Throwing out my own theory about the meaning behind the Boston Marathon attack

Jeff Bauman lost both legs

Now that the police have dismissed as a suspect the Saudi man originally being questioned, the perpetrator behind the atrocity at the Boston Marathon is swathed in mystery.  Although Muslims distinguished themselves in a disgusting way by celebrating the bombing, no group has stepped forward to take responsibility for what happened.

We know that the bombs were pressure cooker bombs filled with ball-bearings that could have been made in anyone’s kitchen.  Muslim extremists have tried to use them before (the thwarted Times Square bomber, for example), but anyone can go on the internet to make them.  So that doesn’t point the finger anywhere specific.

We know that the bombs went off at an iconic American event, in an iconic American city, which is kind of al Qaeda-ish.  al Qaeda, after all, is nothing if not showy.

We also know that the bombs went off on April 15, a day no American likes, but that anti-government individuals especially dislike, so that’s kind of a neo-Nazi or crazed Ted Kaczynski thing.  Or, according to the MSM, a Tea Party thing.  As to that, the same people who pick up all the mess after rallies would never do anything as hideously messy and destructive as a bomb.

We know that, since the mid-7th century, Muslims have been going after the West, with flare-ups during the Moorish occupation of Spain, the years preceding the Crusades, the fall of Constantinople, the Siege of Vienna, and the years since the revolution in Iran in 1979.  We also know that these attacks have accelerated wildly since 1993, when the first World Trade Center bombing took place.  Since then, the list of al Qaeda (or other Islam-inspired) attacks is long, really long.  The ones that stand out in my mind are 9/11, the Madrid train bombings, the Bali nightclub bombings, the London Underground/Bus bombings, the Marine headquarters in Beirut bombings, the Mumbai attacks, the Fort Hood attack, the abortive Portland attack, the abortive Times Square attack, and the U.S. embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania.  Those are just the famous attacks.  Around the world, Islamists kill Westerners and Muslims they deem apostates with gleeful abandon.  Whenever the bombing is showy, significant numbers of Muslims around the world celebrate.

We also know that, in 1995, Timothy McVeigh (and perhaps someone else) committed the dreadful Oklahoma City bombing for lone-wolf reasons.  Americans of all political stripes were revolted.  In 1996, Eric Rudolph, acting alone to advance his anti-abortion views, decided to protest the killing of innocents by killing innocents at the Atlanta Olympics.  Again, with only sick, fringe exceptions, Americans were disgusted — and no group more than the pro-Life cadre in America.

Today we learned that David Sirota, who writes at Salon and is apparently desperate for publicity, is hoping that it was a white male — a la McVeigh and Rudolph — who planted the bombs at the Boston Marathon, because nasty Americans have this peculiar habit of thinking that is the Muslims who are responsible when things get blown up.  He wants us to know that white people blow up things too (and kill — white people do kill).  Wascally Amewicans!  We’re so dumb that we actually make a distinction between lone white crazies who are rejected by the political class they claim as their own, and whose killings are thankfully small in number, and Islamic crazies, who function as part of a large network, who are celebrated by their religious compatriots, who are encouraged by their religion (and their clerics) to kill as much as possible, and who actually have carried out more than 20,000 terrorist attacks around the world since 9/11.

Frankly, looking at the above, I’m coming to believe that everyone is over-thinking the bombing.  If we just step back and ignore historic trends, iconic locations, modus operandi, and such other things, there are two things that are very clear:  the bomb was meant to sever limbs (report after report emphasizes severed legs) and it took place at a race.  Apply Occam’s Razor, and its obvious that the dark-skinned man now being sought (sorry David Sirota:  it’s not a white guy) hates runners.  Probably he ran the marathon once and lost, and has never recovered from that psychic injury — so he planted a bomb that would cause the greatest possible injury to runners.  This horror was an anti-running terrorism attack.  The appropriate response is mental screening for all runners and non-runners alike.

That’s my theory and I’m sticking to it.

Islam — the prisoner’s friend (and not because it brings remorse, redemption, and amends)

In July 2006, I quoted my cousin, who was then working as a prison chaplain on prisoners’ conversions to Islam:

It is not a contradiction to be a Muslim and a murderer, even a mass murderer. That is one reason why criminals “convert” to Islam in prison. They don’t convert at all; they similarly [sic] remain the angry judgmental vicious beings they always have been. They simply add “religious” diatribes to their personal invective. Islam does not inspire a crisis of conscience, just inspirations to outrage.

Today, I’ll quote Robert Spencer on the fact that James Holmes (aka the Colorado gunman) has converted to Islam:

Holmes’s conversion reveals that instead of being unaware of what he did, or utterly remorseless, as one might expect of a psychotic or a sociopath, the murders must trouble him a great deal. For it is souls that are troubled — intellectually, morally, spiritually, psychologically — who cast about for some solution to what troubles them, and often find it in religious conversion.

But it is what Holmes converted to that is significant. Had Holmes converted to Christianity, he might have found relief for any remorse he might be feeling for the massacre in the proposition that in Christ his sins, no matter how great, were forgiven; if he had explored Buddhism, he might have focused upon developing right intention, right speech, and right action, and eradicating the illusions that led him to kill in the first place.

Instead, Holmes chose Islam. A prison source noted: “He has brainwashed himself into believing he was on his own personal jihad and that his victims were infidels.”

Exactly. Guns are merely the vehicles.  The driver is man and the evil that he embraces.

Peeing and periods — straight talk about women in the front line

Leon Panetta has given the go-ahead to a plan to allow women into combat situations:

Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta is lifting the military’s official ban on women in combat, which will open up hundreds of thousands of additional front-line jobs to them, senior defense officials said Wednesday.

[snip]

The decision clearly fits into the broad and ambitious liberal agenda, especially around matters of equal opportunity, that President Obama laid out this week in his Inaugural Address. But while it had to have been approved by him, and does not require action by Congress, it appeared Wednesday that it was in large part driven by the military itself. Some midlevel White House staff members were caught by surprise by the decision, indicating that it had not gone through an extensive review there.

This is an appallingly bad idea.

Boudicca

I know that, at least since Boudicca, women have fought in battle.  World War II resistance units relied heavily on women to provide both support and actual fighting skills.  Invariably, though, these women were in the front lines, not because they went to the front lines, but because the front lines came to them.  Necessity forced battle upon them.

If there is no necessity, why in the world would a government decide to put women on the front lines?  Much as Leftists like to try to shape science to their political goals, one simply cannot get away from the fact that women have a different biology than men do.  Aside from being, on average, smaller and weaker, something that I don’t think should stop bigger, stronger women from participating equally with men, they have two other things that men don’t have:  they can’t whip it out to pee and they menstruate.

Ryan Smith, a former Marine, wrote an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal that, while never actually alluding to these biological realities, strongly implies that they will be a problem.  His vivid description of the Marines’ experiences when they entered Iraq in 2003 certainly manages to indicate that, as every toddler quickly figures out, boys and girls are different:

Marines dismounting from an amphibious assault vehicle

We rode into war crammed in the back of amphibious assault vehicles. They are designed to hold roughly 15 Marines snugly; due to maintenance issues, by the end of the invasion we had as many as 25 men stuffed into the back. Marines were forced to sit, in full gear, on each other’s laps and in contorted positions for hours on end. That was the least of our problems.

The invasion was a blitzkrieg. The goal was to move as fast to Baghdad as possible. The column would not stop for a lance corporal, sergeant, lieutenant, or even a company commander to go to the restroom. Sometimes we spent over 48 hours on the move without exiting the vehicles. We were forced to urinate in empty water bottles inches from our comrades.

Many Marines developed dysentery from the complete lack of sanitary conditions. When an uncontrollable urge hit a Marine, he would be forced to stand, as best he could, hold an MRE bag up to his rear, and defecate inches from his seated comrade’s face.

During the invasion, we wore chemical protective suits because of the fear of chemical or biological weapon attack. These are equivalent to a ski jumpsuit and hold in the heat. We also had to wear black rubber boots over our desert boots. On the occasions the column did stop, we would quickly peel off our rubber boots, desert boots and socks to let our feet air out.

Due to the heat and sweat, layers of our skin would peel off our feet. However, we rarely had time to remove our suits or perform even the most basic hygiene. We quickly developed sores on our bodies.

When we did reach Baghdad, we were in shambles. We had not showered in well over a month and our chemical protective suits were covered in a mixture of filth and dried blood. We were told to strip and place our suits in pits to be burned immediately. My unit stood there in a walled-in compound in Baghdad, naked, sores dotted all over our bodies, feet peeling, watching our suits burn. Later, they lined us up naked and washed us off with pressure washers.

[snip]

Societal norms are a reality, and their maintenance is important to most members of a society. It is humiliating enough to relieve yourself in front of your male comrades; one can only imagine the humiliation of being forced to relieve yourself in front of the opposite sex.

That sounds like a vile experience, entirely separate from the risk the Marines were taking just going into battle.  If any Marines are reading this post, thank you so very much for putting up with, not just bullets, but acute physical discomfort, dysentery, and decomposing skin in order to keep America safe.

Tampon

Having had a chance to absorb Smith’s vivid description of front line conditions in Iraq, what you need to do now is to factor into that picture an image of women having to strip down to pee (which they have to do even if they buy a cool little gadget that enables them to pee standing up) or of women dealing with a heavy menstrual flow, which might require their attention every two to three hours if they are to avoid bleeding through their clothes.

There’s something else Smith didn’t touch upon in his article, but that needs to be addressed:  rape.  In any war, when an invading force arrives, the local women risk rape.  The Soviet troops who beat the Germans back to Berlin were famous for the savage rapes they inflicted on the German women.  Sadly, this was nothing new.  Throughout history, invading armies have considered rape one of the legitimate spoils of war.  It’s only civilized Judeo-Christian countries that have insisted that rape is not part of a mission or the reward for a mission successfully accomplished, and that have enforced this ban by prosecuting those troops who nevertheless assault local women.

Swedish gang rape victim

In the 21st century existential war that America is fighting, her enemy — fundamentalist Islam — aggressively supports raping any women who do not subscribe to fundamentalist norms (hijabs, burqas, locked rooms, etc.).  In countries such as Sweden and Australia, rape statistics have climbed rapidly, as Muslim immigrants openly boast about and call for the rape of western women.

One doesn’t need any imagination whatever to imagine what will happen to women combat soldiers whom Islamists snatch from front line battle locations.  They will, quite literally, be raped to death.  Aside from being horrible for the women to whom this occurs, it will be devastating for the male troops who fought at their sides and were nevertheless unable to protect them.  Men go into battle accepting that they might die.  It’s doubtful that they go in accepting that the warrior in front of them will be killed by rape, and that this violent murder will probably end up circulating through the Islamist world on a video.

The decision to allow women onto the front lines is not because of military necessity.  It is a purely ideological decision, resulting from liberalism run amok and, more specifically, from the Leftist desire to erase gender demarcations.

Nor do I care that the Obama administration claims that the military came up with this one, “surprising” the administration.  The Pentagon’s top echelons are purely political.  Their decisions are driven, not by the troops, but by the White House, which determines the highest staffing levels in the Pentagon.  (In the same way, when I refer scathingly to the State Department or the CIA, I’m not talking about the people on the ground doing their jobs.  I’m talking about those organizations’ chief executives, all of whom see politics as their most important mission.)

Let me say again:  this is a terrible idea, because it sees ideology trump biology.  Nature is a harsh taskmistress, and many women and men are going to suffer as this ideological experiment goes forward.

It’s okay to be politically incorrect — if you are Muslim or like Islam

It’s hard to imagine a more politically incorrect belief system than Islam.  The seriously Muslim world stands for women without legal rights or physical freedoms, wife beating, honor killings, child brides, capital punishment for female adultery, and capital punishment for homosexuality.

Hanging gays in Iran

President Barack Obama, however, feels that Turkey’s Erdogan, a hardline Muslim, is his kindred spirit, while Bibi Netanyahu, a man who leads a country that extends full rights to women and gays, is a bad guy.  Obama also believes strongly that the Muslim Brotherhood, which practices and preaches the most extreme form of Islam, is a good peace partner.  Lastly, he wants to reach hands across the water to Iran, which has been in a state of declared war against America (and women and gays and Israel) since 1979.  Oh, and there’s Obama’s hostility to fracking, the only energy extraction process on the horizon that can de-fund the American monies that support the Islamist regimes in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, etc.

In other words, if you’re a Muslim, Obama and his Progressive pals are willing to forgive your sins.

It turns out that this magic sin forgiveness extends to friends of Muslims as well.  Witness Chuck Hagel.

Hagel doesn’t like gays.  He made that very clear during the 1990s, when he had this to say about President Clinton’s gay ambassadorial nominee, James Hormel:

Then-Sen. Chuck Hagel’s remark to the Omaha World-Herald in 1998 that Clinton ambassadorial nominee James Hormel was “openly aggressively gay” was only a part of what Hagel told the paper about his opposition to Hormel’s nomination.

In additional comments that appeared in the same Omaha World-Herald story on July 3, 1998, Hagel said that Hormel’s gay conduct in public goes “beyond common sense” and concluded that a gay performance group of men in drag as nuns was “anti-Catholic” upon seeing a video of Hormel at one of its events.

Hagel told the paper at the time that being gay shouldn’t disqualify a candidate from being an ambassador, but that Hormel’s conduct would diminish his effectiveness.

Hormel “very aggressively told the world of his gayness and the funding and all the things he’s been involved in,” Hagel was quoted as saying. “I think you do go beyond common sense there, and reason and a certain amount of decorum.”

“If you send an ambassador abroad with a cloud of controversy hanging over him,” he said, “then I think it’s unfair to our country, it’s unfair to the host country and it’s unfair to the ambassador because the effectiveness of that individual is going to be seriously curtailed. That’s just a fact of life. And I believe Hormel’s situation is one of those.”

To be fair, Hagel wasn’t arguing that Hormel should be beaten or executed.  Instead, he was saying that his sexual orientation disqualified him from political office, offended decorum, and was anti-Catholic.  Despite the publicity regarding Hagel’s gross political incorrectness, Obama has still selected him as his preferred Secretary of Defense.  Hmmm.

Gay teens hanged in Iran

Before you get excited and think that, to the extent you expressed negative opinions about gays back in the 1990s, you have a free pass, you need to pay attention to what happened to Rev. Louie Giglio, who also expressed dismay about homosexual conduct back in the 1990s:

The minister selected by President Obama to deliver the benediction at his inaugural this month has withdrawn from the program amid a storm of controversy over remarks he made about homosexuality in a sermon in the mid-1990s, according to an inaugural planner.

[snip]

In it, Mr. Giglio called on fellow Christians to fight the “aggressive agenda” of the gay-rights movement, and advocated “the healing power of Jesus” as “the only way out of a homosexual lifestyle” – a comment some gay-rights advocates interpreted as an endorsement of reparative, or so-called gay-to-straight conversion, therapy, as a supposed cure for homosexuality

In other words, like Hagel, Rev. Giglio in the 1990s said that sexual orientation offended decorum.  Also, much like Hagel, Giglio hasn’t said anything about gays for the past 20 years.  It’s dead.  It’s history.  But unlike Hagel, Giglio is a Christian minister and hasn’t given any indication that he thinks Islam is groovy.  Also, unlike Hagel, Giglio got the boot:

An official with Mr. Obama’s Presidential Inaugural Committee said the committee, which operates separately from the White House, vetted Mr. Giglio. People familiar with internal discussions between administration and committee officials said the White House viewed the selection as a problem for Mr. Obama, and told the panel on Wednesday night to quickly fix it. By Thursday morning, Mr. Giglio said he had withdrawn.

“We were not aware of Pastor Giglio’s past comments at the time of his selection and they don’t reflect our desire to celebrate the strength and diversity of our country at this inaugural,” said Addie Whisenant, the spokeswoman for the Presidential Inaugural Committee. “Pastor Giglio was asked to deliver the benediction in large part for his leadership in combating human trafficking around the world. As we now work to select someone to deliver the benediction, we will ensure their beliefs reflect this administration’s vision of inclusion and acceptance for all Americans.”

Double standard anyone?

The double standard also applies to abortion.  Republicans almost certain lost their opportunity to take control of the Senate because two candidates, Todd Aikin and Richard Mourdoch, made statements about abortion that the media turned into a hysterical war against women.  I know of two people who were leaning to Romney, but switched votes because he belonged to the same party as Aikin and Mourdoch.  Fiscal sanity and national security couldn’t compete with abortion.

Woman beheaded in Iran

Here’s what Richard Mourdock said, which I think is a defensible position, humanely stated:

The only exception I have to have an abortion is in that case of the life of the mother.  I struggled with it myself for a long time, but I came to realize that life is that gift from God, and I think even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something God intended to happen.

You may not agree, but it is a valid stance, one that looks at life as a gift independent from the violence that created it.  It is, in other words, a moral position.

Here’s what Todd Aikin said, which has the same moral position buried within it, but that starts from a position of complete and offensive idiocy:

It seems to me first of all, from what I understand from doctors — that’s [pregnancy following a rape] really rare. If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down. But, let’s assume that maybe that didn’t work, or something. I think there should be some punishment, but the punishment ought to be on the rapist and not attacking the child.

Aikin was cast into the wilderness by Left and Right alike for his stupidity.  Mourdock got swept up in the same witch hunt.

Interestingly, Hagel (the one who gets a pass) sounds a lot more like Aikin, who’s an idiot, than Mourdock, who is someone who made a difficult and thoughtful decision about balancing two lives.  Here’s Hagel:

When he announced his candidacy for Senate, Hagel said that he opposed abortion except to protect the life of the mother and in cases of rape and incest. Hagel decided he didn’t believe that exclusion for rape were necessary after studying the issue near the end of his campaign.

“I am pro-life with one exception — the life of the mother. I oppose taxpayer funded abortions. We must promote adoption and support the strengthening of American families. I will vote with and support the pro-life movement,” Hagel said in a piece of 1996 campaign literature, according to the Omaha World Herald.

Then Senate-candidate Hagel said that he “tightened” his position on abortion after he said he discovered that abortion in the case of rape and incest are “rare” according to multiple local press reports.

“As I looked at those numbers, if I want to prevent abortions, I don’t think those two exceptions are relevant,” Hagel said, according to the Omaha paper.

To her credit, Rachel Maddow has given Hagel a hard time about both Hagel’s gay and abortion stances. For once, though, the Left doesn’t seem to be paying attention to its media darling.

Public lashing in Iran

If you look hard, you discover that there’s only one thing that distinguishes Hagel from Giglio, Aikin, and Mourdock, all three of whom became roadkill as the Politically Correct train drove by:  he supports Iran and hates Israel.  He supports an ideology that enslaves and kills women, and that makes homosexuality a capital crime.  And the only thing that gives this specific ideology a pass with Hagel, Obama, and the Left, is that this religion is neither Jewish nor Christian.

This is a sad, twisted state of affairs, and one that the American people created with eyes wide shut.  I despair of our country and the world right now.

AP report on thwarted terrorist attacks within the United States downplays Islam’s central role in the planned attack

The headline in the San Francisco Chronicle was simple:  “FBI: 4 Calif. men charged in alleged terror plot.”

California men, huh?  Did they have names like Big Kahuna and look like this?

“Yo, dude, I’m like going to, you know, like, attack the man. It’ll be, like, totally tubular.”

No? Well maybe these California men rejoice in names like Butch and look like this:

“Hey, everyone! We’re going to have a little whip and dip party. We’ll start with some fun bondage stuff, and then move on to the crudités. I’ve got a divine dip.”

Somehow that doesn’t seem right either. Maybe that’s because, when you read the story, you discover that these guys weren’t just any old California men. Instead, they had a lot more in common with these guys than with surfer dudes or San Francisco’s Folsom Street brigade:

That’s right — these “California men” were (a) Muslims and (b) three of them came from places other than America, let alone other than California:

Four Southern California men have been charged with plotting to kill Americans and destroy U.S. targets overseas by joining al-Qaida and the Taliban in Afghanistan, federal officials said Monday.

The defendants, including a man who served in the U.S. Air Force, were arrested for plotting to bomb military bases and government facilities, and for planning to engage in “violent jihad,” FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller said in a release.

A federal complaint unsealed Monday says 34-year-old Sohiel Omar Kabir of Pomona introduced two of the other men to the radical Islamist doctrine of Anwar al-Awlaki, a deceased al-Qaida leader. Kabir served in the Air Force from 2000 to 2001.

The other two — 23-year-old Ralph Deleon of Ontario and 21-year-old Miguel Alejandro Santana Vidriales of Upland — converted to Islam in 2010 and began engaging with Kabir and others online in discussions about jihad, including posting radical content to Facebook and expressing extremist views in comments.

They later recruited 21-year-old Arifeen David Gojali of Riverside.

[snip]

Kabir is a naturalized U.S. citizen who was born in Afghanistan. Santana was born in Mexico, while Deleon was born in the Philippines. Both are lawful, permanent U.S. residents. Gojali is a U.S. citizen.

In a sane, honest world, the AP headline would have said “FBI: 4 Muslim men in So. Cal. charged in alleged terror plot.” But we’ve already established that we don’t live in a sane, honest world, right? We live in a world dominated by a media that is determined to pretend that Islam, with its institutionalized jihad and antisemitism, is just a myth, and that it’s purely coincidental that these mythical Islamists keep trying to blow up Americans.

This and that — about the Middle East, mostly, with a little Obama stuff thrown in too.

It’s been another family-maintenance day, which precludes not only blogging but, quite often, even thinking.  Having a house full of children is revitalizing and exhausting all at once.

I also took my Mom clothes shopping, which makes her extraordinarily happy, but leaves me limp and floppy.  I am every cheapskate’s dream, because I just hate to shop.  When I was young and shopped only for clothes to hang on my lithesome frame, it was all fun.  Now, though, shopping means shlepping out to get groceries, household supplies, supplies for my Mom, clothing for the children, etc.  It’s drudgery not pleasure and, to add insult to injury, I’m not as lissome as I once was.  Clothes shopping tends to demoralize rather than hearten me.

All of which is irrelevant to this post’s purpose, which is to pass on to you interesting articles I read this weekend.  So without further ado, here are things that you might find as interesting as I did.

I begin with a whole series of articles relating to the fact that, after having rockets rained down upon her for years — and in exponential numbers since Obama’s reelection — Israel is finally pushing back.  I’ll throw in here that, while Obama got encomiums from Israel’s supporters yesterday because he said that Israel has the right to defend herself, today he managed to un-deserve those same encomiums.  Why?  Because he added that this right to self-defense exists so long as Israel doesn’t actually do anything . . . you know, defensive:

Obama said that his message to Erdogan, as well as Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi, was that it would be “preferred” if Israel could deter missiles from landing in its territory without ramping up military activity in Gaza. “That’s not just preferable to the people of Gaza, that’s also preferable to Israelis,” he said.

In other words, Israel is once again going to be bullied into a ceasefire after universal obloquy from the usual suspects, but before she can achieve any of her national defense goals.  Obama can’t seem to get it through his head that it takes two to tango — and two to make peace.  Constantly forcing Israel to hold back, while doing nothing about the thousands of rockets from Hamas and others (well, not nothing, because Obama does send them lots of taxpayer dollars) is just another example of government picking winners and losers — and in this game, Israel always loses.

Yesterday I posted about how the educated elite is economically ignorant, so today it shouldn’t be surprising that we learn that the educated elite is also ignorant about realities in the Middle East.  Obama is simply the most visible ignoramus on the subject.  Barry Rubin focuses on the foolish mentality Obama displays:  namely, that Israel is totally entitled to defend herself, provided that she doesn’t do anything . . . you know, defensive.

One of the things I love about my conservative friends is that, contrary to the stereotypes the Left likes to propagate, they truly respect Israel — and it’s not just because they want all the Jews packed back into that small nation in order to facilitate the Second Coming and subsequent destruction of the Jewish nation.  This canard, incidentally, is one of liberal Jews’ deepest suspicions about philosemitic Christians.  Instead, true conservatives are people who value individual liberty and economic freedom, and they recognize what the elites refuse to see; namely, that this beleaguered Middle Eastern nation is a bastion of humanism in a dark, cruel, Islamo/Marxist region.

Richard Baehr points out that one of Israel’s problems is that the media and the Left (to the extent there’s any difference) completely ignore the dark cruelties that are integral to Islamic nations today, ranging from starvation in Egypt to civil war in Syria to attacks on sovereign U.S. territory in Libya.  Instead, the media focuses obsessively on the small number of civilian deaths Israel tries so desperately to avoid, against an enemy that deliberately places its most vulnerable citizens in the softest targets.

Jay Gaskill tries to give the media a reality check:  the problem isn’t Israel, the problem is an aggressive Islamism that has been pushing against and probing at the non-Muslim world since Mohamed first ordered it to do so.  Given that this last election proved that the media has deep, strong tentacles into the American psyche, as long as it cannot distinguish cause from effect and predator from prey, both America and Israel are in great danger.

Not everyone thinks that Israel’s imminent incursions into Gaza will be disastrous.  Jonathan Spyer argues that the Islamists aren’t truly ready for the fight they picked.  Instead, they’re acting from a burst of hubris brought about by Obama’s reelection.  According to Spyer, Hamas acted too soon because the Arab Spring effectively bankrupted Egypt, which is now dependent on American and other Western dollars to keep its citizens from starving.  As long as the West wants to avoid all-out war in the Middle East, it can put economic pressure on Egypt, which will then put pressure on Hamas.

Okay, I’m done with the Middle East, but no Bookworm Room political post would be complete without some Obama bad-mouthing.  I don’t like the man.  It’s not just his Leftist policies and ignorance.  It’s him.  I find his narcissism and egotism repellent and dangerous.  So does Neo-Neocon.

And finally, on a lighter note, Joel Pollak has some advice for surviving the holidays if you find yourself with liberal relatives.  I’m fortunate in that my relatives, like me, have also made the transition from unthinking Leftist Jews to thoughtful Jewish conservatives.  For me, the Thanksgiving holidays mean a restful time in the company of intelligent, fun, like-minded people.

 

When are we going to admit that there is a war going on between us and radical Islam?

I’m guessing that a majority of Americans (a slim majority, but still a majority) know that America entered WWII because the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor.  What few stop to consider is why we ended up fighting, not only the Japanese who had just bombed us, but the Germans as well, since they, after all, had not yet done anything to us.  The answer to that unasked question is that, for reasons known only to a megalomaniac, a few days after the Pearl Harbor attack, Hitler declared war on the United States.  The United States took up the challenge with gusto.  Within months, America had become a war machine, cranking out ships, tanks, guns, airplanes, and trained troops.  If Hitler hadn’t acted, Germany might have won the war.  England, after all, was on the ropes by the time America came in to help out.

It’s a little chilling to think that, were we to replay December 1941 with Obama in the White House, America would simply have ignored Germany’s declaration of war.  We would have heard that we have no quarrel with the Germans, who are a peaceful people, except of course for a handful of madmen.  We would have been told that, if these madmen killed our citizens, we would bring the actual killers to justice, but that we had no quarrel with the nations or ideology that gave birth to those killers and that are hard at work to raise an army of madmen.

As our administration and media talked, Hitler would have tightened his grip on Europe; fought a single front war against the Soviet Union; killed all the Jews, Gypsies, mentally disabled, and homosexuals in Europe; and then enslaved all Slavs and Communists (never mind that Naziism was a variation of socialism itself).   At the end of the day, our government would have said that we’re scarcely in a position to criticize the Nazis, since America was once a slave country itself.  Congress would then have announced economic sanctions, but the Executive office would have failed to enforce them.

But we don’t need a hyp0thetical December 1941 to imagine what our current administration would do.  We can watch it in real-time today.  There is a saying that “Denial ain’t just a river in Egypt” — and it’s funny that you should mention Egypt right now.  As if 9/11/01 and 9/11/02 weren’t strong enough declarations of war, Islamist clerics are actively calling all Egyptians to wage war against the west, starting with kidnapping:

Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri has urged Egyptians to restart their revolution to press for Islamic law and called on Muslims to kidnap Westerners, the SITE Intelligence Group said Friday.

In a video released on jihadist forums and translated by the US monitoring service, Zawahiri also lashed out at President Barack Obama, calling him a liar and demanding he admit defeat in Iraq, Afghanistan and North Africa.

Criticizing the new Egyptian government — led by a president drawn from the Muslim Brotherhood — as corrupt, he said a battle is being waged in Egypt between a secular minority and Muslims seeking implementation of Shariah law.

I’ll admit that this is a challenging war because we are fighting, not a single nation, but a geographically diffuse ideology, but it is still war.  After all, what do you call it when a vast and recognizable group of individuals announces that it intends to kill and enslave your people, and then uses arms to carry out that promise?

We should be addressing this war on all fronts:  militarily, economically, and ideologically.  Instead, we are pretending it’s not happening.  To give credit where it’s due, George W. Bush figured out the military part and, with Iran, the economic part.  His problem, though, was that, as leader of a pluralist country, but he couldn’t bring himself to break through political correctness to admit that we are at war with a huge ideological foe.  After all, many Americans who are good, decent people share the same label (i.e., “Muslim”) as that foe. We confuse linguistic nuances with substance.

A problem of nomenclature, though, should not be allowed to obscure the fact that we have an active, resolute, powerful, and devious enemy.  We therefore do not fight that foe by excusing it.  Instead, we fight it by using every breath of free speech to challenge it in every way possible — debate, media, leaflets dropped from airplanes, and whatever else could work.

Obama has been the ultimate Islamist apologist.  He has only half-heartedly imposed sanctions against Iran, given a blank check to the Palestinians (who are a front in this Islamist jihad), weakened Israel (which is an ally in this existential battle), demoralized troops and energized enemies in Afghanistan by setting a certain pull-out date, and undermined a nascent democracy in Iraq by pulling out all troops without leaving a provisional force.  As for what just happened in Benghazi, that’s a chapter in itself, one that includes institutional cowardice and politicizing, lying, cover-ups and, with the imprisonment of a video maker, the destruction of our First Amendment.

Not only is Obama not much of a leader, he’s totally unsuited to military leadership.  You have to love your country to lead your military.  Obama doesn’t.  You have to believe in your country’s values to lead your military.  Obama doesn’t.  You have to courage to lead your military.  Obama doesn’t.  At every level, in every way, Obama fails as a military leader.  Let’s fire him from the job before it’s too late and we find ourselves defeated in the war we continue to pretend doesn’t exist.

Jonah Goldberg gets to the heart of the matter about Islam and the First Amendment

I wish I’d said it this well:

It’s really quite amazing. In Pakistan, Egypt, and the Palestinian territories, Christians are being harassed, brutalized, and even murdered, often with state support, or at least state indulgence. And let’s not even talk about the warm reception Jews receive in much of the Muslim world.

And yet, it seems you can’t turn on National Public Radio or open a newspaper or a highbrow magazine without finding some oh-so-thoughtful meditation on how anti-Islamic speech should be considered the equivalent of shouting “fire” in a movie theater.

It’s an interesting comparison. First, the prohibition on yelling “fire” in a theater only applies to instances where there is no fire. A person who yells “fire” when there is, in fact, a fire is quite likely a hero. I’m not saying that the people ridiculing Mohammed — be they the makers of the Innocence of Muslims trailer or the editors of a French magazine — have truth on their side. But blasphemy is not a question of scientific fact, merely of opinion. And in America we give a very wide legal berth to the airing of such opinions. Loudly declaring “it is my opinion there is a fire in here” is not analogous to declaring “it is my opinion that Mohammed was a blankety-blank.”

You know why? Because Muslims aren’t fire, they’re people. And fire isn’t a sentient entity, it is a force of nature bereft of choice or cognition of any kind. Just as water seeks its own level, fire burns what it can burn. Muslims have free will. If they choose to riot, that’s not the same thing as igniting a fire.

The origins of homosexuality explained

In America, there was for some time a nature versus nurture debate regarding homosexuality.  I think the current view is that sexuality runs along a spectrum, with some people fixed firmly at one end or the other, and others, in the middle, who may be affected by the culture around them.

Folks, we’re all wrong.  As this cleric explains, the explanation involves God, the Devil, Shia Islam, Sunni Islam, anal worms, and semen treatments:

And I think that effectively puts an end to all debate. Next week’s debating topics include Earth’s role at the center of the solar system, the number of angels that can dance on the head of a pin, and the existence of mermaids and sea serpents.

That is all.

Hat tip: K.K.

Thursday morning hodge-podge about Muslim censorship, Western self-censorship, and Western complicity in Islam’s Holy War

My brain is slowly warming up here so I’m not yet capable of original content.  Instead, let me offer other people’s wonderful stuff.

To get this set started, you have to begin by reading a speech that the Ayatollah Khomeini made in 1942, in which he stated explicitly that Islam is not a religion for wimps, but for conquering warriors (emphasis mine).

Those who study jihad will understand why Islam wants to conquer the whole world. All the countries conquered by Islam or to be conquered in the future will be marked for everlasting salvation. For they shall live under [Allah’s law; the Sharia]. . . . Those who know nothing of Islam pretend that Islam counsels against war. Those [who say this] are witless. Islam says: Kill all the unbelievers just as they would kill you all! Does this mean that Muslims should sit back until they are devoured by [the unbelievers]? Islam says: Kill them [the non-Muslims], put them to the sword and scatter [their armies]. Does this mean sitting back until [non-Muslims] overcome us? Islam says: Kill in the service of Allah those who may want to kill you! Does this mean that we should surrender [to the enemy]? Islam says: Whatever good there is exists thanks to the sword and in the shadow of the sword! People cannot be made obedient except with the sword! The sword is the key to paradise, which can be opened only for holy warriors! There are hundreds of other [Koranic] psalms and hadiths [sayings of the prophet] urging Muslims to value war and to fight. Does all that mean that Islam is a religion that prevents men from waging war? I spit upon those foolish souls who make such a claim.

There are a lot of people out there upon whom the Ayatollah could spit (if he were still alive).  Fortunately for the Ayatollah’s cause, and very unfortunately for ours, all of the “spitees” are on our side of the cultural divide.  At FrontPage, you can see video interviews with three front-line anti-Islamic (not anti-Muslim, but anti-Islamic) warriors regarding the West’s systematic refusal to stand up to the way in which critics of Islamism are silenced, with the silencing coming from both Muslims and the Left.

Nick Cohen continues this matched set with a discussion about the way in which the literary world, from the moment in 1989 that the Ayatollah issued his fatwa against Salman Rushdie, engaged in aggressive, total self-censorship.  I guess one could say that one can’t expect the warrior spirit from writers, but it would be nice if at least some of the writers and publishers had a warrior spirit.  To the extent that they set the mental tone for a generation, since the late 1980s, their tone, sold to universities, politicians, and other self-styled elites, has been preemptive surrender.

Speaking of those elite universities, Harvard continues to ally itself with the anti-Israel cause.  When I’ve suggested that our children not go to Harvard (assuming they could even get in) because I consider Harvard antisemitic, Mr. Bookworm has demanded that I find one instance of overt antisemitism from Harvard.  He’s correct that there is none.  What there is, though, is covert antisemitism, which takes the form of an academic bend profoundly hostile to Israel and supportive of the Palestinians — Palestinians who, just coincidentally, dream of a genocidal purge in Israel that leaves the land and waters running red with Jewish blood.  Stephen Walt, a Harvard professor, provides a nice example of the Harvard viewpoint — he plays a numbers game, which conveniently allows him to ignore little issues such as competing values in an existential war or the fact that the Islamists initiate attacks and we merely retaliate in way that, we hope, prevents further Islamist initiations.  By the numbers, he says, we deserve to be hated.  This is where your tuition dollars go.

And speaking of those values, Gerald M. Steinberg does a nice job identifying Israel’s values (which are remarkably harmonious with the most enlightened Western values), and reminding us that the Left, the Muslims, and the UN (but I repeat myself), have engaged in a steady drumbeat of lies, manipulation, and bullying to make it appear as if Israel is a repressive, totalitarian culture, worthy of scorn and destruction.

And finally, not about Israel, but a link reminding you what the American Left thinks like.  (I originally wrote “looks like,” but “thinks like” is more accurate.)

Eric Allen Bell: Once blind about radical Islam and the Left, but now he sees *UPDATED*

Eric Allen Bell, a former Daily Kos contributor and an independent filmmaker for Left-leaning outlets, had an epiphany recently:  Islam is not a nice religion.  Indeed, it’s a very un-nice religion, one that sees the embodiment of human perfection in a child-raping, misogynistic, antisemitic crime lord.  When he tried to share that epiphany with the liberals who made up his work and personal life, he was blackballed, maligned, and threatened.  He writes about his experiences here.

Bell’s essay is an important one, because it shows that, armed with information, people can change their minds.  However, it’s also a depressing essay because it shows that the Left is bound and determined to keep that information away from the American public.

In that same depressing vein, if you haven’t already read the Daily Caller expose showing how Media Matters (very successfully) works closely with the Obama White House to provide talking points for the mainstream media, you should.  Again, it’s a reminder that, in an information age, lies are precisely as mobile and far-reaching as the truth — more so, in fact, when the liars control the White House, the Media, and the educational institutions.

I frequently remind myself that a conspiracy theorist is someone who takes the absence of evidence as proof of something.  We in the new media are not conspiracy theorists.  We are truth-miners and truth-spreaders.  We don’t need to make up things or weave fragile stories made up of unrelated, and often imaginary, “facts”.  Instead, our responsibility, as Eric Bell has discovered, is simply to break down the media filter between their artificial reality and the facts on the ground.

Troops, we’ve got a fight ahead of us.  A tough fight, but a good one.  Our weapons in this good war are facts, truth, and words.  There are times when we’ll want to give up, but Eric Bell’s story reminds us that the truth can set people free.  Even if we can only achieve victory one person at a time, we still have to fight that fight.

UPDATED:  And since I mentioned the Media Matters expose, here’s another post about David Brock,

UCSF researchers recommend that the government regulate sugar, just as it does alcohol and tobacco

Because our government isn’t yet doing enough, or costing enough, or interfering sufficiently in our lives, three researchers at the University of California San Francisco now recommend that the government should regulate sugar, just as it does alcohol and tobacco:

A new commentary published online in the Feb. 1 issue of Nature says sugar is just as “toxic” for people as the other two, so the government should step in to curb its consumption.

The United Nations announced in September that chronic diseases like heart disease, cancer, and diabetes contribute to 35 million deaths worldwide each year, according to the commentary. The U.N. pegged tobacco, alcohol, and diet as big risk factors that contributed to this death rate.

Two of those are regulated by governments, “leaving one of the primary culprits behind this worldwide health crisis unchecked,” the authors, Robert H. Lustig, Laura A. Schmidt and Claire D. Brindis, argued.

I’m struggling here to say something snarky and clever, but I just can’t.  You see, I have this sneaking suspicion that, if Obama gets another four years in the White House, we’ll see a Department of Sugar Regulation, complete with punitive taxes on its purchase, minimum age requirements, rationing to ensure that people don’t eat too much and, quite possibly, rules requiring that sugar and sugar products be kept in special locked areas in stores in order to prevent theft and underage use.

Incidentally, does it strike you as coincidental that this study got published two weeks before Valentine’s Day?  Yeah, I don’t think it’s a coincidence either.  Considering that Communist and Muslim cultures consider Valentine’s Day evil both because of its Christian origin and because of the fact that it triggers an orgy of spending (how capitalist!), it is “holiday non grata” in those totalitarian societies.  It seems as if the food police want to see the same thing happen here.

I am envisioning some sort of bumper sticker, though.  You know, something along the lines of “Protect Valentine’s Day.  Vote Republican in 2012.”

If Liam Neeson converts, I’m going to have to think long and hard about watching the Narnia movies again. Sigh.

Liam Neeson’s flirting with converting to Islam, a religious quest made possible by the fact that the religion has great calls to prayer and everyone does it (at least in Muslim countries) — and, no, I’m not exaggerating when I belittle his expressed motive when he contemplates abandoning the Catholicism of his childhood in exchange for the religion of perpetual outrage:

On filming in Istanbul, Neeson told British rag The Sun: “The call to prayer happens five times a day, and for the first week, it drives you crazy, and then it just gets into your spirit, and it’s the most beautiful, beautiful thing… There are 4,000 mosques in the city. Some are just stunning, and it really makes me think about becoming a Muslim.”

Just to be clear, Neeson makes no mention of spiritual or doctrinal failings in his childhood faith, nor does he speak in any way of the profound procedural and moral changes he’d have to make to his life if he did indeed convert.

Thinking about it, Neeson may be on to something here, with his shallow belief that he can go on as before, just singing a slightly different song along with the muezzin.  As my cousin, who spent years ministering as a prison chaplain, wrote me in connection with prison conversions to Islam:

It is not a contradiction to be a Muslim and a murderer, even a mass murderer. That is one reason why criminals “convert” to Islam in prison. They don’t convert at all; they similarly remain the angry judgmental vicious beings they always have been. They simply add “religious” diatribes to their personal invective. Islam does not inspire a crisis of conscience, just inspirations to outrage.

Prisoners use conversion to justify their rage. Neeson’s admiring little speech indicates that at least one movie star type seems to being using it to justify just how shallow he really, truly is.

The only thing I find disheartening about this piece of idiocy is that it might affect my viewing habits.  For example, I never listen to Cat Stevens’ music.  It’s not conscious censorship on my part, as in “Everyone should boycott that man because he converted to Islam.”  It’s a more informal, visceral response.  Every time I hear one of his songs lovey-dovey 1970s pop songs, I get hacked off at the fact that he is now a vocal, proselytzing enthusiast for the whole Muslim package:  death to the Jews, death to America, women wrapped in tents, dead gays, etc.  My blood pressure shoots up, and then I turn the music off.  Fortunately, Snoop Doggs’ conversion doesn’t affect me because I wouldn’t have listened to his songs before conversion, and I’m certainly not going to listen to them now.

But Neeson . . . ummm.  You see, I like the Narnia movies.  I love the first, like the second, and am looking forward to watching the third (the delay is a Netflix thing, meaning that I put it on the list and Mr. Bookworm takes it off).  It was bad enough when Neeson foolishly denied that Aslan was an allegorical Christ.  It’s high blood pressure time, though, if the actor who voices the allegorical Christ has converted to a faith antithetical to everything C.S. Lewis intended to convey through those wonderful books.

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.

The Coming “Soft Dark Ages” — by guest blogger Charles Martel

This is an exercise in pure speculation. I invite all here to bring their own notions to the table.

An old friend of mine visited me last Saturday to catch up on things. We walked my dog and began a long conversation that ended later in my backyard over coffee and tea.

Bob is fascinated by history, and has been a long-time contributor to print and online history publications. So our conversations often veer off into that realm. Because we have developed a years-long habit of riffing on whatever thoughts come to our heads, we never know where one of our history threads will go.

We were discussing the dark ages, which not only were characterized by the disintegration of the Roman political order, but also the loss of an immense store of practical technological knowledge: agricultural practices and implements; construction techniques—it would take until the 19th century for Europeans to match the Romans’ road-building prowess—war machines; distribution and warehousing; science; art (which in Roman times was the realm of artisans, not self-absorbed “transgressive” pricks).  

I said that I think we are headed for a “soft dark ages.” That took him aback. “How are we headed there,” he asked, “and how would they be ‘soft’?”

I answered his last question first. They would be “soft” because unlike what happened in Roman times, we have the ability to store gigantic amounts of information in small spaces. One person can carry around encyclopedic knowledge on a flash drive. Multiply him by the millions, and you have a vast repository of recoverable knowledge that is private, widely dispersed, and replicated many times over. No matter how determined or persistent this era’s barbarians—Marxists, Muslims, Democrats, unionists, academicians—they simply would not be able to track down and destroy all modern technological knowledge.

But beyond furtive individual efforts at hiding and protecting the knowledge we would need to create a New America or a New West, there would be vaster, more organized, more collective efforts to protect knowledge until better days. I suggested to Bob three institutions or concepts that would become the next dark ages’ hallmarks: The new castle fortress; the new monastic life; and the new Europe.

1.  The Return of the Castle Fortresses

If the United States, Europe and China disintegrate, as seems likely, there will be a scramble for political power among the remnant provinces, states, and regions. Most power will be wielded by Marxist thugs and old-fashioned warlords, so it would not be surprising to see China devolve to its pre-Qin Dynasty pattern of warring neighbor states, or America’s big cities—Chicago, Detroit, Washington—and its Mexicanized rural regions, become brutal satrapies run by the people like Jesse Jackson, Bill Ayers, La Raza, ethnic mafias, and the like.

Europe could begin a too-late, doomed-to-fail ethnic cleansing of its Muslim underclass, but would probably slip either into fascism or dhimmitude. Poland, the bravest of the European nations, might be able to escape either fate, although that would be doubtful given its lack of firepower and its closeness to the greatest of all the European barbarian states, Russia.

But the barbarians would not win everywhere. Just as Old Europe in the dark ages had its bright centers of learning, protected by force of arms, there would be parts of the world that would not succumb to the new barbarity. They would become mankind’s new castles, fortresses of resistance where decency and unpoliticized science might still flourish.

These new fortresses will not have thick walls and deep moats, although their means of protection metaphorically will be the same. Their moats will be the ability of their computer geniuses to resist and thwart attacks upon their databases, and their walls will be heavily and well armed soldiers and citizens who will unhesitatingly destroy any physical threat to their sanctuaries.

Where will the new fortresses be? Either in lands that can protect themselves or are far enough away from the barbarians that they will be difficult to invade and hold. In the former case, Texas and Utah come to mind, states whose populations are already armed and whose economic infrastructures already lay upon solid technological foundations. More remote places, like New Zealand, Alberta, Baja California, could set up defendable dark age redoubts if they were properly armed, including with nuclear weapons.

There would be secret places, too. Large nations and corporations have set aside fortified places where they can stash tools, seeds, patents, rare materials, genealogies, and other irreplaceable items. Assuming that some of them will not be expropriated  by the new barbarians, these vital repositories of knowledge could be available for a later renaissance.    

2. The New Monastic Life

If the fortresses hold, they will become the new monasteries. Instead of patiently copying barely understood manuscripts from a fallen civilization, the new monastics will preserve the old science that they already well understand and attempt to build on it.

The ends they pursue will be the advancement of medicine (especially countermeasures to the barbarians’ chemical and biological weapons); the protection of personal data against spying or theft; the subversion of the barbarians’ computer and weapons systems (think Stuxnet); and the preservation of seminal texts that will one day replace the adulterated, denatured literature of the new emperors.

In contrast, the science of the barbarians will, because of barbarians’ nature, focus on predictable ends: refining the capacity to deliver death, whether it be through abortion, euthanasia, or mass murder against political opponents; improving methods of surveillance and the control of communications, “education,” and literature; honing tools designed to hunt down wealth or knowledge and expropriate it; and finding ways to increase the lifespans and sexual abilities of the rulers.

3. The New Europe

In the old dark ages, Europe itself was the physical locus of quiet scholarship and the preservation of old knowledge that later flowered into the Renaissance. In the “soft dark ages,” ones cushioned by the existence of fierce armed “monks” in well-defended freeholds, the New Europe will be a state of mind. In some ways, it will be how the Catholic Church sees itself: No matter where you go or what language you speak, there are the universal constants of the Mass and the Magisterium.

Similarly, wherever our new defenders of knowledge and decency find themselves — Patagonia, the Outback, the remote Rocky Mountains, the bowels of Obama-ite Chicago — they will share a common love of truth and real science. They will know how to detect falsehood and be indifferent to the barbarians’ enticements. Whatever secret handshake they develop, it will be something that the barbarians might know exists, but will, like their Vandal and Mongol forerunners, never understand.

How long will it take for the soft dark ages to run their course? Who could tell? My concern is that there remain a core of people who will resist the thugocracy, bloodlessly and not, until the thugs’ own fatal contradictions do them in. The United States defeated the Soviet Union because the USSR not only lived a lie, but because it had long before killed off its best and smartest people.

That pattern will repeat itself among our Marxist, Muslim, and academic brethren. But while they will be doomed to repeat a history of failure and debasement, our destiny will call for us to recreate the wonderful things that men once called “the West” and “America.”  

A visit to New York Times world, a world where America is always wrong and the Muslim Brotherhood is a gentle organization

I didn’t bother to read the entirety of an endless article about a bad thing happening in Mexico.  No, I’m not talking about drug cartels or about Mexican citizens being slaughtered by guns sent over courtesy of a Democrat Department of Justice attempting to prove that guns hurt people.  I’m talking about plants that process old batteries, releasing dangerous toxins into the surrounding country side.  Bad thing, right?  But the big irony is that this bad thing happened because of environmental zealots here in the US:

The rising flow of batteries is a result of strict new Environmental Protection Agency standards on lead pollution, which make domestic recycling more difficult and expensive, but do not prohibit companies from exporting the work and the danger to countries where standards are low and enforcement is lax.

Even when we’re trying to be good, we’re evil.

Americans may be evil, but Nicholas Kristof wants us to know that the Muslim Brotherhood doesn’t deserve its bad press, because, over dinner, a really nice 22-year-old girl assured him that it’s a peace-loving organization.  More than that, when he asked her about Israel, amongst other issues, she didn’t answer!  That proves that the Muslim Brotherhood is a force for good:

I asked skeptically about alcohol, peace with Israel, and the veil. Sondos, who wears a hijab, insisted that the Brotherhood wasn’t considering any changes in these areas and that its priority is simply jobs.

“Egyptians are now concerned about economic conditions,” she said. “They want to reform their economic system and to have jobs. They want to eliminate corruption.” Noting that alcohol supports the tourism industry, she added: “I don’t think any upcoming government will focus on banning anything.”

Apparently the charming young Sondos is a more reliable authority than the MB itself.  After all, who can forget the MB greatest hits, a list that includes this:

A senior cleric in the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood has declared that ordinary Egyptians are obligated to kill ‘Zionists’ whom they encounter.

This:

Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, which expects to win at least a plurality in Monday’s legislative elections, held a “kill the Jews” rally in Cairo Friday.

Thousands of supporters attended the pre-election rally at a mosque on the Muslim Sabbath, promising to “one day kill all the Jews” and wage war against Jerusalem’s “Judaization.”

And this, from a Muslim Brotherhood handbook:

“The Islamic Ummah [nation]… [is] the most exalted nation among men;…you are the masters of the world, even if your enemies desire your degradation…”

“Jihad and preparation towards Jihad are not only for the purpose of fending off assaults and attacks of Allah’s enemies against Muslims, but are also for the purpose of realizing the great task of establishing an Islamic state and strengthening the religion and spreading it around the world…

“…Jihad for Allah is not limited to the specific region of the Islamic countries, …and it shall continue to be raised, with the help of Allah, until every inch of the land of Islam will be liberated, the State of Islam will be established…

“Then comes the power of arms and weapons,… and this is the role of Jihad…, a religious public duty… incumbent upon the Islamic nation, and is a personal duty to fend off the infidels’ attack on the nation… (…)

The competition at the New York Times is always stiff, but I think that, today at least, Nicholas Kristof walks away with The Walter Duranty Award for most dishonest reporting to advance a political agenda antithetical to America, her values, and her allies.

Obama trots out his anti-Israel message using a self-loathing Jew

Ignore the fact that the Qur’an is drenched in Jew hated.  Ignore the fact that, since Islam came into being, it has alternately treated Jews as second class citizens or actively tried to slaughter them.  If you can ignore those realities, you too can be an American ambassador in the Obama administration.  You get bonus points if you’re a self-loathing, Leftist Jew who holds the job.  With those credentials, it is possible to say with a perfectly straight face that world-wide Muslim antisemitism is — yes, wait for it . . . the Jews’ fault!

Growing global anti-Semitism is linked to Israel’s policy towards the Palestinians, [Howard Gutman] the American ambassador to Belgium told stunned Jewish conference attendants in Brussels earlier this week.

[snip]

A distinction should be made between traditional anti-Semitism, which should be condemned and Muslim hatred for Jews, which stems from the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, Gutman said. He also argued that an Israeli-Palestinian peace treaty will significantly diminish Muslim anti-Semitism.

Fortunately, the speaker who came on immediately after Gutman’s statement (and please note that Gutman ran away for an “appointment” immediately after dropping this antisemitic bombshell) did not feel that politeness constrained him from speaking the truth:

[T]he next speaker offered a scathing rebuttal to the envoy’s remarks.

“The modern Anti-Semite formally condemns Anti-Semitism and the Holocaust and expresses upmost sympathy with the Jewish people. He simply has created a new species, the “Anti-Zionist” or – even more sophisticated – the so-called ‘Israel critic,’” Germany attorney Nathan Gelbart said.

“The ‘Israel critic’ will never state ‘Jews go home’ but is questioning the legality of the incorporation of the State of Israel and therefore the right for the Jewish people to settle in their homeland. He will not say the Jews are the evil of the world but claim that the State of Israel is a major cause for instability and war in the region,” he said. “There is no other country, no other people on this planet the ‘Israel critic’ would dedicate so much time and devotion as to the case of Israel.”

“For no other country he would criticize or ask to boycott its goods or academics. And this for one simple reason: Because Israel is the state of the Jewish people, not more and not less,” Gelbart said.

Despite his actions, his words, and the words of his agents, Obama still has the audacity to boast about his pro-Israel credentials:

Though Barack Obama has been picking fights with the government of the State of Israel since his first day in office, the flip side of that relationship is his desperate desire to convince American Jews he’s the Jewish state’s best friend. That’s been an even tougher sell in the last year, and polls have consistently shown Obama’s support among American Jews declining. But at a fundraiser last night at the home of Jack Rosen, president of the largely defunct American Jewish Congress, Obama was tooting his own horn again, in a way that reflects not only his political agenda but his well-known high opinion of himself:

And as Jack alluded to, this administration — I try not to pat myself too much on the back, but this administration has done more in terms of the security of the state of Israel than any previous administration. And that’s not just our opinion, that’s the opinion of the Israeli government. Whether it’s making sure that our intelligence cooperation is effective, to making sure that we’re able to construct something like an Iron Dome so that we don’t have missiles raining down on Tel Aviv, we have been consistent in insisting that we don’t compromise when it comes to Israel’s security. And that’s not just something I say privately, that’s something that I said in the U.N. General Assembly. And that will continue.

American Jews have shown themselves remarkably faithful in their love affair with Democrats, despite the fact that this recent administration has been the spousal equivalent of a wife beater. Let’s hope that evidence such as Gutman’s remarks — made in antisemitic Belgium of all places — will help more Jews figure out that they’re in an abusive relationship and decide to get the Hell out of it. The true Lefties amongst the Jews will never leave, but maybe the others, the “I vote Democrat because Republicans are antisemites” will start heading for the battered Democratic Jews’ shelter (aka, the Republican Party).

Cautious optimism regarding the fire burning in the Middle East

Bruce Kesler spoke with Jonathan Spyer, who wrote Transforming Fire: The Rise of the Israel-Islamist Conflict.  Despite the current upheaval in the Middle East, and its attendant rise in antisemitism (which is impressive, considering its previous high level), Spyer is sanguine, and even optimistic.  Check out Bruce’s post and see what you think.

The difference between immigrants and colonists

For years, I’ve been trying to articulate the difference between good immigrants and bad immigrants, meaning those that benefit a country and those that I’d like to see kept out.  This has become a particularly pointed concern for me in light of the PC attitude that encourages immigrants of all stripes not to give their allegiance to their home country.  Clifford D. May, in an article about Bat Ye’or’s latest book regarding the inevitable Muslimization of PC Europe, puts together in a single paragraph the concept I’ve struggled with for so long:

Immigrants can enrich a nation. But there is a difference between immigrants and colonists. The former are eager to learn the ways of their adopted home, to integrate and perhaps assimilate — which does not require relinquishing their heritage or forgetting their roots. Colonists, by contrast, bring their culture with them and live under their own laws. Their loyalties lie elsewhere.

It’s a depressing notion, but it is a relief to see it summed up so neatly.

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 is (I hope) not futile to resist the Islamic Borg

One of the things the Leftist multiculturalists refuse to acknowledge is that Islam does not assimilate.  Individual practitioners of the faith may, periodically and superficially, espouse the culture in which they live, but the fact remains that Islam, by its nature, is the Borg.

Borg-like, the Islam collective’s motto is “Resistance is futile.  You will be assimilated.”  The Borg/Islam collective does not recognize the possibility that it might be the entity that assimilates.  As with the fictional Borg populating Star Trek : The Next Generation, when the Islamists move in on a territory, they move in to conquer and for no other reason.

I mention this pop culture analogy here, because one of Singapore’s past leaders, Lee Kuan Yew, in an interview to promote his new book, spoke about Islam’s failure to assimilate, and he made a statement that is, I think, full comparable to Churchill’s speech about the Iron Curtain dividing Europe:

In the book, Mr Lee, when asked to assess the progress of multiracialism in Singapore, said: “I have to speak candidly to be of value, but I do not wish to offend the Muslim community.

“I think we were progressing very nicely until the surge of Islam came, and if you asked me for my observations, the other communities have easier integration – friends, intermarriages and so on, Indians with Chinese, Chinese with Indians – than Muslims. That’s the result of the surge from the Arab states.”

He added: “I would say today, we can integrate all religions and races except Islam.”

He also said: “I think the Muslims socially do not cause any trouble, but they are distinct and separate.”

Mr lee then went on to speak of how his own generation of politicians who worked with him had integrated well, including sitting down and eating together. He said: “But now, you go to schools with Malay and Chinese, there’s a halal and non-halal segment and so too, the universities. And they tend to sit separately so as not to be contaminated. All that becomes a social divide.”

He added that the result was a “veil” across peoples. Asked what Muslims in Singapore needed to do to integrate, he replied: “Be less strict on Islamic observances and say ‘Okay, I’ll eat with you.’”  (Emphasis mine.)

Certainly if there’s one image that epitomizes Islam, it’s the veiled face, whether the veil hides women from all civic interactions or masks the men on Western streets who commit violence with impunity as they hide their faces from the authorities.

Yew, who is no longer a power broker, has the luxury of age and retirement to speak of this veil.  It’s interesting, however, that Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron has suddenly decided to speak up as well about the Borg in Britain’s midst:

In an attack on Britain’s previous government, Cameron said authorities there had been too hesitant to intervene when some sectors of society espoused abhorrent views.

“We have even tolerated these segregated communities behaving in ways that run counter to our values,” Cameron said. “We have encouraged different cultures to live separate lives, apart from each other and the mainstream.”

Cameron said a culture of tolerance had allowed both Islamic extremists, and far-right extremists, to build support for their causes. “We’ve been too cautious, frankly even fearful, to stand up to them,” he said.

Some European allies have criticized Britain for harboring hardline Islamic clerics and failing to clamp down on mosques that promote a perverted view of Islam.

Several terrorists involved in attacks or attempted plots in the U.S., Sweden, Denmark and Norway over the last two years have had links to Britain, or British-based clerics.

“If we are to defeat this threat, I believe it’s time to turn the page on the failed policies of the past,” Cameron said. “Instead of ignoring this extremist ideology, we – as governments and societies – have got to confront it, in all its forms.”

I am delighted to see people with bully pulpits begin to speak, although I don’t expect to hear anything intelligent on the subject from the world’s premier bully pulpit until January 2013 (assuming all goes well in the November 2012 elections).  As it is, my only hope now is that the Islamic/Borg invaders haven’t already reached to a tipping point from which there is no return.

Hat tip:  American Thinker

Cross-posted at Right Wing News

A couple of AP articles that caught my eye, both for what they say and for what they don’t say *UPDATED*

I was very surprised to see an AP wire story reporting that Islamic militants (as opposed to mere “militants” or “insurgents”) were holding “Christians” (as opposed to mere “people”) hostage.  Even more surprising, the AP reported that the Islamic militants were probably affiliated with Al Qaeda in Iraq, an entity one apparently couldn’t acknowledge during the Bush years.

Just as I was thinking to myself, “Well, that AP worm has certainly turned, with this surprisingly honest report,” I read another wire story about the Chandra Levy murder trial.  You remember that story, right?  A decade ago, Rep. Gary Condit’s career was destroyed when an affair he had with Levy (which was definitely an unprincipled, immoral thing to do, since he was married), got morphed by the media into an unofficial murder charge.  Now, the probable actual murderer is on trial.

This is what the AP says about the defendant:  “Ingmar Guandique, a native of El Salvador, is on trial for the murder and attempted sexual assault of Levy nearly a decade ago.”

Now I, not having been born yesterday, verbalized yet another thought to myself:  “What are the odds that Guandique is an illegal immigrant?”  Turns out the odds are 100%.  Somehow, though, the AP just couldn’t bring itself to put that adjective out there.

Let me remind the open borders crowd that one of the virtues of having legal as opposed to illegal immigration, is that it enhances our government’s ability to weed out the killers before they cross our borders.

UPDATE:  This Philip Terzian post about the WaPo best seller list seems like an appropriate coda to a post on media bias.  I especially like the way Terzian describes the media’s inability to recognize its own bias:

One of the inherent difficulties of defining left-wing bias in the press to journalists is that it is something like describing the ocean to fish: It is so pervasive, and such a comfortable, nurturing environment, that it is hardly noticed.

Yeah — what he said.

Can Europe Save Itself? What I Saw in Paris

Bookworm recently asked, “is Europe trying to save itself?” To that question, I can only offer anecdotal evidence from family and business visits made to France and Belgium this summer, shortly after the Greece-precipitated financial crisis.

Europe (witness the EU) is an uber-bureacracy. For centuries, Europe’s forms of governance have devolved into top-down, centralized governments that control virtually every aspect of individual life while disenfranchising the connections between citizenry and the ruling classes.  These trends metastasized under the EU and, following adoption of the Treaty of Lisbon in May, a treaty that cemented the supra-national power of the unelected EU authority. “Europe” effectively ceased being democratic. In tandem with this trend, European citizens have been conditioned to think less as “citizens” and more as “subjects” of their governments. Today, the only real power of dissent left to them has been to riot destructively in the streets or to paralyze their countries in strikes (France maintains a separate police force 100% dedicated to dealing with social disturbances). Setting parked cars on fire (car-b-cues) is a charming French tradition of civic protest that is now spreading to other European countries.

In this Bismarkian state model, the trade-off for political disenfranchisement has been a guarantee that the social welfare state would take care of all its citizens’ needs: retirement pensions, joblessness benefits at a high fraction of one’s previous salary, “free” education, public safety and health care. In France, this compact is proudly referred to in Orwellian terminology as “Solidarity”.  The EU compact also offered an end to Europe’s perpetual war and tribalism. As one of my elderly relatives put it to me, “my grandparents lived through three wars, my parents live through two and I lived through one. With the EU, I could hope that my children would never know war”. It’s an appealing vision.

Thus, for the greater perceived good, the vaste majority of citizens in France and other EU countries passively accepted what was handed to them, be it political correctness, Islamic migration, or economic and tax policy: why waste time worrying about what one cannot change? Such issues were best left for the ruling elites to address. Unfortunately, such also generated a toxic blend of cynicism, pacifism and lassitude laced with a nihilistic hedonism. Europeans stopped caring, partied on and stopped having babies. When government strips life of meaning, what’s the point of meaningful living, right? The Euros lost pride in self and pride in their own nations and cultures. They also lost their sense of civic responsibility. Whenever disaster struck in Europe (floods, heat waves, violence), I could not help but notice how passively Europeans deferred to authorities for help, rather than helping themselves. Rampant theft and vandalism is accepted as part of normal life: car windows are routinely smashed. In the nicest neighborhoods of Paris, the bottom floor windows of homes are paned in bullet-proof glass to discourage home invasions, which are accepted as quite normal occurrences…even in daytime. The cops seldom respond. In Europe, the victim is often treated as the perp while the criminal is perceived as the victim. One seldom if ever sees ordinary citizens sandbagging during floods the way we do in the U.S., for example – everyone looks out for themselves and leaves the heavy lifting to the “authorities”. Pacifism and passivity go hand-in-hand.

When visiting my relatives in France in the past, I could be assured that most (not all) had only vague ideas about what was happening in their country, their economy and the world. Most accepted the dispositions of the (mostly government controlled) media at face value. Moreover, why worry about the present and future (e.g., why save for retirement) when the government’s “Solidarity” will take care of it for you? And, while my focus in this discourse is on France, be assured that these observations apply also to Europe in toto.

All this has changed.

The Greek crisis, which closely followed the international banking crisis, caused a severe crisis of confidence and with it, an awakening. As a Dutch business associate remarked to me, “how can it be that we must work hard to pay taxes in the North until the age of 68 so that people in Greece can work hardly at all, pay no taxes and retire at the age of 60?”. Europe, like the U.S., is broken and broke.

The Greek crisis forced average Europeans to realize that the entire economic and political structures upon which their “solidarity” depended was about to collapse as the economic and political contradictions of the EU socialist state came to a head. An elderly gentleman I know – a world renown attorney, a member of the French Resistance, a former advisor to French prime ministers as well as to a U.S. president and an ardent supporter of the EU – looked at me and said, “it’s all finished, now”. I asked him “what”, exactly, was finished. He replied, “The EU, our peace and our prosperity”. The people, for the first time, were realizing that there was no money to pay for it all. For the first time ever, I saw fear and doubt in my relatives’ eyes. For the first time, I saw graffiti (most European towns are plastered with graffiti) and posted flyers denouncing the EU along with EU policies toward immigration. For the first time, I saw a steely flintiness in peoples’ eyes (not just in France) when the subject of Islamic immigration into Europe was raised. I saw also a new appreciation by Europeans of their heritage and values. Nationalism is on the rise. I saw more pride in France and its history, especially among the young. My daughter, who had been studying in France on an exchange program, remarked that many of the college students with whom she studied were returning to the Church and expressed a new-found resolve and pride in their country and heritage.

Before one can solve a problem, one must first recognize and define the problem. Europeans are still far from ready to take charge of their destiny. I just don’t know if average EU citizens have the wherewithal to resist and upend the uber-State and its entrenched ruling classes. A Tea Party movement would be inconceivable to Europeans, for example.  However, I do believe that average Europeans are waking up to the crisis and beginning to define the problems…all problems, including the one of Islamicization. This trend will continue, especially as new economic and political crises inevitably appear. In Europe, as in the U.S., the entire “solidarity” compact between State and Subject is about to go humpty-dumpty as reality sunders its foundations.  I suspect that the consequences will be very, very ugly. I saw evidence of this on my visit to Flanders, but that will have to await another post.

I do know that what eventually happens in Europe will have profound consequences for our country as well. This is not a crisis of European civilization but of Western civilization. We all face the same abyss.