Saturday, 29 July 2006
ACLU yesterday and today
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If you are a kind, goodhearted soul, if you think the ACLU today has anything in common with the ACLU in, say, 1954, you are dead wrong. It has as little to do with the ACLU in 1954, as the U.N. today has to do with the U.N. as originally conceived, and as it seemed to be, for the first few years, with some exceptions, even in the year 1954.

The names of some organizations may remain the same. Outwardly, they may seem to stand for the same ideals. But they do not. Just as, say, the English or History Department at a famous university may bear no relation, in the kinds of people who now dominate it, and the kinds of courses they now offer, to what that History or English Department was some 40 years ago, and we all know -- do we not? -- why. It is the same with the ACLU. Do not be fooled. Do not support it. Do not contribute to it. All of its works and days, for the past five years and more, have contributed to making our ability to defend ourselves against the instruments of Jihad more unsure, more fiendishly difficult. We are not on the verge of a "police state." We are trying to deal with a new situation, including a fifth column that apparently cannot be identified as such. There are all kinds of new situations. Israel right now is trying to fight a terrorist group that has spread out all over civilian areas, and deliberately hidden its missiles and other weaponry right in the middle of civilian populations, and deliberately fires missiles, or whatever else it has, from civilian buildings, from the roofs of schools, hospitals, and apartment buildings and from right beside U.N. buildings. And Israel has to deal with this as a sensational world press, looking only to depict scenes of gore in Lebanon, and to relay the tales of woe, the more exaggerated the better, from Lebanese "civilians" (many of those "civilians" being heart-and-soul supporters of the black-balaclaved Kalashnikov-clutching bezonians of Hezbollah, for whom "with our blood, with our soul" they would, those supposedly innocent "civilians," give everything.

And the same is true with the entirely new situation created by the foolish pretense that Islam is merely a religion and not a complete system, totalitarian in its aspirations to be a Total Regulation of Life, that beyond the ritualistic (shehada, zakat, salat, Ramadan, hajj) is entirely a system for political or geopolitical conquest and domination of all non-Muslims. All over the Western world millions of Muslims have been permitted, in the last few decades, to enter. It was in fact salutary that Osama bin Laden, and so many others, have quickly revealed their intentions through sensational acts. Suppose they had waited another decade, or two, and the Muslim immigration had been allowed to continue?

Wait. Perhaps it is still being allowed to continue? No, that cannot be. Or can it?

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Posted on 07/29/2006 12:50 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Saturday, 29 July 2006
Australian PM mobbed
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VIOLENT scuffles have broken out between police and Lebanese protesters who mobbed Prime Minister John Howard's car as he left the WA Liberal Party conference in Perth. - from this news item

Promptly discover who, in that crowd, is a non-citizen and begin deportation proceedings, which should be speeded up as a matter of security policy. Remove from the Australian midst all those who are non-citizens, or who obtained citizenship under false pretenses, and false pretenses includes a showing that allegiance to an Infidel nation-state is impossible for that particular person to swear, because it goes against, it violates, the belief-system that dictates his views, his opinions, his understandings, his sole loyalty (to it, to Islam and the umma al-islamiyya).

Tens of thousands might be removed from Australia where they are a cause, rightly, for alarm. Their large-scale presence has created a situation for the indigenous Infidels (and their institutions and laws, customs, understandings), that is far more unpleasant, expensive, and physically dangerous -- just look at these people attacking the car of the Prime Minister, throwing things, "demonstrating" in the Muslim manner with which, by now, we Infidels are so very familiar.

Start this. And start discussing the need for this all over the Western world -- intelligently, calmly, soberly. With none of the ranting or crudity or intolerable racism of some. Islam is a complete belief-system. It is not a race. It should not be allowed to hide behind charges of "racism."

Islam does, of course, contain within itself an Arab supremacist ideology, as one can easily begin to comprehend, and the Arab treatment of non-Arab Muslims (Berbers, Kurds, black Africans in Darfur) is on display right now, for all the world's non-Arab Muslims, and its Infidels, to view and come to understand. If there is any "racism" charge to be flung, it must be flung at Islam, as a vehicle for that Arab imperialism that has been the most successful imperialism in history, causing those non-Arabs conquered to desperately wish to become, in some way, just like the Arabs who conquered them through islamization -- to become "Arabs." But that is a separate matter, offered here only by way of reply to those Muslims who would dare to raise the specter of "racism."

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Posted on 07/29/2006 9:34 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Saturday, 29 July 2006
Will Alan Dershowitz's Endorsement of John Bolton's Confirmation Move Democrats?
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Whether it will or not, who knows?  But it certainly should.  Read it here.  Powerful stuff.
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Posted on 07/29/2006 9:31 AM by Andy McCarthy
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Saturday, 29 July 2006
Moussaoui was
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One more of my previous postings on the same theme, this one prompted by the argument of Moussaoui's court-appointed defense lawyer, that Moussaoui must be "crazy" (bonkers, nuts, cingle), put here because the list of what melancholic or thwarted Infidels may blame is included, as a contrast to the limited list ("Infidels") readily available to Muslims as a result of their having the prefabricated mental grid of Islam:

The list of mitigating circumstances that apparently resulted in Moussaoui receiving a life sentence instead of the death penalty reads like a parody of everything that is most sentimental and silly in modern psychiatry (Karl Kraus: "Psychoanalysis is the disease for which it is supposed to be the cure").

What the prosecution should have done, but apparently felt it could not do, or possibly simply did not ever even think of doing, was to preempt both the "insanity" and the "on account of he's deprived" excuses, and set out clearly why Moussaoui did what he did with clear and uninhibited discussion of that book he was clutching -- the Qur'an -- and with the Qur'an, the Hadith. And with the Hadith, the figure of Muhammad, uswa hasana and al-insan al-kamil.

Did the psychiatrist Dr. Vogelsang (one more Upper-West-Side name out of Lillian Ross's comical period-piece "Vertical and Horizontal") give any sign of having studied the belief-system of Islam, without which no conceivable judgment can be made about the sanity, or lack of it, of a devout Muslim such as Moussaoui?

Why didn’t the Prosecution rebut the argument of the defense lawyer that Moussaoui is "crazy" because of his wretched childhood, etc. by pointing out that a large number of other people -- such as Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawihiri and Mohammed Atta -- were children of great privilege in the case of the first two, and middle-class in the case of the third, and that furthermore studies of terrorists had found them to be far above average, in their societies, in the amount of education they had received, and in the degree of their economic wellbeing?

Lay it all out. Explain that yes, Moussaoui, like a few billion other people, may have had a "deprived" childhood. Yes, he was quick to sense any slight, and yes, he was quick to resent his treatment at the hands of Infidels, because, as a Muslim (one who grew to be more and more faithful and observant) he knew that Muslims should be on top -- not equal, but on top. Infidels lording it over him, or other Muslims, in France, were contra naturam, against the natural and just and right order of things, islamically speaking. The prosecutors should have explained that Moussaoui viewed the world through the prism of Islam, and the texts he read, the society he inhabited (both real, and virtual), taught him to blame, always and everywhere, Infidels.

Eventually this is going to have to be done. Eventually this is going to be unavoidable, if the United States and other Infidel countries are going to continue to use the criminal justice system as it is, and to continue to rely on untrained and inexpert juries who are the products of their age -- with all its sentimentality about mitigating circumstances because, you see, the blame for your behavior can always, always, be found in some part of your background, so that blame can be passed onto one's upbringing, say.

But this misses the point. There are always people who have had unhappy childhoods, unhappy adolescences, unhappy adulthoods. As noted many times before, we who are Infidels may lose status, a job, a spouse, a girlfriend or boyfriend, or suffer setbacks or perceived slights. Did not Moussaoui think he was entitled to more than he received? Yet his inshallah-fatalism prevented him from simply working hard and doing what he could to overcome, as his brother did, that same background. Why? The answer is that he took Islam far more seriously, was far more of a deep believer, than his brother.

Infidels have a thousand things to blame. They can blame their parents -- just as many on that Infidel jury wanted to blame, for Moussaoui, his treatment by his parents. They can blame their aggressive or unpleasant siblings, their ungrateful children, the System, Racism, The Man, Amerikkka, Kapitalism, Fate, the stars, their cholesterol level, their serotonin level, anything and everything at all -- even, just perhaps, themselves. But Muslim Believers have one thing to blame always at the ready. And to the extent that one takes that belief-system seriously, it is likely that one will, viewing the universe through the grid, the prism, of Islam, blame the Infidel. And that is exactly what Moussaoui did.

Unless this is going to be understood by the usual "experts" -- including those complacent psychiatrists who appear not to have thought it necessary for them to study the doctrines of Islam and what might follow and has naturally followed from them (starting with the perceived behavior of Muslims conducting Jihad over 1350 years, wherever they were able to conduct it because of local conditions or circumstances) -- then there will be more miscarriages, with justice stillborn, the result of those thanatotropic bromides and thalidomides, sentimentality and ignorance.

And what do we conclude? We have two possible conclusions:

1) Moussaoui was and is simply following the tenets of Islam faithfully, and putting into practice the requirement that at least some Muslims must engage in Jihad (in order that others may, temporarily, be relieved of the duty).

OR

2) Moussaoui became depressed, as so many of us do, all over the Infidel world as well, but in the case of Muslims, the problem is that that depression, or any kind of emotional setback, can lead to blaming the Infidel. Viewing the universe through the prism of Islam makes one almost automatically ready to blame that Infidel, and to seek revenge.

Those are the two possible explanations.

And either one has immense implications for the Muslim presence all over Europe and North America. For the sake of the legal and social order and the physical wellbeing of the resident Infidels who created those societies and have no desire to see them islamized, these implications need to be faced.

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Posted on 07/29/2006 9:10 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Saturday, 29 July 2006
"Crazy"
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The entire Muslim world consists largely of people who are raised in a politico-theological belief-system that offers a Total Regulation of Life and a Complete Explanation of the Universe. The idea that the Qur'an contains all of wisdom and includes all the scientific discoveries that have been made since its appearance, or that ever will be made (in this respect the Qur'an is like the famous Master of Balliol, Benjamin Jowett: "I am the master of this college/And what I don't know isn't knowledge) is or must be rejected by the more intelligent, but the more intelligent have to be wary of expressing their doubts, for this totalitarian belief-system has its enforcers, or rather the Qur'an and Sunnah prescribe what should be done to those who fall away from Belief into Unbelief. Thus does the open expression of any kind of skepticism, or the open encouragement, of any kind of free inquiry, become discouraged -- on pain, often, of death, or at least complete social ostracism (loss of family and friends) and economic marginalization (loss of job).

In this world, what rational non-Muslims regard as "crazed" behavior is not crazed at all. Look at those all-male mobs, one after the other, screaming their hate all over the Muslim world. Look at those dull-eyed hijabbed prematurely aged women, mere breeders kept in permanent thrall, look at the level of what passes for schooling, what pass for universities, what passes for coverage of the world in the Arab press and television. Look at the effect on a billion believers of being taught, being inculcated with the idea, that Muhammad was the Perfect Man, uswa hasana, al-insan al-kamil, and then simultaneously having to reconcile this article of Faith with what Muhammad was really like, in his wars and his loot-grabbing and booty-distribution, in his laughingly regarding the massacres of helpless prisoners, or encouraging, and welcoming the news of, the assassination of anyone who dared to mock him (Asma bint Marwan), and then there were his attacks on the innocent farmers of Khaybar (this unprovoked attack on helpless farmers is described in an AP dispatch yesterday on the new Iranian-supplied rocket used by Hezbollah, a dispatch written by one Kathy Gannon, as being named after the "battle of Khaybar" -- some battle.

All of this makes an entire society "crazy." It makes it far more prone to crazed views of the world, crazed hatred of Infidels (for they are to be hated, and if they are to be hated, no matter what, it is important to tell oneself, to convince oneself and all other Infidels, that the Infidels are terrible, that the Infidels are monsters, that the Infidels even when they try to do seeming good to Muslims are in fact always scheming against them). And all of this makes people deny so many parts of reality, so many obvious definitions of "good" and "evil" that their heads spin, and they live in a constant miasma -- what I have been calling, the "atmospherics" of Islam. And those "atmospherics" are reproduced even in the Lands of the Infidels, wherever Muslims live with other Muslims, or even by themselves, when they live in a universe mentally formed by, and limited mostly to, Islam.

Muslim apologists tell us that this or that individual Muslim was crazy. Taheri-Reza was "crazy." And the Jordanian who killed those seven little girls visiting the Peace Garden in 1997 was "crazy." The Egyptian soldier who killed Israeli children and their parents visiting in Egypt was declared "crazy." The copilot of that Egypt Air plane was "crazy." The terrorist here, the terrorist there -- all "crazy."

Well, are all the members of Hamas and Hezbollah and Al-Qaeda and Lashkar-e-Taiba and the thousand other groups all "crazy"? The views of all of them, the support they all give to the acts of that Jordanian soldier, that Egyptian soldier, that Iranian tarheel, that shooter at LAX, that smiling yearbook boy above who was mad at Israel and who did not what was "crazy" but what all Muslims will understand, just as they will understand the need to call him "crazy" (and some in the American police and FBI will want eagerly to go along with this fiction).

But let's take for now a different tack. Let's agree that a certain number of people in every society get depressed. Let's agree that they get mad at someone and something. The problem is that Muslims take as the Perfect Man someone who led a life not akin to that of Jesus, but a life full of warfare, full of violence. And he is their Model for All Time. He is the best. The violence of Islamic societies, the high premium placed on warfare, the readiness to fight, the willingness to die, possibly has, over 1350 years helped to breed out the less violent, those inclined to a certain meek-and-mildness, and has encouraged the predominance of the more violent in the Muslim gene-pool.

I will simply repost here what was put up about Taheri-reza, the North Carolina student, born of Muslim parents who did not take Islam seriously, but he, in his mental disarray, did:

"Please let us echo in your ears that my brother was and always has been a kind, gentle and pure soul,” she read from a statement. “His current actions and words are as much a source of shock and distress to us as they are to you.”
-- an AP article, from the sister of the kind and gentle soul who plowed an SUV into a crowd of college students.

No doubt, for a Muslim, much of it true -- he is a "kind, gentle and pure soul" in many ways. But not toward Infidels. There the adjectives begin to jostle one another. The purer his Islam, the less kind and gentle he would be toward Infidels -- as the Qur'an tells him (48:29), as the Hadith makes clear in its most authoritative recensions, as the example of Muhammad instructs.

And when an Infidel experiences mental desarroi or depression, he can blame his parents, his children, his siblings, his karma, The System, Amerika, the stars, fate, his cholesterol level, his serotonin level, or even --- himself. When a Muslim falls into any kind of distress, with that mental vademecum and pocket prism through which to view the universe, Islam, he can blame the Infidel. (And this assumes, which may not be true, that Taheri-azar did not quite take the tenets and attitudes of Islam as much to heart before, when he was merely that "kind, gentle and pure soul.")

This kind of thing, this Muslim version of the old immigrant mother in the Jimmy-Cagney movie assuring the police that "my boy's a good boy," is particularly telling. For it happens all the time, with suspect after suspect -- the terrorists in London or Madrid or elsewhere are always being described, by a brother, an uncle, a father, someone, as "kind" and "gentle" and "pure." The message always is: How Could It Possibly Have Happened?

Now, two things are possible. Both should not relieve, but increase, the alarm and suspicion felt by intelligent Infidels. One possibility is that this sister is flatly lying, that she knows perfectly well her brother was consumed with the anti-Infidel teachings of Islam, and had given many signs of it. The possibility is that all these family members (that uncle of one of the London bombers, who first expressed his "amazement" at his nephew's action, and later expressed not amazement at all, but pride in the actions) understand perfectly why their son, brother, nephew, did what he did, and the obvious sources for his attitudes and actions.

The second possibility, far less likely, but still conceivable in a few cases, is that some of these people really are not quite aware of the natural effect of Islam on those who take Islam seriously. Again and again "moderate" Muslims, or those who are not even really Muslims but rather "Muslim-for-identification-purposes-only" Muslims, have themselves been amazed, when they return to a Muslim environment, to see the effect of Islam. How many of those the American government listened to in fashioning its Iraq policies were of the latter kind, the Allawi-Chalabi-Makiya kind -- the essentially secular Shi'a who had spent decades in the West and became westernized, and forgot or allowed themselves to forget just how crazy, how aggressive, how conspiratorial, how antipathetic to the ideas of compromise and power-sharing and common sense, is the world of Islam, a world that combines a dreamy blend of inshallah-fatalism with the duty of Jihad, which requires action, action, action (not the action of Western man, going to work every day, piling one stone on another to build the edifice of an economy or a civilization). That action is not to build but to either destroy (what the Infidel has) or to appropriate it (through Jizyah in all of its disguised and undisguised forms) or to seize it, as Muhammad seized the booty of those he would declare, in order to seize that booty, his enemies, such as the inoffensive Jewish farmers of the Khaybar Oasis.

So which is it? Is it the deliberate attempts by all these family members of all these terrorists to deceive us, which means they are exhibiting the problem with so-called "moderate Muslims" whose behavior simply deceives us and keeps us fooled a bit longer?

Or are those family members themselves fooled? And if they are, then how is that Infidels should be expected to detect the Muslim immigrant who is like, or will turn out to be, just like Taheri-azar, and the one who is like, or will turn out to be, just like his presumably inoffensive sister? If "only" 10% of Muslims in the West support "suicide bombing" (the figure is much higher in the opinion polls) or "only" 40% of Muslims in England support the imposition of Sharia' law in England -- which would mean the end of England as it has slowly been fashioned since the days of the Standing Stones of Callanish, and Stonehenge, and woad-painted tribesman -- what does this mean?

Why should Infidels take a chance, if the likelihood of their being able to distinguish the "moderate" from the "immoderate" Muslim is even slimmer than that of the closest relatives of those Muslims found to have engaged in would-be, or successful, acts of terrorism -- and given that the problem is complicated by the "My Son the Fanatic" problem where the children or grandchildren of "moderates" who may be classified mainly as economic migrants "return" to Islam, with dangerous consequences for Infidels?

The sister of Taheri-azar, like all the other relatives "amazed" at the "inexplicable" behavior of their relatives, are apparently unable cannot figure out what it is, what doctrines and attitudes, what passages in what set of texts, taken seriously, might have caused her kind, her gentle, her pure-souled brother to do what he did.

She can't figure it out. But we can.

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Posted on 07/29/2006 9:00 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Saturday, 29 July 2006
The Pope speaks, sort of
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On July 26th, Pope Benedict spoke to the issue of peace in the Middle East, Chiesa reports:

The pope said that the three pillars for a stable peace in the region are these:

“the right of the Lebanese to the integrity and sovereignty of their country, the right of the Israelis to live in peace in their state, and the right of the Palestinians to have a free and sovereign homeland.”

He asked the parties in conflict for an immediate ceasefire, and for the opening of negotiations “with the support of the international community.”

And he insisted in particular upon the right to “humanitarian” assistance of the populations struck by the war, both in Lebanon and in Galilee. 

Benedict's choice of words is interesting:  a "country" for the Lebanese, a "state" for the Israelis, a "homeland" for the Palestinians.  Is this diplomatic code?  And, if so, code for what?  Is it precise diction--or is it simply sloppy writing, a muddle of cynicism, idealism and realism adding up to exactly nothing?  Just asking.

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Posted on 07/29/2006 8:09 AM by Robert Bove
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Saturday, 29 July 2006
Not Terrorism Related, and Certainly Not Islam Related
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The Post-Intelligencer story is so typical of what happens in a society and a government which default from the ideology part of an ideological war. 

A Muslim man walks into not just any building in Seattle — not even just any identifiably Jewish location in Seattle — but into the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle, whose mission since 1926, according to the website it maintains, is to "ensure Jewish survival and to enhance the quality of Jewish life locally, in Israel and worldwide." 

The Muslim man has obviously not only carefully chosen the target but cased the place.  There's a security system, so he waits until someone attached to the Federation enters using her access code, then he pounces, forcing his way through the open door.  He brandishes a large caliber, semi-automatic handgun.  He announces that he's a Muslim angry at Israel.  Then he randomly, wantonly opens fire — shooting six women, one of whom is pregnant, one of whom is killed.

So what happens?  The police don't even want to admit that he's Muslim ("You could infer that," the police chief tells the reporters who press this patently relevant question).  And the FBI insists it's not terrorism. 

Now, it could not conceivably be more clear that it is terrorism.  If the FBI is saying they can't link him to any known terrorist group, that doesn't mean it's not terrorism.  It's too early in the investigation to have run down whether the guy has ties to known groups; even if he doesn't, not all terrorism is committed by known groups (sometimes the acts of terror are how we get to know them); and even if he is acting alone, federal law recognizes the concept of lone-wolf terrorism. 

It is terrorism because it is a sneak attack — in this case against civilians — which is motivated by a purpose to affect government policy and/or further a political/social/religious cause.  The shooter was not there to rob the register or kill someone he knew over some private dispute.

This is militant Islam in action, but we don't want to think or talk about Islam, so we'll pretend that the fact he's a Muslim is irrelevant ("terrorists come in all shapes and sizes" is the official PC postion of government), and if we can't attach a known group to the shooter we'll close our eyes to the fact that he might have reason the understand that his religion impelled him to act.

On November 5, 1990, at a hotel in Manhattan, Sayyid Nosair murdered JDL founder, Rabbi Meir Kahane, as the latter finished a speech.  The chief of detectives for the NYPD immediately pronounced that the homicide was the work of a lone gunman.  No meaningful investigation had yet been done into Nosair's background, and the police could not quickly connect him to any known terrorist organization.  It turned out that he had been a member of a nascent jihadist militia with connections the Egypt's Islamic Group (Gama'at al Islamia) for several years.  Two years later, from his prison cell — which militants flocked to because the Kahane murder turned him into a hero in what they saw as an ongoing jihad — he helped plot the bombing of the World Trade Center.

As I tried to argue the other day, those who don't — or won't — learn from history are condemned to repeat it.

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Posted on 07/29/2006 7:54 AM by Andy McCarthy
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Saturday, 29 July 2006
Re: Seattle shooting
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Let's see. There was the Egyptian man who shot dead two people at the El Al counter at Los Angeles airport. Before that, there was the Muslim who fired at a van of yeshiva boys in Brooklyn, killing 14-year-old Aaron Halberstam. There was the man who killed Rabbi Kahane after one of his speeches at a New York City hotel. There have been the mobs that prevented speeches (by Benjamin Netanyahu and other pro-Israel speakers at Concordia University in Montreal), and have intimidated others or tried to (see Brigitte Gabriel's website). There was the Egyptian co-pilot, who had a Muslim fit, grabbed the controls, and turned the plane into a nose dive, shouting "Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar" as the whole plane, and all of its passengers, including Americans, went down. There was the man, a Muslim named Ford, who tried to kill co-workers at a Safeway because they supposedly "made fun of him" for being a Muslim. There was the recent Muslim graduate of UNC/Chapel Hill who carefully planned to run down fellow students in "The Pit," a place for pedestrian traffic only, where students could sit around and relax. There was the Muslim man who shot several people on the Observation Deck of the Empire State Building, back in the early 1990s, found with a note in his pocket denouncing Jews...There was...there was....there was...

But CAIR is keeping careful track of all the hate crimes against Muslims. Keeping careful track of those storekeepers setting fire to their own grocery stores, and of all the others who have been non-existent victims of non-existent hate crimes.

Oh, there have been hate crimes connected to Islam in America all right. But not because Muslims were the victims.

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Posted on 07/29/2006 6:24 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Saturday, 29 July 2006
Hezbotoon
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Posted on 07/29/2006 6:14 AM by Robert Bove
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Saturday, 29 July 2006
More on Seattle Shooting
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Posted on 07/29/2006 6:08 AM by Rebecca Bynum
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Friday, 28 July 2006
Several people shot at Jewish Federation in Seattle
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Breaking News:

SEATTLE – At least three people have been shot at the Jewish Federation at 2031 Third Ave. in downtown Seattle. One person has been taken into custody.

Police have taken one person into custody but there may be more suspects in or around the building. Police have their weapons pointed toward the second floor of the building.

The three victims are believed to be women. One was reportedly shot in the abdomen and another was shot in the arm. They are being taken to Harborview Medical Center.

The incident began around 4 p.m. Part of Third Avenue and Second Avenue near Lenora have been closed to traffic. Police are urging people to stay away from the area.

At least three people were seen emerging from the building, which has two or three stories, escorted by police. It's not known if they were hostages.

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Posted on 07/28/2006 6:57 PM by Rebecca Bynum
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Friday, 28 July 2006
Diplomacy?
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This is diplomacy to be disdained, actually.

Read carefully:  All the Security Council has done here is threaten to threaten Iran — not actually to do anything, and much less to impose sanctions.

To recap, at the end of May, the administration officially reversed the long-standing policy against direct talks with with our enemies, the Iranians, and in the process offered a sweeping basket of goodies with no reciprocal requirement that the mullahs stop fomenting terrorism, in direct violation of the Bush Doctrine.  (I wrote about it here.)

What was the justification for that?  It was said to be that by showing this reasonableness, the State Department had achieved consensus within the Security Council about sanctions to be imposed in the event of Iranian instransigence.  The Washington Post reported on June 2:  "Aides to [Secretary of State] Rice said the deal also commits China and Russia to a long list of specific steps to punish Iran if it refuses to halt its enrichment program."

Right.  China and Russia have signalled almost from Jump Street that they have agreed to no such thing.  (See, e.g., herehere and here.)  Remarkably, the State Department caved in the other day when China threatened to disrupt this phony harmony:  the U.S. agreed to a  Security Council statement chastising Israel for its accidental strike against the UN installation in Lebanon.  As if this appeasement means China is actually going to support sanctions against Iran when Ahmadinejad tells the Security Council to pound sand on August 22.

Speaking of which, note that the Security Council's fearless threat to threaten, which must have the mullahs truly quaking in their shoes, gives Iran until the end of August to comply, rather than demanding compliance now.  This of course gives Ahmadinejad even more build-up for his much anticipated August 22 chest-beating — guaranteeing the he will look even better in the eyes of the Islamofascist world when he laughs off the demand. Great.  (By the way, the date of August 22, which Ahmadinejad picked to thumb his nose at the U.S. and our "partners," is Islamically significant. Robert Spencer explains why — in alarming fashion — here.  But hey, we wouldn't want to consider that the ideology we are fighting might have anything to do with what the principal terror masters are up to.)

Not to worry, though.  When it gets down to crunch time, our friends the Russians and the Chinese will be right there with us.  After all, the State Department will tell you that they, like we, have an abiding interest in global stability ... at least when the Chinese are not arming the Iranians with missiles for Hezbollah, and the Russians are not selling information technology to North Korea and — today — about $4billion worth of weapons to to our good buddy Hugo Chavez in Venezuela.

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Posted on 07/28/2006 5:38 PM by Andy McCarthy
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Friday, 28 July 2006
Al-Zawihiri's statement
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The most important part of Al-Zawihiri's statement, the one that should be mentioned by the President, mentioned by the Secretary of State, mentioned by the Secretary of Defense, mentioned by members of Congress and certainly mentioned by all those who are seeking support for their own candidacies in 2008, was this:

[Our goal is] "to liberate every land that used to be a territory of Islam, from Spain to Iraq."

That includes Spain, Sardinia, Sicily, Malta, Greece, all of the Balkans, Bulgaria, Rumania, most of Hungary, and possibly, as well, that part of France that extends all the way up to the furthest point of Muslim conquest, outside Poitiers.

Start with that statement, which to everyone here is not surprising but perfectly comprehensible. And then remind the public that must everywhere be instructed that, according to Islam, not "extremist" Islam, not an Islam that "has been hijacked," but Islam as it is, was, and will be, the entire world is divided into two parts: Dar al-Islam and Dar al-Harb, the Domain or House of Islam, and the Domain or House of War. The Domain, or House, of War is that part of the world where Infidels still live, unsubmissive to Islam. It is the duty of all Muslims, a duty sometimes individual in nature and sometimes collective, to strive, or "struggle," for the final victory of Islam, so that all obstacles to its dominance are removed everywhere, and everywhere Muslims rule. This is not a figment of some colonialist, neocolonialist, Orientalist imagination. It is exactly what anyone -- Believer or Infidel -- can find clearly spelled out in the canonical texts of Islam, and amply confirmed by the 12350 year history of Jihad conquest and subjugation of non-Muslims, all kinds of non-Muslims, living in all kinds of places. This evidence can not be denied, can not be avoided or evaded. Not, at least, if one wishes to have the right even to comment on current world events. Without such knowledge, one's views are without any conceivable value, except as one more specimen of how the bearers of self-assured ignorance are no longer merely figures of fun to be mocked, but have become a positive threat to our safety and our survival.

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Posted on 07/28/2006 5:31 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Friday, 28 July 2006
Hand-picked grass and healthy snacks
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Sounds great to me.  The latest on Barbaro from the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine, wherein he is being treated (hat tip: Tim Woolley Racing --F.Y.I., Woolley's British born):

July 28, 2006

KENNETT SQUARE, PA — Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro continues to be stable after another comfortable night according to Chief of Surgery Dean Richardson. His right hind leg cast was changed late Wednesday. “We took new radiographs, and they look good,” said Dr. Richardson. “No problems were evident.” In addition, the modified foot cast on Barbaro’s left hind foot, which has laminitis, is changed daily so the foot can be treated and watched for signs of infection.

“Barbaro has a strong appetite and he has been enjoying hand-picked grass daily and ‘healthy snacks,’” said Dr. Richardson.

Barbaro remains in the Intensive Care Unit of the University of Pennsylvania’s George D. Widener Hospital.

The next update will be posted on Tuesday, August 1, unless there is a significant change in Barbaro’s condition.

Why go on about this horse, about any horse?  Seems clear to me: among animals, Barbaro--even though he's left the track forever--dominates the Web.   'sides, I love animals.
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Posted on 07/28/2006 4:21 PM by Robert Bove
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Friday, 28 July 2006
Just War
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Just War

Reader Tom Schafer, in response to my posts today (here and here) on the Vatican's insistance on equating the acts of terrorists with Israel's response to terrorism is worth quoting:

The moral inversion involved here is simply astonishing, By every tenent of Catholic Just War theory, Israel is fighting a just, and justifiable, war. It's government represents a legitimate authority, it's troops are uniformed, it seeks to limit civilian casualties, it strikes only at military targets (insofar as these can be distinguished when confronting an organiization like Hezbollah), it's means are proportional, if anything. Hezbollah violates every Justy War stricture that I am aware of - and yet the Vatican would seem to see these two entities as moral equals. Again, absolutely astonishing...

Again, go to Joseph Bottum for the background on recent (since 1948) Vatican thinking on the subject.  That Italy is on the verge of capitulating to the Islamists--see La Fallaci--may have something to do with it as well.  A charitable explanation might include recognizing that, in a period when the Vatican is attempting to reassert "Catholic Identity" (particularly in Catholic universities, which for the most part have bent over backwards to accomodate themselves to fashionable secular ideologies), the Vatican is picking its battles carefully.  It has, after all, been a very very long time since the Vatican had the influence to move European governments.  What's more, asserting its influence on Catholics these days probably will take all the Vatican's energies.  In fact, Pope Benedict's hands are full asserting his influence in the Vatican itself.

Further, consider how long it took for the Vatican to act in the face of the opening of the current war--no, not 9/11, not 7/7, not the Hezbos bombing Israel.  Try 637, A.D., when the Christian city of Antioch fell to the Muslim. In between that date and the call of Pope Urban II (1088-1099) for what would become the first Crusade, Islamic jihadists had swept to within a day's ride of Paris, swallowed the Christian world of the east and south Mediterranean, and threatened Rome itself.  Talk about slow reaction time!

It would not hurt at all if the Vatican called for greater resistence to Islam among its flock, if it recognized in no uncertain terms Israel's right to defend itself--and America's right to bring the fight to the Islamo-fascists.   A short statement would do, then it could return to the good fight against the race/class/gender knuckleheads who have taken over Catholic universities.
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Posted on 07/28/2006 1:23 PM by Robert Bove
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Friday, 28 July 2006
Derb Radio
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Finally! New installment now up.
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Posted on 07/28/2006 12:06 PM by Rebecca Bynum
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Friday, 28 July 2006
the abysmal coverage of Lebanon
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One would think, from the abysmal, context-less, uncomprehending coverage (of which a perfect example is Richard Engel of NBC, who can be seen in front of large quantities of counterfeit, uncut sheets of one-hundred dollar bills, at www.littlegreenfootballs.com, 2-3 days ago, among the detritus from a Hezbollah-connected "financial institution" (counterfeit American bills and all), but not uttering a word about those bills, apparently completely oblivious to them. Not surprising. The coverage from Lebanon is essentially all about journalists of the most mindless sort, the kind who have no real idea what is at stake, no understanding, much less sympathy, for what Israel is attempting to do -- the most hellishly difficult task in military history, which is to remove 12,000-15,000 rockets that have been squirreled away, sometimes in fixed bunkers often deep (100 feet or more) underground, sometimes moved about and shot from right next to (three meters, according to Canadian General Lew Mackenzie) U.N. posts. (Why are those U.N. soldiers still there? Why? And why did not Kofi Annan publicly thank Israel for saving the life of a wounded U.N. soldier hit by Hezbollah fire in one of two separate, deliberate attacks -- in contradistinction to Israel's hitting of the U.N. post, which only a madman would think Israel would have done deliberately, for it had absolutely nothing to gain, and everything to lose, from such an outcome -- on U.N. positions, and why has Kofi Annan not referred to the email received by General Mackenzie from the Canadian U.N. soldier? In other words, why has the U.N. shown itself to be, from top to bottom, infiltrated not only by agents of the Islamintern International, but also, at the top, so infused with anti-Israeli feeling that no semblance of decency or fairness is any longer even pretended to?).

Christians in Lebanon have been going about their business, and whatever their take on the destruction of some of the infrastructure, they are all, they cannot but be, secretly pleased, as are the Druze, as are, to an obviously lesser extent, the Sunni Arabs, at the lessening of Hezbollah's power.

But none of them are likely to say this openly and clearly for now. Why should they? They can only be attacked, or be made to suffer, if they say what they are thinking. They do not fear Israel -- why should they? -- they fear only retribution from Hezbollah and the Shi'a masses in Lebanon, and of course don't need to offend Arabs and Muslims, especially Saudi Arabs who will be funneling money to rebuild their Arabic-speaking vacationland, through Sa'ad Hariri and others.

It is the job of Western journalists to figure this all out. It is the job of Western journalists not merely to seek out, hour after hour, touching scenes, the more gory and therefore, apparently, the more heartrending the scenes, or the tales of woe (not all of them to be taken seriously, and of course any Shi'a refugee will be engaged in exaggeration, of the most obvious kind, for the most obvious reasons -- but try getting any reporter from CNN, or the BBC, or the major American networks, to explain that possibility, that likelihood, that absolute certainty).

In a few months, or a year, if Israel manages to do what it has to do, the other Lebanese will show that the fool's paradise of the "new Lebanon," which existed purely as a matter of real estate development, while those 12,000-15,000 missiles were being brought in, installed, aimed, and made ready, along with all the other military preparations that, sooner or later, would lead to something, and which -- those Lebanese preferred not to think about -- of course would lead to Israel doing what it is now doing, what it will have to do again if necessary, and again, only next time without pulling its punches and without taking such scrupulous care to warn civilians, and to harm only Hezbollah or Hezbollah-related infrastructure. This campaign, whatever else it is, is a warning to countries that think they can ignore gigantic terrorist groups and pretend they have no obligation either to constrain them and limit their ability to build an army and deploy it, or if that country lacks the power to enforce its will, to insist that some outside forces come in and do the job. The recent governments in Lebanon, of Lahoud, the Christian lackey of Syria, as all Maronites know him, and of the Sunni Siniora, until recently merely a technocrat who has allowed to come flowing out of his strangely twisted, Tony-Judtish mouth, a steady stream of phrases, all about "Lebanon's pain" (Lebanon's "pain" is entirely a function of Hezbollah, and indeed, almost all of the "Pain" is being felt by Hezbollah -- just look at the traffic jams in Beirut, look at the hotel pools and the perfectly normal life in Beirut, all carefully hidden from the CNN and BBC and other network coverage), that Siniora no doubt is enjoying, but what he takes to be oratorical brilliance is, because it is so hollow, and so false, merely embarrassing grandiloquence.

For a view of Lebanon that is sane, try Ecce Libano and begin reading there. And note the important mention of Antoine Basbous's suggestion that not only should there be foreign troops in the south, capable of keeping Hezbollah from returning with its missiles and its madness, but also there should be protection along the border with Syria, prepared to interdict military supplies from both Syria and Iran - that border, in fact, may even be more important than the southern one. Without those missiles, Israel will not have to plan, as otherwise it must, to again attack within Lebanon, this time with no holds barred.

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Posted on 07/28/2006 10:25 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Friday, 28 July 2006
The Long Haul
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You might, in your morning trawl through the online newspapers, enjoy this column in the London Daily Telegraph by Bill Deedes.

If you do, please give a passing thought to the fact that Bill—now Lord—Deedes is 93 years old. He was actually the model for a character in one of Evelyn Waugh's early novels.  Those 93 years have, furthermore, by no means—by no means—been marked by a conspicuous absence of distilled liquor and cured tobacco leaf (Silk Cut,  as I recall).

I wonder how many of us Iconoclast bloggers will still be opinionating at age 93.
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Posted on 07/28/2006 9:54 AM by John Derbyshire
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Friday, 28 July 2006
Islamic Dictionary for Infidels
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I will be discussing why the same words have totally different meanings for Islamic thought as they do for western thought in my upcoming article for our August edition, but here is a very interesting and illuminating take on the matter by European essayist Wolfgang Bruno.
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Posted on 07/28/2006 9:44 AM by Rebecca Bynum
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Friday, 28 July 2006
Parenting Follow-up
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Just a couple of FINAL follow-ups on the parenting thread.

(1) Lots of readers took umbrage. They are working hard at parenting, and don't like me saying it doesn't matter. Well, I didn't say that. What I said was, it doesn't matter anything like as much as we are told, or wish. 

A typical extract from a reader email: "My teenage daughter is not allowed to date any boy who does not first apply to me for permission. So far I have turned two down as unsuitable and approved another two. She appreciates my help because it allows her to escape undesirable attentions without embarrassment." 

Well, I have no problem with any of that, and hope my own daughter will be that compliant when the dating years start.  Whether she will or not will depend on her personality, large components of which are know to be heritable.

The central point is, that to find out what determines adult personality and life outcomes, you have to tease out the various factors. Suppose, for example, my reader's daughter had an identical twin sister, who had been adopted at birth by a quite different family, one with lackadaisical parenting practices, but in a near-identical neighborhood. Same genes; same outside-the-home socialization opportunities. How different would her adult personality and life outcomes be? We don't have to guess, because in a world of billions, it happens often enough to tell us. Answer: Much less different than you'd think. With a different set of genes, my reader's daughter might have run away from home by now, in spite of all his admirable parenting efforts. That happens too. Who doesn't know this?

(2) "So is child abuse OK then, since it makes no difference?" Well, once again, I didn't say parenting makes no difference.  And at the extreme left tail of the parenting bell curve, where the parenting is really, really bad—kids locked naked in the basement with cans of dog food—I think it likely does make a big difference.  I taught in a slum school once, and saw some cases, including some not far from the basement-dogfood scenario.  I even suspect—though here I have nothing to go on & am just guessing—that at the right tail of the parenting bell curve the same applies.  That is, really super-duper, all-out 24/7 gut-busting total-attention parenting might make a big difference too.  Still, the kind of parenting that most of us are capable of/willing to do, constrained as we are to make a living & to have some kind of adult social life, makes little difference.

(3) In any inquiry into human nature, it is always instructive to look at what people do when they are free enough to do as they please.  Specifically:  How much parenting is done by people who can afford to hire people to do the parenting for them?  Answer:  Not much (with individual exceptions, of course).  Why do you think that wealthy people employ platoons of nannies, and send their kids to boarding schools?  The old English aristocracy neglected their kids for a thousand years.  Winston Churchill barely knew his parents.  He seemed to work out all right.

(4) Since I've made it clear that I'm working hard at parenting myself, why am I, if it makes so little difference?  Possibly no difference at all?  Well, because in a competitive society, even a little difference counts, and I want my kids to do well.  As to the possibility of no difference at all:  It's like free will—-Nobody knows if we really have it, but there is no way to live other than by ASSUMING we have it.  I'm assuming I make some difference to my kids' outcomes.  Not much; not as much as the child-development industry tells us; nothing like as much as Freud told us; but some.  I hope.

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Posted on 07/28/2006 9:36 AM by John Derbyshire
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