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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 Friday, 11, 2011.
Friday, 11 March 2011
Egypt rulers order 2 Sadat plotters freed

More proof of just what freedom-loving peaceniks Egypt's new rulers are.  By Sarah El Deeb for AP:

CAIRO – Egypt's military rulers on Thursday ordered the release two cousins jailed for their role in the assassination of then-president Anwar Sadat in 1981.

Abboud and Tarek el-Zomor served multiple sentences for their role in the shooting death of Sadat during a Cairo military parade. Despite the order, they have not yet been freed.

They were convicted in 1984 of plotting the assassination and of belonging to the outlawed Islamic Jihad group — but not of actually killing Sadat. The five prime suspects, including the shooter, were captured and executed.

The two were sentenced to 20 years in prison, the maximum term under Egyptian law.

Tarek el-Zomor was ordered released in July 2005, but he was never set free because of an Interior Ministry's discretionary power to hold a prisoner for up to five more years on security grounds. Abboud el-Zomor was also expected to be released after serving his term but was kept behind bars on the same grounds.

Some 60 other prisoners who have served their terms are to be freed under the same order.

Jihadis seem to have their sentences reduced on a weekly basis, on the slightest pretext any time there is a holiday or celebration.  On the other hand, women who are rape victims (therefore convicted of infidelity) and blasphemers never seem to catch any breaks.

Posted on 03/11/2011 12:37 AM by Artemis Gordon Glidden
Friday, 11 March 2011
UK suspect 'financier' behind Stockholm bomb

From The Swedish edition of The Local and the Herald of Scotland

The man who is being held in Glasgow on suspicion of being an accomplice in a suicide bombing in Stockholm in December is thought to have been the financier behind the failed attack, according to the Glasgow Herald daily.

Police were on Thursday granted more time to question the 30-year-old man of Kuwaiti origin over his suspected links to the attack which killed the suicide bomber, Taimour Abdulwahab, and injured two others in the Swedish capital.

A sheriff has given officers more time to talk to the man, who was arrested under UK counter-terrorism laws and is being held at Govan police station.

Sources familiar with counter-terror operations yesterday said they believed the man, who has not been named, was most likely suspected of financing the attack on the Swedish capital in which a man, believed to be a suicide bomber, killed himself and injured two other people. However, police sources would only say that they would focus on finding out whether the man had given any material support to terrorist activity overseas.

Neighbours and local sources continue to give a variety of accounts of his name, his nationality and his occupation. Speculation yesterday suggested the suspect was a Kuwaiti pre-nursing student at North Glasgow College by the name of AK al Khalede, although the college has no student of that name. Police continue to say that establishing the man’s identity and nationality is part of their investigation.

Experienced investigators have told The Herald that they believe the UK Border Agency will be helping them with their inquiry. Sweden’s Sapo security police and M15 are also understood to be involved in the inquiry, although Swedish authorities have declined to comment on their involvement in the case. Prosecutors from Scotland and Sweden have been working together on the case since February 8

Posted on 03/11/2011 3:56 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Friday, 11 March 2011
Truth -Telling Moments at Rep. King’s Hearings on Radicalization of Home Grown Terrorists

House Homeland Security Panel on Radicalization of Home Grown Terrorists, washington, March 10, 2011


Yesterday’s House Homeland Security Committee Chaired by Rep. Peter T. King (R-NY) on the radicalization of home grown Islamic terrorists had all of the elements of political theater. Steven Emerson of the Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT) has a complete run down on yesterday’s hearing; see his report, “Compelling testimony, Political Theater at radicalization Hearings”.  The IPT report reflected acrimonious accusations about violations of First Amendment right to worship, McCarthyite and racist tactics against Chairman Peter T. King by minority Democratic members of the Committee Ranking Member Bennie Thompson of Mississippi, Reps. Sheila Jackson Lee of Texas and Jackie Speier of California. M. Zhudi Jasser, of the American Forum on Islam and Democracy, a virulent critic of Political Islam also appeared on the panel, along with L.A. County Sherriff Baca, a CAIR acolyte and proponent of Muslim community outreach and recruitment of Muslim law enforcement officers.

Then you had the crocodile tears performance by Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN), one of two Muslims elected to Congress, over the death of Mohammed Salman Hamdani a Muslim paramedic on 9/11 in Manhattan.  These minority Democratic Committee members repeated the mantra conveyed by Muslim Brotherhood fronts like CAIR that the vast majority of American Muslims are assimilated productive citizens who allegedly helped national and local law enforcement agencies identify fringe elements and stop terrorism in this country and abroad. Chairman King then up-ended this CAIR-inspired accusations by displaying a CAIR Portland, Oregon Chapter poster, suggesting that Muslim community members not discuss anything with the FBI. 

Portland Oregon CAIR Chapter Poster


 These same minority Democratic Committee members also dissed witness testimony of two panel members for not being expert or simply being anecdotal,  that of Melvin Bledsoe of Memphis, Tennessee, father of home grown Jihadist, Carlos, who became Abdul Hakim Muhammad and killed a US Army recruiter at a Little Rock, Arkansas mall and Minneapolis Somali community activist, Abdirizak Bihi, who spoke about Bursan Hassan , a bright student who was recruited via a local Mosque to fight and die in Somalia for al Qaeda affiliate, al Shabaab.  Those testimonies, despite the allegations of minority Democratic committee members, constituted truth telling moments in an otherwise contentious media fest.

Melvin Bledsoe's testimony about his son Carlos' conversion to jihadist Islam while attending Tennessee State University in Nashville and attending the al  Farooq Mosque that eventually recruited him to teach school in Aden, Yemen was particularly instructive. 

Read these comments , “Father tells Congress his son learned terrorism in Nashville” posted on the Iconoclast blog  by my colleague at the New English Review, publisher, Rebecca Bynum's  about a Tennessean report on Bledsoe’s testimony at yesterday’s hearing  and responses, such as they were,  from the Nashville Al Farooq Mosque 'spokesperson'.  Watch this investigative You Tube video on the al Farooq Mosque.

 Melvin Bledsoe's testimony about his son Carlos’ transformation to Jihadist Abdul Hakim Muhammad is a cautionary tale that beggars the question of what doctrine is taught in Mosques like al Farooq in Nashville that resulted in a Jihadi who killed his fellow Americans.  For an answer, consult our NER interview with David Yerushalmi, Esq. a noted expert in Sharia, who developed the Mapping Sharia study of a sample of American Mosques, the results of which clearly indicated that nearly four fifths are considered extremist. That was the subject of a debate on FoxNews’ The O’Reilly Factor last night between host Bill O’Reilly and Rep. Keith Ellison, the latter, suggesting that only AG Erik Holder and FBI Director Mueller knew the answers. O’Reilly intends to have Yerushalmi’s colleague and co-author of Sharia-Threat to America: The Team B Report, Frank Gaffney, Jr., and President of the Center for Security Policy on the factor to provide some rebuttal answers to Ellison’s allegations. Let’s hope that happens for another truth telling moment in the debate about whence radicalization springs from within the American Muslim community.  Watch the O’Reilly exchange with Ellison on this You Tube video:

What happened to Carlos or  Abdul Hakim Muhammad, may have also happened to another American Jihadi, Daphne, Alabama native, Omar Hammami, who left the leadership of the Muslim Brotherhood Front, Muslim Student Association chapter at the University of South Alabama in 2002 to leave this country and via connections with the Somali Muslim community in Toronto eventually end up as a commander in the al Qaeda affiliate, Al Shabaab, with the nom de guerre of Abu al Ameriki, appearing in hip hop propaganda videos. We have reports this week of his possible death in battle there. That process may have begun with his Syrian Muslim father taking Omar to visit relatives in Syria, attend a Mosque in Alabama and evidence Sharia compliance in dress and comportment as a high school student upon his return from abroad, consternating his American Baptist mother, as well as his fellow high school classmates in Daphne. Hammami's father hasn't responded to journalists' emails about his son's status. Omar Hammami was indicted by a US grand jury in Mobile on charges of giving material support to terrorism. Shouldn’t Omar’s father and local Alabama Mosque leaders be subpoenaed by King’s Homeland Security committee to talk about how his son became a Jihadi?


The other King Hearing panelist was a Minneapolis Somali community activistAbdirizak Bihi whohad previously appeared before Senator Lieberman's Senate Homeland Security Committee in March, 2009 along with the uncle of Burhan Hassan, an “A-student,” recruited at a local Mosque to fight and die, some say was killed by al Shabaab, in Somalia. There have been reports of the deaths of other Al Shabaab recruits from the Minneapolis and other Somali communities, as well as converts to Islam like Bama Boy, Omar Hammami. See our discussion of this in Foot Soldiers of Islam, in the July 2009, NER, Hassan, was one of more than two dozen or Minneapolis youths in the Somali Muslim community recruited for this suicide mission, some contend, via the staff of the Abubakar As-Saddique Mosque.  Note this exchange at the 2009 Senate Homeland Security hearings into recruitment of Burhan Hassan that we reported in our NER report;

The accusation

Osman Ahmed turned rumor into sworn testimony (PDF) at a U.S. Senate hearing this month when he accused Abubakar's leaders of brainwashing the men and trying to scare their families from talking about their disappearance.

Ahmed's nephew, Burhan Hassan, is one of the missing. The uncle was testifying on behalf of several families before the U. S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs (HSGAC).

"We have been painted as bad people within the Somali community by the mosque management. We have been threatened for just speaking out," Ahmed said in prepared testimony.

"They tell parents that if they report their missing kid to the FBI, that FBI will send the parents to Guantanamo Jail," he continued. "Public threats were issued to us at Abu-Bakar Assidique for simply speaking with CNN and Newsweek."

The response
I read Ahmed's accusations to Omar Hurre, executive director of the Abubakar As-Saddique Islamic Center which includes the mosque.

"Lies...very clear lies," Hurre said.


He insisted leaders at the mosque never have preached radicalism or violence.

"The parents initially came to us when they missed their kids and asked us what was going on," he said. "But we never told any parent that you need to report your son to the government or you do not need to report. We never directed any parent what to do about those missing kids, let alone tell them you will end up in Guantanamo."

 But note what Rep. Ellison said about the controversy within his Somali Muslim constituency:

U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn., said he is surprised the mosque has been targeted: "I've met with the leadership there. They talked a message of inclusion, a message of peace, a message of community uplift ... how they want a better way for the young people in the community."

Ellison said he suspects some of the accusations are "informed by inter-clan rivalry."

We  trust  that Rep. King and his Homeland Security Committee staff remain resolute and committed to their agenda, notwithstanding the complaints of Muslim Brotherhood fronts like CAIR, or theatrical performances by Rep. Ellison and minority Democratic members cultivating the yellow journalism coverage by mainstream media. We hope to see more truthful moments from acknowledged experts in Sharia and Islamic doctrine propounded by a majority of American Mosques. Mosques that facilitated the recruitment of home grown terrorists like Carlos Bledsoe, Omar Hammami and Burhan Hassan. 


Posted on 03/11/2011 5:38 AM by Jerry Gordon
Friday, 11 March 2011
"Democracy without Protection of Minority Rights is Mob Rule" Rep. Pitts (R-PA) On Jihad against Egyptian Copts

Our colleague, Dexter Van Zile of CAMERA sent us this Short Takes blog post  of a  Free Copts video of Pennsylvania Congressman  Joseph Pitts (R)  addressing the US House of Representatives  on the plight of the Coptic Christian minority beseiged with attacks, church burnings, effectively Jihad,  by the newly liberated Egyptian Muslim majority.  Heed his warning: "Democracy without the Protection of Minority Rights is Mob rule".  Amen to that.

Watch this You Tube video, here.

Posted on 03/11/2011 6:14 AM by Jerry Gordon
Friday, 11 March 2011
The Song of Taillefer

Somerset, NJ. Legend has it that on the field of Hastings, as the forces of the Conqueror ascended a hill to engage the exhausted army of Harold II, a certain minstrel named Taillefer went before the ranks, tossing his sword high into the air and catching it again, all the while chanting the story of Roland’s defeat in the passes of the Pyrenees, that song of “Charlemagne, and Roland, and Oliver, and those who met their death at Roncevalles,” the same story which has been transmitted to posterity in the Chanson de Roland. His purpose was obviously to inflame the hearts of the soldiers marching behind him to perform acts of courage in the imminent battle, by reciting the extraordinary acts of courage performed by those antique heroes. The manner in which he delivered his tale – the selection of material, its arrangement, his cadence and pronunciation, his gesticulations – was determined by this purpose, as the most effective means of exciting the soldiers’ passions towards emulation. The soldiers, for their part, must have shared a sympathetic mind with Taillefer, and heard in his song an ideal of honorable conduct which they hoped to match. And we can be certain that William, the king, approved of the song and its singer, in so far as it produced the evident result of making his men readier to fight with boldness and fortitude. So for Taillefer, the content, style, and critical criteria of his song were all direct consequences of the occasion upon which he sang. Keep all of this in mind.

The practice of poetical composition in the modern world is distinguished by the extraordinary social isolation in which the poet works. It seems quite unnecessary to insist upon the marginal status of poetry in our times, as it is a fact which has been often recognized, and often lamented. This peripheral condition of the art is brought home all the more poignantly by those occasional attempts, inevitably vain and insipid, to push poetry back into the current of social priority, such as declaring a national poetry month, or hanging verses on subway cars. I should point out that I am not referring to mere numerical popularity; for all I know, some contemporary poets may reach press runs exceeding those reached by Wordsworth or Tennyson in their lifetimes. But Wordsworth and Tennyson had an importance to their society that no poet in our day has, or can aspire to have. Poetry has been removed from the occasional life of our society; we do not look to our poets for joy in the general success, or consolation in face of communal misfortune. We are not even aware of anything unusual or deleterious in this indifference. As F.R. Leavis was to state the matter so concisely at the opening of New Bearings in English Poetry, “poetry matters little to the modern world.”

If this social marginality is the most salient feature of the practice of poetry in the modern world, the most obvious features of the style of poetry in the modern world seem equally incontrovertible – that is, its obscurity and disorder. Tolstoy remarked on this fact during the very earliest years of the modernist movement, noting that “obscurity is elevated into a dogma among the new poets,” and further, “it has come, finally, to this: that not only is haziness, mysteriousness, obscurity, and exclusiveness (shutting out the masses) elevated to the rank of a merit and a condition of poetic art, but even incorrectness, indefiniteness, and lack of eloquence are held in esteem.” There seems to be no good reason to disagree with this assessment, and I’m not sure if even modernism’s most ardent champions would in fact disagree with it. From Pound and Eliot to Ashberry and Graham, the distinctive thing, the essential thing, about modernism is its lack of formal rigor, its non-sequential ordering, and its esoteric purport. It is not merely this or that formal stricture that the modern poet rebels against; it is poetic strictures as such  It is not this or that sort of genre which the modern poet renounces; it is the notion of genre per se.  What has resulted is a poetry consistently amorphous, bizarre, baffling, and unsweet.

It would be a remarkable thing if these two very evident facts about modern poetry – its social inconsequentiality and its stylistic anarchism – were unrelated, and I do not think they are. As a matter of fact, I think the latter is a direct consequence of the former, that the social marginalization of the art of poetry inevitably causes it to decline into stylistic incoherence. To understand why this is the case, return to the story of Taillefer.

Recall that for Taillefer, it was the occasion of his song which determined its shape. Imagine the sort of reasoning – conscious or intuitive – which must have occurred in his mind:  “I must choose some story which will provide the requisite template of martial courage – I know, the deeds of Roland. Certainly, I must focus on the behavior of that hero, as it is most germane to my purposes. Irony and pathos are not the attitudes appropriate to this hour; the sublime is my goal. My metaphors must be simple and emphatic, to carry across my thoughts to this unlettered audience. To capture their attention amidst the commotion, my meter should be vigorous – perhaps anapests. Better yet, ballad meter.” Every decision, concerning content or stylistic presentation, was guided by the requirements of the moment. Note too that questions regarding the justification of technique never arise for Taillefer; it would have made as much sense for him to ask, “why must I write in meter?” or “why must I write about a hero?” as for a sailor intent on gaining the harbor before nightfall to ask, “why must I lift the sails?”  The end to be gained dictates the techniques to be employed, which is to say nothing else than that for Taillefer – and, so I would argue, for every poet working in a flourishing tradition – the art of poetry partakes of the general structure of practical reasoning, of matching means to ends.

Since poetry is an art of language, its purposes must be social purposes, because language is intrinsically social. Like most speech, it presupposes an occasion  – a speaker, an audience, and some context for their meeting. Like most speech, it will be shaped by that occasion. It will only make sense as a practice in some communal context.  Absent that context, the importance of the art will become unclear – it becomes a thing “that matters little”– and the rules of the art will increasingly seem arbitrary  In the same way that the language of one speaking to himself, in his own mind, is fractured, obscure, and sloppy, the language of a poet who is removed from the vital life of his society – who, in effect, is speaking to himself – will similarly grow fractured, obscure, and sloppy. At some point in the development of the modern world, the poet went from considering himself a “man speaking to men,” in Wordsworth’s formulation, to thinking of himself as one not heard but overheard, as J.S. Mill would have it. The result has been the pursuit of that most chimerical of things, an unsocial language, and the result of that pursuit has been the gradual decadence of western poetry into near perfect quiescence. Language without a situation is language without a purpose, and there can be no fine poetry – there can be no flourishing human endeavor – without some purpose to it. Take Taillefer out of the field, set him to singing in a cave or a hovel, and watch him grow increasingly hesitant about what to sing, and how. Deprive the modern poet of any serious role in his society, and watch his art become steadily more strange, more ungoverned by rational form, and more difficult to comprehend.

Much of the finest poetry that has come down to us emerged out of a very specific social context, from the odes of Pindar, which celebrated the athletic victories of his patrons, to the love poetry of the Occitan poets, which comprised one ritual in that elaborate culture of courtly romance, so widespread during the late medieval and Renaissance periods. Nonetheless, the greater portion of poetry which we treasure was not written in circumstances remotely resembling Taillefer’s at all. To the contrary, it was composed by men working alone in their rooms, impelled to write by no particular social occasion, but rather by some internal necessity of their imagination. In a sense, their works were their own occasion for their presentation. And this would seem to weigh heavily against the argument that I am advancing.

But whether caught up in the affairs of his day, or secluded in mental and physical isolation from his fellow man, the pre-modern poet participated in an artistic tradition which unmistakably defined poetry as a form of public speech. We forget now that, for the greater portion of western history, poetry was regarded as a sister art to – even a branch of – rhetoric, and rhetoric, whatever else it is, is the art of public speaking.  While too close an identification of rhetoric and poetry can cause us to assign to the latter the generally utilitarian persuasive goals of the former, and thus bend poetry to improper uses, we ought to recognize that the association of these two arts by our predecessors was not the consequence of superficiality.  Specifically, we ought to recognize that both arts endeavored to discover the most appropriate and most effective techniques to affect the sensibilities of an audience, and since language was the instrument employed by both, the range of techniques available to both arts is quite similar. So a poet working in the pre-modern tradition of western poetry was inheriting an art which, by definition, was situated in the public sphere.

Moreover, that tradition included a variety of genres which, in one way or another, capture a sort of abstracted or generalized social context. Consider, for instance, the elegy. If one were to examine the major elegies in the English language – and I am referring here to Milton’s Lycidas, Shelley’s Adonais, Tennyson’s In Memoriam, Arnold’s Thyrsis, and Swinburne’s Ave Atque Vale – one would notice a similar pattern among these otherwise quite disparate works. Each poem contains a passage of lamentation for the deceased; each poem contains a passage in praise of the virtues of the deceased; and each poem contains a passage of consolation for the death of the deceased, and, more generally, for the fact of death itself as it besets the human race. Each poem, that is to say, precisely recreates the forms of speech which are actually used by people on the occasions of bereavement; each elegy is, in a sense, a poeticized funeral. The genre of the elegy incorporates something of this social context into its very form, such that it is impossible to work in this genre without assuming a sort of social role – rarified and unspecific, to be sure, but a social context all the same. So let a poet remain as isolated from his times and his society as he wishes; if he writes in the elegiac form, he must assume a role in the timeless society of man.

And the elegy is not the only poetic form which displays this characteristic; the form of the epic, for instance, recounts stories that are central to the history and identities of certain peoples, and so it is impossible to work in the epic form without in some sense addressing those peoples who value the subject of one’s narrative. The genre implies a social context. Much has been written about the decline of the epic in the modern world, but in fact, the decline of the epic is just one example of the more general decline of genre in the modern world – the disappearance of recognizably social forms of poetry. Friedrich Schiller, writing in his essay On the Art of Tragedy, asserted that “the combination of means through which a literary genre achieves its purpose is called its form…Since every literary genre pursues a purpose peculiar to it, it will distinguish itself precisely for this reason from the rest by virtue of a distinctive form, since the form is the means by which it achieves its purpose.”  If every genre of literature pursues some distinctive purpose, and if these must be social purposes (as the purpose of language must be), then every form must imply some idealized social situation.

This is an immensely important fact, because as the poet has been pushed further and further into the periphery of modern society by an indifferent public, he might have preserved the integrity of his art by clinging all the more tenaciously to his traditions. Those traditions preserved certain forms of poetic composition which, by their very natures, assured the poet a kind of social purpose, and thus a coherence to his work. But, as we all know, what happened was quite otherwise; the modern poet revolted against his traditions, declared himself free from their allegedly suffocating precedents, and thus, deprived of interest from his contemporaries, or guidance from his predecessors, set out on his exile into the wasteland, from which he has never returned.

But if these were the errors of the moderns, they need not be our own. If it was their folly to cast off the one means of preserving the poetic art amidst the decadence of our times, it can be our merit to return to that tradition with humility. Specifically, by adopting the forms employed by our predecessors, we can recover the social situatedness that makes poetry possible. The underlying forms of man’s social life are perpetual – the desires and the disappointments, the ideals and the failures, the laws and the outrages – and so long as the poet understands his art as emerging from these forms, he will possess no insignificant place in the perpetual community of man. Whether or not his own community attends to his productions will not then be material to the thriving of his art.

First published at Front Porch Republic.

Posted on 03/11/2011 6:33 AM by Mark Anthony Signorelli
Friday, 11 March 2011
Heros repatriated - man and his best friend.

Dog lovers brought their pets in tow as they lined the streets of Wootton Bassett yesterday to pay their respects to an Army dog handler and his Springer spaniel who died in Afghanistan.

Hundreds of mourners lined the main street through the Wiltshire town to honour Lance Corporal Liam Tasker, of the Royal Army Veterinary Corps, who was shot while on patrol in Helmand province, Afghanistan on March 1.

The crowds were swelled by family pets and a dozen police and Prison Service dogs at the repatriation ceremony for the 26-year-old soldier, whose dog Theo died from a seizure three hours after his master was killed. L/Cpl Tasker’s family said they believe the dog died from a broken heart.

The body of L/Cpl Tasker, from Kirkcaldy, Fife, and the ashes of Theo had earlier been flown back to RAF Lyneham in the same aircraft. L/Cpl Tasker was the subject of the repatriation ceremony but Theo’s ashes will be presented in private to his family.

A Ministry of Defence Official told the Swindon Advertiser “A dog can not be repatriated, but they will be returned to the UK on the same day, in the same plane,”  They can define the tribute paid yesterday how they think best. We know what it was.

As my colleague Christina McIntosh said when we discussed the New Zealand press report here, there is a rapport of dogs and humans, which Muslim sharia denies and forbids. Muslims hate dogs, but we non-Muslims fight against the Jihad with Man's (and Woman's) Best Friend trotting at our side.


Photograph from Daily Mail.

Posted on 03/11/2011 6:58 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Friday, 11 March 2011
George Fulton And Pakistan: The End Of The Affair

George Fulton's failed love affair with Pakistan


In yet another sign of a growing climate of intolerance and fear in Pakistan, the most popular Westerner in the country has decided to call it quits.



His was easily the most familiar Western face in the country. "George ka Pakistan", George's Pakistan, was the name of the reality TV show which first made the British journalist famous. And after George Fulton had travelled all over the country for it, ploughing fields with Punjabi farmers and building Kalashnikovs with the Pashtuns, he was voted a real Pakistani by the audience and obtained a Pakistani passport.

He married Kiran, a Pakistani journalist, and stayed on in the country for nine years. Kiran and George hosted a morning show on television, and he began writing newspaper columns. But the more he identified with his new country, the more he started criticizing its shortcomings.

Time for a divorce

In January, it all became too much. When Punjab Governor Salman Taseer was murdered for opposing Pakistan's blasphemy law, and his assassin was widely celebrated, Fulton decided it was time to leave. He decided to "divorce" his old love Pakistan.

"The job that I do and work that I can do is becoming increasingly difficult in terms of safety," he explained in an interview with Deutsche Welle. "If you question a law, you can get shot in Pakistan. If you want to criticize somebody, you never know what is going to happen to you.

"I would love to resume my relationship with Pakistan but it needs to change before I can do that. Because it is a society that is increasingly intolerable to live in."

For Fulton, Pakistan is very close to becoming a failed state. He doesn't think democracy will last much longer.

Lacking vision

He argues that the roots of Pakistan's crisis lie deep: Pakistanis are divided by caste, ethnicity and religion and have little to unite them.

"The only thing that has traditionally united them, and that the army has used to great effect, is the hatred of India, which has been propagated quite effectively in the press - and cricket. And that's not enough to sustain a country."[and "hatred of India" comes from what Islam inculcates about the proper Muslim atttiude toward Infidels, an attitude also reflected in the persecution, within Pakistan, of Christians and Hindus]

  Pakistani troops killed many Bengali intellectuals in the 1971 war that led to Bangladesh's independence

Pakistan's liberals, and he includes himself among them, have today become intimidated by the extremists, he says. However, he thinks the problems started decades ago, when liberals did nothing to oppose the wave of Islamization that started to engulf the country when Pakistan lost its eastern half, today's Bangladesh.

"After 1971 when the idea of Pakistan as a country for the Muslims of the subcontinent failed, there was no alternative vision for the country created by the intelligentsia. It has been allowed to flounder, and there has been no concept of what Pakistan stands for, where it's going in the near future," he said.

He is even more pessimistic about the future: "In the next 20 years, it is estimated that the population of Pakistan will grow by 80 million. Already, three fourths of the population are under the age of 30, half of the population is under the age of 21. So you are going to have a growing uneducated, unemployed, dissatisfied, angry youth. And that is the perfect climate and they are the perfect prey for extremists, so they can brainwash more and more people within the country."

Posted on 03/11/2011 8:07 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Friday, 11 March 2011
Supplies From Israel Into The Gaza Strip For The Week Ending Saturday 26th. February
It should be noted that the terrorist Hamas group which controls the Gaza Strip also control, using criminal methods including violent intimidation, the smuggling of goods into the Gaza Strip. Naturally, Hamas charges a large premium on such goods and uses the money for its own nefarious ends.
It should be noted also that The Palestinian Authority stopped ordering fuel for the power station as of the second week in January. Diesel fuel for the plant is being smuggled in through the tunnels beneath Rafah by Hamas which means that that terrorist organisation is now in complete control of the electricity supply in the Strip and is now in a position to widen its practice of criminal extortion by imposing additional charges on top of the usual electricity prices.
1,113 truckloads (28,606 tons) entered the Gaza Strip via the crossings. In addition there were also exports from the Strip.
At the Erez Crossing:
209 international organization staff members entered Israel
164 international organization staff members entered the Gaza Strip
401 patients and accompanying individuals crossed into Israel and the West Bank.
At Kerem Shalom there was a 13.5% increase in the number of truckloads delivered into the Gaza Strip:
884 truckloads (16,696 tons) were sent into to the Gaza Strip
691 tons of cooking gas was transferred.

At the Karni Conveyor:
229 truckloads (8,760 tons) were imported to the Gaza Strip. 
In addition to goods sent into the Strip goods were also sent out:
7 truckloads of flowers were exported from the Gaza Strip this week. 
Comparison of the private sector with the international organisations:
918 truckloads of goods were sent into the Strip by the private sector
195 truckloads were imported into the Strip by the various international organisations operating in Gaza.
Details, in truckloads, of goods delivered into the Gaza Strip:
Food Products:
23 of Wheat
8 of Cooking Oil
45 of Produce (Fruits and Vegetables)
38 of Meat, Chicken and Fish Products
3 of Salt
30 of Dairy Products
122 of Flour
3 of Legumes
4 of Sugar
120 of Mixed or Additional Food Products.
Total Food Products: 396 
Construction Materials:
185 of Aggregates
26 of Cement
37 of Glass , Aluminum and Wood Profiles
18 of Iron.
Total Construction Materials: 266 
Assorted other products:
23 of Animal Food
35 of Ceramics and Plumbing
24 of Electrical Products
30 of Inputs for Agriculture
42 of Hygiene Products
7 of Medicine and Medical Equipment
30 of Clothing and Footwear
187 of Essential Humanitarian Products
50 of Mixed or Additional Products
12 of Transportation essentials
11 of Textile (blankets, mattresses, sheets).
Total Assorted Products: 451 
Total Truckloads sent in: 1,113
Total Weight (tons) sent in: 28,606
Despite the fact that a significant proportion of their daily needs enters the Gaza Strip through the crossings into Israel the stupidity of the Arabs in the Strip knows no bounds. The silly people simply cannot resist cutting off their noses to spite their faces. The following is from COGATand the original is here:
Activity at the Gaza Strip’s Karni Crossing is set to be terminated in the next few weeks. Activity will be relocated to the Kerem Shalom Crossing near the southern Gaza Strip, a result of recent security threats at Karni. Since the onset of 2011, tens of shootings, mortar shells and Qassam rocket landings have been recorded at or near the crossing. 
Despite the change, COGAT preparations have ensured that import and export rates of the Gaza Strip will not be affected. In fact, the Kerem Shalom Crossing will be expanding and branching out. Thus, for example, during the second half of 2011, approximately 450 larger import and export trucks will pass through the crossing every day. This is a 344% percent increase over the number of trucks entering and leaving over the same period of time last year. COGAT also mentioned that demand for Gaza Strip exports might rise.
"It's important to mention that many attacks took place in the Karni region," explains Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, Maj. Gen. Eitan Dangot, during a briefing he held for foreign press at the District Coordinator and Liaison Erez.
"We’ve determined that the region is one of the most difficult to secure. Hamas and other terrorist organizations carry out diverse terrorist activities in the area and it became difficult not only to secure the crossing but also to enable the local Israeli civilian population to live peacefully." 
But a troubling new trend has been growing at the southern crossing. "Recently, even at the Kerem Shalom Crossing we are seeing attacks. Some of the rockets land in central regions of the crossing," said COGAT.
The crossing’s expansion is expected to be complete in the next few months. It will be equipped with numerous infrastructures such as places to work on both the Israeli and Palestinian sides, new traffic routes, more manpower and means of transportation and facilities. Altogether, the Ministry of Defense has invested approximately 100 million shekels on the Kerem-Shalom project.
At least one’s expectations vis-a-vis Arab behaviour are never let down – they will always be reliably and consistently just plain stupid and often, like Hamas, plain criminal.
Posted on 03/11/2011 2:16 PM by John M. Joyce
Friday, 11 March 2011

In the Oldie magazine series Memory Lane, Pauline Dunnill writes about her first French lesson, fifty years ago, when she and her new friend Fanny, a “shy, only child” of a “self-made man” from humble origins” had just started at the local girls’ grammar school:

In The Oldie series Memory Lane, Pauline Dunnill writes about her first French lesson, fifty years ago, when she and her new friend Fanny, a “shy, only child” of a “self-made man” from humble origins” had just started at the local girls’ grammar school:

The teacher began by explaining that we might be surprised by how much French we already knew because many French words were incorporated into the English language. After a few tips on what to think of – words ending in ‘able’, ‘ment’ or a silent t for example we were given ten minutes to write down our ideas. There was a prize of chocolate choux pastry éclair (hint, hint) for the best list.

Despite the hint, my mind went completely blank, but Fanny scribbled away furiously for the whole time given and sat back confidently drooling in anticipation of the cake.

However, to our bewilderment, not a single word of my friend’s submission was mentioned, and when the bell rang, she was sternly told to stay behind. It transpired that her list consisted almost entirely of words such as ‘dammit’, ‘pisspots’, ‘buggerit’ and others too ripe to type even now – for whenever her father was moved to utter such expletives he always added “Excuse my French!” It had never occurred to his daughter that her Dad would ever say anything taboo so she had happily reproduced his words in complete innocence.

Posted on 03/11/2011 7:22 PM by Mary Jackson
Friday, 11 March 2011
Ho-Hum In The West When Arabs Incite Murder Of Israeli Families


March 11, 2011

Incitement and Murder

A short while ago, a family of five Israelis was murdered in their West Bank home. According to the Associated Press, citing Israel's YNet news website, "The family — including an 11-year-old, a 3-year-old and an infant — was all stabbed in their sleep..."

The infant was reportedly one month old.

The brutal attack comes only days after a West Bank Palestinian youth center announced a soccer tournament named after Wafa Idris, the first female Palestinian suicide bomber, who killed an 81-year-old man and injured over 100 other Israelis.

The glorification of this suicide bomber, though, was virtually ignored by Western media outlets, many of whom did find time to report, in great detail, on the first home game by the Palestinian national soccer team.

The latter event makes for an interesting human interest story. The former helps explain why peace has been so elusive in the Middle East. It's likely that the terrorist who wiped out the family knew of the soccer tournament named after Wafa Idris. And if not he — or she — certainly knew that scores of other suicide bombers have been lauded as heroes by the Palestinian government and media. The killer undoubtedly internalized the message, reinforced time and time again, that it's noble and heroic to kill Jews. The same goes for the person who planned the attack, and the one who transported the killer, and any other enablers.

We've seen in the past that Western pressure can help convince Palestinians to scale back incitement. Late last year, for example, a Palestinian government website posted a report claiming that Judaism has no relation to the Western Wall, the holiest Jewish place of worship. After the Obama administration condemned the report, it was pulled from the site. (It later resurfaced on the official website of the Palestinian Authority news agency.)

By ignoring this type of incitement, though, Western press makes such pressure unlikely, or impossible. After all, we can't protest against incitement that we don't know about. And so the incitement continues. And so does the killing.

Posted on 03/11/2011 9:20 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Friday, 11 March 2011
A Musical Interlude: By The Fireside (Al Bowlly)

Listen, darling, here.

Posted on 03/11/2011 9:35 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald

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