I Took This Shift Because Of Her --- Politics - Justice - And Wrestling With The Angel
Saturday, December 17, 2005
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Faced with an increasingly hard line from Iran, the United States and Europe have stepped up planning for tougher diplomatic action should Tehran follow through on threats to resume critical nuclear activities, according to U.S. officials and European diplomats.
The U.S. and its European allies are seeking agreement among themselves on precisely when Iran's nuclear program will have progressed to the point that the matter should be taken to the U.N. Security Council and what kinds of sanctions might be pursued there, the officials and diplomats said.
Tehran insists it only aims to produce civilian nuclear energy. Allies say the program is to produce weapons.
Russia, which is building Iran's nuclear power plant at Bushehr in southern Iran, remains a serious impediment. The United States fears that weapons grade plutonium could be extracted from the Bushehr reactor once it goes on line.
The United States and major European nations -- Britain, France and Germany -- have long threatened to bring the issue to the U.N. Security Council for possible sanctions.
But negotiations appear at an impasse and new Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has alarmed the world with aggressive calls for Israel to be "wiped off the map."
"Increasingly, we feel the Iranians are just not interested in any sort of privately negotiated solution to this problem, that what they are interested in is a political confrontation over it," one European diplomat told Reuters.
Under the nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty, which Iran signed, member states are guaranteed the right to develop a full nuclear fuel cycle but are banned from making weapons.
The Bush administration is under growing pressure from Congress and pro-Israel groups to soften its stance toward Tehran. They want the nuclear issue referred to the U.N. Security Council, where sanctions could be imposed.
U.S. Undersecretary of State Robert Joseph, who oversees nonproliferation issues, was in Europe this week for meetings that included discussions on Iran.
U.S. and European experts are to meet Iran next week to see if negotiations can resume, but the outlook is pessimistic.
"I think there are a lot of different pieces moving toward an interesting point on Iran, especially the nuclear piece," a U.S. official said.
A pro-Israel advocate said administration officials "are considering harder approaches. Things are moving on a faster track."
A second European diplomat said while there was a U.S. trend to "toughen the position" on Iran, some Europeans preferred to keeping trying to draw Russia into a unified position.
Efforts to halt Iran's nuclear program would suffer if the issue was moved to the Security Council and the council was too divided to take action, some analysts said.
U.S. officials say if the Security Council discussed Iran's nuclear program, sanctions would not be imposed immediately, while the council tried other diplomatic pressures.
Also under discussion is what the United States and other states would consider their "red line" -- the point at which Iran has crossed into a dangerous activity that cannot be tolerated.
"We cannot achieve anything until we are certain we see things the same way," the second European diplomat said.
Iran froze work at its Isfahan nuclear facility in late 2004 under a deal with Britain, France and Germany but resumed uranium conversion in August 2005.
Tehran has threatened to go further and begin uranium enrichment, the most sensitive part of the nuclear cycle. The United States, Britain, France and Germany generally agree any further steps would be unacceptable but Russia is more lenient, officials said.
Wow, what a nest of vipers quoted in that article.
Anyway, I've got a question. If we know that Iran will produce it's Uranium at the Isfahan, or Bushehr facility, then why does everyone keep saying there are hundreds of targets? Iran can't build a nuclear weapons without uranium, so why can't we just bomb those two facilities?
Does anyone know the answer to this?
I have to wonder if maybe we are acting like it's a very difficult job, so that Iran will think we think we can't do it. So, they will be left wondering.
It looks like there are people trying to kill the Iranian President before he does what he says he's going to do:
The local driver and one of Ahmadinejad's bodyguards were killed, on Thursday evening, in southeast Iran near the City of Zabol after an attack against the Presidential motorcade. Another bodyguard has been seriously injured during the shoot out.
Ahmadinejad who had started a tour of the Sistan-Baloochestan province, since Wednesday, was not in the car at the time of the attack. He returned to Tehran, on Friday, after making a speech on the need to increase the security in Iran and especially in the province.
Official press is declaring that the ambush was set by "Armed Bandits" which is the usual label used to qualify armed opponents to the Islamic regime. The Islamist Jomhoori e Eslami daily, close to the Supreme Leader, is stating:
"In the armed clash, the driver of the vehicle, a local member of the security service, and a president's bodyguard were killed, while another bodyguard was injured".
Rumors are stating that worried circles inside the Islamic regime's itself might have been involved in somehow communicating the necessary information for the identification of the vehicle to the assailants.
Thanks to Sissyblue for leaving me the link.
Friday, December 16, 2005
We Do In
More on Ahmadinejad, from Research:
"For the third time in a week, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Wednesday the Holocaust is a "myth" that Europeans have used to create a Jewish state in the heart of the Islamic world..."
Ahmadinejad said that Western leaders "have invented a myth that Jews were massacred and place this above God, religions and the prophets."
Reactions on the sickening comments from the Iranian president.
Iranian president's comment on Holocaust stirs anger in Germany
Germans in government and out Thursday condemned Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's dismissal of the Holocaust as a Western myth as the world continued to denounce the Iranian leader and warn that his statements could have broader consequences...
Thilo Meyn, 43 "I thought, my God, he's a Nazi, I couldn't believe that again the world was faced with a Nazi as a head of state. It's beyond comprehension."
Germany:Chancellor Angela Merkel says the statement are "incomprehensible."
Members of the Bundestag, the German parliament, demand an official condemnation. Foreign Minister Franz-Walter Steinmeier added that Iran must "understand that the EU patience is not endless." He also warned that Iranian president's comments "would burden" Iran's negotiations with Germany, France and the United Kingdom regarding the production nuclear power.
Hannelore Kaiser, 72, a walker a the central memorial was especially appalled that a national leader would question what so obviously had been proved.
"Maybe because I saw it as a child, I don't have a need to question that it happened.
"Every German should come here, then, to remind them. Everyone should remember the horrible results of such hatred. If not, it will happen again."
Have any of you, when you learned of the atrocities of history, ever promised yourselves, that you wouldn't allow such to happen, if you had anything to say about the situation?
Well, now is the time. You must stand up and say, "No." It's time to say, "Never again."
Tell everyone you know.
Roger Simon on Iranian President Ahmadinejad:
To us (relatively) normal folk, it's hard to imagine that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad actually believes there were green rays coming out of his head (or some such), but if he does, we better start taking some of his threatening statements at face value. Think about it - it's going to be like having a paranoid schizophrenic as head of state, sort of like Caligula but with nuclear arms.
Yes, that's my concern as well. However, I wonder if it's paranoid schizophrenia, or purposeful evil acting through the agent of a human being.
Ahmadinejad is such a bizarre apparition on the continuum of history, even Al Jazeerah sounds worried:
Rhetorical hostilities between Iran and Israel have grown sharper with Iran's defence minister warning that any Israeli attack would provoke a "swift and destructive" response.
"The policy of the Islamic republic of Iran is completely defensive, but if we are attacked, the answer of the armed forces will be swift, firm and destructive," Mostafa Mohammad Najjar was quoted as saying by the official IRNA news agency on Friday.
He was responding to a question about Iran's reaction in case of an attack on its nuclear facilities, already under scrutiny as international unease grows over the Islamic republic's nuclear intentions.
"The doomed fate of (Iraqi ex-president) Saddam (Hussein) must be a lesson for officials of the usurping Zionist regime," Najjar added in a reference to the Iran-Iraq war from 1980 to 1988 in which around a million people were killed.
A heated verbal exchange has intensified between the Jewish state and Iran over a series of anti-Israel outbursts by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the Iranian president.
In October the President Ahmadinejad called for Israel to be "wiped off the map" and this week he described the Jewish Holocaust as a "myth".
European leaders warned in a draft statement on Friday that Ahmadinejad's statements could be grounds for sanctions against Iran.
"The EU condemns unreservedly President Ahmadinejad's call for the eradication of Israel and his denial of the Holocaust and the European Council is gravely concerned at Iran's failure to build confidence that its nuclear programme is exclusively peaceful."
Israeli officials and politicians, meanwhile, have openly discussed the possibility of an attack on Iran, either alone or with other countries, that would aim to cripple Iran's nuclear development capabilities. Defence Ministry official Amos Gilad said on Sunday that Israel has not ruled out a military strike against Iran if it advances further toward nuclear weapons.
Israel is also acquiring dozens of US warplanes with long-range fuel tanks that would allow them to reach Tehran and return without refuelling.
Iran denies that it seeks nuclear bombs, saying its programme is confined to electricity generation. But the UN watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency, has said it cannot give Iran a clean bill of health because of incomplete data.
What are we watching here? It seems to me we are entering one of the strangest chapters of human history.
Be A Little
Maybe, just maybe (hat tip to Papa Ray):
Washington's policy-makers have been careful in the war on terror to distinguish between Islam and the terrorists. The distinction has rankled conservatives who see scarce difference.
A little-noticed speech by President Bush in October gave them some hope. In a major rhetorical shift, he described the enemy as "Islamic radicals" and not just "terrorists," although he still denies that radicalism has anything to do with their religion.
Now for the first time, a key Pentagon intelligence agency involved in homeland security is delving into Islam's holy texts to answer whether Islam is being radicalized by the terrorists or is already radical. Military brass want a better understanding of what's motivating the insurgents in Iraq and the terrorists around the globe, including those inside America who may be preparing to strike domestic military bases. The enemy appears indefatigable, even more active now than before 9/11.
Are the terrorists really driven by self-serving politics and personal demons? Or are they driven by religion? And if it's religion, are they following a manual of war contained in their scripture?
Answers are hard to come by. Four years into the war on terror, U.S. intelligence officials tell me there are no baseline studies of the Muslim prophet Muhammad or his ideological or military doctrine found at either the CIA or Defense Intelligence Agency, or even the war colleges.
But that is slowly starting to change ...
Dealing with the threat on a tactical and operational level through counterstrikes and capture has proven only marginally successful. Now military leaders want to combat it from a strategic standpoint, using informational warfare, among other things. A critical part of that strategy involves studying Islam, including the Quran and the hadiths, or traditions of Muhammad.
"Today we are confronted with a stateless threat that does not have at the strategic level targetable entities: no capitals, no economic base, no military formations or installations," states a new Pentagon briefing paper I've obtained. "Yet political Islam wages an ideological battle against the non-Islamic world at the tactical, operational and strategic level. The West's response is focused at the tactical and operation level, leaving the strategic level -- Islam -- unaddressed."
So far the conclusions of intelligence analysts assigned to the project, who include both private contractors and career military officials, contradict the commonly held notion that Islam is a peaceful religion hijacked or distorted by terrorists. They've found that the terrorists for the most part are following a war-fighting doctrine articulated through Muhammad in the Quran, elaborated on in the hadiths, codified in Islamic or sharia law, and reinforced by recent interpretations or fatwahs.
"Islam is an ideological engine of war (Jihad)," concludes the sensitive Pentagon briefing paper.
Wow, that's good news. Click here to read the rest.
Since I knew this three year ago, I feel I am more than qualified to tell the Pentagon what needs to be done.
Here's what we've got to do. We need to beat them, and beat them, and beat them some. And then, when they ask us to please stop, we need to beat them even harder. We need to beat them until they are thoroughly humiliated, until everything they thought they knew about the world, is turned upside down. They need to think black is white, and up is down.
And then, we need to tell them that there will be no more preaching of Jihad against the infidels. There will be no more burqas or subjugation of women. There will be no more Sharia law, or stoning of gays, or adulterers.
Do I sound crazy?
Consider this, that's how we beat the Nazis and the Japanese in World War II. After we were finished beating them, we enforced ideological change in their countries. We didn't allow the preaching of Nazism, or of emperor-worship, and we made sure they changed all their school curriculum, and religious literature.
Why are we not dealing with the Islamic Jihadi ideology the same way?
Lost amid the Bush-bashing is the story of Saddam Hussein's atrocities, from No Pasaran, and the Australian:
The youngest Hakim detained was only 14. His father and two brothers, together with 13 other relatives, were executed within the first weeks of detention. He and the rest were held in Abu Ghraib, 22 in a cell that measured 4mx6m. There was no running water and a hole in the corner served as a toilet. Recounting his detention in the book, Abdoul al-Hakim says:
"The worst moments? It was all terrible, but the worst was the fear of being executed. Each time we heard the lock turn we were silent; it could be the moment to leave, for me, for another. I am angry with those who mix the crimes of the Americans with those of Saddam when they are not comparable."
WITH the trial of Saddam Hussein under way, those in the God-damn-America camp find themselves uncomfortably wedged. Should they justify their opposition to the war by downplaying Saddam's crimes while sheeting home blame for the present turmoil to the US and its allies? Or do they opt for the defence of moral equivalence, conceding that Saddam was indeed a monster but those US presidents who once backed his regime, including George H.W. Bush, are the real monsters.
The best riposte to this warped analysis is a scholarly and sober 700-page volume recently published in France, of all places. Le Livre Noir de Saddam Hussein (The Black Book of Saddam Hussein) is a robust denunciation of Saddam's regime that does not fall into the trap of viewing everything in Iraq through a US-centric prism.
The writers - Arabs, Americans, Germans, French and Iranian - have produced the most comprehensive work to date on the former Iraqi president's war crimes, assembling a mass of evidence that makes the anti-intervention arguments redundant.
"The first weapon of mass destruction was Saddam Hussein," writes Bernard Kouchner, who has been observing atrocities in Iraq since he led the first Medecins Sans Frontieres mission there in 1974.
The obsession of many journalists and commentators with the fruitless hunt for chemical, biological and nuclear weapons has meant much of the evidence of Saddam's atrocities in liberated Iraq has been under-reported. Sinje Caren Stoyke, a German archeologist and president of Archeologists for Human Rights, catalogues 288 mass graves, a list that is already out of date with the discovery of fresh sites every week.
"There is no secret about these mass graves," Stoyke writes. "Military convoys crossed towns, full of civilian prisoners, and returned empty. People living near execution sites heard the cries of men, women and children. They heard shots followed by silence."
Stoyke estimates one million people are missing in Iraq, presumed dead
Abdullah Mohammed Hussein was a soldier fighting in the mountains when Iraqi troops took the Kurdish village of Sedar and deported three-quarters of the inhabitants, including his mother, his wife and their seven children. They were taken to a concentration camp at Topzawa and from there some were taken to an execution ground near the archeological site of Hatra, south of Mosul.
The remains of 192 people have been found, 123 women and children and 69 men, among them Abdullah's wife and three of their children. There is no trace of his mother and the other four children. They were victims of the genocidal Anfal campaign, which sought to exterminate the Kurds.
Between February and September 1988, 100,000 to 180,000 Kurds died or disappeared. The bombing of the Kurdish village of Halabja with chemical weapons including mustard gas, tabun, sarin and VX on March 16, 1988, which killed 3000 to 5000 civilians, was the most publicised of these atrocities because it occurred near the Iranian border and Iranian troops were able to penetrate with the assistance of Kurds, filming and photographing the victims.
Halabja was not an isolated case however. Saddam used chemical weapons at least 60 times against Kurdish villages during Anfal.
Etc., etc., etc.
It's a big book, and it puts to shame all those who opposed the war. Every word is a condemnation and an articulation of the lack of compassion the American Left has shown.
The fact is, we knew of these crimes before the war. This book, simply, details them more explicitly.
The deepest parts of hell are reserved for those who would do nothing in the face of evil.
A Muslim man tells us how he really feels about Swedish babes. From Dymphna at Gates of Vienna:
“It is not as wrong raping a Swedish girl as raping an Arab girl,” says Hamid [link is in Swedish]. “The Swedish girl gets a lot of help afterwards, and she had probably fucked before, anyway. But the Arab girl will get problems with her family. For her, being raped is a source of shame. It is important that she retains her virginity until she marries.”
It was no coincidence that it was a Swedish girl that was gang raped in Rissne – this becomes obvious from the discussion with Ali, Hamid, Abdallah and Richard. All four have disparaging views on Swedish girls, and think this attitude is common among young men with immigrant background.
“It is far too easy to get a Swedish whore…… girl, I mean;” says Hamid, and laughs over his own choice of words. “Many immigrant boys have Swedish girlfriends when they are teenagers. But when they get married, they get a proper woman from their own culture who has never been with a boy. That’s what I am going to do."
"I don’t have too much respect for Swedish girls. I guess you can say they get fucked to pieces.”
Like I always say, you just gotta love your enemy, when he tells you the truth.
Thursday, December 15, 2005
An extraordinary article from a journalist who went to Iraq and had his mind changed:
Everything I thought I knew was wrong.
Maybe not wrong, but certainly different than the picture in my head.
I liken it to this; It was real struggle for me to choose to see the Harry Potter movies. I had read the books and loved the pictures I had in my mind of the details I read. I didn’t need to see a movie; I had a movie playing in my head of exactly how I perceived the stories.
I had similar notions about Iraq, Mosul, the war and what exactly soldiers do. And it was handily shattered like glass today by a group of soldiers, half of them younger than myself.
There are houses of this city that by Fairbanks standards are luxurious. Or at least they were at one time. They are ornate and gated and in neighborhoods with schools, stores and mosques.
They are also ghosts of what they once were. They are still lived in, but after years of war and lack of many basic municipal services, the houses look spent and tired around the shutters.
There is garbage on the streets, in yards, in open areas. There is a stench. There is grime. But there are also people.
They are vivid, unlike their surroundings. They are excitable and friendly and conversational. They live in conditions I hope I don’t have to experience in my own life. Yet, if my neighborhood saw two wars, the breakdown of the national and local governments and decline of municipal services, I’m not sure I wouldn’t be in the same boat.
I still haven’t seen U.S. troops engaged or encounter car bombs or explosives. But I did see them play backgammon with some local police and Iraqi soldiers. I saw them take photos with more locals and make jokes mostly lost in translation. They gave advice and expertise to local troops on how to conduct a neighborhood patrol. They drank the local customary tea, and many admitted they’ve become addicted to it. They know several locals by name. I didn’t hear one slight or ridicule of a very distinct culture.
One soldier mentioned it might be a good idea to clean up the trash around one polling place, and another commented on the status of women in the culture, but they were nothing but respectful, friendly and buddy-buddy with the Iraqis they mingled with today.
And this is good stuff.
More than anything in the last few days I’ve heard from soldiers and commanders that people back home don’t quite get it. They don’t see the real picture. They don’t get the real story. Some of them, like Lt. Col. Gregg Parrish, look seriously pained in the face when he says only a part of the picture is being told; the part of car bombs and explosives and suicide bombers and death. It’s a necessary part of the picture, but not a complete one, he says.
I’ve listened to the soldiers and Parrish about the missing pieces of the puzzles that don’t reach home. My selfish, journalistic drive immediately thinks “Perfect. A story that hasn’t been told. Let me at it.”
But I have a slight hesitation; I need to keep balanced. I can’t be a cheerleader, even if I have a soft spot for the hometown troops, especially after the welcome they’ve shown me. I still need to be truthful and walk the centerline and report the good or bad.
But then I realize it’s not a conflict of interest. If I am truly unbiased, then I need to get used to this one simple fact; that the untold story, might in fact, be a positive one. It takes a minute to wrap my mind around it, as a news junkie that became a news writer. The great, career-making, breaking news stories usually don’t have happy endings; they usually revolve around disturbing news, deceit and downfall. Nasty political doings. Gruesome crimes and murders. Revealing secrets.
But I’ve come upon something that is none of those. Not this aspect of it. There are politics to this war and controversies and investigations. But there is another side.
Notice how the journalist's first inclination was that to report something positive about the American military was the equivalent of not being objective. This is the poisonous ideology which has infected the whole of Western media. And, finally one of them not only admits it, but realizes it's wrong, and changes.
Lots of great coverage on the Iraqi election over at Pajamas Media. This is from Iraq the Model (hat tip Redneck's Revenge):
The polls closed in all centers 90 minutes ago!
The IECI had a press conference half an hour ago that pretty much summarized today’s events. From watching this press conference and analyzing the reports we received today we can say that the following points represents the most important findings:
-Security was much better than last time in January and there were only a few minor incidents.-It was clear that the IECI and its multi-thousand strong staff did a wonderful and exceptional job in such a hard time to make the election go in the best way possible.
-The Iraqi Army and police were successful in giving our people the opportunity to vote in a peaceful environment.
-The total registered voter-count was 1,000,000 higher than in January after adding Iraqi citizens who were born in 1987.-15, 5 million+ Iraqis cast their votes in more than 30,000 station spread nationwide.
-All the assassinations and intimidation that preceded the election could not stop the process.
-There have been strict measures to make sure that all ballot boxes and station are in compliance with the standards of the IECI and now it’s their-IECI-duty to make sure that no boxes were replaced or manipulated.
-The presence of the press and representatives of political bodies and civil society organizations was profound although there were limitations on the presence of media workers. But however, the process was being watched 600,000 eyes!
-The IECI distributed 5,000,000 posters nationwide to educate the population on the process and encourage Iraqis to vote.
-2 million brochures were distributed to inform the people on the technical and moral aspects of the election.
-Countless numbers of conferences, lectures and workshops were held to educate the people and encourage them to vote.
-Almost all the defects that took place in some regions today were basically cases in which voters couldn’t find their names in the voter-lists.
-Counting the votes has begun in all stations and the results will be collected and conveyed to the provincial offices to be later conveyed to the IECI HQ in Baghdad.
After an eventful day with for the voters the polling stations closed their doors at 5 pm while the voters were still arriving!
We met the IECI officials in one of the stations and we asked him about this day and the efforts the IECI made to assure the success of the voting, he replied:
"it was really a big day and it turned to be a celebration just like the Norooz day.
Then he added I'm extremely happy that I can't even feel tired.
We have also noticed some interesting events and gestures in Babil today; things like:
-Several polling centers distributed sweets and soft drinks to the voters while men and women cheered and sang celebratory songs.
-An election official refused to let the governor of Babil cast his ballot until he showed his id cards!
-Some voters marked their choices with blood by pricking their fingers in a demonstration of patriotism.
-The city council in Hilla (the provincial capital) arranged to bring 125 buses to move voters from their homes to the polling station.
Meanwhile, if you haven't eaten recently, go read the vile sputum dripping from the lips of the Euros and Brits who are angry with us for "imposing Democracy at gunpoint," which they say is an oxymoron.
Hey idiots, have you ever heard of Germany?
Damn it, Euros, take a frickin' history class or something. Jeez, what do you do, sit around playing with your croissants all day long?
But then, on the positive side, the BBC actually published an article acknowledging the progress of Democracy in Iraq:
"This Is Stability At Last"
Men and woman came, many carrying small children, and in the street outside the school they formed silhouettes, in swirls of dust on a warm autumn day in Baghdad.
One voter said: "This is stability, at last".
Another, with tears in his eyes, told me: "This is the beginning of a new Iraq. I am so happy."
Iraqis are known for their spontaneous, and often poetic eloquence.
Ali al-Musawi, a Shia Muslim originally from Sadr city said: "Iraq is like a ship in a storm being tossed form left to right, and now we need a new captain to take us to land and to safety."
One man hoped the election would bring an end to the occupation, but this would depend, he said, on maintaining unity.
"Stability can only come from unity. When we have stability," he said, " then the Americans can go."
The Iraqis understand the strategy and policies of the War on Terror better than the American Left.
This is a day when we can be proud as Americans, and feel joy in our hearts for our brothers and sisters in Iraq.
To Be Wiped
This time, it's the Muslim Brotherhood calling for the death of Israe. And, they say it's coming soon:
CAIRO - Israel is a “cancer” in the Middle East and its peace deal with Egypt should be submitted to a referendum, the leader of Egypt’s Muslim Brothers said in an interview published Thursday.
“I declared that we will not recognize Israel which is an alien entity in the region. And we expect the demise of this cancer soon,” Mohammed Mehdi Akef told the state-owned English language Ahram Weekly.
What do you think makes Mr. Akef so sure?
I saw this quote from Plato's Philebus in the comments section over at Always on Watch. The subject matter which was being discussed was whether Intelligent Design Theory is simply a way to sneak Creationism into the classroom, or if the idea that there is a creator is foundational to Western thought itself:
SOCRATES: Did not the things which were generated, and the things out of which they were generated, furnish all the three classes?
SOCRATES: And the creator or cause of them has been satisfactorily proven to be distinct from them,--and may therefore be called a fourth principle?
PROTARCHUS: So let us call it.
SOCRATES: Quite right; but now, having distinguished the four, I think that we had better refresh our memories by recapitulating each of them in order.
PROTARCHUS: By all means.
SOCRATES: Then the first I will call the infinite or unlimited, and the second the finite or limited; then follows the third, an essence compound and generated; and I do not think that I shall be far wrong in speaking of the cause of mixture and generation as the fourth.
PROTARCHUS: Certainly not.
Interesting, huh? Discuss.
The Iraqis are voting today, and the turnout is big:
BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) - Iraqis voted Thursday in one of the largest and freest elections in the Arab world, with strong turnout reported in Sunni areas and even a shortage of ballots in some precincts. Several explosions rocked Baghdad throughout the day, but the level of violence was low.
The heavy participation in the parliamentary voting by the Sunnis, who had shunned balloting last January, bolstered U.S. hopes of calming the insurgency enough to begin withdrawing its troops next year.
But much depends on whether the sides, after the votes are counted, can form a government to reconcile Iraq's various communities, or merely fan the current tensions.
The large turnout forced the Iraqi election commission to extend voting for one hour, until 6 p.m. (10 a.m. EST) as long lines were reported in some precincts, said commission official Munthur Abdelamir. Results will be announced within two weeks.
Democracy is taking it's tentative baby steps in the Arab world. We can be proud parents now, but who knows what the teen years will bring.
From the German paper Die Welt, via Atlas Shrugs:
Appeasement cost millions of Jews and non-Jews their lives as England and France, allies at the time, negotiated and hesitated too long before they noticed that Hitler had to be fought, not bound to agreements. Appeasement stabilized communism in the Soviet Union and East Germany in that part of Europe where inhuman, suppressive governments were glorified as the ideologically correct alternative to all other possibilities. Appeasement crippled Europe when genocide ran rampant in Kosovo and we Europeans debated and debated until the Americans came in and did our work for us.
Rather than protecting democracy in the Middle East, European appeasement, camouflaged behind the fuzzy word "equidistance," now countenances suicide bombings in Israel by fundamentalist Palestinians. Appeasement generates a mentality that allows Europe to ignore 300,000 victims of Saddam’s torture and murder machinery and, motivated by the self-righteousness of the peace-movement, to issue bad grades to George Bush. A particularly grotesque form of appeasement is reacting to the escalating violence by Islamic fundamentalists in Holland and elsewhere by suggesting that we should really have a Muslim holiday in Germany.
What else has to happen before the European public and its political leadership get it? There is a sort of crusade underway, an especially perfidious crusade consisting of systematic attacks by fanatic Muslims, focused on civilians and directed against our free, open Western societies. It is a conflict that will most likely last longer than the great military conflicts of the last century—a conflict conducted by an enemy that cannot be tamed by tolerance and accommodation but only spurred on by such gestures, which will be mistaken for signs of weakness.
Two recent American presidents had the courage needed for anti-appeasement: Reagan and Bush. Reagan ended the Cold War and Bush, supported only by the social democrat Blair acting on moral conviction, recognized the danger in the Islamic fight against democracy. His place in history will have to be evaluated after a number of years have passed.
In the meantime, Europe sits back with charismatic self-confidence in the multicultural corner instead of defending liberal society’s values and being an attractive center of power on the same playing field as the true great powers, America and China. On the contrary—we Europeans present ourselves, in contrast to the intolerant, as world champions in tolerance, which even (Germany's Interior Minister) Otto Schily justifiably criticizes. Why? Because we’re so moral? I fear it’s more because we’re so materialistic.
I hear it from my Euroean relatives all the time. Americans are cowboys, always looking for a war. America is belligerent. America is a great danger to the world.
In order to prop up these beliefs, they invent elaborate fantasies, that we are imperialists, only interested in oil, in serving the interests of a relatively minor corporation called Halliburton, that we do the bidding of the "Jewish lobby."
They forget that we stuck our hands into two of their wars, and pulled them out of the clutches of disaster. They forget that without America's help there would be no more Western Civilization. Playtime would have been over long ago.
They tell me they have learned the wisdom of living beyond war. They have learned that you need to work out problems through communication and negotiation, by consensus, through diplomacy, multi-lateralism, (etc., etc., etc.), never realizing that all those words are simply variations on the same old word; appeasement.
They appeal to my sense of compassion, telling me I don't know what it has been like for Europeans to have had their continent wrecked by the ravages of wars they brought upon themselves. They tell me America doesn't understand, and yet we footed the bills, we lost the blood, we STILL HAVE OUR SOLDIERS STATIONED THERE TO THIS DAY.
There is a sense in which Europeans are like whiny, irresponsible adolescents angry that we won't let them borrow the car on Saturday night. Yes, that seems an apt comparison, in that they want us to take care of them, but they want to bitch at us when responsibility encroaches on their desolate desires.
But, an even better way to understand the Euro-mindset is to imagine an old lady, living alone, in a high-rise tenament apartment paid for by welfare, waddling around in a bathrobe, mumbling to herself about the good old days, while the stove catches fire and burns the entire building to the ground.
Europe, thy name is senility.
Wednesday, December 14, 2005
Could it be that the Pentagon is waking up to the fact that all is not well in Dar al-Islam?
Four years into the war on terror, U.S. intelligence officials tell me there are no baseline studies of the Muslim prophet Muhammad or his ideological or military doctrine found at either the CIA or Defense Intelligence Agency, or even the war colleges.
But that is slowly starting to change as the Pentagon develops a new strategy to deal with the threat from Islamic terrorists through its little-known intelligence agency called the Counterintelligence Field Activity or CIFA, which staffs hundreds of investigators and analysts to help coordinate Pentagon security efforts at home and abroad.
CIFA also supports Northern Command in Colorado, which was established after 9/11 to help military forces react to terrorist threats in the continental United States.
Dealing with the threat on a tactical and operational level through counterstrikes and capture has proven only marginally successful. Now military leaders want to combat it from a strategic standpoint, using informational warfare, among other things. A critical part of that strategy involves studying Islam, including the Quran and the hadiths, or traditions of Muhammad.
“Today we are confronted with a stateless threat that does not have at the strategic level targetable entities: no capitals, no economic base, no military formations or installations,” states a new Pentagon briefing paper I’ve obtained. “Yet political Islam wages an ideological battle against the non-Islamic world at the tactical, operational and strategic level. The West’s response is focused at the tactical and operation level, leaving the strategic level — Islam — unaddressed.”
So far the conclusions of intelligence analysts assigned to the project, who include both private contractors and career military officials, contradict the commonly held notion that Islam is a peaceful religion hijacked or distorted by terrorists.
They’ve found that the terrorists for the most part are following a war-fighting doctrine articulated through Muhammad in the Quran, elaborated on in the hadiths, codified in Islamic or sharia law, and reinforced by recent interpretations or fatwahs.
“Islam is an ideological engine of war (Jihad),” concludes the sensitive Pentagon briefing paper. And “no one is looking for its off switch.”
Why? One major reason, the briefing states, is government-wide “indecision [over] whether Islam is radical or being radicalized.”
My blogbrother J, from Justify This, had an astonishing post yesterday which brings us the news that Iranian President, in running off his mouth again, this time let the big cat out of the bag. What could he have said that is even more noteworthy than his calls for Israel to be wiped off the map?
Well, get this:
--“The Palestinian movement does not belong to a certain geographical region, rather, it is a movement that will define the future fate of Islam on behalf of Muslim Umma and this is the very reason why Islam’s enemies are so sensitive toward the Palestinian issue” said President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in a meeting with leader of Palestinian movement, Hamas in Tehran.
The president saying that the issue of Palestine is the issue of the entire Muslim Ummah stressed that it was the duty of all Muslims to be at the service of the Palestinians’ cause.
“Victory comes from God and the secret for gaining victory over enemies is trusting in God and maintaining earnestness,” he added.
Like I always say, you just gotta love your enemies when they tell the truth. Thanks, Ahmadinejad.
I think it might be worth adding that it is unlikely Ahmadinejad used the word 'G-d', rather he would have used the word Allah. This is an important distinction. Why you may ask? Because the Islamic deity [Allah] calls for the extermination of Jews, whereas in Christianity and Judaism, G-d says to love the Jews. Thus Allah and G-d are not the same.For more information on the deceptions of Islam, why Allah is Satan and "Jesus" of the Muslims is the anti-Christ, click here for a very informative audio clip.
Yeah, go ahead, click there.
From the BBC, via my friend the Fu2rman, today we find that Iranian President Ahmadinejad is at it again; banging on Israel. He really is relentless, isn't he?
Iranian leader denies HolocaustIranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has courted further controversy by explicitly calling the Nazi Holocaust of European Jewry a "myth".
"They have created a myth today that they call the massacre of Jews and they consider it a principle above God, religions and the prophets," he said.
On live TV, he called for Europe or North America - even Alaska - to host a Jewish state, not the Middle East.
Israel swiftly denounced the president's comments.
"We hope these extremist comments... will make the international community open its eyes and abandon any illusions about this regime," Israeli foreign ministry spokesman Mark Regev told AFP news agency.
Speaking to thousands of people in south-eastern city of Zahedan, Mr Ahmadinejad brushed aside criticism of his views, saying it was orchestrated by supporters of Israel.
"If someone were to deny the existence of God... or prophets and religion, they would not bother him. However, if someone were to deny the myth of the Jews' massacre, all the Zionist mouthpieces and the governments subservient to the Zionists tear their larynxes and scream against the person as much as they can," he said.
Israel's spokesman said the Iranian president's latest remarks reflected a "perverse vision of the world held by this regime".
BBC Tehran correspondent Frances Harrison says the Iranian press has wholeheartedly endorsed the president's views, calling them logical and less passive than the approach of previous Iranian governments.
The Fu2rman comments:
So the Iranian press has wholeheartedly endorsed his views. Is anyone else concerned about Iran yet?
If you have any doubt that this is Hitler incarnate, think again.
The Fu2rman suggests asking the people around you if they are aware of Mr. Ahmadinejad's belligerance. And, he points our, of course, they are not.
We are living in a very extraordinary time right now, and people are concerning themselves with Tookie, and Snoop, and Survivor, etc., etc., etc.
Meanwhile, it looks as if the Beast is rising up out of the ocean. The plans are being laid for the temple to be taken over. The Beast will attempt to set up his abomination of desolation in the very heart of God's land.
Are all these things just quaint old metaphors, or will we allow them to become reality?
Will we allow the man who thinks he is the Mahdi (the Islamic Messiah) to destroy the state of Israel, and claim it for Allah? Will we allow this maniac to set up his maniacal rule (Sharia) in the land of milk and honey? Will Sharia rule, or will Freedom rule?
Go To Hell"
Atlas has the video.
Tuesday, December 13, 2005
Defending his tirade against Israel, wherein he called for the country to be "wiped off the map," Iranian President Ahmadinejad uttered the following words (from Al Jazeera, via Atlas Shrugs):
"The world is on the verge of change, and more than before we can hear the sound of this present, unstable order breaking down," the student news agency ISNA quoted him as telling a conference entitled Supporting the Islamic Revolution of Palestine.
"If the massacre of the Jews in Europe is true and used as an excuse to support Zionists, why should the Palestinians pay the price?" he added, repeating a comment that has widely been interpreted as support for deniers of the Holocaust.
"Western policy in regards to Palestine has always been in favour of the Zionist regime and harmed the Islamic world, and they cannot be the mediators and judges on the issue.
"All Islamic countries must strive to change the Islamic world's stance after 60 or 70 years in a passive state," he said.
Elected on a platform of restoring the purity of the Islamic revolution, Ahmadinejad's stance has already worried European countries seeking to strike a deal over Tehran's controversial nuclear programme.
Despite its fiery rhetoric, the Iranian government says its nuclear programme is merely designed to meet domestic energy needs.
Let's see, he denies the Holocaust, calls for Israel to be "wiped off the map," builds nuclear weapons, and declares the world is on the verge of major change. But, we're supposed to think there's nothing wrong.
United Nations Nuclear watchdog, Mohammed El-Baradei says everything is ok, and we don't need to do anything about the Iranian threats. In fact, he warns that we shouldn't:
Elbaradei warns Israel on attacking Iran nuclear facilities
London, Dec 11, IRNA-Director General of International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Mohammad Elbaradei warned the Zionist regime Saturday on any military attack on Iran's nuclear facilities.
Following his recent Noble Peace Prize and speaking to an Oslo daily Afetnposten he said "There can be no success in thwarting any nation' access on nuclear program by attacking their facilities because military forays will merely delay their programs, but they will come back after a while and want to take revenge."
He further called for nuclear states to set a good example for other nations.
Mohammad Elbaradei who won the Nobel Peace Prize said some nations tell others that nuclear programs are not good for you but at the same time they opt for continuation of their nuclear activities.
On a question on whether he believes in the existence of what Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad calls nuclear apartheid in the world, he said "I call it an unequal security system."
"Iran is in a region where some nations are not its friends and this a reason that it feels unsecured."
He also referred to the latest inspection of Iran's nuclear facilities saying that there are still questions on Iran nuclear program, adding but "I have not found anything indicating that Iran is pursuing uranium enrichment to build nuclear weapons."
Do you ever get the feeling that the Nobel Peace Sweepstakes-winning El-Baradie is working for the other side?
If he walks like a duck, talks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then he must be a ... war hero?
PHILADELPHIA - Rep. John P. Murtha on Monday rejected the Bush administration's characterization of the war in Iraq, calling it a fight against insurgents, not terrorists, and he said it was a battle the United States could not win militarily.
Murtha, a Democrat from Western Pennsylvania, reiterated his call for the withdrawal of American troops, speaking in Philadelphia about an hour after President Bush spoke a few blocks away.
Murtha said the United States was seen by Iraqis as an occupier. Being in Philadelphia, he drew a comparison to the American Revolution. He said that if the French had remained in the infant United States after the Revolutionary War, "we'd have thrown them the hell out of here." That's how Iraqis are reacting now to the presence of U.S. troops, the 73-year-old congressman said.
"The Iraqis are not against democracy," he said. "They are against our occupation."
"Iraq is not the center of terrorism; it's the center of an insurgency, and that's a big difference," Murtha said.
"It's not going to get better with us over there," he said. "They'll let us fight forever."
"I say, it's up to them."
Original claims about biological and nuclear weapons proved untrue, American troops were not provided enough manpower or equipment, and the fight has now devolved from a liberation to an occupation, Murtha said.
And such basics of life as electricity and oil production remain very low, he said.
Well, let's look at how the Iraqis themselves say they feel about the "occupation."
1. Most living conditions are rated positively,
2. 70% of Iraqis say their own lives are going well,
3. Nearly 2/3 of Iraqis expect things to improve in the year ahead,
4. Over 60% of Iraqis feel very safe in their own neighborhoods,
5. 61% of Iraqis say local security is good,
6. Average household incomes have soared by 60% in the last 20 months,
7. 70% of Iraqis rate their own economic situation positively.
Sorry for the cliche, but, Murtha is entitled to have his own opinion, but he is not entitled to his own facts.
So, the question is, since Murtha is making up a reality that he knows is not there, then what is he? Is he a war hero? Or, is there another name that might be more appropriate?
JMJ, my blogbrother at the Infidel Blog Alliance, ponders, as any man would, the delectable mysteries of the 72 Virgins:
- Why exactly 72 virgins (or whatever the number is) ? Why not 71 or 73?
- Does eternal bliss = (1) virgin every hour x (3) days straight! Its the only "72" calculation I could come up with. Or maybe the cosine of pie = 72???
- Once all 72 are eventually non-virgins, are they still “available” for any future fun? Or by definition, does that mean ... :(
- So if you are shit outta luck after 72, is the potential suicide bomber aware of this small but very important fact? I don't know about you but this would definitely affect my decision making process. I'm usually pro-choice but this would surely make me pro-life…Mine!!
- Does one need to get married to these virgins before one can actually have sex with them?
- If not, would that be a sin?
- Can one actually commit a sin in heaven? Especially if this was all set up by, you know, the big man.
- And if it is a sin, do you then lose all your "privileges" and are you now headed "elsewhere"? What an ironic and unexpected turn of events that would be, huh?! I just hope these people have really thought through all the possibilities before the "big bang".
And finally, and this really is the big one for me, what if, (drum roll please) ......SEX DOES NOT EXIST......in the after life? Suicide Bomber Recruiter to Suicide Bomber after the fact - "Well, ummm, gee....Sorry 'bout that. I guess it was just a small misunderstanding. Forgive me please????"
Australia does in three days, what it took the French three weeks to do:
SYDNEY has declared war on all rioters after more than 48 hours of lawlessness and admissions from both the police and Muslim leaders that they have been unable to control the angry mobs of young men.NSW Premier Morris Iemma announced a series of new police powers, including increasing the penalty for rioting from five years to 15, as the number of officers on the streets was trebled.
At dusk last night, an extra 450 highly mobile police and 20 dog-squad units were patrolling the hot spots in suburbs across Sydney as communities braced for a third night of violence.
The additional police powers will go before a special sitting of parliament tomorrow.
They include allowing police to establish "lockdown zones" where officers can search people and vehicles at will; and powers to confiscate vehicles driven by those who are seen to be involved in rioting.
Mr Iemma, who was elevated to the top job five months ago, has vowed to "take back the streets".
"These criminals have declared war on our society and we are not going to let them win. I won't allow Sydney's reputation as a tolerant, vibrant international city to be tarnished by these ratbags and criminals who want to engage in the sort of behaviour we've seen in the last 48 hours."
Sadly, and predictably, this makes Muslim leaders angry, and they are making threats:
Islamic leaders have warned that the race-related violence is symptomatic of a deep-seated racism in Australian society and could lead to the radicalisation of young Muslim men.
On Monday night, several thousand men met at Lakemba Mosque, where leaders urged them to keep the peace. Their calls were ignored, however, and 11 men were arrested after a second night of violence in Cronulla that left seven people injured, one of them a police officer.
Bats and iron bars were seized and police found a cache of Molotov cocktails.
Police are also now investigating bullet holes found in the cars of several staff members at St Joseph the Worker Primary School in South Auburn after a Christmas carols service on Monday evening. Parents and children were abused by a group of young men of Middle Eastern appearance and gunshots were heard during the service.
This morning my wife asked me about the rioting in Australia. "What are the Aussies doing about it?" she asked.
"Exactly what you'd expect Aussies to do," I told her. "They're kicking butt."
It's true, isn't it. The Aussies are living up to my image of what Aussies are; tough mofos.
Jihadis, emboldened by their victory over the French, got carried away and thought all of Western Civilization would roll over and cede ground. No, it won't work that way, and the Aussies are exactly the wrong people to pick a fight with.
Another place the Jihadis might want to avoid is the American South, and parts of the North. There are large Muslim communities in Texas and Michigan, for instance. But radicals in those communities might want to think twice before burning and looting, because those are two places where a lot of no-nonesense Americans own big ole' guns, and they aren't afraid to use them.
My blogbrother, Jonz, has an important editorial on the racial aspect of the rioting. Here's an excerpt:
Racism was on the streets last weekend. No doubt about it. White supremacists alleged to have links to neo-Nazis admitted they brought in more than 100 people to join the rampage at Cronulla. Young men used their bodies as billboards to read: "We grew here, you flew here". This is racist and it's wrong. Vigilantes bashing young men and women is criminal. But grabbing hold of Hansonism every time racism rears its ugly head and tarring the whole crowd with the same racist brush gets us nowhere.
Recognising human nature means that multiculturalism, though a fine sentiment, can only work if we unite behind a core set of values. Unfortunately though, that policy has become a licence for rampant cultural relativism. We are loath to criticise any aspects of cultures (except our own) for fear of sounding terribly judgmental and unfashionably un-multicultural.Instead, culture is talked about only as an excuse for abhorrent behaviour so that the offender becomes the victim. Last week, a convicted gang rapist claimed he assaulted a 14-year-old girl because she was not wearing traditional Muslim dress and he thought she was promiscuous. Pointing to cultural differences, the 27-year-old Pakistani-born man said: "I believed at the time I committed this offence that she had no right to say no. I believed I'm not doing anything wrong."
YESTERDAY a colleague emailed me from New York. The young lawyer - her family lives in Brighton-Le-Sands, a bayside suburb north of Cronulla in Sydney - wrote: "While I agree there is no justifying excuse for the violence and breakdown in order that occurred at Cronulla, it needs to be put in context. Unless you live in an area like Cronulla, Brighton-Le-Sands or Bondi, you have no idea what it is like to have one's suburb regularly inundated with large groups of young Muslim men from the western suburbs who proceed to shoot people [as has happened in Brighton], intimidate people, regularly threaten people within their vicinity with violence, drive around in large groups screaming abuse at people from cars with their music blaring, regularly brawling, etc."
This young woman recounted that all of the girls in her family (except the youngest) have been "subject to harassment inflicted by groups of these men - comments on our appearances, racist comments on our Australian background, unwanted touching, being followed while walking home by groups of men in cars (I was once followed all the way home - have never been so scared in my life), sexually explicit remarks while alone, with friends or with boyfriends, unwanted called-out invitations to have sex with groups of them, etc".
What is the proper reaction to such to such a clash of "cultures?" (Quotation marks are their because I don't think lawlessness deserves to be called a culture.) Random mob violence is not the answer. But, the answer is not to allow the abuses to continue.
What is the answer? I have no idea.
Out here in Cali, we had one of our rare encounters with real justice, and good government last night when, we the people executed Tookie Williams the founder of the Crips gang, who have been responsible for the murder of over 10,000 people in recent years.
Because it is the Holiday season, and he's been dipping into the spirit, my friend the Fu2rman is making a list and checking it twice, but, when it comes to Tookie, he finds himself unable to come up with any ideas:
I was pondering what to get Tookie Williams for Christmas. Maybe some new blue bandanas, a new shotgun, or a cake with a file in it.
And then I realized, there's no need to worry about it, Tookie is no longer with us.
Oh and the madness that went on outside of San Quentin.
Jesse Jackson, the racial demagogue-turned-wannabe Death Row gawker, is desperately lobbying to be one of Tookie Williams' execution witnesses, according to cable news reports.
Rev. Jackson did not know the names of Williams' victims when asked by KFI-AM radio talk show hosts John and Ken.
I was listening to [KFI host] John Zi[e]gler, he actually asked Jesse Jackson the names of the victims on a couple of occasions and his microphone was taken from him by Judge Mathis (the TV judge) and broken. He also was pushed by Jackson supporters, after that happened he was forced away from Jackson by Sheriff's Deputies.
That was not all, the Rev. was also babbling something about the legal lynching being illegal, and how John Zieglar was guilty of that...???
Of course I'm paraphrasing, I can't understand Jackson sometimes.
Not that his concepts are over my head, I literally can't understand what the man is saying! It's no kind of english I am familiar with.
You see, Jesse, a lynching is defined as an execution without authority, or process of law. Tookie had his due process in abundance.
At any rate, at 12:35 am, Tookie was pronounced dead.
So, if the wicked ole' Tookie at last is dead, what do we get him for Christmas? Well, I've got an idea:
12 tons of dirt
10 little pebbles
9 twigs and dead leaves
8 pincher bugs
7 fly-by droppings
6 slimy slugs
5 fake gold rings
4 decomposing birds
3 French turds
2 copper pennies
a big ole' pine coffin
Monday, December 12, 2005
Like Nazi Germany, the nations of the Middle East are working to make sure their lands are free of Jews:
I'm still waiting for the international outrage. I'm still waiting for my colleagues in the news media to jump on the story. I'm still waiting for Americans to recognize the way the story illustrates the root cause of conflict in the Middle East.
I refer to last week's story of how WND's Jerusalem bureau chief, Aaron Klein, was denied entry to Syria because he is a Jew.
As I prepare this column for publication, not one other news agency in the world has reported on it.
Why is this story so significant?
Because it so perfectly illustrates why we continue to have conflict in the Middle East between Arabs and Israelis.
This is not a conflict between two sides with legitimate grievances and competing interests. It is a conflict, at its core, between a nation that asks only to live in peace with its neighbors and a racist, hate-filled group of nations and peoples who seek only the destruction, the annihilation, the extermination of all Jews from the Middle East.
It may seem a trivial matter that one Jewish reporter was denied entry to an Arab police state. But it's part of a much bigger picture.
Why were Jews evacuated from the Gaza Strip last summer? Because the Palestinian Authority, which seeks to create a state of its own, insists that no Jews may live within the borders of the future land of Palestine.
Why did Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad last week say that Israel itself should be relocated to Europe? Because his non-negotiable demand is that no Jews should be permitted to live in the Middle East – at least not in a state of security and freedom.
Why did U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan last week preside over a conference in New York in support of a Palestinian state in front of a map of the Middle East that showed Israel wiped off the face of the earth and replaced by a state of Palestine? Because that has always been – and always will be – the goal of the extremist, anti-Semitic haters who hide behind the face of "Palestinian self-determination."
Like my friend Someguy always says, "The movement for Palestinian statehood is but an attempt at the continuation of the Holocaust, by other means.
And then, there's this, from Atlas Shrugs:
- Number of times Jerusalem is mentioned in the Old Testament: over 700
- Number of times Jerusalem is mentioned in the Koran: 0
- Number of Arab leaders who visited Jerusalem when it was under Arab rule(1948 to 1967): 1
- Number of Arab refugees who fled the land that became Israel: approximately 600,000
- Number of Jewish refugees who fled Arab countries: approximately 600,000
- Number of U.N. agencies that deal only with Palestinian refugees: 1
- Number of U.N. agencies that deal with all the other refugees in the world: 1
- Number of Jewish states that have existed on the land called Palestine: 3
- Number of Arab or Muslim states that have existed on the land called Palestine: 0
- Number of terrorist attacks by Israelis or Jews since 1967: 1
- Number of terrorist attacks by Arabs or Muslims since 1967: thousands
- Percentage of Jews who have praised the Jewish terrorist: approximately 0.1
- Percentage of Palestinians who have praised Islamic terrorists:approximately 90
- Number of Jewish countries: 1
- Number of Jewish democracies: 1
- Number of Arab countries: 19
- Number of Arab democracies: 0
- Number of Arab women killed annually by fathers and brothers in "honor killings": thousands
- Number of Jewish women killed annually by fathers and brothers in "honor killings": 0
- Number of Christian or Jewish prayer services allowed in Saudi Arabia: 0
- Number of Muslim prayer services allowed in Israel: unlimited
- Number of Arabs Israel allows to live in Arab settlements in Israel:1,250,000
- Number of Jews Palestinian Authority allows to live in Jewish settlementsin Palestinian Authority: 0
- Percentage of U.N. Commission on Human Rights resolutions condemning an Arab country for human rights violations: 0
- Percentage of U.N. Commission on Human Rights resolutions condemning Israel for human rights violations: 26Number of U.N.
- Security Council resolutions on the Middle East between 1948 and 1991: 175
- Number of these resolutions against Israel: 97
- Number of these resolutions against an Arab state: 4
- Number of Arab countries that have been members of the U.N. Security Council: 16
- Number of times Israel has been a member of the U.N. Security Council: 0
- Number of U.N. General Assembly resolutions condemning Israel: 322
- Number of U.N. General Assembly resolutions condemning an Arab country: 0
- Percentage of U.N. votes in which Arab countries voted with the United States in 2002: 16.6
- Percentage of U.N. votes in which Israel voted with the United States in 2002: 92.6
- Percentage of Middle East Studies professors who defend Zionism and Israel: approximately 1.
- Percentage of Middle East Studies professors who believe in diversity on college campuses: 100
- Percentage of people who argue that the Jewish state has no right to exist who also believe some other country has no right to exist: 0
- Percentage of people who argue that of all the countries in the world, only the Jewish state has no right to exist and yet deny they are anti-Jewish: approximately 100
- Number of Muslims in the world: more than 1 billion
- Number of Muslim demonstrations against Islamic terror: approximately 2
Put that in your pipe and smoke it.
Yesterday, News of Eurabia began reporting that rioting has begun in Australia. The rioting - which can and should be characterized as gang violence, and vigilantism, between white Australians, and Lebanes Muslims - was sparked by an incident where a group of Muslims descended on two beach lifeguards and beat them badly:
SYDNEY, Australia (AP) -- Ethnic tensions erupted Sunday into running battles between police and a mob of thousands of youths, many chanting racial slurs, at a beachside suburb in southern Sydney.
At least three people were arrested and several injured in alcohol-fueled fights. Television images showed police protecting an ambulance being pelted with beer bottles and a group of young women attacking another woman.
Other youths stamped on police vehicles and police officers fought back with batons and pepper spray.
The behavior, "is nothing short of disgusting and disgraceful," said Police Assistant Commissioner Mark Goodwin. It's certainly not the Australian way."
"What has been occurring on some fronts is that people of Middle Eastern backgrounds that have been seen in the Cronulla area, a swarm of the crowd has approached these people with vile abuse, in the most un-Australian way," Goodwin said. "We have a number of reports of persons that have been assaulted."
A police spokesman commenting on usual condition of anonymity said three men, aged 16, 29 and 34 were arrested and were being questioned after fights erupted among some 5,000 people who converged on Cronulla beach in southern Sydney.
Many youths were carrying beer bottles, waving Australian flags and chanting racist slogans following reports that youths of Lebanese descent were responsible for last week's attack on two of the beach's life guards.
Well, the rioting has now entered it's second day. There is an excellent report by Thomas the Wraith at the group blog Infidel Blog Alliance:
Cronulla, Day 2
Local media reported a "terrifying escalation" in the conflict, as 70 car loads of Lebanese youths arrived in the predominantly white suburb of Cronulla - the flashpoint for yesterday's running battles - intent on revenge.
The Sydney Morning Herald described how the youths began smashing up shops and cars with baseball bats and threatening passers-by. There were more disturbances in the neighbouring suburb of Brighton-Le-Sands where bricks were thrown at passing cars.
Around 600 people, some armed with pistols and crowbars and summoned by mobile phone text message, gathered to confront one another on Maroubra Beach, in a mainly white suburb to the south of the city.
One resident, who didn't want to be named, said about 50 cars had swept into the area, disgorging men of Middle Eastern appearance who begun wrecking every car in sight with baseball bats.
Meanwhile, Australian Prime Minister John Howard is blaming the violence on White Supremacists. Thomas the Wraith questions this assertion:
Are these (the Lebanese Muslims) the white supremacists Howard is so concerned about? Probably not.
Note that the 'white supremacists' spared the nearby Korean community of some 60,000.
"There is no chance that this riot will spread to Korean residents," said a representative from the Korean Society of Sydney. He seems pretty confident. You'd think that Koreans would be quite worried if indeed there were thousands of angry white supremacists roaming the streets like it was Berlin in the 30s.
Color me crazy, but could it be that despite claims by Howard and the media most of the Aussie rioters are not in fact neo-Nazi or white supremacists? Are most of these people in fact locals extremely angry at what they see as continued harassment and generally intolerable behavior by members of the Lebanese immigrant community?
Instead of condemning the rioters with a broad brush, shouldn't the authorities try to understand the root causes of the unrest?
The fact is, I have seen some news reports that have said that the Aussies have been chanting racist slogans. I believe that is true. They are probably calling the Lebanese Muslims something close to the equivalent of towel-heads. But, that doesn't exactly mean that these Aussies natives are "white supremacists" does it?
As Thomas notes, if they are not attacking the Koreans (or the Filipinos, or the Aboriginals, for that matter) then they aren't purely motivated by racial anger.
What happens to people when they become very angry is, they sometimes cease making fine distinctions. In other words, instead of saying, "We are going to scare those thugs (who always just happen to be Lebanese) who keep attacking us at the beach," they may say, "Let's go kill those towel-heads."
I think it is regrettable that it takes on a, seemingly, racist dimension, because it distracts from the issue, which is that too often the governments of Western countries are choosing to not honor their responsibility to protect their citizenry.
When this happens, it is understandable that, eventually, the citizenry will take matters into their own hands.
On Thomas' personal blog, he notes some examples ot the "White Supremacist" outrage, which were published as "Letters to the Editor" in Aussie newspapers:
Yes there is a bigger cultural problem. I am sick to death as an anglo australian female of being stared at disgustlingly, stalked by cars walking down my own street, intimidated on trains at the shopping centre and now at the beach. Unfortunately those displaying this bullying behaviour happen to be young middle eastern men. - Tracey, New South Wales (NSW)
Incidents like the one at Cronulla have been simmering for a long time. The ugly scene at Cronulla is only the tip of the iceberg. This will get worse. People are fed up. - Jodi, NSW
I am 21 years old and I am not a rascist person. I went to an all girls school and hated the fact that I had to see 'Aussie suck, lebs rule' enscribed on our school desks. ... Aussies are defending the Aussie man's right to live freely how we used to before gang violence was brought in from overseas. I agree with the riots and why they are fighting because no one will do anything to protect Aussie's - all government seem to care about is protecting everyone else except their own! - Cheryl, NSW
There's more where that came from. Go read them.
A recent poll says 71% of Iraqis say life is good:
An opinion poll suggests Iraqis are generally optimistic about their lives, in spite of the violence that has plagued Iraq since the US-led invasion......Interviewers found that 71% of those questioned said things were currently very or quite good in their personal lives, while 29% found their lives very or quite bad.
When asked whether their lives would improve in the coming year, 64% said things would be better and 12% said they expected things to be worse.
However, Iraqis appear to have a more negative view of the overall situation in their country, with 53% answering that the situation is bad, and 44% saying it is good.
But they were more hopeful for the future - 69% expect Iraq to improve, while 11% say it will worsen.
The BBC News website's World Affairs correspondent, Paul Reynolds, says the survey shows a degree of optimism at variance with the usual depiction of the country as one in total chaos.
The findings are more in line with the kind of arguments currently being deployed by US President George W Bush, he says.
And here's what ordinary Iraqis say, when asked, about what they think of the U.S. invasion and "occupation" (nation-building) of Iraq:
The US invasion was a really good thing and the presence of the US troops is really important now......
The US troops were really welcomed at first because they helped us to get rid of Saddam, but people have started complaining about their behaviour, they cause much trouble to Iraqis these days especially in the streets and I hope that we don't need them in one year......
I don't want US troops in Iraq forever but we need them for the meantime and I think we need one or two years before we can depend on ourselves......We always wished that someone would save us from Saddam's regime and the US troops did that. I really don't want them to leave for the time being.
Meanwhile, the media and their poodles John Murtha's, Cindy Sheehan, and Michael Moore, continues to lie and say that America is evil, and that we have done a bad thing.