Saturday, October 07, 2006

"On January 20, 1981, Reagan was sworn into office and within minutes all of the hostages were released.

After so many months and so much groveling, what led to the Iranians’ sudden reversal? In the answer to that question lies a significant moral. Bowden ends his book without explicitly spelling out what the moral is, but his entire narrative is one long case study in the perils of appeasing violent fanatics. For our current efforts to effectuate another and even greater reversal in Iran, few things are more vital than learning what his book has to teach.
"KATE WRITES: "By the time you read this, seven more women will most likely have been stoned to death after being convicted of committing adultery.""
"As I said at the debate I was in last night: who does the average American fear more—the FBI or the IRS? The local zoning board, or the NSA? What does he fear more: the ten commandments on the wall of his child's school, or having the new addition to the house disallowed by the zoning board, the EPA, or the Americans with Disabilities act? On what does he spend more time: preparing his taxes, earning the money to pay for them, and arguing with the various tax authorities about what he owes . . . or checking for roving wiretaps?

Let's face it: one of the biggest problems civil libertarians are battling in the war against warrantless wiretaps, and so forth, is that 99% of the citizenry (correctly) believes that the government is not planning to use such measures against them. I'm on the side of the civil libertarians, mind you, but I recognize that this is why all the cries about America descending into a dark night of fascism, and Bush being the worst president ever on civil liberties (which even a light perusal of history reveals as silly), are falling on deaf ears.
Gagdad rocks out on Polanyi. RTWT without delay:
"Although the postmodernists have done their best to undermine the principles underlying western civilization, nevertheless, the memory of Christianity remains, since it is in our very blood and bones. This memory produces a “passionate urge to pursue righteousness,” even though the assumptions of postmodernism deny the very reality of objective moral truth. Once traditional morality has been shattered, in the words of Polanyi,

“moral passions are diverted into the only channels which a strictly mechanistic conception of man and society left open to them. We may describe this as a process of moral inversion. The morally inverted person has not merely performed a philosophical substitution of material purposes for moral aims; he is acting with the whole of his homeless moral passions within a purely materialistic framework of purposes.”

Thus, at the foundation of postmodern moral inversion is always the same thing: “the combination of skeptical rationalism and moral perfectionism, which is nothing more than the 'secularized fervor of Christianity.’” But whereas “moral perfectionism within a Christian context is moderated by the doctrine of original sin and deferral of perfection to the end of history, the perfectionism of a post-Christian world provides no such moderating counterbalances.”
It's very short. But one of the best concise introductions to the origins of Islamo-fascism. Two printed pages that you need to read over and over until it sinks in:
"Fascism emerged in the early 20th century in Italy, Spain and Germany. The slogan "Long live death!" was made notorious by Spanish fascists. In a famous confrontation in 1936, the great Spanish philosopher and writer Miguel de Unamuno responded in Salamanca to a speech by fascist General Millan-Astray in which the general had repeated the slogan "Viva Muerte!" ("Long Live Death!") with a speech of his own, declaring "There is a time when to be silent is to lie." He then denounced General Millan-Astray and the Spanish fascists for their assault on Spanish civilization and culture. (The next day, Unamuno, in his 80's, was arrested and he died soon thereafter.) After France fell in 1940 and its fascist Vichy puppet regime was created, French colonial territories throughout the world were left to choose their own sides. In the Middle East, the French territories chose Vichy. It should be no surprise to hear from the leader of Hamas in Lebanon today that the difference between his group and the Israelis is that whereas the Israelis cherish life, his group celebrates death (including the suicide bombers). As the great Islamic scholar Bernard Lewis points out recently in his essay "Freedom and Justice in Islam," Nazi organizers came from Germany in the early 1940's to restructure social regimes in Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon, promoting a permanent vicious hatred against the Jews, and forming Ba'athist (fascist) parties throughout the region. (I would add that the grand mufti of Jerusalem, the Muslim leader in British-mandated Palestine, and who later provoked the 1948 war there, was also a Nazi sympathizer who went to visit Hitler in Germany in 1941 and returned to inflame existing local conflicts into deep hatred against Jewish settlers.) Islamo-fascism IS literally Islamo-fascism.

When American apologists for terrorists, and others who feed on their own political correctness or other grievances, recently criticized the use of the phrase "Islamo-fascism," they attempted, consciously or unconsciously, to avert the world's attention from actual and historical origins of the hatreds in the Middle East, and the womb of the ideology of much of the terrorism from which has grown a supranational threat and a gathering world storm.

Recent gloating by these apologists that they had successfully suppressed the term "Islamo-fascism" by associating it with their negative perceptions of President Bush, Prime Minister Blair, and the efforts to prepare for and combat the gathering storm, was premature. The term is exactly and historically accurate. It will not go away. Nor will the storm.
And after you get it, go order yourself a DVD of "Obsession". And watch that over and over until you get it.
"But it's not enough. There are liberal causes that have nothing to do with opposing Bush and his Republican henchmen. In fact, some of those causes might even place liberals and Republican henchmen on the same side. And liberals must be passionate about them nonetheless. Partisan militancy may be necessary to combat Republican power. But it cannot define what it means to be a liberal in the United States today.

Except that it pretty much does.
"A Muslim minicab driver refused to take a blind passenger because her guide dog was “unclean”.

Abdul Rasheed Majekodumni told Jane Vernon she could not get into his car with the dog because of his religion. Islamic tradition warns Muslims against contact with dogs because they are seen as impure. [ Civil rights for blind people? Why would that matter? -ed. ]

The case emerged as Jack Straw was embroiled in a controversy over Muslim women wearing veils and the row continued after a Muslim police officer was excused guard duty at the Israeli embassy. [ And why should us Western Kuffar not be forced to talk with a straight face to black sacks as if they're not being abused. "Elephant in the room" indeed. -ed. ]
"Let's see, GDP growth is strong, productivity is way up, unemployment is low, family incomes are rising, inflation is down, the stock market is up, and the federal deficit is down. Yet polls show that we are about to put more Democrats into both the House and the Senate.

So much for "it's the economy, stupid!" Wixted has lots of interesting charts and data.
QandO brings us an analysis of today's blinding glint off the giant sheet of tinfoil in Asia:
"Hilarious if it wasn't so serious. "Farewell to the nuclear non-proliferation regime", but NoKo promises to "faithfully implement its international commitment in the field of nuclear non-proliferation as a responsible nuclear-weapons state and to prohibit nuclear transfer."

You simply can't get anymore schizo than that.

This is a definite "ratcheting up" of the rhetoric coming out of North Korea. But it seems clear that, like many puffed up little potentates, Kim Jong-il has no idea what he's really messing with. It is worrisome that he sees his nuclear weapons as tools to force his will in the region. It is also worrisome that he thinks his use of his tools is survivable. It is that sort of irrational thinking which increases the chance of a nuclear exchange.

For all our concern about Iran and the 12th Imam, this screed (if it is indeed the voice of Kim Jong-il as implied) is just as irrational.

There have been reports that Kim Jong-il is suffering bad health. You have to begin to wonder, if true, whether he is thinking he has to act on his fantasy of Korean unification before he loses the ability to do so. No matter how odd some of the reasoning in this article may seem to most, it is something to be taken very seriously. It may indeed seem like the ravings of a isolated and slightly mad man who really doesn't have a firm grasp on reality (or what he could potentially unleash). But that doesn't mean he won't act on it if, for whatever reason, he concludes he must.

Does that mean he actually can attack the US? That's not really clear. That doesn't mean, however, that he won't try or won't end up attacking something. North Korea is a very serious diplomatic situation. And like Iran, there just aren't very many good options. [ It's possible that the underground test will fail just like the recent insane missile tests. It's only a matter of time until one succeeds, however... -ed. ]

Friday, October 06, 2006

"It has come to my attention that Jihadis organized a campaign against us to have our videos removed by You Tube. Some people’s accounts have even been terminated. I don’t know exactly how the You Tube suspension system works, but it looks like a video will be removed if it gets a certain number of complaints (which may be accepted without investigation), and an account gets closed when the third video is removed. One of my videos was recently removed for “inappropriate content.” The video, ‘It’s In The Koran’ could be viewed at, second screen (alternative video source). This video contains no sexually explicit content and could only be offensive to Muslims who reject any notion of criticism. At the same time, many al-Qaeda propaganda videos, Nazi videos, etc. are posted on You Tube."
"When asked, Kurds attribute their peaceful neighborhood to the fact that Kurds are not Arabs. But this is not the main reason, for the Kurds have, in the past, been as factious and violent as the Iraqi Arabs are now. But during the 1990s, when the U.S. and Britain agreed to keep Saddam's forces out of the north (to prevent another large scale massacre of Kurds), the Kurds sorted out their differences and learned the benefits of cooperation and law and order. In effect, the Kurds had a ten year head start on the rest of Iraq, in the "how to create peace and democracy" department. The Iraqi Arabs, Sunni and Shia, who come north on business, or for a vacation, note this. The Arabs believe they are superior to the Kurds ("a bunch of hillbillies," to most Arabs), and find it irritating that the Kurds have made things work, while down south, especially in central Iraq, things are still a mess. Given another seven years, the Iraqi Arabs will probably catch up. But this is not a popular solution to the "Iraq problem," and no career-conscious journalist is going to talk about it."
"They refused to say what they were doing in an illegal tunnel that inexplicably blew up? Why would they need to spell it out for anyone?"

Thursday, October 05, 2006

"In its sharpest criticism yet, China pointedly warned Wednesday "no one is going to protect" North Korea in the event of a test.

"I think that they have to realize that they will face serious consequences," Chinese UN Ambassador Wang Guangya said. [ Airborne pigs spotted again... -ed. ]
"U.S. officials say the decision of some tribal leaders to begin going after insurgents reflects growing public anger over attacks that have killed or injured more than 8,000 Iraqis, according to local government figures. They also say there has been growing alarm on the part of some tribal leaders over insurgents' demands for adherence to strict Islamic law. U.S. military leaders say that alarm has inspired a sense of partnership that didn't exist earlier.

"It's only frankly been the last six months that they've recognized two things: One, they can't do it themselves, and two … they had much more in common with the coalition than they do with Iran," said a senior U.S. military official, who spoke on condition of anonymity. ...

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

"In his 1908 masterpiece Orthodoxy, G. K. Chesterton explored the phenomenon of modern theologians who deny the reality of sin. "The strongest saints and the strongest skeptics alike took positive evil as the starting point of their argument," Chesterton wrote. "If it be true (as it certainly is) that a man can feel exquisite happiness skinning a cat, then the religious philosopher can make one or two deductions. He must either deny the existence of God, as all atheists do; or he must deny the present union between God and man, as all Christians do. The new theologians seem to think it a highly rationalistic solution to deny the cat.""
"Every source in Cobra II, Fiasco, or State of Denial, may be accurate, but we will never know that, because for a variety of reasons the authors who claim they worked from notes and recordings, chose not to identify the most inflammatory sources by name. It would be as if I [Hanson] wrote a history of the Peloponnesian War and, to support my most controversial points, added footnotes that stated "A manuscript in the Vatican," or "Private letter to author from anonymous Greek shepherd attesting a stone altar in his field""
"But let me ask you one thing, if the best those tents can come up with to lead the largest deliberative body of the most powerful country on Earth are Dennis Hastert and Nancy Pelosi, isn't it time to start asking some serious questions? [ Roger can be rather difficult to argue with at times... -ed. ] "
"This young man's name is now one of Technorati's top search terms thanks to the conservative outing mob. Are you proud of sinking to the level of the liberal witch hunters? Shall we all shrug our shoulders now and accept the inevitability of turning into our own worst enemies? [ Let's be clear and this will end my commentary unless there's some new truly astounding revelation. Foley should be prosecuted to the maximum extent the law (ironically his I suspect) allows. And if the Republican leadership really did try to hide this in any significant way then they should be replaced. But making this the centerpiece of the current off year election campaign's denouement does nothing but reveal the true nature of our corrupt, National Enquirer minded media. And the sad level of mind control they have achieved over an educationally shortchanged electorate. Somehow the compare and contrast with the Gerry Studds and Barney Frank travesties seem not to come up -- I can't imagine why? Could it be that it wouldn't be to the Dems advantage? It would be risible if it didn't have such dire consequences for the very survival of Western Civ. Those few of us free-thinkers that remain anyway... -ed. ] "
"Nonproliferation efforts don't seem to be working very well. [ The perfect understatement. -ed. ] "

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

"WASHINGTON - Convicted terrorists locked up in U.S. prisons can still use mail and verbal communications to conduct terrorist or criminal activities, according to a report issued Tuesday by the Department of Justice’s inspector general.

The inspector general launched a review after a series of NBC News Investigative Unit reports in February and March 2005 revealed that jailed terrorists — even those responsible for the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center — were continuing to support jihadists and encourage violence around the world. [ I'm not surprised ... are you? -ed. ]
I have obviously not been giving John Howard his due:
"PRIME Minister John Howard has launched a scathing attack on Australia's left-wing intelligentsia, questioning its loyalty to the nation over the past decades.

In a speech delivered last night for the 50th anniversary of the conservative magazine Quadrant, Mr Howard said the left had a history of denigrating the nation and was now doing the same with the war in Iraq, describing Islamic terrorism as the new tyranny.

He said Australian universities were still breeding leftists and described pro-communists of decades past as “ideological barrackers for regimes of oppression opposed to Australia and its interests”, Fairfax reports today.

Mr Howard said the left was wrong in its view that the Cold War was an equal struggle between the ideologies of the United States and the Soviet Union.
"So the label should have said -- in Day-Glo green letters on a phosphorescent-pink background -— “THIS IS A BED. USE ONLY WHILE AWAKE.” Or perhaps “IF YOUR IQ IS NOT THIS TALL, YOU CANNOT RIDE ON THIS BED.” Or how about an arrow pointing downward, with the legend “FALLING IN THIS DIRECTION COULD BE HAZARDOUS TO YOUR HEALTH. FALL ONLY UPWARD OR TO THE SIDE.” ..."
"In proportion to their numbers, homosexual males seem to be significantly more likely to engage in sex with minors. Let’s take the homosexual priest problem that afflicted the Catholic church. It is again deceptive to call this a “pedophile priest” problem, since the majority of victims were post-pubescent teenage boys. This is apparently consistent with studies indicating that “While no more than 2% of male adults are homosexual... approximately 35% of pedophiles are homosexual. Further, since male-on-male pedophiles victimize far more children than do heterosexual pedophiles, it is estimated that approximately 80% of pedophilic victims are boys who have been molested by adult males.”"

Monday, October 02, 2006

I could implore you to RTWT, but that would be an understatement:
"12) Our civilization is destroying theirs. We cannot share a world in peace. They understand this; we have yet to learn it.

Another culturally-imposed blindness we have is the notion that everybody can get along with enough good will. There is absolutely no evidence to support this and a great deal to oppose it. Can the subjugation of women coexist with Western Civilization with Western media ubiquitous throughout the world? Can a pluralistic and tolerant society be governed by Islamic law? Can a modern economy exist where interest is forbidden and many forms of business risk-taking are considered gambling, and thus forbidden? Can a society that educates its young men by a process of rote recitation produce critically thinking, technically educated men to build and operate a modern economy? Can you even teach elementary concepts of maintenance to a people who believe that anything that happens is inshalla (As God will it)? To compete, or even just survive in the world they must become more like us and less like themselves – and they know this.
[ Print it out and re-read it about a hundred times... -ed. ]

Careful Or Your Head Might Explode

Looks like another obvious fake propagated by the lying W:
"The path is long and difficult, and the enemy isn?t easy, for he is great and numerous and he can take quite a bit of punishment as well. [Ed.: This is very different from how al Qaeda wrote about the U.S. after the flight from Somalia.] I command you, my brother, and I am your brother and I have nothing except these words that are between the two of us and God as the third party, that you send messengers from your end to Waziristan so that they meet with the brothers of the leadership, and the rational and experienced people and the shaykhs here, because you have a greater chance to send messengers (brothers that you choose) than your brothers have here. [So al Qaeda's leadership is so pinned down that they can't even send messengers to Iraq.]

I am now on a visit to them and I am writing you this letter as I am with them, and they have some comments about some of your circumstances, may God guide you, with due confidence, affection, respect, and esteem. They wish that they had a way to talk to you and advise you, and to guide and instruct you; however, they too are occupied with vicious enemies here. [That would be us, I assume.] They are also weak, and we ask God that He strengthen them and mend their fractures. They have many of their own problems, but they are people of reason, experience, and sound, beneficial knowledge. [Note: al Qaeda's leadership is "weak."]

Know that we, like all the mujahidin, are still weak. We are in the stage of weakness and a state of paucity. We have not yet reached a level of stability. We have no alternative but to not squander any element of the foundations of strength, or any helper or supporter.
Whatever you do, don't go read it. It might remind you of the turnspeak all around you...

Sunday, October 01, 2006

"But I wasn't thinking of it in operational so much as psychological terms: What does that degree of abasement before their prejudices tell them about us? Mulling it over since I got back, I'd go further: It seems to me that one sign this war is over is when Muslims are grown-up enough not to go to full-blown baklava nuts over other folks touching their Qurans.

Of course, for the likes of Sen. Leahy, not only is the war far from over, it hasn't even begun. Almost every argument in this area isn't "about" the war so much as whether there even is a war. As the Washington Post reported, "The Senate joined the House in embracing President Bush's view that the battle against terrorism justifies the imposition of extraordinary limits on defendants' traditional rights in the courtroom."

Well, they're only "extraordinary" if you regard these men as traditional "defendants." If you regard them as traditional wartime detainees -- rather than OJs in turbans -- the only "extraordinary" aspect of this is the kid gloves with which not just their Qurans but the jihadists themselves are handled. This is the only war in American history in which enemy detainees have been freed before the end of hostilities. Of those released, at least 22 are known to have returned to the battlefield in Afghanistan, Pakistan and elsewhere. The ones who remain are dangerous men, no matter how "sensitive" you are. They unscrewed the foot pads from those Asian-style toilets and used them as bludgeons to attack the guards. After listening to Pat Leahy's contribution to the debate, I wonder if the Gitmo medical facility's lavish team of mental health experts might not be more usefully deployed to the U.S. Senate.
"Rather than punish the electorate for the sins of the politicians, the BCRA contingent should have focused on the behavior of Congress first. If the Democrats and Republicans want to take the smell of cash out of politics, perhaps they would have been better suited getting the stink off of leadership assignments in the House."
"All of this is most interesting when placed alongside the other big news of last week, the National Intelligence Estimate’s assessment that the Iraq war is a “cause celebre” among Islamic extremists and a great recruiting tool for them. The NIE’s less-trumpeted conclusion was that Iraq only works for the jihadis if the jihadis are perceived to be winning in Iraq. Even before the killing of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the U.S. military was reporting that al-Qaeda in Iraq was severely compromised. But if you don’t trust the U.S. military, you don’t have to take the military’s word for it. You can listen to Al-Qaeda’s own propaganda and the United Nations."