Was yesterday’s embassy attack in Cairo a set-up from beginning to end?

The story goes that Sam Bacile, an Israeli living in America, created a crude video that so inflamed Egyptian sensibilities that they had to besiege the American embassy in Cairo.  I’ve been wondering how they got wind of that silly video in the first place.  Now I’m wondering if this whole thing wasn’t a set-up, including video.  It turns out that there is no Sam Bacile.  Scrape away the top layer, and you get the claim that it’s a pseudonym.

Scrape away the next layer and you find that there is a Sam Bassel, who is an Egyptian and who created the original video that was crudely dubbed into something inflammatory:

Actually, there’s basically no evidence that “Sam Bacile” even exists. The closest person who fits that description (at least electronically) is a self-proclaimed Egyptian “movie-maker” in California, who calls himself “Sam Bassel” on Facebook. Bassel has been registered on Facebook since 2010, and has posted regularly about the movies he supposedly produces, including the one that was used as a pretext for the Egyptian riots.

“Hello, I am a producer in a America and I live in Hollywood California,” he wrote in a July 15 post, well before the controversy erupted in Egypt. “I recently produced a movie that I believe to be one of the most historically important movie of our times. It is a 2 hour long movie about the entire life of the Prophet Muhammad from start to finish. Everything that is depicted in the movie is very true and well documented in all historical books that are found and taught in all Islamic countries.”

Bassel has posted about the film often over the past few months. According to one post, the movie took Bassel 12 years to complete and “blames America for the wars that occurred recently in Iraq and Afghanistan.”

Hmmm.

I have no proof whatsoever, but I’ll tell you what popped into my head:  the Mohamed cartoons.  What happened was that a Danish newspaper editor refused to be cowed by sharia strictures and took it upon himself to publish cartoons showing illustrator’s imaginings of Mohamed’s face.  Some clearly mocked him or implied that he was violent.  And then nothing happened.  Absolutely nothing.

Events reached a head over those cartoons — with violent, murderous riots all over the world — when an Imam took it upon himself to republish the cartoons.  More than that, since they were insufficiently inflammatory in the Imam’s estimation, he added a few cartoons.  The truly foul ones — such as Mohamed with a pig face or Mohamed’s face on a dog’s body — weren’t from the Danish cartoonist (something that should have been obvious, given how primitive they were, compared to the more sophisticated imagery in the Jyllands-Posten.

Instead, the most offensive images came directly from Imam Ahmed Abdel Rahman Abu Laban’s own hands.  He created those disgusting pictures specifically to spur riot and rapine.  He succeeded, too, because the Muslim mob is nothing if not easily led.

This faking technique worked well once before to stir up the mob.  Who’s to say that we haven’t just witnessed the technique being used again, and to the same effect:  Inflaming the Muslim masses.  This doesn’t mean Mr. Sam Bassel is the culprit.  It just means that, based upon past history, this is as likely to be a set-up as it is to be a genuine example of American free speech.

Our feckless president

We all recall how Michael Moore mercilessly savaged George Bush because, when the first reports about the 9/11 terrorist attacks began, Bush was reading a story book to small children, and chose not to run screaming out of the room.  Fast-forward eleven years and we have a president who boasts that he’s better than everybody at doing anything.  Apparently he’s now decided to one-up Bush’s insouciance in the face of imminent disaster.

Yesterday was not a good day for America.  First, it was the eleventh anniversary of the most deadly attack ever launched against U.S. soil.  More than 3,000 American civilians died, horribly, over the course of a few hours, and they did so at the hands of people in thrall to radical Islam.  Obama celebrated this anniversary by campaigning, talking music with a pimp with a limp, and by sending a nice message to the Arab Forum on Asset Recovery.  Feckless.

Moving on from past tragedy to imminent disaster, radical Islamists attacked the U.S. Embassy in Cairo.  The Embassy responded before the attack by apologizing explicitly for Free Speech and doubled-down on that apology after the attack.  Hillary Clinton — Obama’s highest State Department official — reiterated the spineless apology.  The administration has tried now to walk back the statement, claiming that it didn’t authorize it (something that rings untrue in light of Hillary’s conduct) but the damage is done:

But the damage control being performed in Washington isn’t enough to put the administration’s stand in a positive light. If the initial apology resonated around the world it was because it was very much in line with the tone of moral equivalence that was the keynote of President Obama’s speech to the Arab world given in Cairo in June 2009. Having set forth a credo that balanced understanding for grievances against U.S. policies with a desire to conciliate its critics rather than to forthrightly defend America and its allies, the president cannot now be surprised when the instinct of U.S. representatives abroad, and especially those in Cairo, is to apologize first and to be resolute later.

Feckless.

The news of what happened in Egypt was swiftly followed by a report that “rebels” had stormed the American embassy in Benghazi, killing one person.  It only got worse.  We learned today that Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three others were deliberately murdered — Christopher by alleged “suffocation,” and the three others by gun shots.  The murderers than did the usual Arab thing of dragging the Ambassador’s body through the streets.  Honestly, they’re so primitive out there that, if it wasn’t for the Koran’s dietary proscriptions, I suspect they would have gone all Aztec or Druid and eaten his heart.

Obama’s response was swift:  He’s heading for Vegas.  He did take time out from his busy campaign season this morning, however, to make a short statement.  Considering that he used this statement to jettison the First Amendment, maybe it would have been better if he’d just kept quiet and gotten on the Vegas plane.

Romney, incidentally, gave a speech in favor of Free Speech.  He clearly understands that yesterday’s events are not the pathetic Arab have-nots standing up against the arrogant and cruel American haves.  Instead, what we saw yesterday was the latest outbreak in a war between the backwards, repressed, bloodthirsty world and American exceptionalism, a doctrine founded on individual freedom, which is inextricably intertwined with Free Speech.

Maybe it’s no wonder that Obama was caught flat-footed.  He’s been so busy with campaigns and phone calls to rock stations and TV appearances that he hasn’t had any time for security briefings in the last week.  Yet more evidence, as if we need it, that Obama’s priorities are all about . . . Obama.  Feckless wretch.

Obama didn’t do any better in his dealings with Israel’s existential nightmare — a nuclear Iran.  The first reports were that Obama refused to speak to Netanhayu at all.  Fear not, Obama fans.  This doesn’t mean he’s too busy to do the really important stuff, such as making an appearance on David Letterman’s show.

When the uproar became too great to tolerate, Obama announced that he spoke on the phone for one hour with Netanyahu.  Think about that:  Israel, America’s only stable, democratic ally in the Middle East is facing a potential nuclear holocaust, and Obama is able to carve out a single hour from his busy schedule of shmoozing and begging for money.  As Roger Simon asks, how can Jews continue to ally themselves with Obama and Democrat party?

Obama is the most feckless president in American history, especially when it comes to the Middle East.  Or maybe he’s not feckless at all.  Worse, maybe this is part of a grand plan and ideology.

 

American embassy in Cairo appears to embrace sharia speech codes *UPDATED*

Yes, I understand that the embassy in Cairo is besieged but it does strike me as cowardly to abandon core principles as this juncture (emphasis mine):

U.S. Embassy Condemns Religious Incitement

September 11, 2012

The Embassy of the United States in Cairo condemns the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims – as we condemn efforts to offend believers of all religions. Today, the 11th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States, Americans are honoring our patriots and those who serve our nation as the fitting response to the enemies of democracy. Respect for religious beliefs is a cornerstone of American democracy. We firmly reject the actions by those who abuse the universal right of free speech to hurt the religious beliefs of others.

You’d think that you wouldn’t have to provide basic constitutional lessons for U.S. Embassy employees but I guess they need a little review:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

If we Americans want to say Islam is an incitement to violence, we can. If we want to put Jesus in a vat full of urine, we can. If we want to say Jews are greedy, we can. If we want to say Hindus worship cows, we can. If we want to say Mormons wear funny underwear, we can.  We are allowed to hurt the religious feelings of religious people.  It’s our right as Americans to be rude.  Neither tact, nor forbearance, nor non-mutual respect, nor polite lies are required under our Constitution.

Last thought:  It is possible that the language from embassy — that it’s bad “to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims” — is as foolish as it is because the embassy people meant them ironically. Perhaps the White House said “say something that won’t hurt Muslim feelings,” and some P.O.’d embassy official came back with this nonsensical, unconstitutional PC fecal matter. I mean, the statement is too close to parody to be real. Isn’t it?  Come on, someone.  Please agree with me right about now.

Of course, if that statement is a heartfelt expression from America’s representative on Egypt’s soil, God help us all, because our government is in the hands of dhimmis.

UPDATE:  For more on embassy awfulness (proving that this is no joke, but is their real thinking) just check their twitter feed:


Is it possible that these government representatives do not understand that the essence of free speech is the ability to criticize religion?  No, it may not be very nice, but in a normal, non-sharia, world, this type of criticism leads to a debate that enriches the marketplace of ideas — and may the best idea win.  We do America a profound and lasting disservice if we abandon this core principle to pander to a 7th century mentality, the practitioners of which are deathly afraid to subject their beliefs to an intellectual airing and analysis.

Allen West: The politician who won’t pander

Most politicians would have pandered in response to the question a CAIR person posed in the video below.  Not Allen West.  As he said, near the end of his own answer to the question, “I’ve been on the battlefield….”  Maybe we ought to make battlefield experience a prerequisite for honest politicians.  It seems that having faced real guns a good indicator that the politician will have the strength to face rhetorical guns:

Hat tip:  Earl

All harassment is not created equal

Would anyone care to explain to Mr. Bookworm the difference between an extremist sect breaking its country’s laws by discriminating against women, and a country that has as an integral part of its law and culture murderous attacks on women, “witches,” children and gays?

He professes to be bewildered.

“Keynes” and other back-pats

Here’s a Robert Samuelson article, “bye bye Keynes” that should give us all pause: the arguments he uses to write Keynes’ obituary are arguments that we all posited in our own excoriation of Keynes in years past, in response to a string of commentators, ranging from A to Z.

I’ve been reviewing our last few years at Bookworm Room and I think that we all deserve a round of huzzas and raised beer mugs or wine glasses, whatever is at hand. We’ve been so right about so many issues, be it “Keynesian”economics; anthropogenic global warming; the Islamist threat; U.S. fossil fuel reserves; “green” energy; Iraq; Obama; the EU’s collapse…and on and on und so weiter.  Sometimes, our prescience has preceded events on the ground by years.

To all of you Bookworm guests and, especially, to Bookworm, our hostess: I’m so d*** proud to know you! I am so much smarter for having enjoyed the many experiences of your insights and commentary.

“Diversity gives us the appearance of variety, unity gives us strength.”

My friend Navy One made the statement that is my post title.  The statement appears in a post he wrote about Anwar al-Awlaki, a subject I probably should have covered, but didn’t.  Now, of course, having read Navy One’s post, which is better than anything I could have written on the subject, I feel that my only obligation is to tell you to go there.

A Muslim sponsored letter to free Gilad — not just too late, but amoral (immoral?) too.

Five years after Gilad Shalit was kidnapped, a period during which he has been completely invisible and denied any access to humanitarian agencies, a small handful of American Muslims has finally decided to say something:

The Aug. 26 letter’s 11 signatories include the two Muslim members of Congress — Reps. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) and Andre Carson (D-Ind.) — as well as Muslim academics and communal figures.

“We believe Hamas’ harsh treatment and five-year detention of Shalit is wrong,” the Muslim leaders wrote in their letter, which was addressed to Khaled Mashal, the Syrian-based chairman of Hamas’ political bureau.

I admit that I’m a literalist when it comes to analyzing documents.  Sometimes I get so tangled in specifics that I lose sight of the big picture.  It’s a sad fact, too, that a lot of people are lousy writers.

All of which is to say that, when I read that excerpt, I understand it to mean, not that the letter’s authors believe kidnapping was wrong but, rather, that they are concerned that Hamas has taken it too far.  Had Hamas treated Shalit a little less harshly (and since Shalit has been hidden, who really knows how he’s been treated?), and if Shalit had been held only, maybe, three or four years, instead of five . . . no problemo.  As phrased, the excerpt indicates that as Ellison and Co. think that Hamas started off with a good idea, but that it’s handled the thing so maladroitly that it’s become embarrassing.

As I said, I’m a literalist, and most people are bad writers, but that’s what the letter, taken literally, says.

(Hat tip:  Sadie)

Remembering Entebbe

Yid With Lid reminds us that July 4th marks more than just America’s independence day.  (H/t:  Sadie)  It’s also the anniversary of Israel’s spectacular rescue at Entebbe in 1976.  That was another place and time, when most in the world actually cared about Jewish lives.  I wrote about the rescue back in 2007 and reprint that narrative here.

For those of you too young to remember, here is a short-ish version of the long and exciting story about the Entebbe raid. (I culled these facts from a much longer article by by Maj. (Res.) Louis Williams, which I found once at the Israeli Defense Forces website, but can’t find now.)

It all started with the metal detector no one looked at. On June 27, 1976, as passengers in Athens boarded the already partially full Air France 139 flight to Paris, no one paid any attention to a young woman traveling on an Ecuadorian passport, a young blond man with a Peruvian passport, and two other men, one with Bahraini and the other with Kuwaiti papers. A little more on-the-job attention could have saved four lives and a world of trouble. It would later turn out that these four people were members of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and the Baader-Meinhof Gang.

The flight out of Athens began in ordinary enough fashion. It was a mid-day flight so, as soon as the plane was airborne, the flight attendants began bustling around, preparing lunch. The 246 passengers — 77 of whom were Israeli citizens — settled in to do what passengers do: read, sleep, and talk. Unfortunately, they had little time to engage in any of these ordinary activities. Within eight minutes of being airborne, the women, who called herself Ortega; the blond man, who went by the name of Garcia, but was really Wilfried Boese; and their two Arab companions, sprang into action. Ortega, gun in hand, covered the first class compartment, the Arabs took over the coach compartment, and Garcia, who had both a revolver and a grenade, invaded the cockpit. Within minutes, they had secured the plane.

The first sign the outside world had that something was wrong was when the French captain, Michel Bacos, ceased radio contact. Because of the large number of Israeli passengers on Board, when Ben Gurion Airport management received the news about this peculiar radio silence, it instantly passed it on to the Israeli government and defense ministry. The Israelis had always known about the possibility that something could happen to their citizens in the air, so they quickly set up a command station and began mobilizing forces based on their initial assumption that the hostage crisis might play out at Ben Gurion itself.

Within a half hour of the Israelis setting up this station, the terrorists began issuing their demands by contacting a Libyan control tower. Their first requests were simple, and made very clear where they stood on the ideological spectrum: in addition to fuel, they demanded that the local representative of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine meet them at the Libyan airport.

The plane did touch down in Libya, although it was clear that this was only a fueling stop. The terrorists released a single passenger, a young pregnant woman. In the meantime, the Israelis huddled, trying to come up with a viable plan, despite the fact that the situation was unstable and the terrorists’ ultimate destination unknown.

That same afternoon, at the terrorists’ direction, the plane took off again, with no one the wiser as to the next landing point. Eventually, with an almost empty tank, the terrorists had Captain Bacos land the plane at Entebbe, in Uganda, in the wee hours of the morning of June 28. Entebbe was an unpromising location for the Israelis, since Idi Amin, the dictator in charge, was no friend to Israel.

Once in Entebbe, it became clear that Amin was working with the terrorists, whether as part of a preconceived plan, or because he was a seizing an opportunity that presented itself to him. Thus, he allowed several more terrorists to meet the airplane, he assembled his troops at the airport, and he himself appeared there, making a speech supporting the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. Aside from Amin’s posturing, though, little was happening. Amin’s involvement was worrisome enough. As Shimon Peres (who was then Defense Minister) noted, it would be a catastrophic development for Israeli air travel if a sovereign nation successfully came to the support of hijackers.

Despite the information vacuum, the Israeli Defense Forces started brainstorming. The IDF was lucky in that, as late as 1972, Israeli planes had flown into Uganda. The IDF therefore knew that the airport where the hostages were being held was within flying range and had a fair idea about the site itself. While things might have changed since 1972, finding out about those changes was do-able.

By June 29, the situation was static from the IDF’s point of view, with the terrorists apparently locked into Entebbe. The IDF therefore made the formal decision to start turning its brainstorming into reality. In the meantime, word came that the terrorists were demanding the release of various of their terrorist compatriots who were being held in Europe, Israel and Africa. By the end of the day, the terrorists fleshed out their demand: if their demand for terrorist releases was not met by 2 p.m. Israeli time on July 1, they would kill all the hostages.

Unbeknownst to the IDF (although nothing would have surprised them), as these demands were issuing, sinister things were happening in Entebbe. With help from Ugandan soldiers, the terrorists were “remodeling” the airport terminal to create a small passageway between two rooms. Boese, the blond man, then began dividing the hostages into two groups: Jews and Israelis in one group, everyone else in another group. For the Jews, it was a grim echo of Mengele’s sorting technique, with its life and death divisions.

In the small hours of June 30, the IDF continued its non-stop information gathering and planning. The consensus was that the Israelis had to seize the Entebbe airport and free the hostages — a simple idea that was incredibly difficult to put into operation. Every detail had to be considered, including a way by which to co-opt the psychopathic Amin so that he would cease assisting the terrorists and, perhaps, even come to the Israelis’ aid. (As it turned out, aside from buying some time, Amin was not otherwise deterred from his murderous path.)

It helped the Israelis that the Germans, showing more backbone than they had in 1972 during the Munich hostage crisis, were refusing to release the terrorists they had imprisoned, as were the French. Indeed, in a move unimaginable today, the French actually ceded to Israel the decision-making power regarding responsive steps in the face of the terrorist demands. On the ground, the French were also showing true integrity. When the terrorists attempted to have Captain Bacos and his French crew join a group of non-Jewish/Israeli passengers to be released on the Air France plane, they refused to do so, insisting on staying with and caring for their passengers. A French nun also attempted to stay with the Jewish passengers, but was thrust onto the plane despite her protests. The released passengers soon ended up at home and, after being debriefed and providing some valuable information, vanish from our story.

In Israel, the IDF’s plans were sufficiently advanced to begin gathering personnel. One of the soldiers handpicked for the responsibility of leading the raid was Lieutenant Colonel Jonathan (”Yoni”) Netanyahu. Another, more junior officer, Muki Betser, was summoned as well. It was the first either knew of the plan, and they were quickly brought up to speed about the three major plans currently being considered — one of which, of course, was the air raid that ultimately took place.

On July 1, the date the terrorists had given as their deadline for killing the Jewish hostages, the Israelis had an unexpected bit of luck. It turned out that an Israeli building contractor had built the Old Terminal at Entebbe, giving the IDF access to the building’s plans.

Although the Israelis were bound and determined not to submit to the terrorists’ demands — correctly perceiving that to do so would open the door to unlimited kidnappings and hostage situations — the Cabinet voted unanimously to begin negotiations with the terrorists as a means of buying time. Idi Amin, apparently swayed by Israeli flattery that played on his overweening ego, announced that he would allow the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine to broadcast on Ugandan radio at 2:00 p.m., Israeli time, thereby buying one precious hour. This one extra hour stretched into two, and then a day, and then two days, until the Israelis had a fortunate reserve of time within which to work.

The Israelis, while simultaneously cajoling Amin, gathering information, and negotiating for time, continued to finalize plans. They gathered more and more personnel, especially those paratroopers with experience with long-range flights over Africa. As a second group of non-Israeli/Jewish hostages arrived in France, the situation improved, both because there were fewer passengers to rescue, and because the new arrivals helped flesh out necessary information about the Entebbe situation.

By mid-morning on July 2, the plan were sufficiently developed that Netanyahu and his fellow officers were beginning to intellectualize actual dry run practices. They also begin focusing on the minutiae of the plan, such as specific geographic landmarks in and around the airport, fueling issues, etc. Air Force ground crews began getting seven airplanes reading for the raid: four Hercules for the trip; one Hercules as a reserve plane; and two Boeing 707 as command headquarters and backup to fly the rescued hostages home. One plane was swiftly converted into a flying medical center.

One soldier, possibly Muki, also had a brainwave about preserving the surprise aspect of the raid once the planes landed. This involved using a Mercedes limousine as one of the assault vehicles, on the theory that Ugandan officials always traveled in these vehicles. Seeing one drive around the airport attended by an entourage of Land Rovers would be so normal at Entebbe that no one would be on guard.

For the rest of the day, the selected troops, led by Netanyahu, drilled and drilled. Each knew that seconds mattered. Their rehearsals were so disciplined that, by July 3, they were ready.

As the IDF engaged in this feverish behind-the-scenes activity, negotiations stagnated. It didn’t really matter, of course, since the whole purpose behind the negotiations was to buy time. Nevertheless, it was galling to see the terrorists use these talks as a way to humiliate Israel as much as possible. Certainly no one in Israel truly believed that, if Israel capitulated to the terrorist demands, the terrorists would actually release all 105 hostages safely.

At noon on July 2, 1976, the operation, now called “Operation Thunderball” was reading to go. By 1:30, the commandos were airborne and heading South to Ophir, preparatory to crossing over into African airspace. Even on the plane, the officers and their troops continued to go minutely over the plans, mentally rehearsing and polishing small details. Eventually, everyone tried to get some sleep, so as to be fresh when the raid finally took place. The flight, already stressful, was made worse by turbulence over Ethiopia, which forced the planes to divert. The one good thing was that the same storm meant that the Israelis didn’t need to worry about detection, since the storm ruined incoming radar signals.

Despite the horrific conditions, the pilot landed the plan at Entebbe only 30 seconds behind the scheduled time. Within minutes of landing, the men were piling into the decoy Mercedes, and two Land Rovers. Even as the plane was still moving, the instant the cargo doors opened, the cars drove off the plane. Thanks to the work of paratroopers who also left the plane to place temporary lights on the runway, the planes were able to taxi slightly forward.

The Mercedes, and its escorts speed down the road to the terminal, all the while trying to give the appearance of an official entourage. When two Ugandan sentries challenged them, however, they had no option but to shoot. They hit one soldier, but the other was able to run for the control tower. In minutes, despite the loss of their cover, the commandos secured one of the terminal entrances and moved on to another.

Shortly after entering the building, the terrorists began firing, both at the Israelis and the hostages. A firefight began, with Israeli troopers successful in bringing down two of the terrorists. Sadly, despite bullhorn announcements from the IDF warning the hostages to keep down, one man was killed in this first burst of gunfire.

The second assault team, which had almost been fooled to death by two terrorists pretending to be hostages, managed to kill these terrorists. At the same time, Netanyahu’s group killed Ugandan soldiers assisting the terrorists. Within the building, after only three minutes, the raid was over. The only step remaining was to get everyone — paratroopers and hostages alike — back to the waiting planes for the return trip to Israel.

Sadly, the raid was not without costs. Two hostages died on the ground. Another, an old lady, had been taken to a Ugandan hospital, where she was subsequently murdered on Amin’s orders. And, in what proved to be a terrible blow to the Israeli psyche, Netanyahu was fatally wounded. He died on the flight back to Israel.

And that’s the story. It’s an incredible story of a small force, fighting against the odds, and, with creativity and bravery, freeing over a hundred people from captivity. It’s also a story of sacrifice, because not only did Yoni Netanyahu die on that day, every single one of the paratroopers on the flight was willing to give his life to rescue his fellow Israelis and Jews from a brutal terrorist assault. Lastly, it was a story of remarkable government foresight. By refusing to give in to the terrorist demands, Israel managed for 30 years to insulate herself from hijackings and kidnappings, a situation that changed only last year, within weeks of the 30th anniversary of Entebbe, when terrorists realized that Israel no longer had the will (or, perhaps, the ability) to pull off another Entebbe.

Cross-posted at Right Wing News

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Principled, but suicidally stupid

I’m deeply impressed by the integrity of those peace activists who are willing to challenge Obama, just as they did Bush.  They are free from the hypocrisy of those who took to the streets for one president while giving the next a pass.

Having said that, war is a useful device when a culture is bound and determined to kill you.  I’m not a fan of having my airplanes bombed, my airplanes turned into bombs, my subways destroyed, my nightclubs bombed, and various and sundry people being beheaded all over the place.  Nor am I going to enjoy life much when, as a female,  I’m swathed in a burqa and basically consigned to permanent house arrest.

Turning the other cheek in a mild dispute bespeaks a certain amount of grace; turning it in an existential battle, however, is suicidal stupidity.

Stereotypes versus political correctness

My husband and I discussed the concept of stereotypes with the kids.  What we were trying to get through to them is that it’s wrong to take ideas about a group, even if those ideas are complimentary or accurate, and to assume that they apply to an individual.  The mere fact that Jews tend to have higher IQs doesn’t automatically mean that Joe Schmostein is smart.  On the other side of the balance, merely because blondes are the butt of myriad dumb blonde jokes still means it’s a huge mistake to assume that a given blonde is dumb.  (And, Z, because you’re very literal, let me say here that I realize that dumb blonde jokes are just that — jokes — but they’re still a useful rhetorical tool for discussing stereotyping.)

What both my husband and my children had a problem with was that, while it’s wrong to apply stereotypes to individuals, and while it’s wrong to perpetuate lies about an entire group to satisfy ones biases (e.g., those dumb blondes), that doesn’t make it at all invalid to look at group behavior and draw conclusions about the group.  If the numbers show that Chinese people consume more rice more capita than other people (I’m guessing here, but it sounds reasonable), the existence of this data means that this statement isn’t a stereotype, it’s a fact.  That fact’s existence doesn’t mean that any individual Chinese person should be assumed to like rice (ask first before serving), but it does mean that there is an operating truism about the group.

Mr. Bookworm’s confusion about stereotypes versus factual data about a defined group became apparent when the conversation in the car turned to war atrocities (my children are at the ghoulish phase), and my son raised the subject of genital mutilation.  In a previous ghoulish conversation, I’d told him that the Japanese, during the Rape of Nanking, subjected women to genital mutilation as part of their torture and murder.  I then mentioned that Arabs are well-known for castrating their enemies.

My husband was outraged:  “That’s a stereotype!”  “No,” I said, “in terms of the cultural norms of warfare, that’s a fact.  I’m not saying that all Arabs slice off their enemies’ penises.  I’m just saying that it is a typical and traditional Arab approach to war.”  He subsided, unconvinced.

I doubt even this horrific story will cut through his PC, multi-culti world view to convince him:

Devotedly washed and sprinkled with rose petals, Hamza Ali al-Khateeb lies prepared for burial.

But the rituals of death cannot wipe away the horrific injuries that have mutilated his body almost beyond recognition.

Nor do they blot out that Hamza – riddled with bullets, kneecapped and with neck broken and penis hacked off – has the rounded cheeks and gentle face of a child.

[snip]

The teenager’s family were told not to speak of his terrible fate. But in a pitiful act of defiance, they posted the footage of his corpse online.

[snip]

An unseen attendant tenderly shifts the scarred limbs and head so that the viewer can see each injury, including two bullets which were fired through each arm and then entered his chest.

‘Look at the evidence of his torture,’ the narrator urges. ‘Take a look at the bruises on his face and his neck that was broken. Take a look at the bruises on his right legs

‘In addition there is worse. They did not satisfy themselves with all the torturing so they cut off his genitals.’

Savage cultures do savage things, and all the multi-culti pieties in the world won’t erase the fact that the savage Muslim/Arab culture is committed to male genital attacks as a sign of power.

The Navy SEALS and Charlie Sheen — brothers under the celluloid skin

Both the SEALS and Charlie Sheen have been in the news lately, the SEALS for an extraordinarily well-planned, brave and effective operation, and Charlie Sheen because he’s a drugged-out piece of human detritus.  Did you know, though, that the two — that is, the SEALS and Sheen — have something in common?  Yup, they do:  A movie!

Back in 1990, Charlie Sheen starred in a movie called Navy SEALS, with Sheen playing (cough, cough, giggle) the second in command of a SEAL platoon.  You can read the silly, turgid and formulaic plot here.

The one interesting thing about the movie, aside from Sheen’s role as a (cough, cough, giggle) SEAL commander, is that the movie has a Muslim as the terrorist bad guy.  The seeds for PC are already in place, because the terrorist gets to explain that his terrorism was inspired, not by his religion and culture, but as revenge for the fact that the U.S. Navy bombed his home.  Nevertheless, the mere fact that Hollywood could even contemplate a Muslim bad guy just 21 years ago reminds us how far our country has traveled down the dhimmi, politically correct road to its own destruction.

If you need a good laugh tonight, here’s the original trailer:

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Bin Laden’s perversions

Does any of this surprise you?  It doesn’t surprise me.  Given bin Laden’s fanaticism, his sadism, his isolation, his personal and religious misogyny, all of this comes across across as totally believable.  It also puts me strongly in mind of this story, from several years ago, tell about the way in which Taliban warlords used their power to rape young girls.  It’s all part of the same package deal of cruelty, perversion and profound cultural narcissism.

(By the way, if you want something else icky, this ought to do it.)

Geert Wilders’ speech in Tennessee deserves the widest possible distribution *UPDATED*

Everyone should read this speech. Everyone. While the media swooned about Obama’s Cairo speech (in which he lauded veiling women and ignored thousands of years of Jewish ties to Israel), and Obama’s race speech (in which he insulted white people), and Obama’s recent immigration speech (in which he demonized people who fear the risks to American security and economic well-being from an open border), this speech is the really important one. It goes to fundamental issues of freedom.  So, send this to your friends, whether you post it at your blog, facebook it, tweet it, email it, snail mail it, or read it aloud to them over the phone.

Speech by Geert Wilders, Cornerstone Church, Nashville, 12 May 2011

Dear friends from Tennessee. I am very happy to be in your midst today. I am happy and proud to be in this impressive church.

My friends, I am here to speak words of truth and freedom.

Do you know why America is in a better state than Europe? Because you enjoy more freedom than Europeans.

And do you know why Americans enjoy more freedom than Europeans? Because you are still allowed to tell the truth.

In Europe and Canada people are dragged to court for telling the truth about islam.

I, too, have been dragged to court. I am an elected member of the house of representatives in the Netherlands. I am currently standing in court like a common criminal for saying that islam is a dangerous totalitarian ideology rather than a religion.

The court case is still pending, but I risk a jail sentence of 16 months.

Last week, my friend Lars Hedegaard, a journalist from Denmark, was fined because in a private conservation, which was recorded without his knowing, he had criticised the way women are treated in islamic societies.

Recently, another friend, Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff, a human rights activist from Austria, was fined because she had criticised islam’s founder Muhammad. She had said that Muhammad was a pedophile because he had married a 6-year old girl and raped her when she was 9.

Unfortunately, there are many similar cases.

I am especially happy to be in your midst because here I can say what I want to say without having to fear that I will be dragged to court upon leaving this church.

My dear American friends, you cannot imagine how we envy your First Amendment. The day when America follows the example of Europe and Canada and introduces so-called “hate speech crimes” which is only used to punish people who are critical of islam, that day America will have lost its freedom.

My friends, let us hope that this never happens.

Last week, we celebrated Liberation Day in the Netherlands. We celebrated the liberation from the Nazi occupation in 1945. Many American soldiers, including many young Tennesseans, played a decisive role in the liberation of the Netherlands from nazi tyranny. We are immensely grateful for that. Young Americans gave their lives so that the Dutch might be free. I assure you: The Dutch people will never forget this.

Unfortunately, however, the Europe which your fathers and grandfathers fought and died for is not the Europe we are living in today.

I travel the world to tell people what Europe has become. I wish I could take you all on a visit to my country and show you what Europe has become. It has changed beyond recognition as a result of mass immigration. And not just any mass immigration, but mass immigration driven by the dangerous force of islam.

My friends, I am sorry. I am here today with an unpleasant message. I am here with a warning. I am here with a battle cry: “Wake up, Christians of Tennessee. Islam is at your gate.” Do not make the mistake which Europe made. Do not allow islam to gain a foothold here.

Islam is dangerous. Islam wants to establish a state on earth, ruled by islamic sharia law. Islam aims for the submission, whether by persuasion, intimidation or violence, of all non-Muslims, including Christians.

The results can be seen in Europe.

Islam is an ideology of conquest. It uses two methods to achieve this goal: the first method is the sword. Do you know what figures on the flag of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, a country where Christian churches are banned and Christians are not even allowed to wear a tiny crucifix? There is a huge sword on that flag, just below the Islamic creed. The message is clear. Without the sword islam would not have been able to spread its creed.

The second method is immigration. Islam’s founder Muhammad himself taught his followers how to conquer through immigration when they moved from Mecca to Medina. This phenomenon of conquest through immigration is called al-Hijra. My learned friend Sam Solomon has written a perfect book about it.

I had a copy of Sam’s book sent to all the members of the Dutch Parliament. But most of them are worse than Saint-Thomas in the Bible. Thomas did not believe what he had not seen. Most politicians refuse to believe the things they see before their very eyes.

In Europe we have been experiencing al-Hijra for over 30 years now. Many of our cities have changed beyond recognition. “In each one of our cities” wrote the well-known Italian author Oriana Fallaci shortly before her death in 2006, “there is a second city, a state within the state, a government within the government. A Muslim city, a city ruled by the Koran.” – end of quote.

How did the Europeans get into this situation? It is partly our own fault because we have foolishly adopted the concept of cultural relativism, which manifests itself in the ideology of multiculturalism.

Cultural relativism advocates that all cultures are equal. However, cultures wither away and die if people no longer believe that its values are better than those of another culture.

Islam is spreading like wildfire wherever people lack the guts to say that their values are better than the Islamic values.

Islam is spreading like wildfire because the Koran explicitly tells Muslims that they are “the best of peoples ever raised up for mankind” and that non-Muslims are “the worst of creatures.”

Islam is spreading like wildfire everywhere in the West where political, academic, cultural and media elites lack the guts to proudly proclaim, as I believe we all should proclaim:

Our Judeo-Christian Western culture is far better and far superior to the islamic culture. We must be proud to say so!

Multiculturalism is a disaster. Almost everyone acknowledges this today, but few dare say why. Let me tell you why: Multiculturalism made us tolerate the intolerant, and now intolerance is annihilating tolerance.

We should, in the name of tolerance, claim the right not to tolerate the intolerant. Let us no longer be afraid and politically correct, let us be brave and bold. Let us tell the truth about islam.

Before I continue I want to make clear that I do not have a problem with people. I always make a distinction between the people and the ideology, between Muslims and islam.

Indeed, I have no problems with Muslims, but I do have a problem with the totalitarian Islamic ideology of hate and violence. The fact that there are many so-called moderate Muslims, does not imply that there exists a moderate islam. A moderate islam doen not exist and will never exist.

And because there is no such thing as a moderate islam, the islamization of our free Western societies is an enormous danger.

Only two weeks ago, the British press revealed how the so-called “London Taliban” is threatening to kill women who do not wear veils in the London borough of Tower Hamlets.

In some neighbourhoods Islamic regulations are already being enforced, also on non-Muslims. Women’s rights are being trampled. We are confronted with headscarves and burqa’s, polygamy, female genital mutilation, honor-killings where men murder their wives, daughters or sisters because they do not behave in accordance with Islamic rules.

Polls show that the influence of those Muslims who live according to islam’s aggressive requirements is growing, especially among young people.

Among 15-year-old German Muslims, 40 percent consider islam more important than democracy.

Among Muslim university students in Britain, 40 percent support sharia. One in three of those students considers it legitimate to kill in the name of islam.

Christians are asked to follow the example of Jesus. Muslims are ordered to follow the example of Muhammad. That is why islam is dangerous. While Christianity preaches love, islam preached hatred and practizes violence. Hatred and violence for everyone who is not a Muslim.

Muhammad personally participated in the ethnic cleansing of Medina, where half the population once was Jewish. Muhammad helped to chop off their heads. On his deathbed, he ordered his followers to cleanse Arabia of all Jews and Christians.

To this very day, Christian symbols are prohibited in Saudi-Arabia. If you wear a cross in Saudi Arabia, they sent you to jail.

And now, Europe is beginning to look like Arabia.

Just today, a poll revealed that in Brussels, the capital of the European Union, half the islamic youths are anti-semitic. It is dangerous for Jews to walk the streets in Brussels.

If you wear a cross or a kippah in certain urban areas in Europe today, you risk being beaten up. In the capital of my own country, Amsterdam, a tram driver was forced to remove his crucifix from sight, while his Muslim colleagues are allowed to wear the veil.

In June 2008, the Christian church authorities in the Danish town of Arhus decided to pay so-called “protection money” to islamic so-called “security guards” who assure that church goers are not harassed by islamic youths.

On March 31st, 2010, Muslims entered the Roman Catholic cathedral of Cordoba, Spain, and attacked the guards with knives. They claimed the cathedral was theirs.

Last month, the bishops of Sweden sent out a letter to priests advising them to avoid converting asylum seekers from islamic countries to Christianity, because the converts would risk losing their lives.

In the Netherlands, the city authorities in Amsterdam register polygamous marriages. The authorities in Rotterdam serve only halal meals in municipal cafeterias. Theaters provide separate seats for women who are not allowed to sit next to men. Municipal swimming pools have separate swimming hours for men and women, Muslim lawyers do not have to stand when the judges enter court rooms.

Meanwhile Jews are no longer safe on our streets. In Amsterdam, the city of Anne Frank, Jews are again being harassed in the streets. Even political leaders acknowledged that life has become unsafe for Jews in Holland. Do you know what they said? They advised Jews to emigrate. Jews are already running for Israel. But I say: Jews must not leave, violent Muslims must leave!

What is needed, my friends, is a spirit of resistance.

I repeat: What we need is a spirit of resistance.

Why? Because resistance to evil is our moral duty. This resistance begins with expressing our solidarity to Christians, Jews, indeed, to all people worldwide, who are the victims of islam. There are millions of them.

We can see what islam has in store for us if we watch the fate of the Christians in the islamic world, such as the Copts in Egypt, the Maronites in Lebanon, the Assyrians in Iraq, and Christians elsewhere.

Almost every day, churches are arsoned and Christians are assassinated in islamic countries.

In a report on the persecution of Christians in the world, Archbishop Twal of Jerusalem, wrote recently– I quote: “In the Middle East to be Christian means accepting that you must make a great sacrifice. All too often and in many places, Christians suffer various threats. On some occasions, their homes and churches are burnt, and people are killed. How many atrocities must we endure before somebody somewhere comes to our aid?” – end of quote.

Indeed, how many atrocities before we come to their aid?

Rivers of tears are flowing from the Middle East, where there is only one safe haven for Christians. You know where that is. The only place in the Middle East where Christians are safe is Israel.

That is why Israel deserves our support. Israel is a safe haven for everyone, whatever their belief and opinions. Israel is a beacon of light in a region of total darkness. Israel is fighting our fight.

The jihad against Israel is a jihad against all of us. If Israel falls, we, too, will feel the consequences. If Jerusalem falls, Athens, Rome, Amsterdam and Nashville will fall. Therefore, we all are Israel. We should always support Israel!

Today, we are confronted with political unrest in the Arab countries. The Arab peoples long for freedom. However, the ideology and culture of islam is so deeply entrenched in these countries that real freedom is simply impossible as long as islam remains dominant.

A recent poll in post-revolution Egypt found that 85 percent of Egyptians are convinced that islam’s influence on politics is good, 82 percent believe that adulterers should be stoned, 84 percent want the death penalty for apostates. The press refers to the events in the Arab world today as the Arab spring. I call it the Arab winter.

Islam and freedom, islam and democracy are not compatible.

The death of Osama bin Laden last week was a victory for the free world, but we will be confronted with Islamic terrorism as long as islam exists, because islam’s founder Muhammad himself was a terrorist, worse than Bin Laden.

And here is another truth: The rise of islam means the rise of sharia law in our judicial systems. In Europe we already have sharia wills, sharia schools, sharia banks. Britain even has sharia courts.

In my own country, the Netherlands, sharia is being applied by the courts in cases relating to divorce, child custody, inheritance, and property ownership. Women are always the victims of this because sharia discriminates women.

This is a disgrace. This is not the way we should treat women.

My friends, I told you that we have just remembered Liberation Day to commemorate the young Americans and all the heroes who offered their lives to free the Netherlands from nazi tyranny. It would be an insult to them if we Europeans would give up that precious freedom for another totalitarian ideology called Islam.

That is the goal for which my party and I work day after day. And we are having success.

In the Netherlands, we are successfully starting to roll back islam. The current Dutch government is a minority government which can only survive with the backing of my party, the Party for Freedom.

We have 24 seats of the 150 seats in parliament and we support the government, in return for measures to prohibit certain aspects of sharia law.

We have achieved that the Netherlands will soon ban the burka and the niqaab.

We will also restrict immigration from non-Western countries by up to 50% in the next four years. We are not going to allow islam to steal our country from us. It was the land of our fathers, it is our land now, our values are based on Christianity, Judaism and Humanism and we will pass this on to our children with all the freedoms that the previous generations have fought for.

Let those who want to rob us from our freedoms, stay in their own countries. We do not need them. If you want to wear a burqa, stay in Saudi-Arabia. If you want four wives, stay in Iran. If you want to live in a country where the islamic ideology is dominant, stay in Pakistan, if you don’t want to assimilate in our society, stay in Somalia. But don’t come over here.

We are also going to strip criminals who have a double nationality – for instance Dutch and Moroccan, and who repeatedly commit serious crimes, of their Dutch nationality. We will send them packing, back to their homeland.

My friends, what the Party for Freedom has achieved, shows that it can be done. We can fight the islamization of our societies.

Dear friends, here is my warning. Make no mistake: Islam is also coming for America. In fact, it is already here. America is facing a stealth jihad, the islamic attempt to introduce sharia law bit by bit. Last March, a judge in Tampa, Florida, ruled that a lawsuit against a mosque and involving the control of 2.4 million dollars, should proceed under Islamic law.

My friends, be aware that this is only the beginning. This is also how it started in Europe. If things continue like this, you will soon have the same problems as we are currently facing.

Leaders who talk about immigration without mentioning islam are blind. They ignore the most important problem Europe and America are facing. I have a message for them: it’s islam stupid!

My friends, fortunately, not all politicians are irresponsible. Here, in Tennessee, brave politicians want to pass legislation which gives the state the power to declare organisations as terrorist groups and allowing material supporters of terrorism to be prosecuted. I applaud them for that. They are true heroes.

Yesterday and today, I met some of those brave legislators. They told me that Tennessee in particular is a target of islam. Help them win their battle.

They need your support.

While Tennessee is in the frontline, similar legislative initiatives are also being taken in the states of Oklahoma, Wyoming, South Carolina, Texas, Florida, Missouri, Arizona, Indiana. It is encouraging to see that so many politicians are willing to resist islam.

This gives us hope and courage. I am not a pessimist. We can still turn the tide – even in Europe – if we act today.

There are five things which we must do.

First, we must defend freedom of speech.

Freedom is the source of human creativity and development. People and nations wither away without the freedom to question what is presented to them as the truth.

Without freedom of speech we risk becoming slaves. Frederick Douglass, the 19th century black American politician, the son of a slave, said – I quote – “To suppress free speech is a double wrong. It violates the rights of the hearer as well as those of the speaker.”

I have already told you about my court case. This legal charade will not, however, prevent me from saying the truth. Never. I will speak out, even if they drag me before 500 courts and threaten to jail me for a thousand years.

The fact that we are being treated as criminals for telling the truth must not deter us. We are doomed if we remain silent or let ourselves be silenced. Let us not forget, this is our first and most important obligation: defend the right to speak the truth.

Second, we must end cultural relativism and political correctness. We must repeat it over and over again, especially to our children: Our Western culture based on Christianity and Judaism is superior to the islamic culture. Our laws are superior to sharia. Our judeo-christian values are better than islam’s totalitarian rules.

And because they are superior and better, we must defend them. We must fight for our own identity, or else we will lose it. We need to be warriors for the good, because the good is worth fighting for. Neutrality in the face of evil is evil.

Third, we must stop the islamization of our countries. More islam means less freedom. There is enough islam in the West already. We must stop immigration from non-Western countries, which are mostly islamic countries. We must expel criminal immigrants. We must forbid the construction of new hate palaces called mosques.

We must also close down all islamic schools because educating children in a spirit of hate is one of the worst things imaginable. We must introduce anti-sharia legislation everywhere in the free world. Enough is enough.

Fourth, we must take pride in our nations again. We must cherish and preserve the culture and identity of our country. Preserving our own culture and identity is the best antidote against islamization.

And fifth, last but certainly not least, we must elect wise and courageous leaders who are brave enough to address the problems which are facing us, including the threat of islam.

Politicians who have the courage to speak the truth about islam.

Politicians who dare to denounce the devastating results of the multicultural society.

Politicians who – without political correctness – say: enough is enough.

You and I, Americans and Europeans, we belong to a common Western culture. We share the ideas and ideals of our common Judeo-Christian heritage. In order to pass this heritage on to our children and grandchildren, we must stand together, side by side, in our struggle against Islamic barbarism.

That, my friends, is why I am here. I am here to forge an alliance. Our international freedom alliance. We must stand together for the Judeo-Christian West.

We will not allow islam to overrun Israel and Europe, the cradle of the judeo-Christian civilization.

My friends, we will stand together.

We will stand firm.

We will not submit. Never. Not in Israel, not in Europe, not in America. Nowhere.

We will survive.

We will stop islam.

We will defend our freedoms.

We will remain free.

Thank you.

UPDATE:  In the first comment to this post, Charles Martel made an excellent point in response to Wilders suggestion that America shut down Islamic schools and mosques:  we have a First Amendment.  The problem is that Islam wears two hats.  One is a religious hat, which falls under the First Amendment; the other is a social/political hat, which doesn’t.  Making the distinction, though, is a problem.  What do you do about a school or mosque that offers both prayers and jihad?

Anyway, a useful complement to the above speech is the video that the audience watched before hearing Wilders speak.  It reminds us that, when it comes to religion and the First Amendment, Islam is sui generis.  I’m not proposing a solution by the way; just identifying a problem:

In the mad, mad, mad world of PC, silly little jokes about Islamist terrorists have only a one minute shelf life

This morning, my friend Kim Priestap sent a group of us an email telling about the Yemeni man arrested for trying to yank open the cockpit door while hollering the standard “Allahu Akbar!”  Lee DeCovnik thinks we might have been seeing a dry run.  The man apparently raced from one end of the plane (the bathroom in the rear) all the way up to the front (the cockpit), and then tried to open the door:

There were a couple of disturbing items in this dry run. First, this was a single “dry runner” who was most likely timing the walk from the rear lavatory and the noting response from the aircrew, while shouting “Allahu Akbar.” We also know that other dry runs have had up to 13 possible hijackers on a single flight. Was this a dry run of the initial diversion, where the real action may start in the rear of the aircraft, where aircrews are often located?

Second, this dry run was so blatant, so unsubtle, that you have to wonder if this incident itself was a diversion from other airline or routes. Or conversely, because this was so blatant, will the authorities continue to give special significance to these particular circumstances? That’s a tough call by the Homeland Security either way.

Upon first hearing the news from Kim, I immediately fired a very silly email back to my friends:

A la the 24 hour spin that followed bin Laden’s death, we’ll soon be hearing that he was actually yelling “I need a bathroom” and was simply banging at the wrong door.

It was a joke.  I was joking.  Really.  Except I was also apparently plugged into the “lone crazy man/lone confused Muslim” line that is now de rigueur for all sudden jihad syndrome attacks.  When I trolled over to the British papers a few minutes ago, this is the first thing I saw:

The Yemeni man who was wrestled to the floor after pounding on the cockpit door of a plane approaching San Francisco may have mistaken it for the bathroom.

Rageit Almurisi cannot speak English very well and could have misunderstood the signs inside the jet, his cousin claimed.

The 28-year-old, who was heard yelling ‘Allahu Akbar’, had also only been on three planes in his life and would have been unfamiliar with the layout.

[snip]

Almurisi had been taking classes in English but was not happy with his progress. His cousin said: ‘He might have seriously mistaken the cockpit for the bathroom. He’s only been on three planes in his whole life.’

I find it embarrassing that my shallow, silly little joke turns out to be the party line.

Also, one does rather wonder how many flights people have to take before they start to understand the basic toilet versus cockpit principles.  Five?  Twelve?  Thirty-seven?  Does it matter if one was educated in a Madrassa, as opposed to PS 157?

Cross-posted at Right Wing News

The Bookworm Turns : A Secret Conservative in Liberal Land, available in e-format for $4.99 at Amazon, Smashwords or through your iBook app

Checkmate!

I can’t play chess.  I never learned how, nor have I ever wanted to learn how.  I’m more of an analyst, than either a strategist or a tactician.  But I do know one thing about chess:  The word “checkmate” comes from the Persian phrase “shah mat,” which translates as “the king is dead.”  Kill the king, win the war game.

When it comes to al Qaeda, bin Laden was the king.  We are at war with al Qaeda.  In war, you kill the king.  That’s what we did.  So pfui on the claims that it was cold-blooded murder.  Even if bin Laden didn’t have arms on his person, he had an army.  (Or to make it more pithy:  He’s not unarmed; he has an army.)  That made him fair game.  If you make yourself king of the army, the enemy gets to target you, at all times and in all places.

So — checkmate!

Who needs principles when there’s a sword involved?

Since my some of my last posts were about principles and morality, and the way in which they advance and support civilized, wealthy cultures, it seemed appropriate to wrap up that series with Andrew Klavan’s video explaining how to abandon those principles when necessary (or when elected to Congress, whichever comes first):

Also, one more thing that’s on point when it comes to virtues and vices:  I’ve been very privileged over the years in that Elizabeth Scalia (The Anchoress) has become a good blog friend.  Read this Holy Week article at the WaPo, and you’ll see why I value that friendship.  I’m also grateful that WaPo readers will get the benefit of her wisdom.

Inbreeding and sadism — on a vast scale

I have been reading and enjoying Leslie Carroll’s Royal Pains: A Rogues’ Gallery of Brats, Brutes, and Bad Seeds.  Focusing on Eastern and Western Europe from the 12th century onwards, it’s a brisk walk through royal excesses.

Having read about half the book now, I think that “bad seeds” is the operative phrase in the title. One of the stand-out features of European royalty is the inbreeding, because the royals confined themselves to an extremely small pool of available matrimonial candidates.  This meant that cousin marriages were normative. That inbreeding didn’t just lead to such features as the infamously ugly Hapsburg jaw, it led to insanity.  When that insanity was mixed with a toxic, already violent environment and unlimited power, it all too often manifested itself as grandiose sadism.

The most deranged royal killers were all the products of inbreeding mixed with extremely violent environments (cultures that tortured, violent parents, war and dislocation, etc.).  Examples are Caligula, Vlad Dracula, Elizabeth Bathory, Ivan the Terrible, the Duke of Cumberland, and Peter III of Russia.  As you can see, with the exception of the Duke of Cumberland, who used the military discipline structure to play out his sadism, the most famous sadists were unfettered totalitarian monarchs in the Roman Empire, Russia and Central Europe.  Western European monarchs had stronger structural limits preventing the worst excesses of their insanity.  They went insane (Juana of Spain, Ludwig  of Bavaria), but they were pathetic, not violent.

And the ones I’ve named were very, very violent indeed.  Although all lived in times that thought nothing of rape, torture, and mass murder, and that considered executions a form of public entertainment, the rulers I’ve named were infamous in their own times for the imagination they brought to causing suffering, for the scope of their sadism, and for the manifest, often sexual pleasure, they derived from their bloody, pain-filled escapades.  They killed, not just for political advantage (or, in Bathory’s case, not at all for political advantage), but because they delighted in causing the maximum amount of pain to their victims.

The above essay isn’t just to introduce you to an interesting book, or to ruin your current meal.  It’s a lead-in to an American Thinker article about the inbreeding that goes on in the Muslim world.  I’ve long known about the inbreeding, but I really never thought of it on the scale that Ann Barnhardt describes:  1,400 years of inbreeding.

I also knew that inbreeding causes diseases and mental defects (and think about that on a 1,400 year time line), but it wasn’t until I read Carroll’s books that it occurred to me that inbreeding, plus a violent culture, correlates to sadism.  This may help explain why Islamic countries, aside from being tied to their Koran, have never been able to abandon their medieval approach to punishment (stoning, cutting off limbs, whipping, public hangings, etc.):  It’s entirely possible that, as a result of birth defects, a significant part of the population, or at least of the rule classes, enjoys the spectacle at a very deep and sick level.

Cross-posted at Right Wing News

The Bookworm Turns : A Secret Conservative in Liberal Land,
available in e-format for $4.99 at Amazon or Smashwords.

“It’s always something — if it ain’t one thing, it’s another.”

If you’re old enough to have lived through the 1970s, you recognize my post title:  Gilda Radner’s famous character Roseanne Roseannadanna would let loose with a foolish tirade, and then wrap it up by saying “It’s always something — if it ain’t one thing, it’s another.”  Someone needs to resurrect that character, or at least that catch-phrase, to appreciate fully what’s going on right now with the Koran burning.

Everyone I know thinks that that Pastor Terry Jones is an insensitive, ill-mannered, publicity-seeking lout for having burned the Koran.  That he did so is un-American, not because it is illegal, but because it runs counter to deep American values that find repugnant the thought of book-burning, especially burning religious books, and that embrace a pluralism that shows respect for different religions.  Ordinary Americans, not crude attention seekers such as Jones, understand that America is blessed with a huge population of peace-loving, law-abiding Muslims, and that it’s a rude, mean-spirited slap in the face to treat their holy book so badly.  Can I make it any plainer that I am disgusted with what Jones did?

Sadly, however, significant numbers of Americans, all (almost all?) liberal (including Lindsay Graham, who is RINO through and through) think that what Jones did requires government intervention, in the form of federal laws banning Koran burning, or religious book burning, or all book burning, or Islam insulting, or whatever the liberal thinks will work to placate the Muslims so that they don’t riot and murder innocent UN workers.  (And while, God knows, I hold no brief for the UN, to invade a UN compound and murder workers in cold blood is the slaughter of the innocents.)

Those who are willing to pass such laws fail to understand two things.  First, one of the things that makes America uniquely American is the reverence we hold for free speech, even ugly free speech.  While we draw the line at two types of free speech — pedophilia and direct incitement to violence, a la “go out and lynch the person right now” — we otherwise believe that free speech can only benefit us.  Ugly, mean speech should be countered by smart speech, compelling speech, apologetic speech (if necessary), persuasive speech, etc.

If we allow the government to ban ugly speech, we suddenly find ourselves in a situation that sees the government determining what’s ugly.  I can tell you with certainty that, during the first two years of the Obama administration, he and Congress, working together, would happily have banned all anti-Obama speech on the ground that it was racist hate speech.  It’s a slippery slope and a censoring government will always slide you down to the midden at the bottom of the hill as quickly as possible.

Second, the other thing that the pro-censorship crowd utterly fails to understand is that banning Koran burning or book burning or smack talk about Islam is only the beginning.  Those who haven’t been paying attention don’t appreciate that this is the religion of perpetual outrage.  “It’s always something — if it ain’t one thing, it’s another.”

If we ban Koran burning, the agitators amongst the Muslims will riot about pigs on tissue boxes, something that excited much outrage in England a few years ago.  If we ban pigs on tissue boxes, they’ll start killing over abstract ice cream logos that, if held at a certain angle and viewed with one eye half closed, could possibly be understood to be Arabic script for Allah, something that also happened in England.  If we ban ice cream labels, they’ll agitate wildly over people entering Muslim-driven cabs with alcohol bottles or seeing eye dogs, as Muslims did in St. Paul, Minnesota.  If we ban alcohol and dogs in cabs, the jihadists and their useful idiots will storm embassies because of cartoons, which is what happened all over the world over some Danish cartoons (pictures that were skillfully augmented by exceptionally vicious anti-Mohamed cartoons that an Imam drew when he didn’t get the proper reaction to the original cartoons).  And of course, if we ban cartoons people have already drawn, the Islamists will hunt down people who merely suggest drawing cartoons, as happened to poor Molly Norris, who had to go into permanent hiding for her suggestion.

If you pay a blackmailer, he won’t go away.  He’ll come back for more.  “It’s always something — if it ain’t one thing, it’s another.”  Those who wish to drain the American bank account by chipping away at Constitutional freedoms will discover themselves bankrupt, burqaed and muzzled.  The radical Islamists will not be grateful for our sacrifice, they will be delighted by our obeisance, and they will push and demand more and more and more.  Further, because they know we haven’t got the stomach for the fight, each demand will be accompanied by bloodshed, along the lines of the Mafioso who slices off an ear or a finger, or blows away a knee cap, to make his point.

To those who say “But they’ll kill our troops,” I have one more thing to say:  What the hell do you think the Islamists have already been doing to our troops for the past eight years?  Everything the troops have been fighting and dying for goes away if we unilaterally surrender our Constitution and bow to our new sharia overlords.

“It’s always something — if it ain’t one thing, it’s another.”

UPDATEThis post perfectly illustrates the one-way street nature of sharia and its adherents.

Blaming the victim *UPDATED*

Last week, a story broke that received surprisingly little attention from the MSM:  a 14 year old Bangladeshi girl, after first being raped, was then accused of adultery and beaten to death.  I say “surprisingly” because, since the women’s lib era, the dominant trope on the Left when it comes to rape is “never blame the victim.”  In pre-women’s lib days, although raped women weren’t routinely beaten to death, there was a distinct lack of sympathy.

As a teenager, I still remember hearing and reading “she must have asked for it.”  Back in the mid-1970s, Jules Feiffer had a multi-panel cartoon with a ragged housewife describing what she wore when she was raped.  In each panel, she described an unappealing garment:  curlers in her hair, old flannel nightgown, housecoat, slippers, no make-up, etc.  In the last panel (and I’m describing this from memory) either a judge or a passer-by opines, “she was clearly asking for it.”

The women’s libbers were right to change that social dynamic, which blamed victims for savage sexual attacks.  Typically for Americans, of course, we promptly went too far, insofar as we discounted a woman’s responsibility in terms of risk assessment.  At the height of the “women are always the victims” insanity, a woman could wander bare nekkid into a biker bar, sprawl herself on the bar top, announce that she was free to all takers, and then cry rape afterwards.  (This type of thing still goes on at American colleges and universities, where young women, having gotten dysfunctionally drunk and then willingly slept with a stranger, are allowed to call it rape when sobriety and regret arrive the next day.)

For the most part, while the American extremists are still trying to exculpate women entirely from responsibility, the vast majority of Americans understand that there’s a bit of nuance involved.  That would agree that it is never okay for a man to have sex with a woman against her will.  Legally, he’s culpable, and should be punished.  Nevertheless, a woman who engages in exceptionally careless activity (that scanty attire in a biker bar, for example), is not without the blame for sheer stupidity.  She’s not legally responsible, and the man shouldn’t get off the hook, but she should nevertheless get castigated for her stupidity, reminding other women that there’s only so far you can go being dumb before you get hurt.

The problem for liberals arises when there are two victims:  the woman who was raped and the poor, benighted, imperialistically downtrodden, third world Muslim men.  Multiculturalism demands that we give the men a free pass because it’s arrogant of us to impose our foul Judeo-Christian morality on , but feminism demands at least a nod to the woman raped.  Except for one little thing….  The women raped don’t show up at your home or office and behead you.  The women raped don’t throw acid on your face.  The women raped don’t blow themselves up at your workplaces and airports.  When it’s a matter of cowardice versus muddled principles, cowardice wins every time.

That same cowardice is why the media is remarkably quiet about stories that periodically emerge from places such as Norway or Denmark or Sweden, which have towns that have become almost entirely Muslim.  In those towns, all women, not just Muslim women, go about veiled.  Otherwise, the women are raped.  After all, in the Muslim world, walking around the streets with your head bare is precisely equivalent to wandering into a biker bar naked.  For a woman to expose any part of herself other than her hands and her eyes is tantamount to hollering out “Here I am, guys!  Come and get me.”  And the feminists allow it.

When I started writing this post, I actually meant to spend the bulk of my time on the Koran burning and the UN compound attack.  I was going to point out that the same Leftists who routinely holler “don’t ever blame the victim” when it comes to rape, have been unified in blaming the Koran burning in the US two weeks ago for the murders and decapitations in Afghanistan two days ago, and in exculpating the Muslims who couldn’t help themselves in the face of such provocation.   I was going to say something along the lines of “apparently ‘don’t blame the victim’ applies only if the victim is a woman raped.”

My whole initial premise collapsed, though, when I looked at the free pass the Left gives Islam when it comes to actual rape.  Given that pass, Leftards are being completely consistent when they point the finger at a loopy-loo in the US and accuse him of being solely at fault (both practically and morally) for a mass murder in  Afghanistan.  (Petraeus gets a pass for his “please don’t burn the Koran” request, because he’s taking the sensible view which is that, while the Islamists are behaving like animals, it does the troops no good to smear them with the equivalent of fresh blood.  He’s not giving the Islamists a pass, he’s simply saying he doesn’t want his troops walking naked into the biker bar.)

I guess this means that we can add another rule to the Leftist playbook, joining such rules as “the bigger the government, the better” and “white men are evil.”  The new rule is “never, never blame the Muslim.  It’s always everyone else’s fault.”

UPDATE:  And with perfect timing, women in Canada parade around dressed as prostitutes because a police officer suggested that it would be wise of them to dress less provocatively.  The Lefties always go out of their way to prove my point.  (Hat tip:  Small Dead Animals.)

UPDATE IIAt Rhymes with Right, Greg has written a really important post about the way this mind set (which also appears on the weak-kneed right) is aimed at destroying the First Amendment once and for all.

The new face of antisemitism

Actually, it’s not a new face at all — it goes back to Mohammed himself, and his paranoid, resentful rants when the Jews refused to accept him as a prophet.  What makes it new is that, thanks to the modern age and the Leftist media, these messages, which used to be confined to backward desert regions, are all the rage, all over the world:

 

New Trends in Arabic Anti-semitism from Henrik Clausen on Vimeo.

It’s that kind of crap (pardon my language), that allows Reuters to write this kind of crap:

Police said it was a “terrorist attack” — Israel’s term for a Palestinian strike. It was the first time Jerusalem had been hit by such a bomb since 2004.

Or that allows Obama to use only passive voice in speaking of Palestinian terrorism, passive voice so extreme he doesn’t even do the usual passive voice technique of waiting until the sentence’s end to include the noun that did the verb.  Instead, he manages never to include any actor in the sentence at all.  He’s not the only one, of course.

Liberals — lording it over lesser beings *UPDATED*

If there is one defining characteristic of liberals, it is their sense that they are better than everyone else.  Nowhere was that more explicitly illustrated than in Ron Schiller’s comments:

In my personal opinion, liberals today might be more educated, fair and balanced than conservatives.

Schiller wasn’t unique, just unguarded.  The whole point of liberalism, after all, is to put government — controlled, of course, by liberals — in charge of everyone else’s lives.

This world view requires that liberals occupy the highest rungs in the world hierarchy.  Part of this means winning elections, by fair means or foul.  Another part, though, means ensuring that the little people stay little.  I’ve written before about the racism that is inherent in liberal thinking.  For all the liberal talk about liberals being the only hope for people of color in the world, one begins to notice that what liberals really mean is that they’re the only hope provided that they stay in the driver’s seat.  And why must they stay in the driver’s seat in perpetuity.  Rhetoric aside, it turns out that their expectations about people with skin darker than their own are shockingly low.

Just today, in the wake of a horrifically brutal murder in Israel — a sleeping couple and three of their five children, 11, 4 and 3 months, were brutally stabbed to death by Palestinians — the New York Times explained why the killing happened:

The killers appeared to have randomly picked the house, one of a neat row of identical one-story homes at the edge of the settlement, on a rocky incline overlooking the nearby Palestinian village of Awarta — the proximity underlining the visceral nature of the contest in this area between Jewish settlers and Palestinians over the land.  (Emphasis mine.)

You see, the brown people cannot be expected to resist visceral temptation.  They are the perpetual two year olds of the world, who need to be surrounded by locked cabinets and blocked off electrical outlets.  If you leave those things in plain view, they’re irresistible.  It’s not the two year old’s fault he burns the house down or breaks the china, it’s the adult’s fault for failing to remove temptation.  So too, did the Fogel family deserve to die, because they should have known better than to place themselves in the path of two year olds with guns, knives, bombs, and a hate-filled, genocidal ideology.  This is a “blame the victim” approach taken to existential levels.

Daled Amos provides painfully graphic evidence of the way in which Palestinians simply cannot resist the completely understandable (to liberals, that is) temptation to kill the Israeli children placed so temptingly within their reach.  If liberals were the decent people they boast they are, they would stop explaining away Palestinian bestiality and start demanding that Palestinians begin to behave like civilized human beings, with no excuses allowed.

Cross-posted at Right Wing News

UPDATED:  If you have a strong stomach (seriously strong), the surviving members of the Fogel family have authorized the release of pictures of the carnage those “visceral” killers left behind.  This is what it looks like when a family of five is knifed to death.  It turns out that even 3 month old babies “have … so much blood in them.”  The media may not be interested, but we, as civilized people, should be.