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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, 2006.
Saturday, 10 June 2006
The Church of England World Cup prayer

Lord God, the source of all life and joy, recreation and skill,

We pray for all involved in the World Cup,

and especially for those who represent our nation:

For good health for the players,

for high standards of sportsmanship and fairness,

and for the safety and well-being of all who will watch,

that in our shared enjoyment of the game,

we may rejoice in the one, who came to bring life in all its fullness,

Jesus Christ our Lord. 


From the Telegraph.

Posted on 06/10/2006 4:14 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Saturday, 10 June 2006
It's 'amo' to Latin grammar

From the Eastern Daily Press, a good regional daily.

But Fenland District Council staff have caused amazement, and put the rest of us idle shirkers to shame, by ditching lunch breaks in favour of Latin lessons.

"Most of us are finding it fairly difficult," admits business analyst Harry Rooke.

"The lessons are run once a week at lunch time and are very informal. We usually do a bit of grammar and sentence-forming and each time some new words are thrown at us.

"Then we will often have a small piece of film about life in Ancient Rome shown to us."

The Latin lessons are the brainchild of Peter Allen, another business analyst at the council, who took part in an online Latin project and decided to spread the word.

The free course is known as Latin-4-Fun - a name that might surprise anyone who did the subject at school.

Mr Allen said: "I did Latin at A-level but had not used these skills for more than 30 years. The online project rekindled my interest and I am delighted so many council colleagues have caught the Latin bug.

"As they say in Latin: 'qui docet discit'; he who teaches learns."

"Learning Latin has far more benefit and significance as a brain stretching exercise than doing things like Sudoku.

36 years later I still find my O-level Latin very useful. Salve!

Posted on 06/10/2006 4:18 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Saturday, 10 June 2006
Back from the bush
David Warren, a columnist with the Ottawa Citizen, is one of my favorite Canadian pundits.  He's back from his annual five-week vacation (nice perk, that!), delivering here  his answer to the those who ask if Canada harbors a Fifth Column, jihad Islam division.

In an aside, he describes here an impromptu talk he gave to fellow journalists:

In a long, rambling, extemporaneous memoir, I emphasized the traditional hack virtues of smoking and drinking and general loucheness against the prim political correctness of the current media mainstream. The beauty of the old-time hacks, I averred, was that they did not seek fame, only adventure, in contact with life. They could be as anonymous as mediaeval artists. They did not consider themselves to be intellectuals, and so their heads were free of stinking pride. Yet they had pride in craft, which the current ones seldom have. All our little Woodwards and Bernsteins today want fame, instead. And they want it smoke-free and soberly, they are professional fame-seekers.

Take this, of course, with the charity I always intend.

Of course they will.
Posted on 06/10/2006 5:48 AM by Robert Bove
Saturday, 10 June 2006
Dalrymple review - "All or Nothing"

"The quest for a moderate Islam may be futile", says Theodore Dalrymple, reviewing Islamic Imperialism: A History by Efraim Karsh in City Journal. The review is worth reading in full, as indeed are all of Dalrymple's articles:

The week following the Muslim protests in London against the Danish cartoons—with marchers carrying signs calling for the beheading of infidels—other Muslims demonstrated to claim that Islam really meant peace and tolerance. While their implicit recognition that peace and tolerance are preferable to strife and bigotry did these Muslims personal honor, the claim regarding Islam was both historically and intellectually preposterous. Only someone ignorant of the most elementary facts could believe such a thing. From the first, Islam was a religion of pillage, violence, and compulsion, which it justified and glorified. And it is certainly not “the evident truth of the doctrine itself,” to quote Gibbon with regard for what, with characteristic irony, he called the primary reason for the rapid spread of Christianity throughout the civilized world, that explains the exponential growth of the Dar-al-Islam in its early history.

Muslims speaking to Western audiences say that Islam spread peacefully. In the past they did not feel the need to say this. They acknowledged that Islam spread by conquest, but argued that this proved that it was right, and furthermore, that conquest of territory for Allah is not the same as conquest of territory for personal gain.

It is important, of course, to distinguish between Islam as a doctrine and Muslims as people. Untold numbers of Muslims desire little more than a quiet life; they have the virtues and the vices of the rest of mankind....But the fact that many Muslims are not fanatics is not as comforting as some might think...

In his new book, Islamic Imperialism: A History, Professor Efraim Karsh does not mince words about Mohammed’s early and (to all those who do not accept the divinity of his inspiration) unscrupulous resort to robbery and violence, or about Islam’s militaristic aspects, or about the link between Islamic tradition and the current wave of fundamentalist violence in the world. The originality of Karsh’s interpretation is its underlying assumption that Islam was, from the very beginning, a pretext for personal and dynastic political ambition, from the razzias against the Meccan caravans and the expulsion of Jewish tribes from Medina, to the siege of Vienna a millennium later in 1529, and Hamas today.

I hesitate to rush in where so many better-informed people have hesitated to tread, or have trodden before, but I would put it like this. The urge to domination is nearly a constant of human history. The specific (and baleful) contribution of Islam is that, by attributing sovereignty solely to God, and by pretending in a philosophically primitive way that God’s will is knowable independently of human interpretation, and therefore of human interest and desire—in short by allowing nothing to human as against divine nature—it tries to abolish politics. All compromises become mere truces; there is no virtue in compromise in itself. Thus Islam is inherently an unsettling and dangerous factor in world politics, independently of the actual conduct of many Muslims.

I agree wholeheartedly. As Ibn Warraq said, there are moderate Muslims but there is no moderate Islam. A distinction should be made, not between fundamentalist and moderate Islam, or between Islam and "Islamism", but between Islam the ideology  and Muslims the people. Muslims may or may not practise Islam. To the extent that they practise it, they are a danger to society. If they do not practise it, or practise only certain rituals, but do not renounce it, the true Islam remains intact for the next generation to discover.

The fundamental question is whether Islam as a private faith would still be Islam, or whether such privatization would spell its doom. I think it would spell its doom. In this sense, I am an Islamic fundamentalist. The choice is between all and nothing.

A bleak conclusion, but a realistic one.

Posted on 06/10/2006 5:46 AM by Mary Jackson
Saturday, 10 June 2006
Marriage by Numbers
See if you can figure this out.
(Answer's at the bottom of the piece.)
Not only are both numbers irrational, like love, the first one is actually transcendental, like marriage.
What's that?  You don't know the difference between "irrational" and "transcendental" numbers?  Why, it's all explained here  
Posted on 06/10/2006 7:31 AM by John Derbyshire
Saturday, 10 June 2006
Judge Dismisses Khobar Towers Suit Against Iran
Ken Timmerman, via Newsmax, has the story.  Ken reports that the Judge refused to weigh testimony from former high-ranking FBI officials (including former Director Louie Freeh) which implicated Iran:  
In an opinion handed down June 6, 2006, Judge Deborah A. Robinson asserted that the plaintiffs "offered no evidence regarding the action of any official, employee or agent" or the Iranian regime, its intelligence ministry (MOIS), or the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps, IRGC. ...

In her 45-page ruling, Judge Robinson rejected testimony presented by former FBI Director Louis Freeh and his deputy, Dale Watson, on grounds that they "confined their testimony regarding the involvement of the government of Iran in the bombing of Khobar Towers to their opinions – in the words of Mr. Watson – ‘as private citizen[s].'"

However, trial transcript of the Dec. 18, 2003 hearing at which Freeh and Watson testified shows clearly that both sought to describe the FBI investigation into the bombing, but that Judge Robinson actively thwarted their testimony.

At one point, lawyers for the victims asked Freeh, "Did the FBI learn of the involvement of any foreign government in the attack?" Judge Robinson struck the question, and insisted on directing the questioning herself after that.

Freeh went on to testify that six suspects, arrested by the Saudi authorities and interviewed by the FBI – including by him personally – "admitted to us that they were members of Saudi Hezbzollah . . . They implicated several Iranian officials in funding and planning the attack."

Freeh named Iranian government officials who organized the attack, provided funds, and assisted in the logistics of preparing the bomb.

"My own conclusion was that the [Khobar Towers] attack was planned, funded and sponsored by the senior leadership of the Government of Iran," he said. "All the training and the funding was done by the IRGC with support from senior leaders of the Government of Iran."

But Judge Robinson found that evidence from the former FBI Director uncompelling.
The State Department filed an amicus brief in the case ... on behalf of Iran, urging dismissal of the suit.
It should be noted that, after viewing the intelligence made available to it, the 9/11 Commission concluded with respect to Khobar that:  "The operation was carried out principally, perhaps exclusively, by Saudi Hezbollah, an organization that had received support from the government of Iran.  While the evidence of Iranian involvement is strong, there are also signs that al Qaeda played some role, as yet unknown."  9/11 Commission Report, p. 60 & n.48 (emphasis added).
Posted on 06/10/2006 7:34 AM by Andy McCarthy
Saturday, 10 June 2006
Derb Radio

New Derb Radio is up over at NRO. Be sure to listen through to the end.

Posted on 06/10/2006 8:52 AM by Rebecca Bynum
Saturday, 10 June 2006
Contain Islam

"Norway's parliament, the Storting, has already approved a proposal for more contact and exchange to promote cooperation between individuals, voluntary organizations, political parties and industry in Norway and the Muslim world."
-- from this article

Not so very different from all of the grand schemes supported by our government, all those Institutes for Spreading Democracy that, whatever the intentions of those on their payroll (always look for whose career, and salary, will be helped or hindered), promote the "spreading of democracy" instead of the containment of Islam -- with the catastrophic results that can be seen in Tarbaby Iraq, and in the inattention to grasp what is happening in Western Europe.

Nor very different from all those All-Hat-and-No-Cattle Muslimi "reformists" with their "reform" projects that will somehow, with Carnegie Foundation money (and can Ford, can all the others, be far behind?), manage to "reform" Islam in some quite carefully unspecified way, for how exactly could one either change the by-now immutable texts of Islam, the Qur'an and Hadith, and if one were to change them, how would one manage to convince the nearly a billion extremely primitive True Believers? Can't be done, but few wish to recognize that bleak truth, and go on from there to dividing and demoralizing the Camp of Islam, to keep it permanently off balance, while the next decade is used to educate Infidels, or enough of them, about the real tenets, attitudes, and atmospherics of Islam -- in order to do the only thing that makes sense, which is to contain Islam as Communism was once contained,and to wait for its own adherents to begin to make the connection between the failures of their own societies and the belief-system (Communism, Islam) itself.

Posted on 06/10/2006 1:58 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Saturday, 10 June 2006
Angry rabbit attacks dogsled

A large and unusually bold hare was apparently so irritated when a dogsled team entered its territory that it went on the attack, in an otherwise peaceful forested area of northern Norway.

You can't make this stuff up:

Wenche Offerdal told newspaper Nordlys that she and her team of huskies met the hare while travelling between Saraelv and Seima Saturday evening. The hare appeared fully grown and quite aggressive.

"It was sitting 10 meters from the trail and I figured it would run off, and even that the dogs would go after it," Offerdal said. "I was wrong."

Instead, the hare came running towards the dogsled team, which came to a halt. Then the fearless hare jumped right into the middle of team.

That prompted the lead dog to turn around, which left the hare surrounded by the huskies. The hare's odds worsened when another dogsled came up behind Offerdal's. That left one hare facing 13 dogs.

"It was an absurd situation," Offerdal told Nordlys. "The dogs were completely perplexed. The hare stared at them and they stared back, like they were all frozen."

Suddenly the hare seemed to reconsider its position, and leaped out of the ring, hitting a few of the dogs over their noses with its paws on its way.

"It was an enormous leap, the hare landed outside the ring of dogs and ran off into the woods," Offerdal said.

Posted on 06/10/2006 2:13 PM by Rebecca Bynum
Saturday, 10 June 2006
who needs who?

"Decrying Saudi Arabia for teaching intolerance and financing terrorism, lawmakers voted 312-97 to cut the $420,000 the oil-rich kingdom receives to participate in U.S.-backed military and counter-terrorism training" - from this story

The American government never "needed" Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia needed it. The Americans found the oil, and managed to pump the oil, and to load the oil on tankers, to destinations where other people, much more like the Americans than the Saudis, had found uses for that oil. Saudi Arabia owes everything to its American connection. Saudi Arabia sold oil to the Americans at the same price that everyone else had to buy it -- the market price. Saudi Arabia priced its oil based on its calculation of how to best maximize its own revenues and the value of its reserves.

A great deal of ARAMCO propaganda -- see J. B. Kelly's article "Of Valuable Oil and Worthless Policies" -- went into convincing successive American governments that Saudi Arabia was a friend, an ally, a "staunch ally." It never was. And whatever aid the Saudis extended to the mujahedin in Afghanistan was given in order to support Islam, not in order to oppose Soviet Communism (the Saudis right now are making deals with Communist China), and the same aid would have been extended to help Islamic forces fight, not the Red Army, but local secularists. Similarly, Saudi Arabia opposed Iran not because it deplored Khomeini's anti-infidel murderousness, but because it saw Shi'a Iran as a threat to the House of Al-Saud (they are well aware that their own corruption, if painted as the work of "infidels," could bring about all kinds of attacks -- and has). The Americans did not "need" the Saudis at any time; here and there their interests appeared to coincide fleetingly. Any optical illusion that resulted, to make anyone think we ever "needed" Saudi Arabia, and that somehow this "geopolitical threat" of Saddam Hussein (whom the Saudis gave tens of billions to, and supported to the hilt, during the Iran-Iraq War)being removed, we "need" Saudi Arabia no longer, simply is part of a refusal to realize how thoroughly snookered American governments and elites, sometimes out of cupidity, sometimes out of timidity, sometimes -- most often -- out of stupidity (the esdrujula explanation, about which there is more in the Archives), have been by the House of Al-Saud, and its sometime handmaiden, ARAMCO.

Posted on 06/10/2006 4:44 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald

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