Make My Day

 
Gates of Vienna is a middling blog so we get a fair number of requests from other, usually smaller (but not always) blogs asking that we read their posts and consider reciprocally linking to them. Sometimes I have the time and energy to go look, just to be polite. I remember how hard it was starting out.

So today comes just such an email. I will reprint it here— minus the actual URL, because I wouldn’t give this kind of thinking a link. Here’s why:

In the first place, I won’t bother reading very far into a post when it’s derivative and full of fourth-hand ideas and nothing to back up these opinions. And that’s even when I agree with what the post is saying. In the second place, when these opinions are diametrically opposed to my own political and cultural philosophy, what’s the point? I’ve had my opinion changed before, but it was by coherent, logical arguments backed up by evidence. Like darn Wally Ballou, who made me into a conservative and will have to answer for that… actually, it was Thomas Sowell’s fault, too. And Hayek. But Wally B. is close to hand and easier to blame.

Here’s the email:

- – - – Original Message – - – -
From: A spammer
To: gatesofvienna@chromatism.net
Sent: Thursday, April 20, 2006 6:25 AM
Subject: Re: New Kid on the Blog

Hi there,

I’m a reader. I’ve recently started a blog of my own, at Iamausefulidiot.blogspot.com, and I wonder if you’d consider adding a link to me. I’ll put up a reciprocal link.

You’re doing a great job, by the way. Keep up the good work.

—Steve Barnes

Poor Mr. Barnes. He caught me at a bad moment. Or rather, he created a bad moment for me. I was feeling polite enough before I pulled out his URL and put it up. My generosity quickly evaporated when I read what he had posted. So I responded to his email:

“Hi there” yourself, Mr. Barnes:

I took the trouble to pull your URL out of the email (if you solicit reciprocal blog rolling, it would draw more clicks if you used the HTML tags to hyperlink your blog — just a suggestion).

So I read thru the first post, till I got to this:

“My position has always been that soft power is far, far stronger than hard power over the long haul, as well as being gigantically cheaper. George Bush has squandered the soft power reserves of the United States just as he’s squandered the US military.

No, we’re not going to let them come over here in junks and sampans and swarm our shores. Of course, there’s no real danger of that, is there, any more than there’s any real danger of Iran becoming a nuclear power capable of challenging us.

The administration’s lies about WMD are ringing pretty hollow to me.”

Say wha?

Why on God’s green earth would you want to reciprocally link to Gates of Vienna? And why would you claim to be a reader of a blog that has nothing in common with your ideas?

Was this just a random email to all sorts of bloggers?

On which points do you think our respective blogs would align?

As far as I’m concerned, your “position” on “soft power” is a supine position. It is soft-headed and dangerous when dealing with a culture — say, China, Russia, or the Middle East tribal states, just to name a few — which respects only hard power.

Our military has not been “squandered.” That’s just your opinion. When was the last time you read the report on Defense Planning Guidance? Which years have you read? On which authority do you base your opinion?

As for “Bush lied about WMD” — that meme is dead, except for people who keep digging it up, dusting it off, and propping it up. Go read some of the mil blogs who have actually done the research on the ground. And try some of the intel people who are fairly certain those weapons, such as they were, went to Syria. Have you seen any of the pictures of the portable materials? And what do you call the deaths of all those Kurds — men, women and children. Is that not “mass” destruction? If Saddam had wiped out your town with poison gas would that be “mass” enough for you?

I won’t link to your blog because I don’t respect your opinions. Please, please don’t link to ours — I looked at your blog roll and I don’t want to be there.

Meanwhile, I suggest you refine your reciprocal blog requests so that you don’t spam people you don’t read. If you did actually read our blog, as you claim, you wouldn’t have sent this email. We are diametrically opposed to everything you said in those first few paragraphs.

First rule of blogging: don’t lie to your fellow bloggers. Sheesh.

Second rule of blogging: don’t use your real name, Mr. Barnes, if you haven’t had the sense to check out your audience.

Dymphna
Gates of Vienna

Oh, and thanks for the compliment. I’m glad you think we’re “doing a great job.” We have to, just to combat the useful idiots, as Lenin called people of your ilk.

Trouble in the Solomons

 
The Solomon IslandsSince yesterday morning the capital of the Solomon Islands, Honiara, has been enveloped in riots and unrest. Both Australia and New Zealand have sent troops to the archipelago to quell the disturbances and restore order so that the newly elected prime minister can be sworn in.

I first heard the story on NPR yesterday morning on the way to work. NPR, which generally displays a tender sensibility where multicultural issues are concerned, mentioned only that the cause of the rioting was “ethnic tensions.”

But what ethnic groups are involved? Who hates whom?

According to The Age,

The mayhem that enveloped Honiara started on Tuesday outside the parliament when a crowd opposed to [Prime Minister-elect Snyder] Rini claimed that his election had been fixed.

Rini has denied allegations that he bribed MPs with money from Chinese business interests.

Most of the buildings targeted in the subsequent riots were Chinese-owned.

So it seems that Chinese people are the victims here.

An AP story has more:

Government spokesman Johnson Honimae said about 90 percent of Chinatown had been destroyed by rioters Tuesday and Wednesday. The rioters also torched a new hotel in Honiara and several parked cars.

And ABC News (Australia) reports:

The ABC has been told by a senior Opposition politician that the events of the last two days were the result of a build-up of resentment toward ethnic Chinese Solomon Islanders and the political power they have in the country.

Not surprisingly, Xinhua has plenty of information about the events in Honiara:

The Chinese government will take every measure possible to secure the safety, lives and property of Chinese people in the Solomon Islands, Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said here Thursday.

During the recent unrest in the Solomon Islands’ capital Honiara, dozens of residences and shops in the city’s Chinatown were looted and set on fire. Hundreds of local Chinese residents were forced to flee their homes.

It goes on to describe the humanitarian effort underway to care for the newly homeless Chinese refugees. China does not have diplomatic relations with the Solomons, so all its contacts with the local government must go through a third party.

The ABC reports that the unrest has spread to the neighboring province of Auki, but the arrival of Anglosphere troops has pacified the capital so that Mr. Rini could be sworn in as Prime Minister today, after a 24-hour delay.

In parts of the world where the population of Jews is in short supply, ethnic Chinese people often have to stand in as local scapegoats. The population of the Solomon Islands is about 552,000, and according to Infoplease, the ethnic breakdown is: Melanesian 93%, Polynesian 4%, Micronesian 1.5%, European 0.8%, Chinese 0.3%, and other 0.4%.

No mention of Jews. But notice that there must only be 1,600 or so Chinese in the whole country – enough to scapegoat, but too few to muster the collective clout to fight back.

All across the world the Chinese diaspora strongly resembles that of the Jews. Relative to their surrounding communities, they are usually more economically successful, better-educated, and harder-working. Combined with strong family traditions and the tendency to maintain a distinct ethnic identity through successive generations, these characteristics make them natural targets for resentment and scapegoating.

But what makes them different from the Jews is that they have a “homeland” with more than a billion of their ethnic fellows, always keeping their interests in mind. That’s probably small comfort for the displaced residents of Honiara’s Chinatown, but in the long run it will serve them well.

The Earth Compels

 
Fourth in an occasional series on the poetry of Louis MacNeice

Many writers have observed the similarity between our time and the waning days of the 1930s. Wretchard even finds an analogue with the “Phony War”, the period between Hitler’s invasion of Poland and the fall of France in 1940.

So we await our equivalent of the blitzkrieg and the end run around the Maginot Line, and then the real war can begin. In the meantime we can look back on the 1930s and find a commonality of experience.

The period leading up to the Second World War was a study in contrasts, a time of raucous celebration combined with a grim foreboding. As Al Stewart says, we were “laughing into 1939.”

It is this sense of impending doom, of the imminent end of all good things, which appears most strongly in the poetry of Louis MacNeice during that period. For example:

The Sunlight on the Garden
By Louis MacNeice

The sunlight on the garden
Hardens and grows cold,
We cannot cage the minute
Within its nets of gold;
When all is told
We cannot beg for pardon.

Our freedom as free lances
Advances towards its end;
The earth compels, upon it
Sonnets and birds descend;
And soon, my friend,
We shall have no time for dances.

The sky was good for flying
Defying the church bells
And every evil iron
Siren and what it tells:
The earth compels,
We are dying, Egypt, dying

And not expecting pardon,
Hardened in heart anew,
But glad to have sat under
Thunder and rain with you,
And grateful too
For sunlight on the garden.

Technically speaking, this poem is superb. A tight rhyme scheme ties the end of one line to the beginning of the next without destroying the rhythm of the poem or causing it to become stilted. I particularly like the conflation of Shakespeare’s Cleopatra with the biblical Pharaoh, bringing a double premonition of the disaster to come, tying the asp’s venom to all the locusts and frogs and boils that lie ahead for Egypt.

It’s a gloomy poem. But it was a gloomy time.

You Can’t Kill The Dream

 
The Whole Post from Iraq the Model: “Kill us, but you won’t enslave us.”

“Last week we stopped writing for a while and we apologized to our readers saying that we lost a close friend but we didn’t want to give more details as we were overwhelmed by an exceptional situation and a huge shock. We also were afraid from writing more about this subject for security concerns but now I think I must share this with you as it’s part of the pain and suffering my nation is going through.

Last week our little and peaceful family was struck by the tragic loss of one of its members in a savage criminal act of assassination. The member we lost was my sister’s husband who lived with their two little children in our house.

He was a brilliant young doctor with a whole future awaiting him, the couple were the top graduates in their branch of specialty. They had to travel abroad to get their degrees and the war started while they were there but months after Saddam fallen they decided to come back to help rebuild the country and serve their people.

We welcomed them with all love and care, we would sit and talk everyday about our hopes and dreams for a better future for the new generation and for their two little children. We realized that time is needed before they could have a secure and prosperous life and we were satisfied with the little we could make because we believed in the future.

He was not affiliated with any political party or movement and spent all his time working at the hospital or studying at home and he was dreaming of building a medical center for his specialty to serve the poor who cannot afford going to expensive private clinics.

We didn’t know or anticipate that cruel times were waiting for a chance to assassinate the dream and kill the future.

It was the day he was celebrating the opening of a foundation that was going to offer essential services to the poor but the criminals were waiting for him to end his life with their evil bullets and to stab our family deep in the heart.

Grief and pain is killing me everyday as I hold my dear nephews, my sister is shocked beyond words while my parents are dead worried about the rest of us.

We are trying hard to close the wound, summon our patience and protect those still alive while we look forward to the future that we hope can bring peace for us.

The terrorists and criminals are targeting all elements of life and they target anyone who wants to do something good for this country…They think by assassinating one of us they could deter us from going forward but will never succeed, they can delay us for years but we will never go back and abandon our dream.

We have vowed to follow the steps of our true martyrs and we will raise the new generation to continue the march, these children of today are the hope and the future.

What a difference between those who work to preserve life and those who work to end it… it’s terrorism and crime and there are no other words to describe these acts.

They will keep trying to steal life from us and we will keep fighting back and we will keep exposing them but not with bullets and swords, we never carried arms and we will never do because we are not afraid and because we are not weak unlike those cowards who know no language but that of treason.

April will always be there to remind us of the sacrifice and remind us of the dream we fight for.

My God keep safe the Iraqis and their friends who stand with them in their noble cause, peace and prosperity may seem far away but we will get there and I hope our sacrifices be a bridge to a better world.”

Right now, Death rules Iraq. It has done so for many decades. But with families like this, it cannot continue to rule. With people like this, it cannot win. Death-dealers come from afar and may win some of the battles, but they will not defeat the Iraqi people. Let us remember that.

Changing Minds, One Fist at a Time

 
A commenter on LGF, Terp Mole, linked to two articles in an “alternative” newspaper in Minneapolis. The stories — one from January, 2004 and the second from April, 2006 — cover the same ground: the problems Minneapolis is having with its Somali immigrant community. But how different in atmosphere these stories, separated by two years, have become.

The first is much longer, about three thousand words. And those words are carefully chosen for effect. You cannot help but notice the political leanings of its author and those he chooses to interview.

He begins his story with an angry anonymous email about the violence occurring in the Somali community around the West Bank:

Somali violence has been happening on the West Bank since before Bush was elected. Somali youth travel in groups of six to 25. They carry unbroken beer bottles in their pockets to break later and use as weapons. They also use two by fours, tire irons etc. They are undeserving of our country and its values.

“Somali elders are in denial. Teens have taken over Riverside Park and kids in my neighborhood rarely venture there anymore. The gangs are rude, uncivil and not quite human. They are cowards and like to hurt strangers while robbing them. They knock people down and beat them while stealing from them.”

The writer went on to describe an alleged incident late last year where a bartender from the Viking Bar was beaten up.

“He looked like an eggplant” and had to be taken to a hospital emergency room… The e-mail gives another example: “Some…South High School students were cooling off in the pool at Riverside Park after 10 p.m. They were surrounded by a group of 10 Somali ‘gangstas’ that terrorized them with threats of gang rape for about 10 minutes until the girls’ screams drove them away. Give me gangsters from Detroit and Gary (Indiana) any day. At least they only hurt each other. The West Bank is a war zone and it is because of our ridiculous immigration laws allowing masses of Third World refugees to move here from a culture that does not respect women, our laws, religion or values. They will never assimilate, they do not want to…”

The puzzle in the email is this: Somali violence has been happening on the West Bank since before Bush was elected. Does this non sequitur make sense to you? How are Bush and Somali immigrant violence in Minneapolis connected? Is Bush’s election somehow germane here?

Let’s go on.

The story proceeds to interviews and the writer doesn’t know whether the incidents he reports are indicative of a larger problem:

Based on these two incidents alone, one would get the impression that wild bands of Somali youth gangs are constantly roaming the streets of Cedar-Riverside wreaking havoc on all who stand in their way. But whether that perception is largely fact or fiction—reality or exaggeration—depends on who you talk to.

Fair enough. But then he makes a jump to this series of “facts”:

One thing is for sure: ongoing conflicts between Somali residents and law enforcement officials are having an impact on hundreds of immigrant teenagers with too much idle time on their hands.

The smoke from 9/11 is still rising from the ruins of that fateful September day. The Bush administration’s response to the attacks of September 11, 2001, has had a devastating impact on the safety and civil liberties of most Americans, but especially recent immigrants.

And the Twin Cities have been no exception. Annie Young puts it this way: “Thanks to George W. Bush and the war on terrorism for adding to the violence on the streets of America and right here in our own beautiful Minneapolis.”

So it is the fiend, Bush. I thought so. Had Bush not gone after terrorists where they live, why “beautiful Minneapolis” would be living in peace with its Somali immigrant community. Not only that, but the U.S. government —

“decided to crack down on some Muslim-run businesses it claimed were funneling money to terrorists soon after 9/11 it picked a Somali-run company next door to the North Country Co-op on Riverside Avenue…”

Do you notice how the U. S. government — the Bush cabal?— just “decides to crack down” on money laundering is simply “picks” a Somali-run company in the neighborhood. That’s the fascists for you — just random raids on law-abiding citizens.

This is not a journalist who did any background work on Somali money laundering, obviously.

So Minneapolis did what all blue cities do: it held a candlelight rally, just as they had in support of Mohammed A. Warsame, when he was picked on for alleged connections to Al Qadea. Here’s some information on Warsame, from The Center for Immigration Studies:

Mohammed Warsame was born in Somalia and sought refugee status in Canada in 1989. He became a naturalized Canadian citizen and moved to Minneapolis in 2002. He was arrested in December 2003 as a material witness in the Zacarias Moussaoui case. At the time of his arrest, he was a student at Minneapolis Community and Technical College. In January 2004, Warsame was indicted and charged with conspiracy to provide material support to al Qaeda. Warsame has admitted attending an al Qaeda training camp in 2000 and 2001 and receiving military training (weapons, martial arts). He attended lectures given by Bin Ladin and even sat next to him at a meal. Moreover, he fought with the Taliban and provided financial assistance to al Qaeda members in Pakistan once he had returned to the United States.

This is from a larger report on individual terrorists, Immigration and Terrorism: Moving Beyond the 9/11 Staff report on Terrorist Travel, 2005. You should see the company he kept.

But that is not our author’s intent. He wants to show us how these Somali youth aren’t to blame for their behavior:

The abundant and active Somali presence on the West Bank has manifested itself in another significant way. East African youth, caught between cultures and generations, and often seen congregating in groups, have been branded as gang members by some Cedar-Riverside residents—an accusation denied by most Somali leaders and law enforcement officials.
[…]

“Some of these troubled youth are drop-outs or homeless or have come from single parent households where they have not been adequately cared for, or may be living with relatives other than parents,” Fahia continues. “Some are bitter and angry about the civil war in their home country or over some personal issue. They all have had problems integrating into American culture. In Somali culture, for example, there are strict curfews and dating is not allowed like it is here. The problems usually start with lack of adequate parental supervision complicated by the fact that some youth learn English before their parents and then rebel against authority.”

City police officials with connections to the West Bank and/or Muslim community, don’t buy the “Somali gang” line. Luther Krueger, downtown-area community crime prevention specialist, claims that most reports on Somali gangs are “exaggerated.” For example, he says, “We get reports like ‘there was a gang of 40 Somalis beating up somebody’ from someone who may not like immigrants being here. When we ask them for names of victims, details on time, place, etc, they can’t provide that. There have been (lots of) rumors that have not panned out. It’s mainly fear-mongering. Somalis complain that they have been accused of loitering,” he says. “They loiter or congregate as part of their culture.”

So. It’s the parents, it’s the strange cultural changes, and it’s fear-mongering. But is it crime? Evidently not. Nor are the increase in car thefts, muggings, and violence any indication of a pattern. “Nothing to see here, move along.”

Finally, the author ends with this statement and a question to consider:

Providing youth programs and improving Somali-police relations are keys to preventing and stemming violence on the West Bank and elsewhere. But there is still the public perception to deal with. As Fahia puts it: “These are the same problems immigrants have faced ever since 9/11.” The question is: will the new generation of immigrants continue to bear this burden?

That was more than two years ago. Now, in April, 2006, the same reporter, Bert Berlowe, returns to the neighborhood. This time his story has 753 words instead of 3,000. The Somali representatives and the police aren’t willing to be interviewed for this go ’round, in stark contrast to their expansive views two years ago.

Mr. Berlowe returns to Palmer’s Bar. This was a scene of an alleged “gang” attack in his first article — an attack dismissed by the police as having been an exchange of heated words, an attack blamed on Bush back in 2004. Here’s what he says about his visit to the bar:

Doug Anderson was seated on a stool at the bar finishing a drink, and gazing out from behind a thick white beard. Anderson has a long history on the West Bank. He was a political revolutionary during the turbulent 1960s, one of the organizers of a “new American city” movement. After a period away from the neighborhood, he has been back for 15 years, and now lives in an apartment above the Viking Bar. He has one other less desirable distinction. He has been a recent victim of a Somali gang.

Anderson shifts his glance and tells me how it happened. “One night a few weeks ago I was by the outside door of my apartment about to go in when I was attacked by three black youths and knocked out. That’s the first time that’s ever happened to me. They were wearing hoods so I couldn’t identify them. But someone later told me they were Somali youth. Now, every time I’m out and about I’m careful. I think they know who I am.”

Marty Johnson, a Viking bar employee and longtime West Bank resident happened to be in Palmers’ that day. In contrast to Anderson, he is clean-cut with long straight blonde hair falling to his shoulders. He was the victim of an assault by a Somali youth gang that was mentioned in the 2004 Pulse article. He told that story in more detail. “I was walking home from work at the bar at 2 a.m, when I was approached by group of three Somali youths. They asked if I had any money. I told them I had spent it all at the bar. They punched me in the head twice. I began to run but they caught up to me, knocked me down and kicked me in the face. Some people came by and pulled them off of me. I recognized their language as Somali. I had a couple of shiners and my face looked like an eggplant.”

During his hours at the Viking, Johnson has seen the groups of African youth jump out of cars, take money out of people’s pockets, then go back to their automobiles to talk to one another. He has followed them through parking lots, where they tend to hang around and has smelled Khat (a Somali, cocaine-like drug) on their lips.
Johnson is careful not to stereotype all of these perpetrators as Somali gangs. “There are groups of Somalis who hang out together. But they are not necessarily gangs. And you can’t always assume that the troublemakers are Somalis. Sometimes it’s just Africans who drank too much, but are not gangs.

Tofiq Hassam, an Ethiopian, seated on a corner bar stool, lives in the Seward neighborhood and has been in the U.S. about seven years. Last year, he claims, he was hit on the head by a group of Somali youth near the Riverside Café. He didn’t call the police for fear of losing his job at Mystic Lake Casino. He blames the gang activity on the fact that there is “too much democracy, too many rights” in the U.S., and that some of the immigrants take advantage of it.

Three different people in a sparsely-populated bar. All three with the same kind of story. Coincidence? Perhaps. But indicators seem to show that two years haven’t brought peace to the streets of Cedar-Riverside.

That’s the only conclusion he can draw from these interviews? I wonder how the people he talked to in the bar felt when they read his vague conclusions? Did they feel safer, knowing this intrepid reporter was on the scene, willing to interpret the facts as he saw them? Certainly he had opinions in his first piece. What’s the cause of his sudden journalistic reticence?

And that’s it. That’s all he has to say about the presence of Somali gangs in Minneapolis. Perhaps that’s all he dare say if he wants to keep his skin intact. If the p.c. police don’t get him fired should he forget to toe the line, there’s an angry group of marauding Somali “youth” who wouldn’t mind a go at him if he says anything questionable.

That’s why they carry broken beer bottles and Mr. Journalist doesn’t want a face that looks like an eggplant.

Ironically, Minnesota — and Minneapolis — were settled by Norwegians and Swedes. Back in the old countries, they are having their own problems with violent crimes by Somali immigrants. Only Norway and Sweden, being further along the multi-culti death path than is the U.S., won’t admit the problem.

If you want to discover the truth — about America, about Europe — skip the MSM, including these trendy “alternative” weeklies. Instead, ride the rails of the blogosphere to the people on the scene. For Scandinavia, your first stop is Fjordman’s old blog, where he has this report from September, 2005:

I keep hearing claims that I am exaggerating the problems in Sweden. Well, here’s a post where I have gathered just a few of the links I have about crime in Sweden. Instability is spreading to most urban and suburban areas. Street violence of all kinds is soaring on a national level. Private security companies are in great demand in major Swedish cities, as a serious lack of police to combat rising crime has made many citizens tired of being robbed. The official number of rape charges in Sweden has more than tripled in 30 years.

[…]

The number of reported cases of physical abuse/assault in Stockholm has also tripled in three decades. This steep rise in all kinds of crime and violence has happened at the same time as an unprecedented amount of immigration to the country. Of course, Swedish politicians would never dream of connecting the two. However, in one of those rare cases where a Swedish newspaper has actually told the truth, Aftonbladet revealed that 9 out of the 10 most criminal ethnic groups in Sweden are Muslims. A trend known from other European countries such as France, where Muslims make up 10% of the general population, but 70% of the prison population…[links are in the original, not in this post.]

In a grotesque parallel, Sweden and Norway are stuck in the amber of the same paralyzing world view as are the descendants of those Swedish and Norwegian immigrants who traveled to this country to start a new life. Now, life comes full circle for all of them and they will learn the hard lessons of Theo van Gogh and the Danish cartoonists, and all the other martyrs to free speech.

And they will learn it one fist, one knife, one broken beer bottle at a time.

The Insanity Defense

 
‘A Lunatic behind Bars’ by Francisco de Goya y LucientesZacarias Moussaoui’s trial is in its sentencing phase, and his lawyers are finally hitting their stride in their attempts to keep the needle out of his vein. According to today’s Washington Post,

Michael First, who edits the standard diagnostic manual for the mental health profession, testified in federal court in Alexandria that Moussaoui suffers from delusions and disorganized speech – two of the five symptoms of a paranoid schizophrenic.

First’s diagnosis followed testimony yesterday from clinical psychiatrist Xavier Amador that Moussaoui has paranoid schizophrenia and is delusional. Amador pointed to Moussaoui’s belief that his attorneys are conspiring to kill him.

Moussaoui is the only person charged in the United States in the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks by al-Qaeda terrorists. He pleaded guilty in April 2005 to conspiracy charges, and his defense has been trying to convince the jury he should be spared a death sentence because he is mentally ill.

So Moussaoui is a nut-case, and therefore shouldn’t be executed. Additional experts have testified that he had an unhappy childhood, was abused by his father, and suffered from post-natal stress syndrome (all right, I made that last one up, but you get the idea).

His attorneys are providing him with the standard All-American red-white-and-blue legal defense – “I’m not responsible for my actions because I have X Syndrome” – but Moussaoui isn’t buying it. “It’s a lot of American BS,” he said.

We’ve come to a strange pass, when a statement of the most lambent clarity has to come from an admitted Al Qaeda terrorist.

And, yes, it’s come to this,
It’s come to this,
And wasn’t it a long way down,
Wasn’t it a strange way down?

                    – Leonard Cohen, “Dress Rehearsal Rag”

Isn’t it about time to say good-bye to the law-enforcement approach in the war on “terrorism”? If nothing else illustrates the farce of this strategy, surely the fatuity of the Moussaoui trial does.

If the modern human-rights sensibility holds sway in our dealings with Islamic terrorists, it leads us to the following:

  • You can’t shoot them.
  • You can’t intern them at Guantanamo.
  • You can’t return them to their dusty fly-specked countries of origin, because the repressive Islamic regimes there might not treat them right.
  • They get the same legal rights as a full-blown American citizen in a court of law.
  • They get a court-appointed lawyer, paid for by you, the American taxpayer, a lawyer who can make motions and petition for change of venue and do all those lawyerly things for years and years until his client dies of old age, or the Shari’ah is finally instituted here in the United States, whichever comes first.
  • Failing all the above, they can be declared insane, and then
  • In five or ten years’ time a compassionate federal judge can intervene to order their release.

But I’ll buy the idea that Moussaoui is nuts. Heck, I’ll buy the idea that the entirety of Islam is nuts. Whether you think the Twelfth Imam is calling the shots from the bottom of a well, or that 72 virgins await you in Paradise if you just shred some Jews with nails and rat poison, you’re pretty crazy. Maybe Islam needs to don a collective straitjacket and undergo intensive psychotherapy for several centuries in order to get better.

And maybe anybody who really believes in their religion is nuts.

But somehow Christianity and Judaism must have evolved a cultural version of an anti-psychotic drug, so that their followers can look and act sane, and lead normal lives as productive members of the community. So that believers like me can go out in public without scaring the children or peeing in the potted plants.

But not Islam. The only Muslims who are regularly taking their medicine are the ones who live in the West, or have come into long-term contact with it. And not even all of them.

So, insane or otherwise, let’s stop dealing with the mujahideen as criminals. Insane or otherwise, people who conspire to fly passenger jets into our skyscrapers are not criminals.

They are the Enemy, and this is the Long War.

Jet Fuel in the Backyard

 
Update (4:30pm EST): I drove over to Short Pump to try to get a picture of the site of the Great Jet Fuel Geyser, but the neighborhood was blocked off and immense equipment was in operation all over the area. There was no place to park on Church Road, and the police were directing traffic, so no photos today.

It looked like the EPA and the pipeline people were digging up all the culverts and replacing them. There were huge pumps operating just above Lake Loreine, gushing large amounts of water into the creek. I assume they’ve been drawing the water out of the creek, filtering it, and then putting it back. A strong chemical smell pervaded the whole area.

This is a huge, expensive operation. It makes me wonder how much overhead it adds to Plantation’s 2¢ a gallon pumping costs from Baton Rouge to D.C.



Jet fuel pipeline breakUntil last night I didn’t know that there’s a pipeline carrying jet fuel that runs from Louisiana to D.C. It passes under the West End of Richmond near Short Pump in Henrico County, through an area that was mostly countryside thirty years ago, but is now an upscale suburb.

According to a story on last night’s local NBC 12 news,

A 3,000 foot pipe ruptured in Henrico County Monday night, sending jet fuel 30 feet into the air. Residents had to be evacuated from about 20 homes. No one was injured.

The pipeline runs through the Short Pump neighborhood where Barrington Bridge Place meets Church Road. It carries the jet fuel from Baton Rouge, Louisiana to Washington D.C.

This morning, that spill has been contained and residents are home, but they’ve still got to deal with the cleanup.

The actual TV news program had a lot more information, including interviews with local residents, video footage showing the big puddles of jet fuel still standing in people’s driveways, and shots of local emergency crews dealing with the situation. One man described standing in his backyard looking up at a “geyser” of the smelly stuff.

The local paper, the Richmond Times-Dispatch, also has a brief report this morning, including this information:

[Henrico Fire Lt. Gary] Hutchison said Plantation Pipe Line Co. had been working in the neighborhood during that time.

Plantation released a statement that said workers temporarily suspended operations on a portion of its pipeline. The statement said the company is working on the cleanup with emergency responders.

The petroleum product, similar to kerosene, emits flammable vapors, Hutchison said. But cool weather and moist ground reduced potential for the fuel to ignite, he said.

This same pipeline was one of those temporarily shut down by Hurricane Katrina last year. The Plantation Pipeline website says:

The Plantation system consists of approximately 3,100 miles of petroleum products pipelines connected to 130 shipper terminals in 8 states. These delivery terminals are owned by petroleum refiners, marketers, military, and commercial fuel users. Products are tendered to our system from 9 refineries in Mississippi and Louisiana, from other products pipeline systems, and via marine facilities on the Mississippi River. Deliveries of motor gasoline, diesel and home heating fuels, aviation gasolines, kerosenes, commercial and military jet fuels total more than 20 million gallons each day.

Products are received in minimum batches of 25,000 barrels (1,050,000 gallons) and shipped through lines ranging in size from 6 to 30-inches in diameter. A batch leaving Baton Rouge, Louisiana may travel as much as 1,100 miles to reach a final destination such as Washington National or Dulles airports. Total travel time for such a trip is approximately 20 days. Products can be efficiently transported from Baton Rouge to a shipper’s facility in Washington, D.C. for approximately two cents per gallon.

When I see those pipeline signs by the road, I usually think of sludgy oil running through the pipes. But apparently that’s not always the case.

The Plantation site also has a map showing their operation:

Plantation Pipeline


Here’s what the CSG Aviation Jet Fuel Information page has to say about jet fuel:

JET A-1

Jet A-1 is a kerosine grade of fuel suitable for most turbine engined aircraft. It is produced to a stringent internationally agreed standard, has a flash point above 38°C (100°F) and a freeze point maximum of -47°C. It is widely available outside the U.S.A. Jet A-1 meets the requirements of British specification DEF STAN 91-91 (Jet A-1), (formerly DERD 2494 (AVTUR)), ASTM specification D1655 (Jet A-1) and IATA Guidance Material (Kerosine Type), NATO Code F-35.

JET A

Jet A is a similar kerosine type of fuel, produced to an ASTM specification and normally only available in the U.S.A. It has the same flash point as Jet A-1 but a higher freeze point maximum (-40°C). It is supplied against the ASTM D1655 (Jet A) specification.

My uninformed opinion is that those Short Pump suburbanites were probably seeing a geyser of Jet A. Now, Jet A is not like gasoline for sheer combustibility, but it is the same stuff that made those big orange fireballs and black clouds around the World Trade Center back in 2001.

It has a flash point of about 120°F, which is not all that hot. What if someone had been out on the back deck firing up a barbecue, or lighting a cigarette?

In that case the NBC 12 story would have been different, a big fireball in the heart of Henrico County instead of a smelly puddle in the backyard. Heck, you’d have seen it yourself on the national news last night.

It makes me think about those 3,100 miles of pipeline. And men in rented cars with binoculars and videocameras, tourists from the Middle East, just here to see the sights.

Checking out the local hot spots. So to speak.

Some Barriers Work Better Than Others

“www.coxandforkum.com”

Monahan AFB pop-up barrier
Commenter Bill Keezer sent this picture of an attempt to run the Swan Gate at Davis-Monahan AFB in Tucson. The intruders found out the hard way that the pop up barrier works.

In case you’re wondering: no, it wasn’t terrorists, just pests. Two drunk “undocumented” aliens from south of the Border. Who knows what they had in mind? Or if they even had a mind between them at the time.

The driver will be arrested when he gets out of ICU. The passenger was sent on to a hospital in Mexico.

I think the driver should be returned also, as soon as he’s stable. Why bother prosecuting him when it just means we have to also take care of him?

The Fall of France and the Multicultural World War


The Fjordman Report
The noted blogger Fjordman is filing this report via Gates of Vienna.




In my essay about the retreat of the Western world order, I mentioned the possibility of civil strife in the West caused by runaway immigration. This is no longer just a theoretical possibility. It is pretty clear to anybody following the developments in Europe that the situation in France is starting to become rather serious. President Jacques Chirac threw out part of a youth labor law that triggered massive protests and strikes, bowing to intense pressure from students and unions. The unemployment rate for youths under 26 is a staggering 22 percent nationwide, but soars to nearly 50 percent in some of those troubled areas with many Muslim immigrants. French Jews are leaving the country in ever-growing numbers, fleeing a wave of anti-Semitism. Nidra Poller, American ex-pat writer and translator in Paris, has written some appalling stories about aggressive anti-Semitism, such as the murder and brutal torture of French Jew Ilan Halimi early in 2006.

Muslim blogs are calling for violence against the Jews, the whites and the well-to-do. They say, “We must burn France, as Hamas will burn Israel.” The growth of the Islamic population is explosive. According to some, one out of three babies born in France is now a Muslim. Around 70% of French prisoners are Muslims. Hundreds of Muslim ghettos are already de facto following sharia, not French law. Some have pointed out that the French military are not always squeamish, but there are estimates that 15% of the armed forces are already made up of Muslims, and rising. How effective can the army then be in upholding the French republic? At the same time, opinion polls show that the French are now officially the most anti-capitalist nation on earth. France has chosen Socialism and Islam. It will get both, and sink into a quagmire of its own making. Some believe France will quietly become a Muslim country, others believe in civil war in the near future:

The French Disease

Within 20 years, one person out of four in France will be Muslim, and almost certainly poor and angry. So the French disease progresses. It is chronic becoming terminal. On the way toward collapse, there will be no civil war, just moments of harsh violence. The population will change. People with a high level of productivity will choose exile. People with a low level of productivity will immigrate. Jews and Christians will leave. Muslims will arrive.

The unreported race riot in France

Fredric Encel, Professor of international relations at the prestigious École Nationale d’Administration in Paris and a man not known for crying wolf, recently stated that France is becoming a new Lebanon. The implication, far-fetched though it may seem, was that civil upheaval might be no more than a few years off, sparked by growing ethnic and religious polarization.

I’m not sure which of these scenarios is scarier. People keep talking about the nukes that the Iranians may get, but what about the hundreds of nuclear warheads the French have? Will they be used to intimidate the rest of the West? How do we handle an Islamic France, still the heartland of the European continent, with Muslim control of hundreds of nukes? And how do we handle a Bosnia or Lebanon with a population much larger than either of these countries, and with hundreds of nuclear warheads at stake?

If Muslim immigration continues, the impending fall of France could mark the starting point of the Balkanization of much of Europe, perhaps later even North America. I fear this is a world war. Maybe future historians will dub it the Multicultural World War. Just as WW1 was caused by Imperialism, WW2 by Fascism and the Cold War by Communism, this one will be caused by Multiculturalism. The term “the Multicultural World War” has been coined by Fjordman. I find this to be more accurate than “The Islamic World War” because what will cause this world war is Western cultural weakness, through Multiculturalism and Muslim immigration, rather than Islamic strength. As poster DP111 says, this world war may very well be in the form of a global civil war, where you get a succession of civil wars instead of countries invading other countries. Multiculturalism and uncontrolled mass-immigration destroy the internal cohesion of the decadent West, which will slowly fall apart as it has lost the will to defend itself and the belief in its own culture. The wars in the Balkans in the 1990s will in hindsight be seen as a prelude to the Multicultural World War. Rather than a Westernization of the Balkans, we get a Balkanization of the West.

I guess there is some poetic justice in the fact that the country that initiated and has led the creation of Eurabia now gets consumed by its own Frankenstein monster, but we should not gloat over this. The downfall of France is very bad news for the rest of the West. Again, what happens to their nukes and military resources? As stated in the book “Eurabia” by Bat Ye’or, the merger of Europe and the Arab-Islamic world has been encouraged by the French political elite in particular at least since the early 1970s, with a vision of creating a united Europe and Mediterranean basin under French leadership, in what has basically been a French dream since the age of Napoleon, the great hero of current French PM de Villepin. Several prominent French leaders stated quite openly in 2005 that the proposed EU Constitution was basically an enlarged France. Justice Minister Dominique Perben said: “We have finally obtained this ‘Europe à la française’ that we have awaited for so long. This constitutional treaty is an enlarged France. It is a Europe written in French.” Education Minister François Fillon stated: “This Constitution allows the French ambition to assert itself in the big Europe that General de Gaulle hoped and prayed for.” The French dream of an enlarged France. What they may get is a France carved into tiny pieces.

My personal belief is not that we are witnessing the final triumph of Eurabia, but rather the last spasms of the Eurabian Union. There will be at least as big changes in Western Europe over the coming generation as there were in Eastern Europe following the fall of the Berlin Wall. There will be the downfall and disintegration of an anti-democratic, bureaucratic superstate, the European Union instead of the Soviet Union, and there will be the downfall of “soft Socialism” in the shape of the Multicultural welfare state in the West just as you had the downfall of the “hard Socialism” in the East. The difference is that the downfall of Communism in the East happened through a relatively bloodless “Velvet Revolution,” whereas the downfall of Multiculturalism in the West may turn out to be anything but bloodless. And it will come, sooner than many people think. Multiculturalism, cultural Marxism and the idea of forced cultural equality, will collapse just as Communism, the idea of economic Marxism and forced economic equality fell.

The difference is that when Communism was discredited in Eastern Europe, it was still Poles who lived in Polish cities, Bulgarians who lived in Bulgarian cities etc. When the veil of Multiculturalism disappears, it will be Pakistanis who live in London, Turks who live in Berlin, Algerians who live in Paris and Moroccans who live in Amsterdam. And then the show begins.

Europe may not be finished yet, but she will go through a painful period of transition even if we do get a rebirth here. It should be noted that a revolution doesn’t usually come when the oppression is at its worst, but when the grip of the authorities and their totalitarian ideology, in this case Multiculturalism and Political Correctness, seems to be slipping. This was the case with the Soviet Union in the 1980s, and it will be the case with the European Union now. I see increasing signs that the idea of Multiculturalism is on the retreat. Even Germany’s and Europe’s largest newspaper ran a series about the collapse of Multiculturalism recently.

I am not alone in predicting such a turbulent scenario. Prominent critic of Islam in Denmark, Lars Hedegaard, is quoted in Bruce Bawer’s book “While Europe Slept, How Radical Islam is Destroying the West from Within” in support of this dark view:

“If there’s any hope,” Hedegaard suggested dryly, borrowing a line he knew I’d recognize from 1984, “it lies in the proles.” Yet we both knew that the “proles” – if they did take over the reins from the elite – might well lead Europe back down the road to fascism. He did admit that he was glad to be living in Denmark and not elsewhere in Western Europe: “If there’s any place where there’s hope, it’s got to be this country.” But Hedegaard didn’t hold out much hope even for Denmark. “Unless they build up a cadre of intellectuals in Europe who can think,” he said, America “can kiss Europe good-bye.” The Continent’s future, he predicted, “is going to be vastly different than we imagine.. It’s going to be war. Like Lebanon,” with some enclaves dominated by Christians and others by Muslims. There will be “permanent strife,” and no one will have the “power to mollify or mediate… It will be more gruesome than we can imagine.” When the horror comes, he warned, the journalists who helped to bring it about will “wag their heads and flee – and leave it to those who can’t flee to fight it out.”

The population movements we are witnessing now are the largest and fastest in human history. In Europe, they can only be compared to the period often referred to as the Migration Period, following the disintegration of the Roman Empire. However, during the 4th and 5th centuries, the total human population of the world was in the order of 200 million. Today, it is 30 times larger than that, and still growing fast. We also have communications that can transport people anywhere on earth within hours, and media that show ordinary people how much better life is in other countries. On top of that, the Romans didn’t have human rights lawyers advocating that millions of barbarians be let into their lands. Is it a coincidence that the last time we had migrations like this was when large parts of the European continent suffered a complete civilizational breakdown? Is that what we are witnessing now? The second fall of Rome?

Both Thailand and the Philippines, countries where the Muslim population is not much larger than it is in some Western European countries, are facing war. Countries such as France, Holland and Sweden could soon reach a point where the Muslim population will create something akin to civil war, as it already has in the above-mentioned nations. The Islamic world is now at war with most of the major powers on the planet at the same time, from the USA to India and from Russia to Western Europe. It is a real possibility that we will get a full-blown world war because of these events. If so, I don’t think this will happen 50 years from now, but within the coming generation.

There are several possible scenarios:

1. Eurabia

The EU continues its transformation into a continent-wide organization with clear totalitarian leanings, and a very pro-Islamic stance. Europe’s fate is sealed when Turkey is allowed into the Union, and becomes its largest member. Historian Bat Ye’or, who first coined the term “Eurabia”, thinks that Europe’s ties with the Arab-Islamic world are now so firmly entrenched and established that Eurabia is an irreversible fact. Europe will cease to be a Western, democratic continent, and will become an appendix to the Arab world. Eurabia will become a global center for Jihad activities, as the dhimmi taxpayers and infidel Western technology give a boost to the Ummah. Muslims will be heavily concentrated in the major cities, and the dhimmi native population will retreat into the countryside. The old nation states will thus slowly die, as their major cities, which constitute the brain and “head” of its culture, are cut off from the rest of the body. Europe’s decline into Eurabia will be speeded up by the fact that millions of educated natives with the means to it will move to the USA or other nations. There will be no major war in Western Europe, as its civilization is already dead and very few will bother fighting for it.

The only violence will be sporadic Islamic terror attacks to induce fear, and occasional Muslim mob assaults in European streets to remind the dhimmis who is boss. It is conceivable that the center of European civilization will move from Western Europe to Eastern Europe, but even Eastern Europe will be put under severe pressure from Muslims, both in the Middle East and in the West. The basic rule is that the areas Muslims have taken into possession remain in Islamic hands, while the native population and culture is slowly eradicated. If this holds true for us today, then parts of Western Europe are already lost, and will indeed become Eurabia as Bat Ye’or predicts. There are not too many instances I know of where areas once under the sway of Islam have been reclaimed by infidels. The most obvious is of course Spain and the Iberian Peninsula, where the Reconquista took quite a few centuries. I know the Sikhs have kicked Muslims out of Punjab, India. Parts of present-day Israel could be counted, although Arabs and Muslims are trying very hard to wipe Israel off the map. And maybe some of China’s Western provinces could be included. Islam has not been eradicated there, but it is visibly retreating as Chinese authorities are suppressing any signs of rebellion.

What these examples have in common is that both the Christians in Spain, the Sikhs in India and the Jews in Israel were fighting Islam with powerful religious convictions of their own. The Chinese are not usually very religious, but they have an equally strong, even ruthless nationalism and belief in their own civilization. If history is any guide, today’s decadent, bored, post-religious and post-nationalist Europe will be no match for Islam, unless it rediscovers a belief in its own culture and a will to defend it. This will have to happen soon, or the Islamic demographic conquest of much of the continent will be an irreversible fact, anyway. The result of this will then either be Eurabia or a Pakistanization of Europe, the way we have already seen for generations in the Balkans.

2. War

Personally, I think this alternative is at least as likely as the above “Eurabia” scenario. It also contains several sub-scenarios, partly depending upon when the eventual war starts, and partly on whether there is still some Western pride and resistance left in Europe underneath the self-loathing and Multiculturalism:

The Pakistanization of Europe

Muslims aren’t numerous enough to control the entire continent. In the event of war, there will be mutual ethnic cleansing and Muslims will seize parts of Western Europe. For instance, a belt stretching from parts of Germany via Belgium and Holland to France, but maybe even regions within certain nation states. All of Europe will not be lost, but some parts will, and many others will be deeply damaged by the fighting. Many of our cultural treasures will burn. How things will go from there is difficult to predict. Perhaps this new “Pakistan” in the heart of Europe will be the source of constant instability and the staging ground for Jihad incursions into infidel areas, just as Pakistan is to India now. Perhaps we will see a slow reconquest of this area, possibly taking generations or even centuries. Muslim de facto control of hundreds of French nuclear warheads will make the situation a lot more dangerous.

Of course, it could be more than one Muslim region. Kosovo and in part Bosnia are functioning as Islamic bridgeheads in Europe at this moment. There could be several mini-Pakistans created all over the place. In fact present day Kosovo walks, talks and looks like a mini-Pakistan. The “zones” in France sound suspiciously like Muslim “mohallas” in India although the situation is not as bad as in France.

Reconquista – The Second Expulsion of the Moors

Muslims strike too early, before they are ready to seize control over major chunks of Europe. They overestimate their own power, and underestimate the strength that is still left in Europe. It will start, as these things always do, before anyone is ready. Everyone, the Islamists, the proto-dhimmis, the neo-nationalists, the sleepwalking middle class, thinks they have more time than they do. It may start more or less by accident, like WWI, through the act of a fringe player unaware of the forces involved or the stakes of the game. Once a full-blown civil war starts in one country, it can, and probably will, spread to other countries. Given the European Union’s borderless nature, it is unlikely that war will be limited to one nation only. This will create a domino effect, and Muslims will be expelled from Europe yet again, after major bloodshed and millions of dead across the continent. This will result in the collapse of the EU. The Arab world will support the Muslims and will prolong the war, but they won’t win it.

Cultures collide: Muslim immigrants will be expelled from Europe unless they reverse the growing perception of them as a social threat

The Muslims refused to assimilate. They were expelled. This was the story in Europe 400 years ago. We are watching the sequel today. In the clash of cultures between secular Europeans and extremist Muslims, there can ultimately be no compatibility or compromise, only loss by one side or the other of the absolute values it holds dear. European capitulation on European soil, where they remain the dominant majority, is unlikely.

Global Civil War

Europe has been the primary staging ground for one cold and two hot world wars. It could become a major battlefield in an Islamic or Multicultural world war, too. A world war is already simmering, with Muslims clashes against Russia, Europe, Israel, China, India, the USA and Southeast Asia. Once the fighting starts in Europe, it could spread outside the continent and ignite a world war. This is the scenario of “global civil war”.

3. Western Rebirth in Europe

We should discuss the possibility of whether the Islamic threat will force the West to rethink its values and regain its strength. Can this be done, and how would this take place? Is it possible to avoid both major war and Eurabia or is this wishful thinking by now? The growth of Eurabia is closely tied to the growth of the EU. Perhaps we could derail Eurabia by dismantling the EU? This would require that Europe regain her old, cultural and religious dynamic and repel Islam. Just as Islam isn’t the cause of Europe’s current weakness, but rather a secondary infection, it could have the unforeseen and ironic effect of saving Europe from herself. By quite literally putting a dagger at Europe’s throat, the Islamic world will force Europeans to renew themselves or die. Europe will go through a turbulent period of painful, but necessary revival, and will arrive chastened on the other side.

The Retreat of the Western World Order


The Fjordman Report
The noted blogger Fjordman is filing this report via Gates of Vienna.




Samuel P. Huntington’s “The Clash of Civilizations” thesis has generated a lot of debate, and some justified criticism. He has been accused of simplification, but also for underestimating the case of Islam. Huntington does talk about “the bloody borders” of the Islamic world. However, he has also stated that there is nothing implicit in Islamic teachings that has created the current turmoil among Muslims, but rather the huge number of young men, the primary instigators of violence in any culture. This is obviously not the case. If Huntington had read books such as “The Legacy of Jihad” by Andrew Bostom or “Onward Muslim Soldiers” by Robert Spencer, he would have understood that Jihad and aggressive violence have been intimately related to Islam on three continents for 1300 years. Yes, an abundance of young men as “cannon fodder” for war or demographic Jihad certainly helps, but this situation was created by the contents of Islamic core texts.

Huntington fails to grasp to what extent Islam is a special case, uniquely aggressive among all established cultures and religions on earth today. Hugh Fitzgerald, Vice President of Robert Spencer’s website Jihad Watch, has explored some of the limitations of the “clash of civilizations” paradigm. As Fitzgerald points out, it gives the impression that America or “the West” or Western Christian or Western post-Christian civilization are the enemy, while in reality the global Islamic Jihad is as much directed at Hindus and Buddhists, and the Eastern Orthodox Christians in the Balkans, and the non-Muslim black Africans, as it is against the much more powerful, and therefore more dangerous, United States of America:

Fitzgerald: Clash of civilizations? Yes and no

The phrase “clash of civilizations,” made famous by Samuel Huntington, is misleading. In Huntington’s formulation, there are the Sinic, the Orthodox, the Hindu, the Islamic, the Western, and so on. And these are all potentially clashing. But this is nonsense. There is only one clash that counts: that of Islam with all of non-Islam. If, in the future, China and America were to go to war, it would not be because the former is “Sinic” and the latter “Christian” or “Western” or some such, but because of perceived Great-Power rivalries — for China and America are now part of the same civilization, the shared, modern, universal civilization, with disagreements at the edges, but nothing like the clash between Islam and all Infidels. In fact, a war between China and America would be about power, and thus no different from, for example, the rivalry, ending in war, between Germany and England in the pre-1914 period. It is interesting to note, meanwhile, that Arab and Muslim analysts around the world tend to prefer the phrase “clash of civilizations” — because it avoids the truthful description of the conflict as one motivated by a belief-system, the belief-system of Islam.

However, Samuel P. Huntington should be credited with some of the honor of placing the significance of culture on the radar of global politics. He is also right in pointing out that the beginning of the 21st century is characterized by a West that has superior, yet declining global power. Rival cultures such as the Chinese and the Islamic ones are asserting themselves. The tectonic plates of global power are shifting in ways they haven’t done for centuries. Maybe future historians will label this age “the retreat of the Western world order.” I say “retreat of” because it is not yet certain that this is the end of the Western world order, although that is a possibility. These massive changes and the real or perceived weakness of the Western civilization that has been dominant globally for centuries could very well create a new world war. Multiculturalism and the inability or unwillingness of Western nations to uphold their borders from massive immigration is viewed by Muslims as an invitation for attack and a signal that their ancient Western rival is weak and ripe for conquest. This is no doubt the background for the ongoing aggressive posture by the Iranian president, among others. We should take this dead seriously, because it is meant that way.

Muslims really do believe that the time has now come for overthrowing the West and putting Islam into the global, dominant position it should have according to their scriptures. They will spare no efforts, including nuclear war, in achieving this goal. The Iranian president has quite openly stated that “Islam will soon rule the world,” which implies that they will have to destroy or subdue the West. Al-Qaeda strategists have earlier outlined a schedule for awakening the Islamic world and crushing the West, with a timeline stretching over the coming fifteen to twenty years. They still stick to this plan, which means that tensions are bound to escalate even further in the near future. Westerners need to understand that a world war of sorts with the Islamic world is already inevitable by now, no matter what we do. The only question is whether this will be a cold or a hot world war. We will rapidly approach the latter, if countries such as Iran are allowed to gain nuclear weapons and continued Muslim immigration pushes Western European nations to the brink of civil war. Iranian nukes need to be prevented at absolutely all costs, if we are to have any chance of avoiding further escalation of the most dangerous kind.

There are many possible scenarios for the first half of the 21st century. Let us have a look at some of them:

1. Another Atlantic/Western century

The intra-Western, Atlantic ties between Europe and North America will still be the most important and defining global axis. This would require that Europe regains her old, cultural and religious dynamic and repels Islam. Just as Islam isn’t the cause of Europe’s current weakness, but rather a secondary infection, it could have the unforeseen and ironic effect of saving Europe from herself. By quite literally putting a dagger at Europe’s throat, the Islamic world will force Europeans to renew themselves or die. Europe will go through a turbulent period of painful, but necessary revival, and will arrive chastened on the other side. Although not impossible, this is probably not the most likely scenario at this point, given the economic and cultural weakness of Europe in particular. The West as a whole also makes up a declining proportion of the world’s population, and globalization makes it more difficult for the West to retain its technological superiority.

2. Another American century

The USA, more than Europe and Asia, will remain the world’s unchallenged superpower. The 21st century will be a continuation of the American Age that started in the 20th century. Europe may foster the strength to repel Islam, but not enough to renew herself, and will fade off the world stage. Alternatively, Islamic-controlled Eurabia emerges triumphant, or the entire continent becomes a nightmare of civil wars where neither side gains a decisive victory. In both cases, Europe will be a source of constant instability. The rise of the Asian economies will be derailed by internal political and cultural problems, or could trigger nationalistic rivalries and devastating intra-Asian wars similar to WW1 in Europe.

3. The Asian/Chinese century

The world will return to the Asia-centric system we had before the rise of Europe and the West. Multiculturalism and uncontrolled mass-immigration destroy the internal cohesion of the decadent West, which will slowly fall apart as it has lost the will to defend itself and the belief in its own culture. The wars in the Balkans in the 1990s will in hindsight be seen as a prelude to the Multicultural World War. Just as Imperialism caused WW1, Fascism WW2 and Communism the Cold War, Multiculturalism and Muslim immigration will drag the West into a war with the Islamic world. Instead of a Westernization of the Balkans, we get a Balkanization of the West. Will this be a world dominated by China, or by Asia as a whole, including India? Perhaps India and Southeast Asia will be bogged down by instability caused by Muslims. The Chinese will watch from the sidelines, quietly playing both sides against the middle as the West and the Islamic world destroy each other. In the end, China will reign supreme as the last man standing.

4. The Pacific century

The USA may remain the world’s leading power, but Europe fades off the global scene and leaves her spot open for Asia. Global affairs will be shaped by the twin pillars of the USA and Asia, mainly China, who will cooperate to contain Islamic extremism, a kind of Global Infidel Alliance. Europe will be the world’s largest open-air museum. The Louvre, the Eiffel Tower, Big Ben and Parliament in England as well as many other landmarks will have been lost during the Eurabian civil wars to expel Islam from Europe. They now exist only as plastic souvenirs that Europeans sell to American and Asian tourists to scrape out a living. These “authentic European souvenirs” will all be made in China, of course.

5. The Anglosphere – Indian century

I believe this is what has been predicted by writer Mark Steyn, among others. The USA and the UK, the major powers of the previous 3 centuries, will be at the centre of this one, too. But they will share the spot with India and some other countries such as Japan, “honorary members” of the Anglosphere. US President Bush has already adopted a policy designed to draw India closer to the United States in a strategic alliance. Perhaps this will be in the shape of a Democratic Union or Democratic Infidel Alliance, which may include parts of Free Europe depending upon the Islamic situation there. This alliance will be suspicious of authoritarian China, and will have hostile relations with the Islamic world.

6. The Global Civil War – Neo-Barbarism and Chaos

The darkest scenario of all. Islam manages to derail the West, both Europe and later North America. This disrupts global trade, and the ripples create unrest even in other parts of the world not directly involved in the fighting, including East Asia and Latin America. India will be drawn directly into the conflict with Islam, as will Russia and Israel. The chaos forces created by Islam and by global mass migration by hundreds of millions of people will erode state power virtually everywhere. Perhaps this trend will be reinforced by the appearance of a new, lethal virus, which will quickly spread to all regions of the world thanks to technological globalization. All of this will create a Global Civil War, the first of its kind in human history. It will disrupt civilization, be that Eastern or Western, for generations to come.

A Hoax or a Glimpse of the Future?

It goes so well with your eyes, dear

No Dhimmitude says they don’t know if this is a hoax or not — they got it from a French website.

While the loonies complain about Bushchimp and Can’t-Shoot-Straight Cheney, not to mention the “Dump Donald” brigade, here’s what this way comes.

Don’t you wonder how those feminist academic ghettoes will take to the burqa? They all think alike, sound alike, and all too often dress alike. Perhaps a burqa would complete the picture.

The Council Winners for April 7th

 
Watcher's CouncilThe week’s winners for April 7th in the Watcher of Weasels Council were clearly tops: no close votes on this go-round. I like that when it happens as it allows me to blather on more than usual.

In the Council section, Rhymes With Right won first place easily. His theme, “Immigration Protests By High School Students” struck a chord with the council voters (note: of the first four posts, ranked by number of votes, immigration was the issue in three of them. What does that tell you?).

Rhymes with Right is a teacher in Texas, so he has his work cut out for him on this subject. As I read his dialogue with his students, I was buoyed with hope:

“Here,” I thought “is a good Socratic teacher, the kind our kids need.” Sometimes, reading about the wack jobs who end up in the classroom, using our children for their own ends, I am filled with despair. Greg dispelled some of those clouds.

On the particular day of this discussion, Greg had been listening to the rumors about the planned walkout of the students so that they could attend whatever latest demonstration being planned by A.N.S.W.E.R. and its cohorts re our country’s immigration conflicts. Leave aside for the moment that ANSWER is a Communist-dominated umbrella organization (yep, the Communists are still here, and for all we know, still being partly funded by the USSR Russia. They are not our friends – and why would they be after we called them the “Evil Empire” and made them take down that blasted Wall?)

But what do kids care? It was a chance to experience solidarity and miss a day of school.

However, Greg cared. So after listening to rumors all day (teachers don’t miss much do they?) he decided to talk to his last class of the day. And I don’t mean “lecture” – Greg talked to them and with them. Socrates would have been proud:

All right, guys, I’m not going to pretend that I haven’t heard some of the chatter about the plans some of you have for tomorrow.

{confused comments from some students, and disingenuous denials from the ring leaders}

You know, I’m the last guy in the world to tell someone not to express their opinion, but I think this whole walkout thing we’ve been seeing on Channel One and I’ve heard you kids talking about here is a bad idea. If you kids walk out, you can expect ISS, Suspensions, or even tickets — and since I keep the gradebook, I know that some of you really don’t need to be out of class any more this grading period.
Besides, do you know how these walkouts are being received by your average middle aged, middle class Anglo like me? Do you? You know, the folks who represent a majority of Americans nationwide? I’ll be glad to tell you.

{the ringleaders are enthusiastic, and the rest of the class would like a chance to stop working}

I was listening to one of the talk radio stations over the last couple of days — I don’t remember which one, with all that’s been going on in my life — and you had a guy saying “I see all these folks waving Mexican flags and chanting “Mexico! Mexico! Mexico!’ I want to go down there and start shouting ‘Go back to! Go back to!’

{one of the ring leaders responds “Mister, I think somebody wants to get his ass jumped doing that.”}

Jose, you’re missing my point. My point is this — has waving a Mexican flag and chanting “Mexico!” done anything to get this guy on your side? Do you think it is doing anything to get your average middle aged, middle class Anglo on your side?

{“uhhh… No”}

Why not?
{“Cuz this isn’t Mexico.”}

Yeah — and what are you supposedly protesting for.

{“To let Mexicans who are here stay here and become citizens.”}

And if you wave Mexican flags and chant “Mexico!”, what does it sound like you are more interested in being?

{“Mexican. What’s wrong with being proud of being Mexican?”}

Nothing — but I think you are missing the point. If you want to be proud Mexicans and wave the Mexican flag, that’s great. But a lot of Americans are going to look at that and think there is a great place for you if you want to do that — Mexico. If you want to show us that you want to be American citizens and work and live here and follow our laws, what might be a better thing for you to do?

{various kids respond — “Carry American flags.” “Shout ‘USA’.” “Don’t disrupt school.”}

Yeah, those are all good. Besides, who are the folks you most need to influence?

{Again, various kids — “The president” “Congress” “The governor” “Mayor Bill White”}

Well, maybe not the governor or the mayor, but the first two are exactly right. What can you do to influence them? And I’m not just talking about on this issue, but I mean on anything.

{one jaded kid — “What? You want us to write them letters? Ain’t no one gonna read letters from us.”}

Yeah, they will. Maybe not the President, and maybe not Congressman Gene Green or either Senator from Texas, but someone who works for them will. They record what folks are wrting about, and pass the information on to their bosses.

{time for the challenge — “Yeah, right. They don’t care. They won’t even write back.”

You would be surprised. Whenever I write, I get a letter back. It may be a few weeks, but they at least acknowledge the letter. And it can change people’s minds. Heck, you can even call their offices and talk to a real live person.

{“I don’t know who or where to call or write.”}

Do you really want the addresses and phone numbers? I’ll get them for you before you leave this room — they aren’t hard to find. You can call or write them instead, and make a responsible protest — show that you know how to be a good American, whether you are here legally, illegally, or are an American citizen. Show that you know how to work within the system.. I’ll even make you a deal — if you feel like writing a letter to the President or the Senators, or the Congressman, I’ll even proofread and edit it for you before it goes in the mail. I don’t care if I agree with you or not — I’ll be proud of you doing things the right way. I’ll even mail it if you bring it in an addressed envelope with a stamp on it.”

They got into a discussion that compared what illegal aliens were doing with the behavior of students who cut ahead in the cafeteria line…toward the end, even those students who were from families of illegal aliens agreed that the behavior wasn’t fair.

When the kids wanted to know what they could do, Greg responded with the time-honored “write your representative.” When that was met with skepticism he offered to write the names of their reps on the board, or told the kids they could bring in letters and he would mail them.

Eventually class ended and Greg left to see his wife at the hospital. On leaving, he noticed about ten percent of the schools’ students headed toward the high school where they would pick up bus transportation to the demonstration.

Only they didn’t: the police were waiting for them and herded them all into the stadium. Parents were called to come get their little rebels.

Good for Greg, good for the police, and congratulations to the county for not permitting this “civil disobedience” in the name of breaking the law.

*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *


The Non-Council winner this week is one of my favorite bloggers. He writes like water runs downhill; as simple as a law of nature the words flow from him and into your spirit.

Gerard Vanderleun at American Digest has a special style. It is self-revealing without degrading into self-exposure. You get the sense of the man in the words and realize you are seeing someone, not just reading his ideas.

His winning post is about betrayal, probably the most common failing of all. Betrayal is about pride, about needing to maintain one’s place. Do we notice our foot in the face we happen to be standing on? Perhaps. But we can always justify it by our inherent moral superiority.

Mr. Vanderleun chose the “gospel” of Judas as his example of cultural betrayal and lack of respect. Amazing, that two millennia later poor Judas can still serve:

When it comes to discovering new ways to cheapen the human soul, the “professional intellectuals” of our society have cornered the market. So it was last week when, timed carefully to cash in on the Easter holiday, the “serious” editors of National Geographic chose to release their gleanings from a sheaf of rags and call them “The Gospel of Judas.”

Having risen through the echo chamber of “higher” education and survived the ruthless but quiet vetting process of their “profession,” these editors knew full well that what they were putting out into the world was not a “gospel.” They also knew that calling it a “gospel” would ensure greater attention and greater sales. Beyond that, the editors, secular cultists all, also got a quiet little tingle by having, in their minds, “stuck it” to the Christian church once again. As usual, such secularists love to stick it to Christianity.

And in his next sentence, you understand why you go back to read him. Who else could make this connection?

Addicts of auto-erotic spiritual asphyxiation, their onanistic pleasure in these deeds is only enhanced if they can be performed during the most holy days of the Christian calendar. Only then can maximum profit and pleasure be assured.

Motivation for the act? Simple:

This dark thrill of denigration has the immediate benefit of pleasingly confirming them in their own Church of Zero, and the secondary benefit of being much, much safer than, say, sticking it to Islam, a faith that enforces its demands for respect with bombs and beheadings, and whose central message to all cowards is “Don’t mess with Muhammad.” The sad fact of our modern era is that if you denigrate Islam, you often have to bag up body parts and hose down the sidewalk, but when you denigrate Christianity the most you need to clean up after yourself is a warm washcloth.

Read it all, for Heaven’s sake.



And read the rest of us at the Watcher’s Place.

Easter Eggs

 
Yee-haw!Consider this story from yesterday’s News 24 (Hat tip: reader MR):

An Italian magazine close to the influential Catholic conservative Opus Dei group has published a cartoon showing the Prophet Muhammad in hell, sparking outrage among Muslim associations in Italy.

The drawing is published in the March issue of Studi Cattolici.

According to the Italian news agency Ansa, the cartoon shows the Italian poets Dante Alighieri and Virgil on the edge of a circle of flames looking down on Muhammad, whose body is cut in half.

“Isn’t that Muhammad?” Virgil is shown asking Dante.

“Yes, and he’s cut in two because he has brought division to society,” replies Dante.

Well, Studi Cattolici is showing more of the requisite manly equipment than Comedy Central, isn’t it? Maybe this is Italian journalism’s equivalent of Fabrizzio Quattrochi.

The story continues:

Studi Cattolici editor Cesare Cavalleri said: “I hope the publication of this drawing won’t lead to attacks, because if that happened it would only prove the idiotic positions of Islamic extremists.

“Sometimes a politically incorrect satirical cartoon can do some good. It’s only a reference to a passage in (Dante’s) Divine Comedy.

“In any case, Muhammad was sent to hell by Dante.”

Just for the record, some of us think there may have been an additional influence at work in the consignment of the Prophet (pbuh) to the Inferno. But let that ride.

Now the usual suspects have to be trotted out to condemn insensitivity, inflammatory actions, racism, etc.

The cartoon drew immediate fire from Italy’s Muslim community.

Roberto Piccardo, an official of the union of Italian Muslim communities, said: “With all the efforts made in the Christian and Muslim world for inter-faith dialogue, there are nevertheless always minorities that inflame things and cause provocations.”

Have you noticed that the spokesmen for western Islamic organizations generally have less ethnically-sensitive surnames — Hooper, for example, and now Piccardo — than the people they represent? Do the organizations pick them for their bland monikers, or does Walid Abu Husseini al-Masri get a name change to go with his appointment?

And now the Bureau of Unlikely Juxtapositions brings you a second Easter egg, summarized in this AP story:

Teheran has trained suicide bombers to attack British and American targets if Iran’s nuclear sites are attacked, a newspaper reported Sunday.

The main force — the Special Unit of Martyr Seekers in the Revolutionary Guards — was first seen in Iran last month when members marched in a military parade, dressed in uniforms with explosive packs around their waists and detonators held high, The Sunday Times said.

Dr Hassan Abbasi, head of Iran’s Center for Doctrinal Strategic Studies in the Revolutionary Guards, said 29 Western targets had been identified.

“We are ready to attack American and British sensitive points, if they attack Iran’s nuclear facilities,” The Sunday Times quoted Abbasi as saying in a tape recording of a speech the paper said it had obtained. He said some sites were “quite close” to Iran’s border with Iraq.

Abbasi warned the would-be martyrs to “pay close attention to wily England” and vowed that “Britain’s demise is on our agenda,” The Sunday Times reported.

The paper quoted unidentified Iranian officials as saying 40,000 Iranian suicide bombers have been trained and are ready for action.

Why do I get the feeling that “interfaith dialogue” is not going to be of much help to defuse the crisis in Iran?

But, of course:

Iran insists it is interested only in the peaceful use of nuclear power, but the United States and other nations suspect it wants to develop arms and are demanding a halt to enrichment activities.

Now, the New York Times and NPR may believe the above. NPR never mentions the Iranian uranium program without saying, in that sneering skeptical tone it always uses when it quotes the Bush administration, “The United States charges that Iran is enriching uranium in order to build nuclear weapons.” As if NPR had nothing to do with the United States. As if they found all those checks from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting in a dumpster, and hated to see them go to waste. As if they broadcast from a tiny planet up in the clouds, looking down impartially on “both sides”.

But the public record is as full of evidence of Iran’s intentions as the Völkischer Beobachter was of Hitler’s.

After all, nutter-in-chief Mahmoud Ahmadinejad recently called Israel a “rotten, dried tree” that will be destroyed by “one storm.”

And, as the dhimmi news networks have hastened to point out, this was his moderate stance: last year he said Israel should be “wiped off the map.” Do you think the Israelis are reassured?

These two Easter Eggs — the blasphemous Italian cartoon and the 40,000 willing Iranian shahids — fit together as pieces in the strategic jigsaw puzzle of the Great Islamic Jihad. Anticipate a round of carefully-choreographed mob responses to the Italian cartoon. Embassies, consulates, cultural centers, and so on — the usual targets — torched and roughed-up in order to send messages to certain European members of the Security Council, or to put a little extra sparkle into British or Dutch elections.

Then the 40,000 shahids get dispatched to do their work all over the place, at oil terminals and pipelines, stock exchanges, tourist hotels, etc. All designed to inflict severe economic suffering, and, above all, drive up the price of oil.

In fact, the repeated threat to use them should be enough to make the requisite knees quake.

So on the one hand we have the Europeans, cowering in their lace-trimmed camisoles while Abdul and Mahmud torch their cars and buildings.

On the other hand we have a boatload of American politicians facing re-election in 2006 or 2008, absolutely terrified of the idea that voters might be paying $4 or $6 or $8 a gallon for gas when then time comes for them to start punching chads.

These joint Iranian operations are part of a strategic whole, designed to drive the nuke issue to the UN Security Council, where it will languish in discussions and negotiations while envoys shuttle back and forth and ambassadors consult with their governments and everybody does the jaw-jaw through as many election cycles as possible. “Grave concern” alternating with “constructive dialogue” will become the order of the day, indefinitely.

My dyspeptic and pessimistic opinion is that even John Bolton can’t do a thing about it. His government has decided that the UN is the way to go, and we all know that the Russians and the Chinese, at the very least, will never allow anything to happen that comes within radar range of resolute action.

Which means that the Iranian issue will not be seriously addressed until the Iranians actually nuke someone. Until then, in order to cover its assertion that “Iran must not be allowed to develop nuclear weapons,” the administration can pretend that it doesn’t really know that Iran has nuclear weapons.

But the fact we aren’t willing to face is that Iran is a collective suicide bomber, an entire regime with a nuke strapped to its chest, ready to ride it down to doom. Wake, up, Imam #12! It’s time!

We’ve set it up so that the only way that we can know for sure that Iran has the bomb is when we see the mushroom cloud.

And where do you think that mushroom cloud might appear?

At that point, the glow-in-the-dark Palestinian survivors can emerge from the rubble of the West Bank and dance in what used to be the streets.



UPDATE (from Dymphna): Our commenter, xavier, sends the news. As he says, “too late.”

Opus Dei caved. That is a serious implosion, since this organization is extremely conservative and famously militant in their loyalty to an old-line Catholic world view. The only parallel I can think to offer you is this: to consider what it would mean if the U.S. Marines started apologizing to their adversaries.

Here is Opus Dei’s capitulation:

In response to the publication in the Italian magazine Studi Cattolici of a cartoon offensive to Muslims, we wish to express our solidarity with the Muslim communities of Italy and the world.

In recent months, many Catholics, including this office, have said that there is no need for more caricatures of any religion. As always, but especially at the present time, we all need to work for harmony, tolerance, and understanding.

We consider it deplorable that this cartoon should appear in a magazine that has the name Catholic in its title. Its publication shows a lack of sensitivity and Christian charity. Although Opus Dei has no responsibility for this magazine and each person is responsible for his or her own actions, we wish to ask forgiveness for the offense given.

Religions and their symbols should be respected and religious sensibilities should not be subjected to ridicule. The only road to peace and brotherhood is respect for others’ convictions and practices. Such respect cannot remain at the level of theory, but should be expressed in concrete gestures and actions

This is tripe. Everyone who has elected to publish any sort of cartoon about Mohammed has done so in the name of freedom of speech and in solidarity with those poor souls in Denmark whose necks are being threatened by the scimitar of Islamic intolerance, fear and bullying coercion. Once that freedom to speak, or draw, or symbolize, is abrogated or relinquished we are that much further along the road to dhimmitude.

That Opus Dei just gave us a big shove down the path, during Easter Week of all times, is an indication of our peril.

Look around the mine shaft, fellows: the canaries are dying all over the place.

And who would have thought it would be Comedy Central that would have the principled honesty and integrity to admit what all of the Brainstem Media has resolutely lied about: their motivation for blocking the cartoon of Mohammed was pure and simple: fear –

Comedy Central’s belief in the First Amendment has not wavered, despite our decision not to air an image of Muhammad. Our decision was made not to mute the voices of Trey and Matt or because we value one religion over any other. This decision was based solely on concern for public safety in light of recent world events.

With the power of freedom of speech and expression also comes the obligation to use that power in a responsible way. Much as we wish it weren’t the case, times have changed and, as witnessed by the intense and deadly reaction to the publication of the Danish cartoons…

“Deadly reaction” is the operant phrase there. Soon it may be impossible even to be that honest. Soon we may all be forced to dissemble or die. It is one thing to “believe” in the First Amendment; it is quite another to practice it. An unused limb atrophies.

The fate of the civilized world has not seemed this dark since the nadir of World War II when the advances of the Axis Powers were beginning to look inevitable.