כּנור דוד

Kinnor David - "a most attractive blog".

Saturday, July 30, 2005

J'accuse - Peretz Contra Anglicans, Presbyterians Et Al

In The New Republic of 18 July 2005, Martin Peretz mounts a powerful argument that the "pro-disinvestment" Churches are guilty of judenhass. His conclusion:

So I come to an unavoidable conclusion. The obsession here is not positive, for one side, but rather negative, against the other side. The clerics and the lay leaders on this indefensible crusade are so fixated on Palestine because their obsession, which can be buttressed by various Christian sources and traditions, is really with the Jews. A close look at this morbid passion makes one realize that its roots include an ancient hostility for the House of Israel, an ugly survival of a hoary intolerance into some of the allegedly enlightened precincts of modern Christendom.

An Extraordinary 10 Days For Australian Foreign Policy

This morning's Weekend Australian contains an excellent article by Greg Sheridan:

In the past 10 days John Howard has spoken on terrorism to the largest global audience of any Australian PM in our history, in a trip in which he made global, regional and bilateral policy with the most powerful leaders in the world; we have joined an exclusive East Asian club for the first time without the US but with Washington's blessing, in part because we can help protect its interests there; and Foreign Minister Alexander Downer has announced a new grouping of Asian giants plus the US in a huge global play that underlines that the Kyoto climate control protocol is a dead dog and the centre of gravity is shifting to the Asia-Pacific.

It's a heady brew, the most fascinating, complex and significant confluence of foreign policy strands. For the Howard Government it represents vindication on three fronts: Australia's participation in the war on terror has increased our global influence; our close alliance with the US does not damage our regional interests but enhances them; and rejection of Kyoto was not only sound policy but smart politics, hooking us up to new Asia where the economic and political dynamism resides and decoupling us from the statist, bureaucratic politics of old Europe at its worst.

It is a masterful synthesis by the Howard Government, for which Howard and Downer deserve primary credit. Howard has just returned from what must rank as one of the most successful prime ministerial trips of all time. In Washington he transacted much more business with George W. Bush than we first thought, securing Bush's support for our signing up to the ASEAN Treaty of Amity and Co-operation in order to gain admission to the East Asia Summit in December, and finalising the Asia-Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate.

Just last week, an acquaintance of mine spent the best part of an hour in conversation with me, trying to denigrate the Howard Government's performance in general and in foreign policy terms in particular. As is distressingly common, his argument essentially comprised that reflexive delusion of the anti-Howard, anti-Bush (and dare I say it anti-American) left, that "Australia has no foreign policy, we just obey Washington".

Sheridan's article is well worth reading in full, because it comprehensively exposes the vacuity of that line of argument.

Friday, July 29, 2005

Here Comes That "Cycle of Violence", Again

Liz, from Christian Attitudes, left the following comment on my last post dealing with Pope Benedict XIV's attitude to the State of Israel:

I think the Pope is generally one of the Good Guys, but with a few blind spots. Hopefully, he'll learn from this.

My instinct is to agree, but then news items such as this are disheartening. Leaving aside the dubious and opportunistic references to "International Law" (the Vatican, like most States, feels free to pick and choose those bits of "International Law" that it will recognise), is Israel the only State that retalliates against terrorism, and in doing so, sometimes makes mistakes? The family of Charles de Menezes would probably beg to differ.

As it happens, it is quite easy to condemn terrorist attacks and "urge restraint" by Jerusalem. The US does it all the time.

As an excuse, this is nonsense.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

His Holiness Benedict XVI and the State of Israel

Discarded Lies is carrying this link to a BBC News article dealing with a glaring omission from the Holy See's response to the terrorist attacks of the past few weeks:

Israel has summoned the Vatican's ambassador to explain why the Pope left the country off a list of those recently hit by terrorism.

Pope Benedict XVI on Sunday deplored attacks in "countries including Egypt, Turkey, Iraq and Britain".

Israel said he had failed to mention a 12 July suicide bombing in Netanya that killed five Israelis.

The foreign ministry said it would be interpreted as "granting legitimacy to... terrorist attacks against Jews".

"We expected that the new Pope, who on taking office emphasised the importance he places on relations between the Church and the Jewish people, would behave differently," the ministry said in a statement.

The cynic in me says that such stories are difficult for the UK national broadcaster; when two favourite BBC sneer targets are at loggerheads, at which do they sneer first?

In addition:

Pope Benedict has accepted an invitation to visit Israel but has yet to comment on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in public since taking office in April.

Well, I suppose silence is preferable to donning the keffiyeh as has recently become fashionable in some Protestant circles.

This leads me to a new blog dealing with Jewish / Christian interfaith issues, in particular where they relate to Catholicism, the State of Israel and Zionism - Christian Attitudes on Jews and Israel. This blog is well worth a look and is written by "RC Neo-Jew", who some may know as a long-time commentator on LGF and Discarded Lies.

RCNJ finds another Protestant ecclesial community donning the brown shirt and links to two other interesting articles:

  • First, this assessment of the first three months of His Holiness' pontificate - in which the author points out His Holiness' continuation of his predecessor's concern for Catholic / Jewish interfaith relations, and
  • more equivocally, this article in The Washington Times which reveals some of the difficulties and contradictions that inhere in the Church's relations with Judaism.

Here are Christian Attitudes' two quotes from the latter article. They are both important, and taken together, quite puzzling. On the one hand:

"In the Old Testament the special significance of this choice is emphasized again and again, in Deuteronomy, for instance. God says to the people through Moses: I did not choose you because were a great and numerous people, an important people, not because you possess this or that quality; but because I love you I have freely chosen you....

...He then takes up the question of 2,000 years of Jewish exile yet "their religion has not evaporated ... phenomenon still without parallel in the history of mankind," as the interviewer put it. Does world development have "some mysterious connection with the development of the Jewish people"..

The future pope replied: "God did not make His people into a great power; on the contrary, they became the people who suffered more than any other in the history of the world. But they always kept their identity. Their faith could never die. And likewise it is still like a goad in the very heart of Christianity, which sprang out of the story of Israel and is inseparably bound up with it. ... The great powers of that period have all disappeared. Ancient Egypt and Babylon and Assyria no longer exist. Israel remains -- and shows us something of the steadfastness of God, something indeed of his mystery."

And yet, on the other:

There is one puzzling section in this interview and that involved Cardinal Ratzinger and his view of the State of Israel or rather his nonview, when he said: "This tiny people, who no longer have any country, no longer any independent existence, but lead their life scattered throughout the world, yet despite this keep their own religion, keep their own identity; they are still Israel, the way the Jews are still Jews and are still a people even during the 2,000 years when they had no country; this is an absolute riddle."

Has His Holiness heard of what a French Diplomat infamously called a certain "shitty little country" in the Middle East? It's been in the news a lot for the last half-century or so.

Curiouser and curiouser.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Gaza Arabs Against "Disengagement"

I have avoided commenting on Israel's proposed evacuation of the Jewish communities in Gaza and Northern Samaria, principally because I'm not an Israeli, and as such, it's not really any of my business. However, an interesting article in WorldNetDaily suggests that the anti-disengagement protesters have some support from an unlikely source - Arabs who actually live in the Gaza strip:

"Some workers here have known three generations of Jewish families. I was invited to all the bar mitzvahs and weddings."

Mahmoud, who works in the same greenhouse, said, "I don't want the disengagement to go through. Not just because I'll lose a job, but because I'll lose friends."

Mahmoud said he thinks the Gaza withdrawal is immoral. "The Jews who live here didn't do anything wrong. They were put here by a lot of help from the Israeli government, and told they would stay forever," he said. "Now the Israeli government wants to rip them out. It's not right."

The reasons for opposing the pull out are not merely economic and personal ones. Some Arabs fear what will fill the power vacuum if and when Israel leaves:

"We know once Israel leaves, Hamas is in power. A lot of the Palestinians in Gaza are really upset about this because life won't be good for us," said Mahmoud.

Alan Dershowitz commented in his The Case for Israel that the greatly improved Arab living standards that were the result of the so-called "occupation" between the Six-Day War and the partial transfer of control in Arab population centres under the "Oslo" process paradoxically led to many of the Arabs in the Territories seeing themselves as somehow "apart" from other Arabs, and increased their sense of "nationhood".

Here, however, the Yesha residents, despised by the so-called progressive left the world over, sneered at as religious nutters trying to turn back the clock two thousand years or more, and supposedly the biggest obstacle to peace in the Middle East, are responsible for this (admittedly rare) example of community and solidarity between Jews and Arabs.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Canadian Islamic Congress Apologises to Daniel Pipes

Daniel Pipes reports (in FrontPage Magazine) on his defamation battle with the Canadian Islamic Congress:

The Canadian Islamic Congress and Ms. Valiante apologize without reservation and retract remarks in the column that suggest that Dr. Daniel Pipes is a follower of Hitler or that he uses the tactics of Hitler or that he wants to ethnically cleanse America of its Muslim presence.” The CIC also sent funds for my legal expenses and made a donation in my honor to a Canadian charity.

The CIC’s action is, to the best of my knowledge, without precedent.

Western Islamist organizations until now have relentlessly attacked, successfully extracting apologies from media figures like Paul Harvey and Mortimer Zuckerman, from businesses like Amazon and Nike, from pastors, columnists, and even from state politicians, a top U.S. general, and the president of the United States.

Never before have they apologized for having libeled a person. The CIC retraction breaks the Islamists’ spell of privilege and their miasma of immunity. It establishes, at least in Canada and at present, that Islamist groups do not have impunity to fabricate lies about their opponents. The rule of law does prevail and it applies even to them.

For those who fear the growth of radical Islam, this episode offers encouragement that its forces can be contained and defeated. I hope others will join me in standing up to the new totalitarianism.

Congratulations, Mr Pipes.

Jihad for Sale - Islamic Book Shops II

UPDATE: According to a Daily Telegraph article cited by Little Green Footballs, the New South Wales government claims to be powerless to ban the literature in question.
It seems that the Federal Government could do something about this, if this case is any guide.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Lakemba Bookshop Under Scrutiny

Accorrding to The Australian, the Federal and New South Wales Police are investigating the Lakemba Islamic Bookstore for selling materials promoting jihad. That would be the "slaughter the infidels" variety of jihad, as opposed to the regular, garden, "peaceful inner struggle" variety, I presume.

Reports in the Daily Telegraph say the Islamic Bookstore at Lakemba, in Sydney's south-west, stocks a book titled Defence of the Muslim Lands, which discusses the effectiveness of suicide bombings and has an endorsement from Osama bin Laden on the cover.

In nearby Auburn, other such books have been found at the IDCA bookstore and the Islamic Science, Culture and Art Association, the report said.

'Guardian' Man Revealed as Hardline Islamist

Does that heading surprise anyone?

According to The Independent:

The Guardian newspaper is refusing to sack one of its staff reporters despite confirming that he is a member of one of Britain's most extreme Islamist groups.

Dilpazier Aslam, who has been allowed to report on the London bombings from Leeds and was also given space to write a column in last Wednesday's edition of The Guardian, is a member of Hizb ut-Tahrir, a radical world organisation which seeks to form a global Islamic state regulated by sharia law.

It is understood that staff at The Guardian were unaware that Mr Aslam was a member of Hizb ut-Tahrir until allegations surfaced on "The Daily Ablution", a blog run by Scott Burgess. Speculation is mounting that it may have been a sting by Hizb ut-Tahrir to infiltrate the mainstream media.

Late on Friday The Guardian released a statement to The Independent on Sunday saying: "Dilpazier Aslam is a member of Hizb ut-Tahrir, an organisation which is legal in this country. We are keeping the matter under review." The paper refused to comment further.

In 2001 Mr Aslam wrote in the group's in-house journal, Khilafah, that: "The establishment of Khilafah [an Islamic state] is our only solution, to fight fire with fire, the state of Israel versus the Khilafah State".

The day after it was revealed that the London bombers were British, Mr Aslam wrote a column in which he billed himself as "a Yorkshire lad born and bred".

What's more:

Though Hizb ut-Tahrir is a legal organisation in this country, the group is outlawed in nearly every other country it operates in, including Germany and Holland.

What was it that Daniel Pipes said about Britain's reluctance to deal with Islamist terror?

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Some Good News From the Ummah

You may have missed this amidst the media's euphoria over Bush's declining approval ratings, and the journalistic masturbation about what Karl Rove did or did not leak, but Bin Laden's Poll Numbers are heading south, and jihad's going out of fashion. Of course, according to the ABC, the Age, the Sydney Morning Herald, and SBS, we are losing the War on Terror. Feh.

The money quote:

"These are eye-catching results, but not surprising," said Augustus Richard Norton, a Middle East specialist at Boston University. "Muslims, like non-Muslims, are plugged into the world. . . . It is one thing to be caught up in the supposed glamour of attacking the superpower or global bully, but it is quite another to have to pay the consequences economically, politically -- not to mention personally. This is what has happened in places like Indonesia, Morocco, Pakistan and Turkey, where many people now see extremist Islam as a threat to their lives, not a fantasy game of kick Uncle Sam."

On the other hand:

The Muslims surveyed had mixed views on Christians, and anti-Jewish sentiment was "endemic," the survey reported.

Plus ça change...

Yet More Sydney Morning Stupidity

This Richard Ackland piece in the Sydney Morning Herald has to bee seen to be believed. Ackland boldly asserts that the fact that Islamists recently bombed London is proof that the civilised world is losing the War on Terror. I suppose that is an arguable proposition.

Ackland then says:

Now all the billions of dollars, the airport security, the round-the-clock watch on infrastructure, the new-fangled anti-terrorist laws, the entire apparatus seems incredibly misdirected in the face of a home-grown terrorist who is knocking up bombs in the bathtub in Leeds, who crosses no borders, who does not need a visa and whose training kit is on the internet.


It is hardly a novel thought, but the metropolis is a ready-made theatre of operation for terrorists. If it's not a mass-transit system at peak hour that can be bombed, it is a convention centre, a shopping mall, a busy theatre - whatever. It can be done at the choosing of the attacker. Circumvention, if it occurs, invariably is fortuitous.

That is a fair point; Ackland recognises that there is an internal threat from terrorists that needs to be countered. Such is his affliction with Bush Derangement Syndrome, however, that he then goes on to spout this drivel:

What has been fascinating, though, is the way Blair has responded to this attack. Unlike Bush, Blair has not immediately looked to invade someone. Instead, he has talked about the need to address the hatred that is being taught to, and absorbed by, some Muslim youths.

Her Majesty's government can hardly "invade" Leeds. Last time I checked, the British government is supposed to be in control on the ground there.

In terms of the prescription for dealing with the hatred being taught to some Muslim youths, the British government ought to consider this. In the rush to be "understanding" of fanatical Islam, and "sensitive" to Islamists' "concerns", it is worth asking whether multiculturalist pandering has encouraged law enforcement to turn a blind eye to the preaching of fascism in the name of religion. The numerous so-called "ethnic sensitivity" courses and the like undertaken by law enforcement in the UK and the US might be part of the problem as opposed to part of the solution.

In the wake of the bombings, many on the left rushed to blame the Blair government, and had the naked chutzpah to say that the invasion of Iraq, or the plight of the PLO Arabs was somehow a cause of terrorism in London. Not so. If any blame can be laid at the feet of the British government, it is for excessive pusillanimity in dealing with fanaticism and religously inspired savagery. The British government, when dealing with its domestic Mohammedan community, is unwilling to call a religious fascist a religious fascist. To paraphrase (in a slightly different context) former Tory Prime Minister, John Major, it is time that the government learned to condemn a little more and understand a little less. There is certainly no need to shed tears over "disrespect" for the Koran. It's a book, for heaven's sake.

If the solution to your supposed problems is savagery and the slaughter of the innocent, I don't care what your alleged grievance is. Give up murder and the bomb, and then, perhaps we can talk; until then, in the words of Arik Sharon during the Six Day War, "Let everything tremble!".

Many US commentators have been so taken by Blair's Churchillian performance abroad that they have failed to notice that his domestic policy reeks of Chamberlainesque appeasement. Indeed, the UK government is willing to inconvenience the citizenry with surveillance cameras everywhere, and proposals for ID cards, and other next-to-useless counter-measures without daring to go to the source of the problem, for fear of offending an important ethnic constituency.

Ackland does in fact make a case for intensive surveillance of Mosques; control of Islamic education, censorship of Islamic literature and a general law-and-order crackdown on Islamic associations and communities in the United Kingdom; for that is where the hatred is being fermented - it is not the Jews or the Anglicans or the Presbyterians who are blowing themselves up to get in good with the Almighty. If they saves lives, moderate Moslems should support such measures.

Funnily enough, I don't think that is what Ackland was trying to say.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Daniel Pipes: British Weakness, French Strength

FrontPage Magazine has an article by Daniel Pipes contrasting the attitudes of the British and the French when it comes to the War on Terror and their response to radical Islamism:

France is the most stalwart nation in the West, even more so than the United States, while Great Britain is the very most hapless. Consider:

U.K.-based terrorists have carried out operations in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Kenya, Tanzania, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Israel, Morocco, Russia, Spain, and the United States. Many governments – Jordanian, Egyptian, Moroccan, Spanish, French, and American – have protested London’s refusal to shut down its Islamist terrorist infrastructure or extradite wanted operatives. In frustration, Egyptian president Husni Mubarak publicly denounced Britain for “protecting killers.” One American security group has called for Britain to be listed as a terrorism-sponsoring state.

More broadly, President Jacques Chirac instructed French intelligence agencies just days after 9/11 to share terrorism data with their U.S. counterparts “as if they were your own service.” This cooperation is working: former acting CIA director John E. McLaughlin calls this bilateral intelligence tie “one of the best in the world.” The British may have a “special relationship” with Washington in Iraq, but the French have one in the war on terror.

France accords terrorist suspects fewer rights than any other Western state, permitting interrogation without a lawyer, lengthy pre-trial incarcerations, and evidence acquired under dubious circumstances. Were he a terrorism suspect, says Evan Kohlmann, author of Al-Qaida’s Jihad in Europe, he “would least like to be held under” the French system.

The myriad French-British differences in this arena can be summarized by the example of what Muslim girls may wear to state-funded schools.

Pipes' conclusion?

The British have seemingly lost interest in their heritage while the French hold on to theirs; even as the British ban fox hunting, the French ban hijabs. The former embraced multiculturalism, the latter retain a pride in their historic culture. This contrast in matters of identity makes Great Britain the Western country most vulnerable to the ravages of radical Islam whereas France, for all its political failings, has retained a sense of self that may yet see it through.

That is not to say that France does not have enormous problems with its citizens of the Mohammedan faith, particularly in its public housing estates and prisons. However, the fundamental difference is one of attitude. To a believer in individual rights and freedoms, particularly one of anglo-saxon descent, the French criminal justice system will often seem too little concerned with the civil rights of the individual citizen.

However, the French ought to be congratulated for their understanding that the appropriate response to Islamism in the Mosques is not multiculturalist pandering and "Islam is Peace - Let's all celebrate Eid" Outreach, but vigorous prosecution, lengthy gaol sentences and deportation.

Bolt: Islam and the Gospel According to St Marx

Andrew Bolt has returned from leave, and is in fine form.

No Buts About It, Muslims Must Speak Out deals with Islamic leaders' often equivocal condemnations of terrorism.

Labor's God Squad deals with the main stream media's hypocritically differing approaches to evangelical Christians and left-wing activist Bishops. Needless to say, the former are dangerous loonies and the latter are pillars of the community with hearts of gold and sainthoods doubtless arriving in the mail any day now; as Bolt puts it:

I guess these are the kind of churchmen the media like best -- near silent, at least in public, on issues central to the faith of Christianity, and noisy on those dear to the faith of the Left.

No scaremongering in the media about them, thank the Lord. Let that be today's lesson for Family First: that our cultural guardians favour churchmen who preach not the gospel of St Mark, but St Marx.

Wood's Iraqi Rescuers

The Herald Sun prints the story of hostage Douglas Wood's rescue, as told by his Iraqi rescuers. Guys like these are what our current deployment in Iraq is all about.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

La Ville de Paris: "Non a Tom"

According to AFP

PARIS (AFP) – Paris’ city hall has pledged not to make US actor Tom Cruise an honorary citizen because of his membership of the Church of Scientology.

In a debate late Monday, the Socialist-controlled municipal assembly approved a resolution "never to welcome the actor Tom Cruise, spokesman for Scientology and self-declared militant for this organisation."

Like many other European governments, the French authorities view Scientology — founded in the United States in 1954 by science-fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard — as a dangerous cult.

Don't you hate it when Euro-socialists are right?

No Dancing in the Streets This Time?

This blog's favourite Palestinian American, evariste at Discarded Lies has this to say about the Palestinan response to the London bombings:

The good news is, they didn't dance in the streets. The bad news is, they seem to be afraid that people will associate the London bus bombings with their terrorism on Israeli civilians. Yes, God forbid people make the obvious parallel. Maybe you should stop blowing up buses full of Jews, you idiots.

Now there's an idea.

The following comment, from the Jerusalem Post article above, has to be the Unintentionally Hilarious Comment of the Week:

"I'm afraid that many people in Britain will now look at the Palestinian struggle against Israeli occupation as another form of terrorism," he said.

Ya don't say, chabibi, ya don't say!

No Shilling for Terror Please - Well Not This Week, Anyway

Tim Blair highlights a sudden and inexplicable scheduling change at SBS, Australia's government funded "multicultural" broadcasting service.
It appears that the terrorist threat to the United Kingdom was not an entirely illusory fabrication of the dastardly neo-conservative war-mongers, after all. Quelle surprise.
Of course, SBS has a long and disreputable history of bias in reporting terrorism-related subjects. [On the other hand, to give credit where it's due, they did recently broadcast Martin Himel's excellent Jenin: Massacring Truth].

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Heil Allah: Neo-Nazi Muslim Convert Runs Halfway House

The Herald Sun is reporting that a convert to Islam named Helmut Kirsch, who is a former member of neo-Nazi group National Action and has more than 70 criminal convictions to his name, is running Arden House, a Melbourne halfway house for former prisoners.

He openly admitted that ASIO suspects him to be a terrorist, and was once described in the Victorian State Parliament as a "social parasite and pariah who preys on vulnerable and at-risk young people". According to the Herald Sun:

Kirsch, a former office-holder of the extreme Right-wing National Action, predicted Australia would soon pay a heavy price for its "overseas follies".

"They'll deserve every bit of it. Let's hope they get the right people," he said.

"I'm convinced change will be brought about in this state. I'd like to think it will be brought about by peaceful means."

Kirsch, who was an accessory to murder, denied he was a terrorist but he thought ASIO believed he was.

"When the first bomb explodes in the Melbourne CBD, I'd expect a visit within five minutes," he said. "I don't want to be part of Australia. My sympathies lie with the people of Afghanistan."

National Action and Islamic extremism. I wonder what he thinks about the Jews?

If ASIO isn't keeping a very close eye on this guy, they are not doing their job.

Yet More "Anti-Zionist" Lunacy

Little Green Footballs has caught AFP (surprise!) reporting wild Palestinian Authority conspiracy theories as fact:

TUNIS (AFP) - Late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat was fatally poisoned by Israel, the head of the dominant Palestinian movement Fatah claimed.

“I can categorically confirm that Abu Ammar (Arafat’s nom de guerre) was poisoned,” exiled Fatah chairman Faruq Qaddumi told reporters.

Arafat, long the public face of the Palestinian struggle for statehood, was declared dead in a French military hospital on the outskirts of Paris on November 11 2004. He had been treated there for two weeks.

France’s strict medical secrecy laws mean that the exact cause of Arafat’s death has not been made public, but his nephew received a copy of his medical file.

Fuelled by the ambiguity surrounding his death, many ordinary Palestinians are convinced that Arafat’s death at the age of 75 was far from natural.

Arafat personal physician for more than 20 years, Jordanian Ashraf Al-Kurdi “attests that Abu Ammar presented the symptoms of poisoning,” added Qaddumi, who succeeded Arafat as head of the Fatah movement which the late leader had founded.

“The poisoned [sic] was administered in the food and in the medication he swallowed,” said Qaddumi, who was appointed Fatah chief after Arafat died but refuses to visit the occupied Palestinian territories and lives in Tunis.

The emphases are Charles Johnson's.

LGF commenter "McBain"'s comment was apposite:

Granted, "natural deaths" for many ordinary palestinians include honor killings and blowing themselves to smithereens.


Monday, July 11, 2005

How to Lose a War - Victor Davis Hanson

Now to someone who really knows what he is talking about. Victor Davis Hanson has this to say about what western nations are doing wrong in the War on Terror:

[T]he terrorists and their supporters understand that in a strange way the West is not only split, but also increasingly illiberal as well. It has lost confidence in its old commitment to rationalism, free speech and empiricism, and now embraces the deductive near-religious doctrines of moral equivalence and utopian pacifism. Al Qaeda’s supporters will say that Thursday’s victims were killed because of Afghanistan or Iraq. Westerners will duly repeat the dull refrain that “Bush lied, thousands died” in their guilt-ridden search for something we did to cause this.

And so, rather than focus our attention on the madrassas and the mosques that preach hatred, we will strive to learn more about Islamic culture, as if our own insensitivity were the true culprit. Our grandfathers could despise Bushido — Japan’s warrior cult — without worrying whether they were being unfair to Buddhists; we of less conviction and even less courage, cannot do likewise.

Read it all. You might learn something.

Tariq Ali - Jihaad's Spin Doctor Blames the Victim

Tariq Ali has written another article in which he piously condemnes terrorism whilst simultaneously endorsing the perpetrators' worldview.

Some choice excerpts:

Al-Qaeda is not the only terrorist group in existence. It has rivals within the Muslim diaspora. But it is safe to assume the cause of these bombs is the unstinting support given by New Labour and its Prime Minister to the US wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Of course. It was Blair's fault for getting rid of Saddam. The 2003 invasion of Iraq was also the cause of September 11, the Bali, and Marriot Hotel bombings, the attack on the USS Cole, halitosis, athletes foot, and the bombing of Pearl Harbour.

Tragically, they have suffered the blow and paid the price for the re-election of Blair and a continuation of the war.

This reminds me of Michael Moore's infamous "these were the places that voted against Bush!". Just imagine what Islamists would do to us if we really pissed them off.

The real solution lies in immediately ending the occupation of Iraq, Afghanistan and Palestine.

Never mind that of these three "occupations", two post-date the September 11 attacks and the formal declaration of the War on Terror, and the third, being that of Judea, Samaria and Gaza, ranks somewhere below the 1492 "tragedy of Al Andalus" on Osama Bin Laden's list of grievances.

This idiotic piece in the Sydney Morning Herald epitomises everything that is wrong with the lunar left's critique of the War on Terror. By falsely but speciously suggesting that Islamist terror has legitimate grievances with the US and its allies (for fighting terror) and Israel (for having the temerity to exist as a Jewish State) Ali legitimises bombings, murder and bloody mayhem.

Indeed, Ali's apologia reminds one of the rapist, who blames his victim for dressing "seductively". It is a disgraceful and morally bankrupt approach.

May his name be erased.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Paul Kelly: The Crisis at Islam's Heart

Paul Kelly's opinion piece in this weekend's Weekend Australian makes a couple of apposite points.

THE attack in London has penetrated the best intelligence and security net in Europe. If it proves to be the work of Islamic fanatics, it would be evidence that their threat remains potent, that Western cities are highly vulnerable and that further attacks across the globe are inevitable.

It confirms the difficulty faced by the most sophisticated nations in trying to manage the new age of asymmetrical warfare. The terrorists have no nation-state, wear no uniforms, recognise no rules of war, enshrine the murder of innocent civilians as a tactic, possess no identifiable sovereign assets and, as a result, are resistant to national defence by deterrence.

The British Government has not confirmed the attacks were perpetrated by Islamists. But the evidence, given the parallel with last year’s attacks in Madrid, along with the lethal public declarations from al-Qa’ida, points overwhelming to the followers of Osama bin Laden in one mutation or another.

This is a terrorist attack, but the conflict is not really a war against terrorism. Its sources lie in religious fundamentalism and an ideological perversion within Islam. The enemy is not a nation but a global movement embedded within religion and this explains its formidable and elusive nature. It is a civil war within Islam that runs from Morocco to Indonesia, with its epicentre in Saudi Arabia. It is not a clash of civilisations but a crisis within one great civilisation.

The geopolitical aims of the jihadists are vast: the overthrow of moderate Muslim governments, the liquidation of Israel, the removal of US influence from the Gulf and the Middle East and the strategic eclipse of the West. Bin Laden declared after September11 that the world was divided “into two camps, the camp of the faithful and the camp of the infidels”. He says every Muslim has an obligation to take up arms.


In March last year, al-Qa’ida released targeting advice, saying: “We have to target Jews and Christians. We have to let anybody that fights God, his prophet or the believers know that we will be killing them. There should be no limits and no geographical borders. We have to turn the land of the infidels into hell as they have done to the lands of the Muslims.” Jews were named as the priority human targets followed by Christians. The Christian order of importance by country was American, British, Spanish, Australian, Canadian and Italian.

As Kelly argues, it is a foolish conceit for leftists (and indeed, the isolationist right) in western countries to assume that the threat from Jihadist terror is somehow the fault of Bush, Blair and Howard, or of the policies of western democratic governments. It is not, unless you number among our faults our tolerance of differing religious beliefs, a refusal to stone to death adulterers and homosexuals, the fact that Australian and British women are allowed to work and drive cars, and the fact that our police are unconcerned with the length of a man's beard.

Kelly concludes that the only response is that blend of dignity and strength on display in London. To that, I would add, renewed and increased vigilance vis-a-vis fundamentalist Islam, and the geo-political worldview that it has spawned, namely Islamism.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Quiet Life Option = More Attacks

Mark Steyn's take on the challenges posed by the London bombings, published in the Daily Telegraph, also makes interesting reading.
His conclusion:

This is the beginning of a long existential struggle, for Britain and the West. It's hard not to be moved by the sight of Londoners calmly going about their business as usual in the face of terrorism. But, if the governing class goes about business as usual, that's not a stiff upper lip but a death wish.

Terror on the Dole

On 20 April 2004, the London Evening Standard published this article by David Cohen. It makes chilling reading in light of this week's bombings:

"I agree with you, brother," says Abu Yusuf, the earnest-looking financial adviser sitting opposite. "I would like to see the Mujahideen coming into London and killing thousands, whether with nuclear weapons or germ warfare. And if they need a safehouse, they can stay in mine - and if they need some fertiliser [for a bomb], I'll tell them where to get it."

"I made a decision that I wanted to follow what Islam really said," Sayful begins, sitting on his sofa in his thowb (a traditional robe) and bare feet. "I went to listen to all the local imams, but I found their portrayal of Islam was too secularised. When I heard Sheikh Omar [the leader] of al-Muhajiroun speak, it was pure Islam, with no compromise. I found that appealing.

According to Sayful, the aim of al-Muhajiroun ("the immigrants") is nothing less than Khilafah - "the worldwide domination of Islam". The way to achieve this, he says, is by Jihad, led by Bin Laden. "I support him 100 per cent." [......] "When a bomb attack happens here, I won't be against it, even if it kills my own children. Islam is clear: Muslims living in lands that are occupied have the right to attack their invaders.

Sayful and his friends laugh at the idea that they are local pariahs. "The mosques say one thing to the public, and something else to us. Let's just say that the face you see and the face we see are two different faces," says Abdul Haq. "Believe me," adds Musa, "behind closed doors, there are no moderate Muslims."

They also mock the idea that they are attracted to al-Muhajiroun because they have suffered alienation from white society. "Do we look like scum?" they ask. "Do we look illiterate?"

Read it all.
This isn't about Iraq. Or the palestinians. Or Abu Grahib. It is something more elemental. A clash of world-views. This is what our governments have to grapple with daily.

Friday, July 08, 2005

Still More Majestic Shalt Thou Arise

Still more majestic shalt thou arise,
More dreadful from each foreign stroke;
As the loud blast that tears the skies,
Serves but to root thy native oak.

Thee haughty tyrants ne'er shall tame,
All their attempts to bend thee down
Will but arouse thy generous flame;
But work their woe, and thy renown.

British Muslims Warned to Stay Indoors

The Islamic Human Rights Commission has warned British Muslims to stay indoors to avoid reprisals. That didn't take long. Of course, nobody's suffered any reprisals and there is no evidence of a threat. But don't let that get in the way of your paranoia, whatever you do.

Galloway: It's Blair's Fault

Disgraceful "Respect" MP George Galloway has said that Londoners have "paid the price" for the UK Government's decision to commit troops to Iraq and Afghanistan, according to the Birmingham Post; quoth George:

"We urge the Government to remove people in this country from harm's way, as the Spanish government acted to remove its people from harm, by ending the occupation of Iraq and by turning its full attention to the development of a real solution to the wider conflicts in the Middle East."

"Only then will the innocents here and abroad be able to enjoy a life free of the threat of needless violence."

I see. The only way to be safe is to surrender to Islamist terror. That won't encourage them at all, will it?

For the uninitiated, the line about "turning [the Government's] full attention to the development of a real solution to the wider conflicts in the Middle East" is Galloway-speak for "screwing Israel over as hard as we can, and then some". Because, as everyone knows, Al Quaeda only wants to establish a worldwide Islamist Caliphate because there are Jews in the Middle East. You see, the argument goes, if we get rid of the pesky Red Sea Pedestrians, or at least put them in a position subservient to the Palestinian Authority (which would amount, in the end, to the same thing) Wahhabist Islam will stop trying to dominate the dar-al harb by evangelisation and the sword.

Isn't that obvious?!?

The Age: Security "Overkill"

Tim Blair has highlighted this foot-in-mouth headline in Thursday's Melbourne Age: "Locals Tire of Security Overkill". In fairness to the Spencer Street Soviet, they took their article from the bastian of fair and balanced journalism that is The Guardian. The money quote:

"You would think that the whole of al-Qaeda was coming," his friend James said.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Bombings "Covert Government Operation" - Indymedia

Indy Media Watch is running some telling quotes from Indy Media UK on the subject of the London bombings. Here are some of the quoted passages but you should, of course read the whole thing:

well they finally attacked london...the timing is alsmost too perfect it almost seems surreal...attempting to wipe the smile off the smug war criminal political liar blair's face...just one day after london got the olympics...its as if the IOC decision and now this terror attack will take the minds of the G8 leaders focus away from africa and climate change(or give them an excuse to).i for one did not want london to get the olympics...these events only end up being a burden to ordinary tax payers for years to come.they wasted money billions on the "dome" now they will do the same on an even bigger scale with the 2012 olympics...and one day afer the IOC granted the games to the capital city they show they cannot prevent a major terror attack...and would id cards have stopped this....NO.these terror attacks are as sensless as they are despicable...but once again we will see our political leaders use them to control us and restrict our freedom....Without a shadow of a doubt, the work of MI operatives

Problem reaction solution scam so obvious, and on a 7/7/7 (2+5) date only of interest to the masonic bastards who run the intelligence services, and the knights of Eulogia and Malta (Bush and Bliar), and those other grotesque thieves,mass murderers and satanists meeting in GleneaglesThe last time Blair, Bush and Her Majesty met on UK soil, there were bomb blasts against British interests in TurkeyBlair and those controlling him will now feel they can do whatever they want, and some of the public will now start demanding their ID cards, in the mistaken belief they will shelter them from these attacks, which are indeed, AN INSIDE JOB

Like September 11th, this reeks of an inside job, right after Bush and Blair appeared before the media making trivial small talk and jokes. I'm afraid it's all so predictable.

As I predicted some time ago, if the Establishment conducted a "terrorist" outrage in Britain, the target would be London Underground. Sadly, today on the seventh day of the seventh month, I am in a position to say. "I told you so!"

Right about now, Jewish readers will be saying "but, David, didn't we plan this with Arik Sharon, Condy Rice and the Mossad while soaking up some sunshine on the beaches of Tel Aviv last week?". Of course we did! How silly of me to forget!

Insofar as Al Quaida doesnt actually exist as anything other than a construct of the CIA/Mossad to frighten folk and advance a geopolitical agenda, its nothing short of juvenile to accept media cartels authoritative blame-tagging.

Absolutely unbelievable. We even let these people vote and serve on juries.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

How to Make Friends & Influence People, by Jacques Chirac

The Sydney Morning Herald reports that the President de la Republique Francaise is doing his bit to improve relations with his European partners from across the Channel:

Jacques Chirac stirred the pot at a meeting on Sunday when he joked to Russia's Vladimir Putin and Germany's Gerhard Schröder that the British could not be trusted and food was only worse in Finland.

The French President declared the only thing the British had ever done for European agriculture was mad cow disease, the French daily Libération reported.

Mr Chirac then reportedly said: "You can't trust people who cook as badly as that. After Finland, it's the country with the worst food."

Typical. Francophone Europe regulates the curvature of bananas, panders to hostile minorities, whines about bad food and then carries on like a pork chop when les anglo-saxons treat it like a bad joke with a personal hygeine problem.

"Christians" in Brown Shirts II

The US United Church of Christ has taken a leaf out of the Anglicans' copy of Mein Kampf and adopted an "Israel Divestment" resolution.

According to the Simon Weisenthal Centre, the resolution is "functionally antisemitic":

There is a genocide in Darfur, an occupied people in Tibet, persecutions of religious leaders in China, the disappearing of Christians into the North Korean Gulag, but the UCC leadership has passed a divestment resolution against only one nation, the nation of Israel," said Rabbi Abraham Cooper, Associate Dean of the Wiesenthal Center. "The UCC Synod also voted to demand that Israel lay her citizens defenseless before Palestinian suicide terror. By treating Israel within a different moral yardstick that the rest of the world, these moves are functionally antisemitic, undercut the forces of peace and moderation, and embolden the forces of terrorism. Finally, these resolutions make a mockery of a previous commitment by the UCC to combat antisemitism. The concerns, hopes and aspirations of world Jewry have been swept aside and relations with the Jewish community have been severely damaged," Cooper continued.

The divestment vote shocked many observers since the UCC official website is still assserting that the General Synod would reject divestment, but would "adopt broader strategies of economic and other engagement to work for peace in the Middle East."

"By virtue of these actions, the UCC has disqualified itself as a legitimate partner for a just and equitable peace in the Holy Land," Rabbi Cooper concluded.

I agree.

Monday, July 04, 2005

Happy 4th of July to the Great Satan!

With all the recent negative publicity surrounding Guantanamo Bay, Iraq, and the War on Terror, it is high time someone (and it might as well be a right-of-centre contrarian like me) said:

O beautiful for spacious skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
Above the fruited plain!
America! America!
God shed his grace on thee
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!

O beautiful for pilgrim feet
Whose stern, impassioned stress
A thoroughfare for freedom beat
Across the wilderness!
America! America!
God mend thine every flaw,
Confirm thy soul in self-control,
Thy liberty in law!

O beautiful for heroes proved In liberating strife.
Who more than self the country loved
And mercy more than life!
America! America!
May God thy gold refine
Till all success be nobleness
And every gain divine!

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Sanctified Anglican Idiocy II

Don’t you just love it when trendy Bishops invent new sins? As if we didn’t have enough to worry about trying to avoid greed, avarice, gluttony, lust, impure thoughts and the like.

The Sydney Morning Herald reports that the Anglican Church has declared “global warming” a Mortal Sin.

A key international body of the Anglican Church has declared the wilful destruction of the environment to be a sin as a core group of Australian religious leaders have placed their political weight behind a campaign to fight global warming.

So, let’s get this right. Cutting down trees is very bad and sends you to Anglican Hell; joining HAMAS to kill Jews is not so bad, and is probably the fault of the perfidious Jew, anyway [See "Repudiating Sinai and the Commandments"].

Oy vey.

Incidentally, do the Anglicans know which country has, throughout every year of its modern existance consistently planted more trees than it has cut down? A clue: it’s not “Palestine”, “Atlantis” or “Narnia”.

Actually, it is disappointing to see the number of mainstream churches trying to be trendy by joining in this sort of tree-hugging hippy crap. Even the Catholics are getting green.

David’s with Jesus on this one:

Mathew 21, verses 19 and 20:

19: And when he saw a fig tree in the way, he came to it, and found nothing thereon, but leaves only, and said unto it, Let no fruit grow on thee henceforward for ever. And presently the fig tree withered away.

20: And when the disciples saw it, they marvelled, saying, How soon is the fig tree withered away!

There you have it, folks, wilful destruction of the environment, by Jesus Himself!

Saturday, July 02, 2005

St Rachel - A Vacationer in Others' Despair

Rachel Corrie was a naïve 24 year old woman. She was a member of a group known as the International Solidarity Movement, whose specialty is supposedly “non-violent” attempts to interfere with the actions of the Israeli Defence Forces in the disputed territories of Judea, Samaria and Gaza. Of course, people sometimes get hurt as a result of ISM "non-violence", but that's non-violence for you. In March 2003, Ms Corrie was crushed by a bulldozer while trying to prevent the IDF from shutting down a tunnel being used by terrorists to smuggle weapons and explosives from Egypt into Gaza. Doubtless the Gaza chaps had a peaceful, non-violent use for the said weapons and explosives.

She has now been accorded a species of secular sainthood by the international anti-Israel far left. Which means her grieving parents got to have their photographs taken with Yasser Arafat. I, for one, wonder whether they roam their house at night, like a latter-day Lady Macbeth, trying to cleanse themselves of the smell of blood and cordite.

Readers may also be aware that she is also the subject of a musical.

Mark Steyn’s review of “My Name is Rachel Corrie”, first published in the June 2005 edition of The New Criterion,” is here. Needless to say, it is well worth reading.

Steyn makes two very telling points.

First, there is virtually no support for Israel among the European political elites:

Just so: in Britain as (for different reasons) in the rest of Europe, there is no case for Israel. Even those who are pro-Bush and pro-war incline – like Tony Blair – to the Palestinian side when the question of “the Middle East peace process” rears its ugly head. As for the patrician right, they’ve never cared for the Jew, especially the Zionist Jew: too pushy and self-reliant, they make hopeless colonial subjects. “All British officials tend to become pro-Arab, or, perhaps, more accurately anti-Jew,” wrote Sir John Hope-Simpson in the Twenties wrapping up a tour of duty in mandatory Palestine. “Personally, I can quite well understand this trait. The helplessness of the fellah appeals to the British official. The offensive assertion of the Jewish immigrant is, on the other hand, repellent.”

Secondly, in the European, and “western progressive” narrative of the Arab / Israel conflict, the Arabs are falsely portrayed as the helpless spectators of their own destinies:

Progressive transnational humanitarianism, as much as old-school colonialism,prefers its clientele “helpless”, and, despite Iranian weaponry and Saudi money,the support of a 300 million-strong Arab Muslim bloc and the depraved human sacrifice of their own schoolchildren, the Palestinians have been masters at selling their “helplessness” to the west. When Rachel Corrie talks about “a largely unarmed people against the fourth most powerful military in the world”, she’s peddling the standard line: the Palestinians have no tanks, so they have to improvise with what they can lay their hands on – plastic explosives, schoolgirl delivery systems. In fact, not too long ago the Gaza and West Bank Arabs had plenty of tanks: the only reason they’re living under “Israeli occupation” is because in 1967 their then governments in Jordan and Egypt sent their heavy machinery into action against the Zionist entity once too often. Indeed, the first 25 years of Israel’s existence were spent fending off Arabtanks. Alas, ever since King Hussein fired his British general, Sir John Glubb, the Arabs have been total flops at conventional warfare. Fortunately for them, they discovered that, when it comes to undermining Israel, playing helpless and recruiting western patsies like Rachel Corrie is actually far more effective.

This is seen as anti-Semitic in its effect, if not its intent:

Sixty years ago, Europeans thought Jews shouldn’t be in Europe. Now they think they shouldn’t be in Palestine. It seems reasonable to conclude that on the whole they’d rather Jews weren’t anywhere. That’s why it’s so important to keep everything soft-focus and child-like and innocent. But the beatification of Rachel Corrie is only possible if you ignore anything above Fifth Grade level. “The vast majority of Palestinians right now, as far as I can tell, are engaging in Gandhian non-violent resistance,” says Rachel. That’s not the impression I’ve ever got from my brief visits to the “occupied territories” where, “as far as I can tell”, every aspect of daily life – from the glorification of “martyrs” on the walls of the grocery store to the “I Want To Be A Martyr When I Grow Up” competitions at the schoolhouse – exists within a culture of death. It’s not about “independence” or “resistance” but something more basic.

To my mind, Mark Steyn makes a persuasive case. What he does not say (although from my knowledge of his opinions, I respectfully venture that he believes), is that all this soft-focus romanticisation of the “helpless”, “stateless”, “palestinians” is the product of a gentle racist condescension that does the Arab cause no good at all.

Indeed, the likes of Ms Corrie, who so enthusiastically spruik this narrative of Arab helplessness treat the Arabs of the Levant as something less than mature adult human beings.

To refuse to hold terrorist groups and their supporters fully accountable for their depraved conduct, to insist that they are “helpless”, or have “no choice” but to publicly self-detonate, taking as many Jews as possible with them, or that they are not responsible for their (almost inevitable) injuries occasioned when they hurl projectiles at fully armed soldiers in a war zone, is to say that Arabs are not moral, adult human beings as are you and I. It is to fall into the trap of the British colonialists who saw Arabs as “irrational” and therefore in need of appeasement when they committed atrocities.

And that is my point. Refusing to treat Arabs as adults, as morally responsible human beings, does no favours for the Arabs themselves nor does it assist the cause of peace.

It is anti-Semitic, but it is also, in my view, evidence of anti-Arab prejudice. Such prejudice may be well intentioned and supposedly benevolent, but it is prejudice nonetheless, and moreover, we all know, proverbially, what the road to hell is paved with.

It is always an occasion for mourning when human life is needlessly thrown away. But, with thanks to Tom Gross and Robin Stamler, I will save my tears for the subjects of the following plays that will doubtless never be written:

    1. My Name Is Rachel Levy (Israeli girl age 17, blown up in a grocery store)
    2. My Name Is Rachel Thaler (Israeli girl aged 16, blown up in a pizzeria)
    3. My Name Is Rachel Levi (Israeli girl aged 19, murdered while waiting for the bus)
    4. My Name Is Rachel Gavish (killed with her husband and son while at home)
    5. My Name Is Rachel Charhi (blown up while sitting in a cafe)
    6. My Name Is Rachel Shabo (murdered with her three sons aged 5, 13 and 6 while sitting at home).

May they rest in peace.

Friday, July 01, 2005

Vale Paddy Pakenham

From the Daily Telegraph's excellent Obituaries page:

Pakenham's final appearance in court has been variously recorded. As defence counsel in a complicated fraud case, he was due to address the court during the afternoon session, and had partaken of a particularly well-oiled lunch.

"Members of the jury," he began, "it is my duty as defence counsel to explain the facts of this case on my client's behalf; the Judge will guide you and advise you on the correct interpretation of the law and you will then consider your verdict. Unfortunately," Pakenham went on, "for reasons which I won't go into now, my grasp of the facts is not as it might be. The judge is nearing senility; his knowledge of the law is pathetically out of date, and will be of no use in assisting you to reach a verdict. While by the look of you, the possibility of you reaching a coherent verdict can be excluded." He was led from the court.

Shari'ah and Belgian Beer

In other offbeat news, the speaker of the lower house of the Belgian Parliament has cancelled a lunch with a parliamentary delegation from Iran, because he was unwilling to stomach the Iranians’ insistence that the lunch be dry.

Belgium. Standing up to Islamist totalitarianism when it really counts.

Incidentally, the Speaker of Iran’s Parliament also refused to shake hands with the (female) President of the Belgian Senate, resulting in the cancellation of a planned meeting between her and the delegation.

Crappy Taiwanese Food

The ABC’s Offbeat News section is reporting that Taiwanese diners are “bowled over” by a toilet-themed restaurant.

A crappy idea in the worst possible taste, if you ask me. Evidently there is a market for anything and everything.