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Monday, July 31, 2006

World Trade Center - Too Soon?

So Fidel's amigo and leftist icon Oliver Stone made a 9/11 film. What I want to know is: Where are the distraught women sobbing "too soon"? Where are the cynics and their accusations of exploitation? In an election year! You know, the kind of handwringing United 93 was greeted with only four short months ago.

Stone talked about his new movie at the Bangkok International Film Festival:
However, when asked whether the world in general and America in particular was ready for a drama about the 9/11 attacks, the director was dismissive.

"I would hate that to be the main question about the movie, though I sense that is what's going to happen," he told the BBC News website.

"I'm not in the business of knowing whether America is ready. You just hope it will be."
Charlie Sheen was quoted as saying
Call me insane, but did it sorta look like those buildings came down in a controlled demolition?
He'll be disappointed if Stone is hyping government "myths". It's more likely Stone's story will amount to: building falls on two buddies, who with luck and perseverance survive. That wouldn't be a big surprise. Out of fear or disinterest Hollywood has so far felt no pressing need to confront the more complicated issues.

Questions like who brought those buildings down and why. It's pretty clear to many of us. If others need mass media treatment and consensus then by all means let's move it along.

UPDATE: For many New Yorkers it is too soon. It must be true. AFP says so.

UPDATE: An essay by Christopher Hitchens written shortly after 9/11, about an encounter with Oliver Stone:
I challenged Stone to reconsider his view of the immolation of the World Trade Center as a "revolt." He ignored me. Later he added that this rebellion would soon be joined by the anti-globalization forces of the Seattle protesters. When he was asked by a member of the audience to comment on the applause for the September 11 massacres in Arab streets and camps, he responded that the French Revolution, too, had been greeted by popular enthusiasm.
Hmmm, I wonder if Stone's opinion has changed?

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Leftist Angst on Display

The "scandal" over the depths to which a leftist artist went to advance her agenda is certainly juicy, but should not eclipse this honest insight: the nature of leftist angst is visceral and infantile.
When photographer Jill Greenberg decided to take a lollipop away from a small child, she had a broader purpose in mind.

"The first little boy I shot, Liam, suddenly became hysterically upset," the Los Angeles-based photographer said. "It reminded me of helplessness and anger I feel about our current political and social situation."
That's strange. The left's short-sighted self-centered behavior reminds me of hysterical children.

As Michelle Malkin would say, boo friggin hoo.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Negotiate What With Whom

Five years after 9/11 and precious few recognize the simple fact that a worldwide war is in progress. Some snigger at the idea.

The jihadis attack civilization around the world on a daily basis. The bulk of it goes unreported by the mass media. Islam, the common thread running through it all, is rarely mentioned. There is only one dot to connect but for some reason they won't do it.

Ever since Hizballah and HAMAS goaded Israel into war there has been a noticable change. Sure the same people who laugh about world wars are already back to blaming it all on Bush and the neocons. What's different is that the mass media has finally found more pundits willing to speak frankly about Islamofacism and the jihadis.

Amid the knee-jerk calls for ceasefire and negotiation something has finally begun to dawn on a few more of the world's civilized people. Oh, now I see. You can't please the Islamists. They seem to live for only one purpose, to war on civilization. We cannot negotiate with such socipaths. The only reasonable option to protect ourselves is to disarm, disable, or destroy them before they can launch their craven and demented attacks.

Welcome to the world war.

And it is a world war, notwithstanding the inability of some US Supreme Court justices to recognize that jihadi organizations are engaged in an international conflict:
In deciding as it did, the Court also ignored its own venerable precedent — of over a half-century’s standing — that the Geneva Conventions, even when they do create binding obligations on governments, do not create judicially enforceable rights for individuals. Disputes over their application are, rather, to be worked out diplomatically, among the political representatives of sovereigns. Moreover, the Geneva Conventions were irrelevant to Hamdan’s case. He is a terrorist combatant who fails to meet the conventions’ definition of a prisoner of war; consequently, he is not entitled to the conventions’ POW protections. In order to get around this inconvenient fact, the Court had to invoke (and distort) “Common Article 3” of the conventions, which applies only to civil wars taking place within the territory of a single country, as opposed to international conflicts. The Court argued, absurdly, that because al Qaeda is not a nation, it cannot be in an international conflict: so the global War on Terror is not “international,” despite having been fought in the United States, Somalia, Yemen, Kenya, Tanzania, Afghanistan, and Iraq. As for Article 3’s requirement that the conflicts to which it applies be confined to a single country, the Court’s majority found an easy way to get around it: by ignoring it.
The jihadis are not so blind:
In one of the most admirably straightforward of Islamist declarations, Hussein Massawi, the Hezbollah leader behind the slaughter of U.S. and French forces 20 years ago, put it this way:

"We are not fighting so that you will offer us something. We are fighting to eliminate you."
This from a fascinating article by Mark Steyn who goes on to describe the deep irony that faces Europe, Egypt, Jordan, and the Saudis, who have for decades deliberately prolonged the misery of their Palestinian proxies and now find these proxies firmly under the sway of Persian Shia.


Syria and Iran not only support Hizballah and HAMAS, they support insurgents in Iraq trying to overthrow its civilized government. How much longer will this phony proxy kabuki go on before the rest of civilization recognizes that we are all already at war? And how long until the mass media reports it?

UPDATE: Hugh Hewitt connects the dot, though he doesn't name it. "Can we agree that all terrorists have some degree of mental illness?" OK. Can we agree that "terrorist" is starting to sound like an absurd euphemism?

Monday, July 17, 2006

Melanie Phillips in WELT Online

Another transmission from das Heimchen (The Cricket).
Here's an interview that appeared in yesterday's DIE WELT. The person interviewed struggled for 3 years to get her book, "Londonistan", published. Unlike Oriana Falacci, she did not have to seek exile in New York - yet. I've translated it partially for the mental exercise but thought it might interest you. It is part of my continuing search for signs of budding awareness in Europe.
For reference I believe the original (auf Deutch) is here.


“With us the Terrorist is the Victim”

For three years British journalist Melanie Phillips has been searching for a publisher for her book dealing with the multi-cultural threat in the UK. Finally, three weeks ago, “Londonistan” came out in print and is already a bestseller in England. WELT online spoke with the author.

In the opinion of Melanie Phillips Great Britain has not yet grasped the threat of Jihad. The British establishment is still looking for excuses for Islamic extremists and underestimates the danger of  Islam. The author has written a conservative plea that warns of  multiculturalism, the undermining of traditional values and anti-Semitism.

This was no subject for the publishers; they rejected the manuscript. Readers evidently think differently. After Ms. Phillips finally did find a small publisher, the book is now number one amongst the political titles on and the publisher figures on selling 30,000 copies by September. WELT online spoke with the former writer for the left-liberal “Guardian”, who now writes for the conservative “Daily Mail”.

WELT online: Ms. Phillips, why is the West unable to win the conflict with Terror?

Phillips: What the British establishment doesn't seem to get is that the conflict has religious roots. It prefers to look for excuses for the terrorists, which leads to where, eventually, the establishment itself takes the blame. I. e.,  Muslims are the victims of  prejudice, xenophobia, poverty and foreign policy. Our society is paralyzed by the doctrine of multiculturalism. If you criticize a minority, you obviously must be prejudiced. Moreover, many Englishmen do not understand religious fanaticism.

WELT online: This is probably true for most Europeans.

Phillips: But especially in England. It has been a strength of Brits over the centuries, and an important protection against tyranny, that they never had much sympathies for the world of ideas. They tended to believe only what they could see. The flipside of this anti-intellectualism is that  Britons can not relate to the idea of religious fanaticism. Suicide for them is a completely incomprehensible act and the reason for it can only be that the perpetrator must have suffered incredibly heinous things to be driven to suicide. Thus the terrorist becomes the victim. Britons are in a state of denial. They will not acknowledge the origin and the extend of the threat.

WELT online: Don't you overestimate Islamism? There have always been phases of violence. The Red Army Fraction and the Red Brigade promoted radicalization of society in the seventies and found support with professors and young people. Yet they did not achieve the overturn of western society.

Phillips: I see this completely different. The West underestimates Islamism. It is completely absurd not to take seriously what the Islamic brotherhood says and writes. What they preach is what the Terrorists execute.

WELT online: But you don't mean that Muslims as the danger, per se, do you?

Phillips: By no means. In my book I make it clear that many Muslims do not support violence. And, basically, they are the main victims of this struggle between the West and Islam.

WELT online: And why do you reject multiculturalism?

Phillips: The numbers for the radicalization of Muslims are frightening. Approximately 70% of Muslims in the UK support acts of violence. Only 17% of Muslims believe that the Arabs had anything to do with 9/11. This means that the majority believes in one or the other conspiracy theory that say America and the Jews were behind the destruction of the WTC. About a third of Muslims consider Jews a legitimate targets for aggression. Anyone not seeing  danger here is naïve.

WELT online: Why do we not succeed in making western values like freedom of opinion, equality of women and tolerance attractive to Muslims.?

Phillips: I believe that the last few years have brought a creeping radicalization that most have been slow to become aware of. This radicalization has two roots: Firstly, after the Afghan-Soviet war a number of  Muslims came to Britain that were too radical for the homeland. They established the UK as the main center for Al-Qaida in Europe. Secondly, in the seventies Islamic organizations were taken over by radical groups that were largely financed by Saudi-Arabia. All this radicalized an indeterminate number of young Muslims. They were indoctrinated into the jihadist ideology which holds western values corrupt and un-Islamic. They were prepared for the holy war.

WELT online: What can the West do against this?

Phillips: We have to tell the Muslims: You are welcome here in the UK and you may freely practice your religion. But our tolerance ends when you preach hate. When you do this we will close your institutions and arrest the hate preachers. At the same time we must go back to the awareness of our national Identity. For years we have attacked our fundamental national values, which created a vacuum. Nature abhors a vacuum. And this vacuum was filled by radical Islam.

Snopes has some bad news for those who say Islamofacism is not a threat.

The penalty for calling for violence against infidels in public? A few hundred quid.

UPDATE: A Word From Dr. Robert Brodsky.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

We Support the Troops


Democrats Pull Ad With Flag-Draped Coffins
ROCK HILL, S.C., Jul. 15, 2006
By SEANNA ADCOX Associated Press Writer
(AP) Democrats pulled an Internet ad that showed flag-draped coffins Friday after Republicans and at least two Democrats demanded it be taken down on grounds the image was insensitive and not fit for a political commercial.

The ad by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee called for a "new direction" and displayed a staccato of images, including war scenes, pollution and breached levees as well as a photograph of former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay doctored to look like a police mug shot.
Look at those flag-draped coffins. It's hard to imagine a more positive vision, or a clearer way to say "We support the troops". Don't you think?

Here's another take on the story with more details and a lame attempt at justification.

Democrats defend Web video showing coffins of war dead
By JENNIFER McKEE Missoulian State Bureau
The one-minute video shows a variety of images, including flag-draped military coffins and a machine gun stuck in the sand with a helmet on it, along with images of New Orleans flood victims and gas station signs showing the rising cost of fuel.
So who's selling fear? What else could be the purpose of such imagery?

Kate Bedingfield, a spokeswoman for the Democratic group, defended the images.

“Republicans have gone to great lengths to obscure the pictures of these brave young men and women who come having paid the ultimate sacrifice,” she said in a statement. “Perhaps if these Republicans had been able to summon up this same level of outrage when President Bush sent our troops off to war without the body armor they needed and the Humvee armor they required, so many wouldn't have come home in flag-draped coffins or with life-changing injuries.”
Obscure the pictures? No. The military took them and released them. Anyone who wants to can see them. There is no need to "summon up outrage". It comes quite naturally to anyone who asks: What good comes from publicizing them? Why put them in a political advertisement? What is the message?

If the pacifists care so much about our war dead then why don't they demonstrate an honest interest in who and what really kills them? Bush? Armor? Do they really believe this? Do they know nothing about our brutal enemy or the intolerant nihilist ideology that drives them? That this enemy kills Americans and anyone else who resists their jihad, and if we didn't resist they'd kill us anyway?

Apparently not. And in retrospect we should not be surprised by the thoughtless actions of these pacifists. These are after all the same people who show their support, respect, and compassion for the soldiers dying to protect us by acting as if Bush is Nixon, Iraq is Vietnam, Abu Ghraib is Auschwitz, Gitmo is a gulag, Haditha is My Lai, and our wounded soldiers are politcal tools.

So here we have anti-war Democrats exploiting pictures of coffins to spread their message of defeat and retreat. Damn those who have put their lives on the line to win, and damn those who will suffer if we should lose. Message received, loud and clear.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Who's Selling Fear?

Here's a frequently recurring Leftist theme: the Right is fear mongering. All these terror warnings and terror arrests are an election year scam by a Radical Right Culture of Corruption trying to pump up political support.

The Republicans Have a Plan - And it is Called FEAR
A. Alexander, July 8th, 2006
One week Iran is the face of "evil". The next it is Zarqawi. Then it is an amorphous thing called "homegrown terrorism", which was highlighted through the arrest of seven hapless fools in Miami. Suddenly the danger shifts and it is North Korea misfiring several harmless missiles. Yet, before the public can breathe a non-anxious breath, a plot to blowup tunnels in New York City is discovered and reported.
Say what? Is history moving too fast? Sorry, we can't do much about that.

However it is easier to keep up once you recognize the role of Islam in situations of strife all around the world. Islamist retards at home. Islamists with apocalyptic visions rattling missles and nukes in Iran. Islamists trying to uproot newborn democracies in Afghanistan and Iraq. Chechens murdering Russian kids at school. Palestinians lobbing endless rockets and islamikazes at Israelis. Muslims killing Hindus in Kashmir, Christians in Nigeria, Animists in Sudan, TV watchers in Mogadishu, and Jews whereever they can find them.

This is all imaginary? The worldwide Islamic jihad isn't real? And to top that off George Bush controls North Korean missle launches? Is it the US's fault that North Korea is a hard-line communist totalitarian military dictatorship, that Koreans starve because their Great Leader For Life uses his complete command over the economy to build only missles and nukes, which he then uses to blackmail his neighbors? Or is that not really happening?

Talk about the pot calling the kettle black. The big messages from the Left don't exactly spell "Relax". In no particular order and by no means complete we should fear a never-ending war, a police state, environmental change, racial inequality, economic inequality, corporatism, militarism, abortion abolition, and Christian dominion. See the common thread? Deep-rooted all-consuming negativity. Our economic system is flawed. It exploits others, angering them. I'm angry at my insignificance. The government should take care of me. Everyone poorer than me is an idiot. Everyone richer than me is in some way a crook. Take from one give to the other until everyone has the same.

Sheesh that's an unpleasant way of seeing things.

The Left views the world through a Marxist prism of class and racial conflict, and couples it with an arrogant and ultimately disastrous premise that the State's role is to right all wrongs. Not that they can even agree what's right or wrong. Or that there are such absolutes. The Left's goals include thwarting corporatism, ending nationalism, equality by fiat, and dismantling the remnants of Judeo-Christian culture. The jihadis, driven by a lust to serve Allah, see the world differently. Nonetheless their goals overlap with the Left's. That is how ideologues of either persuasion find they can agree on the ends even while they may quibble over the means.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Times of Treason

One of the reasons I started this blog was to recognize and comment on leftist bias in the media. The New York Times is only one mouth, albeit a big one, in the larger leftist Leviathan. What it did by disclosing SWIFT in late June 2006 was not the first outrage, and it won't be the last.

Continued Debate over the SWIFT Disclosure by the New York Times
By Dennis Lormel
Counterterrorism Blog
July 8, 2006 04:16 PM
The reality is the Times SWIFT disclosure has been harmful. At a minimum, it has disrupted an innovative and productive investigative tool. One fact is certain…the disclosure has received intense media coverage and has caused terrorists and their supporters to sit up and take notice. This will cause terrorist operational changes and significant new challenges for the Government in identifying and countering evolving terrorist financing methodologies.
The story of the betrayal of civilization will some day be told in great detail. My guess is some think the audience will be Muslim, so they're not too concerned about the harsh criticism of history. For us infidels who here and now recognize we are targeted by the jihadis the NYT attempts to excuse themselves come across as lame and illogical.

What would have happened if a US newspaper blabbed about the Jap Naval code being cracked before Midway, or the use of Navajo codetalkers, Bletchley Park and ULTRA, or the Manhattan Project? Would we still have won? Would anyone have blamed the media for the consequences we never could say for sure were avoidable? There are dozens of less critical things reporters could have but didn't blab about. Including FDR's handicap. They must have recognized it would be self-defeating.

What's changed? What the media is disclosing now is self-defeating. A Muslim theocracy doesn't have reporters. It frowns on entertainers. It generally shuns technology unless it advances the jihad. If Western journalists won't take sides the least they could do is report honestly what actually happens when Islam uproots an infidel society. Unless, yes of course, that's it, they report everything, except the things that might get them killed. Depending on the situation they can make the argument that the public doesn't need to know about any of this but absolutely must hear about that.

Why do so many in the media spend a disproportionate amount of time covering and inflate the relative significance of wrongdoing in Abu Ghraib, Gitmo, and Haditha? Not only rushing to judgement against the US military every time they're accused of anything, but ignoring or at least not reporting that this is precisely the way the jihadis are trained to play the Western media. They are told to claim abuse. They recognize the media as a tool in their jihad. Meanwhile the media pride themselves in being fair, that the American people - no, the whole damn world - must know each and every unprecedented thing George Bush and his minions are doing. Is it effective? Is it legal? Has anyone (other than jihadis) been harmed? That doesn't matter. If one rabid Bush-hater in the CIA or State Department will break his oath, they will publish.

If there is any logic here it is this: screw civilization. They must have known the disclosure of SWIFT would not hurt Bush. None of the previous "Bush is spying" stories have done anything but help him. So who were they trying to hurt? Did they care if they hurt anyone? "We're not supposed to take sides." But what they did clearly helped the jihadis and will hurt civilization. "We're not supposed to take sides." They can write that on their tombstones. The rest of us can write "Killed by an Arrogant Ignorant Self-Righteous Sellout Media."

Of course the leakers deserve prosecution. Who do they think they're helping or hurting? Who cares? That is a leftist/liberal pitfall. We can do whatever we want as long as the goal sounds noble. We're being fair. We're keeping the government honest. It doesn't matter what actually happens. Only our intentions. And for that reason anyone who experiences a Nixon/Vietnam flashback can go to the media with any rumor or forgery they want and as long as the intention is good it can hurt civilization, that's ok, the media will take over and broadcast it. They may even rebroadcast it when it turns out to be wrong, and the error will not necessarily be emphasized. Allah forbid some part of such a story sticks. Then we get to celebrate anniversaries.

UPDATE: For those of you who didn't know you could click on pictures:
Last week, the mainstream media continued its policy of declassifying America's anti-terrorism intelligence gathering tactics. You didn't think that the editors of the New York Times had the legal authority to declassify national security secrets? Neither did I. In fact, publishing these life-or-death secrets is a crime.

Michael Barone offers a general argument in favor of cracking down on these national security leaks, while the Weekly Standard provides a specific legal justification for a criminal prosecution of the editors of the New York Times and at least one congressman has called for such a prosecution.

As Barone points out, the most recent New York Times exposure of a national security secret is particularly egregious because there is no suggestion that the intelligence program it reveals is illegal the (dubious) argument the Times used to justify its previous exposure of a wire-tapping program.

So the Times cannot claim that it has revealed this information in order to blow the whistle on an abuse of presidential power. That moves their actions into the realm of treason: the editors of the Times published information that they knew would aid the enemy and did so without being able to claim any legitimate motive.
UPDATE II: Via Power Line. Why should I continue to write when other people say it so much better?


Thursday, July 06, 2006

Of Thee I Sing

Excuse the pause, I've just returned from a thirteen day long driving odyssey across seven states in the US Midwest,
including visits to a ridiculous number of national parks:
  • Craters of the Moon, ID
  • Yellowstone, WY
  • Grand Teton, WY
  • Flaming Gorge, WY/UT
  • Dinosaur, UT/CO
  • Mesa Verde, CO
  • Arches, UT
  • Canyonlands, UT
  • Capitol Reef, UT
  • Bryce, UT
  • Zion, UT
During such a trip a person can come to appreciate a few things besides new and unfamiliar brands of jerky and beer.

You can't look out the window on such a trip and not be struck by the distinguishing characteristics of each locale's geology, nor their similarities. You see layers of stone everywhere - though their color, texture, and thickness are everywhere unique. Once you appreciate the eons of winters and summers trapped in each layer of rock, that whole families of life that have come and gone within those layers, you can appreciate the utter insignificance of yourself, your petty concerns, your family, your entire race and virtually everything you find familiar in the contemporary world. Written in the rock are ages of ice, greenhouse, and brimstone. Earth's thin biosphere and geology have transformed so completely on so many occasions over the course of the their history that it boggles the mind. And Earth is but one insignificant planet in but one insignificant galaxy in but one insignificant universe amongst the uncountably infinite parallel multiverses. Beyond that the reckoning gets a bit metaphysical.

Park roads are always slow, but with everything there is to gawk at it hardly matters. On the vast regions of nothingness between waypoints however I found myself thanking Congressional Republicans at least once a day for the 65-75mph (100-120kph) speed limits. For all the Democrat demagoguery concerning the imminent Right-Wing Police State the most significant change in the last few decades police-wise is not that your phone might be tapped or your medical records made public. It's that you can travel at a comfortably high speed on the highway without the stress of constantly looking over your shoulder for Smokey. The risk a generally law-abiding driver would be oppressed by The Man was significantly higher back when a Democrat-controlled Congress imposed an absurdly low national speed limit of 55mph. Yet another unintended consequence of an ultimately insufficient sacrifice in the name of the leftist cause to Save the Environment. I wish We the People were more capable of learning from such experience so We might see the wisdom of decriminalizing a few other victimless crimes.

On such a trip, or any driving in unfamiliar surroundings, a bleeding edge built-in navigation system really helps. Every rental car should have one. A key component is GPS. Invented and maintained by the US military, GPS's usefulness to the global public is rarely noted or acknowledged. In fact US enemies assume the system is somehow rigged to put them at disadvantage, because that's what they would do if they had built it. Their paranoia drives them to replace or destroy GPS. The jihadis actually embrace and exploit GPS, but they exploit our jets and ammonium nitrate too. On the upside of the asymmetric warfare equation GPS technology helps our Rods From God more effectively take out jihadis, and it helps Joe Sixpack's vacation and commerce. Such a deal!

Travelling at high speed across the vast open areas used to mean regularly scanning the AM/FM radio for news or entertainment. Allah forbid you seek a particular show. XM mostly fixes that. As long as you have line of sight to the sky you get the same smorgesbord of music and news no matter where you are. Yes the selection is broader than it is deep, but it's far better than even a big city's AM/FM variety. The homogenized and proprietary nature of satellite radio scares the crap out of some people. I'm not one of them.

Theodore Roosevelt was a great and visionary president who figured prominently in the founding or expansion of many of the parks we visited. A hundred years ago he championed the conservation of these national treasures. Current and future visitors owe a great debt to TR and the others who have set these places aside for us to enjoy and appreciate. Considering the sheer entertainment value, compared to say a Disney vacation, the admission fee for US national parks is far too low. The rationale may be that the government must subsidize parks and keep fees low so that the poor won't be excluded. It's not working. They appear to be excluding themselves. But there are a large number of foreigners. This is delightful in the spirit of diversity but it's not nearly as profitable for the nation as it could be. As long as people will travel far and wide to trample US parks their fees ought to cover all upkeep. In fact it should produce a tidy profit. Not only would this boost government revenues, it would make it harder to shut down parks the next time there's a budget standoff. Maybe.

Wonderful July 4th fireworks at Bryce topped off the trip. God bless America. Of thee I sing.