Saturday, February 11, 2006
World’s most improbable headline: Hezbollah leader in Lebanon says Bush and Rice should 'shut up' about prophet drawings.
Let’s ask him when his crack wears off, but he must mean that he just doesn’t want people mentioning his fellow ass-bandits doing things like this:
Friday, February 10, 2006
The summer camper’s paradise of Åland, which is semi-autonomous (much in the way the Channel islands are,) are fed up with the culture of regulation. They want to cesede (if there’s anythign to cecede FROM in such a legally vaguely internatioal entity).
The nanny-super-state banned their only profitable export because they don’t think people can make choices for themselves and act in their own self interest. If they really want to look out for people in that way, what they should ban is their own creeping folk marxism.
A Day Older (adloyada - tut, tut...) points out what Red Ken’s political ‘posse’ has in common with Ahmedinajad:
«Now I wonder if anyone will ask Ken about his views of what his friend Sheikh Qaradawi said here about the Holocaust in this sermon last Friday which was aired on Qatar TV? The governments must be pressured to demand that the U.N. adopt a clear resolution or law that categorically prohibits affronts to prophets - to the prophets of the Lord and His messengers, to His holy books, and to the religious holy places. This is so that nobody can cause them harm. They enacted such laws in order to protect the Jews and Judaism. Like some Danes have said: 'We can mock Jesus and his mother.' They were asked: 'Can you mock the Jews?' Here they stopped. The Jews are protected by laws - the laws that protect Semitism, and nobody can say even one word about the number [of victims] in the alleged Holocaust.Elsewhere she gives an example of the pointlessness of even trying to carry around ‘that are of peacefulness’ as it’s currently described by the left. Worse still it’s a attempt they try to make only by way of personal association with those they believe are “peace’s ambassadors to the world of lunacy.” Yet another failure all around when they won’t take a moment to even pretend to talk about the way Islamists address their fetishizing of death and calling for death at every stubbed toe.
Thursday, February 09, 2006
One wonders if the Prophet Muhammad would approve of rioting, grievous bodily harm and arson.
If the answer is yes, then a depiction of his followers as violent is justified. If no, then some of his followers are causing offense to him on a daily basis.
W. Thomas Smith, Jr let Brigadier General Daniel P. Bolger, commander of the Coalition Military Assistance Training Team in Iraq, answer that one.
I do not subscribe to an Arab mind or ‘an Oriental mind’ – with apologies to the late General of the Army Douglas MacArthur – or anything like that. The daily lesson I get is that Iraqis are individuals. Sure, they have cultural views based on their upbringing. Who doesn’t?
In Iraq, years of isolation and repression have made a lot of people here especially insular, magnifying this region’s tendency to value strong extended family ties. When you can’t trust the government – Ottomans, British mandate, Ba’athist socialists, and then the ultimate Ba’athist dictator, Saddam – you go with whom you can trust. People here rely on the family, writ large, sometimes called “tribes” in recognition of their size: thousands of relatives claiming kinship.
What has impressed me is how willing most Iraqis seem to be to look at other points of view. For so long, they got one way – Saddam’s way – shoved down their throats. I have seen a genuine interest in other ways, and it is not unusual to find your conversation with an Iraqi private, sergeant, or captain drift into all kinds of areas. Things like: Do Americans believe in God? What is success in private business? What is federalism in America? Why do Americans care about Iraqis? Do Americans have weapons in their homes? Why don’t Americans seem to like soccer? These are reasonable questions, as are many others. The fact that they get asked, tells me that the minds here are very much open to new possibilities.
In terms of courage and honor, those are esteemed traits in Iraq, and especially in the military. Iraq’s soldiers have a good reputation in Iraqi society for the right reason. They put their lives on the line to protect the people. Of course, without skill, discipline, and leadership, courage does not get much done. Units fight well not because every soldier in each unit is fearless, but because the strength of the teamwork allows a multiplier effect to those who are brave.
Indeed, according to the Transatlantic Intelligencer, this (the Gallic self-praise versus Yankee damnation that leads to that type of smug comments) is only French society's and the French media's usual way of doing business:
Note that the French press is making much of the fact that a State Department spokesperson, Justin Higgins, is supposed to have made similar “freedom, but” remarks, even going so far as to describe the cartoons as “incitation to religious and ethnic hatred” – an assessment, incidentally, that none of us can either confirm or reject without precisely seeing them. These alleged remarks by Mr. Higgins – similar remarks are attributed in an AP story to State Department spokesperson Janelle Hironimus – have been stylized by both Le Figaro and Le Nouvel Observateur into the official position of the United States as such. (Thus Le Nouvel Obs: “The United States has condemned the publication of the controversial caricatures… as an ‘unacceptable’ incitation to religious or ethnic hatred.”)Pointing out that Justin Higgins is just one press officer among (many) others, John Rosenthal notes how un-English the words attributed to the entire State Department, to the entire U.S. government, to the entire American nation sound.
In addition, the cowardly Bush has not set aside his trip to Pakistan and thanks to John Vinocur and Dan Bilefsky, we know that Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen has set the blame squarely where it belongs:
Rasmussen argued that the cartoon crisis had been hijacked by Middle East countries that were using the caricatures for domestic ends … the crisis … was more about attempts by Iran and Syria to cause diversions in the Middle East than 12 cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad in a Danish newspaper. … "I have never doubted that Bush would stand up for Denmark," Rasmussen said. "He values faithfulness and loyalty. I was not surprised he decided to call me and express support."Update: The French have produced some rather well-argumented defences of free speech, coupled with denunciations of Muslim double standards. Unfortunately, the anti-Americanism is never far away.
A French Imam defends Denmark while taking a dig at the United States. In Oliver Roy's piece, you can also read the digs at Uncle Sam between the lines, notably where he bewails Europe's having to take responsability in Afghanistan, etc.
Meanwhile, Le Monde's Francis Cornu celebrates Al Jazeera, while Alain Salles suggests that reviews that aren't favorable to BHL's American Vertigo must be lacking in seriousness and lets BHL's assertion that someone who doesn't like his book can be nothing but a French-hating populist stand.
I am speechless that those people, whom we have given the right to live in Denmark and where they freely have chosen to stay, are now touring Arab countries and inciting antipathy towards Denmark and the Danish peopleInvoking an axis (sorry a triangle) of death, Bernard-Henri Levy (merci, S Stevens) has some wise words.
Meanwhile, Barcepundit asks when Sinéad will be allowed to show her head again and when burnt-out embassies will be rebuilt in Spain and Italy…
"Behead the one who insults the prophet," read one placard a Muslim protester held at a weekend demonstration here against cartoon depictions of Islam's prophet Muhammad. "Butcher those who mock Islam," and "Be Prepared for the Real Holocaust," read other signs.So started Mary Jordan's article. Leave it to Ann Coulter, though, to put it in a way that's self-evident:
The little darlings brandish placards with typical Religion of Peace slogans, such as: "Behead Those Who Insult Islam," "Europe, you will pay, extermination is on the way" and "Butcher those who mock Islam." They warn Europe of their own impending 9/11 with signs that say: "Europe: Your 9/11 will come" -- which is ironic, because they almost had me convinced the Jews were behind the 9/11 attack.She goes on to add:
Largely unnoticed in this spectacle is the blinding fact that one nation is missing from the long list of Muslim countries (by which I mean France and England) with hundreds of crazy Muslims experiencing bipolar rage over some cartoons: Iraq. Hey -- maybe this democracy thing does work! The barbaric behavior of Europe's Muslims suggests that the European welfare state may not be attracting your top-notch Muslims.Jan M Olsen has more about Jyllands-Posten and the reaction in Denmark…
Bernard-Henri Levy (writing in the OpinionJournal Extra column) believes that European governmental apologies over cartoons not published by their governments are counterproductive. He couldn’t be more right. What does being inconsistent about free speech as a value in a pluralistic society have? It has that “go ask your mother” quality which goes beyond an outsider playing left against right. It undermines our basic social principles which are (or should be) universal in a republic.
«The heart of this second triangle? First, the affirmation of principles. The affirmation of the press's right to the expression of idiocies of its choosing--rather than the acts of repentance that too many leaders have resorted to, and which merely encourages in the Arab street the false and counterproductive illusion that a democratic state may exert power over its press.» Apologies create a kind of social precedent which undermines the sophistication of the democratic model by making all hurt feelings equally regrettable, no matter what scale the issue. Intended for domestic consumption, they are more of a crud populum that the “Arab street” will not understand, not take seriously, and shortly forget since the same act will be played again.
- Shukran, S²
Even with an infantile, fantasist view of Americans which is based on carefully selected narrow sampling which doesn’t reflect any significant part of the population, Anatole Kaletsky writing in the Times (UK) clearly states the obvious.
Sectarianism: Dueling Banjos
Environmentalism: What The... I want my money back.
Germany: Sisyphus may have had It easy
EU Scam: Dead dorse beaten, marinated, and derved With GMO corn
EU Elites: despot put on ice
Wednesday, February 08, 2006
Tuesday, February 07, 2006
- Veilen Dank, Ken
Danish cartoonists are forcing the media to test it’s own limits, to ask itself what their values really are, if they’ll become aware of their own liberties, as ask themselves why they’re selling granny for a multicultural nickel.
Meanwhile back at the ranch, Natalie and Co. at Biased-BBC points out something repetitive inculcation into the buzz have taught me to not notice: while the Beeb refers readily to Mohammed as the “Prophet Mohammed,” I have never once outside of the religious service broadcasts (which disappeared with a smart sounding rationalization more than a decade ago,) called Jesus “Lord Jesus Christ”. Eurosoc has more:
Their Double Standards are Slipping
«This time, the BBC doesn't talk about Mohammed, or even The Prophet Mohammad, as numerous UK media outlets have taken to calling the founder of Islam since the Cartoon War began. The BBC gives him his full title: Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).
Indeed, every time the Prophet is mentioned in the BBC's supposedly neutral text, his name is followed with the abbreviation "(pbuh)" - as if, as Wyatt notes, "the corporation itself were Muslim."»
How ironic that the very people who came to the West for freedom are now trying to impose the same repressive ideology on those who host them
As an American Muslim who strongly believes in the basic tenets and the fundamental principles of democracy, I'm stunned to see the response of Muslim immigrants in Europe.Update: From Baghdad, Iraq the Model chimes in:
I have every reason to believe that Muslims in the West are people who fled their original homelands because of persecution and for a lack of personal freedom and liberty. They sought refuge in the West.
How ironic that the very people who came to the West for freedom are now trying to impose the same repressive ideology on those who host them and who do not share their views on religion.
The guarantees of democratic principles in the West have long been defined. Muslim immigrants don't get to choose which democratic values they accept and which ones they reject.
The right to free speech was established to ensure against government censorship and the repression of critical and dissenting voices. Freedom of speech is not intended to protect what is popular — it protects what may be unpopular. This includes criticism of government, religions and blasphemy.
Muslims have the right to use their purchasing power to boycott newspapers they find offensive or Danish goods and services. They have the right to exercise any lawful means to punish those who offend them. They don't have the right to perpetrate violence.
You know that those cartoons were published for the 1st time months ago and we here in the Middle East have tonnes of jokes about Allah, the prophets and the angels that are way more offensive, funny and obscene than those poorly-made cartoons, yet no one ever got shot for telling one of those jokes or at least we had never seen rallies and protests against those infidel joke-tellers.
What I want to say is that I think the reactions were planned to be exaggerated this time by some Middle Eastern regimes and are not mere public reaction.
And I think Syria and Iran have the motives to trigger such reactions in order to get away from the pressures applied by the international community on those regimes.
«Combined with this is the fact that most European populations experience a profound feeling of impotence in the face of their own immovable political elites. (My wife, who was born in Paris 56 years ago, cannot remember any period of her life from adolescence onward when M. Chirac was not a prominent figure in French public life, and had he not died after a mere fifty years at or near the top of the greasy pole, the same might have been said of M. Mitterand.) This feeling of impotence is not because of any lack of intelligence or astuteness on the part of the populations in question: if you wanted to know why there was so much youth unemployment in France, you would not ask the Prime Minister, M. Dominque de Villepin, but the vastly more honest and clear-headed village plumber or carpenter, who would give you many precise and convincing reasons why no employer in his right mind would readily take on a new and previously untried young employee. Indeed, it would take a certain kind of intelligence, available only to those who have undergone a lot of formal education, not to be able to work it out. [ … ]
The European Union serves several purposes, none of which have much to do with the real challenges facing the continent. The Union helps Germans to forget that they are Germans, and gives them another identity rather more pleasing in their own estimation; it allows the French to forget that they are now a medium sized nation, one among many, and gives them the illusion of power and importance; it acts as a giant pension fund for politicians who are no longer willing or able successfully to compete in the rough and tumble of electoral politics, and enables them to hang on to influence and power long after they have been rejected at the polls; and it acts as a potential fortress against the winds of competition that are now blowing from all over the world, and that are deeply unsettling to people who desire security above all else.»Thanks a million (pages of law) to Stavn
«The revolution's watchmen rose up because I was taking pictures of something they do not like," said the top model, referring to the fact that the Communist regime of Fidel Castro denies the existence of slums on the island.
Houdova was arrested along with psychologist and fellow model Mariana Kroftova.»
From Robert Bidinotto’s blog:
If you wish to make intelligible the left's Byzantine policy positions and declarations, note that there are two constants in every leftist interpretation of world events: More here.
(1) AMERICA is always to blame; and
(2) every evil committed by anyone else on the planet, foreign or domestic, is only a "reaction" or "response" to AMERICAN (fill in the blank) aggression/ inequality/ corruption/ racism/ imperialism/ jingoism/ arrogance/ capitalism/ etc.
Monday, February 06, 2006
This is not unlike other events where we’ve seen opinions expressed in violence. People reveal their intellectual limitations through their actions.
For the 5th time in 10 days churches have been desecrated by either musical, casual, or serious Satanists, and it hasn’t even appeared seriously on the media radar, except quite briefly as a local issue. The fear of discussing religion at all, or its’ meaningless in modern European life may be at the heart of the matter because it discourages individual narcissism, while its’ absence leaves people ill prepared to discuss mortal matters with anything more than an adolescent degree of depth.
Hence the boboiste religion of civil life. Repeat it often enough, and you might feel smart, and take up what seem like absurd and hopeless causes because they feel good on a uncritical level, no matter how wrong-headed they are.
Is the press afraid of the obvious comparisons that can be made with the violence to Danish, Norwegian, and French related property and symbols by the "anti-cartoon crusaders", or is it because they just don't know how to wrap their brains around the issue anymore?
«BEIRUT, Lebanon - He wants Israel wiped off the face of the earth, dismisses the Holocaust as a myth and defies the world by pushing ahead with a nuclear program. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's fiery rhetoric has found instant appeal among some Arabs, who consider him a hero for standing up to Israel and the West. But not everyone is cheering the hard-line leader.»More to the point, Israelis and Jews weren’t calling for an end to free speech and burning Iranian Embassies down.
Omar Marzouk, a Danish comedian… says terror humor has receptive audiences in unlikely places. He said he was greeted with hysterical cackles when, in recent shows in Israel and Britain, he suggested that the West recruit Muslims to prevent terrorist attacks by having them sit on buses, strapped with explosives, so when a real suicide bomber gets on, they can say, "Hey, man, it's O.K., I got this one covered."Dan Bilefsky has an article on a Muslim humorist in Denmark while Alan Cowell has one on a Dane of Pakistani descent. Needless to say, both articles assume the innate wisdom of their subjects and the backwards, reactionary attitude of the general population, but still, that doesn't mean that Marzouk's jokes aren't funny.
If the audience doesn't laugh at his jokes, his resorts to a favorite riposte, "I don't care if my jokes bomb. They go straight to heaven where they get 72 virgin jokes"Meanwhile, the cute puppydog (tak til TP) has more acerbic humor from Denmark (check out his support Denmark logo).
(Tip o' the turban to Zombie Time)
Sunday, February 05, 2006
Kais, the author of From Beirut to the Beltway says sarcastically:
«Denmark, with all the cows and the milk and the sacred freedom to utter nonsense and print garbage, is now a threat to Muslims everywhere. A few badly drawn cartoons, offensive yes, but harmful no, sparked a flurry of condemnation unrivalled in the Islamic world. And Hizbullah’s contribution to this debate: murder them all.»If we're lucky, this will bring the fatwa which will fall on it's sword, making them suspect even among those willing to entertain hearing them.
I think that the Embassy burners can safely be called savages:
«BEIRUT, Lebanon Feb 5, 2006 (AP) — Thousands of Muslims rampaged Sunday in Beirut, setting fire to the Danish Embassy, burning Danish flags and lobbing stones at a Maronite Catholic church as violent protests spread over caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad.[ ... ]
Troops fired bullets into the air and used tear gas and water cannons to push the crowds back after a small group of Islamic extremists tried to break through the security barrier outside the embassy.
Demonstrators attacked policemen with stones and set fire to several fire engines, witnesses said.
"Now it has become more than a case about the drawings which (for extra dramatic effect) were referred to as “worse than the holocaust” by some BBCinterviewee in Damascus: Now there are forces that wants a confrontation between our cultures," Moeller said. "It is in no one's interest, neither them or us."
Syria blamed Denmark for the protests, criticizing the Scandinavian nation for refusing to apologize for the caricatures of Islam's holiest figure.»In spite of the barbarism, there aren’t any surprises here. Bombs have been set periodically in the Christian neighborhoods of Beirut without any seeming pattern or logic for several years now. Never mind the fact that the civil war is over.
Islamists show every sign of not being able to tell the differences between a critic and an enemy, a newspaper and a government, or an Arab Christian (who, by the way, warned you) and a Dane.
Defending Mao Against Unnuanced Writers Who Would Denigrate the Chinese Leader as "a Comic Book Monster"
That big black book, as little nuanced as the Little Red Book, is an indictment by Jung Chang and Jon Halliday. Mao is presented as a comic book-type monster, tyrant put into power by Stalin, whose tally of kills (70 million dead in peacetime) places him ahead of Stalin and Hitler in the records of dictatorships.Sandalista's review serves as a reply to nuancists like Assouline:
Mao, to nuanced intellectuals, was a mitigated monster, an agrarian reformer and social engineer making omelettes and breaking a few (c.70,000,000) eggs. Mao was a liberal in a hurry. In his rush to utopia, mistakes were sometimes made.Robert Peng's provides another answer:
Mr. Kristof and the New York Times are entitled to their own nuances, but let's pray (Bush, according to the Times, does that too) their nuances don't extend to national socialism's utopia. Would Kristof and Times intellectuals cut slack for Hitler because no document directly implicates him in c.7,000,000 murders?
I am all for biographies that show the good and the bad sides of people. Look at Manchesters incredible biography of MacArthur. But I do not like books that are so politically correct that they won't glorify those that should be glorfied and they won't villify those that need to be villified. The authors clearly show what Mao really was.Finally, C J Griffin's spotlight review is spot on:
Some critics of the book say it is a hatchet job because it ignores all the "good" he did during his rule. Even if this is true, and that's a big if, that doesn't make him any less of a butcher. I can point to the recovery of the German economy between 1933 and 1938 under Hitler. Franco expelled the Soviet presence in Spain and saved 60,000 Jews from the Nazi death camps. Suharto brought political stability and economic growth to Indonesia. And Pinochet relinquished power and left Chile a prosperous, thriving, free market democracy. You can meticulously examine any dictator's record and probably find something positive to write about (although Pol Pot's would be rather difficult). And isn't Taiwan, ruled for decades by brutal Nationalist leader Chiang Kai-shek (whose murders were a drop in the ocean compared with Mao's), better off today than China, considering it is a free-market democracy? So why does Mao, who spilled more blood than all the aforementioned tyrants put together, deserve special treatment? Why all this ambivalence towards a man who starved and slaughtered scores of millions of his own people without giving it a second thought? Keep in mind his warped interpretation of Marxism (Maoism) inspired terrorist movements such as the Shining Path of Peru, who have killed tens of thousands of people in car bombings, assassinations and peasant massacres. Some 12,000 have been killed in the Maoist insurgency in Nepal, including 38 slaughtered in a bus bombing by the Maoist thugs several months ago. And Cambodia's Pol Pot was a Maoist inspired killer. Other than inciting bloodshed in a few places, Maoism internationally has fallen flat on its face.
If you asked me, it's about time someone threw the book at this vicious dictator and murderer, his twisted ideology, his blood-soaked legacy and the blind "useful idiots" who continue to adore him as some great humanist. Hats off to Chang and Halliday for this horrifying but absolutely necessary look at pure evil.
From illuminated manuscripts to Ottoman miniature painting, the image of the prophet Mohammed have been quite common. They are though of as wrong, but are still found in religious texts, particularly for religious education over time.
That it is presented as a taboo to the unwitting is another case of public-affairs rope-a-dope by the proponents of Islamism and by their ungrounded western paesanos. It fits in with the sell-job that no Muslim can be bad, because the faith is good, and other logically unsupportable arguments.
There are demands that a government shout down Jyllands-Posten. There are people taking it out on foodmakers even if they aren't in the news business. Never mind that virtually none of their own farmers can write, let alone produce enough food.
It all points to one simple fact. Those demanding a pound of flesh for their hurt feelings are little more than barbarians who see the rest of the world as its’ house-bint. Four decades of repeating irrational accusations of blood libel, and acting out their paranoia (founded in an inability to trust even their own social circle) is a contradiction the morally weak and those poor in spirit simply won’t face.
If there’s any reason to demand an apology, it is over the likes of this:
«In the most expensive Turkish film ever made, American soldiers in Iraq gatecrash a wedding and shoot a little boy in front of his mother.Hiding behind the Islam, and using the oldest and stalest weasel words, the film-maker said:
They kill dozens of innocent people with random machine gun fire, shoot the groom in the head and drag those left alive to Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison, where a Jewish doctor cuts out their organs, which he sells to rich people in New York, London and Tel Aviv.»
«Zane plays a self-professed "peacekeeper sent by God".He’s all for peace and butterflies, and puppy-dogs with big sad eyes, but is more than willing to pimp propaganda about Americans being evil drooling organ thieves.
Asked if he thought the film was anti-American, Zane said: "This screenplay is not against my country's people... I am doing this movie because I am a patriot. I'm against all wars, because wars don't have happy endings."»
How cute. Does he think Jihad will have a happy ending too?
What those who don’t want to wrap their brains around the concept of free speech can’t grasp is that they’re permitting evil to transparently hide behind religion and calls for peace with the same stupidity that they have for a whole generation.
The delusions of superiority in Islamic society (quite tellingly) are to the point where refuse to address the cruelty found in most Islam dominated states even as they try to ape the trope of the enlightened.