Saturday, April 28, 2007

A 10-Day Attack
Could Delay
Iran's Nuclear Race
By Years

Now, that's what I'm talking about:

"Iran's nuclear program can be thrown back by years in a ten day attack using thousands of Tomahawk cruise missiles," Prime Minister Ehud Olmert was quoted as saying in an interview published online by the German magazine Focus on Saturday.

Olmert had reportedly said that it would not be possible to completely halt Iran's race to attain nuclear capability, but that a brisk attack that would delay it significantly was "technically feasible." While saying that Israel does not seek military confrontation, Olmert added that "nobody excludes it."

Only a few hours after the publication of the Focus article in Israeli media outlets, the Prime Minister's Office issued a statement denying the report.

The PMO said Olmert was giving a Focus reporter only general information and that he was speaking off the record.

According to Focus, Olmert said military measures would be considered only if existing UN sanctions, and "other sanctions" would fail to bring success.

Weighing the consequences of such a scenario, Olmert said that "we must also ask ourselves whether after a military procedure, the Iranian people as a whole would not become our enemy. And would not such an action pit other Muslim nations against us, thus creating even more problems?"

Friday, April 27, 2007

First Light

Music by Brian Eno and Harold Budd - Video by Raphael DuBois

Among Fields Of Crystal

Music by Brian Eno and Harold Budd

Music From Giacomo Puccini's Opera
Madame Butterfly

Because They Hate

Brigitte Gabriel is a woman who grew up in Lebanon. Here, in a quote from her book Because They Hate, she tells of the extent of Muslim hatred of Jews (with thanks to the fine blog Living Creatures):

... speaking about when her mother was cared for in an Israeli hospital during the Lebanese civil war:

"I also learned about hatred, intolerance, and bigotry. The Muslim woman who was in the room with my mother and had stayed in the hospital for about twelve days. And even after ten days, when the doctors left the room after changing her bandages and checking on her in their morning tour, she said, with an evil, hate-filled look on her face, "I hate you all. I wish you were all dead." And for the first time in my life I saw evil. I realized that this Muslim couldn't love the Jews even after they had saved her life. And when you are unable to be grateful to the people who saved your life, you have no soul. When humans become devoid of compassion, a sense of forgiveness, and open-mindedness, when they surrender their humanity to hate, they become an evil force of darkness that is irreconcilable with hope, love and peace."

Muslim Children
Destroy Classroom
Over Pigs

From Atlas Shrugs:

Muslim Children Destroy Class Over Pigs in AmsterdamIRIS Blog

Nine year-old Muslim children destroy a Dutch classroom because of a discussion of a pig on a farm and the only response is to expunge pigs from the curriculum:

A school in Amsterdam has halted lessons on rural life because the Islamic children refused to talk about pigs. Reporting this, Alderman Lodewijk Asscher said he wants to take "tough measures." Subsidies for all kinds of dubious groups must stop and parents of unruly children penalised financially.

Asscher told newspaper De Volkskrant: "A primary school in Amsterdam-Noord has decided no longer to teach about living on a farm. Various pupils began to demolish the classroom when the pig came up for discussion. Apparently it has gone that far. These children, 9, 10 years old, have not been given even the most elementary rules at home about why they must go to school."

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Have A

I'd do her.

From Little Green Footballs:

In the religious apartheid kingdom of Saudi Arabia, women are forced into shapeless black sacks, forbidden to drive, and beaten by the religious police if they accidentally expose an ankle, but camels have

GUWEI’IYYA, Saudi Arabia (Reuters) - The legs are long, the eyes are big, the bodies curvaceous.

Contestants in this Saudi-style beauty pageant have all the features you might expect anywhere else in the world, but with one crucial difference — the competitors are camels.

This week, the Qahtani tribe of western Saudi Arabia has been welcoming entrants to its Mazayen al-Ibl competition, a parade of the “most beautiful camels” in the desolate desert region of Guwei’iyya, 120 km (75 miles) west of Riyadh.

“In Lebanon they have Miss Lebanon,” jokes Walid, moderator of the competition’s Web site. “Here we have Miss Camel.” ...

“Beautiful, beautiful!” the judge mutters quietly to himself, inspecting the group. Finalists have been decorated with silver bands and body covers.

“The nose should be long and droop down, that’s more beautiful,” explains Sultan al-Qahtani, one of the organisers. “The ears should stand back, and the neck should be long. The hump should be high, but slightly to the back.”

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

PBS' Homage To Islamofascists

From Investors Business Daily:

PBS just aired a “documentary” intended to chronicle “the diversity of Muslim life in America.” So why does it give so much face time to anti-American Islamists?

Secular Muslims who want to reform Islam are nowhere to be found in producer Robert MacNeil’s film, “The Muslim Americans,” part of a PBS series called “America at a Crossroads.” Instead, extremists masquerading as moderates are lionized.

Take Sheik Hamza Yusuf, who has a starring role. According to MacNeil, the California imam preaches “tolerance” and “peace,” and even hiply incorporates the “Super Bowl” into his sermons. This, we are told, is the progressive face of Islam in America.

To prove Yusuf’s bona fides as a moderate and a patriot, MacNeil notes that he was one of the Muslim clerics invited to the White House after 9/11. But he leaves out the fact that just two days before the attacks, the same imam suggested in a speech to Muslims that America deserved severe punishment.

“This country is facing a terrible fate,” Yusuf said in California on Sept. 9, 2001. “The reason for that is that this country stands condemned like Europe stood condemned because of what it did. And lest people forget that Europe suffered two world wars after conquering the Muslim lands, Europe’s countries were devastated, they were completely destroyed. Their young people killed.”

Monday, April 23, 2007


David Crosby and Graham Nash in concert, circa 1970.

Ain't Talkin'

An extraordinary song by Bob Dylan accompanied by a video produced by a fan.

Those Nutty
Muslims -
Now My Will
But Thine Be Done -
Kill Her

The other day I put up a post about how a prominent Imam in Pittsburgh had called for the death of Ayaan Hirsi Ali. Check out the Imam's justification for his fatwa:

I called the number and someone picked up and said hello. I said I was calling with regard to Imam Fouad ElBayly. The person on the other end said, “Speaking.” (!!!!)

Me: Is this Imam Fouad ElBayly?

ElBayly: Speaking.

Me: I understand that you called for the murder of Ayaan Hirsi Ali.

ElBayly: Oh no no, that was not correct.

Me: I have the quote right here. You said, “She has been identified as one who has defamed the faith. If you come into the faith, you must abide by the laws, and when you decide to defame it deliberately, the sentence is death.”

ElBayly: Yes, but that is not my word. That is the call of God.

Me: So you said that.

ElBayly: Before anybody gets into the relations with Islam [I couldn’t type fast enough to type everything he said] ... you don’t get into the relationship with Islam [...] what Ali did is called corruption on earth. It is worse than murder. She was disturbing the peace. That is not a peaceful life.

How can we live with such a "faith"?

The answer is, we can't. People like El-Bayly need to be removed from Western Civilization entirely.

Faith and Fantasy:
America In
The Middle East
1776 to the Present

From Front Page Magazine (with thanks to Olivia):

Among the more successful—and illogical—propaganda efforts of the Democrat Party is the widely accepted notion that conservative Christianity is a natural hotbed of anti-Semitism and Political Enemy Number One for American Jews. As someone who grew up in churches that were to the right of Jerry Falwell, I always found this notion to be mysterious at best. The fact is that the more literally an evangelical Christian takes the Bible, the more of a “Zionist” he is likely to be.

Theology aside, it’s only natural-- nearly all of best stories he grows up with in Sunday School feature Jewish heroes fighting for their homeland.
If I had a nickel for every time I heard a preacher refer to the modern state of Israel—or its wartime successes—as a “miracle” and a result of divine intervention, I’d be posting this from a lot bigger house in a lot warmer climate. My experience is corroborated by historian Michael Oren’s fascinating new book, Power, Faith and Fantasy: America in the Middle East 1776 to the Present, which shows that there is a direct correlation between the political relevance of Evangelical Christians in the United States and strong support by the American government for a State of Israel.

Astonishingly, Oren is the first historian to attempt a single volume history of America’s involvement in the Middle East. As his extensive bibliography suggests, a lot has been written on various parts of this history; but Oren says that his research did not turn up one overview of the subject. He fills that gap.

When Americans think about our involvement in the Middle East, they generally assume it to be a fairly modern phenomenon, centered around the State of Israel or the need for gasoline-- both big issues in the Post-WWII era. Politicians on both extremes feed this misperception.
Democrats daily proclaim that if we just had more windmills or wind-up rubber band powered cars, we could ignore the region because all we get out of it is oil. The Buchanan Brigades promote the idea that anything we do to promote civilization in the region is probably at the behest of Israel—or at least AIPAC.

Support for Israel is also a key element of the media’s new all-purpose pejorative, “neoconservative.” But unless you think “neo” should be used to describe a movement that became prominent in the 1820s, that’s a misnomer. In fact, support for a Jewish homeland in Palestine predates any paleoconservative” isolationist movement in the United States by at least a hundred years.

Critics might argue that wild-eyed Evangelicals of the 19th Century who followed the religious revival known as the Second Awakening wanted to restore Israel to Palestine to hasten the Kingdom of God; but it is only recently that a policy of bringing freedom to the Muslim world and a pro-Jewish policy in the Middle East had any political punch. Wrong again. As Oren illustrates, the Middle East has been important to Americans since before the Founding. Even Pilgrim governor William Bradford and Puritan preacher Cotton Mather expressed hope for a Jewish homeland in Palestine. In fact, he asserts, the reality of
Muslim aggression against Mediterranean trade was a major impetus in both the forming of the United States Navy, and a Constitution with a strong enough central government to build it into a major force.

Most history texts, if they even deal with the subject, treat the Barbary corsairs as mainly a piracy issue. But the Founders, Oren writes, were shocked to confront the ideology of jihad. It led them to believe that diplomacy with—and
ransom payments to-- the “Musselmen” would not be a long-term solution. Even George Washington, no fan of needless “foreign entanglements,” proposed that “such banditti for half the sum that is paid them be exterminated from the earth.”

Once the Barbary Pirates were dealt with, most history books record that Mediterranean trade opened up for Americans, and leave it at that. But as Oren records, Americans became a dominant commercial presence in the region—and a not insignificant military and cultural presence as well.

The most fascinating section of Power, Faith and Fantasy is Oren’s account of the vast collection of Americans-- missionaries, adventurers, pilgrims and military people-- who flocked to the Middle East throughout the 1800s. This is a largely untold story in modern history texts—though many famous Americans made the trip, and wrote enormously popular accounts of their journeys.

Perhaps that’s because the most influential Americans in the Middle East of the 19th Century were missionaries, a verbotten subject in modern American education. But in the 1800s, they had the ear of Presidents and Secretaries of State, the attention and support of the public, and the protection of American gunboats.

The “Restoration Movement” officially began with a sermon in Boston’s famed Old South Church by Levi Parsons to kick off what would be a century of missionary efforts in Palestine.

Interestingly, the movement’s most famous treatise was The Valley of Vision, or the Dry Bones of Israel Revisited by George Bush—yes, the forebear of two presidents.

Samuel Clemens’ first book as Mark Twain, Innocents Abroad, was a debunking of American fantasies about the exotic Middle East and a huge bestseller that made his career. Herman Melville took the tour, hoping to relieve his writer’s block by getting on the Mideast travel book bandwagon, but was soured by the squalor of a place he’d had exotic fantasies about. U.S. Grant and Secretary of State William Seward also made pilgrimages, and one of Abraham Lincoln’s last words was to suggest to his wife that they should tour the Middle East after the war was over.

Some of the most fascinating chapters are those dealing with America and Egypt. Egypt became important during the Civil War as competition for Confederate cotton, and took a huge economic hit when it became the American interest to once again promote the crop in the South. Among the more ill-fated expeditions recounted in the book—and there are many—was that of prominent Civil War veterans helping to establish a professional army in Egypt. They began their stay as honored guests, but those who survived were treated as scapegoats for Egyptian shortcomings on the battlefield. Their story encompasses each of Oren’s themes: Power, faith and fantasy.

Most missionaries had a goal of establishing a homeland in Palestine for their “theological cousins,” the Jews, Oren writes. However, they were about as successful at that as they were in converting very many Muslims. Probably the most enduring legacy of those missionaries—many of whom died from disease or terrorists—was the establishing of modern hospitals and schools in the region.

It was missionaries who called world attention to the genocide of Armenians by the Turks and tried to provide relief, making this event a cause celebre in the United States. In a similar manner to modern relations with China, the United States juggled keeping good trade agreements going with the Ottoman Empire with condemnation of the plight of the Armenians.

While Oren explains the revivalist beginnings of the Restoration movement that spawned the missionary expansion in Palestine, he is a little more vague about the theological leanings of the missionaries at the later half of the century and early 20th Century who cooled on the Zionist movement. He does give a clue, however, by mentioning that many of them were Ivy League grads and from “mainstream” denominations. The fact that this cooling of enthusiasm happened around the time that Progressivism was infecting the prestigious American seminaries is probably a major factor.

Ironically, it was about the same time that secularism was dampening enthusiasm for Zionism in the missionary community that American Jews finally took up the cause in the post-WWI years. It was largely led by secular and socialist Jewish groups. For decades religious American Jews had shied away from Zionism and even spoken out against it, fearing it would make them look less American.

Go read the whole thing.

Move Over, Keith Jarrett

It's Nora, the piano-playing cat.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

How To Disappear Completely

A live performance by Radiohead. (Thanks to Pim's Ghost for sending this to me.)




Fatwa Of Death

On Hirsi Ali

Hirsi Ali was chased from her native country of Somalia by the oppressiveness of Islam. She fled to the Netherlands. There, she rose in Dutch society eventually becoming a Member of Parliament.

But, the Islamofascists are relentless in their pursuit and attempted destruction of the decent. And, so Hirsi Ali found that she had a fatwa on her head in Europe. When the Lefties in the Dutch government started making noise about taking away her 24-hour armed guard, she fled the Netherlands to live here in the United States.

Now, Muslims here are beginning to threaten to kill her. From Little Green Footballs:

When ex-Muslim Ayaan Hirsi Ali appeared at the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown, Muslim groups tried to have her speech shut down. And they made it clear that if they had the power, and US law were written according to shari’a, Hirsi Ali would not simply be prohibited from speaking.

According to the president of the Johnstown Islamic Center, Imam Fouad ElBayly, she’d be dead.

And in a perfect example of the bizarre disconnect between reality and the shiny happy multicultural world of the media, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review calls this a “debate on religious freedom."

This isn’t in Afghanistan. It’s in Pittsburgh.

And, check out this quote from the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review:

“It’s a very merciful religion if you try to understand it.”