Please Help New English Review
For our donors from the UK:
New English Review
New English Review Facebook Group
Follow New English Review On Twitter
Recent Publications by New English Review Authors
The Oil Cringe of the West: The Collected Essays and Reviews of J.B. Kelly Vol. 2
edited by S.B. Kelly
The Impact of Islam
by Emmet Scott
Sir Walter Scott's Crusades and Other Fantasies
by Ibn Warraq
Fighting the Retreat from Arabia and the Gulf: The Collected Essays and Reviews of J.B. Kelly. Vol. 1
edited by S.B. Kelly
The Literary Culture of France
by J. E. G. Dixon
Hamlet Made Simple and Other Essays
by David P. Gontar
Farewell Fear
by Theodore Dalrymple
The Eagle and The Bible: Lessons in Liberty from Holy Writ
by Kenneth Hanson
The West Speaks
interviews by Jerry Gordon
Mohammed and Charlemagne Revisited: The History of a Controversy
Emmet Scott
Why the West is Best: A Muslim Apostate's Defense of Liberal Democracy
Ibn Warraq
Anything Goes
by Theodore Dalrymple
Karimi Hotel
De Nidra Poller
The Left is Seldom Right
by Norman Berdichevsky
Allah is Dead: Why Islam is Not a Religion
by Rebecca Bynum
Virgins? What Virgins?: And Other Essays
by Ibn Warraq
An Introduction to Danish Culture
by Norman Berdichevsky
The New Vichy Syndrome:
by Theodore Dalrymple
Jihad and Genocide
by Richard L. Rubenstein
Spanish Vignettes: An Offbeat Look Into Spain's Culture, Society & History
by Norman Berdichevsky



















These are all the Blogs posted on Saturday, 10, 2011.
Saturday, 10 December 2011
Turkey: Al Qaeda Cell Accused Of Planning To Bomb Churches

From Compass Direct News

A large-scale Al Qaeda plot to bomb “all the churches in Ankara,” as well as the Turkish Parliament and U.S. Embassy in the Turkish capital, was made public today.

In an exclusive splashed across the front page of the daily Taraf newspaper, contents of an official indictment against 11 alleged Al Qaeda militants arrested in July revealed the homegrown terrorist cell’s alleged plans to attack Ankara’s churches as well as their Christian clergy. Prepared and filed by the Special Prosecutor’s Office in Ankara, the 50-page indictment outlined the militants’ revised “jihad” strategy to begin focusing their attacks against Turkey before waging war against the United States and other countries.

“It is more advantageous to wage jihad against Turkey than the United States,” documents seized in the July 14 raid near Ankara reportedly declared. “Let’s blow the Parliament into the sky!”

Among the CDs, detailed maps, sketches and building diagrams, police also discovered lists of the names and home addresses of Christian clergy and other church workers residing in Ankara.

According to documents summarized in the indictment, Al Qaeda leaders strictly forbade the members of the cell to enroll in Turkey’s required military service, recognize the authority of Turkish courts, send their children to public schools, perform Muslim prayers under the leadership of state-salaried prayer leaders or vote in national elections. Those who disobeyed were warned they would be punished. Further guidelines noted in the suspects’ diaries came from their leaders in Afghanistan, instructing them how to conduct themselves if arrested

Although Al Qaeda’s violent interpretation of Islam receives little public backing in officially secular Turkey, Ankara admits that “dozens” of Turks have received training in Afghanistan. The 2003 bombings of the British Consulate, a British bank and two synagogues in Istanbul that killed 58 people were attributed to Al Qaeda-affiliated operatives.

In 2010 Turkish authorities made several mass arrests of suspected Al Qaeda members and sympathizers, indicating a significant support network for its cause within Turkey.

In a related development, Istanbul authorities confirmed today that police were searching for three identified Al Qaeda extremists and five other individuals involved in a $3.5 million heist from a Turkish businessman’s bank account. According to Aksam newspaper, the militants used false identities and bribed bank employees to steal the funds, designated to support the Al Qaeda cause. Four bank employees have been arrested in what police said was one of the first “fiscal terrorism” operations in Turkey.

Posted on 12/10/2011 4:56 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Saturday, 10 December 2011
Advent Pub sign 10

Yesterday I put up the Bell in Thetford. Reactonry responded with the Blue Ball in Triscombe on Exmoor. I return with the Blue Bell in Rothwell Northamptonshire.

Ding, dong merrily on high,
In heaven the bells are ringing.

Posted on 12/10/2011 5:07 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Saturday, 10 December 2011
Mitt Romney on Islam

Des Moines Register:

Cedar Rapids, Ia. – Mitt Romney responded today to a call for a tougher stance against Muslims by saying that most Muslims are peaceful people who deserve respect.

The issue came up during a question-and-answer session at a campaign stop here this morning. A man rose from the audience, claimed he had many Muslim friends, but said, “I have never heard one Muslim condemn Islamic jihad or terrorism. I see Islamic jihad as one of the greatest threats to America and the western world. Are you going to continue to give Islam and Islamic jihad in this country a pass like everybody before you continues to do? The only people that call Islam a religion of peace are the Muslims, and they are the most violent religion in the world.”

Romney said radical, violent Islamists pose a threat to Americans and others around the world. However, he said, “they take a very different view of Islam than the Muslims I know.” He noted that he was raised in the Detroit area, which has a large Muslim population. “They are peace-loving and America-loving individuals. I believe that very sincerely. I believe people of the Islamic faith do not have to subscribe to the idea of radical, violent jihadism.”

I don't think we can afford another administration that clings to fantasies concerning the nature of Islam, or a President who can't distinguish between Islam as a belief system and Muslims as human beings.

Posted on 12/10/2011 5:14 AM by Rebecca Bynum
Saturday, 10 December 2011
Jihad on Sunset and Vine

Hat Tip: Jihadwatch. The eyewitness saying that the gunman was shouting "Allahu akbar" is at 2:42. He wounded at least one person before being shot and killed by police.

Posted on 12/10/2011 5:43 AM by Rebecca Bynum
Saturday, 10 December 2011
Gingrich: Palestinians are an “Invented� People, Peace Process Delusional

This is something Hugh Fitzgerald has been arguing at NER and Jihadwatch for a long, long time. From The Blaze (with thanks to Alan):

Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich said the Palestinians are an “invented” people and the stalled Israeli-Palestinian peace process is “delusional.”

The former Speaker of the House made his comments this week in an interview with cable network The Jewish Channel, which posted excerpts online Friday.

“I believe that the Jewish people have the right to have a state, and I believe that the commitments that were made at a time,” Gingrich said when asked whether he considers himself a Zionist. “Remember there was no Palestine as a state. It was part of the Ottoman Empire. And I think that we’ve had an invented Palestinian people, who are in fact Arabs, and were historically part of the Arab community. And they had a chance to go many places. And for a variety of political reasons we have sustained this war against Israel now since the 1940s, and I think it’s tragic.”

Asked about peace negotiations between the Israelis and Palestinians, Gringrich said, “I think it’s delusional to call it a peace process.”

“We have an armed truce with a Palestinian Authority that’s relatively weak. And on its flank is a Hamas authority which may become relatively weak because it can’t deliver anything. But both of which represent an enormous desire to destroy Israel,” he said. “Frankly, given their school system and the hatred they teach in their schools, often with money that comes from us through the United Nations, I mean I think there’s a lot to think about in terms of how fundamentally you want to change the terms of debate in the region.”

He identified his approach to foreign policy as closer to that of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, saying he believes in a “tough-minded realism.”

“I believe that if somebody is firing rockets at you, they are probably not engaged in the peace process. I believe if somebody goes around and says you don’t have a right to exist, they’re probably not prepared to negotiate for peace,” he said. “I think if someone says they wanna wipe you out, you should believe them. So I see a much more tougher-minded, and much more honest approach to the Middle East in a Gingrich administration.”

Gingrich was also sharply critical of the Obama administration’s so-called “evenhanded” approach to dealing with Israel and the Palestinians, saying it’s actually “favoring the terrorists.”

“If I’m evenhanded between a civil democracy that obeys the rule of law, and a group of terrorists who are firing missiles everyday that‘s not evenhanded that’s favoring the terrorists,” Gingrich said. “I think they [the Obama administration] actually lie to themselves, I don’t think they lie to the American people, I think they believe the stuff that they say. But is so out of touch with reality.”

Click here for the predictable "Palestinian" reaction (hint: they're outraged, but when are they not?)

Posted on 12/10/2011 5:51 AM by Rebecca Bynum
Saturday, 10 December 2011
Rationing Viagra Won't Boost NHS Performance

According to the World Health Organisation, health is not merely the absence of disease but the presence of complete social, psychological and physical wellbeing. And since everybody is the best judge of his own wellbeing, it follows that he who does not have his heart’s desire, and frets over it as a consequence, is in a state of ill-health.

The suggestion, then, by the South Central Priorities Committee (one of those Orwellian-sounding entities with which the NHS now pullulates), that the prescription of Viagra or other similar drugs for erectile dysfunction on the NHS should be restricted to two tablets per month, on the grounds of economy, is in contradiction with the system’s founding principles: that health care should be free at the point of usage. After all, sex life is part of health, and to enjoy a better sex life is to enjoy better health.

The problem with the WHO’s definition, of course, is that to deny anything that anyone desires is, likewise, potentially in contradiction with the system’s founding principles. If I pine for an expensive car that will improve my social status, and if social status (as it has been suggested) is a determinant of health, then it follows that I should be prescribed that car by my doctor on the grounds of health.

Impotence may be caused either physically or psychologically. A man may fail to desire any longer the woman he happens to be with; these things happen. Should, then, the NHS provide the man with someone whom he does desire, by setting up a call-girl service?

Lines have to be drawn somewhere, of course, but unfortunately the world is not divided into nice neat categories for the convenience of line-drawers. Almost all phenomena of any importance occur on a continuum, and so where to draw the line has long been a matter of judgment rather than of discerning clear, natural demarcations.

The NHS has long limited access to cosmetic surgery. The desire for such surgery ranges from that for the correction of obvious gross disfigurement to the merest vanity. It also encompasses madness – those who believe themselves to be disfigured by a feature that to everyone else appears perfectly normal, but for which they demand surgical correction: a correction that never satisfies, and leads to further demands for further correction, and so on ad infinitum. In such cases, suicide is sometimes the outcome.

Cosmetic surgery in the NHS is performed, then, only after an investigation of the person’s reasons for seeking it, and of his psychological stability. Those who are not deemed operable under the guidelines have to seek surgery privately; and even the mad will usually find a surgeon willing to operate on them, a partial (but only partial) confirmation of George Bernard Shaw’s cynical dictum that if you pay a man to cut off your leg, he will. I have known some sad cases of people who have devoted their lives to saving money for operations that never satisfy them.

The question, then, of whether to restrict the availability on the NHS of Viagra and other such drugs is a sensible or humane way to economise is not susceptible to a definitive answer. That economies in the NHS must be made seems certain: the increase in expenditure on the NHS between 1997 and 2007 is equal to about a third of our national debt, and may therefore be said to have played a large part in causing our current crisis.

The cost to the NHS of Viagra is about £78 million (it is a fair bet that the vast majority of those prescribed it do not pay prescription charges). This is about £2 per head of working population per year, the population that is least likely to need the drug. I have no idea whether, if a charity were set up to solicit voluntary financial contributions to subsidise the sex life of others, it would be able to collect £78 million. I suspect not.

But in the context of NHS spending, £78 million is small potatoes. I think it may safely be said that at least it makes quite a lot of people happier, and that therefore it does some good. The budget of the NHS is over £100 billion and needs far more drastic pruning than trimming amounts paid for medicines will achieve.

The obvious candidate for pruning is the wage bill. Those who are highly paid should have their salaries significantly reduced (as has been done in Ireland), particularly those who are not so-called front-line workers. All directors of diversity should be summarily dismissed. Directors of anything should have their salaries and allowances halved; management consultancy in the NHS should henceforth be a criminal offence.

If these proposals were met by strikes, the true purpose of many workers in the NHS would stand revealed: not public service or the health of the population, but the health of their bank balances. And at least my proposals are much sexier than those to limit the prescription of Viagra.

First published in The Telegraph.
Posted on 12/10/2011 6:29 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Saturday, 10 December 2011
"The Syrian People" And "The Winds Of History" And Suchlike Fantasies

From Reuters:

West warns Syria against storming rebel city

Dec. 10, 2011

By Douglas Hamilton

BEIRUT (Reuters) - France called on world powers to "save the Syrian people" on Saturday as it joined the United States and Britain in raising an alarm that President Bashar al-Assad's forces may be about to storm the rebel stronghold of Homs.

In Damascus, the government denied any crackdown, while accusing its opponents of taking up arms and warning the rebels' supporters in the West that Syria could count on Russia, China and others to oppose any foreign intervention in its affairs.

In Homs, a pro-democracy activist said there was no clear sign of a troop build-up other campaigners had reported around the city on Friday. Opposition groups have called for businesses and labor not to work on Sunday, the first day of the working week in Syria, in what they have called a "Strike for Dignity."

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, an opposition website, said 12 people were killed across the country on Saturday plus a man who died of his wounds and three bodies returned to families whom it said had died of torture.

"France is extremely concerned about information of a massive military operation being prepared by Syrian security authorities against the city of Homs," French Foreign Ministry spokesman Bernard Valero said, echoing concerns raised in Washington, London and neighboring Turkey.

"France warns the Syrian government and will hold the Syrian authorities responsible for any action against the population.

"The entire international community must mobilize itself to save the Syrian people," Valero added in a statement.

On Friday, a U.S. State Department spokeswoman said: "It is extremely concerning that in places like Homs we have huge number of reports that they are preparing something large-scale.

"They are not going to be able to hide who's responsible if there is a major assault on the weekend."

"NO CRACKDOWN"

Syria rejected that characterization of events: "There is no policy of crackdown," Foreign Ministry spokesman Jihad Makdesi told Reuters in an e-mail. "The Syrian forces are there to protect civilians and maintain law and order that is breached by those who are carrying arms against the State.

"The story of peacefulness of the protest is no longer a valid story in some places," he said. "Syria needs evolution and not armed confrontation."

Separately, the official Syrian news agency SANA said the so-called BRICS group of developing economic powers - Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa - "reiterated its absolute rejection to any interference in Syrian affairs."

It cited a message from Russia's U.N. ambassador Vitaly Churkin to the United Nations Security Council, which has been the forum for sharp divisions over Syria between the Western powers on the one hand and Russia and China on the other.

Such differences, and Syria's pivotal position at the heart of a web of regional conflicts, mean few see much possibility for the kind of Western military action seen this year in Libya.

The Arab League has been pressing Syria, under threat of sanctions, to remove troops from its towns and let in observers. Egypt's MENA news agency said on Saturday Arab foreign ministers will meet in Cairo at the end of the week to discuss a response to what it called a conditional Syrian acceptance of monitors.

Turkey warned Syria on Friday it would act to protect itself if the crushing of protest threatened regional security and unleashed a tide of refugees on its borders.

The opposition Syrian National Council said in a statement about Homs on Friday: "News reports, videos and information from activists indicate that the regime is preparing to commit a massacre in the city to extinguish the flame of the revolution and 'discipline' the rest of Syria's cities."

However, some activists questioned whether the SNC statement was intended principally to galvanize international action.

One campaigner in Homs, a city of 1.5 million, saw little sign of an imminent offensive on Saturday: "I have been hearing this since yesterday. I did a tour around the city and I did not see anything unusual.

"It's the same checkpoints and the same number of soldiers."

DEATH TOLL

Peaceful demonstrations calling for reform began in Syria in March, inspired by the Arab Spring, but were met almost from the outset by lethal force. Activists say about 4,600 Syrians have been killed, about a quarter of them from security forces.

President Assad says some "mistakes" may have occurred but denies giving any shoot-to-kill order over the past nine months of violent repression, which has prompted defections from the military and led to the creation of a rebel Free Syrian Army.

The Syrian National Council and the Free Syrian Army are separate organizations. The Council has urged the rebel army to stop attacking the army and limit itself to purely "defensive" actions, in order to avoid starting an all-out civil war.

U.N. rights chief Navi Pillay repeated her call for investigators to be allowed into Syria. She is due to brief the Security Council on Monday at the request of France.

In Oslo, where this year's Nobel Peace Prize was presented on Saturday to, among others, a Yemeni campaigner whose part in the Arab spring helped push that country's veteran autocrat to the exit, the head of the prize selection panel said Assad would inevitably have to yield before the "wind of history."

Posted on 12/10/2011 11:04 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Saturday, 10 December 2011
Gingrich Has Introduced A Theme That, Once Said, Cannot Be Unsaid

Gingrich Describes Palestinian People as 'Invented'

Fox News -
Newt Gingrich declared in an interview that Palestinians are an "invented" people, a statement that drew outrage Saturday from top Palestinian officials.

Of course they are invented. Prior to the Six-Day War, it was always "the Arab refugees" or "the Arabs of Palestine." Look at the records of the U.N. You won't find a single mention, by any Arab diplomat or other representative, of "the Palestinian people." It was only after the colossal defeat in June 1967 that the Arabs understood that they could not, through military means alone, defeat Israel, and that first they would have to weaken Israel, through propaganda, and win over the world. And so, with a little help from American public relations firms (reputedly, people at HIl and Knowlton played a big part) and from others -- Jimmy Carter offered Arafat his advice as to how to better promote the "Palestinian cause" which, we all know, is simply the Arab and Muslim cause, the Jihad against the Infidel nation-state of Israel.

Look high, look low, and you will find that it was only some months after the defeat in June 1967 that one began hearing, faintly at first, about this "Palestinian people." And some by now have heard, and many others will be hearing, the words of Zuheir Mohsen who was not a minor figure, but the head of a Syrian-allied faction of the "Palestinian" resistance, As Saiqa, and who stated, in an intervew with James Dorsey for the Dutch newspaper Trouw, the following phrase, in an explosion of candor that simply expresses what all intelligent and well-informed people already know, or can easily figure out:

"The Palestinian people does not exist. The creation of a Palestinian state is only a means for continuing our struggle against the state of Israel for our Arab unity. In reality today there is no difference between Jordanians, Palestinians, Syrians and Lebanese. Only for political and tactical reasons do we speak today about the existence of a Palestinian people, since Arab national interests demand that we posit the existence of a distinct "Palestinian people" to oppose Zionism.

For tactical reasons, Jordan, which is a sovereign state with defined borders, cannot raise claims to Haifa and Jaffa, while as a Palestinian, I can undoubtedly demand Haifa, Jaffa, Beer-Sheva and Jerusalem. However, the moment we reclaim our right to all of Palestine, we will not wait even a minute to unite Palestine and Jordan."

Now a candidate for President, one who is at this moment leading in the race to be the Republican candidate, has introduced this theme. It cannot now be ignored, or taken back. It can be elaborated on. The evidence that amply justifies Gingrich's remarks can be presented. And once it is presented, the whole phony house that the "Palestinian" Arabs and other Arabs built -- with help from willing collaborators all over the West -- can and will come tumbling down. It is the key to their success, this pretense of a separate "Palestinian people." And in holding it up for inspection and analysis, Gingrich has done a wonderful thing. It should and could be followed up by many articles.

The "Palestinian" Arabs have gotten away with murder -- figurative and literal -- for decades. We're all learning, all over the Western world, about Islam. We didn't want to, we had little ijnterest in so doing. But the observable behavior of Muslims all over the world, toward non-Muslims within their power, and toward non-Muslims in their own lands, among whom Muslims have been allowed so heedlessly and dangerously and unsettlingly to settle, is what has caused so many to start to examine the ideology of Islam.

The next step, the step that is now being taken, is to grasp the full nature of Jihad and to understand, at long last, that the war waged, using many instruments of warfare -- terrorism, conventional war, diplomacy, economic warfare, propaganda, demography -- are the same instruments being used to wage war -- that is, Jihad -- against Infidels elsewhere. And minds are being concentrated, as all over the Infidel lands there is a growing horror at what we are learning about the texts and tenets of Islam, the attitudes and atmospherics of Islam, and despite the best efforts of confused and frightened officials in many Western governments that are afraid of fully informing the very people they presume to protect and instruct (and to protect partly by instructing) the self-education of the Western publics on the subject of Islam is proceeding, and there is nothbing the Muslims, the Arabs, includijng the "Palestinian" Arabs, can do to stop it.

Posted on 12/10/2011 3:22 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Saturday, 10 December 2011
Fitzgerald: Identities Constructed Here

[Re-posted from Dec. 2007]

The word "Palestinians" and the invention of the "Palestinian people" was a deliberate construct. It was not the term used, ever since there were Arabs in what Western Christendom called "Palestine." The phrase was never used by the local Arabs until after their defeat in the Six-Day War. And then, having jettisoned Shukairy a few years before, the Arabs collectively decided, with a little help from public-relations advisers in the West, Jimmy Carter among them, to thoroughly redo their presentation.

The most important thing was to redefine the conflict. No longer are all those Arabs against a tiny Jewish state. No. Now, by an act of optical illusion, the tiny Jewish state would be transformed into a vast empire, this Greater Israel (why, the same BBC newscasters who routinely refer to Lebanon as that "tiny country" and to Jordan as that "tiny country" -- I hear it all the time -- for some reason never use that epithet with Israel. Never. Not once) which, even if it came into being, would be all of the size of Massachusetts, and less than one-one-thousandth the size of the Arab states.

And what isn't these days presented as a "constructed" identity? Is being "French" or "English" (or "British") or "American" -- pace Hector St.-John Crevecoeur's "what is this new thing, this American?" -- a "constructed" identity? Yes? No? Mebbe? Yes, "identity," we are told, is "constructed" and "fluid." You can be anything you want to be, and no nasty Westerners have a right to hold onto an identity, their own, which of course doesn’t, being American or Western European, exist. Other lands have “identities” and can hold onto them. But it is to the United States, England, France, and all those other places where so many others, especially Muslims arrive, with their inculcated hostility undeclared at customs, packed carefully in their mental package, and to be unpacked as soon as they are safely in the country.

 We live in an age when so many things are claimed not to embody any truth based on the considerable evidence of one’s senses (including the “eyesight” that permits one to read books), but are claimed, rather, to be "socially constructed." Think of the kind of words Terri Gross, in those intolerable NPR interviews, likes to dwell upon with her quests, questioning them about “coming to terms” with, or “discovering” or something-or-other, with their own "Sexuality" and "Identity.” And of course “race” is merely a social construct, isn’t it, which is why the man who parachutes into Beijing, or Iowa, or the Congo, doesn’t notice the slightest difference in the kind of people he happens to meet.

Oh, did I forget to mention "reality"? Yes, nowadays "reality” also doesn't exist. It's merely "constructed." And we all thought it was just jesting Pilate who said "there is no such thing as truth." You can learn about all this from Gayatri Chakravarti Spivak, and Judith Butler, and even the equally-impenetrable-prosist Homi Bhabha (who, by the way, should mind his self-conscious manners and wait before attempting to walk out of a lecture-cum-concern when it only has a few minutes to go).

But the absurdities pile up. It was time to rename the local Arabs, both those in the territories won by Israel that were part of the original Palestine Mandate (Gaza, the "West Bank" quondam Judea and Samaria), and those who had been called simply, and a bit too easily, "Arab refugees" -- by every single Arab spokesman at the U.N., the Arab League, and elsewhere -- living in those villages (always described as "refugee camps" though some are full-fledged cities, and all have stores and built-up areas; these are not tent cities -- the kind of thing that refugees in Darfur must endure) in Jordan, Lebanon, and so on.

The term "Israeli" was not deliberately invented to score political points. Far from it. The Jews of Israel are really what is in play here, the survival of a Jewish state, of the right of the Jews to have a state.

It is absurd to equate the deliberate and sinister creation of this fake "Palestinian identity" for political ends, with the simple term "Israeli" to describe those who are citizens of the state of Israel.

So let's do it otherwise. Let's, more truthfully, talk about Arabs and Jews. Arabs and Jews in the Middle East. The Jews, who come from the Middle East, and a million of whom in 1948, having endured for centuries the life of dhimmis under Muslim rule (save in those places, such as North Africa, where the brief rule by European powers led to Jewish emancipation from the burden of living under Shari'a -- thanks in Algeria to the loi Cremieux of 1870) left, and most fled to the state of Israel. Do the Jews have a right to a state, a state that can be defended against permanent Muslim aggression, or do they not?

And as for the local Arabs, whose numbers have been so exaggerated -- few bother to consult the Ottoman cadastral or demographic records, such as they are, in pronouncing on the subject of "Palestine" and fewer still put that "Palestine" and the non-Muslim and non-Arab minorities of the Middle East into their proper light, their proper perspective -- for the Kurds also, now is perhaps the time to add, have a right to an independent state, and Lebanon, by rights, should remain a haven, a final haven, for the Arabic-using Christians -- not all, by a long shot, are Arabs -- in the Middle East.

So there it is. A Jewish state, permanently imperiled, and asked to voluntarily make itself still more imperiled. And the implacable relentless Arabs, using salami tactics, and their vast unearned wealth, to apply every kind of pressure to get the world's Infidels to join in the gang-up, and to push Israel back to clearly indefensible borders, without control of vital aquifers, without control of traditional invasion routes, eight miles wide at its waist, from Qalqilya to the sea. And this is the one country, the only country, that the most persecuted tribe in human history, having recently been the victim of the most unbelievable crime in human history, that exists for that tribe to embody its national identity without any doubts or need to conform to what others would have.

And on the other hand, there are the Arabs, who having denied or attempted to deny every non-Muslim and non-Arab people in North Africa and the Middle East -- Kurds and Berbers and now blacks in Darfur and Christian Copts and Maronites and Assyrians and Chaldeans and others -- their rights, in some cases their linguistic and cultural rights, in others their rights to control or profit from their own natural resources, in still other cases, to enjoy freedom from Arab political masters -- and those Arabs have denied these peoples the right to speak their own non-Arab languages (see the case of the Berbers), retain their own culture, have even mass-murdered them in the Sudan and Iraq, with the other Arabs looking on, openly or silently supporting them, and blocking all attempts to stop the murder.

And those same Arabs, with their 22 states, have also been the beneficiaries of unmerited wealth, having nothing to do with their own efforts, their own industry or entrepreneurial flair. The rich Arabs and Muslims have received, for doing absolutely nothing, some ten trillion dollars since 1973 alone, and we all know the arms, and the luxurious palaces, and the call girls, and the yachts, and all the rest of it, that they have spent their money on, including the mosques and madrasas and Da'wa and propaganda on behalf of Islam -- through buying up journalists, creating academic centers, dangling possible contracts before greedy businessmen, and all the rest of it.

The war in the Middle East is that between Arabs and Jews, not between “Israelis” and “Palestinians” Long before there was an Israel, there were Jews living in Yemen, in Iraq, in Syria, in North Africa, in Iran (before expelled by the Muslims from the Jazirat al-Arab, they were even on the Arabian Peninsula; Hebrew lettering has been found on ruins in northwestern Saudi Arabia, Land of the Midianites). The appropriation of the term "Palestinian" -- as in "Palestinian people" -- and its deliberate promotion from adjective to noun (as in "the 'Palestinians'") -- was a deliberate and tendentious act of propaganda. The term "Israeli" per contra, is nothing more than a description of "the citizens of a nation-state called Israel" (not all of whom, by the way, are Jews), and it would be far more accurate to describe the business in Annapolis, or Camp David, and the conflict itself, as being not between "Israeli" and "Palestinian" but between Arab and Jew, or still more accurately, between Believer and Infidel, for the source of the conflict is to be located in Islam, and the refusal in Islam to countenance an Infidel state or power, of any size, controlling land, of any amount, that was once ruled over by Muslims.

If Israel happens to have been at the forefront of Arab Muslim efforts, that hardly means that the same claim is not made on Spain, Sicily, the Balkans, Greece, Bulgaria, Rumania, much of Hungary, almost all of India, and so on. Nor, of course, does the fact that places formerly part of Dar al-Islam are at the top of the Islamic To-Do List (Recover Lands), mean that the claim to the rest of the known world has disappeared, or would disappear, if the denizens of Dar al-Islam managed to recapture every inch of land once part of Dar al-Islam. No, they have bigger fish to fry -- the whole world. And surely at the SOAS there are books, if not courses, that will let you in on that not-exactly well-kept secret.

If the Arabs of Iran, those around Ahwaz, where all the Iranian oil is pumped, in Khuzistan, were to go for broke and try to fight off "the Persians" and create a separate, well-funded state for the ethnic Arabs, and began, for the purposes of propaganda, to call themselves the "Khuzistanian people," would you claim that the term "Khuzistanian people" is not more of a "construct" than the term "Persian people" or "Persians"? Think about that for a bit.

The leader of As Saiqa, one terrorist group under the PLO umbrella, Zuhair Mohsen, is widely known for having made the following statement in a March 1977 interview with the Dutch newspaper Trouw:

"The Palestinian people does not exist. The creation of a Palestinian state is only a means for continuing our struggle against the state of Israel for our Arab unity. In reality today there is no difference between Jordanians, Palestinians, Syrians and Lebanese. Only for political and tactical reasons do we speak today about the existence of a Palestinian people, since Arab national interests demand that we posit the existence of a distinct "Palestinian people" to oppose Zionism.

For tactical reasons, Jordan, which is a sovereign state with defined borders, cannot raise claims to Haifa and Jaffa, while as a Palestinian, I can undoubtedly demand Haifa, Jaffa, Beer-Sheva and Jerusalem. However, the moment we reclaim our right to all of Palestine, we will not wait even a minute to unite Palestine and Jordan."

And there are many other remarks like this, sometimes by Arabs, and sometimes even by those engaged in “Arab refugee” work before it was taken over completely by “Palestinians” and other Arabs.

See, for example, what Elfan Rees, the special advisor on refugees to the World Council of Churches, wrote in 1957 in The Refugee Problem Today and Tomorrow:

"I hold the view that, political issues aside, the Arab refugee problem is by far the easiest postwar refugee problem to solve by integration. By faith, by language, by race and by social organization, they are indistinguishable from their fellows of the host countries. There is room for them, and land for them, in Syria and in Iraq. There is a developing demand for the kind of manpower that they represent. More unusually still, there is the money to make this integration possible. The United Nations General Assembly, five years ago, voted a sum of 200 million dollars to provide 'homes and jobs' for the Arab refugees. That money remains unspent, not because these tragic people are strangers in a strange land, because they are not; not because there is no room for them to be established, because there is; but simply for political reasons."

Read the U.N. records, the records of what every Arab said, threatening or cajoling, from 1948 or well before 1948, right up to the Six-Day War, and even for a short period beyond, and it is only then that, out of the blue, comes this phrase “the Palestinian people.”
Posted on 12/10/2011 4:21 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Saturday, 10 December 2011
In Syria, Bedfellows Make Estranged Politics

From The Telegraph:

Defecting Syrian soldier tells of his marriage torn apart by brutal conflict in Homs

Syria's brutal conflict is not only tearing communities apart - families and even marriages are also falling victim. A defecting soldier from the besieged town of Homs tells his story.

The Homs marriage torn apart by Syria's brutal conflict
Major Haitham Emhammed hides his face to protect his family Photo: RUTH SHERLOCK

As Major Haitham Emhammed prepared to return to Syria from his hiding place in Lebanon and fight for the overthrow of President Bashar al Assad's regime, his wife called him repeatedly on his mobile phone.

Mrs Emhammed, who is still inside Syria, wasn't calling to urge him to fight for freedom, or even to beg him to be careful. His wife, a member of the Alawite ethnic group that make up Mr Assad's hard-core of support, was calling her Sunni Muslim husband to lambast the rebel movement he has joined, and bemoan the fact that he had left his family.

"She calls me every two hours to tell me how awful it is that the protesters - the 'terrorists', are killing the Alawite soldiers," said Major Emhammed.

An army defector aged 42, he has been married to a wife of the minority Alawite sect for 15 years. He fell in love with her instantly when he saw her on a bus, and wooed her at some risk to his safety - they had to marry in secret after members of her family were outraged when she fell for a Sunni.

But true love conquered all, they had two children - a son, now 14, and a daughter, now 11.

For years they lived happily in an Alawite neighbourhood of Homs. [in other words, as a Sunni he did not have to worry. Would Alawites in Sunni neighborhoods have "lived happily"?]Then in March, as the Arab Spring swept across the region, the Syrian uprising began in their own town, which has since suffered more than any other in the country.

As it took hold, their religious differences started to matter, and then began to tear their marriage apart.

Now he fears that he may never see his family again, at least not as a loving husband and father.

"My wife, she loves the army and she loves Bashar al Assad. She watches the state television and becomes saddened by the soldiers and state security men being killed every day," he said, at a small house in Akkar, near the Syrian border, one of a string of small towns that have become a refuge and gathering point for men like himself.

His wife - whose first name Major Emhammed declined to give for her own protection - believed what state television told her, as did her family and community. The major, although a privileged man because of his marriage and an officer in the army, saw a different reality each day in the streets.

"Every time I returned home I explained what was happening at the checkpoints. I said it was a sin that the Shabeha [regime thugs] killed protesters. But she doesn't understand what the Shabeha are. She wouldn't agree with me, she would become confused and say she is just against killing."

As the violent crackdown escalated, the major was faced with a brutal choice; follow orders to fire on civilians, or be killed. So he escaped, defecting to join the Free Syrian Army, an armed insurgency seeking to wage war on the regime. But his wife, still convinced that the rebels were terrorists, would not follow him.

"I tried to bring my wife and two children with me to Lebanon. I said to my wife; 'I am so sorry, I can't live like this. Please come with me. But she would not come. 'We are safer here,' she told me. "

What began nine months ago as peaceful mass protests against President Bashar al Assad's regime, has now in Homs become a bloody battle of sectarian attacks and reprisals.

"If this continues, in two months time the whole country will be in a sectarian war," he said.

Homs in recent weeks has been rife with stories of sectarian killings, with people from both sects kidnapped and killed in incidents frighteningly reminiscent of the darkest days in neighbouring Iraq, their corpses dumped on the doorsteps of their neighbours in their district. Activists blame such violence on the regime.

"Regime Shabeha are trying to incite sectarian hatred," said Abo Rami, an activist speaking to The Sunday Telegraph from Homs after one such incident. "They kill Sunnis and blame it on the Alawites. Then they stage reprisals." [no, the Shabiha are not "staging reprisals" on Alawites; the Sunnis are quite capable of emulating, without any prompting, the violence of others and of instigating it as well]

Major Emhammed, who fled across the border a week ago by a dangerous route through minefields, evading security forces, described a grim and terrifying city already in the throes of sectarian civil war.

"In my neighbourhood people think I am Alawite because of my marriage to my wife. As I collected food for the soldiers in a nearby restaurant, the restaurant owner asked me where my military checkpoint was stationed that day. I named a Sunni district. 'Good. For God's sake rape their women and kill them all,' he replied," he said.

Travelling between Sunni and Alawite districts in Homs has become nearly impossible. "Alawite families living in Sunni neighbourhoods have fled because they fear for their lives. Now if you want to go from one district to the next you will have to ask 100 taxi drivers. Alawite drivers won't go into Sunni neighbourhoods and the other way around."

He quickly became sickened by the regime violence. "I watched two people I knew aim their guns at protesters in the crowd and kill them," said Emhammed.

"This order was given by an Alawite officer. Each officer has two Shabeha with him to watch the soldiers and report back to the officer. If someone didn't want to follow the orders, they would wait until they left to go inside the city and they would shoot him from behind," he added.

He described the horrific incident that convinced him the time had come to leave. "There was a woman crossing the road coming towards the checkpoint, wearing a hijab. They didn't ask her where she was going, they just shot her."

Most Alawite women do not wear the conservative full head covering, so the soldiers may have assumed she was either Sunni or Shia - either way, a possible protester.

As if that were not enough, Shabeha on the checkpoint then pounded the dead woman's neck with his gun until they separated the head, which they put into a plastic bag, he said.

"There were protests going on and she had already crossed two checkpoints. But all she had been doing was shopping with her son. Later an officer asked what happened, the Shabeha said there was a car coming toward them, and they had shot at suspected terrorists. But I saw that it was just a woman on foot, wearing the hijab."

Now his hope is that large-scale defections will bring down the regime. Every day more ex-soldiers risk the journey across the border into Lebanon to join the Free Syrian Army, and he is convinced that 80 per cent of the 3,000 division of the military he was in want to defect, but aren't yet able to do so.

On Friday more than forty more protesters were killed in new violence in Syria - with some of the worst violence, as so often, in Homs. One resident reported that "the earth was shaking" with explosions and gunfire erupting early in the morning.

"Armoured personnel carriers drove through the streets and opened fire randomly with heavy machine guns," he said.

Two boys, ages 10 and 12, were hit by stray bullets near government checkpoints in Homs, according to activists. At least two other young teenagers were killed elsewhere, the activists said. The UN estimates that at least 4,000 people have died in the attempt by the Assad regime to suppress the protests.

Activists in the besieged city of Homs, communicating by the internet, said they had been warned of a new army offensive on Monday unless they stayed in their homes.

"We've been told we have 48 hours to stop protesting, but they are not going to stop us and we are not going to listen," said an activist called Walid.

As Major Emhammed spoke, in a darkened room thick with cigarette smoke, three new recruits arrived, still breathless but elated that they had escaped from Syria - but all of them armed and willing to go back in an opposition army.

Major Emhammed is determined to continue the struggle, get hold of weapons, and fight - even though he knows that continuing down this path could mean civil war for the whole country.

And that in turn may mean losing his family for ever. "I feel that I have lost them, and I fear for them, and for this I cry every day," he said.

Posted on 12/10/2011 4:25 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Saturday, 10 December 2011
A Little Something For Gingrich To Use In Debates
It was after the Six-Day War that the local Arabs started to be called, by Arab rulers and propagandists, and then by themselves, once they got the picture, the "Palestinian people." They did not differ in any way -- not religion, not language, not customs or fairy tales or folkdances or any other way, from the Jordanian Arabs, or indeed from most other Arabs. It is the Arab people, after all, who distinguish themselves by noting that in Iraq there are Arabs and Kurds, in Algeria and Morocco Arabs and Berbers, in the Sudan Arabs and black Africans. So why then should anyone in his right mind begin to talk about the Arabs in the territories Israel won as not Arabs, but as the just-created-for-propaganda reasons "Palestinians," which is simply a way to set up, in the minds of so many, the dreamy belief that if there are people -- Arabs -- called "Palestinians," why then surely they must have the true claim to territory which we call "Palestine." How many understand that "Palestine," too, is simply a toponym invented by the Romans for use (from "Syria palaestinorum" or "Syria of the Philistines" which means "that part of Greater Syria, Arabic Shams, which belongs to the "Philistines" who were a people in southwestern Israel, near Gaza, who became extinct several millennia ago), and that "Palestine" continued to be used in Western Christendom, but not used by the Arabs until the 20th century, when suddenly, because the Jews were bring those former vilayets of the Ottoman Empire to life, a place they called "Filastin" became important to the Arabs.
Posted on 12/10/2011 4:34 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Saturday, 10 December 2011
Fitzgerald: What The Israelis, And Those Who Wish Them Well, Must Start To Say Publicly
Re-posted for debate purposes now:
Thursday, 21 April 2011
What The Israelis, And Those Who Wish Them Well, Must Start To Say Publicly

Mahmoud Abbas, the corrupt henchman of the late Yasser Arafat (who was, dollar for G.D.P, the most corrupt of all Arab leaders, out-mubaraking mubarak by a long shot), who worked closely with him over more than three bloodsoaked decades, a man who is kept in power by the Israeli military (who keep Hamas down and out on the "West Bank"), and who is supported financially -- is totaly dependent, as is the "Palestinian": Authority from which Mahmoud Abbas, like the rest of the Fatah warlords, diverts large sums for his own use, and that of his children (Mahmoud Abbas' brood are currently doing well as "businessmen" in Qatar -- or is it Dubai?) on billions of dollars supplied by Infidel taxpayers in Western Europe and North America.

Yet this non-ruler, whose writ does not run beyond the Mukata in Ramallah, and who rules over a non-people (the "Palestinians" who were invented, for propaganda reasons, after the Six-Day War, when a relentless and patient diplomatic and propaganda war against Israel became necessary since outright force could not lead to an assured Arab victory), and who has a non-economy that depends -- and as Fayyad blandly plans, always will depend -- on the West for its continued survival, is not wrong in predicting Israel's political "isolation" if Israel continues to accept, or do so little to contradict, the Arab narrative.

Here is some of what the israeli government should be saying:

Israel is entitled to, has a legal, moral, and historic claim to, one recognized by the League of Nations, all of Western Palestine. The fact that the Jordanian military seized part of Western Palestine in the 1948-49 war ,  neither extinguished, nor diminished, that claim. When Israel, by force of arms, in a war it did not start -- Nasser declared war by mobilizing his army, blockading Israel's trade lifeline the Straits of Tiran, and demanding the removal of U.N. troops in the Sinai that stood between the Egyptian army and Israel -- won those parts of Judea and Samaria that the Jordanians had seized in the 1948-49 war, it became possible to enforce, but did not create, the legal, moral, and historic claim.

It was after the Six-Day War that the local Arabs started to be called, by Arab rulers and propagandists, and then by themselves, once they got the picture, the "Palestinian people." They did not differ in any way -- not religion, not language, not customs or fairy tales or folkdances or any other way, from the Jordanian Arabs, or indeed from most other Arabs. It is the Arab people, after all, who distinguish themselves by noting that in Iraq there are Arabs and Kurds, in Algeria and Morocco Arabs and Berbers, in the Sudan Arabs and black Africans. So why then should anyone in his right mind begin to talk about the Arabs in the territories Israel won as not Arabs, but as the just-created-for-propaganda reasons "Palestinians," which is simply a way to set up, in the minds of so many, the dreamy belief that if there are people -- Arabs -- called "Palestinians," why then surely they must have the true claim to territory which we call "Palestine." How many understand that "Palestine," too, is simply a toponym invented by the Romans for use (from "Syria palaestinorum" or "Syria of the philistines" which means "that part of Greater Syria, Arabic Shams, which belongs to the "Philistines" who were a people in southwestern Israel, near Gaza, who became extinct several millennia ago), and that "Palestine" continued to be used in Western Christendom, but not used by the Arabs until the 20th century, when suddenly, because the Jews were bring those former vilayets of the Ottoman Empire to life, a place they called "Filastin" became important to the Arabs.

There is not only the legal, moral, and historic claim, based on what the civilized nations and peoples, represented by the League of Nations, recognized in creating -- among a series of mandates designed to deal with territories in the former Ottoman Empire -- that Israel possesses, unextinguished and unextinguishable, by U.N. votes. For the U.N. Charter requires the U.N. to recognize, and not to change, the Mandates system it inherited from the League of Nations, as the successor to that body. And whatever the mandates for Mesopotamia, Syria-Lebanon, that were created, or the mandates planned for a Kurdish state and an Armenian state (which never came to be) , the Mandate for Palestine was created, as its preamble makes clear, for one and only one reason: the establishment of a Jewish National Home, that is, what became, on May 15, 1948, the State of Israel. That was its purpose. That was its reason for being.

The Israelis need to state this firmly. They need, too, to question --to call into question -- the existence of this "Palestinian people" by noting its sudden appearance, after the war in June 1967. They need to point out that in the records of the U.N. itself, in all the speeches of all the Arab diplomats, including the most egregious of all, Jamil Baroody, the Lebanese who became the Saudi ambassador to the U.N., there is not, until after the Six-Day War, a single mention of the "Palestinian people." And it's easy to go through the copies of the U.N. records. Computers make word searches easy enough for cats and dogs to conduct. So even journalists for the New York Times and the Washington Post -- even for The Guardian -- should be able to perform this little task. 

And finally, not to the U.N., but to the American and other governments of countries that form what we call the West, Israel needs to point out that every Western base, every Western pseudo-alliance, with an Arab country, or a Muslim country, sooner or later falls apart. The Americans once had a base in Morocco., which had to be kept hidden from view, and finally the Moroccan govnement closed it down. The Americans had Wheelus Air Base in Libya, and when Qaddafy came to power, and Idris fell, that huge base was lost. The Americans have a base in Bahrain -- but for how long, if the Americans do not continue to give support to the Al-Khalifa and the minority Sunnis? And the question then is: for how long, if the Americans continue to give support to the Al-Khalifa and the minroity Sunnis? The Americans have rights to a base in Qatar which that Vicar of Bray, the Emir or King or Padishah or whatever he is of Qatar (total Qatari population of Qatar: 250,000), allows them to have not because he is pro-American, but because he wants some protection against Iran, Saudi Arabia, possibly Iraq, all the big boys in the 'hood. The Americans have temporary use of a base in Kuwait -- but for how long? And in Iraq, all those grand plans and assumptions about a base in a "new Iraq" have been shatterd. Ditto all that trust in "staunch ally in the war on terrorism" Saudi Arabia. Ditto, and in spades, with that trust in the government of meretricious and permanently dangerous Pakistan.

So where is the only steady and secure base for the West, an outpost of Western power, that will always be used, or can be used, to help protect the West against those who conduct Jihad, as good Muslims must? There is only one place that is secure, in that vast swath of territory that extends from Italy  to East Asia. And that one secure place for the projection of Western power --  it is itself that base --is Israel. For though Turkey is a member of NATO, as a Muslim country that, under Erdogan, is becoming more Muslim and hence hostile to non-Muslims every day, Turkey cannot be trusted, and the American bases there are not to be used, it is clear, with the freedom that the Americans once assumed they would possess. And they are not to be used at all against Muslim powers pursuing Muslim interests. India is an ally, of sorts, but India has 150 million Muslims whose wishes have to be taken into account and that might inhibit India clearly taking sides against Muslims. In fact, India has tried over the years to placate the Arabs, in the foolish hope that somehow that would cause them to offer less support for Pakistan and its local Jihad against the Hindus of India. (Turkey, under Erdogan, will never help the West against what the West will see as a Muslim threat).

Morally, Israel must be supported, and supported in its generous offer which should amount to this: 

The Arabs of the West Bank will be allowed as much autonomy as is consonant with the security of the people of Israel.

Militarily, Israel must be supported, for the sake not only of Israel, but of Infidels everywhere. Many of those Infidels have allowed themselves to be taken in by the last forty years of steady Arab propaganda, aided so ably by those who are merely collaborators, of the Arab Jihad, but who are Western and work in the Western press. These people have helped misinform so many in the West about the nature of the war being made on Israel - it is a classic Jihad, and not a war "for the legitmate rights of the 'Palestinian' people" -- and about the scrupulosity, the bravery, and the ingenuity, with which Israelis have managed, all these years, to defend themselves and will have to go on defending themselves, as long as Jihad remains the doctrine central to Islam that it has been for the entire history of that universally menacing Total Belief-System. But now, for their own wellbeing, they have to see Islam as the immutable ideology that it is. They have to understand what it inculcates, and why the hope of "integrating" large numbers of Muslims into Western societies is forlorn, and dangerous. And they have to stop believing that "if only" the West does this or does that -- such as throwing Israel to the Arab and Muslim wolves, or in spending trillions to bring prosperity, unity, you name it, to Iraq, to Afganistan, to Pakistan, to Libya, to [Name Your Muslim Country Here] -- somehow the threat that comes to Islams from an immutable doctrine with an amazingly powerful hold on the minds of its adherents, will lessen.

It won't. It can't.

Posted on 12/10/2011 4:36 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Saturday, 10 December 2011
Fitzgerald: Fast Jihadists And Slow Jihadists

[Re-posted friom Jan 2009 for use by Presidential candidates who might welcome some phrase-making help]


It has taken quite a while. It still is not understood by many, and among those many are many in Israel, who simply do not want to understand how badly they have for so long misunderstood, the war being waged against them. For too many of them, it is an upsetting idea. They can't quite grasp, because they would dearly prefer not to grasp, that the war against Israel has no end, so further Israeli concessions and at this point irrational sweet-reasonableness will only weaken Israel, and thus, by the logic of Islam, make it more not less likely that Muslims will attack the Infidel nation-state. Nor should much significance be given to the war, for power and loot, between the two factions Hamas and Fatah. They agree completely on the goal, and the end result. But the Slow Jihadists of Fatah, being more corrupt, and thus more immediately desirous of Western aid, and being more patient and cunning as well, because less heedlessly fanatical, differ only in tactics and in timing from the Fast Jihadists of Hamas, who in any case may themselves be becoming, just a little, more pragmatic, which naturally draws them closer to the Slow Jihadists of Fatah.

But the Slow Jihadists and the Fast Jihadists simply underline the main and obvious point, which nonetheless must be restated as often as possible: The war against Israel waged by Muslim Arabs and other Muslims who follow the Arab lead is merely a classic Jihad. After the Six-Day War, the Arabs made every effort, because they realized that a military "solution" was not at hand, to repackage their opposition to Israel. They would use the fact of Israel's victory against it. Among the territories that Israel took possession of were two -- Gaza and the "West Bank" -- to which Israel had good, even clear, title according to all the legal and historic (not to mention moral claims) -- which were soon re-presented to the world as the land of a suddenly-invented "Palestinian people," (never mentioned before by any Arab rulers, diplomats, historians, or others), and the careful fabrication continued as part of the so-called "construction-of-the-Palestinian-identity" project, right down to the renaming of a few banal Arab folkdances as "Palestinian" in nature. For the Arabs have always been very clever about manipulating the Western publics, while Israel has endured a political and media elite that takes pride in its absence of guile, its blunt forthrightness, save that the blunt forthrightness of Golda Meir's dismissal of the "Palestinian people" did not continue, and the Israelis became unwitting collaborators in their own propagandistic degringolade.

The Arabs understood, after the colossal defeat of June 1967, that they would need more time, and other strategies, to defeat and then destroy Israel. They realized that they would need the outside world, and particularly the Western powers that had affinities with, and even gave moral and sometimes other kinds of support to Israel, to take the Arab and Muslim side. They worked hard to make sure that those Western powers, little by little, stopped seeing the conflict as what it was, but as something else, in which tiny Israel could be depicted as the o'erweening bully, and the Arab side depicted as the much weaker victims.

Considering that the Arabs alone outnumber the Jews of Israel 60 to one, and that the land in the possession of the Arabs is about 14 million square miles, while Israel in the 1949 armistice lines is about 10,000 square miles, and even with the "West Bank" does not even contain the 14,000 square miles that would make Mighty Israel, Greater Israel, all of one-one-thousandth the size of the Arab-ruled lands (where Berbers, Kurds, Copts, and all other non-Arab or non-Muslim peoples, are treated with contumely, or discrimination, or persecution, or worse), this was a neat trick.

But the Arabs managed it. They began by carefully renaming the Arabs in the territories won by Israel in the Six-Day War as the "Palestinian people," a phrase not used, not once, by any Arab diplomat or leader prior to the Six-Day War. Thus a new "people" was created -- see Zuhair Mohsain's admission to the Dutch newspaper "Trouw" about the propagandistic motivation for the "Palestinian people":

The Palestinian people does not exist. The creation of a Palestinian state is only a means for continuing our struggle against the state of Israel for our Arab unity. In reality today there is no difference between Jordanians, Palestinians, Syrians and Lebanese. Only for political and tactical reasons do we speak today about the existence of a Palestinian people, since Arab national interests demand that we posit the existence of a distinct "Palestinian people" to oppose Zionism..

For tactical reasons, Jordan, which is a sovereign state with defined borders, cannot raise claims to Haifa and Jaffa,, while as a Palestinian, I can undoubtedly demand Haifa, Jaffa, Beer-Sheva and Jerusalem. However, the moment we reclaim our right to all of Palestine, we will not wait even a minute to unite Palestine and Jordan.

But then the Israelis, so desperately eager for peace, failed to respond. They failed utterly to recognize the propagandistic case that was being built, by which the Jihad against the Infidel state of Israel was to be disguised as merely a conflict between two "tiny peoples" (though the Arabs never hide the fact that they consider themselves one people, a people united in language, customs, religion, and all the other outward and inward markers of ethnic identity).

In this scenario, Israel was cast in the role of bullying "occupier." In reality, it was no such thing, for its historic and legal claim to the "West Bank" did not begin with, and was not dependent on, the possession that resulted from the Six-Day War. For Israel's "occupation" of territory deliberately set aside for the Jewish National Home according to the League of Nations' Mandate for Palestine could hardly be seen as similar, say, to "Occupied Paris" (to which the Germans had no legitimate claim) or "Occupied Vienna" or "Occupied Berlin" (both cities which the Allies occupied with military forces after the war, but to which they did not have, and did not wish to fabricate, any kind of permanent claim). The same goes, of course, for "Occupied Japan," to which the Americans of course had no claim other than of being military occupier. That is quite different from Israel, which in the Six-Day War came into possession of territory to which it had a claim, and a right -- legal, historic, and moral -- recognized by those who established the Mandate system after World War I.

The Arabs have had a good run, aided and abetted by a series of mediocre Israeli governments, and by media and political elites in Israel largely ignorant of Islam, almost willfully so, and thus blind to the war being waged, for all time, against the state of Israel. Perhaps to allow themselves to understand the nature of Islam, and thus to recognize the endless nature of the war being waged on Israel, has simply been too painful for Israelis to face up to. So instead they -- like the Western Europeans -- simply prefer to deny it all, and thus to end up collaborating with the propaganda put out by their enemies, aiding those enemies to conceal the nature of the war being waged.

But now, it seems, each new killing or attack, in Madrid or London or Mumbai, in Amsterdam or New York, in Washington or New Delhi, in Moscow or Manila, in southern Thailand or in southern Nigeria or in southern Sudan, of Muslims against Christians, Hindus, Buddhists, and all others, chips away at that Arab propaganda, and begins to allow us once again to see, revealed, the true nature of the war against Israel. As this war is seen, and seen more clearly, soonest by the keenest, and then afterwards by the less keen, it will be harder and harder for the farce of the "legitimate rights of the 'Palestinian' people" business to be uttered with a straight face. And if Israel can hold on, and can start to see things straight, and help others in Western Europe and North America, by making its own new understanding of things clear, to themselves come to grasp the meaning, and permanent menace, of Islam, then it is just possible that Israel will have a chance. Further appeasement will not and cannot work. Islam is triumphalist. Every victory, anywhere, against any Infidels, only whets, and never sates, Muslim appetites. This needs to be understood. Not after the next concession of tangible assets to the Arabs, but before any more such disastrous concessions, by the likes of the olmerts of this world, are made.

Israel consists of several countries. One of those countries is the one in which an Olmert can compare the justified fury of Jewish villagers in Kiryat Arba who have been goaded by the local Arabs beyond endurance to a "pogrom." In that country, Ha'aretz columnists, aided by Israelis who control the radio and television, can consistently and deliberately avoid all mention of the texts and tenets of Islam, and blithely describe a "peace" that they think can be established if, and only if, Israel continues to make tangible concessions, as it has been making to the Arabs and Muslims ever since the 1948-49 war, though every single resulting agreement or, if not agreement, then assurances by an Arab state -- e.g., Nasser's Egypt to the "international community" in order to get back the Sinai, has in one way or another ultimately been breached by the Arab side.

And those breaches have been so continuous, so systematic, and so blatant, that one might have thought that some people in the Israeli government, as well as some in the Foreign Ministry, and some in the Israeli media would have begun to ask if perhaps the problem was not with this or that country or leader with whom the treaties were contracted, but rather with some underlying theory concerning the observance of treaties in Islam – a theory that had little to do with the "Pacta Sunt Servanda" (treaties are to be obeyed) principles that underlie the Western understanding, and Western assumptions, about treaties.

And if those in Israel's political and media elites had done what should have been the most obvious thing in the world, which is to say, if they had begun to study the law of war and peace in Islam, perhaps by beginning with Majid Khadduri’s book War and Peace In the Law of Islam, then the members of those elites -- the Ha'aretz columnists, in all their baseless and smug self-assurance, and the political figures who meet with their approval, and the television wise men -- would have had to recognize some uncomfortable truths. They would have had to come to grips with those truths, and would have had to come to formulate or support policies that were based not on the notion that Pacta Sunt Servanda would prevail, but on the truth: that no Arab Muslim state is ever going to reconcile itself to the existence of the Infidel nation-state of Israel, no matter what its size. They would have had to recognize also that Israeli policies for maintaining "peace" are futile. Such a "peace" is maintained right now by the threat of what the Israeli Defense Force can do to those who make war on Israel, and that is the only long-term "peace" that Israel can ever rely on. Israel must come to realize that it certainly cannot rely on a "peace" that depends on the Arab Muslims ignoring their own texts, tenets, attitudes, and their own insistence that the basis for their treaty-making with Infidels must remain the model of Muhammad's treaty with the Meccans in 628 A.D. at Hudaibiyya. After concluding that treaty for a period of ten years, Muhammad, that Model of Conduct (uswa hasana) and Perfect Man (al-insan al-kamil), soon found a pretext to breach it, and within 18 months did so. And he has been hailed for his cunning in deceiving the enemy -- hailed in Muslim texts -- ever since, and Muslims have no other model for treaty-making with Infidels, nor do they wish one.

One way that those who presume to inform and instruct us could and should promote greater clarity in discussions about the Arab Muslim war on Israel is to do the following: every time the word "peace" is written, instead let the phrase "peace treaty" appear. That will do a great deal. And if, every time that phrase "peace treaty" now appears, the phrase "truce treaty" were to be substituted instead, for it is indeed only a hudna, a "truce treaty," that would make things even clearer. And isn't clarity important? Isn't an absence of confusion a good idea, whether one is buying a toaster, or betting the future existence of an entire state and an entire people, on the right understanding of things?
Posted on 12/10/2011 4:39 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Saturday, 10 December 2011
Fitzgerald: Islam And Islamism, Or "Leaving The West With No Solutions"

[Re-posted from March 15, 2010]

So whom do you want to believe? Do you want to believe those who claim, such as Charles Krauthammer, that there is "Islam" and then there is "Islamism" and there is vast and therefore comforting difference between the two - though that difference is never really adequately discussed in detail - and we must never forget it?

What do others, aside from Charles Krauthammer, have to say about Islam and "Islamism"?

Ibn Warraq has repeatedly said that he has no idea what "Islamism" may mean. For Ibn Warraq, the real distinction is between the ideology of Islam and some of those who call themselves Muslims, that is, adherents of the ideology: "There are moderate Muslims. Islam itself is not moderate."

This lapidary formula points to a truth: that the texts of Islam, if not only taken literally -- and they are taken literally, that is the whole point - but also taken to heart, create people who are, to appropriate a line of Shakespeare, toward Infidels (and not infrequently toward each other), "savage, bloody, rude, not to trust."

Wafa Sultan, who has thought long and hard about the matter, says repeatedly that "there is no difference between Islam and Islamism."

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey, who has thought long and hard about Islam and Kemalism and everything in-between, angrily says that "there is no difference between Islam and Islamism."

C. Snouck Hurgronje, Joseph Schacht, Antoine Fattal, Henri Lammens, K. S. Lal, Ignaz Goldziher, Sir William Muir, St. Clair Tisdall, Arthur Jeffrey, Samuel Zwemer, Georges Vajda, David Margoliouth, all appear never to have believed in something called "Islamism," because not once, in their tens of thousands of pages of learned works on Islam, do they ever use the word "Islamism." Nor do any of the other great scholars of Islam. Not once in her works on Iran does A. K. S. Lambton ever use the word "Islamism." Not once in his books on Turkey, or in any of his other works, did Bernard Lewis ever use the word, or ever adhere to the phony concept, of "Islamism." And just as S. D. Goitein, after his decades of research and study of the Cairo Geniza contents, became far less sentimental about Islam when he recognized the full weight of the dhimmi status, as one can see in his introductory remarks to "A Mediterranean Society," even Bernard Lewis, as lucid as ever, appears at 93 to have begun to understand what the Jews living in Arab lands endured under Islam. See a recent appearance by him in Israel, which suggests a similar new and deeper understanding, the one which he earlier rejected, when he actively worked, behind the scenes, in Israeli academic circles, against Bat Ye'or.

Marie-Thérèse Urvoy (French Islamologist, Director of Studia-Arabica.net) says: "There is no Islam and Islamism. There is the Texts [Radical] and People [Radical or Moderate]."

So whom shall we trust? Shall we trust Wafa Sultan, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Ibn Warraq, Magdi Allam, Nonie Darwish? Shall we have faith in the understanding of Islam by such scholars as C. Snouck Hurgronje, Joseph Schacht, Arthur Jeffrey, Henri Lammens, and all the others who never ever felt there was such a thing as "Islamism" and never once used the term?

Or shall we put our trust in Charles Krauthammer, and those in whom he apparently puts his trust on such matters?

Those in the West who use this formulation betray their own insufficiencies of mind, and their own grasping at straws of their own mental construction.

The point is this: Islam really is a dangerous ideology. So why aren't all Muslims dangerous? What needs an explanation is not, as all our experts appear to think, why there are these "violent extremists" and what it is that makes them so, when Islam itself is so full of tolerance and peace and so on? Bush was bad on this, full of messianic sentimentalism. Obama is not full of messianic sentimentalism but is far far worse in his identification with, sympathy for, and defense of, those who fit, in his mental grid, into the category of the "Non-Western Victim." This is a deep worldview that some of us did not recognize in time, and did not understand. But everything he does that touches upon Islam, including the continuing cruel mistreatment, even tormenting, by the Obama Administration, of the government and people of Israel, is based on a complete acceptance of the Arab narrative about "the Palestinian people" that ignores completely the Jihad without end against the Infidel nation-state of Israel.

What needs to be understood are the various reasons that this or that group of Muslims, or this or that individual Muslim, does not apparently take the texts and tenets of Islam to heart. There are many explanations for why this or that Muslim chooses not to take Islam to heart. None of them should provide comfort to intelligent and wary Infidels.

Here are just three:

1) Ignorance of what is in those texts. If you are an illiterate villager living in a remote part of Afghanistan, you may not know these texts. But the question is: what happens to you once you learn, through the radios and televisions and even computers made available by generous infusions of Western aid - perhaps even supplied directly by those Western Infidels - and you are subject to the full texts of Islam, presented to you by those who do not mince words?

What is your reaction? Do you recoil in horror? Do you say: that's it, I had no idea, I'm out of Islam forever? That is not what has been happening. The "radicalization" of which people in the West speak is nothing more than Muslims, formerly not fully apprised of what the texts of Islam say, becoming more aware of them. And in doing so, because they are already keenly aware that they are "Muslims" (that's the side of humanity, that's the team they are on), they can do no other but do what Muslims are taught to do, think what Muslims are taught to think - even if, personally, they would wish those texts and tenets were otherwise.

2) A "moderate" Islam that is "moderate" because the Muslim group or individual in question possesses another identity that works against his Islam. For example, if you are a Kurd, and keenly aware of the mass-murdering of Kurds by Arabs in Iraq, you may be more incensed about your treatment by fellow Muslims, and the Muslims par excellence, the originators and "guardians" not only of the Two Noble Sanctuaries but the "guardians" of Islam itself, the Arabs. If you are a Berber, and you live in the Kabyle region of Algeria, or in Morocco, or even in France, you might resent the Arabs, with their cultural and linguistic imperialism, their attempts to squash the use of Tamizight, their attempts to snuff out Berber culture, and even their attempts to arabize - they did it before the French arrived, and they've done it with a vengeance since the French left - what remains of the Berber population. And that awareness may make you a less enthusiastic, i.e., more "moderate," Muslim than you might otherwise be. And the same is true for other non-Arab Muslims, that is, those who most keenly have felt, or feel, the Arab yoke, and gradually come to understand all the ways that Islam is, has been, and will be a vehicle of Arab supremacism.

3) You may live in the Western world, and enjoy its peace, its mental and other freedoms, its prosperity, its art and its science, its (compared to Muslim states) well-ordered societies where people are citizens, and possess rights that cannot be ignored -- in short, all the blessings of an advanced and necessarily non-Muslim civilization. But if you remain a Muslim, for whatever reason - conviction, filial piety, fear of what other Muslims will think or do - you are a permanent threat to the non-Muslims whose generosity and way of life you have benefited from so much. You do not recognize the reasons for that advanced civilization, as Nonie Darwish points out in Now They Call Me Infidel, and far from being grateful for the tremendous privilege of living, and even acquiring citizenship, in one of the advanced Western countries, you wish to undo them, to lay claim to them for Islam, even though that will simply reduce the place you now enjoy to what you fled from. Unlike refugees from the Nazis, who did what they could to alert the countries that gave them refuge to the dangers and evils of Nazism, unlike refugees from the Communists, who felt they had a duty to warn the West in which they found refuge of the dangers and evils of Communism, those who come from the various wretched Muslim lands, made wretched politically, economically, socially, intellectually, and morally, by Islam itself, almost all of those who arrive come with Islam, undeclared, in their mental baggage, and become Defenders And Spreaders of the Faith. The only ones who do not do so, who behave as did the refugees from the Nazis and the Communists, are those who, having been born into, and raised within, societies suffused with Islam, nonetheless manage to take advantage of the mental and other kinds of freedom the West makes possible, and in exercising that freedom, and in pondering the nature of Islam, come to conclusions about it that lead them, just like refugees from the Nazis and from the Communists, to start to warn us, as best they can, about the evils and dangers of Islam and a rising Muslim population. The list of such people is growing and growing. There is Ibn Warraq, with Why I Am Not A Muslim. There is Ayaan Hirsi Ali, with
Infidel. There is Nonie Darwish with Now They Call Me Infidel. There is Wafa Sultan, with A God Who Hates. There is Magdi Allam, with Vincere La Paura and Kamikaze Made In Europe and Diario all'Islam and, with Roberto Gritti, Islam, Italia - Chi sono e che pensano Ii musulmani chi vivono tra noi. There is Ali Sina, there is the late Anwar Sheikh, a Pakistani who lived in Wales and wrote the important Islam: The Arab National Religion.

But though you do what you can to protect Islam, to misrepresent it as smilingly as you can - and all the meretricious arts of Taqiyya and Tu Quoque are employed, as if by second nature - you also do not wish to endanger your own position in an Infidel society where Muslims still represent only a handful, about 1% of the population (though if CAIR and other groups can act as aggressively as they do with such a small Muslim population, imagine how they will behave if the Muslim share of the population, and its power, increases). You don't want to have your employment prospects, or your business, suffer, you don't want to rock too many boats. So that is why you choose to work to promote Islam, work to undo the Infidel society in which you live, without attention-getting violence. You regret, deeply, Osama Bin Laden, not because you are in any disagreement with his goals - you share those goals, you share his views, you share his attitudes, you wish him not to be captured - but because you think there are far better ways to promote the same goals, to achieve, ultimately, the same ends. You think that Tariq Ramadan, not Osama Bin Laden, is the role model for clever Muslims. Indeed, the cleverest will be those who appear, mainly because of their youth and outward appearance and mastery of the local Infidel language, and perhaps with the right degrees, to be the perfect "moderate Muslim." Indeed, had Tariq Ramadan not in the end left such a large amount of written and spoken evidence of his meretriciousness and his real views, which were then analyzed by highly-intelligent French people (see, for example, Caroline Fourest's Brother Tariq, which is now in English), he - Tariq Ramadan - would still be in Switzerland or France, but now he has had the Arab countries buy him a chair at Oxford, so he can attempt to work his sinister magic in the English-speaking world. And his eye is on, it's always on, the United States of America.

The Jihad can be pursued with many instruments. Those who choose violence, and especially those who choose not ordinary qitaal - combat - but rather terrorism, are the ones in the West we describe as those "violent extremists."

But those who are not "violent extremists" require even more vigilance, as they pursue the same goals, or out of reasons of self-interest perhaps, prudently set them aside for now. But we don't know for how long they will set them aside. That depends on all kinds of factors, including an absence of personal setbacks that might set someone off and turn a "moderate" into an "extremist" - i.e., into someone who not only takes Islam seriously, but is prepared to act on what it commands against the Infidels.

There are also reasons why those, including some of those who one would have thought would have seen things more clearly, cleave to this construct which misleads -- of "Islam and 'Islamism.'"

Here is a piece published at the website run by Daniel Pipes, of a summary (by Aymenn Jawad) of a debate that Pipes had with Wafa Sultan on December 1, 2009. I have put the key sentence, that explains why Pipes has been so fervent in his spreading of this "Islam and Islamism" notion, one picked up by those who, like Charles Krauthammer, assume that Daniel Pipes couldn't possibly be steering them wrong:

Mr. Pipes began by emphasizing that he and Ms. Sultan are allies, fighting the same opponents, namely, the Islamists. They agree on the past and present of Islam but disagree about the future. Ms. Sultan argues it cannot change while he believes it can. The idea that Islam cannot change is an essentialist view that ignores how much Islam has changed over history, an aspect that he, as a student of Islamic history for forty years, appreciates. He stressed that many of the requirements of the Shari'a, or Muslim sacred law, are impractical to implement, resulting in what Mr. Pipes has coined as the "medieval synthesis," whereby loopholes are devised to get around impractical tenets, such as the prohibition against usury.

In the 1800s, with the onslaught of Western influence, the medieval synthesis collapsed, replaced by secular, reformist, and fundamentalist strains. The last of these is the totalitarian mentality that Mr. Pipes describes as "Islamism," which transformed the religion into a political movement. And while Islamism dominates today, there are even at this bleak moment signs that Islam itself can change. For example, jurists in Turkey recently ruled that women can pray next to men in mosques, a small but important step for women's rights.

Ms. Sultan began her argument by quoting Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who says that there is no "moderate or immoderate Islam. There is Islam; that is it." She contends that terms like "radical Islam" conceal the true nature of Islam itself--a political ideology. She adds that the aim of Islam is to subdue the entire world under Shari'a. To prove her position, she quoted from the Qur'an; she also argued that the true nature of Islam can be seen in the Sira, or biography, of Muhammad, which, she says, has come to define Islam itself. For instance, Ms. Sultan claims that Muhammad's actions--such as marrying a 9-year-old and taking many women as concubines --means that there can be no equality for women under Shari'a.

During the question and answer session, Mr. Pipes pointed out that those who argue that Islam itself is the problem leave the West with no solutions, adding that, to truly reform Islam, Western governments must begin to empower genuine moderates. Asked what policies she would adopt toward the Muslim world, Ms. Sultan asserted that Islam can be reformed, and recommended Western pressure on the Saudi king as the surest way.

Mr. Pipes and Ms. Sultan agreed on some specifics, for instance, that Western governments must not welcome non-violent Islamism and should monitor the hate being taught in Muslim schools in the West. Overall, however, Mr. Pipes, while not denying what Islam has been or is, insists that Islam, like other religions, can and will change, whereas Ms. Sultan was more pessimistic.

So now we understand. Pipes does not see how the West can deal with the meaning, and menace, of Islam. He doesn't know what the West could do if it were filled with people who refused to accept his "Islam and Islamism" distinction, because, he said (according to what was put up at his own website, so must surely reflect accurately what he said - the tape can be listened to online), "those who argue that Islam itself is the problem leave the West with no solutions."

"No solutions."

Again and again I have pointed out here that there is no "solution" to the menace of Islam but the threat can be reduced, the problem not solved but ameliorated, and I have noted, usually when discussing Israel and that idiotic question-begging phrase "the two-state solution" or even "the one-state solution," as I have tried to make clear there is no "solution" to the Jihad against Israel, but that if Israel is not cruelly pressured into making yet more concessions, it will be able to handle the situation and the Arab rulers able to invoke "Darura" (necessity) for their refusal to go to war.

Americans, with their Yankee can-do rolling-up-their-sleeves spirit, seem to assume that everything in the world can be thought of as a "problem" to be "solved." It isn't true. It sometimes is an admirable spirit, and sometimes is frightening in its naivete and in what it betrays of a misunderstanding of so much of what life, including political life, present. There is no "solution" to poverty, but one can ameliorate it. There is no "solution" to certain kinds of human inequality, the result of not Man but Nature, but one can ameliorate conditions for those who suffer from that inequality. There is no solution to anthropogenic global warming - it cannot be stopped at this point - but there are ways to ameliorate the problem.

In the case of Islam (and not "Islamism," which as a term ought to be ignored or mocked, as you choose), we can manage the situation if we do nothing to prevent Muslims from arriving at certain conclusions, but ideally they will do this on their own. However, we in the non-Muslim world can discuss, among ourselves, all the ways that Islam is a vehicle for Arab supremacism, beginning but not limited to the cultural and linguistic spheres. And we will be overheard, overheard among some of the 80% of the world's Muslims who are not Arab, and not all of whom are delighted with the ways that they are encouraged to sedulously ape the manners and customs, and even adopt the names, of seventh-century Arabs, forgetting their own quite different histories, cultures, traditions, even languages.

And we can talk amongst ourselves, about what political theory, and view of Man, in Islam, discourages true democracy and encourages despotism - and despotism is the rule, not the exception, in Muslim states. We can talk about how the hatred of bid'a, innovation, discourages novel forms of economic activity, discourages entrepreneurial activity and invention, and we can discuss how inshallah-fatalism works against the concept of hard work. We can talk about the mistreatment in Islam of all non-Muslims and of women, and what that does to a society. We can talk, truthfully, about why science developed in the West and not in the lands of Islam, and we can in detail go through the claims made for the greatness of high classical Islamic civilization and see how many of those who did the translations from the Greek were Muslims, and how many Christians and Jews, and from where the Arabs borrowed paper-making, and the concept of zero, and algebra. And we can analyze, in prosopographic studies (shades of Sir Lewis Namier), name by name, the handful of famous people in Islam, and which ones, such as Rhazes, who were freethinkers, and those who were highly unorthodox Muslims, their work finding acceptance only in the West, but their Western fame has now made Muslims re-claim them as part of Islam's past greatness.

We can also investigate those famous names of people who, while they bore Arabic names, and used the Arabic language, and are called Muslims, may in fact have been formed mentally in a different sectarian milieu. For the days of civilisational greatness for Islam lasted only a few centuries, that is, while there were still a large number of unconverted Christians, Jews, and Zoroastrians, and those who were only a generation or two away from being Christians, Jews, and Zoroastrians. Perhaps the secret that no one has been able to solve, as to why there was this sudden extinguishing of Islamic cultural achievement, has to do with the fact that at a certain point, there were enough semi-forced conversions to the faith of the conquerors, that is Islam, and the Christians, Jews, and Zoroastrians lost their fructifying influence.

These are among the things we can do, and that those who cling desperately to the "Islam vs. Islamism" distinction, that is false an dangerous, apparently have been unable to think of on their own. And there are many other things that can reduce the "problem" to manageable proportions, and not force the West to spend much of its time, and a great deal of its money, on this matter when there are so many other things that press upon us. But that is very different from either finding a permanent "solution" or in formulating falsehoods because one thinks only in terms of "solutions" and believes that in order to find that "solution" we must fool ourselves, and fool others, about the nature of Islam.

No, we must not do that.

And there are those quite capable of coming up with ideas -- I've given dozens and dozens at this site, and so, no doubt, have many of you, in your postings here, or in your private musings.

Posted on 12/10/2011 4:42 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Saturday, 10 December 2011
Fitzgerald: When It Comes To Islam, Please Stop This "Problem" And "Solution" Nonsense

[Re-posted from Jan. 16, 2010]

Many continue to believe that if we argue that Islam itself is the problem, this will leave the West with no solutions.

The word "solution" leapt out at me. I have written about it many times before, in regards to those who speak of a "two-state solution" to the Arab Muslim Jihad against Israel. I have written many times about what a foolish idea it is to believe that further Israeli surrenders, of claims, legal and moral and historic, and of tangible assets, especially the supreme asset, as it is viewed in the Muslim world, of land, would somehow change the immutable and uncreated words of the Qur'an, or somehow change the Hadith -- that is, change either the contents, or the rank of "authenticity," assigned to the Hadith (the written records of the words and deeds of Muhammad) more than a millennium ago by the most authoritative Muhaddithin.

I noted that Americans, unlike Europeans, are used to identifying situations that are troublesome or difficult or unpleasant as "problems," and, as problems, they are assumed to be susceptible of solution and therefore can be "solved." In some ways it is an attractive attitude. It testifies to a certain strain in the national character, a belief that may come from the encounter in this country with Nature, that the settlers in order to survive had to learn to subdue. And they felt, in a different way (a way we find not quite so unobjectionable today) it was felt necessary to subdue the indigenous Indians. Nature could be overcome, other men could be overcome. And when there was a need for something to be invented, born of necessity that invention would emerge. Yankee know-how and stick-to-it-iveness, the attitude that there is "no problem in the world that cannot be solved" if we just put our minds to solve it, may seem to some comically naïve, but for many it reflects an attitude that will not disappear, and of which many of us apparently cannot be disabused.

How many times have you heard someone call in to one of those NPR Talk Shows (where the host invites one and all to "join the conversation" and then has his call-vetters carefully keep out any of those well-informed callers whose questions would throw a spanner into the whole party-line works)? The callers who are allowed on the air say that "in the Middle East those folks have been making war on each other for thousands of years" and "apparently we Americans have got to get on in and bash some heads together to solve their problems if they can't do it for themselves." It never occurs to those who make these suggestions, or those who run the shows and hear them, to ask if it is merely a question of a "problem" to be solved, where the Americans come in because the parties in question have lost all sense of perspective or are unaccountably stubborn, and "solve" the problem by a little common-sensical solution - say, that "Two-State Solution" when it comes to the Arabs and Israelis. We already know it is a solution because otherwise, why would everyone in both parties who has been working on such an outcome call it a "Two-State Solution"? Q. E. D.

And what, even for Roger Fisher, he of Harvard Law, who once galumphed all around the world peddling his made-for-television series on "Arabs and Israelis," has been one of the biggest rackets and profit centers in para-academic life? It's "Negotiation." You can learn the craft and art of "Negotiation." You can buy books, you can take courses, you can hire consultants who will help you, help anyone and everyone if the price is right, to Getting To Yes. Many of those who first worked with Roger Fisher now have their careers, and their consulting centers, and their fat, fat fees. It never occurs to anyone that you can always "Get To Yes" if one side can be pressured to giving up what it needs for its survival (see under "Israel"). And it never occurs to anyone that sometimes life is a zero-sum game - very often in fact - and that one side may not wish to listen to Sweet Reason and Get To Yes, because recovery at once of any lands once possessed by Muslims, and then slow but inexorable domination by Muslims of the entire world, is more important than any Getting To Yes could ever be (unless of course "Getting To Yes" is merely a way to weaken the Infidel enemy, a variant on the Treaty of Al-Hudaibiyya).

There is no "solution" to the war being waged on Israel. Nor is there a "solution" within Israel to the presence of those, Muslim Arabs, who do not and cannot feel loyal to the state of Israel, and wish the Jews and the State of Israel ill.

But the same thing is true in the case of Muslims all over Western Europe and, to a much lesser extent, in North America. In a few decades of criminal negligence, elites in these places allowed in many Muslims who regard the countries they have settled in as places of great comfort, stability, economic opportunity, and also as places where they must work to establish Islam. They work to increase its power and the numbers of its adherents, inexorably, to expand Muslim political power and, in addition, the power of Muslims, to intimidate outside the political system. And they work against the legal and political institutions, such as the American Constitution, that flatly contradict the spirit and letter of the Sharia. There is a way to handle this, but there is no solution.

Many begin with the idea that there is a "problem" and that, therefore, there is a "solution" or must be, and if we analyze Islam and conclude that there is no "solution" to that perceived "problem," then we shall all have to let loose the dogs of war, and everything will be terrible, and nothing good can come of it.

Those who think this way are using the wrong terms. They are using, as so many do, the language of problem-and-solution, the language of political Mr. Fixits, a language that misinterprets reality.

Is world poverty a problem? Is there a "solution" to this problem? What about human greed? Radix malorum cupiditas est, saith the Schoolmen. The desire for money is the root of all evil. Is that a "problem" to be "solved"? Or is it a condition to be recognized, and warned about, as are all the other Seven Deadlies? What about the innate inequality of intelligence among individuals? Is such inequality a "problem" to be "solved," or simply a condition to be recognized, and one not necessarily to be deplored? Is war (the permanence of) a "problem" to be "solved," or a condition to be dealt with, a threat to be made less rather than more dangerous?

The ideology of Islam cannot be changed, cannot be transformed. None of those who tried, in the early part of the 20th century, to "reform" Islam managed to succeed. And indeed, the only reason they wanted to "reform" Islam was in order to make Muslims stronger, because in the early 20th century it was clear that Muslims all over the world were weak, and the Infidel West was strong. And so some changes were entertained by a few "reformers" because they correctly perceived that Muslim weakness and wished to address its causes, not because they wanted to modify the claims of Islam, or the hold of Islam, on its adherents.

Kemal Pasha, Ataturk, was someone who sensed deeply the connection between the disorder and decadence of the Turkish state, and the political, economic, social, intellectual, and moral failures of Turkish Muslim society, and what Islam inculcated, what atmospherics it naturally gave rise to. He was not a "reformer." He knew that there was no way to change the Qur'an, the Hadith, the Sira. What he wanted to do, and systematically did do, was to curtail the power of Islam, as a political and social force, over Turkish Muslims themselves, and thereby to allow room for the development of a secular class. The tragedy of modern Turkey is that many of those who were the beneficiaries of Kemalism did not continue to work to extend its reach and its effects, and did not attain a majority in Turkey, and those who had remained faithful to Islam bided their time, and then helped bring Islam back, and it is they - Erdogan and his associates - who are in the ascendant in Turkey. Those who thought that Kemalism was forever, turned out to be wrong. It is Islam that is forever.

Apparently, some find recognition of a permanent threat too upsetting an idea. But why? Fascism, in its Nazi variant, and Communism remain political ideas that will always attract some adherents. Antisemitism, a pathological mental condition, has not been, and never will be eradicated even with the most potent of vaccination programs. But the numbers of Nazis and Communists and antisemites, relative and absolute, and their positions close to or far from power, and their consequent ability to do harm, or to influence others - all this is in the realm of what can be effected.

We can divide and demoralize the Camp of Islam. We can make some Muslims aware, even keenly aware, of all the ways that Islam itself explains the failures, political and economic and social and intellectual and moral, of their societies. We can prevent Muslim states and groups from acquiring major weaponry. We can halt Muslim immigration to the West, and make conditions such that the conduct of Muslim life becomes more and more subject to review, critical scrutiny, open discussion. Instead of extending a dangerously naïve welcome, we can make clear that we now understand the texts and tenets of Islam, and as a consequence, we feel justified in viewing those who still call themselves Muslims with suspicion and alarm.

That isn't a "solution" to a "problem." That is something much more complicated and, for those who think we can achieve an identifiable "victory" over the ideology of Islam, or over the bearers of that ideology, a "victory" that will end the matter once and for all, no doubt this view is unsatisfying. Unsatisfying perhaps it may be. But as a way to deal with the never-to-end threat of Islam, it is the one that, being based on the truth, will prove to be the most effective.

And that is the only thing that counts.

Posted on 12/10/2011 4:45 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Saturday, 10 December 2011
Fitzgerald: The "Two-State Solution": Folly Based On Folly

[Re-posted from Jan. 16, 2010]

Many continue to believe that if we argue that Islam itself is the problem, this will leave the West with no solutions.

The word "solution" leapt out at me. I have written about it many times before, in regards to those who speak of a "two-state solution" to the Arab Muslim Jihad against Israel. I have written many times about what a foolish idea it is to believe that further Israeli surrenders, of claims, legal and moral and historic, and of tangible assets, especially the supreme asset, as it is viewed in the Muslim world, of land, would somehow change the immutable and uncreated words of the Qur'an, or somehow change the Hadith -- that is, change either the contents, or the rank of "authenticity," assigned to the Hadith (the written records of the words and deeds of Muhammad) more than a millennium ago by the most authoritative Muhaddithin.

I noted that Americans, unlike Europeans, are used to identifying situations that are troublesome or difficult or unpleasant as "problems," and, as problems, they are assumed to be susceptible of solution and therefore can be "solved." In some ways it is an attractive attitude. It testifies to a certain strain in the national character, a belief that may come from the encounter in this country with Nature, that the settlers in order to survive had to learn to subdue. And they felt, in a different way (a way we find not quite so unobjectionable today) it was felt necessary to subdue the indigenous Indians. Nature could be overcome, other men could be overcome. And when there was a need for something to be invented, born of necessity that invention would emerge. Yankee know-how and stick-to-it-iveness, the attitude that there is "no problem in the world that cannot be solved" if we just put our minds to solve it, may seem to some comically naïve, but for many it reflects an attitude that will not disappear, and of which many of us apparently cannot be disabused.

How many times have you heard someone call in to one of those NPR Talk Shows (where the host invites one and all to "join the conversation" and then has his call-vetters carefully keep out any of those well-informed callers whose questions would throw a spanner into the whole party-line works)? The callers who are allowed on the air say that "in the Middle East those folks have been making war on each other for thousands of years" and "apparently we Americans have got to get on in and bash some heads together to solve their problems if they can't do it for themselves." It never occurs to those who make these suggestions, or those who run the shows and hear them, to ask if it is merely a question of a "problem" to be solved, where the Americans come in because the parties in question have lost all sense of perspective or are unaccountably stubborn, and "solve" the problem by a little common-sensical solution - say, that "Two-State Solution" when it comes to the Arabs and Israelis. We already know it is a solution because otherwise, why would everyone in both parties who has been working on such an outcome call it a "Two-State Solution"? Q. E. D.

And what, even for Roger Fisher, he of Harvard Law, who once galumphed all around the world peddling his made-for-television series on "Arabs and Israelis," has been one of the biggest rackets and profit centers in para-academic life? It's "Negotiation." You can learn the craft and art of "Negotiation." You can buy books, you can take courses, you can hire consultants who will help you, help anyone and everyone if the price is right, to Getting To Yes. Many of those who first worked with Roger Fisher now have their careers, and their consulting centers, and their fat, fat fees. It never occurs to anyone that you can always "Get To Yes" if one side can be pressured to giving up what it needs for its survival (see under "Israel"). And it never occurs to anyone that sometimes life is a zero-sum game - very often in fact - and that one side may not wish to listen to Sweet Reason and Get To Yes, because recovery at once of any lands once possessed by Muslims, and then slow but inexorable domination by Muslims of the entire world, is more important than any Getting To Yes could ever be (unless of course "Getting To Yes" is merely a way to weaken the Infidel enemy, a variant on the Treaty of Al-Hudaibiyya).

There is no "solution" to the war being waged on Israel. Nor is there a "solution" within Israel to the presence of those, Muslim Arabs, who do not and cannot feel loyal to the state of Israel, and wish the Jews and the State of Israel ill.

But the same thing is true in the case of Muslims all over Western Europe and, to a much lesser extent, in North America. In a few decades of criminal negligence, elites in these places allowed in many Muslims who regard the countries they have settled in as places of great comfort, stability, economic opportunity, and also as places where they must work to establish Islam. They work to increase its power and the numbers of its adherents, inexorably, to expand Muslim political power and, in addition, the power of Muslims, to intimidate outside the political system. And they work against the legal and political institutions, such as the American Constitution, that flatly contradict the spirit and letter of the Sharia. There is a way to handle this, but there is no solution.

Many begin with the idea that there is a "problem" and that, therefore, there is a "solution" or must be, and if we analyze Islam and conclude that there is no "solution" to that perceived "problem," then we shall all have to let loose the dogs of war, and everything will be terrible, and nothing good can come of it.

Those who think this way are using the wrong terms. They are using, as so many do, the language of problem-and-solution, the language of political Mr. Fixits, a language that misinterprets reality.

Is world poverty a problem? Is there a "solution" to this problem? What about human greed? Radix malorum cupiditas est, saith the Schoolmen. The desire for money is the root of all evil. Is that a "problem" to be "solved"? Or is it a condition to be recognized, and warned about, as are all the other Seven Deadlies? What about the innate inequality of intelligence among individuals? Is such inequality a "problem" to be "solved," or simply a condition to be recognized, and one not necessarily to be deplored? Is war (the permanence of) a "problem" to be "solved," or a condition to be dealt with, a threat to be made less rather than more dangerous?

The ideology of Islam cannot be changed, cannot be transformed. None of those who tried, in the early part of the 20th century, to "reform" Islam managed to succeed. And indeed, the only reason they wanted to "reform" Islam was in order to make Muslims stronger, because in the early 20th century it was clear that Muslims all over the world were weak, and the Infidel West was strong. And so some changes were entertained by a few "reformers" because they correctly perceived that Muslim weakness and wished to address its causes, not because they wanted to modify the claims of Islam, or the hold of Islam, on its adherents.

Kemal Pasha, Ataturk, was someone who sensed deeply the connection between the disorder and decadence of the Turkish state, and the political, economic, social, intellectual, and moral failures of Turkish Muslim society, and what Islam inculcated, what atmospherics it naturally gave rise to. He was not a "reformer." He knew that there was no way to change the Qur'an, the Hadith, the Sira. What he wanted to do, and systematically did do, was to curtail the power of Islam, as a political and social force, over Turkish Muslims themselves, and thereby to allow room for the development of a secular class. The tragedy of modern Turkey is that many of those who were the beneficiaries of Kemalism did not continue to work to extend its reach and its effects, and did not attain a majority in Turkey, and those who had remained faithful to Islam bided their time, and then helped bring Islam back, and it is they - Erdogan and his associates - who are in the ascendant in Turkey. Those who thought that Kemalism was forever, turned out to be wrong. It is Islam that is forever.

Apparently, some find recognition of a permanent threat too upsetting an idea. But why? Fascism, in its Nazi variant, and Communism remain political ideas that will always attract some adherents. Antisemitism, a pathological mental condition, has not been, and never will be eradicated even with the most potent of vaccination programs. But the numbers of Nazis and Communists and antisemites, relative and absolute, and their positions close to or far from power, and their consequent ability to do harm, or to influence others - all this is in the realm of what can be effected.

We can divide and demoralize the Camp of Islam. We can make some Muslims aware, even keenly aware, of all the ways that Islam itself explains the failures, political and economic and social and intellectual and moral, of their societies. We can prevent Muslim states and groups from acquiring major weaponry. We can halt Muslim immigration to the West, and make conditions such that the conduct of Muslim life becomes more and more subject to review, critical scrutiny, open discussion. Instead of extending a dangerously naïve welcome, we can make clear that we now understand the texts and tenets of Islam, and as a consequence, we feel justified in viewing those who still call themselves Muslims with suspicion and alarm.

That isn't a "solution" to a "problem." That is something much more complicated and, for those who think we can achieve an identifiable "victory" over the ideology of Islam, or over the bearers of that ideology, a "victory" that will end the matter once and for all, no doubt this view is unsatisfying. Unsatisfying perhaps it may be. But as a way to deal with the never-to-end threat of Islam, it is the one that, being based on the truth, will prove to be the most effective.

And that is the only thing that counts.

Posted on 12/10/2011 4:47 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Saturday, 10 December 2011
Fitzgerald: Darura

[Re-posted from June 8, 2007]

"The only solution ultimately is to re-launch the framework for a negotiated peace with a two-state solution at the heart of it..." -- from a recent statement by Tony Blair

He's well-spoken and incoherent, withal. He can't figure out Islam, and doesn't want to. It's too disturbing. Too many problems are posed, if he were to begin to understand it. He knows there's a problem with Islam -- outside Great Britain, and deep inside Great Britain. But he allows himself to believe that it is "manageable." He allows himself to be believe that there is a permanent "solution." And when it comes to Israel, he assumes that the "solution" is based on Israel withdrawing still further from land to which it has legal, historic, and moral title. The clear intent and the specific provisions of the League of Nations' Mandate for Palestine, which mandate, like those others of the League, was to have its precise terms respected in toto by the successor organization, the United Nations.

Blair, like so many others, ignores completely these legal, historic, and moral claims. Child of the century, or rather child of the last few decades, he chooses to believe that the sudden appearance of the phrase "Palestinian people" after the Six-Day War, and the careful and relentless promotion of this soi-disant "Palestinian people," and the rewriting of history that took place to accompany it, and the absence of any context, have no significance. He ignores the context of what is wrongly called the "Arab world" but which has many, and once had even more, non-Arab and non-Muslim minorities. He also ignores the fact that the Jews managed on their own to return and to buy land. Not a single dunam of land was taken from Arabs before they made war in 1948, and very little after that. After all, nearly 90% of Israel, as the successor state to Mandatory Palestine, was state or waste land. It passed from the Ottoman government to the British Mandatory Authority to Israel -- a fact that so many ignore, or never bothered to find out.

Blair would have us believe that the texts of Islam do not mean what they say. Or perhaps he does not know what they say. What they say is this: no Infidel state can be permitted, whatever its size, on any land that was once a part of Dar al-Islam. Once conquered by Islam, territory belongs forever to Muslims. In a sense, you might well ask, what does it matter? Doesn't, in the Islamic view, the whole world belong ultimately to Islam? Isn't Islam everywhere to dominate, aren't Muslims everywhere, ultimately, to rule?

And you would be right. But there is a matter of priorities. The unprecedented has now occurred -- millions and now tens of millions of Muslims have been allowed to settle deep within Infidel lands, behind what Muslims themselves are taught to regard as, essentially, enemy lines. Naturally, still weak because far less numerous behind those enemy lines, Muslims in the Infidel lands must prevent those Infidels from examining too closely the texts and tenets of Islam, and figuring out what they mean. They must prevent those Infidels from looking too closely at the history of Islamic Jihad-conquest, and especially at the history of the subsequent subjugation of non-Muslims from Spain to East Asia, over 1350 years. They must prevent Infidels from finding out about Muslim attitudes toward many kinds of artistic expression (sculpture, paintings of living creatures, music) and toward the free and skeptical inquiry that makes science possible, and is everywhere encouraged in the advanced West, and discouraged in Islam. They must keep up a patter of phony sweetness-and-light, and misrepresent Islam as "respecting" Christianity and Judaism.

And Infidels don't generally know that major figures from both those religions have been appropriated by Islam and turned into Muslims -- for we are all Muslims, right back to Abraham, in the Islamic view. They usually don't bother to examine what the Islamic "Jesus" and the Islamic "Moses" are, in Islam. Muslim-Christian and Muslim-Jewish "dialogues" become occasions for special pleading and careful taqiyya-and-tu-quoque by Muslim spokesmen, delivered to self-selected groups of Infidels. Those Infidels, meanwhile, are in equal measures ignorant, naive, and self-preening: "We are willing to meet and listen and dialogue with our Muslim brothers -- unlike all those others, the benighted and the bigoted. We are morally superior, and we will demonstrate that moral superiority by taking every occasion to defend 'our Muslim brothers' from those who would divide us."

The beachhead is gained, and the Muslim troops fan out across the new land, ready to spread Islam. They spread it in the prisons among those looking for justification for their alienation from The System, Amerika, Kapitalism, and finding Islam as the perfect vehicle to justify their own past, and possibly future, criminal behavior, and in many cases, to dignify it, draping naked aggression in the cloak of a new faith. And since so many of the undisciplined long not merely for discipline, but for Total Discipline, Islam provides a ready-made Community of Believers, who will enforce, in every way, rules that cover every detail of life. Bush likes to prate about how everyone "wants freedom." It's nonsense. The spirit of wanting to march in serried ranks, of Belonging to the Group (Nuremberg! Hitlerjugend! Jawohl!), and of knowing what one is to do, for every occasion, at every step, is a strong one. There are many who cannot stand or do not know how to use "freedom" (which Bush himself hardly understands), and who long for Authority.

And that is what Islam provides: Authority, the Authority of Allah and the Example of Muhammad, whose life, whose words and deeds serve as a gloss on the will expressed by Allah in the Qur'an.

Blair, as a leading spokesman of the nattering classes (World Leader Division), goes on about a "manageable" problem to which there is a "solution." He wishes tiny, permanently beleaguered Israel, the physical refuge and embodiment of the most persecuted tribe in human history, to pay the price for his inability, and that of others, to dare to come to grips with the menace of Islam. He wants to prolong for a while longer the illusion that the problem arises from something we, the Infidels have done. In this case, the Infidels are those stubborn Israelis, who keep insisting on staying alive, who keep insisting on being able to have a minimum level of defensible borders, who keep insisting -- though not nearly as effectively as they should and could -- that yes, they have legal, historic, and moral rights to this land, that they are the victims of an Arab siege. The Israelis still do not call it, as they should, a Jihad, albeit a Local or Lesser Jihad. The monstrous rewriting of history that has gone on virtually unopposed since the Six-Day War needs itself to be rewritten, and the truth, or much of it, brought back to the consciousness of those in the West who have no idea of it - such as Blair, Rice, and other "two-state" solutionists.

Darura. "Darura" in Arabic means "necessity." The Arabs and Muslims understand this idea. "Necessity" can justify even violating explicit prohibitions. You may, if starving, eat pork, according to some. You may, if you need to protect the faith, lie to Infidels -- lie about Islam itself, lie about your own belief in Islam. There is no further surrender of territory by Israel that will bring about "peace" with the Arab Muslims. The Arabs, and the shock troops of Arab Islam in the Lesser Jihad against Israel, are divided. But they are not divided the way that Blair and Rice and others seem to think. They are not divided, that is, between those who are ready to permanently accept Israel's existence (and what's more, its right to permanent existence) and those who are not.

No. They are divided, rather, between those who are the Slow Jihadists and those who are the Fast Jihadists. The Slow Jihadists are what the media like to repeatedly assure us are the "moderates." How many times have you seen a reporter blandly begin by referring in his dispatch to "the moderate Mahmoud Abbas" or "the moderates of Fatah"? The Homeric epithets here are not singer-of-tales mnemonic devices, but rather part of mental bullying, a deliberate attempt to tell us what to make of facts, not to think for ourselves. Thinking for yourself is discouraged. You must repeat: Abbas "the moderate," Fatah "the moderates." You must further be told that what is called the "Two-State Solution" is indeed a "Solution." If it weren't, why would such impressive people as Condoleeza Rice or Tony Blair, or the "Quartet" (the Four Horsemen of Israel's Apocalypse is more like it), call it a "Two-State Solution"?

Let's get this straight. There is no difference in the ultimate goal of Fatah or of Hamas. Both want Israel as a Jewish state to disappear. They both know it is wrong, unjust, contra naturam, for Infidels, and especially the Jews, to possess land that was once ruled by Muslims. This is especially true of the Jews, who are so despised in the Islamic world for being weak, and are the special focus of hatred.

The difference is in tactics. Fatah's Mahmoud Abbas, loyal collaborator for decades with Yassir Arafat, behind the mild-mannered generally-accepted-accounting-principles suit-and-tie demeanor, is a firm supporter of terrorism in the past and in the present too, if the targets are the right ones. He believes that it will take patience. It will take a longer effort to soften Israel up, by continuing to weaken Israel economically and diplomatically, and militarily by pushing it back to the 1949 Armistice Lines which -- for god's sake, just look at a map, and just imagine you are in the IDF and trying to plan to defend the population of Israel in this 1949 armistice lines, lines which the Arabs themselves always refused to make permanent.

Hamas, on the other hand, doesn't want to wait. It wants not to chip away at Israel, not to slowly reduce it to conquerable proportions, but to subject it to military attack right now. It might consider a very temporary hudna or truce, but only so long as everyone is clear, including the Israelis, that it is temporary. And it is amusing to see how indignant Hamas becomes when Israel seems ill-disposed toward such an idea. Mahmoud Abbas himself can't understand why, given how little is demanded of him by the outside world, and given how eager every Infidel government seems to be to ignore his real nature and the real goals of Fatah and of all the "Palestinians," Hamas remains so stubbornly, shoot-yourself-in-the-foot pur et dur. But there it is.

In other words, the differences are only differences in means, not ends: in timing and in tactics. Why this should not be understood in the West, why assorted blairs and rices cannot or will not understood, is testimony to something. Fear of realizing the truth, for what it might mean. Embarrassment on the part of those who have spent their entire professional lives participating in, and pontificating about, "negotiations" and a "peace process" which they solemnly parse every few weeks -- all those dennis-rosses, and martin-indyks, and richard-hasses, and aaron-millers, who if they had actually noticed the gorilla of Islam in the room and grasped its significance, would have realized how foolish and time-wasting and false-hope-raising, and doomed-to-fail, were not merely this or that portentous airplaning back and forth, but the whole dismal thing. Do you think Bill Clinton, who entertained Yassir Arafat more than he did any other foreign "leader," will ever grasp Islam, and therefore grasp what a waste it all was, how pointless, how stupid?

When I write "pointless" and "stupid," I mean, of course, "pointless" and "stupid" for those who wish Israel well, wish Israel to survive. I do not mean....the others. Those others harbor hostility toward Israel that is often connected not merely to ignorance or laziness, but to a deeper much more unpleasant mental pathology. The business of antisemitism and vicious anti-Israel activities gives rise, nowadays, to a version of the chicken-and-egg problem. Just as we used to say as children "which came first, the chicken or the egg?" a new version might be "which came first, antisemitism or anti-Israel sentiment based on ignorance" -- for those two mutually reinforce, and prompt, one another.

If the goal is "peace" between Arabs and Israel, there is only one way to ensure that peace. It is not to give the Slow Jihadists what they want. It is not to call a "solution" that which will only further imperil Israel, and whet, not sate, Arab and Muslim appetites. It is to ensure that Israel is not only relieved of the constant pressuring by uncomprehending and cruel outsiders, who do not face the peril that Israel has and will always face, but is regarded by those who would destroy it as so obviously superior in military might that they will give up hope of destroying it and simply learn to live with their resentment, as they did, more or less, between 1948 and 1967.

Only this time Israel will have something like defensible borders, the borders which it was meant all along to include, and didn't include in 1948 simply because Ben Gurion called a halt to the war. After all, the land that Israel currently possesses or controls is far less than the amount of land originally set aside for the Mandate for Palestine, a mandate whose express provisions show that it was created for the exclusive purpose of establishing the Jewish National Home. Israel, at the moment, save for Gaza, possesses Western Palestine, for the British decided that the provisions of the Mandate about the mandatory's duty to "facilitate Jewish immigration" and "close Jewish settlement on the land" would not apply to the land east of the Jordan, which became, for realpolitik purposes, the Emirate of Transjordan. But that should be it. Israel gave, and gave, and gave. The giving has to stop.

And the largest and only sure keeper of the peace between Arabs and Israel is the IDF. Not the UN, not Javier Solana's would-be EU 'peacekeepers." Only the IDF. The civilised world -- that is, the civilized themselves -- must support not "negotiations" and "peace processes" between Israel (or any Infidel state) and Muslim states or groups. For these will only lead to tangible concessions on the part of the Infidels, and no concessions, only temporary and false "truces," on the part of those who, as Majid Khadduri and many others have pointed out, make "treaties" with Infidels only on the model of Al-Hudaibiyya. Treaties, that is, in the Muslim view are not subject to the Western idea, so natural that we assume it always existed, of Pacta sunt servanda. No, in Islam treaties are not to be obeyed. That is the rule: treaties, by the Muslim side, are not to be obeyed, but rather, breached at the first opportunity.

Darura.

Memorize that word. Understand its significance. And if you are a would-be diplomat going off to the Middle East, don't you dare leave home without it.

Posted on 12/10/2011 4:49 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Saturday, 10 December 2011
Fitzgerald: Stop The Jizyah

[Re-posted from May 2007]

The peoples of Western Europe and the United States, as members of the oil-consuming nations, have had to pay a very large share, over the past third-of-a-century, of the ten trillion dollars that has been transferred from oil-consumers to the oil (and gas) producers of the Arab and Muslim nations of OPEC, and who are now paying, on top of those amounts, huge sums for security to protect themselves against the acts of their local Muslim populations, including the cost of monitoring such populations, and the cost of police, lawyers, judges, and then of course prisons for all those Muslims who are caught engaged in the kind of activities, from robbery to rape of Infidels -- that are not seen by the Muslim perpetrators as criminal, but rather what the Infidels deserve, what they have coming to them, by presuming to lord it over Muslims, presuming to think that Infidel laws and institutions and social arrangements have any value, and should be protected from Muslim demands.

And then there are, in addition, the vast sums transferred through all the benefits that sometimes absurdly generous welfare states, set up by, and with the money of, Infidels, and which welfare systems are now being milked for everything they can by the burgeoning Muslim populations of France, of Spain, of Great Britain, of Belgium, Germany, Norway, Sweden, Netherlands, Denmark, and Italy.

And if all those ways of transferring Infidel wealth to the Camp of Islam, both in Dar al-Islam and to those Muslims now settled deep behind what they have been taught to regard as enemy lines were not enough, European governments, and for that matter North American ones, persist in thinking it is they, it is their Infidel taxpayers, who should be transferring still further billions, siphoned off so often in corruption, to Egypt, to Pakistan, to Jordan, and to the local Arabs, renamed post-1967 as the "Palestinians," who are merely the shock troops of the Arab Muslim siege, that is without end but can be managed through the principle of Darura. That is, ensuring that Israel is not only stronger, but perceived as overwhelmingly stronger, so that the principle of necessity or "darura" will permit or even require Arab states not to go in for the kill, through military means, but to merely continue to wage war through economic, diplomatic, and demographic pressure -- which an aroused Israel, with a government and people properly informed and with the rest of the Infidel world alarmed about its own prospects for withstanding the menace of Jihad not quite as cruelly miscomprehending and hostile to Israel than it has been, will be able to handle.

On what possible basis do the "Palestinian" Arab "refugees" now lay claim to Infidel wealth, the disguised Jizyah of the endless Western-supported welfare system that keeps the Arabs of Gaza and the West Bank on a permanent dole, costing tens of billions of dollars since 1948, and monopolizing the U.N.’s attention, to the great detriment of real refugees, who did nothing to deserve their status, and who are not given sufficient attention because of the manic, Arab-and-Muslim prompted, attention given those who until 1967 were called “Arab refugees” and then became the soi-disant “Palestinian Refugees.” After all, those Arabs in Gaza and the West Bank did not leave during the 1967 war – that war was over in six days, and there was no possibility nor, as they soon discovered, with the Israelis offering them a rule far less harsh, far more intelligent, than that of either the Egyptians who had ruled Gaza or the Jordanians who had ruled the West Bank. As for the “Arab refugees” who began leaving in late 1947 and continued to do so through the pre-war period and then during the war, because they fully expected to return with the triumph of Arab armies, they moved in some cases just across the river Jordan, or across the Litani, and in the main lived among those just like them, who  shared the same language, religion, culture, worldview, and dreams of Muslim Arab conquest. If the governments of those countries deliberately refused to grant citizenship to those so-called  Arab "refugees" -- those who for the past forty years, in a deliberate campaign to disguise the Lesser Jihad against Israel as a clash of two "nationalisms” have been called “Palestinians” – should they therefore have the right to lay claim to infidel wealth?

The Two Tiny Peoples Argument, with one people being called not the Jews but the "Israelis" and the other "people" being called the "Palestinians" rather than the Arabs, has had a long run. Notice, however, that in Iraq we all speak about Arabs, and Kurds. And we speak about Darfur, and Arabs and black Africans. And we speak about Morocco, or Algeria, and in those countries, about Arabs and Berbers. Why then, why only in the case of Israel, do we speak not of Arabs but of something called the "Palestinian people"? Are they special in a way that the Arabs of Iraq (as in "Arabs and Kurds") or Arabs of Algeria and Morocco (as in "Arabs and Berbers") or as Arabs in the Sudan (as in "Arabs and black Africans") are not?

Could that way simply be correctly identified as a political campaign, a campaign designed to re-present the war on Israel, the endless siege by hundreds of millions of Muslim Arabs (and supported by hundreds of millions of non-Muslim Arabs, because Islam does not permit a non-Muslim sovereignty on land that was once controlled by Muslims, and while ultimately the whole world must be subjugated to Islam ("Islam is to dominate and is not to be dominated"), in the Muslim view those lands that were, for whatever length of time, under Muslim rule -- not only Israel, but also Spain, Sicily, Greece, the Balkans, Bulgaria and Rumania, even southern Hungary, much of Russia, and almost all of India -- have a certain priority. But that does not mean if a territory never controlled by Islam -- such as the Netherlands or Great Britain or France (at least above Poitiers) were through demographic conquest to be dominated by, hence ruled by, Muslims, that the world's Muslims would refuse because it had taken place, say, before other areas on the To-Do list above, had not yet succumbed.

A great deal of attention has been given at this website to the two most obvious fissures in the Camp of Islam that can be seen, and exploited, in Iraq. These are the ethnic fissures, between Arab and Kurd, and the sectarian fissures, between Shi'a Arab and Sunni Arab. Both kinds of fissures are not limited to Iraq, and their widening within Iraq would almost certainly have effects -- from our point of view good, from the point of view of Muslims bad -- on other countries where there are clashes between Arabs and non-Arab Muslims, and on those Muslim lands where Sunnis and Shi'a live, and with both sects large enough so that they will fight back rather than simply fearfully endure the dominance of the other side. Shi'a may make up only 10-15% of the world's Muslims, but in Bahrain they are 70-75%; in Saudi Arabia they dominate the Eastern Province, with the oilfields; in Yemen they make up 45%; in Lebanon they are now the largest sect, having outbred the Christians, the Druse, and even the Sunni Muslims; in Pakistan they may be persecuted, but there are tens of millions of Shi'a, and they are capable of fighting back; in Afghanistan, the Hazara, whom the Taliban tried to wipe out, still exist and may now be better prepared, or better supplied with arms, to resist. On the other hand, in Iran there is a Sunni minority, especially in Baluchistan, and if that simmering revolt were to be encouraged by the example of restive Kurds (who would have responded to the existence of an independent Kurdistan) in the north, and Arabs in Khuzistan, and possibly even restive Azeris, who might not wish to remain under the control of their Persian masters in Teheran, then it is possible that the Shi'a will repress the Sunnis, purely as a defensive measure in light of the Sunni-Shi'a clashes next door in Iraq.

But there is a third fissure, within the Camp of Islam, that has not been discussed as much, because it does not present itself in Iraq for the purposes of exploitation. That fissure is the economic divide between the rich Muslim states -- i.e., those with oil -- and the poor ones, that is those without (Tunisia and Turkey, having managed to tame or constrain Islam, have managed to make economic progress, certainly far more than one sees in those countries such as Egypt, or Jordan, or Pakistan, or certainly than the apparently permanent recipient of Infidel manna, the "Palestinians").

The Western countries have fallen into the habit of keeping up payments to these Muslim states and peoples, no matter how obviously stupid or unhelpful to the West those payments may be, because the classic psychological stance of non-Muslims forced to pay the Jizyah under Muslim rule, has come to be exhibited by Western governments, afraid to cut their aid to Muslims for fear of what the Muslim reaction might be. In other words, that Western aid to Muslims has become a kind of "protection money." And if that were not bad enough, the Muslim recipients are not one whit grateful, but demand that aid as of right. Just look at how the "Palestinians" appear to believe that they have a right to Western aid, and that the brief denial of that aid, because of some temporary attempt to demonstrate, however pitifully, that Western states will not give financial aid to a terrorist group, Hamas, that runs the "Palestinian" Authority. The fiction is maintained by these governments that Hamas and Fatah are quite different. In fact, Fatah is for the Slow Jihad and Hamas for the Fast Jihad, and they agree completely on the ultimate goal -- that of erasing Israel as a Jewish, i.e., Infidel state, and differ only on matters of tactics and timing.

Just look at how the Arabs, especially the "Palestinians," describe the suspension of foreign aid from Infidels. They call it an "economic embargo" or a "boycott." They are genuinely indignant. They regard Infidel taxpayers not coming through with more billions, even though many of the previous billions simply disappeared into the private coffers of Arafat, and his "wife," and of course into the pockets of the PLO leaders, who bought themselves villas, and have large bank accounts, in France and elsewhere in the Western world -- the money coming from ordinary Infidel taxpayers who were not consulted on where their money should go.

The “Palestinian” Arabs now complain that the Infidel states of the West, by withholding the aid those Arabs have gotten used to and the receipt of which they regard as theirs by right, have imposed an “economic boycott” or an “embargo.” Their use of such inappropriate terms is revealing. For it is not an "embargo" nor a "boycott" to cease to support the shock troops of the Lesser Jihad against Israel. All Western transfers of wealth to Muslims, other than those of necessity (oil and gas purchases) should cease. And again and again, publicly, Western governments should say that those rich Muslim countries, the ones that have "received ten trillion dollars in oil revenues" (this figure should be on every politician's lips in the Western world, until everyone else knows what the rich Arabs have taken in), should be "sharing their wealth" with "fellow members of the Muslim community." Keep embarrassing them. Force the "Palestinians" and others to go hat in hand to Riyadh, or to the Emirates. Or perhaps not hat in hand -- perhaps a little more threateningly. It doesn't matter.

Then one of two things will happen. Either the rich Arabs and Muslims will give money to the poor ones, or they won't. Either way, resentments will naturally follow. For if they don't give the aid, the poorer Arabs will be enraged and begin to talk about "the Arab wealth" that "must be shared." And that can only make the Saudis and the people in the Emirates and Kuwait and Qatar nervous. And if some money is forthcoming, then it will never be enough, and there will be constant demands for more, and inevitably there will be resentments on the side both of those who give, and those who take. And those resentments will grow -- why should not the Arabs generally, the poor ones will think, have equal shares "in Arab wealth" which is merely manna from Allah.

Why, indeed?

And from that realization, and those resentments, the economic fissure within the Arab and Muslim world can have a spotlight placed on it by intelligent Infidels, and the trouble it will cause within the Camp of Islam will be, or could be, considerable.

Meanwhile, just stop the Jizyah to the "Palestinians. " If Europeans want to feel guilty about something, they should be more intelligent in their choice of whom to feel guilty toward. In the Middle East, it is not the Arabs and Muslims who should be the recipients of their support of any kind. But there is one tiny country, under permanent assault, with whatever weapons come to hand, by far more powerful, richer, more numerous fanatical enemies, in the Middle East, toward whom the countries of Western Europe have not only a right, but a duty, to feel guilty about --the very country they have been maligning (or allowing others in the media to freely malign and misreport about), and slowly abandoning, for the past forty years. And that tiny country, of course, is Israel.

The Jizyah never died. It lives on. It lives on in the attitudes of both Muslim recipient and Infidel donor of aid.  And it can be seen even in the supposedly secular state of Turkey. During the Cold War, many were willing to believe that Turkey was permanently on the road to ever more secularism, ever more Kemalism. The historic Turkish mistrust for, and hostility toward, Russia was misunderstood as stoutly pro-Western attitudes. But Turkey received much, by way of diplomatic, economic, and military support from the United States. And so those who made policy were content, content thinking that all Muslim states were necessarily “bulwarks against Communism” and nothing else needed to be known about Turkey, with its splendid generals (better than the meretricious Pakistan generals whom the Pentagon also favored). Kemalism, its systematic constrains on Islam, and the need to keep pushing the Kemalist effort and not allow for any backsliding, was not understood by Americans who made policy, and not sufficiently appreciated by the secular class of Kemalism’s beneficiaries.

But inside Kemalism, despite its being recognized as constraining Islam, it adoped, but did not do away with, Muslim systems of thought. For the Cult of Muhammad the Cult of Atatruk was substituted. It was his words and sayings that came to dominate Turkish life, not the words and sayings of a seventh-century Arab.

And  the old attitudes toward non-Muslims did not disappear. During World War II, the Turkish government under Inonu, Ataturks’ successor, imposed a special tax, the crippling Varlik Vergesi, that was in effect a kind of Jizyah imposed on non-Muslims (and on this, see the conclusions of a study by Faik Okte, who had been put in charge of collecting the tax).  And the Jizyah remains. It remains, in hidden or more open form, wherever there are non-Muslim populations that are not treated as equal citizens under the law. And that is true in almost every Muslim country. The most egregious example may be that of the disguised Jizyah in Malaysia that is imposed on the non-Muslim Chinese and Hindus, who are the engine for economic development, and who are required under the “Bumiputra” (“Sons of the Land”) system, to guarantee jobs and even equity in their enterprises to Muslims, for being Muslims. For more on the “Bumiputra” system, google “Jihad Watch” and “Bumiputra.”

And it remains in the behavior of all Muslim states that have received Infidel, and especially American, aid. They take it not gratefully, not in a spirit of thinking they might just possibly owe their generous donors something, even a change in attitude, but grudgingly, resentfully, arrogantly – and are furious if anyone ever suggests the aid be cut. Why that cannot be, they seem to be saying, that would not be right, that would be outrageous. And the same goes for the attitude of the donors, especially the American donors who seem fearful of doing anything that might make the government and people in Egypt (having received more than $60 billion), and Jordan (billions and a Most-Favored-Nation status that has merely allowed Arab textile owners to bring in and exploit non-Arab workers, in conditions that are now an international scandal), and the “Palestinians” who have killed American diplomats (including Ambassador Cleo Moore in Khartoum), and aided others to abduct and kill American intelligence agents (such as William Buckley and William Higgins), or helped – see Emad Mugniyeh – to bomb American Marine barracks in Beirut, or even to kill American government employees arriving in Gaza in order to announce the award of Fulbright scholarships. None of it appears to matter. Nor does anyone in the American government dare suggest that all aid to the “Palestinians” should stop, stop  because they are working for the destruction of our loyal ally, an ally that, furthermore, deserves the support of all Infidel nation-states, no matter how its reputation is cruelly blackened, in a drip-by-drip campaign of malevolence and clear antisemitism,  Fatah is the Slow Jihad, and Hamas the Fast Jihad; they differ not on ultimate goals, but merely on tactics and on timing. That should be clear, and clear, too, should be the inefficacy of all treaties made by Infidels, including Israel, with Muslims who take as their unalterable model for treaty-making with Infidels that made by Muhammad with the Meccans in 628 A. D. at Hudaibiyya.

End that Jizyah. It buys us nothing. It does psychological damage. It does damge to our energy policy, for the same attitude of obeisance toward the Jizyah recipients has carried over to our attitudes toward other Muslims and Arabs, especially the oil-rich countries, such as Saudi Arabia, which for more than 30 years the American government has assumed it must placate – when no placating at all need take place, in order to buy oil at market prices. The most resolute declared  enemy of Saudi Arabia can buy oil on the world market at the exact same price as the most fawning and appeasing of Western nations. The Jizyah mentality needs to end, and the best way to end it, is to end the payment of the disguised Jizyah.

Besides, we want to force the oil-poor Arabs and Muslims to go, when they can no longer get tens of billions from the Americans and Europeans, hat in hand to the rich Arabs and Muslims. Let them invoke Islamic solidarity, and the loyalty owed to fellow members of the umma al-islamiyya. Let them get something. It will never be enough, and they will resent the donors among the oil-rich Arab and Muslim states. And the donors will come to resent them, and possibly deny them their requests, or the full amount of those requests. This situation can only lead to good things for Infidels. First, it may force Saudi Arabia to use up some of its discretionary income that would otherwise go to paying for mosques and madrasas and campaigns by Tablighi Jamaat to spread Islam around the globe. Every dollar that is given for staples in Egypt or Gaza or Jordan is a dollar less to be spent spreading Islam in the Western world. Second, the intra-Arab and intra-Muslim resentments will build, and along with the sectarian and ethnic fissures, the third great fissure in the Camp of Islam is the economic one.

It is there to be exploited, by those who recognize such fissures, and believe they can and should be exploited.

Stop the Jizyah.

A catchy little t-shirt or bumpersticker motto. Three little words that if repeatedly used, will force the introduction into Infidel consciences of the Jizyah itself – the Jizyah as historically imposed, over 1350 years of Muslim conquest of non-Muslim lands, and the suppression of those non-Muslims, the forcing them to accept, to avoid death or immediate forced conversion to Islam, the permanent status of humiliation, degradation, and physical insecurity that was known as that of the “dhimmi.” The most important of the legal and economic disabilities placed on all non-Muslims, the one easiest to grasp, was that of the Jizyah.

That word is ready for its closeup.

Stop the Jizyah. In repeating that phrase, you will have smuggled it right on to the world stage, into the world’s consciousness, the consciousness of its Infidels. And done more to bring the "Jizyah" forward, but also raised, by implication, other disabilities imposed on non-Muslims under Muslim rule, and the largest question of all: how Islam divides the world uncompromisingly between Believer and Infidel.

So keep saying it: Stop the Jizyah.

Posted on 12/10/2011 4:50 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Saturday, 10 December 2011
A Musical Interlude: On The Air (Carroll Gibbons And The Savoy Orpheans, voc. Harry Bentley)
Listen here.
Posted on 12/10/2011 5:21 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Saturday, 10 December 2011
Can We Trust the Kurds to Protect Religious Minorities in Iraq?

Source:  FoxNews.com  Christian businesses torched by Kurdish Muslims in Iraq

When Operation Iraqi Freedom began in March 2003, there were approximately 1.4 million Chaldean-Assyrian Christians in Iraq, almost a decade later more than  800,000 have fled to safety in refugee centers and their Diasporas in the West, leaving less than  600,000 remaining.  Given the leave taking of US forces from Iraq at the end of this month, the safety of Iraq’s Christians and other minorities, Yezidis, Mandeans and others, is in doubt. Many who fled were valued allies of invading American forces who destroyed the tyranny of the regime of the late Saddam Hussein. However, sectarian conflict between the minority Sunni Arab and majority Shia populations has trapped many Christian communities, forcing them to flee internally to the areas controlled by the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) and enclaves held by the Assyrian Democratic Movement (ADM) on the Biblical Plains of Nineveh in northern Iraq. 

The threat to the continuity of this ancient Christian community in Iraq is the subject of a novel by Kenneth Timmerman, St. Peters’ Bones that we reviewed in the March, NER,  “Assyrian Agonistes”.  In our companion interview with Timmerman, we raised the prospect of the fragile safety for Christians in the areas controlled by the KRG.  Note this exchange;

Gordon:  Given your recent trip to Iraq, what if anything is the U.S. doing to alleviate the plight of Christian minorities . . . in Iraq?

Timmerman: Under President Obama the U.S. is doing nothing. They are putting no pressure on Al-Maliki in Iraq.  . . . I just returned from Northern Iraq  . . . I can tell you that this is a community that is on the verge of extinction. The Assyrian Chaldean Syriac community in Iraq constitutes the indigenous people of Iraq. They have been there for millennia. They are being driven out by Jihadi Muslims on the one hand and by Kurdish Nationalists on the other. 

I think that the Kurds are divided. Many members of the Kurdish Regional Government such as Prime Minister Barham Saleh and many others in his government are striving to do the right thing and see themselves as protectors of the Christians. What you do have is an ethnic conflict between the Assyrian Chaldean Syriac community and the Kurds that dates back hundreds of years. You have land encroachment; you have the Kurdish Democratic Party Intelligence Service harassing Assyrian leaders throughout the Nineveh plain. This is part of a larger goal on the part of the Kurds to bring the Nineveh plain within the Kurdish Regional Government and annex it.  . . . I believe that Congress and the President should become engaged and push Prime Minister Al-Maliki to purge his security forces and allow the Christians their rights under the Iraqi Constitution to form an autonomous province in the Nineveh Plains. This is the only thing that will keep Christians in Iraq.

On Friday, December 2nd, there was a rampage by Kurdish Muslim youth roused by a fundamentalist Imam to set fires to liquor stores and other properties owned by Christians and Kurdish Yezidis in the city of Zakho and other communities in the KRG zone.

Watch this video of the riots, with clear cries of Allahu Akbar

According to an AINA report:Kurdish Regional Government Continues to Fail Vulnerable Minorities in Iraq”:

The attacks were ostensibly directed against establishments 'offensive to Islam', such as those which distribute alcohol owned by Christians. Shortly after the attacks in Zakho, violence erupted in Simele, Dohuk, Shioz, Amadiyah, Derelok and Zaweeta,

These mob attacks have raised the question of whether the KRG can be trusted to secure the area and protect Christians and other religious minorities, in northern Iraq.

This was the subject of a Fox News, report “Mob Attacks on Iraqi Christian Businesses Raise Security Concernsand the AINA article.  The FoxNews report did not identify the Kurdish Muslim youths as the perpetrators of the attacks on Christian and Yezidi businesses in Zakho and other communities. It noted the scope of the rampage and the comments of US House Rep. Frank Wolf of Northern Virginia, a long time advocate for aid to oppressed Christians in the Middle East.

Yonadam Kanna, a Christian member of the Iraqi parliament and secretary-general of the Assyrian Democratic Movement, confirmed to FoxNews.com that dozens of shops -- many Christian owned -- were attacked across multiple cities. 

"The extremists prepared themselves to attack on more locations ... but they were prevented by local police and security in addition to some guards from the villages," Kanna said in an email. 

          [. . .]

According to local media in northern Iraq, the attacks began after a sermon Friday by Mala Ismail Osman Sindi, who reportedly railed against massage parlors in the community. A Muslim mob subsequently tore through the streets to destroy not only a massage parlor but more than two-dozen other businesses. The mullah later denied responsibility for inciting violence in an interview with the Iraqi newspaper Rudaw

Kanna catalogued the damages. He told FoxNews.com that in Zakho alone, 16 liquor stores were attacked, 13 of them Christian owned and the rest owned by members of the Kurdish Yazidi community. 

The attackers also targeted Yazidi-owned hotels, 11 Christian-owned hair salons, and the massage shop -- which according to Kanna is owned by a Muslim man. 

According to the news site Ankawa.com, business owners later received death threats in the event they reopened. 

[. . .]

 "The Iraqi Christians ... are living in fear," said U.S. Rep. Frank Wolf, R-Va., who is pushing for the creation of a special religious freedom envoy in the region. "Now with the forces leaving ... I think the Iraqi Christians are going to go through a very, very difficult time." 

The AINA report, in addition to describing last week’s mob attacks cited recommendations to both the US and international community to alleviate the plight of the dwindling Christian community and other religious minorities  in Northern Iraq:

These events, and decades of violence perpetrated with impunity, belie the notion that Christian Assyrians can live safely, and enjoy full equality and full protection of their rights in the KRG. Given the desperate situation of the Christian Assyrians and other vulnerable minorities, such as Yezidis and Shabaks, it is necessary for the international community to target these peoples with specific policies meant to preserve their existence in their homeland.

Recommendations for the United States of America:

1.   Prioritize passing legislation in the 2012 appropriation already approved in the United States Senate which articulates the clearest form of an 'Iraqi Vulnerable Minorities Policy' seen to date.

2.   Use the remaining stages of the 2012 appropriations process to expand the language and reallocate not less than $75 million of the 2012 appropriation for Iraq in support of the language.

3.   Work towards a USG policy on Iraq's vulnerable minorities that reinforces support for the minorities as they pursue: i) the creation of a province in the Nineveh Plain via Article 125 of Iraq's constitution, ii) expansion, training and resourcing for the Nineveh Plain's local police force and increasing fair inclusion of vulnerable minorities in Iraq's various security services, iii) ensuring an increase in development funding that is channeled through independent NGOs.

4.   Finally, the USG should freeze all funding for development and economic support projects in the KRG until the recommendations listed below are realized.

Recommendations for the International Community, including the United States:

1.   Call for swift governmental action to prevent any further attacks in the short-term;

2.   Require a transparent, well-resourced investigation into the violence;

3.   The capture and full prosecution of all involved with emphasis on the fundamentalist Imams inciting the attacks;

4.   A full report into how this was allowed to happen and governmental measures to prevent its recurrence;

5.   Ensuring that measures of restitution for the victims are realized;

6.   Sanction companies engaging in bilateral oil deals with the KRG, requiring them to freeze business until the KRG brings the perpetrators to justice and provides full restitution to the victims; and

7.   The creation of a longer-term agenda of providing justice and restitution for the long list of serious crimes committed with impunity against Christian Assyrians, Yezidis and other minorities.

Posted on 12/10/2011 7:14 PM by Jerry Gordon
Saturday, 10 December 2011
Now Pakistan Accuses Americans Of A Premeditated Attack On Pakistani Soldiers

From Reuters:

Pakistan army believes NATO attack planned

Photo
 Dec 9 2011

By Augustine Anthony

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - A senior Pakistani military officer said a NATO air strike killing 24 Pakistani troops on the Afghan border last month was pre-planned and warned of more attacks, comments likely to fuel tension with the United States.

Major General Ashfaq Nadeem, director general of military operations, was also quoted by newspapers on Friday as saying that Pakistan, a strategic U.S. ally, would deploy an air defense system along the border to prevent such attacks.

Nadeem made the remarks to a Senate committee on defense on Thursday. Senator Tariq Azim, who attended the briefing, confirmed to Reuters that Nadeem had made the comments.

The Daily Times said Nadeem described the attack as a plot. Another newspaper quoted him as saying it was a "pre-planned conspiracy" against Pakistan.

"We can expect more attacks from our supposed allies," the Express Tribune quoted Nadeem as saying at the senate briefing.

U.S. and Pakistani officials have offered differing initial accounts of what happened.

Pakistan said the attack was unprovoked, with officials calling it an act of blatant aggression -- an accusation the United States has rejected.

Two U.S. officials told Reuters that preliminary information from the ongoing investigation indicated Pakistani officials at a border coordination centre had cleared the air strike, unaware they had troops in the area.

Nadeem ruled out the possibility that NATO forces may have thought they were firing on militants, who often move across the porous frontier and attack Western troops.

One newspaper reported that he told the Senate committee that militants do not leave themselves exposed on mountain tops, like the ones where the Pakistani border posts were located.

Senator Azim also quoted Nadeem as saying that NATO helicopters singled out one army major as he was crossing from one border post to another after losing communications, and this also led the military to conclude the attack was planned.

Pakistan responded to the attack by suspending supply routes to NATO forces in Afghanistan.

Idle drivers of trucks carrying fuel and other supplies to the neighboring country fear being attacked by Pakistani Taliban militants who oppose cooperation with NATO.

Militants fired a rocket-propelled grenade at such trucks in the southwestern city of Quetta in Baluchistan province on Thursday night, setting fire to 29 vehicles, police officials said.

Washington, which sees Pakistan as critical to its efforts to stabilize Afghanistan ahead of a combat troop pullout in 2014, has tried to sooth fury over the NATO incident.

President Barack Obama called Pakistan's president to offer condolences over the strike that provoked a crisis in relations between the two countries. He stopped short of a formal apology.

Pakistan boycotted an international conference in Germany on the future of Afghanistan because of the NATO attack.

U.S.-Pakistani ties were already frayed after the secret U.S. raid in May that killed al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.

Posted on 12/10/2011 10:05 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Saturday, 10 December 2011
Emanuel Navon On Hillary Clinton's Haaretz-Induced Hypocrisy
Hillary Clinton recently expressed concern about the future of Israeli democracy because the Knesset is considering curtailing foreign governments’ funding for Israeli NGOs, and because some rabbis in Israel say they want men and women to seat separately on buses. Does Hillary realize how hypocritical she is? In the United States, NGOs that receive money from foreign governments are considered foreign agents. And why is separate sitting between men and women on “haredi” buses a threat to democracy in Israel but not in New York (a common practice in Clinton’s home state)?

Less than six months ago (in July 2011), the FBI arrested Syed Ghulam Nabi Fai, a US citizen accused by the US Department of Justice of not informing the US government that he was in the pay of Pakistan while lobbying for the Kashmir cause and donating funds to Congressmen. Fai, who is director of the Washington-based NGO Kashmiri American Council (KAC), allegedly received millions of dollars for the KAC over the last two decades. Fai is accused of a decades-long scheme with one purpose – to hide Pakistan’s involvement behind his efforts to influence the US government’s position on Kashmir. His handlers in Pakistan allegedly funneled millions through the Kashmir Center to contribute to US elected officials, fund high-profile conferences, and pay for other efforts that promoted the Kashmiri cause to decision-makers in Washington. If found guilty, Fai could face up to five years in prison.

US law states that any American citizen or organization that receives money from foreign governments must register as a foreign agent. The foreign agent must report all its income and spending, and the Attorney General can demand, at any time, the list of the agent’s donors. Many Israeli NGOs receive money from foreign governments in order to influence the policy of Israel’s government. In the United States, such NGOs would have to register as foreign agents, and their books would be scrutinized by the Government. Why is the United States, a super-power no longer threatened by communism, entitled to take self-protecting measures from political NGOs funded by foreign governments, but not Israel, a tiny country that faces existential threats?

Clinton is making a fool of herself because she is buying into the propaganda of the English version of Ha’aretz. This radical newspaper read by 1% of the Israeli population (it prints 70,000 copies a day for a population of 7 million) is the Bible of foreign journalists and diplomats –the very people who write about Israel and who report to their capitals. Clinton is not the only victim of the “Ha’aretz effect.” A few months ago, President Sarkozy said that a state cannot be Jewish just like a table cannot be Catholic. He was repeating almost word by word what Amos Oz regularly writes in Ha’aretz.

Ha’aretz has been writing that it is undemocratic to curtail foreign governments’ funding for Israeli NGOs bent on influencing the policies of Israel’s government; that only in autocracies and in third world countries do the executive and legislative branches have a say on the appointment of Supreme Court Justices; and that fining journalists for lying intentionally is contrary to the freedom of speech. Ha’aretz knows that it is writing nonsense, but its ideological agenda comes before the truth. Hillary Clinton obviously knows that in her country Supreme Court Judges are appointed by the President and that organizations that receive funding from foreign governments have to register as foreign agents. Is Clinton simply being hypocritical, or is she orchestrating a campaign against the Netanyahu Government, just like her husband did when he was President?


The second possibility does make sense, since Tzipi Livni was quick to come to Hillary Clinton’s defense. Livni justified Clinton’s statements despite the fact that Clinton went as far as to compare Israel to Iran –or maybe because of it: after all, Livni is about to lose her job as Kadima’s Chair to the Iranian-born Shaul Mofaz. The problem with reciting the content of Ha’aretz and of The New York Times is that it makes you look smart in front Ha’aretz and New York Times readers (the kind of people who attend the Saban Forum), but it also makes you look like a fool in front of the rest of the world.

The fact that Livni expressed support for Clinton’s obnoxious and cretinous comments goes to show that Clinton and Livni deserve each other. But it also goes to show that both Israel and America deserve better.
Posted on 12/10/2011 10:11 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald

Most Recent Posts at The Iconoclast
Search The Iconoclast
Enter text, Go to search:
The Iconoclast Posts by Author
The Iconoclast Archives
sun mon tue wed thu fri sat
     1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28 29 30 31

Subscribe
Via: email  RSS