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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 Thursday, 14, 2006.
Thursday, 14 September 2006
Defense Dept. Isn't Serious
Drudge links to a report that YouTube, the video website is posting videos of American soldiers being killed by snipers or IED from video shot by jihadis.

How it is possible for an American company to be allowed to maintain such videos and allowed to operate astonishes me. This war is also a cyber war and for Americans to help the enemy in this manner is sickening. Where is the Defense Dept. and all their fancy programs to shut down such operations?

Details matter.

"The anti-U.S. videos generate visceral reactions by viewers, with their posted comments revealing the breadth and depth of responses: from the unbridled glee of insurgent sympathizers, to the outrage expressed by Americans vowing revenge, to the assertion that the harsh images reveal the reality U.S. soldiers face in unpredictable urban warfare. There also are crass comments by people who enjoy so-called "war porn" and endless speculation about who filmed the footage, who posted it and what their motivations were."

"War porn". What a stupid term. I guess no one should celebrate the 4th of July since we won our independence through violence.

God, I hate the shallowness of the souls investing this world. All the smug and facile remarks.
Posted on 09/14/2006 1:44 AM by Mark Butterworth
Thursday, 14 September 2006
Latest al-Qaeda tape made France a target

From The Scotsman. PARIS (Reuters) - Deputy al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri has urged a militant Algerian Islamist group to punish "Crusader nation" France, even though it vehemently opposed the U.S.-led war in Iraq, a newspaper said on Thursday. 

The Le Figaro daily cited a security expert who had reviewed the entire tape, released on Monday, in which Zawahiri called on the Algerian GSPC group to become "a bone in the throat of the American and French crusaders" . . .  to sow fear "in the hearts of the traitors and the apostate sons of France" and to crush the "pillars of the Crusader alliance".

Enter your own greeting

Many French people believe their country is less of a target for Islamist-inspired attacks because of France's stance over Iraq, but officials say that cuts no ice with militants.  A ban of the traditional Muslim headscarf in secular state schools, close French intelligence links with its former North African colonies combating Islamist extremists, and its role in NATO operations in Afghanistan against the Taliban militia, have secured France's status as a "Crusader nation", experts say.

French Crusaders you say?  Oh that it were still so!  Above - King St LouisIX of France, from Look and Learn.

Posted on 09/14/2006 2:45 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Thursday, 14 September 2006
It has come to this

True story from today's NY Post:

Here's a fish tale that's hard to swallow.

A goldfish in a pond at the Royal Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh underwent cosmetic surgery after visitors complained that it was too ugly.

An unsightly lump on the fish's head was removed, along with an eye.

It's now back in the swim - very likely fishing for compliments.

(This gets filed under "We did it because we could"--in two sub files, "Vicarious vanity" and "Horrific puns."
Posted on 09/14/2006 6:07 AM by Robert Bove
Thursday, 14 September 2006
Muslim media stakes

RIYADH (Reuters) - Muslim tycoons should buy stakes in global media outlets to help change anti-Muslim attitudes around the world, ministers from Islamic countries heard at a conference in Saudi Arabia on Wednesday.

This is not new. The goal declared by then-Crown Prince Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, back in November 1979, to a Jordanian paper, that "we would have liked to buy the whole world's media" -- this was in the days before, when one had to read what was translated in those blue-papered reports of the Foreign Broadcasting Publishing Service -- has always been a goal. Jihad is war. Propaganda is part of war. Propaganda is a major instrument of Jihad.

What has changed since 1979 is this: the Arabs and other Muslim oil states have continued to receive many trillions, and everywhere in the Western world agents of Islam -- the millions of Muslim immigrants -- have been freely allowed to settle behind the very borders that they have been taught to regard as enemy lines.

That makes a difference.

Posted on 09/14/2006 6:16 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Thursday, 14 September 2006
Fitzgerald vs. the Baker boys


Western civilization, of which James Baker is a most unimpressive part, the billable-minute part, the part that thinks of a museum as a place to hold a reception, for clients or new associates, and who I doubt has read a book on Islam in his life. He knows what he wants to know, and will not learn what he does not want to know.

Piercing—and evocative.  These folk, so unsuited to the times, to the immense challenges.  They are like the IBM "head" Samuel J. Palmisano, described by Roy Moore and Dale Alquist, thusly:

He praises the continual progress of multinational conglomerates like his own influencing and working with national governments.  Such "progress" he insists, must continue until the world becomes "integrated." Anyone who does not "integrate" is considered as an enemy of "progress."  This is the philosophy of a weed.

All very abstract, this melding of business lingo and computerese.  (During the first Star Trek: The Next Generation episode in which appeared the Borg, I remember thinking that the difference between the Enterprise crew and the automaton Borg to be merely one of technology and costumes—and the Borg had the better of both.)   Minds limited to engineering, to turning the right dial, punching in the right code, when the times demand the ship of state needs at the helm people combining the nobility of an Aeneas and the cunning of an Odysseus. 

I'd be happy with either, but, though the times may demand those qualities, the state may not be able to produce someone who embodies them. In our rush to pave over (or integrate) cultural differences in the name of democracy we are blinding ourselves to the utility of those differences as weapons at our disposal—perhaps the only effective weapons we have, short of nukes.
Posted on 09/14/2006 7:19 AM by Robert Bove
Thursday, 14 September 2006
Terror suspect incited murder of non-believers, court told

 A 42-year-old man appeared in court today accused of encouraging people to murder those who do not believe in Islam. Atilla Ahmet, from south east London, is also accused of publishing statements intended to encourage people to commit acts of terrorism.

Mr Ahmet, who was remanded in custody until September 29, is charged with a total of eight counts, including three of soliciting or encouraging people to murder those who do not believe in the Islamic faith.  Mr Ahmet is further charged with soliciting or encouraging people at a meeting between March 31 and April 1 this year to murder those who do not "implement Allah’s law".

All four soliciting murder charges are contrary to Section 4 of the Offences Against a Person Act 1861. He is also charged with two counts of publishing a statement intended to encourage members of the public to commit, prepare or instigate acts of terrorism. No application for bail was made on behalf of any of the three and they were all remanded in custody until October 12 when they will reappear before the court via video link.

These are only the pre-committal hearings in the Magistrates Court.  Things will get really interesting next year with the Crown Court Trial(s).  But no matter how much Imams and leaders, local  or national protest that violence is a corruption of Islam, while the Times and Telegraph keep reporting the facts, accurate and unsensational, public opinion is awakening.

Posted on 09/14/2006 9:21 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Thursday, 14 September 2006
Dim Donner
THE HAGUE, 13/09/06 - Justice Minister Piet Hein Donner considers the Netherlands should give Muslims more freedoms to behave according to their traditions…."For me it is clear: if two-thirds of the Dutch population should want to introduce the Sharia tomorrow, then the possibility should exist," according to Donner. "It would be a disgrace to say: 'That is not allowed!'." – from this news item and in continuation of yesterday's remarks,

The very idea that mere head-counting should be allowed to determine whether the country, people, and civilization of Holland should live or slowly be put to death sickens. But Piet Hein Donner apparently believes that numbers are everything; that numbers, voting, is what "democracy" is all about. In this respect he has some analogues -- such as President Bush -- who keep prating about "democracy" and "freedom" in Iraq and "in the Middle East" without having any very good idea of what democracy, in the Western sense, is or should be.

But in the case of Holland and the rest of Western Europe, and indeed in the case of other threatened countries such as Israel, only those should be considered citizens who fully accept the political, legal, and moral institutions and foundations of the country. Naturalization, citizenship, is much more than being in a certain place for a certain time and declaring, easily, phonily, on this or that oath. It has to be more. For now we understand that there is one major belief-system whose adherents do not leave behind even when they leave countries suffused with that belief-system.

They fail to recognize that the unpleasant or even hideous state of the countries from which they come (Iraq or Egypt, Saudi Arabia or Iran, Somalia or Morocco or Algeria) can be explained as arising out of that same belief-system. Unlike refugees who fled the Nazis and the Communists and the countries they controlled, these people who in essence flee the Muslim world nonetheless do not denounce that world and its belief-system, but smuggle into their mental baggage, and remain firmly committed to, the very thing that they should have been eager and certainly willing to drop.

It is ludicrous to continue to ask the peoples of the Western world to admit into their midst people who hold such beliefs, and to welcome them and supply them with every benefit that the Infidel lands now offer, and even to encourage their participation in the "system" -- that is, in politics -- which participation will only, can only, conceivably be exploited by Muslims to further the case and cause of Islam.

But Islam teaches that the source of a government's legitimacy lies only in its adherence to Islam, and to the final authority, the Holy Law of Islam or Shari'a. Some countries attempt to hew closely to it -- Saudi Arabia, Iran, Sudan, Pakistan. Others less closely follow it -- Egypt, for example, which claims absurdly to have a "secular" civil code. But a whole series of cases involving Copts shows that to be untrue.

How can those who claim that they believe firmly in a belief-system that is both religion and politics, that offers a Total Regulation of Life and a Complete Explanation of the Universe, and that in every way flatly contradicts not only the very ideas upon which democratic government has been developed, but also flatly contradicts the rights that protect individuals, accept democratic government and individual rights? For in Islam everything is collective, everything is about the Umma al-Islamiyya, and the individual does not matter. The scholar Reza Afshari had shown -- and so have others -- the contradictions between Islam and the rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. That is why no Muslim state (save for Iran under the Shah) ever ratified the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. All of them instead came up with a "Muslim" version that completely excludes all the most important rights of individuals, such as free exercise of religion, equal treatment of sects, full legal equality for women, freedom of speech, and so on. None of it is, and none of it can be, in Islam.

The comment by Piet Hein Donner of the Christian Democratic Party should be taken to heart. And citizenship should not be granted to, nor continue to be possessed by, anyone who cannot wholeheartedly and genuinely subscribe to the principles on which democratic government rests and to the individual rights which are now taken for granted all over the advanced democracies of the West.

And what if a Muslim swears he is a good Muslim but one understands, one realizes, one discovers from his comments, that he does not believe any of those things which contradict Islam? Do we nonetheless award him citizenship, so that he may vote, may agitate, may affect by sheer swelling of numbers the behavior of Infidels, already fairly fearful and willing to appease?

No. We do not.

We do not because our goal is or should be to preserve ourselves and our ways -- and not on the basis of some abstract piety ("all people have a right to be believed", "it wouldn't be right not to believe a Muslim who swore he was 'a good American'" and insistences at that level) or Idol of the Age, to flippantly surrender an entire civilizational legacy.

Piet Hein Donner should go. Everyone who thinks like him, who approves of him, who is not appalled by him, should go. Where should he go? Somewhere, anywhere -- but not to a position where he is supposed to protect, and instruct, others.

Posted on 09/14/2006 10:39 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Thursday, 14 September 2006
You, Saddam? A Dictator? Naaahhh ...
This doesn't sound good.  From the AP (via the NYTimes), reporting on the latest Saddam trial in Iraq (over the killing of 180,000 Kurds in Anfal):

The chief judge in Saddam Hussein's genocide trial said Thursday that he does not believe Saddam was a dictator. Judge Abdullah al-Amiri made the remark in a friendly exchange with the deposed leader, a day after the prosecution said the judge should step down because he is biased toward the defense. Saddam and his co-defendants are being tried on charges of committing atrocities against Kurds in northern Iraq nearly two decades ago.

Questioning a Kurdish witness Thursday, Saddam said, 'I wonder why this man wanted to meet with me, if I am a dictator?' The judge interrupted: 'You were not a dictator. People around you made you (look like) a dictator.'  'Thank you,' Saddam responded, bowing his head in respect.


Al-Amiri heads the five-judge panel that oversees the trial and will deliver the verdict. A Shiite Muslim in his mid-50s, he has been a judge for 25 years, serving a substantial portion of that time under Saddam's regime. The panel will vote on guilt or innocence and a majority decision will be final.


Saddam lashed out Tuesday against what he called 'agents of Iran and Zionism' and vowed to 'crush your heads' after listening to Kurdish witnesses tell of the horrors allegedly committed by his fallen regime. The next day, Chief Prosecutor Munqith al-Faroon demanded al-Amiri step down, accusing him of bias toward the deposed leader and his co-defendants. 'You allowed this court to become a political podium for the defendants,' al-Faroon told al-Amiri. The prosecutor said the judge was giving Saddam time to make 'political' statements that were irrelevant to the proceedings.

Posted on 09/14/2006 10:55 AM by Andy McCarthy
Thursday, 14 September 2006
Brave New World
Just 75 years ago, give or take a few days, Aldous Huxley finished writing Brave New World, the story of a hedonist utopia brought about via bio-engineering, and by the abolition of such unnecessary downers as literature, art, religion, etc.  ("Finished by late August [1931]" says Sybille Bedford in her biography of the author.)  The book was published February 2, 1932.  I'll be leaning hard on the editors of NR to let me do some sort of commemorative piece about then.  I would rate BNW as one of those books every thoughful person ought to read.  With (as it seems to me) the human sciences really coming into their stride at last, and uncovering things that will change our thinking and our society profoundly, BNW is more than ever a key text.

When I was an earnest sixth-former (=highschool senior), a standard classroom discussion was:  Which of the two books Brave New World or Nineteen Eighty-Four presents a more probable view of our future?  The question looks pretty absurd now, unless you live in North Korea, I suppose.

 I "did" Huxley for The New Criterion a couple of years ago.

Posted on 09/14/2006 10:59 AM by John Derbyshire
Thursday, 14 September 2006
His ballyhooed withdrawal from politics appears to have been short-lived.  Ed Morrissey has details at Captain's Quarters.
Posted on 09/14/2006 11:03 AM by Andy McCarthy
Thursday, 14 September 2006
Amnesty International's belated addendum
Under criticism for its lack of objectivity, the London-based Amnesty International announced Wednesday that Hizbullah's firing of thousands of rockets into Israel amounted to "war crimes."

The findings, which appear in a new 15-page report, come three weeks after the human rights group issued a previous report which called Israeli strikes "war crimes," but failed to mention Hizbullah's rocket attacks. –from this news item

This tiny postscript comes two weeks after the massive manuscript ("'Israelis Committed War Crimes,' says Amnesty International") was distributed far and wide. To the little addendum, dangling, The Times will devote a tiny particle of an article, deep inside -- not the massive coverage given to that massive "Israelis Committed War Crimes" manuscript published to worldwide acclaim a few weeks ago.

Why bother with the addendum, the little lean-to, the pretend-condemnation of heroic Hizballah? To establish a claim to "fairness." To establish a claim to "equal-opportunity" denunciation. To farcically pretend that Amnesty International, Ms. Khan's nasty little domain, which has little in common (just like the U.N.) with what it started as and what it was intended to be, is fair.

But why, one may ask, if there was going to be a report on Hizballah, did not Amnesty International hold both its reports and release them simultaneously? Why did it rush out, and rush out without bothering to find out how Hizballah had conducted its war? Why didn’t it consider the 3,000 or 4,000 or 5,000 or 8,000 rockets fired completely indiscriminately into Israel and, where possible, into its third major city, Haifa (the biggest city those rockets could reach)? Why didn’t it take testimony as to the placement of Hizballah’s own weaponry smack in the middle, always and everywhere, of civilians, and the more civilians, of course, the better for Hizballah?

This is a late, belated, too-late, utterly phony, half-hearted "symmetrical" condemnation of what is not symmetrical at all. For Hizballah wished to hit Israeli civilians and wished to fire only from among civilians in Lebanon -- while the Israelis took great pains (leafletting, computer-generated phone calls warning people to leave, constantly holding fire so that warnings could be acted on) to avoid civilian casualties. And as anyone familiar with warfare knows, the number of genuine civilian casualties in a month of fighting in Lebanon was ridiculously, absurdly low by the standards of any other war, fought by any other army (including the American, British, and other allied armies, in Iraq and Afghanistan, not to mention the Vietnam War, the Korean War, World War II, or any of a hundred other conflicts over the past few decades). That is testimony to the great efforts of Israel.

Nothing at all.

Disgust at this once-reputable organization. Disgust with all of those organizations infiltrated either directly, or indirectly, by those who promote the goals of an Islamintern International -- the E.U., the U.N., the assorted holier-than-thou "non-governmental" repositories for those of a certain mindset, a mindset that will never ever detect, for example, the threat of a belief-system that uncompromisingly divides the world between Believer and Infidel, and imposes the duty of Jihad, active participation or support of others directly engaged, in order to remove all "obstacles" (such as free speech, and free exercise of belief, and the legal equality of women and non-Muslims) to the spread of Islam, until such time as Islam everywhere dominates and Muslims rule, everywhere.

By its very nature, such organizations as Amnesty International cannot make moral judgments. But of course they do. They make moral judgments by not making them. They make moral judgments by equating Israel's attempts to defend itself against those who if they could would entirely efface the state of Israel as an Infidel cancer, or to use that other telling metaphor, a "knife in the heart" of Arab Muslim lands. Hizballah is, to the intelligent, an obvious fascistic movement, akin to the Stormtroopers: the black-shirted black-balaclaved Kalashnikov-clutching bezonians goosestepping their way into Lebanese, Arab, Muslim history, as they terrorize within Lebanon, and attempt -- so far unsuccessfully -- to terrorize Israel and others without.

Irene Khan and her court cannot see this. Instead, they must insist on a symmetry that is false and grotesque, and indeed, false even its "symmetrical" denunciation -- because the noise and the lights and the music all attended the denunciation of Israel, while the criticism of Hizballah has another tone. The latter is quietly dropped into the world's press, which, by this point, finds the whole matter no longer, somehow, of moment. After all, there was only one real story: that was the one about very wicked Israel. That was what counted.

Disgust rampant, on a field gules.

Posted on 09/14/2006 11:05 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Thursday, 14 September 2006
Brave New Wal-Mart
What got me thinking about Brave New World?  Reading George Will's excellent column in this morning's edition of America's Newspaper of Record, that's what.
It was sort of a complicated chain of thought, not all the links totally sound, but that's what got me thinking.
Posted on 09/14/2006 11:11 AM by John Derbyshire
Thursday, 14 September 2006
Ugly pig turns into 'yummy mummy'

It is not only goldfish who benefit from a makeover although I suspect Robert's goldfish was not affected by his bump.  However Wilma here has benefited by 8 piglets worth.

Wilma the pigWilma, a Vietnamese pot-bellied pig, had been rejected for months by male pigs at her home in Twin Lakes Park, Leicestershire.  Wilma was given a massage in pig oil, a "trottercure" and a good wash. . . Wilma was given her makeover in May in an attempt to "enhance her self-esteem" and win some male attention. Wilma's keeper said at the time of her makeover: "We are really hoping that by making her feel good about herself, she'll entice the boys into her sty."

On 11 September she gave birth to six female and two male piglets, even though a scan showed she was only expecting three.  Six of her babies are pink with black spots and the other two are entirely black.

Ahh . . .

Posted on 09/14/2006 11:54 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Thursday, 14 September 2006
Pious conservatives not quite done with MacDonald
The raging debates among conservatives over the issues of our times (and of all times, it sometimes seems) remain the signal vibrant characteristic of modern conservatism—even as what passes for discourse on the Left has passed into a kind of second sophomorehood, wherein everything one has learned is self-evident and closed to debate.  (And not worth remembering, I might add.)  Foreclosing debate, of course, is the M.O. of today's liberal faculties, as Thomas Sowell notes:

Our whole educational system, from the elementary schools to the universities, is increasingly turning out people who have never heard enough conflicting arguments to develop the skills and discipline required to produce a coherent analysis, based on logic and evidence.

Heather MacDonald is an erudite conservative who famously generated much debate recently with her defense of skeptical conservatism in the American Conservative.  Elizabeth Powers took awhile to weigh in, but weigh in she has.  From her brilliant riposte:

As a scholar of the eighteenth century, I am familiar with this attribution of our supposed moral advance to the sages of the Enlightenment. The philosophes, however, independent scholars of their day, were simply capitalizing on the changed material environment in which they lived. Beginning in the early modern period, in the late fifteenth century, with European exploration of the globe and the opening of vast international trade, men (and mostly they were men) began to have economic opportunities beyond those dictated by tradition. The history of the West since then has been one of continuous improvement in the material life of more and more people, not simply the traditionally rich and privileged. With this democratization of wealth, ordinary men began to chafe at the traditional political and civic arrangements that kept them from wearing the clothes they liked, marrying the person of their choice, or choosing their own profession. The market began to offer “choice” not only in lifestyle but also in products. In response to this more liberal economic environment, philosophers began to enunciate ideas concerning liberty and individual freedom. But where would they have come up with the idea that each of us has a right to determine our destiny, if not for the moral legacy of Christianity, namely, the uniqueness of every person before God and the duty of that person to work out his individual salvation? All of liberalism’s important achievements—free political institutions, religious practice, intellectual and artistic expression—grew, in tandem with the wealth of the West, from that simple idea.

Don’t imagine that because criminals now have clean cells, even telephone privileges and access to law libraries, that we are more enlightened than our fourteenth-century predecessors. With our current material resources—a huge establishment of lawyers (many of them women), college degrees in prison management, cheap electricity, food providers, and so on—it would be irrational to keep criminals chained to walls in unheated cells for years, dependent for food on meals brought by their next of kin, and all the other horrors of incarceration brought to us by Alexandre Dumas. Liberals, and Heather Mac Donald, think that such “progress” is self-evident, as if ethics were something that accumulated in our arteries like cholesterol. But make no mistake: If we returned to the material conditions of the fourteenth century, prisoners would have their law books taken away.

While it is self-evident to Heather Mac Donald that “the rule of law” is transparent to “all rational minds,” try that idea on the Chinese, who are certainly rational (and infinitely skeptical, it would seem). One of the reasons that the concept of human rights has so much difficulty inserting itself in China is because of the absence of a Christian legacy. The Chinese are becoming more prosperous, but they have only the vaguest sense of what is second nature to us in the West—namely, the sacredness of the human person. The greatest reform movement in the world, the abolition of slavery, was led by Christians, not the philosophes. So, yes, Miss Mac Donald, we do live parasitically off the moral legacy of Christianity.

Read the rest.
Posted on 09/14/2006 1:48 PM by Robert Bove
Thursday, 14 September 2006
They walk among us
Latest reports of Neanderthals unearthed by Brothers Judd:

Neanderthals may have lived longer than thought  (ANNE MCILROY, 9/14/06, Globe and Mail)

    They may have been the last of the Neanderthals, living in a cave on the southern edge of Europe long after modern humans dominated the continent.

    Researchers excavating a cave in Gibraltar, near the southern tip of Spain, have found evidence that Neanderthals survived at least 2,000 years longer than previously believed.

Neandertals Had Long Childhoods, Tooth Study Suggests (James Owen, September 20, 2005, National Geographic News)

    Our prolonged childhoods make us Homo sapiens unique among primates. Scientists have a theory to explain this lengthy maturation process: Our brains need many years of learning and physical growth before we're equipped for the complexities of human living.

    Now a new study says we weren't the only humans who took their time growing up. Analysis of Neandertal teeth suggests that the extinct species had similarly lengthy childhoods.

And still do.

For thousands of years, scientists now tell us, Neanderthals persisted
in thinking sunglasses disguised their identities.

(AP Photo/Nick Wass)

(h/t per pic: Dan Freedman)

UPDATE: James Panero notes re the first news item above: "These guys lived to be more than 2,000? Wow, next to them Methuselah died tragically young."
Posted on 09/14/2006 2:10 PM by Robert Bove
Thursday, 14 September 2006
Henry Kissinger on the war

Kissinger warns of possible "war of civilizations"

Henry Kissinger, whose accent has deepened ever since his Sammy-Glick days working for Nelson Rockefeller and training those Future Leaders of the World at Harvard Summer School (making his contacts, filling his Rolodex, spreading his fame, making his moves), no doubt to the chagrin of those who, purely in intellect but not in sammy-glickdom, were his clear superiors, such as Stanley Hoffmann (who alas came a cropper over Israel, and now over Islam --some who had taken his course "On War" thought he was Raymond Aron, and he turned out...not to be.)

Kissinger, who never gave any sign of understanding Islam during his active career, before he began trading on government "service" to open Kissinger Associates, and pocket a half-million a year from Bear Stearns, the kind of fellow whose "insights" and "understanding" are breathlessly reported by Barbara Walters ("well, Henry says this" and "Henry says that" to those on the other end of the telephone), a kind of up-scale version, for the select few at some blend of Harmonie Club-Lazard Freres--Park Avenue Synagogue do, with a touch of busy, hectically busy, investment bankers and men of the world who don't have time to read or think for themselves, so they'll let the honorable Henry Kissinger of Kissinger Associates do it for them, tell them what it all means, tell them what makes sense. Not quite as bad as the groups of businessmen at conventions whose steering committee has rented, for an hour lecture of perfect simpleton-simpleminded simpliccissimus simiplicity, Mr. Tom Friedman who 'splains it all to you. But close.

If Henry Kissinger says it, must it be true? The recycling of a by-now banality, "the clash of civilizations," is telling. He can't phrase things on his own, he can't see what's wrong with the pre-fabricated phrase, he thinks he has to run with it. Easy on his own mind, and easy on the minds of others. The kind of celebrity only Charlie Rose could love.

It is not a "clash of civilizations" -- the Indic, the Sinic, the Orthodox, the Catholic, and so on. If China is in a rivalry with the United States it is not because of any natural "clash" between the "Sinic" and the advanced Western civilizations, but is merely a case of Great Power rivalry, of the kind that Great Britain and Germany in 1914, or England and France in 1860, exhibited.

Were China and the United States to become rivals, it would not be because of the “Sinic” clash with the “Western,” and if China and India were to become rivals in Asia, it would not be because of some necessary clash of the “Sinic” with the “Hindu.” In effect, all the non-Muslim powers are part of the same world. But Islam is different. Islam teaches its adherents to divide the universe between Believer and Infidel, Dar al-Islam and Dar al-Harb. Henry Kissinger fails to recognize this. The phrase “clash of civilizations” is both prefabricated, a phrase on tap, a tell-tale sign of mental laziness as are other fixed phrases and received ideas, which does not correspond to the truth.

The truth is not that there is a “clash of civilizations” nor that there is a clash of Islam and the West. Islam is as hostile to the Hindus, of India, of Kashmir, of Bali, of Malaysia, or those still living in Bangladesh and Pakistan, as it is to Westerners, as hostile to the helpless black Africans, non-Muslim, or non-Arab and therefore distinctly inferior Muslims, of the southern Sudan and Darfur and southern Nigeria and everywhere that the forces of Islam, of Arab Islam in this case, meet with any opposition or obstacles.

The war was declared 1350 years ago. It goes on, when and wherever it can, wherever the instruments of Jihad exist. It required the OPEC oil bonanza, and then the millions of Muslims so foolishly allowed into the countries of the West, and then the technology of that same West used to disseminate the full message of Islam and aid campaigns of Da’wa, in order to take the doctrine of Jihad, and put it into effect. “Terror” is only one of its weapons – the only one that the timid Bush Administration seems inclined, at this point, to talk about. But Da’wa and demographic conquest, especially in Western Europe, are at present the main instruments of Jihad. They won’t be, if the Muslim states acquire better weapons, or manage to seize control of the armories of Western countries, through the very effect of that demographic conquest that might allow them to take over, without military conquest, some or many or all of the Infidel states of Western Europe.

Kissinger is getting there, perhaps.But his solemn misstatements, and his record – compared to Scowcroft and Baker and Brzezinski he may impress, but that is setting the bar right on the ground, and hardly much of an achievement if someone manages to step over it.

A little more is demanded. Kissinger was weighed and found wanting long ago. He hasn’t gained weight, figuratively speaking, since.

Posted on 09/14/2006 2:50 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Thursday, 14 September 2006
The simple meaning of Hudnah

Islam History Professor Moshe Sharon of Hebrew University told a counter-terrorism conference Thursday that, "There is no possibility of peace between Israel and the Palestinians whatsoever - ever.”  - from this news item

This Sharon article states what apparently will be news to some in Israel, such as Olmert and Peres and all those who have a stake in denying it, but should come as no surprise at all. The entire history of the negotiations and agreements and accords and treaties between Israel and Muslim states, and such political incarnations of the recently-invented "Palestinian people" shows that nowhere will the Muslim side ever fulfill its solemn obligations, and will only fulfill those parts that it would have had to fulfill anyway, without such a treaty. Egypt, for example, has failed entirely to do what it was committed to do, by way of ending hostile propaganda and other acts just as hostile as what the Russians did during the Cold War, and Egypt has permitted the smuggling of large amounts of weaponry to the "Palestinians" in Gaza, has refused to encourage tourism, has promoted in its media an antisemitic campaign apparently beyond Western belief (so little attention does it get), and yes, Egypt maintains its "peace" -- that is, is not actively attacking Israel, but not because of any treaty. Egypt does not attack Israel for the same reason that Syria, which has no "peace" treaty with Israel, does not attack. It fears the consequences, fears that it might lose the Sinai and not get it back again, fears the effect on the Mubarak regime if such a defeat were to be inflicted.

The Lesser Jihad against Israel should long ago have been recognized by the Israelis. They did not do so for many reasons. One is that the ruling elites in Israel during the first few decades of the existence of the state were largely from Europe, and did not know anything about Islam. They were content not to know anything, and indeed too busy to find out, for they were trying to resettle huge numbers of refugees from all over, including Arab lands. And those refugees, in turn, were sometimes simple people. Some remembered their treatment at the hands of Muslims, but were in no position to identify the source of that mistreatment save as an example of what "the Arabs" do. Even keen-minded Jabotinsky, who died in 1940, and who had recognized that the Arabs would never acquiesce in the Jewish state unless an "Iron Wall" were constructed, in other words unless it was made clear that the Jewish state would not yield, and was here to stay, did not understand the Islamic basis for the refusal to accept Israel.

Finally, as long as there seemed to be some hope of appealing to the shared interests that Israel and some non-Arab Muslim states, those of Turkey and of Iran, in particular, the Israelis for a while kept hoping that they could reach out to those states. And for a while it worked. The Shah of Iran's regime did have, in some ways, an alliance of mutual interest -- here and there -- with Israel. So too did the generals in Ankara, those whose commitment to secularism, joined to the general Turkish distaste for the Arabs, for a time promised an alliance that, nowadays, has been shown to be a temporary and forlorn hope, given the resurgence of Islam, and with it, a natural resurgance of anti-Infidel hatred that has so far been focussed on the United States and on Israel.

The Israelis in power may continue to deny the obvious truth of what Moshe Sharon writes in this article. They may continue, some of them, to ignore what Islam is all about, or to prefer some Lewisian view, without quite comprehending how much Lewis scants the subject of the dhimmi, and how wrong he has been, consistently, both in his enthusiasm for the Oslo Accords and for his dreamy suggestions (the restoration of a Sunni, Hashemite monarch), and hopes for Iraq, where he apparently foretold, the "liberation of Baghdad [by the Americans] would make the liberation of Kabul look like a funeral procession." They may prefer to learn about islam from those who are acolytes of Lewis [it is a sign not of success but of failure as a pedagogue when one produces not intelligent colleagues but rather worshipful acolytes]. They may ignore Sharon, and Raphael Israeli, and Robert Wistrich, and many others.

But in the end, the evidence for Muslim behavior, not only toward Israel, but within Western Europe, and in the Sudan, and Thailand, and Indonesia, and Malaysia, and Kashmir, and indeed everywherre that there exists a significant Muslim presence anywhere, around the world, can properly be explained only by one explanatory model, a model that both explains past and present data, and has predictive value as well: the model provided by Islam.

The Lesser Jihad has no end, anymore than does the Greater Jihad. It can be contained. The camp of Islam can be divided and demoralized. What must first occur is for a sufficient number of non-Muslims to learn as much as they can about the tenets of Islam, and especially about the worldview that divides, in Islam, Believer and Infidel, and the duty of Jihad, and the unalterable opposition of dar al-islam and dar al-harb. Once Infidels demonstrate that taqiyya and tu-quoque, and all the ways in which infidels are to be silenced, or their language severely curtailed -- from death threats and actual murder, to appeals not to "offend" all the "good Muslims" who are somehow likely to become fiercely and murderously hostile unless all "offensive" language -- that is, any intelligent and well-founded criticsm -- of Islam is permitted anywhere in the Infidel West.

Those in Israel, or anywhere else, who wish to ignore Moshe Sharon -- feel free. Ignore him. But don't ignore what Majid Khadduri wrote about the Treaty of Al-Hudaibiyya in his "War and Peace in Islam." If you won't believe Moshe Sharon, then read what Muslim commentators have to write about the model for all subsequent treaty-making between Muslim states and non-Muslims.

That should do you.

That should convince.

Posted on 09/14/2006 3:05 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Thursday, 14 September 2006
Worth scrutonising

I never thought I'd end up agreeing with Roger Scruton on Enoch Powell, but these are strange times. A lefty would wince just to read my first sentence. Yet, indirectly, Powell - and now Scruton - are defending many of the values that lefties swear by. An excellent essay in the New Criterion:

In 1968 the products of the postwar baby boom decided to seize the European future and to jettison the European past. In that same year Enoch Powell delivered to the Birmingham Conservatives the speech known forever after as “Rivers of Blood”: a speech that cost him his political career, and which, on one plausible interpretation, made the issue of immigration undiscussable in British politics for close to forty years...

Such predictions as Powell made in his speech, concerning the tipping of the demographic balance, the ghettoization of the industrial cities, and the growth of resentment among the indigenous working class have been fulfilled. Only the sibylline prophecy has fallen short of the mark. Even so, the Madrid and London bombings and the murder of Theo van Gogh are viewed by many Europeans as a foretaste of things to come. It is now evident to everyone that, in the debate over immigration, in those last remaining days when it could still have made a difference, Enoch Powell was far nearer the truth than those who instantly drove him from office, and who ensured that the issue was henceforth to be discussed, if at all, only by way of condemning the “racism” and “xenophobia” of those who thought like Powell. As for the racism and xenophobia of the incomers, it was indiscernible to the liberal conscience, which has never been able to understand that liberalism is an unusual state of mind.

Liberalism emerges from a long-standing rule of law, shaped by the Enlightenment view of citizenship, and dependent upon the shared customs, shared language, and shared culture of a people who have lived together in a common home and acquired the habit of defending it. But it is virtually unknown among people who are seeking territory, and who have conscripted their gods to fight for it....

And even now, when opinion across Europe is unanimous that immigration must be controlled, and that Muslims must be integrated into the secular culture, liberal politicians are refusing to admit to a problem or to confess that they are the cause of it. They still preach “multiculturalism” as the sign of our “vibrant” future; they still condemn “racism and xenophobia” as the enemy; they still try to state and solve the problem by the promiscuous multiplication of “human rights.” Their Enlightenment creed makes it all but impossible for them to acknowledge the fundamental truth, which is that indigenous communities have legitimate expectations which take precedence over the demands of strangers. True, indigenous communities may also have duties of charity towards those strangers—or towards some of them. But charity is a gift, and there is no right to receive it, still less to force it from those reluctant to give.

The destructive effects of liberalism are not usually felt by the liberals themselves—not immediately, at least. The first victim of liberal immigration policies is the indigenous working class. When the welfare state was first conceived, it was in order to provide insurance for poorer members of the indigenous community, by taxing their income in exchange for the benefits which they may one day need. The rights involved were quasi-contractual: a right of the state to levy contributions in exchange for a right of the citizen to receive support. The very term used to describe the deal in Britain—“national insurance”—expresses the old understanding, that the welfare system is part of being together as a nation, of belong- ing with one’s neighbors, as mutual beneficiaries of an ancestral right. The liberal view of rights, as universal possessions which make no reference to history, community, or obedience, has changed all that. Indigenous people can claim no precedence, not even in this matter in which they have sacrificed a lifetime of income for the sake of their own future security. Immigrants are given welfare benefits as of right, and on the basis of their need, whether or not they have paid or ever will pay taxes. And since their need is invariably great—why else have they come here?—they take precedence over existing residents in the grant of housing and income support. Those with a handful of wives are even more fortunate, since only one of their marriages is recognized in European systems of law: the remaining wives are “single mothers,” with all the fiscal advantages which attach to that label. All this has entailed that the stock of “social housing” once reserved for the indigenous poor is now almost entirely occupied by people whose language, customs, and culture mark them out as foreigners

Read it all.

Posted on 09/14/2006 3:08 PM by Mary Jackson
Thursday, 14 September 2006
The soul of debate

Responding to criticism, The Fjordman takes a fascinating second look at his definitions of multicultralism and political correctness (“cultural Marxism”).
Posted on 09/14/2006 3:27 PM by Robert Bove
Thursday, 14 September 2006
Piet Hein Donner and his namesakes

Piet Hein, however, is another matter. That is the pseudonym of a Danish writer, author of the famous collections of "Gruk" and still more Gruk, even "Gruk fra alle Aarene" ("med tak for alle aarene, fra Piet Hein" reads the inscription on the copy in front of me), known to all readers of Martin Gardner's old column in Scientific American, in the old days, the days of Courant's "What is Mathematics?" and Newman on Godel's Proof, the good old days remembered by those who have to be, by this point, somewhere between the ages of 58 and 98 because, you see, it would be impossible for anyone younger to have read any copies of Scientific American that appeared when he was still an infant, or before he was born.

The Dutch Piet Hein was a naval hero of the Eighty Years War, with a monument to him in the Oude Kerk, and "Piet-Hein" not rare as a first and middle name in Holland, between such first names as Marie-Josee, or Marie-Therese, or Marie-Claire, or Jean-Jacques or Jean-Pierre, and those where the first and middle names appropriate the full name of a famous figure, as in George Washington Carver, or the Joseph Stalin Vijayanathans found in Kerala, a holdover from the old days, before Communist sympathies in the state were replaced by computer software companies in the-world-is-flat mode.

Those two Piet Heins -- the naval hero (died 1629) and the composer of funny verses and clever games (died 197?)--can be honored in Holland and in Denmark. This other one, this Piet-Hein Donner, apparently thinks that should Muslims, so rashly permitted to settle in Holland (there were 15,000 Muslims in Holland in 1970, one million today), were by overbreeding to become a majority, that would be it -- and both kinds of legacies, the military legacy of Piet Hein the hero, specific to Holland, and the cultural legacy of Piet Hein the rhymer, left to the entire West, would be lost.

And that is why this other Piet-Hein Donner should be attacked, should never be forgiven, should be voted out, for such a remark, and for what such a remark must mean.

Posted on 09/14/2006 3:24 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald

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