These are all the Blogs posted on Sunday, 11, 2007.
Sunday, 11 February 2007
Madrid relives its train bomb horror
The Sunday Times on preparation for the trial of the remaining 29 people accused of 29 people, many of them Moroccan Islamist fanatics, carrying out the Madrid train bombings in which 191 people were killed and more than 1,800 injured.
The approach of the “trial of the century”, as one Spanish magazine described it last week, has increased the flow of visitors to her office in the headquarters of a victims’ association in Madrid. Some of her patients are people who lost loved ones in the bombings.
On Wednesday evening she sat consoling a woman whose husband had been killed. “People are afraid of the trial,” she said later. “They are afraid of what feelings it might inspire — rage, sadness, all sorts of emotions will be set off by it.”
Balanzat tells them to look at the trial, which will involve hundreds of witnesses and lawyers for the prosecution and defence, as an opportunity for discovering the truth.
Some conspiratorially minded Spaniards believe in a link with Eta, the Basque terror group, a suspicion dismissed by investigators but encouraged by the then conservative government of Jose Maria Aznar.
He was stung by accusations that the attacks were punishment for his support of America in the Iraq war and lost power in an election three days after the bombings because voters suspected him of wanting to blame Eta for purely political reasons ahead of the polling.
At the time, the public was convinced the attacks were related to the presence of Spanish troops in Iraq. Today, however, investigators argue that planning for the bombings began long before the war. The attacks, they maintain, were related more to exhortations from Osama Bin Laden to revive Al-Andalus, as Spain’s Muslim kingdom was known in the Middle Ages.
Whatever Bin Laden’s role, victims are clamouring to know who was more directly involved. “We need to be able to put a face on our executioners. We need to know what motivated them.”
This has been complicated by the suicide of seven suspects who telephoned relatives to say goodbye and then used leftover explosives to blow themselves up after police surrounded their flat in Madrid a month after the bombings. Two other suspects escaped, one of them eventually dying as a suicide bomber in Iraq.
Two of the others in the dock in Madrid were alleged to have been among the group that travelled in two vehicles with 13 backpacks of explosives to a suburban railway station where they boarded various trains at rush hour into Madrid. Extensive DNA testing has been used to link others with the safe house in which the bombs were manufactured.
“We hope that light will be cast on the shadows. We want to know exactly how and why our lives were turned upside down.”
Posted on 02/11/2007 3:15 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Sunday, 11 February 2007
Hold the Napoleonic Code, please
I'm still waiting for my mailbag to fill up with news of UK free speech groups that fight to protect UK college students like the Danskartoon controversy Cambridge kids, but in the meantime here excerpted from his City Journal essay on the malignant growth of American campus speech codes are John Leo's observations on the situation in Europe:
Naturally enough, Muslims want to play the same victim game as other aggrieved groups. The French Council of Muslims says that it’s considering taking France Soir, which reprinted the Danish cartoons, to court for provocation. When French novelist Michel Houellebecq said some derogatory things about the Koran, Muslim groups hauled him into court, which eventually exonerated him. The late Italian journalist Oriana Fallaci wrote an angry anti-Muslim book, meant to waken the West to the gravity of the threat posed by Islam. Her prosecution in Italy for writing the book was pending when she died in October.
Much of Europe has painted itself into a corner on Muslim-driven censorship. What can Norway say to pro-censorship Muslims when it already has a hate-speech law forbidding, among other things, “publicly stirring up one part of the population against another,” or any utterance that “threatens, insults or subjects to hatred, persecution, or contempt any person or group of persons because of their creed, race, color, or national or ethnic origin . . . or homosexual bent”? No insulting utterances at all? Since most strong opinions can seem insulting to someone—can hurt someone’s feelings—no insults means no free speech.
Chafing under First Amendment restrictions, many censorship-prone American leftists look longingly toward successful speech control up north or overseas. That’s what they want right here.
Posted on 02/11/2007 6:04 AM by Robert Bove
Sunday, 11 February 2007
A Theodoric homily
Found while rummaging around the current CJ:
Returning to my friends’ house, I idly picked a volume from a bookcase. It was an edition of Henry VIII’s love letters. It fell open to Katherine of Aragon’s last letter to the man she considered still, and always, her husband:
My most dear lord, king and husband,
The hour of my death now approaching, I cannot choose but out of the love I bear for you, advise you of your soul’s health, which you ought to prefer before all considerations of the world or flesh whatsoever. For which you have cast me into many calamities, and your self into many troubles. But I forgive you all, and pray God do so likewise. For the rest, I commend unto you Mary, our daughter, beseeching you to be a good father to her, as I have heretofore desired. I must entreat you also, to respect my maids, and give them in marriage, which is not much, they being but three; and to all my other servants, a year’s pay, besides their due, lest otherwise they should be unprovided for; lastly, I make this vow, that mine eyes desire you above all things. Farewell.
Katherine, Queene of England
Read the rest of Theodore Dalrymple's "The Eternal Present" here.
Posted on 02/11/2007 6:31 AM by Robert Bove
Sunday, 11 February 2007
Those Mr. and Mrs. MacBeths
"[Shireen T. Hunter] a U.S. academic who specializes in Iran and Islam, and a former Iranian teacher said they believe the textbooks are a reflection of Iran's history and its deep suspicions of the West, not an effort to turn students into terrorists."-- from this news article
"Academic"? She's the Lady MacBeth of Washington think-tanks, who managed to push her husband Robert forward, even managing to get him, under -- bien sur -- Carter, an appointment as Ambassador to NATO. J. B. Kelly was in Washington in those days, and took his measure --and hers. Power couples, power couples, even those semidemihemi-quavering power couples, and especially those with the more aggressive of the two being the woman -- a Washington sight. One thing Kelly did vividly recall in his encounters with Shireen Hunter, is how unpleasant she was in her obvious contempt for the American government and American people.
Shall I tell you what the Iranians in exile, the real exiles, think of Shireen T. Hunter? Or can you guess?
She's somehow ended up, has she not, by dint of being Iranian, as some kind of pseudo-expert, with a title on the door, at one of those Centers for Strategic Thisandthat -- a little like the sociologist Judith Kipper, who was coming back from something sociological somewhere, and her plane stopped in Cairo, and she fell in love with the exotic Muslim Arab east, and though she knows nothing about Islam, and hence nothing of significance about that Muslim Arab East she finds so attractive, she's been pushing and promoting herself ever since, and her bluff -- according again to Kelly and a few others -- has never been called.
Washington, Think-Tanks. Those "experts." Those "position papers."
Those Mr. and Mrs. MacBeths.
Posted on 02/11/2007 7:23 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Sunday, 11 February 2007
Problems and Solutions
"In 1492, Christopher Columbus was forced to sail from Ponte de Frontera south of Cadiz because the Cadiz Harbor was chock-a-block with Ottoman ships come to take TWO MILLION JEW TO SAFETY.."
"And the unbalanced view of history and responsibility shown here is manipulative at best, and dangerous at worst, because it seeks to destroy the very solution that exists before our eyes, put best by Dr. Daniel Pipes, who apparently is just never really heard on this:
Radical Islam is the problem. Moderate Islam is the solution.
And if you insist upon the bald-faced black lie that moderate Islam does not, has not, and cannot exist, you kill in the womb the only possible solution to this problem."-- from a reader
There is a good deal of nonsense to disentangle from the true in this. But the remark that the Ottoman ships were just waiting, crowded at Cadiz, to take on board two million Jews from Spain is absurd, every which way. One of the scholars who specializes in this period and this subject, Henry Kamen, concluded that about 50,000 Jewish families left Spain in 1492, and that only a few thousand went to Turkey. Some went to North Africa, and were, on the whole, wretchedly treated -- often not admitted to the cities, to die in the desert. The single place where they were well received appears to have been Tlemcen. Many returned to Spain, and accepted the cruelty of forced conversion; apparently that was preferable to what they experienced in North Africa. Some went to Turkey, some spread out in various Italian cities (Naples was welcoming, for example), and others ended up, as we know, in other European cities, including famously tolerant -- at least later -- Amsterdam.
Meanwhile, I will wait for actual evidence that an Ottoman fleet of ships just waited off Cadiz to carry back to Turkey "2 million Jews."
As for the endorsement of this unfortunate mantra of Daniel Pipes, about "moderate Islam is the solution" -- this entire site, if the information and discussion presented on it is understood and thoroughly assimilated, stands for the idea that this is a forlorn and false hope, and that the very idea of some "solution" to a "problem" is false, for the problem is permanent, and the position of Infidels can be ameliorated, and the weaknesses of Islam exploited so as to cause divisions and dissension within the ranks of Islam, but not as Pipes, and this reader, think possible -- the "moderates" standing up to the "immoderates." The "moderates" are few, the "moderates" are difficult to define, the "moderates" can have children who are "immoderate" or themselves be transformed, for any number of reasons (including mental desarroi) into "immoderates" -- and the whole thing, as a plan, as a strategy, will only work to delay or prevent widespread understanding and full recognition, among Infidels, of the depth and scope and full menace of what is a "problem" without a "solution."
End of story.
Posted on 02/11/2007 7:32 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Sunday, 11 February 2007
Cameron's shocking past
"Conservative leader David Cameron has refused to deny claims in a biography that he smoked cannabis while he was a pupil at Eton College 25 years ago," says the BBC.
Oh wait, there's more. Brace yourselves:
Mr Cameron, 40, admitted he had done things in his past he "should not have done".
What he doesn't tell us, and you can't see it from the picture, is that he has left undone those things he ought to have done. And he should do them up pronto.
Mr Cameron was punished after admitting smoking cannabis. ..Mr Cameron, then aged 15, was grounded but several boys were expelled...
Because he had smoked cannabis and not sold it, Mr Cameron was not expelled or suspended like several other boys. Instead, he was fined, grounded for two weeks and given the school's traditional punishment of a "Georgic" - copying out hundreds of lines of Latin poetry.
As an extra punishment, he had to leave out all the rude bits.
Posted on 02/11/2007 7:44 AM by Mary Jackson
Sunday, 11 February 2007
Yiddish with Dick and Jane
Posted on 02/11/2007 8:16 AM by Mary Jackson
Sunday, 11 February 2007
“You could talk about partnership, but you would be lying”
Even though they can't seem to utter an intelligent analysis involving the "I-word" on Iraq, the New Duranty Times does offer good on-the-ground coverage of the situation for our troops in Iraq who are now trying desperately to do the impossible: stop a civil war in progress. Here is Marc Santora with those troops attempting to carry out the new improved Bush plan, small outposts set on the fault lines between the warring Sunni and Shi'a.
..In the week since the Americans arrived, however, the troops have seen the truth of what their commanders warned in announcing the plan: it leaves Americans more exposed than ever, stationary targets for warring militias.
The outpost sits on the fault line between Sunni and Shiite enclaves: Ghazaliya to the south, where fighters with Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia have moved in among the Sunni population, and Shula to the north, a base for Shiite militias that have been raiding this neighborhood for months.
Over the course of three days spent with the 105 soldiers here — Company C of the Second Battalion, 12th Cavalry — four American vehicles were hit by roadside bombs near the outpost. No soldiers from Company C were wounded, but they know the fighting will intensify.
“I’m a juicy target they are just trying to figure out,” said Capt. Erik Peterson, 29, the commander at the outpost.
During the week, the soldiers also received their first glimpse of the green Iraqi forces who will share the mission and eventually, they hoped, take it over. The soldiers talked about them with a mixture of bemusement, disdain and mistrust.
“You could talk about partnership, but you would be lying,” said one soldier who asked that his name not be used, for fear of punishment by his superiors...
Posted on 02/11/2007 8:20 AM by Rebecca Bynum
Sunday, 11 February 2007
The DHS and Islam
The Department of Homeland Security has been having some morale problems lately. WND reports on a big reason why: internal inconsistency. Chertoff says agents aren't supposed to use the I-word when describing terrorists. They're to be referred to as "extremists" (no adjective) instead.
Citing recent internal memos, Department of Homeland Security employees complain their boss Michael Chertoff is hamstringing counter-terror operations with pro-Islamic political correctness.
They say headquarters has cautioned officials not to describe Islamic terrorism as Islamic and to respect Islam as a "religion of peace."
"It's constantly drilled into us that Islam is not the enemy, and that the terrorists are merely a minority of 'extremists' distorting Islam," said one official who wished to go unnamed...
Yes, that's the official Washington line. More here.
Posted on 02/11/2007 8:55 AM by Rebecca Bynum
Sunday, 11 February 2007
A third of schools ditch history for GCSE
Almost 1,500 secondary schools did not enter any of their pupils for GCSE history, official figures reveal. The statistics, compiled from last summer's exam season, suggest that more than a third of state schools are failing to teach the subject at all beyond the age of 14.
The evidence of the decline of what many regard as one of the most important disciplines in the national curriculum was described as "appalling" by academics who fear that the increase in vocational options will lead to the further neglect of history.
Sean Lang, the secretary of the Historical Association, said: "Minister's have paid lip-service to getting the idea of Britishness across but these shocking figures show that unless they really take action and make history compulsory, it is not going to come from the schools. Giving pupils options at 14 should not limit the areas they study, but it has had that affect. There seems to be a hostility towards the humanities because school management has one eye on the league tables and the other on vocational qualifications. "These numbers are far worse than the Historical Association would have imagined."
Separate figures released last week which break down GCSE entry by local authority, showed that as few as one in five teenagers are learning history in some areas. . . Many schools seem to attach little importance to the subject despite ministers' claims that it has a special place in the curriculum.
This is very worrying. There is an interest in family history (as evidenced by the popularity of So Who Do You Think You Are?) and local history in popular culture. It is said that archaeology is the new rock and roll (think Meet the Ancestors, Time Team, Two Men in a Trench etc). Children love the Horrible History series. So why not capitalise on something worthwhile and academic that children love to learn about and actually teach them it?
Because not even science or maths, but “technology” Rules OK. History is for the inquiring analytical mind, it’s about big ideas and little ones, big events and the little events that make up the big events.
It’s about people, and who can fail to be interested in people?
Posted on 02/11/2007 8:41 AM by Esmerelda WEatherwax
Sunday, 11 February 2007
Muslim jail-diet ruling may open floodgates
A CHILD sex offender fed vegetables, nuts and "fatty and salty" tinned meat because prison authorities would not provide him with fresh halal meat prepared in accordance with Muslim religious laws has won a discrimination case against the Queensland Government.
In a ruling the Government fears could trigger an avalanche of claims from other prisoners denied special dietary requests, the Supreme Court found Sharif Mahommed, who was sentenced to eight years' imprisonment in 2000, had been discriminated against. Mahommed, now out of prison, said he had suffered stress and lost weight behind bars because he ate more vegetables and nuts to make up for the denial of fresh halal meat.
Police and Corrective Services Minister Judy Spence . . . who has predicted the opening of floodgates "to other prisoners requesting all manner of special diets", had instructed Crown Solicitor Conrad Lohe and barrister Christopher Murdoch in a bid to quash an Anti-Discrimination Tribunal judgment by barrister Jean Dalton SC. Ms Spence said yesterday she found Justice Lyons's decision surprising. "I have asked Queensland Corrective Services to review the judgment to consider grounds for appeal," she said. "At the moment, Queensland Corrective Services provides diets requested on the basis of cultural or religious needs where possible."
Ms Dalton, who heard the original case, found that Mahommed "received substantially more than his fair share of unacceptable meals because he was put on a vegetarian diet when he was not vegetarian (and) at the time fresh halal meat was difficult to source and extremely expensive, so he was provided with canned meat instead".
The vegetarian diet consisted of salad and a protein replacement at lunch, with hot lunches such as vegetable patties or vegetarian sausages three times a week. At night the vegetarian dinners include lasagnas, curries, pizzas and kebabs. "They'd send me down a salad with chicken in it, they would send me down a pie, they'd send me down a salad with luncheon meat in it," Mahommed said. I know of a lot of elderly people in nursing homes and hospitals who would relish chicken salad and meat pie for tea.
Ms Dalton ruled: "There was evidence that nutmeat was served with regularity. He actively disliked some of it, such as the nutmeat and the sausages. He was served more salad and tinned meat than was provided on the general menu and found this unacceptable. It is not a matter of being fussy, or expecting restaurant quality food; no doubt he had to endure his fair share of poor meals, just like every other prisoner."
Personally I think a child sex offender should think himself lucky not to get ground glass in his food. Is bush tucker halal? If not hard tack with free range weevil might be an acceptable alternative.
Posted on 02/11/2007 9:41 AM by Esmerelda WEatherwax
Sunday, 11 February 2007
Who Has Turned Out To Be Right?
Sarkozy has to move further along; he cannot continue to believe that the French state can, through subsidizing mosques, or by further enormous attempts at "integration" -- by which he means preferment for Muslims, a kind of affirmative action -- undo, or permanently quarantine, those texts, those Qur'anic passages, those stories in the hadith, those many details in the Sira, or Life of Muhammad, that make his example a menace for all Infidels.
After Sarkozy is elected, he will have to think clearly about this, and so will others. How exactly do they intend to make sure, in those subsidized mosques paid for by the French Infidels, or in "integrating" Muslims so that they are better able not only to rise to positions of power and influence, but also better to present their own case for Islam -- as say, Tariq Ramadan does so much better, given his command of French and his sly and sinister ability to mold his pitch to the Western audiences he understands so much better than, say, the Muslim cleric who squirmed so uneasily while being interviewed by Hannity the other day.
Sarkozy may really not know this. He may really not have thought through to the heart of the matter, and the full menace of Islam. But the way he (and then Alain Finkielkraut) demolished Tariq Ramadan on televised debates, gives hope. If only Le Pen could disappear, so that some of his misguided supporters would move to Sarkozy or to Philippe de Villiers, who represents those with the clearest sense of Islam and of what must be done, and who has been intellectually, and morally, impeccable.
The French elites, those politechniciens and enarquistes, as one might call them, in an act of colossal folly, allowed into France, over the past 45 years, millions of Muslims. It started with the harkis. It continued with Arab workers from Algeria. Then Giscard d'Estaing thought that the criminal behavior (read: anti-Infidel behavior) of those Arab workers might end if only they were allowed to have "family reunification." It had a plausible ring. Let them have their wives (one wife was contemplated), and their children, and they will turn out to be good family men. Well, the wives came, and the children came, and more children were born, and the French state provided the free education, the free medical care, the absurdly subsidized and, by American standards, quite good housing, and all the rest of the benefits offered by the Infidel nation-state, and paid for by the Infidel taxpayers, and guess what? The Muslim population grew and grew and grew, while, as life became ever more unpleasant and expensive for Infidels, and especially with the Muslim presence in schools causing many French parents anxiety and alarm, and the need for possibly private schools where such need had never existed before, the natural consequence was a drop in the size of French non-Muslim families, as French people factored in the perceived cost of raising children. And so the Muslim population rose both absolutely and relatively. There is no way to deal with this matter, save at the edges, by appealing to the most advanced people born into Islam who will be willing to leave it, for Christianity or unbelief, and also to those non-Arab Muslims, chiefly to be found in France among the Berbers, whose legitimate resentment against the cultural and political imperialism of the Arabs in North Africa (and especially felt in the Kabyle), can help prompt a critical distancing, by some Berbers, from Islam, Islam now seen as what it always was -- a vehicle for Arab imperialism, the most successful imperialism in human history, and certainly the most damaging, the most deadly, for its victims, and most of all in India.
During the past forty years, successive French governments, run by arrogant elites, outwardly cultivated, with a certain shallow gloss, but essentially unthinking, have betrayed their own country and those in whose name they presumed to rule, as they did nothing, or listened to those fools who, billed as "experts on Islam" -- two of the greatest fools being Gilles Kepel and Olivier Roy, while those who had actually read, and thought, and knew something about the matter -- Jacques Ellul, Jacques Soustelle, Charles-Emanuel Dufourcq, even at the end of his life Maxime Rodinson -- were simply belittled, or more often, ignored.
But who has turned out to be right? Jacques Ellul, and Soustelle, and Dufourcq, and Rodinson, and the steely analyst of dhimmitude and the European malaise, Bat Ye'or, or has it been Giscard d'Estaing, and Chirac, and Dominique de Villepin, and Gilles Kepel, and Olivier Roy, and Eric Rouleau (who at Le Monde helped make that paper save for the Arabs and for Islam)?
Posted on 02/11/2007 9:35 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Sunday, 11 February 2007
Libya-style Deal on North Korea Nukes?
Tiger Hawk asks why this potentially huge story is getting so little sunshine from the MSM. He also reviews critiques by the NYTimes and liberal Democrats of the administration's North Korea approach: The President Bush they ceaselessly deplore for being too unilateral and ignoring the feelings of the "international community" is being too multilateral and ingnoring the feelings of Kim Jong-il.
Posted on 02/11/2007 10:03 AM by Andy McCarthy
Sunday, 11 February 2007
Chertoff Voz'mi, or, The Code of Silence at the DHS
Chertoff, and all those who think this is a good policy, should be asked to explain themselves. They should be asked to explain why it is, those who "take a leadership role" (there are no leaders, apparently, any more) in government, and who therefore have the duty of both instructing and protecting us, will not instruct, but rather manipulate, distort, and even hide the truth, because that truth is so disturbing, and implies so much by way of past folly, and by way of current responsibility to change things, that they just are at their wits' end -- they know not what to do.
We can't have people ruling over us, in our names, presuming to protect us, taking their goddam "leadership roles," if they are at their wits' end. They should be replaced by those who have much more wit, so large a store, so ample their reserves of intelligence and knowledge, that they will never be --- at their wit's end.
Posted on 02/11/2007 10:32 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Sunday, 11 February 2007
The Jizyah is the name we give to the tax imposed in Muslim-ruled societies on the non-Muslims. These are the so called "protected people." They are protected, by a method of legalized community-wide extortion, from the Muslims themselves. The aid that is given, by Infidel nation-states, to Muslim nation-states and polities, out of some dreamy belief that this will somehow make those Muslims like us -- i.e., be less Muslim -- rather than simply make them better able to continue to engage in the Jihad, using whatever instruments come to hand, and are deemed most effective for a particular time or a particular place (from qitaal, or combat, to the money weapon, Da'wa, propaganda, and of course demographic conquest).
The aid that has been given by Infidel governments in Western Europe, and in North America, in the manner in which it is both given, and in which it has been received, and in which it is now by universal agreement of both donors and recipients assumed as being given as a matter of right, and can only be halted, and then only temporarily, in the most extreme circumstances, exhibits all the features of the Jizyah that for 1350 years was paid, by non-Muslims, to Muslims within those Muslim-dominated societies, and that is now being given, by non-Muslims, who even before their societies have been taken over by Muslims, have taught themselves the habit of dhimmitude, a proleptic state of psychological capitulation, before those who would be judged both hostile and primitive by any rational and self-assured Western observer.
The local shock troops of the Lesser Jihad against Israel are those Arabs who renamed themselves, with cunning, in order to disguise as a "nationalist" undertaking -- you know, the "two tiny peoples" business, what otherwise would appear to be, as in fact it is and always has been, an enormous gang-up, by Arabs, and by other Muslims, with all their numbers and vast territories and incredible, unearned wealth from oil and gas deposits, on a sliver of land so small as to be nearly invisible on maps of the world. That "two tiny peoples" argument hides both the real basis for the refusal to recognize, and by "recognition" we mean of course not merely taking notice that Israel now exists (which is how Mahmoud Abbas and Fatah mean it, and of course have explained this to those stubborn members of Hamas who prefer the Fast Jihad to the Slow Jihad), but "recognition" as meaning -- yes, we accept you, in perpetuity, we have abandoned the ultimate goal of destroying Israel as a Jewish, i.e., Infidel, state, we have accepted the idea that non-Muslims, too, have histories, and rights, and we will in fact, extend that understanding to other non-Muslim peoples and, as well, to other Muslim but non-Arab peoples, such as the Kurds, the Berbers, the black African Muslims in Darfur.
That, of course, will never happen. It can't happen because Muslims cannot go against the central duty of Jihad, and the basic opposition of Believer to Infidel that is to last for all time -- at least, they cannot do so and remain Muslims. And the hold of Islam on its brainwashed-from-birth followers is immense, is like no other religion, is like nothing so much as what happens to the fanatical members of a political cult, such as the Nazis or the Communists, where deviation from the party line could be grounds for removal and even imprisonment, even death.
Here we have a comical spectacle: two branches of the same army fighting the Lesser Jihad against Israel (which is only a local branch, or outpost, or manifestation of what is a World-Wide Jihad), meet under the auspices of the fabulously-rich Saudis. And the main point of the meeting is to arrive at some formula by which the Infidels will again have a flimsy formula offered them by which they, those Infidels, will turn on the spigot of aid. And the denial of that aid has been called, referred to endlessly, as a "blockade" or a "boycott." Now I wonder how many of us who in our own lives, out of some misguided impulse, heaped large sums of money on those who gave every indication of regarding us, despite that aid, as their permanent enemies ("Infidels"), who were to be regarded with contempt, with hostility (their holy books telling them they must not take us as friends, they must indeed, either "cut off the heads of the Unbelievers" or, if those Unbelievers -- and we are those Unbelievers -- are finally conquered, they are to be offered only a choice: death, conversion to Islam, or a permanent state of humiliation, degradation, and physical insecurity, that status known as being a "dhimmi," and its rules codified in the Shari'a or Holy Law of Islam. (See Antoine Fattal, "Le status legal des non-musulmanes en pays d'Islam").
Now, funnily, these sums we have been doling out to these people who are inculcated with the belief that we must be hated, we must ultimately be conquered and our lands made places where Islam dominates ("Islam is to dominate and is not to be dominated") and Muslims rule, are regarded by us as something we simply must keep paying, otherwise those whom we initially may, out of ignorance and naiveté, sought to treat with such kindness, such generosity, will turn on us, will harm us.
And in turn, those recipients of our largesse do not show us any kindness. They denounce us. They grab and kill our citizens, our aid-workers, our representatives coming to Gaza only to announce the winners of scholarships to America, our ambassadorial staff in Khartoum. They have not modified their murderous desires in the slightest, but have only used what aid the Infidels -- that is, we -- have given them -- to make war on other Infidels.
Now we have the Saudis, who have received several trillion dollars since 1973, and have never been asked, it seems, to divert some of the money they spend on sowing the seeds of Islam everywhere in the Western world, with mosques built, and then maintained, through Saudi (and other Arab) money -- in Rome, in London, in Paris, and in a thousand or ten thousand other places. In those mosques the most horrific sermons, the most horrific audiocassettes, the most horrific literature, denouncing the Infidels in murderous language, is a given, at least until some Infidel police manage to uncover, here and there, a particular case of what is in fact a systematic scandal.
Yet in Mecca, the Slow Jihadists of Abbas and the Fast Jihadists of Meshaal came away with the idea that the Infidels should renew their Jizyah. No one seems to think this absurd, in the Western world. No one seems to think that there is anything wrong with the Infidels, already having transferred ten trillion dollars -- the greatest transfer of wealth in human history -- to the almost entirely Muslim membership of OPEC since 1973, all because of an accident of geology and not out of any actual effort or merit on the part of those Arab and Muslim states that happen to sit on top of this oil, and who are going to continue to receive similar, though even larger sums, in the future, should be the ones properly asked to support -- if support there is to be -- for those local Arabs and fellow Muslims, whom some persist in pretending should be identified as a separate people -- what a semantic farce -- that is, the "Palestinian people."
What presidential candidate will stand up and say what I have just written here? Who will stand up and say "Stop the Jizyah" and in saying that, start the public discussion of what the JIzyah is and always was, and point out the absurdity of the vast sums being spent, not only in Iraq to create that idiotic Light Unto the Muslim Nations, but also to create a pseudo-prosperity when there is no connection between prosperity and the fanaticism of Muslims pursuing Jihad, but Infidel aid can only make that pursuit more likely, more easy of achievement. Finally, the man (or woman) who stands up and says simply -- We Must Not Renew The Jizyah to the "Palestinians" -- will also force others to discuss this matter, and to discuss as well, ways to use up Saudi Arabia's discretionary income that it plows into the Jihad that harms us so much, and one of those ways is to make the poor Arabs and Muslims stop counting on the West, but to go hat in hand to the Saudis. Let them pay for the "Palestinians," let them keep Mubarak's Family-and-Friends plan going (why should Egyptians continue to blame Americans for propping up the corrupt and oppressive regime? Let them blame the Saudis). If Abdullah of Jordan is, as some say, a force for stability and "moderation" (this is the usual unthinking nonsense, but in the spirit of the first-year law student who likes to preface his remarks or his exam answer with "assuming arguendo" we can run with it here), then surely Saudi Arabia, that "staunch ally" of the United States, circumjacent to Jordan, has a much greater stake in that country's stability and prosperity, and should be the one most desirous to prop it up -- shouldn't it?
Not everyone in the United States is a fool. Not everyone shares the foolishness, the mental inertia, or the sheer hectic vacancy and busy-business (too busy to find out about Islam, too busy to read history, too busy to think) of those who are "taking a leadership role."
Be leaders. Study. Learn. Make sense of things, the way Washington, Adams, Jefferson, John Quincy Adams, Lincoln would have known how to do. You don't have to be as mediocre as you have allowed yourselves to be.
Those you presume to protect and instruct deserve better.
Posted on 02/11/2007 11:47 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Sunday, 11 February 2007
Iran in Iraq
A few hours ago, the administration finally released some of the intelligence on Iranian actions to make war on the United States in Iraq. It was done in a briefing by a senior intelligence officer who declined to be identified by name. The Associate Press, through Fox News, reports some of the details (italics mine):
The U.S. military has detected a significant increase in the number of sophisticated roadside bombs in Iraq and believes orders to send components for them came from the "highest levels" of the Iranian government, a senior intelligence officer said Sunday, the same day more than 30 people including a U.S. soldier were killed in Iraq violence. ... The officer, briefing reporters on condition he not be further identified, that that between June 2004 and last week, more than 170 Americans had been killed by the sophisticated bombs, referred to by the military as "explosively formed projectiles." Those weapons are capable of destroying an Abrams tank.The officer said American intelligence analysts believe the EFPs are manufactured in Iran and smuggled into Iraq on orders from the top of the Iranian government. He did not elaborate. U.S. officials have alleged for years that weapons were entering the country from Iran but had stopped short of alleging involvement by top Iranian leaders....During the briefing, the officer said that one of the six Iranians detained in January in the northern city of Irbil was the operational commander of the Quds Brigade, a unit of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards that trains and equips Shiite militants abroad. He was identified as Mohsin Chizari, who was apprehended after slipping back into Iraq after a 10-month absence, the officer said.The Iranians were caught trying to flush documents down the toilet, he said. They had also tried to change their appearance because bags of their hair were found during the raid, he added.
Posted on 02/11/2007 1:07 PM by Andy McCarthy
Sunday, 11 February 2007
Colonising America with the best of British food
. . . it has become something of a mission for me to convert people to the joys of English food. And so far it seems to be working. My newly acquired mother-in-law Helen, for instance, is an Anglophile and my first convert
Top of her list are proper marmalade, lemon curd and the kind of hard toffee which needs a small hammer to break it into bite-sized pieces. They are all on the shopping list when I go 'home', as is anything Guinness-flavoured for her husband Paul, who is of Irish descent.
Other friends with equally sweet teeth are now mad for British chocolate and biscuits — specifically, Bournville Plain, but anything dark will do. Sesame seed biscuits — with or without the chocolate coating — also disappear pretty quickly, as do Cream Crackers.
The reason for this is that we have the University of Missouri School of Engineering close by and virtually all the students are devoted to Wallace and Gromit. Mind you, finding decent cheese to go with them is a bit hit and miss, American processed cheese being what it is.
And yes, everyone loves those staples, digestives and McVitie's HobNobs — dark chocolate for preference. I have also tried making goodies from scratch. So far, I have been responsible for introducing English scones (Americans do have scones but they are triangular, much denser and don't come with cream, jam or tea), cucumber sandwiches and real fruit cake.
I emphasise the word 'real', because what passes for fruit cake here is highly derided, with good reason. It is pale yellow, sticky and stuffed with a high concentration of candied peel, candied cherries and even candied pineapple. Even the more upmarket versions consist more of candied fruit and less of dried fruit. It's not easy to get all the ingredients — raisins are readily available but currants are rarer and sultanas unheard of. I think it was Bill Bryson who said that only the British could regard currants and jam as delightful incredients for a cake.
My happy husband now waxes lyrical about treacle pudding and jam sponge, crumbles and even Christmas pudding. This last was a surprise, since I sent him a small pudding before we were married and discovered some time later that he had thrown it away, unopened, describing it as a 'hockey puck'. Perhaps it was an English friend's home-made version in front of him last year that changed his mind. We did have it with ice cream, though, since he hasn't mastered custard.
I staggered into the catering area of the waterfront mall in Baltimore gasping. "Look," I said, "that stand has tea! Pot of tea please”.
“Ah,” said the nice lady, “you won’t like it, this is iced tea, not what you want at all.” She actually thought I was Irish, but she was right about want I wanted, and as for the accent she said she knew I was from somewhere. I had a bowl of her clam chowder and her friend opposite sold “hot tea” and it was all very nice. But I did wonder if there was a niche in the US for an English tea room.
Posted on 02/11/2007 2:36 PM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Sunday, 11 February 2007
By The Castalian Spring, In The Idalian Grove, Blows An Etesian Wind
This story is shocking
. It is shocking not because the charges are all about cannabis and not the expected catamites, but because of the nature of the punishment, and what that says about Eton.
For what was that punishment? It was to copy out hundreds of lines of The Georgics. Copy out, not translate. Some mindless, bartleby-the-scrivener copying, something that could be done by a Dickensian clerk, or a humble monk in a scriptorium. But at least that humble monk might be adding a rusticated rubric at the beginning of each page or identifiable unit of text, and the art of calligraphy was involved.
But in this case, Cameron had only to copy out, just like Bart Simpson, some lines written by others. No illustrations, no calligraphic skills, and no intellectual effort of the kind that an assigned translation would have required.
But he was only fifteen, some will say. "Only" fifteen? At fourteen Rimbaud was not only translating Latin verse, but composing excellent Latin verses. And so were English public school boys, all through the 19th and well into the 20th century, until everything, it appears, collapsed. And the sign of that collapse of standards is not that punishment was inflicted (it could have been worse, he could have been rusticated, and unlike Milton, who in his own year of rustication produced memorable poems, one suspects that Cameron would have gone out for drinking and general carousing, or stayed at home to watch television, and perhaps begun to take his first interest in what would later lead to his becoming a Young Conservative and then the Great Man on the Make he so obviously is today.
Should you be in Eton, some Whit-Tuesday, once in every three years, and should the scholars of Eton be out stopping you and requesting money for salt -- the celebrated (well, by me anyway) Montem designed to raise sums for the Eton scholar who attends Kings College, Cambridge -- don't give them any money, not a mite or a mopus. Tell the scholars taking part that Eton is not what it once was, and if the school had any pride left it would have meted out a punishment requiring some thought. Of course, the fact that Montem, or Eton Montem, is now a defunct tradition, means you won't have to tell them that Eton is not what it once was, because they will already know, which is why they won't be there in the first place.
I'd have assigned young thrusting Cameron, for example, to translate, without a trot, Horace, Epode VIII. That would be a start in the right direction. And then I'd ask him to write an essay comparing it with Donne's Elegy XIX, and Marvell's "To His Coy Mistress." Perhaps I can make it a bit easier for him. In translating the last line, "ore adlaborandum est tibi," I'd suggest something crudely colloquial, like "It's your turn, sweetie."
Cameron's preemptive strike on those who might find out about his semidemihemi-quavering hardly horrific behavior as a schoolboy, has inadvertently raised the issue of the quality of what was demanded of him, at Eton and after Eton. For the next Prime Minister will have to have the habit of study, will have to know how to research, understand, and thoroughly assimilate a large amount of material on the subjects of both Islam and Global Warming.
Can someone who went to a school that meted out the kind of punishment that one would expect to find in an American elementary school, have undergone the kind of preparatory intellectual training necessary not to "take a leadership role" (we have all kinds of people doing that) but to be a leader?
One wonders. One is skeptical. A word that does not come from the word "skeps," which refers to a certain kind of bee-hive mentioned -- one hopes Cameron remembers -- in Book Four of The Georgics.
Posted on 02/11/2007 3:59 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald