Friday, 30 June 2006
more Derb TV
It's Friday afternoon, gettin' on to quittin' time and Derb TV is up. What could be better? Put your feet up on the desk, lie back and watch DerbTV,
Posted on 06/30/2006 4:43 PM by Rebecca Bynum
Friday, 30 June 2006
verbiage and Middle East coverage
See for example, this article.
The word "settler," like the word "occupied," is clearly meant to minimize, or deny outright, any claim by Israelis to certain territories. Instead of making their listeners aware of the history of this area, including the history of the Jews under Muslim rule (Arab or Ottoman), instead of making people aware of the "ruin and desolation" into which the area known to Western Christendom (but not the Muslims) as Palestine or the Holy Land (and which continued naturally to be called Eretz Israel, the Land of Israel, by Jews), instead of discussing why the League of Nations felt it only just that, after the Ottoman Empire collapsed, to create a mandate system that would lead to the creation of an "Arab state," a "Jewish state, an "Armenian state," and a "Kurdish state," and that the Arabs managed to acquire, in the end, 20 such states and with them the source of the greatest unearned wealth in human history, the Jews managed to acquire, entirely by their own efforts but not soon enough to rescue co-religionists who might have been saved in Europe, and fashioned their state without any help, and significant opposition from , the local British who instead of furthering the goals of the Mandate, did what they could to obstruct them; the Armenian state offered was merely part of the Soviet Empire, until very recently, and never included those regions once inhabited by Armenians murdered by local Muslims in present-day Turkey; the Kurds got nothing, but their moment may at last be coming.
The word "settler" in the obsessive BBC usage (and not only the BBC; The Economist long has favored these pictures of bearded, gun-toting "West Bank" settlers, impliedly religious fanatics, we are meant to think, the lot of them) is meant to suggest that other word, the word the Arabs use directly -- that is the word "colonist." And what is a "colonist"? A "colonist" is merely a cog in the machine of "colonialism" and the Jews, you see, including those who served as chattel slaves of Arab tribes in Yemen for a thousand years, or those who came from Morocco, Algeria, Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Iran -- that is, those who remained when others were the descendants of Jews who had been forced to leave their lands by Arab Muslim conquerors, who quickly imposed a system of dhimmitude and persecution, in the Holy Land, with especial severity, are in the BBC version to be depicted as those semi-European "colonialists" who must go back, eventually, to some mother country.
This all takes place through repetition of loaded phrases: "settler" and "occupied" are merely two that stick out. It is the snarl oblique, which supplements the Arab propaganda of all those guests, some Arabs, and some "Middle East experts" who parrot, in one register or another, the same Arab line, often in tones of grave or sweet reason, but if you listen closely to one of those former diplomats (say, all those former American diplomats, sometimes ambassadors, sometimes something more lowly, who have taken positions in some transparent Washington institute devoted to the "Middle East" and supported directly or indirectly, that comes from all those eagerly recycling, by money from that same "Middle East."
The term "Holy Land" is used by all kinds of people to mean that they consider that part of the world (Israel, Judea, historical "Palestine" on both sides of the Jordan as that term was used in Western Christendom), "holy" because it is where Jesus was born and lived and died, where Christianity had its beginnings, its earliest history. In how many thousands of works in Latin does the phrase "Terra Sancta" occur? In every third or fourth book in the Vatican Library? For someone to be so distant from, uncomprehending of, his own history, his own civilization (I assume you are a citizen of the West), so as not to recognize the religio-historical provenance of the phrase "Holy Land" shows something about the collapse of educational standards, and the absence of both Sprachgefuhl ("language-feeling") and what Jacques Barzun once wittily described, I dimly recall, as "Geschichtengefuhl" -- not mere knowledge of facts, but the "history-feeling" that comes long after the facts have been learned, and sense made of things through the dimension of time.
And to the reader who wrote, "You never once provided an explanation as to why" you used the term "Holy Land" when discussing Israel -- that is, in apposition. Well, I assumed that readers knew something. I assumed a minimum amount of historical baggage. In your case, I assumed incorrectly. Obviously when I write "Israel, the Holy Land" I am using first the Jewish, and then the Christian designation -- that's it. If you don't recognize that, what the hell do you make of paintings in museums, of the iconogrpaphy that relies on a knowledge of the Old and New Testaments? Is most of Western painting off-limits to your understanding? And much of Western writing, including all kinds of allusions in Shakespeare, Milton, and a hundred others? I find this state of affairs grim.
Any educated person, I repeat, will use without embarrassment, or hesitation, the phrase "Holy Land" in a context in which it is clear that one is describing how that place is described or thought of by others, and those others may or may not include oneself.
I'm not a Believer. I don't believe there is a God, and so I don't think He promised the Land of Israel to the ancient Hebrews, that famous Terra Promissa. But I know, rather than believe, or not believe, that the ancient Hebrews lived there, that the Jews lived there and created and were created by that Land, and that they alone longed for it for the years of their exile, and I am of the view that if there is a God, given all that has happened, He certainly would have promised that Land to the Jews. It makes poetic, moral, all kinds of sense -- the kinds of sense that matter to those who have any sense left in them.
And here's another point. It is undeniable that in order to believe the Muslims have a claim, any claim at all, to that area as important to them, then you have to agree to believe that a certain Muhammad ascended into Heaven, all the way to the Muslim Seventh Heaven, and came down again the same night, on his fabulous winged steed Buraq. Only Muslims believe that.
But the connection of Jews to that area is not a matter of religious faith which one may or may not share. And the connection of Jesus, and early Christianity, to that area is not a matter of religious faith, which one may or may not share. The Hebrews really did live there, did make their history there, were formed there, and in exile did long for the place as no one else did. Jesus was born and lived and was crucified there. Those are matters of history, not religious belief. Quite different from that story of Muhammad on Buraq, and the careful assignment of that "farthest mosque" (the Qur'anic passage mentions only "al-masjid al-aqsa" without specifying where it is) to the Temple Mount, in an obvious act of religio-geo-political appropriation.
The next time you find me using the phrase "Israel, the Holy Land..." you should understand that this means the same sliver of land that we now call Israel is the same sliver historically called the Holy Land. And if one calls it the Promised Land, that too is a recognition of how it was regarded in the Western world, and does not necessarily mean that the author 1) believes in God and 2) believes that He promised the Land to the Jews.
But anyone endowed with the least bit of moral or historical sense, or with something else, poetic sense, will certainly believe in the idea of the Promised Land. Even if one were utterly devoid of religious faith, and did not believe in a God to Promise Land, what the most persecuted tribe in human history has had to endure, and right now continues to endure at the hands of a vicious enemy conducting an endless Jihad (and has to endure further the cruel miscomprehension of all kinds of outsiders, not least many at the BBC and the U.N. and the E.U. hierarchy), entitles it, has earned it the right, along with the long historical connection of Jews to the Land of Israel, to treat that land as promised to them. And any Non-believer who cannot see the moral, historic, poetic rightness of that, has something wrong with him.
That's my view. It's a Pisgah-sight of Palestine.
Posted on 06/30/2006 8:51 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Friday, 30 June 2006
International Law v. the United States
In honor of yesterday's latest collusion by the Supreme Court with the vanguard of "transnational progressives" boundlessly determined to end democratic self-determination while empowering those bent on killing us all, Commentary
has revived my February 2006 essay, "International Law v. the United States." It's up on their website (www.commentarymagazine.com
Posted on 06/30/2006 6:01 AM by Andy McCarthy
Thursday, 29 June 2006
Re: First Lines
Okay Derb, I'll see your Larkin and raise you a Poe:
"Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,"
I memorized "The Raven" as a child, the only poem I ever memorized completely.
Posted on 06/29/2006 7:10 PM by Rebecca Bynum
Thursday, 29 June 2006
Did we ever do favorite first lines of poems?
Here's my nomination:
"I work all day, and get half-drunk at night."
—-Philip Larkin, "Aubade"
That should cheer Rebecca up.
Posted on 06/29/2006 7:01 PM by John Derbyshire
Thursday, 29 June 2006
Not Everything Is Political!
From a reader:
"Derb—-You wrote, about Jenna: '...can see is not likely to bring, any political advantage to the GOP. It's a strange thing. Anyone got explanations?' Yeah, you're kind of a nut. With all due respect. Not everything in the world is political."
[Derb] Can this be right? Maybe I should retire my longstanding obsession with the doings of Presidential daughters.....
Posted on 06/29/2006 6:58 PM by John Derbyshire
Thursday, 29 June 2006
The Bush Family Project and the GOP
Jenna Bush is leaving DC for a taching job in Latin America, it says here
It also says: "Last week marked her final day at the Mount Pleasant charter school where she taught for a year and a half ... Jenna and a fellow instructor oversaw a class of third-graders being taught in both English and Spanish."
So yet another link in the Bush-Hispanic chain is about to be forged. The chain goes all the way back to Poppy Bush's, er, business arrangement with Jorge Diaz Serrano in the early 1960s.
It's an odd thing—a paradox, really—that our last Democratic President showed little interest in Latin America and seems to have had no friendships or business ties there. Chelsea was sent to Oxford, and I think you could make a case that the Democratic Party as a whole, in its thinking, is more Euro-centric than Latin-American-centric. And yet Hispanic voters in the U.S. are solidly Democratic. All the main appeals of the current Democratic Party—big-govt. populism, a zero-sum racial spoils system, victimology, open borders, etc.—are much more attractive to Hispanics, and (except for the open borders) much more in line with Latin American political traditions, that the GOP's appeals to self-support, low taxation, etc.
So the decades-long Bush family project to bond with Latin America has not brought, and so far as I can see is not likely to bring, any political advantage to the GOP. It's a strange thing. Anyone got explanations?
Posted on 06/29/2006 4:27 PM by John Derbyshire
Thursday, 29 June 2006
Girl stoned to death for writing letter
And what did the letter do? It criticized Muhammad and Islam (along with Jesus and some local Pastors but nobody would stone her for that). She was just 20 years old.
Minna, Nigeria: Trouble started at about noon when the girl whose identity is yet to be ascertained was said to have walked straight into the Jumat Mosque in Izom where she dropped the inciting letter in the Mosque.
As the letter was opened, it was discovered that it was a letter full of unprintable materials accusing both Prophet Muhammad, Jesus Christ and even some living and dead Pastors of some misdeeds.
The lady was immediately trailed and arrested by the people who also handed her over to the police.
While the lady was under protective police custody for interrogation, the news of the inciting letter had spread to the town while the youth immediately mobilized and stormed the Izom Police station where they demanded for the release of the girl for instant judgement...
Posted on 06/29/2006 6:36 AM by Rebecca Bynum
Thursday, 29 June 2006
I saw a television programme the other evening decrying the beauty industry. Creams and lotions, costing £100 a pot, promise to reduce “the appearance of” wrinkles. For legal reasons which remain obscure to me, the manufacturers are not allowed to claim that they reduce the wrinkles themselves. Presumably the wrinkles are still there, but cunningly disguised as non-wrinkles.
“Experts” were wheeled in, one of whom made the common-sense observation that the magic potions were a waste of money. Wrinkles or lack of them are mainly determined by your genes and by the amount of time you spend in the sun. The dermatologist went on to say that if you look at your face in the mirror, then look at your buttocks, your face will look about ten years older. That’s right. In a bizarre variation on Oscar Wilde’s Picture of Dorian Gray, it may be possible to have the buttocks of an ingénue and the face of an old trout.
Strangely enough, it has never occurred to me to compare my face with my buttocks. But if I did, I would like to think that my face would come off better. Besides, one is not comparing like with like. Or is one? Cue for an old joke:
A man was becoming very agitated about not having had a date in quite some time. He was getting worried that he might never find a mate. In the hope of finding a solution to his problem, he decided that it was time to see a doctor. Looking through the phone book, he came upon a Chinese sex therapist named Dr. Chang.
On arrival he told the doctor his symptoms. The doctor said "Take off all your crothes and you crawl velly fass away from me across the froor". He crawled to the other side of the room and Dr.Chang said "Now...you crawl velly fass back to me", and he did. Dr. Chang shook his head and said, "you haf velly bad case of Zachary's Disease....worse case I ever see! That why you haf sex plobrem". The man was completely confused and asked the doctor exactly what Zachary's Disease was and he replied, "Zachary's Disease.... your face ZACHARY like your arse.”
Some women, and increasingly men, use botox as a way of looking younger. Their face is injected with botulism, and the muscles paralysed, so that they can neither smile nor frown. Why anyone thinks this is attractive is beyond me. In any case, botox is the wrong drug. Introducing …[drum roll]…butox. The cream that makes you look ten years younger. Yes, use it regularly and your face will look “Zachary like your arse”.
Update: No, that's your elbow.
Posted on 06/29/2006 5:37 AM by Mary Jackson
Thursday, 29 June 2006
Daring raid on a Taleban stronghold
From the Times. Unfortunately 2 brave men of the Special Air Service regiment died in this mission.
THE two special forces soldiers killed during an hour-long gunfight in southern Afghanistan were part of a daring raid on a Taleban stronghold in which four key commanders on the “Most Wanted” list were seized. The details of the “snatch” operation emerged as the next of kin were told of their deaths. The men’s names will not be released after a request from the families.
The SAS, the Royal Marines’ Special Boat Service (SBS) and the newly formed Special Forces Support Group, consisting of troops from the 1st Battalion The Parachute Regiment, were all involved in the largest covert operation in the area since British troops were deployed there last month.
Defence sources said there had been intelligence that four key Taleban leaders were in a compound in the village of Sangin, north of Helmand province, where 3,300 British troops are based. The special forces were supported by two companies of about 100 paratroops from the 3rd Battalion The Parachute Regiment. The soldiers from 3 Para launched an attack on the compound, providing covering fire as the snatch squad moved in and grabbed the four. They were described as “high-value targets”.
A full-scale battle ensued, with troops coming under fire for more than a hour. One soldier said: “We stood and fought very hard.” During the battle, two of the seized Taleban escaped and the other two were killed. The sources said that the two dead men were probably hit by crossfire.
It was during the battle that the two special forces soldiers were also killed. One of them was believed to be part of the Special Forces Support Group set up last year to provide extra firepower for SAS and SBS operations. The SAS and SBS are operating together in southern Afghanistan.
The British troops called for airpower to attack the Taleban ambush positions, and the major assault ended only when an RAF Harrier GR7 from Kandahar and an Army Air Corps Apache attack helicopter arrived. Up to thirty Taleban were killed, sources said.
Posted on 06/29/2006 5:02 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Thursday, 29 June 2006
See football and needlework do mix as hobbies !
This is from the BBC.
When England's travelling band of supporters arrive in a city for a match they find a suitable spot and hoist flags and banners carrying the cross of St George in their dozens. It is not just a takeover of a town square, but a world of intricate stitching, washing superstitions and well-travelled flags.
The flags show supporters' allegiance to their club as well as their country. A cosmopolitan mix of team names is emblazoned across the red horizontal stripe - from Premiership clubs, through the lower leagues down to fans' pub teams. The four white squares are filled with crests, mascots, initials. Their condition hints at how long they have been on the march with England. For something packed away in a bag and carried off to the football, many of them are fantastically intricate examples of creative stitching.
Two weeks of hard work with a needle and thread went into Paul Green's flag. "Wisbech, near Cambridge" is sewn across it in huge letters and the clue that he is a Norwich supporter is in the giant canary.
Dave Russell, from Basingstoke, aka Dave from Baze, has family to thank for the detail on his Wolverhampton Wanderers England flag. "I'd been meaning to get a flag for ages but got drunk one night and ordered it on the internet," (as men do, tell me about it!) he says. "To get the wolf, my Auntie Brenda butchered an old flag and put it on there. It looks awesome."
...opinion is divided over whether to wash, or not. Dave is happy to put his in the machine. "You should have seen the state of it the other day. I'd taken it down and it'd fallen in to about eight beers. It's really good quality and it doesn't run in the wash."
... fans who have witnessed a victorious streak with their flag are less keen on the idea. "We're a bit superstitious as we've had a winning run with it since not washing it," say England and Bournemouth supporters Justin and James Noakes. "It's got some stains on it but we've always looked after it."
Others say a tumble in the machine happens in only the most extreme cases, "like if the flag gets a hot-dog and sauce all over it".
Like the trip to the tournament itself, the flags cost a fair amount - up to £200, for a large size, with a club side's name on. Other fans have been more canny - Mickey Booth, Reg Bailey, Matthew Pearson and Adam Armitage, from Grange Moor, Yorkshire, have carried their flag since France '98. It is "a proper flag, with proper original rope and real paint for the words" they say. But having come from its original post flying on a mill that closed down, it was also free. It has cost the men enough to be here and as Reg underlines: "Truth to tell, we're all Yorkshiremen, and we don't pay out much money for things."
I'm married to a Yorkshireman, and while they joke about being mean its not true. They will spend their money and generously so, but they won't waste it. These gentlemen seen to be having better luck washing Aunty Brenda's handiwork in support of England than I have. Not liking any of the "womens" England t-shirts available in my size I decided to make my own. I got a comfortable white t-shirt and stitched red ribbons of satin, velvet and organza in a tastefully off centre St George Cross across the front. I wore it on a few match days and received several compliments. Worried that the red ribbons might run, and mindful of the tea, beer, and cereal stains that by now also adorned the front I decided that a careful hand wash was required. The stains came off with use of a nail brush and a bar of trusty green fairy soap. The ribbons didn't run and I hung it over the bath to drip. Except that the red thread I used did run, seeped onto the back. So I now have a bold satin, velvet and organza cross on the front, and a pale imitation on the back.
Posted on 06/29/2006 3:43 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Wednesday, 28 June 2006
The Jizyah keeps flowing, and flowing
ST. LOUIS --- Boeing has signed a Foreign Military Sales (FMS) agreement
with the U.S. Army to deliver Avenger short-range air defense fire units to
Egypt. The $50 million contract includes associated spares and logistics
The Avenger is the U.S. Army's mobile, shoot-on-the-move, short-range air
defense system. Armed with Stinger missiles and a 50-caliber machine gun,
Avenger provides effective tactical defense and convoy protection against
helicopters, cruise missiles and unmanned aerial vehicles. - from this article
Egypt should not be done any favors. And if it is suggested that if "we don't sell them" this equipment than Egypt will "buy it elsewhere" (the usual nonsense offered in defense of such things) then we have to ask -- where will Egypt get the money for buying this and other military equipment?
Egypt has been receiving Jizyah, nearly $60 billion, from the American taxpayers. It started out, apparently, as a reward to Saint Sadat, designed to ensure that Egypt would not, despite getting back the entire Sinai, despite getting those Israeli airbases and those developed oilfields, not break the "Camp David Accords." But Egypt did break the Camp David Accords. It failed completely to live up to its non-tangible, but nonetheless important commitments to end hostile propaganda and acts toward Israel. It has continued, and increased, such hostile propaganda, to the point where Egypt, its press, and radio, and television, is a world center of antisemitism as well as of anti-Americanism. Yet the money is taken from us, the Infidel taxpayers, and given to Egypt as classic Jizyah, that is, as a tribute paid by Infidels to Muslims, who have been given to understand that it will be received as if by right, and should be given in a spirit of recognizing that should that Jizyah (that foreign aid) be stopped, then the reaction of the Muslim to whom such Jizyah is owed will likely be most hostile, and otherwise unpleasant.
Does anyone think that the Jizyah paid to Mubarak, who has crushed the opposition, and come down much harder on the liberals (Ayman Nour, for example) then on the Ikhwan, is fostering democracy -- Democracy on the March -- in ways big or even little? He is not. He is there to stay, and then after him, in his Family-and-Friends Plan, of course he is grooming his slick and oily son to continue the Dynasty, the Nasserian Dynasty that goes Nasser-Sadat-Mubarak, and that will continue the stratokleptocracy (the corrupt military rulers) that is merely a variant on the family kleptocracies of Saudi Arabia and other monarchies.
Any such military equipment supplied to Egypt is one more headache for Israel. We know, only a fool would not know and a greater fool would claim not to know and expect to be believed at this point, that any military equipment sent to Egypt will be used against Israel. It is not LIbya that Egypt intends some day to attack or if not to attack, to threaten along with other nations. It is not the Sudan.
The Egyptians are already threatening, with ever greater ferocity, Ethiopia about the latter's attempt to irrigate, as it has every right to do, using the headwaters of the Nile. Meanwhile, Egypt backs to the hilt the Sudanese government, protecting it at the U.N. from any effective intervention in Darfur. Yet nothing happens to Egypt. Egypt, here and there, does a few things for us. What are they? It has taken some terrorist suspects off our hands and dealt with them as we would not. And so? If Egypt collaborates on this, it is only doing what comes naturally -- torturing Muslims who are of course opposed to the regime in Egypt, not because it is genuinely opposed to Jihad (it isn't, not at all), but because that regime is corrupt, just as the Al-Saud are corrupt. But those who oppose this corruption can only define their opposition, can only think of their opposition, using the language and concepts of Islam. A despot's theft of national wealth means nothing, if that despot is a "Muslim." So those like the Al-Saud or Mubarak who must be opposed must be described, and treated, as "Infidels." And that is why the Egyptian regime gladly will do what it does to Al-Qaeda suspects, or to the Muslim Brotherhood. This is a matter of its own self-interest, not of doing something as a favor to the Americans.
Egypt is not an ally of the United States. It never has been. Under Sadat, it was willing to substitute, when the Soviet aid proved to be second-rate, American money for Russian money. Egypt has no intention of observing a permanent peace with Israel, but is working mightily to disarm Israel, to strip it of the only thing that really keeps the peace in the Middle East, which is Israel's nuclear weaponry. Egypt is not only an ally of the Sudan ([playing a double-game, pretending it is "talking sense" to the rulers in Khartoum just as it intermittently steps in, and then engages in ostentatious discussions with the "Palestinians" to demonstrate just how wonderful, how useful, what a "moderating" influence -- Egypt, "our staunch ally," is said to be.
And the Jizyah keeps flowing, and flowing. If there were a vote tomorrow in this country, on whether or not to end the Jizyah of foreign aid to all Muslim states or entities, it would win overwhelmingly, it would arouse the public as they were aroused over the Dubai Ports Deal. All that needs to happen is for one Senator or one Congressman to tell the truth about this Jizyah, and to demand a halt. And then not all the kings's horses and all the king's men, the army of Western hirelings of the Arabs -diplomats, journalists, P.R. advisers, former intelligence agents, businessmen hoping to recycle petrodollars through contracts temptingly dangled before their eyes -- would not be able to put the Arab propaganda machine, enormous as it is, back together again.
Posted on 06/28/2006 5:16 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Wednesday, 28 June 2006
Moussa: US must check nationalists who clash with Islam
"The United States must check the internal voices of nationalism that are promoting a 'clash of civilizations' with Islam, the head of the Arab League said."
-- from this article
Running scared is the sinister Amr Moussa, for whom the jig seems to be up. For we no longer live in the days when those blue-papered copies of the FBIS (Foreign Broadcast Information Service), so poorly distributed, so hard to find, contained the transcripts of radio and television in the Arab countries. Now we have the Internet, and we have all kinds of translation services, busily giving us what is written in Al-Ahram or a hundred other official or semi-official government papers. We know when anti-American or antisemitic travesties are broadcast, in a ballyhooed and popular series, on television. We can see what Egypt's population is fed, and what it screams from its heart, whenever aloud. Why, it was Frank Gardner, once and future friend of the Arabs, and a BBC correspondent, who reported on the absolute delight of Cairene crowds on the afternoon of September 11 when they heard the good news. Does Amr Moussa not know that? Does he not know that others were reporting from Hamra Street in Beirut (see the Wall Street Journal), others still captured on film the wild delight in Gaza and the "West Bank" (not all the photographers had their film confiscated by the local Arabsa), and in Riyadh, as even Saudis reported, there was much mafeking, honking of horns, Arab equivalents of high-fives, and invitations to suddenly-thrown-together feasts. In this country, too, a nurse overheard the hilarity in the room of an Arab patient at the Mass. General (and she was then hushed up); stories from all over, from Arab communities that could not conceal their glee, until the next day they suddenly realized that they had to assume long faces and express their "outrage" and "grief" (some of those Muslim leaders joining in those interfaith candlelight vigils and so on later were found to have long been expressing quite different sentiments, and continued to do so, for Muslim audiences, when they thought no Infidels were listening, no Infidels were looking, no Infidels were recording.
Amr Moussa is quite wrong. There is no "clash of civilizations." There is Islam against all Infidels. It is Islam against America, and Israel (the Lesser Jihad), but it is also Islam against the Infidels of Western Europe, with their silly laws, and silly customs, and silly understandings, including that ridiculous "freedom of speech" those Danes and others insist on practicing. Despite the most incredible attempt at brainwashing by all the governments and elites, especially in the media, to prevent the peoples of Western Europe -- of Italy and France, of Spain and Belgium, of Denmark and Sweden and Norway, of Germany and Holland, to prevent Infidels from discovering too much about what is written in the Qur'an, and what the Sunnah tells the True Believer to believe, and what that figure of Muhammad, uswa hasana, al-insan al-kamil, means for the wellbeing of Infidels, it cannot be done. It's just not possible to have those texts on-line, everywhere available, and prevent the more intelligent and aware Infidels from looking at those texts, and then from studying the history of Islamic conquest, and subjugation of non-Muslims.
Does Amr Moussa think we haven't all been watching like hawks the assault on the Copts? Does he realize that the days of the Court Copts, silently enduring their mistreatment, are over -- at least over for those Copts who have arrived in the West? Does he realize that we are capable of making the link between the attacks on inoffensive Buddhist monks and teachers and farmers in southern Thailand by Muslims, and the all the other examples of Muslim murderousness against Infidels -- in Nigeria, Sudan, Philippines, in Pakistan and Bangladesh, in Afghanistan and in Iraq (where as the attitudes prompted by Islam return with a vengeance, Christians flee), in the Muslim demands, whipped up by Muslim leaders within Denmark, who had accepted the fantastic generosity of the Danish state, for the Danes to cease to practice freedom of speech and to punish any of their own citizens who insisted on so doing, in Holland, the most self-consciously "tolerant" state in the entire world, that has made a fetish of that "tolerance," and where, without any kind of prompting, and despite every effort made to pretend the problem is not Muslims and not Islam, more than 60% of those famously tolerant Dutch now regard Muslims with alarm -- alarm born of the behavior and attitudes and beliefs of those same Muslims.
No, Amr Moussa doesn't realize that the more he prates about this kind of thing, the more he inflames the Infidels. They have been slow learners. They are still taking their time. But it is not anyone whipping them up. It is they themselves, as they read the daily paper, however sanitized it may be, however confusingly or misleadingly it may present the latest Muslim outrage here, there or everywhere, and that even those who might a few years ago have fallen for those "interfaith" sessions, those Mosque Outreach evenings, those predictably deceptive meetings of special Muslim pleading, and manipulation of useful idiots among the Infidels at those "Muslim-Christian" and "Muslim-Jewish Dialogues" that are exercises always in taqiyya-and-tu-quoque, after the exposure of even the smoothest of sinister operatives, Tariq Ramadan, not only by French Infidel journalists -- Fourest, Favrot), but by debaters on television (Sarkozy, Finkielkraut) who showed him up for all the French to see, and they did see, but also from the truthful Muslims themselves.
The best was the journalist, now bodyguarded in Italy, a commentator on the RAI (state-owned television) and for the leading newspaper, the Corriere della Sera, Magdi Allam. He, like Tariq Ramadan and like Amr Moussa, has his roots in Egypt. He, like Tariq Ramadan and Amr Moussa, was raised as a Muslim. And he, Magdi Allam, completely unlike Tariq Ramadan and Amr Moussa, is in the business not of deceiving Infidels in order to protect and promote Islam and to deprive Infidels of their senses -- "Who are you going to believe, me or your lying eyes?" -- which is what Amr Moussa, in the nonsense and lies peddled in the speech described above, was trying to do -- but of trying to tell the truth.
The deliberate use by Amr Moussa of the word "nationalism" deserves study. All kinds of things are implied by this choice of word:
The idea that only American hyper-patriots could conceivably be wary of, or hostile to, Islam.
The fact that the E.U., which does its best to diminish national sentiments, old-fashioned pride in one's own history, literature, and culture, which weakens the ability of the members of the E.U. to withstand Dawa and demographic conquest.
The fact that Islam is trans-national, deplores the nationalism that divides the umma al-islamiyya, the Umma or Community of Believers, the only community that really counts.
All this and more can be located in the use of that word "nationalism."
The Arabs and Muslims are very careful with how they put things. They never miss a trick. That is why it is so painful to listen to one of those debates between Arabs ("Palestinians") and Israelis, in which every word is loaded on the Arab side (beginning with the words "occupied" and "occupation") while the Israelis blithely ignore, or sometimes even naively accept, the lexicon of the enemy, and in doing so, unwittingly lose the debate in the minds of unwary listeners.
Posted on 06/28/2006 3:24 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Tuesday, 27 June 2006
Stop the Jizyah #968
"It would be negative and even “disastrous” if the EU completely halted its payments to the Palestinians. If the problems in Palestine grew, it would weaken the moderates in Arab countries and strengthen the extremists, she [Marvat Tallawy] maintained."
-- from this article
It would be "disastrous" if Infidels continue to pay what is essentially Jizyah to "Palestiian" Arabs. Billions have been given already. Some of those billions disappeared when Arafat died, into the hands of Suha Arafat, Abbas himself, and all the other members of the dutiful retinue. How do think their children can live in the West, go to school in the West, enjoy flats in southern France (remember that apartment in --where was it? Cannes? -- that As Saiqa leader Zuheir Mohsein had been living in?). There never should have been any Infidel aid to either the "Palestinian" Arabs, merely the local shock troops of the Lesser Jihad, nor to Egypt, from which the advice-dispenser above comes, nor to Jordan, nor to Pakistan.
Let the rich Muslims, who take in billions every single day now without lifting a finger (the Westerners who lift that crude do all the work for them), who have been the recipients of some $10 trillion dollars since 1973, supply whatever aid is to be given to the permanently unviable (economically, politcally, morally) "Palestinian" territories carved out of the very small sliver of land that the League of Nations, and its Mandates Commission, intended for the establishment of the Jewish National Home.
It is important for Infidels to break with the idea that they owe Muslims. They don't. It is absurd. It is important for them to force Muslims to understand that the days of Jizyah, however disguised, however plausibly demanded, are over. They are on their own. They must figure out what it is about inshallah-fatalism, and 1350 years of relying on the protection-racket money of Jizyah supplied by non-Muslims, that has prevented them all from learning to establish modern economies.
No Jizyah. Not when the "Palestinians" are outraged, not when 10 of the ll members of OPEC are Arab or Muslim, and the recipients of the greatest transfer of wealth -- all of it unmerited -- in human history.
Posted on 06/27/2006 3:17 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Tuesday, 27 June 2006
What Causes Male Homosexuality?
Events in the womb, according to this study
But readers of NRO heard that from me a year and a half ago. It's number 13 on my list here.
Posted on 06/27/2006 3:15 PM by John Derbyshire
Tuesday, 27 June 2006
Lesser Jihad update
Hamas reached a political deal with moderate Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Tuesday under the pressure of a Western aid embargo and a threatened Israeli offensive into Gaza to try to free a kidnapped soldier.
But the governing Islamist group -- whose charter calls for the destruction of the Jewish state -- rejected any suggestion the deal could imply it now accepts Israel's existence.
With Israel and the Palestinians preparing for a possible Israeli push into the Gaza Strip following the tank gunner's abduction, there appeared little chance that agreement over the document could open a path toward peacemaking soon. - from this article
Everything that the cassandras warned would happen if the Israelis retreated from Gaza, a place to which they have a legal and historic and moral claim far superior to that of the Arabs, either the "Palestinians" or another other group (and let's not speak here of when most of the Sinai became Egyptian, way back in the mists of time, in far-off antediluvian 1922), has happened. Yet Olmert and the Israeli Left continues to believe that they should do the same with the "West Bank." No lessons learned. No desire to recognize that the conflict is endless, that it is based on the tenets and attitudes of Islam, that only firmly holding all of the land now held, land to which Israel has by far the strongest claim but that claim is seldom set out coherently by Israeli spokesmen or political leaders, as if they do not quite understand it themselves (Hint #1: start with the terms of the Mandate for Palestine. Hint #2: note the plans for an Arab state, a Jewish state, a Kurdish state, an Armenian state, and find out how those four promises made to four different peoples fared. Hint #3: ask yourself why Italy was allowed to approriate the Sudtirol, 97% ethnic German, after World War I, and to rename it the Alto Adige, and to keep it? Hint #4: what happened after World War II to the borders and German minorities in Czechoslovakia? In Poland? That's a start.).
The fact that there is no "solution" to the Lesser Jihad against Israel does not mean that Israel, if it ceases to pre-emptively surrender in salami bits, will lose. Who would have thought that the Soviet Union would ever break up, that Communism would be seen as the failure it is? Who could have predicted that in 1946? In 1956? In 1966? In 1976? Islam has declared itself; as more and more Infidels study the matter, they will realize that the Lesser Jihad against Israel is not the cause of, but rather merely one component of, the Greater Jihad that is being conducted, largely through non-military means, throughout the world.
Posted on 06/27/2006 3:09 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Tuesday, 27 June 2006
Energy independence/reducing the transfer of wealth
As Hugh Fitzgerald has said many times, over the last thirty years we have witnessed the greatest transfer of wealth in human history, with ten trillion dollars coming out of the western world and going into the Muslim world since 1973. This morning I participated in a conference call / press conference with the Arizona Consumer Alliance For Energy Security. They are lobbying to pass a bipartisan bill pending before the House of Representatives, H.R. 4761, The Deep Water Energy Resources Act, and another bill in the U.S. Senate, S. 2253, co-authored by Senators Pete Domenici and Jeff Bingaman will allow for increased natural gas exploration offshore. According to their press release:
"The Outer Continental Shelf contains enormous supplies of natural gas, a relatively untapped resource capable of providing tremendous benefits to American consumers and businesses alike. According to estimates, these supplies contain more than 400 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, or enough to power 100 million homes for 60 years. Such a plentiful supply will reverse the current trend of sharply rising energy costs, but federal policies make 85% of natural gas supplies off-limits. The Arizona Consumer Alliance for Energy Security wants to work with Congress to win an important victory for both consumers and business by urging congressional leaders to expand access along the Outer Continental Shelf."
If this will reduce our dependence on OPEC and decrease the amount of money flowing to hostile Muslim polities, I'm all for it.
Posted on 06/27/2006 2:46 PM by Rebecca Bynum
Tuesday, 27 June 2006
A Forgotten King
On which day of the calendar should the British celebrate their Britishness? Legal blogger
has an original and compelling suggestion. (Scroll down a page to the May 30 entry.)
If memory serves, the marriage of the King** to Emma of Normandy in the summer of 1017 was one of the most glorious pageants London has ever seen, and was remembered fondly by Englishmen for generations afterwards.
** I don't care to spell out his name for fear of committing a disastrous typo.
Posted on 06/27/2006 10:30 AM by John Derbyshire
Tuesday, 27 June 2006
Re: Ahmadinejad to visit Iraq
Rebecca, Look on the bright side. This disturbs Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, the Al-Thani in Qatar, the Al-Sabah in Kuwait, the Al-Maktoum and others in the U.A.E. It worries Egypt and Jordan. And right now, I'm sure, Adnan Pachachi is carefully confiding to some American journalist that "you Americans will have to stay here to make sure that the Shi'a arc does not destroy all of us. You Americans should have understood that the Sunnis needed to control Iraq precisely because of Iran. You Americans...."
And there will be those in Washington, possibly the very same people who were so eager to believe all those advanced Iraqi Shi'as in exile, about what would happen in Iraq, what could happen in Iraq, if only the Americans came in, from the mafeking and merrymaking ("The liberation of Baghdad will make the liberation of Kabul look like a funeral procession" -- Bernard Lewis, 2002) to the eternal friendship that would naturally spring up between "Iraqis" and Americans, to the way that the Sunnis within Iraq would gracefully accept their new status and yield to the far more numerous Shi'a, to the way that Sunnis outside Iraq would be so impressed with the new, Infidel-supported and Infidel-financed Shi'a-dominated Iraq that they would hasten to emulate it.
Shi'a Jive had its turn. Now it's time for the Sunni Jive, to all those visitors, including Ted Koppel for NPR, Madeline Albright, and others famous for believing, for taking at face value, for not seeing through, what they are told by this or that confiding Arab leader or analyst.
The Sunnis inside Iraq will never accept the diminished status that their numbers, and the behavior of past Sunni-dominated regimes, will cause the Shi'a and the Kurds to insist that they must accept. Active fighting may die down now, especially if the Americans are doing the suppressing, as they are, but once the Americans leave, and it becomes clear that no "Iraqi" government can conceivably satisfy both the Sunni and the Shi'a Arabs, or both the Arabs and the Kurds, and with the methods of warfare -- militias in the night, bombs on the street or in the mosques -- having been introduced and here to stay, it is unlikely that "Iraq" will exist in peace. And the Sunnis outside Iraq will have a vested interest in supporting those inside, with money, volunteers, weaponry, and diplomatic assistance. Why would one expect them to do otherwise?
The only unknown is whether or not the Americans will now fall for the Sunni line that they, those Americans, have to remain in Anbar Province and Baghdad not so much to suppress, as to protect ("you brought the Shi'a to power, and now you have to protect the Sunnis -- you owe it to them") them. Some people will be dumb enough to find that line plausible.
Quiet in Iraq is not our goal. Weakening the camp of Islam is our goal. In Iraq, that goal is furthered by unmeetable Sunni demands, and Shi'a attempts, without the Americans any longer to impose those Marquess-of-Queensberry rules, to deal with the Sunnis as the Sunnis would, and have, dealt with them. Outside support on both sides, and effects on Sunni-Shi'a relations outside Iraq, should hardly be cause for Infidel worry.
Posted on 06/27/2006 10:19 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Tuesday, 27 June 2006
All heart and no napkins
When asked to name their favourite film, many people name a film that they saw before the age of 25. In the years from 12 to 24, the mind is like blotting paper, and soaks up films, songs and books in a way that it never quite does afterwards. Films you see then may also change your outlook on life, while films you see later give pleasure to a mind already formed.
I was never the same after I saw Monty Python’s Life of Brian and Holy Grail as a young teenager. Had I seen them later in life, I would have found them very funny, but they would not have worked their way into my vocabulary and coloured the way I see history, religion and people.
Of the films I have seen more recently, one in particular stands out, and is my favourite film from after my formative years. It is an old film, but one I came across only a few years ago when it was shown on television to mark the death of Jack Lemmon. The film is The Apartment, also starring a young Shirley MacLaine and a terrifyingly amoral Fred MacMurray. The remarkable script is by Billy Wilder and I.A.L. Diamond. Mark Steyn, who is better on films than he is on politics, agrees that it was Billy Wilder’s best picture.
Their best picture together was The Apartment (1960), which scraped into the American Film Institute’s all-time Hot 100 at Number 93, but is, to my mind, vastly superior to Wilder’s more celebrated Some Like It Hot and Sunset Boulevard. It’s a sad but true urban Christmas fable: there’s no snow, just flu all month long; the office-party booze makes everyone mean and sour; the only sighting of le Père Noel is an aggressive off-duty department-store Santa chugging it down at a midtown bar; and the Christmas Eve climax is an attempted suicide. I hasten to add I’m not one of those seasonal cynics like so many of my cheerless colleagues in the British media: “Ho, ho, bloody ho,” as the Daily Telegraph rock critic began his Xmas round-up a couple of years ago. But that’s what I love about The Apartment: its Wilderian cynicism is redeemed by one of the sweetest Christmas Day scenes in any movie. In his review of Rodgers and Hart’s amoral Pal Joey, Brooks Atkinson wrote: “How can you draw sweet water from a foul well?” Well, The Apartment pulls it off, wonderfully.
For Jack Lemmon, Wilder and I.A.L. Diamond created the character of C.C. Baxter, a lowly cog in the corporate machine who advances to the heights of the 27th floor and a key to the executive washroom by loaning his apartment to various adulterous superiors. Drawing the obvious conclusions from the traffic in the stairway, the clink of cocktail glasses, and the make-out music, Baxter’s neighbours assume he’s the swingingest cat in town. In fact, he’s a lonely schlub freezing to death on a bench in Central Park waiting for that night’s senior exec and whichever gal from the typing pool he’s picked out to exhaust himself with. Baxter has no moral qualms about facilitating adultery. He assumes it’s what a go-getting guy has to do to get going. His misgivings arise only when he discovers that his boss, Mr Sheldrake, ha turned his attention to Fran Kubelik. Miss Kubelik is an elevator operator and the girl Baxter loves, though he hasn’t told her yet, as their relationship to date has consisted of a few pleasantries exchanged as he rides her elevator up to the office each morning.
Fran is Shirley MacLaine at her early best, full of round-faced vulnerability and unable to accept that her boss’s interest is strictly carnal. As Sheldrake, Fred MacMurray is the apotheosis of Fifties corporate man, smooth, assured and ruthless as he exercises his droit du senior exec. As Baxter, Jack Lemmon’s likeable nebbish shtick is captured in embryo, before it got out of control and degenerated into a collection of exhibitionist mannerisms…
The Apartment is a comedy but it catches the desperation of inconsequential people passed over by the holiday season. And so it is that Christmas-wise C.C. gets to spend the day with the recuperating Fran, who’s abandoned at his apartment after Sheldrake goes home for the holidays with the wife and kids. In Fran and C.C.’s bedsit Christmas, there are no chestnuts roasting, but they do play gin rummy. Baxter’s face is never happier than when he’s straining spaghetti through his tennis racket and never more loving than when he tucks in his sleeping elevator gal. It may not be much of a Christmas, but it beats the previous year when he went to the zoo and had Christmas dinner at the automat. When I see The Apartment I find myself pining wistfully for Christmas in a rented room in a crummy brownstone. A lot of it’s the script, a lot of it’s the chemistry: Jack Lemmon gives his only truly touching performance, Shirley MacLaine is a delight, Fred MacMurray is the perfect boss for the 1950s dry-martini corporate culture - and the Christmas office party is a boozy, sexist elegy for the world before political correctness.
I have very little to add to Steyn’s review, which should be read in full. The Apartment has the edge over nearly all more recent films because it is so well-written. Jack Lemmon is quoted in Steyn’s piece as saying:
“There are fewer of what I’d call ‘book comedies’ now - with a first, second and third act through which the characters grow.”
The Apartment is very tightly constructed. No word is wasted. Remarks that first provide comedy get repeated by another character in a different context, and with a different function – perhaps moving the plot along, perhaps sad reflection. What sounds cynical and selfish on the lips of Sheldrake, becomes noble and self-sacrificing when spoken by Baxter. For this reason alone, the film must be seen at least twice. I have watched it for the last four years between Christmas and New Year’s Eve, and each time I have seen something new in it.
It is a black comedy, which rarely makes you laugh uproariously as does Some Like It Hot. Rarely, not never. The scene in which Mrs Dreyfuss, the doctor’s wife, warns Fran against what she supposes to be “Max the Knife” Baxter’s dissolute nature, is one such occasion. Proof that he is a reprobate - or “beatnik” - is furnished by his lack of table napkins. With its hilarious Anglo-Yiddish malapropisms, this scene must be based on a real-life character:
So what are you waiting for – a singing commercial?
You must eat – and you must get healthy – and you must forget him. Such a nice boy he seemed when he first moved in here – clean and cut – a regular Ivy Leaguer. Turns out he is King Farouk. Mit the drinking – mit the cha cha – mit the no napkins. A girl like you, for the rest of your life you want to cry into your noodle soup? Who needs it? You listen to me, you find yourself a nice, substantial man – a widower maybe – and settle down – instead of nashing all those sleeping pills – for what, for whom? For some Good Time Charlie?
The Good Time Charlie mit the no napkins turns out to be a mensch and gets the girl. But this is no “clean and cut” fairy tale. If you haven’t seen it, it’s a must. Be warned – it will spoil you for all those tediously predictable “romantic comedies” starring Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks or any number of interchangeable puppets.
Posted on 06/27/2006 9:42 AM by Mary Jackson