrenia. Delusions are faulty interpretation of reality that cannot be shaken despite clear evidence to the contrary. Delusions can be classified as:

Bizarre -- belief that others can hear your thoughts, others are inserting thoughts, or your thoughts, feelings, and impulses are controlled by an external force
Referential -- belief that certain gestures, comments, song lyrics, or passages in printed material are specifically intended for you or reference you in some way
Grandiose -- belief that you are an extremely important person, an invaluable member of society, and possess or make some special unrecognized talent or contribution
Persecution -- belief that others are out to get you, are plotting against you, foiling your every move, or making you feel guilty or ashamed
Bodily -- belief in some kind of undiagnosed deteriorative medical condition such as dissolving of spinal cord, rotting or deterioration of skin, organs, or brain
Religious -- belief that you are an important religious figure, in contact with dieties, or serving some special theological purpose in the world

Now, of course, we don't know that Ahamdinejad does suffer from delusions, but if he does, it could be very bad for the world. Why do I say that? Well, read (from about the mission of the Mahdi:

A figure more legendary than that of the Mahdi, the Awaited Saviour, has not been seen in the history of mankind. The threads of the world events have woven many a fine design in human life but the pattern of the Mahdi stands high above every other pattern. He has been the vision of the visionaries in history. He has been the dream of all the dreamers of the world. For the ultimate salvation of mankind he is the Pole Star of hope on which the gaze of humanity is fixed.
The Qur'anic prophecy of the inevitable victory of Islam will be realized following the advent of the Mahdi who will fight the wrong, remedy the evils and establish a world order based on the Islamic teachings of justice and virtue. Thereafter there will be only one religion and one government in the world.

Got that? Those evil ones? Them's us, methinks. And that stuff about there being only only religion, and on government? That would be Islam, and Sharia.

Now, should we take Ahmadinejad at his word? If we do, he must be taken out of power.

Here's the orginal link:

News of Eurabia

A couple days ago I put a new blog on my blogroll, called News of Eurabia (Spanish). The proprieter of the blog, Blueslord, has started translating his posts into English, so I'm dumping the Spanish language blog - as I would imagine, most of my readers probably do not read Spanish. I, myself, can barely understand it - and adding the English version.

Anyway, go check it out, along with No Pasaran, Justify This and the Drunken Blogger. All these guys are blogging about the Jihad in Europe. And, they are all worthwhile reads.

Miami Police Adopt New Strategy Against Terror Threat

From Breitbart comes the news that the Miamim Police are gong to do surprise ID sweeps:

Miami police announced Monday they will stage random shows of force at hotels, banks and other public places to keep terrorists guessing and remind people to be vigilant.

Deputy Police Chief Frank Fernandez said officers might, for example, surround a bank building, check the IDs of everyone going in and out and hand out leaflets about terror threats.

"This is an in-your-face type of strategy. It's letting the terrorists know we are out there," Fernandez said.

The operations will keep terrorists off guard, Fernandez said. He said al-Qaida and other terrorist groups plot attacks by putting places under surveillance and watching for flaws and patterns in security.

Police Chief John Timoney said there was no specific, credible threat of an imminent terror attack in Miami. But he said the city has repeatedly been mentioned in intelligence reports as a potential target.

Timoney also noted that 14 of the 19 hijackers who took part in the Sept. 11 attacks lived in South Florida at various times and that other alleged terror cells have operated in the area.

Both uniformed and plainclothes police will ride buses and trains, while others will conduct longer-term surveillance operations.

"People are definitely going to notice it," Fernandez said. "We want that shock. We want that awe. But at the same time, we don't want people to feel their rights are being threatened. We need them to be our eyes and ears."

Howard Simon, executive director of ACLU of Florida, said the Miami initiative appears aimed at ensuring that people's rights are not violated.

"What we're dealing with is officers on street patrol, which is more effective and more consistent with the Constitution," Simon said. "We'll have to see how it is implemented."

Mary Ann Viverette, president of the International Association of Chiefs of Police, said the Miami program is similar to those used for years during the holiday season to deter criminals at busy places such as shopping malls.

"You want to make your presence known and that's a great way to do it," said Viverette, police chief in Gaithersburg, Md. "We want people to feel they can go about their normal course of business, but we want them to be aware."

Well, jeez, even the ACLU approves.

Mysterious Email Problem

My email provider cut off my email account and told me to register for a new account. I did so. And, now neither account is working. I am not receiving email at all now, so, that will explain why I am not replying to any emails you may be sending.

I'll let you know when I have got the problem resolved. Until then, I guess we'll have to communicate via comments.


Monday, November 28, 2005

Travel Day and New Email Account

Today has been a travel day for me. I don't really like flying, so I was rather stressed out, and thus, I am very, very tired.

Another thing I need to note is, my email account was shut down. I started a new Yahoo email account, but it will take a few days for me to get my new email address out to all of you.

And yet another thing to note. I have to use a laptop which does not allow me to post photos, or bold headlines, or color, or anything. So, the blog is going to look pretty boring for a few days.

Bear with me.

Sunday, November 27, 2005


Europe Why Do You Direct The World's Fury
At the Only Country in the Middle East
Whose Civilisation Resembles Yours?

Charles Moore challenges European officials on their the odd vitriol they have for Israel, as compared to the diplomacy they reserve for the Arab World:

If you had followed the British media, particularly the BBC, with average attention over the past 25 years, you would have concluded that Sharon was an intransigent, murderous, semi-fascist. So you would have been perplexed by his sudden announcement this week that he is to leave the "Right-wing" (favoured Western terminology) Likud party and form a "centrist" party of his own. Suddenly, Sharon becomes visionary, peace-seeking. Little would have prepared you for it.
And that is the trouble. Little prepares the post-Christian European audience to understand Israel. By "understand", I partly mean sympathise with, and partly, just comprehend.

Sharon's career is a good place to start, because it spans the history of the Jewish state. He was 20 when it began in 1948, and had been serving in the Jewish Haganah militia since the age of 14. He fought in the War of Independence, and in 1956, and in the Six-Day War of 1967, and in the Yom Kippur War of 1973, when he crossed the Suez Canal and, effectively disobeying orders, advanced to cut the supply lines of the Egyptian Third Army. He became a popular hero.

Then Sharon entered full-time politics. As defence minister, he masterminded the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982, which succeeded in breaking up the PLO infrastructure there. On his watch, Lebanese Christian Falangists entered the Sabra and Chatila Palestinian refugee camps. There they massacred several hundred people: Sharon was officially condemned for this, and forced to resign.

He bounced back, however. As housing minister, he built settlements. Later he was foreign minister, then leader of Likud. In 2001, he became prime minister, swept to power by fear of the new intifada. He ordered the assassination of many Palestinian terrorists. He began the security wall that divides Israel from much of the West Bank. He also ordered Israel's withdrawal from the Gaza strip, the first unilateral withdrawal it has ever made. And soon he will contest elections as leader of a party he has just invented.

Israeli politics for the past dozen years has been the attempt to reconcile extrication from territory with security. That is what Sharon thinks about all the time, as did his Labour predecessors, Yitzhak Rabin and Ehud Barak.

In the history of the West, such a narrative used to command fascination and respect. Many could apply it to their own people. British people whose convict cousins had built Australia out of their barren exile could understand; so could Americans, who had overcome hostile terrain and hostile inhabitants, and forged a mighty nation. So could any country formed in adversity, particularly, perhaps, a Protestant one - with its idea of divinely supported national destiny and its natural sympathy for the people first chosen by God. The sympathy was made stronger by the fact that the new state was robust in its legal and political institutions, free in its press and universities - a noisy democracy.

Anti-imperialists and the Left also found much to admire. They admired people whose pioneer spirit kept them equal, who often lived communally, who fled the persecution of old societies to build simpler, better ones. If you read Bernard Donoughue's diaries, just published, of his life as an adviser to Harold Wilson in the 1970s (a much better picture of what prime ministers are like than Sir Christopher Meyer's self-regarding effort), one difference between then and now that hits you hard is Donoughue's (and Wilson's) firm belief that the cause of Israel is the cause of people who wish to be free, and that its enemies are the old, repressive establishments.

As a boy, I loved this narrative. I cheered as Israeli courage swept away the outnumbering Arabs who tried to destroy it again and again. I bought books about the Six-Day War, many of which carried pictures of glamorous female Israeli soldiers.

But then a different narrative supervened. People called "the Palestinians" began to be mentioned. Once upon a time, the word "Palestinian" had no national meaning; it was simply the description on any passport of a person living in British-mandated Palestine. During the 19 years to 1967 when Jordan governed the West Bank, the people there had no self-rule, and no real name. UN Resolution 242, which calls for Israel to leave territories it occupied in 1967, does not mention Palestinians; it speaks only of "Arab refugees". Palestinian nationality came along, as it were, after the fact, a nationality largely based on grievance.

Since then, the story has grown and grown. Israel, which was attacked, has come to be seen as the aggressor. Israel, which has elections that throw governments out and independent commissions that investigate people like Sharon and condemn him, became regarded as the oppressive monster.

In a rhetoric that tried to play back upon Jews their own experience of suffering, supporters of the Palestinian cause began to call Israelis Nazis. Holocaust Memorial Day is disapproved of by many Muslims because it ignores the supposedly comparable "genocide" of the Palestinians.

Western children of the Sixties like this sort of talk. They look for a narrative based on the American civil rights movement or the struggle against apartheid. They care little for economic achievement or political pluralism. They are suspicious of any society with a Western appearance, and in any contest between people with differing skin colours, they prefer the darker. They buy into the idea, now promoted by all Arab regimes and by Muslim firebrands with a permanent interest in deflecting attention from their own societies' problems, that Israel is the greatest problem of all.

Well, some will say, that is the way it is: Israel has abused power, and is reaping the whirlwind. I don't want to argue today about the rights and wrongs of Israel's actions, though I think, given its difficulties, it stands up better than most before the bar of history.

All I want to ask my fellow Europeans is this: are you happy to help direct the world's fury at the only country in the Middle East whose civilisation even remotely resembles yours? And are you sure that the fate of Israel has no bearing on your own? In Iran, the new President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad makes the link. The battle over Palestine, he says, is "the prelude of the battle of Islam with the world of arrogance", the world of the West. He is busy building his country's nuclear bomb.

A Mosque

A Muslim group plans to build a mega-Mosque in the heart of London, next to the Olympic Complex:

A MASSIVE mosque that will hold 40,000 worshippers is being proposed beside the Olympic complex in London to be opened in time for the 2012 Games. The project’s backers hope the mosque and its surrounding buildings would hold a total of 70,000 people, only 10,000 fewer than the Olympic stadium.

Its futuristic design features wind turbines instead of the traditional minarets, while a translucent latticed roof would replace the domes seen on most mosques. The complex is designed to become the “Muslim quarter” for the Games, acting as a hub for Islamic competitors and spectators.

“It will be something never seen before in this country. It is a mosque for the future as part of the British landscape,” said Abdul Khalique, a senior member of Tablighi Jamaat, a worldwide Islamic missionary group that is proposing the mosque as its new UK headquarters.

Tablighi Jamaat has come under scrutiny from western security agencies since 9/11. Two years ago, according to The New York Times, a senior FBI anti-terrorism official claimed it was a recruiting ground for Al-Qaeda. British police investigated a report that Mohammad Sidique Khan, leader of the July 7 London bombers, had attended its present headquarters in Dewsbury, West Yorkshire.

In August, Bavaria expelled three members of the organisation on the grounds that it promoted Islamic extremism.

The east London complex would have by far the largest capacity of any religious building in Britain. The biggest at present is the Baitul Futuh in Morden, Surrey, which holds about 10,000 worshippers. Liverpool’s Anglican cathedral, the largest Christian place of worship, has a capacity of 3,000.

Mangera (the architectural firm) and Tablighi Jamaat are in negotiations with Newham council, the Greater London Authority and the Thames Gateway Development Corporation for planning permission.Sunil Sahadevan, a planning officer at Newham council, said:

“We are working towards the mosque application with the organisers and discussions are ongoing. The application will be finalised over the next year.”It is estimated that the project would cost more than £100m and donations are being sought from Britain and abroad.

Poll Shows 70% Of Americans Think Dems
"Cut and Run" Strategy Hurts Troops

The Democrats have really screwed themselves up this time, haven't they?

Democrats fumed last week at Vice President Cheney’s suggestion that criticism of the administration’s war policies was itself becoming a hindrance to the war effort. But a new poll indicates most Americans are sympathetic to Cheney’s point.

Seventy percent of people surveyed said that criticism of the war by Democratic senators hurts troop morale — with 44 percent saying morale is hurt “a lot,” according to a poll taken by RT Strategies. Even self-identified Democrats agree: 55 percent believe criticism hurts morale, while 21 percent say it helps morale.

The results surely will rankle many Democrats, who argue that it is patriotic and supportive of the troops to call attention to what they believe are deep flaws in President Bush’s Iraq strategy. But the survey itself cannot be dismissed as a partisan attack. The RTs in RT Strategies are Thomas Riehle, a Democrat, and Lance Tarrance, a veteran GOP pollster.

Their poll also indicates many Americans are skeptical of Democratic complaints about the war. Just three of 10 adults accept that Democrats are leveling criticism because they believe this will help U.S. efforts in Iraq. A majority believes the motive is really to “gain a partisan political advantage.”

The Democrats have exposed themselves, and it hasn't been an impressive sight, to say the least.

Ben Stein asks the appropriate question; "Do the Democrats really want Al Qaeda to win?"

I see a frightening pattern here: the Democrats wanted us out of Vietnam, and never mind the genocide that followed. The Democrats want us out of Iraq and never mind that the Baathists will fill the vacuum and all Iraq will be screaming in pain except the murderers, who will exult — especially Osama bin Laden.

Can it be that the Democrats really want to surrender to the same man who killed 3,000 civilians on 9/11 and laughed about it? Are we so weak that in only four years, after a war smaller in casualties than many unknown battles of the Civil War, we are already eager to surrender to the man who murdered women and children and made terrified couples hold hands and leap to their deaths from the World Trade Center? If so, there really is little hope for us as a people.

My prayer is that careful reflection will convince the Democrats that while we are all unhappy about the war, war is hell, and surrender is far worse. Maybe the Copperheads in the Democrat party, like those who wanted appeasement of the slave owners one hundred and forty years ago, will be a minority, and those who want to keep up the fight for human decency will prevail even as the Neville Chamberlains speak of peace at any price.



Bruce Willis is mad as hell, and he's not going to take it anymore:

ANGERED by negative portrayals of the conflict in Iraq, Bruce Willis, the Hollywood star, is to make a pro-war film in which American soldiers will be depicted as brave fighters for freedom and democracy.

It will be based on the exploits of the heavily decorated members of Deuce Four, the 1st Battalion, 24th Infantry, which has spent the past year battling insurgents in the northern Iraqi town of Mosul.

Willis attended Deuce Four’s homecoming ball this month in Seattle, Washington, where the soldiers are on leave, along with Stephen Eads, the producer of Armageddon and The Sixth Sense.

The 50-year-old actor said that he was in talks about a film of “these guys who do what they are asked to for very little money to defend and fight for what they consider to be freedom”.

Unlike many Hollywood stars Willis supports the war and recently offered a $1m (about £583,000) bounty for the capture of any of Al-Qaeda’s most wanted leaders such as Osama Bin Laden, Ayman Al-Zawahiri or Abu Musab al- Zarqawi, its commander in Iraq. Willis visited the war zone with his rock and blues band, the Accelerators, in 2003.

“I am baffled to understand why the things I saw happening in Iraq are not being reported,” he told MSNBC, the American news channel.

He is expected to base the film on the writings of the independent blogger Michael Yon, a former special forces green beret who was embedded with Deuce Four and sent regular dispatches about their heroics.

Yon was at the soldiers’ ball with Willis, who got to know him through his internet war reports on “What he is doing is something the American media and maybe the world media isn’t doing,” the actor said, “and that’s telling the truth about what’s happening in the war in Iraq.”

I predict a HUGE box office success.