Saturday, September 23, 2006

And Wretchard writes hauntingly of the real crux. RTWT:
"A friend of mine –he's a Colombian politician in a small town- receives frequent death threats. Last year he denounced the paramilitaries for skimming a percentage off public contracts, and there’s a strong chance that he'll now be murdered (they've already tried once). He thinks they might try to abduct him.

I'm going to order him a copy of On Becoming Fearless by Arianna Huffington, in the hope that it will inspire him as much as it has inspired American women. It isn't easy being a multi-millionaire in California, and Arianna has shown real courage in standing up against the detentions and disappearances that go on in Beverly Hills, not to mention the gossip columnists, intimidated by the idea of a strong, independent woman.

More Consequences of 9/11?

Well this is interesting from Dallas:
"When one of the mothers saw him and asked Burke what he was doing, he tried to run and the woman started screaming, said Elizabeth Williams, the mother of another child. According to a police report, Burke said about 15 men "jumped him and hit him repeatedly on the face with their fists." He suffered minor injuries, police said.

At least four children saw the nude pictures, police said. Burke was arrested on suspicion of harmful display to a minor.
Why do I find this interesting?

I was sitting on the plane yesterday next to a man who of all things decided to watch "United 93" on his laptop. My first thought was that he certainly wasn't superstitious (at least we weren't flying United!). Then through the course of the movie, I found it more and more irresistable to shift from the work I was doing to watching the movie as the focus shifted to the action onboard the plane -- you really didn't need the sound much though now I know I need to really watch it for that aspect.

As I chatted with him a bit as we landed I finally realized that it's really not just a movie about events on an airplane -- it really should be made available to passengers on a free channel as in-flight training for the post-9/11 world! As I told him, it was people like us on the plane that would have to react as the real last line of defense if -- as the Islamofascists so often do -- they "return to the scene of the crime". Everyone who thinks more than a few minutes a day realizes this with or without movies like this of course.

Ironically, as I left home for the trip I had accidentally left a pocket knife in my carry-on -- which doubles as my briefcase -- and had it confiscated by security! So negative stories about TSA to the contrary, the good guys will be unarmed.

And maybe now there are higher odds of an air marshall being on the plane to help, but we have to assume we'll have nobody to help us. It will be "vigilante justice" if we succeed.

So was this little incident in the park a consequence of the new 9/11 mentality? Or just why none of the 9/11 flights originated in Texas?
Ayaan Hirsi Ali is home at last in America:
"Slender, elegant, stylish and articulate (in English, Dutch and Swahili), she has found an intellectual home here at the American Enterprise Institute, where she is writing a book that imagines Muhammad meeting, in the New York Public Library, three thinkers -- John Stuart Mill, Friedrich Hayek and Karl Popper, each a hero of the unending struggle between (to take the title of Popper's 1945 masterpiece) "The Open Society and Its Enemies.'' Islamic extremists -- the sort who were unhinged by some Danish cartoons -- will be enraged. She is unperturbed.

Neither is she pessimistic about the West. It has, she says, "the drive to innovate.'' But Europe, she thinks, is invertebrate. After two generations without war, Europeans "have no idea what an enemy is.'' And they think, she says, that leadership is an antiquated notion because they believe that caring governments can socialize everyone to behave well, thereby erasing personal accountability and responsibility. "I can't even tell it without laughing,'' she says, laughing softly. Clearly she is where she belongs, at last.

Friday, September 22, 2006

"I don't want to make too much of a single example, but I think it is reasonable to say that the international system is starved for effective action. The incessant back and forth between the United Nations and Iran over the issue of its uranium enrichment program is classic example of Zeno's paradox as applied to international affairs. Every diplomatic moment halves the distance between warning and activity but the distance, though ever decreasing, never quite crosses the line between thought and deed. We will always almost, but never quite, come to the rescue of Darfur; just as we are condemned to be forever on the verge of stopping Iran's nuclear program. The moment of action never comes; and the process of warning never ends. [ It will end. There will eventually be no "warners" left. They will have been slaughtered by the "warnees" of course... -ed. ] "

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

"We fight tastefully, too. Last week one of America’s unmanned drones could have killed 200 Taliban bigshots but they were attending a funeral and we apparently have a policy of not killing anybody near cemeteries out of sensitivity.

So even our unmanned drones are obliged to behave with sensitivity. But then these days the very soundtrack to our society is, so to speak, an unmanned drone.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

"In the Thailand military coup, the acting prime minister installed by the army is a Muslim who wants to negotiate with the jihadis in the south. [ Luckily, it's all a conspiracy by W to make the Muslims seem stronger so he can lie to us more about the non-existent Jihadi threat. And certainly no evidence that Islam comes to power by the sword. Why they used the army and tanks so that doesn't apply. Silly you. -ed. ] "

Monday, September 18, 2006

"I think one of the reasons for the collapse of religious observance, is the development of this strange “cargo cult”, in which prayer is replaced by whining and voting. The God to whom we once turned for favour, has been replaced by Kafkaesque government agencies, that do not demand we be good or industrious, or even reasonable. They only demand the sacrifice of our adulthood."
"While the Sunni Arab terrorists have not brought down the Shia dominated government, they have kept the Sunni Arab tribal and religious leaders terrified. That may be changing, as more tribal leaders improve their own militias, and learn from the tribes that have chased out the terrorists and assassins. The government has made it clear that, until the terrorist violence stops, the entire Sunni Arab community will be held responsible. The government is saying, in effect, that they will not try too hard to halt the anti-Sunni death squads until the Sunni Arab leadership makes an effort, a real effort, against the terrorists. [ How much longer can the Golden Hour last? -ed. ] "
Wretchard on the Necromonger Fascifist Way:
"The challenge of Iran is forcing Washington to face the same type of questions it faced in 2003, before OIF. How should it act in Iran or has that now become an impossible question to answer because of the controversy over Iraq? One way to dodge the issue is to argue that any position toward Iran has been precluded by Iraq. Or put another way, confronting Iran would have been possible if only we didn't ruin everything by first getting involved in Iraq. This is a specific version of the more general belief that the West is precluded from acting on anything because of its historical burden of guilt. Got it wrong for the start and therefore need to earn the right to begin again. Therefore the crazy emphasis in modern politics on expatiation as a way of acquiring the "moral authority" to act in the world. How this moral authority can be acquired without actually doing anything becomes a recursive problem. It also reduces politics to a kind of perverted theology. One day people may discover liberalism is actually a primitive form of Necroism, after a fictional religion in the Chronicles of Riddick Universe. "The Necromongers practice a religion known as Necroism. The primary belief of this religion is that life in this universe is a mistake which must be corrected." And so the Necromongers go through the galaxy destroying everything because it's all tainted in the hopes of eventually attaining the Underverse, where everything gets recreated perfectly."
"For the most part, why is it that every time Islam is given an opportunity to demonstrate its claim to be the "religion of peace", people die and places are burned?

A general question to start your Monday off right.
"Vatican researchers said the application is already being processed and they need only find one more verifiable after-death miracle attributed to Muhammad.

“The first is indisputable,” a Vatican source said, “We already have ample evidence that the long-dead prophet miraculously caused a major religious leader, with a reputation for infallibility, to apologize for telling the truth.”

Sunday, September 17, 2006

"It does a disservice to children to call the wild-eyed statements and deranged behaviour of the past days childish."
"It's a rule that George W. Bush's chief political strategist Karl Rove knows well. And it's a rule that he and Bush -- and events -- have put into operation over the last few weeks. For months, the central issue of the off-year election has been, Hasn't Bush kept us too long in Iraq? Now, the issue seems to have become, Who can keep us safe against the Islamofascist terrorists who want to kill us and destroy our society?

The first question tends to help the Democrats. The second tends to help Bush and the Republicans.
"If Islam is ever to peacefully co-exist with other faiths in the manner that Christendom finally learned how to do, then it has to start abiding questions and criticisms without resorting to violence. Islam has to learn to persuade and to attract people through reason, not through forced conversions and coexistence through violent supremacy. Muslim leaders around the world still believe that our faith can only exist at their sufferance, and any question of their doctrinal beliefs has to be met with violence or demands for apologies, not with rhetoric, facts, and reason."
"Incredibly, the Associated Press, rather than expressing any embarrassment that it has been publishing propaganda photos taken by an apparent associate of al Qaeda in Iraq, is campaigning for Hussein's release, saying that it is normal for journalists to have "relationships with people that others might find unsavory."

In recent months, we have learned a great deal about the deep corruption that pervades the use of Middle Eastern stringers by the international news services. The Bilal Hussein story adds another piece to the puzzle.