Saturday, July 08, 2006

Yet Not

Behind the Burqa

The Burqa dehumanizes women. It is a tool which instantly turns a living, breathing human being into a slave. When the shroud goes over the face of a human being, they are dead to the world. The human being, so enshrouded, can see out through the veil darkly, but no one can see in.

She is windowless, and alone.

(The photograph accompanying this post is the view of a human being from inside the death shroud of a burqa.)

Act International:

"Women you should not step outside your residence. If you go outside the house you should not be like the women who used to go with fashionable clothes wearing much cosmetics and appearing in front of every men before the coming of Islam."
--- Edict (religious decree) announced by the Taliban’s "Religious Police".

Two months back, I was on an assignment in Afghanistan. Defying another Taliban edict - this one banning taking photographs of "any living thing" - I looked for ways to illustrate how three years of drought and 22 years of war had affected the lives of men, women and children in Afghanistan.

In an environment created by the edicts restricting the behaviour of women it was difficult to get a single picture of women. Basically, I had to "steal" such pictures while pretending to be tying my shoelaces, looking the other way or trust my luck in accidental drive–by snapshots from car windows.

In the end, I tried another approach; one I felt more comfortable with. This approach did not force me to try to cheat the women within range of my lenses and, it even appeared truer to my own experience of travelling as a male in Afghanistan.

Over 14 days, I had next to no interaction with Afghani women and saw only three women’s faces directly. As a sort of compensation, I started focusing my lenses on some of the traces of the women I glimpsed or sometimes just missed where ever I went – villages, streets, bazaars, hospitals, clinics or restaurants and mosques.

Traces of the millions of Afghan women concealed by the rules of the Taliban, the cloth of the head to toe long blue Burqa, local traditions and in some cases the 4 to 5 meter high mud brick walls surrounding their own homes.

In the wake of the Taliban rule, women are still forced to wear the Burqa across the Islamic world. Let us be clear, the burqa is not clothing. It is a portable concentration camp.

On A Mission From God:
Iranian President Is
"End Times Fanatic"

From Front Page Magazine:

Thanks to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the president of Iran, a new word has entered the political vocabulary: mahdaviat.Not surprisingly, it’s a technical religious term. Mahdaviat derives from mahdi, Arabic for “rightly-guided one,” a major figure in Islamic eschatology. He is, explains the Encyclopaedia of Islam, “the restorer of religion and justice who will rule before the end of the world.” Mahdaviat means “belief in and efforts to prepare for the Mahdi.”

In a fine piece of reporting, Scott Peterson of the Christian Science Monitor shows the centrality of mahdaviat in Ahmadinejad’s outlook and explores its implications for his policies.When he was still mayor of Tehran in 2004, for example, Ahmadinejad appears to have secretly instructed the city council to build a grand avenue to prepare for the Mahdi. A year later, as president, he allocated US$17 million for a blue-tiled mosque closely associated with mahdaviat in Jamkaran, south of the capital. He has instigated the building of a direct Tehran-Jamkaran railroad line. He had a list of his proposed cabinet members dropped into a well adjacent to the Jamkaran mosque, it is said, to benefit from its purported divine connection.

He often raises the topic, and not just to Muslims. When addressing the United Nations in September, Ahmadinejad flummoxed his audience of world political leaders by concluding his address with a prayer for the Mahdi’s appearance: “O mighty Lord, I pray to you to hasten the emergence of your last repository, the Promised One, that perfect and pure human being, the one that will fill this world with justice and peace.”

On returning to Iran from New York, Ahmadinejad recalled the effect of his U.N. speech:

"One of our group told me that when I started to say “In the name of God the almighty and merciful,” he saw a light around me, and I was placed inside this aura. I felt it myself. I felt the atmosphere suddenly change, and for those 27 or 28 minutes, the leaders of the world did not blink. … And they were rapt. It seemed as if a hand was holding them there and had opened their eyes to receive the message from the Islamic republic."

“Mahdaviat is a code for [Iran’s Islamic] revolution, and is the spirit of the revolution,” says the head of an institute dedicated to studying and speeding the Mahdi’s appearance. “This kind of mentality makes you very strong,” observes the political editor of Resalat newspaper, Amir Mohebian. “If I think the Mahdi will come in two, three, or four years, why should I be soft? Now is the time to stand strong, to be hard.”

Some Iranians, reports PBS, “worry that their new president has no fear of international turmoil, may think it's just a sign from God.”

Mahdaviat has direct and ominous implications for the U.S.-Iran confrontation, says an Ahmadinejad supporter, Hamidreza Taraghi of Iran’s hard-line Islamic Coalition Society. It implies seeing Washington as the rival to Tehran and even as a false Mahdi. For Ahmadinejad, the top priority is to challenge America. Taraghi predicts trouble ahead unless Americans fundamentally change their ways.

I’d reverse that formulation. The most dangerous leaders in modern history are those (like Hitler) equipped with a totalitarian ideology and a mystical belief in their own mission. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad fulfills both these criteria, as revealed by his U.N. comments. That combined with his expected nuclear arsenal make him an adversary who must be stopped, and urgently.

The fact that Ahmadinejad is an End Times freak has been making me think of the very real possibility that we could be headed for massive destruction in our world. If this man does detonate a nuclear weapon in Israel, or in an American city, the world will fundamentally change. The response to such an attack will be horrific, and could very well involve multiple nations lobbing missiles at each other in a kind of nuclear feeding frenzy.

I don't want to see that happen. We can not allow loose cannons like Ahmadinejad to possess nuclear weapons. We must bomb the Iranian nuclear facilities before they achieve their goal.

Why Do Muslims
Do The
Nazi Salute?

Hizbollah Nazi Salute

Palestinian Police

Fatah Youth Rally

Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade
(part of the Fatah Party of Mahmoud Abbas)

Calls For
"Removal Of

From Agence French Press:

TEHRAN (AFP) - Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has called on Islamic countries to mobilise against Israel and "remove" the "Zionist regime".

"The basic problem in the Islamic world is the existence of the Zionist regime, and the Islamic world and the region must mobilise to remove this problem," the president said in a speech to regional officials.

He was speaking at the opening of a two-day conference in Tehran on security in Iraq.

"Today there is a strong will... to remove the Zionist regime and implement a legal Palestinian regime all over Palestine. The continued survival of this regime (Israel) means nothing but suffering for the region," Ahmadinejad said.

"The biggest threat today for the region is the existence of the fake Zionist regime," he added, before going on to attack Israel's supporters.

"I am reminding them to stop the crimes of this corrupt government before it is too late, and open the way for a government arising from the votes of the indigenous people of Palestine, all over Palestine," the president said.

He also issued an ominous warning to Western powers.

"Nations in the region will be more furious every day, and it will not be long before this intense fury will lead to a huge explosion," Ahmadinejad said.

"The waves of fury of Muslim nations will not be confined within the boundaries of the region, and the people who close their ears to the cries of the Palestinians and blindly support this regime will be responsible for the consequences," he warned.

Iran does not recognise Israel and is opposed to a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Ahmadinejad has already called for Israel to be "wiped off the map" or moved as far away as Alaska.

I wonder if he really means it?

I Swear
It's True

I was walking up the stairs of a parking garage today, and as I turned a corner I found a man sitting on the stairs, reading a paper and eating his lunch. He was wearing a guard uniform which indicated that he was the security man for the parking garage.

When he looked up at me, I saw that he was an Arab man, and that he had a Hitler mustache. Yes, it's true.

It was not a subtle little mustache. It was a full-on Hitler mustache without a doubt.

I suppressed the urge to beat him senseless, to yell at him, to try to embarass him. I suppressed all my urges, said hello in a cheery voice, and that was that.

Recovered Iraq
Hussein Had
Ricin Factory
In Fallujah

Captain Ed has the scoop:

Ricin toxin is found in the bean of the castor plant. UNMOVIC inspections since December 2002 have verified that the bombed caster oil extraction plant at Fallujah III has been reconstructed on a larger scale....

UNMOVIC inspections and Iraqi declarations confirm that Iraq continues working with organisms that could be used as BW agent stimulates. The documents display after each section the actions that Iraq could take to help in resolving the issue and convincing the UN inspection teams that the activity have stopped or were fruitless and so on.

Barry Dauphin at YARGB asks:

What if Saddam had been given a clean bill of health from Hans & UNMOVIC and the US had been pressured to stand down...what would Saddam be doing today? Why is this question not asked on Meet The Press or in the NY Times?

Friday, July 07, 2006

An Immodest

I believe that in war, if you watch your enemy's behavior with discerning, he will tell you how to beat him. That which most frightens your enemy is buried at the heart of that which gets him the most angry. That which most frightens him is his Achilles Heel. If you can discover what it is that most frightens your opponent, then you know how to beat him.

One of the greatest things about our Islamofascist enemies is they are simply incapable of shutting their mouths. They talk and talk and talk and talk, and in talking they tell us everything we need to know.

So, what is it that gets our cute little Islamofascist enemies the most angry? What makes them burn with a white-hot rage? What is it that will set them into a worldwide temper tantrum of rioting and murder?


It has been noted that the Islamic world is an Honor/Shame culture. If they are not being honored, they feel they are being shamed. The egos of Islamofascists are particularly fragile.

And, of course, insulting their prophet and humiliating Allah does get them very angry. But really, all that serves to do is expose them. When we draw cartoons of Mohammed with a bomb in his turban, yes, then the Islamofascists fly into a tantrum and reveal themselves for the childish morons that they are. But, in the practical world, it does little to help us win the war, other than to make more Westerners aware of how unreasonable they really are.

So, we need to understand how to truly humiliate our enemy. What humiliation is so utterly horrible to those darling little Islamofascists that the very thought will render them a quivering gelatinous mass in a puddle of its own urine and feces?

The Islamofascist mental universe is basically the world of the pre-game football locker room metality writ large. If one wants to understand what will anger and, ultimately, humiliate the Islamofascists, one need only think of what would start a fight in a locker room. What gets testosterone-charged men really angry and/or humiliated?

1) Being called a fag, or having one's manhood called into question.
2) Having one's mother insulted.
3) Having one's girlfriend insulted, violated, or stolen.

Sure, we could sit around and play the dozens with the Islamofascists from here to eternity, and believe me it would be a riot, but the truth is, the real insult to their manhood has to be performed on the battlefield. That's where we will ultimately demonstrate what a pathetic bunch of pussies they really are.

But, there's something else we can do right now which would drive a stake right through their sad, shriveled hearts; Steal Their Women.

"Steal their women?!?" you say. Pastorius, are you crazy? What are we, a barbarian culture, reducing women to chattel and servitude? Are we to act in ways which would make us no better than the Islamofascists? No, we are better than that, and that's exactly why we can steal their women, and their women will actually be happy about it.

Here's my idea:

We put out an announcement across Iraq and Afghanistan that any woman who wants to escape from the slavery of the burqa and Sharia need only present herself to an American official (soldier, or member of the government) and request asylum. She will be whisked away from her former life and brought to America, where she will receive a free education, free housing, and an opportunity at life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

She will not be allowed to bring her husband, son, or father, or any male family member. This is an opportunity which is only open to those women whose servitude is so painful that they are willing to completely sever ties with their old selves, or should I say, lack of selves.

I call this "An Immodest Proposal" because I want to be clear that I am serious as hell, and that this idea is not proposed in the tradition of Jonathan Swift's satire. I believe this idea is not only a strategically sound way to beat our enemy, but also a just and compassionate way to help the women of the Islamic world who are locked up in the ideological slavery of Sharia.

This idea, if implemented successfully will shatter the fragile egos of the Islamofascists precisely because it goes to the heart of male identity. Men, more than anything, want to believe they can take care of their women. If they find that they are unable to, they feel they have been judged to be useless and impotent human beings. A man who believes himself to be useless and impotent is a defeated warrior.

The booty of American military conquest is more free, productive and happy people. Let's keep in that tradition and free the slaves of the Middle East.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

The Mean
Of Europe

I will rip your Being from your Becoming, as soon as I am finished smoking this cigarette.

We Americans are used to thinking our country is crimeridden. But, as this post showed the other day, when it comes to crime, we can't keep up with Europe:

Murder and manslaughter in the U.S.: 16,137 cases in 2004 (5.5 per 100,000 inhabitants). Percent change compared to 2003: -2.4

Murder and manslaughter (moord en doodslag) in Belgium: 959 cases in 2004 (9.1 per 100,000 inhabitants). Percent change compared to 2003: +11,12

Yes, that's right, even though we are all armed to the teeth, you are 84% more likely to be murdered in Belgium than you are in the United States of America.


Neo-Nazis interrupted a German gala to burn a copy of The Diary Of Anne Frank. But, that's not all they burned:

German neo-Nazis tore up and burned a copy of The Diary of Anne Frank after hijacking a traditional gala.

Around 100 skinheads cheered and shouted Sieg Heil as the most poignant memoir of the Holocaust years went up in flames.

They also burned a U.S. flag and sang banned Nazi songs.

Germans were horrified by the latest outrage from the far Right, which comes as the country rides a new wave of peaceful patriotism as it hosts the World Cup.

Uwe Hornburg, a prosecutor investigating the incident, said: 'I am appalled. In 20 years as a prosecutor I have never had a case quite so disturbing.'

The book-burning, which has chilling parallels to the 1930s when Nazi supporters made pyres of books written by Jews, follows a string of high-profile attacks by racist gangs on blacks.

Oh my gosh, the Germans are shocked and appalled, which is strange because Germans consider America and Israel the biggest threats to world peace. Yes, America and Israel are even worse than Iran and North Korea.

The behavior of the Neo-Nazis in the story above is merely the physical manifestation of the German subconcious.

Finsbury Park
Mosque Gets
Extreme Makeover

Yes, they're getting a makeover at the Finsbury Park Mosque, and it is still extreme. But, the media is trying to sell it as a moderation. Watch the taqiyya (that's an Arab word, meaning lies and obfuscation in the service of Jihad) fly:

LONDON — The Finsbury Park mosque, where the one-eyed, hook-handed militant cleric Abu Hamza al-Masri once delivered his fiery sermons and helped turn a religious facility into the target for dozens of international terrorism investigations, is going through a makeover.

During his time at the helm, Hamza, now sitting in a British prison and awaiting possible U.S. extradition, allowed the mosque to become a haven of radical Islam in Europe — a “suicide factory” as one book has called it — which hosted such figures as Zacarias Moussaoui, Richard Reid and, reportedly, three of the four London bombers.

Now, far from being allegedly al-Qaida-linked ...

Pastorius question: Who said they are "far from being al-Qaeda linked? Note that within this article, no Muslim explicitly says that anything has fundamentally changed about the philosophy behing the Mosque.

... the mosque is quietly repairing its reputation from that of a hotbed of radicalism to one of a more moderate institution — albeit a mosque run by a group linked to the fundamentalist Muslim Brotherhood and with an alleged former Hamas commander as a co-trustee.

“This mosque was a national problem, not just a local problem. (In fact) it was an international problem — it wasn’t even a national problem,” said Abdirahman Warsame, the new executive manager of the mosque, now officially named the North Central London Mosque. “Still we are struggling to change the image of the mosque since the extremist group, the Abu Hamza group, was here.”

The Muslim Association of Britain, which is linked to the Muslim Brotherhood, used legal means to gain control of the mosque in 2005 after years of struggle.

Ok so click here to see a list of articles about the outright radicalism of the Muslim Brotherhood.

“While Abu Hamza was there, it became very much a focal point for radical Islamist activity in Britain,” said Sean O’Neill, who along with a fellow reporter for The Times of London, Daniel McGrory, co-wrote, “The Suicide Factory: Abu Hamza and the Finsbury Park Mosque,” which was published this spring.

“There were plots and links to activities stretching to, I think, 26 countries,” O’Neill added.
Gathering place for moderates?The new leadership has been working closely with the local community to turn this mosque into a moderate place of worship, with a program of community and social outreach.

“We are here to engage with the young people who have already been — some of them — maybe politicized by the previous group or who have extremist views,” said Warsame, a tall, soft-spoken Somali who was chosen by the Muslim Association of Britain to manage the mosque.

Note that Warsame says he is there to engage with the young people who have extremist views. He does not say he is there to help change those young people.

Last week, the same association launched a mosques' watchdog intended to tackle extremism by monitoring imams and the content of their sermons.

“Instead of young Muslims seeking guidance outside of the mosque, we need to train spiritual leaders to preach the right religion in our mosques,” Ahmad Sheikh, president of the Muslim Association of Britain and one of five co-trustees of the Finsbury park mosque, said.

These young people were not seeking guidance outside the Mosque. They were getting their extremist views from the Mosque itself.

In Finsbury Park, Warsame brings in different preachers each week to deliver the main Friday sermon — a sharp contrast to the days of Abu Hamza’s absolute control of the mosque.
“We don’t want — how should I say it? — a ‘star imam’ like Abu Hamza. So, they don’t keep a high-profile,” he said.

They don't want a preacher who keeps a "high-profile" because they don't want people to know what is going on in this Mosque.

Still, Warsame echoes common complaints of the British Muslim community that the government is not attentive to its needs.

“The mosque was a national crisis when Abu Hamza was here. Now when Abu Hamza has gone off, and the government sees there is no problem, they just say, ‘Goodbye’.”

Both Sheikh and Warsame pointed out that British Muslims overwhelmingly oppose Prime Minister Tony Blair's foreign policy — notably in relation to Iraq and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict — and suggested the government should be willing to shoulder some of the blame for the radicalization of Muslim youth.

“We want the government to have a public inquiry as to the real cause of the radicalism among British Muslim youth. Where is it coming from? If it is the mosque, we can do our part. If it is the foreign policy, the government has to do its bit,” Sheikh said.

And that, of course, means they want to dictate an Arabist foreign policy to the federal government of the United Kingdom.

The audacity of that statement is astounding. Imagine that your church had become not just a national, but an international problem, extending its poison into 26 countries around the world. Imagine that you try to fix the problem and bring in new preachers, and implement programs to repair the damaged psyches of the young people in your church.

Ok, so now you are imagining that, right?

Now, imagine that all in the same breath your new Pastor demands that the United States fundamentally change its foreign policy to fit the needs of your troubled church.

Imagine that.

Imagine that the New York Times publishes an article selling your churhces bullshit. Imagine that.

Well, I guess that's not too hard to imagine, is it?

What a world we live in.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

The Fragility
Of Our

It's Fourth of July and I have my flag flying in front of my house, I've got my barbecue at the ready, and I have a box of fireworks all set to burn down the neighborhood.

All three extistent generations of my family will be spending the day together. We're going to eat pork chops, drink Coca Cola and Sam Adams, throw a baseball around the yard, and then later in the evening, we're going to head downtown (as we do every year) and watch the freakin' HUGE fireworks display our city puts on.

Of course, the fireworks are a thing of magic for me and the kids. But, they are also a reminder of the truth that our freedom was born of war. In fact, I believe that fireworks would not be so prevalent had not Francis Scott Key penned the following lyric:

Oh, say can you see by the dawn's early light
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars thru the perilous fight,
O'er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming?
And the rocket's red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.

Francis Scott Key's The Star Spangled Banner is about the fragility of our Freedom:

Key, a 35-year-old lawyer and amateur poet, wrote it after witnessing the bombardment of Fort McHenry in Baltimore, Maryland, by British ships in Chesapeake Bay during the War of 1812.

On 3 September 1814, Key and John S. Skinner of Baltimore, Maryland, an American prisoner-exchange agent, set sail from Baltimore aboard the
sloop HMS Minden flying a flag of truce on a mission approved by U.S. President James Madison. Their goal was to secure the release of Dr. William Beanes, the elderly and popular town physician of Upper Marlboro, a friend of Key's who had been captured in Washington, D.C., and had been accused of harboring British deserters. Key and Skinner boarded the British flagship, HMS Tonnant, on 7 September and spoke with General Robert Ross and Admiral Alexander Cochrane over dinner, while they discussed war plans. At first, Ross and Cochrane refused to release Beanes, but relented after Key and Skinner showed them letters written by wounded British prisoners praising Beanes and other Americans for their kind treatment.

Because Key and Skinner had heard details of the plans for the attack on Baltimore, they were held captive until after the battle. During the rainy night, Key had witnessed the bombardment and observed that the fort's smaller "storm flag" continued to fly, but once the shelling had stopped, he would not know how the battle had turned out until dawn. By then, the storm flag had been lowered, and a larger flag had been raised.

Key was inspired by the American victory and the sight of the large American flag flying triumphantly above the fort. This flag, with fifteen stars and fifteen stripes, is today on display in the National Museum of American History, a treasure of the Smithsonian Institution. It was restored in 1914 by Amelia Fowler, and again in 1998 as part of an ongoing conservation program.

Aboard the ship the next day, Key wrote a poem on the back of a letter he had kept in his pocket. At twilight on 16 September, he and Skinner were released in Baltimore. He finished the poem at the Indian Queen Hotel, where he was staying, and he entitled it "Defence of Fort McHenry."

July 4th is, of course, a day to celebrate our Freedom, but it is also a day to remember that we are blessed to have it, to have defended it, and to have the will to still be defending it to this very day.

I pray that we will continue to find the will to defend our Freedom in coming years.

My wife is a first-generation immigrant. Our family knows firsthand how precious the United States of America is to the world at large. We are a beacon of hope and a bulwark against tyranny. God help us to remain so.

And a profound Thank You to our fighting men. I couldn't do what you do.


IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--

That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --

That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Teaches Kids
To Kill Jews
And Infidels

Dateline: Egypt

Husband: What's on TV tonight, honey?

Wife: Well, there's a great new family-friendly show where the host talks directly to children about morality and all the possibilities life has to offer.

Husband: Great, fire up the popcorn. I'll get the kids and start a fire.

On Egyptian TV the other night, Egyptian Cleric Sheik Muhammad Sharaf Al-Din hosted a children’s show on Egypt’s Al-Nas TV, teaching kids to:

1) Hate and kill Jews.

2) Hate and kill infidels, and aspire to “martyrdom” and jihad.

You have to click this link and go watch the videos.

Crime Rate
Is Far
Higher Than

But, but, but ... :

... let’s compare the crime rate in lawless New Orleans with the crime rate in, say, the city it was named for: Orléans, France. In New Orleans, the per capita rate is given in the hundred thousands. Thus, according to this report, the 2004 rate for New Orleans, for all crime, was 6,110.3 per 100,000 population. Pretty awful, when you compare it to say, Minneapolis, which is only 6,278.2 per 100,000 people. Oops. There goes Minneapolis.Well, never mind. There’s a law-abiding city out there somewhere. Let’s try the gang city - Los Angeles. 4,347.4 per 100,000. Hmm…all those illegal aliens and Los Angeles comes in below New Orleans? Are we missing something here? Find the moral, Waldo.

But wait. I set out to compare the gun-owning, rip-snorting, trouble-making American criminal element in New Orleans with its counterpart in Orléans, France. Everyone knows Europe is more evolved than America, more sophisticated, more law-abiding – they sure have plenty of laws to abide by, don’t they? The European species is more restrained, civilized, blah blah, than the crude Homo americanus vulgaris.

Heh. Orléans’ crime rate is 109.24 per thousand people. In our terms, that translates to 10,100 per hundred thousand. So, extrapolating further, Orléans, France, has roughly sixty seven percent more crime than Mayor Nagin’s soggy fair city.

I got this idea from Paul Belien, who reported that

According to Urban Audit, Liège has the highest crime rate of all European cities (EU27), with 256.13 recorded crimes per 1,000 population in 2001.

Here are Interpol 2001 crime statistics (rate per 100,000):

4161 — US
7736 — Germany
6941 — France
9927 — England and Wales

Thus the US has a substantially lower crime rate than the major European countries!

Go read the rest at Gates of Vienna.

City Of
Irvine, California
Signs Agreement
With China
To Ostracize
Democratic Taiwan

Strange goings-on in the city of Irvine, Ca, where city officials have approved an agreement with China to snub their former "Sister City", Taoyuan, Taiwan:

The controversy surrounding Irvine’s new sister city relationship with the Chinese city of Shanghai and the bizarre snub of neighboring Taiwan began with numerous “irregularities,” including breaches of protocol, “odd” outside influences and possible “deliberate deception,” according to a June 21 memo obtained by the Weekly.

Written by Irvine Sister Cities Foundation president James E. Dunning, the three-page document outlines how Henry King, the Shanghai native and husband of Councilman Larry Agran’s executive aide, allegedly usurped the foundation’s authority, embarrassed Irvine, and—improbable as it sounds—set the stage for an international confrontation over Taiwan.

Dunning charges that King, a foundation member, secretly communicated with Communist officials in China before and during the trip, refusing repeated requests to inform fellow delegates; unilaterally crafted a roster for the trip, inviting one person with no ties to the Sister Cities program; and shifted the agenda in Shanghai to include business unrelated to sister city matters.

Perhaps most egregious, King allegedly helped dictate scheduling, at one point putting himself and Irvine city staffer Valerie Larenne in a room alone with Tina Tian, a representative of Shanghai’s Xuhui district. As King stood by without complaint, Tian demanded that Larenne, Irvine’s Community Partnerships Administrator, sign a bizarre agreement.

The contract, which requires nothing from the Chinese, demands that Irvine officials follow Beijing’s lead, and treat the Republic of China, also known as Taiwan, as a breakaway province of the People’s Republic of China. Larenne signed—and then allegedly said nothing of the agreement to her bosses for more than a week.The deal has been blasted in the local media, on blogs and in the streets.

Mayor Beth Krom said she doesn’t understand her critics. She told Orange County Register editorial writer Steven Greenhut she’s “mystified” that anyone could be alarmed about an agreement that “isn’t as controversial as it’s made out to be.”

For starters, Krom might consider that Irvine already has a successful, six-year-old Sister Cities relationship with the Taiwanese city of Taoyuan, and that the United States is formally committed to defend Taiwan if attacked by the People’s Republic China.

The Krom Concordat pledges that “from now on” Irvine’s elected officials won’t visit Taiwan, display Taiwan’s flag, play its national anthem or attend any Taiwanese government functions.

North Korea
Nuclear Attack

Kim Jong Il must be feeling lonely, because he's really ratcheting up the rhetoric:

SEOUL, South Korea - North Korea would respond to a pre-emptive U.S. military attack with an "annihilating strike and a nuclear war," the state-run media said Monday, heightening anti-U.S. rhetoric amid close scrutiny of its missile program.

The Korean Central News Agency, citing an unidentified Rodong Sinmun newspaper "analyst," accused the United States of increasing military pressure on the isolated communist state and basing new spy planes on the Korean Peninsula.

The North Korean threat of retaliation, which is often voiced by its state-controlled media, comes amid U.S. official reports that Pyongyang has shown signs of preparing for a test of a long-range missile. North Korea claims it has the right to such a launch.

On Friday, Pyongyang accused the United States of driving the situation on the Korean Peninsula "to the brink of war," and said it is fully prepared to counter any U.S. aggression.

Monday's report accused Washington of escalating military pressure on the country with war exercises, a massive arms buildup and aerial espionage by basing new spy planes in South Korea.

"This is a grave military provocation and blackmail to the DPRK, being an indication that the U.S. is rapidly pushing ahead in various fields with the extremely dangerous war moves," the dispatch said.

"The army and people of the DPRK are now in full preparedness to answer a pre-emptive attack with a relentless annihilating strike and a nuclear war with a mighty nuclear deterrent," the report said.

DPRK stands for the North's official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

In Gaza

I've noticed some grumbling from Israel supporters over what they perceive as a lack of coherent strategy in Gaza: Here, from Guysen.Israel.News, is some information which sheds a little light on how Israeli leadership is thinking:

During a ceremony at the ''House of the Soldier'' in Tel Aviv, Defense Minister Amir Peretz, specified that the IDF incursion into Gaza would be brief. (Guysen.Israël.News)

"The disengagement gave us the legitimacy to act against terrorist organisations that threaten Israel. These organisations are encouraged by Iran and Syria, who fund their efforts and give them orders, while the Palestinian people pay the price for their actions", he declared.

And there's this:

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has declared that the solution to the crisis surrounding the abduction of the soldier Guilad Shalit "lies in Damascus" . He added that the IDF operation in the Gaza Strip "would be terminated immediately" if Shalit was released.

Pull Pranks
In Paris

The "Youths" are rioting again in Paris (From Guysen.Israel.News):

''Much violence occured last night on the Champs Elysees (Paris), causing more than 20 casualties (wounded) in the police, as well as many among the Portuguese and French fans. These are the same individuals that participated in the November 2005 riots and in the demonstrations against the CPE (First Employment Contract) in March'', declared the ''Action Police CFTC'' union. (Guysen.Israël.News)

"Around 01:00 this morning, a number of youth on the Champs Elysees, carrying Algerian, Morrocan or Tunisian flags, and often concealing their faces under Palestinian keffiehs or hoods, attacked Portuguese fans celebrating the victory of their team.

Many fans were beaten and recovered by firemen and police, some of who were injured by flying objects thrown by these rioters. A car was set on fire at the entrance to the Champs Elysees, near the Place de l'Etoile, and properties were ruined.

Many people who came to celebrate France's victory were attacked.

We can only praise the police intervention, but regret the small number of arrests. These rioters numbered around 1 000 and their sole intent was to steal and disturb the celebration. We praise the exemplary behavior of the Portuguese community who did not respond to the provocations of the rioters. "

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Sometimes You Just Gotta Love Your Enemies:
Hamas Leader Admits They Have Not Recognized Israel


The second in comman at Hamas, Mousa Mohammed Abu Marzook, was interviewed the other day by the German paper Der Spiegel. As per usual, our enemy is telling us the truth:

SPIEGEL ONLINE: Now, Hamas has approved the so-called "Prisoners' Paper," which recommends a two-state solution. Does that mean that Hamas is now prepared to recognize the state of Israel?

Abu Marzook: With this agreement, we have primarily agreed to strengthen the resistance in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. Aside from that, we have agreed on the goal of establishing a Palestinian state in these areas.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: Doesn't that mean that Hamas inevitably accepts the Israeli state in the rest of that area?

Abu Marzook: The paper does not say that at all. It is purely about the future of our people and about how a government uniting all Palestinian factions can work on building their independent state.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: And does Hamas also believe that an Israeli state can exist alongside a Palestinian state?

Abu Marzook: Hamas has always said clearly: We will never accept the occupation, because it is not legal, not correct and not just.

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

Thanks, Mousa.

UPDATE: Gormless Norman comments:

Good luck to Hamas trying to convince the MSM that they actually don't recognize Israel, even though this has been Hamas' "platform" since their birth.

Hamas could drop a nuke on Tel Aviv, and the MSM would call that "reaching out" or "seeking to interact" with Israel, and the Israelis would be blamed for melting into glass instead of offering more concessions as they should.

It must be very frustrating for our enemies. They say, "We hate you because you are filthy infidels, and we hope to wipe you off the face of the Earth as soon as possible." Our MSM and leadership say, "oh, I see, you are frustrated about the lack of job opportunities in the banlieux!"

I wonder anyone has had the bright idea that perhaps we should take them at their word?