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The Oil Cringe of the West: The Collected Essays and Reviews of J.B. Kelly Vol. 2
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The Impact of Islam
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Sir Walter Scott's Crusades and Other Fantasies
by Ibn Warraq
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edited by S.B. Kelly
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Farewell Fear
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interviews by Jerry Gordon
Mohammed and Charlemagne Revisited: The History of a Controversy
Emmet Scott
Why the West is Best: A Muslim Apostate's Defense of Liberal Democracy
Ibn Warraq
Anything Goes
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Karimi Hotel
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:
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Jihad and Genocide
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Spanish Vignettes: An Offbeat Look Into Spain's Culture, Society & History
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These are all the Blogs posted on Wednesday, 20, 2010.
Wednesday, 20 October 2010
CNN Has Three "Experts" Tell Us What To Think Before We Read The Story

If you run across this story from CNN, even before you get to it, CNN has decided to tell you that "experts say wife-beating is against Islamic law." See below for a discussion of those three experts.

Here's the story: 

Court in UAE says beating wife, child OK if no marks are left

By the CNN Wire Staff

STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • A wife and an adult daughter were slapped, causing bruises, injuries
  • Punishment is permitted, but this exceeded limits, the court says
  • Experts say wife-beating is against Islamic law  [For "experts" read "Muslim apologists in the West"]

(CNN) -- A court in the United Arab Emirates says a man is permitted under Islamic law to physically discipline his wife and children as long as he leaves no marks and has tried other methods of punishment, the country's top court ruled.

The ruling came in the case of a man who slapped his wife and slapped and kicked his 23-year-old daughter, the document said.

The daughter had bruises on her right hand and right knee and the wife had injuries to her lower lip and teeth, the ruling said.

The court ruled that a man has the right to punish his wife and children. That includes beating them, after he has tried other options, such as admonition and then abstaining from sleeping with his wife.

However, the court ruled that in this case the man exceeded his authority under sharia, or Islamic law. His wife was beaten too severely and his daughter was too old to be disciplined, the ruling said.

"Although the [law] permits the husband to use his right [to discipline], he has to abide by the limits of this right," wrote Chief Justice Falah al Hajeri in a ruling issued this month and released in a court document recently. It was reported in the English-language publication The National.

"If the husband abuses this right to discipline, he cannot be exempted from punishment," according to the ruling.

Several experts said it is against Islamic law to permit wife-beating.

Jihad Hashim Brown -- the head of research at Tabah Foundation, which specializes in the interpretation of Islamic law -- couldn't comment specifically on what the courts did and didn't say because he hadn't read the ruling. 

However, he said he feels confident that the UAE court didn't sanction injury or abuse. He said sharia law is complex and has been open to interpretation. [Lying Apologist #1 will not address the court's Islamically-consonant decision, but sets up a fog of chatter that appears to be an answer ]

But he argued that in Islamic law it is "absolutely unlawful" to abuse a wife, injure her, or insult her dignity.

"When a situation in a marriage reaches the point where people feel like they need to hit someone, that is time for divorce. Anyone who would abuse, injure or even insult the dignity of their wife, this has now become a criminal offense which can be prosecuted in a court of law."

Canadian-Egyptian scholar Dr. Jamal Badawi, who has written about this topic, said "wife beating is not allowed in Islam" and said the Quranic verses and sayings back "the prohibition of any type of wife beating," especially on the face. [Lying Apologist For Islam  #2]

Summer Hathout, a lawyer and an activist for women's rights in California, argued that the UAE rulings are based on maintaning a patriarchal elite power structure.  [Lying apologist for Islam  #3]

"To those of us who know Islam and the Quran, violence against women is so antithetical to the teachings of Islam," she said. [unlike hundreds of millions of Muslims, and the UAE judges, Summer Hathout, "activist for women's rights in California," knows "Islam and the Quran"]

__________________________________

The  three Muslim "experts" asked to comment on the UAE court case by CNN are deemed authoritative, they are called "experts" not "apologists" and their "expert" commentary referred to in the statement that precedes the actual story: "Experts say wife-beating is against Islamic law." And each misleads in a different way, but together they demonstrate, for the nth time, the varieties of nonsense and lies that constitute Taqiyya, that is religionsly-sanctioned dissimulation, justified if it is undertaken to protect or promote Islam.

 Jihad Hashem Brown will not directly comment on what the UAE court concluded because, he says, he "has not read" the Court's decision. But he then goes on, chattering away so as to make you forget his failure to give a straight answer, and trying his best to make you think that in Islam you cannot do this and cannot do that [and compounds the confusion, to protect Islam, as best he can, even suggesting that Islam does not allow for "abuse" of women, without saying that "beating" does not constitute such abuse if undertaken for the Islamically-justified reasons.

Jamal Badawi, in Canada,  "who has written about this topic," [and so have many others, such as Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Nonie Darwish] takes another approach: he utters a flat-out lie, secure that he won't be called on it by the audience of Infidels whose ignorance he contemptously counts on, for he declares that in Islam wife-beating is not allowed.

Finally, Summer Hathout, "activist for women's rights" says it's all about "male patriarchy" not Islam, as if Islam did not reinforce, was not the main bearer, of the most primitive and savage kind of "male patriarchy" in the world today.

And not one of these Muslim "experts" on Islam adds another bit of information that the CNN report might have mentioned: that in Islam. To wit, in Islamic states, states run Islamically, you can beat your wife, you can beat your children, and you can do so, without in those countries receiving severe or sometimes any punishment, as long as the husband  presents the kind of justification that fits with the Islamic view of men, and their role in meting out justice. Remember, violence is not a monopoly of the state in the Islamic view. Individual Believers can carry out the Shari'a. They can, for example, kill apostates on their own, aor kill "blasphemers"-- in traditional Islam the Shari'a may be enforced by individuals, not only by the state. As the idea of the nation-state has grown in Islam, and as Muslims have had to worry -- as they now do -- about what non-Muslims find out about Islamic doctrines, this right of the husband to mete out such punishment is rarely  discussed. However, Muslim clerics in Muslim countries,  used to addressing fellow Muslims and unused to thinking of the consequences if overheard by non-Muslims, and therefore largely indifferent to  Taqiyya, tell the truth about Islam, tell what is in the texts.  

Jihad Hashem Brown [a convert, or possibly a Black Muslim?], Jamal Badawi, and Summer Hathout [whose name betrays a convert to Islam], would, with  indignation and fury and deep, deep sincerity, deny all this. But what would you expect? 

Posted on 10/20/2010 5:46 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Wednesday, 20 October 2010
Young Muslims From The Banlieues In The Forefront Of Violence Against The Forces Of Order (In French)

From Le Figaro

Des lycéens des banlieues majoritaires chez les casseurs

Affrontement entre forces de l'ordre et jeunes manifestants, mardi à Nanterre.
Affrontement entre forces de l'ordre et jeunes manifestants, mardi à Nanterre. Crédits photo : THOMAS SAMSON/AFP

Des lycéens et collègiens issus de quartiers «sensibles» viennent se greffer aux cortèges pour harceler les CRS.

Voitures incendiées, camions de pompiers caillassés, mobiliers urbains et commerces mis à sac, affrontements avec les forces de l'ordre: plus de 1150 «casseurs» ont été interpellés depuis une semaine en marge des manifestations contre la réforme des retraites. «Dans l'écrasante majorité des cas, les vandales ne sont pas extérieurs au mouvement protestataire, explique un haut fonctionnaire. Il s'agit d'abord de lycéens eux-mêmes, voire de collégiens âgés de 12 ans à peine...» Opportunistes et peu structurés, ces adolescents en capuches et survêtements forment des groupes sporadiques en fonction de cibles croisées en chemin. Les plus virulents s'équipent avec des armes de fortune trouvées sur leur chemin. «Un poteau arraché ou un Vélib volé ont servi à défoncer des vitrines de magasins ensuite pillés », raconte un policier de Seine-Saint-Denis. L'un des «casseurs» a même oublié le cahier de correspondance de son lycée dans une parfumerie mise à sac à Saint-Denis par quarante inconnus. Âgé de quinze ans et inconnu des services, il a été interpellé le lendemain à six heures à son domicile. Plus tôt, une autre bande s'en est prise à une boulangerie... pour rafler des bonbons.

La proximité de quartiers «sensibles» sur le parcours des défilés vient compliquer la tâche des services de sécurité, comme à Nanterre, où des voyous des cités s'agrègent au défilé pour harceler les CRS. À la direction départementale de la sécurité publique de l'Essonne, un commissaire de police fait ce constat: «Dans les manifestations, lycéens et collégiens issus des quartiers difficiles se transforment en casseurs. Ils mettent leur capuche et commencent à nous caillasser ou à incendier des poubelles, voire des voitures. Puis ils reviennent se fondre dans la masse des cortèges, certains échangeant leurs vêtements pour ne pas être reconnus sur les vidéos prises par nos services.»

Les «anarcho-autonomes» en queue de cortège

Dans les Yvelines, un agent, membre du service d'ordre, a eu la surprise de découvrir que son fils de 13 ans figurait parmi les trublions. «Notre collègue a dû le renvoyer illico à la maison», confie un officier de police. Selon lui, «c'est toute la difficulté de ce mouvement. Certains profs militants ont poussé les élèves dans la rue et les gamins les plus fragiles, parmi lesquels beaucoup de filles, font n'importe quoi.» Les policiers casqués, bottés, ne sont pas «for­matés», poursuit-il, pour «affronter des adolescents en mal d'émotions fortes».

À Paris, les services de renseignements suivent de très près les «anarcho-autonomes», qui s'invitent en queue de cortège. Au nombre de 200 et âgés d'une vingtaine d'années, soupçonnés pour certains d'être impliqués dans une récente vague de saccages de distributeurs automatiques de billets, ces radicaux s'en étaient pris samedi dernier à l'Opéra Bastille. Une trentaine ont déjà été interpellés. «N'ayant jamais travaillé, ces squatters se sentent peu concernés par la réforme des retraites, qui n'est qu'un prétexte pour briser du flic et s'en prendre à l'État capitaliste et impérialiste», déplore un policier.

Mardi après-midi, plusieurs comparaissaient devant la 23e chambre du tribunal correctionnel de Paris pour violences en réunion et dégradations volontaires. Rêvant du grand soir, ils avaient incendié des poubelles et lancé des fumigènes en scandant: «À bas l'État, les flics et les patrons.»

Quoi qu'il en soit, un préfet très au fait des questions de sécurité le dit: «Alors que lundi les groupes les plus agités comprenaient plus de lycéens que de voyous des cités, mardi, ce sont surtout les casseurs bien connus des services de police qui se sont illustrés.» Ce que confirmerait la multiplication des vols à l'arraché ou à la portière autour des manifestations. Sur l'autoroute A1, notamment, des passagers de taxis ont été agressés.

LIRE AUSSI :

» En marge des cortèges, la violence monte d'un cran

» Près de 400 lycées bloqués, les violences se multiplient

_________________________________

A blend of Muslims and stupid young French kids, of the most impressionable kind, urged by their sinister profs de philo ou de n'importe quoi, to riot, to vandalise, to grab, to smash, to attack the police, to bring down the "capitalist and imperialist State" because that State, you see, wishes to raise the retirement age from 60 to 62. And why does the French government feel compelled to institute this not-very-burdensome, this almost comically obvious, change? Well, because the French state cannot afford such a luxury, not when even its own easygoing neighbors have much higher retirement ages (and Americans, reading about the fury over this proposal to raise the retirement age to 62, can only shake their heads in amazement at how spoiled the French are). And because of lengthened life-spans, retirement benefits that made sense a half-century ago are likely to bankrupt the state today, unless the starting date is later, and benefits lessened.

And then there is China.

Amusing, is it not, that the kids who riot against "capitalism and imperialism" without having any understanding of those terms, do not realize that the French future is now ransomed, unless action is taken -- and Sarkozy is trying to do what he can -- unless the Muslim threat within, and the economic threat from China without, are dealt with and reduced to manageable proportions. . It is economic competition from China, capitalist and imperialist and Communist all at the same time, that is forcing everyone to move faster and faster on  the same deplorable treadmill in the age of deplorable "globalization." Down with Ricardo's comparative advantage. Up with common sense, and tariffs, and quotas, and mass boycotts of Chinese goods, and whatever it takes to protect the advanced West, protect it, too, from the ideological enemy within, defined as all those who, ignorant of  their own history and literature and political freedoms that are not at all a given, cannot recognize, much less defend, the civilisational legacy in which they have not a fee simple, but only a life estate.

Posted on 10/20/2010 7:41 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Wednesday, 20 October 2010
Pseudsday Tuesday

A day late and a couple of seconds short. From the TLS:

Today, in the John Cage section of the i-Tunes store, the second most popular download is the first movement of 4'33" (marked Tacet), running into one minute and twenty-one seconds. Movement III (1:21) is at number five, with the least popular II (1:25), at number six. Needless to say, these three downloads are silent (or at their very loudest, merely background noise).

Some say that II is just four seconds too long, but not for me - I have it as my ringtone. But have I been short-changed on I or III?

The i-Tunes version of 4'33" offers all three movements, a snip at $1.99. Strangely, they only add up to 4'31.

Was the orchestra not playing too fast or was it not not playing slow enough?

Posted on 10/20/2010 7:53 AM by Mary Jackson
Wednesday, 20 October 2010
A Non-Musical Musical Interlude: Concert Of Contemporary Music (Alberto Sordi)

Watch, but be careful not to listen, here.

Posted on 10/20/2010 8:02 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Wednesday, 20 October 2010
A Musical Musical Interlude: Louis Armstrong, Danny Kaye

Watch, and listen, here.

Posted on 10/20/2010 8:09 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Wednesday, 20 October 2010
'Obama drops India temple visit over headscarf fear'

AFP - NEW DELHI - US President Barack Obama has cancelled a visit to a Sikh temple in India, sources said Wednesday, over apparent concerns that photos of him with his head covered would revive claims he is a Muslim.

During his state visit to India early next month, Obama was scheduled to tour the Golden Temple in Amritsar -- Sikhism's holiest shrine -- where he would be required to cover his head in line with the religion's practices. But aides feared images of him with a traditional scarf over his head could be used by opponents in the United States to portray him as a closet Muslim.

"He will not be going to Amritsar now," a diplomatic official in New Delhi, who declined to be named, told AFP. "The headscarf is one issue and there were other logistical issues that led to the cancellation."

Sikhs in Amritsar, in India's northern state of Punjab, expressed disappointment.

"We do expect people to cover their heads. Obama is welcome inside the temple. He could just wear a cap," said Gurubachan Singh, a senior official from the Golden Temple management trust. Normally caps are not permitted in the temple as the action of tying a piece of cloth around the head is important to Sikhs, whose menfolk are required to have turbans and beards. Most tourists use simple squares of cloth sold outside the temple.

This is Indian Express

Sikhs from various walks of life today made an emphatic appeal to US President Barack Obama, asking him not to cancel his planned visit to the Golden Temple on the issue of wearing a 'headscarf or cap' on the temple premises. They said though Obama would have to cover his head in accordance with Sikh traditions to visit the gurdwara, they had no objection if he wore a cap or even a hat.

If a hat is acceptable headgear for a non-Sikh what is wrong with him wearing a bowler, a fedora or a trilby, which are all dignified and serious manly hats.  Why has he felt the need to insult yet another group of upstanding people? Who gives him this stupid advice?

Posted on 10/20/2010 8:37 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Wednesday, 20 October 2010
Sam Solomon Speaks in Nashville

I was honored to have been present at two presentations given by former Shari'a jurist and Christian convert, Sam Solomon, in Nashville, Tennessee.

Among apostates, Solomon's grasp of Shari'a is unparalleled and he quotes effortlessly from the Qur'an in Arabic. He understands and elucidates the Muslim mind-set perfectly and his presentations were chilling. He explained how mosques operate as command and control centers for the spread of Islam, coordinating the efforts to push for the implementation of Shari'a mandates in the West (which seem very mild and inconsequential at first). He emphasized the very real threat of the gradual undermining of our rule of law through the spread of mosques and growth of the Muslim population in America. He had just come from Dearborn, Michigan and told us there are little Muslim girls living there today who had never been to school. Unbelievable as it may seem, this is a Muslim enclave living under Shari'a law within the United States of America.

His second presentation was given at the Jewish community center in Nashville and his topic was whether peace in the Middle East would equal peace with the West. It was unfortunate that Act! For America would not allow media coverage of this presentation. This action prompted NER to withdraw our sponsorship because it is our opinion that the testimony of apostates is the most important information for Americans to have concerning Islam.

The message Sam Solomon carries is clear and direct. His presentation explaining the Muslim view of the conflict with Israel was very comprehensive considering his time constraint. He explained that because Muslim enmity for the Jews is based in the Qur'an, it can never be altered. Allah requires his followers to hate his enemies (Jews are defined as the worst enemies of Allah) and to fight against them until the end of time. This is perhaps the most fantastic aspect of Islam and therefore the most difficult for non-Muslims to understand - the requirement to hate rather than to love.

In Judeo-Christian religion, man is required to love God and to actualize his love of God through love of his fellows. He serves God by serving his fellow man. The teaching of Islam seems impossible. Compounding this confusion, Muslims routinely deny the truth of this teaching to the press, to non-Muslims and even, at times, to themselves. That is why it is so important for Americans to hear the truth about Islam from former Muslims, and in this case, the facts about Shari'a law from a former Shari'a jurist.

So said the Jewish carpenter,

Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.

It was unfortunate that more people could not hear Solomon's message, for it is vital.
Posted on 10/20/2010 8:57 AM by Rebecca Bynum
Wednesday, 20 October 2010
Is Islam a Religion?

Vijay Kumar writes:

A recent Tennessean article mulled about the legitimacy of Islam as a religion in relation to the disputed Murfreesboro mosque, but never defined either "legitimate" or "religion" so came to fatally flawed conclusions.

The word "legitimate" has several relevant meanings, one of them being "according to law." Every fundamental of Islam stands diametrically opposed to the supreme law of the land, our Constitution.

Islam opposes separation of church and state; the First Amendment of the Constitution requires it.

Islam seeks to eradicate freedom of religion; the First Amendment defends it.

Islam suppresses freedom of speech; our First Amendment guarantees it.

Islam strips man of the right to trial by jury, due process, and freedom from self-incrimination; our nation's forefathers bled and died to preserve these precious rights, memorialized in our Fifth, Sixth, and Seventh Amendments.

Islam commands cruel and unusual punishments; our Eighth Amendment forbids them.

Islam proclaims all men slaves to Allah and to Islamic leaders; our supreme law abolished slavery and involuntary servitude with the Fourteenth Amendment.

In short, Islam is the single most authoritarian, oppressive, and consummate enemy to our cherished God-given rights and freedoms, guaranteed by our Constitution, that this nation has ever faced.

That is not a "religion;" that is a political totalitarianism whose ultimate stated goal is to wipe actual religion from the face of the Earth, and make every knee bow to Islamic hegemony and to Islam alone. Islamic imperialism is infinitely more dangerous than Nazism and Communism combined. Nazism was defeated in less than twenty years of its creation, and Communism was in power less than 70 years, but Islamic imperialism and hegemony has been with us 1400 years and has consumed innumerable nations, cultures, and civilizations.

Islam does not recognize Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Sikhism, or Taoism to be legitimate religions, and it considers Judaism and Christianity to be failed, imperfect, and corrupt religions--even though they all predate Islam, and themselves defined the very concept of "religion." Such is the arrogance of Islam's worldview of its own supremacy.

The word "religion," according to Cicero, comes from relegare, "go through again, read again," and "consider carefully," and it correctly implies strongly a bond to the collected wisdom of man about his relation to a supreme being and the universe, and his responsibility to his fellow man. This tradition of religious wisdom goes back thousands of years in many civilizations worldwide.

Islam contributed no such wisdom to mankind. Its purported religious wisdom was plagiarized from the actual religions it disdains, and was arrogated to the purposes of violent conquest, slavery, looting, and totalitarian authority over others. It isn't accidental that the very word "Islam" means "submission," nor that its punishment for renouncing Islam is death.

The fact that the Quran itself is a political document is not open to argument: it is the political constitution of Saudi Arabia, where Islam came into being as a political and military force.

Islam's trail of violence, terrorism, and conquest throughout its history tells any reasonable person that it has become imperative to study and evaluate Islam and Arab imperialism objectively, empirically, and critically. Such analysis is not bigotry; it is simply empirical deconstruction, using reason, observation, and the scientific method.

The people protesting the building of the mosque in Murfreesboro are protesting because they are the most informed members of the community, who have actually studied the subject and know with unshakable certainty the truth: Islam is not a religion; Islam is totalitarianism masquerading as religion.

Vijay Kumar,  a long-time resident of Nashville, recently ran for United States Congress from Tennessee's Fifth Congressional District in the Republican Primary.

Posted on 10/20/2010 12:48 PM by Rebecca Bynum
Wednesday, 20 October 2010
Vladimir Bukovsky: Can Political Correctness Be Worse Than Leninism?

Vladimir Bukovsky.

Vladimir Bukovsky (born. 1942) is one of the initiators of the dissident movement in the USSR, a neurophysiologist, and a writer. Since adolescence he was involved in anti-Soviet activities, and, as a result, expelled from school and university. In 1963 Bukovsky was arrested, judged to be mentally incapable and kept in a psychiatrist clinic by force. During this forced "treatment" he and his friend-in-misfortune Semion Glazman published "A Manual of Psychiatry for the Dissenters" - a tool for those whom communists tried to proclaim or make mentally incapable. 

When Vladimir Bukovsky became widely known in the Soviets and in the West, the Soviet power decided to expel him. In 1976, this "hooligan", of whom the Soviet authorities had more than enough, was traded for probably the best known political prisoner in the Western world - the Chilean communist leader Luis Corvalan. Mr Bukovsky settled in Great Britain, graduated from Cambridge University, and continued fighting communism. He was amongst the organizers of the boycott of the Moscow Olympic Games in 1980.  

In 1978 he published his autobiography "To Build a Castle. My life as a Dissenter", which later was translated into many languages. After the collapse of the USSR Mr Bukovsky visited Russia. At the invitation of the new authorities, he participated in the so called "USSR case" (July- October 1992) and acted as an official court expert of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation. When preparing for the process he had an opportunity to get acquainted with many top secret documents from the CK USSR, including KGB documents from the so called Russian Presidential Archive (later this archive was thoroughly cleansed by "specialists"). On the basis of those documents he compiled one of the most interesting archives to this day (http://bukovsky-archives.net), and wrote his book "The Moscow Process" ?????????? ??????? (1995) on that very communism trial which never took place.

Although he does not live in Russia, Bukovsky remains one of the leaders of the Russian Democratic Movement. In December 2007 he was nominated as candidate for the Presidential election in the Russian Federation, but was not registered to run for the election. Being an ardent fighter for liberty, he belongs to many related organizations (Human Rights Foundation, The Freedom Association), and is a member of Great Britain's Independence Party (UKIP) represented in the European Parliament. In 2009 he visited Sofia, Bulgaria, where he gave a lecture on political correctness, which did not go unnoticed by "Radio Svoboda" (Liberty Radio). Head of the programme "The Boundaries of Time" Mr Vladimir Tolz, dedicated his programme of 24 November 2009 to the subject of political correctness. This release was also taken notice of in Lithuania - its summary was published by the weekly Atgimimas.

Through the mediation of priests Petras Kimbrys and Robertas Grigas, the editorial office of NŽ- A contacted Vladimir Bukovsky and received full script of the said programme, which by then was published only by a small Estonian internet portal. With the kind consent of the author, we are pleased to present our readers with the full text of his lecture.

The text of the lecture:

You know what - I am mostly amazed at the events and processes, which started in the world right after the collapse of the Soviet Union. We all know that the Soviet Union was destined to fall apart. My friend Andrej Amalrik in 1969 wrote a book titled "Will the Soviet Union Last till 1984?"). Of course, he had in mind not the calendar year, but the Orwelian 1984. In any case, he almost hit it right, with a slight discrepancy of several years. And the plot he describes also came true - he predicted that the Soviet Union will break down into separate national republics.

It turned out to be that his forecast was fully realistic. And it is not only his personal opinion, but the shared view of us all. He only knew better how to formulate, convey, and argue it. So the downfall of the Soviet Union was by no means a surprise for me. In 1989 - 1990 I myself was about to release a small book in the West which thoroughly explained why communism was destined to collapse. The book received a cold welcome due to one peculiar reason. Back in 1989, in France everyone would say: "He made a gross exaggeration! How come! The Soviet Union now, with perestroika, gets back on track, and he wants to bury it...". And when it appeared in Germany in 1991, everyone said: "Well, the Soviet Union is down, so what is there to write about?" So the book did not gain any popularity neither here nor there, and it was hard to predict where and when to release it.

The events that took place 20 years ago were by no means unexpected. But the events that ensued took us indeed by great surprise. So what did in fact happen? Firstly, it is what had not occurred - the reflection of this horrendous phenomenon, unique in the history of the world, which destroyed people by the millions. The attempts to philosophically reflect upon phenomena of the kind, make proper conclusions, understand the underlying reasons how things like that could have happened with us, civilized people - this has never occurred. Far from it, some processes started to unleash and they were rather illogical, to say the least.

After the Second Word War, after the collapse of Nazism, it seemed that the political balance in the world has shifted to the left (it is obvious when we take into consideration that Nazism was considered a right wing ideology. By mistake, as a matter of fact, but it's another subject). So in the wake of the collapse of Nazism the public opinion has moved leftwards, but nothing of the kind - when the opinions must have shifted rightwards - happened after the breakdown of communism.  

But what happened after the collapse of communism? All over the world, especially in Europe, left wing politicians and parties come to power. Therefore, the move was clearly to the left, which seems illogical to me.  Moreover, no hopes cherished back in 1989 (which were so high) ever came true. Communism survived. Francisco Fukuyama could have said that it was the end of history, but history proved otherwise - Cuba, Vietnam, China, North Korea remained communist. And in the very post-communist countries the processes did not go too far either. All what happened there were in fact cosmetic, exterior changes. Several personalities were replaced with others, who also happened to come from the communist establishment. Those countries appeared to be not free, but rather densely meshed by the remains of the nomenclature (communist establishment). But it was what happened in the West that surprised me most. It is at this time that the utopian ideologies appeared in the West. If we were to pinpoint when political correctness came into being, I could specify precisely - it came into being at the beginning of the nineties of the 20th century.

This movement, as a phenomenon or rather a deviation from the norm of political correctness, existed before that, too. My first encounter with it happened when I worked at Stanford University. It must have been back in 1984. One day I was walking down to my laboratory and approached a door. In front of me there were two girls coming down the stairs. I opened the door and held open for them the way I would have held it for anyone - be it a man or woman, young or old. It was an act of mere politeness. They stared at me and uttered with undisguised contempt: "male chauvinist pig".

I was greatly surprised, I did not understand their reaction, and, having entered the laboratory, told the story to the laboratory guys asking them: "what was it?" They started laughing and explained: "you see, there is Berrkley  close by; people call it the People's Republic of Berkeley, because all weird radical left-wing movements are born there".

The philosophy of student revolution of 1968 was shaped at Berkrley, and now there is a feminist movement spreading there. According to the feminists, we repress them when we speak to them like they were women, when we treat them like women. They even have a concept that they promote - women are a social construct, so if men would start treating women like men, they would indeed become men. In their view, it is our attitude towards them that shape them the way they are". And, what is most surprising, they even performed the experiment in one of the leading universities at the end of the 20th century. They took babies of both sexes and raised them in the same conditions: same food, same clothing, same games and education (I am surprised anyone would give them a permission to do that).

Surely, this experiment did not bring any expected results. They boys did not lose any of the organs that they had from birth, and the girls did not grow any extra ones. On the whole, the boys' penchant for guns did not go, just like that one of the girls' for puppets. [Read more]

Posted on 10/20/2010 1:51 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Wednesday, 20 October 2010
Lee Smith on How Erdogan's Men Work To Destroy Turkish Secularists

From The Tablet: 

Veiled Threat

In Turkey, Washington's great example of Muslim democracy, the ruling party alleges conspiracy to attack the opposition and crush dissent

By Lee Smith | Oct 20, 2010 

Fethullah Gulen, at left, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and the Silivri district prison in Istanbul during the 2008 trial there of 86 suspects in the Ergenekon affair.

CREDIT: Photoillustration: Tablet Magazine; Gülen photo: Fethullah-gulen.org; Erdogan photo: Adem Altan/AFP/Getty Images; background photo: Sezayi Erken/AFP/Getty Images

Some U.S. policymakers believe that Turkey is the future of Islamic democracy and that no political institution better exemplifies the desired hybrid of Western practice and religious values than the country's ruling Justice and Development Party. To be sure, the party, known by its Turkish initials AKP, is culturally more conservative than the secularists and military elite who have governed from Ankara since Mustafa Kemal, or Ataturk, dispensed with the caliphate and made Islam a personal affair in the country rather than a political one. And now the AKP says it's under siege from its Kemalist rivals in the military and other Turkish institutions-including the judiciary, the press, and non-government organizations-who seek to regain power by overthrowing the democratically elected government of Turkey. Their instrument for doing so, says the AKP, is Ergenekon.

Ergenekon [1] is the name given to a massive clandestine organization that the AKP says has plotted a host of conspiracies including plans to crash airplanes and bomb Istanbul mosques in the hopes of precipitating a military coup. The Turkish authorities have used these allegations to arrest hundreds of people who oppose Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's government-arrests that have been greeted in the West with confused silence.

However, according to Dani Rodrik, a Turkish academic now based in the United States, Ergenekon is not a threat to Turkey's increasingly Islamist form of democracy but rather an elaborate political fiction created by the AKP and its ally, the mysterious billionaire religious leader Fethullah Gulen, in order to discredit, imprison, and silence opponents. Rodrik [2] believes that the AKP and the Gulenists are looking to consolidate their power not just with a view to short-term political victories, but as part of a vision to change the nature of the fiercely secular Turkish republic. "You get a different perspective on what they're doing internationally once you understand what they're doing at home," Rodrik told me by phone this week. "The AKP and its Gulenist allies are authoritarian at heart, one by one capturing state institutions and undermining the rule of law. What you're going to get is not a more democratic Turkey."

Rodrik, the 52-year-old Rafiq Hariri Professor of International Political Economy at Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government, is best known for his views [3] on trade policy and the developing world. What does a Harvard economist who makes his home in the United States know about the pitched battle between the military and the Islamist political establishment in a proudly Muslim country? The fact that Rodrik is a member of Turkey's dwindling Jewish community makes his charges against the AKP and Gulenists suspect to some. "There's been a level of predictable anti-Semitism in some of the government-friendly media," Rodrik said. "But it is important for the government to have the liberal intelligentsia with them on this, and persistent anti-Semitism rants wouldn't go over very well with them."

Still, this is not the same Turkey that once enjoyed a strategic alliance with Israel. The Turkish-sponsored Mavi Marmara dispatched to Gaza in May suggests that Ankara has instead joined the ranks of the resistance axis, a strange decision for one of Washington's NATO allies. The writing was on the wall as early as March 2003, shortly after Erdogan took office, when the Turkish parliament rejected [4] the George W. Bush Administration's request to use Turkey as a launching ground for the invasion of Iraq.

If U.S. officials were slow to chart Turkey's shift in the international arena, they have been oblivious to the mounting domestic crisis driving the Ergenekon affair. Rodrik himself wasn't paying especially close attention to the spiral of weird conspiracy cases that have taken over the Turkish justice system until a relative was named in one of the many Ergenekon trials, this one related to allegations of a 2003 anti-government plot known as Sledgehammer [5]. "When these cases came out three years ago," Rodrik said, "I was where most Turkish liberals are today. I thought, maybe there were some improprieties in the way they were handled, but essentially the government was moving in the best way possible."

In January a Turkish newspaper began publishing documents produced by an anonymous individual who claimed to be a retired military officer with knowledge of the Sledgehammer plan to bring down the government. Close to 200 active-duty and retired military officers have been charged as conspirators-for plotting terrorist operations like the mosque bombings intended to destabilize the state-all allegedly under the orders of retired four-star general Çetin Do?an, Rodrik's father-in-law.

"I was skeptical from the beginning that he could be involved in such a thing," Rodrik told me. "It's horrifying stuff. Later, I became certain the documents were fabricated."

What Rodrik and his wife found, he said, were obvious forgeries, clear to anyone "with a working command of Turkish." The case is based on documents loaded onto three CDs, with no direct evidence tying them to computers where they are said to have been produced by Turkey's First Army. As Rodrik has written [6]: "Not a single one of the hundreds of officers questioned in the case has acknowledged ever hearing of the Sledgehammer plot or any of the other plans included in the incriminating CDs. The evidence that the three CDs in question are authentic comes solely from their metadata: the username and time information contained on the CDs and the Word documents therein. According to these metadata, the documents and the CDs were produced in 2003."

It hardly takes a tech expert to alter such metadata, and according to Rodrik it is obvious that these documents could not have been made in 2003 but were produced sometime after, perhaps as late as 2008. Among other glaring anomalies is the fact that some of the organizations named did not exist when the plot was supposedly hatched. Journalists ostensibly blacklisted by the Sledgehammer conspirators were not writing about political issues at the time-one was a food critic, hardly an obvious target in a coup attempt.

"There are many reasons to be suspicious of the authenticity of the documents," Rodrik told me. "But the zinger is that they are full of references to events that happened after 2003, literally dozens of these things. For instance, the documents mention a hospital by the name it uses after it merged with another hospital in 2008, they mention a company by the name that it took after it was sold to a foreign investor in 2008. Even without these anachronisms, there are enough inconsistencies that the case wouldn't have gone forward in any legal system that takes the presumption of innocence seriously. But the anachronisms establish conclusively that the defendants have been framed."

However, the legal system seems to be part of the problem. "Some crimes are based on evidence fabricated by the national police with the connivance of prosecutors," said Rodrik. For instance, when an anonymous tip led the police to seize a DVD from a retired naval major's house, the initial report, Rodrick wrote [7], "found nothing suspicious on the DVD, but a subsequent technical analysis uncovered a hidden file with details of a plan to intimidate non-Muslim minorities through bombings and assassinations. ... Unaccountably, the prosecutors are on record questioning another defendant on this hidden file days before the technical analysis was conducted and the file was 'discovered.' "

If the case against his father-in-law and the other alleged Sledgehammer conspirators is so patently flimsy, why, I asked him, isn't anyone else doing the detective work he and his wife did? Those Turks most inclined to get in the weeds with him are the media and the liberal intelligentsia, are they are either too scared to say anything, said Rodrik, or they side with the AKP and the Gulenists.

Much of the Turkish media is owned by or affiliated with Fethullah Gulen [8], the supposedly charismatic but largely silent religious figure who has made his home in Pennsylvania since the late 1990s and is closely allied with the AKP. Gulen's criticism [9] of Ankara over the Mavi Marmara incident suggested to some that a breach had opened between his movement and the AKP, but Rodrik disagrees. "The criticism caught his domestic supporters off guard, because the local Gulenists are all on board with the IHH," said Rodrik, referring to the Istanbul-based charity with ties to Islamic terrorist organizations, including Hamas. Gulen had good reason for seeing the incident from Washington's point of view. "What's important for Gulen is to be on the good side of the U.S. government."

The AKP and the Gulenists, Rodrik explained, "are interlocking but independent. The Gulenists are an opaque movement. What they stand for is broadly in line with what the AKP wants: a culturally much more conservative Turkey, religious values, and practices. It's an alliance based on perception of common interests. You can't tell what's happening in the Ergenekon affair without accounting for the role of the Gulen movement. The people who are responsible for fabricating evidence, intimidation, and wire-tapping, these are supporters of Gulen."

The fact that the AKP is a broader umbrella than the Gulen movement, Rodrik argued, is yet another factor in keeping the Sledgehammer case rolling. "The AKP is supported by many liberals, who agree with them on issues of personal freedom, like the headscarf," he explained. Sledgehammer and other cases that suggest a military plot to destroy Turkish democracy dovetail perfectly with the anti-military sentiment of secularists and liberals who might otherwise be worried by the AKP's religious bent. "Liberals are anxious to see the military brought down to size," said Rodrik. "And it's true that they've been involved in some stuff in the past that's not pretty. So with this narrative already in liberals' heads, the case has been stage-managed extremely well."

The storyline happens to fit the preconceptions of most U.S. officials as well. "Washington sees it something like this: The Turkish military and its allies have become too powerful, and now the AKP is trying to liberate the democratic system. This is a process of a deepening of democracy," Rodrik said. "The narrative is very appealing on the surface. In Washington, I've been told it will change only with the arrest of U.S. citizens."

In addition, Gulen's public-relations apparatus reaches inside the Beltway. "Gulen encourages his devotees to contribute to members of Congress. When his supporters do an event in D.C., scores of congressmen show up. I have been told members of Congress go fishing on his compound in Pennsylvania," Rodrik said. "You won't see Gulen's name on things, but he commands a vast network of schools, business associations, charities, and media outlets. It's quite remarkable, how wide and influential this network is."

To many U.S. officials then, Gulen is the model moderate Muslim, a Sufi who preaches coexistence and cooperation with the West-even as it is the Gulenists who are making war against the United States and Israel's traditional allies in the Turkish military. But since Sept. 11, U.S. policymakers of both parties have been so giddy [10] at the prospect of Islamic democracy that they have given a free pass to anyone clever enough to cloak their actions and intentions in the cloth of moderate Islam. The fact is that Erdogan and his allies are running roughshod over fundamental democratic principles-which is to say that the problem with Islamic democracy isn't Islam as such, but rather the corruption and conspiracies of the governing party and its allies, who use Islam as cover for their own hunger for power. Washington, meanwhile, doesn't dare criticize the domestic machinations of a Muslim democracy's ruling Islamist party, for fear of crashing its own plans, and alienating Muslims.

Posted on 10/20/2010 2:27 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Wednesday, 20 October 2010
Female genital mutilation of young girls is child abuse

Seen in the waiting room of my GP today, along with "Help to Stop Smoking" and "Symptoms of Diabetes."

Don't let it damage another generation. Get the word out.

Posted on 10/20/2010 2:31 PM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Wednesday, 20 October 2010
Is the Obama White House Beggaring Canada’s Security?
            Omar Khadr
There is a plea deal in the works that could end the trial of Canadian Afghan Al Qaeda teenage fighter, Omar Khadr. Under the deal, Khadr would plead guilty in exchange for his serving one additional year at GITMO, before being then made available for transfer to Canada.  Canada could - as Canadian courts did with Khadr's al-Qaeda brother - simply release him to probation.  However, under the plea agreement, Khadr would be confined no more than for seven additional years.  If Khadr does not accept the plea deal and is convicted he could spent the rest of his life in GITMO or a US Federal prison.  There are suspicions that the plea deal was on the direct orders of the Obama White House via the US State Department.
Omar Khadr is the son of an Egyptian born university educated father, an Al Qaeda leader, who was killed in a drone attack in Pakistan after being repatriated from Canada.  Khadr was captured at the age of 15 during a US assault on the Khowst fortress in July, 2002; after he had thrown a grenade fatally wounding a US Medic.   Khadr, severely wounded after he reportedly threw the grenade, was pulled from the rubble of the compound, was airlifted to Bagram airfield near Kabul where he received extensive life saving medical treatment. Khadr has been in GITMO detention for over eight years. He is now 24.
Watch this video on the opening of the Khadr trial in GITMO.

Khadr's defense lawyers made allegations of torture in a Suppression Order filed with the military tribunal. The Military Judge at the GITMO tribunal denied the defense Suppression Order on August 17, 2010 and noted:
There is no credible evidence the accused was ever tortured . . . In fact, the credible evidence is that the accused started to make incriminating statements only after he learned the Americans found the videotape at the compound where the firefight took place which shows the accused and others making improvised explosives and placing them along the roadside at night.
The Harper Government in Ottawa is none too happy about any prospects of having Khadr back.  Both Canadian and US leftist groups think that the eight years at GITMO has turned Khadr into an inmate whom his guards find 'likable' and one Canadian official visitor found him "salvageable.'  
Renowned American forensic psychiatrist Dr. Michael Welner of The Forensic Panel has contributed to numerous sensitive litigation, and developed the Depravity Scale to standardize determinations of the worst of crimes. Dr. Welner examined Khadr's case files and Khadr himself at length in GITMO for US military authorities after Khadr's lawyers brought in psychiatrists and psychologists to evaluate him, and is scheduled to testify next week. While Dr. Welner refused to discuss his testimony, he certainly gave pause to the notion of what a "good kid" and how "salvageable" one feels when one gets closer to Khadr, calling them "shallow in their prognostic significance."
Today's Ottawa Citizen and PostMedia publications across Canada had a front page story entitled, "Khadr has never renounced Jihad, says expert on evil ". Here are excerpts from the interview with Dr. Welner:
"When one leaps to the conclusion about Omar Khadr's future because he is friendly, one might recall that Osama bin Laden has always been described as gentle, likable and charming,"

"There is no record of (Khadr's) publicly repudiating al-Qaida, as civilized Muslims should, not even a letter composed for him by Dennis Edney," he added in a reference to one of Khadr's two Canadian lawyers. There is "no call . . . to radical Islamists to mature beyond their elemental intolerance."

"There is no doubt Omar Khadr is socially agile, charming and more sophisticated than most of the other detainees," he said. "When you combine those qualities with his fluency in English, it's easy to see how he can connect with guards better than do his peers."

"Lest we forget," Welner said, "Omar Khadr's university-trained father, for whom Omar translated, was 'good' enough that others would give him their money for his orphanage - yet he was raising money for al-Qaida, and (was) a high-ranking member" of the terror group.

"In search of goodness, I have sought out any input documenting righteous and selfless deeds of Omar Khadr from inside custody, in particular toward non-Muslims, and will speak to what I found in my testimony," he said.

Welner revealed that he questions the chorus of criticism from many on the Canadian and U.S. political left that the Canadian government has all but abandoned Khadr, saying that Canada has been "very good" to him.

"Publicly available records reflect that members of the Canadian foreign ministry have made visits to Guantanamo to check on Khadr's every comfort, and Omar Khadr, not surprisingly, appreciated those visits," he said.

"His family lives in Canada , and he is close to them. As for how Omar Khadr is, it is clear that he would rather live in Canada than Afghanistan or Pakistan. Who wouldn't?"

"Canada repatriated his terrorist father after Ahmed Khadr's arrest in Pakistan for collaborating on an Egyptian embassy bombing," he said in reference to Pakistan 's 1998 claim. "Canada continues to provide public assistance to the Khadr family that they would not get elsewhere, including a pension to Ahmed Khadr while he was raising funds for al-Qaida; and a Canadian court released Omar Khadr's brother Abdallah, notwithstanding that he is an admitted terrorist," Welner added, drawing on his research beyond Guantanamo, which he said included review of more than "110 sources of information, plus pertinent academic literature."

Dr. Welner's testimony will be viewed with more than passing interest by the Harper Government in Ottawa at Monday's GITMO trial of Omar Khadr, given the current Canadian deliberations on whether they want him back. 
 
We know  a great deal about Khadr and the background of his Jihadist family waiting for him in Toronto. Given a well-researched opinion by this highly-regarded US forensic psychiatrist, if prosecutors regard Khadr as an unapologetic Jihadist, why was he offered such a paltry plea deal?  It looks like prosecutors have quit on their own terrorist defendant. It doesn't make sense, and the prosecutors are awfully quiet.
 
We wonder if the heavy ideological hand of the Obama White House has taken the case away from the prosecutors and the  alleged apolitical military commission. It would appear that they are buckling under to UN pressure to treat Khadr as if he were a "good kid" who was caught on video tape laying bombs, armed to the teeth in a firefight, and threw a hand grenade after a battle was over fatally wounding an American soldier and medic.  The "good kid" who will plead guilty to murder has grown up. He is now an unreconstructed Jihadist with the social skills to organize home grown terrorism in Canada, our neighbor to the north. A neighbor up north is a neighbor to us all. Has the present Obama government essentially now turned over our justice policy toward terrorism as well?   Stay tuned for further developments.

Posted on 10/20/2010 4:05 PM by Jerry Gordon
Wednesday, 20 October 2010
Udo Ulfkotte Debates A Muslim Apologist On German TV (In German)

Watch, and listen, here.

Posted on 10/20/2010 6:18 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Wednesday, 20 October 2010
A Musical Interlude: You Made Me Love You (Helen Forrest)

Watch, and listen, here.

Posted on 10/20/2010 6:23 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Wednesday, 20 October 2010
A Program On Alastair Sim

Watch, and listen, here.

And be sure, starting at 4:28,  and then again more than a minute later, to see, and listen to, Alastair Sim's ravishing daughter Merlith McKendrick.

Posted on 10/20/2010 6:51 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald

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