These are all the Blogs posted on Tuesday, 18, 2008.
Tuesday, 18 March 2008
Tibet capital tense after deadline
I really do not like the sound of what is going on in Tibet.
The Tibetan capital Lhasa is tense but quiet today after a deadline for protesters to turn themselves in to Chinese authorities passed, a witness and activist groups said.
Kate Saunders from the International Campaign for Tibet says it is a very tense and terrifying situation.
"It has become much more difficult to get information out," she said.
Tibetinfonet, an online information service run by a group of Tibetans and non-Tibetans with contacts in Lhasa, said "an uneasy silence" appeared to have descended in the capital.
"Shops remain closed and people are said to be surviving on what little provisions they might have at home," it said in a statement.
The Chinese Government said Tibetan rioters murdered 13 innocent civilians in the riots and denied using any deadly force to quell the uprising.
However, exiled Tibetan leaders said yesterday that about 100 people, and possibly hundreds, were killed in the crackdown on demonstrators.
Chinese authorities had set a deadline of midnight on Monday for those involved in the Lhasa unrest to surrender or face serious consequences.
Activist groups had already reported that security forces conducted house-to-house searches earlier in the week looking for protesters, and that many had been detained.
Meanwhile the Chinese authorities are laying the blame at the feet of the Dalai Lama. From the BBC
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao has accused the Dalai Lama of masterminding recent violence in Tibet's main city, Lhasa.
Speaking on the last day of parliament, Mr Wen said the exiled Tibetan leader's claim of "cultural genocide" in Tibet was nothing but lies.
Mr Wen said the protests were intended to "sabotage" the Beijing Olympics.
A spokesman for the Dalai Lama said Mr Wen's accusations were "baseless".The Dalai Lama, who in 1989 was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his consistent opposition to the use of violence in the quest for Tibetan self-rule, has repeatedly called for dialogue with China.
Posted on 03/18/2008 3:22 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Tuesday, 18 March 2008
Anti-terror inquiry snares rapist
This is an interesting exercise in different styles of reporting from two British sources.
A MUSLIM leader who claimed he was preaching at a mosque when he was really carrying out a brutal rape was jailed for ten years yesterday.
Abdul Mukin Khalisadar, 26, held a knife to his victim’s throat as he attacked her in her home. He persuaded seven men to back up his story that he had been in the mosque at the time. Khalisadar later admitted raping the 27-year-old.
He claimed a substance he took to help with fasting during Ramadan had made him “hyper”. (We are not told what that was, and it sounds like amphetamine sulphate aka speed to me, but whatever it was it surely can’t be within the spirit of fasting?)
He was caught by DNA a year later after being arrested over another matter.
Judge Timothy King blasted his “hypocrisy”.
The teaching assistant, of Forest Gate, East London, got 7½ years for rape and 2½ for conspiring to pervert justice.
Seven members of East London Mosque admitted perverting justice and got 12 months each.
Burka-clad women in the public gallery yelled abuse at the judge — and one screamed that the victim was a prostitute. That also happened in Sydney during the trial of one of the notorious Lebanese pack rape gangs.
The BBC has a more court based report and some different details of his activities.
A respected east London Muslim has been convicted of rape following a Scotland Yard counter-terrorism investigation.
Abdul Makim Khalisadar pleaded guilty at Snaresbrook Crown Court to raping a 27-year-old woman after forcing his way into her home in October 2005.
Police were investigating Khalisadar's links to terrorist Kazi Nurur Rahman but it did not lead to a terror arrest.
However, DNA taken when he was arrested for having child abuse pictures on his computer linked him to the rape.
Seven of Khalisadar's friends have admitted conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.
Belal Ahmed, 24, Tanbir Ahmed, 24, Mohammed Tahar Hussain, 25, Iqbal Hussain-Ali, 25, Tony Autier, 30, Thouhid Ahmed, 24, and Shaherul Islam Khan, 24, admit lying to the police in formal statements.
They claimed Khalisadar was giving a talk at the East London Mosque at the time of the rape.
. . . Scotland Yard's counter-terrorism command was investigating Khalisadar's connection with Rahman, who was convicted in 2006 of trying to buy Uzi sub-machine guns for use by terrorists.
When Khalisadar was taken to a police station and swabbed for DNA, detectives discovered to their surprise that he was the man being sought for the rape.
At first he insisted the sex was consensual, then he concocted an alibi saying he had been giving a talk on repentance at the mosque that night.
It was the middle of Ramadan, and young men would often meet at the mosque through the night before eating their breakfast ahead of sunrise. His friends supported the alibi, but now admit they lied.
Eleven charges of possessing photographs of child abuse are not being proceeded with at present.
Posted on 03/18/2008 3:39 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Tuesday, 18 March 2008
A saucy oath
"Well, I already do the swearing bit.’" - The Spectator
I’m very patriotic in my own way. I hate the French – even when I like them - find most other foreigners ridiculous, and my fellow countrymen even more so, drink gallons of tea, love having a Queen, relish our pubs, grumble about the weather and abhor any kind of enforced jollity. I visit other countries largely to confirm that, in the words of George VI, “abroad is bloody” and I’m glad I don’t live there. I’m proud we were once Top Nation and believe we were very good at it. Since I love my country, I should be pleased about the proposal that schoolchildren should swear an oath of allegiance to the Queen on “Britishness Day”. Well, I’m not. I find the idea unspeakably silly.
I have a few suggestions on how the Government could encourage “Britishness”: pull out of the EU immediately; end all Muslim immigration immediately; severely restrict all immigration; repeal most of the laws passed in the last ten years; bring back grammar schools – our education system was once the envy of the world - cut welfare and taxes and, above all, stay out of our lives. But an oath of allegiance in schools is just not the way we do things. Besides, there is a danger it might sound like a New Labour Mission Statement. Jeremy Clarkson shares my views:
Unfortunately, if such an oath is to be introduced, someone’s going to have to decide on the wording. This means the government will have to set up an “inclusive” committee that represents all of Britain’s “communities”. And can you even begin to imagine what that’d come up with?
“I apologise for my country’s shameful involvement in the slave trade. I vow to be homosexual whenever possible and to burn anyone driving a Range Rover. Long live Al Gore and death to the infidel.”
Perhaps it’s a good idea to view Britain from the outside. How do foreigners see us? Well, as drunken football hooligans mostly, and I don’t think that’d work. Having children swear an allegiance to Millwall every morning is a nonstarter.
A bestselling American book called The Geography of Bliss suggests that British people are unified by a general grumpiness. Eric Weiner, the author, says we don’t just enjoy misery; we get off on it. “For the British, happiness is a transatlantic import. And by transatlantic, they mean American. And by American, they mean silly, infantile drivel. Britain is a great place for grumps and most Brits, I suspect, derive a perverse pleasure from their grumpiness.”
I don’t disagree. But I can’t see us promising every morning in school assembly to remember that while the weather might be nice now, it’ll almost certainly be drizzling and cold tomorrow. Unless of course we all catch cancer and die in the night.
So what one thing cuts through the political correctness and leaves nobody feeling alienated in their own country? Something that unifies us all, something that’s recognisably British and universally seen as harmless, but also wholesome and good? You might imagine the answer is David Attenborough. But, sadly, people die. We need something that will be with us for ever.
The only thing I can think of is HP Sauce. The label features the Palace of Westminster. It contains no meat, which will keep Paul McCartney happy. It can be used to enliven a Melton Mowbray pork pie, and bring a sheen to coins of the realm. And best of all, it absolutely defines the British.
The French have their frogs’ legs. The Japanese have their whales. We have our brown sauce. We are the only people on earth who eat it.
Yes, I know it’s made in Holland these days by an American company, but so what. Finally, I have the oath. “I pledge allegiance to the sauce of the United Kingdom of Great Britain, and to the nation for which it stands, one sauce, in two distinct flavours, with nourishment and joy for all.”
Or we could drop the whole scheme and try to remember we’ve gone for a thousand years without an oath so why the bloody hell do we need one now.
Let us have not an oath, but a toast – to British bloody-mindedness. Cheers, Jeremy.
Posted on 03/18/2008 6:39 AM by Mary Jackson
Tuesday, 18 March 2008
Ends And Means
"Those who thought they could somehow validate themselves, prove how wonderful and "post-racial" they were by voting for Barack Obama, have another think [sic] coming."
What is that think?
-- from a reader responding to this post
"they have another think coming..."
I was mocking those white people who do not really feel, with a pang, that something is greatly amiss in this country, something that needs to be righted. I was mocking those who "feel good about themselves" when they vote for Barack Obama, but don't really analyze the problem that, supposedly, voting for Barack Obama will put, collectively, "behind us." Policies, and the likelihood of a candidate, however difficult or even unpleasant that candidate may be, of getting those policies enshrined in the law, are what count. Not inspirational talk.
Voting for Barack Obama is not likely to diminish the fantastic human waste, for example, that is created by those mandatory punishments for those involved, low down on the totem pole, in the drug trade, and the time served by such people as compared to what is meted out to white collar criminals, is unjust. The government's failure to subsidize mass transit is a geopolitical failure (failing to diminish oil revenues) and an environmental failure (failure to diminish the use of fossil fuels) but it is also a faillure to help the poor, by making transportation cheaper. The failure to provide universal, and subsidized, medical insurance is a failure. And all of these failures fall more -- I won't write "disproportionately" because that word is misplaced -- on the poor than on the rich, and the percentage of blacks who are poor is larger than the percentage of whites.
There are people who want to avoid any signifciant new spending, or new taxation, or any redistribution of wealth, and for them, the campaign of Barack obama is a godsend. They can vote for him, and feel good about themselves. All it takes is a vote, for them to show themselves that their hearts are in the right place, and their wallets can stay in their pockets. Judging by what those who speak out on the radio say, they are casting a vote for themselves. It's part of a Twelve-Step Improvement Plan. This I find comical. And while it offends, it does not surprise.
Education could be subsidized so that its costs are brought down to European levels. Americans are still in the dark about what education costs elsewhere. Medical insurance could be mandated for all, and where necessary, subsidized. And so on.
All of these changes would not need to invoke race, though blacks would benefit, proportionately, more than whites, simply because a higher percentage of blacks are poor. There are all kinds of things that could be done that need never mention or invoke that dreary thing, "race." Public financing of museums, orchestras, libraries, so that they are part of the "public space" that needs to be built up, and that free-market fundamentalists have neglected or ignored, makes moral as well as economic sense. Voting for Obama appears to be not a way to further such ends, but as a substitute for such ends. It's an easy way out.
Posted on 03/18/2008 7:24 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Tuesday, 18 March 2008
The Telegraph: Camels are being prized for their beauty - not just their usefulness - in Saudi Arabia where strict Islamic laws and tribal customs prohibit beauty contests for women.
Camel breeders are open about their admiration for the physical attributes of the animals as they gather at this spring's camel markets.
"It's just like judging a beautiful girl," said Fowzan al-Madr, a camel breeder. "You look for big eyes, long lashes and a long neck."
Public displays of affection between men and women are rigidly policed by the feared officials of the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice but in the camel bazaars anything goes.
"Camels are just like humans," breeder Haza al-Shammari told the International Herald Tribune. "They love and hate just like humans. That's why you have to bring them up very gently."
Mr Shammari grabbed his favourite camel's neck and kissed the beast on the mouth.
"She isn't married yet, this one," he said. "She's still a virgin. Look at the black eyes, the soft fur. The fur is trimmed so it's short and clean, just like a girl going to a party...
Posted on 03/18/2008 8:47 AM by Rebecca Bynum
Tuesday, 18 March 2008
Barack Obama, 'Tantenverführer'
German has some wonderful words. Tantenverführer is one of them. Nick Cohen defines it in his examination of why Obamamania has passed Britain by:
German has the useful word Tantenverführer: “a young man of excessively good manners you suspect of devious motives (literally, an aunt seducer).” Obama’s determination to “change something” has seduced Europe, although like everyone else Europeans aren’t sure what he wants to change. Instead of hard thought about the future, there’s a tingling glowing feeling that under the leadership of a black politician — and isn’t it wonderful he’s black? — everything beastly about Bush’s America will go, and the United States will turn into an eco-friendly, peace-loving nation, respectful of the views of foreign countries which won’t risk their troops in the war against the Taliban or say a harsh word about Vladimir Putin.
You find the exhilaration everywhere, except Britain.
I don’t want to give a false impression. British journalists and politicians are as interested in Obama as politicians and journalists everywhere. However, although a few have lost their heads, there’s no general mania.
The conventional explanation for British indifference is that we already had our fit of the vapors over Tony Blair...
A more convincing explanation to my mind is that European support for Obama is tied to levels of anti-Americanism, and despite all Bush has thrown at them, the British are not as anti-American as the continentals have become.
At a recent meeting in London Reuel Marc Gerecht, a former CIA officer, elegantly calibrated attitudes to the US. He spoke all over North America and Europe and whenever the subject of an aggressive foreign policy came up he asked audiences whether Israel had been right to take out Saddam Hussein’s Osirak nuclear reactor in 1981. In America, virtually everyone was in favor. Whatever their politics, they reasoned that a totalitarian regime was about to get the bomb and, obviously the West should stop it. In Germany, virtually everyone was against — “even the hawks are pacifists,” he said. In France, audiences split 80 per cent against, 20 in favor — “which was good of the 20 per cent considering Chirac had built the reactor in the first place.” In Britain, people divided evenly.
We are a 50-50 country. Neither European nor American. We listen to Obama’s chat-up lines, but he has yet to seduce us.
Well, he doesn't do a lot for me, but then I'm not much of a swooner when it comes to politicians. (I have a soft spot for Boris Johnson, the loveable mop-head with the bemerded reputation, but that's another matter.) I think the reason why most Britons haven't gone all gaga over Barack Obama is apathy and ignorance. I may be wrong about this; after all there has been ample coverage of his campaign over here. Nothing about his policies, though. I wonder why?
By the way, Obama's legal career has been somewhat chequered. Does this make him a .... (drumroll)....Barack-room lawyer?
Posted on 03/18/2008 8:42 AM by Mary Jackson
Tuesday, 18 March 2008
It's all relative
Even though eating people is wrong, Charles Taylor forced people to eat people. But at least he didn't eat them himself, as Idi Amin did. Thank God for small mercies, eh? Let's clutch at those straws, gather up those crumbs from the rich man's table, and be grateful that Idi Amin hasn't invited us to dinner.
It's all relative, argues Jerome Taylor of The Independent. But he's no Einstein:
"Qaradawi may support what he calls the resistance in Palestine and Iraq but compared to the violent extremist groups gaining in popularity throughout the Muslim world he's a desperately needed voice of relative reason. And more importantly when he and others like him speak the wider Muslim world listens."
Posted on 03/18/2008 9:20 AM by Mary Jackson
Tuesday, 18 March 2008
A Musical Interlude: It's Getting Fair And Warmer (Smith Ballew Orch. & voc.)
Posted on 03/18/2008 11:26 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Tuesday, 18 March 2008
It's All Relative II
From Barack Obama's speech on race today:
And this helps explain, perhaps, my relationship with Reverend Wright. As imperfect as he may be, he has been like family to me. He strengthened my faith, officiated my wedding, and baptized my children. Not once in my conversations with him have I heard him talk about any ethnic group in derogatory terms, or treat whites with whom he interacted with anything but courtesy and respect. He contains within him the contradictions – the good and the bad – of the community that he has served diligently for so many years.
I can no more disown him than I can disown the black community. I can no more disown him than I can my white grandmother – a woman who helped raise me, a woman who sacrificed again and again for me, a woman who loves me as much as she loves anything in this world, but a woman who once confessed her fear of black men who passed by her on the street, and who on more than one occasion has uttered racial or ethnic stereotypes that made me cringe.
First, we cannot choose our relatives - but we do choose our friends, pastors, and father figures. Secondly, an old white woman admitting she was afraid of "black men who passed by her on the street" (young gang-bangers perhaps, purposefully trying to make everyone afraid of them?) is an entirely different thing. What exactly did she say that evoked racial or ethnic stereotypes? She's not here to defend herself in any case.
Making his kindly old grandmother the moral equivalent of this race-baiting loon struck me as cowardly and disingenuous.
Posted on 03/18/2008 11:15 AM by Rebecca Bynum
Tuesday, 18 March 2008
It Was Clever, But Not Clever Enough
The recycled phrases, the wrapping himself in the mantle of history -- beginning with the Constitutional Convention, and then, looking forward, to the "unfinished business" -- I half expected the phrase "rendezvous with destiny" to make an appearance -- of American life, or rather, the "Promise of American life" - even the bit about the white girl, Ashley, living on mustard-and-relish sandwiches to save money as she campaigned for Barack Obama (she sounds as if her candidate ought to have been Edwards, who most loudly sounded the theme of economic justice), and the continued sly manner in which he attempts to appeal to all of us by having us believe Jeremiah Wright, with whom Barack Obama associated voluntarily for nearly 20 years, and described up until the day before yesterday, without any qualifications or nuance in his description, as his spiritual guide and mentor, was like a family member-- indeed, Obama attempted a symmetry with his own grandmother (not alive to defend herself, or to deny his portrayal of her) whom, he says, was not above making racial remarks. That may be true, though we have only his word for it, and it seems on the face of it implausible, but in any case, a grandmother is a given, a paster is chosen.
There's plenty to say about this speech, its cleverness, and what that cleverness hides. Or attempts to.
It won't wash.
No, this is a time for Barack Obama to realize he can't pull it off, as he thinks he can, by being all things, to all people.
The fact remains, as facts do: he voluntarily attended the church of a ranter (by the way, a very white-looking ranter, who perhaps had to turn up the volume on his rant to make up for the suspect lightness of his skin), for nearly 20 years, was close to, admired greatly, a man whose rants are there to be seen.
The notion that "Black Liberation Theology" does good, by somehow uplifting black people (oh no it doesn't), and especially the virulent version of it that Wright practiced by preaching as he did -- is reason enough for Barack Obama to have seen "the good side" of Wright and left it at that, is not acceptable. He provided no evidence, none, that he had ever publicly, or privately, in conversation with Wright or with other members of the church, or with anyone, disagreed with the kind of thing Wright said. To explain this away by referring to all the good Wright supposedly did is akin to those who offered the argument from transportation -- Mussolini made the trains run on time, and Hitler built the Volkswagen and the autobahnen to drive them on -- and from general welfare, such as those paid holidays for workers, and special holiday-camps built for those workers, that both Mussolini and Hitler introduced.
Barack Obama has been for the past decade or more. He did not satisfactorily answer the questions that remain about his moral blindness or his credulity, or both. He is good at speechifying, but the speech today was not good enough to satisfy those who still have their wits about them.
As do you. As do I.
Posted on 03/18/2008 11:37 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Tuesday, 18 March 2008
Who Should Be Outraged, Who Mollified?
"The head of CAIR in Ohio, Asma Mobin-uddin, tried to calm the attendees when emotions ran high and questions got more heated. She told the FBI agents that this was an indication of the frustrations that the Muslims felt."
-- from this news article
Emotions "ran high" and questions "got more heated"? That Muslims, in the permanently unsettled atmosphere that Muslim behavior -- words, and deeds -- have themselves created all over the Infidel world, dare to think it is their emotions that should "run high" and their questions that should be "heated" shows the topsy-turviness of things, and shows that the right atmosphere, one in which they should be, if not themselves fearful of their continued presence in the Western world, at least not aggressively daring to behave as if it they who need to be mollified. Whoever needs to be mollified in the world today, because of the attitudes and atmospherics of Muslim peoples and polities, as some of them act directly (while others merely support indirectly) in response to the promptings of the texts, and tenets, of Islam, it is certainly not Muslims.
The FBI agents who thought that such displays of sweet reason, such occasions for explaining themselves, were acting as rational Western men. They thought, or those who sent them thought: what harm can there be in patiently explaining our policies, and in relieving worries of those Muslims, the nice moderate law-abiding kind, the kind who might even collaborate with us, in helping to report on signs of "extremism"? Wouldn't such a softly-softly approach make sense?
Why, yes, it would, if one ignored the nature of Islam, the attitudes and atmospherics of Islam. It is fear, and fear alone, of what might happen to the position of Muslims in this country, that will obtain cooperation. CAIR, with its sinister associations (the list of those who, connected with CAIR, have been tried and convicted for certain other connections can easily be found on-line, at such sites as www.anticair.com), is hardly the kind of group that the FBI should be using as an interlocutor, or sponsor.
The more Muslims think they can play the outraged victim, the more that government officials -- from the FBI or anywhere else -- play into, and allow such a feeling to develop, the more certain Muslims are that they are, as they like to repeat endlessly, "here to stay" with the implied threat that Infidels had just better get used to that, for we are "here to stay" and also to multiply, and to bring over as many others as we wish, which is why indignation was expressed about the length of time it was taking people "with certain names" to receive their visas.
The FBI men ought to have stood for none of this. They ought to have shaken their heads in disbelief, and started to read from Qur'an, Hadith, and Sira, started to say: look, buster, this is the kind of thing that we, and many other people, a growing number of people, have discovered. It poses a problem, apparently a permanent problem. Do you think under the circumstances, do you think that what we have learned about, are learning about, the texts and tenets of Islam, it is you who have a right to be indignant that we are cautious about processing Muslim applicants? Are you unaware that a growing number of Americans wish to halt all Muslim immigration, and do so not on the basis of "race" -- as you are so quick to charge -- but on the basis of their growing familiarity with the texts of Islam?
A good tongue-lashing would have, in the end, have done much, whatever the pretend-horror at the meeting itself, sunk in, and made clear that the entire game, as before, is over, that too many people are learning, on their own, too much -- as they are in Western Europe too. All the wiles of taqiyya and tu-quoque and pretend-victimhood, just will not do, not any more.
That is how the FBI agents should have been prepared to answer back, once they had gone through their spiel of straightforward exposition, and were met, not with declarations of willingness to help, but instead with outrageous whining and complaints, by those who are lucky that they continue, even though they are self-declared adherents of an ideology that spells nothing good for our legal and political institutions, and for us as Infidels, to be permitted to remain here. At a certain point, as more and more people learn more and more - not from the espositos and armstrongs and feldmans -- about Islam, they will come to the same, almost inevitable conclusions.
How does CAIR, how do other groups similarly bent on continuing to play the victim, intend to permanently prevent non-Muslims from finding out what is in the Qur'an, in the Hadith, in the Sira? It can't be done.
Posted on 03/18/2008 12:39 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Tuesday, 18 March 2008
Intellectual magpie - a quiz
The man described below by Ben MacIntyre was something of a polymath, or an "intellectual magpie". With his finger in so many pies, so many irons in his fire and such a well-strung fiddle, however did he keep his balls in the air?
A doctor by training, and an intellectual magpie by inclination, his work on the persistence of vision (the way an image briefly lasts on the retina) would lead, eventually, to the invention of cinema. He studied Dante, water purification, dinosaur bones, phrenology and insects. He worked, lucky man, at the Pneumatic Institution for Inhalation Gas Therapy, where Coleridge came to breathe nitrous oxide. He helped to create the slide rule and London's sewerage system. He invented the first travel chess set.
No word of a Google - who was he?
By the way, if you look up "polymath" on Wikipedia, you will find at No. 70 in the notes:
"a...polymath".Omar Khyam, The Iconoclast, New English Review, 1 May 2007
Don't mention it.
Posted on 03/18/2008 12:32 PM by Mary Jackson
Tuesday, 18 March 2008
Feldman, For Now
The article by Feldman deserves a longer treatment, for it was so meretricious, and meretricious in so many different ways. And how amusing that the same Noah Feldman who a few years ago was playing up his role in writing the new Iraqi constitution now carefully states that he had a very minor role after all. Yet that was not what Feldman was stating a few years ago, that was not what Feldman made clear when he appeared to let others believe that he had a very great role indeed, a useful impression to leave, not only with editors of the Sunday Times Magazine, but also with faculty members at Harvard Law School who, no doubt impressed by letters of support from Roy Mottahedeh and John Esposito, were disinclined to question Feldman's understanding or representation, of Islam because they were unsure of themselves, convinced (wrongly) that that they would have had to be specialists to give voice to the doubts they might have harbored about Feldman and his understanding of, his representation of, his way of dealing with, Islam. Now, for many decades, this man whose entire corpus is not worth a paragraph by Joseph Schacht, will have a major say on who comes to Harvard Law School to give courses, or lectures, on Islamic Law, and to judge by his first invited guest, Khaled Abou el Fadl, the students at Harvard are going to suffer through a lot, and be very little the wiser about Islam or Islamic law.
This piece will get a more thorough treatment soon enough. In the meantime, those who want to learn a little more about Noah Feldman can google "Noah Feldman" and "Jihad Watch" and "thrusting young academic." That's just for now.
Posted on 03/18/2008 12:49 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Tuesday, 18 March 2008
This Is Only A Test
"However, the Vatican’s relationship with the Muslim world is improving rapidly, and Qatar opened its first Catholic church on Sunday.
Mgr El-Hachem said a church in Saudi Arabia would be an important sign of “reciprocity” between the faiths...."
-- from this news article
No, the Vatican's relationship "with the Muslim world" is not "improving rapidly." It isn't improving at all. What has happened is that the Vatican is now being run by those -- Pope Benedict, Cardinal Tauran -- who by showing a clear understanding of things, need to be treated with a bit more outward respect, and a little cosmetic concession here and there.
The church in Qatar ballyhooed above is merely a building, not recognizable from the outside -- no cross or crosses, no bell-tower or bells -- and as long as the Christians keep very quiet, they will be allowed, those guest workers, to enter and exit for services. But that's it. No proselytizing, and if so much as one Qatari attends services or converts -- well, that church will be closed down overnight.
As for these "negotiations" for a church in Saudi Arabia, the Saudis will drag it out interminably, all the while pointing to those negotiations and plans as a sign of Saudi goodwill -- pointing out that is to Westerners, never failing to mention it on every conceivable occasion. It will come to nothing, or very little. The Saudis certainly do not plan on any "reciprocity" about anything. This is all in the realm of public relations.
Why is the Vatican engaged in it, then? Because it wishes to put Saudi Arabia to the test, and because it is thinking more of some slight benefit, somehow -- oh, perhaps British nurses will no longer be imprisoned or expelled for singing Christmas carols behind closed doors -- and are not thinking about the propagandistic uses to which this will be put by the Saudis and other Muslims.
That's alright. Keep up the test, and watch vigilantly how the Saudis behave. They will not disappoint.
Posted on 03/18/2008 12:57 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Tuesday, 18 March 2008
Al Qaeda And "The Moderates"
Algiers, 18 March (AKI) - Members of the al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb militant group in Algeria have reportedly attacked members of a moderate organisation opposed to its terrorist activities.
A report on Tuesday in the Algerian newspaper el-Khabar said an al-Qaeda militant carried out a raid against a mosque in the Algerian province of al-Wadi on Sunday night and killed two men while they prayed.
--from this news article
Muslims may differ on the means, sometimes murderously so. See the Slow Jihadists of Fatah and the Fast Jihadists of Hamas, in Gaza, round about a year go. Tactics and timing may be sources of controvery. Ultimate aims are not. They are set down in the texts.
The two men killed were, apparently, less willing to use, or perhaps even opposed to the use, of terrorism against fellow Muslims in Algeria. Infidels should not misinterpret this, even as they should not misinterpret the Saudi government's "de-programming" of Al-Qaeda members, which is only a "de-programming" as to hostile acts carried out against the Saudi government, its Al-Saud rulers, and their corrupt courtiers. Such "de-programming" does nothing to diminish immutable enmity toward Infidels.
When such killings as those of these "Salafists" is reported in the West, it often is presented as a morality play, in which, because Al Qaeda is bad, those whom members of Al Qaeda kill must, therefore, be "moderate" and good.
Misleading, and dangerously misleading.
Posted on 03/18/2008 1:02 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Tuesday, 18 March 2008
Terrorize Americans, Be Deported
Reports of a bomb on an Amtrak train in Emporia forced hundreds of people onboard to evacuate.
A number of streets were shut down overnight around where the Amtrak train stopped in the middle of town. Hundreds of passengers on board the train bound from New York down to Florida were forced to evacuate after a man on board said he had a bomb...
Many of the passengers were children traveling with family to Disney World in Orlando.
While the passengers were at the school, the State Police Bomb Squad scoured the train. Investigators tell 8News a 23-year-old Yemeni man named Basel Saleh Salem Kassem got into an argument with another man on the train and then yelled that he had a bomb.
"Allegedly he was causing a disturbance on the train and the conductor attempted to move him to another part of the train, that's when he said he had a bomb and the bomb was in his bag" says Emporia Police Chief Bernard Richardson.
Around 2am the bomb squad determined the threat was a hoax. The Yemeni man was taken into custody by the FBI and is facing a felony charge of making a threat on a public conveyance. The hundreds of passengers were finally able to continue on their way.
--from this news article
No need to have him endure prison. Be charitable. And thrifty. Back to Yemen at once, in speeded up -- overnight if possible -- deportation hearings. And pass whatever legislation is necessary to strip citizenship from those who engage in any behavior, or any activity whatsoever, "tending to further the cause or causes" that are "favored by terrorists such as those in, but not limited to, Al Qaeda, Lashkar Jihad, Hamas, Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad, Al Aksa Martyrs' Brigade, Ansar al-Islam, and [here list one hundred other groups]."
Legislative drafting can be fun. Just do it.
Posted on 03/18/2008 1:09 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Tuesday, 18 March 2008
Understanding Doesn't Change Anything
More of Barack Obama's speech on race today:
But for all those who scratched and clawed their way to get a piece of the American Dream, there were many who didn’t make it – those who were ultimately defeated, in one way or another, by discrimination.
Discrimination is the only reason given for the economic failure of some blacks.
That legacy of defeat was passed on to future generations – those young men and increasingly young women who we see standing on street corners or languishing in our prisons, without hope or prospects for the future. Even for those blacks who did make it, questions of race, and racism, continue to define their worldview in fundamental ways. For the men and women of Reverend Wright’s generation, the memories of humiliation and doubt and fear have not gone away; nor has the anger and the bitterness of those years. That anger may not get expressed in public, in front of white co-workers or white friends. But it does find voice in the barbershop or around the kitchen table. At times, that anger is exploited by politicians, to gin up votes along racial lines, or to make up for a politician’s own failings.
It's certainly easier to blame racism for individual failure than anything else. And I'm also concerned that Obama holds economic success alone as his standard of judgment. Jesus was a failure in every outward aspect of his life (economically and socially) and yet his life was a success by one standard -- he found and followed the will of God. Shouldn't that be the standard of success for a Christian, all Christians?
And occasionally it [black anger] finds voice in the church on Sunday morning, in the pulpit and in the pews. The fact that so many people are surprised to hear that anger in some of Reverend Wright’s sermons simply reminds us of the old truism that the most segregated hour in American life occurs on Sunday morning. That anger is not always productive; indeed, all too often it distracts attention from solving real problems; it keeps us from squarely facing our own complicity in our condition, and prevents the African-American community from forging the alliances it needs to bring about real change. But the anger is real; it is powerful; and to simply wish it away, to condemn it without understanding its roots, only serves to widen the chasm of misunderstanding that exists between the races.
In fact, a similar anger exists within segments of the white community. Most working- and middle-class white Americans don’t feel that they have been particularly privileged by their race. Their experience is the immigrant experience – as far as they’re concerned, no one’s handed them anything, they’ve built it from scratch. They’ve worked hard all their lives, many times only to see their jobs shipped overseas or their pension dumped after a lifetime of labor. They are anxious about their futures, and feel their dreams slipping away; in an era of stagnant wages and global competition, opportunity comes to be seen as a zero sum game, in which your dreams come at my expense. So when they are told to bus their children to a school across town; when they hear that an African American is getting an advantage in landing a good job or a spot in a good college because of an injustice that they themselves never committed; when they’re told that their fears about crime in urban neighborhoods are somehow prejudiced, resentment builds over time.
The difference is, that resentment is unlikely to find reinforcement in the white churches of America.
Like the anger within the black community, these resentments aren’t always expressed in polite company. But they have helped shape the political landscape for at least a generation. Anger over welfare and affirmative action helped forge the Reagan Coalition. Politicians routinely exploited fears of crime for their own electoral ends. Talk show hosts and conservative commentators built entire careers unmasking bogus claims of racism while dismissing legitimate discussions of racial injustice and inequality as mere political correctness or reverse racism.
I don't remember supporting Reagan out of anger over welfare and affirmative action as much as trying to find better answers to the problems some of these programs addressed. Dependency on the state depletes the self reliance and individualism that has always given America her vigor. "Get government off our backs" was the catch-phrase as I remember it.
Just as black anger often proved counterproductive, so have these white resentments distracted attention from the real culprits of the middle class squeeze – a corporate culture rife with inside dealing, questionable accounting practices, and short-term greed; a Washington dominated by lobbyists and special interests; economic policies that favor the few over the many. And yet, to wish away the resentments of white Americans, to label them as misguided or even racist, without recognizing they are grounded in legitimate concerns – this too widens the racial divide, and blocks the path to understanding.
It's always politically expedient to blame a faceless "corporate culture" and "corporate greed" for all our ills. I think our malaise is much deeper than that. We can write legislation to regulate corporations, but how do we find our way to a decent morality that would never tolerate, not from anyone, the overt anti-Americanism and veiled antisemitism carried in the Reverend Wright's sermons? We understand it. The question is, what do we do about it?
Posted on 03/18/2008 1:49 PM by Rebecca Bynum
Tuesday, 18 March 2008
Islam Remains The Same
"...three characteristics of the future war [Israel-Arab conflict]: the belief in glorious death as a road to paradise, the opportunities of lust, and the Bedouin love of slaughter for its own sake" - Azzam Pasha, Secretary General of the Arab League.
-- sent in by a reader
Although it is fashionable to say that there has been a "return to Islam" in recent decades, and that the war against Israel was a war of competing nationalisms, Azzam Pasha's remarks before that war, predicting a "slaughter" greater than any "since the time of the Mongols," are imbued with straightforward Islam:
There is the promise of Paradise through death in Jihad:
"The belief in glorious death as a road to paradise"
There is the promise of booty, including the seizing of Infidel women to be raped and then kept as sex-slaves, just like those seized from the farmers at the Khaybar Oasis:
"The opportunities of lust"
The promise of endless killing of the Infidel enemy, always a delightful prospect for Muslims who take their Islam seriously:
"the Bedouin love of slaughter for its own sake"
Islam never went away. Islam was always there. It was the Western commentators who failed to notice it.
Oh, and one more thing. Azzam Pasha was not only Secretary General of the Arab League during the first major assault on Israel, beginning in mid-May 1948, but was also the great-uncle of Ayman Al-Zawahiri. There is more than a family resemblance: there is the ideological resemblance, sometimes just beneath the surface, that links Muslim to Muslim, across time and across space. It is this ideology, its depth and its durability, that non-Muslims can't quite believe, and so often, therefore, don't -- to their own great subsequent dismay and deepening recognition of danger, dismay and danger that might have been avoided, had they only understood.
Posted on 03/18/2008 5:12 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Tuesday, 18 March 2008
Barack Obama And Segregation As "The Law Of The Land"
“This is the reality in which Reverend Wright and other African-Americans of his generation grew up. They came of age in the late fifties and early sixties, a time when segregation was still the law of the land.” -- a line in Barack Obama's most speechified attempt to explain away his continued admiration for, and support of, and friendship with, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, a race-baiter and race-hater, with whose views Barack Obama has been familiar for decades
Segregation was not "the law of the land" in the "late fifties and early sixties." There was no legal segregation anywhere outside the South. Voluntary housing patterns, common among all kinds of groups defined racially or ethnically or religiously (Chinatowns, Little Italies, "Jewish" suburbs, Armenians clustering in Watertown, Massachusetts or Sausalito, California, and so on) may be an understandable fact of life, but that fact does not permit one to confuse what is de facto with what is de jure.
This is one, and hardly the most grievous, of the many misstatements by Barack Obama, who plays -- often eloquently -- fast and loose with the truth.
Posted on 03/18/2008 5:09 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Tuesday, 18 March 2008
Pseudery, whether on a Tuesday or at the weekend, is a luxury. The houses of structuralists tend to be structurally sound; post-modernists have all mod cons and critics of "affluenza" make a good living. But those facing an existential threat, can't afford existentialism.
Israel faces an existential threat. Its Muslim neighbours would, if they could, wipe it off the map.
Californians, French philosophers or English professors of "cybernetic culture" have "world enough and time" for pretentious twaddle. But Israelis, of all people, need to call a spade a spade. So it is disturbing, as well as amusing, to see an Israeli academic - albeit based here in the UK - disappear up his own backside. Thanks to Harry's Place for drawing my attention to the writings of Oren Ben Dover - sorry - Oren Ben Dor:
Dwelling together in the unsaid is what makes intellectuals' innermost togetherness but it does not mean that all those who respond to the unsaid can be assimilated into one another so as to form some kind of a "group".
As such, an intellectual pursuit is not only about sharpening and clarifying but about being able to hear the unsaid, thus making a connection and near actuality in a way that may shock and surprise in its strangeness. Being an intellectual is first and foremost to hold the mirror, or rather losing oneself in the mirror.
Zionism may not merely be a cause of colonial injustice in Palestine in the sense of being a misguided response to anti-Jewish racism understood as "anti-semitism". Zionism can be conceived as a symptom the non-empathetic manifestations of which are historically and existentially continuing certain facets of Jewish being and thinking. It is very important to ask whether the originary aggression of victim mentality as well as the choseness-begotten separateness existentially links the Zionist and the Jewish question. This link may well pervade the mentality of Israelis whether orthodox or not.
For crying out loud, cut the crap. They want to kill you.
Posted on 03/18/2008 5:53 PM by Mary Jackson
Tuesday, 18 March 2008
Barack Obama Never Once In Twenty Years Took Issue With Reverend Wright
It's late in the game for Barack Obama to suddenly be expressing his outrage over the "incendiary remarks" of Rev. Jeremiah Wright, doing so only after a tape began to circulate with an example of the Rev. Wright's rantings, including such things as the claim that whites cause AIDS (and thus apparently are intent on murdering blacks), and that "rich whites" and their obvious "racism" can be blamed for so many, or practically all, of the ills with which black America is beset.
He tries all kinds of ways to deal with this. He wraps himself in the flag -- eight flags rather -- and in the Constitutional Convention, and in practically all of American history. He defends Rev. Wright on the basis that "everyone does it" -- that is, if "everyone" is a follower or promoter of "Black Liberation Theology" which is something of which many whites were blissfully unaware, but now that they see what it's all about, they can hardly be expected to be mollified to know that for twenty years Barack Obama has been receiving his religious guidance from a devotee and past master of "Black Liberation Theology," who begins with the dreamy misinformation that "Jesus was a black man" and goes from there.
He trots out the "crazy-old-uncle" idea yet again, using slightly different words -- "crank" does nicely. And he is cruel enough to drag in the example of his loving and attentive grandmother, who apparently (we learn this elsewhere, not from his speech) was worried about a black panhandler who had accosted her on her way to work, and this perfectly justified fear, or even the fear, that Barack Obama attributes to her, of "black men," is not akin in any way to the rantings of the Reverend Wright, and anyone who would suggest that is morally, and mentally, confused.
Obama presents his refusal to "disown" Rev. Wright as something that is brave, noble, admirable, and that is hard to take. For it is really merely pusillanimous. I would have no trouble -- would you, reader? -- in leaving forever any "pastor, priest, or rabbi" who offered the equivalent of what Rev. Wright has been offering for twenty years. I'd leave that church, or that synagogue, possibly not before giving the attending cleric a piece of my mind, before lighting out for the territories. But Barack didn't, and we know why. He was a young man on the political make. That church of Rev. Wright was very large, and very influential. It also appears to have been a church where the local Black Muslims had no trouble recognizing the same kind of sermons, the same kind of message. Essentially, it was a version of the Nation of Islam, but with the music and ceremonies and figure of Jesus to keep things familiar, and more acceptable. Barack Obama was not about to quit the church in some profile of courage. No, he needed the goodwill and support of Rev. Wright. And he found Wright apparently so winning that he borrowed his phrases, regarded him as his spiritual guide and mentor, had him marry him, and baptize his children, and never ever said a word, apparently -- not one word -- to tell Wright that some of what he said was indeed not only "incendiary" but not acceptable. Not once, for if he had done it even once, we would certainly have heard about it, wouldn't we? ("I told Rev. Wright that this was wrong, this was not acceptable..." etc.)
And his attempt along the way to equate the unremarkable observation of Geraldine Ferraro that race has something to do with Barack Obama's success in his campaign (of course it does, for god's sake, both among the black voters who have voted for him, at least in southern states, practically as a bloc, and among those white voters who have been supporting him as part of their own self-validation, proving to themselves that they are "post-racial" men and women, without bothering to investigate his policies, his personnel, his anything at all) with the hate-filled rants of Rev. Wright is so obviously objectionable, that one may not even think that, among so much else that is similarly objectionable, it is worth pointing out.
One should listen and then listen again to the speech, now stripped of its initial seeming allure, and then, ideally, should also print out and read carefully a written version, for that will remove any remaining fairy dust from the production, and allow it to be studied for what it is: an exercise in dissembling, and deliberate distraction.
Quite a performance. But we are still left with the fact that for two decades Obama listened to a man he greatly admired, a man who is clearly a ranter, a demagogue, and a racist, even as he accuses "rich whites" and then "whites" of "racism." He's Sharpton with a clerical collar. Barack Obama has been listening to this stuff for many years.
For example, in his "Dreams From My Father" he describes how, a few days after he received his letter of acceptance from Harvard Law School, he attended a sermon by Rev. Wright in which both "Sharpesville" and "Hiroshima" were mentioned in the same sentence (see p. 293). Now a moment's thought will make obvious what must have been said. Rev. Wright was linking the shootings by the police against protesters at Sharpeville, with the dropping of an atomic bomb on Hiroshima. And what was the link? Oh, in both cases "whites" were raining death down upon "non-whites" -- blacks in South Africa, Japanese in Hiroshima. So the decision to bomb Hiroshima, in the hope that this would cause the Japanese to surrender, and thus to avoid the necessity of an American invasion of the Japanese Home Islands, is reduced in Rev. Wright's obvious telling -- Barack Obama doesn't spell it out, because he doesn't wish to, but he apparently thinks readers will not figure out what was said, and here he was wrong -- to one more act of "white racism" by "white masters."
This kind of thing can go on. It can go on with Reverend Wright. It can go on with those who practice this "Black Liberation Theology." Barack Obama can listen to it, as he apparently has, to his heart's content. But having made the decision to do so, and having not once objected in public or in private to any of this, he has some gall in now wrapping himself in the mantle of the "healer" for whom we whites, if we vote for him, will prove ourselves able to get beyond our own "racism," will be able to live, at long last, with ourselves.
I'm sure you will wish, as ardently as I do, to be counted out.
Posted on 03/18/2008 6:43 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Tuesday, 18 March 2008
Peace As A Strategic Option
Abbas has always been a weak leader, and he and his other Fatah warlords are seen, correctly, as willing to mouth certain phrases for the Americans -- "we choose peace" are the first words, and the only words that the credulous willing-to-believe Americans hear, but never failing to add another phrase, which signals clearly to Arab audiences that Hudaibiyya is the model, Hudaibiyya the aim: "as a strategic option." (The Americans never understand what that phrase means. It is a little puzzling or troubling, so better for them, and for the "peace-process," not to think about it, much less discuss it).
Abbas is essentially running a criminal gang, a gang that is willing to set a few not very significant limits on its behavior, but that still serve to distinguish it from the rival gang, Hamas, in the eyes of the police -- that is, of the outside world. Like a gang most interested in turning a profit and willing, temporarily, here and there, to tamp down violence, or to deal in cocaine and heroin but virtuously abjuring dealing in methamphetamine, the warlords of Fatah are most interested in money, the money they get from the renewed Jizyah of the nearly eight billion dollars in foreign aid, and to keep that aid flowing, they occasionally have to give speeches suitable for Western ears.
Meanwhile, the Israeli government is run by a truly unusual -- even for Israel -- collection of fools of Chelm. These include, but are not limited to, the disgraced but still-in-office Olmert, the timid and confused Livni, the irrepressible Haim Ramon who thinks all kinds of things should be given up, and pronto, and of course the dreamer of dreams whose last twenty years have consisted of collecting awards from Jewish groups abroad, and continuing to prate at home about how history doesn't matter, facts don't matter, what counts are dreams -- his, Shimon Peres' -- dreams. And this collection of four stooges is unlikely ever to exhibit the kind of sobriety and ability to think things through, even very unpleasant things, such as the nature of Islam, the promptings of texts and tenets, that explain not only Arab behavior in the past, but Arab behavior now, and in the future. For if that sobriety and studiousness were exhibited, the conclusions would be different, and there would be no faith at all put in peace-processing, and no reliance, none, on those in Fatah who are merely Slow Jihadists when compared to the Fast Jihadists of Hamas. They all share -- they must share -- the same goals, of removing the Infidel nation-state of Israel from land once possessed by Muslims. On the To-Do List of Muslims, re-taking land that was once possessed by Muslims is given priority, although now, with the new instruments of Jihad other than the use of military force -- the Money Weapon, Da'wa, demographic conquest -- that make more likely that other areas, as in parts of Western Europe or sub-Saharan Africa, may possibly yield even before all areas once held by Muslims are recaptured, it may be that the traditional prioritizing on that To-Do list will be less rigidly adhered to than it might once have been.
Why, despite all that aid money, that nearly eight billion dollars, is Abbas losing out? As stated above, it is in the first place because his hold was always that of a racketeer paying out money to obtain at most a temporary allegiance. But since that money has been promised in such abundance, and apparently will come anyway, to be distributed to everyone no matter whom they support, or what they think (in Gaza as in the "West Bank"), no real change in behavior is required from the "Palestinians" as long as Abbas (or his usefully technocratic accountant Fayyad, whom the Westerners all love, failing to realize that he is not quite what they take him to be, and in any case has no following at all, and no political power, but is merely a useful employee with reassuring eyeshades) remains in power or even if he is deposed.
It would be far better to deny any Western aid to the "Palestinians" and ask them to go, hat in hand, to the rich Arabs. If they get money, they will at least not be getting it from Infidels whose generosity they will not be grateful for, but which will merely reinforce their sense of aggrievement, that the money is given to them by Infidels because it is their do, because “Infidels” allowed Israel to come into existence (actually, no one allowed Israel to come into existence; it was fought for by Jews, and constructed by Jews in Israel with some help from others outside of Israel, but until after the second successful defense of the country, in 1967, no military or other aid came from the United States, or any significant aid arrived from anywhere else) and, furthermore, because “Palestinians” are Muslims and Infidels owe them a living, just as Infidels in Western Europe and North America owe Muslims in countries without oil wealth aid, or owe Muslims living in Infidel lands all kinds of benefits, including those that support monstrously large Muslim families, and even polygamous arrangements, by those who are keenly aware of the use of demographic increase as an instrument of domination and conquest. It is important to stop all acts that reinforce the historic relationship of dhimmi to Muslim overlord, and the best way to do so is to stop transferring more Infidel funds and other aid to Muslims, including the “Palestinian” Arabs who are the shock troops of the wider Jihad, the Lesser Jihad, conducted by Muslim Arabs (and seconded by non-Arab Muslims who take both Islam, and Arab supremacism, deeply to heart).
There is still no recognition of why it is that decades of peace-processing have led, and always will lead, essentially nowhere. Or at least, nowhere if the goal is a true and permanent peace between Israel and those who wish to see it removed from the face of the earth. Occasionally one reads someone recognizing that this is a long conflict, and that is when someone says something like “it has been going on for a hundred years.” No, not a hundred years. The inadmissibility of an Infidel nation-state within Dar al-Islam (and ultimately, anywhere in the world) is a doctrine that goes back not one hundred years, but 1350 years. It comes out of the texts and tenets of Islam. One can pretend otherwise. One can try now this, and now that. One can fly about, conducting “shuttle diplomacy.” One can force this tangible concession out of the Israelis, and now that one, in exchange, as always, for promises, only promises, and the statement – deeply disturbing – that “we have chosen peace as a strategic option.”
Or one can do something else. One can look steadily and whole at those texts and tenets of Islam, and read what the scholars say about treaty-making between Muslims and non-Muslims. The indispensable understanding of the relevant doctrines can be found in Majid Khadduri’s “War and Peace in Islam,” but if one wishes, one can find dozens or hundreds of other authoritative texts that will all say the same thing – how is it these books and articles never make it into the hands of those who make our policies in the Middle East? What keeps them from ever being consulted, or read by those who advise those who make policy?
And if one were to do that, one would have to conclude that peace and a peace treaty are not the same. A durable peace can be maintained between Israel and those who do not wish it well, who wish it very ill, if Israel does not yield any further, and is seen by its enemies not merely as powerful, but as obviously, overwhelmingly more powerful. That, and that alone, will allow Arab and other Muslim leaders to explain to their own aggressive and permanently unsettled populations that “Darura” or the principle of necessity, requires that they wait, and wait, and wait. To do otherwise, to further reduce Israel’s size and therefore to place that country into conditions where self-defense goes from being fantastically difficult to being hellishly difficult, is to encourage attacks and encourage war.
Deterrence worked for the United States during the Cold War. It can be made to work again, especially as it is clear that the rest of the Western world, nolens-volens, is slowly waking up to the meaning, and menace, of Islam. Even those who try to appease Muslims, by for example preventing the showing of the film by Geert Wilders, demonstrate unwittingly that they know what that meaning, and that menace, must be. Such awareness, and such a sharing of the threat, will only increase. The Israelis need only hold on. The cavalry is coming – in the shape of greater knowledge – and that will make the rest of the West more sympathetic to Israel’s permanent plight.
Posted on 03/18/2008 6:36 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Tuesday, 18 March 2008
A Musical Interlude: Keepin' Myself For You (Paul Specht Orch.)
Posted on 03/18/2008 8:37 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Tuesday, 18 March 2008
Meet James Cone
James Cone is a professor at New York's Union Theological Seminary and one of the main proponents of "Black Liberation Theology" that Obama's Reverend Wright preaches. WND reported on him here. These quotes were taken from Andrew Bostom's blog.
James Cone, quoted in William R Jones, “Divine Racism: The Unacknowledged Threshold Issue for Black Theology”, in African-American Religious Thought: An Anthology, ed Cornel West and Eddie Glaube, Westminster John Knox Press, 2003, pp. 850, 856.
Black theology refuses to accept a God who is not identified totally with the goals of the black community. If God is not for us and against white people, then he is a murderer, and we had better kill him. The task of black theology is to kill Gods who do not belong to the black community … Black theology will accept only the love of God which participates in the destruction of the white enemy. What we need is the divine love as expressed in Black Power, which is the power of black people to destroy their oppressors here and now by any means at their disposal. Unless God is participating in this holy activity, we must reject his love.
From James Cone’s own, Black Theology and Black Power, 1997, Orbis, p.150:
For white people, God’s reconciliation in Jesus Christ means that God has made black people a beautiful people; and if they are going to be in relationship with God, they must enter by means of their black brothers, who are a manifestation of God’s presence on earth. The assumption that one can know God without knowing blackness is the basic heresy of the white churches. They want God without blackness, Christ without obedience, love without death. What they fail to realize is that in America, God’s revelation on earth has always been black, red, or some other shocking shade, but never white. Whiteness, as revealed in the history of America, is the expression of what is wrong with man. It is a symbol of man’s depravity. God cannot be white even though white churches have portrayed him as white. When we look at what whiteness has done to the minds of men in this country, we can see clearly what the New Testament meant when it spoke of the principalities and powers. To speak of Satan and his powers becomes not just a way of speaking but a fact of reality. When we can see a people who are controlled by an ideology of whiteness, then we know what reconciliation must mean. The coming of Christ means a denial of what we thought we were. It means destroying the white devil in us. Reconciliation to God means that white people are prepared to deny themselves (whiteness), take up the cross (blackness) and follow Christ (black ghetto).
Does this bear any resemblance to the religion Jesus lived and taught? Can it be characterized as Christian at all?
Posted on 03/18/2008 9:38 PM by Rebecca Bynum