These are all the Blogs posted on Monday, 24, 2006.
Monday, 24 July 2006
Re: Saudi WH conversation
Rebecca, Why take this remark at face value? Why not instead imagine a little conversation in camera, during which Abdullah tells Bush that "you know outside, I'm going to have to say that I called for a ceasefire, and you why. But don't let that surprise you -- I have an audience too, and not all of them understand quite why I, and Mubarak, and Abdullah of Jordan, are not exactly depressed, whatever we say, to see Hezbollah put in its place. Of course, don't misunderstand that we want Israel punished and weakened, but not right now, and not just yet.
Bush will not need to reply. But he does need to be thinking to himself, or others in Washington need to be thinking:
Uh-huh. And if you think we are going to take care of Iran for you without all kinds of quid-pro-quos, you have another thing coming. Starting with having you make the non-Muslim Muslims, those Alawites in Syria, tremble as you threaten them that every Saudi-funded Arabic-language newspaper, radio and television station, and journalist on the take, is going to start publishing or broadcasting stories about the non-Muslim Alawites, and their beliefs, and practices, until no Alawites in Syria will be able to sleep at night. You, Abdullah, must explain to the optometrist that in Syria the clock can be "turned back" as it has been in Lebanon, back to the pre-Hama days, the days of the massacre of military cadets in Homs, and don't think the Shi'a of Iran., awarding you honorary Islamness, can rescue you from the Sunnis in Syria."
But first, someone will have to take the President and Rice and others aside and explain, as has never been explained before, who the Alawites are, what they are all about, what they most fear and fear with reason, and how they can be persuaded to turn inward, to shore up their own position, and to cease to think they can win their "Islamic" spurs by allowing Sunni Arabs to go from Syria to Iraq, and by allowing Shi'a weapons and agents to go from Iran to Lebanon. That's over. That must be over. For otherwise it is the Alawites themselves, and not merely this or that leader, who will be thrown over -- look what happened to one group of Muslims in Iraq, now in thrall to another group of Muslims. What would the real Muslims do to the Alawites?
Saudi Arabia knows. The American government, by reading postings here and at JW on this subject, at long last is beginning to know (no thanks to the likes of Edward Djerijian and other useless and clueless ambassadors). And of course the Syrians -- Alawites, Christians, and Sunni Muslims -- in Syria all know.
American officials had planned to ask the Saudis to press Syria to cut ties to Hezbollah and Iran, something they also planned to ask of other moderate Arab allies, including Egypt and Jordan.
American officials would not comment on whether the United States had made progress on that score. Saudi officials played down the importance of the subject at the meeting. They have questioned how much leverage they truly have with Syria and are clearly uncomfortable being seen as a proxy for the United States.
The meeting occurred hours before Ms. Rice was to leave for the Middle East to meet with Israel and moderate Arab allies. Mr. Bush returned from a weekend at his Texas ranch at midday, and she delayed her departure to attend the meeting.
I sent that question to a friend who worked in Saudi Arabia for 20 years.
The following is his reply:
Theologically - no. Because his allegiance is to Allah, the moon god of Arabia.
Religiously - no. Because no other religion is accepted by his Allah except Islam (Quran, 2:256)
Scripturally - no. Because his allegiance is to the five pillars of Islam and the Quran (Koran).
Geographically - no. Because his allegiance is to Mecca, to which he turns in prayer five times a day.
Socially - no. Because his allegiance to Islam forbids him to make friends with Christians or Jews.
Politically - no. Because he must submit to the mullah (spiritual leaders), who teach annihilation of Israel and Destruction of America, the great Satan.
Domestically - no. Because he is instructed to marry four women and beat and scourge his wife when she disobeys him (Quran ).
Intellectually - no. Because he cannot accept the American Constitution since it is based on Biblical principles and he believes the Bible to be corrupt.
Philosophically - no. Because Islam, Muhammad, and the Quran do not allow freedom of religion and expression. Democracy and Islam cannot co-exist.
Every Muslim government is either dictatorial or autocratic.
Spiritually - no. Because when we declare "one nation under God," the Christian's God is loving and kind, while Allah is NEVER referred to as heavenly father, nor is he ever called love in The Quran's 99 excellent names.
Therefore after much study and deliberation.... perhaps we should be very suspicious of ALL MUSLIMS in this country. They obviously cannot be both "good" Muslims and good Americans. Call it what you wish.... it's still the truth.
If you find yourself intellectually in agreement with the above statements, perhaps you will share this with your friends. The more who understand this, the better it will be for our country and our future.
Pass it on Fellow Americans. The religious war is bigger than we know or understand.
Support for such terrorist groups as Al Qaeda, Lashker-e-Toiba, Gemaa Islamiyah, Hamas, Hezbollah, Ansar al-Islam, and a hundred others, when they have been officially designated as terrorist groups, should be grounds for prompt deportation. If further legislation is needed, draft and pass -- at once -- that legislation.
The police and FBI should be taking pictures at every rally in support of Hezbollah. The same should be done in Canada, in Australia, and in the countries of Western Europe. For that matter, rather than videotape crowds and then try to recognize this or that ringleader, the police have a perfect right to arrest all those who show up to express their support for terrorist groups, and thus to identify them. Non-citizens can be promptly deported, and citizenship stripped -- if legislation is necessary, pass that too -- from those who have obtained it through what are likely to have been perjured oaths (ask them, question them closely, about their views at the time they took the oath of citizenship).
Why is this not being done? Why is this obvious measure -- would Nazi sympathizers have dared to meet or hold rallies during World War II? Would supporters of Soviet Communism have openly held rallies during the Cold War? What would the FBI and the police have done then? No one deplored, everyone supported, the round up of Nazi sympathizers -- save those who were Nazi sympathizers themselves. No one deplored, everyone supported, the round up of active members of the Communist Party, in which membership was outlawed. Why should Muslims think they are permitted to openly support Hezbollah right outside the GovernmentOfficeBuilding in Boston? Or in San Francisco? Or in New York? Or in London, or Paris, or anywhere else in the Infidel world? Terrorism is not the only, or even main, weapon of Jihad. But it is easy for the public to understand why those supporting terrorist groups should be deported, just as it is easy for us to comprehend by deporting such people helps cramp the style of the other major weapons of Jihad -- in this case, Da'wa (and pro-Islamic propaganda) and demographic conquest. Deport a few thousand, and how things will calm down.
The American government should extend to Israel the same guarantees it extends to such members of NATO as Spain under Zapatero, Italy under Prodi, Greece under all sorts of regimes, Turkey under Erdogan and others willing to believe that American soldiers in Iraq behaved "worse than the Nazis" and other close friends of ours, who have stood by us so steadfastly at the U.N., or stood up for us at the E.U. and in other forums. It is ridiculous to claim that an attack on those countries, as our "allies," will be treated as an attack on us, and not do the same for Israel -- or, for that matter, Australia.
Now is a good time to enter into such a treaty. The permanent anti-Israel brigade, what there is of it, in Congress, will object, but others, at this point, will not.
It would help peace. It would act to make it easier for Muslim states to invoke Daurura, or "necessity," for not attacking Israel. It would certainly cause many in Iran to put pressure on their regime to think again about attacking Israel, whether through proxies, as in Lebanon, or straight on. And that government needs to think again, and again, and to keep on thinking.
TimesOnline: The US Secretary of State left Washington last night and is thought to have landed at Larnaca airport in Cyprus, before changing to a helicopter for the short flight to Lebanese capital - the same trip, in reverse, taken by thousands of foreigners evacuated from the city by sea.
Dr Rice is due to travel on to Jerusalem today, for talks with Ehud Olmert, the Prime Minister, and meet Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian President, tomorrow before a meeting with Arab officials on Wednesday that is to be held in Rome because no Arab country was willing to host it.
But it is still not clear what her message will be. The United States has until now stopped short of pushing Israel for a cessation of hostilities, but Dr Rice told reporters accompanying her to the Middle East that the United States considered a ceasefire to be an urgent priority as long as it removed the threat posed to Israel by the Shia Muslim militant group.
"It is very important to establish conditions under which a ceasefire can take place. We believe that a ceasefire is urgent," she said. "It is important to have conditions that will make it also sustainable."
"You cannot be put on the list on the sole basis that you're a member of a 'terrorist group'," said the source. "In addition, you have to be a demonstrable threat to aviation safety." -- from this article
Why not? Why can't someone be put on "the list on the sole basis" that he is a member of a "terrorist group"? For that matter, why should anyone reasonably believed to support any "terrorist group" (by showing up to demonstrate on its behalf, for example, or by contributing money to it) not be put on such a "list"?
On what basis does someone assert "you cannot be put on the list"? On the basis of wishing to appease Muslim groups? Because the members of those groups have shown themselves to be capable of owing their allegiance to non-Muslim fellow-citizens and the Infidel nation-state, or because the members of those groups do not care to show, and cannot possibly show, such allegiance, either to non-Muslim fellow-citizens or to the legal and political institutions of the Infidel nation-state, that incidental state whose nationality they may have acquired, but to whom their allegiance cannot, to the extent that they are good Muslims, conceivably be offered.
This is not hard to prove. This is easy to prove. What is hard here is to understand the reasoning that underlies such policies as that described in this article. What leads to them? What are these officials in Canada thinking, what do they know, how do they reason? That is what is hard to understand.
WASHINGTON (AP) -- White House officials said President Bush remains opposed to an immediate cease-fire to stop violence in the Middle East, despite personal pleas from ally Saudi Arabia that he help stop the bloodshed...
"Our position on an immediate cease-fire is well known and has not changed," said White House national security spokesman Frederick Jones.
Round-up? Not yet, but if the illegal immigration issue stays at or near the top of voters' concerns--or gets back there by the November elections--then something like a round-up could result. (One hopes.)
VDare is always a good place to start on this issue. Steve Sailer 's recent piece there,"Voting Rights for Everyone--Whether Or Not They Speak English," clears rhetorical debris obscuring both the illegal immigration issue and the Voting Rights Act:
"[S]ome Congressmen probably would vote for a declaration of war against Canada if it were contained in a bill with the words `civil rights' in its title." ['Civil Rights' That Can Lead to Civil War, By Thomas Sowell, New York Daily News, April 24, 1990), p. 30, quoted in Paved With Good Intentions, p. 151]
President Bush's speech to the NAACP on Thursday was strikingly lacking in any sort of "Sister Souljah moment"—chiding that venerable but now notoriously corrupt and ineffectual black organization for even one of its numerous faults.
Instead, Bush made the climax of his speech a demand that the Senate pass a 25-year extension of the Voting Rights Act without amendment.
The Senate instantly complied by a vote of 98-0 (following the House's passage by the margin of 390-33).
As a substantive bill, the VRA extension was notable for insisting that foreign language ballots be provided to voters who need them.
Yet, to become a U.S. citizen, immigrants are legally required to prove that they are literate in English. So the need for a non-English ballot would appear to be prima facie proof that an immigrant either fraudulently became a citizen or that he is a noncitizen attempting to vote fraudulently.
Today's illegal aliens are not blending, not melting into society, not speaking English and not assimilating. Rather, they are separating into enclaves and creating apartheid within the USA. As former Colorado Governor Lamm said, "My sixth plan for America’s downfall would include dual citizenship and promote divided loyalties. I would celebrate diversity over unity. I would stress differences rather than similarities. Diverse people worldwide are mostly engaged in hating each other—that is, when they are not killing each other. A diverse, peaceful or stable society is against most historical precedent. People undervalue the unity it takes to keep a nation together."
formed when Col. Al Rodriguez became fed up watching media coverage of the mass protests of April. "Their leaders were saying it was a march for immigrant rights and a Latino/Hispanic movement," says Rodriguez. "I thought to myself, 'Hey, those are illegal aliens, not immigrants!'" Col. Rodriguez began speaking out to others saying, "I'm of Hispanic ancestry and those people are acting like they speak for me. Well, you don't speak for me!"
I'm all for "working through the political process" to stem the tide of illegals flooding through our borders, but I'm not sure I want any branch of the government involved except to make national elections national referendums on the issue. Why? Because both political parties are hopelessly compromised--think socialist-minded Democrats importing votes and Wall-Street-Journal-type Republicans who manage to turn a profit on illegals. (Yes, there are politicians who manage to plant their feet firmly in both camps.) If this doesn't constitute massive conflict of interest, nothing does.
As far as symbolic gestures are concerned, there is this very active group:
For a deeply ironic gesture, however, how about my idea: Hold a "Bring Back National Borders" day, on which all property owners erect little symbolic walls--and pay illegals do the building.
"I have been an agnostic since my teens. But I am increasingly drawn to the proposition that of all the hypotheses about God, simple atheism is the least probable. That to be a confident atheist is the silliest of intellectual positions. That thinking about spiritual issues, despite all the difficulties, must be part of being a grown-up."
SYRIA is prepared to tell the US the whereabouts of al-Qaeda cells in Lebanon, Britain's Sky News television reported today. - from this news item
So the Alawites will give up Al Qaeda, in the spirit of Joe "The Animal" Vellucci handing over Frank "Bananas" Buonanotte to the Feds (now played by Mr. and Mrs. America, and all those waiting ships at sea) in exchange for a little witness protection plan. So what? Oh, the Alawite generals will throw in the full membership list of the Ikhwan in Syria, too? Not surprising, because Al Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood would both be happy to smother in their beds every Alawite Infidel. Those "members of Al Qaeda" in Syria are no doubt members of the Al-Zarqawi school of Islamic theology, the takfiri who call all the Shi'a infidels and, in Iraq, "Rafidite dogs," so one can imagine what they think of the Mary-worshipping, hence shirk-guilty, Alawites.
That's not the point. The point, for now, is Hezbollah. Will Syria stop supplying Hezbollah and stop collaborating with Iran in other ways? This is not a matter, as many in Washington apparently think, of "the Syrians" (which Syrians? The Alawite ruling class, or the Sunni Arabs who would kill them if they could?) receiving recognition as "being central to any Middle Eastern settlement." That last phrase could only be uttered by those who fail to understand the real fears of the Alawites, and who credit them with an interest in a Middle Eastern "settlement" (i.e., a settlement of the Lesser Jihad against Israel, which cannot be "settled" but only constrained, only diminished in its capacity). More than any desire to have Syria on some supposed world stage is the desire of those Alawites to stay alive.
Recognize that. Exploit that. Make clear to them that all hell -- Sunni Arab hell -- can break lose, not least from the sinister past bankrollers who summoned the Syrians to Taif to do as they were told -- those who rule Saudi Arabia, which for the Syrians at this point is Mr. Big. And Mr. Big doesn't much care for the Iranian company Syria has been keeping, because the Iranian Shi'a are a rival gang, and need to have an asset or two removed.
Iran needs to be taught a lesson. Or two. The first lesson is what is now happening to Hezbollah as its weaponry, and hence the source of its power, is diminished. And with that diminishment comes a lessening of the fear that inhibits the Christians and the Druse and the diminished Sunni Arabs (how infuriating that the Shi'a managed to outbreed the Sunnis in Lebanon, as they did in Iraq -- just as Muslims outbreed Christians) from reasserting themselves, and the old confessional arrangement, instead of this dangerous nonsense about "democracy" (real democracy in Lebanon would end any hope for the Christians).
American policymakers should understood the nature of the Alawite regime, and the fears that have prompted that regime to be more pan-Arab than the full-fledged Muslim Arabs, more steadfast in their support of both Sunni Arabs in whatever they wish to do outside of Syria, by moving through Syria into Iraq, and in their support of Iran, in moving weaponry and agents through Syria into Lebanon. Mubarak and the Al-Saud distrust, fear, hate the Islamic Republic of Iran, not because it is fanatical in its anti-Infidel views, but because it is a danger to them and to their rule and that of those whom they hope will continue to rule. Why should this attitude not be exploited? Why should the Americans not urge Saudis and Mubarak to obtain fatwas from Al-Azhar and clerics right in Mecca and Medina, to declare the Alawites non-Muslims, and to make sure that is the topic on the airwaves and in the press for a very long time? Khaddam, the former Vice-President under Hafez al-Assad, took his stolen loot and invested it in French real estate, and from his well-fortified place in France he has refashioned himself as a "reformer" of Syria. But at least he, one of the regime's tame Sunnis, has to worry only about agents of the Alawites coming after him. But where would Bashir al-Assad and his Alawites go if the entire Sunni Arab world were to see them as Infidels, who had betrayed the Sunni Arabs and curried favor with Shi'a Iran? Where would they escape to, so that Sunnis intent on getting revenge for their half-century and more of despotic rule would not reach them?
The only way for the Alawites to save themselves is not, as some have it, by making themselves "central to any solution of the Middle East conflict." That idea is an idea for and by idiots. Their only hope is to retreat into Syria itself, for they have lost Lebanon. And if they stick with Hezbollah, which means Iran, they will have Egypt and Mr. Big -- Saudi Arabia -- to contend with. And the Alawites have this problem. It is called Islam. They are not real, full-fledged Muslims. And the real Muslims know it. But the American government apparently doesn't realize this, or if it does, does not know what to do with that realization.
Hezbollah has been completely candid in the source of its war aims: Qur'an and Sunnah. That is it. It wishes to destroy the Infidel state of Israel. That is a given. But it also wishes to fully islamize Lebanon, which means to transform the already imperilled Christians, who a few decades ago were at least secure in their own refuge and reoubt of Lebanon, the last stronghold of Christians, undhimmified and unsubmissive, in the entire area controlled by Muslims in the Middle East and North Africa. And finally, it wishes to make sure not only that Islam dominates "and is not to be dominated" but that the Shari'a, the Holy Law of Islam, is put into place. These are the three goals. One of them, only one of them, the goal to destroy Israel, is ever mentioned. The goal to destroy the Christians of Lebanon, to force them to become dhimmis, and thus forcibly put into a state of permanent humiliation, degradation, and physical insecurity, is not understood outside Lebanon, and even within the community of Lebanese Christians, not enough attention has been given to what Hezbollah intends. It is right for Christians to hate Hezbollah for what it has done to Lebanon, not only in doing the bidding of Syria, and through Syria, of Iran. It is right for them, and the Druse, and the Sunni Arabs, to see the Shi'a of Hezbollah as a direct threat to their interests. But do they see exactly what the threat is to the non-Muslims (Christians) or quasi-Muslims (Druse)? If they do, now is the time to scream about it, right in the ear of Condoleeza Rice, and the E.U., and the U.N.
It seems to me that we are witnessing the diplomatic equivalent of the legal catastrophe recently played out in the Hamdan case and the related debate over the extension of Geneva Convention protections to terrorists. To wit: the treatment as if it were a sovereign nation of a terrorist organization which exists outside the civilizing norms on which much of diplomacy (like much of international law) is premised.
Why should we assume that a diplomatic model that (at best, arguably) works for nation states should be applied to terrorist organizations?
For example, North Korea is a sovereign nation. Even those of us who might have objected to a "sustainable cease-fire" as a bad idea would have to acknowledge that there is a logic for it in principle. No one has any thought of doing away with North Korea, the sovereign country. Our diplomatic strategies are aimed at its regime; containing the regime — as opposed to toppling it or otherwise changing it — is a viable strategy because the country it represents is a fact of life.
That is not — or, at least, it shouldn't be — our calculation with Hezbollah. We DO want Hezbollah destroyed.
Wouldn't a "sustainable cease-fire" implicitly acknowledge Hezbollah's right to continue existing as a terrorist organization (and, by definition, prevent "firing" on it, which is the only realistic way it can be destroyed)? Wouldn't it, moreover, reward Hezbollah — by virtue of nothing other than its savagery — with the elevated status of a sovereign?
Excellent piece at Gates of Vienna on the evils of transnationalism, and of supra-national institutions such as the loathsome EU:
We need to re-establish national control with our borders and genuine, democratic control over immigration. If we have to withdraw from some of the international agreements favored by transnational progressivism, so be it. The situation as it is today simply isn’t sustainable. For Europeans in particular, it means scrapping the entire European Union in its present form, which is specifically designed to take power away from the people. Maybe it can be replaced by a free trade zone, but this must not include goals of completely abandoning national border controls.
Above all, we need to completely stop, and preferably reverse, Muslim immigration, as a significant Islamic presence is toxic to any democratic society.
I object to being ruled by a self-serving and malevolent bunch of Eurocrats who can't even produce an auditable set of accounts, let alone anything useful, and have blogged about it here.
I actually WATCHED the Miss Universe kitsch-fest. My womenfolk made me. They were all over it, ooh-ing and aah-ing and Oh No!-ing. I favored Miss Japan from the start, though she didn't look the least bit Japanese.
But what's with "Miss Puerto Rico"? That's NOT A COUNTRY. If there's a Miss Puerto Rico, why wasn't there a Miss Guam, a Miss Gibraltar, a Miss Falkland Islands, a Miss St. Helena, and so on? Seems to me Puerto Ricans are on to a nice thing. They get to be U.S. citizens when it suits them, and a "country" when it doesn't. Aren't there any RULES?
Rudy Giuliani, for a gag video at a press dinner, apparently dressed up as a woman. To counter that image of Rudy in drag, we really need a picture of Hillary Clinton doing a male-impersonation routine, in the style of Vesta Tilley. Any of Hillary's old classmates/friends/enemies got anything suitable? Or, would anyone really deft with Photoshop like to fake something? We're not fastidious about authenticity....
Every conservative I meet has SOMETHING against Rudy. (Me? His insouciance towards illegal immigration.) I don't think all those little discontents add up to one big discontent, though. Political arithmetic doesn't work like that. If I'll give him a pass on immigration, why would not conservatives of a different kidney give him a pass on their pet grievance? Leadership, as Kate quotes JPod saying, carries a lot of weight, and will carry much more if the WoT get more fraught. People will trade a lot for it. Enough to make Rudy president? That's the question.
I listened to Neil Conan’s program on NPR today, and the sad-voiced, morally pure -- too pure for the neighborhood he lives in, whether that neighborhood is called the Middle East or, alternatively, the real world -- is the novelist David Grossman, as poor a political guide as anyone in Israel. The Lebanese lady with her British accent did her best, ably assisted by a caller who claimed to have been offended by the duration of the Israeli campaign, to demonstrate why the Israeli "aggression" (as she, being quite careful, nonetheless let herself say) would not work and that Israel may have fallen into a "trap." Well, if it is a "trap" it is one that Lebanon --- whose government did nothing to ask for U.N. help to make good on that guarantee of demilitarization in the south that had been so grandly promised in order to get the Israelis to leave -- also has fallen into. What do the Maronites (and other Christians), what do the Druze, what do the old Sunni elites, horrified to discover that while they were all making backroom deals and divisions of power, nice Nabih Berri's Amal, the voice of the presumably oppressed, became or rather yielded to the implacable Muslim fanatics of Hezbollah. And perhaps not everyone knows this, but Hezbollah is not merely intent on destroying Israel. It is intent on destroying the Christians as a power in Lebanon, and the Druse (not quite full-fledged Muslims) as well. If Israel fails to knock out Hezbollah, it will not only be Israel that will suffer, but Lebanon, and its Christians, its Druze, its Sunni Arabs. That is certain.
And in San Francisco, more than 1,000 people crowded San Francisco's Justin Herman Plaza on Sunday to rally in support of Israel's military campaign in Lebanon and to hear U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein describe the American ally as "fighting for its very existence."
Feinstein invoked the al Qaeda attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 to describe Israel's fight against Hezbollah, a Lebanese militant group that on July 12 killed eight Israeli soldiers and captured two more in a cross-border raid. "When terrorists attacked our country on 9/11, Israel did not waver in support of the United States," she said. "And now, in time of need, we will not waver in our support."