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The Oil Cringe of the West: The Collected Essays and Reviews of J.B. Kelly Vol. 2
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These are all the Blogs posted on Sunday, 26, 2006.
Sunday, 26 November 2006
Inside the Iraq Study Group

No surprises here.

...All the experts wanted to make sure Baker, who is still closely connected to the Bush family, was in the room when they spoke. Several noted his telltale body language, which could dismiss a comment with as little as a raised eyebrow.

"We were all reading his face. If someone was expounding on something, Baker would get a distant look. He made clear he was not willing to go down that road," said an expert who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the final report has not been released...

The only hint of a possible outcome came during an ad hoc vote. On Sept. 18, experts assembled to present two options to the panel: "Stability First," to stabilize Baghdad and make intense reconciliation efforts with insurgents, and "Redeploy and Contain," to gradually withdraw troops while containing terrorist threats.

The chairmen then called for a quick vote by the experts. Accounts vary, though most agree that the "Stability First" option won -- by a large margin, some said.

In a reflection of shifting U.S. sentiments on the war, the chairmen called for a second vote at their last meeting with the experts in October. This time, participants said, the vote was almost evenly divided between stability and gradual withdrawal. Sticking around to stabilize Iraq won by only a tiny margin.

Posted on 11/26/2006 6:52 AM by Rebecca Bynum
Sunday, 26 November 2006
Not so bitsy, not so teeny, polka-dot-less new Burqini

A while ago I complained of all or nothing tendency in Islam: burqa or bikini. Perhaps the Muslims down under have been reading my article. They have synthesised these two opposites and come up with … (drum roll)… the burqini. From The Telegraph, which unfortunately doesn’t give a picture:

A modesty-saving swimsuit for Muslim women, known as the "burqini", is about to be worn for the first time by the members of one of Australia's most distinguished institutions: the volunteer lifesavers.

Surf Life Saving Australia, usually associated with strapping, bronzed – and bared – physiques, and sun-streaked hair beneath trademark yellow and red caps, is seeking to update its image by recruiting from ethnic communities, notably Muslims.

The government-funded initiative, which coincides with the organisation's centenary next year, comes almost 12 months after violent clashes between young white Australian men and Muslim teenagers on Sydney's Cronulla beach.

The riots were sparked in part by a fight between a group of Lebanese-Australian youths and a pair of surf lifesavers.

Critics pointed out that the lifesavers' attire was an obstacle to the plan to recruit from the Muslim community. For women who wear traditional Muslim dress, it is unthinkable to sport a skin-tight swimming costume on a public beach. The solution came from Aheda Zanetti, a Lebanese-born mother of four from Sydney, who designed a two-piece, lightweight swimsuit, nicknamed the "burqini", as an alternative for lifesavers who prefer more modest attire.

She is working on a yellow and red ensemble to match the lifesavers' beach wear, which will make its first appearance on Australian beaches in January. Some 22 young Muslims, five of them women, are expected to complete a 10-week training course and qualify for their bronze medallion – the first step to becoming a lifesaver.

Mrs Zanetti, 38, said it had taken her a year to persuade Muslim women in Sydney that swimming "is not a sin". Now sales of the "burqini", which retails for about £65, have soared, largely through word of mouth.

Posted on 11/26/2006 7:43 AM by Mary Jackson
Sunday, 26 November 2006
Turkish protests at Pope's visit

From the BBC.  Thousands of Muslims are holding a protest in Istanbul against the Pope's forthcoming visit to Turkey. Crowds have been booing - and shouting slogans such as "Don't come Pope" - as pictures of Benedict XVI have been shown on a giant screen.

Posters against Pope Benedict XVI and Greek Orthodox Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I in Istanbul.His visit, which begins on Tuesday, will be his first to a Muslim country. Sunday's protest is being organised by the Islamic Felicity Party, a small group that is not represented in the Turkish parliament. (Felicity Party? Now St Felicity was an interesting woman, an matron and martyr of the early church, her name comes from the Latin felix meaning happy. I doubt this is quite what this group had in mind.)  A huge poster on the square shows pictures of a crusader and of violence in the Middle East. "Who brought evil and inhumanity?" the poster reads.

He is due to visit Istanbul's Blue Mosque, in what correspondents describe as a highly symbolic occasion.  The picture looks to be of something painted on the back of a bus; I will see if another site has any photos of the "Giant Screen" 

Posted on 11/26/2006 8:32 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Sunday, 26 November 2006
Sneaky pope?

I can't find a photo of the giant screen.  What I have found is this charming lady  wearing a headband which translates as :"The ignorant and sneaky pope who insulted Islam and our Prophet should not come to Turkey", That is from ABC news.  And some comments from the crowd reported by The Irish Times "Muslims don't want the Pope in their lands. Look at the suffering which they spread in Palestine, Iraq and Chechnya. I link this to Christianity," said Ferdi Borekci, a 28-year-old architect."

 

 

Posted on 11/26/2006 8:52 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Sunday, 26 November 2006
Re: Inside the Iraq Study Group

James Baker is a Texas fixer being promoted, and self-promoted, as an "elder statesman." Lee Hamilton has always been an eager promoter of finding a "solution" to the (unrecognized) Lesser Jihad against Israel by pushing Israel back -- in other words, by giving the Muslims more of what they want, thereby feeding  their triumphalism. Edward Djerejian, who is helping to craft -- if that is the word -- the report, is a flunky of Baker, the head of the modestly-titled "James Baker Center" at Rice University, and the worst kind of State Department Middle Eastern hand who knows nothing about Islam, and never felt the need to learn anything. A former ambassador to Syria (Damascus is where James Baker, by the way, in conversation with Hafez al-Assad, merely by way of showing off how much  the Americans knew, let drop the identities of two Israeli spies who were then seized and executed, as soon as Baker left,) Djerijian never comprehended what the Alawites were, and are, and how their uncertain position could be used to extract better behavior from the Syrian regime. He's ignorant and stupid, and he's writing up the report.

Among the "experts" of this hideous Iraq Study Group is one Raymond Close. Who is Raymond Close? Raymond Close retired early, in 1977, from his positiion as C.I.A. station chief in Riyadh (from 1970-77, during the most critical period of U.S.-Saudi relations) to go into business with two louche Saudis. He was later in up to his neck in the B.C.C.I. scandal. He "retired" to Princeton from where, billing himself as an "international business consultant," with special interest, bien sur, in the Middle East (if you want to do business with the Saudis, you could do worse than go to Raymond Close, is the hint), and of course publishing Op/Eds and delivering lectures that show that Raymond Close's view of the world is, unsurprisingly, identical to that of whomever happens to be the Saudi ambassador in Washington.

Raymond Close should be, if not the centerpiece, at least an important part of any Congresional investigation into the group of hirelings (direct and indirect) who have been Saudi Arabia's men in the corridors of power, and who for so long prevented any intelligent policy toward Saudi Arabia, or even more importantly, any intelligent policy to diminish OPEC revenues through self-taxation, from being constructed.

But Raymond Close has so far evaded close scrutiny.

No, now he's apparently been one of the handful of "experts" on the Middle East, a Lesser Fixer, whom that Greater Fixer James Baker, has decided to consult.

The Iraq Study Group is nothing. Nothing will come of nothing.

Posted on 11/26/2006 9:37 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Sunday, 26 November 2006
Coming. Home. Chickens. Roost.

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Angry fellow Shi'ites stoned Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's motorcade in a Shi'ite stronghold of Baghdad on Sunday in a display of fury over a devastating car bomb that tore through their area.

Maliki was visiting the Sadr City slum to pay respects to some of the 202 victims of last week's devastating bombing. -- from this news item

This could not have been prevented by more American troops. It could not have been prevented by more American aid. In the end, the Sunnis would never acquiesce in the reduced status and power which was the inevitable result of the overthrow of the Sunni despot Saddam Hussein. And the Shi'a woudl never permit a return to the situation before, nor will they ever willingly surrender or share, in a way that non-Muslim Westerners might agree to share among themselves, power or money. And whatever promises might be extracted by the Americans will be broken just as soon as the American aid or presence is no longer deemed necessary. This is something our almost comically ignorant makers of policy will not recognize. How can they? For if they did, then the entire enterprise, save for the part about scouring for major weaponry, would be seen to be based on false assumptions, on nearly criminal negligence in the lack of attention paid both to Islam and to Iraq. All that ails American foreign policy, including the care and feeding of all those "experts" at think-tanks quick with pronouncements and prognostications based on very little, and certainly not on sustained and quiet study, removed from the hectic vacancy that is encouraged by those very think-tanks, and those interviews, and those rich consultancies to televisiion channels, and those seminars sponosred by a Center for Advanced International Blah here and there, when what is needed is less media exposure and more midnight oil.

The utterly unsurprising becomes, for some, a series of amazing surprises. A tragicomedy of error after error, because based on two basic errors: about the definition of the enemy (and hence of the rightly-defined goal), and about the understanding of Iraq (and hence of how the specifics of Iraq can be naturally exploited to further that rightly-defined goal)

Coming. Home. Chickens. Roost.

Posted on 11/26/2006 9:41 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Sunday, 26 November 2006
Re: El jardin de los senderos que se bifurcan

and Jeremy Thorpe losing his head and getting into all that hot water. That was the Seventies. - Mary Jackson

I was waiting for that.

Yes, Jeremy Thorpe's end may have come in the 1970s, but his political heyday was the late 1960s. There was still mail delivery twice a day when I lived off the Trumpington Road and the newspapers often made mention of Jeremy Thorpe. Encounter was still being published by Lasky and Spender; Paul Johnson was still a Socialist and had replaced Kingsley Martin, a true believer, as the editor of The New Statesman, no rock stars had yet moved in to Virginia Water or broken crockery and beds at The Dorchester, God was in his English heaven, and all was right with the world.

You know perfectly well that some of those people I listed flourished (as in “floruit”) over more than one decade. Betty Boop -- late 1920s but also the early 1930s. Or the Kray brothers, sounding a different note. Had I mentioned Joan Greenwood and her inimitable voice, which "decade" would I put her in? And even if a particular film can easily be assigned a year and hence a decade -- Laburnum Grove or The Man in the White Suit, or The Bells of St. Trinian's or Kind Hearts and Coronets or Wee Geordie -- what decade would be the one in which to place Alec Guinness or Alistair Sims, or for that matter Carol Reed or Alfred Hitchcock, or even Ealing Studios, or J. Arthur Rank, with that giant gong as unforgettable anacrusis, in order to be quite fair?

Whether you think the year in which Jeremy Thorpe left politics should define his decade (was Churchill to be identified most with the 1940s, or 1950s? Surely the 1940s) or not, those rapid-fire paragraphs, pencil-sketching alternative decades and countries, made a point: one can create a plurality of plausible pasts as of plausible presents or futures (which accounts for the appropriation of the well-known Borges title). The reader to whom I first replied assumed I had grown up in the United States in the 1950s. But assumptions about another person based on what that person lets drop, with mystification aforethought, on the Internet or, for that matter, in life, can be shaky indeed.

Posted on 11/26/2006 10:14 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Sunday, 26 November 2006
The Italian Resistenza, Military and Civilian

"Italines [sic] in both WWW's switched sides when they were losing."
-- from a reader

This is false. Italians did not switch sides in World War II only "when they were losing." Few Italian officers and men -- almost none -- had any sympathy for the Germans, and in many places Italian officers and men simply refused to do the Germans' bidding -- in Albania, in Yugoslavia, in parts of Greece -- and were, by the tens of thousands, massacred by their "allies" and many sent to German concentration camps. Italy was a most reluctant ally of Nazi Germany, and even though there were diehard fascists aplenty, there were also a great many Italians, aside from those officers and men who refused any longer to help the Germans, who joined the partisans, the Italian Resistenza, and who were shot, fucillati, or garroted or otherwise cruelly executed, sometimes by those diehard Fascists and often, by the local Germans. These people should be known by name, as Matteotti is, and Gaetano Salvemini, and Lauro de Bosis, and the Fratelli Rosselli of Liberta e Giustizia, of the anti-Mussolini pre-war resistance. Italian schools used to have a lot about those two kinds of resistenza, and one hopes they still do today, or will re-introduce such studies, for they are relevant to the struggle today to prevent Europe from succumbing to Islam. Read, for example, the "Lettere dei condannati a morte della resistenza italiana" and ask if those who are exposed to such material when young would be quite so hedonistic and indifferent to what is happening and to come. I think of Quattrocchi, in Iraq, telling his captors that he would show them "how an Italian dies" and then doing so. There have been many such people.

The depiction of Italians as merely "switching sides" because they perceived that the Allies were winning is intolerable.

Posted on 11/26/2006 10:58 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Sunday, 26 November 2006
Forget Olmert. Listen to Aumann.

"Why does Israel keep entering into these farcical "cease fires" agreements with a bunch pathological liars and genocidal murderers? When will Israel learn from its mistakes?"-- from a reader

Forget Olmert.
Listen to Aumann.

Israel's population and size is about that of a small American state -- say, Massachusetts. Yet one's expectations for its leaders are high. One expects them to be better, to be more aware of Islam, to be more cunning. Why? Partly because one cannot quite accept that this tiny state has leaders not much different from, in their mediocrity, most of the leaders of the Western world, and the more keen one's understanding of what is at stake -- for Israel, for the West if Israel goes under, for the world if the West is demoralized -- the more disturbed and disheartened one may become.

Of course one sympathizes. Imagine living in Israel, and seeing your son or sons have to go to war, knowing with a certainty that he will. Imagine knowing that your daughter or daughers will have to serve in the army, that you yourself, if male, will every year have to serve in the "miluim" doing reserve duty, and risking your life on many occasions. Imagine that you have a choice, between thinking that somehow this "conflict" (not Lesser Jihad, for you have not been taught, and no almost nothing about, Islam even if you see it all around you, but do not take it in) can be solved if only Israel offers compromise after compromise, or rather carefully refuses to make its own strongest case, and instead prates endlessly about "peace" and "truces" and "peace processes" (as the outside world has led it to do), and for a perfectly understandable reason.

It is too painful, for many in Israel, to study Islam and the history of Islam and to realize that there is no conceivable surrender of more territory that will make a difference. Israel is an Infidel state, in the middle of Dar al-Islam. It must, simply must, in the Muslim view, be reduced until it can be forced to dissolve altogether (the Slow Jihad of Abbas and Fatah), or be weakened by loss of control of territory, invasion routes, the heights of Judea, and indispensable aquifers), so that a military onslaught can be undertaken (the Fast Jihad of Hamas).

If a sufficient number of Israelis could get a mental grip on the problem, analyze it in all its bleakness, then soberly prepare to divide and demoralize the enemy, to stop squandering the lives of Israelis by playing absurdly according to this "purity-of-arms" hyper-Marquess of Queensberry rules, and by making Israel's case, which is an overwhelming one, beginning by ceasing to use that phrase "Palestinian people" and revealing, step by step, how Arab and Muslim propaganda has been used to misrepresent the legal, historic, and moral claim of the Jews to their tiny strip consisting, despite the original intent of the Mandates Commission of the League of Nations, only of Western Palestine (with the other 78% of the land originally intended to be part of the territory of Mandatory Palestine made, by a unilateral British act, off-limits to the application of the mandatory provisions pertaining to Jewish immigration and settlement).

Can the Israelis find leaders intelligent and wise enough to do all this?

They have no choice. They must.

Posted on 11/26/2006 11:03 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Sunday, 26 November 2006
Re: All aboard!

The handful of Catholic, Protestant, and Jewish clergy (one of each, I believe) who offer public solidarity to the airway imams by appearing with their self-appointed head, Shahin, elicit only disgust. The decisions of the pilot and the crew of US Airways should be final. If for any reason they feel it best to remove a passenger or passengers, that should be it. Those who attempt to make points about "civil rights" in this case and who express this "solidarity" are being dangerously cruel to those pilots, those crews, those other passengers. They are playing fast and loose with matters of life and death -- our lives and that of all Infidels -- all for the sake of their own moral preening.

And the carry-on luggage is apparently getting bigger and bigger. The airlines really ought to do something about that.

Posted on 11/26/2006 11:11 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Sunday, 26 November 2006
Re: The Italian Resistenza, Military and Civilian

"So why did they change sides?" - Mary Jackson

1) Italy did not switch sides in World War I. Its historic enemy was always the Austrians, and behind them the Germans. They won, as a war prize, the Alto Adige (then 97% ethnic German), formerly the Sudtirol, thus completing the "elmo" of Scipio mentioned in the national hymn, written in the 19th century, by Goffredo Mameli.

2) Italy did not "switch sides" in World War II. A new Italian government came to power and took Italy out of the war, ended the morally and in-all-other-ways catastrophic alliance with Germany and the Nazis. Officers and men of the Italian army, almost everywhere they were supposed to be aiding the Germans, were appalled by the behavior of the German soldiers and finally, started to refuse to do what they were ordered by the Germans to do, to do what the Germans wanted. When the Mussolini regime fell, the regime that replaced it took Italy out of the war (the concoction known as the Republic of Salo was a different matter), but not in order to placate or curry favor with the soon-to-be-victorious Allies.  There are those who switch sides several times a week. For example, the Arabs were pro-Nazi during World War II but some managed to construct a fake story after the war, as if they had been true-blue allies of the Allies all along. And during the so-called Arab Revolt, Col. Meinertzhagen recounts the story of an Arab village, waving Turkish flags and expressing its undying loyalty to Turkish soldiers, and then when the English drove out the Turks, expressing undying loyalty to the English and hatred for the Turks, and then a few days later, when the English who had departed suddenly returned but were mistaken for Turks and hailed as such, with that same "undying loyalty" now pledged by the local Arabs to the English-taken-to-be-Turks -- well, to accuse Italy or Italians of behaving in such a fashion is baseless. Few in Italy had any love either for the Germans, and certainly none for the disastrous alliance and war that Il Granitico had gotten them into. Italians d'istinto had always been anti-Austrian and anti-German. What  they experienced during World War II only deepened that feeling. 

Posted on 11/26/2006 1:19 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Sunday, 26 November 2006
Re: Re: The Italian Resistenza, Military and Civilian

"I'm not doubting for a minute how brave and widespread the resistance was. But a reluctant ally (of Nazi Germany) is still an ally. And it was when faced with defeat - I believe it was once the allies invaded - that they changed government to one on a different side, or changed sides for short." - Mary Jackson

Here is the hymn of the Italian Republic; note in the second line the reference to the "elmo di Scipio" which is rounded at the top only if the Austrian-controlled areas, including what is now the Alto Adige, becomes part of Italy.

FRATELLI D'ITALIA- Inno di Mameli o Il Canto degli Italiani - Scritto nell'autunno del 1847 (versione originale)

Fratelli d'Italia, L'Italia s'è desta;
Dell'elmo di Scipio S'è cinta la testa.
Dov'è la Vittoria?  Le porga la chioma;
Ché schiava di Roma Iddio la creò.
Stringiamci  a corte! 
Siam pronti alla morte; Italia chiamò.Noi siamo da secoli
Calpesti, derisi,
Perché non siam popolo,
Perché siam divisi.
Raccolgaci un'unica Bandiera, una speme;
Di fonderci insieme Già l'ora suonò.  Stringiamci  a coorte! 
Siam pronti alla morte;
Italia chiamò.
Uniamoci, amiamoci;
L'unione e l'amore
Rivelano ai popoli
Le vie del Signore. 
Giuriamo far libero Il suolo natio:
Uniti, per Dio,Chi vincer ci può?
Stringiamci  a coorte! 
Siam pronti alla morte;
Italia chiamò.
Dall'Alpe a Sicilia,
 Dovunque è Legnano; Ogn'uom di Ferruccio
Ha il core e la mano; I bimbi d'Italia
Si chiaman Balilla;
Il suon d'ogni squilla
I Vespri suonò.
Stringiamci a coorte! 
Siam pronti alla morte;
Italia chiamò.
Son giunchi che piegano
Le spade vendute;
Già l'Aquila d'Austria
Le penne ha perdute.
l sangue d'Italia
E il sangue Polacco
Bevé col Cosacco,
Ma il cor le bruciò.
Stringiamci  a coorte!
 Siam pronti alla morte;
Italia chiamò.

Posted on 11/26/2006 1:25 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Sunday, 26 November 2006
The prison problem

A "potentially explosive" dispute between Muslim factions inside Wandsworth prison has been revealed by an independent watchdog.

A particular imam was said to have caused deep division among the prison's 265 Muslim prisoners and there was a warning that some inmates were pressuring others to adopt "more militant lifestyles and belief systems". -- from this news item

It's not the radicalisation of those who are already Muslims in prison that is the most worrisome problem. It is, rather, the campaigns of Da'wa and group pressure that target incarcerated Infidels. That is the greater menace.

Posted on 11/26/2006 1:30 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Sunday, 26 November 2006
Oh brother...

Ralph Peters' latest piece in the Post is filled with the kind of sniffing American superiority that is as false as it is offensive. Europeans are genocidal maniacs, while Americans are peace-loving masters of integration. Writes Peters:

It's the difference between the messy Turkish execution of the Armenian genocide and the industrial efficiency of the Holocaust. Hey, when you love your work, you get good at it.

Far from enjoying the prospect of taking over Europe by having babies, Europe's Muslims are living on borrowed time. When a third of French voters have demonstrated their willingness to vote for Jean-Marie Le Pen's National Front - a party that makes the Ku Klux Klan seem like Human Rights Watch - all predictions of Europe going gently into that good night are surreal.

I have no difficulty imagining a scenario in which U.S. Navy ships are at anchor and U.S. Marines have gone ashore at Brest, Bremerhaven or Bari to guarantee the safe evacuation of Europe's Muslims. After all, we were the only ones to do anything about the slaughter of Muslims in the Balkans. And even though we botched it, our effort in Iraq was meant to give the Middle East's Muslims a last chance to escape their self-inflicted misery.

AND we're lucky. The United States attracts the quality. American Muslims have a higher income level than our national average. We hear about the handful of rabble-rousers, but more of our fellow Americans who happen to be Muslims are doctors, professors and entrepreneurs.

And the American dream is still alive and well, thanks: Even the newest taxi driver stumbling over his English grammar knows he can truly become an American.

Posted on 11/26/2006 3:50 PM by Rebecca Bynum
Sunday, 26 November 2006
Featherstonehaugh

...feathers as in your beloved Featherstonehaugh.., says Hugh.

There are no feathers - or stones - in Featherstonehaugh, only fans. There are no "haughs" either, just "shaws".  The pronunciation is completely intuitive. You'll be telling me next there's a Des in Cholmondesly.

There's a song - and I don't want to google, but my mind is numb and vague - that asks who put the ding or dong into ramalamadingdong or who put the bop into bopshebop.

Nobody's asked the same about Country and Western, though. Wonder why.

Posted on 11/26/2006 5:52 PM by Mary Jackson
Sunday, 26 November 2006
Shire Network News

Shire Network News has an interview with Egyptian Sandmonkey this week. He speaks to Tom Paine about the Eid sex riots in Cairo. Ignored by the international media, suppressed by the Egyptian media, once again blogs are the only source that matters.

Brian of London also reads this Hugh Fitzgerald post.

Posted on 11/26/2006 6:10 PM by Rebecca Bynum

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