These are all the Blogs posted on Monday, 6, 2011.
Monday, 6 June 2011
Treason of the Heart by David Pryce-Jones - the great self-hating project for clever English people
From The Telegraph
The higher you rise in the intellectual scale, the more likely you are to hate your own country. This is particularly true, as George Orwell once noted, of the English (though not of the Scots or the Welsh). It is an odd phenomenon. It involves, in theory, a love of the rights of the masses and, in practice, a lofty disdain for the common herd.
David Pryce-Jones has written a whole book about it, starting in the 18th century and ending in the present day
Sometimes, these tendencies were even hereditary. Harold St John Philby worked for the Foreign Office, but became so ardent an Arabist that he converted to Wahhabi Islam and did business for the house of Saud instead. He declared that Arab public morality was “definitely superior” to European ethical codes. His son Kim worked for MI6, and betrayed his country and his colleagues to the Soviet Union. Wilfrid Scawen Blunt, another Arabist, cursed British soldiers in the Sudan as “mongrel scum of thieves from Whitechapel and Seven Dials”. Exactly what their spiritual heirs say today about the EDL. It is little comfort to find that 'twas forever thus. His kinsman, Anthony, expressed his contempt for his country by helping Kim Philby escape to Moscow.
Clothes also came into the change of identity, as did sexual preferences.
T. E. Lawrence appeared at the Versailles Peace Conference in full Arab dress, determined to defeat “my own country and its allies in the council chamber”. His spiritual heirs wear a Palestinian kefiyya. The artist Claire Sheridan enthused about Arabs that “in spite of their lethargy, they can always make love”. Especially to a nine year old - if you can call it love.
In modern times, Pryce-Jones argues, the great self-hating project for clever English people is the European Union. He thinks they are attracted by the strategy of deception explicitly put forward in the words of the EU’s founding father, Jean Monnet: “Europe’s nations should be guided towards a superstate without their people understanding what is happening.”
Pryce-Jones sets out his case in a spirited manner. He is absolutely right about the link between bad politics and hatred of one’s country, and about the dishonesty involved. . . the love of one’s own country, of which Pryce-Jones approves. It can be grounded in reason and good sense, but it must go beyond reason too, as love always does.
I don't know if Pryce-Jones fails to mention the current fixation of these pseudo intellectuals. is multiculturalism/islam, or whether Moore just omits it frm his review. The Telegraph readers are in no doubt that this is the latest, and most dangerous ever, example of the chattering classes hatred of England and the English. This first is the most highly recommended.
♦ The pervasive self-hating culture now being advanced is Multiculturalism, Political Correctness and an unswerving insistence that Islam is a religion of peace whilst all the signs and actions show that it is anything but.
The new Blunts and Philbys ' are people like Trevor Philips, Harriet Harperson, Tony Blair, Tony Benn, Anjem Choudhary and the rest of those in the media and further afield who work unceasingly to destroy our culture, heritage and nation with the backing of elements in the government who are undiminished Europhiles and who wish to give over our sovereignty to Brussels.
Then of course we have the main party of traitors and cultural relativists also known as the Labour party in association with the LibDems and some Tories who have enthusiastically diluted the stock of the nation by their championing of immigration. . . all for the ethnic minority vote.
Then of course we have the Education system that has brainwashed generations of people into drones who can no longer think for themselves and who see all cultures as equal . . . the BBC that is packed full of Liberals and Marxists . . .
♦ Trevor Phillips is a good example of a 'Brit' who hates the English. I guess that bust of Lenin he has in his office reflects his desires to bring famine to the masses.
♦ Middle class self-hatred has been the great destroying force in post-war Britain.
♦ The only liberal thing about modern liberals is their attitude to sex, which can be summed up in the statement, "Do what you like, and to hell with the consequences for other people and society at large". In all other matters they are highly illiberal and reactionary, and with regard to Islam, they are boot-licking collaborationists and fellow travellers.
♦ Cameron never mentions England - it is always 'this country' or 'our country' even when he is talking about, say, education or the NHS in England. Even the supermarkets offer British apples, not English apples, although the vast majority of apples grown in Britain are English. David Starkey rightly said that England is now the 'love that dare not speak its name'.
Posted on 06/06/2011 4:58 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Monday, 6 June 2011
Attack On American Troops In Iraq
Five soldiers killed in an attack in central Iraq, U.S. military says
By Ned Parker
June 6, 2011
Five U.S. soldiers were killed Monday in an attack in central Iraq, the U.S. military said in a statement. It was the deadliest single attack this year against U.S. forces, and an indication of how dangerous the country remains for American troops as they prepare to withdraw from Iraq by the end of 2011.
An Iraqi security source said that the five U.S. soldiers had been working as advisers on a base for Iraqi national police in eastern Baghdad when their quarters were targeted by rocket fire shortly before 7 a.m.
The U.S. military declined to comment when asked about the information and referred back to their statement.
The deaths raise the number of U.S. soldiers killed in Iraq since March 2003 to 4,456, according to numbers complied by the website icasulaties.org. Both Shiite and Sunni extremist groups are eager to target the Americans and claim they defeated the U.S. troops ahead of their departure. Eastern Baghdad is rife with Shiite militia groups, ranging from radical cleric Muqtada Sadr's elite fighting unit, the Promised Day Brigade, to a splinter group called Asab al Haq or the League of the Righteous. [too much attention is given to these various groups, with varyous names. This can lead to solemnly parsing the "differences" between Hamas, Hezbollah, and Islamic Jihad -- for the Jews of Israel, all groups mean the same thing.]
Eleven U.S. soldiers were killed in April, and two died last month in attacks.
There are an estimated 46,000 U.S. troops remaining in Iraq.
Elsewhere in Iraq, a car bomb exploded by a checkpoint in Tikrit, north of Baghdad, at a governmental compound, where Iraqi soldiers were gathered. At least 14 people were killed and another 26 wounded. Among the dead were a brigadier general and nine other soldiers and officers. The same area had been targeted on Friday by bombings that had left 23 dead.
Posted on 06/06/2011 7:56 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Monday, 6 June 2011
Where once the British set out for new fields to conquer, they now set out for new cultural nadirs to reach. And it must be admitted that, in the latter search, they show considerable ingenuity as well as determination. In the field of popular vulgarity they are unmatched in the world. Just when you think that their childish lavatorialism can descend no further, along come their future Queen’s sister’s buttocks to prove you wrong. No feeling for the person to whom the buttocks belong (if ownership is quite the relationship one has to one’s buttocks), no sense of national or personal dignity restrains them. The British are a nation of playground sniggerers who insist, in the name of freedom of expression, that their sniggers not only be heard but broadcast. They are like children who think excretion the best joke in the world and who are in the process of discovering sex.
Of course, vulgarity has always played a large part in British culture; and this will give rise to the ’twas-ever-thus argument with which the British intelligentsia reacts to any unpleasant phenomenon in contemporary society that is drawn to their attention: for if everything was always the same, nothing is anything to worry about. In this instance, ’twas ever thus means that do not have to court the ridicule of your peers by being thought prudish or blimpish. Best, then, not to protest, or even to join in.
Vulgarity is valuable in a culture when it serves to puncture pretension, when it recalls the powerful, the cultivated, the aesthetes and the intellectuals to their fundamental identity with the rest of mankind. Gillray, in his treatment of royalty, was extremely vulgar; for example, his famous cartoon, Fashionable Contrasts; - or – the Duchess’s Little Shoe Yielding to the Magnitude of the Duke’s Foot was about as sexually suggestive, and deflationary of pretension and ridiculous rhetoric, as it is possible for a cartoon to be. But there are important differences between the vulgarity of Gillray and that of most of the commentary on Miss Middleton’s buttocks.
First Gillray was very funny (though, oddly enough, few visitors to the most recent exhibition of his work at the Royal Academy laughed, as if Art and Laughter were polar opposites or even enemies); second his work was of intrinsic artistic value; third, he was almost always making a serious, if not necessarily correct or accurate, point; and fourth, he was working in a society that valued elegance and refinement, such that his vulgarity was in genuine contrast to something else. But where vulgarity is without wit, inartistic, pointless and in contrast to nothing because of its own complete cultural dominance, it is merely a manifestation of shallowness and stupidity. And since there is no reason to suppose that the contemporary British are less intelligent than their forebears, or than the people of other nations, their vulgar present-day culture consists of, and requires, the willing suspension of their intelligence. In other words, it is ideological.
One of the interesting features of the commentary, both printed and on the internet, on the glory of Miss Middleton’s buttocks was the highly Americanised language (and spelling) in which it was couched. If it had emerged from a trailer park in Iowa it would hardly have been any different. The conclusion is clear: the British are now a nation of trailer-trash Americans. They have the vices of the Americans, but none of their virtues.
When Orwell wrote his famous essay on the postcards of Donald McGill, he called them ‘a harmless rebellion against virtue;’ they were always funny and sometimes genuinely witty. He concluded, I think rightly: ‘The corner of the human heart that they speak for might easily manifest itself in worse forms, and I for one should be sorry to see them vanish.’ The corner has become, in Britain, nearly the whole. There is nothing in modern British vulgarity that I would miss if it were to disappear from the face of the earth.
UPDATE: CoffeeHousers who asked for a more apt illustration will be pleased to know that Thursday's Daily Telegraph has risen to the challenge on its front page:
Originally published in The Spectator.
Posted on 06/06/2011 7:54 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Monday, 6 June 2011
Empty Promises Of Reform By Assad-Makhlouf Clan May Bring Down The Alawites
DAMASCUS, Syria — The Syrian government says it has lifted emergency law, implemented new parliamentary laws and media freedoms, investigated police brutality and granted all political prisoners amnesty. So why are people still protesting?
Because these announcements do not coincide with action.
More than 1,200 civilians have died and at least 10,000 have been arrested since protests began against President Bashar al-Assad’s government in mid-March, according to rights groups. Repression and extrajudicial arrests continue to inrease.
Friday was one of the bloodiest days since the 10-week uprising began, with an internet blackout temporarily preventing footage of Syrian security forces opening fire on a 50,000-strong anti-government protest in Hama from leaving the country. At least 53 people died in Hama and another 10 elsewhere throughout the country that day, said the human rights organization Sawasiah.
An additional 35 people were killed since Saturday in the northern towns Jisr al-Shughour and Khan Sheikhoun, according to human rights groups, making this past weekend one of the bloodiest since the protests began.
Tanks also rolled into Hama Saturday night, where 100,000 people marched in funerals for those killed Friday, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported. On Sunday morning, at least three demonstrators were killed in a town in the northwestern province of Idlib.
Despite the ongoing violence, the government continues to insist it is implementing reforms.
On May 31, Assad granted amnesty for “all members of Muslim Brotherhood and other detainees belonging to political movements.” Several hundred political prisoners were released the next day.
The announcement — and the doublespeak and deception it represents — aggravated rather than mitigated the scale of protests after Friday prayers, several sources in Damascus said.
Those demanding an end to the autocratic, 48-year Ba’ath Party rule are cynical about the announcement and similar recent moves. On June 1 and June 2, Syrian opposition figures held a conference in Antalya in Southern Turkey, calling for Assad’s immediate resignation and dismissing the amnesty measure as “too little, too late.”
“I don't think there’s a real intention to conduct any real reforms,” agreed Feeras Ajlouni, an economics graduate from Damascus who opposes the regime. “Some may hit the surface, but [there is] nothing hardcore to change the authoritarian nature of the regime.”
A caveat in the amnesty, for instance, says it only covers Muslim Brotherhood members who turned themselves into police and confess membership — likely a small group.
Washington, too, was frustrated by this nominal gesture and the small number of prisoners released so far.
“The release of some political prisoners is not the release of all political prisoners. We need to see all political prisoners released,” said Mark Toner, the U.S. state department deputy spokesman.
Other announced reforms simply go ignored.
Assad on April 21 said he was lifting the state of emergency that has empowered the country’s secret police force and justified the detention of political prisoners because of Syria’s longstanding state of war with Israel. But the secret police has only become more ubiquitous in recent weeks. Plainclothes men with lists of names stand at check points along the country’s roads — particularly in neighborhoods where there is conflict or where certain minority groups live — looking for accused dissidents and arresting people daily.
Syrian state TV this week said Assad has also launched a “national dialogue” aimed at finding a political solution to the crisis, and has set up a committee to investigate the killing of 13-year-old Hamza al-Khateeb — an incident which inflamed anger throughout the week and made the death of more than 30 children since protests began the focal point of Friday’s protests. Previous government committees tasked with investigating crimes committed by police in Deraa and elsewhere have yet to find any wrongdoing.
“I love those secret governmental probing committees that ‘would’ look into crimes, spearheaded by high-ranking officials,” said a 31-year-old Syrian engineer who left the country to avoid obligatory military service in February.
Assad said he is also reforming Syrian elections, by drafting a law that will allow members of political parties not aligned with the ruling Ba’ath party to run for office. The law, however, it was announced last week, will not rescind Article 8 of the Syrian constitution, which declares the Ba’ath Party to be “leader of the Syrian government and society.”
There are also plans for a new media law that will supposedly give Syrian journalists more freedom. On June 4, state media reported that “Syrian journalists are looking forward to the new media law to provide more freedom … and canceling prison sentence for journalists.”
As yet, Syria remains one of the most restrictive countries in the world for free expression, according to Reporters Without Borders. Privately-owned publications are banned or their employees questioned if an article is published that veers from the government narrative for recent events — that the violence is the work of armed, Muslim fundamentalist gangs seeking to destroy Syria’s national unity.
When presented with the prospect of a freer media environment in the near future, one Syrian journalist summed up the local attitude succinctly, saying, with a derisive chuckle: “Whatever.”
This report was written by GlobalPost's reporter in Damascus whose name has been withheld for security reasons.
Posted on 06/06/2011 8:01 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Monday, 6 June 2011
Before The Behind Yet Under The Vast Above, The World Is In Tears And Tomorrow Is Tuesday
Placed before the behind -- that is Kate's Nates -- the unseemliness of attention to which is discussed by Theodore Dalrymple here --Dalrymple offers by way of contrast the premeditated unseemliness of the caricaturist James Gillray. I've used "unseemliness" instead of "vulgarity" as the latter word often poses performative problems nowadays of both the austinian and austenian kind.
The two themes -- Gillray and the vue de dos --- come together in a print ("A Burgess of Warwick Lane") that has been hanging on my wall for the past 20 years, commenting on a photograph of a family member taken from the back. Here it is in its on-line embodiment:
Posted on 06/06/2011 8:13 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Monday, 6 June 2011
Tanj - There Ain't No Justice.
Burn a poppy on Armistice Day while hurling words of treason about our Queen and armed forces = £50 fine.
Post homophobic stickers in quantity around east London = £100 fine.
Remonstrate with those burning the poppies = £50 fine plus £315 costs. Because Tommy Robinson of the EDL has a job and can pay more from his wages, what he has left after paying his taxes. The Muslims responsible for the first two crimes are on benefits paid for by taxpayers like me and Tommy Robinson.
Burn a Koran = 70 days imprisonment.
Stuff ham into the shoes of worshippers left at the entrace to a mosque = Six months imprisonment, suspended only because he made a 'sufficient' apology.
Not that I approve of wasting ham or being abusive, you understand. But as crimes go I have seen worse.
Steal the copper from my church's roof a third time = get off scott free.
I don't suppose the police will catch anybody this week. They never have the last few times my church has been robbed. There are metal thieves about - last month they stole copper wire from the derelict site that was once a local hospital - the way it was ripped out knocked out the electrical equipment in the adjacent GP clinic.
There was an expletive used in a science fiction novel I read years ago. I forgot what alien used it but it was 'tanj!' There Ain't No Justice. Not no more.
From today's Telegraph.
A man stuffed ham into the shoes of Muslim worshippers at a mosque, a court was told. Jamie Knowlson, 30, also draped slices of meaton railings outside the mosque as his victims prayed inside. He was then caught on CCTV hurling abuse at worshippers after they confronted him over his s act.
He pleaded guilty to causing racially or religiously aggravated harassment and could have been jailed for up to two years.
But he walked free from Bristol Crown Court with a suspended six-month prison sentence because he had returned to the mosque to apologise for his actions.
Sentencing, Her Honour Judge Carol Hagen said: ''It is difficult to imagine a more offensive incident. 'Not only the fixing of meat to railings but aggravated, in my view, that members of the mosque were inside praying at the time.''
I don't have to imagine that worse incident Judge Hagen. I have witnessed worse. Barking. Kensington Gore.
A second man is due to stand trial in connection with the incident later this month.
Posted on 06/06/2011 8:18 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Monday, 6 June 2011
The Afghanistan War Costs The U.S. More Than 100 Billion A Year
From The New York Times:
June 5, 2011
Steeper Pullout Is Raised as Option for Afghanistan
By DAVID E. SANGER, ERIC SCHMITT and THOM SHANKER
WASHINGTON — President Obama’s national security team is contemplating troop reductions in Afghanistan that would be steeper than those discussed even a few weeks ago, with some officials arguing that such a change is justified by the rising cost of the war and the death of Osama bin Laden, which they called new “strategic considerations.”
These new considerations, along with a desire to find new ways to press the Afghan president, Hamid Karzai, to get more of his forces to take the lead, are combining to create a counterweight to an approach favored by the departing secretary of defense, Robert M. Gates, and top military commanders in the field. They want gradual cuts that would keep American forces at a much higher combat strength well into next year, senior administration officials said.
The cost of the war and Mr. Karzai’s uneven progress in getting his forces prepared have been latent issues since Mr. Obama took office. But in recent weeks they have gained greater political potency as Mr. Obama’s newly refashioned national security team takes up the crucial decision of the size and the pace of American troop cuts, administration and military officials said. Mr. Obama is expected to address these decisions in a speech to the nation this month, they said.
A sharp drawdown of troops is one of many options Mr. Obama is considering. The National Security Council is convening its monthly meeting on Afghanistan and Pakistan on Monday, and although the debate over troop levels is operating on a separate track, the assessments from that meeting are likely to inform the decisions about the size of the force.
In a range of interviews in the past few days, several senior Pentagon, military and administration officials said that many of these pivotal questions were still in flux and would be debated intensely over the next two weeks. They would not be quoted by name about an issue that Mr. Obama had yet to decide on.
Before the new thinking, American officials were anticipating an initial drawdown of 3,000 to 5,000 troops. Those advocating steeper troop reductions did not propose a withdrawal schedule.
Mr. Gates, on his 12th and final visit to Afghanistan as defense secretary, argued repeatedly on Sunday that pulling out too fast would threaten the gains the American-led coalition had made in the 18 months since Mr. Obama agreed to a “surge” of 30,000 troops.
“I would try to maximize my combat capability as long as this process goes on — I think that’s a no-brainer,” Mr. Gates told troops at Forward Operating Base Dwyer. “I’d opt to keep the shooters and take the support out first.”
But the latest strategy review is about far more than how many troops to take out in July, Mr. Gates and other senior officials said over the weekend. It is also about setting a final date by which all of the 30,000 surge troops will be withdrawn from Afghanistan.
A separate timetable would dictate the departure of all foreign troops by 2014, including about 70,000 troops who were there before the surge, as agreed to by NATO and the Afghan government.
Gen. David H. Petraeus, the top American commander in Afghanistan, sounded a cautious note about the state of the war in a telephone interview on Sunday. Although General Petraeus said there was “no question” that the Americans and the Afghans had made military progress in the crucial provinces of Helmand and Kandahar in the south, he said the Taliban were moving to reconstitute after the beating they took this past fall and winter.
“We’ve always said they would be compelled to try to come back,” General Petraeus said, adding that the Taliban would be trying to “regain the momentum they had a year ago.”
General Petraeus declined to discuss the withdrawal of American forces in July or the number he might recommend to the president. Late last week Adm. Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said that General Petraeus had not yet submitted his recommended withdrawal number.
The decisions on force levels in Afghanistan could mirror how Mr. Obama handled the withdrawal of American troops from Iraq. Senior Pentagon officials noted that after Mr. Obama set a firm deadline for dropping to 50,000 troops in Iraq, he then let his commanders in Baghdad manage the specifics of which units to order home and when. The argument over where to set those “bookends” promises to be one of the most consequential and contentious of Mr. Obama’s presidency. It also has major implications for his re-election bid.
At one end of the debate is Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and, presumably, a range of Mr. Obama’s political advisers, who opposed the surge in 2009 and want a rapid exit, keeping in place a force focused on counterterrorism and training. [no, a rapid exit, with no one left behind, and certainly with dry eyes all over the house as the Karzai famiy tries to fight to keep itsAmerican-lavished loot]
At the other end is Mr. Gates, who leaves office at the end of the month and who won the 2009 debate over the troop surge along with Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and senior commanders on the ground.
It is not clear what Mrs. Clinton’s position is now as the internal debate is rejoined, and Mr. Obama’s team has changed considerably in the past 18 months. Thomas E. Donilon, appointed national security adviser last fall, was leery of the surge and is likely to lean toward a speedier withdrawal, colleagues say.
Leon E. Panetta, the director of the Central Intelligence Agency, supports greater use of unmanned drone technology and will have a voice as Mr. Gates’s nominated successor. General Petraeus is leaving his post in Afghanistan shortly to head the C.I.A., assuming he is confirmed by the Senate this summer.
In the past, when administration officials were asked about the pace of withdrawal, they often said it would depend on “conditions on the ground” — in other words, assessments of the strength of the Taliban, the pace at which Afghan troops and police are prepared to take over and the progress of the economic and political rebuilding of the country. “Most of those would weigh in favor of staying longer,” one senior official said.
But the growing list of so-called strategic considerations amounts to countervailing factors, senior officials said. Mr. Obama has said his goal is to dismantle Al Qaeda so that it can never use Afghanistan again to initiate a Sept. 11-style attack. [but this goal is silly, for Al Qaeda can go anywhere that there are Musliims, and already has]
With the killing of Bin Laden, and with other members of the terrorist group on the run as American officials pick up clues from data seized at the Bin Laden compound, Mr. Obama can argue that Al Qaeda is much diminished. [he can use that as a fig leaf for a policy that should unapologetically be one of leaving Muslim peoples to stew in their own Islam, and all of its failures, until such time as some of them begin to grasp how Islam explains their many failures, political, economic, social, intellectual, and moral]
The pressure to show Democrats that the cost of the war is declining is intense — so intense that Mr. Gates, during his travels, warned against undercutting a decade-long investment by cutting budgets too rapidly.
The Penatagon says the war in Afghanistan costs about $2 billion a week.
Posted on 06/06/2011 8:57 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Monday, 6 June 2011
Fitzgerald: Concede Victory
Listen, some people like to concede defeat. I don't. I prefer, in Iraq, to concede victory. We won in Iraq; we've inadvertently created a situation which will inevitably lead to demoralization and division within the Camp of Islam. If only we have the good sense to recognize it and stop trying to prevent the result that is devoutly to be wished.
It was all inevitable -- the day the regime was deposed. It was inevitable whether or not Turkey had allowed in a fourth division to invade from the north. It was inevitable whether the number of troops that went to Iraq remained the same, or doubled, or tripled. General Batiste's criticism of Rumsfeld's numbers is wrong and irrelevant -- irrelevant because the number of troops could not have changed what became inevitable, and from our point of view highly desirable, after the removal of Saddam and his regime. Forget about the Iraqis, for god's sake, stop talking and stop thinking about "what's good for the Iraqis." Stop being influenced by the handful of plausible, nice, heartwarming "Iraqis" you have had contact with in Iraq -- many of those "Iraqis" serving as the staff (cooks, waiters, cleaners) in the Green Zone, or as translators, are the completely atypical Christians. Many, almost all, of the trustworthiest fighters are Kurds. For Infidels, the permanent instability within Iraq, and the worry that has created in both Iran and Saudi Arabia (and other Arab states) is a welcome, and to the Bush Administration still uncomprehended, unappreciated, development. But there it is: Saddam Hussein is out and from that all further blessings flow.
Now we have only to withdraw and watch how the removal of Saddam Hussein plays itself out. Some deplore the idea of civil war. Why? Wasn't the Iran-Iraq War a good thing from the viewpoint of Infidels? Wasn't the Egypt-Saudi Arabia proxy war in the Yemen? The hostilities over Polisario between Morocco and Algeria? The dislike of Khaddafy for Egypt, and the expulsion from Libya of all those Egyptians? The brief Syrian incursion into Jordan? The Saudi mischief-making, that worries the members of the Gulf Cooperation Council still, and that helps explain why Oman has British military advisors and some troops, and why Kuwait and Qatar allow American troops (Saudi Arabia being, along with Iran and formerly Iraq, one of the three big local bullies)?
Good God, we've won. We won a while ago.
Others may concede defeat.
In Iraq, I think we should concede victory. Bush, for god's sake, if you would only see things correctly, you would realize that for all your grotesque misperceptions and sentimentality about how all people "want freedom" and essentially are brothers under a very thin skin, you have nonetheless had a victory. But only if you recognize it and act quickly upon that recognition -- no more unnecessary squandering of resources to undo that victory allowed. An accident, a series of errors, one goddam unintended consequence after another. But there it is: the Shi'a have the power, the Sunnis will never accept it, the Kurds are drilling for oil and appropriating, as they have every right to do so, the oil of Kirkuk and Kirkuk itself.
Concede Victory, and get out.
It is depressing that so many support Bush because they claim he is better than any "dhimmi Democrat." Could it be simply that the times require someone more intelligent, more able to take in a large amount of material, more able to concentrate? It has been nearly five years since the 9/11/2001 attacks. How much of that time has Bush spent on learning what one must learn, now, about Islam, and about the history of Jihad-conquest, and the treatment of non-Muslims under Muslim rule? Does anyone think Bush spends his time, at night, or at the ranch, studying, studying, studying?
Think of all the meetings. Think of all the photo opportunities. Think of all the silly things a President has to do. Think of all the many things he must somehow keep track of -- Social Security, Katrina, the ice in the Arctic, the level of army re-upping, the Leave No Child behind business, and hundreds of other things.
Then look at Bush. Look at how he led his heedless life before he became President. Do you have the feeling he had studied history? Do you have the feeling that he is now well-versed in what he should be well-versed in? Do you think he can think -- beyond, that is, a certain not-adequate-to-the-task level? What do you think of his aides -- the ones that so impress him? Do they impress you? Do they strike you as able to have mastered the matter of Islam, and the instruments of Jihad? How much of Bat Ye'or do you think Condoleeza Rice has read? What do you think she thinks of when she hears the word "Hadith" or the phrase "uswa hasana"? Do you think the idea of Jihad through Da'wa and demographic conquest of Western Europe is a subject of constant attention at the White House -- or a subject that never comes up? Do you think the Pentagon has an office devoted entirely to propaganda intended to raise the level of awareness among non-Arab Muslims about Islam as a vehicle for Arab supremacism?
You don't? Of course not. Bush remains both ignorant of the sources, the scope, and the full menace of the Jihad, and he certainly has not allowed the American government to conduct the kind of all-out propaganda, including making use of clever defectors from Islam, that is called for. He lacks imagination. He lacks broad cultivation. He is not able to articulate cleverly the problem -- referring to Islam synecdochically, for example, by using the word "Jihad" and claiming to be fighting "only those few Muslims" who "believe in Jihad to spread Islam until it covers the globe." (What will Muslims do then? Deny it? Own up to it?) He apparently thinks what counts is the level of economic development, the end to poverty, the GDP, the GNP. He's an economic determinist. And so are those who applaud the war in Iraq (not to mention his sentimentalism and heedlessness about immigration) -- David Brooks, My Weekly Standard, the editorial board of The Wall Street Journal. They can't quite grasp Islam. It doesn't fit what they know about the world.
As for the complete dismissal of every single Democrat, that too is foolish. It may be that those who want to get off oil want to do so for only one reason (and that reason is a perfectly sensible one): to save the environment. So what? The effect in diminishing Arab and Muslim revenues will be the same. And it may be that some Democrats wish to leave Iraq for the wrong reasons, but so what? If we leave, the right result -- those sectarian and ethnic divisions -- will start to work their magic. And it will be magic as far as we, the Infidels, are concerned, even if the result does not please even those very nice, very plausible, Shi'a Muslims whose interests diverge from ours, for they do not want to be forced to see Islam for what it is, they do not want to divide and demoralize the world of Islam, they do not want the Infidels to begin to halt and reverse Muslim migration, they do not want to have their views discounted because they are Muslims. Such people as Chalabi and Allawi in Iraq, or Fouad Ajami here, may be very nice. Ajami, after all, has two sons at West Point. And he is wonderful on Edward Said, and a truthteller on Israel. But that is no longer enough. Now the interests of the Infidels, and of even the nicest Muslims, diverge, and we must work to save ourselves, not to redo the Middle East for that handful of entertaining, soft-spoken, funny, altogether delightful Muslims. A different world now. This chase has a beast in view.
Concede victory, and get out. We won.
Posted on 06/06/2011 8:48 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Monday, 6 June 2011
Barak Attacks Dagan For His Intolerable Public Remarks
Barak: Dagan's comments on Iran hurt Israel's ability of deterrence
The defense minister criticized former Mossad cheif Meir Dagan for saying that a military strike on Iran would be a 'stupid thing.'
By Haaretz Service and Reuters
Defense Minister Ehud Brak criticized on Monday comments made by Israel's ex-Mossad chief, who said a military strike on Iran would be a "stupid thing."
Former Mossad chief Meir Dagan's comments "hurt Israel's ability to deter" Barak said during an interview with Israel Radio.
"Any ability to disperse the ambiguousness surrounding the issue of Iran" hurts Israel's standing against Iran, the defense minister said. Barak said that the military option against Iran must remain on the table so that international efforts to stop Iran's nuclear program are effective.
"There is no decision to attack Iran," Barak clarified. "We don't make decisions beforehand for hypothetical situations. I don't think that anyone would be happy to pull the trigger on a military operation against Iran."
Last month, Dagan made the comments about Iran while speaking in public at a conference of the senior public service organization, held at Hebrew University. This was Dagan's first public appearance since he left the service at the end of 2010.
Dagan says that Iran has a secret infrastructure for its nuclear program which is working in parallel with the legitimate, civilian program, but only the latter is under international inspection.
"Any strike against that [the civilian program] is an illegal act according to international law," Dagan said.
Dagan warned that an air force strike against Iran has "potential for significant complications and it is best to avoid war (s) with non-beneficial results and also those with no lasting effect. It is important to remember that war is only one option among many alternatives."
Barak also commented on the events Sunday when hundreds of Palestinian tried to cross the border from Syria into Israel. Israel accuses President Bashar Assad of creating this provocation in an effort to divert world attention from the ongoing bloody repression of pro-democracy protests in Syria
"I think he will fall. He has lost his legitimacy," said Barak, a former prime minister who in 2000 held indirect peace talks with Assad's father and predecessor, Hafez al-Assad.
"If today he stops using force, he'll be seen as weak and will be toppled. If he continues, the killing will go deeper and the cracks will begin to appear within the army as well," Barak told Israel Radio. "In my opinion, his fate has been decided."
Posted on 06/06/2011 9:07 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Monday, 6 June 2011
Universities 'complacent' over Islamic radicals, Theresa May warns
Theresa May told The Daily Telegraph that universities were not taking the issue of radicalisation seriously enough and that it was too easy for Muslim extremists to form groups on campuses “without anyone knowing”.
She also said the Government would cut funding to any Islamic group that espoused extremist views, and set out the “key British values” to which those seeking support must subscribe. It is understood that about 20 groups are already losing their funding.
Mrs May said universities had to “send very clear messages” and “ask themselves some questions about what happens on their campuses”. They need to be prepared to stand up and say that organisations that are extreme or support extremism or have extremist speakers should not be part of their grouping,” Mrs May said.
Her remarks follow comments made by Nicola Dandridge, the head of Universities UK, which represents vice-chancellors, claiming there was no evidence that extremist speakers at university encouraged violence.
As part of the Prevent strategy, the Government will define as extremists anyone who “does not subscribe to human rights, equality before the law, democracy and full participation in society”, including those who “promote or implicitly tolerate the killing of British soldiers”.
Mrs May said: “We are looking at a set of values we believe we have here in the UK and those people opposed to those values are people who the Government won’t be funding or engaging with.”
It is understood that the strategy will also name 25 boroughs that are most at risk from Islamist extremism, including areas of London, Birmingham, Leeds, Bradford and Manchester.
“There’s an ideology out there that we need to challenge and when we first came in as a government one of the things we were very clear about here at the Home Office was we needed to look at extremism, not just violent extremism,” Mrs May said. Yes, stealth jihad - more dangerous in the long term than quick and violent jihad.
The strategy will also seek to counter radical Right-wing terrorists following a rise in the threat from such extremists.
I can only think of one or two isolated instances of right wing terrorism. The EDL are not right wing; neither are we terrorists, although we do seem to be striking terror into the hearts of the chattering classes.
Posted on 06/06/2011 9:01 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Monday, 6 June 2011
Ivan Rioufol On The French, At The End Of Their Tether With Their Political Class
Cette semaine écoulée m'a tenu un peu plus éloigné des médias. Cependant, il me semble que les propos de Stéphane Gatignon, maire Génération écologie de Sevran (Seine-Saint-Denis), réclamant des "Casques bleus" pour "des opérations de maintien de paix" dans sa commune n'ont pas eu la résonance qu'ils méritaient. A ceux qui mettent en garde contre la libanisation progressive de certains quartiers, qualifiés aimablement de "sensibles", cet appel à la militarisation d'espaces publics n'est pas une surprise. Mais il est incroyable que cela vienne d'un élu Vert dont la famille politique, la gauche, ne cesse de dénoncer les fantasmes et l'extrémisme de ceux qui constatent l'extension des isolats ethniques au cœur de la République. Or c'est bien ce phénomène que décrit l'élu dépassé, confronté à des échanges quotidiens de tirs entre bandes rivales ayant pris possession de zones hors-la-loi. Ne serait-il pas temps de s'interroger sur la faillite du vivre-ensemble, quand il ne peut être respecté sans l'aide de la force publique?
La gauche ne peut plus se défiler, si elle veut redevenir crédible. Le repliement communautaire, encouragé par des discours sottement universalistes où tout deviendrait interchangeable (1), va devenir une menace pour l'ordre public. Il est urgent de redonner un contenu à des valeurs jugées dépassées comme la nation, la nationalité, l'Etat, le peuple, le citoyen, la loi souveraine, la frontière : autant de concepts qui, s'ils ont été relativisés par le discours mondialiste convenu, sont restés proches de la société civile, qui entend bien préserver son harmonie, sa culture, son mode de vie. C'est chez elle, cette France oubliée, que se trouvent les véritables Indignés. Ils ont peu à voir avec le prêchi-prêcha moralisateur et auto-satisfait de Stéphane Hessel. Ils ne sont pas, non plus, des électeurs acquis, loin de là, à Marine Le Pen. Répondre à cette France exaspérée n'est pas flatter le FN, comme aimeraient le faire croire ceux qui, à droite comme à gauche, voudraient maintenir la tête dans le sable.
Dominique de Villepin a raison quand il s'adresse ainsi à son "Cher Nicolas", sur son nouveau blog : "L'état de stupeur et de sidération dans lequel s'enfonce la France m'inquiète, et je ne vous entends pas". Ce constat est fait ici depuis longtemps. Lui-même a été un des acteurs des Trente calamiteuses. Cependant, quand l'ancien premier ministre conseille au chef de l'Etat de "retourner dans le pays pour mesurer les attentes et affronter courageusement les déceptions", il pourrait s'appliquer également ce conseil, en ne privilégiant plus seulement la France des cités ( "la France des quartiers", dit-il) et ses votes. Villepin comprendrait également que les électeurs rebelles, qui rejettent les hommes politiques et les partis qui se sont tant trompés, ne veulent plus d'égos surdimensionnés, de mots creux et de ces envolées lyriques qui restent son talent suranné.
Posted on 06/06/2011 9:11 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Monday, 6 June 2011
Omri Ceren: That Israel Book Boycott, Those Galloway-Groupies In Dunbartonshire
The invaluable Comment Is Free Watch (CiF Watch) has been doing yoemen’s work opposing the Scottish boycotters, first covered here by Alana a few weeks ago. You’ll remember that the West Dunbartonshire council decided in 2009 to showcase their commitment to freedom by banning Israeli books from their public libraries.
The council was promptly upstaged in its quest for the vaunted “most reminiscent of Nazi tactics” ribbon by the Scottish city of Dundee, which announced its intention to brand Israeli products with “a special mark . . . to make them easily identifiable.” As of yet there has been no decision on whether the badge will be yellow, a star, or something totally innovative. Presumably they’ll just follow whatever the UK government recommended when it urged businesses to mark Israeli West Bank products. But while people wait for Dundee to come to a stylistic consensus, they’re focusing on the West Dunbartonshire council’s original creepy callback to genocidal Nazism.
When recently pushed to defend themselves, the formerly eager-to-swagger West Dunbartonshires suddenly insisted they weren’t banning Israeli books at all. They were merely banning books from Israel, which is different. Seriously. Thinking adults put their heads together, brainstormed the very best defense they could come invent, and that’s what they came up with:
West Dunbartonshire Council utterly refutes recent media claims that it has “launched a boycott on Israeli books.” The Council’s boycott does not in any way seek to censor or silence authors and commentators from Israel. The Council’s boycott only relates to goods “made or grown” in Israel. The vast majority of mainstream books by Israeli authors are published in the UK and are therefore not affected by this boycott. Only books that were printed in Israel and transported to the UK for distribution would be potentially boycotted.
Shorter version: “West Dunbartonshire Council clarifies boycott stance: we’re only banning the ‘Israeli’ books that are really Jewy!”
These aren’t serious people. They wallow in moral consensus while striking a pose of political courage, but only as long as there are zero practical consequences. They’re one step more pathetic than the self-declared activists who fantasize that their tweets and Facebook messages are acts of “solidarity” with Palestinian “freedom fighters.” At least social media terrorist apologists are taking a stand. The West Dunbartonshires won’t even admit that they’re targeting Israelis, when the whole point of their strutting resolution is to target Israelis. It’s a repeat of what happened at the University of Johannesburg, where the University embraced a BDS motion to cut academic ties with Ben-Gurion University and then—in the face of protests—hurriedly denied that they were engaging in anything like a “boycott.” These poseurs want their “resistance,” but only as long as it’s emptied of any resistance.
At least when Australia’s Marrickville Council tried to boycott Israel they promised to replace existing Israeli technology and forgo future purchases. They had to promptly drop the idea because they discovered it would cost millions of dollars to replace HP computers (opps!) but at least they were committed. “Stupid and repugnant,” according to Prime Minister Julia Gillard. But definitely committed.
Posted on 06/06/2011 9:21 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Monday, 6 June 2011
Kate's Nates My Aunt Fanny
Posted on 06/06/2011 3:30 PM by Mary Jackson
Monday, 6 June 2011
Ron Radosh On Hendrik Hertzberg And Other Talk-Of-The-Towners
How Leftist Groupthink about Israel is Created-The New Yorker’s Hendrik Hertzberg Offers the Model
By Ron Radosh On June 6, 2011
Last week’s June 6th issue of The New Yorker offers a lesson in how the groupthink of the editors, writers and journalists on the East Coast takes place. It reveals how they all have developed the same mindset about Israel, and their view that the Jewish state bears the responsibility alone for all the travail in the Middle East.
The lead “Talk of the Town” article  by one of its editors, Hendrik Hertzberg, reeks of self-righteousness, arrogance and an overall know-it-all attitude. It is filled with the platitudes repeated so many times these days by the likes of Hertzberg, Joe Klein, and scores of their lesser known imitators.
One can easily sum up the argument in the following words: Israel, a great country, is its own worst enemy. The best example of this is that the Israeli people elected Benjamin Netanyahu its Prime Minister, and his popularity in the country is growing. If you don’t get this, the editors title Hertzberg’s article “O’bama Vs. Netanyahoo.” Get it? Isn’t that so clever? (They took that from a Twitter by Chuck Grassley, as he was waiting to hear Netanyahu speak. ) Don’t the Israelis know they should make all the concessions to the Palestinian Authority that Obama wants them to make? Israel should start with giving up all settlements in Jerusalem—yes, the Jewish presence in East Jerusalem is a settlement—and of course, agreeing in advance of peace negotiations to going back to the 1967 borders.
Above all, have nothing but contempt for the Israeli P.M. As Hertzberg writes, “The Prime Minister sounded more like a Fox News ‘contributor’ than like the leader of an ally dependent on the United States for its survival.” Fear not, our President quickly corrected Netanyahu. Claims Hertzberg, “ ‘“Since my position has been misrepresented,’ Obama said, ‘let me reaffirm what “1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps” means: by definition, it means that the parties themselves—Israelis and Palestinians—will negotiate a border that is different than the one that existed on June 4, 1967.’”
Obviously, Hertzberg must be ranked among those who have neglected to read, as I have pointed out twice already in other blogs, the explanation of what the issue really is that appeared in the “Fact Checker” column in the Washington Post written by Glenn Kessler, here  and here . Kessler does real research; Hertzberg and his kind of leftist journalist [if the word "leftist" were left out, the effect would be much stronger]simply repeat their own version of the facts as if their saying what the reality is makes it accurate. After all, how could anything Benjamin Netanyahu says be the truth?
So to cover Netanyahu, you next commence with many paragraphs putting down anything he says in a tone of utter contempt. Here are Hertzberg’s comments:
The Prime Minister ladled on the bonhomie. “Mr. Vice-President,” he said, turning to Joe Biden, “do you remember the time that we were the new kids in town?” (Biden was more likely to be remembering another town and another time: last year in Jerusalem, when his arrival to promote peace talks was greeted with the announcement of a vast new housing project for ultra-Orthodox Jews in the occupied eastern part of the city.) Bibi took it upon himself to spike the football that Barack had carried into the end zone: “Congratulations, America. Congratulations, Mr. President. You got bin Laden. Good riddance!” He served up chestnuts—about Israeli democracy, Israeli stability, Israeli pro-Americanness—that have been roasted for many an Israel Bonds dinner. He had kind, if slightly patronizing, words of praise for the Arab Spring. He reiterated his verbal acceptance of the idea of a Palestinian state. He glided away from his Oval Office misrepresentations. (“As President Obama said, the border will be different than the one that existed on June 4, 1967.”) He praised Salam Fayyad, the technocratic modernizer who serves as the Palestinian Authority’s chief administrator.
Notice the little term “occupied” when Hertzberg refers to east Jerusalem. He might look at Omri Ceren’s post  appearing today at Contentions. Ceren points out that to call East Jerusalem a settlement, which Obama does and Hertzberg says is “occupied” territory, “ignores how Jews have indisputably been the majority in Jerusalem since at least 1853, to saying nothing of the ancient heritage of Jewish Jerusalem. Instead, it picks out the brief period between 1949 to 1967, when Jordan ethnically cleansed East Jerusalem of Jews to interrupt a continuous 1,000-year Jewish presence.” The Jordanians destroyed the Jewish quarter in East Jerusalem, and as Ceren explains, “But because they succeeded in doing that for almost 20 whole years—in contrast to 1,000 years of continuous Jewish life—the Obama administration insists that the Jewish State needs to cede portions of East Jerusalem to a future Palestinian entity on demographic grounds.”[but here Radosh leaves the impression that the adjective "occupied" can apply to what the Jordanians renamed "the West Bank" and that is untrue]
Hertzberg continues with the usual bromides about how Netanyahu represents “the religious Right, Israeli and American.” He tells us that they occupy the West Bank. He attacks Netanyahu for demanding Palestinian recognition of a Jewish state “as a precondition” for negotiations, and for refusing to “negotiate with a Palestinian political entity in which Hamas is represented,” and for refusing to recognize a Palestinian right of return, and for wanting to control the Jordan river, and maintain an undivided Jerusalem.
All of the above, of course, echo the intransigent demands of the Palestinian Authority and Israel’s enemies, and Hertzberg accuses the Israelis of intransigence, while not saying one word about how time after time, the Palestinians have turned down every magnanimous deal offered by the Israels, most recently, that by Ehud Olmert before he let office.
And even worse—having claimed that Netanyahu represents the religious right- is our own Congress, who showed “mindlessness” and hence “rewarded [Netanyahu] with ovation after standing ovation.” Oh, if only they read The New Yorker and would learn the truth from the great Hertzberg. Don’t worry, he tells them, the Palestinians “are beginning to discover the possibilities of nonviolence.” And Israel shouldn’t forget how a UN resolution in favor of creation of a Palestinian state “would damage Israel’s legitimacy.” Really? Don’t Israel’s opponents already claim it has no legitimacy, a task made easier for them by the kind of writing Hertzberg offers, ostensibly in Israel’s defense?
Writing in the Canadian paper the National Post, Conrad Black provides  a great corrective that would teach Hertzberg a lot, if he is willing to learn anything. At the G-8 meeting in Paris last month, Black notes that Canada’s new PM Stephen Harper openly contradicted Barack Obama, thereby vetoing the G-8’s approval of Obama’s declaration about peace based on the 1967 borders. Black points out that “The problem with the Obama formula was not the concept of 1967 with land swaps, it was the call for peace to be achieved by ‘negotiation’ between Israel and a party that in 44 years has never ceded a square inch of territory or renounced the right of self-proclaimed Palestinian fugitives from inundating with non-Jews what was established and recognized as a ‘Jewish state.’” Here is Black’s major point:
The pre-1967 borders were entirely accidental, and left Israel nine miles wide at its narrowest, and the Western Wall and Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem in Arab hands. They had no legitimacy and even the United Nations resolutions called for agreed and defensible borders, and a two-state solution. Israel has accepted a two-state solution and Palestine, its government comprised of both Hamas and Fatah, has not, and has shown no disposition to agree on borders, especially any that Israel could defend. It has been clear for decades that the pattern of international intervention in the Middle East has been to promote tangible and practically irrevocable concessions of land by Israel in exchange for insubstantial, easily and instantly revocable professions of reduced hostility, supposedly culminating in peaceful co-existence, from the Arabs. This is the problem of Land For Peace: Israel cedes the land but gets no closer to peace.
Today, the new self-proclaimed “friends” of Israel like Hertzberg would like Israel to satisfy their demands, made from the comfort of the Upper West Side and Park Slope, where it is so easy for them to tell Israel what is in its very best interests. Somehow, I don’t think most Israelis are going to take their advice.
Posted on 06/06/2011 1:33 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Monday, 6 June 2011
A Musical Interlude: It's The Talk Of The Town (Annette Hanshaw)
Posted on 06/06/2011 6:41 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald