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Recent Publications by New English Review Authors
The Oil Cringe of the West: The Collected Essays and Reviews of J.B. Kelly Vol. 2
edited by S.B. Kelly
The Impact of Islam
by Emmet Scott
Sir Walter Scott's Crusades and Other Fantasies
by Ibn Warraq
Fighting the Retreat from Arabia and the Gulf: The Collected Essays and Reviews of J.B. Kelly. Vol. 1
edited by S.B. Kelly
The Literary Culture of France
by J. E. G. Dixon
Hamlet Made Simple and Other Essays
by David P. Gontar
Farewell Fear
by Theodore Dalrymple
The Eagle and The Bible: Lessons in Liberty from Holy Writ
by Kenneth Hanson
The West Speaks
interviews by Jerry Gordon
Mohammed and Charlemagne Revisited: The History of a Controversy
Emmet Scott
Why the West is Best: A Muslim Apostate's Defense of Liberal Democracy
Ibn Warraq
Anything Goes
by Theodore Dalrymple
Karimi Hotel
De Nidra Poller
The Left is Seldom Right
by Norman Berdichevsky
Allah is Dead: Why Islam is Not a Religion
by Rebecca Bynum
Virgins? What Virgins?: And Other Essays
by Ibn Warraq
An Introduction to Danish Culture
by Norman Berdichevsky
The New Vichy Syndrome:
by Theodore Dalrymple
Jihad and Genocide
by Richard L. Rubenstein
Spanish Vignettes: An Offbeat Look Into Spain's Culture, Society & History
by Norman Berdichevsky

These are all the Blogs posted on Thursday, 4, 2011.
Thursday, 4 August 2011
Yemen, Where The Population Has Tripled In A Few Decades


Yemen Protesters Cling To Hope During Bleak Ramadan

Yemen Protests

SANAA (Reuters) – As the rain pours down on their battered tents, tens of thousands of Yemenis gather for a feast to celebrate Ramadan, defying increasingly miserable conditions as they pray that the holy Muslim month will revive a flagging protest movement.

They have staged a sit-in for six months in "Change Square," near the University of Sanaa where protests to end the 33-year rule of President Ali Abdullah Saleh began.

But the veteran leader is still in power, albeit in Saudi Arabia, where he was removed for treatment after being badly hurt in a June bomb attack in the Yemeni capital.

Protesters are clinging to hope that they can revive low spirits in their camps with communal meals to break their daily Ramadan fast, as well as more rallies and marches during a period when large crowds head to the mosque to pray, offering natural gathering opportunities.

They have their work cut out.

Outside the festive atmosphere of the square residents trudging through flooded streets wonder if the struggle against Saleh's rule has been worth the price in a country where more than 40 percent of the population lives on less than $2 a day.


Food costs in the Arab world's poorest country are skyrocketing, fuel is scarce, and electricity lights the capital Sanaa for barely an hour a day as Yemen's already weak economy and infrastructure crumble.

"Our situation before was fine. They wanted a revolution, and now petrol is 175 rials (72 cents) a liter when before it was 70. Our electricity used to go out only one or two hours a day, now we barely have electricity for an hour and a half," grumbled Sanaa taxi driver Mohammed.

"You can't help but wonder if things weren't better before."

But to protesters, the very fact that they have remained in the streets despite bloody attacks on their demonstrations and fierce clashes between the government and armed opposition groups is reason enough to celebrate.

They vow to increase the intensity of their protests, mirroring similar plans by protesters in Syria.

"Ramadan will only make us stronger," said protester Ali al-Khoulani, as he huddled inside his tent, waiting to break the daily fast. "We have all become one family and I expect the triumph of our revolution this month because this is the month of victory for Muslims."

Foreign powers fear protests will push fractious Yemen, also plagued by regional insurgencies and an active local al Qaeda wing, into a failed state on the doorstep of Saudi Arabia, home to the world's biggest oil reserves.

Washington and Riyadh continue to back a Gulf-brokered power transition, which Saleh has backed out of three times and has instead vowed to return to Yemen and lead a dialogue.

In a Ramadan greeting to his countrymen, he reiterated the call to dialogue -- the opposition has ignored his offer, sticking to the streets.


Before praying and breaking the fast, protester Zakaria Abdulfattah and his friends volunteer to stack cement blocks to raise the tents above rising waters.

"The rains won't be able to bother us, just like the regime has not been able to force us out of this square," he said, as thousands lined up to pray, kneeling and rising in unison.

Protesters say they've prepared for Ramadan meals by gathering donations from businessmen and charities, as well as scraping together their own savings.

At local restaurants, volunteers stir massive metal pots of vegetable soup and prepare large platters of rice, lamb and chicken while protesters break their fast with dates.

The cost of those dates has shot up some 50 percent this Ramadan, as has sugar to make traditional sweets. Even simple necessities such as bread have risen 30 percent.

Some residents in Sanaa say despite their frustration, they blame the government for economic conditions, which had been deteriorating even before protests. They accuse officials of raising prices to increase resentment of the protesters.
"They're trying to turn the people's anger over living conditions against those calling for the regime to leave, instead of allowing resentment to build because the government couldn't meet our needs," said Waddah Shaibany, a businessman in Sanaa.

For many protesters, it was exasperation with the faltering economy that drove them to the streets -- a third of Yemen's 23 million people were already suffering chronic hunger. Yemenis faced soaring unemployment of around 40 percent due to rampant corruption.

But Sanaa resident Mohammed al-Awadi said this Ramadan will be incomparably bleaker than past years.

During Ramadan, families normally gather daily to break their fast over large meals in front of televisions playing new soap operas made especially for the occasion. Instead, Awadi and his family will share a sparse meal in the dark.

"I have eight people to feed and it is so expensive we've been forced to give up a lot of things for Ramadan like sweets or meat," he said. "We'll barely manage to buy the basic necessities."



How many children do you have, reader? How many should Mohammed al-Awadi have had in order to provide "the basic necessities"? How many children will each of his chldren have? How many Muslims and Arabs are having five, six, ten, twelve children apiece? How many rely on the West for endless aid, of all kinds? How many would, if they could, would move to that West, bringing with them their customs and manners, their primitive ways, their conspiracy theories, and above all, their Islam undeclared in their mental baggage, a Total Belief-System  that inculcates permanent hostility and hatred toward Infidels? How much is spent on such "refugees" by the Western world, in aid of all kinds, foreign and -- to those now within the West -- domestic? How long will this be accepted by the advanced world, the advanced yet vulnerable West --  for there is no end to this?

Posted on 08/04/2011 5:36 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Thursday, 4 August 2011
In Spain, Exploiting Western Desire To Integrate Muslims As A Tool For A Gradual Reconquista In Reverse

From HudsnNY:

Muslim Countries Financing Jihad in Spain

by Soeren Kern
August 4, 2011 at 5:00 am

Muslim countries in the Persian Gulf and North Africa are funnelling large sums of money to radical Islamic groups in towns and cities across Spain in a competing effort to exert control over the estimated 1.5 million Muslims in the country.

A newly leaked secret report prepared by Spain's National Intelligence Center (CNI), excerpts of which were published by the Madrid-based El País newspaper on July 31, says the Spanish government is struggling to stop the flow of tens of millions of dollars to Islamic groups in Spain from Kuwait, Libya, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and above all Saudi Arabia.

The CNI report states: "The financing is having negative consequences for [multicultural] coexistence in Spain, such as the emergence of parallel societies and ghettos, Islamic courts and police that operate outside of Spanish jurisprudence, removing girls from schools, forced marriages, etc."

It continues: "There is insufficient control of financial flows involving grants and aid from other countries that are being funnelled to the Islamic community in Spain. For the most part donors are using alternative channels to ensure that their donations escape the control of the regular Spanish financial system. Donors should be made fully aware of the risks associated with such financing."

According to El País, two high-level officials from the Spanish Ministries of Justice and Foreign Affairs travelled to the Persian Gulf in June seeking cooperation from Kuwait, Oman and the United Arab Emirates. In May, the Spanish Justice Ministry summoned the ambassadors of several Gulf Arab states to a meeting in Madrid in which Spanish officials requested their cooperation in bringing order to the financing of Islam in Spain.

At the meeting in Madrid, Spanish officials distributed a document titled "System of Channelling the Flow of Funds to Islamic Communities in Spain." The document, which is in Spanish, English and Arabic, explains that henceforth Spanish authorities want all donations from the Gulf Arab states to be channelled through the Islamic Commission of Spain (CIE), a group the Spanish government says should be the official representative for Muslims in Spain.

Spanish authorities say Arab countries are flooding mosques in Spain with a host of anti-Western literature. For example, the Ministry of Islamic Affairs in Qatar has distributed a document in Spanish titled "Mohammed: The Ideal Prophet" which states: "Europe today still considers that the white race is superior to that of color. Europe, with all its pretensions to enlighten and lead … is still behind Islam."

The leaked CNI document says Kuwait is one of the worst offenders. Through the Society for the Revival of Islamic Heritage (RIHS), the Kuwaiti government has funded the construction of mosques in the Spanish municipalities of Reus and Torredembarra (Catalonia), from which Islamic preachers are "spreading a religious interpretation that opposes the integration of Muslim into Spanish society and promotes the separation and hate towards non-Muslim groups. … In the medium term, the RIHS plans to open a delegation in Spain." In June 2008, the U.S. Treasury Department designated the RIHS for bankrolling Al Qaeda.

Qatar, by contrast, funnels most of its donations through the Islamic League for Dialogue and Coexistence in Spain, a group the CNI says is "linked to the Muslim Brotherhood in Syria" and which controls the Catalan Islamic Cultural Center. Qatar recently paid €300,000 ($450,000) to renovate that center, which is based in Barcelona.

The United Arab Emirates is focussing its efforts on providing financial support to Muslims in the southern region of Andalusia. Al-Andalus was the Arabic name given to the parts of Spain ruled by Muslim conquerors from 711 and 1492. Many Muslims believe that the territories they lost during the Spanish Reconquista still belong to them, and that they have a right to return and establish their rule there – a belief based on the Islamic precept that territories once occupied by Muslims must forever remain under Muslim domination.

In this context, the United Arab Emirates, together with Libya and Morocco, paid for the construction of the Great Mosque of Granada. Says Abdel Haqq Salaberria, a spokesman for the mosque: "It will act as a focal point for the Islamic revival in Europe. It is a symbol of a return to Islam among the Spanish people and among indigenous Europeans."

The United Arab Emirates, together with Kuwait, Morocco and Egypt, are also involved in a project to make Córdoba the "Mecca of the West" by turning the ancient city into a pilgrimage site for Muslims throughout Europe. Muslims in Córdoba are demanding that the Spanish government allow them to worship in the main cathedral, which had been a mosque during the medieval Islamic kingdom of Al-Andalus and is now a World Heritage Site.

The CNI report says Saudi Arabia is the most generous donor to Muslim causes in Spain and many of its donations to a never-ending list of Islamic groups and causes are funnelled through the Saudi Embassy in Madrid. Much of the Saudi money is for the construction of mosques in Spain.

Riyadh, for example, built the six-story, 12,000 square meter (130,000 square feet) Islamic Cultural Center in Madrid, which opened in 1992 and is one of the biggest mosques in Europe. Saudi Arabia also built the €22 million ($30 million) Islamic Cultural Center in Málaga, a small city in southern Spain that is home to almost 100,000 Muslims. (The center's website includes "news" with headlines such as "Christian Palestine under Zionist Occupation.")

Saudi Arabia, which also built the "great mosques" in the Spanish cities of Marbella and Fuengirola, has been accused of using the mosques and Islamic cultural centers in Spain to promote the Wahhabi sect of Islam dominant in Saudi Arabia. Wahhabism rejects all non-Wahhabi Islam, any dialogue with other religions and any opening up to other cultures. By definition, it also rejects the integration of Muslim immigrants into Spanish society.

In December 2000, the Islamic Cultural Center in Madrid was expelled from the Spanish Federation of Islamic Religious Entities (FEERI) to "frustrate the attempts of Saudi Arabia to control Islam in Spain." Most Muslim immigrants in Spain are from the Maghreb (especially Morocco and Algeria) or Pakistan; analysts say their low standards of living and low levels of education make them particularly susceptible to the Islamist propaganda promoted by Saudi Arabia.

Not to be outdone, Morocco recently co-sponsored a weeklong seminar in Barcelona titled "Muslims and European Values" during which it was proposed that the construction of big mosques would be "a useful formula" to fight Islamic fundamentalism in Spain.

According to Noureddine Ziani, a Barcelona-based Moroccan imam: "It is easier to disseminate fundamentalist ideas in small mosques set up in garages where only the members of the congregation attend, than in large mosques that are open to everyone, with prayer rooms, cafes and meeting areas." He also said it is absolutely necessary to accept Islamic values as European values and that from now on, Europeans should replace the term "Judeo-Christian" with term "Islamo-Christian" when describing Western Civilization.

Meanwhile, the Madrid-based ABC newspaper reports that more than 100 mosques in Spain have radical imams preaching to the faithful each Friday. The newspaper says some imams have established religious police that harass and attack those who do not comply with Islamic law. ABC also reports that during 2010, more than 10 Salafist conferences were held in Spain, compared to only one in 2008.

Salafism is a branch of revivalist Islam that calls for restoring past Muslim glory by re-establishing an Islamic empire across the Middle East, North Africa and parts of Europe. Salafists view Spain as a Muslim state that must be re-conquered for Islam.

The irony (or maybe not) is that all of the Muslim countries supporting Jihad in Spain also support the Alliance of Civilizations, a post-modern initiative proudly launched by Spain's Socialist Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero in 2005 as a way to "bridge the divide" between the West and Islam.

In practice, however, the Alliance of Civilizations has turned out to be a one-way bridge: Islam has been invited to cross over into the West and the West has been invited to stand by and watch. As for Spain's belated efforts to control the spread of Islam on the Iberian Peninsula, it is probably too little too late.

Posted on 08/04/2011 5:42 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Thursday, 4 August 2011
A Musical Interlude: More Than You Know (Lee Wiley)

Listen here.

Posted on 08/04/2011 8:08 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Thursday, 4 August 2011
That Open-Book Exam On Iraq (Or Afghanistan, Pakistan, Libya, Muslims In The West, Etc.)

[Re-posted from January 25, 2007]:

Fitzgerald: Final Exam (Take-Home): History 101: The War In Iraq

This is an Open Book Examination. You may use any materials you can find, including other newspaper reports, and of course you are encouraged to use the work of genuine scholars on Islam, Iraq, the history of Sunni-Shi’a relations and of Arab Muslim relations with Kurds and other non-Arab peoples.

You may even consult with others. But the thinking, in the end, must be yours, and so must the expression, in writing, of your thoughts and analysis.

You have one week to complete this task. Examination papers are due by 5 p.m. on January 31, 2007.


There are two passages below. One consists of an excerpt from an interview with Vice-President Cheney, conducted and broadcast on CNN on January 24, 2007 and reported in The Bandar Beacon (Washington Post) the next day. The other consists of an excerpt from a report from Iraq in The New Duranty Times [New York Times], written the same day, January 24, 2007, and appearing in that paper on January 25, 2007.

You are asked to comment on both of these passages, and on their usefulness to an American audience in illuminating the reality of Iraq today. Discuss the ratio of fact to mere assertion contained in each. Evaluate their overall usefulness, for the public, in judging what might make sense for American national interests.

Wherever possible, be careful to analyze examples of rhetoric that you feel contribute to, or take away from, the understanding of or expression of reality in each article.

Please be careful to support all your assertions with facts. You are encouraged to apply whatever knowledge you possess of the belief-system of Islam as you understand it, and of the attitudes and atmospherics to which the teachings of Islam may naturally give rise.

You are further encouraged to apply in your answer as detailed a knowledge as you possibly can of the history of Iraq and of its sectarian and ethnic fissures, and of how those fissures arise from the nature and history of Islam. You are asked to speculate on how the further development of such fissures might contribute to, or take away from, the security of the people of the United States and of other countries in what may be called, using the term used in Islam, the Dar al-Harb, or House of War.

The more deeply your answer is based on a knowledge both of Islam’s teachings and its history, and of the history of modern Iraq itself and the relations among the varied peoples who live within the state of Iraq, the better. The more you can bring to bear such knowledge, the more likely it is that you will be able to make an intelligent assessment of the effect, both inside and outside Iraq, of the presence or withdrawal of American troops.

Be sure to write from the viewpoint of one determined to further American national interests, broadly conceived, and also to further the interests of those who, while they may differ on all sorts of matters, share the basic assumptions and hierarchy of values of what may be called the West, or Western civilization, or perhaps, even more broadly and more accurately, the non-Islamic world or Camp of the Infidels.

Here are the two passages for comment:

I. When Blitzer asked whether the administration's credibility had been hurt by "the blunders and the failures" in Iraq, Cheney interjected: "Wolf, Wolf, I simply don't accept the premise of your question. I just think it's hogwash."

In fact, Cheney said, the operation in Iraq has achieved its original mission. "What we did in Iraq in taking down Saddam Hussein was exactly the right thing to do," he said. "The world is much safer today because of it. There have been three national elections in Iraq. There's a democracy established there, a constitution, a new democratically elected government. Saddam has been brought to justice and executed. His sons are dead. His government is gone."

"If he were still there today," Cheney added, "we'd have a terrible situation."

"But there is," Blitzer said.

"No, there is not," Cheney retorted. "There is not. There's problems -- ongoing problems -- but we have in fact accomplished our objectives of getting rid of the old regime, and there is a new regime in place that's been here for less than a year, far too soon for you guys to write them off." He added: "Bottom line is that we've had enormous successes and we will continue to have enormous successes."

Cheney said Blitzer was advocating retreat. "What you're recommending, or at least what you seem to believe the right course is, is to bail out," the vice president said.


II. BAGHDAD, Jan. 24 — In the battle for Baghdad, Haifa Street has changed hands so often that it has taken on the feel of a no man’s land, the deadly space between opposing trenches. On Wednesday, as American and Iraqi troops poured in, the street showed why it is such a sensitive gauge of an urban conflict marked by front lines that melt into confusion, enemies with no clear identity and allies who disappear or do not show up at all. Skip to next paragraph Readers’ Opinions Forum: The Transition in Iraq

In a miniature version of the troop increase that the United States hopes will secure the city, American soldiers and armored vehicles raced onto Haifa Street before dawn to dislodge Sunni insurgents and Shiite militias who have been battling for a stretch of ragged slums and mostly abandoned high rises. But as the sun rose, many of the Iraqi Army units who were supposed to do the actual searches of the buildings did not arrive on time, forcing the Americans to start the job on their own.

When the Iraqi units finally did show up, it was with the air of a class outing, cheering and laughing as the Americans blew locks off doors with shotguns. As the morning wore on and the troops came under fire from all directions, another apparent flaw in this strategy became clear as empty apartments became lairs for gunmen who flitted from window to window and killed at least one American soldier, with a shot to the head.

Whether the gunfire was coming from Sunni or Shiite insurgents or militia fighters or some of the Iraqi soldiers who had disappeared into the Gotham-like cityscape, no one could say.

“Who the hell is shooting at us?” shouted Sgt. First Class Marc Biletski, whose platoon was jammed into a small room off an alley that was being swept by a sniper’s bullets. “Who’s shooting at us? Do we know who they are?”

Just before the platoon tossed smoke bombs and sprinted through the alley to a more secure position, Sergeant Biletski had a moment to reflect on this spot, which the United States has now fought to regain from a mysterious enemy at least three times in the past two years.

“This place is a failure,” Sergeant Biletski said. “Every time we come here, we have to come back.”

He paused, then said, “Well, maybe not a total failure,” since American troops have smashed opposition on Haifa Street each time they have come in.

With that, Sergeant Biletski ran through the billowing yellow smoke and took up a new position.

The Haifa Street operation, involving Bradley Fighting Vehicles as well as the highly mobile Stryker vehicles, is likely to cause plenty of reflection by the commanders in charge of the Baghdad buildup of more than 20,000 troops. Just how those extra troops will be used is not yet known, but it is likely to mirror at least broadly the Haifa Street strategy of working with Iraqi forces to take on unruly groups from both sides of the Sunni-Shiite sectarian divide.

The commander of the operation, Lt. Col. Avanulas Smiley of the Third Stryker Brigade Combat Team, Second Infantry Division, said his forces were not interested in whether opposition came from bullets fired by Sunnis or by Shiites. He conceded that the cost of letting the Iraqi forces learn on the job was to add to the risk involved in the operation.

“This was an Iraqi-led effort and with that come challenges and risks,” Colonel Smiley said. “It can be organized chaos.”

The American units in the operation began moving up Haifa Street from the south by 2 a.m. on Wednesday. A platoon of B Company in the Stryker Brigade secured the roof of a high rise, where an Eminem poster was stuck on the wall of what appeared to be an Iraqi teenager’s room on the top floor. But in a pattern that would be repeated again and again in a series of buildings, there was no one in the apartment.

Many of the Iraqi units that showed up late never seemed to take the task seriously, searching haphazardly, breaking dishes and rifling through personal CD collections in the apartments. Eventually the Americans realized that the Iraqis were searching no more than half of the apartments; at one point the Iraqis completely disappeared, leaving the American unit working with them flabbergasted.

“Where did they go?” yelled Sgt. Jeri A. Gillett. Another soldier suggested, “I say we just let them go and we do this ourselves.”

Then the gunfire began. It would come from high rises across the street, from behind trash piles and sandbags in alleys and from so many other directions that the soldiers began to worry that the Iraqi soldiers were firing at them. Mortars started dropping from across the Tigris River, to the east, in the direction of a Shiite slum.

The only thing that was clear was that no one knew who the enemy was. “The thing is, we wear uniforms — they don’t,” said Specialist Terry Wilson.

At one point the Americans were forced to jog alongside the Strykers on Haifa Street, sheltering themselves as best they could from the gunfire. The Americans finally found the Iraqis and ended up accompanying them into an extremely dangerous and exposed warren of low-slung hovels behind the high rises as gunfire rained down.

American officers tried to persuade the Iraqi soldiers to leave the slum area for better cover, but the Iraqis refused to risk crossing a lane that was being raked by machine-gun fire. “It’s their show,” said Lt. David Stroud, adding that the Americans have orders to defer to the Iraqis in cases like this.

In this surreal setting, about 20 American soldiers were forced at one point to pull themselves one by one up a canted tin roof by a dangling rubber hose and then shimmy along a ledge to another hut. The soldiers were stunned when a small child suddenly walked out of a darkened doorway and an old man started wheezing and crying somewhere inside.

Ultimately the group made it back to the high rises and escaped the sniper in the alley by throwing out the smoke bombs and sprinting to safety. Even though two Iraqis were struck by gunfire, many of the rest could not stop shouting and guffawing with amusement as they ran through the smoke.

One Iraqi soldier in the alley pointed his rifle at an American reporter and pulled the trigger. There was only a click: the weapon had no ammunition. The soldier laughed at his joke.



Posted on 08/04/2011 8:31 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Thursday, 4 August 2011
Reculer, Pour Mieux Sauter -- Or, Get Out Of Iraq So As To Better Attack Iran

[Re-posted from 2006]

Fitzgerald: Before we can deal with Iran...


As the situation in Iran grows more serious by the minute, American troops in Iraq now stand in the way of the only kind of advantage that can now be pulled from the tarbaby of Iraq. That advantage is the weakening of the global jihad through the exploitation of the sectarian (Sunni-Shi'a) and ethnic (Arab-Kurd) divisions that have existed since virtually the beginning of Islam, but have been exacerbated recently by the Sunni Arab rule of modern Iraq, and particularly the Sunni Arab murderous rule of Saddam Hussein.

Getting out of Iraq now is the very best thing the Administration can do in order to ensure political support for dealing with Iran. It is also the best thing to do so that attention and resources can be turned to another important matter, the islamization of Western Europe through Da'wa and demographic conquest.

It is madness for the American troops to remain in Iraq. There they are now hostage to possible Iranian retaliation for any attack on Iran's nuclear project. That retaliation could come from Iran itself, which shares a long and porous border with Iraq, or it could come from Iranian agents already in Iraq working with local Shi'a such as Moqtada al-Sadr -– who is so obviously malevolent, with his ansar al-mahdi or Mahdi's Army. Or alternatively, the retaliation could come from other Shi'a groups. The Shi’a in general have been perfectly content to watch the Americans inflict casualties on the Sunnis and suffer casualties in return, all the while attempting to extract the last bit of aid, training, and equipment that the long-suffering American military can be persuaded to offer. Those American generals are apparently unwilling or unable to push Bush to drop his messianic notions of Iraq the Model, Iraq the Light Unto the Muslim Nations. They have been relegated by Bush to letting him know only when "the Iraqis are ready for us to leave,” which is to say, when "the Iraqis can stand up so we can stand down." Oh my god.

Since when do foreigners tell us when they are "ready" to have us leave? We could be fighting the Sunnis on behalf of the Shi'a until the cows come home.

I have news for Bush, the news the generals apparently cannot bring themselves quite yet to deliver. There never will be a moment when a real army of "Iraq" which will contain, fighting side by side and loyal to each other, Sunni and Shi'a Arabs and Kurds. It just cannot be. Oh, here and there a special unit might exist, but even that unit's supposed "unity" and "loyalty to the idea of Iraq" could dissolve at the first real testing. But all this is brushed aside by the messianic impulse of Bush, and by his naivete about the virtues of "democracy" and even the ease with which this "democracy" can be transplanted in the stoniest and most unlikely soil. That stony soil for democracy’s growth is the soil of Islam, which teaches that legitimacy comes from Allah and the Shari'a, not from mere mortals casting their ballots.

Bush’s naivete is also on display in his laziness about the specific history of Iraq, and of Sunni-Shi'a hostility. It is not merely a product of the last few years or few decades. It goes back more than 1300 years, to the time of the four rightly-guided caliphs. Can no one -- no one? -- talk to Bush and explain this to him, and to Rice, and to the rest of them? Can they not be persuaded to put down their copies of John Esposito’s books even for a moment? Can't they understand the importance of the Sunni-Shi’a split? And can't they figure out why this split is not to be deplored, but rather to be exploited by Infidels?

The problem of Iran cannot be dealt with as long as the Americans are tied down -- tied down by their own inability to think through the whole menace of Islamic jihad, and to put aside memories of this or that charming and plausible Iraqi exile, or some touching individual they have run across in Iraq. Put that kind of thing out of your head. Think only about the welfare of Infidels. There are innocents in the Muslim world, but we are not in a position now to help them without further imperiling ourselves. Western civilization is menaced in a peculiarly complicated way, a way that involves the weakness of mind of Western man himself, who has forgotten what his own history and his own values are, or is willing, or many are wiling, to toss that legacy, those values, aside.

It has to happen soon. The misallocation of resources -- men, money materiel, attention -- is just too great.

Bush may not be up to it. He is obstinate, and apparently unable to recognize that all of his assumptions about Iraq were based on ignorance of Islam and ignorance of Iraq.

But let's hope.

Posted on 08/04/2011 8:37 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Thursday, 4 August 2011
Fitzgerald: What Must Be Done? (In German Translation)

Der Islam und das Versagen der USA

trans. Michael Mannheimer

Obamas bei seiner berühmten “Kairoer Rede”

Von Hugh Fitzgerald 

Mit einem Vorwort von Michael Mannheimer

In seiner “berühmten” Kairoer Rede hat der US-Präsident den Islam als friedfertige Religion angepriesen und betont, dass die USA niemals einen Krieg gegen den Islam führen würden und dies auch nie getan hätten.

Sowohl Amerika als auch der Islam seien “nicht einzigartig. Und müssen nicht in einen Wettbewerb miteinander treten. Stattdessen überlappen sie sich und teilen gemeinsame Prinzipien – Prinzipien der Gerechtigkeit und des Fortschritts, Toleranz und die Menschenwürde.”

Mit dieser Rede hat Obama (dem in den USA vorgeworfen wird, Muslim zu sein)  dem Westen und dem Islam ebenso einen Bärendienst erwiesen. Denn an dieser Rede war inhaltlich so ziemlich alles falsch: angefangen von der irrigen Annahme, dass es im Islam ernstgemeinte Friedensverhandlungen auf Augenhöhe mit “Ungläubigen” geben könnte (es gibt nur taktische Friedensverträge, bis sich die islamischen Kräfte wieder gesammelt haben) bis zu der absurden Feststellung, dass der Islam die gleiche Vorstellung von Gerechtigkeit, Toleranz und Menschenwürde habe wie der Westen. Der Islam  kennt jedoch weder  Toleranz gegenüber den “Ungläubigen” (diese müssen sich zum Islam bekehren oder werden getötet), noch gibt es Gerechtigkeit und Menschenwürde im westlichen Sinn: in der “Allgemeinen Erklärung der Menschenrechte im Islam” von Kairo aus dem Jahr 1990 hat der Islam seinen Begriff von “Menschenrechten” verbindlich vorgestellt: dieser ist nur denkbar innerhalb der Gesetze des Islam und der Scharia. Damit ist klar, dass es Menschenrechte im UN-Sinn genauswenig für Nicht-Muslime gibt wie auch, dass Frauen im Islam den Männern rechtlich jemals gleichestellt sein werden. Im Gegenteil: die barbarische und inhumane Behandlung der Frauen als Menschen zweiter Klasse wurde in der Kairoer “Menschenrechts”-Erklärung der Religion der Geschlechterapartheids auf ewig fortgeschrieben.

Mag die Intention von Obama durchaus gut gewesen sein: nämlich das angeschlagene islamische Selbstbewusstsein zu stärken.  Indem er den Islam jedoch als friedliche Religion pries und zudem auch noch als eine, die dem Westen “großartige wissenschaftliche Erkenntnisse und kulturelle Bereicherungen” beschert habe, klittierte  Obama jedoch in nicht hinnehmbarer Form die Geschichte: Weder gibt es nennenswerte wissenschaftliche Erkenntisse durch den Islam, noch war der Islam eine kulturelle Bereicherung für Europa.

Doch viel schwerwiegender als diese Unwahrheiten ist, dass Obama den von ihrer Religion geschundenen und unterdrückten Muslimen quasi von außen ein Islambild bestätigt, das ihnen so auch von ihren Unterdrückern (dem islamischen Establishment) vermittelt wird, nichtsdestoweniger aber eine Lüge ist:

Denn der Islam ist weder eine Religion im klassischen Sinne, sondern viel eher ein  Eroberungs-und Todeskult mit unbeugsamem Weltherrschaftsanspruch. Der Islam ist auch nicht friedlich, sondern im Gegenteil die mit Abstand kriegerischste und mörderischste Religion der Weltgeschichte: für ihr Ziel der Welteroberung erlaubt sie Ihren Gläubigen an über 2000 (!) Stellen von Koran und Mohammeds Überlieferungen (Hadithe)) die Ermordung aller Ungläubigen. Der Islam hat in seinen 1400 Jahren vermutlich mehr Menschen umgebracht als alle religiösen und weltlichen Krieg zusammengenommen. Allein In Indien ermordete er nach seinem Einfall über 80 Millionen Hindus und löschte den radikalpazifistischen Buddhismus aus: Millionen Buddhisten ließen sich unbewaffnet und ohne Gegenwehr schlachten wie Vieh. Der Islam ermordete auch bei seinem Einfall im Iran Millionen Iraner: ein Fakt, der vom iranischen Schiismus totgeschwiegen wird. Muslime schlachteten Millionen Christen im Mahgreb und Nahen und Mittleren Osten ab, bis sich die Christen (nach ganzen 450 Jahren ihrer Vertreibung und Vernichtung) entschieden, mit den Kreuzzügen die verlorenen christlichen Gebiete, vor allem aber Jerusalm und Bethlehem zurückzuerobern.

Michael Mannheimer

Der US-Autor Hugh Fitzgerald hat die Rede Obamas an der Universität in Kairo im folgenden Artikel analysiert.

Der Islam und das Versagen der USA

Obamas bei seiner berühmten “Kairoer Rede”

Von Hugh Fitzgerald 

Mit einem Vorwort von Michael Mannheimer

In seiner “berühmten” Kairoer Rede hat der US-Präsident den Islam als friedfertige Religion angepriesen und betont, dass die USA niemals einen Krieg gegen den Islam führen würden und dies auch nie getan hätten.
Sowohl Amerika als auch der Islam seien “nicht einzigartig. Und müssen nicht in einen Wettbewerb miteinander treten. Stattdessen überlappen sie sich und teilen gemeinsame Prinzipien – Prinzipien der Gerechtigkeit und des Fortschritts, Toleranz und die Menschenwürde.”
Mit dieser Rede hat Obama (dem in den USA vorgeworfen wird, Muslim zu sein)  dem Westen und dem Islam ebenso einen Bärendienst erwiesen. Denn an dieser Rede war inhaltlich so ziemlich alles falsch: angefangen von der irrigen Annahme, dass es im Islam ernstgemeinte Friedensverhandlungen auf Augenhöhe mit “Ungläubigen” geben könnte (es gibt nur taktische Friedensverträge, bis sich die islamischen Kräfte wieder gesammelt haben) bis zu der absurden Feststellung, dass der Islam die gleiche Vorstellung von Gerechtigkeit, Toleranz und Menschenwürde habe wie der Westen. Der Islam  kennt jedoch weder  Toleranz gegenüber den “Ungläubigen” (diese müssen sich zum Islam bekehren oder werden getötet), noch gibt es Gerechtigkeit und Menschenwürde im westlichen Sinn: in der “Allgemeinen Erklärung der Menschenrechte im Islam” von Kairo aus dem Jahr 1990 hat der Islam seinen Begriff von “Menschenrechten” verbindlich vorgestellt: dieser ist nur denkbar innerhalb der Gesetze des Islam und der Scharia. Damit ist klar, dass es Menschenrechte im UN-Sinn genauswenig für Nicht-Muslime gibt wie auch, dass Frauen im Islam den Männern rechtlich jemals gleichestellt sein werden. Im Gegenteil: die barbarische und inhumane Behandlung der Frauen als Menschen zweiter Klasse wurde in der Kairoer “Menschenrechts”-Erklärung der Religion der Geschlechterapartheids auf ewig fortgeschrieben.
Mag die Intention von Obama durchaus gut gewesen sein: nämlich das angeschlagene islamische Selbstbewusstsein zu stärken.  Indem er den Islam jedoch als friedliche Religion pries und zudem auch noch als eine, die dem Westen “großartige wissenschaftliche Erkenntnisse und kulturelle Bereicherungen” beschert habe, klittierte  Obama jedoch in nicht hinnehmbarer Form die Geschichte: Weder gibt es nennenswerte wissenschaftliche Erkenntisse durch den Islam, noch war der Islam eine kulturelle Bereicherung für Europa.

Doch viel schwerwiegender als diese Unwahrheiten ist, dass Obama den von ihrer Religion geschundenen und unterdrückten Muslimen quasi von außen ein Islambild bestätigt, das ihnen so auch von ihren Unterdrückern (dem islamischen Establishment) vermittelt wird, nichtsdestoweniger aber eine Lüge ist:

Denn der Islam ist weder eine Religion im klassischen Sinne, sondern viel eher ein  Eroberungs-und Todeskult mit unbeugsamem Weltherrschaftsanspruch. Der Islam ist auch nicht friedlich, sondern im Gegenteil die mit Abstand kriegerischste und mörderischste Religion der Weltgeschichte: für ihr Ziel der Welteroberung erlaubt sie Ihren Gläubigen an über 2000 (!) Stellen von Koran und Mohammeds Überlieferungen (Hadithe)) die Ermordung aller Ungläubigen. Der Islam hat in seinen 1400 Jahren vermutlich mehr Menschen umgebracht als alle religiösen und weltlichen Krieg zusammengenommen. Allein In Indien ermordete er nach seinem Einfall über 80 Millionen Hindus und löschte den radikalpazifistischen Buddhismus aus: Millionen Buddhisten ließen sich unbewaffnet und ohne Gegenwehr schlachten wie Vieh. Der Islam ermordete auch bei seinem Einfall im Iran Millionen Iraner: ein Fakt, der vom iranischen Schiismus totgeschwiegen wird. Muslime schlachteten Millionen Christen im Mahgreb und Nahen und Mittleren Osten ab, bis sich die Christen (nach ganzen 450 Jahren ihrer Vertreibung und Vernichtung) entschieden, mit den Kreuzzügen die verlorenen christlichen Gebiete, vor allem aber Jerusalm und Bethlehem zurückzuerobern.

Michael Mannheimer

Der US-Autor Hugh Fitzgerald hat die Rede Obamas an der Universität in Kairo im folgenden Artikel analysiert.


Was getan werden muss

7. August 2009

von Hugh Fitzgerald                                         

Übersetzt von: BeforeDawn

Der Originalartikel erschien am 13. und 15. Juni 2009 unter dem Titel „What Must Be Done“ in: Jihad Watch (

Die Obama-Administration, in ihrem verwirrten Bemühen, den Muslimen die Hand auszustrecken und dadurch an ihr Selbstwertgefühl zu appellieren, indem sie die Texte und die Glaubenssätze des Islam nicht nur den Muslimen, sondern auch, was noch sehr viel wichtiger und sehr viel schädlicher ist, den Nicht-Muslimen falsch darstellt – wie es auch die Bush-Administration vorher getan hat (aber in einer deutlicheren und selbstbewussteren Sprache) – weiß offenbar nicht, wie sie planvoll vorgehen soll. …

Die Gewalt und die Aggression im Koran, in den Hadithen und der Sira, obgleich sie nach außen, gegen die Nichtmuslime, gerichtet sind, schaffen innerhalb der vom Islam durchdrungenen Gesellschaften etwas, das man die „spannungsgeladene Atmosphäre“ des Islam nennen könnte. Dazu gehört z. B. der Unwille, mit dem Gegner wirkliche Kompromisse einzugehen (mit den Ungläubigen oder, innerhalb des islamischen Lagers, mit anderen Gruppen von Muslimen, die sich durch ihre Glaubensrichtung oder ihre ethnische Zugehörigkeit unterscheiden, und die, als politische Feinde, ganz selbstverständlich in der Weise betrachtet werden, in der Muslime angehalten sind, die verfluchten Ungläubigen zu betrachten). Dies führt natürlich zu der Haltung, dass jede Übereinkunft mit Feinden, die sich als Ungläubige darstellen lassen, zu brechen ist, und dass es nur zwei Zustände gibt, in denen man am Ende eines Konflikts sich befinden kann, nämlich dem des Siegers oder dem des Besiegten. Und jedes Spiel, in dem einer, oder beide, der Spieler ein Homo islamicus ludens ist, ist immer ein Nullsummenspiel.

Unsere westliche Vorstellung, dass ein Kompromiss auf der einen Seite zu einem entsprechenden Kompromiss auf der anderen Seite führt, kommt dort nicht zur Anwendung. Das ist auch der Grund, warum z. B. der Glaube, dass, wenn Israel jetzt – nach einer langen Vorgeschichte des Verzichts auf konkrete Besitzstände in der Form von Land -  durch einen Stopp der „Siedlungen“  noch mehr Land aufgäbe, dann ein „echter“ Kompromiss von Seiten der arabischen Muslime folgen würde und nicht nur ein Waffenstillstandsabkommen oder eine „Hudna“ nach dem Modell, das Mohammed 628 n. Chr. im Abkommen mit den Mekkanern bei Hudaibiyya geschaffen hat, auf einer solchen falschen und deswegen gefährlichen Interpretation sowohl des Wortlauts wie auch des Geistes der islamischen Vorschriften beruht.

Die Fehlinterpretation des Islam in der Rede von Kairo, in ihrer ganzen ungeschickten und leicht zu durchschauenden Nachgiebigkeit gegenüber dem Bedürfnis der Muslime nach „Selbstachtung“, ist ein (wahrscheinlich bewusster) Versuch, den Islam den Muslimen falsch darzustellen, so dass sie selbst, durch diese Falschdarstellung in diesem Bedürfnis befriedigt, nun irgendwie die Wirklichkeit des Islam übersehen und stattdessen anfangen, sich so zu benehmen, wie ein Haufen amerikanischer Redenschreiber und Barack Obama, in seinem kruden Vortrag, es ihnen als gutes islamisches Benehmen beibringen. Also: hört auf Sure 5, Vers 22 und lasst Vers 33 außer acht, und vergesst die Pflicht zum Kampf oder „Dschihad“, der alles überwinden soll, was der Ausbreitung, und schließlich der Vorherrschaft, des Islam entgegensteht! Und ignoriert, was der Islam über die Rolle der Frauen lehrt, und vergesst, was der Islam über die Behandlung der Nicht-Muslime festlegt, und tut dies, und tut das, weil die Einfaltspinsel in Washington euch beigebracht haben, dass das es ist, was der Islam euch jetzt zu tun lehrt! Ja, und warum? Weil es anders nicht geht, denn wenn wir es nicht irgendwie auf diese Weise hinkriegen, wo stehen wir dann, was wären wir dann verpflichtet zu tun? Und ganz klar, die Muslime werden die Kleinigkeiten, die im Koran und in den Hadithen stehen, nicht mehr beachten wollen, und auch nicht das, was das Leben Mohammeds so reichlich illustriert, dieses Leben, das beispielhaft ist, das Leben des Perfekten Menschen, al-insan al-kamil, ein Vorbild für die muslimische Obrigkeit und für alle Zeit ein Modell für alle Muslime.

Lasst uns also, wenn es denn jetzt das Richtige ist, die ganze beschämende Falschdarstellung ignorieren, die von Barack Obama in Kairo mit so bewegenden Worten vorgetragen wurde. Lasst uns also den dadurch bedingten Schaden für die westliche Welt ignorieren, indem wir so tun, als unterstützten wir diese Idee, dass eine Falschdarstellung des Islam eine Strategie ist, den „Zusammenstoss der Zivilisationen“ zu vermeiden, was eine absurde Benennung ist, denn dieser Zusammenstoss ist in Wahrheit nur der Krieg, den der Islam gegen alles führt, was nicht islamisch ist, und alle Muslime, die ihren Islam ernst nehmen, sind verpflichtet, daran teilzunehmen – nicht nur mit Gewalt, sei es in der Form des Terrorismus oder sei es als konventioneller qital  [militärischer Kampf; d. Ü.] – sondern mit allen Mitteln, die zur Hand sind und sich als wirkungsvoll erweisen. 

Diese aus der Unkenntnis des Islam resultierende Verwirrung, sowie der spürbare Mangel an Intelligenz, Scharfsinn, Phantasie und Entschlossenheit bei denjenigen, die für die Politik in dieser Weltgegend verantwortlich sind, und jetzt diese unglaubliche, absichtliche Falschdarstellung der Fähigkeit des Westens, sich wieder von der Krise erholen, haben zu dieser Rede geführt. Es ist eine aktualisierte Version dessen, was Chamberlain und Daladier taten, als sie zu ihrer Zeit mit ihrer Weisheit am Ende waren und nicht mehr wussten, wie sie mit Hitler und seinen Nationalsozialisten umgehen sollten. Das erste, was sie versuchten, war Beschwichtigung, die sich nicht nur im Nachhinein als wirkungslos herausstellte, sondern von der man – zumindest all jene, die Hitler und die Nazis genau beobachtet hatten – von vornherein wusste, dass sie zu schrecklichen Ergebnissen führen würde, was ja auch eintrat. Diese Abwärtsspirale der amerikanischen Politik – wie viele weitere Hunderte von Milliarden sollen von der Regierung noch im Irak, in Afghanistan und Pakistan verschwendet werden? Wie weit soll noch das amerikanische Militär demoralisiert werden? Die Offiziere und Mannschaften wissen, dass es überhaupt keinen Zusammenhang gibt zwischen den Zielen, die sie angeblich zu erreichen suchen, und den Zielen, die als sinnvoll erkannt würden, wenn die Regierung ihre eigenen Erfahrungen mit den muslimischen Völkern zur Kenntnis nähme. Dieses Unverständnis erstreckt sich auch auf die vermeintlichen „Alliierten“, die immer so erfinderisch sind, wenn es darum geht, neue Wege zu finden, mehr, und immer mehr, Geld, Waffen und jede Art von Vorteilen, wann immer es geht, von jenen Amerikanern zu bekommen, die, weit entfernt in Washington, den normalen Offizieren und Mannschaften so unglaublich leichtgläubig erscheinen, so völlig ohne Verständnis der tiefgehenden, unnachgiebigen Feindschaft, die diese muslimischen Völker gegen Amerikaner und andere Ungläubige hegen, auch wenn sie immer für ein spontanes Lächeln bereit sind, diese perfekten Taschendiebe, wenn sie – und das tun sie laufend – um einen weiteren „Marshallplan“ bitten. („Marschallplan“ ist das am besten bekannte Wort im aktuellen englischen Vokabular der Araber und Muslime.)

Lasst uns also lieber versuchen, uns einen Weg aus dieser Misere, aus dieser politischen Abwärtsspirale zu erarbeiten. Zwei Dinge sind es, die getan werden müssen, von den Amerikanern und von anderen westlichen Regierungen, und sie gehen allen anderen Dingen vor, wenn weiterer Schaden für die nicht-muslimische Welt abgewendet werden soll – nicht nur für die USA, nicht nur für die USA und Kanada und Westeuropa, sondern  für die USA und Kanada und Westeuropa und Israel und Australien und Indien und all die anderen Länder der Ungläubigen in der ganzen Welt, die von außen, und sogar von innen, von den Angriffskräften derjenigen bedroht sind, denen ihr Islam eine Herzensangelegenheit ist.

Es sind diese zwei Dinge:

1) Muslimische Staaten, muslimische Völker, muslimische Gruppen und Splittergruppen daran hindern, Waffen von der Art zu erwerben, die wir Massenvernichtungswaffen nennen. Oder falls es ihnen bereits ermöglicht worden ist, solche Waffensysteme zu bekommen (wie im Fall Pakistans), aus krimineller Nachlässigkeit jener, die uns belehren, dass sie unsere Beschützer seien, dann müssen sie daran gehindert werden, die Mittel zu bekommen, um sie anzuwenden, oder um sie an andere weiterzuverbreiten.

Gerade zur Zeit ist die amerikanische Regierung stark beunruhigt, hinsichtlich Pakistan, weil sie fürchtet, dass dort eine Gruppe fanatischer Sunniten die Kontrolle über die Regierung an sich reißen könnte. Zur Zeit wird die Regierung von einer herrschenden Klasse sich abwechselnder oder die Macht teilender muslimischer Zamindars [einflussreiche Verwalter, bzw. Steuereintreiber der eigentlichen Großgrundbesitzer; d. Ü.] und Generäle gestellt, deren bewusste Feindschaft gegen alle Ungläubigen, und damit gegen den Westen, nur wenig ausgeprägter, deren Islam nur wenig unreiner ist als der der fanatischen sunnitischen Taliban, die die Alternative wären – und auch diese falsch eingeschätzte relative „Mäßigung“ könnte jederzeit über Nacht verschwinden.

Zur gleichen Zeit kontrollieren nun im Iran Fanatiker – und diese unterscheiden sich von den Taliban darin, dass sie Schiiten sind – die Regierung (während Pakistan noch nicht von Fanatikern kontrolliert wird) und es gibt keine wirklichen Anzeichen, dass sie ersetzt werden. Was – im Gegensatz zu Pakistan diese aber noch nicht haben, sind Massenvernichtungswaffen. Und es ist deren Bau, den sie mit Entschlossenheit vorantreiben.

Und die amerikanische Regierung erscheint bislang unwillig, ihrer Verantwortung gerecht zu werden, als Weltmacht und als Führer der nicht-muslimischen Welt, dieses nukleare Projekt zu zerstören – nicht durch eine „Invasion“ des Iran mit großen Truppenteilen, sondern mit Raketen und Flugzeugen, um das zu tun, was nur das winzige, belagerte, aber tapfere Israel bereit ist, ohne die Hilfe von anderen zu tun. Die amerikanische Regierung ist nicht nur unwillig, seiner Verantwortung gerecht zu werden (aus Furcht, seinem glänzenden Unternehmen im Irak irgendwie einen Image-Schaden zuzufügen – was im Vergleich zum Image des Iran völlig lachhaft ist, und auch in der idiotischen Überzeugung, dass der Iran umworben werden muss, in Afghanistan zu helfen, wobei sie übersehen, dass der schiitische Iran selbst auch gute Gründe hat, den Wiederaufstieg der radikalsunnitischen Taliban zu fürchten), sondern tut auch alles, was möglich ist, Israel die Mittel zu verweigern, die technische und die geheimdienstliche Unterstützung, die es braucht, um selbst in der Lage zu sein, dass iranische Projekt zurückzustutzen, so wie Israel es schon einmal, vor Jahrzehnten, mit dem entsprechenden Projekt im Irak gemacht hat.

2) Mit Mitteln, die für eine intelligente Selbstverteidigung erforderlich sind, zugleich diese aber auch rechtfertigen, die muslimische Einwanderung, sowie Kampagnen zur Verbreitung des Islam (Da´wa), in den Ländern der Ungläubigen, also im Dar al Harb („Haus des Krieges“), erst stoppen und dann umkehren. Barack Obama meint, er wisse alles über den Islam. Schließlich war sein Vater, der die Familie verließ, als er zwei war, „ein Moslem“. Und schließlich hat er, Barack Obama, im Alter zwischen sechs und neun im überwiegend muslimischen Indonesien gelebt. Und schließlich trägt er, Barack Obama, einen muslimischen Namen. Und dann kommt noch hinzu, er kann die Elite der Muslime mit Salam Aleikum begrüßen. Er ist so wie ein Freund von mir, dessen Vater vor Jahrzehnten in Biophysik promoviert wurde, und der in einer Familie aufgewachsen ist, in der alle seine Geschwister Naturwissenschaftler sind, aber er selbst weiß nichts, aber auch wirklich nichts, über die Naturwissenschaften. Aber er ist davon überzeugt, dass er die Naturwissenschaften versteht, dass er gar nicht die Grundlagen der Biologie, der Physik, der Chemie zu studieren braucht, weil er sie ja „in seiner Umgebung aufgesogen hat“. Davon ist er  überzeugt, obwohl er schon beim ersten Abschnitt irgendeines Artikels im „Scientic American“ völlig in der Luft hängt. Er hat sich entschieden, seine eigene Ahnungslosigkeit zu ignorieren, denn: „Ich komme aus einer Familie von Naturwissenschaftlern“.

Diese Heiterkeit erregende Überzeugung von seinem „naturwissenschaftlichen Verständnis“ durch familiäre Osmose ist nicht sonderlich verschieden von der Barack Obamas von seinem Verständnis des Islam. Sein Vater bezeichnete sich als Muslim, praktizierte aber anscheinend vor einem halben Jahrhundert eine entspannte, synkretistische, sub-saharische Version, die es dort noch gab, bevor das Geld der Saudis ankam, um die Moscheen und Medressen zu vergrößern und zu verschönern und die wahabitischen Imame zu bezahlen. Und Obama verbrachte drei Jahre seiner Kindheit – vom sechsten bis zum neunten Jahr – in Indonesien, in einer Schule, an der bezeichnenderweise sowohl muslimische wie christliche Kinder waren (was bedeutet, dass die muslimischen Eltern von der Art gewesen sein müssen, wie man sie in allen Metropolen muslimischer Länder findet, nämlich welche, die, wenn sie nicht insgeheim säkular sind, dann doch wenigstens die Unzulänglichkeiten muslimischer Schulen kennen und deswegen für ihre Kinder wünschen, dass sie so viel Bildung wie möglich außerhalb des geistigen Gefängnisses des Islam erhalten). Obama zeigt keine Anzeichen – weder jetzt noch irgendwann zuvor -, dass er die Texte und Glaubenssätze des Islam studiert hat. Dass er „Salam aleikum“ sagen kann oder sich erinnert, wie schön der Azan (Gebetsruf) in Jakarta klang, ist nun einfach kein Beweis. Er hat nicht den Koran, die Hadithen, die Sira gelesen, studiert und sich angeeignet. Er hat nicht Schacht oder Snouck Hurgrinje, Lammens oder St. Clair Tisdall, Vajda oder K. S. Lal oder hundert andere Gelehrte gelesen, nicht einmal und schon gar nicht mehrmals, sondern hat sich auf Leute wie Esposito verlassen, oder auf diejenigen gläubigen Muslime, die – nicht weniger käuflich wie jene – den Islam nicht anderen Muslimen, sondern den Ungläubigen in der Absicht erklären, sie völlig in die Irre zu führen (die aber, wenn sie mit anderen Muslimen über den Islam reden und denken, kein Ungläubiger höre zu, dann für gewöhnlich die Wahrheit reden). Es stimmt: „Krieg heißt Täuschung“. Und so stimmt auch: Taqiyya ist die Lehre von der erlaubten Täuschung über den islamischen Glauben. Und es stimmt auch: Kitman, die Praxis der „mentalen Zurückhaltung“, wenn ein Muslim bewusst Dinge verschweigt, hat dasselbe Ziel, und sowohl Taqiyya (die ihren Ursprung in dem Bedürfnis der Schiiten hat, sich vor der Verfolgung der Sunniten zu schützen) als auch Kitman finden ihre Rechtfertigung im Text des Koran.

Die Rede in Kairo sollte Zeile für Zeile auseinander genommen werden von wirklich gut vorbereiteten Fachleuten, und nicht nur von Analysten, die zu leicht zufrieden zu stellen sind, die keine Angst haben, oberflächlich zu sein, weil sie sich darauf verlassen können, dass ihre Zuhörer noch oberflächlicher sind, die die Details vernachlässigen und von den Fakten nichts wissen, weil sie an ihnen nicht interessiert sind.

Obamas Rede war ein Mischmasch aus missverstandenen Passagen aus dem Koran, äußerst einseitiger Zitierung und dem völligem Aussparen von so vielem, z. B. den mehr als 100 Dschihad-Versen im Koran, den Tausenden von Hadithen, die die permanente Feindschaft zwischen Muslimen und Ungläubigen festschreiben, von denen nicht ein einziger zitiert wurde, ebenso nicht ein einziges Detail aus der Sira. Es war eine abscheuliche Veranstaltung, eine, die die Ungläubigen in die Irre führt, und eine, die viele der Irregeführten am Ende denken lässt, dass „die amerikanische Regierung sicherlich weiß, was sie tut“. CAIR [die einflussreichste Lobby-Gruppe der am. Muslime; d. Ü.]  könnte nicht glücklicher über diese Rede sein. Es war grotesk. Und wenn sie analysiert wird und mehr und mehr von dem Unverständnis, den Missdeutungen geschichtlicher Ereignisse und den sich daraus ergebenden Dummheiten deutlich wird, dann wird sie als ein Monument des Unwissens und des Leichtsinns dastehen.

Und wenn genügend viele von uns, den Ungläubigen, die Texte lesen, die westlichen Wissenschaftler  lesen, die vor dem Beginn des Zeitalters der Selbstzensur (ungefähr um 1970) geschrieben haben, auf die wachsende Heerschar der beredten Apostaten hören (Wafa Sultan, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Ibn Warraq, Ali Sina und hundert andere) und sogar islamische Internetseiten besuchen, dann werden wir verstehen, dass der Islam ausschließlich Regeln festlegt, aber niemals Fragen zulässt.

Der Islam besteht darauf, dass wir „die Diener Allahs“ sind. Keine Frage, wenn sie beantwortet ist, lässt ein weiteres Nachdenken und ein weiteres moralisches Ringen mehr zu. Die übliche abschließende, für die Ungläubigen so schreckliche, Formulierung lautet: „Allah weiß es am besten“.

Wir können lesen. Wir können alle jene großen Männer lesen, die, wie John Quincy Adams und Tocqueville und Churchill, aufgrund ihrer immensen Gelehrsamkeit und aufgrund ihrer persönlichen Beobachtung und Erfahrung das Wissen hatten. Sie und Hunderte von anderen sind zu einem weit besseren Verständnis des Islam gekommen als die, die über uns herrschen und erwarten, dass wir auf sie hören. Mehr und mehr wird uns klar, wie wenig sie wissen, wie gering ihre Bildung ist, wie leichtgläubig sie sind, wenn sie die heutigen Deutungen der Geschichte akzeptieren, diese hinterhältigen Narrative, die erbärmliche Unehrlichkeit jener Araber und Muslime, die über Jahrzehnte eine Regierung nach der anderen in den USA und in der ganzen Welt hinters Licht geführt haben. Dabei haben sie durchaus ein wenig Hilfe erhalten von solchen Freunden wie der ARAMCO-Lobby oder all jenen Ex-Diplomaten und Ex-Geheimdienstagenten in arabischen Ländern, die viele Jahre lang als „internationale Business Consultants“ oder ähnliches heimlich die Interessen der Araber und Muslime vertreten haben. Sie haben ihre Kommentare in den Medien geschrieben, haben in Washington in den Korridoren der Macht ihre Runden gedreht, sind -, so abwägend und nachdenklich wie käuflich – in Radio- und Fernsehprogrammen aufgetreten, um Dinge in einer Art und Weise zu „erklären“,  gegen die selbst die Propagandisten Saudi-Arabiens oder der Arabischen Liga nicht einmal ein i-Pünktchen an Einwänden vorgebracht hätten.

Wir Ungläubigen, die wir uns noch die Fähigkeit zum Studieren bewahrt haben und es auch getan haben, wir haben uns ein Verständnis des Islam erarbeitet. Wir kennen nicht nur seine Texte, Glaubenssätze, Einstellungen und seine „Atmosphäre“, sondern kennen auch die 1350jährige Geschichte der islamischen Eroberung von ausgedehnten nicht-muslimischen Ländern  und ihren Völkern, und auch die sich anschließende Unterdrückung der Menschen in all diesen Ländern. Viele von ihnen wurden getötet oder in immer wiederkehrenden Kampagnen zum Konvertieren gezwungen. Andere traten im Laufe der Jahrhunderte vom jüdischen, vom christlichen, vom zoroastrischen, vom hinduistischen, vom buddhistischen, vom konfuzianischen Glauben zum Islam über, einfach um diesem glimpflichsten der Schicksale zu entgehen, das ein Nicht-Moslem unter islamischer Herrschaft zu erwarten hat: dem des Dhimmi, dem Zustand permanenter Demütigung, Erniedrigung und Angst um Leib und Leben.

Und während wir uns diese Kenntnisse aneigneten, unter anderem auch mit Hilfe von Webseiten wie dieser, ist uns bewusst geworden, anfangs nur einfach mit Abscheu, aber dann mit wachsendem Horror, welche Bedrohung der europäischen Zivilisation von der Islamisierung ausgeht. Und es ist uns auch klar geworden, dass die Bush-Regierung, die in ihrem sentimentalen Sendungsbewusstsein „ganz gewöhnlichen Muttis und Papis die Freiheit bringen“ wollte, unmöglich damit Erfolg haben konnte. Dieser Versuch, sieben Jahre und drei Billionen Dollar später, ist nun gescheitert, und  Bushs Ziele – „Wohlstand“, „Freiheit“ und „nationale Einheit“ – sind keine Ziele, die, würden sie erreicht, den Interessen der Ungläubigen dienen oder das Lager des Islam schwächen würden.

Und die Obama-Administration, die noch mehr als die Bush-Administration sich weigert, die Ideologie des Islam zu erkennen, zu studieren oder sich darüber Sorgen zu machen, schwätzt noch immer vom Terrorismus und tut noch immer so, als wäre Armut der „eigentliche Grund“. Armut? Was ist mit bin Laden? Mit Al-Zawahiri? Was ist mit den dekadenten Plutokraten Saudi-Arabiens und der Scheichtümer, die dadurch ihr Gewissen beruhigen, dass sie große Summen ausgeben, um den Islam zu verbreiten? Armut? Armut ist das, was Muslime daran hindert, ihre Feindseligkeit gegen die Ungläubigen auszuleben. Armut ist das, was sie, wie die analphabetischen Dorfbewohner im hintersten Afghanistan, in ihrer Subsistenzwirtschaft mit dem Überleben beschäftigt hält. Eher sind es doch die diskreten Zahlungen für Waffen und Moscheen und Medressen in der ganzen Welt, sowie für ihre Reisen in die Länder der Ungläubigen, die die Moslems jetzt zu der Bedrohung machen, die sie 1960, 1940 oder 1900 nicht waren.

Obama, genau wie Busch, konzentriert sich nur auf einen Aspekt des Dschihad – den Terrorismus. Und natürlich wird alles getan, dass wir nicht merken, dass die Moslems tatsächlich in einer ganzen Serie von lokalen Dschihads gegen ungläubige Nationalstaaten (wie Israel oder Indien) engagiert sind, oder gegen ungläubige Teilpopulationen in ungläubigen Nationalstaaten (Buddhisten im Süden Thailands, Christen im Südsudan und auf den südlichen Philippinen) oder in muslimischen Staaten (Assyrer und Chaldäer im Irak, Kopten in Ägypten, Maroniten und andere Christen im Libanon, Christen und Hindus in Pakistan, Bangladesch und Indonesien, usw.). Und niemand in der Busch-Administration und niemand in der Obama-Administration hat jemals angedeutet, dass das Hauptziel des Dschihad heutzutage die Länder Westeuropas sind, die Heimat und das geschichtliche Herz  des Westens, ohne das Amerika nicht  seinen kulturellen Zusammenhang bewahren kann. Und in diesen Ländern haben die politischen und kulturellen Eliten weggeschaut oder sich die Entwicklung mit Ignoranz und Gleichgültigkeit angesehen, als es den Moslems erlaubt wurde, sich mitten in nicht-muslimischen Ländern anzusiedeln, hinter den feindlichen Linien, so wie es den Moslems selbst gelehrt wird, hinter den Grenzen zum Dar al Harb. Die Mitglieder dieser Eliten trauen sich nicht, sich zu dem kolossalen Schaden zu bekennen, den sie in ihrer Sorglosigkeit, ihrer Ignoranz, ihrer platten und selbstgefälligen Dummheit angerichtet haben.

Die Hauptwaffen des Dschihad in Westeuropa sind, wie ich schon tausendmal zuvor geschrieben habe: die Installation der Geldwaffe – Zahlungen für Moscheen, Medressen, Lehrstühle und Institute, wo alles, was einer wahren Darstellung des Islam nahe kommt, verbannt ist; und natürlich Zahlungen für Armeen von bestochenen Westlern, damit sie die Propagandakampagne für den Islam insgesamt bzw. für einzelne Familien oder Regime führen, wie z. B. für die unheilvolle Al-Saud-Familie. Ferner gibt es die sorgfältig geplanten Da´wa-Kampagnen [ar. da´wa: Einladung zum Islam; d. Ü.], die sich an die richten, die wirtschaftlich oder psychisch  ausgegrenzt sind, in erster Linie an Strafgefangene, aber auch an andere. Vor allem aber ist es die demographische Eroberung, die ungehindert weitergeht. Inzwischen aber ist es deutlich geworden: die Anwesenheit der Muslime im gegenwärtigen Maßstab hat zu einer Situation geführt, die bei weitem unangenehmer, teurer und gefährlicher für Leib und Leben der nicht-muslimischen indigenen Europäer und für nicht-muslimische Einwanderer ist, als sie es ohne deren Anwesenheit wäre. Die Menschen wachen auf, schütteln ihre Locken und beginnen sich zu rühren, aber es ist ein Wettlauf mit der Zeit: werden sie noch rechtzeitig in genügender Zahl aufwachen? Und wird die amerikanische Regierung auf ihre am besten informierten Bürger hören, die in ihrem Verständnis der Materie die Mitglieder der Regierung inzwischen weit hinter sich gelassen haben? Wird sie die Gefahr in Europa erkennen, die in erster Linie eine militärische ist, denn die europäischen Nationen haben Waffensysteme in ihrem Besitz, die niemals in die Hände der Moslems geraten dürfen, und dann, was vielleicht noch wichtiger ist: wird sie die Gefahr des kulturellen Zusammenbruchs erkennen, zuerst im historischen Herzen des Westens, und dann in seinem transatlantischen Ableger, den Vereinigten Staaten von Amerika?

Unsere herrschende Klasse ist sehr verschieden von, sagen wir, der zu F. D. Roosevelts Zeit. Viele hatten damals einen Hintergrund wie er: das Eliteinternat Groton School, gegründet von Endicott Peabody, die Studentenheime der „Gold Coast“ in Harvard, die Mitgliedschaft in der „English-Speaking Union“, Reisen nach Europa, aber nicht nur als einmalige Wanderjahre, sondern zu wiederholten Malen, und die Kenntnis der französischen Sprache. Diese Kenntnis – französische Konsuln, die, wo auch immer in der Welt, die „Frankophonie“ fördern, sollten aufmerken!  - ist wichtig, weil der Erwerb der französischen Sprache sehr viel impliziert, was über den reinen Spracherwerb hinausgeht. Er beinhaltet und vermittelt die Idee Europas und bringt quasi von selbst eine Vertrautheit mit der europäischen Geschichte, Kunst und Literatur mit sich. Die ist bei unserer herrschenden Klasse verschwunden, deren Kinder – wie sie in ihren Bewerbungsschreiben auflisten – ihre geforderten Auslandsaufenthalte wohl eher damit verbracht haben, mit minderjährigen Prostituierten in Kambodscha zu arbeiten, oder in einem Frauenhaus in Marokko oder Madagaskar, als mit dem Studium der westlichen Zivilisation und der der USA als einem Teil dies Westens. Ich habe mir eine beträchtliche Anzahl von Büchern in französischer Sprache angesehen, die früher Angehörigen der Boston Brahmins oder der Dutch Knickerbockers  [Bezeichnung für die wohlhabenden und einflussreichen Familien, die sich auf die ersten europäischen Siedler in Neuengland  zurückführen und die gesellschaftliche Elite Neuenglands bilden; d. Ü.] gehört haben, und habe in vielen von ihnen Randnotizen gefunden, die klar zeigen, dass die früheren Besitzer die französische Sprache gründlich beherrscht haben. In Ruth Drapers „Monologen“ der zwanziger und dreißiger Jahre, ist, wo es um reiche Amerikaner geht, von Reisen von Schulmädchen in die Museen Europas, vor allem Italiens, die Rede.

Ich weiß, dass es einmal eine Zeit gab, in der man nicht Mitglied der Daughters of the American Revolution oder der Society of the Cincinnati [Patriotische Organisationen, die die Erinnerung an den Unabhängigkeitskrieg wach halten sollen; d. Ü.] oder ein Zweig der First Families of Virginia oder ein Mitglied der English-Speaking Union sein musste, um zu erkennen, dass die Gesetze und die politischen Institutionen, die Sprache und die Literatur der Vereinigten Staaten alle ihrem Ursprung nach englisch sind. Jedem war das bewusst, jeder hatte das gelernt, weil es die Wahrheit war. Die USA sind deswegen weitgehend ein Kind Englands, ganz gleich, was auch immer die  Herkunftsländer seiner Einwohner sind. Und nun zu sehen, wie England sich islamisiert, zu sehen, wie England, mit seinen Universitäten und Museen und seiner ganzen Geschichte, die auch unsere Geschichte ist, sich der Islamisierung ergibt, das sollte als schmerzlich empfunden werden, das sollte erschrecken. Und so sollte auch der Verlust Italiens, das zwei Drittel der westlichen Kunst in Besitz hat, empfunden werden, sollte es denn tatsächlich so weit kommen. Und Frankreich, und all die anderen Länder, die, mit unterschiedlicher Geschwindigkeit, aber in ähnlicher Weise von einem demographischen Wandel bedroht sind, den die europäischen Eliten jetzt anscheinend endlich anfangen, – wenn auch bislang nur vage – zu erkennen. Jedoch, mit Ausnahme von Leuten wie Geert Wilders, scheinen sie unfähig oder unwillig zu sein, über naheliegende Maßnahmen nachzudenken, jene tausend völlig legitimen Maßnahmen, die es gibt, um die Bedrohung zu vermindern, anstatt über Wege nachzudenken, um dieses Sich-ergeben für alle weniger unangenehm, für alle annehmbarer zu machen.

Man stelle sich das perfekte Beispiel eines typischen Amerikaners vor – typisch allerdings, nach den Kriterien der Zeit vor hundert Jahren: William James oder Charles Sanders Pierce oder Josiah Royce oder George Santayana – oder irgendeinen anderen Professor der Philosophischen Fakultät -, wie er beobachtet, dass Europa, gleichsam in Zeitlupe, in eine islamische Welt aufgeht, die mit Recht einmal als hoffnungslos primitiv gesehen wurde, und dabei völlig unbewegt, völlig gleichmütig bleibt. Diese Einschätzung der islamischen Welt hat sich jetzt nur deshalb geändert, weil die reichen arabischen und moslemischen Ölstaaten allein seit 1973 mehr als 12 Billionen Dollar erhalten haben, und weil es Millionen von Moslems in einem Anfall der Unaufmerksamkeit erlaubt worden ist, sich in den Ländern Westeuropas anzusiedeln, weit hinter den auch von Moslems als feindliche Linien angesehenen Grenzen.

Europa ist für Obama, den Weltbürger, von keinem besonderen Reiz. Und wenn man nicht einer der hochkarätigen Meritokraten ist, die eine Verbindung nach Europa haben, vielleicht ein Sommerhaus in der Provence oder der Toskana, dann ist es unwahrscheinlich, dass Europa, in Hinsicht auf seine Kultur, einem als etwas erscheint, dem man Beachtung schenken sollte. Und sogar jene aus den oberen Rängen des Pentagon, die die fortbestehende Bedeutung der NATO verstehen (der NATO ohne die jetzt als kontrovers beurteilte Türkei), haben letztlich nur ein miltärisches Interesse, und die tiefe kulturelle Verbindung wird von ihnen gering geschätzt.

Die herrschende Klasse schaut nicht mehr nach Europa, kennt keine europäischen Sprachen mehr, ist nicht mehr vertraut mit Europa, und sieht und fühlt nicht mehr, was der Verlust Europas an den Islam für die Zukunft der Kunst, für die wissenschaftliche Forschung, für die Weiterentwicklung oder auch nur den Erhalt der Menschenrechte und für die Idee des Individualismus bedeuten würde. Wer aber sieht, was dieser Verlust bedeuten würde, wird mit allen Mitteln all jene in Europa unterstützen, die wach geworden sind und jetzt für die gleichen Ziele arbeiten, aus der gleichen begründeten zivilisatorischen Furcht – Furcht um die Kunst, um die Wissenschaft, um die menschliche Freiheit und aus Sorge um die Individualität des einzelnen. Oder wird unsere neue herrschende Klasse den Nationen Westeuropas keine Aufmerksamkeit mehr entgegenbringen, keine besondere Zuneigung oder tiefe Sympathie ihnen gegenüber mehr empfinden, wie einige aus dieser herrschenden Klasse bereits angedeutet haben in Hinsicht auf Israel, einem weiteren unentbehrlichen Teil des Westens? Einige sind ohne Zweifel bereit, nicht nur das Konzept der NATO zu verkaufen, sondern selbst die gesamte Vorstellung einer besonderen Verbindung zwischen Europa und Amerika, weil sie es nicht fühlen, es nicht spüren, weil es nicht Teil ihres eigenen „persönlichen Narrativs“ ist. Bei ihnen überlagern die eigenen „persönlichen Narrative“ die Geschichte, die umfassende nationale und supra-nationale Geschichte unserer Zivilisation, die des nicht-muslimischen Westens.

Und das ist der Punkt, an dem wir uns jetzt befinden. Und deshalb haben wir jeden  Grund, uns Sorgen zu machen. Ignoranz, zusammen mit einer selbstgewissen Arroganz (die sich in einer höchst gewinnenden Weise ausdrückt, oder besser gesagt, die auf diese Weise getarnt wird), ist in der letzten Zeit zur Schau gestellt worden. Die Gabe des leeren Geschwätzes, mit noch weniger dahinter, wie wir jetzt anfangen zu sehen, als unsere Augen und Ohren zunächst vermutet haben. Wir haben Grund, niedergeschlagen zu sein, wir haben Grund, Abscheu zu empfinden. Es besteht Grund zur Sorge.


Posted on 08/04/2011 7:23 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Thursday, 4 August 2011
Alex Joffe: Hizballah In America

Hizballah in America

By Alex Joffe


Hizballah is a Shiite Muslim movement, Iranian-created and -funded, which strongarms Lebanon through threats and violence, assaults Israel with rockets obtained through Syria in contravention of UN resolutions, and is funded through massive criminal enterprises. And it has arrived in the Americas. 

Relevant links:

Party of Fraud  Matthew LevittForeign AffairsIs it not time to expose Hizballah for what it isno standard-bearer of "resistance" in Lebanon but a worldwide criminal gangand to prosecute it as such?  SAVE

Hizballah in Latin America  Roger F. NoriegaHouse Committee on Homeland Security.  Testimony on Hizballah's close ties to the regime of Hugo Chavez and to FARC narcotraffickers, and the implications for U.S. homeland security. (PDF)


Evidence for Hizballah's criminal and terrorist activities in the Western hemisphere continues to build. The implications for the U.S., for Israel, and for Jews globally are ominous. Why, then, is so little attention paid?


• In early July, two men were arrested in Bucharest and two more in the Maldive Islands in a U.S.-orchestrated sting operation. Their purpose: purchasing surface-to-air missiles and other munitions for Hizballah and the Taliban in exchange for hundreds of kilos of heroin. And whence the heroin? In 2001, the U.S. Treasury Department added the Hizballah-linked Lebanese businessman Ayman Joumma to its list of known drug smugglers and money launderers. He and others are accused of laundering up to $200 million per month through Lebanon, West Africa, Colombia, and Panama. Today, Hizballah's role in drug smuggling is expanding, especially as Iranian funding for the organization has dropped.

• Also on the increase are attempts to purchase weapons and funding within the U.S. Weapons cases were uncovered in Philadelphia and New York City in 2009. Three Yemeni men in Rochester were convicted of illegally transferring money to Hizballah in 2009, and cigarette smuggling rings that raised millions of dollars were busted in North Carolina in 2002 and New York in 2003. An Ohio couple, Hor and Amera Akl, pled guilty in 2011 to charges of conspiracy to support Hizballah, including through insurance fraud.

• In July, federal prosecutors unsealed an indictment against Faouzi Ayoub, formerly of Dearborn, Michigan, accusing him of using a forged U.S. passport in 2000 to travel to Israel at the direction of Hizballah to attempt a terrorist attack. Now on the FBI's most wanted list, he was arrested by Israel in 2001 and exchanged in 2004 along with 436 other prisoners for kidnapped Israeli drug smuggler Elhanan Tannenbaum.

• Again in July, Roger Noriega, former U.S. ambassador to the Organization of American States, testified before Congress about Hizballah's operations in Latin America. These activities include drug smuggling, money laundering, and proselytizing, as well as radicalizing the region's large Muslim population. Hizballah has long been implicated in the Iranian bombings of the Israeli embassy in Buenos Aires in 1992 and the Jewish community center there in 1994. Noriega also documented Iranian and Hizballah connections to the Chavez regime in Venezuela, including the weapons ship Francop, which was intercepted by Israeli naval commandos in 2009 carrying munitions for Hizballah to Syria.

• Also in July, the hacker group LulzSec released a confidential report by the Tucson police department pointing to the 2010 arrest in Mexico of Jameel Nasr, allegedly tasked with creating a Hizballah network in that country. The report noted the recent introduction of vehicle-born improvised explosive devices (a Hizballah trademark), by Mexican drug gangs. Border agents across the American Southwest continue to arrest illegal immigrants deemed "Other Than Mexicans," some of whom sport tattoos of Hizballah symbols.

One can point to countless other examples of Hizballah activities. Two sisters, Nada Nadim El Aouar and Elfat El Aouar, failed to return to Lebanon after their student visas expired. Nada entered into a sham marriage that allowed her to gain U.S. citizenship, during which she worked as a waitress for a man (later her brother-in-law) who is now a fugitive accused of sending more than $20 million to Lebanon.  After two more marriages (to a U.S. Marine, and then to a Foreign Service officer), she ended up as an FBI agent working on terror cases, and then as a CIA case officer in Iraq. Accused of looking up names, including her own, her sister's, and her brother-in-law's, in secret U.S. government databases, she entered a guilty plea in 2007.

Only a handful of these cases and testimonies have been discussed in the New York Times or the Washington Post. The only outlets covering Hizballah are rightward-leaning national organs like the Washington Times and a variety of bloggers.  As far as the Times columnist Thomas Friedman is concerned, the only "Hizballah faction" in American life is the Tea Party.  This is perverse.  Fortunately, U.S. law enforcement, at least at the operational level, appears well aware of the threats.

Why aren't the facts regarding Hizballah taken seriously, even when they come in the form of guilty pleas and convictions? At least three explanations may be offered. First is the fiction that Hizballah has morphed from a Lebanese "resistance group" into a legitimate political party that just happens to maintain a "militia." To acknowledge the true facts would mean opposing Hizballah at every turn, a far more difficult policy than pretending the organization might "moderate." 

Similarly conducive to inaction are other convenient myths: that there is no radicalization of American Muslims, and demonstrating otherwise is "Islamophobic"; that there is no cross-border threat from Mexico, and demonstrating otherwise is "racist"; and that pointing to these problems is evidence of a disqualifying right-wing agenda. 

Hizballah is here in the Americas. But a decade after 9/11, fatigue with the Middle East and terrorism, and a manufactured backlash against counter-terrorism, have made the American public, and American Jews, passive. Only more aggressive reporting of the facts, and a campaign of public education, will diminish the surprise when we wake up to find terrorists in our midst.   

Alex Joffe is a research scholar with the Institute for Jewish and Community Research.

Posted on 08/04/2011 9:52 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Thursday, 4 August 2011
Donald Carne-Ross, "The Finest Critic Of Classical Literature In English Translation Since Matthew Arnold"

From The New Criterion:

May 2011

Classic Carne-Ross

by John Talbot

On the "finest critic of Classical literature in English translation since Matthew Arnold."


Keats’s emphasis—that it was Chapman’s voice, and not Homer’s only, that he heard speak out loud and strong—exposes a gulf between him and us. It has implications for literary culture, English poetry, and the survival of the Classics.

Keats knew perfectly well that in reading Chapman’s Homer he was not reading the Iliad. Those rolling rhymed fourteeners, those pauses and those plunges, those metrical inversions: that is Chapman’s sound, not Homer’s. Yet Keats was pleased rather than perturbed. Chapman’s job, he knew, was not to give us Homer, who exists nowhere but in the original Greek. Not that Chapman was writing an autonomous poem in English, ontologically independent of Homer’s. But neither did he produce a crib, and much of what is good in Chapman’s translation can be understood as distinct from what it strictly owes to Homer. An original energy crackles in the relation between Chapman’s English and the Greek on which it draws. In particular, Keats seems to have been responding to Chapman’s sweeping Elizabethan truculence and vigor, as against the refinement and relative tidiness of Pope’s Iliad, the more recent and then-dominant version. A translation can hardly be expected to give the original, but a great translation can give much else, and Keats’s sonnet shows he knew the difference, and knew how gratefully to receive the gifts that Chapman had to give.

To see the translator as an artist, and to take his translation on its own terms as a work of art: Keats’s attitude was not exceptional. For generations of English poets, especially during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, translation from the Classics had been integral to their art, and included some of the summits of English literature: Golding’s Ovid, Dryden’s Virgil, Pope’s Horace. And Pope’s Iliad where, in one passage, Achilles is found vowing allegiance to his beloved Patroclus, lately slaughtered:

If, in the melancholy shades below,
The Flames of Friends and Lovers never ceased to glow,
Yet mine shall sacred last; mine, undecay’d
Burn on through death, and animate my shade.

Ardent verses, but all that burning comes from Pope, not Homer, who had written simply that even if, in Hades, the dead are forgotten, he will still remember his comrade there. Of Pope’s thirty-one words, only seven have warrant in the Greek. Yet Pope’s invention is not irresponsible. He is looking beyond Homer’s words into the soul of Achilles and finding there a fiery intensity that is present in Homer’s characterization but latent in his language. Much of the power of these lines is original to Pope. There’s the rhythm of the words, including the eruption of that long hexameter line (at one with Achilles’ longing for prolongation). There’s the arrangement of antitheses neatly around caesuras, so characteristic of Pope, and so unlike Homer. And there’s a ruefulness in the way Pope rhymes “undecay’d” with “shade,” two words which resist being brought together, and so making Achilles’ grief even more poignant. Pope is writing as a translator and a poet at once. He is writing a poem which has a profound relationship to Homer’s, and much of what is great in the Iliad comes through. What most comes through, though, is Pope’s voice and style and often his substance, all of which demand attention in their own right. That’s the view of translation that Keats was voicing in praising the Homeric translation that most deeply spoke to him. That’s why it was “On First Looking into Chapman’s Homer,” instead of “Homer (tr. Chapman).”

Keats wrote his sonnet in 1816, but by then notions about the purpose of translation from the Classics were already beginning to shift. It’s not that Classical culture was disappearing. Latin and Greek remained at the center of the school curriculum—even the Greekless Keats had Latin, and instruction in both languages boomed during the nineteenth century. Instead, the relationship between the Classics and the business of creating English poetry was altering subtly. Great poets, for example, were no longer turning to translation as an integral part of their work. In the 1820s, Wordsworth Englished a fraction of the Aeneid, but aside from that abortive attempt, what major Romantic or Victorian poet can show a great translation to set beside Dryden’s Virgil or Chapman’s Homer? I can’t think of a single example of a major poet translating a Classical author in that high creative mode that Keats so admired in Chapman. The poets of the nineteenth century let that tradition slide.

Into the breach stepped a different breed of translator, producing a very different kind of translation. “The time appears to have gone by,” reported an Oxford classicist in 1861, “when men of great original gifts could find satisfaction in reproducing the thoughts and words of others, and the work, if done at all, must now be done by writers of inferior pretension.” That was John Conington, the most famous of Victorian translators, whose Virgil and Horace were the standard versions of his time. By “writers of inferior pretension” he meant people like himself, scholars most often but also amateurs, whose aim ceased to be to produce translations as works of art. Instead the new goal was accuracy. Not the accuracy of feeling, tone, structure and nuance that art requires, but the accuracy of the schoolmaster. One of this new breed, an Oxford scholar who in 1854 had translated Virgil, stressed the importance of preserving “the strictest grammatical accuracy in the translation of Classical poets.” And, in 1883, a certain A. H. Palmer, in a preface, felt bound to apologize for his father’s lovely versions of Virgil’s Eclogues as having “no pretension to the scholarly accuracy of the present day.”

That revolution in our notion of a translator’s work has altered both the course of English literature and the place of the Classics in our culture. I can point to two concrete effects. First, readers are now far less critical in their engagement with translations from the Classics. Translators, publishers, and reviewers alike, in making claims for a translator’s accuracy or transparency, have led us to assume that we are “getting,” say, Homer. But we’re not. We’re getting (say) Richmond Lattimore or Robert Fitzgerald or Robert Fagles, Americans writing a book in English, and each writer very different from the others. Readers of Classical translation today most often lack what Keats had: an awareness of the particular qualities of a translation itself, of whatever (good or bad) the translator adds to whatever of Homer has managed to come through.

A second effect has been a diminishment in the ambition of translations. The new expectation that the job of a translator is to adhere to scholarly accuracy, to become invisible to his readers, has stunted the growth of one of our literature’s fruitful boughs. The market—and it is now, as we will presently see, largely a classroom-driven market—demands a narrow sort of fidelity that would be hostile to a Chapman or a Pope. If Homer (to stick with that example) is to have a living place in the literature of the English-speaking world, as opposed to merely in the academy, he must have translators of superior original gifts, poets who can give us versions capable of inspiring readers, including poets, as Chapman had inspired Keats. But translators of the Classics now rarely speak out loud and strong.

I have been leading to this point: that for the sake of English literature and for the future of the Classics in our culture, we need critics who will attend closely to the literary character of translations from the Classics. Fortunately there has been such a critic, and a great one.

D. S. Carne-Ross, who died in early 2010, was a frequent contributor to these pages. George Steiner called him one of the great readers of literature in modern history—Steiner put him on a list that included Montaigne, Coleridge, Heidegger, Nabokov, and Empson. He was also a superb prose stylist. His criticism ranges over many topics, and both in and (crucially) between many languages, especially Greek, Latin, and Italian. But he had a particular interest in the kinds of illumination that could occur when a writer of great gifts brought Greek or Latin over into a modern language. In essay after essay published over the course of four decades, he submitted contemporary translations to the test of his extraordinarily sensitive ear, assaying their value not just as serviceable cribs for the Latinless or Greekless, but for whatever creative and enlightening relations the translations created between themselves and the original. A selection of these essays has now been gathered into a single volume and edited (with some judicious splicing) by Kenneth Haynes, who calls Carne-Ross, without exaggeration, “the finest critic of Classical literature in English translation since Matthew Arnold.”[1]

Carne-Ross was not, like Arnold, a poet, but he fought in the corner of the poet whenever poet-translators came under attack from academics on the grounds of some narrow notion of linguistic accuracy. That attitude pervades these essays and is expressed in a hundred variations. He had a great respect for scholarship. But he also knew the limits of scholarship: its business is “with those many and complex questions which only an exact scholarship can handle.” It cannot by itself handle the nuances of literary translation, which call for the related but distinct gifts of poetry and critical judgment. Yet poetry must take into account other standards of accuracy no less stringent than the scholar’s. “If we are looking for a faithful account of the letter of the original, we should use a crib, not a translation,” he writes. “The accuracy of a translation is of a very different kind.” Scholarship may be the “approved highway” into our understanding of the ancient Classics, but there are also “unlicensed byways.” The poet-translator’s inventions are not “licenses, they are necessary freedoms,” and they must be held to demanding standards—not the schoolman’s literal linguistic equivalence, but a no less daunting standard: they must be “dictated by insight into the original.”

This could amount to serious critical insight: “Our poets and translators can reveal qualities in the Latin Master”—he was speaking of Horace—“that expert Latinists seem often to miss.” Even a poet with little Classical training, but with acute linguistic instincts, may produce an insightful translation, given a proper crib and a chance to get a feel for the original by “nosing around the Greek on his own . . . poets pick up a good deal this way.” And so on. Carne-Ross never lost faith, as the nineteenth century had done, in the ideal of the poet-translator. He approached each new translation from the Classics in the hope that he might find not just an “accurate” translation, but a contribution to, and enrichment of, English literature—that special and neglected branch of English literature that is both translation and great English poetry.

It is for that reason especially sad that one of Carne-Ross’s signal contributions to our understanding of English literature was to identify, and to anatomize with forensic accuracy, a cruel new twist in the history of literary translation from the Classics. He didn’t give it a name, but it might be called “The Classroom Turn.” In the nineteenth century, great poets had mostly deserted the literary translation, and scholars moved in to fill the gap. In postwar America a further development occurred: university students supplanted the general literary reader as the main readers of Classical literature, with great consequences to the art of translation and place of Classics in our culture. When Chapman and other poet-translators spoke out loud and strong, it had been to reach lovers of poetry. But, Carne-Ross notes,

the situation is different today. Translation of classical poetry is for the most part not directed to the lover of poetry or even to the general reader but to the classroom, where it is taught by people who probably do not know Greek and Latin and want to be sure that the version they are using closely follows the original.

Classics are now read chiefly in English by American undergraduates in compulsory world literature surveys. (Recently a classicist from UC-Davis has noted that because of such students, Homer has had, in the last seventy years in the United States, more readers than in the whole world in all previous eras combined.) Carne-Ross is probably right to hint at a distinction between lovers of poetry and general readers on the one hand, and students slogging away on the forced march of World Lit 101 on the other. But his crucial insight lies in detecting the anxiety of the professors saddled with such courses, teachers who, because they don’t know the originals, have tended to demand safe, more nearly literal, translations. This helps Carne-Ross to account for the spate of depressingly flat and lifeless mid-twentieth-century translations.

Chief among them was Richmond Lattimore’s Iliad, which quickly became the standard Homer on American campuses and, though it must now compete with later translations, is still widely used in the classroom. As such Lattimore’s Homer is, for a great many readers, their chief experience of what it must be like to read our culture’s greatest poet. Carne-Ross thought Lattimore’s dedication to literal, word-for-word accuracy—the very quality for which the translation is ordinarily praised—had produced a perverse and unreadable distortion of Homer. He was right. Lattimore’s Iliad is tone-deaf and often unclear, and Carne-Ross, in various reviews and articles, challenged the fashion of praising Lattimore.

But Carne-Ross could also see, with great clarity, a larger point—the reason why such an undistinguished translation was just what the age demanded:

The main reason for buying Lattimore’s translations has always been that you had to take—or teach—a survey of Greek or world literature. They came at exactly the right time, a time when Greek literature, read in translation, was starting to play an important part in undergraduate education all over the country. Since the instructors for the most part knew nothing of the ancient world, the need was for translations of certified philological accuracy.

So university classrooms have helped to create a market which encourages crudely literal notions of accuracy. Bad enough, but there’s more—such translations must be leveled to suit, and so to perpetuate, the increasing insensitivity and ignorance not only of students, but of their teachers:

And these translations had to be written in the kind of undemanding English that ordinary students could understand. Whatever its merits or demerits, the Lang, Leaf, and Meyers Iliad, with its pseudobiblical diction, is no use to those who have never read the Authorized Version. A poetic translation like Pope’s (or like Christopher Logue’s) is equally useless, since it demands both of instructor and instructed a knowledge of English and Greek. . . . To the critic who knew no Greek, and yet needed to discuss a passage of Greek verse, Lattimore’s translations were invaluable. Their neutral diction and avoidance of personal idiom and of the English poetic tradition in general allowed him to pretend that he was talking about the original.

If such a critic had been using a translation such as Pope’s, or the twentieth-century poet-translator Robert Fitzgerald’s, “he would have been forced to admit that he was dealing with an English poem that demanded attention in its own right.”

From these conditions emerges “something new” in the history of translation: neither an honorable straightforward crib, nor a creative version, but one which avoids the virtues of either,

a kind of translation that kept close to the original (raising no awkward questions like “Is this in the Greek?”), that reduced the intervention of the translator’s personal style and interpretation to the minimum, was neither too stiffly traditional nor too brashly modernist. It was essentially a new kind of translation.

And here we brace for the bitter conclusion: the sad diminution of the status of translation, which has helped to drive the Classics from the center to the margins of our culture—

a new kind of translation directed neither to the cultivated reader who wanted to see the great original caught in the contrived distortions of an English mirror, nor to the more general reader who thought it might be fun to take a look at Homer. It was directed to a classroom of students and their instructor who had to meet for an hour on mwf to study Greek Lit.

The rueful accent is an echo of Ezra Pound: “The lecturer is a man who must talk for an hour.”

The lucidity in Carne-Ross’s analysis of the causes of this latest revolution is as thrilling as his conclusion is grim. And yet grimness is not the prevailing tone of the essays. There is gaiety transforming all that dread. One reason is that Carne-Ross was one of the last century’s great close readers, and his gift for bringing to light the subtle beauties of language brightens every other page of this book. With an ear extraordinarily attuned to the minutest verbal echo, he does for literary translation what Christopher Ricks might have done had he read Latin and Greek.

He notices, for instance, when Robert Fitzgerald, translating the Odyssey, deviates felicitously from the Greek. Odysseus is visiting the underworld, where he comes face to face with the departed spirit of his old rival, Ajax. Fitzgerald wrote: “Aîas, it was—the great shade burning still.” Homer had written simply “the spirit of Ajax,” so why Fitzgerald’s interpolation, “great shade burning”? Carne-Ross hears behind those words not Homer but Virgil who, centuries after Homer, had sent his own hero Aeneas to the underworld, where he encountered, uncomfortably, the spirit of his estranged lover Dido. Virgil describes her as ardentem et torva tuentem, “burning and glaring savagely.” A narrowly scholastic view of translation would castigate Fitzgerald’s Virgilian interpolation, but Carne-Ross’s justification is masterly:

Fitzgerald lets the Latin speak through the Greek because his vision is synoptic; he knows that the Odyssey is part of a larger whole in which the poems of Virgil and Milton and the other great poets of our tradition have a simultaneous existence (to borrow words from Eliot’s “Tradition and the Individual Talent”).He does what Pope does when, translating the Iliad, he lets Milton’s “High on the throne of Royal State . . . Satan exalted sat” speak through his English Homer: “High in the midst the great Achilles stands,” “High o’er the Host, all terrible he stands.”

Fitzgerald’s departure from literal accuracy brings his translation into expressive relationship with the whole epic tradition in Greek, Latin, and English, and makes his translation resonate through time. This is what Carne-Ross meant when he wrote that a translator’s liberties must be dictated by insight into the original. Carne-Ross’s critical insight is no less remarkable.

Elsewhere in the Odyssey, Calypso, in elegantly ceremonious Greek, asks Hermes why he has come to see her: “Tell me please, Hermes of the golden wand, why have you come?” It’s that Homeric epithet, “Hermes of the golden wand,” that Carne-Ross seizes upon. In Greek it is a single word, chrysorrapis, literally, “gold-wanded.” How, he wonders, is this to be done in English? In his translation, Robert Fagles had written, “God of the golden wand, why have you come?” Perfectly accurate: one would think that would do. But Carne-Ross is troubled; here is an instance when a linguistically faithful translation is, in a wider sense, less than faithful. It is not “a convincing form of address; neither in real life nor in a novel can someone say, ‘Man in the black mask, what are you doing in my house?’” But Carne-Ross catches a stroke of genius in Fitzgerald’s rendering of the same line: “O Hermês, ever with your golden wand,/ what brings you to my island?”:

Fitzgerald solves the problem by making a point of it. He hears a coquettish half-mocking note in Calypso’s voice as though she were saying, “I see you have brought your golden wand with you. You never leave home without it, do you?”

It is one thing for Carne-Ross to detect, in that slight difference between the two translations, the psychological subtlety of Fitzgerald’s version. But there is something more: Carne-Ross is indicating, though implicitly, how an English poet-translator can teach us to read Greek with fresh eyes. Once you have seen what Carne-Ross saw in Fitzgerald’s rendering of chrysorrapis, you can never discount those Homeric compound epithets as cloying formulaic repetitions. They have great powers of characterization and nuance, and Carne-Ross sees that a translator of original powers could register an insight into the Greek that a professional scholar might miss.

Those are lexical subtleties; when it comes to metrical subtleties, no reader of contemporary translations from the Classics has been so attentive as Carne-Ross. His attention matters, not just for the field of translation, or for the Classics, but for poetry in general. During the twentieth century, for the first time in at least five hundred years, the general reader’s capacity to hear and appreciate poetic meter evaporated. Metrical illiteracy has extended to poets themselves: there are now any number of well-known, garlanded poets who, whatever else they may have achieved, could not write, on pain of death, fourteen lines of convincing blank verse, let alone any other more intricate measure. Since Classical verse is always formal, any verse translation of a Greek or Latin poem which does not evince at least rhythmic competence, let alone subtlety, not only fails on its own terms, but also contributes to the general deterioration of metrical sensibility by suggesting that the foundational works of Western literature are as rhythmically inert as the mediocre poetry of the present.

So when Richmond Lattimore, writing in a lax six-beat approximation of Homer’s dactylic hexameters, gives us this formulaic line from the Odyssey—“and sitting well in order dashed the oars in the grey sea”—Carne-Ross pounces. Once again, he can hear another, later, poet behind the Greek: Tennyson in his “Ulysses”: “Push off, and sitting well in order smite/ The sounding furrows.” But where Fitzgerald in his Odyssey had echoed Virgil with a sure critical touch, Lattimore, in alluding to Tennyson, finds himself out of his depth:

What happens is that Tennyson’s strongly marked rhythm invades the indeterminate rhythm of Lattimore’s “free six-beat line,” with the metrically disastrous result that we are bound to read his first eight words as a piece of conventional blank verse (and sítting wéll in órder dáshed the oárs), which leaves the last four words dangling in an arhythmic limbo and so destroys the meter of the whole line.

How many readers of Homer in contemporary translation are aware that the Odyssey is a poem at all, let alone notice that Lattimore’s rhythm in this line goes wobbly at the end, and so travesties the Tennyson it haplessly echoes? But the Odyssey is a poem, and its translators should have a poet’s sure touch. Carne-Ross, almost uniquely among critics, took stock of the rhythm and meters of twentieth-century translations from the Classics, with a degree of scrutiny that few of them deserved.

The way that those close readings of Fitzgerald and Lattimore involve filiations to Milton and Pope and Tennyson demonstrates another principle which, though Carne-Ross never theorizes it, is strongly implied over the course of several essays: to study literary translations of the Classics is to cast light also on English poetry. When, for instance, Carne-Ross looks into Robert Lowell’s translation (a disappointing one, as it turns out) of Aeschylus’s Oresteia, he is led to consider stylistic and syntactic parallels between the Agamemnon and “The Quaker Graveyard in Nantucket.” He might put it like this: if you have no Greek, but want to know something of what it is like to venture on the violent syntactic dislocations and shocking images of Aeschylus, you might do better to read Lord Weary’s Castle than an “accurate” but linguistically inert modern translation of the Oresteia. Lowell clarifies Aeschylus, and Aeschylus casts light on Lowell. Readers of Classics and Translation will understandably learn a great deal about translations and the Classics, but they may be surprised how much they also learn about English literature, past and contemporary, including Browning, Swinburne, Hopkins, Pound, H. D., Auden, Larkin, and many others whose original poetry influences, or is influenced by, literary translation from the Classics. The branches of English poetry literary translation are elaborately intertwined, far more than is ordinarily acknowledged: “A translation must stand in a responsible relation not only to its original but also to the literary situation of the translator’s own day.”

The strangeness of Hopkins’s poetry—“the way Hopkins wrenches words out of their usual relationships, fusing them into new torrential units of speech, locking them into almost asyntactic confrontations where they explode into meaning”—reminds Carne-Ross of similar qualities in the great, but in our culture mostly neglected, Greek poet Pindar. A quarter of a century ago, Carne-Ross published a fine book on Pindar, patiently laying out the case through a series of sensitive readings of selected odes why “an incurious world” ought to take more interest in so superb a poet. English poets such as Hopkins and Pound, he argued then, can prepare our sensibilities to receive such gifts. This sort of attitude toward the relationship of English and ancient literature finds its boldest expression in the present volume in an essay on the challenges of translating Pindar. He wishes that Pindar were “a force in English poetry,” in the same way that (say) Sappho and Catullus and Virgil and Ovid have shaped our own literature. But (and here comes one of Carne-Ross’s most penetrating and provocative thoughts) until Pindar “becomes a force in English poetry, we cannot really read him in Greek.”

This is a big claim, since it comes nothing short of saying that no good critical apprehension of an ancient writer is possible until a modern writer has captured something of his style in English. So (for instance) the fact that we have great English receptions of Virgil—not only a great translation, such as Dryden’s, but great poetry inspired by Virgil, such as Paradise Lost—means that we can bring to the original Latin critical sensibilities which have been trained and made receptive by immersion in the Virgilian energies of Dryden and Milton. A further implication is that it is unreasonable to expect satisfactory criticism of ancient poetry from any one, however learned, who has not entered into a rich and imaginative apprehension of the poetry of his own native language.

A great translation of Pindar in English—there are adequate cribs aplenty, but no translations of original force—would enrich the sensibilities of those who read Pindar’s Greek, and increase their receptivity to his powers. Hopkins showed that “Greek and English could be brought into close critical relation.” A sensitive, genuinely original translation of Pindar, capable of nourishing Pindaric scholarship and Pindar’s position in modern literary culture, could in turn nourish the creation of English poetry. Hopkins himself, Carne-Ross argues, could provide a perceptive poet-translator with a way into Pindar, and “the English-speaking reader, more than any other, with his immediate access to the only body of poetry in the West that can compare with Greek, should not hesitate to use his native literary experience to help him get at Greek poetry.” No critic has revealed how close and how mutually reinforcing is the nexus of the Classics, English poetry, and translation. But note that the gap between us and the Classics cannot be leapt by just any kind of translation—it must involve the force of poetry: “For different in so many ways as the Greek and English poetic traditions are, there is a lingua franca of poetry which unites them.” And Carne-Ross, almost alone among critics, has taught us to read contemporary translations with the attention we would give to great poetry.

There is one last way in which Carne-Ross stands apart from other critics of literary translation. He nurtured not only the study of English translation from the Classics, but also the practice of it. It was Carne-Ross who first persuaded Christopher Logue to try his hand at translating the Iliad, and supplied him with trots, transliterations, and advice about how to understand Homer’s Greek. Forty years on, Logue’s Homer is now widely regarded as the most important version of the Iliad since Pope’s, and has taken on the status of an English classic in its own right. (One of the finest essays in the collection is Carne-Ross’s study of Logue’s art.) It was Carne-Ross, too, who set David Ferry to work at translating Latin poetry. Ferry’s verse translations from Virgil are notable, and his versions of Horace’s Odes are a major achievement and have played a large role in a recent revival of interest in Horace among English-speaking poets. (“There is always something missing from the poetry of an age when Horace is missing,” Carne-Ross wrote.) Beyond those two examples, Carne-Ross has instigated or abetted many other important translations of our time. Many of the essays in Classics and Translation reveal this aspect of his work: his interest not only in what has already been written, but in what may yet be written. At the end of the volume’s magnificent opening essay, in which Carne-Ross points out a variety of Greek and Latin syntactical and metrical effects of which an innovative English poet might make use, he advances the hope that some adventurous poet or poet-translator will take up the challenge. And on the final page of the volume, after an enormously engaging survey of the ways in which translations from Horace have interacted with the development of poetry in English, Carne-Ross holds out the hope, if not the confidence, that future poets and translators will be led by Horace’s example to write a more syntactically adventurous kind of English than poets and translators have typically dared.

The essays in Classics and Translation, taken together, are the best critical account of the ways that English poetry, literary translation, and the ancient languages function in a mutually enriching interdependency. Readers of the book will come away with rich new perspectives not only on Greek and Latin, and not only on translation, but also, and perhaps especially, on English literature. If nobody studies Greek and Latin anymore, that is precisely why Carne-Ross’s criticism is more important now than ever. The Classics still speak to us urgently, and if we are to hear them—if they are to continue to inspire new literature in English—then they must speak to us through translators who are also poets, with clear strong English voices of their own. The critic who best leads us to hear such voices is D. S. Carne-Ross.

[1]Classics and Translation, by D. S. Carne-Ross, edited by Kenneth Haynes; Bucknell University Press, 377 pages, $75.

Posted on 08/04/2011 12:04 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Thursday, 4 August 2011
Turkey Intercepts Iranian Arms Meant For Syria And, Possibly, Hezbollah

August 04, 2011

From VOA News:

Report Says Turkey Stops Suspected Iranian Arms Shipment to Syria

A German report says Turkey has again intercepted an arms shipment from Iran that was destined for Syria.

The Munich-based Suddeutsche Zeitung newspaper quotes diplomatic sources as saying Turkish forces stopped a convoy of trucks carrying weapons and ammunition in the south-central city of Kilis, near the border with Syria.  The report quotes diplomatic sources as saying the arms were most likely intended for the Hezbollah militia in Lebanon.

Turkish authorities have not commented on the report, and there was no immediate response from Iran.  It also is not clear when the arms were intercepted.

In March, Ankara informed the United Nations Security Council that it had found weapons and ammunition aboard an Iranian cargo plane bound for Syria.  Turkish authorities ordered the plane to land in eastern Turkey on suspicion it was carrying weapons.  The cargo included rocket launchers, mortars, rifles, explosive materials and ammunition.  

The shipment was a breach of U.N. resolutions banning Iran from exporting arms.  

That was the second stoppage that week.  Turkey had forced an Iranian plane to land for inspection several days earlier, but found nothing suspicious.

Posted on 08/04/2011 3:57 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Thursday, 4 August 2011
Iranian youths arrested for public water pistol fight in Tehran

From The Guardian

In the 40C heat of an Iranian summer, what better way to have fun and stay cool than a water fight with friends? In the Islamic republic, however, things are a bit more complicated.

For one group of boys and girls, their game turned serious when they were arrested for taking part in a water pistol fight in a park in the capital, Tehran.

Last Friday hundreds of enthusiasts used plastic pistols and empty bottles to play in the ironically named Garden of Water and Fire for hours and, to the surprise of many, without police interference. But the event – organised on Facebook – prompted criticism from conservatives when pictures of it emerged online days later. Iran's state television broadcast a programme on Wednesday showing some of the arrested participants with their backs to the camera, confessing to have played with water and using plastic pistols.

The head of Tehran's morality police, Ahmad Roozbehani said: "A mixed-gender event took place on Friday ... They had been asked to bring water pistol toys, which most of them had in hand ... they acted against social norms." Hossein Sajedinia, the city's police chief confirmed the arrests, blaming the participants for behaving "abnormally" and disobeying Islamic principles. Hossein Ibrahimi, a conservative MP, said such events would spread "corruption" and were "shameful".

Potkin Azarmehr, a London-based Iranian blogger who has written a post in response to the arrests, said: "There are two issues here which have troubled the regime: people having fun and people organising a gathering through the social media. Both are perceived as a threat by the regime."

I have met Potkin and his group at March for England events - you may recall their spirited challenge to the Al Quds demonstration in London last year. He says:-

It is wrong to assume that you will only be arrested in Iran for political dissent or for not observing the state's Islamic dress code, you risk incarceration if you dare to have fun, particularly if its group fun and if it is in public.

Behnam Atabaki, the General Director of the District, was the first official to publicly condemn the event and those who participated in it. Atabaki also criticised the Law Enforcement Forces and said they were unable to break up the "immoral" gathering which went on from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon time. Park authorities only managed to stop the massive water pistol fight, only after they thought about cutting the water supplies.

All this is happening at a time, when the crime rate is soaring throughout Iran.All this is happening at a time, when the crime rate is soaring throughout Iran.. . There is also an alarming increase in gang rapes of women, like the one which happened during a private birthday party in Khomeini-Shahr, where armed gangs which included members of the local Baseej stormed into the party, locked up the men and raped the women which included a pregnant mother. Police took several hours to turn up for the rescue and the official reaction of the local Friday prayer leader was to put portion of the blame on the women who were raped, because they had "provoked the peeping local youth by dancing in their own property without observing the proper hejab!". Comments which seem to have only provided justification for several other gang rapes reported since. Yet an innocent water pistol fight where the young and old can have fun, no one is hurt and all enjoy themselves, unthinkable and un-Islamic behaviour for the Islamic Republic of Iran!

Officials have also recently banned swimming in the sea during the Islamic fasting month of Ramadan.

Posted on 08/04/2011 5:11 PM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Thursday, 4 August 2011
A Musical Interlude: You Oughta Be In Pictures (Al Bowlly)

Listen here.

Posted on 08/04/2011 7:52 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald

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