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The Oil Cringe of the West: The Collected Essays and Reviews of J.B. Kelly Vol. 2
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The Impact of Islam
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Sir Walter Scott's Crusades and Other Fantasies
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edited by S.B. Kelly
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The Eagle and The Bible: Lessons in Liberty from Holy Writ
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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
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Karimi Hotel
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The Left is Seldom Right
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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:
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Jihad and Genocide
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Spanish Vignettes: An Offbeat Look Into Spain's Culture, Society & History
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These are all the Blogs posted on Monday, 12, 2007.
Monday, 12 February 2007
Niqab school is fighting for girls' equality
The Telegraph sums things up nicely in this continuing court case. As do the comments, which take the matter a little further.
You probably thought that this issue was sorted out by the Law Lords last year in the case of Shabina Begum, the girl from Luton who wanted to wear a jilbab, a full-length garment, in breach of the school's uniform policy. Why, then, were we back in court, with another head teacher dragged into a potentially ruinous legal action (it is not being funded by her county council) because she asked a 12-year-old girl to remove a garment that she considered unsuitable, a security risk and inimical to the ethos of the institution she was trying to run?
In her witness statement, the head teacher said: "I considered that wearing the niqab was a breach of the uniform policy and was inappropriate in that it would hamper the teaching and learning of the pupil and impact on her communication and socialising with others." She asked the girl to remove the veil before returning to school. But being relatively new, she had not appreciated that X's three sisters had already passed through the school wearing the niqab. X, therefore, felt aggrieved that she was being treated differently.
This judicial review is less about her freedom to express her religion as enshrined in Article 9 of the European Convention of Human Rights and more about whether she had a "legitimate expectation" to be treated in the same way as her sisters.
The world really has turned on its head when a 12-year-old is able to summon the full majesty of the law to adjudicate on whether an adult has been fair and reasonable.
X's eldest sister – the first to attend – told the court: "When I started I was not certain about wearing the niqab. However, having spoken to my parents and religious scholars, I decided that I did want to wear the niqab and began doing so."
Does that sound to you like a child who arrived at this decision unilaterally through her religious devotions?
Had the school put its foot down then – along with many other public institutions in thrall to a well-intentioned, but ultimately self-defeating, concept – we might not be in the mess we are now. But it was felt to be the right thing to do, even if it exacerbated division and made integration difficult.
But as the head teacher said: "For a girl to conceal her face is contrary to the ethos of the school. We are very conscious of our duty to educate girls to regard themselves as equals to men and to gain the self-confidence to live and work in British and international society on the same level as men."
X's father said she was not forced to wear the niqab and to do so was her own choice. But that is hardly surprising given her age and the fact that her three sisters had all worn the garment.
Yet we now know that the eldest sibling did so only after consulting a religious scholar. And not only did the school do nothing 12 years ago to help her reach a different decision, it actively conspired in an extraordinary piece of gender apartheid carried out in the name of "cultural inclusion".
The current head is made of sterner stuff and believes she has the interests of X and her school at heart. The court may be arguing over legal niceties like "legitimate expectation" but, in a wider sense, this is a case about rights. Not of Muslims to pursue their religion, for they have that freedom already.
It is about the right of a 12-year-old girl, living in Britain, to grow up in a world that treats men and women equally.
Posted on 02/12/2007 2:56 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Monday, 12 February 2007
Ralph Fiennes in amorous mid-air incident

So says the headline in The Telegraph:

The star of The English Patient and Schindler's List allegedly became "amorous" with Lisa Robertson, 38, in a lavatory on a flight from Australia to India last month.

At least two crew members saw the pair leave the cubicle within moments of each other during the flight from Darwin to Mumbai on Jan 24.

Mr Fiennes had been in Australia to perform at the Sydney Festival, where he starred in the Samuel Beckett play First Love.

He separated from his long-time partner, Francesca Annis, last year.

Ms Robertson served in the New South Wales police force for 14 years before joining Qantas in September, 2004. She is a qualified scuba diver.

Well that may help, or at least it won't hurt. 

I've seen Ralph's Hamlet. It was at the Hackney Empire, with Francesca Annis as Gertrude. This was when they got together, adding an erotic frisson to an already excellent production.

Ralph, by the way, is pronounced "Rafe" and Fiennes is pronounced "Fines". Having two such names is rather greedy, I think, when some of us haven't even got one. Mary Jackson is pronounced "Mary Jackson" - a bit dull really. I'll have to change it if I ever decide to tread the boards.

Posted on 02/12/2007 4:59 AM by Mary Jackson
Monday, 12 February 2007
Don't bother with books

A couple of weeks ago there was a story about a "distinguished French literary professor" who wrote a best seller explaining how to sound knowledgeable about books you've never read. Sarah Vine follows this up:

The first thing to say about Comment Parler des Livres que l’on n’a pas Lus ( How to Talk About Books that You Haven’t Read) is what a wonderfully French concept this is. The French take great pride in their intellectual patrimony, considering themselves to be pretty much the inventors of most forms of high art, something that irritates other nations, especially the Italians, a great deal. For them it is crucial to be able to hold their own in a literary conversation, a mark of cultural honour that is the very essence of French-ness.

Bayard himself confesses to never having finished Ulysses, by James Joyce. Personally, I have a theory that there is a very good chance that Joyce himself didn’t even finish writing the book, since I have never actually met anyone who has read the thing cover to cover. Perhaps Joyce was just having a laugh — perhaps Ulysses is just one great big literary irony, a book purposely made unreadable by the author just to expose pseuds. Or perhaps the real ending in the book — the one that no one knows about because nobody has actually ever read it properly — is that they all live happily ever after in an executive home. Yes yes and yes, as Molly Bloom herself might have said.

See? Now you don’t know whether I’ve read it or not. Don’t worry, I haven’t; nor have I read Proust (I like a nice biscuit, though) or Steppenwolf by Hermann Hesse, although I think I’ve got one of their old LPs somewhere. Nor do I care that you now know that, since I am British, and therefore suffer from a pathological need to downplay any intellectual prowess I may or may not possess. The British dislike a Noam-know-it-all; we like our intellects to be approachable, unpretentious, fancy-a-pint-down-the-pub types. Which is in itself, of course, just as pretentious as wanting everyone to know you’ve read Dante (not just the Inferno, though — everyone has read that, ha ha — but Paradiso, too, which is terribly dull, being as it is entirely devoted to the Heavenly Host and utterly devoid of the colourful descriptions of torture that made Inferno such a blockbuster in its day).

The book that I’d part company with hard cash to get is this: How to Avoid Talking About Books You Shouldn’t Have Read — But Have. Such as Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, or anything by Jackie Collins, or Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus — or the ultimate literary embarrassment, The Da Vinci Code. I don’t know anyone with an ounce of intellectual pride who will confess to having read it, and yet statistically some of them must be lying. Maybe I should start a Da Vinci Anonymous association. All welcome, even French professors.

Posted on 02/12/2007 5:32 AM by Mary Jackson
Monday, 12 February 2007
Globalisation defined

A friend forwarded this:

Question: What is the truest definition of Globalization?
  Answer: Princess Diana's death.

  Question: How come?
  Answer: An English princess
  with an Egyptian boyfriend
  crashes in a French tunnel,driving a German car with a Dutch engine,
  driven by a Belgian who was drunk
  on Scottish whisky, (check the bottle before you change the spelling)
  followed closely by Italian Paparazzi,
  on Japanese motorcycles;
  treated by an American doctor,
  using Brazilian medicines.
  This is sent to you by an American,
  using Bill Gate's technology,
  and you're probably reading this on your computer,
  That uses Taiwanese chips,
  and a Korean monitor,
  assembled by Bangladeshi workers
  in a Singapore plant,
  transported by Indian lorry-drivers,
  hijacked by Indonesians,
  unloaded by Sicilian longshoremen,
  and trucked to you by Mexican illegal.....

Posted on 02/12/2007 5:43 AM by Robert Bove
Monday, 12 February 2007
Giuliani's position on immigration

If presidential primary hopeful Rudy Giuliani's position on immigration seems a bit vague to you right now, join the club.  (To be fair, among declared candidates only Rep. Tom Tancredo has made his position clear.)  What we do know is that the Mayor regularly reads City Journal, where he will find Victor Davis Hanson's "Mexifornia, Five Years Later," as clear a diagnosis of the destructive social havoc massive illegal immigration has wrought on this country, particularly on Los Angeles, "the second largest Mexican city in the world."

[FYI:  Hanson rips D'Souza in an op/ed piece in today's print New York Post, so far not available at the paper's web site.] 

Posted on 02/12/2007 6:06 AM by Robert Bove
Monday, 12 February 2007
Ooh funky moped.
As I said earlier my husband has Steppenwolf's 16 Greatest Hits from 1973.
Does that make him an intellectual genius or a middle aged biker? Being without a bike, and likely to remain in that sad condition for a while longer didn’t stop him, motivated him rather, to go to the MCN London Motorcycle Show at the Excel centre last week.
The sublime – a Harley Davidson.

The ridiculous – the Hardley Drivable. That should be ride able. And before you write in I don’t have the faintest idea what it is.
 
 
And the best of British, a Norton Commando.
Posted on 02/12/2007 6:05 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Monday, 12 February 2007
Tough questions on immigration

NoMoreBlather.com provides some of the questions presidential hopeful Rudy Giuliani can expect to face in the months ahead.

1. Won't the massive legalization of illegal aliens that you support be seen around the world as an amnesty, no matter what false name you want to call it for domestic consumption? Won't that result in millions and millions of people trying to come here illegally?

2. Given that the same forces that currently support illegal immigration also oppose enforcement of the 1986 amnesty's enforcement provisions and also support amnesty, should anyone in their right mind think those forces would support enforcement of the new amnesty, especially since that amnesty would give them even more political power than they now have?

3. The Mexican government has a great deal of political power inside the U.S., and may have even used proxies to organize several of last year's marches. Please explain exactly what you will do to prevent that government from having even more influence inside the U.S. should the massive legalization you support take place.

4. Do you think anyone in their right mind would consider a literacy test to be a tough requirement for citizenship as you propose?

5. What do you say to all those millions of people waiting in line to come to the U.S. who will have millions of former illegal aliens cut in front of the line, clogging the system and making it even more difficult for them to come here legally?

Posted on 02/12/2007 7:09 AM by Robert Bove
Monday, 12 February 2007
Fly Me to the Moon

It’s still the same old story

A fight for love and glory —

A case of do or die…

 

So it is, even in the Astronaut Corps, apparently. I am writing here, of course, about the arrest of astronaut Lisa Nowak. Ms. Nowak was trying to kill — or at least abduct, but see below — fellow astronaut Colleen Shipman. Ms. Shipman has been dating the third astronaut in this story, Bill Ofelein, to whom Ms. Nowak was emotionally attached. What did I just write? Let’s not be mealy-mouthed here: “Emotionally attached” fiddlesticks: she loved the guy to distraction — to dementia, in fact.

 

The rest is here

Posted on 02/12/2007 7:20 AM by John Derbyshire
Monday, 12 February 2007
American Forces Attack the Taliban in Pakistan

AP has the story, here, via the New York Sun.  For the "why don't we just try talking to them" crowd, this is the direct result of negotiating with terrorists.  Pakistan made a treaty with the Taliban — basically, we'll leave you be in Waziristan if you promise to behave.  As night follows day, the appeasement gave the Taliban a safe base of operations, from which they have stepped up attacks on American-led forces.

Posted on 02/12/2007 7:26 AM by Andy McCarthy
Monday, 12 February 2007
Left, Right and Islam

Whatever the differences between the left and right ends of the political spectrum in the West, is nothing compared to the Grand Canyon size gulf that exists between Islam and the whole of the West. The Economist has a few things to say about the growing awakening to this fact, with thanks to Alan:

..This leftist-Muslim partnership exists not just on the streets, but in the protest movement's heart. Britain's Stop the War coalition, which has organised more than 15 nationwide protests and hundreds of smaller events, was largely forged by two small, intensely committed bodies—the far-left Socialist Workers Party (SWP) and the Muslim Association of Britain, which is close to the international Muslim Brotherhood. These tiny groups have co-ordinated street protests by up to 1m people.

With its combination of an American-aligned foreign policy and a large, angry Muslim population, Britain is an unusual case among Western countries. But in many other places, too, Muslim grievance has been yoked to a broader anti-capitalist or anti-globalist movement whose leitmotif is loathing of the Bush administration and all its works...

Just as Britain is the heartland of the leftist-Muslim partnership, it is also the main locus of a sharp and trenchant critique of political Islam. At its toughest, the argument of a new school of anti-Islamist leftists—mainly rehearsed on the internet—is that parts of the international left are now making as colossal a mistake as they did over Soviet or Chinese communism. They have let hatred of America and capitalism blind them to darker forces.

Two sorts of people have stressed this point: European ex-Marxists, embarrassed by their errors over Stalin, and dissident ex-Muslims from the Islamic world who have fled to the West and fear their hosts will “go soft” on their persecutors...

The foundational texts of Britain's “anti-Islamofascist” movement include the Euston manifesto, so called because of the drafting sessions in a bar near a London station. This spoke of a threat from Islamism to causes that leftists hold dear, such as equality between sexes and sexual orientations. It denounces “disgraceful” alliances with “illiberal theocrats”...

Nick Cohen, a peppery writer for Britain's centre-left media, has put flesh on the Euston manifesto's bones by listing the sins of the Islamic-leftist compact. Political Islam, he says, is not just a disaster for many causes (like feminism and gay rights) that the left cherishes; it also overturns the Enlightenment idea that diversity of opinion is desirable.

Paul Berman, a professor at New York University, is one of several Americans of liberal background who have joined the British denunciation of Islamofascism. He says the left's refusal to take sides in the internal battles of Muslim countries (between dissidents and oppressors) reflects an “angelic blindness” which mistakes violent reactionaries for charming exotica...

Here's a prediction. Most people on the Western liberal left will shrug off the call by Messrs Geras, Cohen, Berman and Lévy to “wake up” to the threat of Islamism. But Mr d'Souza will appal them so much that some may make a sudden dash for the barricades and join the fight against all theocracy, including the American sort.

Let's hope so.

Posted on 02/12/2007 7:44 AM by Rebecca Bynum
Monday, 12 February 2007
Who knows?

In an earlier post Sarah Vine argues that the French like to appear knowledgeable - about books for example - even if they are not. The British, on the other hand, "suffer from a pathological need to downplay any intellectual prowess."

If you are, say, an American, and you want to know the answer to some question about literature or art, who do you ask? There's no point in asking a Frenchman - he will give you an answer whether he knows it or not in order to avoid looking stupid. And there's no point in asking an Englishman - he will claim he doesn't know the answer, even if he does, to avoid looking clever.

You could always ask a German. He will tell you if he knows, but he will probably only know the answer to rather dull questions. Ask an Italian and he will sing the answer to you, so you don't mind whether it's right or wrong, but this is not very useful.

Best to Google. After all, the Internet cannot lie.

Posted on 02/12/2007 7:57 AM by Mary Jackson
Monday, 12 February 2007
CIA: Maybe It's Not Really Iran Nut Rogues Inside of Iran Killing Americans

Yeah, that's the ticket!

Eli Lake has this in his New York Sun report this morning on the long-awaited Defense briefing about Iran's war-making in Iraq (italics mine):

[W]hile the specific intelligence on the explosive formed projectiles is no longer disputed in the intelligence community, the CIA is questioning whether their export from Iran represents a strategy of the regime or the rogue actions of one of its security services, known as the Quds Force. According to reports from the briefing in Baghdad yesterday, American commanders said Iran's export of the bombs to Iraqi Shiite militias was a deliberate strategy of the regime, noting that the Quds Force reports directly to Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Sure.  Khamenei has reaffirmed that "Death to America" is Iran's motto, Ahmadinejad says a world without America is achievable, we have 30 years of evidence of the Iranian regime acting on those assumptions, and we know the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps and its Quds (Jerusalem) Force have long been the mullahs' arms for exporting its revolution.  But when we catch the Iranians red-handed killing American troops in Iraq, the CIA figures it may not really be the regime but rogue elements.  One can easily see why Doug Feith is getting grief for not taking everything the CIA says to the bank.

Posted on 02/12/2007 9:26 AM by Andy McCarthy
Monday, 12 February 2007
From Cambridge
Thanks to comments here on the Drunken blogging website I have found some more information on the Clare College Cambridge student in trouble for publishing a Mohammed cartoon. The Cambridge Evening News seems to have no doubt that the matter concerns “racist cartoon and other vile material.” However “Cambridgeshire Police said: "This is a matter for the university authorities to deal with."
The student magazine, Clareification, printed a cropped copy of the cartoon of the prophet Mohammed next to a photo of the president of the Union of Clare Students.
The cartoon was captioned with the president's name and vice versa.
There was also comment suggesting one was a "violent paedophile" and the other was "a prophet of God, great leader and an example to us all."
The cartoon was the same one which caused riots across the world when it was printed in a Danish newspaper.
For his own safety and that of others, the student, who is British, has been taken out of his current accommodation and put in a secure place.
The paper had been renamed Crucification for a special edition on religious satire.
The front page included headlines stating: "Ayatollah rethinks stance on misunderstood Rushdie".
On page six, pictures were shown of Muslims holding placards reading: "Behead those who insult Islam" and "Freedom go to Hell."
Enraged students have bombarded the Union of Clare Students with complaints and vice-president of the university's Islamic society described it as "hugely offensive" and "crude unabashed prejudice."
In a rare move, Clare College fellows have called a Court of Discipline which will sit in judgment on the youth responsible for sparking what is being regarded as one the most embarrassing incidents for the university in years.
The College chaplain has also been involved in talks aimed at trying to ease racial tension and is known to have met members of the Islamic Society and a local Imam to discuss how best to quell fears over potential racial clashes.
Without actually seeing the magazine myself I would be wary of jumping to conclusions, but if the police are not taking any action, and the satire is solely as described, then I would say that the college authorities and the newspaper have got things badly wrong.
Islam is not a race. Criticism of Islam is therefore not racist.  The president of the Union may feel insulted but that goes with the territory, or it did when I was a student (not at Cambridge). 
Sadly the NUS and the students are unlikely to rally behind this young man in numbers in the way my generation rallied behind the writers of Oz magazine in 1972, in defence of free speech. And this issue is far more important than the sexual freedom and the right to be saucy of Oz. 
Posted on 02/12/2007 11:20 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Monday, 12 February 2007
Varsity News

Much of the Cambridge Evening News report below seems to have been taken from VARSITY - the Independent Student Newspaper since 1947.

The Union of Clare Students has been receiving letters of complaint throughout the week from enraged students. The Vice-President of the University of Cambridge Islamic Society reacted to the publication’s content with indignation. Speaking to Varsity, he said, “I found the magazine hugely offensive. Cambridge has a well founded reputation for  diversity, tolerance and inclusiveness and I was surprised to see such crude and unabashed prejudice. Freedom of expression does not constitute a freedom to offend and this clearly crosses the boundary of Islamophobia”. A second year Clareification reader said “I can’t believe anyone would be so stupid. They are some of the most offensive things I have ever seen.”

During Lent Term, Clareification is run by a different guest editor each week in order to broaden the opportunities for journalistic experience.  The guest editor was called before the College authorities on the afternoon of Thursday 8 February, where the President of the Clare Union of Students spoke on his behalf. At time of going to press, the outcome of the meeting remained undisclosed.

This is an image of the front page of Crucification cropped from the front page of Varsity. From what I can see there is also spoof comment about the Bible, something more reliable than, about which I do not intend to riot.

Posted on 02/12/2007 2:11 PM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Monday, 12 February 2007
Dirty Work
 I share Mark Krikorian's worry that the U.S.A. will be spiritually poorer, in an important way, if we lose the notion that is is socially good for well-born people to do dirty menial work at some point in their lives.  And I agree with Mark that we'd be losing that notion a lot less quickly—likely not be losing it at all—if not for uncontrolled illegal immigration. 

If my son were to tell me, at age 19, that he had two options for summer employment, an internship at Goldman Sachs or a spell in a logging camp in the remote northwest, I'd beg him to accept the second.  And this would be un-Roveian of me, since his chances of a cushy & lucrative Wall Street job after graduation would be diminished thereby.  I'd beg anyway, since I think the second option would do far more to make him a man than would the first.  I have actually worked on Wall Street alongside summer interns.  Nice kids—every one of whom would have been much improved by a few weeks' logging, dishwashing, or stacking shelves.

Rudyard Kipling thought so highly of this principle he wrote a novel about it:   Captains Courageous. 

In Hedrick Smith's 1976 book The Russians, Smith's portrait of the Brezhnev-era USSR includes a scene where, after an official banquet, some apparatchik stands up and makes a speech thanking the organizers and the Party for making the event possible.  Delivering a response, Smith suggested that thanks were also due to the cooks, waiters, bartenders, and kitchen staff, who had also contributed to the evening's pleasure.  This suggestion was greeted with a baffled silence from the nomenklatura present.  Waiters?  Kitchen staff?  Who cared about them

Smith's point was to note the gulf of indifference that had opened up between the people who ran the Worker's State, and the actual workers.  He came from an older generation of Americans.

Those nomenklatura would be right at home in today's Washington, under any administration—certainly under this one.

From my own adventures in that line I can report that NY-area kitchen help in 1973-74 was around 40 percent African American, 40 percent Puerto Rican, 20 percent other.  I was only once in a kitchen where no-one else spoke English—the cafeteria of Charles Pfizer & Co. in NY city. 

Posted on 02/12/2007 3:06 PM by John Derbyshire
Monday, 12 February 2007
Intelligent Design

Abraham Lincoln and Charles Darwin, born on the same day! 

The workings of blind chance?  I think not.

Posted on 02/12/2007 3:18 PM by John Derbyshire
Monday, 12 February 2007
Picking on students: Free speech under assault in the U.K.

The time line on the development of the Danish Mohammed cartoon controversy at Cambridge University is puzzling.  Had a similar story broken at a comparatively prestigious American university it would have been in all the papers within two days, probably sooner.  Danes understand the controversy to be over freedom speech and freedom of the press—their speech, their press.  Where on Cambridge grounds, where in newsrooms around the U.K. are those with like understanding regarding freedom of speech at Cambridge?  Why haven't we heard a peep from the land that gave the world the idea of free speech?

I understand that student publications are anything but independent of their sponsoring institutions.  My questions are directed at "adult" journalists.

Esmerelda first posted on this story this past Saturday, having seen a short item in The Scotsman.

Subsequent posts on the story are here, here, and here.

A final question for the press:  Is keeping Muslims off your back a sufficient price to pay for abandoing your responsibility to defend free speech by exercising it.  Cover the story, damn it! 

Posted on 02/12/2007 3:07 PM by Robert Bove
Monday, 12 February 2007
Walter Pincus's Memory

Wasn't it only last Friday that Pincus thought, just the day before, he had seen a Defense Department Inspector General's Report that said Doug Feith's Pentagon office had produced intelligence "reporting of dubious quality or reliability," and that Feith's unit "was predisposed to finding a signficant relationship between Iraq and al Qaeda"? 

Didn't the Washington Post then have to issue a correction acknowledging that Pincus had, er, misremembered — i.e., that what he had actually seen was a report written by Senator Carl Levin (D. MI), and that, in fact, the IG report had not made such conclusions about Feith?

Just askin' ...

Posted on 02/12/2007 3:20 PM by Andy McCarthy
Monday, 12 February 2007
Obama Could Join All the Best People

IOWA FALLS, Iowa - Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama said Sunday he does not think voters have a litmus test on religion, whether evangelical Christianity or his childhood years in a largely Muslim country.--from this news item

"Childhood years"? At what age was Barack Obama in Indonesia?

He's missing a trick. If he were to announce that he was raised, or was considered by some to be, a Muslim, but never accepted the faith, and openly demonstrated his Christianity just as soon as he safely could, that would gain him support. If he could depict himself, perhaps correctly, as an apostate, that would be even better: it would put him in the company of Ibn Warraq, Ayaan Hirsi Ali [he should start seeing her, start learning from her, and make sure those photographs of him with her are widely distributed, if he knows what's politically -- and morally, and intellectually -- good for him], Wafa Sultan, Ali Sina, Nonie Darwish, Walid Shoebat, and others: All the Best People Born Into Islam. For that is exactly what they are. Just the way those who were part of the Dissident Movement in the Soviet Union -- Andrei and Elena Sakharov, Valery Chalidze, Anatoly Jakobson, Andrei Amalrik, Yuri Galanskov, Pyotr Yakir, Naum Korzhavin, and a thousand others, were All The Best People in the Soviet Union.

When it comes to totalitarian belief-systems, always learn from, in depth, those who were born into societies ruled or suffused with that belief-system, and who mentally fought their way out. They should be the guides.

It's up to Barack Obama whether or not he shows himself to be able to recognize this, and to see right through Islam, and to express his opposition to the war in Iraq not as an act of appeasement, but because he abhors the "squandering" of men, money, matériel, and morale, and wishes to husband our resources in order to better defeat what he can call, for now, the "forces of Jihad." He can also talk, for a start, about how the "$750 billion spent or committed in Iraq might better have been spent on energy projects that would deprive the world-wide Jihad of the money weapon."

Just say it. Just get those words out. And then all the other candidates will have to follow. And then the debate, and the comprehension of things by the public, will change. The dam will have burst.

Posted on 02/12/2007 3:42 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Monday, 12 February 2007
Earth to Al

From It Shines for All:

Czech President Questions Al Gore's Sanity 

"Czech president Vaclav Klaus has criticized the UN panel on global warming, claiming that it was a political authority without any scientific basis, Czech media reported Friday," DPA reports.

Klaus told the Hospodarske noviny daily that the panel did not include "neutral scientists, a balanced group of scientists." "These are politicized scientists who arrive there with one-sided opinion and assignment," he told interviewers.

Drudge posts the transcript:

Q: Don't you believe that we're ruining our planet?

A: I will pretend that I haven't heard you. Perhaps only Mr Al Gore may be saying something along these lines: a sane person can't. I don't see any ruining of the planet, I have never seen it, and I don't think that a reasonable and serious person could say such a thing. Look: you represent the economic media so I expect a certain economical erudition from you.

Posted on 02/12/2007 3:46 PM by Robert Bove
Monday, 12 February 2007
Force The Discussion

"Hugh it seems you have put too much faith in this typical liberal politician. Obama does not want to say islam was found for wanting, and that he left it to become a better person, and a Christian at that."--from a reader

I'm not putting faith in anyone. I am trying to put words in the mouths of everyone. If Barack Obama sees the political advantages of declaring himself to be not a Muslim, and to make that clear -- to say that he is not, and never has been, or once was treated as if he was but never accepted Islam, or says he once as a child was treated as a Muslim and had no thoughts of his own but when he could choose, chose to be a Christian, this will help him in the Democratic race. It will help him because he needs to distance himself, clearly and unequivocally, from Islam. And in so doing -- not in making one of those "some have told me I should deny my roots, some have suggested that I make clear that I am not a Muslim, some have asked me to distance myself from what President Bush has rightly called 'one of the world's great religions"-- oh, he can go that route if he wants. But will damage him. If he takes my suggestion, he will not only have opened up a very good line of questioning, discussion, and debate, but forced Hillary Clinton, and the other candidates, to begin to make explicit statements -- asymptotically approaching the truth -- about Islam.

For example: the first candidate, Democratic or Republican, who introduces the word "Jizyah" and says "I'm against any resumption of aid to the so-called 'Palestinians.' I think the Arabs and Muslims who have received, without lifting a finger, some ten trillion dollars in OPEC aid, can take care of their fellow Arab Muslims. I'm against payment of what is, in its esseence, in the way in which it is received as a mater of right, and its cutoff regarded with resentment and hatred by the Muslim recipients, and the fear of the Infidels who keep shelling out this money, simply the Jizyah. What's the Jizyah, you ask? I'll tell you...."

The person who delivers that speech will get all kinds of attention, and a colossal rise, well-deserved, in support.

Tancredo? Webb? Anyone? Make that speech. Force that discussion. Get us out of Iraq, but for the right, not the wrong, reasons. And you will be President. And deserve to be.

Posted on 02/12/2007 3:50 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Monday, 12 February 2007
Coverage of Cambridge story

Story covered briefly in The Times and The Guardian.

I have a feeling Melanie Phillips will get her teeth into it.

The blogs are only just getting wind of it - Harry's Place and others.

Where is The Telegraph?

Had a similar story broken at a comparatively prestigious American university it would have been in all the papers within two days, probably sooner.

Are you sure about that? It depends what you mean by "broken". It looks as if the story has only just broken.

I'm not sure Americans can afford to be too complacent about their lack of dhimmitude. Have any students at US universities published material like the stuff that is being criticised in their student magazines?

Posted on 02/12/2007 3:51 PM by Mary Jackson
Monday, 12 February 2007
SNN Interviews Gordon Cucullu

Shire Network News

This week we speak to Lieutenant Colonel Gordon Cucullu, former US Special Forces Green Beret. We ask him to compare Iraq and Vietnam, surprise surprise they turn out to be different. He is the author of Separated at Birth: How North Korea became the Evil Twin.

Posted on 02/12/2007 4:31 PM by Rebecca Bynum
Monday, 12 February 2007
A New Cold War Needed

"None of which will stop Condoleeza Rice in her headlong rush to give them [the"Palestinians"] whatever they want."-- from a comment by Robert Spencer

It's called Total Ignorance of Islam. It's called Ignoring the Treaty of Al-Hudaibiyya, the immutable basis for all subsequent treaties -- "truce" treaties rather than "peace" treaties --made by Muslims with Infidels.

It's called ignoring the doctrine that insists a state of permanent war (though not always warfare in the military sense) exists between Believers and Infidels.

It's called ignoring the concepts of Dar al-Islam and Dar al-Harb.

It's called ignoring Muslim triumphalism, by which any compromise made by the other side is always and everywhere interpreted as a victory for Islam and as a necessary sign of weakness and confusion by Infidels, and always and everywhere leads not to a sating of aggressive appetites, a reduction in demands, but rather the opposite: a whetting of appetites, and further demands.

She, like Bush, knows or wishes to know, or pretends to know, nothing about Islam.

The very notion of a "solution" -- two-state or otherwise -- to the refusal, grounded deeply, profoundly, for ever, in Islam itself, by Muslims and especially Arab Muslims, is absurd, and reflects what at this point is unacceptable, nearly criminal ignorance, or negligence about matters of the highest significance.

The Arab Muslims are particularly impossible to assuage, for their belief-system, Islam, is reinforced by their sense of Uruba or Arabness. There is no "solution" to the Lesser Jihad, whether pursued by the Slow Jihadists of Fatah or the Fast Jihadists of Hamas. The only "solution" is that which the Western world found possible during the Cold War: a stand-off, in which the power of the West was overwhelming and seen to be so overwhelming that eventually, the other side collapsed, divided and demoralized and weakened from within. That will be much more difficult with Islam, but many things can be done to turn back the fruits of demographic conquest, and Da'wa, and to reduce, permanently, that money weapon. And of course no Muslim state must be permitted to acquire, whatever its regime, weapons of mass destruction or when a state -- Pakistan -- has done so, efforts must be made to deny it the ability to deliver those weapons or to transfer them to others, and if that requires warning Pakistan of its own destruction, that should be done. It can be done quietly, so as not to start the primitive masses primitively massing, but it must be done.

So what will Rice do? Open the floodgates to a renewed Jizyah of foreign aid? Keep prating about that "two-state solution" that accepts every single Arab propaganda line, including the turning of local Arabs, post-1967, into that newly-invented "Palestinian people." She had better start reading something about Islam, and something about the history of Jihad as a duty, as that duty was executed, over 1350 years, and she should pay particular attention to the conditions under which that duty fell into desuetude. For the duty remained, but the opportunity for fulfilling that duty was, at times, severely limited. And those limits were largely thrown off by OPEC oil wealth, Muslim migration, and advanced technology from the West that helped to disseminate Muslim propaganda. But all three: the flow of money, the migrants, and the access to Western technology, can and must be diminished or reversed.

The ways to do this have, over the past three years, been posted, repeatedly, endlessly, at this website and JW. One has only to mine the archives and the articles.

Posted on 02/12/2007 4:43 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Monday, 12 February 2007
Re: Colonel Cucullu on SNN

Colonel Cucullu appears to believe that a stand must be taken in Iraq, and he insists that if the Americans do not "win" in Iraq the outcome will obviously be a victory for Islam and, what's more, nuclear bombs going off in the United States as a result of this "defeat.."

I beg to differ. I can't think of a more effective way of dividing and demoralizing the Camp of Islam than an American pullout, as rapid and implacable as possible, with no equipment left behind for the Arabs to make mischief with, though some may be left for the Kurds to defend themselves (and they must promise to defend Assyrians and Chaldeans in the villages of the north, those were always there, and those who went over the past century to Baghdad, and may now wish to re-settle in the north, if they cannot make it out of the Muslim Middle East altogether).

Yes, there will be shrill cries of victory, ululations of pleasure, for a day, a week, a month, maybe two months. Then? Then, as the Shi'a militia really go at it, without having the Americans constrain them, and as the Sunnis really go at it without having the Americans subduing them, and as both sides appeal to co-religionists outside Iraq (for the Shi'a, those in Iran) , for the Sunnis, those in Saudi Arabia, the Emirates, Egypt, Jordan, even possibly Kuwait and Qatar, a permanent fault line will have been established, with tremors of intent being felt, constantly, and constantly threatening to become more than mere tremors. Ideally, that conflict would go on forever.

Cucullu has it all backwards. But he strikes me as a fan of football, not of chess, and certainly the American effort so far has been the clunk-clunk-clunk of boots and Bradley Fighting Vehicles, and even bigger Abrams Tanks, on the ground, instead of clever people figuring out how to use propaganda, how to use the force of the enemy against itself, how to run that enemy ragged, as could, with far less money, men, and matériel being used up than has been the case in Iraq.

What a pity he, and so many others, have it so wrong. And how difficult it must be for those who sponsor them, but may begin to have caught a glimmer of what they should have understood all along -- and still are proving resistant to accepting, even though it makes obvious sense.

Posted on 02/12/2007 6:29 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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