Saturday, September 02, 2006

"If my mental processes are determined wholly by the motions of atoms in my brain, I have no reason to suppose my beliefs are true... and hence I have no reason for supposing my brain to be composed of atoms. --J.B.S. Haldane"
"AS FOR America, disturbingly the Bush administration, like the Olmert-Livni-Peretz government, is showing acute signs of policy collapse. In a near inexplicable move, the State Department issued a visa to former Iranian president Muhammad Khatami. Obscenely, the former leader and regime flack for the Islamic supremacist ayatollahs has been invited to speak at the National Cathedral in Washington. [ I'd puke but I don't have anything left after reading this article. Glick is a true prophet of the Tinfoil Apocalypse. Scary. -ed. ] "
"But honestly, violent antisemitism (with Israel as a threadbare excuse) has been on the rise in Europe for years. And the authorities haven't done enough about it because, it seems, they're too afraid of the Muslims, who seem to be behind these attacks and who do blow things up."
"Activist? The AP now refers to these people routinely as “activists?” What the hell is wrong with the media? [ Oooh, Oooh -- Can I answer that question? -ed. ] "
"Someone--if I could remember who, I'd credit him--wrote recently that the Islamic terrorism we are now experiencing is analogous to the Bolshevik and anarchist terrorism of the early years of the 20th century. If that's true, we have a long road ahead of us. Europe will very likely succumb to Islam in the years to come, for reasons of demography and spiritual and intellectual exhaustion. But Americans are no more interested in converting to Islam than they were in adopting socialism. And Americans not only are more stubborn about such things than Europeans, they are also better at reproducing.

So, no matter how tarted up with Democratic Party rhetoric al Qaeda's pitch may be, as long as the bottom line is: convert to Islam or be murdered, they will get precious few takers.
"Going by recent events in Lebanon, Hezbollah has achieved a stature and de-facto recognition that many states would envy. It's funny how Hezbollah and other terrorist groups, though receiving money and training from states to attack other states (called "proxy warfare") are never referred to as "mercenaries"."

Helping Roger: On Wackademic Terminology

The following was posted as a comment on Roger Simon's high annoyance at the Dartmouth "academics":

With Bush finally getting his act together and calling the Islamic Fascists by their right name, maybe it's time we get our act together and do the same for folks like our precious wackademics.

While I'm sentimentally partial to Orwell's invocation of "Fascifist gang", I think David Ramsey Steele's "The Mystery of Fascism" is a tremendously underappreciated resource in the "right names" department.

When you read Steele's piece you realize that the term fascist is not so far off base to apply to many of today's leftist crowd -- and fits well with the pervasive psychological projection underlying their constant drumbeat of calling us free thinkers "fascists" -- but my nomination of an accurate term is "neo-Syndicalist". Or, in the specific case of the wackademics, "Gramscian neo-Syndicalist". (Gramsci was the author of the idea of the "long march through the institutions" or "capture the culture!".)

Why "neo-Syndicalism"? Here's Steele:

At the beginning of the twentieth century, leftists who wanted to be as far left as they could possibly be became syndicalists, preaching the general strike as the way to demonstrate the workers' power and overthrow the bourgeois order. Syndicalist activity erupted across the world, even in Britain and the United States. Promotion of the general strike was a way of defying capitalism and at the same time defying those socialists who wanted to use electoral methods to negotiate reforms of the system.

Syndicalists began as uncompromising Marxists, but like Revisionists, they acknowledged that key tenets of Marxism had been refuted by the development of modern society. Most syndicalists came to accept much of Bernstein's argument against traditional Marxism, but remained committed to the total rejection, rather than democratic reform, of existing society. They therefore called themselves "revolutionary revisionists." They favored the "idealist revision of Marx," meaning that they believed in a more independent role for ideas in social evolution that that allowed by Marxist theory.

Except for the "more independent role for ideas" part(!), this beautifully describes today's Dem/Leftist Gramscian march through the universities and courts, etc. Just add a "neo" to update for the last century of events and less independence for the "ideas" part. (If you've ever read Milosz' "The Captive Mind", you know to smile with contempt at the "independence" part anyway -- but acknowledge that the popularity of their propaganda "front" would utterly collapse without the pretense.)

Plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose...

"Peter Clarke, head of Metropolitan Police anti-terror efforts, said police and intelligence agents were now attempting to track thousands of people believed to be directly or indirectly involved in terrorism, according to comments made public Friday."
"RED CROSS AMBULANCE DRIVER KILLED: But nobody cares, because Israel didn't do it. Heck, there weren't even photoshopped images making it look as if Israel was involved, which is kind of hard to believe, really. Is Reuters falling down on the job?"

Friday, September 01, 2006

"Protesters occupying Mexico City's center said they were ready to do whatever it takes to support Lopez Obrador. Fernando Calles, a 26-year-old university professor, said he was ready to fight for the former Mexico City mayor "until the death, until the final consequences." [ But the disintegration of Mexico doesn't fit the "Bush = Hitler" storyline ... so it's not on TV. Did I mention this will get harder and harder to ignore? -ed. ] "
"Knobloch also warns Der Spiegel readers about Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his rhetoric about Jews and Israel. She understands better than most how appeasement policies backfire, and she warns against dismissing his fiery calls for the destruction of Israel and the Jews. History, she says, repeats itself over and over, and people still do not learn. The rising levels of anti-Semitism demonstrates that Germans and perhaps Europeans in general still have not learned that it always starts with the Jews, but it never ends with the Jews. The last time this lesson got taught, six million Jews died among over 50 million worldwide over a six-year period. If Iran gets nuclear weapons, that total could be achieved in weeks instead of years."
"None of this has apparently moved the Russians and the Chinese. According to Robert Einhorn, former State Department head on nonproliferation under the Clinton administration, only a "smoking gun" will convince them to support sanctions. Unfortnately, the only smoking object that would qualify for Russian and Chinese firmness would be the radioactive remains of Tel Aviv. [ No it wouldn't. They'd claim that Israel nuked itself or something equally crazy. -ed. ] "
"Nevertheless, it now appears that the person most responsible for the end of Ms. Plame's CIA career is Mr. Wilson. Mr. Wilson chose to go public with an explosive charge, claiming -- falsely, as it turned out -- that he had debunked reports of Iraqi uranium-shopping in Niger and that his report had circulated to senior administration officials. He ought to have expected that both those officials and journalists such as Mr. Novak would ask why a retired ambassador would have been sent on such a mission and that the answer would point to his wife. He diverted responsibility from himself and his false charges by claiming that President Bush's closest aides had engaged in an illegal conspiracy. It's unfortunate that so many people took him seriously."

Thursday, August 31, 2006

"Is that what you really want? Does the prospect of your wives and children becoming martyrs of Jihad fill you with joy? If so, then I suppose I have nothing more to say. But if you are expecting the U.S. to continue to exercise Judeo-Christian restraint and compassion in response to your attacks, then according your own accusations, you are wrong. If what you have been saying about our degeneracy is true; then we are no longer a morally restrained Judeo-Christian nation. If most of us are, as you claim, hedonistic materialists, then we are just as capable of vengeance and cruelty as you are. [ We're the "weak horse" that's too limp to use our nukes that's filled with devils who were the first to use nukes in war and will use them again. Oh, and Iran can win a nuclear war. My head is spinning ... and your's isn't? -ed. ] "
"I think a great many Americans mostly wish the war against the terrorists would go away. A childish attitude, shared by many, rests on the idea that the current conflict is of our choosing, and that we can somehow say "never mind," and it will disappear. I am reminded of Trotsky's grim dictum: "You may not be interested in war, but war is interested in you." The terrorists are interested in us, whether we like it or not. There is nowhere to run, and nowhere to hide. We didn't choose this war, but we are in it, and have been since 1979. There are only two choices: win the war or lose it."
"Iran could make an argument -- and does -- that the Non-Proliferation Treaty allows for the development of peaceful nuclear energy, and that the West has no basis on which to stop their uranium-enrichment program. That argument puts the onus on the West to prove that they have other intentions for the nuclear cycle, which the West has attempted to do on several occasions. This kind of foolish argument only makes it more obvious that the Iranians have something else in mind besides producing miracle cures from water. The Iranians aren't scientific idiots and pretending to be only makes their deception clearer."
"The media showed little interest in pursuing the truth, as documented by many in the blogosphere, including myself. They still seem more attracted to political football than honest reporting on the anniversary of the disaster, a disaster that would have happened without Katrina, with a much greater loss of life. Kevin does a good job in reminding all of us of the media's failure to properly inform the public of the nature of New Orleans' destruction."
"To date, as far as I can determine, not one mainstream editor or proprietor has acknowledged this corruption of the western media. The scale of this corruption now threatens to have a lethal impact on the course of human history. Hatred now drives not just the jihadists but their western dupes, too. Truth and freedom are indivisible. The deconstruction of the former inevitably presages the destruction of the latter. This is the way a civilisation dies. [ Melanie's conclusion deserves a post of its own. This is sobering indeed. -ed. ] "
"But the road to hell is sometimes paved with good intentions. Reality isn't always what we are certain it should be, even when our carefully selected images try to create it. If the picture below really isn't true, so the argument goes, it ought to have been."

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

"In short, much of the most incendiary media coverage of this war seems to have been either staged or fabricated. The big question is why the western media would perpetrate such institutionalised mendacity. Many ancillary reasons come to mind. There is the reliance upon corrupted news and picture agencies which employ Arab propagandists as stringers and cameramen. There is the herd mentality of the media which decides collectively what the story is. There is the journalists’ fear for their personal safety if they report the truth about terrorist outfits. There is the difficulty of discovering the truth from undemocratic regimes and terrorist organisations. There is the language barrier; there is professional laziness; there is the naïve inability to acknowledge the depths of human evil and depravity; there is the moral inversion of the left which believes that western truth-tellers automatically tell lies, while third world liars automatically tell the truth.

But the big answer is that the western media transmit the lies of Hezbollah because they want to believe them. And that’s because the Big Lie these media tell — and have themselves been told — about Israel and its place in history and in the world today has achieved the status of unchallengeable truth. The plain fact is that western journalists were sent to cover the war being waged against Israel from Lebanon as a war being waged by Israel against Lebanon. And that’s because that’s how editors think of the Middle East: that the whole ghastly mess is driven by Israel’s actions, and that therefore it is only Israel’s aggression which is the story to be covered. Thus history is inverted, half a century of Jewish victimisation is erased from public consciousness, victims are turned into aggressors and genocidal mass murderers turned into victims, and ignorance and prejudice stalk England’s once staunch and stalwart land.

That’s why the fact that hundreds of thousands of refugees from the north of Israel fled to the shelter of strangers in the south; that within one third of Israel, those too poor or old or handicapped or disadvantaged to seek refuge elsewhere were forced to live in shelters for a month in great hardship; that the entire economy of northern Israel was effectively shut down for a month; that thousands of rockets were fired at northern Israel, hundreds every day, many times more than were daily fired at Britain during the Blitz — that’s why none of this was reported in Britain (where as a result such facts, when now related, are received with open-mouthed astonishment) because journalists were told to ignore it all since that wasn’t the story their editors wanted. Israel’s victimisation simply was not, could not, be the story. The only story was Israel’s aggression. But that story is a Big Lie. So a host of lies were transmitted to support it.
"The opening sequence of the film takes up more time than I think it needs, and it delays one of the film's most important themes from developing until almost midway through, which is the correlations between Islamism and Naziism. To this purpose, the film makes excellent use of Alfons Heck, an elderly German academic who once served as a high-ranking officer in the Hitler Youth. Heck points out that a worldy and sophisticated German people fell for the crudest kind of anti-Semitic propaganda -- so why should anyone expect the Arabs to resist their own government-produced propaganda? Indeed, Obsession fills itself with television clips gleaned from all over the Arab world, giving American viewers perhaps their first real taste of how pervasive the paranoia gets in Arab culture."

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

"I created a scene with a column, many years ago, when I wrote about the young men in the corridors of the University of Montreal, who stood by and watched while Gamil Garbi (alias Marc Lépine) shot fourteen women to death. To a man (if you could call them men), they explained afterwards, “We couldn’t do anything, he had a gun.” As I pointed out at the time, we have bred young men who will stand by and watch a psychopath shoot defenceless women, so long as he assures them he will not shoot them. And we have bred the young women these young men deserve.

Men without chests, men without character, men who don’t think twice.
""Lord, if only I could have talked with Hitler, all this might have been avoided."

Think of that!
"The answer to that question, as Patrick Fitzgerald has since determined, is "no." But there were plenty of senior people who had known that all along. And can one imagine anybody with a stronger motive to change the subject from CIA incompetence and to present a widely discredited agency as, instead, a victim, than Tenet himself? The man who kept the knowledge of the Minnesota flight schools to himself and who was facing every kind of investigation and obloquy finally saw a chance to change the subject. If there is any "irony" in the absurd and expensive and pointless brouhaha that followed, it is that he was abetted in this by so many who consider themselves "radical.""

Monday, August 28, 2006

"This scene and dozens more like it flashed around the planet. Only one thing was missing—the thin wire security strip that runs from top to bottom of a genuine US$100 bill. The money Hezbollah was passing was counterfeit, as should have been evident to anybody who studied the photographs with due care.

Care was due because of Hezbollah’s history of counterfeiting: In June, 2004, the U.S. Department of the Treasury publicly cited Hezbollah as one of the planet’s leading forgers of U.S. currency.
"This entire episode should shame every member of the Upper Chamber. Using a cheap and secret political manuever to block passage of a bill that would do more to provide open government than anything since the Freedom of Information Act is not ironic, it's cynical beyond belief. If anyone needed an example of why the nation needs S 2590, this display of political cowardice and secrecy gives perhaps the clearest one possible."
"AS IS the case with the Palestinian war against Israel, one of the most notable aspects of Hizbullah's latest campaign against Israel has been the active collaboration of news organizations and international NGO's in Hizbullah's information war against Israel. Like their rogue state sponsors, subversive sub-national groups like Hizbullah, Fatah and Hamas, see information operations as an integral part of their war for the annihilation of Israel and defeat of the West. And their information operations are more advanced than any the world has seen. As becomes more evident with each passing day, they have successfully corrupted both the world media and the community of NGOs that purportedly operate in a neutral manner in war zones."

Sunday, August 27, 2006

"PALESTINIAN #1: Let’s kidnap some infidel journalists and force them to convert to Islam on video!

PALESTINIAN #2: Why? What's the point?


PALESTINIAN #2: Oh, I get it. This is brilliant, Hassan. Just brilliant. Once they convert, the journalists can hold themselves hostage, so they can negotiate with themselves for their own release and leave us out of it. Maybe while they're at it they can hold a knife to their own throats unless the infidels vote for Ned Lamont.

PALESTINIAN #1: It is symbolic of our struggle against the Zionist occupation!

PALESTINIAN #2: Yeah, right. Symbolic of your struggle against reality is more like it."
"On the other hand, it's surely only a matter of months before some U.S. court rules that prisoners are entitled under the Geneva Convention to their own penis pumps. By contrast, Muslim men arrested in Denmark for plotting an actual terrorist attack face life imprisonment. In Denmark, life sentences are automatically commuted after 16 years.

Hmm. Three years for a penis pump, 16 years for planning to murder thousands of people.
"The French believe that what they say is at least as important as what they do. They spin grandiloquent phrases and strike postures. Rhetoric is a way of life and if you point out it is divorced from all strategic reality that is thought to be nitpicking."
"I gather that special prosecutor Fitzgerald knew back in 2003 that Armitage was Novak's original source. At this point, the whole investigation is something of a mystery. What Fitzgerald thought he was doing, and why he was doing it, are matters known only to him.

But, as I said, I don't care. No doubt some of the current questions will be answered in due course, but the bottom line, in my view, is that this sorry episode shows how unbalanced and even irrational our whole media culture has become. That Washington could be roiled for months by such a silly non-story speaks volumes about the lack of seriousness that infects many of our journalists, pundits and politicians.