A Question of Loyalty

In last night’s post, a comment by loyal reader truepeers invited such a long response that it has become a separate post.

* * * * * * * * * *
Truepeers — I think you may be missing the point.

     I don’t think we have to accept our enemies’ terms of engagement. Why should we define our fight in terms of their lunacy? Our enemy should be defined as anyone who would use or support violence against us…

I am in agreement with you. But it is extremely important not to look the other way and say, “Oh, no, we’re not at war with Islam, we’re at war with terrorists” if, in fact, Islam has decided that it is at war with us. It’s not yet clear that this has happened, but we should always be on the alert for it, because it may yet happen. If people who devoutly hold the Islamic faith decide that, according to their own religious precepts, they have to support the jihadis against the West, then we will be at war with Islam, whether we will it or not.

It’s not yet clear because the average devout Muslim, heretofore peaceful, has not declared himself clearly on the topic. With luck it may never come to that.

     Beyond this, I don’t think we have to declare a war against Islam…

I am not talking about our declaring war. I am talking about who declares war on us.

     When you write, “According to Auster, because the scripturally-based tenets of their religion require them to have no loyalty except to Islam, and to wage jihad against the infidel whenever circumstances permit, serious Moslems are not capable of being loyal Americans, or, indeed, loyal citizens of any nation except the Caliphate of the True Faith”, I just shudder because this is what many have wrongly said and still say about Jews, Japanese-Americans, etc.

You’re right, which is why it is so hard to look at the possibility. But it is extremely important to consider it — if it is, indeed, impossible for a devoutly observant Muslim to be loyal to any polity save the Caliphate, then it would be foolish for the West not to observe this fact and take it into consideration.

     Islam does pose a problem of loyalties, no doubt about it. So does Judaism in the Christian context. But we cannot know the solution for one and all. When discussing a religion, there is no objective truth. We must locate the religious in the (etic/emic) terms of an interaction between our own religious perspective – our own understanding of what religion is – interacting with those of others. We must attend to what Muslims in America think their religion is about, not only what we or Islamicists think.

With all due respect, we do not have to do this. We only have to determine whether they consider us their enemy, and act accordingly. But determining this is difficult, and it may not become clear for a long while yet.

     A big part of the problem, let us remember, is our own liberal elites who need a reality check and we can’t expect Muslims living in the west to share in that reality check until it comes perfectly ok, for example, for security personnel to engage in religious or “racial” profiling. When we make clear the terms of the fight – and they must be our terms – we can then truly ask are you with us or against us, and then respond accordingly. We cannot start the fight by making blanket statements about a war against Islam. Not simply because we might not win or because it would be unfair to many Moslems. It is not for us to decide what is inherent in or essential to that faith. Despite its anti-historicism (the eternal and uncreated Koran), it and its members have a right to live in history with the rest of humanity. We can only respond to unacceptable violence, wherever it comes from, and we might start with our own loony western foes of the marketplace.

We are in agreement here. But, if we are to fight this war effectively, and prevent the deaths of thousands or millions of additional innocents, we must anticipate unacceptable violence as well as respond to it. If we are only reactive, we will sustain more casualties and fight for a much longer time.

In order to be proactive, we will have to destroy the politically correct shibboleths which hobble us so severely. One of them, a companion to the “religion of peace” meme, is that “we are not at war with Islam”.

I submit that we do not yet know whether we are at war with Islam. And until we do know for certain, it would be extraordinarily foolhardy to foreclose the possibility.

Not a Foe of Our Choosing

Orson Scott Card has written an excellent and timely essay, The Riots of the Faithful. In it he presents the current political crisis — exemplified by the Koran-flushing debacle at Newsweek — as a struggle between the “Smartland” and the “Heartland”, that is, between the academic/media elite and average commonsensical Americans.

One is hesitant to take issue with anyone as illustrious and cogent as Mr. Card, but the following passage is disturbing:

     Our country is at war. And it’s a war in which victory absolutely depends on the Muslim world perceiving it as a war between the U.S and its allies on one side, and fanatical murderous terrorists on the other.
If it is ever perceived as a war against Islam, then we have lost. The world has lost.

It is the contention of Gates of Vienna that the nature of our enemy is not ours to choose. Whether we fight a subset of Islam, or Islam itself, is entirely up to Islam. After all, if it had been our choice, we would have fought no Muslims at all. But, on day the Twin Towers fell, the choice was removed from us.

If, in fact, there are “moderate Muslims” (as opposed to secular, lapsed, or non-observant Muslims), then it may be that we will indeed not be warring against them. But during the past four years the moderate Muslim has kept a notably low profile.

It may be that the peace-loving Muslims are intimidated by the brutal zealots who act in their name, and so are reluctant to step forward and declare their loyalty to America and liberal democracy. It may be that the deadly fanatics are a tiny minority, and that the reasonable and moderate Muslims far outnumber them.

But the Taliban were a hated minority in Afghanistan, and yet managed to rule their countrymen. The Bolsheviks were but a tiny sliver of Russian society, and yet put the entire empire under their boot while exterminating millions of their countrymen.

It is not necessary for vicious autocrats to be representative of their culture in order to control it.

And the idea that Muslims in general can be co-opted, or at least neutralized, is questionable. Consider the followers of Islam that Lawrence Auster, in How to Defeat Jihad in America, refers to as “serious Moslems”, that is, those who practice their faith diligently. According to Auster, because the scripturally-based tenets of their religion require them to have no loyalty except to Islam, and to wage jihad against the infidel whenever circumstances permit, serious Moslems are not capable of being loyal Americans, or, indeed, loyal citizens of any nation except the Caliphate of the True Faith.

If Islam chooses us as its enemy we have no choice except to fight it or submit. And when I say “we”, I do not mean Christendom; I mean Christians, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, Mormons, Sikhs, Jains, Bahá’ís, Shintos, Taoists, Zoroastrians, Hare Krishnas, Scientologists, Moonies, Theosophists, Druids, Wiccans, and atheists. This is who we are; we are infidels. And they are certain that we are their enemy.

Consider a thought experiment: Suppose that aliens from the Andromeda Nebula, for their own inscrutable reasons, used their matter transporters to remove all Muslims from the Earth and relocate them to another planet.

How much religious discord would be left on Earth? From that time forward, how many people would be killed because of their religious beliefs?

Consider another thought experiment. Imagine that every “moderate Muslim” were confronted with the stark choice: join the jihadists, or defend Western Civilization. How would he choose? And if he chose the latter, would it be for principled or pragmatic reasons?

Our enemy has defined his enemy. Until that fact becomes clear to us we fight this war blindfolded.

Still In The Thick Of It

Far left: Charles Lewis, Sergeant, USMC (Air Forces)

In the summers of 2000 and 2001, the last years before the Baron’s Boy obtained his driver’s license, Dymphna spent those long, warm afternoons driving the future Baron around the county where we live, in the foothills of the Blue Ridge. The Baron’s Boy, whose name is Will (though back then it was “Willie”) had decided finally on his Eagle Scout Leadership Service Project.

As most readers of this blog probably know, no boy can attain the rank of Eagle unless he creates a project, completes it, and appears before a Board of Review to discuss and defend his work. It is always a service project, one that must benefit the boy’s community — church, school, individuals, etc. The boy serves as leader of the project but he must include others in the work. He learns to lead and to co-operate.

Will had — and has — a deep love of military history, strategy and tactics. In middle school he’d written several papers within this field, including an overview of the strategic use of airplanes in the European theater in World War II. So when it came time to create his service project, what better thing to do than interview the remaining World War II veterans in our small county? Gradually, over several months, he drew up a list of questions for the vets: things he wanted to know, but also things he thought would be of interest to readers years from now, when the grandchildren of these men were grandparents themselves.

Armed with his questions and a list of veterans a school teacher had drawn up previously (she used to invite the veterans in to talk to her classes), Will made his appointments with the vets and set off onto the back roads of Buckingham County, excited to be able to talk to the men he so admired. In the meantime, he’d acquired a video camera. Being able now to capture the whole experience on tape made the project even more rewarding.

It’s going on five years now since that first day on the road. The project, “Right in the Thick of It”, is long finished, printed and bound and distributed. All the extra copies of the book were donated to Historic Buckingham, with the proceeds of their sale going toward the historical society’s other projects. Meanwhile, a number of the veterans interviewed have since died — some of them even before the project was completed. Always, there was a sense of urgency, a need to record these men and their thoughts before they were gone.

Every man and woman in this book is special. Each holds a place of admiration in Will’s heart. One soldier in particular, Dick Miles, was the grandfather of Will’s friend and a member of the church where Will played the organ; he was particularly beloved. When he died in February, 2003, Will’s final salute was to play the organ at Dick’s funeral. During the service, one of his sons got up to say that during his whole life, he never remembered his father saying an unkind word about anyone. To Will, and to all of us, it was the final word on a life that Ralph Waldo Emerson would have admired:

The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have made some difference that you have lived and lived well.

Now Sergeant Miles lies buried in the church graveyard, in property his family donated to the Episcopal Church, just as they donated the property on which the volunteer firehouse stands.

As a Memorial Day tribute, here is the transcript of Dick Miles’ interview. As you will see, it was he who gave the title to the book.

     Name: Lauren L. “Dick” Miles
Rank: Staff Sergeant
Branch of Service: U. S. Army, Engineers
How old were you when you joined the service?
23 years old.
Did you volunteer or were you drafted?
I volunteered.
What year?
I really can’t remember… probably 1943, somewhere around there.
How long were you in? Did you continue after the war?
I went to Fort Belvoir Virginia — I was in 5th Engineers — and pulled three years. I was discharged, and I joined the reserves. They hadn’t bombed Pearl Harbor yet. I got me a real good job — I never made any money — got me a job paying good money, and one day, they called me back. And I went to Camp Lee and stayed there two weeks. Then I was sent to Camp Gordon, Georgia.
What was training like?
Well… training, it was tough. You had to train to be a good soldier to protect yourself and protect others if there was a possible chance of doing it.
And engineering was difficult because you had to know how to build bridges in the middle of combat and so forth.
Right. We built bridges, we done all kinds of things. I was right in the thick of it.
You were in the Battle of the Bulge, right?
I was in five battles. There were only five battles in the whole war. I was in the Battle of the Bulge — that was the last battle. We were in a little village called Abbel-Fontaine, Belgium for rest. We’d been out in the snow, freezing weather… and we moved into this little town of Abbel-Fontaine, Belgium for a rest, on the 17th of December. We were going to be there for Christmas Day, and have a big Christmas dinner. Well, the Germans broke through about five miles from where we were. They broke through where a brand new division was in the line, all brand-new, young boys, eighteen, nineteen years old… oldest people there were the noncoms, sergeants and so on. They broke through, and we had to get the hell out of there right quick, and we did. And we didn’t get our Christmas dinner. We were out there in the snow, in foxholes, dodging bullets, 88’s [88mm AA-guns], the whole daggone works. But I remember that village real well… when we moved in there, we unloaded the equipment from the vehicles and put camouflage netting over them so the Germans couldn’t see them from the air… and our all tractor-trailers were camouflaged so the Germans couldn’t see them… We had to move out right quick, move out on the line. I was a demolitions man, and I had to use TNT, nitro-glycerin to blow trees, blow holes, all that stuff. We had to get this line all shut up, in case the Germans tried to come our way. So we tried to slow them down with trees crisscrossing the road, and with holes, so when a tank came along he’d hit one of the holes and down he’d go. They attacked us, but it wasn’t so bad.
What was your rank at the end of the war?
Staff Sergeant.
So you were a platoon leader?
I was a platoon leader, anywhere from fifty to fifty-five men. At that time, I must have been around twenty-six, twenty-seven years old.
Where did you see action? I know you were in the European theater, but which campaigns did you take part in?
I was in all the battles. Sometimes, certain outfits would be right in the thick of it. We were bridge builders, blow holes, check for mines with mine detectors, all that stuff.
Where did you first see action?
Well, I was in England. We didn’t come across at D-Day; we came over on D+3[June 9th]. They shelled us and there was bullets coming at us but it wasn’t as bad as when the fellows came across on D-Day, D+1[June 7th]. Because they [the Germans] was all up on the line then, trying to kill every last one of those men.
Were you wounded at all?
No, no, I never was wounded. I had a lot of close calls, but they never got me.
What was your impression of what we were fighting for?
Well, Nazi Germany was actually hoping to win the world. They weren’t just aiming to take the United States, but the world. If they could have taken England, they would have… you see, to cross the English Channel, you had to have the very best of equipment to do it with. That’s about twenty-three miles from England to France, and you had to have the best equipment and men to continue from the beaches of Normandy on up into Germany. That’s the whole situation… when we came in on D+3, they were shelling, everything to try to stop us. There were mines, machine-gun nests… and we was engineers. If they ordered us to take a machine gun nest and we couldn’t get close to it, we had a long pipe, TNT or whatever, that we tried to slide down into it to blow it up with.
What was your most memorable experience of the war?
I think it was landing on the beaches of Normandy. You know, it was something exciting… we were in England, training for this, about six to eight months. We moved to Winchester, England, and they just told us to be ready. Didn’t give a time or date or anything, just told us to be ready. There was a cathedral nearby, and we could go in and say a prayer if we wanted to. I can’t remember if I did or not to tell you the truth. Didn’t worry me, I wasn’t scared; what did I have to be scared of? If I got hurt or killed, it was just another thing that happened. We had fine young men, Italians, Polacks, the whole daggone works.
Thank you, Mr. Miles. I appreciate you letting me interview you.
All right. You’re welcome.

So Dick Miles, veteran of World War II, came back to Buckingham, married Hazel Ragland, and opened a country store. Back before the advent of supermarkets, he ran a “pretty good grocery” where people could charge their purchases till payday. As they came up, all the children took their turn at working in the store. When retirement came, Dick sold the store and walked home. He and Hazel lived another twenty years in retirement, in a house always full of grandchildren. When Dick died in 2003, everyone wondered how Hazel would manage on her own. She wasn’t well and despite a constitutional cheerfulness, old age is always a series of obstacles to outmaneuver. But no matter how old you are, life is still full of grace and surprises.

Yesterday, our small county had its Memorial Day celebration and here is what it was: Hazel Miles, Dick Miles’ widow, married old “Doc” Woods. The bride and groom sat in chairs at the top of the large porch while we gathered below to witness the occasion. Hazel carried flowers gathered by the children. The Reverend Canon Bruce Weatherly, also a World War II vet (and Korean War Marine Corps chaplain) officiated at their marriage. No doubt Dick Miles was somewhere close by, beaming at the dozens of relatives and friends gathered on his lawn to pay tribute to the endurance of grace and of hope.

Rest in peace, Sergeant Miles.

Appeasement Reprised, Part II

With Friends Like These…

Reports of the death of King Fahd highlight the nature of appeasement in the 21st century, reminding us that the House of Saud has been one of the primary beneficiaries of Western appeasement for the last fifty years.

The party line goes something like this: “Saudi Arabia is a friend of the United States in the War on Terror.” No amount of evidence to the contrary can shake this story; America and Saudi Arabia are like a middle-aged couple in a loveless marriage staying together “for the sake of the children.”

During the classical period of appeasement in the 1930s, Britain and France at least had the good sense to appease their enemies.

What in the world are we doing, appeasing our “friends”?

My previous post on this topic concluded that the memory of the Great War fueled the appeasement of the dictators between the Wars. To some extent, it still provides fuel for appeasement; deep in the collective unconscious of the West the trenches and No-Man’s-Land of 1914-18 cry out to us: “Don’t ever let this happen again!”

But there is a more proximate trauma that drives our policies. It is actually a combination of two traumas: the first is the War in Vietnam; the second is the struggle for civil rights. These are the defining issues of the 1960s. Vietnam left America shell-shocked, driven by media-generated defeat to an inordinate fear of war, particularly asymmetrical warfare against guerilla-type insurgencies. The fight for civil rights generated a lasting cultural insecurity which came to define all conflicts with non-whites and non-Westerners as “racist”, and thus immoral.

These two unresolved traumas form a lethal combination when applied indiscriminately by the MSM to the war against the Islamists. To The Annointed this is but a reprise of Vietnam: a fight against an underdog, one who hides among civilians and strikes without warning, humiliating his mighty foe. It is a racist war, against “brown” people of a different religion, perpetrated by the White Man, the source of all evil.

Like a malaria plasmodium, the Vietnam/racism organism is always present in the bloodstream of the body politic, erupting occasionally under the stress of circumstances into the full-blown fever of appeasement. President Clinton repeatedly acted upon his compulsion to grovel before the “brown” people of the world and apologize for the misdeeds of his ancestors. Our current President is less susceptible to this affliction, but the Bush administration is not immune. Hence the “Religion of Peace” mantra, and Secretary Rice’s statements affirming the sacred status of the Koran.

So, as Chamberlain had Ypres in the back of his mind, Bush and Clinton have Tet and Selma. The former gave us Anschluss, Abyssinia, and, finally, Munich; the latter gave us the first attack on the World Trade Center, Khobar Towers, and the attack on the Cole. In 1935 Pierre Laval looked on while the Germans reoccupied the Rhineland; today Jacques Chirac looks on while the Iranian mullahs acquire nuclear weapons.

All of these shameful events involve caving in to dictators in order to postpone problems a little while longer; all the democratically elected leaders involved have found appeasement to be an absolute political necessity. The time thus gained is bought dearly, and when the bill comes due in a later administration (or a later generation), the payment exacted is always devastating.

If a mushroom cloud rises over Rome or Tel Aviv or Chicago one day, the same media that drive the current appeasement dynamic will cry for the heads of those who failed us. And historians will look back to our time, as we do to the 1930s, and ask, “Why didn’t they do something about it when they could have, back in 2003 or 2005?” And it will be a good question.

But there remains the other question: Why are we appeasing our “friends”?

I submit that we are not appeasing our friends, we are once again appeasing our enemies, and simply refusing to call them that. We are buying a little time with the foolhardy practice of paying off the sheiks to attain “oil stability”, even as their cronies and cousins finance and foment jihad against us the world over.

I submit that we have not yet seen our version of 1939. When we do, it will make 9-11 pale by comparison.

Defund Animosity International

Animosity International needs to be replaced. It doesn’t need an equal and opposite number that would somehow be ‘fair and balanced.’ It simply needs to fold its moldy, filth-ridden tents and leave the public scene. Pronto.

Here’s the report of a recent armed post office robbery in Dublin, along with the predictable response of the local Animosity branch:

The fallout from yesterday’s shootout in Lusk, County Dublin, is continuing. Two raiders were shot dead by gardaí when they attempted to rob a post office. One of the men was armed with a semi-automatic handgun, with which he threatened the gardaí ; the other was unarmed. Colm Griffin (33) and Eric Hopkins (24) were known Dublin criminals; four others have been arrested. The gardaí have set up an internal investigation, while Amnesty International has called for an independent investigation. Taoiseach Bertie Ahern defended the actions of the gardaí yesterday, saying that people are constantly telling him that crime is a problem needed more resources and effort: “When the gardaí respond I hope people don’t get weak-kneed”. This was the fifth armed raid on a post office this month.

Animosity International is wrong. Again. What needs to be established is a way of protecting Irish post-offices from armed robbery. These criminals use the proceeds to fund drug buying, which further funds Irish terrorism.

This is just one example of the nexus of armed propaganda* and Animosity International.

We need to figure out where AI gets its funding. How much of it comes from terrorist connections? Not to mention their mass mailings. Do you get their begging letters in the mail?

It’s well past time to respond.

*that’s a good working definition of terrorism: armed propaganda.

hat tip: Eamonn Fitzgerald’s Rainy Day. Especially see this, from whence comes the new name for AI:

What does Amnesty understand by the word “Gulag”? A detention centre for terrorists or the vast network of Soviet slave labour camps in which millions died? This tendentious inflation of language by the Amnesty report writers suggests either ignorance or animosity. Which is it? If a “human rights group” cannot tell the difference between detention and mass murder, what are we supposed to think? The report writers live in world where they know this kind of exaggeration ends up being used as Bin Ladenist propaganda. Newsweek errs and people die; Amnesty inflames in Ireland and around the world and then sits back to see what the results will be. Yes, it’s animosity.

Concerning Belmont Club

As many readers have noticed, the Belmont Club site is down again.

Wretchard says: “The Belmont Club is now totally unavailable. I am attempting to get Blogger to resolve the issues but there is no online support and the only replies I receive are canned email replies. Any ideas, anyone?”

In the meantime, he has begun yet another blog, Backup Belmont Club, at http://fallbackbelmont.blogspot.com/.

If he stays there long enough, I’ll change the URL for him on our blogroll.

Fair and Balanced Blithering Idiots

Fair and balanced? Here’s fair and balanced in the MSM…

Can you believe this is even news? Here it is, almost Memorial Day, and the blithering, trifling Andrew Sullivan has taken exception to some soldiers in Iraq christening — pardon me, naming — their tank “New Testament.” According to the Gospel by Sullivan, quoted in The Washington Times, this is offensive.

“When our own military seems to be advertizing an explicitly Christian identity in Iraq, then it’s time [President Bush] took action. Whoever in the marines allowed this tank to be defaced in this way needs to be removed from his post. It’s an outrage — to both the New Testament and to our mission in Iraq,” Andrew Sullivan, senior editor at the New Republic, wrote Tuesday at his own Web site (www.andrewsullivan.com).

An outrage? Says you and who else? Oh, of course, that other great warrior, veteran of so many tank engagements, ‘weighs’ in on his website:

Filmmaker Michael Moore cited the story, posting the photo online (www.michaelmoore.com) with the Marine directive, “This image has been cleared for release.”

When you two boys sashay into battle, you can name your weaponry anything you want. But meanwhile, to those serving in Iraq, here’s a suggestion for your next tank or Humvee — make sure it’s in big letters:

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I shall fear no evil for I am the meanest S.O.B. in the valley.

Those trifling pundits with more time and money than wit need to learn the Biblical value of silence.

hat tip Daily Pundit

This Week’s Winners

Watcher's Council

The Council winner this week is Gates of Vienna. While I am pleased to win, I must admit it was a hastily assembled post. I was so sure the MSM was going to pick up Barcepundit’s story and start digging for facts that I threw it together. And…nothing. Nada. Zip.

How could any journalist with a shred of integrity simply regurgitate the Koran in a toilet bowl story for days, while studiously ignoring a very important editorial in a leading Madrid newspaper?

Karma is a heavy load sometimes. A week later I hear they’re laying off people at the NYT. Maybe they’ll become bloggers?

Close behind Gates was Little Red Blog’s post fisking the remarks of the president of the Newspaper Guild. Ms. Foley’s version of non-retraction of her claim that the military targets journalists brought to mind the slithery “it depends on what is ‘is’” of Clinton days of yore. First rate.

The winning non-council post by Indepundit received an overwhelming first place vote. It is both moving and chilling.

Check them all out at Watcher of Weasels, especially this week. I can’t remember a better group of posts. It was difficult to choose — in fact, I’ll bet other members of the council were later than usual, too, just trying to decide.

Fisking Amnesty International

Amnesty International ought to have a stone tied to its neck and be hurled into the sea. This organization is not only harmful, in the longer term it is lethal to the cause of human liberty and safety. Here’s a sample from their latest report, with editorial comment from Gates of Vienna. Judge for yourself:

     Our report presents a damning picture of failed leadership and broken promises. But of all the promises made by governments, none was as hollow as the promise to make the world a safer place from terrorist attacks.

No one “promised” to make the world safer in the next fifteen minutes. It will take years to undo our inattention and mistaken policies which have contributed to the current chaos and disorder.

     Attacks by armed groups pose a major threat to human rights in today’s world. Over the past year we have seen unimaginable brutality and barbarity by armed groups in Iraq, Beslan and Madrid.
Yet, the US government and its allies who lead the “War on Terror” continue to persist with politically convenient but ineffective strategies, which undermine human rights.

This bloviating would be amusing were it not so wrong-headedly harmful. The War on Terror is anything by “politically convenient.” The convenience lay in looking the other way, which we did for decades — if there was ever an ineffective strategy it was the “don’t ask, don’t tell” attitude that passed for foreign policy in the US. It will take decades to undo the policies that date all the way back to Yalta.

     There can be no sustainable security strategy without justice and respect for human rights.

“Security strategy” begins with making things secure. Ask the Iraqis if they respect the human rights of the thugs who murder them daily on the streets, thugs who admit they did it not for religion but for money. Respect is built on mutuality. The disingenuous call for one-sided respect for “human rights” is naïve at best.

     The continued violence in Israel and the Occupied Territories. Despite the building of the Wall – in defiance of international law, the most stringent restrictions on freedom of movement of Palestinians, and the biggest demolition of houses in recent years, the security situation remains precarious.

“International law” is a bureaucratic, utopian and socialist construct that takes second place to national security. If the international bodies of law demand that you participate in your own destruction, then these bodies ought to be dismantled for the good of the rest of all of us. The wall of PC opinion being erected against Israel is far more lethal than anything it has done. In fact, such pontificating drives the Israeli defenses.

     In 2004, far from any sign of principled leadership, we saw a new and dangerous agenda in the making, rewriting the rules of human rights, discrediting the institutions of international cooperation and usurping the language of justice and freedom to promote policies that create fear and insecurity.

International “cooperation” involves going along to get along, including massive corruption and death-dealing to those who interfere with the socialist-driven agenda of envy and greed. It is the “international cooperation” that left Saddam Hussein in power and allowed fat cats in the EU to draw down billions in payoffs. For heaven’s sake, grow up.

     The US is leading this agenda, with the UK, European states, Australia and other states following.
Under this agenda, accountability is being set aside in favour of impunity; a prime example being the refusal of the US Administration or US Congress to conduct a full and independent investigation of the use of torture and ill treatment by US officials, despite the public outrage over Abu Ghraib and despite the evidence, collected by AI and other, of similar practices in Bagram, Guantanamo and other detention centres under US control.

The “public outrage” is a media-driven myth. AI obviously believes the magazines it reads. A little field work in places other than Manhattan and San Francisco might yield a different conclusion about public opinion. “Outrage” is building over the unabated stream of illegal aliens who are destroying the social infrastructure of the states they invade.

     The US refuses to apply the Geneva Convention for detainees in Afghanistan.

As well it should. The Geneva Convention is designed for conventional combatants in a conventional war. Here, once more, the AI reveals its sloppy thinking in making a mistake of category. Someone ought to take up a fund to send these people to a Philosophy 101 course.

     But nothing shows the disregard of international law as clearly as the attempts by the US, UK and some European countries to set aside the absolute prohibition of torture and ill treatment by re-definition and “rendering” – or the transfer prisoners to regimes that are known to use torture. In effect sub-contracting torture, yet keeping their own hands and conscience clean.

And nothing shows the dangerous subversion of the rule of law and human decency than the AI’s demand that rapists, murderers of children, beheaders of bystanding civilians, exploders of school children be treated as POWs. They are not. Another categorical elision.

     Under this dangerous agenda, justice is not only denied, it is also distorted.

It was distorted beyond recognition before we even got there. The justice being applied is justice, not mercy. They ought to be shown the same mercy they applied while they were at liberty to act.

     In the US, almost a year after the Supreme Court decided that detainees in Guantanamo should have access to judicial review, not one single case from among the 500 or so detained has reached the courts because of stonewalling by the Administration.

One way to help people to stop murdering your citizens is to incarcerate those you believe have some responsibility for the actions which led to the death of your countrymen. With 3,000 slaughtered on 9/11 the US is being generous.

     Guantanamo has become the gulag our times, entrenching the notion that people can be detained without any recourse to the law.

Anyone who has survived the gulags laughs at this poseur performance. How many gulag survivors were consulted for this report?

     By peddling the politics of fear and division, this new agenda has also encouraged intolerance, racism, and xenophobia.

This is not a new agenda. It is a return to a robust Jacksonian approach to American defense. Part of the problem is the limp “tolerance” and calls for diversity and rule by international law. A recipe for civil disaster proposed by those ignorant of history and anxious to repeat each of its mistakes.

     Furthermore, the US, as the unrivalled political, military and economic Super Power, sets the tone of governmental behaviour world-wide. By thumbing its nose at the rule of law and human rights, what message does the US send to repressive regimes who have little regard for the rule of law anyway?

This is mere opinion driven by political motivation. America remains the world’s best option and the world knows it. We are finally in the process of figuring out who can be trusted and who can’t.

Amnesty International is neither to be trusted nor believed. Like trolls in the blogosphere, or like the MSM, which is one of the vectors for the spread of their infection, they are best ignored for the moment.

Meanwhile, whoever comes up with an effective method for curing this disease will win the hearts and minds of those left who can still love and think.


UPDATE: Jamie, a commenter at Belmont Club has supplied the correct word for Ms. Khan’s remarks: she is TRIVIAL.


The Perfect Platform in Search of a Candidate

In the comments section on Belmont, NahnCee outlined the perfect plan for a winning domestic policy platform for the next Presidential election cycle:

     …as an American taxpayer, I am *REALLY* not interested in supporting the United Nations any further either financially or emotionally, PR disaster or not. To me, this will be an election issue in our next Presidential campaign, if it has not been resolved by then.
If the Democrats had had it together in the last campaign, they could have tilted the election by focusing on immigration, sealing our borders, and the United Nations — all issues that Mr. Bush was ignoring but that are becoming ever greater issues to many many people.
Just because America may be seen as imperial overseas or someone’s little Security Council toes may get stepped on, that is *no* reason for us to continue to house this growing cancer on our own shores. I want the US out of the UN, and the UN out of the US … or Clinton and Bolton in charge and Chirac and Putin out, whichever comes first.
If the rest of the world thinks the United Nations is such a great deal and can’t be touched, fine. They can support it, they can fund it, and they can house it. And whatever our President needs to do to make changing it happen, he will have my FULL and *FERVENT* support!

…immigration, sealing our borders, and the United Nations. Whoever has the courage to bring those to the table wins the whole pot.

It will be interesting to see which party has the most testicular approach to these issues. One can rightly claim that Bush has enough on his plate (though Gates of Vienna would not agree with this assertion) and thus is leaving them for the next White House tenant. Given the present cowering of the Republicans in the Senate, it’s debatable whether any of them has the necessary anatomy for the task at hand.

Here’s a thought: maybe the next tenant will appoint her husband to square away the mess at the UN. She certainly has taken a new shine to the military, and she’s making the correct noises about the border. Could be that — unlike her spouse — she has the testosterone for the job. Since she lacks his character defect of needing to be loved by everyone, she won’t be easily deflected from the task at hand.

Here’s another thought: consider what meetings between her and Putin would be like.

And Now a Word From Our Sponsor

It looks like Coke and Pepsi have a rival.

Mecca Cola hopes to cash in on the anti-American sentiment in the Middle East. Tawfik Mathlouthi is the French entrepreneur behind the push to make Mecca number one (Hat tip: Gavriel).

     He hopes to make Mecca Cola the soft drink of choice for Muslims everywhere and thus push out that icon of American capitalism Coca-Cola.
It is all about combating “America’s imperialism and Zionism by providing a substitute for American goods and increasing the blockade of countries boycotting American goods,” Mr Mathlouthi told BBC News Online.

There is a “blockade of countries boycotting American goods”?? Hmm…so that’s why we’re having this nation-wide economic slump. At least now we know why.

It is to be hoped that there are not imitators on the horizon. “Papal Fizz” perhaps, or “Episcopalian Elixir,” or “Saracenparilla”. Caffeine-free “Mormon Mojo”, maybe… the mind boggles.

The Jihad That Refreshes

An alert Gates of Vienna reader sent us a link to the following important message:

Beware the danger of Coca-Cola!

These are the dangers facing Muslim women today.

To coin a phrase: You can’t make this stuff up.

Update — Snopes reports:

In May 2000, the Grand Mufti Sheik Nasser Farid Wassel, Egypt’s most senior religious figure, gave his opinion on the matter. The artwork was also closely scrutinized by researchers and linguists at the Ifta’a Institute, a scholarly authority on Islamic law. All found no harm.

“The trademark does not injure Islam or Muslims directly or indirectly,” the mufti ruled. In an official statement, he found that “the trademark was designed 114 years ago in the state of Georgia and was written in a foreign language, not in Arabic,” and that “no one had objected until now.”

(Hat tip: Slings and Arrows)

The Big Déjà Vu

Germany is sinking under its own hatred. A country whose political philosophy rests on negativity cannot long survive. Wolfgang Munchau, in this month’s Spectator, outlines the problems that Germany has created for itself. First, the old New Germany:

     Looking back at the 1960s and 1970s, when I grew up in Germany, one of the most striking things was that everyone talked about work and money. The country was infuriatingly materialistic. The old West Germany felt more like an economy than a country. It used to have a proper currency, the Deutschmark, but it lacked a proper political capital. At a time when the British believed in incomes policies, capital controls and state ownership, Germany was as laissez-faire an economy as you could find anywhere in Europe. The Germans were the Americans of Europe, as a friend remarked at the time. Everyone was brimming with confidence and the superiority that comes with the belief that you are running the world’s most superior economy. The 1970s were the heyday of Germany’s social market economy, the economic equivalent of having your cake and eating it.

Then along came re-unification and all its resultant problems.

     Unification was supposed to make Germany even stronger. The opposite happened….
When I returned to Germany in the 1990s, what surprised me most was not the poor performance of the economy — this I expected. I was most shocked by the extraordinary loss of self-confidence among the political and business elites, combined with a poisonous cocktail of the three big As: anti-Americanism, anti-Semitism and anti-capitalism.

Germany has been anti-American for some time. And it’s anti-capitalism is self-evident in its economic decisions.

     The absence of a proper market economy means that most people and politicians have no gut-level understanding of how a market economy works. Most Germans do not negotiate their wages. They are paid according to fixed-rate tariffs set in negotiations between trade unions and employers’ associations. Most people have little exposure to the financial market and its products. Among wealthy nations, Germany has one of the lowest ownership rates of private homes, shares, mutual funds and credit cards. What makes Germany even more distinct is the universal belief that the primary responsibility of companies is not to make profits but to fulfil a moral duty to their employees and their communities.

But it is the growing anti-Semitism, in Germany of all places, that chills:

     A cartoon in the latest issue of the house journal of I.G. Metall, the German engineering union, depicts what appear to be American-Jewish investors as insects with long noses sucking the lifeblood out of the German economy. It is quite shocking to see how the present generation of centre-left leaders uses symbols of racism with such carelessness, considering that their predecessors — political leaders like Konrad Adenauer, Willy Brandt and Helmut Kohl — have spent decades dispelling the ghosts of the past and helping to create the image of a mature and normal democracy.

Well, it appears to be an image only, not a reality. Nor is Germany is alone in its thinking. Spain’s now-suspect 3/11 fix, Britain’s increasingly uncivil public spaces, the anti-Semitism and cesspit of the no-go areas of suburban Paris, Italy’s loud anti-Americanism, the darkening skies in Sweden and Norway: they are all of a piece.

So it may be that the lights are going out all over Europe. Again. This time, there may not be the American will to save them from themselves.

Hat tip: Barcepundit

Karmic Fizz

Expat has an intriguing post on Pepsi. No, not the jejune anti-American remarks of Pepsico’s president. This is far more interesting than her snide smear, and who knows, it may be karmic retribution for those very remarks.

Expat translates this bit of “scientific” information emanating from an entity called The Islamic Agency for Research in Egypt. It has an important recommendation which Expat was kind enough to translate for us:

     Al-Irsyad – the Islamic Agency for Research in Egypt has now recommended that Muslims are not to consume Pepsi Cola because it is being suspected of containing material that has been made from the intestines of pigs.
Dr. Mustofa Asyak’ah an agency member has asked for the other members of the agency to gather to discuss this problem, so that the Muslim community can receive clarity as to whether the product is haram (forbidden) or not, according to the daily Egyptian Al-Arabiyah.
Dr. Mustofa explained that the manufacturer of the drink has included a special material made from the intestines of pigs in the process of the drink’s production.
“Because of this we are trying to break down of the materials used so that we might get some clarification on the issue” he said.

Yes, that’s it. The latest emergency. Pork in the Pepsi. Now before everyone falls down laughing, consider this: Pepsico makes fried pork rinds. How haram is that, I ask you? At the very least, it’s a Pepsi-pork connection. For those is in a boycotting mood, Max Black at Prariefire lists all the products in Pepsi’s cabinet. In addition he gives some names and numbers to call if you have any response to Pepsico’s Indra Nooyi’s remarks at Columbia’s MBA graduation ceremony

But wait, there are murkier depths to this than you imagined. For a long time, there was a turf war in the Middle East between Pepsi and Coke. Or rather, the Arabs wouldn’t drink whatever it was the Israelis were drinking. There were boycotts — some leftists still have one going against Coke — based on the Israel-Arab conflict and Coke’s supposed support of Israel. Snopes has a story on it, though you might question the particulars. However, its last paragraph is instructive:

     Today you can get either Coke or Pepsi in anywhere in the Middle East, and the days of the boycott have faded into memory. Even so, there are still those who observe the stricture of “Coke is for Jews; Pepsi is for Arabs.” Old wounds are not necessarily healed wounds.

Evidently it’s true. A few weeks ago Chrenkoff quoted from a news report that a young jihadist named Mohammed complained he’d been living on “bread and Pepsi.”

So what now? Israel supports Coke, and Pepsi has pork parts. Talk about a rock and a hard place.

Royal Crown Cola anyone? Goes good with Pepsico’s Baken-ets fried pork skins