Saturday, August 19, 2006

"The plot develops with the progressive takeover of the world Islamist movement, by the ayatollahs of Iran; and has been further thickened by the huge propaganda victory that Iran’s client, Hezbollah, has just won over Israel. This has had and will continue to have the same effect on Muslim mass psychology as the Al Qaeda terror attacks. It shows the most virulent and aggressive forms of Islam to be triumphing -- to be, in effect, the wave of the future, the standard around which all Muslims may rally. It leaves all those who reject this standard not in the position of “moderate Muslims”, but rather in that of isolated and irrelevant or treasonous holdovers from some “Western imperialist” past."
Allahpundit sobers us up a wee bit. And I reinforce with some classic Theodore Dalrymple for your gobsmackification:
"By that logic, their devotion to God is partly a function of their desire to destroy Israel. Let that sink in for a minute. Also, how much it smacks of “magical” thinking: rather than take a scientific approach to victory, by focusing on military strategy and technological development, they’re essentially trying on different ideological sweaters in hopes of stumbling upon the one that finally “works.”


The naive supposition on which the argument for education rests is that training counteracts and overpowers a cultural worldview. A trained man is but a clone of his trainer, on this theory, sharing his every attitude and worldview. But in fact what results is a curious hybrid, whose fundamental beliefs may be impervious to the education he has received.

I had a striking example of this phenomenon recently, when I had a Congolese patient who had taken refuge in this country from the terrible war in Central Africa that has so far claimed up to 3 million lives. He was an intelligent man and had that easy charm that I remember well from the days when I traversed—not without difficulty or discomfort—the Zaire of Marshal Mobutu Sese Seko. He had two degrees in agronomy and had trained in Toulouse in the interpretation of satellite pictures for agronomic purposes. He recognized the power of modern science, therefore, and had worked for the U.N. Food and Agricultural Organization, and was used to dealing with Western aid donors and investors, as well as academics.

The examination over, we chatted about the Congo: he was delighted to meet someone who knew his country, by no means easily found in England. I asked him about Mobutu, whom he had known personally.

“He was very powerful,” he said. “He collected the best witch doctors from every part of Zaire. Of course, he could make himself invisible; that was how he knew everything about us. And he could turn himself into a leopard when he wanted.”

This was said with perfect seriousness. For him the magical powers of Mobutu were more impressive and important than the photographic power of satellites. Magic trumped science. In this he was not at all abnormal, it being as difficult or impossible for a sub-Saharan African to deny the power of magic as for an inhabitant of the Arabian peninsula to deny the power of Allah.
Welcome to the "Tinfoil Apocalyphate".
If you haven't seen Pallywood yet, you need to now:
"Some time ago, Richard Landes, a Professor of History at Boston University, and Pedro Zúquete made a film about the Palestinians' use of staged and faked video "bites," and the credulous international news agencies that fall for them. Or, perhaps, collaborate in them. It's called "Pallywood," and is exceptionally well done. The video, which is about 18 minutes long, sheds considerable light on the staging and faking of photos and were so common in the recent conflict in Lebanon.

You can watch the video on Power Line Video, and learn more about the video, and related projects, on Landes's and Zuquete's site, The Second Draft.
"Italian police were searching yesterday for a man suspected of involvement in the killing of a Pakistani woman after her father and uncle were charged with slitting her throat because she dated an Italian man and refused to conform to an Islamic lifestyle. [ 7th century? That recent? -ed. ] "
"On the contrary, each of these new democracies has produced constitutions that enshrine Islamic law. Because Islamic law, known as "sharia," does not permit equality between the sexes or among religions, it is anything but what we in American consider "democratic." Indeed, sharia law endows Muslims, and Muslim men in particular, with a superior position in society. It also outlaws words and deeds that oppose this inequitable power structure for being "un-Islamic." From this same Islamic legal tradition comes the mandate for jihad (holy war, usually against non-Muslims) and dhimmitude, the official state of inferiority of non-Muslims under Islam.

With their devotion to Islamic tradition, then, these new democracies have, in effect, peacefully voted themselves into the same doctrinal camp as the many terror groups that violently strike at the non-Muslim world in the name of jihad for the sake of a caliphate -- a Muslim world government ruled according to sharia.
""I consider it no sacrifice to die for my country. In my mind we came here to thank God that men like these have lived rather than to regret that they have died." --General George S. Patton, Jr. Speech at an Allied cemetery in Italy (Nov 1943)"
"Christianity is growing, I submit, because it has been better able to adapt to modernity, than modernity to it. The Catholic Church is more comfortable with democracy, for instance, than democracies (in Europe, say) find it possible to be with Christianity, unless in public the latter keeps very, very quiet. And it answers something deep in the human spirit, which secularism does not, and cannot."
"This is one message posted on ClearGuidance, to give you an idea of what was taking place there in August 2002, as “jihadi” Ibn Musa lovingly relates how he’d slaughter an infidel:

EA..oKay..and hey....when u DO i.then DO it soo badly that he spits out blood and and starts crying really badly...stab him till da muslim blood from his abdomen comes out ...and ....ermmmm....lets make this more freaky....hey CUT his head off .... i mean like not FAST....i mean cut it in a SLOW MOTION....and let him shout ...cry....and do anything he wants lol......then leave him alone...on the floor....let the blood come out from his THROAT...+ ABDOMEN....and yea yea and wait till he dies okay....when he dies....then give him a KICK and tell him that it was from IBN MUSA lol...hey we dont want kumo sis or anyone to faint while lukin at theyr own thread rite? ST OP it here man..lets do this in DA BRO AREA ..... [ Alright. I agree with the lefties now. These folks are clearly my intellectual superiors and I should submit to them in every way. No question about it. They're going to lead us to goodness and light. Where did I ever get the idea that they were actually headed back to the 7th century ... or beyond... -ed. ]
"ADAM LIPTAK in the New York Times: "Even legal experts who agreed with a federal judge’s conclusion on Thursday that a National Security Agency surveillance program is unlawful were distancing themselves from the decision’s reasoning and rhetoric yesterday. . . . Discomfort with the quality of the decision is almost universal, said Howard J. Bashman, a Pennsylvania lawyer whose Web log provides comprehensive and nonpartisan reports on legal developments.""

Friday, August 18, 2006

"The PCUSA chose to publish this gibberish. It is responsible for it. The "it doesn't represent us" rhetoric is as cowardly as the conspiracy theories are marginal.

What next? Ward Churchill for Moderator?
"What does mainstream Christianity have to say about freedom? To cite another famous Slavophilic Russian writer, Dostoevsky, in his remarkable work "The Grand Inquisitor," although freedom is part of Christ's message to the world, it has at times been subverted and undermined by Inquisitors who don't trust humanity with freedom. [ Did I mention how smart neo was? Not to mention Dostoevsky of course... -ed. ]

If you've never read "The Grand Inquisitor," which is actually a chapter from The Brothers Karamazov, you owe it to yourself to do so. Here's the text.

Dostoevsky's Grand Inquisitor doesn't just stand for the historical figures of the past who were the actual Inquisitors. He represents all attempts by religions and belief systems--including secular ones such as Communism--to perfect humanity by denying people their freedom in the hopes of creating a better world.

I cannot believe that Solzhenitzyn, with his experience in the Russian Gulag, meant to advocate a return to a religion that denies that individual freedom. At any rate, it's not Solzhenitzyn's particular views that are important, it's the questions he raises. The dilemma remains, and it's an ancient and exceedingly important one: how to foster and protect freedom without leading to anarchy and loss of meaning, including the loss of the courage to protect ourselves?

The answer is still unclear, but the hour is getting late--much later than it was in 1978. [ No kidding. -ed. ]
Today's August 22nd update:
""The maneuver is aimed at introducing our new defensive doctrine," Ashtiani said, adding that 12 infantry regiments would participate in the upcoming exercise dubbed "The Blow of Zolfaghar."

Zolfaghar is the sword used by Imam Ali, one of the most revered figures for Shiite Muslims. [ Luckily, there are no signs that they're fixated on the return of the 12th Imam. Other than obsessing about the 12th imam's sword and using 12 infantry regiments. Other than that there's no sign whatsoever of unhinged lunacy. And starting it just before August 22nd surely can't be significant. Keep praying that the London bombing plot was all there was. I remain less than sanguine... -ed. ]
"Police investigating an alleged plot to bring down airliners have found several martyrdom videos in the course of their searches, the BBC has learned. [ But luckily nothing was imminent. And yes, that's sarcasm. -ed. ] "
"A few photo-illusions are probably due to the lust for the most sensational or striking-looking image—that is, more aesthetic bias than political prejudice. Also, many photographers know that war victims are money shots and some will break the rules of the profession to cash in. But true as well is that local stringers and visiting anchors alike seem to have succumbed either to lens-enabled Stockholm syndrome or accepted being the uncredited Hezbollah staff photographer so as to be able to file stories and images in militia-controlled areas.

It does not help that certain news organizations have acted like government officials or corporate officers trying to squash a scandal. The visual historian in me revolts when an ABC producer informs me that Reuters “deleted all 920 images” by the stringer who produced the “Beirut double smoke” image and is “less than willing to talk about it.” Can you say “18-minute gap,” anyone?
"Even though such contributions were indeed unverifiable--particularly the one that required Binalshibh to read bin Laden's mind--the 9/11 Commission came to rely on this information, giving it the benefit of the doubt when conflicting information surfaced. For instance, the commission uncovered CIA documents that threatened to complicate matters by dragging Iran into the 9/11 conspiracy: The documents revealed that Iran had "apparently facilitated" the travel of most of the 9/11 "muscle hijackers" in flights from Afghanistan by not stamping their passports, and that Imad Mugniyar, the Hezbollah terrorist group's infamous chief of terrorist operations, had flown with the hijackers. But the commissioners merely referred the "troubling" matter to the CIA project manager.

At that point, the report was only one week away from publication. The project manager quickly ran the information past the agency's prisoners [ What possible reason could there be not to trust AQ prisoners after all? -ed. ] and sent a reply back "just in time for inclusion in the Report," Messrs. Kean and Hamilton write. Result: "We found no evidence that Iran or Hezbollah was aware of the planning for what later became the 9/11 attack." Such CIA feeds permitted the commission to hew to its theory that al Qaeda carried out 9/11 with no help from any outside party or government. [ How could it possibly be otherwise? -ed. ]

With this book, Messrs. Kean and Hamilton have shown how a government-appointed commission managed to create the appearance, if not the reality, of an exhaustive independent investigation and artfully transformed itself into a lobby for the reorganization of the intelligence establishment. Now that is without precedent.
""If Hezbollah really did the best they could to avoid killing civilians with their inaccurate rockets (as their apologists claim) I would have set up shop in Kiryat Shmona. But the situation was exactly reversed. The exception was the town of Metulla, and the reason for that, presumably, is because it is immediately surrounded on three sides by Lebanon. With that exception in mind, the claim that civilian areas were safer places than military areas is terrorist propaganda." [ I should have highlighted this in my previous reference to Michael's post as well. -ed. ] "
"It couldn't be part of an overall Islamist war plan or anything."
And then there's the new "improved" France:
"After insisting on a cease-fire in Lebanon and demanding international action to separate the combatants, the French have performed one of their traditional about-faces and refused to substantially contribute to the effort. Efforts to create a strong international force to support the Lebanese Army centered on commitments by the French of up to 5,000 troops. Now the Chirac government says they could scrape up maybe 200, if they're not too busy on their August vacations."
Plus ca change and all that...
What Churchill said about the French:
"If the circumstances are such as to warrant it, force may be used. And if this be so, it should be used under the conditions which are most favourable. There is no merit in putting off a war for a year if, when it comes, it is a far worse war or one much harder to win. These are the tormenting dilemmas upon which mankind has throughout its history been so frequently impaled. Final judgment upon them can only be recorded by history in relation to the facts of the case as known to the parties at the time, and also as subsequently proved.

There is, however, one helpful guide, namely, for a nation to keep its word and to act in accordance with its treaty obligations [Churchill is referring to France's obligations to Czechoslovakia]. This guide is called honour. It is baffling to reflect that what men call honour does not correspond always to Christian ethics...Here [] the moment came when Honour pointed the path of Duty, and when also the right judgment of the facts at the time would have reinforced its dictates.
Hench Churchill's famous quote: "You were given the choice between war and dishonor. You chose dishonor and you will have war."
"Missile war may be replacing terrorist war. It's more effective than using hijackers and suicide bombers. Only missile war caused hundreds of thousands of Israelis to flee.

This war was a transition, the testing of a new doctrine. It's a disaster for Israel, but in the end it will be an even bigger disaster for those who think it's a terrific idea.

I don’t know about some of the unhinged Lebanese Hezbollah supporters, but I wouldn’t want to be anywhere near Lebanon if ten Iranian-made Zelzal missiles crash into the sides of Tel Aviv apartments and skyscrapers every hour.

War is coming again, and it’s coming like Christmas. It will not resemble the Middle East wars we are used to.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Today's August 22nd update:
"Blog of the Week Vital Perspective notes that the government of Iran is going from building to building in Tehran, smashing satellite dishes. This can only be construed as an effort to cut Iranians off, as much as possible, from news originating in the outside world. Which strikes me as ominous, especially with August 22 only five days away."
"There is new evidence that North Korea may be preparing for an underground test of a nuclear bomb, U.S. officials told ABC News. [ And the day after, Iran will announce they have some of them... Start praying for a dud. -ed. ] "
"I return to Mr Ben Dov. He noticed the sort of thing so simple and obvious, that it would escape the attention of most intellectual observers. It was about Hassan Nasrallah, the Hezbollah leader, born and raised in the village of al-Bazuriya -- whose great grandparents might easily have sheltered Mr Ben Dov’s grandparents. It was that Nasrallah wears a Persian turban, and Persian clothes. His ancestors would have worn their own version of kaffiyeh and awal (the headcloth and cord), and sharwal (baggy trousers). Nor would his women have worn veils.

The people of Shia villages in southern Lebanon are still Shia, to be sure; but they have been transformed, under the influence of a vicious ideology, into agents of fanatics giving orders from far away. And the new clothing is only the outward manifestation. Their religion has been changed within them, from time-honoured custom to something hateful and unspeakably aggressive.

What is their future? For we are, or at least I am, hardly concerned exclusively with the future of the Israeli Jews, or the Lebanese Christians. Their leaders have led them into the valley of the shadow of death, and cannot lead them out again. I truly can’t imagine how they can recover, or how any outsider can help.
"Two things that the uncorrupted mind cannot not know: that the world is intelligible and man is free. Take away either, and the world is simply an absurdity, a monstrosity, a mistake. For to say that we may know is equally to say that we are free, otherwise it is not knowledge at all. Knowledge proves freedom, freedom proves knowledge, and both prove the Creator, for the hierarchy of being disclosed by the free intellect leads back to its nonlocal source above."

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

"The civil rights lobbies are working from a passé play book. They are blind to the lethal nature of the new Salafist totalitarianism. They won't recognize that we are facing an irrationalist movement immune to compromise and dedicated to achieve its ends of controlling every aspect of daily life, every process of the mind, through indiscriminate mass slaughter. It is a culture obsessed with death, a culture that despises women, a culture devoted to mad hatreds not just of Americans and Jews everywhere, but of Muslims anywhere who embrace a less totalitarian, less radical, more humane view of Islam. These Muslims are to be murdered, and have been in their thousands, along with "the pigs of Jews, the monkeys of Christians" and all the "dirty infidels".

Nor is the repellent language of hate limited to recognized terrorist groups like al-Qaida, Hizbullah and Hamas. It is in the school textbooks in Palestine and in the schools of our "ally", Saudi Arabia. [ RTWT of course... -ed. ]
"NICOLE Kidman has made a public stand against terrorism.

The actress, joined by 84 other high-profile Hollywood stars, directors, studio bosses and media moguls, has taken out a powerfully-worded full page advertisement in today's Los Angeles Times newspaper. [ Today's "flying pig" moment. -ed. ]
"If Israel has more victories like this, there will be no Israel. We need to be clear on this. Not because we like it, far from it, but because we hate it."
"I’ve read about the alliance between Adolf Hitler and Muslim Arab leaders in World War II, and seen still photographs, but this is the first time I’ve seen actual video of Hitler meeting with the Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Muhammed Amin al-Husseini—Yasser Arafat’s alleged uncle. [ If you haven't seen this, you're ostriched so far your head should be popping up in China about now... -ed. ] "

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

"It's not rocket science. The way to win wars is to kill your opponents, and keep killing them until they ask you to stop. Many people, with limited grounding in the realities of military history or operations, seem to find that reality distasteful.

Too bad.
And that post had the current comment of the day:
"Annan's comments about "weeks or months" are custom designed to respond to any attempt by Israel to renew action with "We were in the process of placing troops in the region and enforcing the resolution...." Israel should have not gambled on winning the PR battle, it will not happen in the realm of public opinion. On a more general note, remember the scene in Apocalypse Now when Colonel Kurts tells the story of the pile of little arms and how he suddenly realized what was required to win the war? It was not numbers or high-tech equipment, but the willpower to be immoral in the pursuit of victory. Western nations must honestly assess how this has been successful for terrorists. And at some point, not now, but if something beyond 9-11 in scope of tragedy occurs, we may find ourselves forced to make the same decision and start treating the non-combatants that harbor terrorists as the enemy they often are."
"Don't expect this cease-fire to last more than the next 24-48 hours. Annan himself managed to destroy it, and the UN Security Council will be hard pressed to make any more demands on the Israelis -- which leaves them open to do whatever they think best without further interference."
"But Lebanon's defence minister Elias al-Murr said the army would not disarm Hizbollah. France's foreign minister, Philippe Douste-Blazy said his troops would not do it either. [ Welcome to the Keystone Cops of Lebanon. -ed. ] "
"But what possible reason could an apparently Pakistan-orientated, predominantly ethnically Pakistani group of Sunni jihadists be doing contacting Iran?"
Today's August 22nd update ... same as the old update ... but closer now:
"TEHRAN (Reuters) - Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Tuesday Iran would not yield to Western pressure to give up its home-grown nuclear technology.

His comments came days before an August 22 deadline Iran set itself to respond to a demand by six world powers that Tehran give up uranium enrichment in return for economic and other incentives. Iran has so far shown no signs it will accept.

"Today, we are fully mastering the nuclear fuel cycle for our peaceful atomic activities. It is a native technology... No one can take it away from us," Ahmadinejad said in a televised speech to a rally in the northwestern city of Ardebil.
""Peace in our time?" No, not under the provisions of UNSC 1701. Israel may boast that it destroyed thousands of Hezbollah rockets before firing, but that means nothing - Iran and Syria will resupply them in short order. Olmert's war was a whetstone that sharpened Iran's sword. Its temporary ending endangers Israel more than ever. Israel faces very difficult times to come, and very violent ones."
"Twenty-seven years ago it didn't matter what Ayatollah Khomeini told Mike Wallace. We only remember Mike's question. Now, the tables have been turned and it is the questions that don't matter--especially when the subject smiles and makes an end-run around them, replying with such soft and fuzzy answers as, we need to "love all people." How exactly, Mr. President, must Israel be wiped off the map? He simply has no time for details about that. The answer might offend his new allies in America: the ones listening to him for the first time and being won over by his compassion for all those Americans without health insurance; the ones he is hoping will pressure George Bush to get out of Iraq, stop supporting Israel and lighten up on Iran."
"Thus, Satan’s first commandment is really just a reversal of the actual first commandment. Instead of “I am your God and you shall have no other gods before me,” the parallel looniverse of the secular left begins with “there is no Absolute and you shall bow down before all of the sacred relativities we have inserted in His place.”

From this commandment follow many implications. In fact, reader Gumshoe touched on a number of them yesterday, quoting the author Eric Raymond. [ Silly me. I still need to add this link to my classics! RTWT! -ed. ] For example, “There is no truth, only competing agendas,” “All Western claims to moral superiority are vitiated by the West’s history of racism and colonialism,” and “There are no objective standards by which we may judge one culture to be better than another. Anyone who claims that there are such standards is an evil oppressor.” All are repressive absolutes disguised as relatives, and in fact, designed to undermine and subvert the Absolute.

Monday, August 14, 2006

"Netanyahu stated the importance of nurturing military, state, economic and spiritual strength: "A hundred years ago, our people did not have such capabilities. A leader, Herzl, saw the burning coals of anti-Semitism and understood that there was a threat of a fire that would threaten the Jews of Europe and eventually the Jews of the rest of the world. Today I say: we are standing before a grave danger. A new potential fire threatens our people. Not only our soldiers, citizens and economy, but our very existence."

"Yes, in each generation there are those that rise up seeking our destruction. But since Hitler, there has not risen such a bitter enemy as Iran's president, Ahmadinejad, who openly declares his desire to annihilate us and his development of nuclear weapons in order to carry out this desire. Until he carries out his scheme, he is using his covert forces: in the south, Hamas, a Sunni force, and in the north, Hizbullah, a part of the Shiite arc that extends from Tehran to Lebanon," Netanyahu elaborated.
"This is why these cell phone stories are in the news."

Sunday, August 13, 2006

"The noble man feels the need to admire, to venerate, to worship; the vile man on the contrary tends to belittle, even to mock, which is the way the devil sees things."
"AP Circles the Wagons Around Green Helmet Guy: It’s utterly surreal."
"So we’re going to wait for this answer, but a lot of preparatory work is being done if Iran doesn’t give the right answer."
"The British war time prime minister, Winston Churchill invited the Hasidic Rabbi of Gur to come and see him and advise him on how to bring about Germany's downfall. The Rabbi gave the following reply: "There are two possible ways, one involving natural means and one involving supernatural. The natural means would be if a million angels with flaming swords were to descend on Germany and destroy it. The supernatural would be if a million Englishman parachuted down on Germany and destroyed it." (Hasidic Tales of the Holocaust by Yaffa Eliach)"
And Judges is about leadership too. Churchill liked it for more than one reason:
"Third, Deborah participated in the execution of God’s solution (4:9). She did not merely encourage others “to lay it all on the line” for the Lord. To the contrary, she was right there in the midst of the battle. Someone has suggested that leaders who inspire others to act are leaders who “stay close to the action.” The Mayo brothers, founders of the famous Mayo Clinic, required all surgeons who had not operated for at least three weeks to return to the operating room, first, as an assistant. Why? They had been away from the action for too long!

In like manner, Winston Churchill, was a man who frequently showed up in dangerous places in both World War I and II, and he is considered one of the most inspirational leaders in history. You may be in a leadership position, but are you a leader? Real leaders inspire others to action, even if it means exposure to danger zones.
"Maybe Olmert has decided, barely not too late, not to go wobbly. Maybe. But I've said that about him before. All this is speculation, highly dependent on Olmert having developed a stiff backbone since last Friday, a problematic claim in itself. Time will tell. How long? I'm tempted to say not very long, but Olmert has proven to be a champion temporizer. Let us hope someone has advised him of Gen. George S. Patton's favorite saying, "L'audace, l'audace, toujours l'audace!""
"Usually, the accusation of folly is directed at battle-hungry generals and warmongering politicians. However, at the end of this war, the accusation of folly will be directed at an entire cadre of Israeli opinion-makers and social leaders who lived in a bubble and caused Israel to live in a bubble. The army will be required to put its house in order and to rebuild, but the true anger will be directed toward the elites who failed. Elites who betrayed the trust of a wise, impressive and strong nation."
"As expected, Nasrallah and Siniora have let Israel off the hook -- and provided the political cover for further military action against both. If Lebanon refuses to abide by the terms of the cease-fire, expect the UN Security Council to wash its hands of the issue."
"* Mohammad Fneish (Minister of Energy, and one of two Hezbollah in the cabinet): The position of Hezbollah is NOT TO DISARM in any part of the country until the Shebaa farms are liberated.

*Fneish then challenged both the Government and Lebanese Army to search and destroy Hezbollah’s weapons by force — ‘If you are men!’ [ Maybe we do have a Plan Jael after all... -ed. ]
"What the major news organizations ought to be doing is to make their own analysis of the images coming out of Lebanon and if, as seems more than likely, they find widespread malfeasance, some hard questions need to be asked about why it occurred."
"The Times of London reports that one of the men rounded up in the collapse of the airliner plot this week is the head of al-Qaeda in the UK."