Saturday, September 02, 2006

You might be a blogger...

Listen in on HTML Conversations!
Find Out if YOU are Pajamas Media Material!

Take the test!

You learned typing...
(a) Before World War II
(b) at home fooling with your siblings' notebook computer
(c) In seventh grade summer school
(d) typing up appeals to your felony morals conviction

You learned HTML coding...
(a) In a class
(b) on the job
(c) while in therapy
(d) from the aliens after the anal probe

Opinions arise in your brain...
(a) like mushrooms sprouting on a pile of manure
(b) like crocus blooms bursting through a late snow
(c) as rose petals falling gently from a cut bloom
(d) like poop from a backed up sewer

Spelling for you is...
(a) a constant challenge; you need a dictionary close by.
(b) an infrequent problem; you won a spelling bee as a kid.
(c) Thank God for splee chekcrs.
(d) who cairs? If there worried about spelling, read somthing else

When you try to write, grammar...
(a) should always be direct and uncomplicated.
(b) should define the most elegant expression.
(c) always is the servant of clear logic.
(d) gets you cookies and milk when you're sleepy.

People last chose you because of your ideas and opinions...
(a) when you ran for 7th grade class president
(b) when you pledged in college
(c) when you stood for city council
(d) when the other cell block prisoners needed a rep for hostage negotiations

The last time a Congressional representative quoted you...
(a) it was from your valedictory speech
(b) it was from your application for asylum
(c) it was from an editorial you wrote on pending legislation
(d) it was from the confession thrown out by the D.A.

The first time you critiqued the decisions of a judge...
(a) was in re: Plessy v. Ferguson
(b) was in 10th grade civics class
(c) was in your first year of law school
(d) the judge tacked an additional six months on your DUI sentence

When you offer your opinions in a public forum...
(a) you take pleasure in the ensuing conversation
(b) you are wary of debate and dispute
(c) authorities cite your ideas for sources, and run with them
(d) authorities cite you for contempt, and you run from them.

Your neighbors come to you...
(a) seeking wisdom and counsel
(b) seeking a good listener to sort out their own ideas
(c) seeking the power tools they loaned you last year
(d) seeking their farm animals you like to date

To set up a website...
(a) you paid a monthly fee to AOL
(b) you learned software and got a job with an ISP
(c) you drive around with a Wi-Fi seeker, and use other folks' internet access
(d) you funded your world-class internet porn network with drug money

The decline of traditional Mainstream Media...
(a) is long overdue, to your way of thinking
(b) underscores for you the urgency of evolving the blogosphere
(c) wouldn't remotely affect your alcohol consumption or bowling league
(d) will give you a free hand in the Balkans

When the local servers go down for more than a few hours...
(a) you notice a definite weight gain from compulsive noshing
(b) you have to work offline, but you can use ""
(c) your clients are on the phone constantly asking YOU to fix things
(d) you are able to emerge from your hidey hole without fear of detection by the "others" as long as you add an extra layer of foil to your beanie.

If you answered
Mostly A's - Good Reader, occasionally with a helpful comment to add
Mostly B's - Blogger Material but... well, keep your day job.
Mostly C's - PJM will probably already be having their lawyers draft an offer
Mostly D's - You are an escapee from Demokratischer Untergrund.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Maybe It's Not Too Late

In case you've had the horrible feeling lately that Western culture is circling the drain, consider four different arrests in the news of the last week.

• In each case, young Islamic Males have been arrested and questioned with as few as 80 and as many as ONE THOUSAND “throw-away” cellular phones, which do not require identification for purchase or use. In one case, they also were carrying a laptop computer (of course that’s no crime, unless it wasn’t a Mac...), and in another case, the Young Islamic Males were found to have recorded a number of photos and video of sections of the five-mile long Mackinac Narrows Bridge.

• When stopped, the Young Islamic Males had been removing the phones from their sealed packages, removing the re-charge units, and separating the battery packs.

So here are four different groups of Young Islamic Males in widely separated parts of the U.S., each in possession of a substantial number of disposable cell phones of a type known to have provided chips used extensively as the remote triggering element for “Improvised” explosive devices – the IED’s that are killing hundreds of civilians and tens of U.S. soldiers every month in Iraq.

And for each of these groups of Young Islamic Males, the story being advanced is that the cell phone purchases were completely innocent, they were intended for private resale... just the American Dream of private enterprise and some sort of return on their investment.

What a crock of steaming bowel contents.

These cack-handed turdburglers are going to really make Jihadis look dumb.

Let’s see if I got this straight... They’ve broken the seal on all the packages, pulled out the phones, discarded most of the recharging units, and separated the battery packs from the phones...

... But they say they intend to sell the phones to other private buyers!

For actually more than they paid for ‘em????

I’m trying to imagine what sort of person is smart enough to be allowed out of the house to *AND* yet STUPID enough to want to buy a phone which has been ripped out of it’s blisterpak, no recharge unit, no battery pack, for more than the damn phone cost in the first place.

When ANYONE can buy the damn thing, no questions asked, over the counter, ANYWAY!!!!!

On the face of it, to suggest this is anything but a deliberate effort to acquire remote-trigger chips for IEDs, is a sneering insult to any reader’s intelligence.

There are two elements of this farce that provide at least a little tingle of encouragement that people are waking up. First, store managers, clerks, AND law enforcement officers have shed the Political Correctness shackles enough to act on their suspicions and go ahead and detain for questioning people who clearly are doing something that warrants a closer look. Secondly, the news reports even in the Mainstream Alleged News Media are going ahead and identifying the detained persons as Young Islamic Males, without having to wait two full weeks or more to release that important datum.

"Rescue Worker" My Butt...

This is the text of a letter I sent to AP in protest...

Monday, 14 August 2006

Associated Press has a slideshow on various websites today, featuring Salam Daher, narrated by AP’s Lauren Frayer. Salam Daher is the infamous “Green Helmet Dude” whom I have watched directing camera operators, bystanders, and posing workers and corpses in a German newsreel. But Lauren Frayer insists on accepting at face value his claims that he is merely a civilian Lebanese civil defense worker who just happens to have arrived early at several particularly photogenic carnage sites because of his “civil defense job” placed him near the incoming phone call for assistance.

I’m sorry, but Ms. Frayer is too late to pass off this theatrical stage-manager as any sort of “rescue” worker. This man is nothing more than a ghoul, using corpses that in some instances even appear to have been trucked in from some other location to be used simply because they are more appropriate to the narrative he wishes to convey.

In footage he probably would prefer to suppress, he is seen CLEARLY moving a child’s body from one litter to another for no medical reason. The patient was DEAD! There is no benefit to the patient in being transferred from one litter to another, or in being pulled out of the ambulance, laid on the ground, placed on another litter, and having the blanket arranged and the head turned to face the camera. There is nothing of any “rescue” functionality in Salam Daher’s shoving litter bearers from between the corpse and the camera. There is no immediately obvious civil defense service or victim assistance rendered in Salam Daher’s approaching the camera, giving instructions to keep filming, zoom in for close up, or frame the shot just so...

This is exactly the sort of sloppy and irresponsible journalism (if it is not deliberately obscurantist) that is driving subscribers, readers and viewers away from mainstream news organizations. The footage that utterly contradicts and disproves the absurd claims of Ms. Frayer is circulating freely on the internet, in standard formats universally playable by viewers anywhere. Associated Press needs to (1) firmly disavow and retract this shabby apology for a Terrorist group's publicist, and (2) reassure us that steps are in place to prevent recurrences of conspicuously staged and manipulated sequences.

Time for a Walkabout

This morning I walked around my neighborhood a little after dawn, savoring air that was cool and fragrant with honeysuckle, mimosa, pine, and gardenia. Each home seemed to offer a different perfume of the owner’s favorite plants, some whispering more to the eye with extravagant rouges and blues and zanthic yellows. Mourning doves called, to each other, I know. But they seemed softly to reproach me for letting myself be so preoccupied lately with darkness and trouble.

Crossing a creekbridge shaded by towering loblolly pines and pin oaks, I caught a whiff of mud flats and boggie critters, and was suddenly transported back to childhood days spent in intent study of the society of fiddler crabs on the banks of a nearby marsh. The placid surface of the tidewater creek reflected a sky pure and unblemished by any sound but morning birdcalls; by any movement but breeze-borne spider silk.

It was a kind of intoxication, or bewitchment, that I’ve been denying myself too long.

For a spell I aim to spend a lot more time savoring my little patch, and thinking about how much beauty there is, not just in nature, but in the people who tend their gardens, and clean up their public ways when they’re done with their own yards, and still have time and energy to volunteer for the rescue squad, or shelve books at the library, or serve church dinners. Playing my fiddle for folks in hospital, sometimes for people living out their final days or hours, has been challenging, but gives me some sense that I can ease other folks’ burdens with something that might otherwise be shabby self-indulgence.

I wish I had some other folks' expansive confidence that the worst is past. But what struck finally me this morning is that whatever happens in the short term, I do share the sense that things will work out. I love that phrase: “In the fullness of time...” It conveys to me a reminder that a jaundiced view puckers our squinty eyes like blinders, making us numb to the wide world and the titanic stretch of time behind and before. Once in a while, a little injection of cosmic perspective helps to settle the mind at how small the ripples in the stream really are.

My brother planted several pine seedlings in our backyard the year my folks moved into this house, now forty-one years ago. Those have matured to rival even the most ancient of the trees, and shelter trailing vines that house birds, snakes, squirrels, frogs, cicadas, bees, ladybugs and mantids. Just a few decades, and the scars of fire and ruin can be healed by lush growth and steady human labor. Nagasaki and Hiroshima have been rebuilt, along with Dresden and Hamburg and Coventry and a thousand other cities and towns once shattered by man and nature, and their inhabitants rush about their business and have to be reminded to take an occasional day to remember...

I want to thank all you other bloggers and commenters for the time and efforts and research you’ve done and shared; for the late nights and gritty eyes and sore wrists from typing and scrolling, keeping the conversations going. It has helped me sort things out. I hope the exchange going on among the blogs has reached a few others. The thoughts, challenges, responses, but most importantly, the fundamental decency and civility of the best blogs (Belmont Club, for instance) set a very high standard for constructive debate. I pray that somewhere in some quiet alcove in Teheran, or Beijing, or in a study carel in a Pakistani madrassah, maybe someone has surreptitiously been following the conversations here or some of the other blogs, and come away with a quickening hunger to join in.

Channeling Duckman

There are so many people with much greater intelligence, experience, and understanding of terrorism, I hesitate to toss this out, it seems so elementary... but here goes:

Four pathetic loonies blowing themselves up inside the London tube system could reasonably be a conspiracy of just those four. I mean, they could have come up with the idea (albeit from one among them who actually had trained in a terrorist camp one summer) and done the deed without a lot of outside needling and assistance.

Twenty to fifty-odd martyr-minded folks, each coached, trained, indoctrinated, equipped and supplied with sophisticated bomb-making materials, all ready to proceed with a coordinated attack on a number of different commercial flights absolutely implies a professional, well-organized and financed bit of business. It would be interesting to see if ANY of these people were preparing to travel under their own names, with legitimate visas.

Let’s not waste ascii characters debating what sort of turd-for-brains would believe that the group of suiciders in the recent plot did their planning and scheming and preparations without substantial aid and direction from a foreign power.

The plot may have been ready to launch from British aerodromes — i.e., under British jurisdiction —but I seem to recall that there are treaties and decisions that assign jurisdiction for crimes on aircraft aloft over international waters to the nation under whose flag the hull is registered. Whether that would give the U.S. a direct jurisdictional voice in prosecuting these pusbags (it is a strictly legal term) I don’t know.

On the other hand... WHO GIVES A SHIT ABOUT LEGAL PROPRIETIES?!?!?!?!?!

Look, I did a little astral projection last night, and soul-traveled over to the Palace of the Mullahs in downtown Teheran. I watched them debate for hours.

It was all in Farsi.

Ya can’t figure ALL the angles...

But... They were watching a PowerPoint™ presentation, so I could figure out a lot from context. And the context PLAINLY screeched THE MULLAHS ARE GUILTY!!!!!!

The mouse in the skulligallee is that, Well, seriously, some of the reports are pointing accusative fingers at Pakistani badguys.

Obviously, because of our grovelling dependence on the cooperation of Pervez Mussharrif in many so many matters, GWOT-wise, we are constrained from any course of action that can be easily traceable.


Sounds like a really bad breakfast cereal.

Friday, August 11, 2006


Just a little perspective on what we might expect from Iran (and its current Islamic Supremacist regime) and other rabidly Jihadist organizations...

We’re not really talking about “the end of the world.” Although there are a number of Islamic regimes with substantial military forces, there is nowhere the mass of forces that would be needed to do to the U.S. the catastrophic damage that was done to Europe in two world wars.

Of course, that still leaves a hell of a lot of room for mischief.

Before the fall of the Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi, the U.S. had for decades been supplying “The Peacock Throne” with modern weapons, most significantly, some 225 F-4 fighter jets in various versions, with weapons, and training for the pilots and ground crews. Anyone who has studied modern warfare even casually will realize that modern high-performance fighter jets require a vast industrial base for their maintenance. The pilots require years of intense training, with thousands of hours of flying to maintain their skills.

The Phantom series (we remember from the Vietnam era) required a huge amount of ground maintenance to keep it on the flight line. The Tomcat reduced the flightline maintenance to something like a mere 50 hours for each hour in flight, by focusing on modular systems, so glitches were repaired by replacing a plug-in box, rather than by locating and replacing a mis-behaving transistor or circuit-board.

In a conversation with an old friend who retired from the Navy after several decades in carrier aviation, I heard that the Hornet has reduced the ratio to something like half that needed for the Tomcat, or about 25 hours of maintenance per hour of flight.

I don’t mean this as any chauvinism, just a simple fact. There is no other nation besides the U.S. that for the near term has the industrial capacity for producing the spare parts, weapons systems, and training that would be necessary to maintain the military air capabilities of the U.S.

Any single U.S. “super carrier” has air power greater than the combined national air forces of most individual nations.

This is equally true of the “blue-water” Navy, the ships needed to project any substantial, sustained military force.

As I’ve mentioned before, Iran *is* known to have purchased some modern conventionally-powered (¿diesel/electric?) fast attack subs from Italy, as well as some older conventional surplus subs from Russia. This means any subs it has would be extremely vulnerable to U.S. Anti-sub warfare detect/destruction, because they lack the ability to cruise long distance without surfacing, much less lurk. They would have to be re-supplied from a specially equipped ocean-going supply vessel.

It is conceivable that a few subs could for a while pose some significant threat in the Persian Gulf, though, till they were located and eliminated.

But my central point is that the threat posed by Islamic Jihadi regimes is pretty much the same as that we face from individual Jihadi nutballs — terrorist acts against soft targets, targets of opportunity, using improvised schemes rather than military weapons systems.

Instead of a cataclismic saturation attack of nukes, we can expect a prolonged hemmorhage of puny-prong acts of sabotage, punctuated by an occasional mass casualty incident on a grand scale, which might include a low-efficiency nuclear device in a container, or truck, or small aircraft.

I’ve tried to remind folks that the delusional and ill-read LLL folk are out of their minds to think a few thousand combat deaths are an unsustainable cost. It seems almost insulting to point out that World War II battles frequently killed more combatants in a single day’s battle, or occasionally, by the sinking of a single troop ship. The Germans and the Russians fielded and lost entire armies numbering in the hundreds of thousands of men. And of course, even at this late date, our combat losses in Iraq have not equaled the 9-11 terrorists’ single day’s work.

We have to contemplate harsh options; we have to harden ourselves to a sustained series of painful and ugly lessons, because Islamic Jihadis have shown they are determined to bring their attack to us. We’ve all grown up in a country where we are accustomed to safety, and when that is interrupted, we take it for granted that the government will quickly come along to clear away the bodies. In other parts, when the combat moves along, the locals have to either step around the bodies, or clean up the debris themselves.

What I have predicted in the past I still believe: that a point will be reached where the Left in this country will finally feel personally threatened, realizing that Jihad will slaughter them regardless of how many times they voted against Bush; regardless of how many anti-war vigils they’ve attended; regardless of their disinvestment in Halliburton stock; regardless of their contributions to CAIR and the ACLU. The Jihadis will in time commit one atrocity too many, or one atrocity too enormous, and the former sympathizers and apologists will realize they have been meant for the chop all along, and they will turn.

- - - - - - - - - - ( Take a Breath...) - - - - - - - - - - -

This is what I fear more than anything else. Those who are already convinced and enlisted tend toward a conventional, if vehement, military argument, with all the discipline and respect for chain of command that implies. When the Left turns — when those who are obstinately blind to the danger finally awaken in bowel-gushing fear — I believe we will see the reverse side of the Left’s long posturing for patience and indulgence. Their response (I am convinced from the historical excesses of past Leftist regimes) will be a tsunami that crests on far shores beyond anyone’s reckoning, because the convert is ever the most zealous.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Coca Cola and PepsiCo Problems in India

Al-Jazeera’s English Language website has an article reporting that the Indian State of Kerala has (along with several others) banned the sale of Coca Cola and Pepsi products, claiming that they have been found to contain pesticide residues “24 times above the limits set by the Indian Government.” The article is time-stamped Wednesday 09 August 2006, 14:51 Makka Time, 11:51 GMT.

Interestingly, Wikipedia has an article indicating that the New Delhi-based NGO Centre for Sciend and Environment had convinced the government to take this action after well-publicized studies dating back to 2003. The Wiki-links for the Kerala ban are to articles from this week, but the Coca Cola response to which the article links via footnotes, indicates the controversy has been out in the open since August of 2003.

(Wikipedia article at

Evidently, both PepsiCo and Coca Cola prepare the contents and bottle the drinks locally. These two companies probably apply the most stringent standards to their processes and products. Although lapses are possible it’s hard to imagine them consciously applying a different set of standards to their product from country to country. It is especially hard to swallow the idea that PepsiCo and Coca Cola would be using standards less stringent than those of other manufacturers operating within India.

Studies of other locally-produced Indian soft drinks suggest that the problem is pervasive in the region., an Indian business-website, has an article on the cola controversy, and pointed out that “Mirinda Lemon [my italics] topped the chart among all the tested brand samples with a total pesticide concentration of 0.0352 mg/l.” and finished its article on the problem saying “ India, these companies cannot be taken to court since the norms that regulate manufacturing of cold drinks here are a "meaningless maze."

Living in the U.S. I have always regarded Coca Cola and Pepsi as products whose manufacturing standards could always be trusted, without having to depend on Government regulations. (That’s distinct from the question of whether drinking gallons of carbonated caffeinated drinks is healthy...) It disturbs me to think that either of those companies would apply less stringent standards to their products in one region for any reason. From their own logic, to do so raises questions about their products everywhere.

Al-Jazeera’s two linked articles fail to mention that a number of other Indian-produced soft drinks were tested and found to have contaminant levels far higher than those in Coca Cola and Pepsi products.

Finally, it is a very sad thing to me to find that in comparison to the writings of U.S. reporters, the articles in Al-Jazeera seem to be mostly devoid of hysterical anti-U.S. ranting. I am perfectly aware that their point of view is at odds with the policies and culture of the United States. They seem to be observing a standard of dry factual reporting of events without coloring every paragraph with their sneering contempt for the U.S. its products, and its current administration, which seems to distinguish them from most Western news organizations. They have their biases, and my own bitty research reminds me that they will omit facts that are inconvenient to their "narrative" but a lot of American journalists fall short of the professional standards demonstrated by many of Al-Jazeera's posts.

Monday, August 07, 2006

MegaDeaths — Not a Sleazy Metal Band

For umpteenth time in various comment streams, I have to remind some reluctant readers that the great disputes between conflicting ideologies have been resolved only by a bloody set of arguments that left millions of corpses as their proof. Here’s a little review of just the 20th Century, for those readers just emerging from an extended deep coma:

• The Great War (i.e., the periods up to the half-time break in the European Civil War) reduced the strength of participating nations by some fifteen and a half MILLION deaths, and about twenty-two and a half million wounded.

• The Japanese invasion of China in 1931 killed twelve and a half million Chinese and a little over one million of the Japanese invading military.

• WWII killed off about sixty-two and a half MILLIONS, including armed forces and civilians, combat, disease, and concentration camp deaths.

• In the “U.N.Police Action” on the Korean Peninsula, ending as it did in an extended “cease-fire” rather than a decisive conclusion that would have allowed for proper documentation, seems to have killed between just over one million, to three million six hundred and forty thousand deaths of military and civilians on all sides.

• Several generations of fighting in French IndoChine from the end of WWII until the general retirement of United States forces, produced at least three million military and civilian deaths FOR Independence/Unification and about an equal number Against.

I’m going to let you, dear readers, add up all those millions and millions of victims of tyranny and the repeated struggle to contain it.

But WAIT! There’s MORE!

When not otherwise occupied with defending his vast territories from various external intrigues, Stalin managed to while away the hours devising highly interesting ways of liquidating, executing, starving, and otherwise murdering his subjects in ton lots. The forced collectivization of agriculture in the Ukraine was unpopular with the Kulaks, and to encourage the process, Stalin sent in troops to confiscate all the food and livestock, killing and murdering tens of thousands immediately, then guarding the borders to ensure the people he meant to starve would damn well go ahead and starve like he meant’em to. By the time the Germans invaded, Stalin had killed off anywhere from five to ten million of his own citizens. “What the heck!” He mused, “That was so good, I’ll try it with the Red Army!” and he then went on to liquidate 30,000 of his army’s senior officers, with show trials, forced confessions, and creative executions. (Stalin went on to kill lots more victims, but, heck, you get the picture...)

Mao Zedong, literally the driving force behind the consolidation and success of the Communist the People’s Republic of China, spent the lives of his fellow Chinese like a Democrat spends tax revenues. After chasing Chiang Kai-Sheck from the mainland, Mao imposed communist collectivisation and soviet systems on the country with the same sort of enthusiasm as Stalin had in the USSR. The Hundred Flowers Campaign and The Anti-Rightest Movement are reckoned to have silenced with extreme prejudice the voices of insufficiently cooperative educated, intellectual, social, industrial, and academic leaders numbering in the millions.

The so-called “Great Leap Forward” launched in 1958 — a second grand Five-Year-Plan in the Soviet tradition of brutal central planning and extreme disincentives for non-compliance — so disrupted the Chinese agricultural system that the central government simply confiscated the food it could and left the peasants to starve in their gasping millions, distributing the food in the cities to prevent unrest there. External students of these events can only make rough estimates of the suffering. From statistics that have dribbled out, a picture has been constructed that indicates that at least several tens of MILLIONS of Chinese died of avoidable disease and starvation as a result of the misrule embodied in that “Great Leap.”

And, oh yeah, the ”Domino Theory” turned out to be absolutely right. For instance, after the Khmer Rouge seized power in Cambodia, they imposed a radical “back-to-nature” rigidly doctrinaire communist regime, and forced about a third of their population into “re-education camps.” Within those camps, people were worked to death on starvation rations, and if they didn’t die fast enough to suit their masters, they were dispatched by bullets. The Khmer Rouge did an excellent job of documenting their work, and their photographs and written records of the torment of their countryfolk is now enshrined in various museums around the restored Cambodia.

(Try googling “Boat People.”)

I’m not sure Rwanda fits into this rant, except as a fine example of the utter uselessness of the United Nations, which meme is relevant, but not central. At least, it shows how the absence of an armed and determined force for civil ORDER allowed humans to chop almost a million other humans to bloody morsels using garden implements.

Hmmmm. Now we have the Khartoum Government dispatching hundreds of thousands of black African animists, pagans, and Christians in Darfur, with the gracious assistance of gas warfare specialists from Syria. Presumably, Syrian President Bashshar Assad does not perceive those folks as a strategic or existential threat to his bottom.

Yeah, Muslim fanatics seem to have taken up the challenge that Communism has in its defeat let slip. So far they’re just gathering momentum. A few score killed in London bombings, a few hundred Hindus in seven simultaneous train station bombings in Mumbai, a few more hundred Hindus killed by a handful of martyr-bombers earlier at a Hindu festival in New Delhi, a few score tourists and servicefolk at a Bali restaurant, a schoolbus here, a wedding party there, a couple of Indonesian school girls beheaded, a few thousand “little Eichmanns” in the WTC... Not much to brag about compared to the totals of Stalin and Hitler and Mao, but, Hey! Keep it up and after a while you’re talking about some real numbers!

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

It is simply wishful thinking of the most dangerous sort to imagine that Islamic Jihadis and their complicit supporters can be dealt with rationally or gently. The lessons of history are if anything, pretty darn hard to misunderstand on this point. Evil doesn’t quietly put down its weapons. The fire-bombings of Dresden, Hamburg, Lubeck, and *67* Japanese cities were done primarily to persuade the GOVERNMENTS of Germany and Japan to quit the fight. The obvious difficulty is that those governments (like the Jihadis) had no concern whatsoever for the suffering of their own people and were un-moved by the loss.

Of course, the acquisition of nuclear devices, achieved by discipline or art, skews the calculus. Time to go back and review “The Three Conjectures.”

We’re told from census figures that there are about one Billion Muslims around the world. If only one percent of those are fanatical Jihadis, that’s TEN MILLION right there that are not likely to meekly lay down their violent agenda.

I’ve accepted the likelihood that the West will not respond decisively to Islamic Jihad until they kill a few million people at a stroke. It seems most likely that any lasting resolution of the great conflict of this era will be the occasion of a bloodletting on a scale comparable to earlier upheavals. Clearly, the sacrifice of just a few thousand in the attacks of September 11, 2001, didn’t resolve matters. The West hasn’t been intimidated into submission, nor has it been aroused enough to put paid to the Islamic fanatics. It has been done. It can be done again.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

They aren’t going to leave gracefully...

I wish for a world where T-P just meant a bathroom product.

My frequently-insightful brother made a statement today of unusual succinctness and clarity. I’ve taken the liberty of amplifying it a bit, and adding some further observations.

1) Europe in the middle ages was very much hobbled by its obstinate focus on the Bible. Medicine, literature, mathematics, astronomy, history... Every area of human concern was truncated and subordinated to Biblical-Spiritual-Christian doctrine.

2) The Islamic world is stuck in that mode now. Their society and religion are the legacy of many centuries in a harsh and demanding region of vast deserts, that rewarded maybe the raider more than the builder or gardener. They suddenly find themselves rich beyond the dreams of most countries, from oil wealth that they did not themselves have the technology or inclination to develop. They have not experienced and have no respect for the long discipline by which western countries gradually and painfully arrived at their current level of industrial sophistication.

3) Without a deep comprehension of how their wealth came into their hands, they do not value the attitudes, disciplines, and skills that are necessary to develop and maintain technology, and nor do they grasp the intellectual freedom which derives from Greco-Roman and Judeo-Christian heritage that lead finally to the Renaissance.

Of course, it’s Culture not Biology.(Naturally, the Politically Correct Crowd will say that’s just as insulting.) In the Arab-Islamic world the word “sheik” is an honorific reserved for a male who has committed the text of the Qur’an to memory. Astricted by sacrosanct tradition to treat the rote memorization of its sacred text as the highest possible intellectual achievement, Islamic nations of the modern era reject as pointless or even subversive the diversion of their energy to the study of modern technologies and sciences.

Farouk El-Baz is a respected American scientist of Egyptian roots, who added his scientific and technological expertise for years to the Apollo Program. In the past he served as Anwar el-Sadat’s science advisor, and is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, and director of Boston U Center for Remote Sensing. He has written a few penetrating articles about the failures of the modern Islamic world, and the internal forces that have contributed.

A few excerpts from the website

Although the Arab region is considered oil-rich and wealthy, all indications point to its knowledge deficit. This fact is clearly conveyed in the Arab Human Development Report: Building a Knowledge Society that was issued in 2003 by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). The report, which I helped to review prior to its publication, pointed out that the Arab region trails behind all other regions in knowledge indicators, except sub-Saharan Africa. These indicators included the number of books, newspapers, radio stations, television channels, telephone lines, personal computers and Internet access.

• The number of patents produced by Arabs is meager; during the past two decades, South Korea registered in the US over 44 times the number of patents from all Arab countries combined.

• ... the number of books translated in all 22 Arab countries is equal to one-fifth of those translated into Greek.

• Although Arabs constitute five per cent of the world population, they produce only 0.8 per cent of the literary and artistic literature.

Without attempting an encyclopedic defense of this statement, I would add this: Within the West, just as there is an intensifying co-dependency between the Elite Liberal-Socialist Leaders and their welfare-voting-block clients, there is at the higher level of transnational cultures, a similarly intensifying co-dependency between the Transnational Progressives (with all the baggage of Post-Modernist / Deconstructionist / Moral Relativist / Unresolved-White-Liberal-Guilt), and the radical Islamicist components of the Muslim world, cynically ready to accept support from even those they despise.

Self-styled Socialist-Liberal-Progressives reflexively blame any deficiencies in their designated victim groups as having been caused by Western excesses, colonial depradations, racism, bigotry, capitalist greed, Christian chauvinism, et cetera. They obstinately refuse to acknowledge that there could be any internal basis for the madness of Islamic fanaticism. They ignore 14 centuries of Islamic Jihad, the conquest of much of the world (that Charles Martel and the Franks stopped in France in 732, and the defenders of Vienna successfully resisted in the 1680’s); they ignore the text of the Qur’an and the Hadith, the less formally-sacred but still widely worshipped anecdotal verses on the Life of the Prophet.

Whit [the “nom-de-net” of one of the principals of the website] in his post today referred to a list of items with which it would be good for all Westerners to acquaint themselves:
...the history of Palestine from the start of the Zionist movement in the late 19th century
... the Balfour Declaration
... the Zionists buying (not stealing) barren lands and making them productive.
... Arab uprisings in the 1930's
... the history about the Grand Mufti [Mohammad Amin al-Husayni of Jerusalem] and his relationship with Hitler.
... the history of Israel since 1948.

That list makes a great start. I have also found descriptions that describe terrorism by fanatical jews during that period. Even if they can be shown to be exaggerated or apocryphal, it’s important to be aware of them, because the Arab Palestinians certainly cherish those as compelling justification for their persistent outrage. I would recommend also the “essential list” from Steven den Beste’s site USSClueless archives. (Be not dismayed by his quirky interest in Japanese animation... His political insights are nonetheless breathtaking.) Finally, as a Christian (however conflicted and confused!) I think it is vital to be fully informed about how Islamic regimes treat “infidels” among them.

It is vital to inform ourselves, to look at sources that challenge our assumptions, and to resist the acquiescence of the Transnational Progressives in the assault by Islamic Fascists on our civilization.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

A Groin Surgeon Violence...


I mean, “a growing surge in violence”

(This comment was cross-posted today at Wretchard's Belmont Club)

Let’s see...

• Denmark taking a stand against Islamic thugs...

• Sweden and Norway still paralyzed while hundreds of their young women are being raped by Islamic youths each month. (Well, their own politicos have been doing the same to the whole country...) Presumably they will tire of this in the fullness of time...

• France this year has gotten a dose of reality smashed in their collective face by unassimilated Islamic youth...

• Britain (as distinguished from the stiff-necked and inevitably contrarian Irish, and still-disgruntled Scots) is awakening to the danger of unassimilable Islamic fascists. Home-grown, yet.

• India is getting a belly-full of Islamic fascism, with an accelerating toll of Hindus blasted to bleeding pulp by Islamic bombs lately...

• Indonesian schoolgirls have had their heads removed from their shoulders by Islamic fanatics, to encourage conversions to their “religion of Peace.”

• The Philippines for decades have been suffering murders, kidnappings, and atrocities by Abu Sayyaf...

• It’s not been two full years since Islamic Terrorists took 1200 school children and teachers hostage and eventually murdered 344 of them in Beslan, the Russian community in North Ossetia. The terrorists had held the hostages for several days, stringing bombs rigged to “dead man-switches” and committing appalling atrocities, even by terrorist standards. Maybe you recall, the Chechen thugs videotaped themselves raping a number of teenaged girls, shot fleeing hostages indiscriminately when the assault began, and in at least one case, repeatedly stabbed an 18-month-old baby when ammunition ran out.


Anyone who’s been following the news for over the last few years knows I could continue this list at great length.

I’ll spare you.

The point is simply that Islamic fanatics have been treating their neighbors and their own co-religionists this way for fourteen centuries. For most of that time, there have been multiple buffers between the Infidel lands — Dar al Harb — and the lands where Islam rules — Dar al Islam — so most of us in the West have been able to occupy ourselves with our own affairs. Of course, all that’s changed is that modern technologies like transportation and communications now make it possible for us to grasp — if our minds can get ‘round it — the full scope of Islamic Jihad.

Denial is the problem.

One last thought. This current crisis (started when Hizb’allah spent months digging a tunnel so it could murder and kidnap a few Israeli soldiers, just to stir things up) became the occasion for a lot of American citizens to piss and moan about how slow our government was to respond to the “CRISIS” and evacuate its victim-citizens from harm’s way. THE FIRST DAY, there were people comparing the situation to Katrina. (Imagine the veins in my forehead exploding as I repress the urge to go into an extended harangue about the stupidity of people who know NOTHING about SAR, emergency preparedness, Posse Commitatus, but feel absolutely competent to criticize ANY DAMN THING THEY WANT!)

It’s interesting that no one seems to have raised that same question about American citizens and other foreign nationals visiting in Israel. Surely there are at any moment quite a few thousand tourists in Israel, even excluding Israelis with dual citizenship. How’s cum nobody thinks after weeks of hundreds of indiscriminate rocket attacks by Hizb’allah against Israel, that the U.S. should be mounting an evacuation of American citizens from there?

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Check this U.S. State Department website for a description of various well-established terrorist organizations:

I skimmed through and found that a lot of the names that show up in the news are aliases — i.e., there are a few groups that are the condensed coalesced version of ten or twelve contributory groups. For example, “HAMAS (Islamic Resistance Movement) a.k.a. Harakat al-Muqawama al-Islamiya, Students of Ayyash, Students of the Engineer, Yahya Ayyash Units, Izz Al-Din Al-Qassim Brigades, Izz Al-Din Al-Qassim Forces, Izz Al-Din Al-Qassim Battalions, Izz al-Din Al Qassam Brigades, Izz al-Din Al Qassam Forces, Izz al-Din Al Qassam Battalions”

Another example: “Hizballah (Party of God) a.k.a. Islamic Jihad, Islamic Jihad Organization, Revolutionary Justice Organization, Organization of the Oppressed on Earth, Islamic Jihad for the Liberation of Palestine, Organization of Right Against Wrong, Ansar Allah, Followers of the Prophet Muhammed”