These are all the Blogs posted on Friday, 26, 2007.
Friday, 26 January 2007
Bleep Save the Queen
Rise and shine, comrade ESTers. It's 9 degrees F out there. (What's the New Hampshire motto? "Live, Freeze, and Die"?) Whatever, on a day when Iranian attempts to convert ICBMs for Allah is the top story here's a non-story reported by AP:
ATLANTA — So much for God and country, at least during some in-flight showings of the Oscar-nominated movie "The Queen." That's because all mentions of God are bleeped out of a version of the film given to some commercial airlines.
Even in these politically correct times, censoring references to God in the film wasn't a statement of some kind. Rather, it was the mistake of an overzealous and inexperienced employee for a California company that edits movies selected for onboard entertainment.
The rookie censor was told to edit out all profanities — including any blasphemy — for the version of the movie distributed to Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines, Air New Zealand, and other carriers.
So the new censor mistakenly bleeped out each time a character said "God," instead of just when used as part of a profanity, said Jeff Klein, president of Jaguar Distribution, the company that distributed the movie to airlines this month.
"A reference to God is not taboo in any culture that I know of," Klein said. "We excise foul language, excessive violence and nudity."
In-flight viewers of the film at one point heard "(Bleep) bless you, ma'am," as one character spoke to the queen. In all, the word "God" is bleeped seven times in the version.
Fjordman has pointed out the natural synergy that has arisen between the Left and the Islamists:
[T]he fascination with Islamic movements… is partly based on hatred of the West and a belief that the world must be “liberated” from Western civilization, which is the cause of global injustice.
Can there be a more poignant manifestation of this trend than Denmark’s “City on Fire” project, which visualizes with great longing the incineration of Western Civilization? The useful idiots of our own culture are supplying the fuel while radical Islam provides the oxygen for the great conflagration.
The match may already have been put to the tinder. According to Daniel Pipes:
Significant elements in several Western countries - especially the United States, Great Britain, and Israel - believe their own governments to be repositories of evil, and see terrorism as just punishment for past sins.
Whether there is anything specific to the Muslim religion that encourages this radicalisation is an open question. Since 11th September, a small industry has sprung up trying to show how violence and even suicide bombing have deep Koranic or historical roots. It is important to remember, however, that at many periods in history Muslim societies have been more tolerant than their Christian counterparts. The Jewish philosopher Maimonides was born in Muslim Córdoba, which was a diverse centre of culture and learning; Baghdad for many generations hosted one of the world's largest Jewish communities. It makes no more sense to see today's radical Islamism as an inevitable outgrowth of Islam than to see fascism as the culmination of centuries of European Christianity. --Francis Fukuyama
Fukuyama wants to get in the game, but he doesn't want to do the necessary work. He's given at the office. He's tired. Islam, learning all about Islam and about all the elements of Islam, including the Qur'an and the interpretive doctrine of "naskh" and all the most authoritative Qur'anic commentators and jurisconsults, the Hadith and the isnad-chains and the muhaddithin and the levels of authenticity, the Sira and the significance of Muhammad in Islam, especially as "uswa hasana" and "al-insan al-kamil," would all have to be studied, and re-studied, and thoroughly assimilated. And then there is that 1350-year history of Islamic Jihad-conquest and all the instruments of Jihad that include, but are hardly exhausted by, military means, and the astonishingly or perhaps predictable similarity of treatment of non-Muslims from Spain to the East Indies -- that's a lot of work. And Fukuyama is used to the grand pronouncements, the illogical leaps, the lack of any felt need to produce the kind of evidence that well-trained historians require of others and demand of themselves -- that, at this point, is all beyond Francis Fukuyama, as it is of all those who, whether they are his admirers for "The End of History" or his former friends, like Charles Krauthammer, are just as lazy or even lazier and more ignorant of Islam than he, but none of that keeps them quiet, or modest in delivering themselves of what, in the end, is an endless series of guesses and unexamined assumptions (the "convivencia" of Islamic-ruled Spain, for example)and vaporings both portentous and often -- "The End of History" -- preposterous.
"Analysts both in the Muslim and the Western world by and large agree that “fear” and lack of objective dialogue are the root cause of Islamophobia and Anti-Americanism."-- a statement by Abukar Arman from this news article
Not so fast, buster. The word "islamophobia" is not an acceptable term for intelligent apprehensions over Islam, and the adherents of a total belief-system whose central and moving idea is that of a complete division between Believer and Infidel, that asks of Believers that they offer their sole loyalty to Islam as a Total System, and to the Jihad, furthered through many conceivable instruments, to spread the dominance of Islam to lands that for now may still be under Infidel rule, and to ensure, along with that dominance of Islam (by removing "all obstacles" to its spread) that Muslims rule, and not just here or there, not just in the lands now part of Dar al-Islam or once part of Dar al-Islam, but everywhere.
The large-scale presence of Muslims in the Lands of the Infidels has brought about a situation, for those indigenous Infidels (and also for other non-indigenous arrivals, non-Muslim immigrants) that is more unpleasant, expensive (the costs of monitoring, the costs of security, spiralling ever upward), and physically dangerous (ask a Frenchman who dares to enter the "quartiers chauds" which are all over France, or ask English residents of Birmingham and Bradford and Leeds and Manchester and parts of London, or ask Swedes in Malmo, or Dutch in Rotterdam and parts of Amsterdam). "Islamophobia" is a word concocted to make those who are rightly troubled, and more than troubled, by what they have learned of Islam, largely through the observable behavior of Muslims around the world, and not only in the West, but also through more and deeper study of the canonical texts and of the history of Jihad-conquest, over the past 1350 years, from Spain to the East Indies,and of the subsequent subjugation of many different non-Muslim peoples: Christians, Jews, Zoroastrians, Hindus, Buddhists, and others. The similarities in their treatment, and the similarities in the impulses and attitudes exhibited by Muslims over a wide area, are simply too great to ignore. And the problems of Muslims in Australia and England, in France and Germany, in Spain and Italy, in Belgium and the Netherlands, in Sweden and Denmark and Norway, or even, in far fewer numbers, in the United States and Canada -- the same kinds of hostility, the same kinds of wearing-away demands, false or real outrage, refusal to truly collaborate with the security services, constant attempts to undermine the most commonsensical of measures, sustained and cynical campaigns of Da'wa, often based on hiding the reality of Islam and offering the most superficial aspects of it (the rituals), to a vulnerable targetted audience of the economically and psychically marginal, and so many other things -- including the astonishing campaigns to shut down free speech everywhere, not only in Denmark (at Jyllands-Posten, which resulted in death threats directed at Danes from all over the Dar al-Islam, but in The Netherlands (the murders of Pym Fortuyn and Theo van Gogh), and the death threats that have driven some out of their jobs (Robert Redeker in France), and other kinds of threats have forced others to cease the expression of their views (Will Cummins in Great Britain) -- this is Islam. Islam On the March, determined to keep and hold and expand what it sees as its beachhead, and more than a beachhead, all over the Dar al-Harb.
The inability or willful refusal by many in the West to understand this is a product of many things, and among those things is sentimentalism about How All People Are the Same the Whole World Over and Everyone Wants the Same Thing, with its obvious variant All Religions Are Equally Dangerous (just look at a those blood-curdling lines about the Canaanites in old Hebrew texts -- why, that makes Judaism just as dangerous, maybe more so, than Islam with whatever it is said to inculcate -- doesn't it?
What this transparent attempt at symmetry offers is not one falsehood but many. "Islamophobia" is a word used by apologists for Islam to avoid answering specific, detailed, and knowledgeable questions about Islam -- questions that cannot be answered, in truth, because if the truth were offered as an answer it would force Muslims themselves to indict Islam, to admit that what is in the texts is in the texts, and is taken seriously by a billion people, and those who do not take the texts seriously are not "moderate" Muslims but essentially bad Muslims, unobservant Muslims, Muslims who do not really believe. And this group of ill-defined "moderates," their numbers enlarged through the lenses of Infidel hope, are themselves always open to the possibility of relapse, and so are all of their descendants, so that it makes no sense for Infidels to base their own security and that of their institutions, on the "hope" that those "moderate" -- i.e., bad -- Muslims, will remain forever "moderate," will never change their minds, and their children, unto the nth generation, will be the same.
That is a wager that Infidels should not be asked to make: to bet their physical safety, and that of their children and grandchildren, and that of their societies, already in various states of confusion and disarray, and facing all kinds of problems, on this Total Belief-System that originated, 1350 years, as an ideology, compounded of bits and pieces, distorted or misremembered, of both Judaism and Christianity, and with a substratum of pre-Islamic Arab paganism.
No. That should not be expected of us, the Infidels. We are not ready to concede or commit civilizational suicide, or do the Muslims of this world still more favors. The Jihad is a permanent doctrine and duty, but it falls into desuetude whenever Muslims face overwhelmingly superior power. But in the last few decades the chief change in Muslim fortunes has been -- a change in Muslim fortunes. They have benefited from the receipt of the largest transfer of wealth in human history, some ten trillion dollars since 1973, all because many Muslim states happen to sit on oil reserves that they did nothing to deserve, and have received money with which they have purchased hundreds of billions of dollars of arms, a hundred billion dollars in mosques, madrasas, and propaganda for Da'wa all around the world, and an army of Western hirelings -- ex-diplomats, ex-intelligence agents, journalists, academics for rent or for buying, and so many businessmen, panting for Arab money, all of whom have and continue to make out like gangbusters, as they betray their own societies, from within, for the sake of their disgusting personal gain.
This wealth was one development. The second was the mass migration, of millions upon millions of Muslims, nearly simultaneous with that oil wealth, a migration not impeded but looked on blandly by the ignorant and heedless Western governments, whose ruling classes never stopped to consider what Islam was all about, and never consulted the real experts on Islam (many of whom had died or retired, and were not replaced by people of the same caliber), but rather relied on a succession of newly-minted "experts" who often were apologists for Islam, had no historic sense or even much training in history, and were rather either the products of this scienza nuova or New Science of "international relations" (see Olivier Roy, see all the graduates of Johns Hopkins, the Woodrow Wilson School, the Kennedy School), taught about Islam by the apologists for Islam who had carefully infiltrated, and risen high within, and taken over, both many departments of Islamic and Middle Eastern studies,and also the relevant professional organizations (google "MESA Nostra" for more), who saw nothing alarming about Islam, and therefore about those millions of Muslim immigrants who, it was foreseen, would "adjust" just as other immigrant groups had adjusted. And in some countries, the Spirit of the Age, with its hypertrophied white or European or Western guilt, its belief in the Goodness of the Third World which substituted for an intelligent appreciation of the developments in the advanced West that had made that West so very different from that supposedly virtuous Third World, the apotheosis in the collective Western mind of Rousseau's Noble Savage, with the emphasis on the adjective rather than, as it should have been, on the noun. So they were allowed in, to settle deep behind what they themselves are taught to regard as enemy lines. And they are there, steadily and inexorably multiplying, all over Western Europe, today -- with the results we all see, in the demands made, the expenses incurred, the dangers that we now all must pass, in our own countries, because of this large-scale Muslim presence that, unheeded and unimpeded, proceeded without the few who raised an alarm (such scholars as Charles-Emmanuel Dufourcq in France, or von Grunebaum in the United States) being paid any attention.
The OPEC oil money (ten trillion dollars since 1973 to its Muslim members) and the Muslim migration to the Lands of the Infidels were two of the three necessary developments that made the re-emergence of Jihad against Infidels not merely likely, but inevitable. The third was the appropriation, by a newly-rich Islamic camp, of new technologies in the Western world.
These technologies were of two types.
One consists of the advanced weaponry which the Infidel world -- both in the West and in the East -- is happy to sell, so that Muslims, unable to produce any such weaponry themselves, are nonetheless with their new oil wealth able to buy almost everything that exists on the world market. They have even been able to finance the theft of Western secrets (A. Q. Khan) and the development, based on those stolen secrets, of nuclear weaponry in one country (Pakistan), and the development, so far not to the point of completion, through the buying, not manufacture, of essential components from the West, of similar weaponry and the means to deliver them, in Iran. And other Muslim countries, including Egypt and Saudi Arabia, are most interested in, and the former has already been working on, other weapons of the kind called "weapons of mass destruction."
The second kind of technology useful in the conduct of the newly-energized Jihad that Muslims have been able not to produce but to buy, has been the gewgaws and systems that allow for the rapid dissemination of the Muslim message, of Da'wa and of propaganda, both to Muslims world-wide, including many formerly unaware of the full malevolent contents of Islam, and to the Western world, where some are ready to succumb or at least to accept the careful Muslim version of things. This technology consists of audiocassettes (which proved so useful in spreading Khomeini's message from Neauphle-le-chateau back to Iran), videocassettes and the Internet (with those tapes of Al-Qaeda's exploits, or Jihad propaganda of all kinds, including those recruiting tapes that use scenes of Infidel decapitations to gain popularity), and satellite channels (Al-Jazeera could not exist without Western satellites, and Al-Jazeera, always an enemy of the Western world, has now become even more so, having been taken over by the Muslim Brotherhood yet allowed to beam everywhere, and to open bureaus, everywhere, in the Western world).
Jihad itself does not change. It remains an immutable and central duty of Muslims. It has been called the Sixth Pillar of Islam. The means by which Jihad is conducted, the instruments it employs, depend on the circumstances. Those who think of it only in terms of the military, of combat or qitaal (a word that occurs frequently in the Qur'an), are making a mistake. The most effective weapons of Jihad are now the money weapon, Da'wa, and demographic conquest. And very little, almost nothing, is being done about these, for to do something, one would first have to know about Islam,and understand the nature of this belief-system, and why it is not merely one more alien creed, but rather, an alien and hostile and most dangerous creed, to the Western world, and to non-Western Infidels as well, everywhere.
Iran plans to launch a satellite soon using a ballistic missile converted into a launch vehicle, Aviation Week & Space Technology reports. The conversion of the 800- to 1,000-mile range Shahab 3 missile could be a step in development of an intercontinental ballistic missile with a range of as much as 2,500 miles. That would give Iran the ability to strike central Europe, Russia and possibly India and China, extending its range out of the Middle East. Alaoddin Boroujerdi, chairman of the Parliament's National Security and Foreign Policy Commission, said the satellite launcher has been completed. Uzi Rubin, the former head of the Israel Missile Defense Organization, in a report to the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, said he believes Iran wants to launch reconnaissance satellites from its own territory. "A reconnaissance satellite of reasonable performance should weigh about 300 kilograms (660 pounds)," Rubin said. "Once Iran learns how to put 300 kilograms into earth orbit, it could adapt the satellite launcher into an ICBM that could drop more than 300 kilograms anywhere in the world."
Besides demanding the Federal Government enforce existing immigration laws (and build one fine fence to help), Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-CO), who is running for the Republican nomination for president, takes a principled stand on another issue lately in the news, as reported by Laurie Kellman for AP:
WASHINGTON — White House hopeful Tom Tancredo said yesterday that the existence of the Congressional Black Caucus and other race-based groups of lawmakers amounts to segregation and should be abolished.
"It is utterly hypocritical for Congress to extol the virtues of a colorblind society while officially sanctioning caucuses that are based solely on race," the Republican of Colorado, who is known as a vocal critic of illegal immigration, said.
"If we are serious about achieving the goal of a colorblind society, Congress should lead by example and end these divisive, race-based caucuses," Mr. Tancredo, who will pitch his presidential bid this weekend in New Hampshire, said.
Mr. Tancredo's request — relayed in a letter to the Administration Committee chairwoman, Rep. Juanita Millender-McDonald, a Democrat of California — revived his effort to change House rules to abolish the groups.
Is there a hope Congress will take heed? Probably not, which is too bad for Democrats, whose ability to appear as a national party are impeded by the existence of the caucuses. (It's doubtful many Republicans will join Rep. Tancredo in shaking up the status quo.)
"There were a couple of thousand Jews living in Karachi and Peshawar before the partition of India and the formation of Pakistan in 1947. Their families mostly migrated from Iraq in the 19th century."-- from this news article
These were Jews who left Baghdad when it was still under Ottoman rule (the real flourishing, and it was temporary, of the Baghdadi Jews came in the 1920s, under the protection of the British -- and those who assume that the Jews of Baghdad had it good before, or after, misremember or miss the point: the British presence for a decade was akin to the Mongol presence in Baghdad for about a half-century after the conquest of 1258, a brief period in which the dhimmi status of both Christians and Jews was lifted, only to be reimposed when those ruling Mongols converted to Islam).
The history of modern Asia, and its development, is punctuated by the names of merchant and banking families of Baghdadi Jews that proved to be so important in many different parts of Asia, including both India and China. We have heard of the Kadoories and the Sassoons, especially in regard to Hong Kong and the beginnings of the city of Shanghai, in which Baghdadi Jews played such an important role, in the 1920s (few non-Chinese may not be aware of how new Shanghai is). But there were others, such as the Marshalls. In the 1940s, in Mumbai, one of the Marshalls was a classmate of Bhutto. Another Marshall, was an important figure in the independence movement, and became the first prime minister of, Singapore. (See the biography of Marshall by Chan Hee Cheng)
..."We will not allow hegemony of a hostile regime to have power over this area," U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Zalmay Khalilzad said this week.
But changing the "behavior" of the Iranian government, as Khalilzad proposes, collides with Iran's expanding influence in Iraq, which is built on deep cultural ties as well as personal and business relationships developed during the years that many leading Iraqi Shiite politicians spent in exile in Iran.
Iran has dispatched 56 diplomats to staff its embassy in Baghdad and consulates in Basra and Karbala. It maintains informal liaison offices in the Kurdish cities of Sulaymaniyah and Irbil, the latter of which was raided Jan. 11 by U.S. troops, who arrested five Iranians. Each day, Iran provides 1,000 tons of cooking gas, about 20 percent of the Iraqi demand, and 2 million liters of kerosene. Iran exports electricity through Iraq's Diyala province and plans to quadruple the amount with new projects, Iraqi officials say.
Iran has also extended a $1 billion line of credit to Iraq to help fund reconstruction and rebuilding. When Iraqi President Jalal Talabani and his delegation of ministers visited Iran in November, he asked for more help and said Iraq "would like to expand our relations in every field with the Islamic Republic of Iran."
"The economic power between the two countries, it's enormous," said Hassan Kazemi Qomi, Iran's ambassador to Iraq. "We can help them in technical issues and engineering. We have a lot of experience in building roads and airports."
Qomi works inside a stone embassy in a compound with lush gardens and spear-wielding statuary just outside the fortified Green Zone, the seat of U.S. power in Iraq. When he speaks of the Americans, he calls them "the others."
"As for our policy, it's clear and it's going forward. We are happy with the Iraqi government," Qomi said at a recent news conference. "The kidnapping of our diplomats will have no effect at all on our help and cooperation with the Iraqi side. . . . We are only at the first stages of this support."...
"Bahraini Liberal Author Dhiyaa Al-Musawi: We Hang Our Thinkers on the Gallows of Ideology. I Listen to Music and Placed Pictures of Jesus and Martin Luther King in My Home" --from MEMRI
Essentially he is a Christian wannabe who cannot quite face the actual contents of Islam -- note that he mentions the "balance" in the Qur'an, an entirely factitious balance when it comes to the discussion of Infidels, by the way, but also fails to mention the Hadith, and the Sira. A good man, but a self-deluded one, as good Muslims have to be, pretending in their own Private Islam that has little foundation in the texts and none in the beliefs, attitudes, and atmospherics to be found all over the Muslim world.
This author calls himself a Muslim now for some reason or blend of reasons. It might be out of filial piety. It might be out of fear of doing what Robert Hossein did when he tried to convert, or did convert, to Christianity in Kuwait (supposedly "soft" and "tolerant" Kuwait) and lost his wife, his children, his business, and then was threatened with death, until he recanted, and what was described to me by a Kuwaiti tycoon, a charming host and otherwise seemingly sensible, as "his [Hossein's] temporary insanity ended."
But what a daring fellow he is. He listens to music. He puts up pictures of Jesus and Martin Luther King. He actually likes all this talk of "peace" and stuff like that. He's a menace. He's a danger. I'd arrest him, if I were the authorities, or if I were Hamid, the self-promoted "King" of Bahrain, and pronto.
Jimmy Carter has apologized for what he called a "stupid" passage in his book that critics say is a de facto endorsement of Palestinian violence against Israelis. The former president had spent most of the past two months defending his new book, "Palestine: Peace not Apartheid," after 15 board members at his Atlanta-based Carter Center resigned in protest of the book's content. "I apologize to you personally and to everyone here," Mr. Carter said when asked about the passage by a student during his appearance at Brandeis University on Tuesday. After explaining that the passage was "worded in a completely improper and stupid way," Mr. Carter said he has asked publisher Simon & Schuster Inc. to change the wording in future editions of the book. The questionable passage, which appears on Page 213 of the book, reads: "It is imperative that the general Arab community and all significant Palestinian groups make it clear that they will end the suicide bombings and other acts of terrorism when international laws and the ultimate goals of the Roadmap for Peace are accepted by Israel." ...
Mr. Carter's appearance at the Brandeis campus in Boston was followed by an appearance by Harvard University law professor Alan Dershowitz, who has been critical of the book. Although Mr. Carter refused to debate him and even to appear with him, Mr. Dershowitz told the students in attendance that he appreciated the former president's apology. "You heard the Brandeis Jimmy Carter today, and he was terrific," Mr. Dershowitz said. "I support almost everything he said. But if you listen to the Al Jazeera Jimmy Carter, you'll hear a very different perspective."
Much like a mass murderer who confesses to kicking the cat.
Gerard Baker brilliantly unmasks Hillary in the London Times.
I must confess to having felt a frisson of fear when Baker referred to "the black arts." Not that I am one of those who believes Mrs. Clinton to be a limb of Satan—of course not! I would say, though, that if one of her people should ask you to exchanges ties with him as souvenirs, DON'T DO IT.
“We have addressed the issues related to this unfortunate and unnecessary incident, and have agreed with Senator Boxer that we should all move forward to build a nation in which people of all faiths work together to promote respect and tolerance"-- from a statement by a CAIR official quoted in this news item
There is exactly one faith that inculcates in its adherents a strict division of the world between Believer and Infidel, and teaches that an endless state of war exists between Believer and Infidel, a war that does not necessarily erupt into fighting, but that nonetheless goes on, as Believers must work, using whatever instruments of Jihad are at hand and prove to be effective at a particular time and place, to spread Islam throughout the Bilad al-kufr, or Lands of the Infidels, until any "barriers to Islam" (and those, for Muslims, include the political and legal institutions of the Infidel nation-state) are removed, so that Islam can everywhere dominate ("Islam is to dominate and not to be dominated" insisted Muhammad) and Muslims rule, everywhere.
What needs to be done is an end to taqiyya-and-tu-quoque by Muslim spokesmen and other apologists, because any continuing of this kind of behavior simply arouses suspicions, that grow, and grow, quite reasonably, and force Infidels to find out more and more about Islam, its teachings, its attitudes, its atmospherics, and about the 1350-year history of Jihad-conquest and subjugation, under Muslim rule, of non-Muslims in the lands conquered by Islam. And more knowledge about these matters -- real knowledge, not the esposito-sells-ernst-armstrong pap, is the last thing Muslims want to see being acquired, and then disseminated, among the Infidels among whom they have been allowed, without any critical scrutiny or understanding of Islam on the part of those whose duty it is to both instruct and protect us, our rulers, who have everywhere in North America but still more dangerously in Western Europe, have permitted criminally negligent policies to remain in force, without -- until recently -- even a glimmer of some coming to their senses in time.
Now it is happening, despite the best efforts of CAIR -- or perhaps, it should be said, in reaction to the best efforts of sinister CAIR.
Old British journalism warhorse Bill Deedes, heading for his 94th birthday, can still do the business. Here he is writing about government secrecy, as it used to be done:
"My sister Hermione Phipps, who died this week, had spent all her professional life, including the war years, in MI5, tactfully described in the family circle as 'the Foreign Office'. I have no idea what she did, for, in a long and happy association, we never discussed her work. There was a day in the 1950s when I was a junior minister in the Home Office, and we were called on to decide whether or not to admit a certain individual to this country. I was advised to consult MI5. The voice that responded to our telephone call was my sister's. We never subsequently talked about even this minor coincidence. She belonged to an age in which the confidential business of the state remained confidential."
The Bush administration has authorized the U.S. military to kill or capture Iranian operatives inside Iraq as part of an aggressive new strategy to weaken Tehran's influence across the Middle East and compel it to give up its nuclear program, according to government and counterterrorism officials with direct knowledge of the effort.
For more than a year, U.S. forces in Iraq have secretly detained dozens of suspected Iranian agents, holding them for three to four days at a time. The "catch and release" policy was designed to avoid escalating tensions with Iran and yet intimidate its emissaries. U.S. forces collected DNA samples from some of the Iranians without their knowledge, subjected others to retina scans, and fingerprinted and photographed all of them before letting them go...
"As one U.S. official accurately described the policy: 'We were bending over backwards not to fight back.'"--from this news item
Whether one thinks the war in Iraq is a case of squandering resources in pursuit of exactly the wrong goal (a stable, united, prosperous Iraq), or not, everyone should be enraged to learn that there was, until recently, a policy of holding Iranian agents and then letting them go after a few days in order not to anger the Islamic Republic of Iran. This makes no sense. If the troops are there, as long as they are there, they should not be employed in "reconstructing" Iraq but in killing as many of the most dangerous Sunnis and Shi'a -- dangerous to Infidels, of course -- as possible. Ideally the Sunnis would find and kill the Iranian agents. But if at this point, it has been left to the Americans, then let them do it. Without any holding back for wrong-headed reasons, as has until now, apparently, been the case.
So the American army perhaps doesn't quite need so many Humvees and airplanes and Bradley fighting vehicles and rifles and suchlike. No, what the American army needs is a few thousand, but very large, Hav-a-Heart traps that you use to catch squirrels, and then to release them a few miles away.
The New Army. It's not just for fighting anymore, or inflicting maximum damage on an enemy, or on several variants of the same enemy. No, no. Now the army is all about winning hearts. And winning minds. It's all about observing the rules for the "typical insurgency" ("The typical insurgency lasts about ten years.""The typical insurgency can be won if you first win over the people." "The typical insurgency..."-- fill in as the spirit moves you). It's all about rebuilding, or building for the first time, in many cases, schools and hospitals and power plants and roads, in order to make the people in this or that country happy, or at least temporarily subdued in their hostility, as long as the goods and services and cash keep on coming in, and coming in, because as soon as we stop the largesse, they will revert, or display openly, their inculcated hatred of Infidels not for what they do, but for what they are -- Infidels.
And the New Army is those Hav-a-Heart Traps. It's the humane way -- whether you are dealing with little tiny furry creatures of the sciurine variety, or with Iranian members of the Revolutionary Guards, or some other unit dedicated to spreading mayhem and murder in Iraq, and especially directed at you.
CAIR is nowhere to be found in this story. The issue has suddenly switched to bias against "Arabs," but the remark they object to has nothing to do with Arabs and everything to do with Muslims. (h/t LGF)
NEW YORK - Three groups are urging ABC News not to keep CNN Headline News personality Glenn Beck on as a "Good Morning America" commentator because they believe he's biased against Arabs.
The Arab American Institute, American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee and the Muslim Public Affairs Council all said Thursday they had written to ABC News President David Westin about Beck.
"Good Morning America" executive producer Jim Murphy has spoken to a representative of the groups and has invited them on the air to talk about their grievances, said ABC News spokeswoman Jeffrey Schneider. Beck has appeared twice on the show, once together with a Muslim religious leader.
The groups said that Beck _ who's drawing strong ratings with his evening show on CNN Headline News _ has stated on his show that Arab and Muslim Americans are apathetic to terrorism. During an interview in November with Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison (news, bio, voting record), the first Muslim member of Congress, Beck asked him to "prove to me that you are not working with our enemies."..
"Whether there is anything specific to the Muslim religion that encourages this radicalisation is an open question"-- Francis Fukuyama
It's not an "open question" to Ibn Warraq, or Ali Sina, or Ayaan Hirsi Ali or Wafa Sultan or Azam Kamguian or Irfan Khawaja or Walid Shoebat or Anwar Shaikh or tens (or possibly hundreds) of thousands of articulate ex-Muslims now living in the West and able to speak and write freely. They know Islam a bit better than Francis Fukuyama. Of course, they would reject not only his use of the phrase "open question" but his larger assumption: that there might be something in what he too easily calls "the Muslim religion" (Islam is a Total System, Islam is a religion and a politics and a social theory and a geopolitics and a scientific explanation of the universe and much more), something "specific" that "encourages this radicalisation." The way Fukuyama phrases things, it is clear that he thinks Islam alone is not the problem, but only the "radicalisation" of Islam. And both the declared apostates, and those few brave Muslim-for-identification-purposes-only Muslims, such as Magdi Allam, could explain how wrong Fukuyama is to make such a misleading distinction between an assumed peaceful, good, unmenacing "Islam" and this dangerous "radicalisation" that, Fukuyama complacently allows himself to believe, is somehow different in its texts and teachings from regular, mainstream, ordinary Islam. There is no such difference.
Ibn Warraq again: "There are moderate Muslims. Islam itself is not moderate." The knowledge that some Muslims are incomplete or "bad" Muslims is not sufficiently comforting to Infidels to allow them not to wish to limit, however they can, the power and presence of Islam in their own, imperilled, Infidel lands.
China's ruling Communist Party has banned images and mention of pigs in TV advertisements airing over the lunar new year to avoid offending the country's Muslims, an advertising agency said on Friday.--from this news item
In China? With the Year of the Pig? And the pig rendered into pork, twice-cooked, sweet-and-sour, moo shu or Szechuan style, pork with its pride of place in Chinese cuisine, a cuisine which in turn is not at the margins but at the center of Chinese civilization (see the inimitable K. C. Chang's "Food in Chinese Culture")? Can this be?
Yes, that is apparently what may be happening in China, to judge by this announcement. China is merely, in its unnecessary appeasement of Muslim oil producers (did the Saudis make such a request? Did someone in the Chinese government think it would be a nice gesture, a clever idea?), following other more civilized states in the West that have for decades been appeasing the less civilized Muslim oil producers -- that is, appeasing, or attempting to, the adherents of a primitive and what's more, largely immutable belief-system, that has limited the possibilities of art and science and human freedom, a collectivist and fighting faith that teaches its adherents to divide the world between Believer and Infidel -- even the Chinese government, apparently now laboring under the same delusion as so many American policymakers have, that they need to avoid offending Muslims in order to obtain "access to oil" (it's nonsense: no favors are done, no preferential pricing achieved, by anything done or not done; there is a market price for oil, and the only thing that needs to be done to obtain that oil is to pay that market price. Not a single favor -- indeed, any buyer is able, on the world-market, to buy oil from any producer, no matter how much at odds that producer and that buyer might be, as long as that market price is offered to someone. Know at least that economic truth, and that truth shall make you, in the conduct of your domestic and foreign policy, free -- or a good deal much freer.
If this story is true, it is no longer the stuff of fantasy but is still fantastic.
Whatever Happened to the Jews, Hindus and Christians of Pakistan?
ISLAMABAD - The Pakistan government census on civil servants raised curiosity on Thursday about one of the Islamic Republic’s smallest and most low-profile religious minorities -- the Jews.
The 2003 census, released on a government Web site last week, showed none of the 234,933 government employees declared themselves to be Jews, though 10 had done so in the previous census three years earlier.
“Whatever happened to the 10 Jew civil servants?,” read a headline in The News daily, Pakistan’s biggest-selling English language newspaper, on Thursday.--from this news item
And what about the "news" that in Pakistan, which at Partition had a population that was 15% Hindu (I don't know what percentage of the population was Christian) is now down to a non-Muslim population, of both Hindus and Christians, of 4%.
No Pakistanis surprised by that?
Nor are they surprised, I suspect, to find that the 35% of the population in formerly East Pakistan, now Bangladesh, that was non-Muslim at Partition, has become a mere 7% of Bangladesh's population. Remember that little war in 1970-71? You don't? You don't remember the million or more killed by the raping, murdering, looting army of West Pakistan in East Pakistan, aided by local Muslim fanatics called "razakars" who were happy to help kill those, mostly secularists, eager for Bengali independence despite Pakistan's insistence, echoed by local collaborators, that such independence would be "bad for Islam"? Well, in Bangladesh, where 35% of the population at Partition was non-Muslim, that figure is now 7%, and falling.
No Bangladeshi Muslims surprised at that?
And are Pakistanis surprised, are Bangladeshis surprised, to discover that, while the percentage of non-Muslims in their countries keeps going deeply down, in India, the Muslim percentage of the population has steadily risen?
Apparently there is something in the air of Pakistan (and Bangladesh) that drives non-Muslims out, or forces them to convert. And there is something not to be found in the air of India that would explain why Muslims have thrived and multiplied, in that predominately Hindu country, so that both their relative and absolute numbers have increased..What could that something be?
John Derbyshire mentions the journalist and nonagenarian William Deedes, who worked for decades on "The Telegraph." Supposedly a model for Boot in "Scoop," Deedes may have helped prepare his own obituary for that series of them which, appearing in The Telegraph, have become famous for limning a generation of giants in the earth -- that is, men and women born in the British Empire between, roughly, 1890 and 1920, who were especially noteworthy for their often amazing feats of understated derring-do during World War II, feats that went unbemedalled and sometimes forgotten even by those who performed them, but live on in those Telegraph obituaries (some have been collected in book form -- I own the "Second Series" but not the "First Series"). William Deedes' exploits did not involve an escape from Colditz, or some raid with Norwegians on a German Navy vessel in the frozen north; they were not military, but real nonetheless.
And also real were the moral exploits of one of the few British heroes during the Mandate for Palestine: Wyndham Deedes, the uncle of William Deedes. Wyndham Deedes took the terms of the Mandate seriously. The British, as mandatory authority, had committed themselves, in accepting the Mandate, to fulfill its terms: to "facilitate Jewish immigration" and then to "encourage close Jewish settlement on the land." They mostly did neither, and as with those who now flock, in the diplomatic corps, to the Middle Eastern desks the Palestine Mandate tended to attract those who favored the Arabs for all kinds of reasons, including the local color the Nashahibis and the Khalidis and the other notable clans seemed to provide, but also because of the treacly behavior toward the British that the Arabs offered, while the Jewish immigrants were seen as insubmissive Eastern Europeans, carrying Bolshevism in their suitcases, and prepared to spread that Jewish Bolshevism everywhere. There was plenty of that to go around.
But Wyndham Deedes was one of the exceptions. He was like Colonel John Henry Patterson who, during and just after World War I, helped to train the Palestine Legion. He was like Colonel Richard Meintertzhagen (who has been getting a bad press recently by some who, I think, don't much care for Meinterzhagen's general take on the Arab-Jewish conflict). He was like Captain Orde Wingate, who was always on the right side of every conflict, and who was forced out of Palestine, and sent to Ethiopia, for the crime of daring to train Jews to defend themselves against attacks by marauding bands of Arabs; in Ethiopia he naturally helped the Negus against the troops of Mussolini. Still later, in the war, Orde Wingate was in the Burma theatre, organizing a guerrilla group (under the overall command of General Slim), to harry the Japanese. Wingate died in a plane crash and his remains, and those of the other British and Americans with him, could not be separated, so they were buried together in one of the collective graves at Arlington National Cemetery.
Wyndham Deedes always stood up for the Jews, so wretchedly treated by the Mandatory authorities, and in London, by so many, including Macdonald with his White Paper of 1939 (limiting to 15,000 a year the number of Jews who might be admitted, flatly against the letter and spirit of the Mandate for Palestine, and at the very time when as many as a million Jews might have been saved -- the ports of Rumania remained open throughout the war) and many others. This was because, rather than in spite, of,the fact that Wyndham Deedes was that unusual thing, a True Christian. Much later, at the end of his life, he lived, not full of awards and money, but in a one-room flat, the getting and spending part of life never of much interest to him. There is a lot that could be said about Wyndham Deedes as one of the heroes of the British administration of Palestine -- but you can look it up for yourself. And perhaps you will.