Monday, 11 June 2007
Clashes re-erupted in Gaza early Monday when gunmen opened fire in the house of Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh of Hamas.
There were no immediate reports of casualties in the attack on Haniyeh’s house in the Shati refugee camp next to Gaza City. It was the first time in a month of infighting that Haniyeh was an apparent target, underlining an escalation in tactics by the warring sides.
At least three Palestinians were killed in gun battles between Fatah and Hamas combatants in the Gaza Strip Sunday.
Among the casualties was the imam of a Hamas-affiliated mosque, who was executed by Fatah gunmen.
Earlier Palestinian sources reported that a member of Fatah’s Force 17 plummeted to his death Sunday after being thrown by Hamas gunmen from the 15th floor of a Gaza City high-rise. The Fatah man,
Muhammad Sawirky, 25, was kidnapped along with another Force 17 member near one of the city’s mosques; his body was found several hours later with numerous signs of violence on it, according to medical sources.
The Fatah member’s death prompted clashes in different parts of the city; at least 11 people were injured.
Meanwhile, the Presidential Guard, which includes Force 17, accused Hamas of attacking and abusing its members and warned that such acts may result in an escalation of violence between the rival factions. --from this news item
How do you feel when you read about the Fatah-Hamas warfare, a war over turf and power, with the Slow Jihadists eager to turn on the tap of the Infidel Jizyah (that "foreign aid") and willing to take their time in attacking Israel, and the truest of True Believers, the Fast Jihadists, unwilling to do so, being less worldly and less corrupt that the Slow Jihadists emblemized by the outwardly-generally-accepted-accounting-principles soft demeanor of that longtime Arafat collaborator, up to his neck in blood, Mahmoud Abbas?
Are you sorry? Do you wish it would end? Do you think this "chaos" is a "catastrophe" for Infidels, or something else? Isn't it, rather, a very useful Demonstration Project of a society, without a despot to reign it in, and to channel its aggression toward Infidels, on Islam?
Can you think of other places in the neighborhood where such an outcome might do more to further American, and Infidel interests, and provide another example of Muslim failure to compromise, Muslim aggression, Muslim violence, provide an even bigger Demonstration Project, particularly for those in Western Europe now waking from their deep sleep of unreason and evasion?
If you can think of one, please write the name of that place on a postcard, and send it to President George Bush, The White House, Washington, D. C. Just write on it: "After reading, please forward to Very Big Grand Strategy Office in the Pentagon."
Keep those cards coming in.
Eventually even those terminally confused in Washington will begin to get the idea.
Posted on 06/11/2007 8:20 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Monday, 11 June 2007
The Sunday Boston Globe carried a picture of ululating women, almost all of them Somalis, with a handful of Arabs and one or two local Ingrid-Mattson clones, those who had either found their Spiritual Search at an end when the bus stopped at the arret marked "Islam" or had married some liquid-brown-eyed "Palestinian" or other Arab with whom they had had by now two or three children, not to mention True Happiness as submissive and hijabbed and liberated-from-the-male-gaze and the horrible-Infidel-objectification-of-women that, as we all know, makes life hell - hell, I tell you, hell -- for women in the West, from Segolene Royal to Katherine Hepburn to Marina Tsvetaeva to Marie Curie to Eleanor Roosevelt. Hell, hell, hell.
Now why do you suppose, since there were 2,000 people, almost all of them men, and many of them bearded, screaming in mad nurembergian unison "Allahu Akbar" as the symbol of towering Muslim dominance -- that 140-foot minaret -- was capped, why do you suppose that of all the photographs that must have been taken by the photographer, The Globe chose to show not the men, who arranged for that mosque, who will attend that mosque, who will dominate that mosque as they dominate within Islam, but rather a handful of colorfully-draped, Hamitic ladies, not nearly as disturbing as would be that photograph of the men?
And one would like to know -- did anyone at all capture the scene in other, possibly more disturbing photographs? Were there videos taken at the time? And if so, perhaps those videos could be uploaded onto the Internet, so that the Menino Mosque, the Boston Redevelopment Authority Mosque, the mosque paid for partly by the taxpayers of Boston swindled out of receiving the market price for the valuable land on which the mosque is being built, and by individuals or groups or possibly even the government of Saudi Arabia, it would be enlightening for Infidels, in Boston, in Massachusetts, and around the country, to share in the delight, to share in the pleasure, taken by the allahu-akbar men as the 140-foot minaret towered above all else around.
As for the American flag -- why even bother to note whether it was right-side up or not? The American flag, on such an occasion, is nothing at all -- it's merely a prop, for the cameras, for the eyes of Infidels.
Posted on 06/11/2007 8:09 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Monday, 11 June 2007
According to the Radio Times BBC’s Panorama tonight (BBC1 – 8.30pm) is
Princes, Planes and Payoffs . . . investigates massive corruption involving the sale of arms worth billions of pounds between the Saudis and Britain. (NOTE as Panorama reacts to news, its subject matter may change)
It clashes with the excellent Springwatch, so I expect I will be in the kitchen watching on the old portable, unless the subject matter is “subjected to change”.
This article from The Telegraph gives an idea of what to expect. And I don't accept the comparison with the Tudors. That was 400 years ago in any case.
Posted on 06/11/2007 7:54 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Monday, 11 June 2007
The New Duranty Times (that's right, the New Duranty Times) published what they termed "the rules of jihadi etiquette" yesterday in their week in review section. (hat tip: LGF) They are:
Rule No. 1: You can kill bystanders without feeling a lot of guilt.
The Koran, as translated by the University of Southern California Muslim Student Association’s Compendium of Muslim Texts, generally prohibits the slaying of innocents, as in Verse 33 in Chapter 17 (Isra’, The Night Journey, Children of Israel): “Nor take life, which Allah has made sacred, except for just cause.”
But the Koran also orders Muslims to resist oppression, as verses 190 and 191 of Chapter 2 (The Cow) instruct: “Fight in the cause of Allah with those who fight with you, but do not transgress limits; for Allah loveth not transgressors. And slay them wherever ye catch them, and turn them out from where they have turned you out, for tumult and oppression are worse than slaughter. ...”
In the typical car bombing, some Islamists say, God will identify those who deserve to die — for example, anyone helping the enemy — and send them to hell. The other victims will go to paradise. “The innocent who is hurt, he won’t suffer,” Dr. Massari says. “He becomes a martyr himself.”
There is one gray area. If you are a Muslim who has sinned, getting killed by a suicide bomber will clean some of your slate for Judgment Day, but precisely where God draws the line between those who go to heaven or hell is not spelled out.
Rule No. 2: You can kill children, too, without needing to feel distress.
True, Islamic texts say it is unlawful to kill children, women, the old and the infirm. In the Sahih Bukhari, a respected collection of sermons and sayings of the Prophet Muhammad, verse 4:52:257 refers to Ghazawat, a battle in which Muhammad took part. “Narrated Abdullah: During some of the Ghazawat of the Prophet a woman was found killed. Allah’s Apostle disapproved the killing of women and children.”
But militant Islamists including extremists in Jordan who embrace Al Qaeda’s ideology teach recruits that children receive special consideration in death. They are not held accountable for any sins until puberty, and if they are killed in a jihad operation they will go straight to heaven. There, they will instantly age to their late 20s, and enjoy the same access to virgins and other benefits as martyrs receive.
Islamic militants are hardly alone in seeking to rationalize innocent deaths, says John O. Voll, a professor of Islamic history at Georgetown University. “Whether you are talking about leftist radicals here in the 1960s, or the apologies for civilian collateral damage in Iraq that you get from the Pentagon, the argument is that if the action is just, the collateral damage is justifiable,” he says.
Rule No. 3: Sometimes, you can single out civilians for killing; bankers are an example.
In principle, nonfighters cannot be targeted in a militant operation, Islamist scholars say. But the list of exceptions is long and growing.
Civilians can be killed in retribution for an enemy attack on Muslim civilians, argue some scholars like the Saudi cleric Abdullah bin Nasser al-Rashid, whose writings and those of other prominent Islamic scholars have been analyzed by the Combating Terrorism Center, a research group at the United States Military Academy at West Point, N.Y.
Shakir al-Abssi, whose Qaeda-minded group, Fatah Al Islam, has been fighting Lebanese soldiers since May 20, says some government officials are fair game. He was sentenced to death in Jordan for helping to organize the slaying of the American diplomat Laurence Foley in 2002, and said in an interview with The New York Times that while he did not specifically choose Mr. Foley to be killed, “Any person that comes to our region with a military, security or political aim, then he is a legitimate target.”
Others like Atilla Ahmet, a 42-year-old Briton of Cypriot descent who is awaiting trial in England on terrorism charges, take a broader view. “It would be legitimate to attack banks because they charge interest, and this is in violation of Islamic law,” Mr. Ahmet said last year.
Rule No. 4: You cannot kill in the country where you reside unless you were born there.
Militants living in a country that respects the rights of Muslims have something like a peace contract with the country, says Omar Bakri, a radical sheik who moved from London to Lebanon two years ago under pressure from British authorities.
Militants who go to Iraq get a pass as expeditionary warriors. And the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks did not violate this rule since the hijackers came from outside the United States, Mr. Bakri said.
“When I heard about the London bombings, I prayed that no bombers from Britain were involved,” he said, fearing immigrants were responsible. As it turned out, the July 7, 2005, attack largely complied with this rule. Three of the four men who set off the bombs had been born in Britain; the fourth moved there from Jamaica as an infant.
Mr. Bakri says he does not condone violence against innocent people anywhere. But some of the several hundred young men who studied Islam with him say they have no such qualms.
“We have a voting system here in Britain, so anyone who is voting for Tony Blair is not a civilian and therefore would be a legitimate target,” says Khalid Kelly, an Irish-born Islamic convert who says he studied with Mr. Bakri in London.
Rule No. 5: You can lie or hide your religion if you do this for jihad.
Muslims are instructed by the Koran to be true to their religion. “Therefore stand firm (in the straight Path) as thou art commanded, thou and those who with thee turn (unto Allah), and transgress not (from the Path), for He seeth well all that you do,” says verse 112 of Chapter 11 (Hud). Lying is allowed only when it is deemed a necessity, for example when being tortured, or when an innocuous deception serves a good purpose, scholars say.
But some militants appear to shirk this rule to blend in with non-Muslim surroundings or deflect suspicion, says Maj. Gen. Achraf Rifi, the general director of Lebanon’s internal security force who oversaw a surveillance last year of a Lebanese man suspected of plotting to blow up the PATH train under the Hudson River.
“We thought the story couldn’t be true, especially when we followed this young man,” General Rifi said. “He was going out, drinking, chasing girls, drove a red MG.” But he says the man, who is now awaiting trial in Lebanon, confessed, and Mr. Rifi recalled that the Sept. 11 hijacker who came from Lebanon frequented discos in Beirut.
Mr. Voll takes a different view of the playboy-turned-militant phenomenon. He says the Sept. 11 hijackers might simply have been “guys who enjoyed a good drink” and that militant leaders may be seeking to do a “post facto scrubbing up of their image” by portraying sins as a ruse.
Rule No. 6. You may need to ask your parents for their consent.
Militant Islamists interpret the Koran and the separate teachings of Muhammad that are known as the Sunna as laying out five criteria to be met by people wanting to be jihadis. They must be Muslim, at least 15 and mature, of sound mind, debt free and have parental permission.
The parental rule is currently waived inside Iraq, where Islamists say it is every Muslim’s duty to fight the Americans, Dr. Massari says. It is optional for residents of nearby countries, like Jordan.
In Zarqa, Jordan, the 24-year-old Abu Ibrahim says he is waiting for another chance to be a jihadi after Syrian officials caught him in the fall heading to Iraq. He is taking the parental rule one step further, he said. His family is arranging for him to marry, and he feels obligated to disclose his jihad plans to any potential bride.
“I will inform my future wife of course about my plans, and I hope that, God willing, she might join me,” he said.
Posted on 06/11/2007 7:46 AM by Rebecca Bynum
Monday, 11 June 2007
The Guardian: The government was last night fighting to contain the fallout over £1bn in payments to a Saudi prince as the attorney general came under renewed pressure to explain how much he knew about the affair.
While in public the government was issuing partial denials about its role in the controversy, in private there were desperate efforts to secure a new BAE £20bn arms deal with Saudi Arabia.
And any hopes that the furore could be halted were dashed last night when the Guardian learned that the world's anti-corruption organisation, the OECD, was poised to resume its own inquiry into why the British government suddenly abandoned its investigations into the £43bn al-Yamamah arms deal...
The Guardian has this week published accusations that £30m a quarter - for at least 10 years - was paid into accounts controlled by Prince Bandar at the Riggs bank in Washington...
The director of the SFO took responsibility for the decision to withhold information. In a statement, Robert Wardle said the decision was made by his own organisation "having regard to the need to protect national security".
The Guardian investigation has revealed that:
· The attorney general became aware of these payments because of the SFO inquiry into BAE corruption allegations.
· He recognised the vulnerability of the government to accusations of complicity over a long period in the secret payments.
· There is no dispute that, as reported by the Guardian, the fact of the payments was concealed from the OECD when it demanded explanations for the dropping of the SFO inquiry.
· UK government officials have been exposed as seeking to undermine the OECD process, and complaining that its Swiss chairman has been too outspoken.
· When, before publication, the Guardian originally asked the attorney general's office who was responsible for concealing the information from the OECD, the newspaper was told: "The information presented to the OECD bribery working group ... was prepared by AGO and SFO".
The AGO is the attorney general's office. Both departments report to Lord Goldsmith himself.
Last night, when Lord Goldsmith was asked if the concealment was done with his knowledge, he said he could not respond. His spokesman had previously said that full evidence had not been given to the OECD because of "national security" considerations. He also refused to discuss the allegations concerning the payments. "I am not going into the detail of any of the individual allegations," he said.
It also emerged yesterday that Des Browne, the defence secretary, held talks this week with the Saudi crown prince, Prince Sultan bin Abdul Aziz - the father of Prince Bandar - to try to secure a £20bn arms deal for BAE Systems...
Posted on 06/11/2007 7:32 AM by Rebecca Bynum
Monday, 11 June 2007
I didn’t notice anything about the “Enough” demonstration on Saturday in the British press (which doesn’t mean it wasn’t there, just not so prominent I couldn’t miss it) but the Jerusalem Post carries this report.
Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh addressed around 2,000 pro-Palestinian protesters gathered in Trafalgar Square in central London via satellite on Saturday, who were using the 40th anniversary of the Six Day War to demonstrate against Israel and call for the end of the occupation.
The protest, which had been in the planning stages since the beginning of the year, had hoped to attract some 10,000, however.
"On this painful anniversary of the occupation of the rest of Palestinian land, I can only stress the following," Haniyeh told the crowd. "First we appeal for Palestinian rights similar to other peoples in the world; second, we appeal that Palestinian people's [have the] right to defend themselves and resist the occupation in accordance with divine laws and international accords and conventions. We emphasize the right of return for Palestinian refugees."
The rally was organized by the 'Enough!' coalition made up of UK-based non-governmental organizations, charities, trade unions and religious groups, and protesters called for an "end to the occupation" and "justice for the Palestinians," putting sole responsibility and the onus of blame on Israel.
A counter-protest by a group called 'Dayenu!' demonstrated in support of Israel. . . Other speakers at the protest included Azzam Tamimi from the Muslim Association of Britain which is part of the Muslim Brotherhood.
Something Jewish said A group of Jews and Christians have held a counter demonstration to combat a pro-Palestinian march on London to mark the 1967 Six Day War. . . According to organisers, the Enough! march attracted 20,000 (gained a nought there I think) people but others put it at no more than 5,000. . . (or less)
Posted on 06/11/2007 7:21 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Monday, 11 June 2007
Muslim nations, groups and groupuscules (as Hugh would say) are playing us like a fiddle all over the world. Here is evidence that Sudan has joined the game.
LA Times: WASHINGTON — Sudan has secretly worked with the CIA to spy on the insurgency in Iraq, an example of how the U.S. has continued to cooperate with the Sudanese regime even while condemning its suspected role in the killing of tens of thousands of civilians in Darfur.
President Bush has denounced the killings in Sudan's western region as genocide and has imposed sanctions on the government in Khartoum. But some critics say the administration has soft-pedaled the sanctions to preserve its extensive intelligence collaboration with Sudan...
Sudan has become increasingly valuable to the United States since the Sept. 11 attacks because the Sunni Arab nation is a crossroads for Islamic militants making their way to Iraq and Pakistan.
That steady flow of foreign fighters has provided cover for Sudan's Mukhabarat intelligence service to insert spies into Iraq, officials said.
"If you've got jihadists traveling via Sudan to get into Iraq, there's a pattern there in and of itself that would not raise suspicion," said a former high-ranking CIA official familiar with Sudan's cooperation with the agency. "It creates an opportunity to send Sudanese into that pipeline."
As a result, Sudan's spies have often been in better position than the CIA to gather information on Al Qaeda's presence in Iraq, as well as the activities of other insurgent groups.
"There's not much that blond-haired, blue-eyed case officers from the United States can do in the entire Middle East, and there's nothing they can do in Iraq," said a second former CIA official familiar with Sudan's cooperation. "Sudanese can go places we don't go. They're Arabs. They can wander around." ...
In the mid-1990s, the CIA's relationship with Sudan was severed. At the time, Sudan was providing safe harbor for Osama bin Laden and other Al Qaeda leaders. But ties were reestablished shortly after the Sept. 11 attacks, when the CIA reopened its station in Khartoum.
Initially, the collaboration focused on information Sudan could provide about Al Qaeda's activities before Bin Laden left for Afghanistan in 1996, including Al Qaeda's pursuit of chemical, biological or nuclear weapons and its many business fronts and associates there.
Since then, Sudan has moved beyond sharing historical information on Al Qaeda into taking part in ongoing counter-terrorism operations, focusing on areas where its assistance is likely to be most appreciated.
"Iraq," a U.S. intelligence official said, "is where the intelligence is going to have the most impact on Americans."
In 2005, the CIA sent an executive jet to Sudan to fly the country's intelligence chief, Maj. Gen. Salah Abdallah Gosh, to Washington for meetings with officials at agency headquarters.
Gosh has not returned to Washington since, but a former official said that "there are liaison visits every day" between the CIA and the Mukhabarat.
Posted on 06/11/2007 7:05 AM by Rebecca Bynum
Monday, 11 June 2007
A court in Egypt has ruled that the American University of Cairo cannot ban women from wearing the niqab - the full Islamic face covering - on campus.
The ruling comes after a lengthy legal battle between the university and a female student, who was told she had to remove the niqab for security reasons.
Supporters of the niqab greeted the ruling as a victory for freedom.
But officials at the university have said it indicates a drift towards Islamic extremism.
A committee of the High Administrative Court upheld a 2001 court ruling that the university could not ban Iman al-Zainy from wearing the niqab as it was a matter of personal and religious freedom under law. (Oh that religious freedom were extended to Christians!)
The ruling does let the university place some restrictions on the niqab, court sources told Reuters news agency. Female students could be required to show their faces to security guards at university entrances.
Posted on 06/11/2007 4:41 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Monday, 11 June 2007
At least Five people have been feared dead (earlier the 5 deaths were reported as confirmed, hopefully the death toll is and will remain lower) and almost 30 admitted at Kenyatta National Hospital in critical condition afer the Monday morning explosion that occurred outside City Gate Restaurant.
Police commissioner major general Hussein Ali confirmed the death of one person and injuries but the recovery and evacuation process is still on going.
The injured have been rushed to various city hospitals.
Unconfirmed reports indicate a suicide bomber detonated outside the City Gate hotel in the city center.
Eye witness accounts now say that, a person of Asian origin was seen carrying a paper bag, and tried to board a City Hoppa bus, when the bomb exploded.
Already Kenyatta National Hospital has received some 31 casualties who were injured in the explosion. Many had deep cuts, burns and fractures. The Hospital administration says they are well equipped and will handle the casualties as they arrive.
Bomb experts are already on site to ascertain whether the early morning incident was a bomb explosion.
The explosion caught many city residents unawares as they were proceeding to their places of work. Police commissioner major General Hussein Ali and CID chief Karanja Gatiba are leading investigations into the blast that rocked the city.
Police Commissioner Hussein Ali has appealed to the media not to speculate but wait for investigations which are already underway.
A senior police officer on the scene said the explosion, at about 8 a.m. (0500 GMT) appeared to be a suicide bombing. . .
Some witnesses said a bomb had gone off in a waste bin, but others said it was held by someone in a bus queue. The blast shattered windows and burned a nearby bus.
Some torn papers with English and Arabic script from the Koran were found at the scene, witnesses said, and anti-terrorism police arrived quickly.
Nairobi has been having problems with Mungiki lately but from what I have been told in the past about the methods of that criminal fraternity, this does not sound like their work.
Whoever they are, the perpetrators picked the rush hour in a busy city like Nairobi so as to achieve as many casualties as possible.
Update in The Guardian Linet Atieno, spokeswoman of the Kenya Red Cross, said that two people were killed in the blast.
Posted on 06/11/2007 4:03 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Sunday, 10 June 2007
Een ander geestelijk klimaat in Israël zou helpen
De "internationale gemeenschap" volhardt in haar pogingen om de Israëli's te beperken in hun poging te voorkomen dat er raketten op half Israël neerdalen. Zulke journalisteals Jim Muir van de BBC blijven hardnekkig hun reportages omzetten in propaganda feesten à la Al-Jazeera met een vleugje TASS en Der Stuermer niet ver onder de oppervlakte. Je ziet het terug in de hysterie van de beweringen, de gekozen taal en het voor zoete koek slikken van de foto's uit Kana: ga naar Eu Referendum en kijk naar de zorgvuldige analyse van die foto's. Als je dat tot je hebt genomen, kijk dan even naar de foto uit Kana van die Israëlische "wreedheid", die "slachting", die "ellende" veroorzaakt zomaar voor niets en totaal onverwacht door die bloeddorstige Israëli's, die gevonden kan worden op de voorpagina van - je raadde het al - The New Duranty Times (ofwel The New York Times, de NRC van Amerika maar dan nog veel erger [Red.])
Als dit soort zaken doorgaan dan zal die "internationale gemeenschap" alles doen wat het kan om Israël te dwingen te stoppen met het zich verzetten tegen de Jihad. Hetzelfde geldt voor de paniekerige Bush-Rice regering die werkelijk gelooft in de nonsens over het winnen van de "Arabische harten en zielen" en het creëren van een "nieuw Midden Oosten. Ze ijlen en weten niet eens waar ze hun handen en voeten moeten zetten. Zelfs als ze een keer iets goed doen dan is het altijd voor redenen die incoherent zijn en geen onderdeel van een groter en meer intelligent schema of gebaseerd op enig diep begrip. In dat geval zullen de Israëli's, als ze verstandig zijn, veel meer serieus dan voorheen het demonstratieve gebruik van één of twee nucleaire wapens moeten overwegen, hetzij in Iran of langs één van zijn grenzen(bv, in de Sinaï) om een permanent niemandsland te creëren en aan de andere buren het signaal af te geven dat de dagen van nonsens en onderhandelen en opgeven van gebied en bereid zijn zo verkwistend om te springen met het leven van zijn burgers en te leven in een permanente staat van maximaal gevaar, voorbij zijn en voorgoed.
De Les van Darura -- Darura is niet een stad maar een islamitisch concept -- moet geleerd worden door de Arabieren en Moslims. Maar het kan niet geleerd worden als de Israëli's zelf eindelijk niet beginnen met het trekken van bepaalde conclusies. En er is één overduidelijke conclusie die zou moeten worden getrokken uit deze oorlog met Hezbollah: de strijdkrachten die optrekken tegen Israël zijn formidabeler in hun wapens en training dan de Israëli's hebben durven vermoeden. Daarom kunnen ze niet die beroemde "risico's voor vrede" nemen waar de dommere onder hen over blijven kletsen. Er zou geen verdere discussie moeten zijn over het ooit nog verlaten van één enkele Dunam van de West Bank. De mogelijkheid van de West Bank om in Hezbollahland te veranderen zou nu overduidelijk moeten zijn. Israël kan dat risico niet nemen. Simpelweg een militaire "bezetting" kan ook niet. Het moet niet alleen zowel civiel en militair aanwezig blijven maar kan het beste teruggaan naar en wijzen op de bedoeling en precieze toezeggingen van het Mandaat voor Palestina. Israël zou de aandacht moeten vestigen op de grenscorrecties die iedere belangrijke oorlog hebben gekenmerkt(zie Alte-Adige voorheen bekend als Zuidtirol, zie Tsjecho-Slowakije, Polen, Duitsland, Elzas-Lotharingen, Königsburg/Kaliningrad, zie allerlei plekken) en duidelijk maken dat de onwetendheid over de eindeloze eisen van de Islam voorbij is. Israëlische woordvoerders zouden er op moeten wijzen dat de Islam zijn aanhangers niet vertelt "compromissen te sluiten met Ongelovigen" of "de Ongelovigen een beetje gebied te laten houden waar de Islam niet zal domineren". Nee, in het geheel niet.
Of de morele idioten die nu verslag doen vanuit Libanon en nagepapegaaid worden door de pers in West Europa het nu wel of niet hiermee eens zullen zijn of het zelfs maar beginnen te begrijpen doet er niet toe. Hoe de V.N of de E.U., beiden grondig geïnfiltreerd door agenten van het enig nog overblijvende blok(de Islamintern Internationaal), hierover denken doet er niet toe.
Wat de misselijkmakende reactie van de wereld en het gedrag van Hezbolah dat een vrijkaart heeft gekregen, duidelijk heeft gemaakt is dat het nog een reden is, een doorslaggevende, om nooit weer te denken aan het opgeven van meer gebied. Er moet sprake zijn van een leercurve. Voor de Israëlische elite in de regering en media is die curve vrijwel vlak. Nu niet naar men hoopt. Nu zal je hopen dat men de tekenen van een curve kan waarnemen die omhoog gaat. En als de Israëli's kunnen beginnen met het laten zien van enig gezond verstand, dan zal misschien iets van dat gezond verstand over de Islam en zijn eisen zich verspreiden naar West Europa en naar een Amerikaanse regering die alleen denkt over het vechten van een "oorlog tegen terreur" zij-aan-zij met de leden van de Dawa en Sciri partijen in prachtig, o zo loyaal Irak.
Zoveel nonsens. Een ander geestelijk klimaat in Israël zou helpen.
["A Clearing of the Mental Air in Israel Would Help" from Jihad Watch, August 1, 2006]]
Posted on 06/10/2007 9:13 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Sunday, 10 June 2007
From WND: ...Founded in 1998, Americans Against Hate is a civil rights organization and terrorism watchdog group whose goal is "to be an active voice against those that spread bigotry and violence."
The group said just days ago, [Keith Ellison, (D, MN)] gave the keynote address in front of the Muslim American Society of Minnesota at the group's fourth annual convention
"While Ellison spoke, the group was actively spreading vitriolic hatred and violence aimed at Jews, Christians and other non-Muslims via its website," [Joe Kaufman, Founder of Americans Against Hate]'s statement said.
He cited the following statements on that group's Internet site:
"On Monday, June 4th, the Chairman of Americans Against Hate (AAH), Joe Kaufman, phoned the local and Washington, D.C., offices of Congressman Ellison to demand that he denounce MAS. Kaufman has received no response from the Congressman or anyone in his offices," the statement said.
Ellison's office also did not respond to a WND request for comment.
"When Keith Ellison ran for office, he denounced the anti-Semitism of Louis Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam (NOI), a group that he was previously affiliated with. We demand that he do the same to the Muslim American Society. It is not only improper for a United States Representative to participate with such groups, but it is a danger to national security," Kaufman said.
He noted that Ellison also spoke to the MAS organization in December, 2006, shortly after he was elected.
While Ellison had been "heavily active" with Farrakhan's organization earlier, Kaufman said, he did distance himself from that group during his campaign for the U.S. House seat from Minnesota's 5th District.
It was then he faxed a letter to the Minnesota Jewish Community Relations Council's executive director, Stephen Silberfarb, confirming, "There has been much speculation about my past connections to the Nation of Islam … I have long since distanced myself from and rejected the Nation of Islam due to its propagation of bigoted and anti-Semitic ideas and statements, as well as other issues."
But Kaufman noted soon after he sent the letter, Ellison allowed the national executive director for the Council on American-Islamic Relations to work on his campaign...
CAIR is a spinoff of the defunct Islamic Association for Palestine, launched by Hamas leader Mousa Abu Marzook and former university professor Sami al-Arian, who pleaded guilty last year to conspiracy to provide services to Palestinian Islamic Jihad. Several CAIR staffers have been convicted on terrorism-related charges, and CAIR founder Omar Ahmad allegedly told a group of Muslims they are in America not to assimilate but to help assert Islam's rule over the country.
"Following the election, Ellison continued to cavort with CAIR, addressing its November 2006 banquet, in addition to speaking at events sponsored by other groups connected to terrorism," Kaufman said.
Kaufman said the MAS was founded in 1993 and, "today, it mostly acts as an activist organization, holding conferences and youth camps throughout the United States."
But he said the Minnesota chapter provides information about "waging jihad' against non-Muslims."
"One [discussion] reads, 'A Muslim must always worship Allah and wage jihad until death in order to reach his ultimate goal, although the goal is invisible and it takes a long time to achieve,'" Kaufman said.
The website has one section devoted to "Stoning to Death of Jews and other Dhimmis," Kaufman said.
"Additionally, MAS-Minnesota's website contains laudatory declarations towards Hamas," he added, where the organization is called a "steadfast, brave, aware Islamic resistance movement."
Posted on 06/10/2007 2:08 PM by Rebecca Bynum
Sunday, 10 June 2007
"among the people who want to emigrate to the West there are doubtless many who are not ideologues, who just want to get on with their lives."-- from Robert Spencer's comment on the fatwa prohibiting "Palestinian" emigration.
I disagree. I disagree that there are "doubtless many who are not ideologues" and who "just want to get on with their lives." My own observation of "Palestinian" Arabs is that they are full-time propagandists for the "Palestinian" cause, that some are practiced at expressing their sense of victimhood, and since they are capable of sensing the ignorance and naiveté of the Infidels among whom they come to live, they are essentially dangerous agents of, in the first place, the Lesser Jihad against Israel, but just as important, help to create an atmosphere of confusion about the Middle East, and about Islam. A few may not be this way, but we have no way to figure out who those "few" might be, and should not take a chance.
Furthermore, quite a number of "Palestinians" have been behind the shouting down of pro-Israel speakers at colleges. They have spearheaded all kinds of activities, from "divestment" movements, to phony "Islamic" outreach in Christian churches. Several "Palestinian" minister/propagandists, having burrowed within, and then climbed high, in the hierarchy of various Christian denominations, have promoted the Lesser Jihad against Israel. They have been working at times in coordinated efforts with such "Palestinian" islamochristians as Nabil Ateek (of Sabeel) and Hanan Ashrawi, and this effort continues, even as the Arab Christians themselves are menaced and attacked and driven to leave the territories foolishly handed over to the control of the "Palestinian Authority."
There are twenty-two Arab states. They possess the same language and culture. If they don't like the hell they have created for themselves -- and 70% of the Arabs in Gaza wish that the Israelis would come back, come back and save them from themselves, from their own lords of misrule, but why should the Israelis return to rescue them, since the local Arabs will never recognize that it is the spirit of Islam, the attitudes and atmospherics that arise naturally from Islam, that explain the current -- and future -- condition of Gaza, which is only an extreme case of what one finds all over the Arab and Muslim world, a world of aggression, warfare, violence as a way to achieve political power which, in turn, is the way to seize control wealth.
No, let them stay there, and not be allowed to come to our countries. For they do not arrive as grateful refugees, like refugees from the Nazis and Communists, who hated Nazism and Communism and were prepared to alert us to their evils and work towards their destruction. These are not "refugees" at all, but come with Islam, or in some cases islamochristianity, packed in their mental baggage. And when they unpack it, unpack that Islam which they do not abandon but rather spread, and when they become full-time informal propagandists -- in the case of "Palestinians" -- for the Lesser Jihad against Israel which is only a local manifestation of a world-wide Jihad, it is we Infidels who suffer, not least from the swelling of Muslim ranks and power, and the disruption and unpleasantness and greater insecurity that ensue (how much does it cost to ensure that speeches can be given freely? How much does it cost to monitor more Muslims, especially the kind created in the fanatical hothouse of the "Palestinian" cause?) It is we Infidels who suffer. Our governments, deciding on immigration policy, have no right to do this to us.
And why should we, after all, invite into our home, as Fred Thompson put it, those who do not and can not, because of their Belief-system, wish us, or our legal and political institutions, well? Why should we invite in those who, at the very least have been raised up to hate Infidels, and with a special passion, Jews? Should we have 100,000 more Muslims enter, because the experience with large-scale Muslim immigration in France and Great Britain and other countries of Western Europe has been so wonderful --or has it been such as to serve as a warning to us? Should we allow in another 100,000 because among them there may be a Wafa Sultan? Or an Ibn Warraq? Or an Ali Sina? Do we want to invite in to share a country build entirely by non-Muslims, on principles that are flatly contradicted by Islam, those whose inculcated loyalty is solely to Islam and to fellow Believers?
We have no obligation to allow in those whose Total Belief-System goes against everything that makes America America, or France France, or Italy Italy, or England England, or Denmark Denmark.
No obligation at all.
Posted on 06/10/2007 12:44 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Sunday, 10 June 2007
This new "plan" is based on a lot of assumptions about what is possible to achieve in the next two years and just like the old plans it will simply never be workable in a Muslim and divided Iraq. We've been working toward the goal of a smaller force for four years now, why do they think they can pull it off in the next two? What is going to change?
WaPo: BAGHDAD -- U.S. military officials here are increasingly envisioning a "post-occupation" troop presence in Iraq that neither maintains current levels nor leads to a complete pullout, but aims for a smaller, longer-term force that would remain in the country for years.
This goal, drawn from recent interviews with more than 20 U.S. military officers and other officials here, including senior commanders, strategists and analysts, remains in the early planning stages. It is based on officials' assessment that a sharp drawdown of troops is likely to begin by the middle of next year, with roughly two-thirds of the current force of 150,000 moving out by late 2008 or early 2009. The questions officials are grappling with are not whether the U.S. presence will be cut, but how quickly, to what level and to what purpose.
One of the guiding principles, according to two officials here, is that the United States should leave Iraq more intelligently than it entered. Military officials, many of whom would be interviewed only on the condition of anonymity, say they are now assessing conditions more realistically, rejecting the "steady progress" mantra of their predecessors and recognizing that short-term political reconciliation in Iraq is unlikely. A reduction of troops, some officials argue, would demonstrate to anti-American factions that the occupation will not last forever while reassuring Iraqi allies that the United States does not intend to abandon the country.
The planning is shaped in part by logistical realities in Iraq. The immediate all-or-nothing debate in Washington over troop levels represents a false dilemma, some military officials said. Even if a total pullout is the goal, it could take a year to execute a full withdrawal. One official estimated that with only one major route from the country -- through southern Iraq to Kuwait -- it would take at least 3,000 large convoys some 10 months to remove U.S. military gear and personnel alone, not including the several thousand combat vehicles that would be needed to protect such an operation.
In short, our military commanders have just figured out that is is going to be much harder to fight out way out than it was fighting our way in. We could have told them that three years ago. Actually, I take that back, we could have told them that before we went in.
Posted on 06/10/2007 12:23 PM by Rebecca Bynum
Sunday, 10 June 2007
Today the minaret was capped on the Boston mosque, amid the cries of 2,000 voices screaming in the middle of Boston "Allahu Akbar" and women ulutating, and the sense of triumph, of the establishment of a Beachhead in Boston for Islam was palpable. Yet Mayor Menino, who originally hailed the building of this Fort Islam -- for that is how it should intelligently be regarded --as spreading "diversity" when what it helps to spread is an ideology that despises true diversity, will take advantage of for the moment but if it were ever to dominate would put an end to genuine pluralism. For as the Shari'a demands (see Antoine Fattal, "Le status legal des non-musulmanes en pays d'Islam"; see the books on the dhimmi states by Bat Ye'or; see the works of a hundred Western scholars of Islam, c. 1870-1960), non-Muslims may be permitted to live, and even practice their religion, but they are necessarily to be subject to a regime that requires the payment of protection money (the "Jizyah"), and subject to a host of financial, legal, and social disabilities that together add up to a status of permanent humiliation, degradation, and physical insecurity. The textual sources in Qur'an, Hadith, and sira, from which the Shari'a was derived by the jurisconsults, are clear. The 1350-year history of Islam, from Spain to the East Indies, shows the same treatment of non-Muslims, and indeed those who were not "ahl al-kitab" (people of the Book), that is not fellow monotheists, were subject -- see what happened to the Hindus -- to mass murder on an industrial scale, in a pre-industrial world.
In the 19th and early 20th century, Western power and pressure attempted to force, with some mild success, to get the Ottoman rulers to treat non-Muslim subjects better, even with legal equality. It went against the grain, and not only did many officials not carry out the so-called "reforms" as they pertained to non-Muslims, but the reaction of Muslims often led to massacres -- of the Maronites in Damascus in 1860, of the Armenians in 1894-1895, and again, on a much larger scale, beginning in 1915.
Some local Christians tried to lie low, and quite a few Arab Christians tried to fit in however they could with the always-menacing Muslims. Ba'athism begins partly in the dream of Michel Aflaq, a Christian from Damascus, to concoct out of European models (Fascism, Communism) an ideology which, with a heavy base of "Arabness," would be open to Christians as well as to "secular" Muslims --- a word with a sliding scale of meanings, but essentially signalling doubts about the wisdom of the full application of the Shari'a and even unexpressed doubts about the complete relevance of Islam to a modern state.
Aflaq's "Ba'athism" came to dominate only two countries, and for two similar reasons. The first was Syria, with a large Christian population, and with a powerful military caste, the Alawites, who were not regarded as orthodox Muslims, were indeed disliked by orthodox Muslims for the obvious elements of syncretism in their worship (go to an Alawite village and see the pictures of Mary everywhere), Alawites who had been miserable under the Turkish rule but under that of the French formed part of the Troupes speciales, and were trained to fight, and when the French left, the Alawites remained in the army, and the air force (Hafez al-Assad) and gradually took over, in the way that people or groups always take over in the Muslim Middle East -- through the application, or threat, of military force. In Syria Ba'athism disguises, is the facade, for the rule by the Alawites.
In Iraq, Ba'athism took a different turn. There, the Sunnis knew that they were numerically far inferior to the Shi'a, but they were put in control of modern Iraq, by the British, and never lost their grip.
The Hashemite king, Feisal a Sunni, was put in control of Iraq, and aided throughout the 1920s by British troops, and such British civilians as the celebrated Gertrude Bell, until finally, the expense of suppressing the tribes, and the obvious hopelessness of it all, caused the British to leave. It was Winston Churchill who described Mesopotamia (Iraq) as an "ungrateful volcano." And when the British left, the local Arabs solemnly promised not to harm the local Christians, and five months after the last British troops pulled out, Muslim Arabs killed up to 100,000 largely helpless Assyrians. (William Saroyan wrote a book about it).
(When the British placed Feisal on the throne of Iraq they also placed his younger brother, Abdullah, on the lesser throne -- an "emirate" not a "kingdom" -- of Transjordan. Transjordan itself was carved from Eastern Palestine. 1921 Great Britain, that had been assigned the Mandate for Palestine, shocking the League of Nations' Mandates Commission, unilaterally closed off Eastern Palestine to the express provisions of the Mandate about facilitating Jewish immigration and settlement, and thus was Abdullah's desire for his own place to rule satisfied. And the Mandates Commission could, as far as the British were concerned, simply scream all it wanted.)
Saddam Hussein used the Ba'ath party, as did other Sunnis before him, to make the rule by Sunni Arabs, over Shi'a Arabs (and the Shi'a not only outbred the Sunnis, but some of the formerly Sunni tribes became Shi'a as well -- the Shi'a, apparently, proved good at proselytizing, which no doubt explains some of the worries of Sunnis outside Iraq today) and over non-Arab Kurds, more palatable. All "were welcome" into the Ba'ath Party -- so "secular" Shi'a, Kurds willing to play ball, and even some Christians (Tariq Aziz), could join the Party, thus expressing their loyalty or, more accurately, expressing their willingness to acquiesce, in Sunni Arab rule disguised with the facade of Ba'athism.
And now, in Iraq, the Sunni despot, and the facade of Ba'athism, are gone. All sides think they can win. Al Qaeda thinks it can win. The Sunni "patriots" who at the moment are also at odds with Al Qaeda think they can win, despite constituting less than 20% of the population.
Some American officers -- not all, but some -- have placed exaggerated hope in some kind of permanent "alliance" with the Sunni tribes against Al Qaeda. But they are mistaking the temporary disaffection, and the need of the Sunni tribes to have American weaponry and support, for some kind of desire, on the part of those Sunni tribes, to embrace the vision for Iraq that the Americans have. They may now be fighting Al Qaeda, but just like another Sunni group, this one not in Anbar Province but in Baghdad itself, that fought with Al Qaeda and has now made up, the loyalties of the tribes are in the end to fellow Sunni Muslims and, in the long run, must always be given to fellow Muslims as opposed to Infidels, especially American Infidels.
The wary private or sergeant who has learned this from fighting in Iraq understands this better than "counterinsurgency expert" Lt. Col. David Kilcullen, with his bright summations ("It's all about this" and "It's all about that..." is a favorite way of speaking), and his little-lawrence-of-arabia routine ("I know these people. I know what moves them. I know their local complaints, their local grievances. I know we can 'disaggregate' here and there and everywhere, because in the end all politics is local." No, Lt. Col. David Kilcullen, in the end it isn't all local. In the end, as a doubly-totalitarian system, making claims to the whole world, and making claims to regulate every area of life, Islam matters to Believers, fashions their world-view, divides that world for them into Believers and Infidels, in a way your doctorate in anthropology and experiences in Indonesia and desire to derive "general rules" of counterinsurgency have ill-prepared you).
So here we are in Africa. What "surprises" American officials should never have surprised them, had they understood the power of Islam, the power of those who spread Islam, and when you spread the idea of Islam, when you flip someone's loyalty so that one day he is loyal to the nation-state of Infidels, and the next day is loyal, not to a different state, but to Islam and to the umma al-islamiyya, you have not merely lost a potential defender against Islam, but have seen him enrolled, under your very eyes, by recruiters for the Army of Islam. And these recruiters are clever, and numerous, and of course well-financed.
Everywhere Muslims spreading Islam are careful to present it as the vehicle for whatever grievance the potential local converts may have. If it is black prisoners in the United States, then Islam is presented as the vehicle both of "social justice" (see how Muslim ruling classes everywhere seize the national wealth, see how the poor are treated in Muslim countries), and against "racism.” And the Infidels do little or nothing. Have you seen any campaigns of deliberate counter-Da’wa anywhere in the prisons or elsewhere? It would be easy to show, and to keep showing, perhaps by organizing the “Lost Boys” of the Sudan, that anti-black racism, of the purest and most virulent kind, is found among the Arabs. Anyone who has studied in an Arab country returns amazed at what is said, and not a few are shaken. Anyone who looks into the history of African slavery soon discovers that the Arab slave trade began earlier, and ended later, than that of the Europeans – or rather, ended formally later, but actually continues, in several countries, to this day. Why is this not screamed from every housetop? Why have the countries of the advanced world, that have poured $400 billion into aid to black Africa, not tried to halt the spread of the most retrograde force, a force which encourages the habit of mental submission, and which, in its inshallah-fatalism, is in fact fatal to economic development,not tried to stop the spread of Islam? If they have the wellbeing of black Africans at heart, they must begin to understand, and to share their understanding, that Islam has been, is, and always will be, a force that hinders, with that inshallah-fatalism and that habit of mental submission, any possibility of either economic or intellectual development.
The evidence is there. What sustained the Muslims for centuries, at a low level, was simply the accumulated intellectual capital of those peoples whom they conquered, and slowly leached of life, and of property as well. Now North Africa and the Middle East are virtually without the non-Muslims who once provided a certain supply of Jizyah, and what sustains the Arabs and Muslims are two things, and only two things; the new disguised Jizyah of Western foreign aid (which should be ended, and used to meet the new expenses of monitoring Muslim populations in the West), and the manna of oil wealth, entirely undeserved, and the only conceivable way that the Arabs and Muslims might acquire great wealth – through an accident of geology. Are the peoples of black Africa misled into thinking that they, too, somehow share in that wealth?
There was a very large and intelligent, because it focused on small-scale, doable projects, aid effort by Israel in black Africa. It was the most successful of all such foreign aid efforts. It was widespread. It was widely welcomed. But it came to an end, after the Six-Day War, under Arab pressure, and bribery – the same bribery that caused several dozen African states, under Arab command, to break diplomatic relations with Israel. Some of those African states no doubt thought that the Arabs would share just a little of that vast unearned wealth – if only to replace what Israel, a tiny country, had so remarkably provided. It was not to be. It will never be. The Arabs are trying in Africa to dominate the Continent. They are patient. They are methodical. In West Africa, where Islam is already dominant, as in uranium-rich Niger, they have transformed the easygoing, syncretistic practice of Islam to something much more akin to what can be seen in Saudi Arabia. And everywhere mosques are becoming subject to the strictures of those who pay for them, or pay the imams – and that usually means the Saudis. In some countries that once had a clear Christian majority, such as the Ivory Coast, the Christians are feeling besieged by Muslims who come in from the north, and the French government under Chirac supported not the local black Christians, and understood their fear, but rather attempted to appease the world’s Muslims.
In East Africa, when the black Africans rose up against their Arab masters in Zanzibar and Pemba some decades ago (the slave trade by the Arabs in East Africa had been centered there – indeed, the Sultan of Muscat and Oman had for a time ruled directly from Zanzibar), little was made of this in the West. No one discussed the long history of the Arab slave trade, with its practice of castrating black children when they were first caught, and then taking them by slave coffle or dhow to the slave markets of Islam, a trip which about 10% survived (see “The Hideous Trade” by Jan Hogedorn). And so the Arabs have continued their march southward. The Sudan had very few Arabs in the southern part one hundred years ago. But steadily they have taken territory, pushed back, killed, black Africans. 1.8 million non-Muslim blacks were killed, or deliberately starved to death, in the southern Sudan in the last two decades. Not content with that, not content with having seized complete control of the oil wealth that lies under the Christian and animist areas of the artificial state of Sudan, the Arabs are now trying to seize, by mass murder, the lands as well of the Muslim, but non-“Arab” blacks of Darfur. The campaign of mass rape, destruction of property, and killing of every man, woman and child they can get their hands on has been reported and reported, and reported. It has been reported without any understanding of Islam as a vehicle for Arab supremacism (the nicholas-kristofs of this world do not bother to figure out what is going on, what ideology prompts the Janjaweed and the Sudanese government that supports it, or the other Arab and Muslim governments that run interference for that Sudanese government), but are content with endless columns of easy anguish.
Egypt supports the Sudanese, while pretending not to, and so does the Arab League which welcomes the reduction, in the southern Sudan and from Darfur, of non-Arabs and non-Muslims to a state of hopelessness and surrender, where they continue to live at all. For Egypt and the Arabs have their eyes not merely on the Sudan, but on Ethiopia, the famous Christian kingdom, now rapidly becoming Islamized. Egypt has no intention of letting the Christian government of Ethiopia help its own people by, at long last, diverting some of the headwaters of the Nile for irrigation. The Egyptians think the Nile belongs, from its very source onward, to them and only to them. The water wars have been declared –but only by the Arab side.
Americans and other Infidel peoples should be supporting Ethiopian efforts to halt the spread of Islam, or of the purest kind of Islam, whether in Somalia or in Ethiopia itself, and to remain a Christian kingdom that can help prevent the takeover of southern East Africa by Islam. Muslims owe their loyalty to the umma al-islamiyya, to fellow Muslims. It would make sense, in Africa, for the Americans not only to have handfuls of advisors and troops here and there, but to engage in propaganda. This propaganda, which happens to be the truth simply megaphoned to make a point, should describe in vivid detail the history of the Arab slave trade. It should explain to Africans that slavery is permanently sanctioned by both Qur’an and Sunnah, and can therefore never, within Islam, be banished. It should detail the continuing racism of the Arabs. And it should show how Islam stands in the way of economic and other kinds of development in two ways: in the encouragement of the habit of mental submission, central to Islam, and in the inshallah-fatalism that limits economic activity, and has relied on two kinds of manna: the Jizyah that is demanded from, or voluntarily supplied by, non-Muslims, and the oil wealth that has resulted from an accident of geology. And despite the ten trillion dollars that the Arab and Muslim states have received from oil revenues since 1973, not a single one has managed to create a real economy, not a single one has ceased to be hopelessly dependent on oil.
Islam, as it spreads, will merely guarantee that the countries and peoples of sub-Saharan Africa will be forced to endure the political, economic, social, moral, and intellectual failures of Muslim states and societies – failures whose source can be found in Islam itself.
Do we wish black Africa well, or ill? If we do wish to help the peoples of black Africa, preventing or halting the spread of Islam makes sense. And it makes sense, for us, in other ways, as well.
Posted on 06/10/2007 11:56 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Sunday, 10 June 2007
Yes, I know Hugh doesn't like the word "lefty" but that's too bad. I think it's a splendid word. It taunts, like so many words ending in "-y", for example "baldy", "fatty", "skinny", "ninny". In Hugh-speak it's "reductive"; yes, and defiantly so, just like "trendy", another gem. And it's the quite best word to describe a set of idiots who really don't deserve a more nuanced and sophisticated analysis.
Moreover, "Lefties" was the subject of one of the funniest documentaries I have ever seen. And now the whole documentary is available on Veoh here. Thanks to David Thompson for alerting me to this. David comments:
Given a generation of young lefties with little, if any, experience of what their dreams entail when applied in the real world, it’s worth casting an eye over what happened when Socialism wasn’t just something people laughed at.
Angry Wimmin is the best one.
Posted on 06/10/2007 11:51 AM by Mary Jackson
Sunday, 10 June 2007
This morning we had a wee jokie; it's too early for a wee dock and doris, so now let's have a wee mission statement:
We’re fearless. We challenge everything, especially ourselves. We seek the truth relentlessly. We believe in we not me. And we mean it.’ Wolff-Olins mission statement
"We believe in wee not me." Sorry, "we" not "wee". Their French subsidiary has yet another variant: "We believe in oui not we." (I did once see a packet of Pampers, in, of all places, Tripoli, Lebanon, labelled "Oui oui", so this isn't so far fetched.)
Who are Wolff-Olins, the fffearless, all-challenging relentless truth-seakers whose mission is "we not me"?
They are the brand consultancy responsible for the London Olympic Logo, which Rod Liddle describes thus:
A child, a blind man, an ape let loose with a paintbrush could all have done better, the argument goes. Well yes, of course. The jarring amalgamation of irregular shapes does indeed bring to mind the sort of graffiti one finds on walls near a home for the educationally sub-normal — and there is the faint aftertaste of Adolf Hitler, too. Squint a little and the logo turns into a swastika; stare at it head on after a glass or two of schnapps and you can make out the bold letters SS. The logo is supposed to emphasise the ‘inclusive’ nature of the games. I suppose the Nazis were inclusive, in a fairly bad sense of the term.
But this public carping neglects two very important points; first, all corporate logos are hideous and necessarily stupid, doodles dreamed up by some ghastly little marketing rebranding monkey who feels himself infected with zeitgeist. And second, they are always, always, hideously expensive and a blind paraplegic ape etc. could do better.
The truth is, we’ve all got off rather lightly with an outlay of just £400k, as I daresay the executives at Wolff-Olins, the people responsible, are angrily muttering to one another at this very moment. After all, Wolff-Olins are the people who almost destroyed Abbey National with what was described as the most catastrophic rebranding in corporate history — and they charged the company an ‘initial’ fee of £11 million for the privilege of so doing. Out went that pale red logo with the folksy umbrella sheltering people from an unforeseen shower, immediately recognisable by everyone. Out went that awful word ‘National’ — a big, bullying beast of an adjective. And in came a logo where the word ‘Abbey’ was written in crayon by a spaced-out imbecile, followed up by some seriously bad TV advertising...
Read again, for example, that meaningless, self-aggrandising, unintentionally hilarious guff from Wolff-Olins which precedes this article. Who would think, reading that, that the company’s primary employment was in scribbling the kind of thing you knock off idly on a sodden beermat while trying to remember what work you have to do? Or, better still, check out their website, enter the Wolff-Olins house of cards, where there’s much, much more of this pretentious, chest-beating drivel. They offer companies ‘potential platforms for action’. And then — God only knows what this means — ‘We think brands need to be less controlling, more generous.’ How precisely will they do this? ‘We help you invent new ways that move the world forward.’ Oh, good, many thanks for that, gentlemen. And then a rare moment of truth, or the truth as they have it: ‘Brand isn’t marketing. It’s everything.’
Without wishing to labour the point, it's actually quite appropriate that Wolff-Olins believe in we, since their logo belongs in the toilet. Let's hope that, like many other bad branding ideas, it is soon interred.
Posted on 06/10/2007 10:41 AM by Mary Jackson
Sunday, 10 June 2007
"Let's be honest, the enemy now is not the Americans, for the time being," [Ali Hatem Ali Suleiman, a leader of the Sunni Dulaimi tribe] said. "It's al-Qaeda and the [Shiite] militias. Those are our enemies." --from Rebecca's posting below
"[T]he enemy now is not the Americans, for the time being."
A few days later, the Sunnis whom the Americans were backing to the hilt, because those Sunnis were supposedly mortal enemies of Al Qaeda in Iraq, made peace with Al Qaeda. Tomorrow that peace could come undone. Or it could come undone, and then be temporarily sewn up again. But one thing is a constant: Shia Arabs, and Sunni Arabs, and Sunni Arabs whether they are foreigners or locals, giving their allegiance to Al Qaeda in Iraq or to some local group of "Sunni Patriots," will always regard the Infidel Americans -- whatever temporary pretense is maintained, and apparently deeply counted on by the likes of Lt. Col. David Kilcullen -- as their enemies.
This is something Churchill in the Sudan understood. It is something that Gertrude Bell finally may have come to understand, as all her hopes and dreams for Iraq came to nothing, and she killed herself in Baghdad. It is something that T. E. Lawrence, the great mythomane and promoter of the Arab Cause, finally came to understand -- that the Arabs were meretricious, and would never offer the British what the British meant by "friendship."
And it is something that the American soldiers, or many of them, despite being kept completely in the dark about Islam, have learned on the streets, and will not forget when they come home:
The tank driver, Spec. Estevan Altamirano, 25, expressed skepticism about his new partners:
"Pretty soon they run out of al-Qaeda, and then they're going to turn on us," he said. "I don't want to get used to them and then I have an AK behind my back. I'm not going to trust them at all."
But there are those "counter-insurgency experts" who cannot admit this to themselves, because if they did, the general principles about counter-insurgency that they have compiled in such egregiously missing-the-point fashion, would appear to be irrelevant, even silly. And their task would have to be recognized, in Iraq, not only by others but by those "experts" themselves, as unattainable and, even more important, senseless -- the very opposite of what Infidels should work towards.
Posted on 06/10/2007 9:52 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Sunday, 10 June 2007
OUTSPOKEN Muslim leader Sheik Taj al-Din al-Hilali has stood down as Australia's Mufti.
The controversial Islamic cleric was reappointed Mufti at a meeting of Muslim leaders in Melbourne today, but declined to accept the position.
The Council of Islamic Jurisprudence and Research instead elected Sheik Fehmi Naji El-Imam, who will serve a two-year term.
The decision was made at the Preston Mosque in suburban Melbourne at a four-hour meeting behind closed doors.
Sheik Hilali was a surprising and controversial first choice for the Muslim leaders, who have come under intense pressure over the past year to sack the Mufti.
In a statement issued today, the council said Sheik Hilali had "gracefully declined' to accept another term.
"We, the Australian National Imams Council, are proud to announce that Sheik Fehmi Naji El-Imam is appointed as the Mufti of Australia for a two-year term,' the statement read.
In July 2005, Sheik Hilali was named Muslim Man of the Year at the first Australian Muslim Achievement Awards by Mission of Hope.
And British Muslims want one of their own?
Posted on 06/10/2007 9:48 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Sunday, 10 June 2007
The United Nations Security Council postponed the releases of a statement condemning Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's latest calls for the destruction of Israel late Friday night after both Indonesia and Qatar opposed the move...
Qatari representatives had yet to receive permission to support the move. Indonesia, the world's largest Muslim country, had trouble with the wording of the denunciation.-- from this news item
Note that Qatar is supposedly an American ally because it permits the stationing of American troops. In fact, Qatar harbors and supports what is equivalent to Radio Berlin in 1942: Al-Jazeera. A member of the Al-Thani family, an Al Qaeda sympathizer, warned some members of Al Qaeda in Qatar that the Americans were hot on their trail, and having been warned, they managed to escape. Neither the attempts to pretend to be an advanced country (the usual methods of these Arab statelets is to sponsor a some kind of competition, chess or tennis or something, with a big prize so as to inveigle some well-known Westerners to attend -- that's "civilization" Arab-sheikdom style) nor the odd member of the Al-Thani ruling family, said to be a "fighter for women's rights" or some such, should blind American policymakers to this: Qatar, like Kuwait, allows American troops to stay there only because the ruling families in those statelets see the Americans as a guarantee of their safety, able apotropaically to ward off threats from the Three Big Bullies of the Gulf: Iran, Iraq, and of course, Saudi Arabia. And that is the only reason Qatar allows American troops in.
As for that other great "moderate" Muslim state, Indonesia -- the one where terminally innocent Paul Wolfowitz learned everything he needed to know about Islam, or almost everything. The rest he learned from those plausible Shi'a in exile, such as Ahmad Chalabi, and of course the intimate causeries on geopolitics and Whither The Arab World? that he must have had, in so many different places, with Shaha ali Riza.
If "moderate" Qatar, and "moderate" Indonesia, all rijstaafel-and-gamelans-and-batiks, will attempt to defend a call to extinguish the life of Israel, then perhaps that word "moderate" out to be retired, given a nice pension, and told never ever to think of returning to work again.
Posted on 06/10/2007 8:11 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Sunday, 10 June 2007
Let's play "Guess the Religion" of these loyal British citizens...From The Observer (hat tip: JW):
A British company has been closed down after being caught in an apparent attempt to sell black-market weapons-grade uranium to Iran and Sudan, The Observer can reveal.
Anti-terrorist officers and MI6 are now investigating a wider British-based plot allegedly to supply Iran with material for use in a nuclear weapons programme. One person has already been charged with attempting to proliferate 'weapons of mass destruction'.
During the 20-month investigation, which also involved MI5 and Customs and Excise, a group of Britons was tracked as they obtained weapons-grade uranium from the black market in Russia. Investigators believe it was intended for export to Sudan and on to Iran.
A number of Britons, who are understood to have links with Islamic terrorists abroad, remain under surveillance. Investigators believe they have uncovered the first proof that al-Qaeda supporters have been actively engaged in developing an atomic capability. The British company, whose identity is known to The Observer but cannot be disclosed for legal reasons, has been wound up...
Alleged evidence of Sudan's role will concern British security services. The East African state has long been suspected of offering a haven for Islamist terrorists and has been accused of harbouring figures including Osama bin Laden who, during the mid-Nineties, set up a number of al-Qaeda training camps in the country.
Details of the plot arrive against a backdrop of increasing co-operation between Sudan and Iran on defence issues, although the level of involvement, if any, of the governments in Khartoum and Tehran in the alleged nuclear plot is unclear.
Posted on 06/10/2007 7:55 AM by Rebecca Bynum
Sunday, 10 June 2007
‘Today, all American bases in the region are within the reach of our medium-range weapons,’ said Zolghadr, former deputy commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards.
‘Today, if the slightest disorder in the region’s security and in the security of the Strait of Hormuz and the Persian Gulf is created, oil prices will reach $250 a barrel and this will lead to the death of European countries and America in terms of economy and security,’ he added.--from this news item
Why isn't the price of oil $250 now? Or $1,000? Or $1,250? And why wasn't it higher in the past, if indeed the Arabs and Iranians are free, as this man seems to think, to set it at will? The answer is that they are not free to set the price at will, and in fact the price can be made higher, at any point, by self-taxation on the part of the oil-consuming nations. The American government should long ago -- in the fall of 1973 in fact -- put a tax on gasoline, a tax that would always have gone up, in regularly scheduled and known increments. And aside from a gasoline tax, oil should long ago have been taxed so as to ensure that those who might invest in nuclear plants, or in solar and wind energy, or in insulation or energy-saving devices, would have done so, without the worry that the price of oil could suddenly collapse.
Beginning n 1973, with the non-stop blague of Sheikh Yamani, the curious notion developed that we, the oil-consuming nations, had to do favors to the oil-producers. This idea began with the so-called "Arab oil boycott" during and after the Yom Kippur War (or October War), which supposedly "punished" countries more favorably disposed to Israel (the United States, The Netherlands) and left "unpunished" those that had taken a pro-Arab line (France, Great Britain). It was nonsense. In fact, oil is fungible, and there is no way for a producer X to boycott country Y, because country Y will simply pay the market price to buy oil that will be produced by country Z (or Q, or U, or V, or W), while producer X will be selling its oil, no longer to country Y, but to other countries that will have reduced their demand for oil from those other producers Q, U, V, W, and Z.
A great many powerful and well-connected people, in Washington, in London, in Paris, got jobs which put them directly (as lobbyists) or indirectly (as "international business consultants," fixers and wheeler-dealers, and foreign policy "experts") on the Arab payroll. It was to their advantage to convince other powerful people that special favors had to be done to placate, to appease the Arab oil producers. No such favors ever needed to have been done. Buying oil from Saudi Arabia is not different in kind from filling up at the local gas station. You would find odd someone who not only paid the posted price for gasoline for his car, but also brought the gas station attendant or owner envelopes filled with cash, and watched the gas station whenever the owner was absent, and swept it, and also lavished all kinds of presents on that gas station owner, in addition to paying the market price, for he labored under some allusion that he was being done a special favor, by being allowed to buy gasoline at the market price.
The worst thing that happened -- as some people made out like gangbusters from their Saudi or other Arab connection -- was that the American government was filled at the top with people who assumed, without ever questioning, that the Arab oil producers not only needed to be appeased in the coin of our promoting the "Peace Process" which merely legitimized the PLO, and helped to disguise the nature of the war on Israel -- a Lesser Jihad and not, as the Arabs tried to make the world think, a "nationalist" struggle for "legitimate rights" of the recently-invented "Palestinian people."
What if the Arab war on Israel had four decades ago not been so easily re-packaged? What if the Israelis had understood and begun to talk about the Lesser Jihad against them, had begun to recognize, that is, that the promptings of Islam, the tenets and attitudes and atmospherics of Islam, were as essential to understanding the Arab war on Israel (that admits of no "solution" but can be contained, if the Israelis cease to make concession after concession, and cease to take seriously the very idea of trusting to "negotiations" and "treaties" with Muslim states or organizations their own perilous future)? Had they done so, then they might, in the early days just after the Six-Day War, have helped put the focus on Islam. And had that focus been put on Islam, at a time when the full venomous anti-Israel propaganda had not yet caused so many in Western Europe to forget that Israel was in the right, and to believe the very worst of it, then people and statesmen in Western Europe might have worried a good deal more, been a lot less heedless, in admitting large numbers of Muslims into their midst.
But the worst thing that happened was that the people on the Arab take, the people who worked directly or indirectly for Arab interests, prevented a sensible energy policy from being pursued in this country, and by preventing it from happening in this country, other countries were less inclined themselves to do what is now understood, at long last, must be done. If Saudi Arabia was indeed our "ally" or even "our staunch ally" then we need not have an energy policy designed to limit the use of oil -- why, such a thing would only antagonize needlessly our good, true, truest friends and allies, the Al-Saud family that rules and robs "Saudi" Arabia.
All threats about oil are false. All those who still believe that the Arabs and Iranians need be treated with kid gloves should be discharged from positions of power or influence. It is important to re-dimension our relations, in the advanced and powerful West, with the primitives who rely entirely on oil and gas revenues, who have nothing else, who have been unable and will assuredly remain unable, to create modern economies, and who continue to rely on foreign workers at every level, for the running of their countries, or for assistance without which they would naturally sink back to their pre-bonanza level. "Money can buy everything -- except civilization" is how a friend of mine who built military cities in Saudi Arabia summed up his experience of that country.
As for Iran, it is an empire, with Persians ruling over a population that is only 50% Persian. There are Azeris, who may make up 1/3 of the population, and Kurds, and Arabs, and Baluchis -- the ethnic minorities who to varying degrees resent their treatment and status, or as in the case of the Baluchis, have both sectarian and ethnic differences with the ruling Persians.
Those who run the Islamic Republic of Iran fail to realize just how fragile their rule is over a country with all kinds of potential fissiparousness -- which arms drops, and encouragement of other sort, could help to bring about in a very short time.
But what if, somehow, the Iranians somehow thought they could seize control of the oilfields of others, or destroy them? This threat is false. The American military has enough force to destroy the Iranian regime -- it does not have to invade, it does not have to bring "freedom" to "ordinary moms and dads" and so on. It can destroy that regime, and not only the regime, but it can help to promote so many different uprisings that the regime would have its hands full.
And if the Iranians were to destroy their own oil industry -- well, so what? Then they would be left with nothing, and no way to pay for anything including arms.
The Americans can always seize, and without much difficulty, in case of absolute necessity, the natural gas fields of Qatar, the oilfields of tiny Kuwait and the Emirates, and of course the fields in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia -- could do it, and in case of need, not American need (remember that oil is fungible) but the need of all oil-consuming nations, would certainly do so, and a great many countries would be relieved, and applaud the act. This, surely, is something the Arabs and Iranians know -- that their position in the world has come undone over the past few years, and even if those making policy in the E.U. and the U.N. do not yet reflect that sea-change, Western publics certainly have a growing distrust, and hostility, based on a much greater acquaintance with Islam, and the observable behavior of Muslims, in their own countries and elsewhere, then they have had in at least a century. And that knowledge is being disseminated, unstoppably -- and cannot be called back, and put back into the bottle.
Posted on 06/10/2007 7:40 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Sunday, 10 June 2007
Here is some interesting information about the Muslim demographic conquest of Lahore Pakistan:
...Less than 60 years ago, almost 40 per cent of the population of the Lahore district was made up of Hindus and Sikhs.
The concentration was significantly higher in Lahore because of its position as a key commercial and cultural centre.
Indeed, even now, people who knew Lahore before Partition in 1947, when the Indian sub-continent was divided into the separate states of India and Pakistan, can recall the Sikh-run restaurants, shops and other businesses scattered across the city. But the number of persons with such memories are dwindling with each passing year. The vast majority of Lahore's population is aged under 50 and many admit they have never seen any Sikh in "real life" until sub-inspector Gulab Singh.
"I had only seen Sikhs in Indian movies. I didn't even realise there were any living in Pakistan," said Adnan Qayyum, 18, a student. The city has a small population of Sikhs - about 25 to 30 families - and Gulab Singh says he never felt out of place.
His presence on Lahore's streets is a reminder of the city's past and also of the fact that there are Sikhs in pockets across the country - the legacy of an almost-forgotten multiculturalism that once existed in the country. If Gulab Singh is the first Sikh to join the police force, a short while ago, Harcharan Singh became the first Sikh to be selected for the Pakistan army.
Gulab Singh's presence on Lahore's streets is a reminder of the city's past and also of the fact that there are Sikhs in pockets across the country.
Posted on 06/10/2007 7:22 AM by Rebecca Bynum
Sunday, 10 June 2007
Posted on 06/10/2007 6:16 AM by Mary Jackson
Sunday, 10 June 2007
Not very seasonal, but here you are:
Tony Blair is being shown round a hospital, and towards the end of his visit he is taken to a ward to meet some of the patients.
He approaches one man, who has no obvious signs of injury, and asks him how he feels. The man replies: `Fair fa' your honest, sonsie face, Great chieftain o' the pudding-race!'
Perplexed, the PM approaches the man in the next bed and asks him why he is in hospital. `Some hae meat, and canna eat, And some wad eat that want it, But we hae meat and we can eat, And sae the Lord be thankit,' says the man.
A third patient tells him: `Wee sleekit, cow'rin, tim'rous beastie, O, what a panic's in thy breastie...'
Embarrassed, Mr Blair turns to the doctor accompanying him and whispers: `What's the matter with them? Is this the psychiatric ward?'
`No,' replies the doctor. `It's the Burns unit.'
Rabbie Burns, Scotland's top poet, must not be confused with Rab C Nesbitt, the heaviliy-accented string-vest-wearing Glasgow icon and star of a television comedy series that would almost certainly be incomprehensible to Americans. Americans were probably wondering, even as they read that sentence, why what they think of as a vest would be made of string.
Confusion of the Rabs is unlikely, but should it ever happen, just ask yourself whose Love Works you would prefer to get your tongue around.
Rabbie Burns was partial to cakes and ale. So partial was he to cakes that he was a regular at a baker's shop in Glasgow's Sauchihall Street. One morning he went in, surveyed the vanilla slices, the fairy cakes, the maids of honour and the Danish pastries and finally, pointing to his choice, asked: "Is that a doughnut or a meringue?" The shop assistant replied: "No, you're right. It's a doughnut."
Posted on 06/10/2007 5:39 AM by Mary Jackson
Sunday, 10 June 2007
MOST British Muslims think there should be a single leader for their religion in Britain to act as their voice and help them to integrate.
They think a British Mufti, to represent them alongside other religious leaders such as the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Catholic Archbishop of Westminster and the Chief Rabbi, would help to ease tensions between Muslims and other groups.
It would also help to ensure a more positive image in the media, according to a poll of 622 Muslims carried out by the online pollster YouGov.
Divisions between Muslims would make the creation of a British Mufti difficult. While 57% of Sunnis and 53% of other Muslim groups are in favour, the proportion falls to just 30% among Britain’s Shi’ite Muslims.
The poll, carried out between April 19 and May 16, shows that among Sunnis a three-to-one majority thinks that a recognised religious leader would have a positive impact, but 7% more Shi’ites disagree than agree.
Posted on 06/10/2007 3:21 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax