This Week’s Winners

Watcher's Council

The winners for this week are Right Wing Nut House and Varifrank.

From the Council posts:

Please Don’t Run, Newt

This is an excellent essay on a topic I think about every time I hear Newt Gingrich intimating that he might run in the Presidential primaries in 2008. The problem for many politicians is their inability to recognize when their moment has passed. Perhaps it’s a professional hazard for anyone in the public eye.

Gingrich could do a lot of good behind the scenes, but I join Mr. Moran in his plea: Please Don’t Run.

Can someone please explain to the man how his past will kill him? I like Gingrich’s ideas but his personal life is way too full of holes to pass public scrutiny. A tall oak he may be, but presidential timber he’s not.

I Got Your Desecration Right Here, Pal is the #1 non-Council pick. It’s riveting.

Written as a open letter from beyond the grave, this epistle will hold your attention to the last paragraph. Were he able to say so, you can’t help but think Mr.Quattrocchi would approve.

Hello, my name is Fabrizio Quattrocchi. I was captured by Muslim holy warriors and tortured before cameras, just for their sport. In the end, they set aside of any respect for international law common, human decency or even the restraint of their own religious doctrine and beheaded me. I shouldn’t have expected any special treatment as this is a common act that they perform even among their own people. However, you won’t see the video of my beheading because I died like a man rather than the sniveling coward they wanted me to be.

Congratulations to Varifrank, not only for a job well done but for a subject worth covering. Bookmark for sure.

Meanwhile, go see it all at Watcher of Weasels. A thank-you in his comment section wouldn’t hurt either. He presents blogs we wouldn’t get to see otherwise.


Barcepundit broke an incredible news story this week.

Quite by happenstance, on May 18th Gates of Vienna was tuned to Lars Larson, a talk show radio host. Larson was interviewing Frank Gaffney about his NRO essay, Spain’s Terrorgate.

Using Barcepundit’s translations of the El Mundo editorial (May 16th), Gaffney exposes a huge new story on 3/11. It is a remarkable tale, composed of a number of stranger-than-fiction elements.

How’s this for starters: ABC — yes, our good old MSM behemoth — staged pictures of the supposed unexploded backpack remaining from the bombing of the train. The police claimed not to have the “real” one available but, hey, offered to use one of the officers’ backpacks since it looked similar. Another example of good journalistic practices, right?

But it gets worse. Gaffney reports:

     El Mundo suggests that, almost immediately after the 12 bombs went off in one of the city’s busiest train stations, some in the Spanish police force fabricated evidence, then swiftly hyped it to the domestic and international press. The object seems to have been to support the oppositions’ claims that Islamists angry over the government’s support for the war in Iraq were responsible for the attacks.

As Gaffney says, one could reasonably infer that if this report is true, then Tedax, the Spanish police bomb squad was, at worst, involved in the bombing itself.

There was a real backpack. What the police did was to hide from the investigating judge an xray of its contents. “Backpack 13” could never have exploded. The cables connecting the cell phone to the explosive were never connected. An interesting lapse when you consider these terrorists were “experts.”

We’re spiraling downward here in this stranger-than-fiction recount. Carmen Toro alledgedly supplied explosives for the bombings. And in Mr. Toro’s personal phonebook was the cellphone number for the chief of Tedax (the above mentioned Spanish bomb squad). When the investigating judge called the number, it turned out that a member of the bomb squad answered the phone. Creepy, no?

Here’s the order of creepiness:

  • The Aznar (conservative) government had sent Spanish troops to Iraq.
  • The opposition (socialist) party promised to reverse that policy should it be voted in.
  • On 3/11, the bombings in Madrid assured the turnover in government.
  • The Aznar government blamed the bombing on ETA (a separatist Basque movement) because of the nature of the explosive and because of the setup with the cellphone trigger. This was denied by the opposition, who claimed the death and destruciton of Spaniards in the days before the election was due to the country’s support of the USA in Iraq.

There is no way to know what kind of explosive was used in the train bombing since the explosions eliminated any forensic evidence. All that remained was the contents of Backpack #13, curiously undetonated and waiting for conclusions to be drawn about its provenance.

The cellphones used in the attack were from a phone shop owned by a Spanish police officer… a police officer named Maussili Kalaji. Officer Kalaji was born in Syria. In addition to being a member of Al Fatah, his resume included a stint as an agent for Soviet Intelligence. Nice fellow.

Next we come to his sister. She worked for the police also, translating the wiretapped conversations among the (alledged) Madrid bombers prior to 3/11…

So: Starting with ABC’s faked photo and ending up with a suspicious translator, this is a story begging for investigation.

Calling the MSM, calling the MSM. Hello? Anyone there?

Are you all still flushing Korans in Gitmo?

Or maybe interviewing deserters from the Navy?

Anybody home?

Appeasement Reprised, Part I

Echoes of the Great War

The discussion following my recent post suggests additional material on the topic of appeasement.

To understand the origins of and impulse towards appeasement one must look to the Great War. Paul Fussell has demonstrated that the awful carnage of 1914-1918 is the central trauma of our time, one that informs the modern culture of the West, one whose consequences are still unfolding. And one of the Great War’s unwanted children was appeasement.

The overwhelming feeling among political leaders after the war was: This must be prevented from happening again, at all costs. Even if an elected official in the Western democracies did not reach this conclusion for humane reasons, the instructive example of the Bolshevik revolution was always before him. Another war like that, and the red flag might fly over Big Ben or the Eiffel Tower.

The primary impulse towards war was thought to be the emergent force of nationalism. After all, it was Serbian nationalism in the person of Gavrilo Princip that shot down the archduke in Sarajevo and began the whole calamity. The recognition of nationalism — the impulse of a people of distinct language and culture to acquire its own sovereign polity — drove the terms of the Treaty of Versailles in 1919 and helped redraw the map of Europe.

The Allies constructed the League of Nations to institutionalize the prevention of another Great War and enforce the terms of Versailles. But by the time the crises of the 1930s arrived, the paradoxical problem at the heart of the League was exposed: in order to prevent war, the League had to be ready to make war. To stop a nationalist tyrant like Hitler might require blood and iron, and the awful spectre of the Western Front loomed in public opinion to close off that option. War to stop the dictators became politically impossible in the Western democracies, and they appeased the tyrants instead.

By the time Chamberlain inked his deal with Hitler in Munich in 1938 and sealed forever the meaning of “appeasement” in the judgment of history, it was already clear that appeasement was no longer preventing war, it was simply postponing it. Wiser heads in the councils of the Allies knew the war was coming, and wanted time to prepare, since Hitler had a big lead on them in modern armament.

But the war was bound to come. If not over Poland, then over Finland, or Romania, or Norway, or the Ukraine. The war was coming, and the great appeasement of 1938 just bought a little more time.

But the earlier appeasements leading up to 1938 made the war the massive cataclysm that resulted. Each time the can was kicked down the road, it got bigger and deadlier.

My next post will address the direct parallels between the appeasement of the 1930s and our current appeasement of the Great Islamic Jihad.

Being Falstaff

The boys in Saudi Arabia have been eager to join the fight in Iraq. When you think about it, what is there to do in Riyadh anyway?

So. If you’re bright-eyed and bushy-tailed and bored and you want to fight, here’s the drill: you tell Mom and Dad and off you go, ready for Fallujah. Meanwhile, your family waits for the phone call to tell them that either (a) you’ve gone to war, or (b) you’re already a martyr.

Things are changing, though. Take this tale of the two brothers who left home to fight the infidel:

     … their enthusiasm being inflamed by the conflict in Falluja… they decided to go to Iraq. Their relatives intervened to persuade them against doing what they had decided upon, until they [the boys] convinced everyone that they had changed their minds.

Instead, the clever brothers “sneaked nimbly into Iraq” and it wasn’t long before they connected up with the terrorist network. Eventually, the boys made their way to the leader. Upon meeting him, they requested to be sent to Fallujah.

No such luck. The leader told them it was far away and too dangerous. However, he did have another possible job opening. They could become suicide bombers.

     “We have a group of automobiles ready to perform suicide operations.” The young men almost lost consciousness from the terror of the shock. And they said to him: how our coming to Iraq has come to this end in a suicide operation with such ease! He answered them indifferently: this is what we have now, and if you want you may look elsewhere! At that moment they decided to return to their country, and completely changed their minds about participating in what they thought was resistance in Iraq…

So much for that warrior quest. We never do find out what kind of reception they got at home.

Meanwhile, the Saudi clerics have declared, like Falstaff, that discretion is the better part of valor.

     …[T]he Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia in an open meeting refuted the claims that what is happening now in Iraq is really jihad. He has said: ‘Indeed, jihad in the cause of God is a great thing, no one doubts in its bounty or in its greatness, but the situation in Iraq differs. For our brothers in Iraq know the condition of their country and its circumstances and overall environment, and they work with their reality as they see fit… he does ‘not encourage young men of that (going to Iraq), and does not support the action, because what is happening in Iraq involves the shedding of blood wrongfully, and the blood of Muslims is precious, and so it is not allowed for us to tolerate this and throw our young men into places they are not familiar with, and in which they don’t know what is happening. We wish for our Iraqi brothers success and that God with gather all of them.’

In some circles, the Grand Mufti’s words would be known as a kiss-off. No wonder Hotspur Zarqawi grows weary. The Wahabbis are un-jihading his mighty endeavor. They’re even telling the boys to stay home.

How cynical is that?

Hat tip: The Glittering Eye

Appeasement in Our Time

In the comments on Belmont Club yesterday, Wretchard said:

     It is supremely ironic that the outcome of political correctness may ultimately be a consociational world; a world divided into mutually hostile ethnno-religious groups restrained only by mutual fear. The world as Lebanon and the Balkans. The logical outcome of Muslim “rage” at any real and imagined slight is that every Hindu, Sikh, Jew, Orthodox Christian and just plain old Christian has the right to take the same offense. Historically, political correctness hasn’t been ‘understanding’ but its reverse — the process of feeding little bits of unresisting ethno-religious groups to the most aggressive ones — though it has pretended to be otherwise. It is, in a word, the ultimate form of political cowardice, though it has gone by many names at the expense of Cambodians, Poles, the dark races of the world and most of all the Jews.
But at the limits, this kind of appeasement at the expense of others eventually generates its own backlash. That’s why the Balkans and Lebanon are what they area, a place where everyone has retreated to their final line. So if Newsweek was hoping for yet another abject and groveling apology for an incident that wasn’t even true they may get it this time; and maybe even next time. But one day they won’t get it at all. On that day they will have scuttled their own vision of a one world; scuttled it by their own hand and they will not have the wit to know that they themselves had done it.

The current political meaning of the word “appeasement” did not emerge until the period between the First and Second World Wars, when it was applied to the catastrophic behavior of the Allies towards the emerging Axis dictatorships. Prior to that time appeasement would have been a strategic decision from weakness against a stronger enemy: Give him what he wants to buy us time until we can escape or grow strong enough to defeat him.

Until 1939, Germany was manifestly not stronger than the Allies, and Italy never was. But all through that ghastly decade the Allies appeased the two strutting thugs: German rearmament, the reoccupation of the Rhineland, the invasion of Abyssinia, Anschluss, the atrocities in Spain, and then the climactic moment in 1938 when Chamberlain stood on the airport tarmac waving a piece of paper and declared “Peace in our time!” after selling the Czechs to the Nazis.

There are two factors that make modern appeasement distinctive:

1. The appeasing power faces a foe acting out of vigorous ideological and political zeal, while lacking that characteristic itself.
2. The appeasing power abases itself before a weaker opponent.

These conditions have characterized the behavior of the West not only towards the Fascist dictatorships, but also at times towards the Communist empire in the later stages of the Cold War, and now towards the Islamist thugs in their various guises.

An examination of each factor may prove instructive.

1. The appeasing power faces a foe acting out of vigorous ideological and political zeal, while lacking that characteristic itself.

In our confrontation with the Great Islamic Jihad this condition becomes apparent. Reverse the cultures and imagine what would happen if a group of jihadis in Mosul threw a copy of the Talmud into the sump. Would Hasidim across the globe take to the streets in sidelocks and yarmulke, overturning cars and burning buildings?

One has one’s doubts.

Or, if a herdsman in Waziristan fed an Urdu Bible to his goats, would Christians rise up as one in outrage from Brisbane to Baltimore?

I wouldn’t bet on it.

But Islam, ah… that’s different.

Islam demands from the West, and often receives, a special status not accorded any other religion in the world. A performance artist who defecates on a picture of Christ or covers a menorah with condoms can not only expect no condemnation, but is likely to receive funding from the National Endowment for the Arts. But someone who so much as dog-ears a page of the Koran can expect the full wrath of the Ummah to descend on him, and will likely have to go underground and live under an assumed name. Just ask Salman Rushdie.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice implicitly accepted the special status of Islam when she said, “Disrespect for the Holy Koran is not now, nor has it ever been, nor will it ever be tolerated by the United States.” Why? Since the United States tolerates disrespect for the Bible and the Talmud, why is the Koran different?

No wonder the Islamists think they’ve got us whupped.

2. The appeasing power abases itself before a weaker opponent.

This one is hard to figure out: what makes a stronger power kowtow to a weaker one? Is it out of a feeling of guilt, that we are somehow responsible for the degraded state of our foes? Or is it maybe a sense of “fair play”, that somehow we are obliged to level the playing field and create circumstances in which our enemies can confront us on approximately equal terms?

In any case, the result is to blindfold and shackle ourselves in preparation for a struggle against those who would kill us without compunction.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Why do appeasers appease? What are their goals?

In Chamberlain’s case, it was a desire that life return to normal, that things might continue as they had been. The gentlemen of England could continue their activities in Parliament and the City, enjoying the matches at Wimbledon and Lords, retiring to Hertfordshire for extended weekends of pheasant shooting, and not thinking overmuch about what was happening to people in the Sudetenland. And, as Wretchard has pointed out, not dwelling overmuch on what might happen to the Jews.

The case can be made that Chamberlain knew that the return to normalcy would not last long, that he was buying time to modernize Britain’s armaments and prepare for the inevitable conflict with the Third Reich. But in September of 1938, for public consumption, it was “peace in our time”. It is understandable that Hitler thought the Czechoslovakia of 1938 would be reprised in Poland in 1939.

If we are in the GWOT equivalent of September 1938, what will be our equivalent of September 1939?

And why are we appeasing Muslims now?

Presumably we want things to continue as they have been; we want to return to our jobs and our televisions and not think too much about Christians in Indonesia or women in Saudi Arabia. With a little more time, we can figure out a way to stave off the Jihad Apocalypse, and maybe avoid the moment when Islamic zealots acquire nuclear or biological weapons and use them.

With a little more time we can finesse the bomb away from the mullahs in Iran. We can keep the Musharraf regime in Pakistan intact. We can look the other way while thousands or millions of people are slaughtered in Darfur and the Congo and Uzbekistan and Syria and…

We can return to normal. If we have to give the Palestinians Gaza or the West Bank or the Right of Return, well, that’s a small price to pay, isn’t it? After all, peace in our time is worth a few million Jews.

A Letter to the Editor of Newsweek

251 W. 57th St.
New York, NY 10019-1894

Dear Sir,

If it bleeds it leads, right? So there you are, Newsweek. You have a great story to pursue. Don’t let the fact that you also have the blood of many lives on your hands get in your way. In your moral universe, that’s a small price to pay for the story. Especially if it’s a story that makes your country look bad. Just make sure you spell the names correctly:


The ‘Islamic tactic’ you used in this case is called taqiyya. More than a millennium old, taqiyya is lying for the sake of your cause. It’s a useful tool in the quest for making America look bad, one that has been employed successfully by your fellow “journalists” Eason Jordan and Dan Rather. Not to mention the declarations of the “Afghan quagmire” crowd, or the endless lamentations of the New York Times over Abu Ghraib. You are in esteemed company. And how many people died as a result of all these machinations? Do you care?

Vietnam is over. Unfortunately, you and your ilk don’t appear to grasp this. You are stuck in a time-warp quagmire of your own making, the one you helped create back then to turn the hearts and minds of your fellow citizens against your own soldiers. But your fellow citizens aren’t virgins anymore. Having been lied to, led on, fed half-truths and canned dissembling, having been assured that gossip and rumor is fact-checked truth with a big “T”, we no longer believe anything you have to say.

And for that, for your slanted, morally obtuse search for muck and for what-might-be-so-let’s-pretend-it-is, you have made us all into fact-checkers. After all the lies and misleading, if you claimed it was raining outside, we’d still go to the window to check.

New motto for dealing with the MSM: distrust and then dig for the truth. It might not be in your version of the story; it’s surely in the steaming pile you made nearby.

Sincerely yours,
Gates of Vienna

(hat tip: Ledger at Belmont Club)

Newsweek Lied! People Died!

It appears that not only Islamists approve the use of taqiyya. So does Newsweek.

As regular readers of Gates are aware, taqiyya and kitman are two types of dissembling used by Muslims when dealing with their enemies.
Photo courtesy CI-CE-CT

     taqiyya (pronounced tark-e-ya): precautionary dissimulation or deception and keeping one’s convictions secret and a synonymous term, kitman: mental reservation and dissimulation or concealment of malevolent intentions…

These rules, considered by Westerners to be dishonorable and under some circumstances punishable as perjury, are par for the course when Muslims deal with “outsiders.” In fact, when they deal with one another, such tactics are considered to have Mohammed’s approval also.

     … ‘holy hypocrisy’ has been diffused throughout Arabic culture for over fourteen hundred years since it was developed by Shiites as a means of defence and concealment of beliefs against Sunni unbelievers. As the Prophet said: ‘he who keeps secrets shall soon attain his objectives.

It was such a useful, flexible tool that the Sunnis soon adopted it, too. The US forces are quite aware of this mindset and know that anything Muslim terrorists say is open to question.

     The theory and practice of counter terrorism would be counter productive, indeed pointless, and even harmful, without reference to taqiyya and kitman and the crucial role of deception ranging from Islamic jurisprudence to Al Qaeda training manuals, which carry detailed instructions on the use of deception by terrorists in Western target countries.
Like many Islamic concepts taqiyya and kitman were formed within the context of the Arab-Islamic matrix of tribalism, expansionary warfare and conflict. Taqiyya has been used by Muslims since the 7th century to confuse and split ‘the enemy. A favored tactic was ‘deceptive triangulation’; to persuade the enemy that jihad was not aimed at them but at another enemy. Another tactic was to deny that there was jihad at all. The fate for such faulty assessments by the target was death.

Thus, whatever the detainees have to say about the desecration of the Koran is for home consumption. That any news organization would take it seriously –without the most meticulous and thorough investigation — speaks volumes about motive and intention. They are ignorant at best, mendacious at worst. But above all, they are not to be believed.

The MSM has been absorbed by the enemy within. Those who hate us move through the moral universe using the same compass as the terrorists: whatever it takes to bring us down.

     According to Christian ethics lying is a sin; In Islamic jurisprudence and theology, the use of taqiyya against the unbelievers is regarded as a virtue and a religious duty.

The only difference between Islamic jurisprudence and the underlying principles by which the MSM operates is this: the MSM claims to have no slant.

Guess what? The Islamists are more credible.

Leatherneck With a Clerical Collar

“Gates of Vienna” worships at a little Episcopal church in the countryside of central Virginia. The Rev. Bruce Weatherly is an occasional supply priest there, and he recently brought his photo album to church and told us an inspirational story.

Iwo Jima memorialFr. Weatherly was in the Marines in World War Two and was discharged in 1946. By the time the Korean War came along, he had been to seminary and was an ordained priest. He wanted to do his part for his country, and volunteered for another stint in the service, this time as a Marine Corps chaplain.

He comes from a military Episcopal family: his father was in the military and was an Episcopal priest, and the same goes for his son John.

In June of last year, John arranged for a surprise ceremony for his father. The Weatherly family met in Arlington under the pretense of a visit to the Iwo Jima memorial, and Fr. Weatherly was presented with an American flag after it had been raised and then lowered by a Marine captain at the memorial.

Presentation ceremony

Fr. Weatherly was greatly moved, and was barely able to retain his composure. He reports the unnatural and surreal experience, as a lowly sergeant, of being saluted by a captain.

Here’s the email about the event that Fr. Weatherly’s son Mark sent to the family afterwards:

     From: Mark A. Weatherly
Sent: Thursday, June 03, 2004 10:31 AM
Subject: Re: the Greatest Generation
I just gotta say John pulled off one of the best surprises ever seen, for a fine and deserving member of the Greatest Generation. My hat is off to you bro; it was a real class act.
I’m sure the story will be told and re-told, but the image I have is Dad, Mom, Melissa, John and Bev striding across the large green lawn surrounding the Iwo Jima/Marine Corps Memorial on a breezy, beautiful early summer day. The Memorial’s figures are huge, moving and far more impressive when viewed up close. The Marine Corps captain on duty in fatigues greets Dad (“Sargeant Weatherly”) and guides him subtlely over to the center of the Memorial walk as a couple Marines climb the memorial. A group of what appear to be Marine boot camp survivors on their first weekend out materialize and line up in two rows behind Dad and the captain. The Marines lower the huge flag while everyone salutes, attach a smaller, new flag and run it smartly up the flagpole, then lower it slowly, carefully fold it, and descend from the memorial. One Marine marches it over to the Captain, then turns on his heel and faces Dad, and presents him with the flag. The Captain then reads a citation to Dad and presents that to him as well.
Dad momentarily appears in shock, but salutes smartly from somewhere deep in his subconscious.
And one of the best, amazing aspects to me was the number of young recruits who then came up to Dad to shake his hand, or embrace him, thank him for his service, and have their picture taken with him (when Marines take pictures they don’t say “cheese”, they say “Semper Fi!”). A great, great moment, for damn sure.
Awfully glad I got to witness this, and thanks for the ride back to the office, guys. It was an event to cherish. Huge kudos and many thanks to John for arranging it.
with love,

While the photo album was being passed around, Fr. Weatherly talked a little bit about his time in the Marines. He said, “I was no hero. I was just a Marine.”

Fr. Weatherly, I submit to you that those two words are synonymous.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
Right in the Thick of It

On a related note, Will May is the organist at our church and now attends the College of William and Mary. Several years ago, for his Eagle Scout project he videotaped and interviewed ten World War Two veterans living in our area. He wrote up his account and then published and sold it as a small book, with the proceeds going to charity. The online version of the book, Right in the Thick of It, is worth a look.

L-R: The Rev. John A. Weatherly, Margaret H. Weatherly, Melissa Weatherly, The Rev. Canon Bruce A. Weatherly, Mark A. Weatherly

Group photo, left to right:
The Rev. John A. Weatherly (Rector, St. Mark’s Church, Alexandria, VA, and Chaplain [Major] 29th Infantry Virginia National Guard, son of Bruce)
Margaret H. (Mrs. Bruce) Weatherly
Melissa Weatherly (daughter of Bruce)
The Rev. Canon Bruce A. Weatherly (Sgt., USMCR 1942 – 1946, Lt. [Sr. Gr.] USMCR Chaplain Corps)
Mark A. Weatherly (son of Bruce)

Thanks to the Weatherly family for all the materials.

History Lessons

Watcher's CouncilThis week’s council winner is Right Wing Nut House. The post, A Solitary Voice for Remembrance, is incisive:

     An orgy of remembrance took place all across Europe this last weekend as the continent’s increasingly passive and pacific countries celebrated the very war-like achievements of their grandfathers in tossing the regime of Adolph Hitler and all it stood for on the ash heap of history.

The whole post is an excellent history lesson on the events leading to WWII and the perfidy of the West later. His fisking of Bush’s speech in Latvia — what Bush failed to mention, as well as what he eloquently addressed — provides better coverage than I’d seen elsewhere.

Mr. Moran also brings to our attention the sins of omission of the press. After noting Bush’s public gratitude to Latvia, he observes

     Curiously, this acknowledgment went unnoticed in the press who instead played up Bush’s “apology” for US inaction after Yalta to halt the spread of communism across eastern Europe.

Good post. Made even livelier by his skewering of France.

Non Council Winner

The American Thinker sets the pc record straight re jihad and the Crusades. This post couldn’t be more apropros given the publicity for the new movie “Kingdom of Heaven” (which is not linked here. It can be found on the winning post, but Gates will not facilitate any spread of this noxious anti-historical Hollywood entertainment).

     Inundated by such disingenuous apologetics Westerners have remained largely ignorant of jihad-the Islamic war of conquest. Thus the chattering classes, confused all too easily by superficial similarities, equate jihad with the Crusades. In fact, there are many fundamental differences between the uniquely Islamic institution of jihad, and the Crusades, as they derive from widely divergent religions and civilizations.

For Gates of Vienna, this is the money quote:

     Jihad, as a nascent ideology, originated from the putative military activities of Muhammad himself, described in the Muslim sacred texts. September 622 C.E. marks a defining event in Islam- the hijra

Read this not only for American Thinker’s exposition of history, but also his excellent links. If nothing else, it will disincline you to watch that execrable movie.

All the posts which received votes are here. Enjoy.

Fishing and Smithing

As I have noted before, I am a philo-semite. I respect and admire the Jews both for their intellectual and ethical contributions to Western civilization, and for their dogged determination in the face of overwhelming odds.

Several nights ago I had a dream in which I was being given a tour of a museum of Judaism by Dymphna’s Jewish cousins. A young boy led me from case to case and translated the inscriptions for me, which were entirely in Hebrew.

After I repeatedly expressed my admiration for all things Jewish, the boy’s father asked me, “Since you like the Jews so much, why don’t you convert?”

I replied, “I have a friend who is an accomplished fisherman. I go with him to the river; I watch him fish; I help him clean and eat the fish he catches; I acknowledge and proclaim his skill to others; but I don’t have to fish with him.

“I am a blacksmith, and blacksmiths don’t fish.”

* * * * * * * * * *

Make of it what you will. I’m not very good at interpreting dreams.

Dialogue with the Deluded

The Toronto Star (free registration) reports a sad incident from the marching morons.

     What began as an attempt to heal the wounds of Canada’s Muslims and Jews has ended by inflaming them.
At an evening of dialogue for Muslim-Jewish understanding, remarks by Israel’s consul general have prompted the Muslim Canadian Congress to call for an apology, and it has asked Foreign Affairs Minister Pierre Pettigrew to investigate the statements and seek an explanation.

Consul General Ya’acov Brosh merely stated the obvious, that “the majority of terrorists today were Muslims, although the majority of Muslims are not themselves terrorists.” However, in doing so, he brought down the wrath of the correct thinkers upon his head.

     Muslims who attended the speech said they were hurt and shocked by his words.
“I have been president of Muslims Against Terrorism, and I found his implication very hurtful,” said Farzana Hassan-Shahid, an inter-faith activist. “It was that all Muslims are lumped together. We think he should apologize for that.”

So… the Muslim Canadian Congress is demanding an apology. It wants the Foreign Affairs Minister “to investigate the statements and seek an explanation.”

These people need IQ tests. Immediately. Followed by a mandatory Logic 101 course.

Oy vey. What the situation needs is now is several hundred sympathy cards to the Israeli consul general. Whatever they pay him, it can’t be enough.

Hat tip: The Last Amazon: as long as groups like the Muslim Canadian Congress demand apologies and attempt to persecute others for stating the painful facts on the ground, I consciously disconnect from the desire to even attempt a dialogue with the deluded.

Wanted: a Millstone

Roger Simon will be all over this one like white on rice, but since we’re on Eastern Time, we get to go first. The Scotsman reports:

     Anti-war MP George Galloway was today facing allegations that a children’s leukaemia charity he set up was used to secretly transfer millions of barrels of Iraqi oil.
A US Senate committee said it had uncovered fresh evidence which suggested the former Labour MP received vouchers for millions of barrels of oil from Saddam Hussein.
The recently re-elected MP today furiously denied the accusations, describing the committee members as “lickspittle Repubicans” who he claimed were acting for President George Bush.
Chairman Norm Coleman also said the committee found evidence suggesting the Mariam Appeal, which Mr Galloway set up to help a four-year-old Iraqi girl suffering from leukaemia, was used to hide the transfer of 3 million barrels of oil.
The inquiry into the UN’s oil-for-food programme also heard claims that Mr Galloway and former French interior minister Charles Pasqua accepted oil allocations under the scheme.

What will it take to lay to rest the idea that the “Old Europeans” have any credibility or legitimacy in what they say about our actions in Iraq? George Galloway is still in Parliament, for crying out loud. And if John Kerry were president today, he’d be having earnest discussions (in French, of course) with the likes of Charles Pasqua.

In the Arab world little girls are abused by their fathers and husbands, while George Galloway is busy abusing them from our end. It would be better for him if he were cast into the sea with a millstone around his neck.

Hammorabi’s View

Do you ever wonder why the suicide bombing continues in Iraq? How are people motivated to kill themselves — beyond the usual seventy-two virgins (or raisins, depending on whose Koran you’re reading)? Given the fact that it appears to be a losing cause, how does someone get into the car and drive into the middle of a crowd?

Here’s Hammorabi’s opinion

     The latest information indicates that some of the fucking suicidal thugs are not aware of the nature of the operation. The big filthy boars told them that they are going to give them a car to go to meet some one or similar thing. When they arrive into the point that the filthiest cockroaches decided they blow it up either by remote control or by a mobile telephone call to the driver. The driver usually had given some thing to eat or to drink to make him feel happy or depressed.
Sowara is one of the cities with Shiite majority of more than 95%.

Hammorabi is making two points here:

  • One, that the bombers don’t necessarily know they’re going to die. Their handlers are the ones who detonate them.
  • Two, that the terrorists are specifically targeting Shiites.

(He doesn’t provide any documentation. If anyone has information, it would be helpful)

Hammorabi goes on to relate another story, this one to underline his belief that Sunnis — both the imported ones and the domestic kind — are behind the mayhem in Iraq:

     The Iraqi Student Unions today issued a statement determined to follow the terrorists where ever they go to send them to exterminate them. The statement comes after one Student in the College of Pharmacology in Baghdad (Masar Sarhan) found dead few days ago. He organized a party of celebration to his colleagues about the newly elected government.
He was then found beheaded outside his accommodation next day. The students who where with him claimed to have been hearing the Dean threatened him directly because he mastermind the celebration party. The dean was among the members of the Bathist regime according to the students.

If prosperity truly comes to the average Iraqi, a prosperity he or she earns by personal initiative and creative productivity, the Shiites will stop being the underdog. In America, when people become prosperous they become owners and their sense of what is possible changes.

Our task in Iraq is not just liberty, it is also ensuring that prosperity under the rule of law is possible for the individual who strives. Iraq may have to wrest both from the Sunnis who remember when they controlled it all.

House of Sand

My recent post on The 10 Postulates of PC generated a thread of comments over at Neo-neocon. Part of it was a conversation with Michael B., and it went like this:

     Michael B: Via Daniel Pipes, some attenuation may be in order as regards the President and the religion of peace motif.
Baron Bodissey: Michael — Yes, I saw that one, too. I’ll defer judgment until I see how he modifies his public statements when he’s at ecumenical prayer breakfasts with the CAIR and AIC guys. At some point the public rhetoric simply has to change.
Michael B: I understand perfectly what you’re indicating, though it’s a point upon which I’ve decided to suspend judgement. It’s the real-world effect, short and long term, rather than the immediacy of the rhetoric per se, that is important. Too, it’s not a matter of honest vs. dishonest rhetoric; instead it’s a matter of tempering or finely tuning one’s rhetoric (at the level of the presidency) such that it conveys the appreciable, if also varied, content it needs to convey to the various audiences it will be received by and in turn, and inevitably, variously interpreted by. This type of over-arching rhetoric seeks to set a general tone; not supply an inviolable definition to be set in stone.
Baron Bodissey: I don’t require honesty in presidential rhetoric. He has a job to do, and being totally, personally honest in presidential speeches is not part of the job description. He has to pretend to like people he hates, and express approval of things that he does not really support, as a part of public diplomacy.
But rhetoric does matter. At some point, if public policy is going to change, the change in rhetoric will have [to] precede it. We can’t keep warbling about the Saudis being our best friends right up until the moment the Special Ops boys parachute into Mecca to capture the Grand Mosque. There has to be a period of rhetorical change first, beginning with the polite but public disapproval of the regime and its actions, right up through diplomatic isolation to the ultimatum before the ambassador is pulled.
Things like this take a long time to change, but I am looking forward to the first visible steps.

Rhetoric does matter. Before we change what we do vis-à-vis the Saudis, we will have to change how we talk about them.

And a change in what we do is definitely necessary. President Bush has said that liberty is the birthright of the people of every nation in the world, and Saudi Arabia is among the most repressive regimes on Earth. In addition, the Saudis fund, encourage, and supply the manpower for the bulk of Islamist terror worldwide.

So something has to be done. If we are in thrall to Saudi oil, it is time to get us out of thrall. Yes, I know, I’ve read the rumors that say the regime has booby-trapped all its oil-production facilities and infrastructure with dirty bombs, and will render all the oil unusable for thousands of years if anyone touches so much as a hair on its keffiyeh-covered head.

But the fact remains that the US could survive if Saudi oil disappeared. Life would be difficult; the economy would tank; but we would survive. Saudi Arabia, on the other hand, can’t grow enough food to feed itself, and its people would starve to death fairly quickly if it destroyed its own oil and could no longer sell it to the rest of us. Collective suicide does not seem all that likely. We should call their bluff.

So, in anticipation of the day when American policy changes, as a service to the Bush administration, I have written the President’s speech announcing the change in policy to the American public. Karl Rove can keep it in the icebox in the West Wing so it’s fresh when needed:

My fellow Americans,

Tonight it is my sad duty to report to you that the relationship between the United States and Saudi Arabia can no longer continue as it has in the past. After conversations this afternoon with Ambassador bin Sultan and Prince Abdullah, I have concluded that the Saudi regime, as presently constituted, cannot be democratically reformed, and will continue to undermine peace in the Middle East and the entire world.

In the early years of the 20th century, the United States made a bargain with the House of Saud: “Keep the Arabian peninsula quiet, maintain the flow of oil, and we will protect your regime.” Ladies and gentlemen, the term of that bargain has run its course.

As I have often stated, the expansion of liberty in the world is the calling of our time. Unfortunately, the cause of liberty is ill-served by the House of Saud. In Saudi Arabia all the basic freedoms that you and I take for granted are denied. In Saudi Arabia women have no rights, and their fathers, husbands, and employers can abuse them abominably with impunity. In Saudi Arabia, practicing your Christian or Hindu faith can cost you a limb or even your life. In Saudi Arabia no one has the right to speak out against the regime or against Islam, and nobody has the right to choose the people who will govern him.

But, most importantly, the House of Saud is a danger to the peace and stability of the entire world. By funding, educating, and supporting terrorists, the Saudi regime has exported its illiberal culture to six continents. It utters unctuous words of flattery to our governments and our news media even as it hands out suitcases stuffed with cash to the most depraved and deadly terrorists across the globe. It even prints and ships vile anti-American and anti-Christian propaganda to mosques in this country, propaganda that advocates the violent overthrow of our government and the establishment of an Islamic state.

In short, the House of Saud is a danger to the freedom and well-being of the American people, and the time has come for it to step down. Therefore, I am issuing the following ultimatum to King Fahd and Prince Abdullah…

That’ll do for starters.