Saturday, April 15, 2006

And The
Body Politic

Let's talk about sex on this lovely Saturday evening.

Dag emailed me a brilliant piece he is working on dealing with Pornography, solipsism, the notion of the Noble Savage, Philobarbarism, and the phenomenon of the Lefts infatuation with the Palestinians.

I present to you, here, an excerpt:

Pornography deals not with people but with images of peoples' bodies. Not even the true bodies themselves, (forget the minds of the clay,) but there is not even a body involved other than image in the mind. The image is of one who is no longer, and no attempt at mind is ever present.

This outrageous dehumanisation and descent into solipsism should enrage us. Far from it in terms of our barbarians, our mental pets, our images of porno were-beings. The philobarbarist, the bobo who idealises the barbarian and to him attributes romantic traits, is a porno-wanker. It's dirty and disgusting; and yet it is a loved position in the theatre of the public mind.

The Noble Savage is an idea of what one wants to see in the image of others for the sake of ones own gratification, however perverse. To be pornography one must not be oneself but must be an image of oneself in the mind; Pornography is not a state but an action. To make a person pornographic is a result of philobarbarism, a nasty practice of the bobo by and for himself alone.

News of the New World prompted Montaigne to pen tales of the Noble Savage. His was not to kill but to quill. Thank God for it. In the 16th century our modern standards did not have high influence in conquerors circles: we, the now-hated Europeans, were as brutal and immediate as any, and our sensitivities were blunt.

Montaigne, in his genuine benevolence, wrote of the cannibals of the New World to suggest that they, though not us, were Human. He went so far, as we will read below, even better than we, the explorers and conquerors. We have no right, he writes, to exterminate them.

Thank God for Montaigne.

And now, in 2006, let's come back to our reasonable senses. ****Michel de Montaigne... began a long tradition of using non-European peoples as a basis for engaging in a critique of his own culture, undoubtedly in the process romanticizing what Jean-Jacques Rousseau would later call "the noble savage." It is a theme which still appeals to many Westerners.

What reason does Montaigne give for judging cannibalistic Native Americans to be preferable to Europeans?

"These nations seem to me, then, barbaric in that they have been little refashioned by the human mind and are still quite close to their original naiveté. They are still ruled by natural laws, only slightly corrupted by ours. They are in such a state of purity that I am sometimes saddened by the thought that we did not discover them earlier, when there were people who would have known how to judge them better than we. It displeases me that Lycurgus or Plato didn't know them, for it seems to me that these peoples surpass not only the portraits which poetry has made of the Golden Age and all the invented, imaginary notions of the ideal state of humanity, but even the conceptions and the very aims of philosophers themselves. They could not imagine such a pure and simple naiveté as we encounter in them; nor would they have been able to believe that our society might be maintained with so little artifice and social structure.This is a people, I would say to Plato, among whom there is no commerce at all, no knowledge of letters, no knowledge of numbers, nor any judges, or political superiority, no habit of service, riches, or poverty, no contracts, no inheritance, no divisions of property, no occupations but easy ones, no respect for any relationship except ordinary family ones, no clothes, no agriculture, no metal, no use of wine or wheat. The very words which mean "lie," "treason," "deception," "greed," "envy," "slander" and "forgiveness" are unknown....Michel de Montaigne, " ****

It is a good thing that Montaigne did his best to protect by romanticising the cannibals. If not for his initial push to make them seem better than we, we might not have preserved them to the great extent we did. The comparison between the Aztecs and the Conquistadors is one of night and day; but with Montaigne's sensitivity we can think that even greater efforts were made over the long term to save not only the savages but their cultures.

Yes, this is against the grain of p.c. ideologic but the facts are there for those who care to find them that the Spanish reconstructed with the aid of natives the artefacts lost where possible. It was the reviled conquerors who preserved and restored lost civilizations in the New World. We do so today. And yet our Left dhimmi fascists condemn us for it, condemn us for the nature of nature and its history. We are, in fact, among the finest; but the fascists refuse to accept it, preferring instead to condemn us and to extol the make-believe virtues of cannibals. That is philobarbarism. That has to end right now.

Turning people into porno images is a delight to our Left dhimmi fascists. Take this turn:

The masses do not exist. The mass... is a metaphor for the unknowable and invisible.... Being essentially unknowable, the mass acquires definition through the imposition of imagined attributes. (Carey: p. 21.)

There are two groups dehumanised by the intellectual elitist philobarbarist: first there is the idealised barbarian, and there is next the devalued suburbanite. Neither is a real being; both are images of people filtered through the minds of the elitist to conform to his values for his solipsistic needs, in effect, made into pornography. The elitist, the intellectual, distances himself from the person and creates a false thing of imagery to give others a form he can accept according to his wants. He idealises the savage and defames the normal and decent. But both are images in the elitist's mind of pornography. The boring and mindless clerk and the noble and superior savage are both masturbatory phantasies for the elitist.

Trying to imagine what she calls 'that anonymous monster the Man in the Street,' Virginia Woolf finds herself visualizing a

'vast, featureless, almost shapeless jelly of human stuff...occasionally wobbling this way or that as some instinct of hate, revenge, or admiration bubbles up beneath it.'

For Ezra Pound, humanity, apart from artists, is merely a 'mass of dolts,' a 'rabble,' representing 'the waste and the manure' from which grows 'the tree of the arts.' (Carey: p. 25.)

Can you hear, dear reader, the phrase so often in use today among our journalists, "the Arab street"? For those who have experienced an Arab street the following will resonate:

In Pound's Cantos the 'multitudes' and their leaders transmorgify into a torrent of human excrement-- 'Democaracies electing their sewage.' (ibid)

Democracy, the rule of the people for the people by the people, is an outrage to the gnostic elitist. To the intellectual artist, what can be more unnatural and foetid than life lived by those who are out of place? The solution? Back to the land with them. Or, since there are now too many suburbanites to live a life of harmony in a state of nature, exterminate many if not most or even all of them. Yes, we have seen the rants of Pianka, Darre, Heidegger. Here is H.G. Wells:

Freedom was all very well, but it choked the earth with bodies, Only by system could humanity's rampant growth be checked, so Wells began to work out programmes of world reform.... He feels for them, [urban working class men,] but does not quite treat them as men. They do not even have men's bodies. (Carey: pp. 147;144.)

Wells looks around his Kentish village and sees it overrun by clerks and workmen. He phantasizes:

London is a ghost city, full of skeletons, dogs, and rats. The few survivors of the English people live in rural peasant communities, subsisting by primitive agriculture. They have returned, Wells observes, from 'suburban parasitism' to what had been the life of European peasant since the dawn of history.... The old suburban life was not rooted in history or the earth.... The development of his fiction suggests that destruction lured him even more powerfully than progress. Reducing the world's population became an obsession. In fantasy he took-- again and again, and with mounting savagery-- a terrible vengeance on the suburban sprawl that had blighted Bromley. (Carey: pp. 132-34.)

Those who know Bromley, East London, today will know it as a charming and lovely and affluent place. It is full of clerks. But the point is not what clerks, i.e. the middle classes, do or how they live that is offensive to the elitist: it is their existence itself that offends. It is their existence as equals in a democracy and as autonomous beings that offends. That the mass is not different from the elite, that is more than maddening to the elitist: it is cause for violent rages and genocide. We'll look more closely at this hatred in coming posts. For now we will see more of philobarbarism as a coping stance among the elitists.

Behind all these recipes for supremacy we can observe the pressure of mass culture, driving intellectuals to invent new proof of their distinction in a world which increasingly found them redundant. (Carey: p. 72.)Montaigne was a philobarbarist, and good for him. He didn't know barbarians and cannibals any better than today's elitists do. Montaigne didn't go so far as to urge that the barbarians eat us. Our Left dhimmi fascists do.

[There was a] widespead intellectual cult of the peasant... [a] fanciful pastoralism. ...England had no peasants left at the end of the nineteenth century, so English writers seeking a pastoral version of the mass had to invent them... or pretend to be peasants themselves. Carey: p. 36.)

The cult of the peasant, philobarbarism, support for the suffering! of! the! Palestinian! Peoples! and so on, so long as they are authentic peasants, not Sudanese animists, is with us today at every level, and thickest in the realm of the elite. No, not real Palestinians, because those ones cut off our heads and blow themselves up with anyone unfortunate enough to be too close. The barbarians have to be romantic and know their places. They have to be pornographic depictions of people. Not the real people. They smell bad.

Yes, the more adventurous among us actually go "live with them" is to cement our bona fides; for all but the most supremely stupid, it's a hobby. No one actually likes the Palestinians, and that is partly because there are too many of them to know. To like them is to reduce them all to a jelly-like mass of pornographic proportion and perspective. One can love the idea of the Palestinians, and one can make that love into a cultish ideal. One can get off on the porno-wank.

The demand among intellectuals for a cosmetic version of the mass, which prompted the quest of peasants and primitives in pastoral settings, also sanctioned political rewritings of the mass, whether as stalwart workers or as a the downtrodden and the oppressed....

What? You don't quite buy Dag's line of argument; from Intellectual Solipsism, to Pornography, to Noble Savage, to Palestinian? Well, then let's look to Western Civilizations penultimate expert on sexual depravity, Jean Genet:

It turns out one that one of the élite's favorite literary phenomenons of the post-war period secretly (and not so secretly) admired the Nazis — even if they would have forced him to wear a pink triangle and likely gassed him. His "enrollment in causes led to his defending the Third World, pederasts, Proletarians, prisoners, Palestinians, and (black) Panthers, although it seems the "cursed man at the margins" did so mainly because he thought they were …cute (the Fedayeen were "so young and so beautiful"), a "view" he even holds about about SS officers.

In fact, Genet — whose work is "gangrened by fascism and yet touching" — was "the apostle of evil and its servants, from informers to terrorists, through trators, child killers, kamikazes, and Nazis." Even the man who exposed Jean Genet, Ivan Jablonka, seems in the final analysis (and the final paragraph), to be taken in by him. Come to think about it, Genet's attitude hardly seems that unusual, does it? It begs the question: is this the type of European that Washington should listen to before taking international decisions?

I know, I know, it's hard to see one's whole poltical paradigm reduced to an erotic fantasy. But, if you don't think it's possible, then how to explain this piece of political criticism/hate email sent to Pamela, at Atlas Shrugs:

Hi there skank...miss me?
Just wanted to drop you a line and let ya know that you can shove your hate and intolerance up your gaping asshole sideways.
Ahhhhhhhhhh...that felt better.

Oh...I'm sorry. The ignorance you so proudly display bothered me so much I was in a bit of hurry when I wrote you ...

Just in case your wittle bedwetter brain didn't get it...remove the corn cob from your ass and take a look around ...

Oh, and by the way...f*ck off and die skank.

Ladies and Gentlemen of the Jury, Dag, and I rest, our case.

"We Are Not Animals -
We Are Iraqis"

Reporter Franklin Raff tell of an encounter he had with an Iraqi officer:

An Iraqi officer of significant rank approached my translator as I quietlytook notes near the banks of the Euphrates River, at a combat observationpost named COP Dunlop. He knew I was an embedded American. He had a sense,perhaps, that I was a sympathetic soul, and he wanted to pass along anurgent message.

We shook hands and exchanged pleasantries. I learned he was an educated andsuccessful man, an accomplished soldier, and quite knowledgeable about theaffairs of the world. He had served under Saddam. He openly spoke about thelikelihood of corruption in the new Iraqi Ministry of Defense. We spokeabout black-market arms trading, ancient smuggling routes, and the problemof porous borders.

We even discussed personal matters, and the question of his taking a secondwife. (I told him the one about a thousand pair of panty-hose hanging fromKing Solomon's shower-curtain.) We had a reasonably long and genuineconversation about matters of importance to all men. And at a certainmoment, he grew a little uneasy and blurted out what he had wanted to sayfrom the beginning:

Why do you people not tell our story? Why do you not say what is going on?

Why do you come to our country and see what is happening, you see the schools and the hospitals and you see the markets and you eat with Sunni and Shia soldiers – everybody eats together, everybody works together

you see that Saddam is gone forever and we are free to speak and complain.

You see we are working and eating together and fighting together – Sunni andShia – you see what we are building here, you see the votes we make as onepeople. Then you say to the world about a great war and horrible things andhow we are all killing each other?

We are not animals! We are Iraqis.

Look around you! Look!

Friday, April 14, 2006

How Do You Treat
People Who Have
No Power Over You?

'I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.'

Here's an article about how CEO's of major corporations seem to be in consensus on the issue of how people treat waiters:

... it seems to be one of those rare laws of the land that every CEO learns on the way up. It's hard to get a dozen CEOs to agree about anything, but all interviewed agree with the Waiter Rule.

They acknowledge that CEOs live in a Lake Wobegon world where every dinner or lunch partner is above average in their deference. How others treat the CEO says nothing, they say. But how others treat the waiter is like a magical window into the soul.

And beware of anyone who pulls out the power card to say something like, "I could buy this place and fire you," or "I know the owner and I could have you fired." Those who say such things have revealed more about their character than about their wealth and power.

Whoever came up with the waiter observation "is bang spot on," says BMW North America President Tom Purves, a native of Scotland, a citizen of the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland, who lives in New York City with his Norwegian wife, Hilde, and works for a German company. That makes him qualified to speak on different cultures, and he says the waiter theory is true everywhere.

The CEO who came up with it, or at least first wrote it down, is Raytheon CEO Bill Swanson. He wrote a booklet of 33 short leadership observations called Swanson's Unwritten Rules of Management. Raytheon has given away 250,000 of the books.

Among those 33 rules is only one that Swanson says never fails: "A person who is nice to you but rude to the waiter, or to others, is not a nice person."

Swanson says he first noticed this in the 1970s when he was eating with a man who became "absolutely obnoxious" to a waiter because the restaurant did not stock a particular wine.

"Watch out for people who have a situational value system, who can turn the charm on and off depending on the status of the person they are interacting with," Swanson writes. "Be especially wary of those who are rude to people perceived to be in subordinate roles."

I learned this rule a long time ago myself. A man told me that character is not defined by the way a person treats people who are above them on the social ladder, but by how they treat those who would be perceived as below them.

I have, unfortunately, gone the opposite direction in my life. I tend to be very polite to people who have no power over me, and often very rude to those who can actually do me harm.

That's smart, huh?

I wonder what I think I'm accomplishing with that?

Are You An Islamofascist,
Or, A Moderate Muslim?

I remember hearing a Muslim man call into a radio show a few months back, very angry that the host dared to use the term "Islamofascist."

"Islam is not fascist," he repeatedly told the host. Meanwhile, of course, the host attempted to explain to the man that he wasn't saying Islam was fascist, but was, instead, making a distinction between ordinary moderate Muslims, and those who would wage Jihad to kill the infidel.

The man just couldn't get it. It was as if he was constitutionally incapable of understanding the distinction.

Anyway, for those Muslims who are thick, and don't get the distinction, I thought I'd attempt here to lay it out in stark terms.

First, understand that we Infidels are human beings, just like you. We don't like to be murdered. We don't like our women to be taken as booty and raped (as Islamofascists do to non-Muslim women in Sudan). We don't like to have our churches and synagogues burned down.

Got that?

Should be pretty simple.

Now, let's be clear about the definition of an Islamofascist.

You are an Islamofascist if you

1) believe there are two camps to the world, Dar al-Harb (House of War), and Dar al-Islam (House of Islam).

2) believe in waging violent Jihad against the Infidels and the Jews.

3) believe that women are equal to half and man, and that your wife is your possession to do with what you please, including murdering her for "dishonoring" your family.

4) want to see Sharia law instituted all over the world, so that adulterers, apostates, and homosexuals are stoned to death for their "crimes."

5) want women to wear Burqas (for anything other than the occasional kinky bedroom play).

So, there you have it. Do you fall into any of those categories. If you do, I want you to leave my country now. Or, if you were born here and as such, enjoy an American citizenship for which you are not grateful, then please, pray to God that He will forgive you, and straighten our your mind, so that you can learn to let people live and love as they will.

Now, here is the definition of a moderate Muslim. You are a moderate Muslim if you

1) believe that all people should be able to live in peace and be free to speak, worship, and live as they please, as long as they do not physically hurt anyone, or steal the property of others.

2) allow for Freedom of Speech, even up to the criticism and mockery of your own religion in the media, and in the streets.

3) just want to work a job, earn money, and take care of your family, and are happy to see others of all religions and ethnicities, doing the same around you everyday.

There, now if you fit into that, then we have no problems, you and I.

However, if you are a moderate Muslim who is

1) willing to tolerate the preaching of violent Jihad in your mosque, and you still give money and attend services,

2) would not turn in Muslims who are planning to kill and maim Infidels,

3) believe the Jews were behind 9/11,

then you are not a moderate Muslim at all. Instead, you are simply an Islamofascist pussy who lacks the courage of your convictions. If you are this, then I ask you, once again, to please leave our country, or, perhaps, to pray that God would forgive you, and straighten out your mind, so that you can learn to live and love, and let others live and love.

I hope we are clear now.

Ultimately, it is up to Muslims how we in the West eventually will come to define Islam. Will you tell us, by your works, that Islam is Islamofascism, or that Islam is peace.

It's up to you.

Jihadis Kill And
Rampage In
Egyptian Churches
On Good Friday


CAIRO, Egypt - Worshippers at three Christian churches came under attack from knife-wielding assailants during Mass Friday.

Police said one worshipper was killed and more than a dozen wounded in the simultaneous attacks in the northern city of Alexandria.

Police were searching for three men, one in each attack.

Hundreds of Christians gathered in angry protest outside the Coptic Christian churches, and witnesses said clashes erupted between Christians and Muslims.

Initial police reports said a total of 17 people were injured: 10 at the Saints Church in downtown Alexandria and three at the nearby Mar Girgis Church. A third attacker wounded four worshippers at a church in Abu Qir, a few miles to the east.

One worshipper was killed and at least two others were in serious condition, a police official said on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the press.

The attack comes on what is Good Friday to many of the world's Christians.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Facing Down Iran

Mark Steyn has a mustread piece over at City Journal. It describes the history of the modern Islamofascist state, beginning with the Iranian Islamic Revolution in 1979, and proceeding, from there, to our present predicament.

Here's the CUANAS Digest version:

Who better to unite the Muslim world under one inspiring, courageous leadership? If there’s going to be an Islamic superpower, Tehran would seem to be the obvious candidate.
That moment of ascendancy is now upon us. Or as the Daily Telegraph in London reported: “Iran’s hardline spiritual leaders have issued an unprecedented new fatwa, or holy order, sanctioning the use of atomic weapons against its enemies.”

Hmm. I’m not a professional mullah, so I can’t speak to the theological soundness of the argument, but it seems a religious school in the Holy City of Qom has ruled that “the use of nuclear weapons may not constitute a problem, according to sharia.” Well, there’s a surprise. How do you solve a problem? Like, sharia! It’s the one-stop shop for justifying all your geopolitical objectives.

When they say “Islamic Republic,” they mean it. And refusing to take their words at face value has bedeviled Western strategists for three decades. Twenty-seven years ago, because Islam didn’t fit into the old cold war template, analysts mostly discounted it.

To the Left, the shah was a high-profile example of an unsavory U.S. client propped up on traditional he-may-be-a-sonofabitch-but-he’s-our-sonofabitch grounds. To the realpolitik Right, the issue was Soviet containment: the shah may be our sonofabitch, but he’d outlived his usefulness, and a weak Iran could prove too tempting an invitation to Moscow to fulfill the oldest of czarist dreams—a warm-water port, not to mention control of the Straits of Hormuz.

Very few of us considered the strategic implications of an Islamist victory on its own terms—the notion that Iran was checking the neither-of-the-above box and that that box would prove a far greater threat to the Freeish World than Communism.

As clashes of civilizations go, this one’s between two extremes: on the one hand, a world that has everything it needs to wage decisive war—wealth, armies, industry, technology; on the other, a world that has nothing but pure ideology and plenty of believers. (Its sole resource, oil, would stay in the ground were it not for foreign technology, foreign manpower, and a Western fetishization of domestic environmental aesthetics.)

For this to be a mortal struggle, as the cold war was, the question is: Are they a credible enemy to us?

For a projection of the likely outcome, the question is: Are we a credible enemy to them?

Four years into the “war on terror,” the Bush administration has begun promoting a new formulation: “the long war.” Not a reassuring name. In a short war, put your money on tanks and bombs—our strengths. In a long war, the better bet is will and manpower—their strengths, and our great weakness. Even a loser can win when he’s up against a defeatist.

A big chunk of Western civilization, consciously or otherwise, has given the impression that it’s dying to surrender to somebody, anybody. Reasonably enough, Islam figures: Hey, why not us? If you add to the advantages of will and manpower a nuclear capability, the odds shift dramatically.

If you dust off the 1933 Montevideo Convention on the Rights and Duties of States, Article One reads: “The state as a person of international law should possess the following qualifications: (a) a permanent population; (b) a defined territory; (c) government; and (d) capacity to enter into relations with the other states.” Iran fails to meet qualification (d), and has never accepted it.

The signature act of the new regime was not the usual post-coup bloodletting and summary execution of the shah’s mid-ranking officials but the seizure of the U.S. embassy in Tehran by “students” acting with Khomeini’s blessing. Diplomatic missions are recognized as the sovereign territory of that state, and the violation thereof is an act of war.

Yet Iran seized protected persons on U.S. soil and held them prisoner for over a year—ostensibly because Washington was planning to restore the shah. But the shah died and the hostages remained. And, when the deal was eventually done and the hostages were released, the sovereign territory of the United States remained in the hands of the gangster regime.

Yet Iran paid no price. They got away with it.

With the fatwa against Salman Rushdie, a British subject, Tehran extended its contempt for sovereignty to claiming jurisdiction over the nationals of foreign states, passing sentence on them, and conscripting citizens of other countries to carry it out. Iran’s supreme leader instructed Muslims around the world to serve as executioners of the Islamic Republic—and they did, killing not Rushdie himself but his Japanese translator, and stabbing the Italian translator, and shooting the Italian publisher, and killing three dozen persons with no connection to the book when a mob burned down a hotel because of the presence of the novelist’s Turkish translator.

Iran’s de facto head of state offered a multimillion-dollar bounty for a whack job on an obscure English novelist. And, as with the embassy siege, he got away with it.

In the latest variation on Marx’s dictum, history repeats itself: first, the unreadable London literary novel; then, the Danish funny pages. But in the 17 years between the Rushdie fatwa and the cartoon jihad, what was supposedly a freakish one-off collision between Islam and the modern world has become routine.

We now think it perfectly normal for Muslims to demand the tenets of their religion be applied to society at large: the government of Sweden, for example, has been zealously closing down websites that republish those Danish cartoons. As Khomeini’s successor, Ayatollah Khamenei, has said, “It is in our revolution’s interest, and an essential principle, that when we speak of Islamic objectives, we address all the Muslims of the world.” Or as a female Muslim demonstrator in Toronto put it: “We won’t stop the protests until the world obeys Islamic law.”

Anyone who spends half an hour looking at Iranian foreign policy over the last 27 years sees five things:
1) contempt for the most basic international conventions;
2) long-reach extraterritoriality;
3) effective promotion of radical Pan-Islamism;
4) a willingness to go the extra mile for Jew-killing (unlike, say, Osama);
5) an all-but-total synchronization between rhetoric and action.

Yet the Europeans remain in denial. Iran was supposedly the Middle Eastern state they could work with.

And the chancellors and foreign ministers jetted in to court the mullahs so assiduously that they’re reluctant to give up on the strategy just because a relatively peripheral figure like the, er, head of state is sounding off about Armageddon.

Instead, Western analysts tend to go all Kremlinological. There are, after all, many factions within Iran’s ruling class. What the country’s quick-on-the-nuke president says may not be the final word on the regime’s position.

But, given that they’re all in favor of the country having nukes, the point seems somewhat moot. The question then arises, what do they want them for?

By way of illustration, consider the country’s last presidential election. The final round offered a choice between Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, an alumnus of the U.S. Embassy siege a quarter-century ago, and Hashemi Rafsanjani, head of the Expediency Council, which sounds like an EU foreign policy agency but is, in fact, the body that arbitrates between Iran’s political and religious leaderships. Ahmadinejad is a notorious shoot-from-the-lip apocalyptic hothead who believes in the return of the Twelfth (hidden) Imam and quite possibly that he personally is his designated deputy, and he’s also claimed that when he addressed the United Nations General Assembly last year a mystical halo appeared and bathed him in its aura.

Ayatollah Rafsanjani, on the other hand, is one of those famous “moderates.”

What’s the difference between a hothead and a moderate? Well, the extremist Ahmadinejad has called for Israel to be “wiped off the map,” while the moderate Rafsanjani has declared that Israel is “the most hideous occurrence in history,” which the Muslim world “will vomit out from its midst” in one blast, because “a single atomic bomb has the power to completely destroy Israel, while an Israeli counter-strike can only cause partial damage to the Islamic world.” Evidently wiping Israel off the map seems to be one of those rare points of bipartisan consensus in Tehran, the Iranian equivalent of a prescription drug plan for seniors: we’re just arguing over the details.

So the question is: Will they do it? And the minute you have to ask, you know the answer.

the civilized world has already lost: to enter into negotiations with a jurisdiction headed by a Holocaust-denying millenarian nut job is, in itself, an act of profound weakness—the first concession, regardless of what weaselly settlement might eventually emerge.
Conversely, a key reason to stop Iran is to demonstrate that we can still muster the will to do so. Instead, the striking characteristic of the long diplomatic dance that brought us to this moment is how September 10th it’s all been.

The free world’s delegated negotiators (the European Union) and transnational institutions (the IAEA) have continually given the impression that they’d be content just to boot it down the road to next year or the year after or find some arrangement—this decade’s Oil-for-Food or North Korean deal—that would get them off the hook. If you talk to EU foreign ministers, they’ve already psychologically accepted a nuclear Iran. Indeed, the chief characteristic of the West’s reaction to Iran’s nuclearization has been an enervated fatalism.

One hears sophisticated arguments that perhaps the best thing is to let everyone get ’em, and then no one will use them. And if Iran’s head of state happens to threaten to wipe Israel off the map, we should understand that this is a rhetorical stylistic device that’s part of the Persian oral narrative tradition, and it would be a grossly Eurocentric misinterpretation to take it literally.

The fatalists have a point. We may well be headed for a world in which anybody with a few thousand bucks and the right unlisted Asian phone numbers in his Rolodex can get a nuke. But, even so, there are compelling reasons for preventing Iran in particular from going nuclear.

Back in his student days at the U.S. embassy, young Mr. Ahmadinejad seized American sovereign territory, and the Americans did nothing. And I would wager that’s still how he looks at the world. And, like Rafsanjani, he would regard, say, Muslim deaths in an obliterated Jerusalem as worthy collateral damage in promoting the greater good of a Jew-free Middle East.

The Palestinians and their “right of return” have never been more than a weapon of convenience with which to chastise the West. To assume Tehran would never nuke Israel because a shift in wind direction would contaminate Ramallah is to be as ignorant of history as most Palestinians are: from Yasser Arafat’s uncle, the pro-Nazi Grand Mufti of Jerusalem during the British Mandate, to the insurgents in Iraq today, Islamists have never been shy about slaughtering Muslims in pursuit of their strategic goals.

Once again, we face a choice between bad and worse options. There can be no “surgical” strike in any meaningful sense: Iran’s clients on the ground will retaliate in Iraq, Lebanon, Israel, and Europe. Nor should we put much stock in the country’s allegedly “pro-American” youth. This shouldn’t be a touchy-feely nation-building exercise: rehabilitation may be a bonus, but the primary objective should be punishment—and incarceration. It’s up to the Iranian people how nutty a government they want to live with, but extraterritorial nuttiness has to be shown not to pay. That means swift, massive, devastating force that decapitates the regime—but no occupation.

The cost of de-nuking Iran will be high now but significantly higher with every year it’s postponed. The lesson of the Danish cartoons is the clearest reminder that what is at stake here is the credibility of our civilization. Whether or not we end the nuclearization of the Islamic Republic will be an act that defines our time.

You Just Gotta
Love Your Enemies

Zacarias Moussaoui is a very lovable enemy, indeed:

ALEXANDRIA, Va. - Confessed al-Qaida conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui said Thursday it made his day to hear accounts of Americans' suffering from the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks and he would like to see similar attacks "every day."

Taking the witness stand for the second time in his death-penalty trial Thursday, Moussaoui mocked a Navy sailor who wept on the stand as she described the death of two of her subordinates.

"I think it was disgusting for a military person" to cry, Moussaoui said of the testimony of Navy Lt. Nancy McKeown. "She is military, she should expect people at war with her to want to kill her."

Asked if he was happy to hear her sobbing, he said, "Make my day."

Moussaoui said he had "no regret, no remorse" about the 9/11 attacks. Asked by prosecutor Rob Spencer if he would like to see it happen again, Moussaoui responded: "Every day until we get you."

Moussaoui also said on cross-examination that he is convinced President Bush will free him before the end of his term and that he will return to London.

Spencer tried several times to get Moussaoui to say he didn't really believe that, but Moussaoui was insistent.

"I haven't doubted it for one single second," said Moussaoui, adding that the vision came to him in a dream just like his dream of flying a plane into the White House.

He also argued that he could not get a fair trial so close to the Pentagon and he criticized U.S. support for Israel.

Yes, yes, death to the Jews and the Infidels, and all that.

God, what a fount of fascism he is, huh? The guy exhibits every symptom of the illness of Islam. Let's see;

Deulusions of Grandeur - check
Sees visions of death and destruction - check
Believes the Jews control the world - check
Death to the Infidel - check
Believes that Islam has some magical hold over the President of the United States, which will cause Bush to grant him pardon - check
Believes his best strategy is to take the witness and spout the God's honest truth about the fact that he wants to kill us all - check

And, of couse, he can't get a fair trial here in the United States.

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

Thanks, Zackie, baby.

Europe Seeks
A New
"Non-Emotive Lexicon"

The smelly old cat (you know, the one who, really, should have died long ago) sprang to her knees this past week, and began heaving and retching. With eyes popping, and ears straight back, the aged girl really gave quite a performance.

In the end, a pathetic, oily little hairball slithered from her mouth:

European governments should shun the phrase "Islamic terrorism" in favour of "terrorists who abusively invoke Islam", say guidelines from EU officials.

Backed by diplomats and civil servants from the 25 EU members, the officials are drafting a "non-emotive lexicon for discussing radicalisation" to be submitted to Tony Blair and other leaders in June.

The Brussels officials hope the new lexicon, which would not be legally binding, would be adopted by governments and other EU institutions, such as the European Commission and European Parliament.

An EU official said: "The basic idea behind it is to avoid the use of improper words that would cause frustration among Muslims and increase the risk of radicalisation."

It might be time to put the poor thing to sleep.

Monday, April 10, 2006

To Be
Not To Be

The media is, of course, currently attempting to make George Bush look like a madman for considering his options in the case of a military strike against Iran. In light of their horror that Bush would even consider an attack, Roger Simon questions where diplomacy could possibly lead in the first place:

What would a "diplomatic solution" to the Iranian nuclear question actually look like? Just give me a few concrete sentences... Not easy, is it? Not for anything tangible anyway. Even if we got the Iranians to sign something, what would it mean?

Hardly any countries acknowledge their nuclear weapons programs while engaged in initiating them. The US didn't in 1944. The Soviets didn't. The UK and the French didn't. The Israelis didn't. The Pakistanis and the Indians didn't.

What they said they were doing and what they were doing were rarely the same thing. And we expect the Iranian Mullahs, of all people, to behave differently?

In order to know, we'd have to have a watcher, or maybe three, on every street corner of their vast country. And even then I'm not sure we'd know.

Remember, back in the days of the Manhattan Project, Enrico Fermi and his colleagues split the atom in some made-over squash court under the University of Chicago football stadium. Its worth reviewing those times while recalling that was the early 1940s, over sixty years ago!

There are really only two options;

1) Attack Iran


2) Live with the Iranian bomb. Uh, or, is that die with the Iranian bomb?

Sunday, April 09, 2006

The West Is The Best:
The Grecaian-Judeo-Christian Tradition

An excellent article from Wafa Sultan appears at the website Annaqed today. Here's an excerpt:

In reacting to the Islamists’ ongoing cartoon Jihad, most commentators have focused on the issue of free speech. This is natural, and necessary, since eradication of free speech is the most immediate risk; and certainly without free speech there can be no defending other values.

Nevertheless it is also vital to take a step back and to view the events as part of a larger pattern, a pattern which poses a grave threat to our core Western values and system of government –- and to their primary consequence and beneficiary: the free individual.

To see why, and to appreciate what we stand to lose, we must begin by understanding what is meant by “Western”. Let us be clear that “Western” refers to a set of ideas -- it is not a racial or ethnic epithet. Anyone can embrace the ideas, just as anyone can reject them, regardless of his race, country of birth, or upbringing. Thus we can speak of Japan and Hong Kong having adopted “Western” principles as accurately as we can speak of Canada having done so.

In the broadest and most essentialized sense, the term “Western” denotes a set of fundamental ideas first discovered and adopted by the ancient Greeks. It was they who, for the first time in history, challenged the age-old notion that only the life of a society’s rulers and/or priests was important -- to instead assert that every man’s life is of crucial value.

It was they who turned their focus from an obsession with death and the after-life -- to instead seek success and joy in this life. It was they who dispensed with all-encompassing superstition and from cowering before the supernatural –- to instead assert that the world was knowable, that no question was off-limits, and that the questioning mind was among the most revered of attributes.

Finally, and as a consequence of all the others, it was they who cast away the resignation of living as unhappy subjects in an unknowable world -- to instead realize that with freedom to live, happiness on earth was possible for every man.

These groundbreaking ideas led to an unheralded flourishing of man and an outpouring of man’s achievements, both spiritual and material. Few, if any, periods in history can rival the developments and accomplishments made by the ancient Greeks in arts, science, mathematics, humanities, medicine, athletics and general living conditions.

And it is for this reason that “Western” ideas and values are rightfully described as life-affirming: for they lead to man’s freedom to pursue success and happiness in this life.

Historically, the transmission and implementation of Western ideas, the so-called Western tradition, was rocky and uneven at best, and its biggest opponent was always authority and dogmatic faith. In fact, during the Dark Ages, Western tradition was nearly extinguished by Christianity, whose irrational doctrines rejected the importance of the individual’s happiness on earth and of the existence of a knowable world; to instead preach abject self-denial in this world and salvation in a mystical after-life.

Not until men reacquainted themselves with ancient Greek ideas did they find themselves back on the “Western” track; and only then did they turn away from blind faith, question and reject the Church and its authority, and eventually produce the Renaissance, the Enlightenment and modern Western society.

Concomitant with the emergence and development of Western ideas came man’s political desire to form societies which would allow him to achieve the promise of these ideas: individual joy and happiness on earth. Defining and building such societies was an arduous task, one much more difficult than it might seem in hindsight, but by fits and starts, Westerners rose to the challenge.

And thus, was born, America. The country that has at the center of its ethos that the Pursuit of Happiness is a God-given right dispensed to all men equally.

Go read the rest of Wafa's article. It's a doozy. As Fjordman said the other day in his excellent article on the decline of the West, our best apologists these days are immigrants (Wafa Sultan, Hirsi Ali, Iba Warraq, Dr. John Sentamu, etc.) who see the great opportunities here and have set out to explain to us why our values and traditions are so important to the world.

Now, Wafa is right in saying that the West learned Democracy from the Greecian tradition. But, the truth is, we have picked and choosed from the Greeks, and we have done so with the mind of the Judeo-Christian tradition. One of the most important things about the new Western Tradition, as developed by Europe, and America, is its separation of church and state. Holding this as a sacred political principle has allowed the public to choose its own beliefs, which means that religious doctrines must thrive in the marketplace of ideas. Overall, this is a good thing, because it serves for the advancement of the cause of Freedom in the lives of individuals, but also because, ultimately, it means that the relationship of individual humans to their God, necessarily will become more direct and personal.

Why is this a good thing? What does this mean to those who, in their Freedom, choose no religion?

Well, what it means is that centralized religious authorities have less power to argue for radical ideas, and less ability to gain political power, in order to implement those radical ideas.

Here is an excerpt from George Weigel writing on the subject of

Anglo-Americans are often taught that the roots of modern democracy can be found in the Glorious Revolution of 1688, which secured parliamentary supremacy against toyal absolutism in what would become Great Britain. Continental Europe often imagines Democracy begining in 1789, with the French Revolution. The remarkable civilizational story told by Christopher Dawson and Peter Brown suggests, however, that these readings are myopic, nearsighted.

For the way that the Christian civilization of the Middle settled certain struggles between the Catholic Church and the public authorities of the day taught "Europe" lessons that would later be applied to the defense of what we call "human rights" and the democratic project.

Additionally, I think that the very fact that the Kings and Queens of Europe were not the final end of government but that, instead, even the King had to answer to a higher authority, must have helped give birth to the idea that monarchy, nor any government, is not the ultimate authority.

George Weigel cites the investiture controversy wherein Pope Gregory VII (1073-1085) was argued with King Henry IV as to who had the power to nominate Bishops:

It was a theological and legal argument fraught with historic consequences. The Holy Roman Emperor, Henry IV, knelt in the snow at Canossa, doing penance before Gregory VII; Henry later drove Gregory out of Rome and into exile in Salerno, where he died; the controversy continued. But, when the political and ecclesiastical dust settled, European civilization had learned some things from the struggle between pope and emperor - or, between church and state.

Maybe, we should move on to Thomas Aquinas next. Not today, though. Not enough time.

Iraq Liberation Day

Let's all celebrate.

Sunday, April 9th, is the three year anniversary of the day Saddam Hussein fled Baghdad and his atatue was toppled.

It was a great day for Iraq and a great day for America.

We must not forget that we have achieved our objective in Iraq. We have liberated Iraq and removed a brutal dictator from a state that sponsored terrorism.

One mo' time!

Iraq is but one front in the long, terrible eradication of Islamofascism.