A prescient “news” show about the desperate search for answers after a bombing

I don’t think the media has ever before been so blatant in its desire to divorce an evil act from its ideological origins, but this isn’t the first time we’ve seen that game played out.  More than two years ago, a short lived comedy show on Fox used the occasion of an abortive bombing in London to examine the media’s perpetual confusion about motive:

I’d just like to add a couple more thoughts about whether the shooter was insane, since insanity is a free pass on the Left.  After all, in a therapeutic world, nothing is normal.  Everybody is a bundle of pathologies, some of which are worse — and therefore more excusable — than others.  In that view, of course Hasan was insane, because only insane people kill.  This is a comfortable tautology that removes all responsibility from the actor.  It also brings to mind a joke Jay Nordlinger retells in today’s Impromptus:

Two liberals are walking down the road and they come to a person in the ditch. He has been beaten, and lies moaning, broken, bleeding. One liberal says to the other, “Quick, we have to find the people who did this: They need help.”

I also keep thinking of the 19th Century definition of insanity — the M’Naughton defense — which focused on the actor’s ability to distinguish right from wrong, and reality from absolute fantasy.  It wasn’t a perfect measure by any means, but it tended to hew more closely to a normal person’s sense of what insanity is.  You’re insane if you think the person next to you is a giant beetle and try to squash him; you’re not insane if you’re an adult in thrall to a homicidal ideology subscribed to by a substantial portion of the world’s population, and you decide to slaughter as many of your fellow soldiers as possible in order to advance that ideology.

Hat tip:  Sadie

The yin and yang: Obami insanity and military strength *UPDATED*

These are a matched set, and you must read them, one after the other:

Janet Napolitano, the U.S. Homeland Security Secretary, having thought long and hard, decides that the real victims of the Fort Hood massacre are  . . . wait for it . . . Muslims.

On the flip side, Cassandra, at Villainous Company, talks about the solid courage and real values that characterize the American military.

Just to get things laid out nicely and neatly:  our current administration coddles our enemies, fears and denigrates our own military, and is actively seeking to destroy our economy.  Can anyone here remind me why we have this administration?

The only sort-of solace I have right now is the 2010 election, but even that doesn’t inspire great hope.  The Republican Party is so inept and out of tune, being neither Democratic fish nor Republical fowl, that I am not sanguine about its ability to provide voters with an exciting, or even viable, alternative to the Democratic march into the Marxist ocean.  Really, the only hope is that these trials are sent to us for a purpose, as the Anchoress, in a very uplifting way, believes.

UPDATE:  Rick, himself a religious man, has taken the Anchoress’ message and run with it.  As I told my mother (who, like me, can best be described as an atheist), those of my blog friends who are religious have a serenity we lack.  Even when things are bad, they feel that there is a purpose, although they might not be able to see it.  They can be upset, but they still feel they’re in God’s hands.  I mentioned that they manage to have this attitude without being condescending, antisemitic (which is what my Mom so fears in religious Christians), or fatuous.  They are very, very lucky in their faith.

As for me, while I can’t seem to beg, borrow or steal spirituality, I find comfort knowing that those I respect see a bigger, more important picture than I do.

I’ll add here as a random aside, given Cassandra’s point about the military, that I find it a good thing, not a bad, that our military has so many religious people in it.  Aside from the fact that my experiences with American Christians have been uniformly good, I also find it wonderful that those who are willing to put their life on the line for the preservation of my life and liberty, have a faith that they can turn to as they take the risks that go with their jobs.

Obama’s silence about a terrorist plot against the US military on American soil *UPDATED*

It’s been two days since our Commander in Chief lost one of his own in an attack on American soil — and his silence is deafening.  When an abortionist died, our CIC instantly issued a public statement and used federal marshals to beef up security at abortion clinics.  When one of his own men died in the line of duty (because recruiting is part of the job) . . . crickets chirping.

It’s getting worse, too.  It appears that 23 year old Pvt. William Long’s death was part of a larger terrorist conspiracy on American soil:

The man charged with the Arkansas military recruiter shooting might have considered other targets, according to law enforcement officials.

A joint FBI-Homeland Security intelligence assessment obtained by The Associated Press said officers found maps to Jewish organizations, a child care center, a Baptist church, a post office and military recruiting centers in the southeastern U.S. and New York and Philadelphia.

“Out of an abundance of caution, and in light of newly discovered information, the FBI cannot rule out additional subjects, targets, or the potential for inspired copy cats who might act out in support of the original act,” the intelligence assessment said.

Muslim-convert Abdulhakim Muhammed has pleaded not guilty to Monday’s deadly shooting in a suburban Little Rock shopping center where Pvt. William Long, 23 was killed and Pvt. Quinton I. Ezeagwula, 18, was wounded.

By the way, if you want to see true dignity in the face of death, tune in to this heartrending video of a conversation with Pvt. Long’s father.

Also, as you listen to Obama’s echoing silence, keep in mind his statement yesterday that “American is one of the largest Muslim countries in the world.”  Aside from demonstrating the complete factual inanity of that statement, Melanie Phillips also asks if it was indeed just a statement . . . or an aspiration?

UPDATE:  You won’t be surprised to learn that the Anchoress has attacked this issue and embroidered it into a much larger (and quite disturbing) cloth.  Nor, of course, will it surprise you to learn that Michelle Malkin has a whole article dissecting this peculiar “liberal” (we really mean “illiberal”) pathology of prejudice.

UPDATE IIMichelle Malkin caught the flaccid little condolence statement Obama finally uttered.

Is it hard to be this stupid? *UPDATED*

A local Marin woman hitched a ride with a peace group to stay with some Palestinians, and came back filled with useful information.  Anna Rogers found “shocking . . . how much Arab land has been taken over and how crazily restrictive it is for the Palestinians.”  That’s an interesting thing to say, of course, since in the last few years, Israel has been giving land back to the Palestinians.  So considering that this is apparently her first trip to the Middle East, when she refers to being shocked at “how much Arab land has been taken over” she must mean “since the creation of Israel.” Or, in other words — Israelis should just get the Hell out of there.

As for the crazy restrictions, Rogers also thought it was so, so unfair that these poor Palestinians couldn’t move around freely.  The article in which she is interviewed helpfully advises that there’s some kind rumor about these same Palestinians killing Israelis:  “The Israeli government has said it established checkpoints to protect settlements from suicide bombers and other attackers.”  (In a sane journalistic world, rather than attributing this statement to the Israeli government, as if it’s factually suspect, the reporter might actually have pointed out that it is in fact true that a huge number of Palestinians, trained from the cradle, are determined to kill Israeli civilians.)

Ms. Rogers is having none of this stupid Israeli government propaganda.  She’s seen what’s going on in Israel with her own eyes, and assures us that it’s nothing to worry about:

Rogers said she visited a kibbutz near where rockets from Gaza are landing. She said the rockets are crude and usually miss their targets.

“They’re an annoyance,” Rogers said. “I think a lot of people were annoyed with Israel’s government for not making some kind of peace agreement with Gaza even though Hamas is there.”

Although I’m not thrilled about the reporter’s passive approach to the reason behind the Israeli checkpoints (see my comments, above), he gets full kudos for providing an opposing point of view.  Thus, at the end of the article, a spokesman for a local Jewish group provides an intelligent counterpoint to Ms. Rogers’ insane blatherings:

But Michael Harris of San Rafael, one of the leaders of San Francisco Voice for Israel, a local advocacy group, said the situation constitutes more than “an annoyance.”

“I don’t think the residents of Larkspur would consider it a nuisance if 20 rockets a day were launched from Corte Madera into Larkspur. [The two communities are side by side.]  Bad aim does not excuse that these rockets are designed for one purpose and one purpose only: to murder civilians.”

Harris noted that “Gaza is ruled by Hamas, which took over in a coup and has stated on multiple occasions that it has no interest whatsoever in peace with Israel. Its entire existence is predicated on the destruction of Israel.”

I find it impossible to come up with any excuse for Ms. Rogers’ attitude, which is that Israelis should just stand aside and let themselves be killed so that those nice Palestinians can . . . well, kill some more.  What’s even more insane about her view is that, while in Gaza, she stayed with a Christian family, and yet somehow managed to remain entirely unaware of the horrors Muslim Gazans visit on their Christian compatriots.  This is a lady whose head is firmly fixed in an ideological bubble, and she’s doing her best to spread her ignorance.

UPDATE:  A few more of those “nuisances” rained down on Israel last night:

Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip bombarded southern Israel with dozens of mortars and rockets on Wednesday, sowing panic and despair there and burdening diplomatic efforts to revive an expired truce.

Ironically, while no Israelis were injured, those poor “militants” suffered some Ayers-ian accidents:

No Israelis were injured in the barrages. The attacks took a steeper toll in Gaza as explosives apparently misfired, wounding three civilians and killing two militants. One of the injured civilians works for a conflict resolution center.

Judgment AND values *UPDATED*

The following video draws heavily from a documentary KQED did about the Weather Undergroundbefore anybody really cared about Barack Obama.  (I remember watching, and being revolted by, the documentary back when it first came out.)  Then, the video neatly ties together the package of these very, very bad people and Barack Obama.

At the end, the video asks whether Obama has the judgment to be President, a question that allows one to pretend that it was all just a mistake on Obama’s part to hang with nice middle-aged people who happen to have a history.  (Although most wouldn’t make that pretense if these people had a Nazi history, would they?)  I think that question is too generous, because this is about values, not just judgment.  Obama happily hung with these people, knowing what they are, because their values are his values.  The only difference is that, unlike them, he’s a Fifth Columnist, not an external terrorist.

Anyway, here’s the video:

Hat tip:  Cheat-Seeking Missiles

UPDATETD Blog has is examining just how far back Obama’s ties to Ayers really go.  She’s also reminded me of something that bugs me tremendously about Obama:  no one, absolutely no one from his past exists.  One sometimes gets the feeling that he didn’t exist.  That he was created by the Soviets with a false history and simply dropped into America as an adult, like some old spy movie or Helen MacInnes plot.

A trio on why moral relativism re Israel is morally wrong

I don’t have much time to write now, but I read a trio of stories at the Jerusalem Post that remind us why moral relativism regarding Israel is wrong.  Israel, for all her flaws, is a better, more moral country that the surrounding Arab nations, and that’s regardless of any of their virtues:

Another Arab resident in Israel used his vehicle to try for mass slaughter.  Fortunately, he was the only one to die.

An Arab woman crossing at a checkpoint into Israel threw acid on a soldier, potentially blinding him in one eye.  Keep in mind that the check points exist precisely because those crossing into Israel (by the grace of Israel, because no Israelis are crossing into Arab countries) are trying to achieve maximum bodily arm.

And just so you keep in perspective what these Arab countries are all about, let’s look at Iraq, which is a country that America has sort of, kind of, managed to turn into a Democracy:

First his two sons were murdered. Now he faces prosecution. The reason for Mithal al-Alusi’s troubles? Visiting Israel and advocating peace with the Jewish state – something Iraq’s leaders refuse to consider.

The Iraqi is at the center of a political storm after his fellow lawmakers voted overwhelmingly to strip him of his immunity and allow his prosecution for visiting Israel – a crime punishable by death under a 1950s-era law. Such a fate is unlikely for al-Alusi, though he may lose his party’s sole seat in parliament.

Because he had visited Israel, many Iraqis assume the maverick legislator was the real target of the assassins who killed his sons in 2005 while he escaped unharmed.

Now he is in trouble for again visiting Israel and attending a conference a week ago at the International Institute for Counterterrorism.

“He wasn’t set to speak, but he was in the audience and conversed with a lecturer on a panel about insurgency and terrorism in Afghanistan, Iraq and Israel,” said conference organizer Eitan Azani. “We didn’t invite him. He came on his own initiative.”

Al-Alusi has a German passport, allowing him to travel without visa restrictions imposed on other Iraqis. Lawmakers accused him of humiliating the nation with a trip to the “enemy” state.

Keep in mind as you read the above that it is just one day’s news from the Middle East, and just a small handful of stories about Israel and her neighbors’ attitude towards her.

Let me reiterate the sentence at the start of my post:  Israel, for all her flaws, is a better, more moral country that the surrounding Arab nations, and that’s regardless of any of their virtues.

Second Amendment picture of the day

This is not a picture in America, but the top two pictures in this story illustrate perfectly why it matters that a nation’s citizens — the vast majority of whom are law abiding — can bear arms.

It is also interesting to note that, while the Beeb instantly tried to paint the Israelis as killers, this more “low brow” British paper, which has some of the highest circulation numbers in England, showed Israeli heroics and a wounded Israeli child, both of which I believe are images vastly more sympathetic to a nation beleaguered by terror.

It’s not the story; it’s the story about the story

Honest Reporting captured the first spin that the BBC put on the terrible story of the latest massacre in Israel (a Palestinian versus Israelis, of course) — and, as always, it was Israel who was spun as the brutal aggressor.  Orwell clearly understood something in the British psyche when he wrote 1984 — or, more accurately, he understood how socialism has always recognized that facts are meaningless, and outcomes are everything.

Your British tax dollars at work

I can’t add anything to this that you haven’t already thought of yourselves:

A solicitor who specialises in representing terror suspects and tells them not to cooperate with police was paid almost £1 million in legal aid last year.

Muddassar Arani’s firm represented Abu Hamza, dirty bomb plotter Dhirin Barot and three of the 21/7 bombers in recent years.

She has raked in £3.5 million in taxpayer-funded support to help defend extremist suspects in recent years, according to new figures.

In the seven years documented in figures released under the Freedom of Information Act payments from the Legal Services Commission have almost quadrupled.

In one month alone – May last year – the firm billed almost £400,000 for legal services.

The 44-year-old mum of two once boasted in a magazine that those accused of terrorism come to her first.

Read the rest here.

The lesson we refuse to learn

Andrew C. McCarthy, author of the newly published Willful Blindness: Memoir of the Jihad, sat down for an interview at NRO, and voiced some unpleasant truths about our suicidal sensibilities:

Lopez: What’s the most devastating lesson from 15 years ago we still haven’t learned?

McCarthy: That the primary cause of Islamic terrorism is Muslim doctrine, and that we are not fighting a tiny, rag-tag collection of fringe lunatics who have somehow “hijacked” the “true Islam.”

Mark Steyn reminds us of Toynbee’s observation that civilizations die from suicide rather than murder, and our mulish refusal to look at what we’re up against is case in point. It’s really a frightful commentary on the low regard we have for ourselves: that we don’t think we are capable of soberly assessing the Islamic challenge without smearing all Muslims as terrorists — as if, in the scheme of things, it’s more important to shield the tender sensibilities of Muslims than fulfill our duty to protect American lives.

The stubborn fact is: Islamic doctrine is supremacist, chauvinist, and rife with calls to violence against non-Muslims. That doesn’t mean that these are the only elements of Islam. Nor does it mean that all Muslims, or even most, have any interest in acting on those elements. But moderate Muslims, no matter how great a majority of the faithful they may be, do not make Islam moderate. Islam is the font from which springs what we call fundamentalist Islam, radical Islam, militant Islam, political Islam, Islamo-fascism, or whatever we are calling it this week to avoid any hint that Islam has anything to do with the problem.

There are many different interpretations of Islam, of course. The one that truly threatens us — let’s call it fundamentalist Islam, since I think that’s closest to accurate — is not a fringe ideology. It is a comprehensive social system, with political, legal, and theological prescriptions. It is 14 centuries old; has in its history won the fealty of rich and poor, educated and illiterate, etc.; cuts across divides like Sunni-versus-Shiite; and today boasts hundreds of millions of adherents — not a majority of the world’s 1.4 billion Muslims, but an influential, dynamic minority.

Only a small percentage of fundamentalists cross the line into actual terrorist activity, but even a small percentage of hundreds of millions of people means an awful lot of terrorists, and the equally significant point is that the others — to a greater or lesser extent — share the goals if not the methodology. Moreover, the leading fundamentalist figures, people like Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman, exert a powerful influence over even moderates. Their erudition and conviction, their seeming authenticity and command of the scriptures, are very intimidating for the average Muslim who just wants to go about his life.

In any event, the forcible tendencies of fundamentalist Islam may be exacerbated or rationalized by poverty, resentment, lack of democracy, etc. But they are not caused by such pretexts. The violence is commanded by scripture.

We’ve seen this kind of denial delusion about an enemy before, and we know how it ends.

It sounds like a good book

Niall Ferguson, whose book Empire: The Rise and Demise of the British World Order and the Lessons for Global Power was an excellent primer about the virtues of the British Empire (a tough argument in an anti-imperialist age), has written a rave review about Philip Bobbit’s newest book, Terror and Consent : The Wars for the Twenty-First Century.  Bobbit, who supported the Iraq War, argues that you can no longer wage wars in a nation-state mold.  This is a concept I tried, and failed, to get my mind around some time ago — indeed, I have a folder labeled Non-Government Organizations that never turned into either a post or an article.  What I really wanted to say, and never could, was this:

In his last book, “The Shield of Achilles” (2002), Bobbitt advanced a bold argument about the history of international relations since the time of the Treaty of Westphalia (1648). His central argument was that, in the aftermath of the cold war, the traditional post-Westphalian ideal of the sovereign nation-state had become obsolescent. In the increasingly borderless world we associate with globalization, something new was emerging, which Bobbitt called (and continues to call) the “market-state.” This state’s relationship to its citizens resembles that between a corporation and consumers. Its counterpart — and enemy — is the terrorist network. The central problem raised in “The Shield of Achilles” was how far the market-state could and should go to defeat such networks, particularly when they were in some measure sponsored by traditional nation-states.

[snip]

Bobbitt’s central premise is that today’s Islamic terrorist network, which he calls Al Qaeda for short, is like a distorted mirror image of the post-Westphalian market-state: decentralized, privatized, outsourced and in some measure divorced from territorial sovereignty. The terrorists are at once parasitical on, and at the same time hostile toward, the globalized economy, the Internet and the technological revolution in military affairs. Just as the plagues in the 14th century were unintended consequences of increased trade and urbanization, so terrorism is a negative externality of our borderless world.

The difference, of course, is one of intent. The rats that transported the lethal fleas that transported the lethal enterobacteria Yersinia pestis did not mean to devastate the populations of Eurasia and Africa. The Black Death was a natural disaster. Al Qaeda is different. Its members seek to undermine the market-state by turning its own technological achievements against it in a protracted worldwide war, the ultimate goal of which is to create a Sharia-based “terror-state” in the form of a new caliphate. Osama bin Laden and his confederates want to acquire nuclear or biological weapons of mass destruction. Precisely because of the nature of the market-state, as well as the actions of rogue nation-states, the key components and knowledge are very close to being available to them — witness the nuclear Wal-Mart run in Pakistan by A. Q. Khan. With such weapons, the terrorists will be able to unleash a super-9/11, with scarcely imaginable human and psychological costs.

Bobbit mixes an intelligent understanding of the diffuse and dangerous nature of the enemy we face, along with a practical realization that traditional warfare is no longer a useful approach to dealing with this enemy — or, at least, is not the sole useful approach.  It’s hard to believe he’s a Democrat, although I guess he comes by it honestly enough, since he is (if I recall) a blood relative of LBJ.  In any event, of his Democratic leanings, Ferguson has this to say:

To summarize: Bobbitt believes that there is a real war against terror; that civil liberties as previously understood may need to be curtailed to win it; that we must nevertheless fight it without violating our commitment to the rule of law; and that the United States cannot win it alone. This is certainly not a combination of positions calculated to endear Bobbitt either to the left or the right in the United States today.

Yet it is striking that, despite being a Democrat, Philip Bobbitt so often echoes the arguments made by John McCain on foreign policy. He sees the terrorist threat as deadly serious. He is willing to fight it. But he wants to fight it within the law, and with our traditional allies.

Perhaps — who knows? — this brilliant book may also be an application for the post of national security adviser. In times of war, stranger bedfellows have been known than a Democratic Texas lawyer and a Republican Arizona soldier.

The only thing that bewilders me about the book (or, at least, the book review) is Bobbit himself.  He was my Con Law professor and, while an elegant individual, he didn’t strike me as “A dapper Southerner, renowned almost as much for his sparkling literary allusions as for his acute thinking,” which is how Ferguson describes him.  As a teacher, he was, well, dull.  I guess he saved his brilliance for his books.

I will never again complain….

I will never again complain about having to throw away my unfinished drink before going through airport security:

A gang of alleged British Muslim fanatics plotted to cause “carnage on an almost unprecedented scale” with simultaneous suicide bombings on up to 18 transatlantic airliners, a court has heard.

Bombs made from hydrogen peroxide liquid explosives, and disguised as soft drinks including Lucozade and Oasis, were to be taken on board and detonated mid-flight, causing thousands of deaths “in the name of Islam”, it is alleged.

If the alleged plan had been carried out, it could have led to the worst terrorist atrocity since the attacks on the US on September 11, 2001.

It was as a result of the alleged plot being uncovered 18 months ago that authorities tightened security at airports in the UK, banning people carrying liquids on to planes.

The long awaited trial started today amid high security at Woolwich Crown Court in south-east London.
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Jurors were told that the accused were only interested in one way flights from Heathrow airport and possible target cities included New York, Washington, Chicago, Denver, Miami and San Francisco, as well as Montreal and Toronto in Canada.

***

They aimed to inflict “heavy casualties” on an “unwitting civilian population”, jurors were told.

The result would have had a “violent and deadly, global impact”, the court heard.

Peter Wright QC, prosecuting, in his opening speech, said that the men had planned to smuggle liquid explosives – disguised in drinks bottles – aboard selected flights in the summer of 2006.

The men and others were prepared to board the aircraft carrying their “deadly cargo” and detonate it in flight, he said.

“They are men with the cold-eyed certainty of the fanatic, prepared to board an aircraft with the ingredients to construct and detonate a device to bring about the loss not only of their own life but all those around them.”

Mr Wright claimed the alleged plot was foiled when police arrested two men in east London in August, 2006.

“The disaster they contemplated was not long off,” he said.

The court was told that intelligence suggested the alleged plotters may have recruited as many as 18 suicide bombers, who would have set off on flights from several Heathrow terminals at once.

I will also be very clear in my own mind that, when Al Qaeda’s number two assures the West that Al Qaeda would never harm “innocent” people, he defines “innocent” in a very narrow sense to mean himself, and maybe a good friend.  Everyone else, especially everyone who is not a fanatic Muslim, does not fall within that category and is, accordingly, fair game.

How to really party (warning: graphic image)

These are happy Palestinians:

partying_palestinians.jpg

You can see more wildly happy Palestinians here.

This is why they are having a celebratory party, complete with drums, bagpipes, guns and babies:

body.jpg

You can see more examples of the images and facts that give the Palestinians their jollies here and here.

Do you still get the honorific of “human being” if you celebrate the bestial destruction of young life in this way? We all acknowledge that war means that people will die, but I’ve yet to see a civilized society respond to pure carnage — especially the slaughter of the innocents — in precisely this fashion. I’ll remind you of what, in America, triggered the big celebrations on the street: The end of war. Only beasts celebrate the killing during the war. Ergo, Palestinians have reduced themselves to the level of beasts.

Targeting civilians *UPDATE*

I noted a couple of posts ago that the UN, predictably, is up in arms about the fact that Israel finally took action against the militants firing rockets at civilians. I’m sure, though, that the UN will greet with mind-numbing silence the fact that terrorists invaded a school in Jerusalem and killed seven (with a suicide belt on one demonstrating the intention to take out many more):

Two gunmen infiltrated a Jewish seminary in Jerusalem and opened fire in a dining hall Thursday night, killing at least seven people, police and rescue workers said. Israeli media said about 35 people were wounded.

Jerusalem police spokesman Shmuel Ben Ruby said one of the infiltrators was wearing an explosive belt. He said students were being evacuated from the building.

UPDATE: Israel targets soldiers and weeps for the civilians it’s forced to kill. Palestinians target civilians and go dancing in the street to celebrate their deaths:

The Palestinian Hamas movement hailed a deadly attack on a Jewish religious school in Jerusalem on Thursday night as “heroic,” without claiming responsibility for the strike that killed eight.

“This heroic attack in Jerusalem is a normal response to the crimes of the occupier and its murder of civilians,” Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said.

Another spokesman, Taher al-Nunu, blamed the attack on Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Defence Minister Ehud Barak and the Israeli government.

“We have warned before about the responsibility of the escalation in Gaza and warned of Palestinian anger,” Nunu said.

Hundreds of Palestinians poured into the streets of Gaza City as news of the attack at a west Jerusalem yeshiva spread, firing automatic rifles into the air in celebration.

Several more hundred people likewise celebrated in the northern town of Jabaliya, which has borne the brunt of deadly Israeli military strikes over the past eight days that have killed more than 130 Palestinians in Gaza amid a sharp escalation of violence in and around the impoverished territory.

These aren’t people; they’re monsters who have abandoned all semblance of human values. And the moral equivalent idiots on the left, including Barack Obama’s closest advisers, treat them as morally equivalent. For that, the Left is almost as contemptible as the killers themselves.

UPDATE II:  The targets of this “heroic attack” were unarmed high school students.

British think tank lambasts soggy British multiculturalism as petri dish for terrorism

I’ve always had a soft spot in my heart for England. I adore British history, especially because I’ve always admired its trajectory towards true enlightenment. It had all the bad qualities of other European nations — serfs, Crusades, slavery, inhumane work conditions, etc. — but it always seemed to shake them off sooner than the others. It created a legal and political system that served as the model for our own, and that created unprecedented rights among citizens. And it held off Hitler all by itself for more than two years before America started to help.  I also spent a delightful year living there, but that sojourn was in a time before England started, not just to go down the drain, but to hurl herself down the drain. In that regard, the title of this post really says it all. Here’s a part of the news story about Britain’s decline and imminent fall:

Britain has become a “soft touch” for home grown terrorists because ministers have failed to tackle immigrant communities that refuse to integrate, warns a report released today.

The Royal United Services Institute (RUSI), a body of the country’s leading military and diplomatic figures, says the loss of British values and national identity caused by “flabby and bogus” Government thinking has made the country vulnerable to attack from Islamic extremists.

Britain has become a ‘soft touch’ for home grown terrorists, a report warns
MI5 estimates that there are currently about 2,000 active terror supporters in Britain

“Misplaced” policies on multiculturalism have failed to “lay down the line” to immigrants, leading to a fragmented society opposed by “implacable” terrorist enemies, the report says.

The stark warning – which comes just days after the Archbishop of Canterbury was plunged into a row over the adoption of sharia, or Islamic law, in Britain – will embarrass the Government.

RUSI, whose patron is the Queen, is one of the most respected and long-established defence research organisations in the world.

Gordon Brown, who is due to unveil his national security policy next week, has described the think-tank as “leading the debate about homeland security and global terrorism”.

[snip]

“The UK presents itself as a target, as a fragmenting, post-Christian society,” the report says, and is “increasingly divided” on its history, national aims, values and political identity.

“That fragmentation is worsened by the firm self-image of those elements within it who refuse to integrate.”

The report places most of the blame for this on a “lack of leadership from the majority, which, in misplaced deference to ‘multiculturalism’, failed to lay down the line to immigrant communities, thus undercutting those within them trying to fight extremism”.

“The country’s lack of self-confidence is in stark contrast to the implacability of its Islamist terrorist enemy, within and without.
“We look like a soft touch. We are indeed a soft touch, from within and without.”

The report also accuses ministers of “flabby and bogus strategic thinking” which has led to public money being spent in “perverse ways”.

“All this has contributed to a more severe erosion of the links of confidence and support between the British people, their government and Britain’s security and defence forces, than for many years,” it says.

You can and should read the whole thing here.

Poor England

I would like to be upset with what the British judge did, but I think he’s right:

The country’s top judge has dealt a significant blow to a key plank of the Government’s anti-terrorism legislation after he overturned the convictions of five Muslim men jailed last year for downloading and sharing extremist terror-related material.

The Lord Chief Justice ruled that unless there was clear evidence of “terrorist intent” it was not illegal to read or study such literature.

The ruling from Lord Phillips is the latest blow inflicted by the judiciary on controversial terror laws, leading to claims that some of the legislation was hastily drafted and is therefore not legally watertight.

The prosecution of the five young Muslim men was regarded as a test case, and is likely to lead to other convictions being overturned.

These include that of 23-year-old Samina Malik – the so-called “lyrical terrorist”. She was the first woman to be convicted under the Terrorism Act and was given a nine-month suspended sentence in December after being found guilty of possessing terrorist manuals.
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Irfan Raja, Awaab Iqbal, Aitzaz Zafar, Usman Malik and Akbar Butt were all convicted last year after becoming “intoxicated” with jihadi websites and literature.

I can that the behavior in which the young men engaged would give the police grounds to closely scrutinize these men, and others like them, or even justify (strongly) search warrants.  I have a problem, though, with arresting people for reading the wrong things, and that’s true no matter how vile or even dangerous their reading material is.   Having disgusting thoughts is a person’s own business.  Much as one would like to enlighten the person, in a free society, a person’s thoughts should be his own — although I should have the freedom to make information available to you that might change your mind.  Of course, once you take a step to bad acts, no matter how small that step . . . well, that’s another story altogether.

This story struck me for one other, unrelated reason.  It was a reminder yet again that, outside of London, the North of England has become something akin to Pakistan West.  When I was on my Junior Year Abroad in England, I attended a school in the North of England and liked it so very much because it was so much more English than the South of England, which had a more international flavor (both because it had more tourists from all over flooding in and because it got overflow from London). To me, nothing epitomizes more the changes in England in the 26 years since I lived there than the fact that most English parts of England have been, in certain large chunks, recolonized by people whose values are the antithesis of long-standing English values.

More reason to fear Obama

Here’s the Wall Street Journal on yesterday’s overwhelming bipartisan vote to protect from lawsuits telecommunications companies that, in good faith, cooperated with the government to help apprehend terrorists:

Now and then sanity prevails, even in Washington. So it did yesterday as the Senate passed a warrantless wiretap bill for overseas terrorists while killing most of the Lilliputian attempts to tie down our war fighters.

“We lost every single battle we had on this bill,” conceded Chris Dodd, which ought to tell the Connecticut Senator something about the logic of what he was proposing. His own amendment — to deny immunity from lawsuits to telecom companies that cooperated with the government after 9/11 — didn’t even get a third of the Senate. It lost 67-31, though notably among the 31 was possible Democratic Presidential nominee Barack Obama. (Hillary Clinton was absent, while John McCain voted in favor.)

It says something about his national security world view, or his callowness, that Mr. Obama would vote to punish private companies that even the bipartisan Senate Intelligence Committee said had “acted in good faith.” Had Senator Obama prevailed, a President Obama might well have been told “no way” when he asked private Americans to help his Administration fight terrorists. Mr. Obama also voted against the overall bill, putting him in MoveOn.org territory.