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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

Friday, 31 October 2008
Season of Mists and Mellow Fruitfulness

by Esmerelda Weatherwax (Nov. 2008)

It is autumn which is my favourite time of the year. October is my favourite month but November is not far behind.

Summer (I don’t like the heat) is over and Christmas is coming. Meanwhile it is
“Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness” and lovable for its own sake.  more>>>
Posted on 10/31/2008 5:19 PM by NER
Friday, 31 October 2008
All Hallows Eve – A Dark Tale & A Little Strange Love

by John M. Joyce (Nov. 2008)

Late on a still All Hallows evening, with a mist rising in wreaths from the river, the huge container ship Titan nosed into the docks at Tilbury on the Northern shore of the Thames estuary opposite, with no significance at all as it will turn out, Gravesend.
Posted on 10/31/2008 5:15 PM by NER
Friday, 31 October 2008
Traffic Kops

by Ares Demertzis (Nov. 2008) 

Celebrating 232 years of a now fatigued, honorable experiment in liberty, justice, and the resolute courage of uncompromising individualism.
East Coast.
I exited the West Side Highway at 125th Street and drove cross-town. I was running late for my scheduled lecture at Columbia University on the collapse of the Roman Empire. Columbia is located in an area known as Morningside Heights, and I mutely speculated as to the appropriateness, given the contemporary historical reality of the nation, of that neighborhood as accommodation for a radically inclined organization of higher learning. Would not Twilight Chasm be more appropriate and afford a more apposite link to the significance of my lecture?  more>>>
Posted on 10/31/2008 5:11 PM by NER
Friday, 31 October 2008
Boxing Clever

by Mary Jackson (November 2008) 

In an attempt to move with the times, England’s oldest universities are requiring applicants to Think Outside The Box. The University of Boxbridge – sorry, Oxbridge – asks interview candidates whether they are a grapefruit or a magpie. The University of Camford has gone one better and requires would-be students to choose between man and mouse. more>>>
Posted on 10/31/2008 5:07 PM by NER
Friday, 31 October 2008
Statistics And The Meaning Of Islam

by Bill Warner (Nov. 2008)

What is the “real” Islam? Is it the Islam of the nice Muslim at work? Or is it the Islam of Osama bin Laden?
To get a logical answer, we must have a logical basis for analysis. What sources are available to answer the question? We can toss out the media and all of its answers since they generally quote apologist “experts.” But is there an expert we can trust? Yes, there is--Mohammed.  more>>>
Posted on 10/31/2008 5:00 PM by NER
Friday, 31 October 2008
Is CAIR’s 2010 Strategy Plan a Fiasco?

by Jerry Gordon (Nov. 2008)

David Gaubatz, a former USAF counterintelligence specialist, first came to our attention when he revealed in 2004 evidence of WMD sites in tunnels under the Euphrates. These suspected WMD sites in Southern Iraq (Nasiriyah area) were never exploited by the 
Iraq Study Group. Those disclosures were the object of an intense disinformation campaign by the ‘shadow warriors’ of the intelligence establishment. Nevertheless, his disclosures lead to a re-examination of what happened to Saddam Hussein’s WMD stockpiles and how they were disposed of prior to the Iraq War in March 2003. more>>>
Posted on 10/31/2008 4:54 PM by NER
Friday, 31 October 2008
To The Victim, The Spoils

by Mary Jackson (November 2008) 

“A victory for religious liberty” proclaimed Lillian Ladele. No, this isn’t a Muslim lifeguard winning the right to swim in full burqua, or a Muslim barman getting out of serving beer. This time it’s a Christian whose “landmark” claim of religious discrimination has been upheld. more>>>
Posted on 10/31/2008 4:50 PM by NER
Friday, 31 October 2008
Islam & Music, Heavy Metal Islam

by Ibn Warraq & Raphael Ismail (Nov. 2008)

Part two of a series. Part one is here.
Bernard Lewis was viciously attacked by Edward Said when the former declared that Classical Western Music was a “part of the inner citadel of Western culture”, and that virtually no Arabs had penetrated it, in contrast to the Japanese, Korean and Chinese who have nurtured a whole host of world class performers, conductors, and even composers. Edward Said writing soon after 11 September, 2001, claimed that there were flourishing orchestras of Classical Music in various capitals in the Arab world; whatever the case there is certainly no Arab equivalent of Japanese pianists like Rieko Aizawa, and Akira Eguchi, or violinists like Mayuko Kamio and Tomoko Kato. Moreover, many Arab intellectuals seem to have complex feelings of guilt if they find themselves appreciating the music of the infidels, an attitude summed up by a Tunisian writer, “The treason of an Arab begins when he enjoys listening to Mozart or Beethoven”.[1] Oriana Fallaci reported this exchange with the Ayatollah Khomeini: “Music dulls the mind, because it involves pleasure and ecstasy, similar to drugs”, and Western music in particular, he thinks, “has not exalted the spirit”. When she mentioned Bach, Beethoven, Verdi, he replied, “I do not know their names”.[2]  more>>>
Posted on 10/31/2008 4:46 PM by NER
Friday, 31 October 2008
The Decline Of Idealism

by Rebecca Bynum (Nov. 2008)

There is ground for declaring that modern man has become a moral idiot.
– Richard Weaver

Today’s accepted wisdom dictates that it really doesn’t matter what a man believes in so long as he doesn’t take those beliefs too seriously or pursue them too far. In modern usage the words “ideal, idealist and idealism” are all tinged with a hue of unreality. When we describe someone as an “idealist” we do so with that slightly bemused condescension reserved for the overgrown child. We think of idealists as having their heads in the clouds and as being insufficiently grounded in the facts of reality. A pervasive attitude of cynical relativism effectively stifles the striving after any ideal. Yet, it is certainly not what facts a man knows that determine his conduct and character, but rather what he believes, and the ideals he holds. The decline of idealism, therefore, has not ushered in an era of realism, but one in which guiding principles have gradually been reduced to increasingly superficial standards until there is nothing left but the crudest Darwinian materialism, behaviorism, and genetic determinism as an explanation for the sheer childish selfishness that cloaks itself in the guise of rational self-interest. more>>>
Posted on 10/31/2008 4:41 PM by NER
Friday, 31 October 2008
An Interview With Israeli M.K. Dr. Arieh Eldad

by Jerry Gordon (Nov. 2008)

Israeli Knesset Member, Dr. Arieh Eldad, is a nationalist gadfly among the country’s politicians. He is a member of the Moledet party list of the minority National Union faction that favors the willing transfer of “Palestinian” Arab refugees from the disputed territories of Judea and Samaria to the de facto Palestine: Jordan. With more than 70% of Jordan’s population composed of Palestinian Arabs, Eldad considers that the real ”two state solution.” Jordan has plenty of territory to absorb their fellow Arabs now languishing in the squalid UNWRA camps in Samaria, Judea and Gaza. Eldad and others in his party argue that international investment in agricultural production, water, energy, urban and jobs development in Jordan is required to help facilitate absorption. more>>>

Posted on 10/31/2008 4:38 PM by NER
Friday, 31 October 2008
Of Bibliophilia and Biblioclasm
by Theodore Dalyrmple (Nov. 2008)

In 1936, George Orwell published a little essay entitled Bookshop Memories. In it, he recalled his time as an assistant in a second-hand bookshop, a time that was happy only when viewed through the soft-focus lens of nostalgia. Irony might be defined as disgust recalled in tranquillity, and Orwell’s essay is nothing if not full of irony. He was glad to have had the experience, no doubt, but more glad that it was over.
Posted on 10/31/2008 4:35 PM by NER
Friday, 31 October 2008
Take Back Her Prize

Another Peace-and-Justice boatload of Narrenschiff "activists," a shipling of fools who are disinterestedly 100% for the Arabs, no matter what they do, and against the Jews of israel, no matter what they do, has landed in Gaza. One of the "activists" once received a Nobel Prize:

"I have been inspired by civilized beautiful people. I am saddened by the fact that you [the Arabs in Gaza] are living in such an uncivilized situation," said Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Mairead Maguire."

Samir Kuntar was not there to greet her; he was still in Beirut, where he has been feted by all kinds of people since his release by the israelis.
But his fond memories of his life's major accomplishment will always turn his thoughts back to the  those "civilized beautiful people" who applauded his act, who hailed him as a hero for his deed of derring-do, who supported him to the hilt., who were delirious when he was released by the israelis.  
Nor will Mairead Maguire recognize, among the civilized beautiful people she has been meeting, those who handed out sweets and screamed with delight at the glad tidings that came to them late in the day on 9/11/2001, about all those Americans who had been killed.
Nor will she recognize those who, not in Gaza but in Ramallah, took part in a mass lynching of two Israeli reservist-drivers, who simply took a wrong turn, were taken to the police station in Ramallah, and right there,were killed and horribly mutilated (or perhaps horribly mutilated, and then killed), with their organs, intestines and so on, held up by the blood-stained hands of hysterical Arabs, who were just as hysterically cheered by a maddened crowd of other Arabs who on hearing of the splendid spectacle arrived to fully enjoy it, and possibly to join in.
As it happens, a British photographer, who had been nearby, and as a sympathizer with the "Palestinian cause" had been taking pictures of them for the kind of jonathan-dimbleby or possibly sari-nusseibeh "once-upon-a-country" tugging-at-your-utterly-ignorant heartstrings book that during the past three decades has been that is practically de rigueur from British publishing houses, or at least was until recently, happened upon the scene. Until then he had been just like Mairead Maguire, he had always thought of these people, these local Arabs or rather "Palestinians," as so kind, and so likeable, and so "civilized." Which of course they were, with anyone who could be useful in spreading propaganda on their behalf. Why not? But what he saw that day changed his view forever.
Could something of the sort happen with Mairead Maguire, or is she, morally, too far gone? 
That sentence is a two-part question.
The correct answers are: No, and Yes.
Posted on 10/31/2008 2:08 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Friday, 31 October 2008
No Child Left Behind -- No Matter What It Takes
Posted on 10/31/2008 1:03 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Friday, 31 October 2008
How The Infidels Have Their Honeymoons

Not a suicide-bomber's vest in sight:

Posted on 10/31/2008 1:00 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Friday, 31 October 2008
A Presidential-Election Musical Interlude: Fool Me Some More! (Bing Crosby)
Posted on 10/31/2008 10:45 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Friday, 31 October 2008
Her Honeymoon Wish Is Not To Shuffle Off To Buffalo

The Times carries a story today (October 31) about a mass wedding of 300 Arab Muslim men and women in Gaza, a mass wedding  sponsored by Hamas. The individual desires or needs of the individual brides and grooms are of no signficance either to each other or to Hamas. Their marriages have been arranged for the sole purpose of furthering procreation, and as one of the grooms said, to "producing another generation that believes in resistance." The women in question have all been married before, but were left widowed when their husbands died, either iin homicide-bombings or other terrorist acts against Israel or, in some cases, in actions against other Muslim Arabs, those in Fatah.

Three excerpts from the report are especially  piquant and telling: 

#1. Demographic Conquest (or, Cannon Fodder): 
"’Marriage is the same as jihad,’ or holy war, said Muhammad Yousef, one recently married member of the Qassam Brigades, the Hamas underground. ‘With marriage, you are producing another generation that believes in resistance.'"
#2. Hypocrisy (or, Hair Hijab-Curbed, But Plenty Of Estee Lauder): 
"The brides, sitting separately among the women, wore head scarves and black robes over their evening dresses but were easily spotted by their heavy makeup."
#3. Beyond-Belief Fanaticism, Or, Won't Niagara Falls Do?: 
"Muhammad Yousef, the groom who equated marriage with jihad, came to celebrate and collect $200 even though his family is considered reasonably well off. In July 2006, an Israeli tank crew fired in his direction as he and his group fired rockets at Israel. He was badly wounded in the chest and both legs, and his friends took him for dead and celebrated his "martyrdom" on the way to the hospital morgue.
But he survived, and because of his severe physical injuries, moved from firing rockets to manufacturing them instead. Yousef said he shared all the details of his past with his wife before they married, and she accepted his way of life wholeheartedly. The night before the mass wedding party, he said, his wife shared with him her ultimate wish: to carry out a joint suicide attack against Israel.”
Keep that last sentence of the report firmly in mind: 

"The night before the mass wedding party, he said, his wife shared with him her ultimate wish: to carry out a joint suicide attack against Israel." 
Try to imagine Israel, or any other country, ever coming to some sort of understanding with, or even "integrating" into an Infidel nation-state, those who quite naturally can come to harbor such a desire.
It doesn't require Nuremeberg rallies and round-the-clock party inculcation. It is enough to read the most relevant parts of the Qur'an, Hadith, and Sira, and, conscious that you are a Muslim, take them deeply to heart. That's enough. That's more than enough. And even though one may not always follow the rules about What Is Commanded and What Is Prohibited in Islam,  may at times harbor some secret doubts about parts of Islam, it is the consciousness of "being a Muslim" that can be enough to cause someone, out of personal despair as well as religious fanaticism, to act the way a Muslim should act -- and that can mean danger, even murderous danger, for non-Muslims.

Try to imagine any non-Muslim woman, the night before her wedding, shyly confiding to her future husband  her secret dream, her ultimate wish:  with him, her new husband-to-be, "to carry out a joint suicide attack against" Israel, or America,  or [Your Country Here].

Posted on 10/31/2008 11:49 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Friday, 31 October 2008
Nicholas Kristof On American Racism

In The Times (Oct. 30, 2008) under the title "What? Me Biased?" Nicholas Kristof reported the grim findings: 

"For the last year and a half, a team of psychology professors has been conducting remarkable experiments on how Americans view Barack Obama through the prism of race.
The scholars used a common research technique, the implicit association test, to measure whether people regarded Mr. Obama and other candidates as more foreign or more American. They found that research subjects — particularly when primed to think of Mr. Obama as a black candidate — subconsciously considered him less American than either Hillary Clinton or John McCain.
Indeed, the study found that the research subjects — Californian college students, many of them Democrats supportive of Mr. Obama — unconsciously perceived him as less American even than the former British Prime Minister Tony Blair.
It’s not that any of them actually believed Mr. Obama to be foreign. But the implicit association test measured the way the unconscious mind works, and in following instructions to sort images rapidly, the mind balked at accepting a black candidate as fully American. This result mattered: The more difficulty a person had in classifying Mr. Obama as American, the less likely that person was to support Mr. Obama.
It’s easy to be skeptical of such research, so test for your own unconscious biases at or at "
And so on.
Apparently we are to be amazed, we are to find intolerable, that some Americans do not immediately think of a man whose father was born and spent almost his entire life in Kenya, whose stepfather was born and spent almost his entire life in Indonesia, who lived, during his childhood, either in Indonesia (where he was listed as a "Muslim" in the records of the school he attended), or when he was living “in America,” that part of America turned out to be Hawaii, in the middle of the Pacific, as "American" quite as they do others, and, Kristof tells us, research shows that they "subconsciously considered him less American than either Hillary Clinton or John McCain." And when that man went to work, for the past twenty years, he chose to live and work  as a community organizer and then politician, among the largely black population of southside Chicago. For twenty years he attended a church whose minister, Reverend Jeremiah Wright, a friend from whom he learned so much, routinely screamed or demanded that "God damn America!.," And when he wasn’t in church, or plotting his resistible rise, he was handing out foundation money to some very doubtful, race-based undertakings, and his collaborators, acquaintances, friends (call them what you will) included William Ayers, whose terrorist acts, including support for those who murdered policemen, may – as Obama says, be “despicable acts that took place some forty years ago,” but what Obama fails to note is that Ayers' refusal to distance himself in any way from those acts remains dew-fresh. And then there is his friendship – those meals, those earnest conversations – with Rashid Khalidi, and his associations as well, with his most important financial backer, the crooked Syrian-American Anton Rezko,and Rezko’s backer, a shadowy Iraqi billionaire whose louche activities have caused him trouble with the law.
But the most important thing, the obvious thing. Is never mentioned. Kristof mentions race. Kristof mentions Obama’s “Kenyan connection.” But he never mentions his name. It’s the name. Barack Obama, or for some, Barack Hussein Obama. For god’s sake, after a long  line of washingtons and jeffersons and adamses, and having accommodated, finally, first two roosevelts and then an eisenhower (and seven years after the end of World War II!), the country might have been prepared, just,  to vote for someone bearing the name Giuliani, or even possibly Lieberman, but to expect, when the country has been attacked by, and like the rest of the non-Muslim world is under permanent threat from, Muslim terrorists,  no one to notice, or react to, the name “Barack Obama” is absurd.
Can Nicholas Kristof not understand this? Is he so lacking in common sense? Does he not see that what he is so quick to label as “racism” or to depict as fanatical xenophobia reflects only the understandable desire for a semblance of cultural continuity, including a continuity in the names of our leaders, and what those names signify .
Kristof expects his readers to be as amazed and ashamed as he apparently is, that there are some Americans who find something just a little unsettling, a little off, about Barack Obama, with all of his ideological baggage, accumulated over a lifetime  (baggage he has deposited in a locker, and now assures us he has lost the key). Yes, Americans have been subjected to a moral test by Nicholas Kristof, And, by Nicholas Kristof, they have been found wanting.
Let's -- as those hands-in-pockets law professors like to say, as they strut with an air of furrowed-brow thoughtfulness across the front of the classroom --  vary the hypothetical. And because Kristof’s wife is Chinese, let’s set our scene not in fair Verona, or even fair Belmont, but in China.  Kristof should ask his wife what would be the reaction, not of Chinese peasants, but of the most sophisticated Chinese, those who have been well-educated, and thus most keenly aware the development and  the achievements of, Chinese civilization. And let’s make them dissidents, people as disgusted by Chinese mad-dog capitalism as by Communist Party rule. Now let’s go through it: First, imagine that some foreign student, African or European, spending a few months at a university in China, nearly fifty years ago, had impregnated a Chinese woman and then promptly decamped. She raised the child, for a few years outside of China, and then, in China itself, in an off-center part --- say, in Kashgar, in Muslim-dominated Xinjiang. That child of course would have learned perfect Chinese. And eventually – let’s fast-forward this hypothetical – he grows up, and in a China with open elections, runs as the candidate of a major party. And he bears a name, given to him by his fickle, fleeing father. Let’s call him Nditozuke Shamuyarira. Let’s call him Oginga Odinga. Let’s call him Jacob Zuma. Call him whatever you want. Or if you wish to make him the son of an English student, who similarly met, wooed, impregnated, left, an impressionable Chinese girl, then give him another name, say Anthony Ashley Cooper, or George Villers Buckingham, or James James Morison Morison Weatherby George Dupree.
Now what would be the reaction to such a candidate, from the most sophisticated and worldly of Chinese – say, from the lady who is Mrs. Nicholas Kristof? You and I have our strong suspicions. But Nicholas Kristof knows, or Nicholas Kristof can so easily find out.  
Posted on 10/31/2008 10:04 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Friday, 31 October 2008
Also from the Derbyshire Evening Telegraph

A chocolate heads-up, by the Grace of Jones:

SHE'S starred as a larger-than-life Bond girl and in her own weird and wonderful music videos.

But this is the latest bizarre image of singer Grace Jones – grabbing a chocolate replica of her own head in a Derbyshire factory.

Life-size replicas of her body parts were produced by Somercotes-based Thorntons as artwork for the cover of her new album.

The sleeve art for the Jamaican former model's album will feature images.

But despite looking delicious, the body parts were inedible – after being sprayed with chemicals to make them look glossy during the shoot.

Only Grace and Jonathan Ross, whose show she appeared on last Friday, know how good they taste after being sent two special, edible versions.

And Jonathan Ross knows all about good taste. Well, he does now, at any rate.

The singer travelled to Thorntons earlier this month for the photoshoot.

A spokeswoman for Thorntons said the factory had kept a couple of heads as souvenirs and others had been given to people involved in the shoot.

She said: "The heads were actually really heavy and Grace had difficulty holding them during some of the shots.

"It was hard work but a lot of fun and Grace just had the best time.

"The factory has a very down-to-earth vibe and, when Grace walked in, everyone was saying 'ey up ducky' to her!

"She didn't understand what they meant and asked why everyone was calling her a duck.

That old canard. The Derbyshire Evening Telegraph has nothing to do with erstwhile New English Review columnist and Euler prize winner, John Derbyshire.

Posted on 10/31/2008 10:26 AM by Mary Jackson
Friday, 31 October 2008
Tesco booze news

Supermarket giant Tesco has won the right to expect a Muslim employee to do the job he is paid for. Big deal. From The Derbyshire Telegraph, which has nothing to do with erstwhile New English Review writer John Derbyshire: 

A DERBY Muslim who sued Tesco for religious discrimination after he was asked to handle crates of alcohol has lost his case.

Mohammed Ahmed, who worked in a warehouse, said the job was against his Islamic beliefs.

The 32-year-old, of Upper Dale Road, Normanton, also accused Tesco of victimisation and harassment during a three-day employment tribunal in Birmingham.

His job at the supermarket giant's Lichfield depot involved the transportation of various goods, including alcoholic drinks, on fork-lift trucks.

The Saudi Arabian national told the tribunal he was not informed that he would be handling alcohol when he started the job last year.

He said he was considering appealing against the decision after being told his legal action had failed. 

He said: "It's not fair but what can I do? They [Tesco] were not taking into account my religious beliefs. I will consult with solicitors."

His comment has that mixture of arrogance and fatalism that is characteristic of the growing number of Muslim professional victims. The news is good as far as it goes, but I won’t be cracking open the Tesco champagne just yet, even if it was transported by Ahmed himself. Several matters remain unresolved.


First, who paid for the case? Who will fund his appeal? Ahmed is now unemployed and unemployable, so the chances are that Legal Aid will be added to the cost of supporting him, and perhaps his wife – or wives – and swelling family.


Secondly, if this case was rightly thrown out, why did a tribunal award hijabbed hairdresser Bushra Noah £4,000 for “hurt feelings”. Both litigants knew the requirements of the job, knew that they were unprepared to compromise, and yet took the job anyway. The difference is that Tesco has the financial muscle to fight the case all the way, while a small businesswoman like Sarah Desrosiers does not. Most UK businesses are small or medium- sized, and most will pay a troublesome Muslim off rather than risk losing a court case.


Finally, how much longer will such common sense prevail? As Muslims become more numerous, they will be in a stronger position to demand that businesses change their working practices to accommodate them. And demand it they will - making demands is part of Jihad. Who is to say that Tesco will not be compelled, at some stage, to introduce “dry” supermarkets, or separate stores for alcohol, pork and other “offensive” products at great expense and inconvenience to shoppers? This may sound far fetched, but so, at one time, would have been the idea that British taxpayers should support a growing population determined to destroy us.

Posted on 10/31/2008 9:38 AM by Mary Jackson
Friday, 31 October 2008
Obama & Israel

Ted Belman writes at Israel Insider:

Award-winning blogger Doug Ross reports that a reliable source has provided an eyewitness account of what he saw on the videotape of the Rashid Khalidi farewell bash that the LA Times is suppressing.

The paper used the tape as the basis for its watered-down story about the event and has been suppressing ever since, despite massive appeals -- including an official request by the McCain campaign -- to release indisputably newsworthy evidence that could inform voters about where Barack Hussein Obama really stands.

The eyewitness source, who Ross calls "a person who has provided useful, accurate and unique data from LA before" writes:

Saw a clip from the tape. Reason we can't release it is because statements Obama said to rile audience up during toast. He congratulates Khalidi for his work saying "Israel has no God-given right to occupy Palestine" plus there's been "genocide against the Palestinian people by Israelis."

It would be really controversial if it got out. That's why they will not even let a transcript get out.

The eyewitness' use of the word "we" suggests that he is a Times staffer.

On another note, Joe the Plumber, like many Americans, has Obama's number on Israel:

COLUMBUS, Ohio - "Joe the Plumber," the small business aspirant and overnight media sensation, endorsed John McCain's presidential campaign Tuesday and said Barack Obama would make America a socialist nation.

The Ohio plumber, whose real name is Samuel Wurzelbacher, also agreed with a McCain supporter who asked him if he believed "a vote for Obama is a vote for the death of Israel."

"I'll go ahead and agree with you on that," Wurzelbacher told the man, retired Florida lawyer Stan Chapman who was visiting Ohio....

Posted on 10/31/2008 7:57 AM by Rebecca Bynum
Friday, 31 October 2008
Rashid Khalidi & The PLO

Despite denials by Khalidi supporters including the New Duranty Times this morning, Martin Kramer has all the details of his deep involvement with the PLO. (h/t: Andy McCarthy)

Posted on 10/31/2008 7:46 AM by Rebecca Bynum
Friday, 31 October 2008
That Iraq Agreement

Washington Times:

SAMARRA, Iraq | In a blunt assessment, the commander of U.S. forces in Iraq, Army Gen. Raymond Odierno, said Thursday that there is a 20 percent to 30 percent chance that the United States and Iraq won't reach a deal to allow U.S. troops to operate in Iraq past Dec. 31.

On a scale of one to 10, "I'm probably a seven or eight that something is going to be worked out," Gen. Odierno told The Washington Times during a visit to the 101st Airborne Division in Samarra, about 120 miles north of Baghdad. "I think it's important for the government of Iraq. I think it's important for security and stability here."

But how important is it for our national interest? We have constantly confused Iraq's national interest with our own.

Massoud Barzani, the president of the Kurdish Regional Government, told The Times on Wednesday evening that he would be happy to host U.S. troops if the central government in Baghdad refuses to do so.

"The people of Kurdistan highly appreciate the sacrifices American forces have made for our freedom," Mr. Barzani said at a reception in Washington after meetings with President Bush and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

As we have said all along, if the US were to support an independent Kurdistan on condition that they allow a US base and sanctuary for Iraqi Christians, that could be a relatively stable situation long-term.  Iraq will never be an true ally and will never allow our unlimited use of the bases we have built there.

Posted on 10/31/2008 7:12 AM by Rebecca Bynum
Thursday, 30 October 2008
Straw in the wind

Justice Secretary Jack Straw has clarified the position on Muslim courts, but he does not go far enough. From the Daily Mail (h/t J/W):

Muslim courts will always remain 'subservient' to English law, Jack Straw declared last night.

In a speech to an Islamic conference, the Justice Secretary said the arguments against creating a parallel system of Sharia law in Britain were 'overwhelming'.

His remarks come less than a week after one of his junior ministers, Bridget Prentice, appeared to clear Islamic courts to deal with family and divorce disputes, including how a Muslim couple divide their money and property and who gets the children.

Mr Straw said that - while courts could consider a Sharia ruling - they would make their own judgments on the welfare of the children.

Mr Straw, who is also Lord Chancellor, added: 'It is ultimately up to the court to decide whether the agreement complies with English law.  No court will endorse an agreement which conflicts with English law.'

In the strongest passage of last night's speech, he continued: 'There is nothing whatever in English law that prevents people abiding by Sharia principles if they wish to, provided they do not come into conflict with English law.  

'There is no question about that.  But English law will always remain supreme, and religious councils subservient to it.'

Mr Straw earlier told the audience that 'many dreadful things have been done in the name of mainstream religions.  Barbaric practices such as stoning have been – quite wrongly – justified by reference to Islam, for instance'.

He added: 'I am firm in disagreeing with those who say that Sharia law should be made a separate system in the UK.  And there has been much misinformation in recent weeks about this issue.

'There are some countries which do have within their systems of law separate courts to deal with issues of inheritance and family law for different faith groups, such as India and Egypt. 

'But we do not in the UK and there are overwhelming arguments about why we should not move down this path.'

Under certain circumstances, religious courts can act as arbitrators in personal disputes, Mr Straw said.

But he added: 'Crucially, any member of a religious community – or indeed, any other community – has the right to refer to an English court, particularly if they feel pressured or coerced to resolve an issue in a way in which they feel uncomfortable.'

His speech will be seen as an attempt to end nine months of controversy over the role of tribunals run according to Islamic strictures.

It does not end the controversy, nor should it. First, even if a decision does not go against English law, it could still be unjust. For example, a woman may "agree" to waive her rights under English law because Sharia does not give her those rights. This is perfectly legal, but wrong. Secondly, women are treated unjustly under Sharia, and are often at the mercy of dictatorial or violent husbands, brothers and fathers. The women's "agreement" under arbitration may well be coerced. What safeguards does Jack Straw, or anyone else in Government, propose to ensure that agreement is genuine? Finally, and most importantly, Sharia must be actively opposed if it is not to spread. Here is what I wrote a few weeks ago, in my comparison with tax law: 

Muslims don't really believe in arbitration or alternative dispute resolution. How can they? If the world belongs to Allah, how can there be alternatives? There must be only one system: Sharia. But while Muslims don't really believe in arbitration, or any other Infidel principle, they will take advantage of it if it is there.  And it is there - or rather here, in Britain - and has been for over three centuries. The 1996 Arbitration Act merely codified and clarified existing practice. It was not intended to be a vehicle for Sharia, and is ill-equipped, in its present form, to handle this alien force. Arbitration worked well in the past because in the past UK citizens were not bent on using it for a malign purpose. This is no longer true. Islam is a malign ideology, and will use our existing laws as far as possible to dominate. This is a fact, and it is no good wishing it were otherwise. Like tax law, arbitration law must change to take account of that fact, and close the loopholes - preferably with barbed wire.

Contrary to the press hysteria, UK law has not changed to accommodate Sharia, but it needs to change now to exclude it.

My opinion still stands:  Jack Straw's remarks have done nothing to change it.

Posted on 10/30/2008 9:24 AM by Mary Jackson
Thursday, 30 October 2008
The Art Of Provocation

The Independent:

A gallery showing inflammatory images of veiled Muslims, including a bare-breasted woman partially clad in a burqa, is under police surveillance after being attacked earlier this week.

Windows and doors at the SaLon Gallery in west London were smashed after a series of abusive, anonymous phone calls and angry protests about the images from Muslims. The gallery has complained to police.

The solo exhibition of paintings by Sarah Maple includes a veiled woman holding a pig, which is interpreted as a flagrant disregard of the Islamic ban on eating pork. The show – entitled "This Artist Blows" – also includes two self-portraits: one of Maple wearing a headscarf has an image of Kate Moss's naked breast attached to it; another shows Maple in a T-shirt bearing the slogan "I love jihad". In another, a veiled Muslim woman wears a badge that says "I love orgasms".

Last night, Maple, a 23-year-old of Kenyan and British parentage, defended her work, saying she had not meant to cause offence but to explore her Britishness and her Muslim faith. She voiced concern about her safety and said she hoped the exhibition of 39 pictures, which opened this month, would not be taken down before its official closing date of 23 November...

This artist obviously wouldn't have a career if she were not provoking Muslim hostility.  But I'm glad the gallery isn't backing down.

Posted on 10/30/2008 8:17 AM by Rebecca Bynum
Thursday, 30 October 2008
A Musical Interlude: Do Your Duty (Bessie Smith)
Posted on 10/30/2008 8:12 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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