I've made my move, and just got my computer set up and online. Regular blogging will commence again after Christmas.
Thanks to all readers for their patience!
Merry Christmas to all celebrants!
But this blog shall return!
I spent yesterday with a Pennsylvania Army National Guard Armor Company. They got here in March, and were issued HUMMV’s and given a presto-chango “now you are MP’s” course. They are on the road everyday. They’ve lost some guys. They are harder than a whore’s heart, let me tell you. They have a look in their eye only months of close combat can make. Toss out what ever idea of “National Guard” may be in your mind. These boys are 100% business, and I can’t tell you proud of them I am.
Every thing is free. There is a river on money flowing through this place. Equipment, food, houses, SUV’s, guns, ammo. Want one? Come on down. You don’t have to sign for dick.
I’m gonna have “Hodgie” (quasi-demeaning name given to local Iraqis who work on the camp) build me an armoire and a credenza out of pallet lumber for my tent. You have Pakistani’s sweeping the street, Filipinos running a PX out of the half of the Republican Guard Barracks that wasn’t caved in from a bomb. You have the Bangladeshi’s pumping the shitters. Iraqi Muslims serving me bacon in the morning. I went out and shot some captured AK-47’s and a Russian-made machine gun yesterday because we were bored.
In a combat zone, everywhere you go is a range. The air reeks of…well, everything. Gun smoke, shit, diesel fuel, burning of every thing, buildings, cars, funk of every description. I go out on the one of the palace balconies at night about five stories up in the air, and watch the air strikes, and drink a soda of some sort (I can’t read the Arabic label) and the air smells fresh, with a hint of spice in it. I think its all the date palms. Kate, the filth here would drive you mad. You think beach sand and mildewed salt air pissed you off? Here, you would need to be sedated.
Everyone works 12/12 7 days a week. You get a half-day once a week. It doesn’t matter really. No one looks at the clock. Pretty soon, you wonder what day it is.
I’ve never been so professionally happy in my life. I am so thankful to be here. If it weren’t for missing the wife and boys, I’d stay here as long as I can. There is so much going on, so much to do, so many different things to get involved in it makes you dizzy. There’s a sign when you walk into the palace that says: “Hell, theres no rules here! We’re trying to accomplish something. - Thomas Edison.” Couldn’t be more true.
I’m convinced, army regulations and doctrine are nothing more than things designed to occupy the time of soldiers who aren’t fighting in a war, because here there are no rules: just do what ever you think needs to be done, and let your conscience be your guide. Like the signs Joes put on the back of their HUMMV’s in Arabic that say, “If you try and pass this convoy, you will be shot.”
You know what the “approved” speed limit is for HUMMV’s while on missions? As fast as it will go. On a cool day, when you don’t have to worry about the engine overheating, it will do 80. They drive them that fast - and faster - every day. Makes it real hard to hit one with an IED. In peace time, nothing we do in the Army is really very hard – we just work at making it hard so we have something to do. Not any more.
This is Dodge City in the 1870’s. The attitude is, “Have gun, will travel.” Watch the news. You’ll see what I mean. All this means is people’s creative side comes out. What a sight on such a huge scale! Everyone just looking for what makes sense, and then doing it. I’m awe struck most of the time. Remember what Al Capone said, and it will help you understand the kind of mission we’re doing: “A kind word and a gun goes farther than just a kind word.”
Checked into the death of [his wife’s] friend, Linda Tarrango-Greise [who was also deployed to Iraq]. I got a hold of the official report and pictures. It’s classified. I can tell you her unit did everything right. No one screwed up. They were on a by-pass road straight West of Samarra because of the threat level on the main route through town. They had done the right planning. The QRF (Quick Reaction Force) was real fast in getting there, so was MEDEVAC. They saved the kid that was in the back of her HUMMV. The IED went off very close to her vehicle. She didn’t feel a thing. She was gone in the blink of an eye. Lets just say the QRF response was swift and sure. Those who did it were found shortly afterwards, and were dealt with most harshly. Nuff said.
John Podhoretz nails it today in the New York Post, where he argues that the left doesn't believe in anything overseas anymore besides despair. Paul Johnson made a related point in a piece for us a while ago--that the left's new faith, now that socialism has died, is pessimism. I'm struck by this when I'm on college campuses. I want to say to these kids (and professors), “OK, you think Bush's foreign policy is a disaster, but what do you believe, what's the alternative, what's your vision?” There is none. These people believe in nothing. They aren't even soft-headed idealists anymore because Bush's idealistic rhetoric has prompted them to reject idealism. All they have is a smug faith in American failure, that whatever we do--literally whatever we do: whether its militaristic or altruistic or something in between--is wrong and doomed to fail.Just as "Fat, drunk, and stupid" is no way to go through life, neither is "pessimistic".
Why, it's downright Anti-American!
This story is commonplace, except the happy ending is unusual:
Editor's note: To keep the subject's identity confidential for this article, the woman's name has been changed and her face is shielded in the photograph.And note this chilling coda:
For years, all that Ashley could think about was escaping.
Ashley was little more than a prisoner in Saudi Arabia for 14 years, married to a traditionalist husband who had lured her to his country and then laughed derisively when she wanted to leave.
She gave birth to their children while she was there, and then could not bear to leave them behind in the society she had come to despise.
After two failed escape attempts, she made it out this year. Her children will celebrate their first Thanksgiving today, and next month, will share their first Christmas together. Saudi Arabian traditionalists do not celebrate those holidays, or birthdays.
Today, she will join hands with her children, thankful most of all for her freedom, and for her children's freedom. She appreciates the little things she can do now. "Just the basic fact that I can get in my own car and drive where I want, when I want, is so nice," she said. "No one asks where I've been. It's hard to believe." In Saudi Arabian traditional culture, women are not allowed to drive.
Ashley's ordeal began after she met her husband at a mosque she attended to learn about other religions. "Curiosity killed my life," Ashley says now. "He was looking for a wife."
Telling Ashley he wanted her to meet his family, the couple went to Saudi Arabia.
Ashley came to know a culture that treated women as property controlled by men, where she had no rights, and had no legal recourse for fighting the atrocities she suffered.
Her children were conceived under force, she said, calling it "basically rape."
"I'm kind of ashamed of it, but I shouldn't be," she said. "It's a different culture there. You don't say no to your husband. Even if you're cooking or changing your baby, you have to drop everything and do what he wants. You're not a person. You're your husband's possession."
She lost three babies to the miscarriages caused by her husband's beatings. Even then, he blamed her for the abuse, telling her she had caused his rages.
She made it to London in her first escape attempt, taking refuge with her sister, where her husband tracked her down. "Someone gave me up," Ashley said. "He threatened to kill the children if I didn't go back."
So she went back, but her husband arranged for her sister to be beaten, and Ashley endured beatings of her own.
Ashley planned her eventual escape carefully, contacting a friend at the U.S. Embassy, who arranged new passports and bought the family's airplane tickets.
On a family trip to Bahrain, Ashley had her chance. Her husband did not suspect she would flee again because the passports were gone.
The U.S. Embassy paid for the family's airfare to America, a loan Ashley will have to repay. After a brief stay in another state, the family arrived in Lake Havasu City.
She still lives in fear that they will be found. If that happens, she said, her husband would not force her to return to Saudi Arabia. Instead, he would have her killed, because she embarrassed him by leaving.Honor killings aren't a myth.
There are many other cases, in which the children have been kidnapped back to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, in violation of custody orders. Our State Department, however, seems to see its duty to the Saudis outweigh its obligations to mere U.S. citizens, and fails to apply any pressure.
Imagine that, known U.S. citizens -- children! -- abducted in violation of our laws, and left to rot as prisoners, when not being sexually exploited according to the dictates of the "holy" Koran which sanctions child molestation:
A woman named Monica Stowers married a Saudi named Radwan. They had two children, a boy, Rasheed, and a girl, Amjad. Mowbray states their father abused the children, but not how. In Congressional testimony, Stowers said both children have been raped by their father’s relatives.This is just the tip of the iceberg. Our "friends" the Saudis are of course complicit:
Under Saudi law, a husband has to give a wife permission to enter or leave the country. Stowers entered Saudi Arabia, collected her children, and fled to the American embassy for help.
At the US embassy, the counsel general, Karla Reed, told Stowers that the embassy was not a hotel. Reed ordered the Marine guards to throw the kids outside. So the Marines dumped the girl on the sidewalk. The mother and son followed.
Amjad tried to leave Saudi Arabia in February, 2003. The Saudis stopped her because she didn’t have her husband’s permission.
The State Department did nothing to get her out. They continue to do nothing, for Amjad or for others.
Rep. Dan Burton, R-Ind. and chairman of the House Government Reform Committee, says Saudi Arabia is conducting an impressive public-relations campaign, but the kingdom is covering up its active participation in kidnappings of American citizens.Outraged?
"We recently got a letter from the [Saudi] foreign minister. He said, 'We totally reject anything that damages our Islamic sharia law on which a total system of the state is founded, and which one-quarter of the population on this earth believe. The sharia regulates and guarantee all humanitarian rights without any prejudices. It is founded on God's orders, which we follow as well as the good objectives of Islam, namely justice.'
And I'd like to know where the justice is in denying Pat Roush her daughters for 17 years. And where is the justice for harboring kidnappers? And we know that that's been done, and we know they've been complicit in this."
Let your elected officials know:
Make them do their job.
What, you have something more important to do right now?
On the audiotape, the speaker purported to be al-Zarqawi addressed the "ulama" — senior Muslim religious clerics.Maybe they're a little too shaken.
"You have let us down in the darkest circumstances and handed us over to the enemy. ... You have quit supporting the mujahedeen," the speaker said. "Hundreds of thousands of the nation's sons are being slaughtered at the hands of the infidels because of your silence."
He said the clerics "left the mujahadeen to face the strongest power in the world. Are your hearts not shaken by the scenes of your brothers being surrounded and hurt by your enemy?"
Here are some excerpts from a letter from a soldier with the Army Cavalry that spearheaded the advance of the Marines into Fallajuh, giving the inside story :
We moved all of our vehicles and soldiers from Camp Fallujah to a position about 1 mile north of the city. That's also where we set up our TF support area (re-fuel, re-arm) and where we set up the Tactical Operations Center. All day long while were setting up at that location, Air Force and Marine Corps aviators shaped the battlefield with laser-guided bombs and hellfire missiles. Although American forces had not been into the city since April, we had been collecting intelligence on the city for months through unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV's), human intelligence, and Special Forces. So we knew exactly where they stored their weapons and where they held meetings, and so on...all of these attacks from the air were precise and very effective in reducing the enemy's ability to fight us before the battle even started.Clearly, these efforts are working...
With each attack, secondary explosions of weapons/ammo blowing up were heard. The Coalition also threw the enemy a curveball by destroying all the vehicles that had been parked in the same location for more than 3 days---the enemy planned to use these as car bombs when we attacked. Again, almost every single vehicle the air assets attacked had huge secondary explosions.
After 12 hours of massive air strikes, Task Force 2-7 got the green light and was the first unit to enter the city. There is a big train station on the city's northern limit, so the engineers cleared a path with some serious explosives and our tanks led the way. While this was happening, my intelligence shop was flying our own UAV to determine where the enemy was. It is a very small plane that is launched by being thrown into the air. We flew it for 6 hours and reported grids to the tanks and bradleys of where we saw insurgents on the roof and moving in the street---so our soldiers knew where the enemy was, before they even got to the location.
We crossed the train station just before midnight and led the way for the Marines by killing everything we could in our way. It took our tanks and brads until 10 am the next day to get 2 miles into the city. They killed about 200 insurgents in the process and softened the enemy for the Marines. 5 of our soldiers were wounded in this first 10 hours, but we accomplished our part of the plan.
The Marines' mission was to follow TF 2-7 and fight the enemy by clearing from building to building. A lot of the insurgents saw the armored vehicles and hid. They waited for the Marines to come and took their chances by fighting them since the Marines weren't protected by armor like we were. In that first day of fighting, the Marines took 5 x KIA and many more wounded, but they also did their job very well. Along the way, they found HUGE caches of weapons, suicide vests, and many foreign fighters. They also found unbelievable amounts of drugs, mostly heroin, speed, and cocaine. It turns out, the enemy drugged themselves up to give them the "courage" and stupidity to stay and fight.
The enemy tried to fight us in "the city of mosques" as dirty as they could. They fired from the steeples of the mosques and the mosques themselves. They faked being hurt and then threw grenades at soldiers when they approached to give medical treatment. They waived surrender flags, only to shoot at our forces 20 seconds later when they approached to accept their surrender.
The next few days, TF 2-7 maintained our battle positions inside the city, coming out only for fuel and more ammo. We fought 24 hours a day and continued to support the Marines as they cleared from house to house. If they were taking heavy fire or RPG fire from a house, they would call on our tanks. Our guys would open up on the house with 120 mm main gun or .50 cal. After 5 minutes of suppressive fire, the Marines would go into the building and clear it. There was rarely anyone left alive by that point. The problem is that we couldn't be there to do that for all the Marines- and when we couldn't and they had to clear the building without our help, they took heavy casualties because the insurgents didn't stop firing until the Marines got into the building and killed them.
THEN came the second push through the rest of the city. Although by day 4, the Coalition had already killed over a thousand, many of them fled to the southern portion of the city and took up positions there. Again, Task Force 2-7 led the push a little before midnight. Same mission, same purpose: To soften up enemy strong points and kill as many insurgents as possible to enable the Marines to follow us when the sun rose. The Marines from Regimental Combat Team 1 did just that for the next 5 days---fighting house to house, finding more weapons, more torture chambers, more ammunition, and more insurgents ready to fight to the death.
Over the next 5 days, the Marines and our Task Force killed over 1,000 more insurgents. In that time frame, over 900 more fighters made the decision to spend 30 years in prison rather than die. The Marines are still occupying the city and helping with the rebuilding process---they still meet some sporadic resistance, usually a group of 3-5, shooting from a mosque or faking surrender and then shooting at them.
We were very disturbed to find one house with 5 foreigners with bullets in their head, killed execution style. Marines also came upon a house where an Iraqi soldier in the Iraqi National Guard had been shackled to the wall for 11 days and was left there to die. These insurgents are some sick people and Fallujah proved that more than ever. 2 mosques were not being used for prayer...but rather for roadside bomb making. They were literally IED assembly line factories, with hundreds of IEDs complete or being built. They also had several houses with high-tech equipment where they conducted their meetings.
In Fallujah, the enemy had a military-type planning system going on. Some of the fighters were wearing body armor and kevlars, just like we do. Soldiers took fire from heavy machine guns (.50 cal) and came across the dead bodies of fighters from Chechnya, Syria, Libya, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Afghanistan, and so on...no, this was not just a city of pissed off Iraqis, mad at the Coalition for forcing Saddam out of power. It was a city full of people from all over the Middle East whose sole mission in life was to kill Americans. Problem for them is that they were in the wrong city in November 2004.
Now that it's over, there is a lot of things that people back home should know. First of all, every citizen of Fallujah (non-insurgent) is getting $2,500 USD (that's a lot over here) to fix up their house or buy new things that may have been destroyed in the fighting. Insurgents took up positions in resident's houses so we were forced to destroy a lot of buildings.
There is over $100 million dollars ready to be spent to re-build the city. This may seem like a lot of money, but I can assure you that it is a small price to pay for the amount of evil people no longer alive, contemplating how to kill more Americans. The intelligence value alone is already paying huge dividends. Some of the 900 detainees are telling everything they know about other insurgents. And the enemy never expected such a large or powerful attack and they were so overwhelmed that they left behind all kinds of things, including books with names of other foreign fighters, where their money and weapons come from, etc.
I went into the city 3 times, but after a lot of the fighting had been done. It was amazing to see how the American military had brought the world's most evil city to its knees. I have an awful lot of pictures that I am going to upload to my webshots site...it will blow your mind to see what the insurgents forced us to do to win this fight. And seeing the pictures of what I saw first hand will make you very happy to be an American and know that our country has this might if evildoers force us to use it.
In the fight for Fallujah, our military lost over 50 soldiers and Marines including a sergeant major, company commander, and 8 platoon leaders- along with 40 young enlisted guys, typically between 19 and 23 years old.
I can't even tell you how proud I was to be part of this fight and know these soldiers who were going from building to building to take the fight to the enemy. My Task Force lost 2 more soldiers after the rocket attack at Camp Fallujah, 1 of them that I knew pretty well. It was hard on the unit to deal with these losses, to go along with the 16 soldiers from 2-7 who were wounded. But this was a fight we knew would be dangerous....but worth the risk based on the good that would come out of it.
Anyone back home who thinks the world is a safe place needs to come here for a day and learn real fast that there are an awful lot of people out there who hate Americans so much that they risk their lives to try to kill us. We cannot live peacefully back at home right now unless we continue to stay on the offensive against our enemies and fight them in their backyards. Remember, radical Arabs started this war...and they continue to fight it, proving to America over and over that they need to be fought.
I am hopeful that most Americans understand that you have to accept death to defeat evil; all of us soldiers accepted that the day we signed up. There are some things worth fighting and dying for, and making the world and especially America, a safer place, is one of them.
And we are winning.
Declaration of Independence Banned at Calif SchoolI ask again, what is WRONG with these people?!?
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A California teacher has been barred by his school from giving students documents from American history that refer to God -- including the Declaration of Independence.
"It's a fact of American history that our founders were religious men, and to hide this fact from young fifth-graders in the name of political correctness is outrageous and shameful," said Williams' attorney, Terry Thompson.
"Williams wants to teach his students the true history of our country," he said. "There is nothing in the Establishment Clause (of the U.S. Constitution) that prohibits a teacher from showing students the Declaration of Independence."
Williams asserts in the lawsuit that since May he has been required to submit all of his lesson plans and supplemental handouts to Vidmar for approval, and that the principal will not permit him to use any that contain references to God or Christianity.
Among the materials she has rejected, according to Williams, are excerpts from the Declaration of Independence, George Washington's journal, John Adams' diary, Samuel Adams' "The Rights of the Colonists" and William Penn's "The Frame of Government of Pennsylvania."
"He hands out a lot of material and perhaps 5 to 10 percent refers to God and Christianity because that's what the founders wrote," said Thompson, a lawyer for the Alliance Defense Fund, which advocates for religious freedom. "The principal seems to be systematically censoring material that refers to Christianity and it is pure discrimination."
[New York, 3 October 1789]
By the President of the United States of America. a Proclamation.
Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor--and whereas both Houses of Congress have by their joint Committee requested me "to recommend to the People of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness."
Now therefore I do recommend and assign Thursday the 26th day of November next to be devoted by the People of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be--That we may then all unite in rendering unto him our sincere and humble thanks--for his kind care and protection of the People of this Country previous to their becoming a Nation--for the signal and manifold mercies, and the favorable interpositions of his Providence which we experienced in the tranquillity, union, and plenty, which we have since enjoyed--for the peaceable and rational manner, in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national One now lately instituted--for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed; and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and in general for all the great and various favors which he hath been pleased to confer upon us.
and also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech him to pardon our national and other transgressions--to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually--to render our national government a blessing to all the people, by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed--to protect and guide all Sovereigns and Nations (especially such as have shewn kindness onto us) and to bless them with good government, peace, and concord--To promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the encrease of science among them and us--and generally to grant unto all Mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as he alone knows to be best.
Given under my hand at the City of New-York the third day of October in the year of our Lord 1789.
Sure, it can make great sense as a tactic for specific political goals, as under the leadership of Ghandi and MLK. But even then, to be rational, it only makes sense when the government to be swayed is responsive to the will of the people and the media is sympathetic to the cause.
But as a universal moral philosophy it fails even by simple utilitarian arguments.
Now ok, I'll certainly grant that someone might be so unwilling to bear the responsibility for the taking of any life, that they refuse to defend their own. Fine.
But inaction carries responsibility for the outcome as well.
For example, suppose out pacifist comes across a madman about to murder a child, and by some stroke of luck, a gun is handy.
What is our pacifist to do? Calling the police is a cop out -- that just transfers the violence to somebody else, and let's also assume they are too far away to arrive in time anyway.
Both action and inaction produce the same final outcome: somebody will be dead, and the pacifist has responsibility for choosing either way -- he cannot wash his hands of it!
Even leaving aside the relative worths or innocence of the different lives that could be lost (the madman's or the child's), imagine now there are 1000 children within easy reach of the madman. Now action by the pacifist, so repugnant to his delicate sensibilities, results in only one "precious" life lost; but inaction produces 1000 dead.
Yet the standard pacifist position is to essentially do nothing and just look away. Arguments to the effect of reasoning with the madman, or interposing one's self, are not going to work; the pacifist just ends up dead too, along with the innocent victim.
Ah, but the "moral high ground" has been preserved! Yippee!
The bottom line is, pacifism fails to stop the spread of Evil.
And in so doing, aids and abets it.
Indeed, pacifism enables Evil.
A Rabbi, reflecting on Ecclesiastes, makes the case for more Hate; some excerpts from an article which should be read in full (he answers all the obvious objections to such a position):
Evil currently stalks the earth because there isn't enough hate.Amen to that!
Moral people, afraid of being poisoned by hate, are becoming indifferent to evil.
The history of the modern world is a history of genocide and the indiscriminate slaughter of innocents. Historian Paul Johnson estimates that at least 100 million civilians were murdered in the 20th century alone by despotic and murderous tyrants. All too many of the murderers, like Pol Pot and Idi Amin, died comfortably in their sleep rather than at the end of a gallows. The world simply could not summon enough hatred of these individuals or their actions to stop them and bring them to justice.
I have heard all the arguments repudiating hate. Hatred is evil. It is the cause of all wars. It consumes the soul of he or she who hates. Silly arguments all.
Hatred is only evil when it is directed at the good and at the innocent. It is positively Godly when it is directed at cold-blooded killers, motivating us to fight and eradicate them before more people die. Hatred does not cause wars, it ends them.
Because Churchill truly hated Hitler, he inspired a nation to put an end to his blitzkrieg conquests. The French, who did not hate Hitler, collaborated with him, instead. It is indifference to evil, rather than its hatred, that sends a message to the tyrants that they pick on anyone they like for the world will be silent.
While innocence should evoke compassion, evil should evoke only contempt.
What do you think God would prefer? That you use your energy to fight your hatred, or use your energy to fight evil? Now, no one would sanction your running around and indiscriminately shooting people, because that itself is immoral and illegal. That's not hatred. That's rage.
Hatred is not necessarily of the devil. Like any emotion, it is neutral, its morality determined solely by the object to which it is directed.
The demonization of hatred in our time has derived principally from liberalism for which toleration of nearly everything is paramount.
Hatred of evil implies both the right to make judgments, as well as a belief in absolutes, both of which are anathema to liberalism. While it has some redeeming qualities, my foremost argument against liberalism is that it harbors no abhorrence or detestation of evil.
Indeed, liberals hate war much more than they hate evil, which is why Kofi Annan and Jacques Chirac were prepared to leave Saddam in power in order to avoid conflict. But with so much evil in the world, people have grown weary with those who serve as its apologists, and thus liberalism has been largely discredited, with even President Clinton deciding to abandon the term and replace it with "progressivism."
In fairness, however, it is not just liberals who have forgotten how to hate. Many of my Christian brothers and sisters mistakenly believe that God loathes hatred. They quote Jesus' teaching to turn the other cheek and his admonishment to love your enemies as proof that we dare never hate.
But this is a travesty of Jesus' teachings and would make this great Hebrew personality into someone who had contempt for his victims as he extended love to their murderers. Jesus advocated turning the other check to petty slights and affronts to our honor, not to mass graves and torture chambers. Likewise, while Jesus taught that we ought to love our own enemies, this did not apply to God's enemies. Our enemies are people who are our rivals for a promotion at work. God's enemies are those who slaughter his children.
Let not any Christian think that Jesus' sympathy was for anyone other than the oppressed and the poor. True, the Bible commands us to "love our neighbor" as ourselves, but the man who kills children is not our neighbor. Having cast off the image of God, he has lost his divine spark and is condemned to eternal oblivion from which not even a belief in salvation will rescue him. He or she who murders God's children has been lost to God forever and has abandoned all entitlement to love, earning eternal derision in its stead.
The Bible instructs us "rejoice not when thine enemy falleth" and I am not advocating that we dance in the streets when we hear about America killing terrorists in Iraq. But to extend compassion to these impenitent and incorrigible monsters is an act of mocking God who has mercy for all, yet demands unequivocal justice for the innocent. To show kindness to the murderer is to violate the victim yet again.
The pacifist will respond that fighting hatred with hatred accomplishes nothing. They will quote the old Bob Dylan song that says, "If we take an eye for an eye we all just end up blind." But the purpose of our hatred is not revenge, but justice. We do not seek to breed hatred so that it might linger in our breast, but so that it might inspire us to stop murder and bloodshed.
If you don't hate Saddam Hussein, then you will find ample reason not to topple him from power. But if watching him gas Kurdish children makes you see him for the abomination he is, then you will risk blood and treasure to put him on trial for his crimes against humanity.
How bizarre that the French and Germans today hate George Bush more than Saddam Hussein. Their efforts to prevent the United States from invading Iraq, and their treatment of Saddam as nothing more than a nuisance, speaks volumes about their indifference to bloodshed and their troubling neutrality on the subject of evil.
God entrusted humanity with the promotion of justice, enjoining us to turn an immoral jungle into a civilized society.
We seek out the Saddams of this world to prevent further genocides and establish justice. In the words of Aristotle, "All virtue is summed up in dealing justly."
Only if we hate the truly evil passionately will we summon the determination to fight them fervently. Odd and uncomfortable as it may seem, hatred has its place.
It is time for moral people to learn how to hate again.
BOSTON, Massachusetts - A mosque is rising in the heart of Boston. Not just any mosque, but the largest mosque in the northeastern United States.No, we're not nearly serious about stopping this menace. How many innocents must die before we are?
At a cost of $22 million, the 60,000-square-foot Islamic Cultural Center will be a prominent symbol of the growth of Islam in America. But the project is under fire, as some say it will also be a symbol of radical Islam.
The connections go right to the foundation of this mosque and the Islamic Society of Boston, or ISB.
The very founder of the Islamic society, Abdurahman Alamoudi, is sitting in federal prison after pleading guilty to charges related to a bizarre plot by Moammar Ghadafi to assassinate Crown Prince Abdullah of Saudi Arabia. But the society insists it hasn't had a relationship with its founder for several years.
Dr. Yusef al-Qaradawi used to be listed as one of the society’s four directors, on IRS forms.The ISB says Qaradawi is a respected Muslim scholar, but the Egyptian Wahabbi cleric has urged Iraqi Muslims to kill American soldiers, and has praised Palestinian suicide bombers.
He was almost banned from entering Britain this summer.
In 1995, Qaradawi told his followers, "We will conquer Europe, we will conquer America!" The society says listing Qaradawi as a director was an “administrative oversight'' which, it says, “was subsequently corrected.''
Dennis Hale, a Boston College professor, said, "This is a smokescreen. This is deception." Hale heads Citizens for Peace and Tolerance, a group that wants the Islamic Society of Boston to come clean about its ties to radical Islam.
Hale remarked, "This is a mosque that combines Wahabbi theology, Muslim Brotherhood politics and lots of money, and that's a very dangerous combination. Everywhere in the world where that's been found, bad things happened."
The bulk of the money for the new mosque has come from private individuals in Saudi Arabia. That is another red flag, according to terror experts. So you might think that at this point, the City of Boston would get involved.
But the mayor's office, as well as The Boston Globe newspaper, have brushed off concern over the mosque. In fact, the Boston Redevelopment Authority under Mayor Thomas Menino sold the ISB the land for the mosque for a song; one half or one quarter of its true value.
No less than Bernard Lewis, the world-renowned Arab expert at Princeton, told us the Wahabbi brand of Islam can be compared to the Ku Klux Klan.
Hale commented, “If the Ku Klux Klan built an academy in Boston, the Boston Globe would be all over them. But for some reason they have been reluctant to say what is clearly true about the teachers of Wahabbi Islam, that they are intolerant bigots, and sometimes violent, to boot.”
Former Harvard professor Dr. Ahmed Mansour says when he visited the present mosque in Cambridge with his wife, he found Wahabbi reading materials that preached hatred toward America.
The ISB website has also put a statement of faith on its Web page that condemns bigotry, racism and anti-Semitism. It also affirms the equality of men and women, although we found instructions on the website on the correct way a man should beat his wife.
Hale said, “This kind of teaching plants a bomb in the heart. There is such a thing as radical Islam. It's real. It's everywhere. It's first victims are moderate Muslims who feel left out of these radical mosques.”
Dr. Mansour says the Wahabbis teach that mosques in Christian nations are viewed as outposts ... in the land of the infidel.
Consider, for example, "N", the set of all Nazis, being the set of all people who adhere by choice to the belief-system of Nazism.
Also, consider "G", the set of all ethnic Germans, being the set of all people who by accident of birth happen to have certain parents.
Clearly, N is almost entirely a subset of G, although some members of N lie outside of G. In other words, most members of N (Nazis) are also members of G (Germans), but the reverse is not true.
And most importantly, being a member of G may be correlated with being a member of N, but it is not causative.
And yet, in spite of Germanness being not necessarily indicative of holding any particular belief system, during WW2 all Germans (members of set G) were essentially held responsible for the behavior of the Nazis (members of set N).
Why? Because the beliefs of N were so destructive and dangerous, and they were imbedded in G, to eradicate them we basically just had to go through anyone who stood in the way.
The burden was on the members of G to get out of the way or be considered implicitly supportive of N!
Yes, the results of such a policy were tragic in many cases.
War is tragic. Life is tragic.
But to allow N to thrive would have been worse.
So we mowed down G by the tens of millions on the way to stamping out N. And gave everyone who did so a medal and called them "the greatest generation."
You see where I'm going with this.
Now think of M, the set of all people who adhere to the Muslim belief system. And its proper subset J, the set of all people who adhere to the Jihadist belief system of spreading Sharia and violently offering you the choice (if you're lucky) of "convert or die".
Note how much stronger the connection between M and J is than between G and N!
Unlike G, M is not accidental, but a personal choice. And all members of J are necessarily members of M!
So not only is being a member of M correlated with being a member of J, but it is also necessarily causative.
Indeed, being a member of J simply follows from being a very "good" (i.e., strictly observant) member of M!
And yet -- and yet! -- we are all entreated and exhorted to hold M completely blameless for the actions of J -- even though both are related belief systems of choice, and not "racial" attributes at all. Indeed, it is demanded we profess that the beliefs of M have absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with the beliefs of J!
Logic demands that there are only two ways to view this glaring inconsistency of viewpoint.
Either WW2, "The Good War", was a racist misadventure waged in a criminal manner by the Allies...
...or we're all now suicidally reveling in the decadence of an illusory "moral high ground" out of self-indulgent, short-sighted narcissism.
It's one or the other. Which is it?
It is insane that we are now saying that it is illegal and un-American for a soldier or marine to kill the enemy. The rules of war are an assinine concept, given that the other side refuses to abide by them. As General Sherman so eloquently wrote, "War is cruelty, and you cannot refine it...."Indeed. When will people realize this isn't a game?
Chester writes: "But when fighting for the future of civilization, it is best to uphold it."
Actually, no. The correct statement is: "But when fighting for the future of civilization, it is best to win."
Fighting is, itself, the antithesis of civilization. There is nothing civilized about war. Civilization is not promoted by the way you fight, and is not retarded by the way you fight. It is promoted, or retarded, by whether or not you are civilized to begin with, and by whether or not you win.
The only issue is: what tactics, in a given time and place, promote winning? If, as I think plausible in current circumstances, the best tactics are to kill as many IFBs (IslamoFascistBastards) as possible, without regard to whether or not they are wounded, captured, or whatnot, then those are the best tactics. Period. A civilization intent on preserving itself -- and thus promoting civilization -- should employ whatever works best, in the face of an existential threat. Whether or not indiscrimate killing of IFBs is really the best tactic is a legitimate question. It is obvious that some (many?) IFBs who survive due to our "civilized" adherence to the "rules of war" simply survive to fight against us another day. Evidence: reports of Gitmo prisoners released to take up arms against us again.
The expected rejoinder to this cold-blooded harshness is that, in adopting it, the civilized are corrupted and slide down the slipper-slope into un-civilization. In the abstract that argument might carry some weight. But there is abundant evidence to the contrary. Consider WWII. Faced with an existential threat, the allies, fighting a "good" war (and it was a good war! I'm not being ironic), resorted to the most incredible measures of mass slaughter of "innocent civilians": the fire bombings of Hamburg, Dresden, Tokyo, not to mention Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The actions of the Marine in this incident are monumentally trivial by comparison. But the horrifically uncivilized actions of Churchill, Roosevelt, Marshall, Eisenhower, etc., carried the day, and the civilization we are now defending is the civilization saved by their actions. So, if resort to barbaric and uncivilized behavior in war devalues and corrupts the civilization engaging in same, the civilization we now defending is not, really, civilized -- it being the descendant of uncivilized war, conducted on a broad and massive scale, far dwarfing all of Fallujah. But we don't think it is uncivilized: the civilization we now enjoy, and are defending against an existential threat, is truly a civilized civilization, defended and won, in the past, by barbarisms on a scale unimaginable to those who carp and whine about Abu-GrabAss or the Marine-in-Fallujah.
Machiavelli said it best (I paraphrase): it is good to be loved; it is better to be feared.
Allah had sufficient foresight to write into this tablet all sorts of perks for his last Prophet; while all other Muslim men were only allowed at most 4 wives, Mohammed could have more, because Allah said it was ok.
Mohammed also liked little girls. I mean, really liked them. The authoritative Hadith record that Aisha, his 9-year-old bride, said:
Well, isn't that special? Mohammed was in his mid-50s at the time.
There in the house I saw some Ansari women who said, "Best wishes and Allah's Blessing and a good luck." Then she entrusted me to them and they prepared me (for the marriage). Unexpectedly Allah's Apostle came to me in the forenoon and my mother handed me over to him, and at that time I was a girl of nine years of age. (Bukhari, v5, bk58, n234)
Taking a girl of 9 as a sexual plaything was unusual then even in Arab culture, but it came to Mohammed in a dream from his pagan moongod al-Ilah -- oops, I mean Allah -- so who could argue?
And as a result, ever since, Mohammed's example being by definition virtuous, men having sex with pre-pubescent girls is widespread in much of the Islamic world to this very day, wherever Islamic Sharia law is practiced -- and not just among tribal Africans, but even such places as relatively civilized Iran, currently under Khomeini's implementation of Sharia.
Iran's big "reform" recently was to up the age to 10. The consent of the girl is of course irrelevant.
Now how are we to view this? Through the lens of relativism?
This is abuse and exploitation. Pure and simple. What do you call it, if not that? A quaint and charming example of diversity?
No, it's preying on the weakest and most vulnerable. On children. On little girls.
Sanctioned by a "religion".
Embraced by a "culture".
If this is how a society functions, there's no explaining it away as a "tiny fringe of extremists". It's by definition mainstream if it's the law, no?
It may not be polite to say, but this is just another example of how Islamic culture is a sick, ugly, evil thing.
Need we even get into "honor" killings?
Why is it so inconceivable that a belief-system, just because it claims to be a "religion", can't be an evil thing? Do evil acts magically become good after some minimum number of people believe them to be ok?
Enough theory, how about another concrete example, from jihadwatch:
This is the fruit of the example of the Prophet and Qur'an 4:34. From the Arizona Daily Star via Afgha.com, with thanks to Twostellas:Behold the fruits of the lust of Mohammed, the evil pervert, murderer, and child-rapist, echoing down the centuries! Is it not a majestic thing?
...Once again, her memories take control. Her father's selling her in marriage to a man five times her age to pay the rent; the beatings and sodomy that followed. She was 9 years old....
Pekay is 13 now, one of thousands of girls and women who are trapped in forced marriages, caught between the rural, tribal and Islamic customs that ruled the country for centuries and the promise of a new Afghanistan ruled by laws that apply equally to everyone.
Domestic violence is widespread, but most cases never go to court. The laws are weak, and women stay silent out of fear or shame: Divorce disgraces the family and the tribe. Each year, scores of Afghan women escape bad marriages by setting themselves on fire or other forms of suicide....
...Under Afghanistan's civil law, it's illegal for girls younger than 16 to marry. But the Supreme Court, led by conservative clerics and Islamic law, ruled that she can't get divorced, even from a violent child molester.
Her last hope is that Fazal Hadi Shinwari, the ultra-conservative chief justice of the Supreme Court, will reverse the decision.
"If he doesn't, I'll kill myself," said Pekay, who like many Afghans uses one name. "And I'll leave it up to God to punish the judges in the next world."
Pekay is less than 5 feet tall and slight. Her nose is puffy and crooked from a thrashing. Her left cheekbone is higher than her right, as if a bone is out of place. Her lower lip is split.
She was smaller when she met Malik Muhammad four years ago. At 48, he was old enough to be her grandfather.
"We had no choice," said Omar. "He was a Taliban intelligence agent. He was very powerful. He said if I didn't allow the marriage, he would take us to the Taliban central office and do the wedding there."
On her wedding night, Pekay was confused. Why was the man she called "uncle" taking her to his bedroom? Why was her mother so sad?
"I'll be back soon," she recalled telling her mother.
Smiling, she stepped in. Her new husband shut the door.
"I started to hear screams," recalled her mother, Qudbi. "I thought he was going to kill her."
The next morning, Muhammad refused to let Qudbi see Pekay. He'd chained her hands and legs to his bed, said Pekay. Four days later, he evicted her parents.
Pekay lived as a slave for the next 2 1/2 years. Muhammad locked her in a room, releasing her only to cook, clean and do the washing. He pounded her with sticks and rubber tubing. When he stopped beating her, he started raping her.
"I can't tell you what happened," Pekay said. "It's the type of thing that happens only with animals."
Muhammad, now 52, denies he abused Pekay, but his next-door neighbor, Zalmay Quasimi, remembers her screams....
Fifteen months ago, Pekay's parents finally went to the police. Officers raided Muhammad's house and found Pekay and his first wife, Samar. Dried blood stained the floor and chains dangled from a bedpost, according to court documents. The police took Muhammad into custody.
But Afghanistan's legal system, a mix of civil and sharia, Islamic law, still favors men. Once Muhammad proved he was Samar's and Pekay's husband, he was released. Samar was told to go with him. Because of her age, Pekay was returned to her parents pending a court decision.
The court, filled with progressive young judges, granted her a divorce. Pekay was ecstatic.
Her joy, and her freedom, soon vanished.
Muhammad appealed the decision. The appeals court ruled in his favor, as did the Supreme Court.
Pekay was ordered to return to her husband or go to jail.
Supreme Court Justice Sayeed Omar Munib explained that sharia allows a father to marry off his daughter even if she's under 16. And Pekay hadn't met the standard of evidence - two witnesses who saw the abuse or a confession from her husband.
When asked why he didn't rule according to Afghanistan's civil law, Munib replied: "In Islam and sharia, it's not like that. Women are very smooth operators. If we let her get a divorce, then women will be encouraged to divorce their husbands if they see another man they like. We'll have a lot of divorces in our society."
When asked if he believed that women and men have equal rights, as Afghanistan's constitution states, Munib replied: "It's impossible. We are Muslims, and God has given a place for men and a place for women. We can't change that. Women don't have the same brains like men. They are very forgetful. They can't make big decisions. You should ask your own Western doctors about this. It has been proven that women are not like men."...
That this monster's name is not universally cursed is an unbelievable outrage -- and yet he's revered by 20% of the planet.
We're supposed to believe he came up with something holy? With something worth spending a single second listening to?
That's like saying, with a straight face, that Hitler at least made the trains run on time.
I'm sure Charles Manson has come up with a catchy phrase or two also. You gonna base a philosophy on that?
I'm sure many will consider this "hate speech". All I'm doing is pointing to the historical record, from Islam's own texts. I am happy to also agree that people surely have the right to decide to live their lives according to the instructions of a child-molesting psychopath.
Let's just none of us be surprised by the results.
UPDATE: At least, thank God, and thanks to George W. Bush, Pekay got lucky:
Friends of the family got Pekay an appointment with Chief Justice Shinwari. They were educated women and now had a voice, if a faint one, in the new Afghanistan. It took them weeks, but they finally got a meeting for Pekay.The Old Ways are dying hard. Now is the time to decisively step on its throat.
Shinwari, also a cleric, dispensed justice according to strict sharia. But he looked at Pekay's face and body, and listened to Pekay's witnesses. After considering the evidence, he approved Pekay's divorce.
Muhammad, however, is determined to get Pekay back.
"I'll die before divorcing her," he said. "I can't force her to come back to my house, but I can make sure she won't marry again. One day she'll come back. She has to."
The number of people (over 60 million) who voted for Bush, is larger than the entire population of France.
One is almost moved to exclaim, "and we're dealing with these people?!?"
Some more random facts I thought I'd throw in:
The entire population of the United States -- all 293 million of us -- could move to Alaska, leaving the "lower 48" (plus Hawaii) completely empty, and we'd still have less than 3/4 the population density of Great Britain!
Pennsylvania -- only the 33rd largest State! -- is larger in area than the former East Germany.
Kind of puts things in perspective.
Look, the police gun down actual innocents in the course of their duties and get exonerated; here we're in a war where the object is to kill the enemy, and we've got an actual enemy (illegal!) combatant who seems to be faking being dead, which could reasonably be for the purpose of ambushing, which is known to occur in exactly this situation, and is neither in custody nor known to be harmless nor trying to surrender.
In the "Sunni Triangle" of Iraq we are dealing with an enemy who dress in civilian clothes; who smuggle arms and fighters through the lines in food trucks and ambulances; who use the minarets of mosques as sniper platforms, and the forecourts to cache ordnance; who blow up the defenceless when they wish to make a point; who make videos of captives pleading for their lives and then behead them; who shoot captured, disarmed Iraqi police in execution rows; and so on. And the media want to make a big fuss about one Marine finishing off one Jihadi, who if he lived would certainly kill again.
This is why the mainstream media are held in such contempt across large sections of the U.S. -- why the NBC anchor, Tom Brokaw, was fulsomely booed when he was announced at halftime during a football game at Norman, Oklahoma on Saturday. Because, with American lives on the line, and the lives of the innocents the Americans are protecting, the media take a position that is for all effective purposes on the other side.
There's absolutely no "burden of proof" required, nor has there ever been: possible threats are to be terminated immediately.
END OF STORY!
What, like it's some kind of myth that jihadis like blowing themselves up to kill everyone around them? That's what they do.
What is wrong with these people who can't see this?
What is wrong with them?
What's next, Miranda rights and group hugs for the enemy?
Yeah, war's hell. People get killed. That's the whole idea. Duh.
They should give that Marine a medal and attack the next room full of these subhuman savages like this.
I once mentioned that we should begin an attack on Syria. Someone suggested that wouldn't be possible, as we'd be overstretched on patrolling and rebuilding.
I was dumbfounded, of course.
Because the whole point of a Punitive Expedition is simply to cause damage and destruction.
There is no rebuilding.
There is no patrolling.
We don't care if the current regime survives or falls.
We don't care if it creates chaos or not.
What we do care about is changing the behavior of whomever is in control, if anyone.
That means a Punitive Expedition is far stronger than a few cruise missiles. It lasts several days or weeks, and would be, say, special forces or even a brigade combat team rampaging through the countryside, daring enemy military units to approach it, as it destroys key infrastructure. Supported by airpower, precision strikes would also be made against the leadership.
Then the units come home.
And if the offending behavior doesn't cease, do it again, harder.
Repeat as necessary.
I dont know why this concept is hard to understand. But many seem to subscribe to the Powell doctrine of "you break it, you bought it."
Where did that idea come from? It seems that doctrine is just begging to play into the paradigm of "quagmire" claims -- whereas a Punitive Expedition by its very nature contains a definite Exit Strategy that the anti-war types seem so desperately to demand (ha, bet they change their tune about that quick!)
This "nation building" is really quite a strange and recent idea in military affairs. History is full of successful Punitive Expeditions, from the earliest times to, for example, Sherman's glorious March to the Sea through Georgia.
Afraid we might "rile them up"?
They're already riled!
Syria and Iran are already hostile!
Wake up and smell the Jihad.
And let slip the dogs of war.
Junk food adverts during children's programmes will be banned and unhealthy foods issued with warning labels under a 'traffic light' scheme to help tackle Britain's obesity crisis.And they made fun of Homeland Security's color-coded alert scheme...
Sugar, salt and fat-laden foods such as sweets or burgers will display red labels on their packaging to signify they should be eaten sparingly, with 'virtuous' foods such as vegetables marked green to encourage their consumption.
Foods such as cheese, high in fat but nutritious, will be labelled amber.
Welcome to the Ministry of Nutrition! Stamp out double-plus ungood foodstuffs!
Can Soylent Green be far behind?
I mean, if it's green, it's got to be nutritionally correct, right?
When the Founding Fathers created the framework for procedural democracy it was unnecessary to spell out its ends because those were largely provided by the moral, ethical and religious consensus of the underlying society. When that underlying civilizational consensus has been destroyed or diluted, as is the case in Western Europe and to a lesser extent the United States, what intrinsic ends does a value-neutral democratic mechanism serve? The answer possibly, is whatever it can be put to, like a Turing Machine which adopts whichever persona the loaded instruction set demands. Then Dutch democracy becomes the Muslim right to chuck a hand grenade out the door at policemen come to arrest them for plotting to blow up a public landmark. Democracy becomes a vehicle waiting to be hijacked; a metaphor for the old saw that someone who believes in nothing will believe in anything.Some snippets from the comments section are provocative:
But of course the process of secularization -- or 'value emptying' as Pell might put it -- has not been entirely uniform. In actuality, while whole chunks of the West have thrown out their traditional value systems, other chunks have been busy proseletyzing theirs. As Episcopalian churches have emptied the fundamentalist Islamic mosques have filled. That uneven development, if left unchecked, may eventually mean that the magnificent mechanism of secular democracy, which serves no value of itself, will be arbitrarily assigned a goal by the majority most willing to hijack it.
Monty [said,] "For a believer of Islam, there is only the Ummah and the tribe - nothing else"Good stuff.
Then how did Scotland and the Norse countries become free? They were very tribal. Why were so many East Coast US Indian Tribes politically organized into democracies? Why was Islam so tolerant for so long?
# posted by PureData : 5:30 PM
Your first point is void: the Irish, Welsh, and Scot tribes were not Muslims. They also had a more nationalist identity than the various Arab tribes did; a Scottish clansman was still a Scot.
Second, your notion that Islam had some magical period of tolerance is simply not true. Islam has always been intolerant of other religions. It's just that during the European Middle Ages, it was somewhat less intolerant than the various nominally Christian regimes in Europe. Jews were tolerated, but were forced to pay the dhimmi tax like all other non-Muslims during those times, and there were periodic pogroms against non-Muslims all over the Islamic world right up until the present day.
Islam has never in its entire history been particularly tolerant of other religious creeds; it was just somewhat less repressive at times than other polities.
# posted by Monty : 5:45 PM
Exactly, Monty. And the fundamental reason for such tolerance at all was that it was forced upon the conquerors by demographics: apparently even a country so associated with Islam and the Caliphate as Iraq wasn't predominantly Muslim until something like the 12th century, prior to which it was Nestorian Christian and Zoroastrian. The Muslims had no incubation period: they formulated Islam, to some brief extent, and then conquered the exhausted peripheral states of the Byzantine and Persian Empires. They ruled like Mongols: a tiny minority of indominatable warriors with an inch-deep culture suddenly holding in thrall a vast population of ancient, enduring, sophisticated civilization.
What choice did they have but to accept their existence (which in fact they often didn't do)? What choice did they have but to adopt the political, economic, military, scientific and cultural institutions of the conquered? We've all seen pictures of Hagia Sophia: a Romanesque church surrounded by minarets. We've all read the Aristotelian treatises of the famed Islamic Golden Age--was Aristotle an Arab, or a Muslim? Was Pythagoras? Was Euclid? Was Hippocrates? Of course not. Was the reason that Islam resembles Christianity and especially Judaism in certain oblique but fundamental ways because the angel Gabriel actually descended from heaven and dictated the sura of the Koran? Obviously not.
Islam appeals for the same reason Marxism appeals: the romance of the shallow. Islam is doomed because it has no native intellectual resources with which to do so. It is the romance of Bedouin, gilded over with God-talk inspired by the more successful, attractive merchant communities of Jews and Christians along the China-Persia-Rome maritime trading routes
# posted by Dan : 5:59 PM
Speaking of the Communism of the 21st Century, Gilles Kepel gives an interview at opendemocracy.net, deserving to be read in full.
Visiting sites such as iraqresistance.net (and perusing its list of supporters) one sees that the Iraqi resistance, though fought under the banner of jihad, is understood and supported by the extreme, fastidiously secular Left of Europe and South America as an armed opposition against its eternal nemeses, capitalism and classical liberalism. An alliance of authoritarianisms, radical Islam and world Socialism. The Marxists and the Mujahideen. We see its more faint but unmistakable manifestations in the States - for instance with Michael Moore singing the praises of the Iraqi "Minute Men," Moore being a sloppy pseudo-populist rather than a doctrinaire collectivist.
# posted by trish : 6:00 PM
What strikes the outsider about Islam and the Muslim faith is the lack of introversion among Muslims about their faith. Most books on Islam are written by scholarly unbelievers, and there is very little doctrinal debate even among senior Islamic clergy. Once the sunna were agreed upon fairly early on in Islamic history and shari'a based on those interpretations of the Koran, all further inquiry simply...stopped. There is no Muslim equivalent of St. Agustine, Luther, or C.S. Lewis to interpret the creed and adapt it for modern minds.
It is notable that the main schism in Islam is not doctrinal as in the Christian faiths, but is based on the idea of succession (a very tribal concern): Shi'ites believe that Mohammed's cousin Ali was the rightful Caliph, while Sunnis believed that the successor was to be chosen by council (who eventually settled on Abu Bakr).
A doctrinal split often prompts the faithful to think carefully about their understanding of the creed, and to either follow or diverge from the path. This leads to conflict, obviously, but it also keeps the faith vibrant and in tune with the changing times. Islam has never really faced up to the changing world - it has always been an insular religion. You can see it in the terminology that Muslims use: Dar al Islam is the House of Peace (Muslims), and everyone else is in the Dar al Harb, or House of War. This worldview beggars even the strictest Calvinist interpretation of the faithful versus the unbelievers.
Finally, it's important to remember that salvation in Islam means following the rules. It has little to do with one's qualities as a person or moral stature; all one must do to achieve Heaven is follow the rules (Sunna, Hadith, and Shari'a). This worldview doesn't exactly promote intellectual discourse or introspection.
# posted by Monty : 6:25 PM
This is a wonderful thread, top to bottom. A saver, to read more closely as time permits. Let me just add to Trish, that the alliance of which she speaks is certain and well-rooted; radical Islam recruits actively in the prison system in the USA--and I'm sure all elsewhere in the West--and rose into sharp relief in the 60s, on the back of Cassius Clay, who is one of my favorite people, and who backfired on Islam at least somewhat by illuminating the brutal internecine tactics of Islam via providing the stage upon which Malcolm X was publicly shotgunned to death by a rival faction. The Black Separatist Movement arose incongruously after the hard civil rights legislation had been won, and did much to linger out the already certain death of Jim Crow. The impetus was from the international left, piggybacking the opportunity-rich racial aspect of the Vietnam War.
The West has been greatly hindered in the global war against totalitarianism on all battlegrounds where racism can be imputed. "P.C.", usually seen as a rather harmless 'can't we all just get along?' invention of idealist college kids, is in reality a cold, hard totalitarian tumor on the heart of western culture. Evidence is everywhere, like falling leaves. One big one, the silence of feminism on taliban women. No, it was not just to avoid helping GWB. The true message of that silence--as with a thousand other examples we've all seen--is "Screw the liberation rhetoric, what this is about is, burning all of civilization's property titles and starting anew, and WE pick the leaders, this time."
# posted by Buddy Larsen : 6:49 PM
Sartre is an idiot.
# posted by erp : 6:55 PM
And yet what are we to think of a publication (this is not somebody's blog, this is a real "alternative" newspaper) that on its cover admonishes its depressed, lefty readers, "Don't think of yourself as a citizen of the United States"?
Or that in its feature article, arguing the obvious that the Kerry vote was concentrated in the large cities, shows how open-minded and tolerant it is with such observations as:
Citizens of the Urban Archipelago reject heartland "values" like xenophobia, sexism, racism, and homophobia, as well as the more intolerant strains of Christianity that have taken root in this country. And we are the real Americans. They--rural, red-state voters, the denizens of the exurbs--are not real Americans. They are rubes, fools, and hate-mongers.Or,
Dumb? The Sierra Club has reported that Arkansas, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Alabama, and Tennessee squander over half of their federal transportation money on building new roads rather than public transit.That's a bad thing? I'm reminded of the eco-lefty who procalimed, "I don't use oil; I ride the bus!"
What is it anyway with lefty hatred of cars? What's up with that?
Don't question the inherent Patriotism and Loyalty of views like
In cities all over America, distressed liberals are talking about fleeing to Canada or, better yet, seceding from the Union. We can't literally secede and, let's admit it, we don't really want to live in Canada. It's too cold up there and in our heart-of-hearts we hate hockey. We can secede emotionally, however, by turning our backs on the heartland.The true colors start to show when the rant really gets going:
To red-state voters, to the rural voters, residents of small, dying towns, and soulless sprawling exburbs, we say this: Fuck off. Your issues are no longer our issues. We're going to battle our bleeding-heart instincts and ignore pangs of misplaced empathy. We will no longer concern ourselves with a health care crisis that disproportionately impacts rural areas. Instead we will work toward winning health care one blue state at a time.How's this for compassion? No, not some cold-hearted political calculation here like those evil Rethuglicans, but a love of all humanity:
If red-state dads aren't concerned enough about their own children to put trigger locks on their own guns, it's not our problem. If a kid in a red state finds his daddy's handgun and blows his head off, we'll feel terrible (we're like that), but we'll try to look on the bright side: At least he won't grow up to vote like his dad.No comment:
Up until now, the Republicans have been winning the image war. When you think of "America," you imagine a single-family dwelling with a flag in the front yard and acres of corn waving in the background. It's an angry red fantasy.Hmmm, talk about fantasies!
And when the oil dries up, we're not going to be turning to priests for answers--we'll be calling the scientists. And speaking of science: SCIENCE!Guess again, bucko, the oil isn't going to "dry up" any time soon.
The Editors of The Stranger seem obsessed with hatred of cars and roads. We get proposals for taxing "excessive mileage", whatever "excessive" means; and
it's not too hard to envision a time when the only vehicles allowed on the streets of Seattle are buses, trams, and shuttles. Utopian? Wrong: reality-based. It's a better, smarter way to live, and the urbanist is always in favor of that. People who commute to the city for their livelihood and then attack urban areas and people in the voting booth are the worst kind of hypocrites. Commuters, we neither want nor need you.Yes, let out the Inner Fascist! The commited Leftist yearns for control over all aspects of your life, including where and when you travel! Rather than being allowed the incredible freedom that rapid, inexpensive travel in an automobile affords you, you must instead be subjected to the scheduling whims of the Transit Mavens.
For the Good of the Planet.
Your personal "good" is irrelevant.
Your Overlords know best what's good for you anyway.
How's this for love of your Fellow Man?
Fuck the mountains in West Virginia--send us the power generated by cleanly burned coal, you rubes, and be sure to wear lifejackets to bed.Tell us what you really think!
Non-urbanites have chosen to burn the declaration of interdependence, opting instead for tyranny, isolationism, and "faith." They can have them.Declaration of Interdependence? INTERDEPENDENCE?!?
It ends (thankfully!) with the rousing clarion call,
The raving neo-Christian idiots are winning, however, so we need to take the fight to them. In this case, the fight is largely spiritual; it consists of embracing the reality that urban life and urban values are the only sustainable response to the modern age of holy war, environmental degradation, and global conflict. More important, it consists of rejecting the impulse to apologize for living in a society that prizes values like liberalism, pluralism, education, and facts. It's time for the Democratic Party to stop pandering to bovine, non-urban America. You don't apologize for being right--especially when you're at war.Go ahead and make my day, punk.
That kind of analysis is going to win you lots and lots of friends and influence.
Yeah, go with that.
I can't wait to see the impending implosion of your party!
A platform that rests on the foundation that most Americans are too dumb and undeserving of your enlightened, rarefied benificence is going to go far.
Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!!!!
But here we have an instance of a scathing screed on a topic I wasn't even aware I should have been writing about...but I should have been!
Warning! If you're drinking anything, have your last gulp and set it down before proceeding, unless your monitor has been spit-take-proofed!
And this bit of prose actually has a point, too!
See it here at Cold Fury.
Okay, is anybody but me sick yet of the Left’s floundering and flailing about, trying to find any way they possibly can to blame somebody else for their failure to espouse a message remotely palatable to the majority of eligible American voters? Is anybody but me wishing right about now that somebody would clong them upside the head with a shovel and say, “Look, morons, here’s the deal….”?Priceless.
Well, let’s try this then. Let’s stipulate for the sake of argument that everything the Left claims to fear about the Bush admin and mainstream red-state America is true.
Yep, that’s right, you commie bastiches, we’re coming for you. It’s only a matter of time now until you hear that late-night knock on the door you’ve been dreading all along. Our jack-booted gendarmerie is going to be working overtime rounding up every non-white and non-rich subject of our fascist regime, and we’re going to be baking every last one of you into pies that we’ll then refuse to share with the poor and hungry. We’ll be baking those pies in coal-fired ovens, and those ovens will be devoid of any sort of exhaust-scrubber whatever, because we want to release all the toxic gases and chemicals we can into the atmosphere.
W gets re-elected, Arafat croaks, Fallujah is cleansed, Scott Peterson is guilty, Powell is out, Condi is in, and I get a great new job and a great new condo!
If Afghanistan was an exercise in supply-chain management and just-in-time delivery (the location: an arbitrary set of GPS coordinates; the package: a 2,000-pound bomb), then Fallujah is a demonstration of urban renewal through the methodical application of firepower.
For a complete roundup, see Belmont Club, Chester, and The Command Post.
I can't get enough of it!
One of the really amazing things is how Bush still won in spite of all the efforts of the Main Stream Media, which gave Kerry the most positive, unquestioning coverage of any candidate ever.
It was said by Evan Thomas of Newsweek that the media bias would be worth 15 points for Kerry; that is perhaps an exaggeration, but it must have been at least 5-10.
It is too tedious to link to all the obvious examples, but they include the obviously forged CBS memos, the internal ABC News memo to put extra scrutiny on Bush and give Kerry a pass, the unwillingness to call Ohio for Bush at the direct behest of the Kerry campaign, and the admission of its own ombudsman that the New York Times is slanted.
And that in spite of the "527" organizations with their millions in extra-campaign funding they wielded, backed by deep pockets like billionaire George Soros.
Look at the top individual donors to 527 organizations! The top 4 and biggest by far all gave to left-wing groups.
Of the top 10 individual donors, $71 million went to Democrat-favoring groups and only $22 million to Republican groups.
Looking at the major "independent" groups, I count only about $55 million spent by pro-Bush groups but a whopping $146 by anti-Bush groups! (counting only players spending $5 million or more)
Of the Republican groups, the club for Growth accounted for $12 million, and the dreaded Swift Vets for Truth spent $14 million.
A lot, huh? Well MoveOn.org wielded $20 million against Bush, the Media Fund $47 million, and Americans Coming Together an amazing $55 million on behalf of the Democrats.
Even the Sierra Club came up with $8 million in negative Bush ads!
In this light, the Bush victory is even more crushing.
And the resilience of our representative Republic all the more astonishing.
With all the money, and all the manufactured opinion, and a difficult war, the Democrats still couldn't win without real ideas.
I suppose you could say that "you can't fool all the people all the time", to coin a phrase.
It was like a real-life Mr. Smith!
Too many of the Left are claiming voters must then just be plain ignorant. But in fact they are Wise.
As the great honest lefty Christopher Hitchens puts it:
"Anybody But Bush"--and this from those who decry simple-mindedness--is now the only glue binding the radical left to the Democratic Party right. The amazing thing is the literalness with which the mantra is chanted. Anybody? Including Muqtada al-Sadr? The chilling answer is, quite often, yes. This is nihilism. Actually, it's nihilism at best. If it isn't treason to the country--let us by all means not go there--it is certainly treason to the principles of the left.In another article makes the observation:
One of the editors of this magazine asked me if I would also say something about my personal evolution. I took him to mean: How do you like your new right-wing friends? In the space I have, I can only return the question. I prefer them to Pat Buchanan and Vladimir Putin and the cretinized British Conservative Party, or to the degraded, mendacious populism of Michael Moore, who compares the psychopathic murderers of Iraqis to the Minutemen. I am glad to have seen the day when a British Tory leader is repudiated by the White House. An irony of history, in the positive sense, is when Republicans are willing to risk a dangerous confrontation with an untenable and indefensible status quo. I am proud of what little I have done to forward this revolutionary cause. In Kabul recently, I interviewed Dr. Masuda Jalal, a brave Afghan physician who was now able to run for the presidency. I asked her about her support for the intervention in Iraq. "For us," she said, "the battle against terrorism and against dictatorship are the same thing." I dare you to snicker at simple-mindedness like that.
Only one faction in American politics has found itself able to make excuses for the kind of religious fanaticism that immediately menaces us in the here and now. And that faction, I am sorry and furious to say, is the left. From the first day of the immolation of the World Trade Center, right down to the present moment, a gallery of pseudointellectuals has been willing to represent the worst face of Islam as the voice of the oppressed. How can these people bear to reread their own propaganda?How indeed?
And worse, the country is being hijacked by the dreaded, fearsome Christian Right -- a threat far more scary than Islamic theocrats and their murderbot minions.
I mean, the Islamists will only saw your head off in ritual slaughter; but the Christian Right might want to keep "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance!
Talk of secession -- yes, secession! -- has actually surfaced on the talk shows from some of the pundits. We see that the fiction that Bush was not legitimately elected in 2000 was the only thing keeping them going; now, when his victory is clear and decisive -- the first President to break 50% of the vote since 1988! -- they show their true non-democratic colors, and refuse to accept the result as legitimate.
Merely because it doesn't square with their elite, enlightened opinions of how things ought to be!
But let's look at that county-by-county election map again.
They think that map is indicative of the Christian Right? Are they insane?
Yes, that group helped provide the margin of victory, but they represent only a fraction, and not a majority, of Bush's support.
"Values" were clearly an important issue in the election -- but that's not directly related to religious fundamentalism.
Look at the measures banning gay "marriage" that passed in 11 out of 11 states that passed by huge margins, on average by 2:1.
86% of Mississippi voters are not fundamentalists, yet they approved the ban with that amount.
57% of Oregon voters SURELY aren't fundamentalists, Christian or otherwise!
So more than half of the Kerry voters in Mississippi voted for the ban, as well as 1/5th of Kerry voters in Oregon, assuming all Bush voters backed the bans.
The conventional wisdom had been that higher turnout favors Democrats. Yet with very high turnout levels, they still lost. What that tells us is there's a vast number of people who usually don't vote, but are quietly somewhat conservative, or at least not leftists. And normally, the higher turnout means the Democrat machine has gotten large numbers of the base to the polls. But we see that effect is swamped when the sleeping giant of the American heartland is awakened.
Just look at that map again!
These "morons" were roused by a combination of factors: realizing we're in a war that Bush will more likely see through to the end; and wanting to put the smug elites like Michael Moore and the hollywood crowd, and Bill Maher who sneers at people of faith, and unelected judges and rogue mayors imposing radical social change like gay "marriage" by fiat, in their rightful place.
The most delicious aspect of the recent election is seeing the Law of Unintended Consequences in action: the Massachusetts Supreme Court, in imposing gay "marriage", likely provided the margin of victory to Bush in Ohio, where a ballot measure to ban it won wide support.
Without their over-reaching arrogance to behave as aristocrats, that measure would not have ever been dreamed of, and the uninvolved heartland would not have arisen to give the decisive SMACKDOWN to gay "marriage" in Ohio, which was the key to Bush's victory by only 130,000 votes.
But again, this is not Christian fundamentalism at work, this is a populist backlash against dictated Leftist social policies.
Who's laughing now, monkey-boy?