These are all the Blogs posted on Friday, 21, 2006.
Friday, 21 July 2006
Robert Bove's latest collection of poems, The Attitudes, is featured in the July edition of New Eglish Review. If you wish to comment on these poems, or the thoughts the inspire, please do so here. More of his poems can be found here.
Robert Bové contributes regularly to The Iconoclast, our Community Blog. Click here to see all his contributions, on which comments are welcome.
Posted on 07/21/2006 4:04 AM by New English Review
Friday, 21 July 2006
How average is average? The inhabitants of Acacia Avenue, England are average in the extreme. Here is Acacia Avenue:
And here are some details, from The Telegraph, about the ordinary folks who live there. It seems that, far from leading lives of quiet desperation, they are "happy campers":
There's Harley Street for health, Wall Street for wealth and Acacia Avenue, it seems, for happiness. A survey of dwellers in the epitome of suburban streets has discovered that they still feel themselves to be the sedate and self-assured people who have always lived in Acacia Avenue.
And they are very, very average. The average wage on Acacia Avenue, UK, is £22,500, almost exactly the national mean, and the typical house is a three-bed semi.
They work the normal 36 hours a week and have about the average number of children....
Their favourite food is not curry, as might be found in a broader sweep of modern Britain, but, naturally, fish and chips...
By 1945, it was well known enough as a phrase that a film, 29 Acacia Avenue, could be made exemplifying the comical, class-based and sex-driven tensions of suburban life.
In the film, a bowler-hatted father whose main concerns have previously been keeping the local dogs off his prize begonias, is confronted with the romantic problems of his son and daughter, who are fretting over the difficulties of keeping up with their upper-middle-class lovers. Some six decades later, only the facades (both of the houses and their inhabitants) have altered, according to Martin Lee...
On Acacia Avenue, where the curtains gently twitch, resides a settled and silent majority, resolutely maintaining standards.
Living in London, without a garden gnome to my name, I naturally find it harder to maintain standards. But I'll do my best - those curtains of mine need a good twitch.
Does America have an equivalent of Acacia Avenue? Wisteria Lane springs immediately to mind. A sunny, immaculately clean road with manicured lawns, gleaming white picket fences, painfully thin, women with stiff hair and names like cheeses, chained-up runaway criminals in cellars, arch voice-overs from dead residents and chirpy yet sinister incidental music. How unlike the homelife our our own dear suburbanites. We'd never allow that kind of thing here.
Update: According to The Times, Iron Maiden's song 22 Acacia Avenue featured a resident called Charlotte the Harlot. I never knew this, but I believe Esmerelda is a fan of Iron Maiden, so she probably did.
Posted on 07/21/2006 4:58 AM by Mary Jackson
Friday, 21 July 2006
inspires Phil Taylor to wax philosophical
at Sports Illustrated:
Why has this horse who was just an image on a screen to most of us tapped into our emotions this way? After all, human tragedy takes place every day and most of us simply shake our heads and move on. Even in the toy department of sports, boxers and race car drivers die. Young athletes are cut down in their prime by drive-by shootings or sudden failures of their seemingly perfect bodies. It's odd that a beast, even a magnificent one, draws so much of our concern.
But maybe that's the point. Barbaro isn't human, so he exhibits none of the human failings that disappoint us in our athletes and coaches. He never put his hoof in his mouth like Ozzie Guillen, or fell in love with himself like Terrell Owens. He never held out for more money, stiffed us for an autograph, tangled with the authorities or coasted when he should have been playing hard. In fact, he gave all of himself, competing almost to the point of destruction. How could any fan ask for a more noble competitor?
Second up, Alexander McCall Smith, in Espresso Tales
, the latest volume in his 44 Scotland Street serial novel:
A troop of performing dogs? No longer allowed, she thought; frowned on by the protesters, who had successfully lobbied the Council, although everybody knew that the one thing which dogs liked to do was to perform. Was it demeaning to dogs to be made to jump through hoops and stand on their hind legs and push prams? Making a lion jump through a hoop was one thing -- that was undoubtably cruel -- but could the objectors not see the distinction between a dog and a lion? Dogs are in on our human silliness; lions are not.
And a final word from one of our super duper celebs, Britney Spears, caught musing
by the Post:
"In some ways, people are a lot like animals," Spears writes. "I'm mesmerized by tigers. Their eyes, their stripes, their constant quest for survival. They almost have a sense of mysteriousness about them. They pull you in and make it difficult to look away. They make you wonder what is behind their gaze. A sense of eerie awe comes over you in their presence. The fear they give you when you pass them is stunning. Behold the beauty of the tiger."
Posted on 07/21/2006 5:25 AM by Robert Bove
Friday, 21 July 2006
Our Friends the Russians
The essential Tom Joscelyn
points to this AFP report:
Hezbollah and Hamas should be integrated into peaceful politics, and third countries should not be blamed for the current Middle East crisis, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has said.
"We need to find a way for Hamas and Hezbollah to achieve their largely legitimate political goals through participation in political life ... and not through force," Lavrov told the Echo Moscow radio station Wednesday, adding that less radical parts of Hezbollah and Hamas could return to peaceful politics.
In an apparent reference to US accusations of Syrian and Iranian involvement in the current crisis, Lavrov said: "If we start to think in terms of who is guilty as some other states do, directly accusing particular countries and leaders, this will only inflame passions still further," Lavrov said.
Tom nails the conclusion:
Well, at least Syria and Iran can count on Russia to come to their defense. Nevermind that Hezbollah is a wholly-owned terrorist subsidiary of Iran and Syria, that there are reports that Iranian officers are fighting alongside Hezbollah in southern Lebanon, that the missiles being fired into Israel and at merchant ships were paid for by the Iranians (and some of their officers may have even fired them as well)...Forget all of this. Russia doesn't want its allies held accountable.
Russia, of course, is one of the "partners" we are working closely with in our proposal to the mullahs ... which took terrorism off the table.
Is anyone upset that we are more interested in avoiding trouble with people who are operating against us than we are in crushing America-hating jihadists? I doubt anyone would dare have taken that position on September 12, 2001. But I guess we've "evolved" since then.
Posted on 07/21/2006 5:50 AM by Andy McCarthy
Friday, 21 July 2006
The Spectator on the Middle East crisis
The Lebanese really blame Hezbollah, according Michael Young, reporting from Beirut in this week's Spectator, for which a subscription is required:
The Lebanese Prime Minister, Faoud Siniora, has said that ‘the gates of hell have been opened up in Lebanon’ — and it’s difficult to disagree. But what has not been so widely reported is that while officials will blame Israel for the misery and chaos, a substantial number of Lebanese — in some cases, ironically, the officials themselves — have a more nuanced view. Of course the people here are angry and anxious about the possibility of a widening of the Israeli attacks, but their rage, as they see the country being taken apart, is often directed against Hezbollah.
The Lebanese people have watched as Hezbollah has built up a heavily armed state-within-a-state that has now carried the country into a devastating conflict it cannot win and many are fed up. Sunni Muslims, Christians and the Druze have no desire to pay for the martial vanity of the Hezbollah leader, Hassan Nasrallah. Nor will they take kindly to his transforming the devastation into a political victory.
Some even welcome Israel’s intervention. As one Lebanese politician said to me in private (but would never dare say in public) Israel must not stop now. It sounds cynical, he said, but ‘for things to get better in Lebanon, Nasrallah must be weakened further’.
Douglas Davis echoes a view held by both The Telegraph and The Times, that Iran has incited the conflict on purpose to draw attention away from its nuclear weapons programme:
One thing is certain: the attack was neither random nor impulsive. On the contrary, it appears to have been carefully calculated and intricately planned. Certainly Hezbollah would not have mounted such an operation without the prior knowledge and approval of its patrons — Iran, which arms, trains and funds Lebanon’s Shiite radicals, and Syria, which serves as a conduit and provides essential logistical support...
At the same time as the missile consignment was heading to Lebanon, an unnamed senior Iranian official said that his country would inflict ‘harm and pain’ on the United States and its allies, and vowed to ‘use any means’ to ‘resist any pressure and threats’ designed to curb Iran’s nuclear programme. The rhetoric was not empty.
Rod Liddle has some scathing words for British evacuees:
There was, for example, the breathtakingly cretinous girl who explained that she’d just come to Beirut to ‘do some deejaying, like’ and was appalled that the British embassy hadn’t got its act together and flown her home when the first bombs landed. I have the feeling we will see her again soon enough, looking bemused standing with her rucksack by a landing strip in Quetta or Khandahar, other places where her ‘deejaying’ sojourn runs into a spot of bother.
There then followed, from the embassy coach on to the Royal Navy ship, a grim procession of implacably Arabist hags who spewed forth a tirade of anti-Israeli, anti-British and anti-American propaganda, during which the phrase ‘Israeli war crimes’ cropped up with remarkable regularity. The British embassy was not merely negligent, they averred, but sort of complicit in the Israeli action; it had conspired to hide from the world these Israeli ‘atrocities’ (clearly they weren’t aware that, far from being hidden, we’d watched it all unfold every night on our news programmes). There was not the slightest gratitude to the embassy, or the navy, or the British government, that we’d hauled them out of a pit they had dug for themselves. They wanted the rights which are traditionally afforded British citizens — the right to be removed from the presence of excitable, swarthy foreigners as soon as the first gunshot is heard — but also the right to pledge their political allegiance to the country from which they were determinedly fleeing. Horribly, unforgivably, John Betjeman’s nasty little phrase ‘Come friendly bombs’ drifted through my mind as I watched them walk up the gangplank to HMS Gloucester where they were to be served, according to the starchy navy spokesbabe, ‘a tasty meal prepared by our chef’. Let them eat hummus, for the rest of their lives.
Rod, don't beat about the bush. I couldn't agree more. Especially as he mentions Betjeman, who might, were he alive today, have had a few things to say about Acacia Avenue. That's "might", not "may", obviously. Anyone who thinks otherwise should be run over by Joan Hunter-Dunn's Hillman, on a dark night and on a road "not adopted".
Posted on 07/21/2006 6:42 AM by Mary Jackson
Friday, 21 July 2006
I doubt Wisteria Lane is supposed to represent the ideal American suburban neighborhood
. It's more an allegory on the confusion resulting from a false liberty untethered to order (for the womenfolk, at any rate--the men are cliches, as they are in most TV comedies and, especially, in ads).
There was Mayberry once upon a time. And the streets where beloved Donna Reed, a respected father who knew best, and Ozzie and Harriet lived. But there was also Route 66. If America lives metaphorically anywhere now, it is on the Interstate--or in the stands at NASCAR races.
Posted on 07/21/2006 6:58 AM by Robert Bove
Friday, 21 July 2006
Here and here, and, in passing, here, I harumph about the incorrect use of "may" where "might" is required. Get a life, you may be thinking. Or indeed might be thinking. A life where this distinction doesn't matter? That is no life at all. Here is Charles Moore again:
A retired Scottish schoolmaster sends me his learned contribution to the debate in this column about the use of ‘may’ and ‘might’. Using the example cited by Philip Pullman of the difference between ‘Napoleon may have had homosexual tendencies’ and ‘Wellington might have avoided the Battle of Waterloo’, he writes that the difference ‘is, in effect what we Classicists call the principal clause (apodosis) of an unfulfilled past conditional sentence, with the omission/ suppression of the If clause (called the protasis)’. I think this should be the last word on the subject.
He's got a point. Perhaps it is time to move on and harumph about something else. And I know just the thing. A commenter on another site said of Omar Bakri, the radical cleric trapped in Beirut and banned from a Royal Navy rescue ship:
He made his bed. Now he should just lay in it.
I wish I wore a monocle, which at times like these could drop out of my astonished eye into my tea. "Harumph!" doesn't begin to cover it. This calls for a "corrwumph!" or a "pah!" or, if I'm pushing the boat out, a "pshaw!"
"Lie", not "lay", you blithering idiot. "Lay" is transitive or past tense. Not for bonnie Annie Laurie, but for a an edit button, I'd lay me down and die.
Time to go. There is a rumour that my local supermarket has set up a sign near one of its tills saying "five items or less". Hell hath no fewery...
Posted on 07/21/2006 8:30 AM by Mary Jackson
Friday, 21 July 2006
Re: Proportionality Nonsense, cont'd
The disgusting coverage by the BBC World Service, the nauseating remarks by Javier Solana (who isn't quite sure that Hezbollah can be described as a "terrorist" organization which he says is a "legal" and not "ethical" question, Jacques Chirac (the man who on January 12 of this year said he would not rule out using nuclear weapons to attack any country that harbored terrorists who attacked France), Vladimir Putin (who with a straight face talks of the "civilian casualties" but forgets about the hundreds of thousands of civilians massacred, not by accident but by design, in Chechnya, as a result of a deliberate policy of terra bruciata), has another voice now added to the chorus: Louise Arbour, who in mentioning the ability of somethingorother -- what exactly? -- to punish as "crimes against humanity" the killing of civilians, and whose remarks were taken to refer not only to Hezbollah, that doesn't care where its thousands of rockets hits -- Haifa or Nazareth or anywhere else (do you think, if they could hit Jerusalem, they would hesitate a minute, whatever damage this did to the holy sites of Christians and Jews?), but also to the Israelis.
What nonsense. And how do we know it is nonsense? We all know that the Christian and Druse and Sunni Arab sites, exclusive to them, are not being targeted at all. Only in one case -- that of a truck that the Israelis naturally worried might be moving weaponry (if you were Hezbollah, you'd be moving your missiles through such places, wouldn't you?), and hit in a Christian neighborhood of Beirut.
The targets are obviously connected to Hezbollah: first, buildings known to be their headquarters or meeting places, sites from which firing of missiles has been detected, radar sites (including circumjacent Lebanese army posts) implicated in the attack on an Israeli ship, bridges and roads that connect the south of Lebanon, now Hezbollahland used as the main, though obviously not only base for missile attacks on Israel, and of course, roads and bridges that are used by Iran and Syria to deliver those 12,000-15,000 missiles, the delivery of which, the movement of which right through Lebanon, the hiding or installation of which, could hardly have escaped the notice of all kinds of Lebanese, who for some reason apparently thought that their government had no duty to do a thing about this, not even make a move, as it had promised to when the Israelis left in 2000, and the outrage by Lebanese who claim that "everything was fine, everything in Lebanon was recovering -- and now this" can only amaze. What did they think was going to happen with those 12,000-15,000 missiles? What did they think those black-balaclaved goose-stepping Hezbollah bezonians, and all those Shi'a whipped up night and day by Al-Manar, even as they were attended to by Hezbollah-sponsored social services? Did they think nothing would happen? That the missiles were merely symbolic, that Iran and Syria would not direct anything, that the Iranian agents already in Lebanon working with Hezbollah had nothing but Lebanon's permanent peace and tranquility in mind? The amazing ability of some (not all) Lebanese, including that Saniora whose hallucinations were on display during his speech full of self-pity for a non-existent "Lebanon" (what do the Maronites, or the Greek Orthodox, or the Druse, have in common with the worshippers of Nasrallah, whose goal is the Shari'a, whose way is Islam and only Islam?).
The BBC and the rest of the world's broadcasting networks can continue to avoid noting that the Israelis have made superhuman efforts to warn civilians. They have leafletted Shi'a areas. They have had recorded messages phoning every Shi'a household in southern Lebanon that they can reach, warning people to leave lest they be caught in an attack. They telephoned and warned those at the Beirut Airport a full hour before the attack. The Israelis have every desire, and every need, to limit civilian casualties. The Hezbollah forces, on the other hand, not only have no desire to limit Israel's civilian casualties, but what's more, have no desire to limit the civilian casualties in Lebanon -- they welcome them, they wish to increase them, they have tried to prevent people from leaving their villages, they have always and everywhere planted their missiles in the middle of urban areas, or in the middle of villages, preferably next to schools or hospitals. This is no different from what the PLO routinely did in Beirut in 1980-1982, as we all know. It is par for the Muslim Arab course.
What would you do, if it were your country being shelled, and the regime in a circumjacent country had made solemn commitments that it failed to fulfill, and failed to fulfill over six years, and meanwhile you watch, and watch, and watch, as the missiles pile up in the armories of those who, if they could, would kill every last man, woman, and child in your country. 1,000, 2,000, 5,000, 9,000, 12,000, and perhaps, a week ago, as many as 15,000 missiles, almost all from Iran, and including some of an accuracy and power and reach that surprised both the Israeli and American military. [Incidentally, better that the American military, now in Iraq, find out about these missiles now, unfortunately from Israel's sad experience, than suddenly, later, in Iraq].
The way that the BBC or CNN (especially in its European broadcast version, scarcely to be believed in its bias) presents things, with those endless shots of "innocent civilians" and the usual interviews with women, is devoid of any context. The Israelis in Haifa and other cities hit are sober, forthright, businesslike, no screaming, no wailing, no pleas for sympathy. But it is the Israelis who did not wish this, who did nothing to deserve this, who did everything they could, by removing every last soldier from Lebanon, not to leave even a hint of a glimmer of a justification for such attacks.
But of course no justification is needed by Hezbollah. Israel is an Infidel state. Israel must always be attacked, again and again. If it goes back to the 1967 "lines of Auschwitz" (as even Abba Eban once called them), the armistice lines within which Israel existed for 19 years in a state of maximum peril, and how much more perilous it would be now, when the Arabs have these missiles, as we have seen. Hezbollah is simply behaving as the Qur'an and Hadith and the Sira all tell its members to behave. Negotiation for "peace" with Israel? What utter nonsense. There is no final "peace" with an Infidel nation. Not with Israel, and not with any other Infidel nation-state that stands in the way.
Stands in the way of what? Of what was written on a placard by a pro-Hezbollah demonstrator and that appeared in the newspaper the other day:
Islam Will Dominate.
Islam Must Dominate. Muslims Must Rule. It's in the Book. You can't miss it. It's all over the Book. The Book known as the Qur'an.
Posted on 07/21/2006 10:16 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Friday, 21 July 2006
Propaganda and its effects
"to see the day when people concede that Israel's (hopefully successful) handling of Hezbollah at this juncture was as prescient as knocking out Saddam's nuclear weapons facility at Osirak back in '83"
-- from a reader
The analogy is almost exact, First, cruel and stupid and blind denunciation by too many, of what Israel had to do, the result in many cases of a malevolence, an anti-Israel bias that is lurking just below the surface, so ready to emerge, and of course, the incomprehension of people who read the headlines, and see what is placed in front of them, but do not have the ability to think, even for a minute, about what is not in front of them, what had to have been happening, and what would certainly happen in the future, to prompt the act of self-defense, by Israel, which is the only thing they do focus on, and because they lack the context, do not see clearly, to the extent they would if their own country or lives were at stake, the precise nature of that "self-defense."
Much of the world, its apprehension of men and events molded entirely, and misleadingly, by the reporters, and the policies, of such organizations as the BBC (which, when it comes to the Middle East, has for years been a virtual handmaiden of Arab propaganda, its reporters comical in their bias, its language the language of Arab propaganda manuals, even its choice of "experts" skewed in favor of would-be suicide bombers such as Azzam Tamimi or, for the plausible British "expert," someone like George Joffe who has a long history of business involvement -- as that mysterious thing, a "consultant" (just google "George Joffe" and "MEC" and "Menas" to start your investigation). The BBC's coverage is not a whit different from that of The Guardian. And the same kind of eye-rubbing-in-disbelief bias can be found in the French press and radio and television, and of course elsewhere. For the past 30 years, Arab propaganda has had a free hand in Europe, ably abetted by the 10-15% of the population, the minimum percentage of the population in the Western world that can reasonably be described as antisemitic, a subset of the general population which, naturally, is "disproportionately" represented among those who choose to specialize in Middle Eastern matters -- what a wonderful way to combine the business of a job with the pleasure of a plausible and acceptable outlet for one's innate antisemitism.
And of course, people see some things, and do not see others. They see a photograph of a bombed-out building or section of a very small part of southern Beirut, the section which was held in fiefdom by Nasrallah and Hezbollah. They do not see all the buildings left standing everywhere else. No one shows photographs of the Christian, Druze, and Sunni Arab neighborhoods. No one points out that the only bombs that have been dropped that affect the others have been a single one dropped on a moving truck, deemed suspicious (rockets inside) in a single attack in a Christian neighborhood, several attacks on Lebanese army installations believed manned by those who helped Hezbollah with its attacks on Israeli naval vessels, and of course the Beirut airport, as well as some bridges and roads to the Hezbollah strongholds in southern Lebanon, and to Syria, which of course carry those 12,000-15,000 missiles, and those Iranian agents, and other "volunteers" in and out, and since the airport does not have one terminal marked "Hezbollah" and the bridges and roads hit do not have special markings that would indicate just which lane to hit ("This Lane Only for Hezbollah") they had to be hit. And if some people do not comprehend this, then one must ask: what the hell did they expect would happen if they ignored their solemn commitment to disarm Hezbollah, as every other militia was disarmed, what did they expect would happen if they permitted, over six years or perhaps even longer, the steady arming of Hezbollah (12,000-15,000 missiles coming in is a lot of missiles for the government of Lebanon to overlook), to pretend aren't there, to airily insist that "that's Israel's problem." No, it isn't. That is one of the points, and a very important it is, that is being made today. No country, not Lebanon, not Jordan, not Egypt, not any, can simply think it will forever be unscathed if it permits terrorist groups to build up and build up and build up.
Was it not that famous appeaser, and denouncer of Israel, the celebrated Jacques Chirac, of a once and possibly future France, who on January 12 of this year announced to an audience of French military men that should any state harbor terrorists who took France as their target, he, M. Jacques Chirc, President de la Republique, would not hestitate to attack that harboring country with any and every weapon in the French armory, including nuclear weapons. Yet Chirac, who did not hesitate even to destroy, on the ground, the entire airforce (all seven planes) of the airforce of the Cote d'Ivoire, and whose troops readily shot down dozens or possibly hundreds of Ivorians, inside the Cote d'Ivoire, with no authority from the U.N. or anyone else, save that authority self-assigned from the Elysee Palace itself, dares to lecture Israel, fighting for its life, fighting not to have 15,000 missiles flung at its territory, including its third largest cities, as 1,000 of those missiles have been in the last ten days.
Oh, there's a little phony symmetry. Four-fifths of the BBC coverage, for example, seems designed to whip up our outrage over Israel, and the BBC reporters without fail try to get the Lebanese, including those fleeing Lebanon, to be as graphic as they can be, to express as much hostility toward Israel as they can. Since most of those leaving are of course Shi'a who had been visiting other Shi'a (how many Christians in the villages north of Beirut are fleeing? How many Druse? How many Sunni Arabs are leaving?), it isn't hard to do. But does the BBC remind, or even hint, that the very people it is interviewing are, in many cases, Hezbollah supporters or if Westerners in Lebanon on holiday or at work, political naifs? Again and again the real story are those 12,000-15,000 missiles, those goosestepping black-balaclaved bezonians, those Iranian agents, those Syrian collaborators.
It is of course fascinating to think what would have happened had World War II been fought under the same conditions, with the same kind of enemy sympathizers ensconced in Western media. Imagine Larry King having on Joseph Goebbels, to present his side of the story. Oh, Larry King would give him some tough questions, wouldn't he? Imagine those BBC reporters in Czechoslovakia, in 1938, reporting on the lovely German inns in Sudetenland, and the elderly parents of Henlein, and "This, then, is the Sudetenland. All about us we see German churches, German schools, German museums, German festivals. The people here who proudly call themselves German have been here, it seems, forever. And all they way, they tell us, is to be allowed to have their legitimate rights. And all Mr. Hitler is asking for, it has to be admitted, is for the Sudeteners, as he calls them, to be given their legitimate rights, to be let free by those domineering Czechs, whose police and army units are everywhere. Perhaps there is a case to be made for Czechoslovakia. No doubt there are two sides to every story. But, standing here, after a week of seeing how the riots in the Sudetenland have been put down so brutally by the Czech authorities, it is hard to see anything but the side of the brutalized people here, hard to see anything right or just or legitimate in the behavior of the Czech government of Mr. Masaryk and Mr. Benes. It is hard not to sympathize with the claims of Chancellor Hitler, even if he does express himself in somewhat unpleasant and, in English terms, rather excitable terms. This is (Orla Guerlin, Barbara Plett, Judy Swallow, Robin Lustig, Julian Marshall, Owen Bennett-Jones) reporting to you from the Sudetenland."
And that's what sensible people, people who have kept their moral wits about them, people who actually have bothered to learn something, are confronted with every day.
This is intolerable. This cannot go on. The peoples of the Western world are being grossly misinformed. The international bureaucrats of the E.U. and the U.N. have been deeply penetrated by the agents, and collaborators, of the Islamintern International, who have spread every kind of misinformation, not only about Israel (the victim of merely the initial Lesser Jihad, the one that preoccupied the Muslim Arabs until the OPEC trillions, and the tens of millions of Muslims permitted to settle behind enemy lines, as the Muslims themselves clearly regard them, changed the nature of things, and allowed for the pursuit, on a world scale, of the Jihad -- through qital or combat, through the money weapon, through campaigns of Da'wa targeting the most vulnerable Western populations, and most importantly through demographic conquest, and with that last, the demands, that will never let up, for changes in the domestic arrangements -- the legal and political and social institutions, including the systematic infringement on individual rights so carefully built up in the West, by those ever-growing and ever-more blatant and menacing groups of Muslims within the Lands of the Infidels.
Posted on 07/21/2006 10:37 AM by Hugh Fitgerald
Friday, 21 July 2006
"We can't conceal that we're Jews."
that, in Norway, "The Mosaic Religious Community has advised its Jewish members against speaking Hebrew loudly on the streets of Oslo or wearing Jewish emblems."
In Scandanavia, it seems only the Danes are putting up even the appearance of a fight against relentless dhimmitude.
Hat tip to It Shines for All
Posted on 07/21/2006 12:56 PM by Robert Bove
Friday, 21 July 2006
As ye sow, so shall ye reap…..
From The Times
Difficult times for Sheikh Omar Bakri Mohammed, the radical Islamic preacher who once called Britain "a land of war" and fled to Beirut from London last summer after he became a likely candidate for deportation.
Caught in the bombing of Lebanon, the Syrian-born Sheikh Bakri Mohammed, best known as the leader of the extremist group al-Muhajiroun and holding rallies to celebrate the September 11 attacks, says he can't get an appointment at the British Embassy to discuss a possible return.
But even if he does get a meeting, the sheikh, who has a wife and six children in Tottenham, north London, is unlikely to get a berth on one of the Royal Navy warships bringing British citizens out of the war zone. Although the Foreign Office says it knows of no application from Sheikh Bakri Mohammed, the Home Office said today he had no hope of getting a visa. "He'd be refused entry," a spokesman said.
These are a selection of comments from readers of The Times:-
So Bakri, why aren't you taking up arms against the infidel, or strapping explosives to yourself as you have incited other innocent, impressionable, young men to do? Surely this is a heaven sent opportunity for you to prove your faith and dedication to the cause? Or is reality not quite as appealing as you have preached all these years? Hypocrite!
This is one of the funniest articles I have read in a long time. Perhaps, this is the solution for dealing with our self proclaimed jihadists. Offer them a way to self actulisation - deport them to places like Lebanon, where they can swan around in "jihadism". Except for some, like Bakri here he's finding it too hot!
Oh, that's simply wonderful. And here was me, thinking there was no good news coming out of the Middle East. Sorry, Mr Bakri - the loathsome infidel are no longer disposed to protect your worthless hide. Do have a nice day - try not to get blown to dogmeat by an Israeli missile, or anything…
Posted on 07/21/2006 3:45 PM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Friday, 21 July 2006
Rescue me, Infidels
"Rescue me, Infidels."
-- Omar Bakri, who preached death to those Infidels, and the seizure of power by Muslims, while he was generously supported (hundreds of thousands of Infidel taxpayers's pounds) in Great Britain, now demanding rescue from Lebanon.
"Rescue me, Infidels" is a common cry. "Rescue me, Infidels" screamed Arafat, and the PLO, in Beirut, when under siege by the Israelis in 1982, and the rescue came. "Rescue me, Infidels" is what, in essence, that grand strategist, that pipsqueak Metternich, that tinpot Machiavelli, that shameless profiteer who gave his name, and takes his money (and supplementing it, of course, from such consulting arrangements as that he had with Mr. Greenberg of Bear Stearns -- Wall Street is full of very rich, and very impressionable people who love celebrities of the high-toned, presumably "well-informed" kind, and what Barbara Walters has learned from Henry Kissinger, and breathlessly recounted to -- oh, I don't know, Brooke Astor, or Charlie Rose, or somebody -- is what passes for knowledge of the world (yes, what Henry Kissinger portentously delivers himself of is what passes for knowledge of the Great World -- unless of course you prefer the vaporings of Friedman or Kristof)-=- heeded the call, and put so much pressure that the encircled Egyptian Third Army was saved.
"Rescue me, Infidels" was the cry, in essence, of others as well. It is what all those Shi'as in exile wanted, and they knew just how to play on those tough-minded innnocents -- Wolfowitz among them -- who knew nothing of Islam, and to this day still do not understand what was wrong with their calculations, as they helped to insure the American invasion of Iraq that would, in turn, insure that the Shi'a would now forever control the oil in the south, the government in the north, and to hell, in the end, with the Sunnis if they refused to accept this new dispensation.
"Rescue me, Infidels" say the Muslims wherever they need money, or aid. They know where to go for it, they know who will keep helping them, keep paying them (keep paying them so automatically that the foreign aid from Infidels is now indistinguishable, in the fierce sense of entitlement that the Arabs and Muslims feel, and the inability, driven by fear of "what will happen" (i.e., what the Muslims might do), of the Infidel donors to lessen, except in the most extreme cases, the level of their donations or, as they should be doing, to stop the transfer of Infidel wealth to the well-endowed umma al-islamiyya, whose rich members are perfectly capable of supplying all the aid needed to the poorer members). It was not any Arab or Muslim aid from fellow Muslims that rescued the people of Aceh after the tsunami. It was the American military, with its prompt delivery of food, medicine, water, tents, in short, everything =including field hospitals. Were hearts won, were minds, forever and ever, as some so confidently predicted? A very few hearts, one or two hundred or even thousand minds. But not forever. All it takes is a single incident, and we are back again: the Infidels must be blamed, the Infidels must be treated as the enemy, the Infidels of course are the enemy, the permanent enemy, no matter how deceptively kind they may be.
"Rescue me, Infidels" was what the Pakistanis said too, after the earthquake. And again, the Americans came rushing in, and those field hospitals they set up have now been treated as permanent facilities by the Pakistanis, there to treat them for all kinds of ailments, and theirs by right. No one asks, in the Pakistani press, why it is always and everywhere the Americans, and the Europeans, and the Australians, who come to the aid of Muslims. Oh, and who remembers that during the Istanbul earthquake a few years ago, it was the Israelis who sent their experienced rescue teams, and their sniffer dogs, and all the rest -- and for a brief while, it seemed to win some hearts and some minds, or at least, much was made of it. Of course, the hearts and minds that were won were those of the secular Turks whose minds and hearts had already been prepared to be won, because Islam had been put, by 75 years of Kemalism, in its place. And so the real Believers had to shut temporarily up. But did it work? Were the effects long-lasting? Not at all. The hostility to Israel, the blatant antisemitism of much of the Turkish population that has been whipped up by movies and the spectacular success of the reprint of "Mein Kampf," has caused the goodwill that the Israelis had every right to expect would continue, to disappear. And of course the exact same thing has happened in Aceh with the Americans, save for an articulate handful of locals. And the same thing has happened in Pakistan. And the same thing will happen, again, and again, whenever there is a natural disaster or anything else, happening to Muslims.
They know their fellow Muslims will, at most, donate a ludicrous sum. Saudi Arabia might come up with $50 million or $100 million -- that is, might come up with what it receives, from oil revenues, in a morning or an afternoon. Or perhaps it will, astoundingly, unbelievably, announce some grand donation of, say, $1 billion -- a whole day's revenue. Of course, after the announcement, the money never ever comes through in the amounts promised. And the same is true for those announced donations by Kuwait, by the U.A.E, by all the sheiklets of the Gulf. They will spend fortunes on arms, they will donate to the world-wide Jihad (just look at what the financing of mosques, clerics, and madrasas has done to make the real Islam supplant everywhere, as in West Africa or Indonesia, whatever more syncretistic or less hate-filled version of Islam, its emphasis only on the rituals of the Five Pillars and not on a fierce, almost robotic adherence, to all the rules of this system of Total Regulation of Life that is Islam, and of course to encourage Muslim hatred and distancing from Infidels, beginning with their non-Muslim fellows, or those in neighboring countries. One has only to see what has happened in Niger -- uranium-bearing Niger -- over the past ten years, where the hijab has appeared everywhere, and the dourest sort of Islam has stamped out the local, not terribly orthodox version, or at Indonesia, where secular Sukarno once held power, and where easygoing Wahid once headed the largest Muslim group, but now a fiercer Islam, with Arab money and inspiration and missionaries behind it, threatens the remaining Hindus on Bali, and the Christians everywhere, especially in the Moluccas, are under assault. This is what that Saudi and other Arab money has led to, and is still allowed to inject its venom everywhere.
"Rescue me, Infidels." That is what the most vicious of the Lebanese, who think that they are blameless, that they are innocent, that it is perfectly alright to set up an entire army (for that is what Hezbollah is - the Army of God), to allow it and it alone among the "militias" to remain not only armed, but to continue to receive vast quantities of arms, so vast that the number of missiles supplied by Iran and Syria to Hezbollah certainly is larger than the total number of missiles in the armories of most of the world's countries, including some in Europe.
"Rescue me, Infidels." Rescue me from everything. Rescue me from the fruits of my own aggression -- the aggression, say, of 1948, when five Arab armies (no "Palestinian people" then) tried to snuff out the life of the nascent state of Israel. "Rescue me, Infidels" said Nasser, and Eisenhower obliged, forcing the Israelis to give up the Sinai in 1956, territory from which the Egyptian fedayin had launched nearly 20,000- separate attacks on the farmers of southern Israel. "Rescue me, Infidels" say the Arabs again and again and again.
"Rescue me, Infidels." In Iraq, it is open season on Infidels. It is they, apparently, who have caused Sunni and Shi'a strife. Nothing to do with Islam itself, since the very first century of its existence. Nothing to do with all those battles, or that long persecution of Shi'a by Sunnis, that led the Shi'a, in the first place, to promulgate the doctrine of religiously-sanctioned dissimulation about the faith that Shi'a found necessary to avoid being killed by Sunnis (just as today, in Iraq, Shi'a show identity cards with a Sunni identity, and Sunnis do the same, in reverse) -- the doctrine now well-established in all of Islam, and that we know as Taqiyya. When "taqiyya" was invented, there were no Infidels about -- it was invented to deal with the violence of the Sunni Muslims. Yet, in Iraq, word is getting around that the Infidels caused the problem.
Well, of course they didn't, any more than "Infidels" force the Sunni terrorist groups Lashkar-e-Jhangvi and Sipaha-e-Sahaba in Pakistan to go out and kill Shi'a professionals and bomb Shi'a mosques. Nor have Infidels been exactly busy forcing the Sunni ruler of Bahrain to maintain his tight control over a Shi'a population. Nor have Infidels forced the Saudis to mistreat their Shi'a population, or to inculcate the populace with the belief that Shi'a are not real Muslims, are Infidels -- the same charge made by Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi when he called the Shi'a "Rafidite dogs" who deserved, as Infidels, to be slaughtered.
But that is so easy to overlook. When you want to blame someone, Muslims will always and everywhere blame the Infidels. There are many stupid Infidels, just waiting to accept blame for something. And many of the same people who wanted American forces to get out of Iraq because they did not understand what was going on, and simply wanted to do the bidding of Islamic forces, are now beginning to change their tune, and insisting that Americans "owe" it to the Iraqis to stay, and to prevent civil war. What nonsense, what predictable nonsense (it was predicted, all of it, by those of us at JW, over the past 2 1/2 years. Not a single thing that has occurred in Iraq was not discussed, ad nauseam, there, many months or years before it happened).
The sectarian violence can be "blamed" on America only if you think that Saddam Hussein's mass-murdering regime should have remained in place, to keep the Shi'a down. Perhaps it should have -- though with the Kurds it is a different matter. They, unlike the Shi'a Arabs -- have another identity, an ethnic identity that plays against the other identity, Islam. And to the extent that a Muslim can find refuge and meaning in a non-Arab identity (being an Arab simply reinforces one's adherence to, filial piety towards, Islam -- indeed, many Christian Arabs adopt the Muslim view of the world, for they find that over generations they have internalized their status as dhimmi, and come to see the world through their malevolent masters's eyes, and since Islam is so inextricably linked with Uruba, or Arab-ness, as "Arabs" they must stand up, some of them -- not the Maronites, not the Copts, but the "Palestinian" Christians in particular -- for Islam and its goals.
Sectarian and ethnic divisions in Iraq would not and could not be healed, it was maintained and is still maintained here, even if the Americans did their damnedest, once the regime of Saddam Hussein was removed. The mistreatment of the Shi'a, and their resentment of it, was not merely a thing of a few years, or even a few decades, but had its roots in a split going back to the first century of Islam, and the mistreatment of Shi'a, by contemptuous Sunnis, could be observed everywhere -- in Lebanon (where the Shi'a, once the poorest and most despised, have managed to increase their numbers -- that demographic weapon again---so that now it is they who are more numerous than the imperiled Christians, or the Druze (both groups having survived over the centuries by taking to the mountains of Lebanon, as the Alawites did in present-day Syria), in Kuwait (where they may make up one-quarter of the population), in Saudi Arabia, where they are concentrated in the oil-producing Eastern Province of Al-Hasa, and make up 10-15% of the total population; in Bahrain, where they make up 70-75% of the population, but ruled by a Sunni ruler and regime; in Pakistan, where the socioeconomic situation is reversed, and the 20% of the population that is Shi'a is wealthier, and more advanced, than the Sunnis but, of course, that does not make them any less despised by the Sunnis, just despised and envied at the same time, and in Yemen, where as always with that remote and primitive and hard-to-read place, the numbers of both sects are unclear and the intracommunal tensions as well.
"Rescue me, Infidels" is what the Shi'a cried to the Americans, and the Americans came, and toppled Saddam Hussein, and played Fifty-two Pickup with his collaborators, and put the Shi'a, through those ballyhooed, miscomprehended, blue-thumbed elections, in power, and that power was used by the Shi'a, as the Americans were very slow in understanding, to create a network, now undoable, of militias and agents infiltrated everywhere in the security services to turn the instruments of state power into, almost everywhere, the instruments of Shi'a power.
"Rescue me, Infidels" is, then, now being heard more and more from the Sunnis -- who do not want the Americans to leave, for fear of what other Muslims will do to them. Because they know what they will do to them. Just as members of Black September and the PLO, when King Hussein of Jordan attacked them, knew exactly what they could expect from fellow Muslims, and so quickly fled, for safety, across the River Jordan into the Promised Land, the Land of Israel where, they knew, those "bestial" Israelis would rescue them, rescue them. And of course the Israelis did.
"Rescue me, Infidels." Save me from what I will never dare to recognize as the cause of all my woes -- Islam itself. For it is Islam itself that encourages the habit of mental and other kinds of submission. It is Islam itself that locates the source of authority not in mere people, mere individuals, but only in Allah, and the Holy Law of Islam. A ruler needs to be obeyed -- as long as that ruler is a Muslim. It is Islam itself that explains how, despite the incredible riches of the umma al-islamiyya, the beneficiaries of the most fantastic transfer of wealth, all of it entirely unearned, in human history, no Arab or Muslim state has constructed anything like a real economy. Oh, a few are aided -- the American government, for example, has tried to help Jordan, giving it Most Favored Nation status, hoping that somehow it might have a real economy. And for their solicitude, and special favors, the Americans have seen Arabs set up sweatshops that exploit, in the main, non-Arab workers, who are lured in, paid slave wages and often thrown out of the country with nothing at all. Outside investigators have declared conditions in these ruthlessly run Arab slave-labor camps to be the worst they have ever encountered. And then there is Pakistan, another recipient of American largesse, of billions over decades in military aid. And what did Pakistan do with those billions? It supported Dr. A. Q. Khan in his successful effort to steal nuclear secrets from Dutch and German labs, and to come home and build bombs, and to offer help (help taken, by the way) to both Iran and North Korea, and to offer, for sale, nuclear secrets to all kinds of other Muslim states. And it was Pakistan, being helped by those Americans, who supported decades of terrorist attacks in Kashmir and in India itself, it was the Pakistani army that killed millions in East Pakistan, in 1970-71, including many non-Muslims and Muslims deemed, because they supported an independent Bangladesh, insufficiently loyal to Islam. It was Pakistan that gave birth to, that nurtured tenderly, that sent out into the world of Afghanistan those "students," the Taliban, who did what they did in Afghanistan, and Pakistan that protected and promoted the Taliban regime in every way.
Whatever the problem, whatever happens to Muslims from natural disasters, or the disasters they bring upon themselves -- no one forced Hezbollah, after Israel scrupulously withdrew from Lebanon, to receive and squirrel away in bunkers and in the midst of civilian streets, 12,000-15,000 missiles -- you will hear the cry, as we do today from Hezbollah and those in Lebanon who apparently were under the belief that they could permanently evade responsibility for allowing Hezbollah not merely to remain armed, but to arm itself beyond most national armies in the world, and to set up a vast network of caves and bunkers, and weaponry stored in ordinary houses all over south Beirut and Hezabollahland in southern Lebanon, and not be held to account when, as happened, the Israelis were finally and deliberately goaded -- but goaded, apparently, to a response that neither Iran nor Syria nor certainly Nasrallah himself, quite expected. Just as Nasser did not expect to lose that war in 1967, when he addressed those hysterical crowds in Cairo in mid-May and the weeks following. Just as Azzam Pasha, threatening in1947 that the Arabs would unleash a war against the Jews that would make the "massacres of the Mongols" pale in bloody comparison.
"Rescue me, Infidels."
"Rescue me" from my own follies, from the despotism that Islam creates and encourages, from the economic disarray and paralysis that follows naturally from the inshallah-fatalism of Islam, from what the mistreatment of women, formalized and approved of in Islam, does to our societies, from the way in which the Muslim worldview, separating the world between Believer and Infidel, and requiring uncompromising hostility of the former for the latter, and demands the duty of Jihad, in its various and shifting instruments, to spread Islam so that "Islam will dominate" (as one of the placards at a pro-Hezbollah demonstration in New York so forthrightly put it) and Muslims will rule -- everywhere.
"Rescue me, Infidels."
Posted on 07/21/2006 4:09 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Friday, 21 July 2006
Pacifists Versus Peace
A wonderful column from Thomas Sowell on Townhall (h/t Tiger Hawk
One of the many failings of our educational system is that it sends out into the world people who cannot tell rhetoric from reality. They have learned no systematic way to analyze ideas, derive their implications and test those implications against hard facts.
"Peace" movements are among those who take advantage of this widespread inability to see beyond rhetoric to realities. Few people even seem interested in the actual track record of so-called "peace" movements — that is, whether such movements actually produce peace or war.
Take the Middle East. People are calling for a cease-fire in the interests of peace. But there have been more cease-fires in the Middle East than anywhere else. If cease-fires actually promoted peace, the Middle East would be the most peaceful region on the face of the earth instead of the most violent.
Was World War II ended by cease-fires or by annihilating much of Germany and Japan? Make no mistake about it, innocent civilians died in the process. Indeed, American prisoners of war died when we bombed Germany.
There is a reason why General Sherman said "war is hell" more than a century ago. But he helped end the Civil War with his devastating march through Georgia — not by cease fires or bowing to "world opinion" and there were no corrupt busybodies like the United Nations to demand replacing military force with diplomacy.
There was a time when it would have been suicidal to threaten, much less attack, a nation with much stronger military power because one of the dangers to the attacker would be the prospect of being annihilated.
"World opinion," the U.N. and "peace movements" have eliminated that deterrent. An aggressor today knows that if his aggression fails, he will still be protected from the full retaliatory power and fury of those he attacked because there will be hand-wringers demanding a cease fire, negotiations and concessions.
That has been a formula for never-ending attacks on Israel in the Middle East. The disastrous track record of that approach extends to other times and places — but who looks at track records?
Read it all, here.
Posted on 07/21/2006 4:00 PM by Andy McCarthy
Friday, 21 July 2006
Pilot who thinks of his wife and neighbours
From The Times
WITH luck, Captain Y can get up early, bomb Lebanon and be back home in time to do his biochemistry homework or go to the beach.
After an hour-long commute to work and a few minutes’ flying time to his target, the 27-year-old Israeli Air Force F16C pilot will have unleashed Sidewinder missiles or helped to drop 23 tonnes of military-grade high explosive on a command bunker, as he did this week.
Since you are so far up you are disconnected,” he concedes. “You can see but there is no sound. When you go on a mission it is not wise to think about everything around you, to be worried about home, to be worried about your parents, to be worried about other things. You have to be focused on your small part of the mission.
“After you land you can think about everything, you can be . . . worried. Afterwards, I go back to my wife at home. Usually I study for my biochemistry tests. I try to go to the beach a little bit, relax a little.”
Most of the time, he points out, he is more concerned about the safety of his wife and neighbours, who live in Haifa and are, like the rest of northern Israel, under constant threat from Hezbollah Katyusha rockets.
Top Gun gets only a cursory, dismissive reference as an unrealistic portrait of life as a fighter pilot. Instead, Joseph Heller’s Catch 22 and the fate of Yossarian — always falling short of the number of Second World War bombing missions he needs to go back home to America — brings a wry smile. Then a thought occurs. “In Catch 22 the American gets to go home,” he says. “This is our home. We are fighting in our home.
Which puts me in mind of the Battle of Britain, as we are talking about film, shown in one of those old films of the 50s and 60s. Such as Angels One Five (1952) or the Battle of Britain (1969). Even now in East Anglia and Kent, airfields, or the sites of former airfields are dotted about, many reverted to farmland, some are housing estates, some are flying and glider clubs, a few remain RAF bases. People of that generation who still live nearby remember witnessing the dogfights above their homes, or can point you to the site of a downed aeroplane. The village cemeteries contain the dead of all nationalities, British, Polish, Commonwealth, and American. I always felt for the wives if they were stationed nearby, as many were. Or the girlfriends they met locally. Leading a normal life on the surface, seeing husband off to work, saying goodnight to sweetheart at the gate, hearing the aircraft overhead, and not being sure they would come home. And all the time the airmen saw the home they were protecting below them.
The picture is The Battle of Britain by Paul Nash 1941
Posted on 07/21/2006 4:10 PM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Friday, 21 July 2006
Casual Pi Day
Everyone please note: Tomorrow is Casual Pi Day.
Tomorrow's date, written European style, is 22/7, a good approximation to Pi.
Get your Casual Pi Day goods here
Then, buy a copy of my history of algebra
No, it barely mentions Pi... but buy it anyway.
Posted on 07/21/2006 5:49 PM by John Derbyshire