Tuesday, January 31, 2006
Murderous Babies For Extortion
The Root Of All...
The Root Of All...2
The Smile And The Dagger
East Of Gaza
Just a sampling from today's posts:
"There's no work here," says Mustapha Baqer". That's not strictly true: there's plenty of employment for gunmen. But the degree of interest in creating work for producing food, shelter or clothing was demonstrated when expensive greenhouses which produced valuable produce for export were torched and looted in the wake of the Israeli withdrawal. And these greenhouses were theirs .The Khaleej Times Online reported in August 19, 2005 that:
NEW YORK — American Jewish philanthropists contributed $14 million to buy former Gaza settlers’ greenhouses for Palestinians, a news report said yesterday. Without the funds, the Jewish settlers would have destroyed the greenhouses to keep them out of Arab hands as they were forced out of Gaza Strip, The New York Times said. The greenhouses provide jobs for 3,500 Palestinians and had been a lucrative market for fresh produces for Jewish settlers.And yet the next day USA Today recorded:
NEVE DEKALIM, Gaza Strip (AP) — Palestinians looted dozens of greenhouses on Tuesday, walking off with irrigation hoses, water pumps and plastic sheeting in a blow to fledgling efforts to reconstruct the Gaza Strip. ... Palestinian police stood by helplessly Tuesday as looters carted off materials from greenhouses in several settlements, and commanders complained they did not have enough manpower to protect the prized assets. In some instances, there was no security and in others, police even joined the looters, witnesses said.
But to say that "the Palestinian Authority is almost totally dependent on foreign aid" is a travesty. Foreign donors can't ask a single thing of those allegedly dependent on them. Even the principal trading partner and major employer of the Palestinian population is slated for destruction. That notwithstanding the fact that Israel collects the taxes and duties which constitutes the remainder of the Palestinian Authority's income after foreign aid. The power relationship is actually the reverse: it is the foreign aid agencies who are at the beck and call of the Palestinian Authority. The truth is that while aid agencies can stop feeding a single individual at any time they are absolutely incapable of stopping subsistence to millions; and by holding their population hostage the Palestinian Authority has the international bureaucrats over a barrel.
In from the Cold described the process through which international diplomacy painted itself into a dark corner.
For years, the U.S. and Israel operated under the (false) assumption that Yasser Arafat and his Fatah movement were reliable partners in the peace process. We ignored reports of rampant corruption, the ruthless elimination of political rivals, and Arafat's long history of saying the "right" things to western diplomats and media types, while vowing to destroy Israel in speeches to domestic audience. ... In backing Fatah, we opted for the lesser of two evils. Now, that strategy has backfired, with the triumph of Hamas in yesterday's Parlimentary elections. ...
History will record that the U.S. (and Israel) actually had another option. We could have--and should have--encouraged a legitimate democratic movement within the Palestinian ranks, rather than hitching our cart to Arafat's corrupt horse. Instead, we chose to believe that the master terrorist was the legitimate leader of the Palestinian people, despite ample evidence that he was illegitimate, both as a Palestinian and a leader. Meanwhile, Hamas kept growing and attracted support from Palestinians who gave up on Fatah--and its leaders--years ago. Arafat stole billions from the Palestinian treasury, deposited his wife in a five-star Paris hotel and cut his cronies in on the action. The U.S. (particularly the Clinton Administration) never blinked, and encouraged Israeli governments to keep dealing with Arafat and Fatah. Now, we're faced with a genuine terrorist state on Israel's doorstep and few viable options for dealing with the problem.
Someone tell me again why the election of Hamas was such a shocker.
Tim Horton Donuts For Canadian Troops In Afghanistan
Here is the text of the reply to my message to Hortons:
Thank you for your feedback. We wish to clarify the news article that ranon the weekend. Firstly, the article is erroneous. Tim Hortons unequivocally supports the Canadian Forces and our troops around the world.We are also very proud to support our Veterans.
Each year we make one large coffee donation to the Forces so that they candistribute coffee to service personnel at Christmas. This is called Operation Santa Claus. In 2005, we sent additional coffee shipments to Pakistan, Tsunami hit areas and Afghanistan as requested by the soldiers.
Secondly, up until today there has been no discussion between the Forces and Tim Hortons head office about putting a store in Afghanistan. CANEX(the retail arm of the Canadian Forces) operates six Tim Hortons stores on bases across the country [meaning Canada]. We have had an ongoing business relationship with them since 1994. Requests for putting a location in Afghanistan would only come from them. If there is a possibility, or the opportunity arises, Tim Hortons would most certainly look at working with CANEX to have our products available for the troops in Afghanistan.
Tim Hortons prides itself on giving back to the community and supporting groups across the country. This includes our partnership with the Canadian Forces. We hope this clarifies any misunderstanding arising from the article. Tim Hortons values the sacrifice of our troops and their families,and will continue to do what we can to bring a little taste of home to thetroops.
If you have any further questions please do not hesitate to contact us.
I appreciate your prompt reply. One point I would make in response is that, while it is apparently Tim Hortons' policy to reply to requests for contributions, it does not appear that you have taken the initiative to propose opening stores in Afghanistan to serve the Canadian Forces:
"Requests for putting a location in Afghanistan would only come from [CANEX]. If there is a possibility, or the opportunity arises, Tim Hortons would most certainly look at working with CANEX to have our products available for the troops in Afghanistan."
While in fairness I cannot say for sure that this is the case, I would be quite willing to bet that the American companies serving the American forces do not wait to be asked to serve but instead actively pursue the opportunity. I would appreciate knowing that Canadian companies share that level of initiative and commitment to their troops in theatre.
Yr. Fthfl. Svnt.
In this case at least, the difference between Tim Hortons and their American fast-food counterparts in supporting their respective Forces boils down to two words: initiative and commitment.
Blah Blah Blah
Zawahiri said the raid that targeted a village in Waziristan was in coordination with Pakistan's President Musharraf. Hitting the latter while attacking the US intervention aims at mobilizing against The Pakistani leader and forcing his Government to take further distance from Washington. Zawahiri stated that 18 people, including children and women were killed in the raid while aiming at eliminating him and four of his companions. He then stated that only Allah will decide of the time of his death. Therefore, he said "the US and its allies cannot change anything in the plan."
That Zawahiri would first take aim at Musharraf is expected. That's just Z playing to his local constituency.
The alleged eighteen "innocents" (and there is no confirmation of any such thing) supposedly killed in the attack are on Z's conscience and no-one else's. He chose to gather people around him, and as far as I am concerned, in this guy's case, if they are within the blast radius, they are the enemy. People have to know that about the guys we want to kill. They have to know that if they are within splattering range of these assholes and they get hooked up by a Predator, they are dead. That way, only people who should be killed anyway will help them. That's what is known in war as a tactic. It's not as if Zawahiri's company on that day had no clue that he was an internationally known terrorist mastermind second only to Osama bin Laden, so my leftist brothers can cut the whining.
And it all worked. It got Z's top four assholes, and now all he has is a video camera, some rhetoric borrowed from the Koskids and the DUmmies, and a middle finger waving at Bush. Big deal.
Zawahiri names his demented version of Allah as the only force who will determine the circumstances of his death. Seems to me and I'm sure the thousands of Bin Laden's and Zawahiri's "jihadis" who met their ends for nothing that these days Allah is working through the Office Of The President Of The United States. Let's see how it goes for Z these next few months.
I don't like his chances.
HT: The Eeeevil Michelle Malkin
Sunday, January 29, 2006
The Sport Of Cowards
Someone has tried to portray me as a left-wing idiot over at Right Nation. Could it be Mike at Ace Of Spades HQ? Or my leftist brothers?
I'll have more on this later.
Turns out it is neither. Instead, it's a like-minded fellow traveller, one MTPReggie, who has posted contributions to Right Nation since 2004 . He saw this comment at the Foundation For Defense Of Democracies website regarding Cliff May's release of the four Saddam torture videos and inadvertantly attributed it to my signature from the post just above it, which I contributed, and he put the two together in a message he subsequently left at the RN forum. My true comment at FDD, which was in answer to the idiotic one just above it, reads:
"It always amazes me that people will justify our presence in a country by these atrocities."
That statement shines with the clarity of a diamond. It is everything you need to know about the anti-Bush-at-any-cost left.
I won't spend the money it takes to join Right Nation in order to correct the error, as I have the feeling that MTPReggie will learn of it soon enough and set things right. I trust his judgement because I agree with what he was trying to assert. I don't mind him pointing out what he thought was the source of that comment, because that's how you hold people responsible for their ideas.
It was an honest mistake that will make me a better contributor to blogging in general and the fight against the idiot left in particular. For theirs is the sport of cowards.
September 17, 2006
Here's my leftist idiot brother's take: If An Ego Falls In The Forest. Somebody stop 'im!
Saturday, January 28, 2006
It's In The Koran
Friday, January 27, 2006
When The World Wasn't Looking
From Clifford May at The Corner: My organization, the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, has just put up on its website, video tapes of torture and murder conducted under Saddam Hussein' regime. Be warned: The material is graphic and horrific. But as Saddam's trial resumes, the public has a right to know what crimes were committed and to see some of the evidence. This has not been possible for those whose primary news sources have been such features as Katie Couric interviewing Ramsey Clarke about the demonizing of Saddam.
For whom do you apologize?
Thursday, January 26, 2006
The O'SteinFranken Factor
The Idiot LeftTM is a vast treasure trove of buffoons and charlatans. I present one of each:
THE NEW ARMY RECRUITING PAMPHLET
by JOEL STEIN
Here is Joel Stein before Joel Stein was cool. This little speck of flyshit has now officially earned the combined deeply-rooted disdain of every man and woman in uniform, plus their families, and every veteran in America except Senators Kerry and Murtha.
I guess that makes Stein a Democrat.
AIR AMERICA: THE SAGA CONTINUES
by MICHELLE MALKIN
Al Franken's salary demands have apparently buried the Gloria Wise Boys & Girls Club. MM shares the results of her partnership with Brian Maloney of The Radio Equalizer in their co-investigation of Air America's financial dealings.
Even O'Rielly is homing in.
Wednesday, January 25, 2006
Kosturbators Coming To Canada
Janke describes the toxic atmosphere hanging over NDP leader Jack Layton's post-election speech at party headquarters:
Listening to Jack Layton's speech, I witnessed what I thought was the low point of the night, and it made me nervous. Jack Layton of the NDP thanked each of his opponents in turn: Gilles Duceppe of the Bloc Quebecois, Paul Martin of the Liberals, and of course, Stephen Harper of the Conservatives. But while the mention of names of Duceppe and Martin were met with polite applause, a chorus of boos greeted Stephen Harper. Jack Layton didn't miss a beat, or scold his supporters, but carried on with a congratulatory message.
I worry that in Canada, the potential exists for what has happened in the US -- the fight between the Left and the Right will become intensely personal, at least for the Left. George W Bush is hated on a very personal level by Americans who have never met the man. Is Stephen Harper in for the same sort of treatment, hated for committing the crime of being a conservative?
No doubt. Let's read some of what Janke observes in the comments of a Canadian leftist blog:
Lets poke a stick at the neocons, turn over rocks, force the wingnuts into the open, expose their rabid face, and force them to eat each other. But right now, lets just flame the media. These lazy, mediocre, right-wing bastards let Harper get away with his dishonest stealth campaign. Let him fool a lot of Canadians. Almost cost us our country. Lets make sure they can never do that again. It’s payback time.
As for gays and lesbians and their friends, our war begins today. Lets make this Harperian interlude a mere blip in Canadian history. Before we smash them once and for all.
Wretchard at Belmont Club comments on the nature of this mentality:
In a certain mental universe the poll victory of Stephen Harper is not one particular outcome in a long series of elections, a process in which sometimes you lose, sometimes you win. It's the northern equivalent of the US Presidential election of 2000. Those who think along those lines do not simply want to win the next election but demonize the enemy and smash them; just as some want to end the reign of Halliburton and BushChimpHitler and establish a progressive hegemony forever.
The result of this thinking is that the thinkers will become their own worst enemies, just as they have in the United States. While their shrillness and volume may warp the agenda for a brief period, they will drag political discourse into the mud, as they have already done, and will eventually marginalize themselves from mainstream politics. Finding themselves on the outside looking in, they will then cast blame outward, rendering themselves even more angry and less powerful. Thus will Stephen Harper and Canadian Conservatives come to be portrayed by the left as an evil monolith, the ultimate mortal enemy, who must be smashed, crushed, destroyed, and submitted to any expression of viciousness and violence the leftist can imagine. And for the most part, the violence will be just imagined; the left in Canada will become a facsimile of the shrill, fevered, irrational left in America: a rump of apoplectic screamers, bereft of vision, bereft of respect for the process of governing or even democracy itself, and powerless to effect change because they have no ideas beyond hating Stephen Harper and his supporters.
In short, another bunch of Kosturbators, just like the bunch in America.
From Small Dead Animals:
A commentor: "The entire national media is insisting that the Conservatives are not an URBAN party, that they must pander to Toronto and Montreal. Well, on behalf of Edmonton, Calgary, Saskatoon, St. John's, Kelowna, Kamloops, Ottawa etc. etc., f*ck you very much."
John F'n Kerry Launches Campaign 2008
The Daily Kos community celebrated Kerry's presence in their world. The entry generated nearly 1,200 comments, and a follow-up "thank you" post from Kerry had generated nearly 700 more by this evening. "A man who received more votes than any other man in the history of the U.S. (if you actually counted votes accurately in 2004) just posted a diary on our little progressive group blog," one reader commented. "A-Mazing!"
It was a Love Fest. Booyah.
Revisiting The Diplomad
How I loved reading The Diplomad. He offered everything I wanted to know about the American mindset as it operated in the international diplomatic community. Diplomad offered insight by recounting the daily experiences that shaped his world view. It was informed and fascinating reading, and very entertaining, giving me the feeling that I was in the mix both at the embassy soiree and down in the pits with the opposing team's grunts.
I especially appreciated his takedowns of today's Canada. They are respectful of her history but honestly critical of what she has become, and I concur with his views.
Canada was once a great country, a proud member of the Defense of the West League. On a per capita basis Canada, along with New Zealand, had among the highest casualties of any ally in WWI and WWII. It played key roles in NORAD and NATO, and in the shadowy intel battles of the Cold War. It was, in word and deed, a true ally. That said, we would be hard put to describe the Canada of today or of the past 10 or so years as an ally. Its government has become among the most politically correct and feminized in the world, turning Canada into a haven for global terrorists and criminals, and for some of the most irresponsible and "out there" politicians, academics and journalists found anywhere on the planet. It has dismantled its once proud military establishment, turning it into a second-rate Keystone Cops police force at the beck and call of Kofi "Oil-for-Money" Annan. It is now a country with no sense of national interest or purpose, no appreciation for its true friends or for its own history. Canadian politicians and academics have become -- at best -- mischievous little school boys, trying to play pranks on the aloof but kindly school headmaster, secure in the knowledge that at most they'll get an avuncular lecture, that never will they have to pay any serious consequences, and that the headmaster will always in the end protect them from the school bullies and street toughs.
Canada has become for all intents and purposes a Third World country: Egypt with snow. It whines; it cries; it takes the UN seriously; it hopes that the terrorists will leave them alone, in other words that Moloch will eat them last. All symptoms of a country torn apart by insecurity and not really sure that 10-15 years from now Canada will still exist.
That's the Canada Prime Minister Stephen Harper has inherited. I say we give him time to set things right.
God Bless Stephen Harper
Tuesday, January 24, 2006
My organization, the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, has just put up on its website, video tapes of torture and murder conducted under Saddam Hussein' regime. Be warned: The material is graphic and horrific. But as Saddam's trial resumes, the public has a right to know what crimes were committed and to see some of the evidence. This has not been possible for those whose primary news sources have been such features as Katie Couric interviewing Ramsey Clarke about the demonizing of Saddam.
Signals Intelligence For Dummies
NRO's Andrew C. McCarthy examines the points of Bush's Kansas State University speech addressing the not-domestic-spying non-scandal:
The president presented his defense with great confidence and with good reason. Not only does he have strong arguments in his favor. It was also worth noting that, though he spent nearly an hour after the speech taking questions from the crowd of 9,000 students and other spectators, there was not a single question about the NSA program.
This "scandal" obviously piques the interest of the media. But what if they throw a scandal and nobody shows up?
BlogsOfWar has a nice little arthouse film put together by the folks who, according to the idiot left, should be protected by the US Constitution and their so-called but undefined International Law. This is the sort of madness they would protect in their fever to find some kind, any kind, of victory over George W. Bush. As the Islamofascist threat continues to grow, these anti-Bush-at-any-cost idiots, traitors to my freedoms, are more and more simply themselves The Enemy.
The Idiot Left's New Mantra
Sounds like the perfect word to describe the feminization of reason that occurs after one caves to the toxic brew of disingenuousness, wishful thinking and mindless hatred that defines the left: Matriotism!
Iran's Final Act
AJ Strata has thoughts on the coming demise of the Iranian regime and the speed with which it must be destroyed.
Earlier this month, Iran's Revolutionary Guards conducted a conference on the use of weapons of mass destruction - nuclear, chemical and biological. Included in those briefings were presentations on electromagnetic pulse weapons and other military technologies deemed to be under development for use against the U.S., rather than Israel or other enemies of the Islamic republic. Even one nuclear weapon, used in an EMP-style attack on the U.S., would prove catastrophic to the nation, a congressional panel studying the vulnerability of America to electro-magnetic pulse weapons concluded last year.
Such an attack would not require Iran to use long-range or intercontinental ballistic missiles, which it does not possess. But a simple Scud missile, with a nuclear warhead, could be fired from offshore and detonated above the U.S. wreaking near total devastation on the country's technological, electrical and transportation infrastructure. It would also have the advantage of offering Iran a degree of plausible deniability, given that terrorists armed with one nuclear weapon could achieve the same results.
Don't Get Up- We'll Let Ourselves In!
According to Regnum Crucis, that Hellfire missile attack on the Damadola Dinner Party (today's special: Khabab) was an overwhelming success. The final count is eight al Qaeda biggies, including two local Pakistani high-level facilitators. Praise Allah and thanks to AJ Strata.
Stuck On Stupid (and Dishonest)
More from Regnum Crucis, this time on the dishonesty and intellectual bankruptcy of the idiot left's favourite blogger, the Daily Kos, who as usual is comparing his government to today's real fascists:
Now I don't think he really believes all of this (if he does then he seriously underestimates the kind of society bin Laden envisions), because if he did think that there was no difference between his political opponents and a totalitarian movement he wouldn't be calling for their electoral defeat, he'd be calling for people to take up arms to overthrow them. Either that or he's too much of a moral and intellectual coward to come to grips with the true implications of his argument.
I'd choose the latter, but there is one other possible "Or": he'd have had his head sawed off for expressing himself against his opponents. Fortunately for Mr. Screw 'Em, that hasn't happened, because he is still free to lead the idiots. In case Kos needs some perspective, and he damned sure does, I refer him to this item, which may jog his memory.
Conservatives Win Minority
Left-wing hate-mongering is alive and well in Canada, but it's finally being answered by more sensible and principled people. For instance, Liberal Bush-hating demagogue Anne McLellan got her head handed to her in Alberta, which I like as poetic justice for her bigoted diatribes against anything and everything American, and her fate was replicated across the country as voters rejected Liberals in favor of Stephen Harper's CPC. The extreme leftist NDP also stole votes away from the Liberals, which means President Bush is going to have to start personally spying on them. The separatist Bloc Quebecois party lost ground to the CPC, but George W. Bush is going to spy on them as well because They Speak French, and you know what that means! And since Dub is always ten steps in front of everyone else on everything, he already is spying on them. He's watching you right now, ya loser.
Harper will have to tread lightly in his first few months, perhaps his first year, as Prime Minister. He has shown valuable skills in leading two like-minded but warring entities from the political wilderness to acceptance by the Canadian voter, and I expect him to further surprise.
Meanwhile, would all you leftist idiots please stop OD'ing on the words "scary" and "evil"?
This is a good time for a good word from Mark Steyn.
Sunday, January 22, 2006
Election coverage in the 'Sphere:
Small Dead Animals
I hope the Conservatives win a majority government so the world can witness how eeeeevil Canadian voters have become. Once Fearless Leader Thteven Harper gets those death-rays coming out of his eyes, look out. Because Thteven Harper is friends with Tom DeLay.
They are tho thcary.
Friday, January 20, 2006
Bin Laden Retreats Into Hudna
Bin Laden's latest move is undoubtedly rooted in the fact that an American Hellfire missile recently invited itself to a dinner meeting involving some of his valued leaders, who are no longer with us. Or with OBL. What with the missile and all.
This works for me in a couple of ways. One, it means we did major damage. OBL's gambit is known in Islam as a hudna. He says he is planning an attack on the US, but will postpone it if Bush strokes OBL's ego by folding and going home. Aint gonna happen. None of it. A hudna is simply a time out designed to give the jihadists a chance to reconstitute before attacking.
Two, the Bin Laden tape signals the ebb of his self-talk as the leader of Islamofascism. He's a titular head, and I love nothing better than to lay that handle on an Islamofascist pig.
Let's examine the history of hudna.
Honest Reporting has a good definition of the Arab/Muslim concept of hudna:
Hudna has a distinct meaning to Islamic fundamentalists, well-versed in their history: The prophet Mohammad struck a legendary, ten-year hudna with the Quraysh tribe that controlled Mecca in the seventh century. Over the following two years, Mohammad rearmed and took advantage of a minor Quraysh infraction to break the hudna and launch the full conquest of Mecca, the holiest city in Islam.
When Yassir Arafat infamously invoked Mohammad's hudna in 1994 to describe his own Oslo commitments "on the road to Jerusalem," the implication was clear. As Mideast expert Daniel Pipes explained, Arafat was asserting to his Islamic brethren that he will, "when his circumstances change for the better, take advantage of some technicality to tear up existing accords and launch a military assault on Israel." Indeed, this is precisely what occurred in Sept. 2000 when Arafat & Co. launched a terror assault upon Israeli citizens. ...
What Westerners need to do is to read Islamic scripture and learn that in Islam there is no concept of permanent submission to any other power than God's. Treaties mean nothing. Beware the hudna.
Bin Laden asks Bush for a breather whilst promising new attacks on America. Iran calls for the destruction of Israel and pledges to pave the way for the coming Islamic apocalypse. Syria is checking-but-not-raising every step of the way. France threatens to go nuclear on any state-backed attack, so even the planet's biggest pussies are huffing and puffing.
I hope the rest of the world understands that the US still leads in dedication to results, from Boyd Coddington to the New York Yankees to the 101st Airborne, and that is what is going to give Iraq back to Iraqis and ensure Iran never even leaves the batter's box in the quest for nuclear weapons.
No rest for Islamic fascism. Full court press.
Wednesday, January 18, 2006
Frank J. Gaffney Jr. writes of the biggest threat emanating from Iran:
In fact, there is reason to believe the Iranian regime is working toward a capability that could destroy America as we know it. A blue-ribbon commission's report to the Congress last year (http://empcreport.ida.org/) found a single nuclear weapon detonated in space high above the United States could unleash an immensely powerful electromagnetic pulse (EMP). An EMP wave a million times stronger than the most powerful radio transmitter would damage or destroy the electrical grid and unshielded electronic devices upon which our society utterly depends. The effect (visualized in a short video available at www.WarFooting.com) could be "catastrophic" -- possibly reducing America from a 21st century superpower to a pre-industrial society in the blink of an eye.
Iranian missile tests -- including firing a Scud missile off a ship and flying the new Shahab 3 missile in a profile apparently designed to deliver a weapon into space -- suggest the mullahs seek an EMP capability. The sort of death and destruction such an attack might precipitate seem consistent with the apocalyptic vision of Shi'ite extremists, who believe such conditions the prerequisite for a messianic age ushered in by the arrival of the "12th imam."
If this is, indeed, what the Iranian regime has in mind, would we wait to act? Would we continue to contract out to the Europeans or the United Nations the protection of our security interests? Would we allow the Israelis -- who are under no illusion their country faces an existential threat from a nuclear-armed Iran -- to act alone against a danger we may share?
The threat posed by Iran to North America, Europe and Israel is real. This is no time for wishful thinking, hand-wringing and fantasizing about diplomacy with a bunch of mad fools. It is time to destroy the Iranian leadership and its support structures. Failure to do so will mean the end of civilization as we know it. The worst that could come of a successful attack on Iran's nuclear threat, as imagined by Charles Krauthammer, would be nothing compared to the hell Iran is almost ready to visit upon this Earth.
More from the Belmont Club.
Tuesday, January 17, 2006
A Gore, A Phobia
Then come the reviews of Weird Al's performance:
Bill Bennett's Al Gore Mix
This from AP, who opine in a so-called news story that Gore lost the 2000 election "only after the Supreme Court intervened". You learn something new every day.
Byron York observes the Madness of Dingbat Al.
WFB: Gore's charges are unsubstantiated.
It's daily entertaining to watch the Bush-hating left, from Bellowing Al all the way down to the grassroots, grow ever more irrational in their hatred of one single man, George W. Bush, when they should be directing their wrath at the real culprit, Karl Rove, whose eyes emit death rays.
The one thing Al Gore never does is insult the intelligence of his faithful audience; that is impossible.
War Porn. Love it.
Thanks to Ace.
Ace On The Globes
Defeatists Are Forever
Thank God for the blogosphere and Austin Bay.
One Conservative's Journey
For four days I sat in that hotel and watched the news unfold on CNN. By the time the airports reopened, I knew exactly what I wanted from the government and the President. I didn’t want mere retaliation or a military quid pro quo. I wanted absolute certainty that nothing like the events of that horrific Tuesday morning could ever happen again. I wanted the smoke from the burning towers to herald the flames of a reformation that would sweep across Central Asia, the Middle East and parts beyond. I wanted the President — who at some point during that unforgettable week had become my President — to change the world.
Not all Democrats saw it that way. While American troops were fighting in Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere, Howard Dean announced that Osama bin Laden should be considered innocent until proven guilty. Prominent Democratic donor George Soros declared that “crime requires police work, not military action.” John Kerry, who would eventually secure the Democratic nomination, said that the President “rushed into battle.”
What the hell had happened to the Democrats? Why was a party that had been so willing to use American military force during the 1990s when the commitments were small and the sacrifice slight suddenly so reluctant to do what was right?
Sunday, January 15, 2006
Martin Channels John F'n Kerry
What a transparent boob. Just like John F'n Kerry.
Saturday, January 14, 2006
An unmanned American drone plane armed with Hellfire missiles has apparently taken out a Pakistani compound said to be frequented by top-level Al Qaeda leaders. AQ second-in-command Ayman al-Zawahiri is said to be one of those killed in the attack:
Ayman al-Zawahiri -- Osama bin Laden's right-hand man in the al Qaeda terrorist network -- was the target of a CIA airstrike Friday in a remote Pakistani village and may have been among those killed, knowledgeable U.S. sources told CNN.
There has been no confirmation that al-Zawahiri was killed in the attack, which took place in the village of Damadola, near the Afghan border.
However, the sources said there was intelligence suggesting he was in one of the buildings hit during the strike. (Watch how al-Zawahiri was targeted -- 5:39)
Pakistani officials were at the scene, trying to determine if al-Zawahiri was killed, the U.S. sources told CNN.
Contacted by CNN, Pakistan's information minister could not confirm that al-Zawahiri had been the target of a CIA strike. Both the Pentagon and the White House declined to comment on the reports.
Eighteen people died in Friday morning's strike -- eight men, five women and five children, Pakistani intelligence sources said. Three homes were targeted.
Let's say it's true that Zawahiri is, as Captain Ed puts it, BBQ residue. If so, then I'm conflicted. I don't want innocents to meet death, but if this evil man kept them near, then he wears it. I would appeal to all the idiot left's terrorist heroes to stop dragging their kids around as human shields, leave the women out of it and maybe pony up for some uniforms.
But that's not going to happen, so eggs will get broken.
They missed Zawahiri, but they got four others.
Thursday, January 12, 2006
Res Ipsa Loquitur
-So did the emotionally, unhinged wife show up today?
- Someone should tell the beard to suck it up!
-She became fair game the minute Lindsey Graham signalled her cue to cry.
- Um, not when Mrs. Alito-Bomgardner sits right behind Alito day after day and then calls glaring attention to herself with her (staged) tears. She is no longer a private citizen; she has made herself a player in this.
(Response To This Comment):Amen! I'm TIRED of playing nice with these fascist a$$holes!
-She has to be someone else when she's spanking alito to complete the whore/ madonna complex he so desperately feels he needs to feed
- Sounds like Mrs. "Ah-lie-too" needs a hysterectomy
-Martha Ann Bomgardner sounds like the moniker a sixteen year old who is experimenting with her identity would give herself, not the dignified name of even an average middle aged wife and mother
- If the woman had any ovaries at all, she'd speak up herself and say, "Don't mind me, just a bit stressed out, doncha know. My husband is up for one of the most important gigs in the land, and it's important that these hearings vet him thoroughly." But noooooo! She's gotta play the petite flower and let these men defend her womanly honor! Sheesh, what a wimp!
-Mr. and Mrs. Alito play the "overdue book" sex game. It's a biggie with librarians.
-Ms. Bomgarder established a high-profile career as a librarian under her maiden name. Because the librarian field is high profile, she desired to retain her maiden name so as to keep her name recognition in the competive world of libraries.
No such itemization would be complete without contributions from the Kosturbators:
-Maybe Ms. ScAlito can get a gig on a "reality" show or a soap opera since she has the ability to cry on cue!
-that glance and nod reveal she was receiving some kind of cue or signal. watch that glance.
-she was cued, graham paused, nothing motivated her tears, and she did it before the camera. this was a lachrymose spectacle, and now it will be the subject of the morning and evening news editions.
-the first minutes when Alito sat down and took his good ole time before he answered the first question while his wife smirked in the back ground...that was also planned. Fuck her!
-I posted about Martha Alito's tears in another diary. Yesturday, if you watched, she had this snootty little look on her face. And some caller from CSPAN remarked about her arrogant expression. Today, she's all tears and can't control her emotions.
-Staged or not I think that she suddenly came face-to-face with the fact that her husband is a bigot. And the colossal jackass Lindsay Graham orly made it more real.
-Since the tears did not fit the context, maybe...
After listening to hours of testimony, she was forced to admit to herself what a sleazebag weazel she had married.
She was previously totally unaware that her husband belonged to a group that tried to keep females out of Princeton, and she suddently realized it was HIS handwriting on the death threats she received when she applied there in the 60's.
All the talk about "defense of marriage" called to mind how she dreams every day of running off and opening a riding school with her female tennis coach, but with her hubbie on the bench make endless "smear the queer" rulings, that will never, never, be possible.
-who always draws attention to herself with a lot of boo-hoo ala Tammy Faye Baker. It's one thing to cry over a great loss, but this just struck me as dramatic. If Mrs. Alito is that emotionally sensitive, she should have stayed home. Unless, somebody thought the tears would be to their advantage...
-what world do the Alitos live in? ooh, somebody may have called your husband a bigot?
and you cry ?!?
my young students wouldn't burst into tears if someone said something mean about their families.
I hope this is fake/staged!
At the risk of pulling a Frist, Martha Alito is crazy or unbelievably sheltered.
-Sam Alito's wife's emotional reaction began exactly at the moment Graham said "decent, honorable man."
I think her reaction was caused by the dissonance in her head between what she knows her husband is and has become, versus the absurdity, to her, to hear the words that he is a decent, honorable man.
And the winner is...
-She should go fuck herself.
Rosett On Oil-For-Food: Closing In
A brief history:
When Annan took over as U.N. Secretary General from Boutros-Ghali in January 1997, Oil-for-Food was just one month old. Set up as a temporary and ad-hoc effort to deliver relief to the citizens of Saddam Hussein's U.N.-sanctioned Iraq, the program was run at the start by two separate departments within the Secretariat. One dealt with the sanctions aspects of the program, another with the humanitarian-relief aspects. One of Annan's first acts, under the label of reform, was to reconfigure the Secretariat. Among the changes Annan made that first year was the consolidation of Oil-for-Food under a single newly created unit, called the "Office of the Iraq Programme," reporting directly to him, as secretary general.
The effect of this change was to tilt the supervision of Oil-for-Food away from the Security Council, strengthening the control and secrecy with which the program was run by the Secretariat. While the program still had to be renewed every six months by the Security Council, Annan presented report after report, based on information filtered selectively from the Iraq program office, urging not only that Oil-for-Food continue, but that it be radically expanded in size and scope, with Saddam allowed to spend billions in relief funds to revive his decrepit oil industry. As Oil-for-Food grew, the corruption grew too, into a multibillion-dollar extravaganza of kickbacks, smuggling, and payoffs.
The longtime U.N. staffer appointed by Annan to head the new office was Benon Sevan, who then ran the office for its entire duration, from 1997-2003. Sevan was alleged last year by both congressional investigators and Volcker's committee to have taken bribes from Saddam. (Sevan denies this. He was last reported to be in Cyprus, which has no extradition treaty with the U.S.)
The creation of the Iraq-program office does not figure in Volcker's chronology of Park's dealings with Strong, and the timeline that follows may well be a coincidence. Maurice Strong, whose old U.N. number now gives a forwarding message to an office in Canada, did not return a phone call requesting comment. But again, here is what the available records show:
When Annan sent to the General Assembly on July 14, 1997, his plan, "Renewing the United Nations: A Programme for Reform," which made the first mention of the change in Oil-for-Food's structure, Annan singled out for thanks one person by name, and that person was Strong: "I wish to acknowledge with gratitude the important contributions made to this effort by the Executive Coordinator for Reform, Mr. Maurice Strong, and his small but highly motivated team."
The reform plan included a single sentence outlining the future management structure of Oil-for-Food (the U.N. text mistakenly cited the year 1991 instead of 1995 as the date the program was approved by the Security Council): "The management of the Iraq Programme, established by the Security Council resolution 986 (1991), will be handled by a special unit within the secretariat."
This proposal was buried deep in the reform plan, as the last line of paragraph #187, on page 61 of a document running to more than 91 pages. A casual reader might have gone right by it. But to anyone with a strong interest in Iraq, and especially in Oil-for-Food, that single sentence would have come as significant news. In effect, it said that Oil-for-Food was no longer ad-hoc and "temporary," but about to be incorporated into the U.N. system as a special office under the secretary-general. This moved the program closer to terms that, according to Volcker, Iraq had angled for unsuccessfully in 1996 negotiations with the U.N. — with the Iraqi delegation arguing that the mechanics should involve what Volcker described as "an agreement between Iraq and the Secretary-General."
Wednesday, January 11, 2006
The Gathering Storm
President Bush will not allow the Iranians to develop a nuclear weapon, not by any means, period. He especially won't roll with a pennyfarthing missile-delivered nuclear bomb being exploded in the upper atmosphere over perhaps Europe, the subsequent electromagnetic pulse rendering useless all electronics on that continent. It's cheap as dirt, and it appears to be in Iran's plans.
Consider the implications.
Iran's leaders have not just stepped over the line of credibility; they have underestimated Bush's seriousness. They obviously expect to develop a nuclear weapon before the world stops them. They are daring the world to intervene and betting it won't. We saw this with Hitler. The answer must be a massive and relentless cauterizing of Iranian nuclear capability for the foreseeable future. That means bombing them from the air without rest, until they are done like dinner.
Only the Americans will address that matter, the rest of the world fettered by Europeanism.
Tuesday, January 10, 2006
Creepy Thought For The Day
New Criterion Back In Business
The url is http://www.newcriterion.com"
Posted by Roger Kimball to Abu Wabu at 1/08/2006 07:02:17 AM
UPDATE: A reminder that the Steyn column, "It's The Demography, Stupid", is available at Opinion Journal.
Monday, January 09, 2006
Bush Junta Murders NYT Editor
Meanwhile, Kosturbation is peaking over at Screw-'em.com. Wear old shoes and watch your step.
Sunday, January 08, 2006
Politics And Money
I don't get this whole Abramoff scandal. First, it doesn't involve shooting or explosions, so it's boring. Second, politicians have been using their power to illegally get money since forever. George Washington had the military rob a bank to test out his executive powers, killing four. Even Judas of Iscariot, a follower of Jesus, used his position of power to get thirty pieces of silver.
So everyone just chill, yo.
Works for me.
Saturday, January 07, 2006
Debate Over: Saddam Trained Thousands Of Jihadists
THE FORMER IRAQI REGIME OF Saddam Hussein trained thousands of radical Islamic terrorists from the region at camps in Iraq over the four years immediately preceding the U.S. invasion, according to documents and photographs recovered by the U.S. military in postwar Iraq. The existence and character of these documents has been confirmed to THE WEEKLY STANDARD by eleven U.S. government officials.
The secret training took place primarily at three camps--in Samarra, Ramadi, and Salman Pak--and was directed by elite Iraqi military units. Interviews by U.S. government interrogators with Iraqi regime officials and military leaders corroborate the documentary evidence. Many of the fighters were drawn from terrorist groups in northern Africa with close ties to al Qaeda, chief among them Algeria's GSPC and the Sudanese Islamic Army. Some 2,000 terrorists were trained at these Iraqi camps each year from 1999 to 2002, putting the total number at or above 8,000. Intelligence officials believe that some of these terrorists returned to Iraq and are responsible for attacks against Americans and Iraqis. According to three officials with knowledge of the intelligence on Iraqi training camps, White House and National Security Council officials were briefed on these findings in May 2005; senior Defense Department officials subsequently received the same briefing.
The approximately 50,000 documents translated thus far amounts to only 2.5 percent of those captured, and now it looks as if there is momentum gathering in the Pentagon to move the analysis into the public domain, despite concerns of "cherry picking" by those with an interest in embarrassing the Bush administration. But with the Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence Steve Cambone, the most stubborn opponent of the release of the documents, now stating his support for their widespread scrutiny, they may soon enter the public domain.
More: Bombshell: Saddam Trained Thousands of Islamic Terrorists, by Thomas Joscelyn. Debate over, indeed.
Louder Than Words, But What The Hey
Iraqi Apprentice Program
U.S. Marines and Black-Ops CIA spooks indoctrinate innocent Iraqi children into the BushHitler McChimpy scheme to enslave them to the will of the U.S. terrorist state.
Palestinian Apprentice Program
Fatah members and their leaders carry a Palestinian child in a parade celebrating the rebuilding of their country into a thriving entrepreneurial democracy.
Friday, January 06, 2006
After The Suicide Of The West
After The Suicide Of The West
By Roger Kimball
"It looks as if Islam had a bigger hand in the thing than we thought… Islam is a fighting creed, and the mullah still stands in the pulpit with the Koran in one hand and a drawn sword in the other."
-Richard Hannay in John Buchan’s Greenmantle
"Suicide is probably more frequent than murder as the end phase of a civilization."
-James Burnham, Suicide of the West
It seemed fitting that a symposium devoted to the subject of "Threats to Democracy" should convene on the anniversary of the Battle of Trafalgar. Not only was it one of the greatest sea battles in history, but it was also a battle greatly pertinent to the questions that guided our deliberations: What is the nature of the threats to democracy, to the culture and civilization of the West, and how can we best respond to those threats?
Let me say at the outset that I believe that Lord Nelson had the right idea-sail boldly in among your enemy’s ships, start firing, and don’t stop until you’ve reduced them to a shambles. It was good for England and for the rest of Europe that the Duke of Wellington proved himself to be of like mind a few years later. "Hard pounding, gentlemen," he said at Waterloo. "We’ll see who pounds longest."
Today, I believe, there is a widely shared understanding that our culture-not just the political system of democracy but our entire western way of life-is at a crossroads. That perception is not always on the surface. Absent the unignorable importunity of attack, absorption in the tasks of everyday life tends to blunt the perception of the threats facing us. But we all know that the future of the West, seemingly so assured even a decade ago, is suddenly negotiable in the most fundamental way. The essays that follow highlight some of the principle features of those negotiations. In this introduction, I want simply to review some of the moral terrain over which we are traveling.
I believe that Irving Kristol got it right when, in the early 1990s, he responded to the euphoria and naïveté that greeted the fall of the Soviet Union. Many commentators announced the imminent arrival of a new era of peace, brotherhood, international comity, and enlightenment. Kristol was not so sanguine. In an essay called "My Cold War," he wrote that
There is no "after the Cold War" for me. So far from having ended, my cold war has increased in intensity, as sector after sector of American life has been ruthlessly corrupted by the liberal ethos. It is an ethos that aims simultaneously at political and social collectivism on the one hand, and moral anarchy on the other. It cannot win, but it can make us all losers. The oft-noted linguistic irony about the "liberal ethos" that Kristol fears is that it has very little to do with genuine liberty and everything to do with the servitude of statist ideology.
That ideology comes in a range of flavors and a wide variety of wrappings. But the essential issue is one that Tocqueville, in Democracy in America, anatomized as "democratic despotism" and that Friedrich Hayek, harkening back explicitly to Tocqueville, laid out with clinical brilliance in The Road to Serfdom. Quoting Tocqueville on the "enervating" effect of paternalistic democracy, Hayek notes that "the most important change which extensive government control produces is a psychological change, an alteration in the character of a people."
One of the most penetrating meditations on the nature of that alteration is James Burnham’s book Suicide of the West. Written in 1964, that book, like its author, is largely and unfairly forgotten today. Burnham’s was a first-rate political intelligence, and Suicide of the West is one of his most accomplished pieces of polemic. "The primary issue before Western civilization today, and before its member nations, is survival." Suicide of the West is very much a product of the Cold War. Many of the examples are dated. But as with Irving Kristol’s Cold War, so with Burnham’s. The field of battle may have changed; the armies have adopted new tactics; but the war isn’t over: it is merely transmogrified. In the subtitle to his book, Burnham promises "the definitive analysis of the pathology of liberalism." At the center of that pathology is an awful failure of understanding which is also a failure of nerve, a failure of "the will to survive." Liberalism, Burnham concludes, is "an ideology of suicide." He admits that such a description may sound hyperbolic. "‘Suicide,’ it is objected, is too emotive a term, too negative and ‘bad.’" But it is part of the pathology that Burnham describes that such objections are "most often made most hotly by Westerners who hate their own civilization, readily excuse or even praise blows struck against it, and themselves lend a willing hand, frequently enough, to pulling it down."
By way of illustration, let me return for a moment to Lord Nelson and Trafalgar. For anyone concerned with the fate of our culture, our civilization, the anniversary of Trafalgar was full of lessons. I wonder, for example, what Nelson would have thought of the Royal Navy’s decision last summer to reenact the battle not as a conflict between the English on one side and the French and the Spanish on the other but, out of sensitivity to the feelings of the French, as a contest between a Red Team and a Blue Team. Today, I suppose, Nelson, instead of broadcasting his famous message about duty, would have had to hoist the signal that "England Expects or at Least Suggests That Every Person No Matter What Gender, Race, Class, Sexual Orientation, or National Origin Will Be Politically Correct." Hard work on the flag officer, of course, but preserving the emotion of virtue is not without cost.
Trafalgar is full of lessons. When my wife and I visited London last September, we took our young son, a fervent admirer of Nelson, to Trafalgar Square to see Nelson’s column. We were surprised to see that it had company. On one of the plinths behind the famous memorial sat a huge sculpture of white marble. This, I knew, was one of the benefactions that Ken Livingstone, the Communist mayor of London, had bestowed on his grateful constituency: public art on Trafalgar Square that was more in keeping with cool Britannia’s new image than statues of warriors. From a distance, the white blob looked liked a gigantic marshmallow in need of an air pump. But on closer inspection, it turned out to be a sculpture of an armless and mostly legless woman, with swollen breasts and distended belly. In fact, it was a sculpture by Marc Quinn of one Alison Lapper, made when she was eight months pregnant. Ms. Lapper, who was born with those horrible handicaps, is herself an artist. Asked how she felt about the sculpture, Ms. Lapper said that she was glad that at last Trafalgar Square recognized someone who was not a white male murderer. It is worth noting, as one journalist pointed out, that the architects of Trafalgar Square were ahead of their time in at least one sense, for the sculpture of Ms. Lapper represented the second commemoration of a seriously disabled person. After all, there is Nelson on his column, missing his right arm and an eye.
How England chose to commemorate the Battle of Trafalgar and to respect its most public acknowledgment of Lord Nelson’s service to his country should give us pause. The union of sentimentality, political correctness, and multicultural piety is a disturbing ambassador to the future. It is a perfect example-one of many-of the "liberal ethos" whose progress Irving Kristol mournfully observed and whose essential character Burnham delineated.
What are the stakes? The terrorist attacks of 9/11 gave us a vivid reminder-but one, alas, that seems to have faded from the attention of many Western commentators who seem more concerned about recreational facilities at Guantanamo Bay than the future of their towns and cities. For myself, ever since 9/11, when I think about threats to democracy, I recall a statement by one Hussein Massawi, a former Hezbollah leader, which I believe I first read in one of Mark Steyn’s columns. "We are not fighting," Mr. Massawi said, "so that you will offer us something. We are fighting to eliminate you."
It is worth pausing to reflect on that statement. The thing I admire most about it is its pristine clarity. You know where you are with Mr. Massawi. It requires no special hermeneutic ingenuity to construe his meaning. And you also know that he wasn’t speaking idly. He was a man of his word, as the events of 9/11 and the names Bali, Madrid, and-just last summer-London remind us.
Or so one would have thought. Mr. Massawi speaks clearly, but who is listening? Our colleges and universities have been preaching the creed of multiculturalism for the last few decades. Politicians, pundits, and the so-called cultural elite have assiduously absorbed the catechism, which they accept less as an argument about the way the world should be as an affirmation of the essential virtue of their own feelings. We are now beginning to reap the fruit of that liberal experiment with multiculturalism. The chief existential symptom is moral paralysis, expressed, for example, in the inability to discriminate effectively between good and evil. The New York Times runs full-page advertisements, signed by all manner of eminent personages, that compare President Bush to Adolf Hitler. Meanwhile, the pop singer Michael Jackson spends an unspecified number of millions to finance the construction of a mosque in Bahrain "designated for learning the principles and teachings of Islam." Thanks, Michael.
Over the years, The New Criterion has commented often on "the culture wars," the vast smorgasbord of intellectual, political, and moral havoc bequeathed to us by the 1960s. What we see now is a darker face of those conflicts. On the one hand, you have people like Mr. Massawi, and their name is legion. If American Airlines will lend them a 767, they will happily plow it into the most convenient skyscraper. Should they somehow get hold of a vial of anthrax or smallpox or an atomic weapon, we can be sure they would have not the least hesitation about obliterating whatever seat of Western decadence was most ready to hand-an American target would be best, of course, but failing that almost any other city would do. So far, Mr. Massawi and his pals have had to do without atomic or biological weapons, but they have kept themselves busy with semtex, car bombs, and the occasional televised beheading.
All this violence is not aimless. It has a clear goal, not only to push the West out of Saudia Arabia and other parts of the Middle East but also to establish the rule of Sharia, of Islamic law, wherever Muslims in any number have congregated. This is the condition that the Egyptian historian Bat Ye’or has called dhimmitude: the state of the dhimmis, the "protected" or "guilty" non-Muslim people in a Muslim world. Dhimmitude outlines the official status of a conquered, spiritually cowed people, people, as the Koran puts it, who are allowed to live unmolested as second-class citizens so long as they "feel themselves subdued."
I think we know where we are with the Mr. Massawis of the world. But how do we react? Well, the U.S. and British armed forces act in one way. Our intellectual and cultural leaders, by and large, act in quite another. Our reaction-or lack of reaction-is just as much of a threat as the overt belligerence of Massawi & Co. A few days after 9/11, I was talking with a friend who teaches at Williams College. The response on campus there, as on so many campuses across the country, was shock, dismay, and outrage-partly at what had happened at Ground Zero, the Pentagon, and that field in Pennsylvania, but even more at what has come to be called Islamophobia. At Williams, my friend told me, one distraught colleague insisted that the college air movies about the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II as a warning about the Great Backlash Against Muslims that was just about to sweep the country.
Not just this country, either. This past summer, BBC was preparing a film version of John Buchan’s great "shocker" Greenmantle, whose plot turns on supposed German efforts to stir Turkish Muslims to jihad during the First World War. All was going along swimmingly until July 7, when some real-life British Muslims detonated themselves on the London transport system. Reaction at the BBC? They canceled the show for fear of wounding the feelings of Muslims.
While we are waiting for that backlash, and humming "Let’s Not Be Beastly to the Muslims," it is worth noting the word "Islamophobia" is a misnomer. A phobia describes an irrational fear, and it is axiomatic that fearing the effects of radical Islam is not irrational, but on the contrary very well-founded indeed, so that if you want to speak of a legitimate phobia-it’s a phobia I experience frequently-we should speak instead of Islamophobia-phobia, the fear of and revulsion towards Islamophobia.
Now that fear is very well founded, and it extends into the nooks and crannies of daily life. A couple of months ago, for example, I read in a London paper that "Workers in the benefits department at Dudley Council, West Midlands, were told to remove or cover up all pig-related items, including toys, porcelain figures, calendars and even a tissue box featuring Winnie the Pooh and Piglet" because the presence of images of our porcine friends offended Muslims. A councillor called Mahbubur Rahman told the paper that he backed the ban because it represented "tolerance of people’s beliefs." In other words, Piglet really did meet a Heffalump, and it turns out he was wearing a kaffiyeh.
The observation-often, though apparently inaccurately, attributed to George Orwell-that the triumph of evil requires only that good men stand by and do nothing has special relevance at a time, like now, that is inflected by terrorism. I have several friends-thoughtful, well-intentioned people-who believe the United States should never have intervened in Afghanistan, who believe even more staunchly that the United States should never have intervened in Iraq, and, moreover, that we should get out forthwith. "We should," they believe, "keep to ourselves. We have no business meddling with the rest of the world. We cannot be the world’s constabulary, nor should we aspire to be. It is not in our interest-for it breeds resentment-and it is not in the interest of those we profess to help, since they should be allowed to govern themselves-or not, as the case may be."
Whatever the wisdom of the position in the abstract (and I have my doubts about it), the resurgence of international terrorism, fueled by hate and devoted to death, renders it otiose. Last summer’s bombings in London were, as these things go, relatively low in casualties. But they were high in indiscriminateness. The people on those buses and subway cars were as innocent as innocent can be: just folks, moms and dads and children on their way to work or school or play, as uninterested, most of them, in politics or Islam as it is possible to be. And yet those home-grown Islamicists were happy to blow them to bits.
Here is the novelty: Our new enemies are not political enemies in any traditional sense, belligerent in the service of certain interests of their own. Their belligerence is focused rather on the very existence of an alternative to their vision of beatitude, namely on Western democracy and its commitment to individual freedom and economic prosperity. I return to Hussein Massawi: "We are not fighting so that you will offer us something. We are fighting to eliminate you."
In fact, the situation is even grimmer than Mr. Massawi suggests. For our new enemies are not simply bent on our destruction: they are pleased to compass their own destruction as a collateral benefit. This is one of those things that makes Islamofascism a particularly toxic form of totalitarianism. At least most Communists had some rudimentary attachment to the principle of self-preservation. In the face of such death-embracing fanaticism our only option is unremitting combat.
The large issue here is one that has bedeviled liberal societies ever since there were liberal societies: namely, that in attempting to create the maximally tolerant society, we also give scope to those who would prefer to create the maximally intolerant society.
In these pages last June, I wrote about the philosopher Leszek Kolakowski. Let me conclude by returning to what I said there. In an essay called "The Self-Poisoning of the Open Society," Kolakowski dilates on this basic antinomy of liberalism. Liberalism implies openness to other points of view, even (it would seem) those points of view whose success would destroy liberalism. But tolerance to those points of view is a prescription for suicide. Intolerance betrays the fundamental premise of liberalism, i.e., openness. As Robert Frost once put it, a liberal is someone who refuses to take his own part in an argument.
Kolakowski is surely right that our liberal, pluralist democracy depends for its survival not only on the continued existence of its institutions, but also "on a belief in their value and a widespread will to defend them." The question is: Do we, as a society, still enjoy that belief? Do we possess the requisite will? Or was François Revel right when he said that "Democratic civilization is the first in history to blame itself because another power is trying to destroy it"? The jury is still out on those questions. A good test is the extent to which we can resolve the antinomy of liberalism. And a good start on that problem is the extent to which we realize that the antinomy is, in the business of everyday life, illusory.
The "openness" that liberal society rightly cherishes is not a vacuous openness to all points of view: it is not "value neutral." It need not, indeed it cannot, say Yes to all comers, to the Islamofascist who after all has his point of view, just as much as the soccer mom, who has hers. American democracy, for example, affords its citizens great latitude, but great latitude is not synonymous with the proposition that "anything goes." Our society, like every society, is founded on particular positive values-the rule of law, for example, respect for the individual, religious freedom, the separation of church and state. Western democratic society, that is to say, is rooted in what Kolakowski calls a "vision of the world." Part of that vision is a commitment to openness, but openness is not the same as indifference.
The problem is that large portions of Western society, especially those portions entrusted with perpetuating its political and cultural capital, have lost sight of that vision. In part, I believe, this is a religious problem-more to the point, it is a problem consequent upon the failure of religion. In his essay "Targeted Jihad" below, Douglas Murray summarizes this point well.
It may be no sin-may indeed be one of our society’s most appealing traits-that we love life. But the scales, as in so many things, have tipped to an extreme. From seeing so much for which we would live, people in our society now see fewer and fewer causes for which they would die. We have passed to a point where prolongation is all. We have become like the parents of Admetos in Euripides’ Alcestis-"walking cadavers," unwilling to give up the few remaining days (in Europe’s case, of its peace dividend) even if only by doing so can any generational future be assured. Even the interventionist wars of the West only seem possible when we can ensure that our troops kill but do not die for the cause in hand. wrong. In fact, I believe that Mr. Murray may overstate the extent to which we in the West "love life." We love our pleasures, which isn’t quite the same thing. But his main point, about there being fewer and fewer things for which we would be willing to risk our lives, is exactly right. James Burnham made a similar point about facing down the juggernaut of Communism: "just possibly we shall not have to die in large numbers to stop them: but we shall certainly have to be willing to die." The issue, Burnham saw, is that modern liberalism has equipped us with an ethic too abstract and empty to inspire real commitment. Modern liberalism, he writes, does not offer ordinary men compelling motives for personal suffering, sacrifice, and death. There is no tragic dimension in its picture of the good life. Men become willing to endure, sacrifice, and die for God, for family, king, honor, country, from a sense of absolute duty or an exalted vision of the meaning of history. And it is precisely these ideas and institutions that liberalism has criticized, attacked, and in part overthrown as superstitious, archaic, reactionary, and irrational. In their place liberalism proposes a set of pale and bloodless abstractions-pale and bloodless for the very reason that they have no roots in the past, in deep feeling and in suffering. Except for mercenaries, saints, and neurotics, no one is willing to sacrifice and die for progressive education, medicare, humanity in the abstract, the United Nations, and a ten percent rise in Social Security payments. The Islamofascists have a fanatical belief that theirs is a holy mission, that incinerating infidels is their bounden duty. For them suicide is a gateway to paradise. For us suicide is just that: suicide. Although we began by calling this symposium "Threats to Democracy," it became clear in the course of our proceedings that the threat was larger, more encompassing than that title suggests. As the succeeding essays make clear, what we are dealing with is the real culture war-a war, as Burnham said, "for survival." In "It’s the demography, stupid," Mark Steyn writes about the West’s survival in the most elemental sense: much of what could once upon a time have been called Christian Europe is simply failing to reproduce itself. "A society that has no children," he notes, "has no future." But the demographic timebomb, as Douglas Murray, Roger Scruton, and Keith Windshuttle note, is only part of the story. As Scruton puts it, a kind of "moral obesity" cripples much of Western culture, "to the point where ideals and long-term goals induce in them nothing more than a flummoxed breathlessness."
The question is whether we believe anything with sufficient vigor to jettison the torpor of our barren self-satisfaction. There are signs that the answer is Yes, but you won’t see them on CNN or read about them in The New York Times. The people presiding over such institutions would rather die than acknowledge that someone like James Burnham (to say nothing of George W. Bush) was right. It just may come to that.
"Threats to Democracy: Then and Now," a symposium organized jointly by The New Criterion and London’s Social Affairs Unit, took place on October 21, 2005 at the Union League Club in New York City. Participants were Max Boot, Robert H. Bork, Michael W. Gleba, Anthony Glees, Roger Kimball, Herbert I. London, Kenneth Minogue, Michael Mosbacher, Douglas Murray, James Piereson, Daniel Pipes, Roger Scruton, Mark Steyn, and Keith Windschuttle. Discussion revolved largely around earlier versions of the essays printed in this special section.
Former Syrian VP: Assad Must Go
The Assad regime is coming apart at the seams, thanks to the Bush regime. Those Chimpy McBastards.
Until the traffic glitch goes away, refer to Belmont Club's thoughtful and illuminating Kimball and Steyn on the end of the West by Wretchard.
That's right- Mark Steyn figures in here as well with his spicier "It's The Demography, Stupid", an unapologetic and brutally frank exposé on the fate of the Modern Leftist State:
"The design flaw of the secular social-democratic state is that it requires a religious-society birth rate to sustain it. Post-Christian hyper-rationalism is, in the objective sense, a lot less rational than Catholicism or Mormonism. Indeed, in its reliance on immigration to ensure its future, the European Union has adopted a twenty-first-century variation on the strategy of the Shakers, who were forbidden from reproducing and thus could only increase their numbers by conversion. ...
That’s what the war’s about: our lack of civilizational confidence. As a famous Arnold Toynbee quote puts it: "Civilizations die from suicide, not murder"—as can be seen throughout much of "the western world" right now. The progressive agenda —lavish social welfare, abortion, secularism, multiculturalism—is collectively the real suicide bomb. ... "
Wretchard's final Commentary anticipates the result of the progressive's arrogant and doomed quest for idealistic bliss: he ends up screaming for the one last body he can throw between himself and the murderously ravenous rats. A must read.
No-one seems to know how long New Criterion will be unavailable, so I have taken the liberty of reproducing the Roger Kimball article, After The Suicide Of The West, in its entirety. I hope the author and New Criterion will accept this not as copyright infringement but as a service to their regular readers and others who are interested in seeing what all the fuss is about. The Steyn column, "It's The Demography, Stupid", is available at Opinion Journal.
Thursday, January 05, 2006
Newsweek has posted selected slides from a 2002 briefing prepared by the Pentagon detailing Iraq/al Qaeda cooperation: "Iraq and al Qaeda."
Steve Hayes, please call your office.
You Had To Know
The leader of the PFLP, currently hiding from justice in Syria, calls Ariel Sharon’s cerebral hemorrhage a gift from God.
Pan-Arab satellite television broadcasters beamed out largely straightforward, nonstop live coverage early Thursday from outside the hospital where Prime Minister Ariel Sharon struggled for his life.
But a radical Palestinian leader in Damascus, the Syrian capital, called Sharon’s health crisis a gift from God.
“We say it frankly that God is great and is able to exact revenge on this butcher. ... We thank God for this gift he presented to us on this new year,” Ahmed Jibril, leader of the Syrian-backed faction Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command, a small radical group, told the Associated Press.
Here's a hint as to why Palestinians still do not have a state: no statesmen; just bloodthirsty thugs.
The French Intifada Continues
"Here’s an incident that happened on New Year’s Day, but was completely ignored by world media: Gang terrorizes train in France. (Hat tip: LGF readers.)"
PARIS — A gang of more than 20 youths — thought to be North African immigrants — terrorized hundreds of train passengers in a rampage of violence, robbery and sexual assault on New Year’s Day, French officials said yesterday.
The five-hour-long criminal frenzy was “totally unacceptable,” French President Jacques Chirac told reporters. “Those guilty will be found and punished, as they deserve.”
The gang of between 20 and 30 youths boarded the train, heading from Nice on the French Riviera to Lyon, in eastern France, early on Jan. 1, as it carried 600 passengers home from New Year’s Eve partying overnight.
Once inside, they went wild, forcing passengers to hand over mobile phones and wallets, and slashing seats and breaking windows. A 20-year-old woman cornered by several of the marauders was sexually molested. Actually, she was raped while police stood by waiting to dispose of all the evidence. Typical of institutionalized French cowardice.
“It was a real scene of pillage on the train,” said the regional state prosecutor, Dominique Luigi, adding that the passengers were in a state of “panic.” Train staff alerted police, and the train pulled into a station to wait. The three officers who initially turned up later were joined by reinforcements.
A waitress in a bar near the station said two young women from the train had come inside in tears. “They told me there had been groping. They talked about sexual assaults. They were really traumatized,” she said.
The train resumed its journey with the heavy police presence on board but, just before Marseille, the youths pulled the emergency stop and many escaped.
Only three — two 19-year-old Moroccans and a minor, all living in France — were arrested. Both men were being held for robbery and one also was facing charges of sexual assault. The minor was to be judged separately.
UPDATE at 1/4/06 11:07:00 pm:
No Pasaran had this story yesterday.
Robin Burk at Winds of Change:
I will ask what I've asked before here at Winds of Change: where is the outrage by western feminists about the rape of young women by gangs of young men coming from immigrant and at least culturally, if not actively religiously, muslim backgrounds???????
I used to hate the French. I no longer do. I pity them. They are dying in all ways -- morally, spiritually, nationally, culturally, demographically -- and their fits of nastiness and distemper are as excusable as those of an old man on life support.
NSA Leaker Asks To Testify
Russ Tice, a whistleblower who was dismissed from the NSA last year, stated in letters to the House and Senate intelligence committees that he is prepared to testify about highly classified Special Access Programs, or SAPs, that were improperly carried out by both the NSA and the DIA.
Paul Krugman in Brokeback Mountain
"I believe that the finest characteristic of the American fighting man is his willingness to sacrifice himself for the rights guaranteed to Nazi soldiers by the penumbra of the Bill of Rights. When we finally prove to the enemy that sacrificing our own men to satisfy the whims of those who oppose our intervention in the European theatre of operations is not unthinkable, he will tremble in fear at how we will treat him. Well, at least until he realizes how sweet our POW camps are, but even then, he'll have a second or two of terror, and that's even better than actually 'winning' the so-called war." ~ Gen. George Patton
Read it and laugh.