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Islamophobia All Right
Hollywood's PC perversion stifles storytelling
November 27, 2005
BY MARK STEYN SUN-TIMES COLUMNIST
This year's Sean Penn thriller, ''The Interpreter,'' was originally about Muslim terrorists blowing up a bus in New York. So, naturally, Hollywood called rewrite. And instead the bus got blown up by African terrorists from the little-known republic of Matobo. ''We didn't want to encumber the film in politics in any way,'' said Kevin Misher, the producer.There are at least two good reasons why Western filmmakers are reluctant to address, even obliquely, the Islamic threat to civilization. First, they will immediately be labelled racist bigot Islamophobes. Second, they will be brutally murdered. This is not supposition. They called Theo van Gogh a racist bigot Islamophobe, then they brutally murdered him.
But being so perversely ''non-political'' is itself a political act. If there were a dozen movies in which Tom Cruise kicked al-Qaida butt across the Hindu Kush, it would be reasonable to say, ''Hey, we'd rather deal with Matoban terrorism for a change.'' But, when every movie goes out of its way to avoid being ''encumbered,'' it starts to look like a pathology.
Isn't it strange when these liberal artist types, who ordinarily delight in testing limits and sticking their finger in whoever's eye they like, suddenly turn obsequious when it comes to Islam. Oh no, "we didn't want to encumber the film in politics". Riiiight. That and you've got a touch of Islamophobia. Remember: just because you're afraid of Muslims doesn't mean they're not out to get you.
Excellent sources of opinion and news from a European perspective:
The Brussels Journal
From the desk of Paul Belien on Thu, 2005-06-30 13:08
“I believe in being free, acquiring knowledge, and telling the truth.”
The above quote from the legendary American journalist H.L. Mencken (1880-1956) sums it up pretty much. The Brussels Journal is a project set up by European journalists and writers to restore three values that are so lacking in the so-called “consensus-culture” of contemporary Europe: Freedom, the quest for Knowledge, and the Truth.
We defend freedom and, though we do not pretend to know the ultimate truth, we strive to acquire as much knowledge as possible by presenting facts and views that are hard to find in the “consensus-media” of Europe.
Behind the Façades in France: What expats and the mainstream media (French and American alike) fail to notice (or fail to tell you) about French attitudes, principles, values, and official positions…
Policitically incorrect observations on reporting in the German media.
A blog about Islam, Scandinavian affairs and global politics.
News, Views, and Commentary Regarding the European Union
The principal aim of Transatlantic Intelligencer is to "overcome the language gap" - or, more exactly, some of the language gaps - preventing Americans and other English-speakers from forming an accurate assessment of European political realities. Trans-Int pays special attention to developments in Germany and France, the leading continental European powers. Since there are also multiple "language gaps" within Europe, we are confident that Transatlantic Intelligencer will also be of interest to European readers.
WatchingAmerica makes available in English articles written about the U.S. by foreigners, often for foreign audiences, and often in other languages. Since WatchingAmerica offers its own translations, regular users of our site will enjoy articles not available in English anywhere else. We are a unique window into world opinion.
Allah's Waiting Room
Two Marines. Different attitudes.
War in Iraq
The Honorable John P. Murtha
November 17, 2005
The war in Iraq is not going as advertised. It is a flawed policy wrapped in illusion. The American public is way ahead of us. The United States and coalition troops have done all they can in Iraq, but it is time for a change in direction. Our military is suffering. The future of our country is at risk. We can not continue on the present course. It is evident that continued military action in Iraq is not in the best interest of the United States of America, the Iraqi people or the Persian Gulf Region."Ohmygod! The sky is falling! The sky is falling!" It sure is. On the enemy.
A Marine reports from Iraq
By An anonymous Marine
November 22, 2005
Bad guy tactics: When the enemy is engaged on an infantry level they get their a**** kicked every time. Brave, but stupid. Suicidal banzai-type charges were very common earlier in the war and still occur. They will literally sacrifice eight-to-10 man teams in suicide squads by sending them screaming and firing AKs and RPGs directly at our bases just to probe the defenses. They get mowed down like grass every time -- see the M2 and M240 above. [Name redacted]'s base was hit like this often. When engaged, the enemy has a tendency to flee to the same building, probably for what they think will be a glorious last stand. Instead, we call in air and that's the end of that, more often than not.With all due respect to Mr. Murtha the war is going as advertised. It's just if you listen to the media, who don't seem to appreciate the difference between objectivity and negativity, you'd think Iraq was in complete disarray. More than a few right bastards might even feel a bit uplifted at the notion. So sorry to burst your bubble. There has always been a plan, and it's going fairly well. Two elections and a constitution into it and you'd think people would have noticed by now.
These hole-ups are referred to as "Alpha Whiskey Romeos" ("Allah's Waiting Room"). We have the laser-guided ground-air thing down to a science. The fast movers, mostly Marine F-18s, are taking an ever-increasing toll on the enemy. When caught out in the open, the helicopter gunships and AC-130 Spectre gunships cut them to ribbons with cannon and rocket fire, especially at night. Interestingly, artillery is hardly used at all. Fun fact: The enemy death toll is supposedly between 45,000 and 50,000. That is why we're seeing fewer and fewer infantry attacks and more improvised-explosive devices, suicide bomber s***. The new strategy is simple: attrition.
In spite of this and contrary to popular opinion the military has not quite done all they can in Iraq. And I'm not talking about building more schools and hospitals. The fact is after 9/11 we had a tough problem: how to draw our enemy out of the shadows that favored them to fight instead where our military might could be brought to bear. There is no good time or place to wage war, but could we have expected anything better than the giant Alpha Whiskey Romeo Iraq has become? Are we not still busy issuing one way tickets to paradise? The enemy is where we want him and he's losing. Which understandably flummoxes those whose twisted worldview figures the US as supervillain. "The bad guys can't win! They must therefore immediately surrender and withdraw!" Riiiiight. Sounds like we're doing just fine.
Hijacking the Holidays
During the handful of days each year traditionally set aside for such purpose many of us celebrate, and rightly so. Despite the never ending doom and gloom spewed by our news media there are many more reasons to be thankful for being alive here and now than not. Those of us who recognize the benefits of civilization, and the precarious height it has attained, are rightly concerned about its survival. We realize we enjoy today the fruits of the labors of previous generations. We respect their wisdom and sacrifice, and express this in small part by observing the holidays they've passed on to us.
Most of the year it is possible to overlook the watered down marxists who tirelessly strive to debase society, defame our heroes, cancel our celebrations, ridicule our joy, and profane our love. Frankly these days we usually have bigger fish to fry.
But our holidays are increasingly marred by social vandals who must be addled with loathing. Not content to suffer solitary alienation or even collective disaffection they feel compelled to foist the products of their guilty conscience and false humility on everyone. Their puerile vicimology assumes we have inherited not a gift from the past but a curse. They see nothing to be thankful for - we are all either exploiters or exploitees. These champions of political correctness are disturbed not one wit by the racist/sexist basis for their claims. Blinded with self-importance the worst seek not only to establish new holidays but to supplant what has existed for generations. Others just make shit up.
Phew. Am I relieved to find out it's all in my imagination.
Or, for non-acronym fans, "In Which Congress Rejects a Resolution Substantively Identical to Rep. Murtha’s, which Murtha Disowned as Not Being His, Then Spent 30 Minutes Defending the Resolution Which Was Not His Before Voting Against It." Apparently, WordPress doesn’t allow titles that are that long. Nonetheless, we shall not split hairs over such niceties, and perform a post-mortem on Democrat fund-raising below.Debacle yes, amusing no. The Democrats have virtually abandoned the field. There is no loyal opposition, all that remains are tantrums. Bush Lied! Bush Tortures! Withdraw from Iraq now! Where are the principled, logical criticisms? Our borders are wide open and government spending is out of control. Do something useful and hold the Republicans feet to the fire about that!
First, a little context behind this highly amusing debacle. To begin with, virtually every single headline in the country (world) over the last few days proclaimed that Murtha was calling for "immediate withdrawal" of the troops. Apparently, this was dead wrong. A Congressional committee will be formed shortly to determine why no one bothered to correct this apparently wrong notion before the GOP forced this vote to the floor.
I’m curious about something, however, that perhaps some of our Democrat friends can clear up. If the problem was that this resolution said something drastically different from Murtha’s, can we expect the Democrat caucus to fight to bring the actual Murtha resolution to the floor? Should we expect them to support the deployment being "hereby terminated," if they’re not willing to support "immediately terminated"?How long must one wait for assclowns to get serious before becoming an assclown oneself?
Situation Normal All Franced Up
Nov 17th 2005 | PARIS
From The Economist print edition
ONE measure of the ambient violence is that the French government this week welcomed the burning of 215 cars in one night as "a near-normal situation". At the peak of the recent riots, over 1,400 vehicles were torched in a single night. A week after the government declared a state of emergency, the Paris suburbs were mostly quiet—although sporadic arson attacks, including on nursery schools, continued elsewhere. The government has rushed through a law prolonging the state of emergency for three months.What sort of Frenchmen are they?
By Dror Mishani and Aurelia Smotriez
"This problem is the problem of all the countries of Europe. In Holland, they've been confronting it since the murder of Theo van Gogh. The question isn't what is the best model of integration, but just what sort of integration can be achieved with people who hate you."France's Toll of Destruction
And what will happen in France?
"I don't know. I'm despairing. Because of the riots and because of their accompaniment by the media. The riots will subside, but what does this mean? There won't be a return to quiet. It will be a return to regular violence. So they'll stop because there is a curfew now, and the foreigners are afraid and the drug dealers also want the usual order restored. But they'll gain support and encouragement for their anti-republican violence from the repulsive discourse of self-criticism over their slavery and colonization. So that's it: There won't be a return to quiet, but a return to routine violence."
From the desk of Paul Belien on Fri, 2005-11-18 23:23
Today in the Belgian newspaper De Tijd Nicole le Guennec, a French sociologist, says that car torching has been a common phenomenon in France for the past fifteen years. If this is true and if 100 is the average toll of destruction each night, a staggering 547,500 cars have been destroyed in France during that period. Probably more, because when one car is set alight and the fire destroys surrounding cars as well, the statistics count it as only one car fire. The worst night is traditionally New Year’s eve. Last New Year’s eve 330 cars were destroyed, a low figure compared to previous New Years when around 400 cars were set alight.Guy Sorman on the "Autism" of the French State
In contemporary multicultural France such staggering figures of lawlessness are considered to be a sign of "normality" and are hardly reported in the mainstream media. Neither is the following little piece of information. This week Professor Dominique Reynié of Sorbonne University in Paris, told the Brussels weekly Knack that the French state was obliged to borrow money last week to pay the wages of its civil servants. "The money has run out. One must concede: this is no example of a strong state."
Perhaps what we are witnessing in Europe, but what the politicians and the media dare not say aloud, is the implosion of the (welfare) state. The Soviet Union suddenly collapsed in 1989, when owing to the inability of communism to create wealth, the state went bankrupt, was unable to maintain its army and hold its empire together. In France, the same thing might be happening. The socialist welfare state is no longer able to maintain law and order and is abandoning entire neighbourhoods to anarchy.
Wednesday, November 16, 2005
Who is going to admit that the French state that gets involved in everything - the economy, culture, military interventions and other noble causes - has become totally ineffective on the ground? Two years ago, it let 30,000 dehydrated senior citizens die in their nursing homes without air conditioning. Now, it proves incapable of resisting a couple of hundred commandos of hooligans. The state? It is everywhere where society no longer needs it and absent where it is most needed. This political autism is the true cause of the conflagration.Nothing to see here. Move along now.
Torturing the Truth
Ex-CIA boss: Cheney is 'vice president for torture'
Friday, November 18, 2005; Posted: 7:42 p.m. EST (00:42 GMT)
"We military people don't want future military people who are taken prisoner by other countries to be subjected to torture in the name of doing just what the United States does," he said.Riiiight. Earth to Admiral Turner, the people Cheney wants to extract information from aren't in the service of "other countries". They take innocent civilians prisoner and don't hesitate to torture (in the true sense of the word) them and then saw off their head, in cold blood, in front of a video camera. Oh and, if we need to downsize the CIA again we'll make sure to give you a call.
Partisan Hypocrite Traitor Outs Self
By William J. Bennett
November 14, 2005, 3:41 p.m.
While Democrats in Washington are berating the White House for having prewar intelligence wrong, a high-profile U.S. senator, member of the Select Committee on Intelligence, who has a name more internationally recognizable than Richard Cheney's, tells two putative allies (Saudi Arabia and Jordan) and an enemy who is allied with Saddam Hussein (Syria) that the United States was going to war with Iraq. This is not a prewar intelligence mistake, it is a prewar intelligence giveaway.
Senators and congressmen don't have to agree with their president's policies, and they should make the president robustly defend his policies — but they should not be acting as if they are the president or secretary of state; they should not be tipping off sometimes friends and definitive enemies about war plans that not even the president has yet made as policy. This is the true mockery of prewar intelligence, and Senator Rockefeller should fully explain his actions.Even from his position of utmost responsibility and trust Rockefeller puts politics above national security. His thoughtless actions put our soldiers at risk. He should resign. He should be prosecuted. How dare such a hypocrite criticize the administration for having "dubious motives"?
UPDATE: See the video at The Political Teen.
White Phosphorus = Chemical Weapon
The anti-war people have got their panties all in a twist again. This time they're outraged, outraged, that US troops use live ammunition. The anti-war blog whatREALLYhappened.com takes it a step further and hallucinates a media conspiracy to cover up the blindingly obvious war crime that's been commited:
CHALLENGE TO THE US MEDIAChemical weapons. Oh my. Of course the only people who consider white phosphorus a chemical weapon are the psychics (AKA "pretty much everyone") who knew, just knew, all along that Saddam didn't have WMDs. Never. Except the ones Rummy sold him. Oh, and his white phosphorus. Which isn't a WMD if it belongs to Saddam. Can you imagine the reaction if Bush pointed at a captured stockpile of Republican Guard WP and said "here are Saddam's WMD"? Oops, did the peaceniks think of that before they lowered their standards? How long before they figure out gunpowder and TNT are "chemical weapons"?
These last few weeks we have endured the mainstream media's proclamations about how sorry they were they did not report the truth that there were no WMDs in Iraq; how the media was deceived along with everyone else (ignoring the fact that pretty much everyone else knew what was going on), and how you would all try to do a better job.
Well, here is your chance to prove that. Italian TV just aired a documentary that proves the US used chemical weapons against civilians in Fallujah, and how Giuliana Sgregna, the Italian Journalist who was kidnapped, then nearly assassinated by US troops following her release, had been reporting on that very story along with one other journalist who was killed by US troops at the time. The British Press picked up the story this morning. The rest of the world is picking up the story. So, where is the US mainstream media on this?
Media Lies did a good job of deflating this story several days ago. The best part was a quote from Balloon Juice:
I’m a combat veteran of Iraq. Mostly Ramadi. I’m an infantry officer.Oops again. whatREALLYhappened.com should have waited until their knew what really happened. Days have passed and the Kossacks still busy themselves with "research". They must use search engines that don't extend outside their anti-war bubble.
I have got to tell you guys that the knuckleheads who are tearing their hair out about WP being an illegal chemical weapon are some of the stupidest, most ill-informed, hysterical people on the planet right now. You guys are making idiots of yourselves.
Yes, I’ve seen the pictures. And I’ve seen similar effects in real life.
Not from WP, but from good old fashioned HE, which can “caramelize skin” and “leatherize skin” and cause severe flash burns.
I saw their effects because I saw what happened to Iraqi civilians after HE IEDs went off. Sometimes it happened to the guys who were setting them up.
Doctrinally, WP is used as a marking round. You pop off one or two WP rounds on the target, and then you call the air to fire up the WP round with whatever ordnance is appropriate.
You can also use WP if you desire lethal effect but a smaller blast radius. For example, if there is a structure nearby you don’t want to damage. It’s conceivable to use WP in order to minimize collateral damage, while still getting steel on the target.
It’s standard to use WP as the initial part of a smoke obscuration, and even as a navigational aid (though that’s unlikely in Iraq thanks to GPS.)
WP can also be used to force the enemy to abandon a ditch, to escape the burning bits of phosphorus. He can then be engaged with direct fires or DPICM.
There is nothing prohibiting a commander from using WP rounds against an armed enemy in the field, nor should there be. This idea that DPICM is somehow more humane than WP is a feel-good illusion propogated by people who lead sheltered lives.
Others are simply reaching for any argument, no matter how outlandish, with which to slander our troops with vile and ill-informed accusations in order to score cheap political points.
The fact is that Sherman was right: War is Hell, and you cannot refine it. The best you can do is put your head down and get the nightmare over with quickly.
The mainstream media, in spite of its bias, is at least smart enough not to call white phosphorus a chemical weapon. The US media that is. So far.
UPDATE: Confederate Yankee has more on Fallujah: The Hidden Massacre, the "documentary" that added white phoshorus to the anti-American lexicon. The fradulently edited helicopter footage reminded me of the techniques used in another disinformation masterpiece lauded by indignant leftists.
Arab Reactions to Eurofada 2005
Reactions in the Arab and Muslim World to the Rioting in France
November 10, 2005
Saudi Columnist: The Problem is Not with the French Government, but With the Arab ImmigrantsHello? Did this fellow not get the memo? You know, the one from Chirac titled "It's All Our Fault". If Al-Moussa were a white Westerner he be called an Islamophobic (even though this all has nothing to do with Islam) neocon bigot. Since he's Saudi we can only hope he won't fare far worse.
Columnist Dr. 'Ali Sa'd Al-Moussa wrote in the Saudi government daily Al-Watan: "The fires in Paris also set fire to all [the problems] that had accumulated with regard to Arab immigration. The Arab cannot live in harmony with a culture different from his own, for a simple reason: Today, the Arabs are spinning alone in a circle outside the circle of world culture... However much the immigrant puts down roots in the new country, he cannot aspire to full equality with the native residents of the land. The Arab generations that immigrated [to France] one after the other do not understand this, and cannot live with this fact, even though France is the best country for immigration...
"Whoever blames only the French government for the grave situation in these Parisian suburbs is mistaken. The Arabs clash culturally with the other, forcing each [side] to flee to his own community, so that the suburbs of the cities acquire the character of their mother culture. [The French immigrants of Arab origin] carry with their bags their heritage, their culture, their customs, and their conduct...
"The appearance of the streets, the doors, the schools, and the level of services [in the Paris suburbs] takes you back to the cities of Morocco, which have not changed for centuries. Respect for the [French] government is almost non-existent in daily life. Immigration requires a mental predisposition; why would any of us, who longs to immigrate to a different world, revile it with the most ugly of terms as soon as he reaches it?"
Events Prove that Western Ideas Will Not Improve the Middle EastNow that's more like it. "You promised to eradicate poverty and inequality! Where are my mansion and yacht?" Are the French-born descendents of North African immigrants not infinitely better off than the current residents of North Africa? Would there be no riots if everyone were in equal poverty?
In an article in the Kuwaiti daily Al-Siyassa, titled "Freedom, Equality, and Fraternity are Not for All," columnist Dr. Khaled 'Awid Al-Jinfawi wrote: "This obvious failure of some of the immigrant societies in Western countries to integrate culturally and socially again sheds 'historical' light on the degree of success in implementing many Western ideas of progressivism, such as 'liberty, equality, and human fraternity,'... in the Middle East.
"If the ideals of equality, justice, democracy, human rights, and fraternity, which emerged in the West and were adopted by the French Revolution in the late 18th century, have not managed to eradicate poverty and inequality, and have even increased the marginality of the [immigrant] communities, deprived [them of] their rights, and denied them many opportunities in the economy, in education, and in development – then how can these ideas... improve the lot of many in the Middle East?..."
The ideals of equality, justice, democracy, human rights, and fraternity work well enough for those who actually buy into the system. How on earth could anyone expect it to also work for freeloading sociopaths whose only talent is for mayhem and destruction?
Criticism for the Critics
Bush takes on critics of Iraq war
Friday, November 11, 2005; Posted: 2:40 p.m. EST (19:40 GMT)
President Bush Friday accused critics of the Iraq war of distorting the events that led to the U.S. invasion, saying Democrats viewed the same intelligence and came to similar conclusions.Many anti-war critics are so blinded by inexhaustible hatred, so enraged by their impotency, so determined to seize power at any cost, that they care not what damage they do. They tolerate the intolerance of Islam and condemn the influence of Christianity. They excuse our attackers and betray our defenders. They see the world through a prism of fear. They are irrational. They cannot be persuaded by logic. Unfortunately these irrational critics are not a fringe minority. Among them are senior leaders of the second most powerful US political party:
"While it's perfectly legitimate to criticize my decision or the conduct of the war, it is deeply irresponsible to rewrite the history of how that war began," the president said.
"Some Democrats and anti-war critics are now claiming we manipulated the intelligence and misled the American people about why we went to war," Bush said. "They also know that intelligence agencies from around the world agreed with our assessment of Saddam Hussein."
"These baseless attacks send the wrong signal to our troops and to an enemy that is questioning America's will," Bush said.
Who Is Lying About Iraq?
Nancy Pelosi, the future leader of the Democrats in the House, and then a member of the House Intelligence Committee, added her voice to the chorus:
Saddam Hussein has been engaged in the development of weapons-of-mass-destruction technology, which is a threat to countries in the region, and he has made a mockery of the weapons inspection process.
Senator Carl Levin also reaffirmed for Bush’s benefit what he had told Clinton some years earlier:
Saddam Hussein is a tyrant and a threat to the peace and stability of the region. He has ignored the mandate of the United Nations, and is building weapons of mass destruction and the means of delivering them.
Senator Jay Rockefeller, vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, agreed as well:
There is unmistakable evidence that Saddam Hussein is working aggressively to develop nuclear weapons and will likely have nuclear weapons within the next five years. . . . We also should remember we have always underestimated the progress Saddam has made in development of weapons of mass destruction.
Perhaps most startling of all, given the rhetoric that they would later employ against Bush after the invasion of Iraq, are statements made by Senators Ted Kennedy and Robert Byrd, also in 2002:Even now these fevered American quislings stubbornly ignore the facts and busy themselves rewriting history...
Kennedy: We have known for many years that Saddam Hussein is seeking and developing weapons of mass destruction.
Byrd: The last UN weapons inspectors left Iraq in October of 1998. We are confident that Saddam Hussein retains some stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons, and that he has since embarked on a crash course to build up his chemical- and biological-warfare capabilities. Intelligence reports indicate that he is seeking nuclear weapons.
The President Should Be Held Accountable
By Senator Ted Kennedy
t r u t h o u t | Statement
Thursday 10 November 2005
150,000 American troops are bogged down in a quagmire in Iraq because the Bush Administration misrepresented and distorted the intelligence to justify a war that America never should have fought.
As we know all too well, Iraq was not an imminent threat. It had no nuclear weapons. It had no persuasive links to al Qaeda, no connection to the terrorist attacks of September 11th, and no stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction.
But the President wrongly and repeatedly insisted that it was too dangerous to ignore the weapons of mass destruction in the hands of Saddam Hussein, and his ties to al Qaeda.
In his march to war, President Bush exaggerated the threat to the American people. It was not subtle. It was not nuanced. It was pure, unadulterated fear-mongering, based on a devious strategy to convince the American people that Saddam's ability to provide nuclear weapons to al Qaeda justified immediate war.
Kicking Ass, Burning Cars
And they're just about out of cars.
Arabs Blame French Society, Discrimination
By TAREK AL-ISSAWI
The Associated Press
Wednesday, November 9, 2005; 2:07 PM
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates -- France's riots have set off a round of troubled debate across the Arab world: Most here blame a failure to offer opportunity to immigrants, but others see a more ominous clash of cultures over Islam.Wow. They're actually seeing video from France? I'm wondering if Brian Williams and Anderson Cooper are on vacation. Maybe they're still on assignment in New Orleans.
Across the Middle East, the images of burning cars and stone-throwing young people have dominated newspapers and television. Analysts have hotly debated the riots' meaning, their cause and whether they might spread.
Great story. It absolves the criminals and blames the victims, and somehow squeezes in some Muslim paranoia and self-pity, even though of course this all has nothing whatsoever to do with Islam.
Here's a good rebuttal:
Troubling "Facts" of the Paris Riots
How our newspapers might turn bias to balance.
by Bruce Thornton
November 6, 2005
In the case of the Paris rioters, there are other explanations for their behavior that are more accurate than liberal clichés about "frustration.” As Dr Jack Wheeler puts it, "The problem is not that these Moslem kids are unemployed, but that they are unemployable. They are illiterate, unskilled except in crime, don't speak French well, refuse to assimilate into French culture and think being Moslem is more important than being French. Worse, they are paid by the French welfare state not to work, living well off the dole (and crime). The problem was epitomized by these words of a young Moslem rioter to a French reporter: 'In the day we sleep, go see our girlfriends, and play video games. And in the evening we have a good time: we go and fight the police.'”
Hard to believe this disturbing analysis was written three years ago, the situation in the cités has only gotten worse:
The Barbarians at the Gates of Paris
They are certainly not poor, at least by the standards of all previously existing societies: they are not hungry; they have cell phones, cars, and many other appurtenances of modernity; they are dressed fashionably—according to their own fashion—with a uniform disdain of bourgeois propriety and with gold chains round their necks. They believe they have rights, and they know they will receive medical treatment, however they behave. They enjoy a far higher standard of living (or consumption) than they would in the countries of their parents’ or grandparents’ origin, even if they labored there 14 hours a day to the maximum of their capacity.The Belmont Club makes an excellent observation on the significance of the carbeque brinksmanship of the "youths":
But this is not a cause of gratitude—on the contrary: they feel it as an insult or a wound, even as they take it for granted as their due. But like all human beings, they want the respect and approval of others, even—or rather especially—of the people who carelessly toss them the crumbs of Western prosperity. Emasculating dependence is never a happy state, and no dependence is more absolute, more total, than that of most of the inhabitants of the cités. They therefore come to believe in the malevolence of those who maintain them in their limbo: and they want to keep alive the belief in this perfect malevolence, for it gives meaning—the only possible meaning—to their stunted lives. It is better to be opposed by an enemy than to be adrift in meaninglessness, for the simulacrum of an enemy lends purpose to actions whose nihilism would otherwise be self-evident.
Do You Hear the People Sing?
Using expensive rotary wing assets to chase car arsonists isn't an economical proposition, especially when you can't fire on the arsonists. The ability to torch cars in the Place de la Republique is a good gauge of the limits of police response time. All in all, the tactic of car burning provides definite advantages to the attacker and many disadvantages for the defender. The tactics of the "youths" may have evolved spontaneously, and probably did. Nevertheless, because form follows function, they bear an eerie resemblance to tactics employed by the Chechens against the Russian Army in Grozny, and may have been fertilized by ideas from that source.What's happening in France is more serious than the LA riot or Katrina looting. It's lasted longer and is more widespread. The LA mayhem wasn't organized, and the government had the good sense to put it down with curfews and the National Guard before it spread to other cities. The Katrina looting, triggered by a natural disaster, is hardly comparable except for the curious lack of similar hyperbolic reportage. Did the media learn a lesson, or are they just casting around for an angle that doesn't discredit their beloved moral relativism and multiculturalism?
Intifada in France
New York Sun Editorial
November 4, 2005
Back in the 1990s, the French sneered at America for the Los Angeles riots. As the Chicago Sun-Times reported in 1992: "the consensus of French pundits is that something on the scale of the Los Angeles riots could not happen here, mainly because France is a more humane, less racist place with a much stronger commitment to social welfare programs." President Mitterrand, the Washington Post reported in 1992, blamed the riots on the "conservative society" that Presidents Reagan and Bush had created and said France is different because it "is the country where the level of social protection is the highest in the world." It sure smells like an "intifada", it's definitely more than a "riot". Will the French not impose a curfew and mobilize their army simply because that's what the cowboy Americans would do? Or are they afraid they wouldn't win if it came to that? Do they remember what happened when they dithered in 1940?
Wake up, Europe, you've a war on your hands
November 6, 2005
BY MARK STEYN SUN-TIMES COLUMNIST
The notion that Texas neocon arrogance was responsible for frosting up trans-Atlantic relations was always preposterous, even for someone as complacent and blinkered as John Kerry. If you had millions of seething unassimilated Muslim youths in lawless suburbs ringing every major city, would you be so eager to send your troops into an Arab country fighting alongside the Americans? For half a decade, French Arabs have been carrying on a low-level intifada against synagogues, kosher butchers, Jewish schools, etc. The concern of the political class has been to prevent the spread of these attacks to targets of more, ah, general interest. They seem to have lost that battle. Unlike America's Europhiles, France's Arab street correctly identified Chirac's opposition to the Iraq war for what it was: a sign of weakness.You might think this would also help dispell the belief that neocon arrogance caused 9/11, but the people who believe that are too busy dissecting Plame minutiae and lionizing their heroic marxist agitators in Argentina to notice anything that contradicts their worldview.
TV coverage has been thin. After two weeks don't French city streets in flames rate some air time? Compare it for instance to the coverage of the LA riot or Katrina. What happened to "if it bleeds it leads"? We beat ourselves and our government up pretty badly over Katrina. They say Europe is more enlightened, France enjoys more solidarity. Wouldn't it be instructive to examine their problems and compare them to ours? Wouldn't it be fair to critique their government's response to crisis?
Thankfully blogs have been a vibrant source of information, analysis, and opinion.
The better ones on this subject are The Belmont Club, ¡No Pasaràn!, Gates of Vienna, cuanas, and The Brussels Journal. The mainstream media is guilty not only of dragging their feet on the story, the links above reveal they've been neglecting for some time to report honestly on the problems of socialist Europe. They consistenty portray it as utopia compared to the US. From the 25% unemployment rate to the ticking time bomb of ingrateful, unassimilated, and surly Muslims I'm damn glad I don't live in France.
1001 Eurabian Nights
After looking down their noses with disdain and disgust at the US - most recently for going to war against Iraq and for the looting and lawlessness in the wake of Katrina - what the French are now experiencing should cause them to reevaluate both criticisms. First, their general support for Muslim causes around the world and for Saddam and the Palestinians in particular has earned them no sympathy whatsoever from the disaffected 2nd generation North African Muslim "youths" they have adopted. Second, the line between civilization and chaos is thin everywhere, not just here in Cowboyland. If Katrina unmasked ugly class differences and government ineptitude then so have these French riots.
I don't feel smug. I hope this wakes up the French, and the rest of Old Europe, so they finally join in the defense of civilization rather than pretentiously prevaricating while it collapses around them.
Ramadan Rioting in Europe's No-Go Areas
Our mainstream media, in attempts to preserve the Left’s chimera of “universal cultural compatibility,” hardly write about all this. Nevertheless, for some years now West European city folk and police officers have been familiar with the reality that certain areas of major European cities are no-go areas, especially at night and certainly if you are white or wearing a uniform. Three years ago, a French friend who had his car stolen learned that the thieves had parked the car in a particular suburb. When he went to the police he was told that the police did not operate in that neighbourhood and consequently would not be able to retrieve his car. This is Western Europe in the early 21st century.This story is a few days old. The violence has gone on for 10 nights now. All along Brussels Journal has made insightful posts on the subject, identifying the situation as a civil war days before the US press acknowledged anything was even happening. The spin from the mainstream media right now is that the rioters are primarily "youths" of North African descent enraged by the deplorable living conditions the famously stingy French social welfare system forces them to live in. The rioting continues only because a fascist cowboy (Sarkozy) was insufficiently diplomatic in handling the situation. The fact the rioters are Muslim and a millet system of whitey no-go zones has emerged in Europe would just confuse us. Chirac is lying low, maybe vacationing in Crawford. They've pushed the facist cowboy aside and "negotiations" have begun. It will be interesting to see how they explain the inevitable failure of this new strategy, which is just a desperate return to the old strategy of appeasement that was in place before Sarkozy's attempt to reclaim the millet ghettos.
Nicolas Sarkozy became France’s most popular politician by promising to restore law and order in the whole of France, including in the areas abandoned by previous governments. Since Sarkozy became Interior Minister he has insisted on more police presence in Muslim neighbourhoods. This triggered last week’s riots in the Paris suburb of Clichy-sous-Bois, when policemen went in to investigate a robbery and two teenagers stupidly got themselves electrocuted while hiding from the police in an electricity sub station. Many French politicians now probably regret that the police had the audacity to investigate a robbery in Clichy.
. . .
The riots in France have been going on for a week now. During the second night of street fighting in Clichy, police officers already warned that they are not up to the task Sarkozy has set them. “There’s a civil war underway,” one officer declared. “We can no longer withstand this situation on our own. My colleagues neither have the equipment nor the practical or theoretical training for street fighting.” If there is, indeed, a war going on, Sarkozy cannot win it with troops that are mere policemen and fire fighters. As Irwin Stelzer pointed out last July when discussing the British reaction to the London bombings: In a war, use the army, rather than police. The latter, however, is unlikely to happen. If the politicians bring in the army they are acknowledging what the policemen, the fire fighters and the ambulance drivers know but what the political and media establishment wants to hide from the people: that there is civil war brewing and that Europe is in for a long period of armed conflict. This is the last thing appeasing politicians want to do and so they have begun to criticise Sarkozy.
All the Treason That's Fit to Print
As I said leftists are all up in arms about the outing of a single CIA desk jockey, but they celebrate when whole CIA projects are outed:
HUGE: Secret CIA prison in Europe!!!!
WaPo goes on, great story, but refused to ID the Eastern European country in this article after a request from Bush administration officials.Translation from traitorese: "I would have betrayed my country even more quickly and deeply." Their WaPo link appears broken, here's one that works for now:
What would YOU do? I am a journalist. I would name the country. I am NOT in the business of keeping the dirty secrets of the Bush administration's dirty war.
So I have a beef with WaPo on their call on that one.
Report: CIA Has Secret al-Qaida Prison
The hidden global internment network is a central element in the CIA's unconventional war on terrorism, the Post said. It depends on the cooperation of foreign intelligence services, and on keeping even basic information about the system secret from the public, foreign officials and nearly all members of Congress charged with overseeing the CIA's covert actions."We prove our patriotism by disclosing our country's covert activities to the world." a WaPo spokesman was quoted as saying.
Joe Wilson, Your 15 Minutes Are Up
Compare, contrast, vomit.
Our 27 months of hell
By Joseph C. Wilson IV
October 29, 2005
The attacks on Valerie and me were upsetting, disruptive and vicious. They amounted to character assassination. Senior administration officials used the power of the White House to make our lives hell for the last 27 months.
. . .
It was payback — cheap political payback by the administration for an article I had written contradicting an assertion President Bush made in his 2003 State of the Union address. Payback not just to punish me but to intimidate other critics as well.
Who Exposed Secret Agent Plame?
Clifford D. May
July 15, 2005
The first reference to Plame being a secret agent appears in The Nation, in an article by David Corn published July 16, 2003, just two days after Novak’s column appeared. It carried this lead: “Did Bush officials blow the cover of a U.S. intelligence officer working covertly in a field of vital importance to national security — and break the law — in order to strike at a Bush administration critic and intimidate others?”Apparently this is more a case of "character suicide" than "character assasination". Valerie Plame's exposure has more to do with Joe Wilson not being able to control his petty partisan urges and love of the limelight than anything else. And if you want to get really cynical, based on how quickly David Corn sprang forth with his premature accusation it's easy to believe Wilson orchestrated or at least desired the exposure, whether to satisfy a martyr complex or in a premeditated attempt to cause problems for the Bush administration. Wilson hasn't been "attacked". His pain has been caused by his own lies and his wife's nepotism coming to light. How is that "payback"? He should be grateful. What's happened to him is nothing at all like the kind of inane ad hominem attacks the left often uses against their opponents.
Since Novak did not report that Plame was “working covertly” how did Corn know that’s what she had been doing?
And for a guy who spent some time in Africa you'd expect Joe to have some perspective on what "hell" is really like. Unless of course he spent all his time over there on a plantation sipping tea on a chaise lounge.