“Telling the Rest of the World to Go to Hell”

Concerning the murder and mutilation of American soldiers by the mujahideen in Iraq, Bill, as usual, cuts to the quick:

I am, unlike George Bush (or any male of the Bush family, for that matter) a Jacksonian:

The whole point of Jacksonianism is “You leave me alone and I’ll leave you alone. You play fair with me and I’ll play fair with you. But if you f**k with me, I’ll kill you.”

I believe that, at core, America is a Jacksonian nation. And when America finally realizes with what loathing we are regarded by the rest of the world, the result will not be what the rest of the world thinks will occur. There will be no sudden American need to apologize and submit ourselves to the world’s judgment. We are a nation founded on telling the rest of the world to go to hell, and shedding our blood to send it there.

When Americans realize that much of the rest of the world is not our friend, then they will regard much of the rest of the world as our enemy. And I can guarantee you that the rest of the world really does not want a Jacksonian America as its enemy.

Donnah would undoubtedly ascribe this characteristic to our Celtic blood. And the great thing about the Celts in this country is that they tend to have large families and don’t object to exogamy, and thus have spread their bloodline around.

Haggis, Guinness, leeks, and an Andrew Jackson attitude — what a combination.

Nobody Says It Better Than You, Wretchard

Here’s another take, this one by Wretchard in a post titled, Thanks for Nothing, on the butchery of American soldiers by Allah’s mujahideen. W has a suggestion for what Amnesty International can do with its transparently half-hearted condolences and condemnations:

Sir Wretchard of the Belmont Boarding HouseMy own testament, for the record, [is] that if I should ever be tortured, have my throat slit, beheaded, mutilated and then have booby traps planted round my corpse so that they might kill any relatives and friends — should any of this ever happen to me — that Amnesty International kindly refrain from extending its “sincerest condolences” and weasely condemnations and offering its insulting and gratuitous advice. I don’t want them. I would much rather lie forgotten in some open field than have one of Amnesty International’s sick letters on my casket…

To which one of Belmont Club’s commenters, Wu Wei, responds:

Amnesty International is just a few liberal British attorneys who formed an organization to further their views. At least that’s how they started out, though perhaps they employ more people now. It always amazes me that just because of the name “Amnesty International” the world accepts them as independent experts. This is like if three conservatives started calling themselves “International Law Consulting”, and then started appearing on talk shows offering opinions.

He’s right, of course. It would just take three guys in a room somewhere to dream up a good name. The problem is the mandarin press: it gives access only to the America-haters. Thus, any reasonable group could try to disguise themselves as, say, the League of Peace and Justice, but the seven second delay in broadcast communications would have them off the air in three sentences. And when the imperial Senator from Arizona gets finished mangling the First Amendment they’ll probably be in legal trouble of some sort anyway.

So as attractive as is Wu Wei’s notion of an ex nihilo conservative version of Nasty International, there’s not much hope for any practical application. The very notion is itself defeated by conservatism’s first principles, one of which is that the end does not justify the means.

NOTE: I have read in a few places (which I now don’t recall) that there is some move to have a number of national memorial services for these two soldiers. If any of our readers know of such, please send the information to be included in either an update or a new post. You guys get around more than I do…

Down the Memory Hole

When LGF reported that, according to ABC News, “African-Americans” were among the terrorists arrested in today’s Miami bust, it made alarm bells ring for me. Could these be Jamaat ul-Fuqra operatives?

I followed Charles’ link to the ABC story, but there was no mention of “African Americans” in it. Strange — LGF had the quote. So I went to Google News and looked at story after story — Reuters, AP, whatever — no mention.

Finally I searched on Google News for “sears tower” “african americans”, and I got exactly one hit. Here’s a screen cap (click the image to enlarge):

Google News

So originally the Google summary had “African Americans” in it, but —surprise! It’s not in the ABC News story anymore. The only place you’ll find it now is in this Google screen cap.

Here’s what LGF quoted:

The suspects are described as African Americans and at least one man of Caribbean descent.

Google said:

Federal Agents Raid Suspected Terror Cell in Miami
ABC News – 1 hour ago
… planned to bomb the FBI building in Miami and the Sears Tower in Chicago. … The suspects are described as African Americans and at least one man of Caribbean …

But here’s the relevant paragraph in the ABC story as it is now, minus any mention of our African American brothers:

Among those arrested, five were U.S. citizens, one was a permanent legal resident, and one was a Haitian who was in the United States illegally on a visa overstay, federal officials told ABC News. [emphasis mine]

Amazing! Somehow, in this country of the color-blind MSM, the African American terrorists have been transmogrified into “U.S. Citizens”. This is the same transmogrifying machine that gave us “youths” rioting in France.

Ah, well… Another day at the George Orwell Ranch.

Giving and Taking Offense

Frothing at the mouthDymphna’s post on the barbaric slaughter of American servicemen, and New Sisyphus’ take on it, sparked a lot of controversy in the comments. What I noticed was the offense taken by some of our regular European readers, and their unhappiness with the contempt for and dismissal of Europe.

First of all, let’s clarify that it’s “Old Europe” that we’re holding in contempt here. Newly assertive European countries from the former Soviet Bloc (or even from the late unlamented Soviet Union itself: Fellow Peacekeeper, this means you) are not included in this contempt. And not all of “Old Europe” should be included, Denmark being a case in point.

And another important thing to remember is that Dymphna and New Sisyphus are referring to the governments and major media of the European countries. After all, those are the filters through which most Americans understand Europe. I presume that, like their counterparts in the USA, they do not represent the people of their respective countries very well. Based on the European blogosphere, or at least the English-language portion of it, the opinions of the people and the opinions of their elite gatekeepers are quite divergent.

But you, who come here to Gates of Vienna to argue and discuss, are a self-selected sample of your respective countries. You come here, for the most part, because you can find intelligent conversation with like-minded people on topics of mutual interest.

How representative of your home countries are you?

Zonka, kepiblanc, Fellow Peacekeeper, Exile, and others whose names I can’t think of right now: Do your fellow citizens line up mostly with you? Or do they mostly sneer at America, hate George Bush, and back the Palestinians?

We know what your media and governments say, but how do your fellow citizens feel?

Dymphna and I are members of the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy, and thus in a small minority here in America. I don’t confuse our opinions with those of most Americans. We’re fighting a rearguard battle against overwhelming opposition, what with the permanent bureaucracy, the Academy, and the Legacy Media all in the hands of the Treasonous Left. Americans may wake up eventually to the Islamist menace, but they won’t be giving up their Medicare prescription drug plan or state-subsidized day care anytime soon. I’m under no illusions about that.

If it’s the same in your countries, then we’re not talking to you and you have no need to feel insulted; you are in opposition to the PC power structure, and we are on the same side.

If we’re wrong, and the vast majority of Europeans are ready to rise up as one against their elites, assert their rightful claim to govern themselves, and throw their support behind the United States of America, then…

Well, then Gates of Vienna will have to eat some crow.

When America Finally Looks Away

I don’t often put up posts from other blogs, especially not in their entirety. And I certainly haven’t ever posted a Watcher’s Council nomination before the votes are in.

However, this one blew me away. Even after all the killing, all the injustice toward the United States — including insults and frothing from some of its own benighted citizens – even after all that, NewSisyphus manages to articulate what is at the bottom of many hearts in this country.

Read. Weep for the fallen. Then make your own silent resolution:

Srebrenica, Kosovo, Unknown

Two U.S. soldiers missing since an attack on a checkpoint last week have been found dead near a power plant in Yusifiyah, south of Baghdad, according to U.S. officials, and Iraqi officials say the soldiers had been tortured.

Maj. Gen. Abdul Aziz Muhammed-Jassim, head of operations at the Iraqi Ministry of Defense, said the soldiers had been “barbarically” killed. U.S. officials would not confirm or deny that the men, who were identified Monday as Pfc. Kristian Menchaca, 23, of Houston and Pfc. Thomas L. Tucker, 25, of Madras, Ore., had been tortured by their captors.

— Washington Post, June 20

It was a small event, but a taste of things to come, the way things would be. Early on in the Afghan Campaign–you remember that one, the one that was an illegal war of mass punishment, doomed to failure due to the harsh Afghan winter, the one that would cause no less than 200,000 civilian casualties and set off a horrific famine, the one that was foretold would tie us down for years just as the Soviets were, the self-same war that the self-same critics now praise as a model of a “good” war they could support, unlike, sadly, the Iraq War–an American soldier was caught on a mountainside by a rush of Taliban fighters. A circling American helicopter filming the battle caught the moment.

Just prior to realizing that he was without escape, the American soldier turned to face the onrushing mob of Taliban and raised his hands. He was grabbed by the head and forced to his knees and a man with a knife cut his torso open from side to side. The American soldier, in full uniform, fighting in a declared war, having just surrendered, was executed on camera.

There were no thundering editorials in the New York Times decrying this violation of the most basic of the rules of war, nor sophisticated leaders in the Guardian worrying aloud what this latest violation of international human rights bode for the future of humanity.

This is how the world works: American soldiers are supposed to be brutally executed as a matter of course. A simple prisoner of war camp where men such as that that executed our soldier are treated to Muslim chaplains, three halal meals a day, an exercise yard and calls to prayer, however, is clearly illegal and a matter of grave international concern.

The pirated tape of the execution is available for download at any number of Muslim websites or, if you lack Internet access, as a video or DVD at any number of Muslim bazaars from Indonesia to London. Act now and we’ll throw in the beheading of the Jew spy Daniel Pearl for half-price. No need to hide such things. They are sold openly. Actually, not very far from the Guardian’s offices, which doesn’t strike me as entirely coincidental. After all, speaking truth to power in the form of George W. Bush won’t get you killed. Printing a cartoon or saying the wrong thing, however….

Best to be smart and play it safe.

And any minute now footage of the deaths of Tucker and Menchaca will be added to the list of attractions, though given the fact that they weren’t paraded around before cameras before being tortured and killed I hold out hope that these two soldiers fought on. From the air conditioned palaces of Dubai to the shanties of the West Bank, Al-Sturmer will thrill the masses with yet another bloody spectacle.

But there will be no outrage, no expressions of sorrow more than perfunctory messages of official regret. From London to Paris to Berlin to Madrid, knowing sneers will return to all-knowing faces: we are getting what is coming to us. For liberating 50 million from a nightmare regime, for building schools that teach female children, for pouring billions in reconstruction money that dwarfs the Marshall Plan, for believing that even a Muslim people brutalized for decades by the degradations of a totalitarian state deserve a chance to breath free. We are getting what we deserve. Only when we learn to roll over and play dead like a good Spaniard will we ever know wisdom.

Another day, another dead American. We are expected to die. The world has long since past expected that Americans be treated with honor and respect or according to the basic rules of war.

In Korea, we were expected to take the lead in the fight. Our captured soldiers were horrifically tortured. In Vietnam, we were on our own. Our captured soldiers were horrifically tortured. In the Iraq War, we were expected to take the lead in the fight. Our captured soldiers were horrifically tortured and, since our captured then included, for the first time, women, raped.

None of which was or is thought by the world community as a weakening of the laws of war, of the Geneva Conventions. Those are what Americans fight by. You can’t expect those oppressed people who America is unjustly fighting to respect those, can you?

And through it all, the American people, quietly but intently, are watching.

They are listening, reading, thinking, weighing, reasoning.

The time has almost come for them to make their voices heard. When they speak it will be a terrible thing to behold and the world, displeased now, will be more displeased then.

There will come a time after that, sooner rather than later I think, when eyes will turn to America seeking help. And the great silence that will arise in this busy nation, content in its understanding and newly aware of the rules of the game, will cause despair in the onlookers.

We see you and what you think of us. We see our deaths and what you think of them. We know you and what you are worth.

Oh, you smiling young men of Barcelona, Lyon, Antwerp, Swindon, Rotterdam, Munich, Turin: fate comes for you, and soon, and no hope from over the ocean will ever, ever again arrive.

It’s over, over there.

(To which I would only add, let us close the military bases that have operated for some sixty years, guarding the safety of our faithless friends. We have real allies in other countries who can take up the task with more attention to duty and to honor. Friends who remember only too well their own oppression and will fight to prevent ever going under again.)

Breaking the Rules of Engagement

In the comments on one of our recent Denmark posts, Charro99 said:

I’ll never forget the Danish tank commander who was sent home from Yugoslavia in the 1990’s by the UN when the UN concluded he was “too aggressive in returning fire”. (I’ll never forget that phrase.) His platoon of white UN tanks was ambushed by Serbs, and the Danes destroyed all of the Serb tanks, suffering no losses on their part. I realized then that Danes were different than most Europeans.

His story piqued my interest, so I did a careful internet search and finally found an account of the plucky Danish tank commander. The incident occurred in Bosnia in 1994, near the town of Tuzla. There is very little information available about it on the web — the few entries I found were on military forums, and seem to be re-posting material taken out of the print copy of a Newsweek story.

There were two separate accounts on a Danish forum, one credited to Newsweek, and the other uncredited; I’ll quote from them both.

First, from Newsweek:

Frustrated Danish Tank Crews Punch Back

It was late at night when the Bosnian Serbs began to shell a United Nations observation post called Tango Two in the Sapna Finger, a Muslim-held salient near Tuzla. Danish Lt. Col. Lars Moller of the Nordic Battalion ordered two platoons of his Leopard tanks to charge to the rescue, which was just what the Serbs expected. As the seven tanks reached the foot of Sugarloaf Mountain, the Serbs opened fire with antitank missiles, artillery and machine guns.

“It was an ambush, and a damn good one,” Colonel Moller said. “Tango Two was the cheese, and we were the mouse. But this time the mouse ate the cat.”

One Danish platoon took cover behind buildings; the other maneuvered to high ground and counterambushed. When it was over, nine Serb soldiers were dead.

The “Nordbat” suffered no casualties. More important, it had done what no other U.N. peacekeepers in Bosnia had done before: strike back at the Serbs with force.

The April 30 battle of the Sapna Finger does not signal a change in U.N. strategy; in fact, U.N. officials in Sarajevo later played down its significance and hinted that Moller’s troops had overreacted.

Don’t you just love the UN? If you shoot back at the enemy, you’re “overreacting.” Things haven’t changed much in the last twelve years.

There’s more in the second account:

“Things were getting out of hand,” Moller said. He and [tank commander Maj. Carsten] Rasmussen agreed to hold their fire and ensure that Serb shelling of Tango 2 had ceased. After 30 minutes of quiet, the forward tanks began moving back to Saraci — but the Serbs began attacking them again.

Moller said he “began to get [ticked] off.”

The officers ordered the tanks in Saraci to reopen fire. Continuously. For 15 minutes.

One round plowed into a Serb ammunition dump, igniting a massive, concussive blast. Not since a 1943 battle against the Nazis — and before that an 1864 clash with invading Prussians — had Danish forces been in such a fight, the Danes reckoned.

The trouble had begun when the UN representative allowed the Serbs to move tanks into the area from which they had previously been banned.

The tanks reportedly were redeployed on the Serbs’ southern front. Incensed, Bosnian government authorities demanded [UN special representative, Yasushi] Akashi’s resignation as the top U.N. official in the former Yugoslavia.

Other U.N. officials in Sarajevo tried to cover up the continued presence of 100 Serb soldiers within three kilometers of Gorazde and some heavy weapons within the no-go zone around that city, too, despite NATO’s orders that they withdraw or face airstrikes.

In contrast, the Nordic Battalion, drawing on a long history of peacekeeping work by its Danish, Swedish and Norwegian troops, has showed how a tough stance can work in Bosnia.

No wonder Lt. Col. Moller had to be sent home — the last thing the UN wants is somebody displaying a tough stance.

And Lars Moller does sound like the kind of guy you want watching your back:

Lars MollerMoller, 40, the battalion’s deputy commander and its top tank officer, is a past karate champion; his father was a Danish Resistance fighter in World War II, and his brother is also a U.N. soldier in Croatia.

He speaks English sprinkled with American slang he picked up on NATO maneuvers, but with an English officer’s accent that seems to match his walking stick. “Turning your cheek is the wrong way down here,” he says. “There’s a lot of macho bulls**t down here and you have to adapt your behavior accordingly.”


“The ambush was bad juju on their part. We are not here to take incoming,” Moller said. “Fortunately for them, we are not here to get involved either. We could have destroyed all of them and been in Zvornik by morning.”

Here’s the part that I like best, from the second account:

Moller said the Danes spared three Serb T-55 tanks because, while the Leopards’ infrared detectors found the Serbs’ aiming systems turned on, they also determined that the enemy tanks’ barrels were cold. Under the restrictive U.N. rules of engagement, only guns actually caught in act of firing may be hit. [my emphasis]

That’s the way the UN fights a war. No wonder the United States is loath to get sucked into the “peacekeeping” tar baby. A peacekeeping mission always assumes that fighting has stopped, and that new fighting is to be avoided at almost any cost. Even if the UN were not an inherently corrupt and ineffective bureaucratic organization, “peacekeeping” contains a structural imperative that all but guarantees that UN forces will cover up, ignore, and explain away any breaches of the peace.

The Danes experienced a problem that would have been familiar to the US Army Rangers in Somalia:

Although the Serb attacks have grown intense, the U.N. political command in Zagreb, Croatia — directed by special envoy Yasushi Akashi — has rejected at least four of the battalion’s requests for NATO planes to fly close air support for U.N. troops here, Moller said.

Boy, I’ll bet that was good for troop morale…

Most U.N. troops on peacekeeping duty in Bosnia have been neither as aggressive nor as successful as Nordbat. Although last week U.N. commander General Sir Michael Rose praised the tank action during a visit to Copenhagen, many U.N. officials privately have criticized the Scandinavian troops.

It’s obvious that the Nordic Battalion deserved the criticism. An aggressive response defeats the purpose of the UN and goes against its mission statement. When your imperative is to have peace at any price, the aggressor holds the trump card, and must be appeased, rather than defeated.

But Lt. Col. Moller didn’t see it that way:

“The U.N. should not bow its head to any of these people,” he said. “Once you do that, you lose your dignity and, even worse, the other guy will keep walking over you. In the Balkans, you’ve gotta stand tall.”

Fast-forward to February 2006, and reissue these words on behalf of the Danish people in the face of the Mohammed Cartoon Crisis: Denmark should not bow its head to any of these people. Once you do that, you lose your dignity and, even worse, the other guy will keep walking over you.

It’s worth remembering that the Nordic Battalion was defending the Bosnian Muslims back in 1994. Their efforts on behalf of the Prophet’s followers didn’t bank them much credit twelve years later, did it?

Gates of Vienna is on Tammy Bruce Today

The New American RevolutionDymphna and I will both be guests on Tammy Bruce’s radio show later today (i.e. Wednesday June 21st). Our scheduled time is 9:30 a.m. on the West Coast, or 12:30 p.m. EDT. What’s that — maybe 18:30 in Copenhagen? Our tentative topic is Denmark, so all our Scandinavian readers will want to tune in via the weblink. Tammy’s program can be heard on Talk Radio Network. Go to the site and click on her image.

I’ll leave this post at the top until air time. Look for new posts below it.

On Tammy’s blog is an interesting post by Maynard. It dovetails nicely with Dymphna’s piece from last night about the decline of the mainline American Protestant churches as evidenced in the their emergent anti-Semitism.

Maynard poses a provocative question, and then answers it:

…consider this choice: If you’re in a public arena — maybe on an airplane — which of these activities would make you most uncomfortable to be seen doing: Flipping through a copy of Playboy, or reading the Bible? You’d probably have to think about this question, because there are elements of awkwardness in either action. But on the whole, you’ll likely be concerned that somebody nearby will judge you harshly for reading the Bible, whereas Playboy is more mainstream.

This leads him into a meditation on the difference between Christianity and Judaism, which includes this paragraph:

Jewish tradition has it that the reason God created the Jews was to bring the message of ethical monotheism (that is, the concept of a single Supreme Being who is fundamentally concerned that humans choose good and reject evil) to Mankind. This God demands we first pursue Justice, which is a different perception from the Christian view of a God of Love. The God of the Jews does not demand that everyone be Jewish; He promises a place in the afterlife to the righteous of all faiths; contra-wise, a Jew who does evil will not be saved. Thus the Jewish dogma is fundamentally at odds with the Christian assertion that the sole path to salvation lies in accepting Christ into your heart. The Christian does not believe he can earn his way to Heaven through good deeds, although there is likely to be a linkage that will encourage the true Christian to perform good deeds. In other words, the Jewish God demands that Man be good; the Christian God demands that Man be Christian, and it follows that the true Christian will in fact be good, albeit (like all humans) fallible.

It’s worth going over to read the whole thing.

American Protestant Pogroms

Tell me again about Europe and her pains,
Who’s tortured by the drought, who by the rains.
Glut me with floods where only the swine can row
Who cuts his throat and let him count his gains.
It seemed the best thing to be up and go.

               — From “Aubade”, by William Empson

There are so many degraded behaviors and beliefs in our culture that attempting to delineate them quickly devolves into the feeling that one is watching a train wreck in slow motion. Only this time it’s a disaster with many people you love and used to respect on board and there is nothing you can do to alter their zombie-like condition. In fact, you wonder if you can even save yourself as the train continues to plow on through, hurtling in your direction…and you’re tied to the tracks, directly in its path.

We keep comparing ourselves to Europe and her plight, hoping to draw some comfort from the fact that while we may be trying to divert this evil train from its rails, Europe’s train has long since wrecked and the bloody survivors are trudging down the road to oblivion.

Well, dream on. Whatever cultural superiority we can derive from that comparison is cold comfort when you look at the depth and breadth of the problems that face our republic. These are problems that ought to be able to be rectified in a country allegedly governed by and for the people, but who could have dreamed the form into which our imperial and corrupt governance has metastasized? It defies full comprehension, much less full discussion.

So I’m going to take, for the purposes of examination, one small piece of this poisonous, malformed tumor that has begun to pass for American culture: Christian religion. In general, aside from the secularized fraction of the intellectual elitists, Americans pride themselves on the fact that religion in the public square is still possible, and that the majority of us seem to profess some kind of belief beyond the Tivo selection in front of us.

But that belief is part of the problem, because the general direction of mainstream Christianity has taken a malign and destructive turn. In fact, it has become downright anachronistic on a number of levels. It used to be that the “fundamentalists” and the Catholic Church were the groups accused of looking back to some Golden Age where Christian values and behaviors reigned supreme. This view was considered anti-intellectual and the leading lights sniggered over their dry chablis at the collective stupidity and atavism of such fools.

Now it is the progressive, anti-knowledge intellectuals who long to return to a more pristine past, whether it be the peace and harmony of the American Indians Native Americans (and here’s a prediction: soon, the word “American” will be stricken from that term and some more politically correct, less hateful noun will be found to describe the descendants of those who made their way through the Bering Strait and began to settle here millennia ago. “Native American” will be added to list of Verboten Usage, where it will join Negro, Black, lady, etc) before the evil white man arrived, or the tribal coherence and tranquility of the African tribes before the white man dragged so many thousands to their deaths or to the living death of slavery in Amerikkka. And, of course, there is the paradisiacal, persecuted Cuba which, if we would only leave them alone, would blossom fully into the people’s heaven on earth. For some reason, China is no longer au courant in the paradise department. Too much truth leaked out, perhaps. Or maybe China, with its increasing appetites for technology and modern life looms larger as a threat than it used to for the utopian movers and shakers. China kills utopians; that information may have finally gotten through the elitist barricade erected against reality. It happens sometimes.

But there is another side to their nostalgic backward glances, though they have managed to find some half-plausible cover for their designs — which are as ancient as early recorded history and as new as today’s front page. And that nostalgia is concerned with the eradication of the Jews. The Joos. The Zionist Entity. The swine and apes. The sub-human ones. Don’t kid yourself: rabid anti-Semitism is alive and well in the higher reaches of American society. It has always been there, but only lately has it learned to cloak itself as something else.

One of the most appalling features of our cultural disaster is this anti-Semitism as it is currently practiced in mainline Christian churches in this country. The edicts, committee reports, and resolutions pouring out in the name of the poorpalestinians — for that is now one word among these leaders — all have the same goal. Their stated purpose is to alleviate the suffering of the poorpals, and their committees all seem to have anachronistically Marxist-sounding names with words like “Justice” and “Peace” and “Concern” in the titles. Just like the good old fronted Communist groups in the fifties, the ones aimed at labor groups and later at civil rights organizations. Let’s face it, the Communists stole all the good titles and now the churches must steal them in turn. They might as well, given that their goals are often similar, and equally malign.

Let’s call this posturing by the churches at least one of the things it is: willful blindness to the reality on the ground. A visiting Martian would ask what these Methodists and Lutherans and Presbyterians have been smoking to bring on this stone-blind demonstration of Jew-hatred disguised as Palestinian love. And the alien’s question might explain it all. That is, all the drugs ingested by these people in their youth (and now risen to positions of power) have left a residual brain damage. Instead of the cognitive deficits some substance abusers exhibit, church leaders seem to suffer from a sort of drug-induced cortical inability to parse moral differences. This deficit leaves them with an overweening need to find victims to whom they can show tolerance, while also searching for villains on whom to project the world’s problems. Enter the Jews, those eternal scapegoats that all the righteous Christians love to loathe.

Before the drugs arrived, the parents and grandparents of these church leaders had no problem discerning the need for a Jewish state. They were clearly able to see the valor of the remnant left after Hitler’s orgy and the world’s indifference, the remnant that made it to Israel and built a flourishing civilization out of desert and sand fleas. As waves of envious Arabs swept in to drive the Judenschwein into the sea, American aid and American good will cheered on the amazing efforts of the Israelis to stand fast in the face of such personally directed evil. After all, they were used to it. “Never again,” they said — and at the time they meant it.

No sane person questioned their strategy of holding onto parts of the territory the fleeing, defeated Arabs were forced to leave behind. After all, have not nations done that from time immemorial? It makes it harder for your enemies to attempt another attack. Not impossible, just more difficult. Large parts of southwestern America were acquired in just that way during our war with Mexico.

But that’s history, and Christian churches are weak on history, even and especially their own. Besides, can there be any doubt that Mexico’s histrionic envy is on the agenda for mainstream American churches? It’s a subject sure to be addressed after they’ve finished off Israel, our racism, and the victimization of gays. Yes, Mexico’s former territory is on the agenda all right; it’s just too far down the list to see as yet. First, there are all these other burning issues.

A pogromLeaders in our churches are working actively on the destruction of Israel under the guise of aid to the poorpals. In that respect, they are not one whit different from the righteous Christian hordes of old, with their pogroms and viciously dependable destruction of Jewish communities. Actually, there is one whit of difference: they are more sophisticated at disguising their homicidal projections onto their chosen scapegoats, tricking out their hatreds in the finery of brotherly love for the down-trodden, peace-loving poorpals. These are the same poorpals who kidnap Christian workers, torture and kill them, hold them for ransom, and destroy or desecrate Christian churches in the Palestinian Territories. These useful church idiots serve well in their masochistic piece of the sadomasochistic drama that Palestine plays with reality. In that respect, Palestine and American church leaders are equals. Neither of them is wired real tight to the facts on the ground. It is not in their interests to be so.

Ask yourself: what moral imperative informs the attitudes of these church leaders toward Israel? What is it that drives them to help obliterate the very root from which their churches spring? What in God’s name permits them to close their ears to the wishes of those in the pews, who disagree almost totally with their secularized, pomo vision. Where is the ecclesia in this witches’ brew of hatred, intolerant tolerance, and politically correct insanity? It is behavior which provokes one to ponder the reality of a personification of Evil out there somewhere, pulling the strings of a group of addled do-badders.

Ask yourself: who gave them the right to judge Israel and find it wanting? Is it the fact that Israel was the only democracy in the Middle East (and may return to that status if Iraq does not succeed)? Is their judgment at all connected to their similar judgments about America and her presence in the Middle East? And how do they manage to blind themselves to the presence of Hezbollah in Beirut or Hamas in Palestine? What part of “jihad” do they fail to understand?

Ask yourself: why Israel instead of Somalia or Pakistan or any of the miserable failed states where Christians are persecuted, driven from their homes without recompense and forced to convert? Why aim your sights at Jews when it is others who are killing Christians? What kind of emotional perversion leads to a situation in which those in authority do not feel called upon to speak up for their own?

Ask yourself all these questions, as I do, endlessly. If you come up with any responses that could possibly redeem behavior which seems driven by evil, hubris, or moral stupidity, please let me know. I could use some understanding here.

Meanwhile, as the Presbyterians vote, let me remind you that these whited sepulchers are giving a new meaning to post-Christian.

Let me also remind you that despite appearances, God is not dead. He is simply waiting for us to wake up and boot these money-changers out of the temple.

In Bed With Beelzebub

Århus UniversityOnce again there is something newsworthy in Denmark. On June 15th and 16th Århus University hosted a conference entitled “Islamism and European Security”. Reader jdm has done yeoman’s work in translating material concerning the conference from the Danish media.

First there is an account of the conference (apparently no longer at the Århus site):

A number of Europe’s most knowledgeable experts on Islamism and terrorism are currently meeting at Århus University for a conference dealing with Islamism arranged by professor Mehdi Mozaffari, Århus University.


Mehdi Mozaffari himself opened the conference with a presentation about The Idea of Islamism.

»Islamisme er en regressiv religiøst inspireret ideologi med en holistisk fortolkning af islam, med det endelige mål at erobre hele verden,« sagde Medhi Mozaffari.

“Islamism is a regressive, religiously inspired ideology with a holistic interpretation of Islam and an ultimate goal of conquering the entire world,” Medhi Mozaffari said.

It’s worth noting that Mehdi Mozaffari apparently is one of those elusive creatures, a “moderate Muslim”. In fact, Denmark seems to have a fair number of them, and some of them go in fear of their lives due to their heretical views.

Here is jdm’s translation of an article about the conference which appeared in last Saturday’s Jyllands-Posten:

A Dangerous Alliance

At the international Islamism conference this week in Århus, the left-wing journalist Caroline Fourest pointed to the dangers of the coalition she thinks that some of the international left has entered into with Islamists.

The 30 year old French journalist who, writes for the left-wing magazine Charlie Hedbo, wonders why it is that the European left has not learned anything from what happened during the Iranian Revolution in 1979.

“Back then, a group of Marxists made a big mistake. They thought it would be possible to form a partnership with Islamists in the fight to topple the Shah,” said Caroline Fourest in her controversial presentation at the recently concluded international Islamism conference at Århus University.

Repeated Mistakes

She thinks that the left of today is about to make the exact same error as those Marxists in Iran who formed a partnership with Khomeini’s Islamist Movement only to be eliminated by their Islamic partner after the fall of the Shah.

“Today, we see coalitions and partnerships between Islamist groups and progressive leftwing movements that we would not have expected five years ago. Among these, the anti-globalization movement, the European Social Forum, at their most recent three meetings have invited Tariq Ramadan along with a number of activists from the Muslim Brotherhood to speak in the name of Islam. This is happening in a very progressive forum,” Caroline Fourest wondered and added that this meant that the forum’s secular Muslims are no longer present.

“They would just be accused of being pro-Bush, pro-Zionist, or Islamophobes”

Also, in France, Caroline Fourest points to alliances between Islamist groups and progressive groups on the left like Human Rights Watch — groups that came together in the fight against the government’s prohibition against religious symbols in French public schools.

“The worst thing about this coalition was that it attempted to accuse the feminists and secular groups of being racist or Islamophobic. In the same way, an anti-racist left-wing group wanted to sue Charlie Hedbo after it re-published the Mohammed cartoons. We still don’t know if the suit was because we were being blasphemous or racist.”

However, she also gives the anti-immigrant right a portion of the blame, albeit indirect, for these new alliances between the Islamic groups and the left.

The Mistake of the Right

“The right wing in Europe has conjoined the issues of immigration, security, and religious fanaticism. The left then, attempts to form an alternative to these policies and in conjunction with to trying to please Muslim voters, the left neglects to criticize the fanaticism in Islam,” says Caroline Fourest.

Ms. Fourest has joined Christopher Hitchens, Norm Geras, and others in an apostasy from Leftist orthodoxy on the topic of Islam. No doubt she will soon be subject to death threats and have to go in fear of her life, due to her betrayal of her erstwhile comrades.

Fjordman has written here in “I’m a Terrorist Groupie, Hear Me Roar!” about the affinity of the Left for violent Islam, and, more recently, about the connection of Islamism with Marxism.

Expect the divide between the Left and the rest of the West to grow more extreme, as its infernal love affair with the Islamic terrorists continues to flower. Anticipate even more deranged rhetoric from the opponents of Bushitler and Global Capitalist Fascism, as the logic of the alliance with Jihad unfolds.

But one has to wonder how the Left thinks it will all end. As Elvis Costello says,

Two little Hitlers will fight it out until
One little Hitler does the other one’s will.

Assume that the Progressives and the Mujahideen, with their united front, prevail in glorious triumph over the evil West. What then? Do the likes of Noam Chomsky and Michael Moore believe they stand a chance against the throat-slitters and the suicide-bombers? Does anyone want to lay odds on the outcome?

Presumably they’ve decided not to think about that for right now…

Council Post for June 9, 2006

Watcher's CouncilThe June 9th vote — aside from the winner, Shrinkwrapped, — had an even spread among three submissions for second place. A most unusual pattern.

First, Abolish the “N” Word, Shrinkwrapped’s essay on the all-too-prevalent use of what used to be the forbidden and despised appellation: “nigger.” I grew up hearing that word from my cohort (mostly the boys, hardly ever a girl thought it, much less said it) though it was not used in my house and the nuns would put anyone caught uttering it in school in detention, doomed to write their sin a hundred times. But that was the South then; it is not so now, except for a few very ancient country people who still say “nigra” — which is, in their view, a gentrified version of the hated word. Their grown and ageing children roll their eyes when Daddy persists in using the term, but Daddy is way too old to correct so they let it slide.

Shrinkwrapped notes the changes:

Liberal policies arise from the best of intentions, which is why when they fail it is so difficult to change them. Affirmative Action is a policy that has had some successes for individual Black Americans, but overall has been a dismal experiment in reverse racism. One of the worst, unintended consequences of Affirmative Action has been the (unconscious) identification by Black men with the image of themselves as unable to compete in the modern world. I wrote about the unconscious processes involved in Race and the Unconscious, and included this:

When you hear rap groups “singing” about pimps and ho’s, and hear young black men refer to themselves with the “N” word (sorry, I am too old to feel comfortable with that word), you are hearing the glorification of their devalued status, a reaction formation. The adolescent whose parents expect him to be a failure will, most of the time, glorify his failures; this is based on the unconscious identification with the devalued aspects of the parent which have formed part of the core of the person’s self concept. These people should be shamed, not glorified.

On CNN last week, a young Black woman discussed the web site, Abolish the “N” Word, which was designed to stimulate a vitally needed conversation within the Black community about the metastasizing use of the “N” word among young people.

Race remains one of the various “third rail” topics in American politics. Anyone who dares to deviate from the accepted “Black victim narrative” risks being labeled a racist; jobs and livelihoods have been lost over such transgressions. For a non-Black American the temptation is strong to ignore the whole issue; if the Black community wants to persist in damaging themselves with their behavior, why should I intervene? Worse, many members of my parents’ generation risked bodily injury to stand and walk beside our Black brethren in the days of the Civil Rights Struggle. The brother of a close colleague of my father was murdered in the 1960s for trying to organize Black voters in Mississippi, yet many White civil rights activists felt their “thanks” was to be castigated by a younger generation of more radical Black activists in the 1970s.

However, we are now living in different times. America is no longer institutionally racist and there are few people who feel it is appropriate to mouth openly racist tropes, even if some still think them. I have worked with many Black patients and appreciate that they have to negotiate various difficulties that I have been spared but the sad truth of it is that the primary damage that racism still exerts on our Black countrymen and women is self inflicted.

The three-post spread for second place was shared by (a) Rightwing Nuthouse for his piece on courage as demonstrated on Omaha Beach —

instead of “courage” being a word with inexpressible significance and meaning beyond its simple definition, it has become a self congratulatory epithet, a hollowed out expression of empty promise and insincerity. Today, the purveyors of myth and shapers of opinion use the word to tell the rest of us who to admire and what to respect. No longer does courage imply sacrifice or a willingness to give all that one has for a cause greater than oneself.

All of this was in the future 62 years ago when the Rangers lived the word courage by taking the bluffs above the beach. And a short distance away at Omaha, Americans were dying, never knowing that their sacrifice was redefining the word courage for all time. For in their last bloody moments on earth, a titanic struggle was taking place between good and evil that 10,000 years from now, poets will still be singing songs and human beings will still be shaking their heads at in wonder and awestruck disbelief.

And then, another second place piece, (b)The Glittering Eye’s essay on immigration history and its effects on politics:

With all of the posting on immigrants and immigration over the last few months I’m surprised that there hasn’t been more thoughtful consideration of the political legacy of the historic waves of immigration into this country. Leaping into the gap in this post I plan to touch briefly on two of these waves: the famine Irish and the Scandinavians…

Well, Dave, “political legacy” is another way to say history and unfortunately, America is not big on history beyond the iconic after-images.

I urge our readers to visit this essay for a dose of real history. Dave Schuler makes a compelling case for remembering what actually happened when new immigrants arrived here. Hint: there were no marching bands on the docks to greet them.

Finally, the third council member in this three-way second place vote (c), There is Something About the Danes. Which, of course, there is. Some readers think Gates of Vienna is spending too much time on Denmark. However, if anyone else can come up with some good news in this long, horrible stretch of the war against the Islamofascists, please send it along.

In the non-Council section, The Ace of Spades HQ asks “Why Does The Unhinged Left So Hate Jeff Goldstein?” and proceeds to provide the answer:

Forgive me for repeating myself, as I so often do, in this post. I’ve expressed these ideas before, but, as I so often do, in a sloppy and slapdash form. I’ve tried to be a little more organized here. And, in case you’re worried, this post isn’t really about Jeff Goldstein; I, for one, cannot imagine a more excruciatingly tedious subject for an essay.

It’s about the left.

Goldstein bitches about his role as the go-to villain for the moonbats on occasion, to which I always say, half-seriously, that I’m envious. I wish I had the increased traffic and apparent subversive powers he does. Then again, I don’t get this crap day in day out. I think I’d probably get annoyed if I did.

I think I do know why Goldstein in particular is so reviled. He himself provides the answer here, writing about why the Left hates Israel and conservative blacks so much:

(this is a snip from Goldstein)I’d simply add that I think one of the prime reasons the Western left, for all its purported “progressivism,” is so concerned with punishing Israel is that Israel, like, say, Michael Steele or Thomas Sowell, has wandered off the progressive plantation and rejected the narrative assigned it by those who presume to speak for a larger identity agenda. Which is to say, kibbutz culture has given way, over the years, to a strong capitalist system—and so Israel is considered by many on the left to be a traitor to the cause of worldwide socialism, just as surely as Steele and Sowell (among others) are considered race traitors for rejecting the political narrative assigned them by those who have assumed the mantle of “authentic” blacks.

(now Ace responds) The left, to a man, considers itself to be educated and enlightened. It matters not how little actual schooling a particular leftist may have had, nor how unintelligent the person might be. They all consider themselves intellectuals of sorts. If they dropped out of college after one semester, they just think of themselves as autodidacts whose genius could not be stimulated by the ossified and bourgeois teaching of the academy. If they’re just plain stupid or crazy — like, say, Charlie Sheen — they indulge in farcical conspiracy-theorizing, reassuring themselves that they are intellectual because they know things others do not. They are one of the chosen few brave enough to see past the web of lies and glimpse the arcane truth behind, say, the implosion of the World Trade Center (a SEAL team planted those charges, you know?).

I must confess my ignorance here, and I am sure our readers will take me to task for living under a rock, but who is Jeff Goldstein? Charlie Sheen? Should I know these people? Is Charlie Sheen related to Cindy Sheehan? Kinda sounds alike…and I do recognize her name. I know, I know: I need to get out more. But if knowing who these people are requires a TV or reading the MSM, count me out. In that case, ignorance is bliss.

Second place in the non-Council posts is Ms. Cheesecake, aka Villainous Company. The Baron loves her blog image (I think it’s the shot of those long, long legs). This time she won for “Selected Quotes Do Not A Reasoned Argument Make.” V.C. proves her point by writing such a closely reasoned debate that I can’t find a way to shoehorn in and give you a snippet. Thus, you’ll have to see what she has to say about the arguments re what did or didn’t happen at Haditha and what should happen from here on in.

Finally, of course, there’s himself, holding the rest of the cards. This time around the votes were so evenly divided that it’s an indication of a great deal of quality blogging. Be sure to visit the Watcher and read the rest.

Ahem…while you’re there, let him know I got this post up just before the bell. Whew!

Children in Danger From the UN

This past Friday, June 16th, was designated “The Day of the African Child” by UNICEF and the Board of the African Union. CNN dutifully ran an agitprop piece from IRIN, one of the innumerable sub-sub-bureaucracies of the Mother of All Bureaucracies, the United Nations.

The children in Africa are vulnerable, see? And it’s your job to pour money into the coffers of the UN, UNICEF, NGOs, and the like, in order to save these kids from the daily horrors they face. The implication being, of course, that the money will solve poverty, and solving poverty will save the children. At least, that’s how it’s supposed to work.

Does anyone besides Bill Gates, the Left Coast film industry, and those white SUV-driving NGO employees believe the boilerplate manufactured on “the behalf of children” by quasi-media outlets like the UN’s mouthpiece, IRIN, i.e. The Integrated Regional Information Networks? Does anyone have the bottom line total on the billions that have been wasted on behalf of the eternally exploited children? Is there any way to quantify the superfluous rhetoric and mind-numbing bloviation devoted to The Children?

In May 2005 there was a conference entitled Violence Study: West and Central African Consultations, the immediate purpose of which was to “train journalists” in their reporting on children. According to one speaker,

Parents, traditional village chiefs, organisations and the media must work together to maximise children’s participation and emancipation. [my emphasis]

So they’re not going to protect the children, they’re going to “emancipate” them. A brilliant idea, first current in the 1960s. It didn’t work then, and it won’t work now. Children are immature beings who need guidance and protection, not liberation. That is, unless the speaker meant emancipation from the long interfering arm of the UN, with its collectivist agenda and its pedophile peacekeepers.

But that was May 2005. This year, African children get a whole day set aside in their honor. And why June 16th? Because it is the anniversary of the 1976 shooting of children protesting apartheid in Soweto. But why South African children? Because the white people were villains, perhaps? Why not pick something less racially fraught, and more historically honest? Yes, white South Africa’s government was shameful, but it doesn’t begin to compare to what black Africans have done to one another — or white people, for that matter — in the name of tribe, religion, ethic group, or race. Whites aren’t even in the same league. After all, they let Nelson Mandela live, for heaven’s sake. And does Desmond Tutu think he’s alive because of his fellow black Africans?

Never mind. The UN soldiers on, dredging up busy work for itself as The Children continue to be exploited, used, abused, and then disposed of. And who is better at that than the UN peacekeepers?

Child beggars in SenegalMeanwhile, the MSM wallows behind, picking up these stories the UN drops like handkerchiefs, and they retail this news as though it were Truth. Sad vignettes of abused, exploited children rescued by NGOs (presumably funded by the UN) are accompanied by factoids about the African environment vis-à-vis its children. All of this is in turn followed by earnest exhortation about the “obligation” to find out why there is an increase in domestic violence against women and children.

Here’s M. Jean-Claude Legrand, the regional director of UNICEF, pontificating about several problems that West Africans face:

Q:   And what are the main protection issues facing children in West Africa?
A:   Last year, a regional consultation highlighted four problem areas for children: that of domestic violence; violence in schools including in Koranic schools; child trafficking and harmful traditional practices chief among them being the practice of excision.
Q:   Why is the issue of domestic violence particularly of concern in West Africa?
A:   In other countries it is clear that in the post-conflict environment domestic violence against women and children increases. There is no data, so we cannot be sure that that is the case here, but a number of countries — Sierra Leone, Liberia, Guinea Bissau and others – are in a post-conflict environment. That makes it our obligation to find out.
Q:   Why is violence in schools here different to other regions of the world?
A:   In West Africa we are not talking about bullying or violence between children; the main concern is the issue of sexual exploitation of girls in schools by their teachers. Our studies have also shown that in some countries teachers use rape as a way of disciplining girls. We have found examples of this in Ghana, but it likely affects a lot of countries.

There is the problem of abuse of authority by headmasters and teachers – few countries in the region have developed monitoring mechanisms so parents and children have no way to complain and get redress. There is no enforcement of law. Often teachers are just moved on if there is a complaint, just transferring the problem somewhere else, not solving it. We need to make sure that schools are a safe place for children, not a place of abuse.

The situation of children in some Koranic schools is also of concern. Not all Koranic schools, but in some instances children are being recruited not to learn the Koran but to be exploited as street beggars. Senegal is the main example, but not the only one, where we can see there has been a distortion of an existing tradition.

This needs to be resolved by Koranic scholars who must work out minimum standards and a minimum curriculum for Koranic schools, including limits on time spent begging. Traditionally, children would beg a few hours on a Friday to learn humility but now they are begging eight hours a day seven days a week and getting beaten if they don’t bring back enough money. Children are being brought to Senegal from Guinea Bissau, Mauritania and other West African countries to beg on the streets and be exploited, linking in with the problem of child trafficking.

And M. Legrand’s conclusion about all this? It’s because “poverty is on the rise.” Well, duh. However, even M. Legrand has learned that attempting to eradicate poverty is not sufficient. As he lamely attempts to explain it:

We need legislation, and enforcement of that legislation and all the necessary social services.

Yes, he really said that. What he meant was — surely, he meant to say — that Africa needs a society of laws, and consequences for breaking them. The laws need to apply from the top down, starting with the kleptocrats and the bureaucrats and the fatcrats who siphon off Africa’s resources.

Africa most certainly does not need more social workers. Please, God, no social workers to further gum up the works. Africa needs another layer of do-good bureaucracy like it needs more malaria, another plague like AIDS, or New Orleans needs another hurricane.

Africa has many child-hostile traditions and practices. IRIN has the stories here, here, and here. You can read them if you want, but know this: You’re being manipulated by charity-porn, which is meant to elicit your guilt and separate you from your money. Yes, the suffering is awful, but donating to UNICEF won’t change that, and the illusion of helping these kids can only prolong their exploitation.

What would be the best thing for African children? To have the UN disappear.

Denmark is a Symbol

Reader Zerosumgame writes in the comments of yesterday’s translation of the Bertel Haarder editorial:

Baron & Dymphna:

Map of DenmarkI understand the symbolic, psychological and significance of the Danish cartoons.

Having said that, I’m not sure that posting so much on this one issue is really providing an accurate reflection on the state of European resistance to jihad, Islamicization, anti-Semitism and the defense of “old European” culture (of which, actually, anti-Semitism is an integral part).

As I have stated before, I think it is foolhardy to invest too much hope in the Danes “holding out” against the Islamofascist tide, and getting the rest of Europe (or at least its Western, Northern and Southern parts).

Denmark has perhaps 5 million people. The EU in its entirety probably has 400 million. Among the large population EU countries, only Poland is likely sympathetic to the Danish struggle against the Islamofascist tide. The rest see the Danes as the bigots.

I don’t see much hope for Denmark holding out against all her neighbors as they fall to Islam, unless she becomes an armed nuclear fortress like Israel, and I think even the Danes here know that THAT is not going to happen.

Zonka answered the above comments with this:

What you have said would make sense if it was truly Denmark’s 5 million people vs. the 400 million of Europe, but it’s not! Large segments of the European population are more aligned with the Danish sentiments than with their governments! And the cries of Denmark being bigoted, islamophobic and generally xenophobic are becoming fewer than it was just a year ago!

So Denmark is not a big powerhouse or fortress, but it is a symbol to the rest of the Europeans that there is another alternative than the one followed by their governments and it is working, albeit slowly — So don’t discount the value of symbols! Use it instead, to make it much more powerful than the demographics suggest!

I have to admit that I’m with Zonka. It may well be that we’re focusing too much here on Denmark. But, from a viewpoint across the Atlantic, Denmark is an inspiring example.

The leaders of most of the other European nations, regardless of what their citizens may feel, fall all over themselves to appease the Muslims. Their public utterances are so full of multicultural pieties that you and I can recite them in advance. They are unwilling to name the enemy and confront the grave problem facing them.

But Denmark… Danish leaders and public figures openly say what the rest of Europe dares not. In some of the stricter PC regimes, such as Belgium, they would likely be under legal sanction for what they say.

It may be that Denmark will not withstand the Islamic onslaught. The Danes may well cave to anti-Semitism, or be cowed into submission. They may only hold out a year or a decade longer than Sweden before they are overrun.

But they hold up a mirror to us here in America, and remind us of the future that is careening towards us, and demonstrate a way to face it with dignity.

It may be that the Danes as a nation are the equivalent of Fabrizio Quattrochi. Are they in fact doomed hostages, held captive by violent and barbaric thugs? If so, they are ripping the hoods off their heads and showing the world how a Dane dies.

They deserve our support. And, in any case, their situation is instructive.

So I’ll continue to follow affairs in Denmark until the star-and-crescent flies over Christiansborg, and the mermaid statue is blown to rubble as infidel idolatry.

With the that in mind, here is a translation from the Danish sent by reader jdm, prefaced by his notes in italics:

The following was published as a letter to the editor of Jyllands-Posten on June 17th. It is apparently not written in reaction to Haarder’s column of June 15th. This letter is, however, certainly a part of the Danish national discussion.

If the sentences seem overly long, they are. Danish is prone to run-on sentences and many Danes, like this writer, take full advantage.

NB, Uffe Elleman-Jensen is mentioned. I don’t know if it’s important or if anyone even cares, but UEJ was the foreign minister in the first “right-wing” or, as they say in Danish, bourgeois government of the 80s after many years of a Social Democrat monopoly of power. A strong supporter of NATO and the EU while a foreign minister, he seems confused by the present enemy, Islamism. He has made a number of rash statements recently that indicate that he either doesn’t understand the nature of the enemy or refuses to accept it.

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

If Haarder is Laying Down His Weapon…

It seems like there is no more hope: now Bertel Haarder has laid down his weapon and surrendered to the dark powers which will destroy freedom of speech through threats and violence against those who will not recognize the demands of some religious fanatics to decide what may be said or drawn in the Danish media.

That someone like Uffe Elleman-Jensen does the bidding of these Islamists cannot surprise anyone.

He has probably been promised a position as arch-imam from the Saudis after Islam takes control of Denmark.

But that Bertel Haarder has given up under the pressure from those immigrant groups who have declared as their goal the destruction of democracy in Denmark — the man, who more than any other, has been a guarantor for many Danes that things will never get so far [out of hand] — this is too much to bear.

Bertel Haarder, do you remember Nicolas Blaedel, the journalist of whom the Germans in the 30s, that is long before the German occupation, demanded and won his removal from the editorial board of Berlingske Tidende because he wrote the unpleasant truth of the Nazis’ devastation of Germany? It’s true, is it not, that there are certain similarities with the situation we’re in today?

You are not just anybody, Bertel Haarder. You are a member of the present government and therefore an important voice in the public debate.

Your recent admissions will, with an unfortunate guarantee, be welcomed with satisfaction in Riyadh and interpreted as an expression of Danish capitulation to the Islamic operations here in this country.

These words are hate speech. They are doubleplus ungood. The Thought Police will surely find this letter-writer and escort him to Mandatory Diversity Training.

We Think Carefully But We’re Not Yielding

Reader Zonka has translated this editorial from Jyllands-Posten. It was written by the Danish Minister of Education and Church himself.

By Bertel Haarder, June 15, 2006

Bertel HaarderThere’s a swarm of bodyguards at Christiansborg (The Danish Parliament —ed). Why? Kåre Bluitgen’s illustrated book about Mohammed doesn’t tell who made the illustrations. Why?

Not just Naser Khader, but also members of the board of moderate Muslims, get threats.

It is safe to say that we live in a threat-culture. Amongst other things Morgenavisen Jyllands-Posten have several times brought long lists of examples on the threat-culture. The Mohammed Crisis clearly showed where the threat-culture originates. Also the international scene is marked by threats. Think about embassy, flag and picture burnings in the Muslim world.

The Threat-Culture

That was what I had in mind in my Constitution Day speeches, where I emphasized that we should not yield on any important issues. That was what I told Jyllands-Posten, who then asked if I myself was affected by it, and I was honest and admitted, after which the debate about “self-censorship” broke loose. I said explicitly that my message wasn’t about self-censorship but about the threat-culture. That was what the interview was about. Yet it is a few lines about the former that have been repeated again and again.

The quote was, that we exercise “self-censorship or at least think carefully, before we make a statement.” And I mentioned as an example, that “a cough in Holstebro can cause a thunder in Mecca.” Which the minister of defense (who is elected in Holstebro) has said in this paper that he understands.

The Truth Must Out

It would be dishonest to claim that it doesn’t make an impression to be placed on top of Islamisk Trossamfund hate list. And it would be unwise not to choose your battles carefully. But what has to be told must be said. And the truth must be told. That is why I choose to raise awareness of the threat-culture, which some are closer to than others.

Denmark made it through the Mohammed-crisis by help of a very wise and conscious strategy, which on one hand didn’t yield an inch from the freedom of speech and on the other made an opening for dialog, which gave us the opportunity to argue for our democratic values, particularly the freedom of speech. That is how we should act. We should think carefully, but in no way yield.

Caricatures of Imams

We have naturally also learned something from the crisis. I have learned that a lot of people get offended by seeing drawings of Mohammed (although they exist many places in the Islamic culture — and in Danish schoolbooks about religion). Perhaps it is better to make satirical caricatures of the two-faced imams, who caused so much damage to Denmark this winter. Or make movies and books about the oppression of women that takes place in the name of Islam, as the Dutch Hirsi Ali and van Gogh did, with lethal consequences.

That case was much better to die for than a caricature of Mohammed.

I guess that’s why there haven’t been any new caricatures of Mohammed lately in Jyllands-Posten.

Raised from the Stones

A thin thread of hope, the smallest glimmer of light at the end of what appears to be the longest tunnel in the world…

Eteraz, he of the fiery disposition, has found his way out of the cave. Not content to sit and watch the shadows on the wall and claim them as his reality, our friend has walked out into the daylight, pointed at The Book, and demanded that the words contained therein be examined on their own merits, not by the literalism that plagues his fellow religionists.

It takes and strength and courage to struggle past the barriers of fundamentalism and concrete thinking.

One of the charming aspects of Eteraz’ blog is his fund of childhood stories. They have an immediate appeal, both in his description of his devout childhood’s lost faith and his naughty escapades — e.g., diverting the money given to him for religious instruction into more compelling acquisitions, like toys and candy. Christian boys have done likewise since time immemorial: coins destined by parents for the collection plate went instead to candy or Cokes, sustenance for the long walk home.

Eteraz has a checkered spiritual past. Like many college sophists, he wandered awhile in the thickets of atheism before returning to his spiritual home. This meander in the desert probably did him good. It usually does.

As outsiders, we can’t pretend to understand Islam. However, we can peer at its essentials and see in them some of the universals that enspirit all religious impulse. And we can see in Eteraz’ struggles with the limits of his scripture our own wrestling with the Pentateuch (for some) or Paul’s epistles (for others).

Porky PigFor Eteraz, the contradiction arose between his own lived experience and what he heard his fellow Muslims say. In particular, he took issue with the declaration that Jews are apes and pigs. These were not the Jews he knew.

I have a lot of respect for the Jewish tradition (whatever that is). To me, it is Moses and Maimonides and Spinoza and Marx and Levinas and Buber and Brandeis and Derrida. I have taken in as much Bellow in my life as I have Bukhari (the hadith scholar). As much Itzhak Perlman as I have Rumi.

Qurious GeorgeThus, like any religious pilgrim, Eteraz began his journey through his scripture, trying to make sense of the description he was hearing from respected Muslim leaders: Jews are apes and pigs.

On the grapevine I heard that Shaykh Tantawi, head of the Al-Azhar University, the purported fount of Sunni learning, had made public statements about the Jews being descendents of apes and pigs. I then found confirmation that other leading Muslim scholars were propounding this view, including none other than the designated Imam of the Holy Kaba in Mecca: Shaykh Sudais (who strangely weeps through his entire prayers).

How to extricate himself from this hermeneutic tangle? Eteraz found his solution in Shakespeare, that is, in metaphor and allusion used to elucidate a numinous reality. Looking carefully at the Koran, he found this:

2:65 for you are well aware of those from among you who profaned the Sabbath, whereupon We said unto them, “Be as apes despicable!”

Here Eteraz was on firmer exegetical ground.

That “as“ I knew quite well: “So am I as the rich, whose blessed key can bring him to his sweet locked up treasure” said Shakespeare. It was the “as” — the blessed “as” — of metaphor! I rejoiced a hundred times over. A metaphor means that the finality of language is absent. Being “as” something is not the same as being something. Could it be that the Quran was engaged in metaphor-making? If references to apes and swines were metaphors, it meant that the people being referred to had expressed the qualities of an “ape” and the qualities of a “pig.” Given the fact that in classical Arabic an ape was someone impulsive and a pig was someone stubborn, the metaphors seemed almost innocuous (Especially since in all languages animals are used as referents for certain qualities. Once we could learn what qualities classical Arabic invoked when referring to those animals, we could understand what the metaphor was referring to.

How many Christians, caught between their knowledge of physics and Genesis’ explanation of the Big Bang — the Biblical story being a rather pedestrian account when compared to the modern scientific faith concerning our cosmogony — have given up at this point? What they don’t see is that Genesis is explaining the how only in order to get to the why. Physics doesn’t deal with why, it merely posits how the heavens go, while Genesis ponders how to go to heaven.

Eteraz’ struggle was much the same. How to reconcile what he read in the Koran and what was written in his heart? His reliance on metaphor was fragile, and he knew it. So this time he decided he “was not reliant upon any authority except that of my God given reason. Suddenly I started to see patterns in the Quran that further cast light on these questionable (and certainly questionably used) verses.”

He went to his mother with the translated verses, but she merely shrugged. A friend tried to comfort him by pointing out that at least apes and pigs shared genetic material with human beings. As I said previously, Eteraz is intelligent. He also has the instincts of a bulldog. Giving up on outside help, he got a copy of the Koran translated by Leopold Weiss, a Jew who converted to Islam and became Muhammad Assad. It was Assad who permitted Eteraz to reconcile scripture and experience.

Most importantly, Eteraz exhorts us to refuse the easy temptation of abstraction and theory. As he notes,

Anti-semitism is rife in the Muslim world. It is rife in European Muslim youth. In Iran and Pakistan. Muslims have to take accountability for this. They have to excavate and upturn their tradition to rid it of the stranglehold of the maulvis who do not have the intellectual facility, or interest, to assure that Islam conforms to its humanistic impulse. Free it from those who turn metaphors into literalism.

He is absolutely right when he says,

The Jews are the most persecuted race on the face of the earth. Yet, that has not stopped the Jews from extending a helpful and supportive hand to all other races. I freely admit that part of the impetus in writing this article has been the friendship of Jewish people such as Annie. In my opinion, no people have had more moral clarity than the Jews. While Muslims are free to disagree with Jews upon matters of politics and policy, they must not compromise their integrity, nor compromise the humanity of the Jews.

Jesus said we must love our God with our whole heart, our whole mind, and our whole spirit, and that we must love one another as we love ourselves. Eteraz rightly points out:

God gave reason to the Muslim; it is the Muslim who has forgotten what he possesses. Almost seems at times that some magician has said to the Muslim “Be you stone.”

In the Hebrew scripture, Lot’s wife is turned into a pillar of salt (or stone) for looking back during her hurried journey away from Sodom’s destruction. Eteraz’ use of this metaphor of stone is apt in the case of Islam vs. Modernity. If Islam cannot find the required intellectual and spiritual humility to look forward, rather than being stuck in an illusory past, it will fossilize.