Saturday, February 03, 2007

Fouled Nests

"Every society in the world which has invested in creating these networked killing movements (is the Jihad one of these?) has fouled its own nest. Now why should anyone care? Two reasons. The first is that the system may be transplanted to a Western society near you; and second, the spillover from this violence can manifest itself in things like say, 9/11." [ Of course the Jihad is one of these. Calling them 'societies' is looking far too charitable. And soon 9/11 will seem like the good old days... -ed. ]

Kyoto - BDS = Europocrisy

"The speech that Mr. Bush should have given would assert the America's leadership position relative to major economies. Pick any year since the Kyoto Protocol was agreed to in 1997, Mr. Bush should have said, and the U.S. CO2 emission performance is superior to that of all major Kyoto parties, including and most notably Europe (CO2 being the focus of the many pending legislative proposals).

One would never know this from reading European Union press releases, most any media account or even White House statements on the issue. The latter fact is deeply troubling given the political and diplomatic capital lost over public misunderstanding of this matter, and also the traction that proposals to mimic Europe's failed approach are gaining in Congress. In truth, Europe's CO2 emissions are rising twice as fast as those of the U.S. since Kyoto, three times as fast since 2000. This figure balloons to more than five times as fast when one tallies the individual country average of the EU-15.

Instead, this invited more cheap rhetorical shots about Mr. Bush's purported dereliction, and teed up the greens to express deep disappointment with his remarks. This is not surprising; time has proven that approval among President Bush's antagonists on this issue is not attainable. The reality is that even were he to reverse the Kyoto course set by President Clinton and ask the Senate to ratify the treaty, the Kyoto Industry would simply sniff that it was too late, and that, to show he's serious, he must agree now to deeper cuts for when Kyoto expires in 2012
"If the Israelis were doing this, instead of Hamas, we'd already be hearing charges of "war crimes.""

Hitch Dissects Truthiness

"When hunting for bigger game, Rich employs the concept of "truthiness," which he apparently borrowed from comedian Steven Colbert (more showbiz values). Thus, President Bush's statement that "I didn't say there was a direct connection between September the 11th and Saddam Hussein" is, in Rich's estimation, "technically true but it is really just truthiness: Bush struck 9/11 like a gong in every fear-instilling speech about Iraq he could."

What Bush actually did, Hitchens explains, was to strongly imply that Saddam had an interest in or enthusiasm for the kind of activity that occurred on 9/11. And that proposition is more than just "truthy." Saddam had sheltered the fugitive who mixed the chemicals for the 1993 attack on the World Trade Center. He had allowed the terrorist Abu Nidal to use Baghdad as his headquarters. He had boasted of paying bounties to the suicide-murderers of Hamas and Islamic Jihad. The man responsible for killing Leon Klinghoffer on the Achille Lauro was traveling on an Iraqi diplomatic passport. And the Baghdad state-run press had exulted at the revenge taken on America on 9/11.

Thus, asks Hitchens, can it be that those who thought Saddam "might have to be taken seriously as a sponsor of nihilistic violence" were wiser than "those who thought it crass to mention [him] and terrorism in the same breath?" The answer is "not without being jeered at by Rich, who either does not know any of the above facts or who chooses not to include any of them in his proudly truth-centered narrative

The Celestial Challenge -- The Prequel

"In one version of history, the "secular revolt" may be traced to the alienation and disenchantment caused by the scientific and industrial revolutions in the 17th and 18th centuries. (Although "vertically" and metaphorically, I believe we may trace the trouble back to a certain charismatic and seductive serpent who whispered the false promise, "ye shall be as gods"). There was a deep sense that the organic unity of the world had been fractured--a widespread perception of a sort of breach with the natural order of things, and with it, a collective mourning over the loss of timeless and familiar ways and customs. The romantic movement of the early 19th century was actually a reactionary and nostalgic yearning for an idyllic past, answering to the sense of loss of community and oneness with the rhythms of nature. This backward looking movement idealized the primitive and sought to unleash the subjective and irrational passions (countering the rational and objective detachment of science).

Up to this time, one's personal identity had been based on such objective standards as a clearly defined role within an organic hierarchy, or merger with a large extended family. With modernity, this gave way to an uncertain identity that had to be forged for oneself in the world. The philosopher Charles Taylor (see his magisterial Sources of the Self in sidebar) calls this "an epistemological revolution with anthropological consequences," as it led to a new kind of human being that had never before existed on a mass scale: the modern, self-defining subject in a world devoid of intrinsic meaning.

Virtually all modern ideologies, movements and philosophies are somehow aimed at addressing this problem of alienation, of recapturing the broken unity of the world. Communism, nazism, European fascism, the beat movement, the hippie movement, the free love movement, the environmental movement, the new age movement--all are futile attempts to turn back the clock and return to a mystical union with the "volk," with nature, with the proletariat, with the instincts. You can see this phenomena in today's leftists, who clearly long for the "magical" 1960's, which represented a high water mark for a resurgence of romantic merger with the group, free expression of the primitive, and idealized notions of recreating heaven on earth: "All you Need is Love," "Give Peace a Chance," "Sing a Simple Song of Freedom," etc. As the scientist E.O. Wilson put it in another context: Beautiful theory. Wrong species.

We can see how contemporary liberalism fits the bill as a bogus cure for modern alienation. For example, multiculturalism devalues the concept of the individual in favor of the ethnic group, while socialism in all its forms favors the large and powerful mommy state that unites us all (and suppresses--for any time government does something for you, it does something to you). Leftists are uncomfortable with the painful idea of competition, but replace it with the notion of individual expressiveness. Everyone's natural impulses are beautiful, and we must not judge them, much less try to elevate them. Deconstruction throws all objective meaning into question, so no one has to have the disappointing experience of being wrong or denied tenure, no matter how stupid one's ideas. The burden of personal responsibility is mitigated, because one's being is determined by accidental factors such as race, class and gender, not one's owns values, decisions and actions. Skillful knowledge acquired by intense effort (or just being born smarter) is replaced by an obnoxious, hypertrophied adolescent skepticism that knows only how to question but not to learn. It is grounded in a sort of bovine materialism that is not the realm of answers, but the graveyard of meaningful questions. The primitive is idealized, because it is within everyone's reach

Violating The Prime Tribal Directive

"Bear in mind, further, that Islamist terrorism against the West, feeds not only on Western weakness of will, but on this Muslim internecine strife. The most practical argument of the Islamists, to all their co-religionists, being: “We could unify ourselves if we all agreed to attack the West. We might even be able to destroy the West, because it has no idea how to defend itself.”

It follows from this that a secret hope, not quite expressed in print (though sometimes expressed in the blogosphere), is vain. This is the hope that if Muslim fanatics are left to get on with killing each other, they will leave us alone. Like so many glib ideas, it sounds so plausible, but is the exact opposite of the truth.

To grasp this fully, a reader must enter a little into the thinking process of President Bush. (Alas.) He has not yet quite given up on his original insight: that democratization in the Middle East would put an end to Islamist, tribal, and Islamist/tribal violence.

It is true that democratization could, and maybe even will, perform this service eventually. It certainly worked that way, historically, within Western nation-states. The weakness, in this line of thinking, is to be found just over the margin. It is that democratization largely consists of putting an end to tribalism. It cannot solve anything of itself. Or rather, it is a bit like the sugar pills the medical researchers give out in double-blind tests. They may occasionally cure someone, but only of diseases that were psychosomatic.


In the West, too, the schism became somewhat tribal, as little states converted or reverted en masse, each led by the example of its ruler. In the very nature of Islam, where tribal successions from ancient Arabia are acknowledged and indeed celebrated, the case is more complex. It would be oversimplifying to say that while Christianity expressly rejected the tribal principle, and enforced this by a celibate priesthood, Islam expressly embraced the principle and it is written into the Koran. But only if there are different ways of reading the Koran.

Just because one rejects tribalism, doesn’t mean tribalism goes away. For whether or not it is written into any holy book, it is written into human nature. The West’s own struggle against tribalism continues to the present day, and verily, we are currently losing it through the triumphant emergence of “multiculturalism” -- which is just tribalism, by another (postmodern) name.
[ I disagree a bit with Warren's terminology. What he calls "multiculturalism", I would call (similarly pejoratively) "cultural relativism" or in some cases "bi-culturalism". But I will also admit that multiculturalism may not be the right description for what I do everyday working in a multinational corporation with R&D teams spread around the world. We do try to draw the best from everyone and their requisite cultures and we do try to adapt -- for instance in HR practices such as promotional structures and rates -- in some ways to local cultures. But we don't sit around questioning whether capitalism is a good thing, corporations are necessary or whether there's good reason that English is the world-wide language of high-tech -- which certainly a lot of academic multiculturalists do... -ed. ]

Now, this is just where what I have to say gets very tough to digest, for any mind that has embraced “multiculturalism” as a motherhood issue. Democracy itself, with all the word implies of constitutional order and separations of powers, is an unambiguously Western invention. The Islamists are right when they identify it as such. It could itself appear only in a culture that had explicitly rejected tribalism, and such notions as “one man one vote”, or “equal before the law”, or even “separation of church and state”, are themselves absolutely anti-tribal.

It follows that, in trying to impose democracy on the culture exhibited in Iraq, there is going to be at least a little more resistance than in imposing it on, say, post-war Japan, which had its own distinctive anti-tribal traditions. And where, especially after Hiroshima and Nagasaki, few still opposed democracy in principle.

In a world where there was not a huge Muslim diaspora spread through the West, and there were not what we call weapons of mass destruction, the fact of essentially tribal convulsions throughout the Muslim domains could have been ignored. I wish we could ignore it now. We can’t

The Same Mentality

"Free speech in all its forms, including freedom of the press, airwaves, and web, is something beyond law that goes into the dye and fabric of a society. It is not licence, and it dies when it becomes licentious. It exists, while it survives, for a purpose -- “that we may know the truth, and the truth will set us free”. Free speech exists so that the truth may be defended; and so that ugly lies, dressed up as pretty platitudes and plausibilities, can be exposed and destroyed.

Hrant was a true hero of journalism -- though few of his licentious colleagues around the world will ever remember his name, or care for his mission. The massacre of around 1.5 million Armenians is not something that will ever stay swept under a Turkish carpet. Its denial by Turkish nationalists and Muslim chauvinists can serve no honest cause. Lies serve only lies.

Yet freedom is indivisible. Hrant had last made news in October, when he attacked a French parliamentary bill, that would have made denial of the Armenian holocaust a criminal offence. He called this the flip side of the coin, and said, “Those who restrict freedom of expression in Turkey and those who try to restrict it in France are of the same mentality

Friday, February 02, 2007

Wisdom (En)Lightening

"I confess that there are several parts of this constitution which I do not at present approve, but I am not sure I shall never approve them: For having lived long, I have experienced many instances of being obliged by better information, or fuller consideration, to change opinions even on important subjects, which I once thought right, but found to be otherwise. It is therefore that the older I grow, the more apt I am to doubt my own judgment, and to pay more respect to the judgment of others. Most men indeed as well as most sects in Religion, think themselves in possession of all truth, and that wherever others differ from them it is so far error. Steele a Protestant in a Dedication tells the Pope, that the only difference between our Churches in their opinions of the certainty of their doctrines is, the Church of Rome is infallible and the Church of England is never in the wrong. But though many private persons think almost as highly of their own infallibility as of that of their sect, few express it so naturally as a certain french lady, who in a dispute with her sister, said "I don't know how it happens, Sister but I meet with no body but myself, that's always in the right. "

The Celestial Challenge

"On the other hand, the forces of modernity -- globalization, the advance of science and technology, the loss of tradition -- seem to involve a tide of pure horizontality that severs man from his vertical roots. How to reconcile this with our Coon nature?

One can be a strong advocate of globalization (as I am) and still see its downside. On the one hand, it has produced this bland and shallow dominant culture of vulgar secular leftist materialism. But at the same time, for a Coon, life has never been richer. We have instant access to all art, all literature and philosophy, all music, all sacred writings, all films, basically everything, in a way undreamt of in the past. And yet, most people just fritter away this liberty on McDonalds, The New York Times, American Idol, video games, and other banalities.

If man is to survive in any recognizable form -- if we are to create a future worth living -- I passionately believe that our horizontal globalization must be matched by a vertical globalization. Since this post has gone on long enough, I will discuss this further tomorrow. Suffice it to say that the relentless horizontal daydream of globalization must be supplemented by the night logic of wideawake vertical dreamers in order to create a future fit for man. Religion must play a part in this future, but not the primitive religiosity of the Islamists or the postmodern barbarism of the Sam Harrises and Daniel Dennetts of the world, whose hollow ideology is merely a parasitic shadow of the vertical.

You might say that globalization must be accompanied by celestialization

Civil War Innumeracy Update

"It seems that the Palestinians have slipped into open civil war, a development that will surprise no one. Instead of attempting to arm one side over the other, as the West has proposed by sending arms to Abbas, the better solution would be to isolate the territories and let them fight it out amongst themselves. None of the factions involved support democracy or peaceful co-existence, and no faction ever will as long as the West keeps supporting terrorists of any stripe.

Maybe at some point the Palestinian people will tire of this civil war and generate leadership interesting in peace. Until then, any mention of a Palestinian cease-fire will continue to evoke nothing but cynical laughter
." [ I note in the AP story in one of my local papers -- I admit I do occasionally buy one for the ads and can't resist looking through one when I do -- that 36 people were killed in Gaza in the previous 5 days. That's over 7 people per day. Scale that to an Iraq-sized population (7 x (25M / 1.3M) = 134.62) and you have an equivalent death toll of 134+ people per day. Hmm. Sounds a lot like what we're told indicates the sky is falling in Iraq... -ed. ]

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Our World

"I can well imagine the debates now raging inside the Bush administration over what is apparently a substantial trove of devastating information about Iranian activities in Iraq, and perhaps also Afghanistan. American officials long opposed to any serious challenge to Iran pronounced the information “a bombshell,” and some of them now say they have changed their minds about going after the mullahs. So those who still want to take the diplomatic route, and continue to appease Tehran, must set up a series of obstacles: first try to keep the intelligence bottled up; if that fails, discredit it; and if all else fails join the “war is not the answer” crowd, whose credibility rests on the hope that nobody in America has read any history. [ Which seems to be sadly quite true. -ed. ]

This debate has its drama, to be sure. But it is not the dramatic event I had imagined, and its outcome is still in doubt. We are not there yet; if we were, we’d have a national commitment to regime change in Damascus and Tehran. We are in the bowels of the bureaucracy, not on the high slopes of strategic vision and inspirational leadership. But that’s our world."

Just Because He Has A (Moderate) Spine ...

... doesn't mean Blair's not venal. My prediction is that by the end of this the American MSM will have everyone believing that he's just another corrupt right-winger (instead of the leader of Britain's equivalent of the Dems). Can't break the story line about the snow-white purity of the newly-elected Dems...

"In December Mr Blair became the first sitting Prime Minister to be questioned as part of a criminal investigation into claims that wealthy individuals who lent money to bankroll Labour’s 2005 GeneralElection campaign were later nominated for honours.

Last night left-wing Labour MP Jeremy Corbyn said: "Many members of the Labour party are finding these episodes deeply embarrassing and very damaging. The sooner that Tony Blair sets a date for his departure, the better for all of us.""

I Haven't Switched Yet Either...

"I think I'll advise Helen to hold off on switching. And I'll note that Google's success depends on things working right, because if they don't, there's nobody to call, and they quickly transform from cute-but-big company to hated uncaring corporate monolith."

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Ho-Hum -- Chirac Edition

"PARIS, Jan. 31President Jacques Chirac said this week that if Iran had one or two nuclear weapons, it would not pose a big danger, and that if Iran were to launch a nuclear weapon against a country like Israel, it would lead to the immediate destruction of Tehran. [ But he'd finally have the second Holocaust he's been dreaming of. And even if I'm being unfair to him on that point, he's at minimum not competent to realize that Israel is a "one bomb state", and that BOTH Ahmadi-Nejad AND his "moderate" competitor (and former president) Rafsanjani are frankly indistinguishable in the insanity of their public statements regarding the use of nukes. It's completely unfathomable to us (and I'll stretch my charity to the breaking point and include Chirac in that "us"), but credible experts like Bernard Lewis are genuinely worried -- alarmed even -- that MAD simply doesn't apply to these apocalyptic loons. Where the logic in the Cold War was that there was the capability but not (quite) the intent, with the loons it's exactly reversed: the intent is there just biding its time until it has the capability. -ed. ]

The remarks, made in an interview on Monday with The New York Times, The International Herald Tribune and Le Nouvel Observateur, a weekly magazine, were vastly different from stated French policy and what Mr. Chirac has often said.

On Tuesday, Mr. Chirac summoned the same journalists back to Élysée Palace to retract many of his remarks. Mr. Chirac said repeatedly during the second interview that he had spoken casually and quickly the day before because he believed he had been talking about Iran off the record
." [ And winking at them no doubt. OK. I'm sobered up now. I really don't consider him part of "us". -ed. ]
"If we thought coverage has been biased up until now, buckle up - it's going to get worse."

Zapping The Volt?

"The Santa Rosa, Calif.-based company will try to bring an electric sports car to the market by the end of 2008 built around the APX, a concept car developed by England's Lotus Engineering. Lotus designed the APX to accommodate a gas-powered V6.

The design goals for the Zap-X, if met, would allow Zap to leapfrog ahead of Tesla Motors and Wrightspeed in terms of how far the vehicle will go before a charge. Zap said its car will go 350 miles before a charge, significantly farther than either the Tesla Roadster or the car from Wrightspeed.

The APX is a concept car developed by England's Lotus Engineering. The Zap-X will cost only $60,000, said Zap CEO Steve Schneider
. The Tesla Roadster sells for $92,000, while the WrightSpeed X1 will go for around $120,000. The Zap-X won't be as fast, but it won't putter either. It will go from zero to 60 miles per hour in 4.8 seconds; the Tesla Roadster does that in 4 seconds, while the X1 can do that in 3 seconds. Just as importantly, the Zap-X will have room for five adults, instead of the two seats in the other cars


"Of course, this heretofore-unknown apocalyptic cult just happens to believe the same things that the genocidal, raving president of Iran believes.

But I’m sure there’s no connection. Can’t be. Naah."

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

The New Holocaust -- From All Sides Now...

""Despite the best intentions of Shimon Peres and the Israeli socialists, it seems delusional to imagine that any combination of light industry and tourism will provide a livelihood for a Palestine with 5 million inhabitants (including the non-refugee West Bank population). The Palestinian entity cannot exist without subsidies, and it cannot extract subsidies from the West or from the Muslim world without constituting a military threat. The existential choices for Palestinians come down to dispersal or perpetual war. "

The collateral damage inflicted upon the people of the Third World by the Left in pursuit of their fantasies will someday rank with the Slave Trade and the Holocaust in the annals of historical outrage. It is the last form of imperialism. And the worst

The Iranians Aryans Are At It Again?

"Earlier on Tuesday, Time Magazine reported that Iran has a motive to attack Americans in Iraq. The Revolutionary Guard wants some measure of revenge for the capture of five Iranians in Irbil, at least some of whom belong to the IRGC. Time speculates that the IRGC wanted to send a message, and that the number of casualties were specifically selected to make sure that no one misunderstood it.

What happens if the US concludes that Iran did indeed conduct this mission against American servicemen? It would be an act of war, although the presence of Iranian Revolutionary Guard soldiers in support of insurgents also qualifies. The Bush administration might be tempted to retaliate with some air strikes, perhaps selected especially for the nuclear program Iran seems keen to pursue at all costs. However, one can imagine the outcry that would cause, not just among our European allies but also leading Democrats in Congress. It would not take long for at least a few of them -- Maurice Hinchey springs to mind -- to accuse the Bush administration of manufacturing the evidence pointing to Iran in order to justify an attack on that nation.

If the evidence points in that direction, there will be no big rush to respond. It might do some good to make the Iranians sweat for a short period. However, Bush will have to confer with the Democrats and make it clear what happened, and impress upon them the need for serious action to deter the Iranians from attacking Americans in the future. We've let too many of these incidents pass without consequence to the mullahs, and every unanswered insult begets more of the same
." [ Hanoi Jane won't like this one little bit. Why, everyone knows that Time in W's hip pocket! Watch for a new "Bush lied" hit parade... -ed. ]
TODAY'S BUZZ: "Our work will make the goal of tiny aircraft, perhaps eventually only the size of bees, a step closer."

Re-Democracy Dreaming

"Fourth, Olmert himself is held in disdain. More generally, Israel's most immediate national security challenge Israel may well consist "in reforming the Israeli political system so that it will raise up leaders of whom the nation can be proud and who can be trusted to refine and carry out the people's will."" [ And ours needs nearly as much reform also I might add. What's really sad is that we're -- both us and the Israelis -- heads and shoulders above the rest of world. But we're well through the cycle and it will take some major new thinking and reform not to end up badly. Let me clarify in case you're not getting it: The congressional Republicans have become venal mental midgets mostly worried about pay raises -- and if you can't say anything good about someone you shouldn't say anything at all ... so no comment on the Democrats at all in this post... -ed. ]

Mind Parasite Update

"This is a species of what Bion called "attacks on linking," which is a defense mechanism aimed at dismantling what we might call a "threatening whole" in order to turn it into a bunch of meaningless parts. There are two kinds of intelligence, an "analytic" kind and a "synthesizing" kind, and although two people can have the identical IQ, it is very easy for the intelligent-analytic person, if afflicted with mind parasites, to attack the links of the visionary kind. Just so, it is equally easy for the synthetic type of intelligence to be hijacked by paranoid mind parasites which essentially conflate perception and projection. This type of person has the opposite problem, in that they must scrupulously avoid any new evidence, or "links," that threaten the projected vision.

In our scientific age, we are much more aware of the latter problem than the former, but both are equally catastrophic to the soul. For example, we all know of religious yahoos who are threatened by science because it contradicts a very narrow "vision" of how God operates in the world.

But even more common are the leftists, tenured wackademics, and anti-science secular fundamentalists who have a completely unhinged vision of mankind, and thus must reject basic economics, or the self-evident truth of innate gender differences, or the abundant evidence that some cultures are much better than others, and so on
. I won't say "ironically," because it's not: atheists and leftists are no less attached to a "religious vision" than the religious, and use the identical defense mechanisms to ward off any threats to this vision. What did Dr. Sanity say just yesterday? "The political left has created and fully integrated specific ideological tools that facilitate ongoing psychological denial
." "

On Dangerous German Exports

"It is really impossible to understand the rise of fascism in the world without taking a close look at the single most destructive ideology in modern history. I still remember a close German friend telling me that it was a mistake to imagine that his country's worst export was Hitler. Far from it, he said. That honor was reserved for Karl Marx."

And check out this comment: "Don't imagine that Cohen's description is a caricature. I knew some of these people in England. He's dead-on accurate. Many of them lived their entire lives in thrall to the tawdry apocalyptic visions he recounts. Socialism in the UK has now become an odd sort of zombie relic. Few people subscribe to its core beliefs, or even take them seriously, but it stumbles on primarily as a tribal phenomenon - the ideology is dead but the tribe still needs it to cohere. As Cohen describes so well, its members would be quite literally lost if they were to abandon it, as he was."

Stealing The Holocaust


Your attempt to equate the industrialized mass murder of six million Jewish women, men and children, as well as millions of others, with the situation of the Palestinian people is shameful. It reflects an extremely disturbing tendency, which is particularly visible in Europe, to dishonor the memory of the victims of the Holocaust and de-legitimize the State of Israel by seeking to eradicate the clear moral difference between the Holocaust and the loss of Palestinian lives as a result of the Arab-Israeli conflict.

Applying the term 'genocide' to the Arab-Israeli conflict encourages hatred toward the State of Israel and deliberately insults those of us, both Jews and non-Jews, who seek to solemnly commemorate the victims of the Nazi campaign of slaughter.

They deny it happened ... so they can claim to be its actual victims...
I'm late mentioning that you need to take the pledge too...

On COIN FM 3-24

"But no quantity of cultural sensitivity will make up for the fact that we are not Muslim, not Arab, and not in a position to dispense favours indefinitely. We are aliens to the Iraqis, as to the Afghans, and their cultures are rather more xenophobic than ours. Arabs and Pashtoons alike admire resolution, and despise irresolution: as most humans do. Having a short and comprehensible set of desiderata, and refusing to budge until they are fulfilled, makes, I think, a much better impression than playing the compassionate clown.

The British were adept at leaving room for “the natives” to follow their own customs, and live their own lives, while recruiting local soldiers to fight the British way. In the heyday of the East India Company, they benefited from officers who really could smoke a hookah, and prattle away in Hindi. But the Mutiny of 1857 was also brought on by excessive familiarity (see contemporary Parliamentary reports, passim).

To put this positively, there is no median position between two cultures utterly alien to each other. Communication is not achieved by compromise, as the postmodernists assume, but by a kind of dance and sign language, in which each is helped to guess what to expect from the other. “If you do this, we will do that,” is, harsh as it may sound, the beginning of real mutual understanding."
"Rule of the day: whenever you see something in passive voice, be suspicious. Very suspicious."

whollyinappropriate escapes the bien-pensant

"I don’t know how long whollyinappropriate has been paying attention to the blogosphere, but it doesn’t take long to realize what an enormous gap exists between what the MSM will treat, and what one has access to through the blogosphere. This realization will, in coming months and years, continue to undermine the credibility of a MSM used to having a near monopoly on what information (and writers) make it into the “public sphere.” Now cyberspace offers a way round that monopoly, and this at a particularly problematic time for the MSM, caught in a politically correct trap that does not allow them to discuss the most burning issue of the day — imperialist Islam. The growing and monumental process of public awakening to the failings of the MSM in this matter represents a seismic shift that will play out in the coming months and years."

Lewis Channels Bawer And Steyn -- Or Is It The Other Way Around?

"The Muslims “seem to be about to take over Europe,” Lewis said at a special briefing with the editorial staff of The Jerusalem Post. Asked what this meant for the continent’s Jews, he responded, “The outlook for the Jewish communities of Europe is dim.” Soon, he warned, the only pertinent question regarding Europe’s future would be, “Will it be an Islamized Europe or Europeanized Islam?” The growing sway of Islam in Europe was of particular concern given the rising support within the Islamic world for extremist and terrorist movements, said Lewis.

Lewis, whose numerous books include the recent What Went Wrong?: The Clash Between Islam and Modernity in the Middle East, and The Crisis of Islam: Holy War and Unholy Terror, would set no timetable for this drastic shift in Europe, instead focusing on the process, which he said would be assisted by “immigration and democracy.” Instead of fighting the threat, he elaborated, Europeans had given up."

Monday, January 29, 2007

Myths 123 Amid The "Getting Bettah" Myopia

"1-No Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD). Several hundred chemical weapons were found, and Saddam had all his WMD scientists and technicians ready. Just end the sanctions and add money, and the weapons would be back in production within a year. At the time of the invasion, all intelligence agencies, world-wide, believed Saddam still had a functioning WMD program. Saddam had shut them down because of the cost, but created the illusion that the program was still operating in order to fool the Iranians. The Iranians wanted revenge on Saddam because of the Iraq invasion of Iran in 1980, and the eight year war that followed. [ You truly need to be understanding technology only in sound bites not to understand the true import of Oppenheimer's comments on his thoughts at Trinity site quoted from the Bhagavad Gita: "I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds". Those of us who work in the technology industry and pay attention at all are well aware that we are in a race between technology and morality -- and morality is losing quite badly. And our repeated violations of the Prime Directive have made things even more perilous. -ed. ]

2-The 2003 Invasion was Illegal. Only according to some in the UN. By that standard, the invasion of Kosovo and bombing of Serbia in 1999 was also illegal. [ We still have troops in Kosovo from Clinton's legacy; but he get's a pass since it wouldn't fit the narrative meme to have him as W's mentor. -ed. ] Saddam was already at war with the U.S. and Britain, because Iraq had not carried out the terms of the 1991 ceasefire, and was trying to shoot down coalition aircraft patrolling the no-fly zone.

3-Sanctions were working. The sanctions worked for Saddam, not for Iraq. Saddam used the sanctions as an excuse to punish the Shia majority for their 1991 uprising, and help prevent a new one. The "Oil For Food" program was corrupted with the help of bribed UN officials, and mass media outlets that believed Iraqi propaganda. Saddam was waiting out the sanctions, and bribing France, Russia and China, with promises of oil contracts and debt repayments, to convince the UN to lift the sanctions.." [ And on top of this, everyone seems to have completely lost their common sense to think that someone who has actually used WMD (ref Halabja, ref Iran) would of course foreswear them in future. All I can think of is the line in Monty Python's "Bring out your dead" scene where the dying man says "I'm getting bettah". I'm sorry but any sort of belief that Saddam "gave up on" WMD -- just as believing that the Iranians want "peaceful nuclear power" -- is nothing more than a shoddy BDS enabling mechanism.

Of course, this whole obsessive focus on Iraq -- by both W and the Dems -- ignores most of the larger picture as well. This whole Iraq debate is largely a distraction for those with short attention spans -- which unfortunately now encompasses a large majority of the populations of the West much less the rest of the world (who at least has the excuse that they can only think where their next meal is coming from). A big ironic thank you goes out to modern technology for much of the problem.

By the way, not that the WMD and sub-WMD (the WTC I conventional terror bombing was planned to topple one tower into the other and kill 250,000 in a domino effect) threats aren't stunning enough, but the internet itself is a huge enabling factor for the Islamists. Their ability to run compartmentalized operations would be hugely degraded without it. This is perhaps the biggest irony of all as the original design of the (then) Arpanet was aimed at being resilient to multiple "node failures" (read cities vaporized) during a nuclear strike! In the hands of ruthless, misogynisitic Islamist primitives, the internet is fueling the creation of the conditions of its penultimate test!

A rough historical analogy about the Iraq myopia would be as if FDR had invaded Italy with orders to hold it and convert it into a successful democracy in hopes of setting a more proximate example of a successful society to woo Hitler back to rationality. Hitler would have kept beating the crap out of us of course -- as well as funding an Italian "insurgency" just for fun.

Of course, FDR contemplated no such thing because it would have been patently absurd given the stunning losses immediately apparent from Hitler's advances. No sane person could avoid the realization that we weren't in a fight for our very lives. (Not to say there weren't plenty that were insane or were on the other side in WWII as Orwell so cogently pointed out in "Pacifism and the War". His reference to the "fascifist gang" is in fact a timeless one -- go check it out for yourself if you think you're an Orwell expert. I'm betting you haven't read it as -- in yet more irony -- it has been almost completely flushed down the "memory hole".)

There's much more I would need to say to flush this out -- plenty of it derogatory toward many of W's decisions as well as the feckless Dems -- but I don't have time right now. On the plus side, since most folks seem to have geography in their failed subject arsenal, you might conduct a 4 color test around most of the most recalcitrant Islamic terror sponsor countries in the Middle East and Asia. Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Syria and -- look closely -- Iran. (In case you don't know, India is a "friendly" who has been on the receiving end of Huntington's "bloody borders of Islam" for a very long time and is very, very tired of it. I know from first hand contacts with Indians.) At least there's some hope that Iran in particular has become so obvious that even W's myopia can't avoid it: ]

"The gloves are off on Iranians. The Shia majority government had provided diplomatic, and other cover, for Iranian military advisers operating in Iraq. The Iraqi government would regularly come to the aid of Iranians captured by U.S. forces. But American troops have now been ordered to ignore any Iraqi interference, and capture or kill any Iranians they could find. The U.S. and the Iraqi government have been arguing about this Iranian influence for over two years. But in the past year, the U.S. has built up quite a collection of documents and interrogation videos, making it pretty obvious that Iran was running its own war in Iraq, attacking Sunni Arabs, Kurds and foreigners (including Arab diplomats.) The government feels betrayed by the Iranian Islamic conservatives who have, they believe, crossed the line with their support of Shia terrorists."

[ The Golden Hour continues for now -- we know not for how much longer with Ahmadi-Nehjad's rhetoric. Next sound bite at 11:58:46... -ed. ]

Dean Has A Good Retort To Bell's Piece -- Irony Included

"I find it interesting that 3,000 lives lost in a single attack is an over-reaction, but 3,000 lives lost on the battlefield is a horrific tragedy that indicates we're in a horrible quagmire and losing badly.


That said, I think the professor makes a good point; indeed, I've said most of the same things many times myself, including on this blog.

The answer is: First off, if we aren't more vigilant, we will see more attacks like 9/11. Second, increasingly we are seeing development of technologies that will make mass killing by the thousands cheaper and easier than ever for lunatics. Third, we have to face the fact that there are regimes which sponsor terrorists and do something about it. Fourth, while it sounds bloodless, it's just a fact that the damage to commerce is as big a part of this as anything; if our cities are not considered safe, then all our lives are affected. (When America went to war with the Barbery Pirates, it's doubtful that more than a few hundred American lives were ever at stake, but the cost to our commerce system was substantial.)
[ I'm not that Dean is counting the number of Americans -- but admittedley especially Europeans -- that were enslaved by the Muslim pirates. This was no small deal. (Also see this.) Plus ca change... -ed. ]

This is why 9/11 required fundamental changes at multiple levels--which it changed everything. I'm finding it depressing that we have to rehash those arguments all over again but perhaps we do."

What Does Preventing Another 9/11 Mean?

FROM WRETCHARD'S PLACE: "The General flat out says that native Iraqis, under the control of Al Qaeda, are attempting to set up a caliphate, another Taliban state. And that state would be run by global Al Qaeda, bin Laden! Anyone who says we can leave Iraq would need to explain why they think if we give bin Laden a second chance, that he won't do the same thing?

If the Iraqis really want to partition their country, that would leave an independent and purely Al Qaeda-run and Taliban-like Sunnistan as a seperate country. That situation does not exist anywhere else in the world, including Pakistan.
[ Unfortunately, he's a bit wide of the mark on this one I suspect. I think the Pakistanis just continue to pretend it's not already actually true as anyone paying attention has figured out by watching the continuing absurdity in Afghanistan's border with Pakistan. Gotta love that Waziristan -- it's not actually part of Pakistan you see... -ed. ]

Also, the General says that the Iraqi Al Qaeda is led by global Al Qaeda, in other words, bin Laden, etc. So if we allow Sunnistan to form, we are providing safe haven to bin Laden and the rest of the Al Qaeda group responsible for 9/11.

Since we are working with local Iraqi Sheiks who want our help, there is no excuse that we are "occupiers".

If this is really the case, and the General is very clear, then I don't see what the excuse would be to not provide the help Iraq wants. If we can't stop another bin Laden-led Al Qaeda country from forming, then what does preventing another 9/11 mean

Yet Another Non-Binding Resolution (Haunted By Husseini Of Course)

"Even Kofi Anan, hardly a friend of Israel, stated at the end of his tenure that “… the [Iranian] rhetoric implies a refusal to concede the very legitimacy of Israel’s existence, let alone the validity of its security concerns... Today Israelis are often confronted with words and action that seem to confirm their fear that the goal of their adversaries is to extinguish their existence as a state and as a people.”

The U.S. and Israel have warned that Iran's stance on the Holocaust—and its president's assertions that Israel should be wiped off the map—аre in direct violation of the UN Charter and should be viewed with extreme concern in light of its defiant development of nuclear capabilities.

"While the nations of the world gather here… with the intent of never again allowing genocide, a member of this assembly is acquiring the capabilities of carrying out its own," said Israel's Ambassador to the UN Dan Gillerman.

Ahmadinejad’s nuclear arms race and calls to destroy Israel are connected by an umbilical cord to hatred. The nexus between the Holocaust and anti-Western and anti-Semitic Islamist ideology are well known and well documented. Twentieth century Muslim radicals were Hitler’s willing accomplices. Leading among them was the Mufti of Jerusalem Hajj Amin Al Housseini, Yasser Arafat’s relative and mentor.
[ Actually, it's not clear that Hajj Amin was related to Yassar. But there's no question that Yassar though of him as a hero and a mentor. -ed. ]

At the Nurenberg trials of the Nazi leadership, Adolf Eichmann’s deputy Dieter Wisliceny testified that “The Mufti was one of the initiators of the systematic extermination of European Jewry and had been a collaborator and adviser of Eichmann and (SS Chief Heinrich) Himmler in the execution of this plan… He was one of Eichmann’s best friends and had constantly incited him to accelerate the extermination measures. I heard him to say, accompanied by Eichmann, he had visited incognito the gas chambers of Auschwitz.” [ Most people are never exposed to this because it doesn't fit the MSM narrative and has therefore been sent down the "memory hole". Orwell would be quite proud of the scope of this one in fact. Scrape your jaw up of the floor and go research it. A great resource on this is Chapter 7 of Alan Dershowitz' "The Case for Israel". ]

After the war, the Mufti was the guest of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, the founder of which, Hassan al-Banna was an admirer of Hitler. Egypt gave refuge to Nazi propaganda experts and missile scientists, while Syria harbored SS brass.

The chief ideologist of the Muslim Brotherhood, Sayyid Qutb, though an exchange student in Colorado, came to passionately hate the United States, primarily because of the freedoms American women enjoy. He refined the anti-Western and anti-American trajectory of the Brotherhood, which later spawned even more extremist offshoots, such as Ayman al Zawahiri’s Egyptian Islamic Jihad, the constituent part of Al Qaeda. Hamas, which is bent on destroying Israel, is also an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood. Qutb is still a guiding light among Islamist radicals. [ No sh-- Sherlock

In Iran, Nazi sympathies ran deep even before World War Two, fuelled by hatred of the British Empire. Reza Pahlavi, the father of the last Shah, renamed Persia Iran (meaning “Aryan” in Farsi) to signal his political sympathy to the Nazi “Arian” ideology.
[ This is an oversimplification and possibly misleading. But it is true that the term Aryan does refer to the peoples of Iran and northern India who were considered the "roots" of the northern Europeans and the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. -ed. ]

Today Iran is a worldwide center of Holocaust denial. This did not start with Ahmadinejad’s December 2006 conference for Holocaust deniers, nor did it begin with Iran’s macabre Holocaust cartoon competition, which has now been declared an annual event. Since 2000, Iran has embraced Holocaust deniers Jürgen Graf, Wolfgang Fröhlich, David Duke, and Roger Garaudy who claim that the Holocaust was a myth.

The refusal of Iran and Arab countries to co-sponsor the UN Holocaust commemoration resolution, their rejection of Holocaust education, and the Iranian nuclear arms and ballistic missile program are signs of an approaching danger

The implied embrace of the ideology and politics of hatred which brought about the Holocaust does not threaten Israel alone. Radical Islamism, which embraces Holocaust denial, Jew hatred, and the denial of Israel’s right to exist, also vehemently denies Western civilization its right to exist. It is a clear and present danger to world peace. It is laudable that the Holocaust is being commemorated at the UN But to preserve peace, the UN’s members need to do much more than adopt non-binding resolutions
FAUXTOGRAPHY UPDATE: "The garbage dump gunner strikes again. I wouldn't be surprised if TIME features it with undisputed quotes from Hezbollah and Aoun."

Sunday, January 28, 2007

"Because it's only a civil war if you can blame Bush, apparently . . . ."
"JUST THINK OF IT AS EVOLUTION IN ACTION: Muslims urged to refuse 'un-Islamic' vaccinations."

Next Door To The 51st State

"A couple of weeks ago when I first met Colonel Twitty, the Brigade Commander for Nineveh Province (Coach to LTC Welsh’s Quarterback) said one of the smartest things I can almost remember verbatim. But like all wise statements, it was simple and lends itself to paraphrase. First he encouraged me to get out with as many of his soldiers as I could, and to talk with as many Iraqis as I could, and he urged me to take my time in forming opinions. Then he cautioned me to remember, as I was forming opinions about Mosul, Nineveh and Iraq, that if a person were to judge another country by American standards, this would not give Americans credit for their accomplishments. By any standard, General Nordeen would be judged a strong leader of men.

Kurdish interpreters enjoy uncommon status in Iraq. These interpreters tell me that when they return to the Kurdish north, they are treated like rock stars because they work with American forces. Children ask them for autographs
. But the Kurdish interpreters pay for that recognition, and today Raad Khalif Taboor of the Al Nasir tribe lost both legs when the humvee he rode in was hit by another bomb. It was about 2:28 in the afternoon, and Taboor was the combat interpreter with soldiers from the 2-7. The same bomb killed SFC Russell Borea. Sergeant Enrique Castillo lost a leg below the knee. Private Nikolas Addis was wounded in the face and arm but later returned to duty. The missions kept running
." [ Of course, you'd never know it from our MSM "journalists" but as Michael Totten has reported, the Kurds would sign up to be the 51st state if we would let them. Why haven't you heard this? Why because it doesn't fit the vacuous sound bite narrative of course. And the more I ponder the thought, there are a few of our states that I might trade for them so we wouldn't have to go to the expense of changing the flag. -ed. ]

The Sad, Sad Truth ...

about the horrific subjugation of women in Islam. What are YOU doing about it?

They Don't Call Him Flipper For Nothing

Ultimately if we are not able to find any diplomatic resolution in the next weeks I don’t think we have any choice but to take it to the international community. I think Iran has made a very dangerous and a very silly decision and it is inviting confrontation not with the United States but with the global community that cares enormously about the control of nuclear weapons.”

My Betters: The Glib Defenders Of "Freedom"

"Recent surveys confirm that university faculties have been tilting steadily leftward, but I think it is wrong to assume they have been tilting toward "liberalism" as is commonly assumed. Liberalism worthy of the name emphasizes freedom of the individual, democracy and the rule of law. Liberalism is prepared to fight for those freedoms through constitutional participatory government, and to protect those freedoms, in battle if necessary. What we see on the American campus is not liberalism, but a gutted and gutless "gliberalism," that leaves to others the responsibility for governance, and arrogates to itself the right to criticize. It accepts money from the public purse without assuming reciprocal duties for the public good. Instead of debating public policy in the public arena, faculty says, "I quit," but then continues to draw benefits from the system it will not protect."

A Wild Idea

"A big part of the answer will come soon in the battle for Baghdad. Politicians in both parties should realize that success in this mission is in their interest, as well as the nation's. Here's a wild idea: Forget the political posturing, be responsible, and provide the moral and material support our forces need and expect. The next president will thank you."

Except All Those Other Forms That Have Been Tried

#1: "Many forms of Government have been tried, and will be tried in this world of sin and woe. No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed, it has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time. --Winston Churchill"

#2: "The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter. --Winston Churchill"

Let Him Come With Me Into Macedonia...

"If, therefore, anyone thinks himself qualified to give advice respecting the war which I am to conduct, let him not refuse the assistance to the State, but let him come with me into Macedonia.

He shall be furnished with a ship, a tent, even his traveling charges will be defrayed, but if he thinks this is too much trouble, and prefers the repose of a city life to the toils of war, let him not on land assume the office of a pilot. The city in itself furnishes abundance of topics for conversation. Let it confine its passion for talking to its own precincts and rest assured that we shall pay no attention to any councils but such as shall be framed within our camp."
"IN A move widely seen to be bowing to Muslim pressure, Bolton Council has scrapped its Holocaust Memorial Day event."

UPDATE: It gets even more nauseating as if that were possible...