Human Rights Conventions are not Divine Obligations

I try to write about other things besides Denmark. I really do. But then more good news keeps coming from the Danes, and I can’t just ignore it, can I?

Holger Danske VågnerIt seems that the whole of the Western World is asleep. “Don’t bother us — it’s a nice pleasant flower-strewn meadow, this multicultural dream we’re having. Don’t wake us up.”

But for some reason Denmark, alone among Western nations, has decided to wake up. Holger Danske has one eye open, and the other one will be popping open soon enough.

The latest news concerns a representative from the ruling coalition of the Danish government who has spoken out against the European Human Rights Court for its pernicious decision to deny European governments the right to deport dangerous foreign terrorists. Zonka has kindly translated the article for Jyllands-Posten:

Pind: Insult against Denmark if Tunisians can stay

If the European human-rights convention prevents Denmark from expelling Tunisian terror suspects, Denmark must reconsider whether we should continue to endorse them. Thus says Venstre’s foreign affairs spokesman Søren Pind.

Several experts in human rights believe that a current ruling from the European Human Rights Court means that it will be difficult for Denmark to deport the two Tunisians who are under suspicion for wanting to kill the Mohammed cartoonist Kurt Westergaard, since Tunisia uses torture against prisoners.

However, that is an insult against Denmark, says Søren Pind, who calls for a rebellion against the conventions.

“It makes our affiliation of the European Human Rights Convention a parody. It enforces us an obligation to protect people who want to kill us,” writes Søren Pind on his blog.

If the judicial interpretations are correct, then the consequence, according to Søren Pind, could be a Danish showdown against the convention.

“Conventions are not divine obligations. They are agreements between countries. Agreements that are entered into can be terminated, But it shouldn’t have to come to that. Thus the question must be asked again and again to those who reject deportation: Give us a usable answer, one in which the evil in our midst won’t be tolerated. Where blatant and reckless offenses against our hospitality aren’t just ignored. Where the sanction gives meaning,” says Søren Pind.

Zonka includes his commentary on the situation:
– – – – – – – –

We are seeing an unprecedented political unity at the moment against the more radical Islamic demands and what have you, from the left to the right.

Things that Pia Kjærsgaard (DPP) would be ridiculed for saying a couple of weeks ago are being uttered by the Socialists (Villy Søvndal, Socialist People’s Party), and the common people are waking up to the fact of the Islamic salami-strategy of threats and demands.

The sleepwalking politicians and bureaucrats are being admonished. Former foreign minister Uffe Ellemann-Jensen (Venstre) recently stated that the re-publishing of the cartoons was an unnecessary provocation, and that he wished that people wouldn’t use their freedom of speech, so that it could flourish better in places where it really was needed… (??? I think he has been brain-damaged by being such an enthusiastic Eurocrat; he thinks freedom of speech should be harmonized, so that we all end up on the average “Freedom of Speech”-ness.)

So we also have our dhimmis still, but there are fewer of them, and fortunately they are more and more isolated and alone in their views. Venstre’s political spokesperson Inger Støjberg said, “Jeg kan kun sige, at Uffe Ellemann skal være glad for, at han har sin ytringsfrihed, og at jeg er lodret uenig med ham.“ (“I can only say that UEJ ought to be happy that he has his freedom of speech, and that I’m totally in disagreement with him.”)

And then there is the police chief in Copenhagen (Per Larsen) who believes that we ought to have some tea-meetings with the troublemakers and enter an endless and fruitless dialogue, instead of giving consequences, which leads more and more people to turn against that policy lest common people lose faith in the police, and resort to vigilantism.

So, yes, things are moving quickly at the moment here in Denmark. Not only does Holger have one eye squinting open, he is beginning to stir in the dungeons of Kronborg… There is something rotten in the state of Denmark, and the Danes are beginning to realize that it isn’t the Danes, and they want to get rid of not just the smell, but the gangrene-infected parts!

Danish Socialists vs. the Ummah

Whether they’re on the right, left, or center, Danes are telling Muslims that they’ve had enough of Islamic aggression.

Most recently it was Villy Søvndal, the leader of Denmark’s Socialist People’s Party, who told Hizb ut-Tahrir to “Go to Hell!”

Not to be outdone (and thus risk losing her party’s dominant position on the left side of the Folktinget), Helle Thorning-Schmidt, the leader of the Social Democrats, demands — demands! — that the EU take a united stance against Islamic extortion.

A reminder: Social Democrats are dyed-in-the-wool Socialists, much like Communists except that they are unwilling to shed blood for the sake of attaining a proletarian Utopia. Their counterparts in Sweden and Norway are prone to swoon over Hamas.

What’s more, the article below is from Politiken, which is appropriately known as “The New York Times of Denmark”.

I’ve often said that the Great Jihad is not an issue of left-versus-right, even if many leftists are aiding and abetting the aspirations of the mujahideen. The crisis of our time is the threat to the very heart of Western Civilization.

After we resolve that, we can fight about socialized medicine, gay marriage, and carbon taxes.

In the past Gates of Vienna has posted the counterjihad writings of an anarchist and other examples of solidarity from our comrades on the Left. We welcome anyone who is serious and dedicated about opposing the Great Jihad.

Henrik of Europe News has kindly translated the article from Politiken:

Helle Thorning-Schmidt demands united EU front against Islamic pressure

The chairman of the Social Democrats encourages the Danish government to raise the problems with Islamic pressure on a European Union level.

In several European countries there are cases where freedom of expression is challenged by offended Muslims. This is completely unreasonable, says Social Democrat chairman Helle Thorning-Schmidt, who requests the government to raise the problem with the European Union.

“Within the last week we’ve heard of problems in Belgium, Netherlands and now Germany, where extremists demand that things be closed or removed. It is utterly unreasonable that we are repeatedly threatened when we use our freedom of expression. This has to stop,” states Thorning-Schmidt.

Pressured to stop handing out piggy banks

As an example, she refers to the Dutch bank which was pressured to stop handing out piggy banks, and to the Danish art exhibit of caricatures which was closed in Berlin.

– – – – – – – –

“We cannot tolerate the fact that extremists threaten us from time to time. Therefore I shall request that the foreign minister raise the issue with the other leaders of the EU, in order to have a discussions of principles, making it clear that we will not accept it,” says the chairman.

“We need to raise the issue, to consider it a common problem that needs a solution. We are being forced an unreasonable self-censorship, and this has become a European issue.”

Sharp reaction to closure of Berlin exhibition

Helle Thorning-Schmidt further encourages art societies throughout Europe to react sharply to the closure of the exhibition in Berlin.

MEP for Venstre [center-right party] Karin Riis-Jørgensen also intends to raise the issue in the European Union. She believes that the EU should help artists and others under threat by Muslim fundamentalists.

Chairman for Dansk Folkeparti [Danish People’s Party], Pia Kjærsgaard, wants the issue raised in as many forums as possible. “The more we reject this, the better. Everybody must condemn this unconditionally,” she states.

Foreign affairs minister: Cause for concern for the future

Minister for foreign affairs Per Stig Møller (Conservative) says to TV2 [Danish national television] that he does not think there’s any doubt about the European position.

“What we need to figure out is to find some level at which we can live with each other. There is cause for concern for the future, because we can’t live with these endless confrontations, which are escalating and could spin out of control. It could become worse in the future,” says Per Stig Møller.

Berkeley Is Having a Bad Trip, Man

Beginning in the late ’60s and early ’70s the Left familiarized America with boycotts as means of influencing organizations’ decisions. How ironic it is that Berkeley, the leftiest of American cities, is now feeling the brunt of a boycott from the right.

Code Pink is bad for businessIt all started in January when Berkeley’s City Council voted on a resolution from their municipal Peace and Justice Commission to send a letter to the local Marine Corps recruiting office “disinviting” them to Berkeley. In tandem with this, they also voted to reserve the parking space in front of the Marine Corps recruiting office for the exclusive use of Code Pink. They knew the loud activists in Code Pink would make life at the Marine Corps recruiting office unpleasant.

You can find a portion of the city’s rationale here, along with a pdf of the whole laundry list of complaints about America, war, the military, etc. In other words, you can read the aggressive words of the anti-aggression movement in this country, a movement that has its moral foundation in what some call the town of Beserkley.

What surprised the city fathers and mothers was the fact that while they may be the center of the universe, even they cannot get past the law of cause and effect. What goes around, comes around. This time it is coming to Berkeley in economic terms. Many Americans who don’t share the city’s moral superiority are…guess what? Boycotting Berkeley:

People who are angry at city leaders for their anti-military stance are taking it out on businesses – canceling hotel rooms, restaurant reservations and theater tickets.

They are writing letters to the Berkeley Chamber of Commerce outlining their plans to boycott the city.

And they are steering clear of downtown shops because of the weekly anti-war protests that in recent weeks have become increasingly volatile.

– – – – – – – –
Of course, they wouldn’t be enduring “increasingly volatile” anti-war protests if they hadn’t invited Code Pink to start their own little war against the military in the first place:

Two weeks after the Berkeley City Council refused to apologize to the Marine Corps for calling them “uninvited and unwelcome intruders,” Berkeley businesses said they are feeling the backlash from people who don’t want to spend their money in the city.

“We’re hearing of folks canceling reservations and canceling hotel rooms, and we know there is a direct correlation. How big, I don’t know. We’re in a tough economic period anyway,” said Ted Garrett, chief executive officer of the chamber.

Sure, Mr. Garrett, blame it on the economy. No doubt, this is ultimately due to Bushitler’s machinations. Everything other bad thing in the U.S. is the President’s fault. However, Bush didn’t generate the communications coming into Berkeley from the outside world:

Garrett said the chamber has received an estimated 300 e-mails, letters and faxes from people upset about the council’s action and its refusal to apologize.


Many were angered by the move that they viewed as anti-military and anti-American. An estimated 30,000 e-mails were sent to City Hall, condemning the council’s move.

Well, since communication is the act of the receiver, one can only hope that the message is getting through. However, given this businessman’s outlook, Berkeley appears to be tone-deaf:

Mo Hallaji, owner of Pollo’s at Shattuck Avenue and Addison Street, said his business has declined 10 percent to 15 percent this month because of the traffic jams and fighting associated with the protests.

“They are killing our business,” Hallaji said. “Everybody is against the war but that is not the right way to go about it if you want to accomplish something.”

No, Mr. Hallaji, not everyone is against the war and many of us honor our military. Thus, the moral superiority of the City Council and your ignorance of the national temperament have given Berkeley its economic woes.

Fortunately, there is a remedy for this, at least eventually. Berkeley citizens can decide in the next election if they want to retain these people. Better yet, the head of the Chamber of Commerce, Mr. Garrett, could do one of California’s favorite pastimes: get enough signatures for a city-side referendum on their Council’s decision to send the Marines a “don’t-let-the-door-hit-you-in-the-behind” nasty gram.

In addition, another referendum to rid the town of its 24/7 Code Pink assault would probably be welcomed by business owners who have to put up with the pandemonium they generate.

Mr. Garrett sent a letter to the Council recently. He said merchants were bearing the brunt of the Council’s actions:

“(We) strongly encourage the City Council to offer a public apology to our community and the countless others who were offended by their actions – folks who roll up their sleeves every day and work hard to serve their country and their community…”

It sounds like the police aren’t happy, either. They’ve had to start arresting some of these people. I wonder what the police chief is saying to the mayor? Even more, I wonder what this whole fiasco has cost the city of Berkeley, not just in money but in good will?

Sometimes reality has a steep learning curve.

Hat tip: Don Surber

On Not Being a Dead Crow

Yorkshire Miner left the comment below on one of today’s earlier posts. It deserves a post of its own; I have adjusted the spelling, punctuation, and paragraphing, but have otherwise left it intact.

It was addressed to the Danes in consideration of their pugnacious response to the latest Motoon crisis.

It was you the Danes that were attack, it was Dannebrog [the Danish flag] that was burnt. If that doesn’t get a Dane pissed off, I don’t know what will.

We have watched you over the last couple of years emerge dazed from the first Motoon attack. Many of us here are angry that our own governments didn’t support you.
A warning to the other crows
That attack was planed and premeditated. They went for what they thought was the weakest link in the western European lands. They wanted to use you as an example to the rest of Europe the way farmers hang dead crows out in the field to frighten off the other crows.

They miscalculated because they hadn’t done their homework. They didn’t realize that the Danish economy was the least dependent on Middle Eastern oil, that Danish exports were not dependent on the Middle East market.

We have watched the way you have got your second wind. This last crisis was not instigated by the Muslims. It was instigated by the Danes saying we are going to do what we have always done, print what we like, and you can go to hell if you don’t like it.

We have watched how the Danish society — both on the left and the right — has drawn together, emphasizing that communal solidarity that for me is the hallmark of Denmark.
– – – – – – – –
I as a Brit have certainly enjoyed watching the Islamic faith society get a verbal hammering, and watching the other Muslim groups distance themselves from it. Many of us have watched with pleasure the huffing and puffing of Egypt, this time lodging a protest with the Danish Ambassador in Egypt instead of demanding a meeting with the Danish Prime Minister to watch him grovel.

A few of us have even raised a glass of Danish beer and toasted development minister Ulla Tørnæs, who has called the Sudan Ambassador in for a dressing down today, to explain the fiscal consequence if Sudan continues with its proposed boycott.

Not quite Vlad the Impaler, who sent a Turkish ambassador away from his court with his turban nailed to his skull, but it is good enough for now.

That Dumb Rock in Mecca

The primary offenders of Muslims are Danish.

Geert Wilders and Lars Vilks the exceptions that prove the rule: if you want to offend Muslims, Danes are the go-to guys for the job.

Take the latest example, as given in the report below. The canceled exhibition is in Berlin, but don’t be fooled: an avant-garde Danish group was behind this escapade.

According to Reuters:

Berlin gallery shuts after Muslim threats

A Berlin gallery has temporarily closed an exhibition of satirical works by a group of Danish artists after six Muslim youths threatened violence unless one of the posters depicting the Kaaba shrine in Mecca was removed, it said on Thursday.

The Galerie Nord in central Berlin said it had closed its “Zionist Occupied Government” show of works by Surrend, a group of artists who say they poke fun at powerful people and ideological conflicts.

On Tuesday, four days after the exhibition opened, a group of angry Muslims stormed into the gallery, shouting demands that one of the 21 posters should be removed, said the gallery.

“They were very aggressive and shouted at an employee that the poster should be taken down otherwise they would throw stones and use violence,” the gallery’s artistic director Ralf Hartmann told Reuters.

The Muslims objected to a depiction of the Kaaba — the ancient shrine in Mecca’s Grand Mosque which Muslims face to say their prayers — which gave a “bitingly satirical commentary against radicalism,” said the gallery in a statement.

The Stupid StoneIt wasn’t just a “depiction” of the Kaaba.

Steen did the photographic research — he says photos of the exhibition are very hard to find — and, as you can see, the photo of the big black box is labeled Dummer Stein, which can be translated “Stupid Stone” or “Dumb Rock”, depending on your taste for English idiom.

The article continues:
– – – – – – – –

Security Review

Hartmann said the gallery was working with German authorities to improve security and he hoped to re-open the show as soon as possible.

“It would be unacceptable if individual social groups were in a position to exercise censorship over art and the freedom of expression,” said the gallery in a statement.

The show also contained pictures which ridiculed neo-Nazis who believe Jews dominate global politics and industry as well as the state of Israel and radical Jews.

Surrend members are mainly street artists and use stickers, advertisements, posters and Web sites to express irony.

In 2006, a Berlin opera house caused a storm in Germany when it cancelled a production of Mozart’s “Idomeneo” which showed the Prophet Mohammad’s severed head, citing security fears.

And this month, Danish newspapers reprinted cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad which caused outrage in Islamic countries and sparked violent protests across the globe two years ago.

They republished the drawings after police arrested three men on suspicion of plotting to kill a cartoonist who drew one of the images.

The mau-mauing of the West by Islam continues apace. We are rapidly reaching a point where no cultural event can take place unless it is Islamically approved.

This weakened condition will require the passage of no laws. No official censorship is needed, nor any governmental boards of approval.

All it takes is fear, plus weak and vacillating administrators within our institutions.

The only requirement is that we be collectively unwilling to stand up to bullies.

If we are going to cave in to the threat of violence in every instance, then we are effectively inviting Islam to take over our game.

Their ball, their pitch, their rules.

And then we lose.

Al Qaeda Calls for the Slaughter of Geert Wilders

Our Flemish correspondent VH emailed us this morning with a digest of the latest information on Geert Wilders. With his permission, a slightly edited version is posted below:

Geert WildersAl-Qaeda calls for the slaughter of Wilders, Elsevier Magazine and the newspaper De Telegraaf reported this week (February 27) in the Netherlands.

The usual butcher’s language was discovered in an open section of (blood-porn warning), which is related to Al-Qaeda: “In the name of Allah, we ask you to bring us the throat of this infidel who offends Islam and ridicules our prophet,” they wrote on January 28.

What their Allah needs an infidel throat for is not clear, but this he has seemingly developed a taste for it. According to Adam Raisman of SITE Intelligence Group, the bearded diabolos accompanied their message with pictures of Wilders and Theo van Gogh, the latter having already been Halal slaughtered by a Muslim for religious reasons.

Speaking of throats: a billion and more Muslims all over the world seemingly lustfully agree with throat-cutting, since not one protest of disgust escaped an uncut throat of theirs.

Maybe they are busy ordering their flock of females to sew a piece of white, blue and red cloth together (for the right order of the colors, consult the local imam) for their upcoming being-offended-act.

Wilders now is even more right to oppose these diehard primitive idiots, and this week registered a domain name to run a website for the film. This film, Fitna (“ordeal”), is supposed to unveil the fascist and backwards ideology based on Mein Kampf the Koran, just the way it is: (This way he avoids the board of YouTube “censors”).

Wilders said the film will be ready later this week, and will be aired on his website. Uncut.

VH added some further thoughts about the Dutch political situation:
– – – – – – – –

For many decades Dutch politics has been held hostage by the leftists. They sneaked into every vein of society, government, and law, sucking the subsidy-teat dry and oppressing law-abiding civilians with their “anti-discrimination-bureaus” (actually an updated version of the Stasi that used to terrorize the East German civilians).

Ever since Geert Wilders announced his film, all the scum that had been keeping a low profile since the assassination of Pim Fortuyn jumped up into the spotlight. PM Jan-Peter Balkenende, the Ministers of Foreign Affairs, of Justice — the lot; all leftist parties, including those whose leaders once supported Mao and the Khmer Rouge — including the Christian Democrats (CDA); they all want to silence Geert Wilders.

These traitors who amazingly expose themselves, being nothing but incompetent coward quislings, make you long for a tribunal, a bit like the one in Cambodia at the moment (even though that is somewhat exaggerated; the Khmer Rouge tribunal is of complete different proportions — by the way, one of the main slaughterers in this trial, Nuon Chea, is being defended by a bunch of Dutch notoriously green-leftist lawyers, Koppe and Pestman. These lawyers of course also defended the killer of Fortuyn).

If Dutch politics continues the way it is now, I think only a mass exodus to Flanders (once it is independent) that will make the welfare-state collapse — or a revolt — will help.

Please pardon me my anger about the Dutch.

— VH

Letter From Spain: The Elections

This is the fifth in a series of letters from AMDG at La Yijad en Eurabia.

Elections in Spain

The first TV debate: The PP mentions the immigration problem

Even if there is no substantial development regarding the campaign for the National Parliamentary Elections in Spain, there is plenty of news in these first days of the official campaign. The main one has been the first TV debate between Zapatero and Rajoy. I am rather skeptical about those debates; I have serious doubts that they have ever changed the mind of a meaningful proportion of the electorate. In any case, this has been the most relevant event up to now.

I have to say that I did not see the debate. What for? I have just read the part on “social issues” (Spanish transcription), which includes some references to immigration by Rajoy. This part of the debate was opened by Rajoy, who mentioned immigration as a new social issue and referred to the “crowding out” effect in social services. He mentioned the figures of new immigrants:

In the year 2005 more than 700,000 [immigrants] entered Spain; in 2006, more than 670,000; more than France, Germany and the United Kingdom altogether. In the year 2007, more than 725,000; again, more than France, Germany and United Kingdom altogether, and we are the second country, only the USA has a higher number of foreign residents.

Yes this is an immigration tsunami. Zapatero did not answer and changed the topic to his social achievements: that is, the increase in spending. Rajoy reproached him for refusing to deal with immigration. He went on with the figures:

I gave you the official information from your Government, on residence permits: in June, 2004 there were in Spain 1,776,000 regular foreign residents. In December, 2007 there were 3.9 million, that is to say more of the double. For you this seems not to be a problem, but there are people to whom this is actually a problem: those who want a place in the school [for their children], who want vouchers for the school canteens, which want access to public housing; it is necessary to manage that the rights of each one, because they all have rights evidently; do not harm others’ rights.

For you this does not matter, but for me it does. Also the fact that 10% of the foreigners, being only 10 per cent, account for 34% of the population in jail; 40% in Catalonia. Do you know why this happens? Because there is no control; we need order and control; this is what must be done: legal immigration with a contract, fighting against illegal immigration and, of course, an “integration contract”; not to forget: we have all equal rights and obligations; we are equal in duties and in opportunities.

– – – – – – – –
Finally, the “moderate right” dares to link immigration and criminality. I have serious doubts that the PP would really tackle the issue. Rajoy just proposes to control immigration, but what we need is to stop it, in particular the immigration from Morocco. At least, it shows that the PP would be receptive to the pressure of an anti-immigration party.

I will not elaborate on the other parts of the debate. If interested you can consult the Iberian Notes (Monday, February 25, 2008) and the results of the different polls on who the winner was. I agree with the conclusion. Rajoy was better, but he did not at all knock out Zapatero. We will have to see the second debate (I think I will see it this time, even if I have already decided on my vote). It seems that it will be interesting.

Zapatero has declined to attend two events he had already accepted, one organized by the Spanish blind association, another by the second largest university in Madrid. Some malevolent tongues suggest that he needs some extra time to prepare the second debate.

PS: The most notorious association of Spanish Muslim converts has asked the Muslims to vote for Zapatero (Spanish).

Death Comes for the Renaissance Man

The Rev. Robert Sirico, head of the Acton Institute, has written a fitting tribute to William Buckley.

Buckley himself wrote numerous eulogies for those that went before him. I often wondered, when his own time came, if anyone could do Buckley justice. He had a true gift for friendship across the spectrum of political beliefs. While it is trite to say, “he will be missed”, sometimes only clichés get you through the tough moments.

William F. Buckley died in a state of grace, wise and full of years. As angels guide him to his rest, everyone who knew him will have their own special memory of being in his company — stories they couldn’t tell while he was still here.

Father Sirico has an especially nice one.

Father Sirico’s tribute:

William F. Buckley and Robert SiricoHaving been my father’s remote control, I recall one Sunday afternoon in the 1960s being told to stop and back up to the “educational channel,” as it was called.

The Sirico household were not big viewers of what was then Channel 13 in New York, so I wondered what my father was thinking.

I click over to the channel and my father said, “Sit down; you’ll learn something.”

Indeed, I did.

That was the first time I had heard or seen William F. Buckley, Jr., who died in his study on Wednesday while at work on yet another erudite page of insightful, urbane, and scintillating prose. Buckley (or Bill, as he almost insisted people call him) holds the record of sending me to the dictionary more than anyone I have ever read in the English language.

He was more than just a stylist. He was a thinker, and a very serious one. He made a mighty contribution to the intellectual culture-raising it as high as he possibly could and never becoming despondent when it refused to budge.

He will be lauded by numerous pendants and scribes for the incredible number of his accomplishments, preeminent of which is his historic role as godfather of the modern conservative/libertarian movement in the founding of the National Review.

He was also a decent harpsichordist, a sailing enthusiast, an avid skier, world traveler and adventurer, lover of Latin, and debater par excellence. If he could do all these things at once, which I am sure he attempted, all the better. All of which is to say that he loved life and lived it to the fullest.

When the time came for me to found the Acton Institute, I was concerned in the early years with establishing our credibility and I conjured up the idea to write Bill Buckley, whom I had met only once or twice in passing, and ask if he would consider being the inaugural speaker of what I’d hope would become an annual dinner.

To my utter amazement he promptly replied (he was always prompt in his replies) that yes, he would be delighted to come, waiving his usual five-figure speaking fee to launch us on our way. That was almost 20 years ago.

We remained in contact over those years, and he was always unfailingly supportive and gracious and, in fact, was a personal donor to our work.

My most memorable time with Bill was just ten years ago, in, of all places, Havana, Cuba. We were both there for the historic visit of John Paul, II. Meeting in the lobby of what had been the gangster Myer Lansky’s hotel on the El Maracon, Bill asked if I would like to join him in exploring the city. Would I like to meander around Old Havana with the author of a novel about a spy who attempts to assassinate Fidel Castro? And have drinks with said novelist in Hemmingway’s old bar, mischievously attempting to order Cuba Libres? Would I like to help him negotiate (Buckley’s first language was Spanish) the black market purchase of Cuban cigars from a man we met on the street, who would take us to his cramped apartment to display his wares out of the view of prying eyes?

Would I like to explore the Old Cathedral and pray together there for freedom of that beleaguered land? And would I like to end the day with a delicious meal, smoking our cigars and laughing about having committed a capitalist act among consenting adults in one of the last bastions of socialism on the planet? Would I?…

Read the rest of Father Sirico’s paean to Bill Buckley here.

While you’re at the Acton Institute site, be sure to look around. This is a good place to start: “Minimum Wage, Maximum Suffering.”

Here Comes Mahmoud Cottontail

Hamas bunny

Here comes Mahmoud Cottontail
Hoppin’ down the bunny trail,
Hippity hoppity,
Jihad’s on its way

Bringin’ ev’ry girl and boy
A basketful of jihad joy
Things to make your Jihad
Bright and gay

He’s got napalm for Sagheer
Nuts and bolts for sister Sugra
There’s a plaque for your mommeer
And a big black hijab too. Oh!

Here’ comes Mahmoud Cottontail
Hoppin’ down the bunny trail
Hippity hoppity
Happy Jihad Day

Look at him hop and listen to him say,
“Try to detonate the things you should”
Maybe if you’re extra good
He’ll roll lots of fun grenades your way.

You’ll wake up on Paradise morning
And you’ll know that he was there
When you find those choc’late raisins
That he’s hiding ev’rywhere, Oh!

Here comes Mahmoud Cottontail
Hoppin’ down the bunny trail,
Hippity hoppity,
Jihad’s on its way…

Source: Jyllands-Posten.
Timeless poetry by Gates of Vienna

Hat Tip: TB.

[ends here — unless you can think of some more verses]

Is the Vatican Naïve or Merely without Humor?

Flemming Rose has an editorial in Pajamas Media this morning. It merits your attention:

Yesterday the Vatican joined the al-Azhar university in Cairo in condemning the republication of Danish cartoonist Kurt Westergaard’s depiction of Muhammed with a bomb in his turban, but the Catholic state and the supreme institution of Islam in the Sunni world didn’t say a word about the foiled plot to kill Westergaard, who has been in hiding since November last year.

“Both sides vehemently denounce the reprinting of the offensive cartoon and the attack on Islam and its prophet,” the two sides said in a joint statement according to IslamOnline.

The cartoon was republished by 17 Danish newspapers two weeks ago in an act of solidarity with the 72 year old cartoonist.

“We call for the respect of faiths, religious holy books and religious symbols,” read the statement.

“Freedom of expression should not become a pretext to insult religions and defaming religious sanctities.”

Well, I wonder what the Vatican thinks of the freedom of expression demonstrated by those of its enemies who would like to see it turned into a mosque? Many of the denizens of al-Azhar University would welcome such an outcome, which the Vatican well knows. This pandering by the Vatican is embarrassing to watch. On the other hand, the Vatican – unlike the Italians who surround it – is not celebrated for its sense of humor.

This whole thing sounds like something the U.S. State Department wrote up for them. Or al Jazeera. It is the depth of short-sightedness, moral equivocating, and a dearth of common sense. God gave us all the faculty of self-preservation but it doesn’t seem to be operative in the vacuum we see here.

Mr. Rose says that Kurt Westergaard’s wife, Gitte, is not allowed to work at the kindergarten where she is normally employed, for fear of the children’s safety [Note: since this was originally posted, the kindergarten has backed off its original statement]. Given the adversary, I think that’s a sensible idea, but Mr. Rose and Mrs. Westergaarde’s wife don’t agree:
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…Today she received a call from the director asking her not to show up at work. A spokesman for the authorities in charge of child care in the county said that the decision to kick out Ms. Westergaard was made after several parents expressed worries for the safety of their kids.

“I am angry, disappointed and sad. The threats are against my husband. There is no security problem concerning me,” Gitte Westergaard told Jyllands-Posten.

“I understand that some parents may feel insecure, but I would never work at a kindergarten, if I had the slightest suspicion or knowledge that this would represent a risk to the kids or my colleagues.”

Mrs. Westergaard is exhibiting the same lack of understanding that shrouds the Vatican. Jihadists don’t mind killing children. In fact, they don’t mind using their own children as bombs. When dealing with the Brotherhood mindset, discretion is definitely the better part of valor.

Mr. Rose notes that the kindergarten, in having Mrs. Westergaarde on leave, is showing the kind of Hell’s Angels code of ethics that these people want:

If you don’t respect me I’ll kill you. Or if you don’t respect me I’ll scare the hell out of anymore who’s in touch with you so that they will cut off any contact with you. And it’s working: due to security concerns the Westergaards were kicked out of the Radisson hotel in Aarhus last week.

However, Mr. Rose should recall the horrors of Beslan. That could be repeated in Denmark without much trouble. We need to take these people seriously, and we need to keep them on guard by ridicule. The courage that mockery requires in the face of slaughter helps to knock small holes in the jihadist philosophy.

As Mr. Rose notes, shari’a demands that Islam’s adherents insult the kafir and his religion. What the killers weren’t expecting is that their opponents have – and use – the power to mock them back.

Go to the editorial to read about the scholarly atmosphere of al-Azhar University. If you can figure out the Vatican’s rationale for linking with this antediluvian place, please enlighten me.

It is morally reprehensible that the seat of Roman Catholicism has chosen to ally with these haters, thereby cooperating in the downfall of the West.

Be sure to check out Mr. Rose’s bio here. He has led an interesting life. Unfortunately, his book, “American Voices,” does not appear to be available in English.

“Down, down, Denmark!”

Fox News – all of the MSM, for that matter – must have a template by now for rioting Muslims. It probably goes something like this:

In front of thousands of cheering citizens in [capitol of Islamic country] [leader] said on [date] that [country] called on all of Islam to boycott Danish commodities.

[Esteemed Leader] said that Denmark had done the unthinkable by printing cartoons of the Prophet (pbuh). In retaliation, [country] was going to refuse further aid from Denmark, claiming it was contaminated money. [Country] was sure Saudi Arabia would come to help with petro dollars to replace the kroner it planned to return so as to avoid Danish cooties.

/irony; sarcasm

Actually, here’s the scoop on the government-backed demonstrations from the Sudan, as reported by Fox News. Let’s just say that boycotts can work both ways, if the Danes are inclined to get tough:

A butter knife right in the heart of DenmarkSudanese President Omar al-Bashir said Wednesday he would bar Danes from Sudan and told tens of thousands of people at a government-backed rally that the Muslim world should boycott Denmark because of a reprinted cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad.

“We urge all Muslims around the world to boycott Danish commodities, goods, companies, institutions, organizations and personalities,” al-Bashir told the crowd outside the Republic Palace in downtown Khartoum.

“Down, down, Denmark!” shouted the protesters. Al-Bashir vowed that “not a single Danish foot will from now on desecrate the land of Sudan.”

In reality, it seems that Danish feet will have to leave Danish Red Cross projects if Omar al-Bashir is anything more than a windbag:
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Sudan is one of the largest recipients of Danish aid and Danish aid groups that operate there include the Danish Refugee Council and the Danish Red Cross, which runs large projects to alleviate suffering in the western Darfur region.


The African country received 130.2 million kroner (euro17.5 million; US$26 million) in Danish aid in 2006 and a 500 million kroner (euro67 million; US$100 million) humanitarian and reconstruction package is planned through 2009.

What is the likelihood that ol’ Omar would stop the aid from Denmark to Darfur? Or would that move interfere with whatever skimming the local Janjaweed may have been doing as they proceed with their planned genocide?

Hat tip: TB

Progress, Development and Relations with Third World

Our Russian correspondent Dimitri K. has some thoughts about the pitfalls inherent in the concept of “progress:” as it applies to the nations of the world.

Progress, Development and Relations with Third World
by Dimitri K.

Dinosaur fossilI want to discuss here how the wide-spread belief in progress and development influences the relations between the West and the other parts of the world.

According to those concepts, people, technology and the world are developing. The progress is unidirectional: the later, the more developed.

However, if we look at the world, some countries appear to be less developed than others. They are believed to be “under-developed”. Given the monotone growth of progress, it is as if they were situated earlier in time. Those countries and their people are perceived, within the frame of Evolution and Progress, as people from previous time. Up to this point, everyone will probably agree.

Here is the trick: when we look at those countries and people, we inevitably think that we see our history. As if we see our ancestors, observe our history in real time. So, those people actually take the place of our ancestors in our minds. Geography substitutes for history. The relation is substituted by difference.

The consequences are straightforward. Clearly, everyone needs and wants to be fair to his ancestors. Treating your ancestors unfairly, or worse, being rude to them is like attacking your own parents. We may only help them and must respect them. This hypothesis may also explain why some conservatives are even more possessed by comforting third-worlders than leftists — because respect to your fathers is the key point of conservatism.
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There is no way out of this trap, until we quit speaking about other nations and countries in the terms of time. Never call them retarded, under-developed, primitive, barbaric, medieval etc. Those names only strengthen the historical associations.

They are our contemporaries, not ancestors. Let’s call them “different”, “others” or “strangers”.

But evolution and progressive concepts must be avoided.

And the hardest of all: we have to quit thinking of ourselves as the most developed. Let us learn to be not the champions of the world, but just ourselves. Then we will be able to solve our problems rationally, not under the influence of feelings which have nothing to do with the problems we face.

The EU Straitjacket

Our Flemish correspondent ProFlandria uses Brussels Journal as a jumping-off point for an essay about the ramifications of Kosovar independence.

The EU Straitjacket
by ProFlandria

Paul Belien has an interesting take on what the Kosovo independence issue may mean for European international alignment with the U.S. and Russia:

During the past two centuries three major European continental nations have tried to impose their will on the rest of the continent, indeed, on the globe. First France in the early 19th century, then Germany in the first half of the 20th century, and finally Russia. […] The willingness of Britain, and later also of America, to stand up against continental Europe’s bullies made London and later Washington into the natural allies of the smaller European countries, who feel threatened by their big neighbors.

That is a good description of how European countries have, in the past, compared in power and how that affected their relations. Mr. Belien goes on to explain that the earlier failures of France and Germany to fulfill their ambitions for domination of the continent, as well as global influence, led them to use the European Union as an alternate vehicle to achieve the same goal. The smaller countries’ position is as weak within the EU as it was during the preceding centuries; they perceive the European Union to be a joint Franco-German effort at dominating Europe. In addition, there is the complication of the third big player on the block:

Eastern European nations such as the Baltic states and Poland, fear that one day the Franco-German axis might be enlarged by bringing in Russia. This fear was very tangible three years ago, when the friendship between then German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder and Russian leader Vladimir Putin was observed with suspicion in the capital cities that lie between Berlin and Moscow.

The article goes on to explain that after the fall of the Soviet Union, the smaller former Soviet states sought EU membership as protection against Russia (the Russian saber-rattling in response to the independence of the Baltic States certainly provided a good incentive). However, their trust may have been misplaced:
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Last year, when Nicolas Sarkozy became president of France, one of the first things he did was to signal to Russia that France was looking for closer cooperation. This, [in addition to the German-Russian gas pipeline plan], sent warning signals across the continent… [A]ll nations, small and middle-sized, in Europe realize that the biggest threat to their independence is a Franco-German-Russian axis. If one day Paris, Berlin and Moscow decide to join forces the rest of Europe will have to do as they are told.

All of this served to reinforce the sense of alliance with the United States and Britain; this was borne out by the participation of many of the smaller European states in the “coalition of the willing” in Iraq. The Kosovo issue has put Russia in opposition to the U.S. and Britain, but also France and Germany (because of their recognition of an independent Kosovo). While that should cool any efforts at “closer cooperation” between France/Germany and Russia, there is a subset of Europeans who may be forced to reconsider their heretofore solid alliances:

[P]ro-American European conservatives, who backed Bush’s “war against terror” and defend national sovereignty against the EU’s attempts to restrict it, are asking themselves a hitherto taboo question: Might Russia not be a better ally than America to preserve Europe from an Islam-friendly Franco-German dominance?

We don’t know how many “pro-American European conservatives” have actually voiced this question or what nations they may hail from — and it may not matter. When the Lisbon Treaty goes into effect next year, it becomes a moot point: the member nations will surrender foreign policy to the EU (that is to say, France and Germany).

This creates a Catch-22 situation: France and Germany have made overtures to Russia, which is bad for the smaller countries from the standpoint of democracy and sovereignty (what little remains). On the other hand, both countries appear remarkably unconcerned about the advance of Islam on the continent while Russia has acted with a heavy hand in this regard. While Kosovo may be a shorter-term impediment to a France-Germany-Russia axis, French and German official negligence in dealing with the “Muslim problem” will be an obstacle for the long term. This means the smaller countries will be caught in the EU straitjacket, which is bad for them from the Islamization standpoint — unless they renounce their EU membership.