כּנור דוד

Kinnor David - "a most attractive blog".

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Christian Aravim

Read this.

In Lebanon there is a strong Christian community that can act as a bridge for peace. The pilgrims to the holy places, when they come in great numbers, are also helpful to the local populations. I also have an idea that I have already proposed to the Vatican authorities: that of creating a task force with representatives from the three religions – Christianity, Judaism, and Islam – who would travel throughout the various countries of the Middle East spreading a message of reconciliation, in order to sensitize and mobilize those who sincerely desire peace, and separate them from extremist and violent groups.

But in the meantime, the Christian minorities living in the Middle East are largely hostile toward Israel.

But they are still more afraid of Hezbollah and Hamas. And they are fleeing from all of the Arab states: it is only in Israel that Christians are growing in number. The future of the Christians in the region is intertwined with the future of our state. An Israel living in security and peace with its neighbors is thw only guarantee for the future of the Churches of the Middle East.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Asaf Namir

Requiem aeternam dona eis, Domine.
Et lux perpetua luceat eis.
Te decet hymnus, Deus, in Sion,
Et tibi reddetur votum in Jerusalem
Exaudi orationem meam.
Ad te omnis caro veniet...

Asaf Namir was one of our best men. May light etertnal shine upon him; may he rest in peace.

Sunday, May 21, 2006


BYF writes:

For too long, Canada has been like New Zealand - content to wallow in self-serving high-taxing native-bribing welfarism, confident that its bigger neighbour's armed forces would protect it in case anything goes wrong. Like all welfarist countries, it would not shoulder the burden of being grown up and looking after itself, leaving the maligned bigger neighbour to be fiscally reponsible and save money for defence. Time was when NZ and Canada were part of the muscular Anglosphere, ready to send troops the kick the arses of tyrants anywhere - they then turned in the immature ingrates of Kipling's Burden. Canada might be back on track.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Happy Birthday, Your Majesty

American and Israeli readers might be surprised that I return to blogging with a tribute to Her Majesty the Queen.

She has been my Queen for all of my life, and I have a great deal of respect for her. I swore allegiance to her as a legal practitioner, and I take that oath seriously.

I voted "no" when our government asked us whether we would like to become a republic.

So, happy birthday, Your Majesty!

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Cartoon Jihad IV

As the Cartoon Jihad claims its first lives, BYF points out that, as always, other Moslems are among the first victims of Islamism. I like the Kipling quote, too, Toby!

Tim Blair has published two readers' emails; the first argues:

It is also not a matter of freedom of speech, it’s a matter of respect. Displaying cartoons of our beloved prophet is the same as insulting Muslims. Is anyone allowed to insult a race, religion, or group of people on the media? Why is that not allowed? Because it is wrong. You cannot argue that it is a matter of freedom of speech.

He also "argues" that Zionists are baby-killing, sister-raping monsters, and that that's the only thing he has against Jews. I'll leave that to one side, for the purposes of this post.

Consider this. Many pious Moslems refer to their deity as Allah (SWT). The letters "SWT" are the acronym for the Arabic "Subhanahu wa Ta'ala" meaning "Allah is pure of having partners and He is exalted from having a son.". Now, that seems to me to be a deliberate repudiation of Christian trinitarian theology. Is it not, in its implicit abasing of Christian theology (note the references to 'purity' and 'exhaltation') a deliberate insult to Christians? A minority of fundamentalists might think so. So let's ban references to "Allah SWT", "Allah Ta'ala" and the like as anti-Christian insults. What about the Muslim claim that Jews and Christians have "falsified" their scriptures? This is a core Islamic belief. No doubt it is offensive to Jews and Christians. Let's ban it.

On the other hand, let's not. Because, as, "Amanda" (who says she is Jewish, and as such a member of the most "provoked", "offended" and persecuted people on the face of the Earth):

There are many things in the media which are unfavorable to Jews (and Christians, etc.), but as far as I’m concerned, one needs to cop it sweet, and respond with intelligence and dignity (or not at all), rather than with unjustifiable violence.

If there's one thing the Moslem world needs, it's a lot more intelligence and dignity.

Finally, there is this article in the Sydney Morning Herald. I think that the quote attributed to David Penberthy is noteworthy. The editor of the Daily Telegraph, said that publishing the images could have "nasty consequences", especially given racial tensions in Sydney. Be that as it may, as Professor Alan Dershowitz argued in a different context in his book The Case for Israel, to hold back on that basis is to allow a "stonethrower's veto"; it is a mark of a mature democracy that insults, provocations and affronts are met with arguments, not bombs and bullets. That is the essence of the whole dispute, and that is what much of Islam needs to learn and accept. In liberal democratic countries, indeed, in the modern world, citizens are not supposed to kill people and destroy property because they feel insulted, or religiously belittled. We are not in seventh-century Arabia now, chabibi.

Moreover, Islam is a belief system, nothing more, and like liberalism, capitalism, communism, fascism, or whatever, it ought to be subject to free criticism in a democratic society.

Having criticized Penberthy for his craven submission to a bunch of atavistic reactionary thugs, I should just like to say that of the haraam cartoons, this is my favourite:

Monday, February 06, 2006

The Cartoon Jihad III - Jihad Comes to Australia

Sheik Fehmi El-Imam, the general secretary of the Board of Imams of Victoria has warned the Australian media not to publish those infamous characatures of you-know-who.

Of course, that inspired Paul & Carl to publish the cartoons under the most politically incorrect heading I have seen in a long time. I won't quote it; readers can follow the link. Suffice to say "reactionary" and "atavistic" are the nicest things they have to say about the Islamic community...

If you really want to offend 1.3 Billion people, it's hard to go past this effort by SobekPundit; western bien pensants have been slavering all over "artists" who do this sort of thing to crucifixes and images of the Virgin Mary for years, but as Mark Steyn recently said, "if you're going to be 'provocative', it's best to do it with people who can't be provoked.". At least SobekPundit apologised to those Moslems who are offended by his photoshop but who don't want to kill him for it.

Less provocatively, Tim Blair highlights the all-too-obvious point made by the cartoon in my last post, namely that:

Far from being against hate-speech, many Muslim spokesmen seem to be aggressively for it; until, of course, someone contemplates publishing harmless drawings of an old beardy guy.

...then they call for beheadings and start with the Embassy-burnings. Given the content of my last three posts, if anyone wants me, I'll be seeking refuge at the Israeli Embassy...

The Cartoon Jihad II

The above is courtesy of Filibuster Cartoons.

Cardinal Silvestrini (see Cartoon Jihad I) is doubless familiar with Dante's Inferno. I hope that linking to Canto XXVIII is not a mortal sin in his Koran-kissing interpretation of Catholicism!

At Ceperano where all the Apulians
Turned traitors, and those too from Tagliacozzo
Where old Alardo conquered without weapons,

And those who show their limbs run through and those
With limbs hacked off — they all could not have matched
The ninth pocket’s degraded state of grief.

Even a cask with bottom or sides knocked out
Never cracked so wide as one soul I saw
Burst open from the chin to where one farts.

His guts were hanging out between his legs;
His pluck gaped forth and that disgusting sack
Which turns to shit what throats have gobbled down.

While I was all agog with gazing at him,
He stared at me and, as his two hands pulled
His chest apart, cried, "Look how I rip myself!

"Look at how mangled is Mohammed here!
In front of me, Ali treks onward, weeping,
His face cleft from his chin to his forelock.

"And all the others whom you see down here
Were sowers of scandal and schism while
They lived, and for this they are rent in two.

"A devil goes in back here who dresses us
So cruelly by trimming each one of the pack
With the fine cutting edge of his sharp sword

"Whenever we come round this forlorn road:
Because by then our old wounds have closed up
Before we pass once more for the next blow.

What the heck! I'll even illustrate the Canto! Here's William Blake's depiction of Mohammed in Hell:

The following picture is a detail from an early Renaissance fresco in Bologna's Church of San Petronio, created by Giovanni da Modena and depicting Mohammed being tortured in Hell. This is the fresco that Islamists plotted to blow up in 2002.

Zombietime's Mohammed Image Archive has an excellent catalogue of depictions of Mohammed over the last 1400-odd years, from Islamic and Medieval Christian paintings, to South Park and the courageous Danish Jyllands-Posten cartoons. Have a look, while it's still legal.

The Cartoon Jihad I

Chip decries the lack of freedom to satirize Muhammad in the United States, and explains the Shari’ah of “picture making” and blasphemy for the benefit of the news media. BYF applauds the decision of the European media to thumb their noses at Islamists (for once). Liz has a good survey of attempts to draw the Catholic Church into what she terms the “cartoon trap”, and points out that Cardinal Achille Silvestrini’s recent comments condemning the “deliberate mockery of religious belief” seem to overlook, if not ignore, this sort of filth served up by the Arab world on a distressingly regular basis. Of course, they are Arabs, so, as with children who have not attained the age of reason, we cannot expect them to behave decently. She also points to this and this, as recent examples of serious persecution of Christians by Moslems in, respectively, the Philippines and Pakistan.

So Moslems are killing Christians, while half the world is up in arms about a dozen (pretty unremarkable) cartoons.

Melanie Phillips has this excellent post, about the whole fiasco, highlighting the Foreign Office’s (and, indeed the US State Department’s) typically craven submission to the savage exigencies of political Islam, and commending a comment by, of all people, the French foreign minister, who said in the Telegraph that:

‘It is not normal to caricature a whole religion as an extremist or terrorist movement.’ But the extreme reaction to the cartoons ‘would suggest the caricaturists were right,’ he added.

Indeed. Ms Phillips continues:

The madness of this protest deepens when one considers that the claim at its heart, that pictorial representations of the Prophet are forbidden in Islam, is not true. Like so much else, it is all a matter of interpretation; but the fact remains that there have been many representations of the Prophet in Islamic art over the centuries.

This quote from Charles Moore is also apposite:

There is no reason to doubt that Muslims worry very much about depictions of Mohammed. Like many, chiefly Protestant, Christians, they fear idolatry. But, as I write, I have beside me a learned book about Islamic art and architecture which shows numerous Muslim paintings from Turkey, Persia, Arabia and so on. These depict the Prophet preaching, having visions, being fed by his wet nurse, going on his Night-Journey to heaven, etc. The truth is that in Islam, as in Christianity, not everyone agrees about what is permissible. Some of these depictions are in Western museums. What will the authorities do if the puritan factions within Islam start calling for them to be removed from display (this call has been made, by the way, about a medieval Christian depiction of the Prophet in Bologna)? Will their feeling of 'offence' outweigh the rights of everyone else?

Obviously, in the case of the Danish pictures, there was no danger of idolatry, since the pictures were unflattering. The problem, rather, was insult. But I am a bit confused about why someone like Qaradawi thinks it is insulting to show the Prophet's turban turned into a bomb, as one of the cartoons does. He never stops telling us that Islam commands its followers to blow other people up.

Indeed, the whole article, titled “If you get rid of the Danes, you’ll have to keep paying the Danegeld” is worth reading in it’s entirety.

Finally, there is David Conway's 3 February article on Civitas. Conway points out that the Chairmanship of the Security Council will have passed to Denmark just as the question of Iran’s Armageddon I mean nuclear weapons programmes comes before the Council. Coincidence? I hope so.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

The Saudi Hillbillies

Come and listen to a story 'bout a man named Jed,
A poor mountaineer, barely kept his fam'ly fed,
Then one day he was a-shootin' at some food,
And up through the ground came a-bubblin' crude!
Oil that is, black gold, Texas tea!

Well the first thing you know ol' Jed's a millionaire,
Kinfolk said "Jed, move away from there!",
Said "Californy is the place you ought to be!";
So they loaded up the truck and moved to Beverly.
Hills, that is. Swimmin' pools, movie stars.

A YOUNG SAUDI man is receiving psychiatric treatment in hospital after his family forced him to marry four women in six months:

A Saudi man is in hospital after his divorced parents forced him to marry four times within six months.

The battle began when the father insisted the boy should marry a girl from his side of the family.

The mother retaliated by ordering him to wed a girl from her side, reports Arab News quoting Al-Watan daily.

But the father wasn't happy with the balance of power and insisted on a third wife from his side, to show who was boss.

The mother, not to be outdone, then demanded that her son include another wife from her side of the family.

The son has now been admitted to a hospital for psychological treatment. He is refusing to see his parents or his wives [Now, that's a surprise! - Ed].

Can you imagine the consequences of Jed Clampett falling in with a fanatically evangelical, supremacist religious cult, and then finding a goodly proportion of the world's petroleum resources? Well, that's basically all you need to know about "modern" Saudi Arabia....

Well now its time to say goodbye to Jed an' all his kin.
And they would like to thank you folks fer' kindly droppin' in.
You're all invited back a-gain to this localiteee
To have a heapin' helpin' of their hospitality!
Hillybilly that is. Set a spell, Take your shoes off....

Y'all come back now, y'hear?.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Munich I

Steven Speilberg's Munich opens in Australia on Thursday. Professor Dershowitz's review is in the Jerusalem Post today. I am reserving judgment, but having seen his review (and others), I have to say that I am concerned about the sort of ersatz morality and playing fast and loose with the truth that Speilberg seems prepared to entertain.

Galloway Sinks to New Low?

Readers with the stomach to see Jihadi "Respect" MP George Galloway's antics in a red leotard can click on this link. His former friends in the ummah are not amused.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Abu Hamza's Defence to put Koran on Trial

Readers may remember this decision in which the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal adjudicated a complaint by the Islamic Council of Victoria under that State's new Religious Vilification legislation alleging that two Christian evangellists had incite[d] hatred against, serious contempt for, or revulsion or severe ridicule of, Muslims on the basis of religious belief. The Tribunal held that views attributed to the Islamic faith:

...represented the views of a small group of fundamentalists, namely, Wahabbists, who are located in the Gulf states and who are a minority group, and their views bear no relationship to mainstream Muslim beliefs...

Now, a British terror-sympathizing Imam on trial for inciting hatred against (guess who!) the Jewish people, for inter alia citing the famous hadith in which the trees call out to the Muslims to kill the Jews hiding behind them, defends himself thus:

Edward Fitzgerald, QC, for the defence, said that Abu Hamza’s interpretation of the Koran was that it imposed an obligation on Muslims to do jihad and fight in the defence of their religion. He said that the Crown case against the former imam of Finsbury Park Mosque was “simplistic in the extreme”.

He added: “It is said he was preaching murder, but he was actually preaching from the Koran itself.”

Mr Fitzgerald cited two verses of the book that Abu Hamza would rely on, among many others, as theological justification for the words that had led to him being charged. They were Chapter 2, verse 216 and Chapter 9, verse 111. He said that all the great monotheistic religions had scriptures that contained “the language of blood and retribution”.

That should get the Courts turning intellectual somersaults.

Mr Fitzgerald's comments are here. His final coment about monotheistic religions is half right. Some scriptures (like the book of Joshua) contain such language in the form of history. Some, like the Christian Gospels generally reserve blood and retribution as the prerogative of the Almighty. Islamic holy texts (namely the Koran and ahadith) differ from the Jewish and Christian Bibles in that they positively encourage believers to shed blood and exact retribution. So, come and get me Islamic Council of Victoria!

In the seemingly far-off days before so-called "Human Rights" statutes, the law was simple; and the limits of free speech were comparatively clear. However, in the last 30 years, western governments, in various outrageous attempts to appease religious minorities (and it would be remiss of me to omit that in Australia, the Jewish community has used such statutes enthusiastically to deal with perpetrators of Holocaust denial and anti-semitism generally) have made a right pig's breakfast of the concepts of freedom of speech and of conscience. The UK prosecutes an Imam for preaching Jew-hatred; but if one attributes such views (which have plenty of support in the Koran and ahadith) to anything but a "minority" one is inciting hatred against Muslims, under Victorian law. Oh Allah!

Good Luck, Senator Hill

Australian Defence Minister, Senator Robert Hill recently announced his retirement from the government and is expected to be appointed Australia's next Ambassador to the UN. This blog wishes him well in his new career as our Ambassador to the usless, corrupt and positively malign of the world, and notes with interest this article in today's Weekend Australian:

He has, slowly but methodically and comprehensively, turned the defence doctrine established under Beazley and unchallenged until Hill's tenure, on its head, cementing a new paradigm of forward engagement for the Australian Defence Force.

He has also secured massive new resources for Defence, a commitment to a real increase of 3 per cent a year for all of this decade, a commitment that John Howard foreshadowed in December would be pushed out until at least 2015.

Hill towers over Howard's other defence ministers, the inconsequential Ian McLachlan, the bumbling John Moore, and Peter Reith, who, though a capable politician, made his chief mark in defence in the children overboard fiasco.

Hill has, according to Sheridan, been instrumental in saving Defence from one of the most foolish policy fads of the 1980s and 1990s:

One of his most important achievements was in breaking the straitjacket of the Beazley-era defence of Australia doctrine. This held that the ADF should be structured purely for the defence of Australia, and that this structure would allow some flexibility for token commitments abroad.

One of the many debilitating consequences of this doctrine was a shocking neglect of the army, even though it was the army that was continually deployed abroad. The crippled nature of the army was evident in East Timor, where cobbling together a force of only 5000 soldiers almost stretched the ADF to breaking point.

Hill's philosophy of defence was evident in the main equipment decisions on his watch. The turning point was the purchase of 59 Abrams main battle tanks for the army. But similarly the commitment to two huge amphibious ships to transport the troops and three air warfare destroyers to protect them from missile and air attack while they are being transported, also gave effect to Hill's strategic doctrine.

Over the years, Hill became more confident in rejecting the old paradigm, commenting that the sea-air gap to our north was not a moat behind which Australia sheltered but a highway down which we travelled.

One of Labor leader Kim Beazely's most commonly-cited positive traits is his "credibility" on defence matters. One suspects that this is only because he liked being photographed with millitary hardware and talking about the American Civil War.

Thank you, Senator Hill, and good luck for the future.

Friday, December 23, 2005

O Little Town of Bethlehem...

As Christmas approaches, Gunmen Seize Bethlehem's City Hall:

Palestinian gunmen disrupted Christmas preparations in Bethlehem on Tuesday, briefly taking over the municipality building across from the Church of Nativity, leading clergy to close the ancient shrine for several hours.

It was a scene that has played itself out in other West Bank and Gaza towns. Gunmen, some linked to the ruling Fatah Party of Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas, want him to carry out his promise to give them government jobs.

Oh dear. What a wonderful State "Palestine" will be!

But this was Bethlehem less than a week before Christmas, with thousands of tourists expected to arrive, encouraged by the downturn in violence since last Christmas, largely because of a February truce.

More because of a security fence than a non-existant truce. But who am I to ask Yahoo News to tell the truth. The west (and, most shamefully, Christian organizations) have ignored the persecution of Bethlehem's Christians by Palestinian Muslims since Oslo, so what harm's a little bit more "civil disorder" going to do?

Whilst we are visiting the Holy Land, you might be interested in reading about Yasser Abbas in WSJ.com.

On the very day that five Israelis were murdered and over 60 injured outside a shopping mall in the coastal city of Netanya earlier this month, the official Palestinian newspaper Al-Hayat Al-Jadida reported that Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas had approved fresh financial assistance to the families of suicide bombers. The family of each “martyr” will now receive a monthly stipend of at least $250 — a not inconsiderable amount for most Palestinians. Altogether, the families of these so-called martyrs and of those wounded in terrorist attempts or held in Israeli jails might receive $100 million, according to Al-Hayat Al-Jadida. [but what about the "truce"? - Ed]

Around 30% of the Palestinian Authority budget comes from international donations, including a hefty amount from the European Union. If an Arab government funded stipends to the families of the London or Madrid bombers, it would probably be pretty big news. But this is the Palestinian Authority, and no matter how little it does to discourage terrorism, or to educate its people to coexist with Israel, it can rely on excuses being made on its behalf by an army of sympathizers throughout the West — in the press, on college campuses and, most disturbingly, in foreign ministries.

For over a year now, since Mr. Abbas succeeded Yasser Arafat, his boss of 40 years, many in the West have done their utmost to “explain” or ignore Mr. Abbas’s failings. But if Americans and Europeans are genuinely interested in promoting Palestinian-Israeli peace, it is time for them to take a realistic look at his record. Some Western commentators were quick to emphasize his condemnation of the Netanya attack. But did they really listen to what he actually said? True, Mr. Abbas condemned the Netanya suicide bomb — but only in the Palestinian Authority’s usual inadequate and half-hearted terms. He said that it “caused great damage to our commitment to the peace process” and that it “harmed Palestinian interests.” But he could not bring himself to say that murdering people is simply wrong. [Now there's an idea!]

His outright refusal to confront and disarm terrorists, in violation of the Road Map, hardly registers anymore in the Western media and where it does, it is usually excused and attributed to his relative political weakness. However, the media also give very little idea of the extent to which the Palestinian Authority continues to glorify terrorists.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

The Second Draft: Muhamed Al-Durah

The Second Draft has an excellent re-examination of the 2000 Muhamed Al-Durah incident, in which Gaza Arabs allege a young boy was shot dead in a hail of Israeli bullets at the Netzarim Junction. The site examines a large amount of raw and video footage of the incident and examines the arguments for and against five possible explanations of the incident:
  1. the IDF shot al-Durah on purpose,
  2. the IDF shot him accidentally,
  3. Palestinian gunmen shot al-Durah accidentally,
  4. they shot him purposely,
  5. the whole event was staged for propaganda purposes.

The site concludes that of the five scenarios above, the most likely is that the incident was staged by Palestinians for propaganda purposes, but invites visitors to decide for themselves.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Jihadis Want "Little Johnny" Dead

So somewhere in his youth, or childhood...
He must have done some-thing good!

It's all over the news at the moment; alleged Jihadis plotted to kill Howard. You know, we might just have a small holy-warrior problem in Australia at the moment.

I've read a couple of dozen letters to the Editor in the print media this week blaming Howard for the Sydney lawlessness of the past few days. Apparrently the PM "demonizes" Muslims. It's got to the stage that one suspects such sufferers from Howard Derangement Syndrome are quite comfortable with this line of reasoning:

"For example, if John Howard kills innocent Muslim families do we ... do we have to kill him and his family ... (and) his people, like at the football?" asked Mr Merhi. Mr Benbrika allegedly replied: "If they kill our kids, we kill little kids."

"We send a message back to them," Mr Merhi allegedly said.

"That's it, an eye for an eye," Mr Benbrika replied.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Obligatory Sydney Riots Post

Naturally enough, a lot has been said over the last few days about the causes of the recent trouble in Sydney and elsewhere in Australia. This is one of the more sensible opinion pieces I have read on the topic, by the Australian journalistic left's favourite bete noir Janet Albrechtsen:

Racism was on the streets last weekend. No doubt about it. White supremacists alleged to have links to neo-Nazis admitted they brought in more than 100 people to join the rampage at Cronulla. Young men used their bodies as billboards to read: "We grew here, you flew here". This is racist and it's wrong. Vigilantes bashing young men and women is criminal. But grabbing hold of Hansonism every time racism rears its ugly head and tarring the whole crowd with the same racist brush gets us nowhere.

Her conclusion?

Recognising human nature means that multiculturalism, though a fine sentiment, can only work if we unite behind a core set of values. Unfortunately though, that policy has become a licence for rampant cultural relativism. We are loath to criticise any aspects of cultures (except our own) for fear of sounding terribly judgmental and unfashionably un-multicultural.

Instead, culture is talked about only as an excuse for abhorrent behaviour so that the offender becomes the victim. Last week, a convicted gang rapist claimed he assaulted a 14-year-old girl because she was not wearing traditional Muslim dress and he thought she was promiscuous. Pointing to cultural differences, the 27-year-old Pakistani-born man said: "I believed at the time I committed this offence that she had no right to say no. I believed I'm not doing anything wrong." A month ago his lawyer told the court his client was a "cultural time bomb".

If this view, that culture can be used as an excuse, represents the views of even a subset of Muslim youth, then we have a problem. If we are not talking openly about egregious aspects of some cultures (except as an excuse), we have only ended up with a bigger problem. And, to date, we have not been talking. Multiculturalism has been synonymous with a rights agenda - addressing minority grievances - rather than a framework for talking about responsibilities. The violence that has been brewing in Cronulla, culminating in the disgraceful rampages in recent days, is a pointer that if we're serious about social cohesion, it's time we all demonstrated social responsibility.

Lapkin Lambasts Hicks' Legal Strategy

As the United Kingdom grants Muhammad Dawood (aka David Hicks) British citizenship, and a potential "get out of Guantanamo free card", Ted Lapkin points out a few pertinent issues:

The Blair Government previously demanded the release from US custody of British subjects who were captured in Afghanistan while fighting for Osama bin Laden. The Hicks legal team will doubtless argue that its client should benefit from similar treatment. But it is worth noting that the discharge of those Britons from Guantanamo transpired before the 7/7 London suicide bombings. It remains to be seen whether the legacy of home-grown jihadist terrorism in the English Midlands has dampened Whitehall's enthusiasm for springing Islamic holy warriors from detention.

Reviewing the tactics deployed by Hicks' legal team, Lapkin opines:

Moreover, it is Hicks's own cunctatory lawyers who bear the primary responsibility for the length of their client's incarceration without trial. With all the chutzpah of a patricide who appeals for mercy on account of orphanhood, advocates for Hicks complain about the glacial pace of American military justice.

But in a deliberate strategy that seems governed more by politics than legal considerations, Hicks's lawyers have drawn out the judicial process through repeated requests for postponements. And while in US courtrooms his solicitors employ every delaying tactic in the book, in the courtroom of public opinion they shed crocodile tears over their client's predicament.

Lapkin then makes a plausible case that Hicks's supporters are guilty of hipocrisy in their criticism of the Guantanamo Military Tribunal system:

Thus the only plausible reason why the Hicks legal team is playing for time is so they can have their cake in the courtroom while eating it in the public relations arena. Because they realise the evidence against their client is overwhelming, they understand that political pressure to short-circuit the trial is his only chance to escape a serious prison sentence.

A similar sort of politically motivated dishonesty plagues other forms of criticism that have been directed towards the military commission process. Rules of evidence that permit the introduction of hearsay evidence are often indignantly denounced as a travesty of justice by the tribunal's opponents. Yet this same evidentiary procedure was employed by the Nuremberg tribunal after World War II, and is used today by other war crimes proceedings which no one thinks to challenge.

The United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia admits hearsay testimony that is deemed to be pertinent by the presiding judges. But other than neo-Nazis, rabid Serb nationalists and John Pilger, there are few voices complaining that Herman Goering and Slobodan Milosevic were the victims of kangaroo justice.

The most vociferous assailants of the US military commission process are often ardent supporters of the UN and its work. Thus for many critics of US foreign policy, what's good for the ICT goose is not good for the Guantanamo gander. Hearsay evidence is fine for the UN, but it is an abomination for the US.

Friday, December 09, 2005

UN Day of Solidarity with Suicide Terrorists, Part III

Eye on the UN has pictures of the UN's recent terror orgy. In the first picture, we see the UN and Palestinian Flags on either side of a map of "Palestine".

Of course, to put the imaginary "State of Palestine" on the map, they had to obliterate the map of a long-standing UN member state (even the 1947 UN Partition Lines, which pre-date this map are not marked on the map of "Palestine"):
In the third picture of this series we have the Suicide Bombers' Commemoration, as (from left to right), Nasser Al-Kidwa, "Foreign Minister" of the Palestinian Authority, President of the UN Security Council Andrey Denisov, President of the UN General Assembly Jan Eliasson, Chairman of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People Paul Badji, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, (and two others) stand in response to these words from the chair "I invite everyone present to rise and observe a minute of silence in memory of all those who have given their lives for the cause of the Palestinian people and the return of peace between Israel and Palestine.". "Return of peace between Israel and Palestine"? That's a good one! There has never been an independent entity called Palestine (and even the notion of a "Palestinian People" is a comparatively recent development in response to Zionism, and the creation of Israel), moreover, the Arabs of the region have been indiscriminately killing Jews since before the first Aliyah.

If the US is serious about defeating terrorists, this immoral gang of racists and despots standing around shedding tears over murderous, self-immolating shahids and suicide terrorists would be a good place to start. A visit from the Special Forces might do the UN a world of good...

Speaking of the UN's "glorious dead", in a sure-fire vote-winning move, Hamas has named a mother of three shahids as a candidate in the upcoming PA elections; three of her sons have been killed either preparing or participating in attacks on Israeli civillians, and she glories in their "martyrdom". That said, Ms Farhat does still have three sons who have not yet managed to get themselves killed for Allah's Palestine. But insh'allah...

This woman is the embodiment of everything that is wrong with this depraved "society". Indeed, the "my sons are dead terrorists" part of her CV is not merely incidental to her election campaign, it is her election campaign:

"Vote for me, and you too can lose half your family to glorious 'martyrdom' for the cause of genocide! Allahu Akhbar"!