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As Far As The Eye Can See
by Moshe Dann
Threats of Pain and Ruin
by Theodore Dalrymple
The Oil Cringe of the West: The Collected Essays and Reviews of J.B. Kelly Vol. 2
edited by S.B. Kelly
The Impact of Islam
by Emmet Scott
Sir Walter Scott's Crusades and Other Fantasies
by Ibn Warraq
Fighting the Retreat from Arabia and the Gulf: The Collected Essays and Reviews of J.B. Kelly. Vol. 1
edited by S.B. Kelly
The Literary Culture of France
by J. E. G. Dixon
Hamlet Made Simple and Other Essays
by David P. Gontar
Farewell Fear
by Theodore Dalrymple
The Eagle and The Bible: Lessons in Liberty from Holy Writ
by Kenneth Hanson
The West Speaks
interviews by Jerry Gordon
Mohammed and Charlemagne Revisited: The History of a Controversy
Emmet Scott
Why the West is Best: A Muslim Apostate's Defense of Liberal Democracy
Ibn Warraq
Anything Goes
by Theodore Dalrymple
Karimi Hotel
De Nidra Poller
The Left is Seldom Right
by Norman Berdichevsky
Allah is Dead: Why Islam is Not a Religion
by Rebecca Bynum
Virgins? What Virgins?: And Other Essays
by Ibn Warraq
An Introduction to Danish Culture
by Norman Berdichevsky
The New Vichy Syndrome:
by Theodore Dalrymple
Jihad and Genocide
by Richard L. Rubenstein
Spanish Vignettes: An Offbeat Look Into Spain's Culture, Society & History
by Norman Berdichevsky














The Iconoclast

Sunday, 28 October 2007
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Tv isterica, genera ansia e depressione

Sotto accusa l'allarmismo in talk show e telegiornali,
ma anche nelle trasmissioni sportive e nei reality

 

MILANO - Ansia, depressione, insonnia e persino attacchi di panico. Questo genera la tv, secondo uno studio promosso da Meta Comunicazione e realizzato da un pool di 60 psicologi e psicoterapeuti. Le trasmissioni caratterizzate da continuo allarmismo (58%), toni che rasentano l'isteria (51%), continue polemiche (46%) alla lunga rischiano di causare delle vere e proprie patologie, come quelle sopra elencate. In media, persino in un talk show, ogni 6 minuti vengono utilizzati toni e termini che alzano il livello di ansia e aggressività, oltre al fatto che gli stessi temi trattati affrontano ciò che di più inquietante avviene quotidianamente.

STRESS E ANSIA - Lo studio ha analizzato, per quattro settimane, i contenuti, i toni e il lessico utilizzato nelle diverse tipologie di trasmissioni, per individuare il livello di ansia generato dalle stesse. Da intrattenimento e svago, secondo il 73% degli esperti intervistati, la tv è diventata un collettore di stress (63%), ansia (55%) e aggressività (49%). E ad essere sotto accusa non sono solo le trasmissioni legate all'attualità e alla cronaca, come talk show e tg, ma anche contenitori che sulla carta dovrebbero essere di puro intrattenimento, dove, secondo gli esperti (47%), il carico d'ansia è ancora maggiore, perché lo spettatore ha meno difese.

TONI ISTERICI - Sotto accusa l'allarmismo (58%), ormai utilizzato in ogni tipo di trasmissione, dalle news ai contenitori di costume. Anche i servizi più normali vengono annunciati come se si trattasse di una gravissima notizia. Per il 51% i toni isterici che ormai dominano nel piccolo schermo rappresentano una delle maggiori cause dell'ansia di chi resta troppo tempo davanti alla tv. Una situazione che non viene certo aiutata dalle continue polemiche (46%). Nella classifica del grado di ansia catodica proprio i talk show sono al primo posto, come sottolinea il 58% degli esperti e conferma l'analisi dei programmi andati in onda nelle ultime 4 settimane. Subito dietro i tg (52%) in cui, in media si raggiungono alti livelli di stress ogni 12 minuti.

SPORT E REALITY - Lo stesso vale per le trasmissioni sportive, dove l'ansia sembra la costante per cercare di fidelizzare gli spettatori (45%, i picchi di ansia catodica che hanno una frequenza media di uno ogni 15 minuti). Seguono le trasmissioni di servizio, dove si vogliono tutelare i consumatori o dirimere controversie (41%, uno ogni 20 minuti). Ma sotto accusa sono anche le trasmissioni di costume e di puro intrattenimento come i contenitori pomeridiani (38%, dove i toni fanno impennare il livello d'ansia in media ogni 21 minuti). Seguono i reality (36%), che seguono lo stesso principio delle trasmissioni sportive e dove il livello d'ansia sale in media ogni 24 minuti.


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Posted on 10/28/2007 11:30 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Sunday, 28 October 2007
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Maybe this isn't such a good idea...From The Times (with thanks to Alan):

THE Foreign Office has cleared dozens of Iranians to enter British universities to study advanced nuclear physics and other subjects with the potential to be applied to weapons of mass destruction.

In the past nine months about 60 Iranians have been admitted to study postgraduate courses deemed “proliferation-sensitive” by the security services. The disciplines range from nuclear physics to some areas of electrical and chemical engineering and microbiology.

Additionally, figures obtained by David Willetts, the shadow secretary for innovation, universities and skills, show that in 2005-06, 30 Iranians were doing postgraduate degrees in subjects covering nuclear physics and nuclear engineering...

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Posted on 10/28/2007 5:02 PM by Rebecca Bynum
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Sunday, 28 October 2007
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Charles Johnson over at Little Green Footballs is kicking up some dust over the Flemish party Vlaams Belang which helped put together the Brussels Counterjihad Summit last week. He is worried about racism. 

Today, there is a response from a Danish correspondent at Gates of Vienna who says Johnson has gone overboard and knows nothing about European politics.

I don't know where the truth lies in this controversy, but it seems to me that in America at least, the extreme neo-Nazis are avidly allying with Muslims groups because they share a common antisemitism and desire to overthrow the government.

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Posted on 10/28/2007 4:29 PM by Rebecca Bynum
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Sunday, 28 October 2007
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"It's all right to feel sorry for the suffering people in Darfur, to send them food and medical supplies, but we should know by now that our soldiers would be welcome as liberators for about one week, and after that, they'll be Infidels and crusaders soiling the sacred land of Islam."
-- from a reader commenting on this post

 

The reader has ignored two things.

First, the black African Muslims of Darfur have been on the receiving end of Arab Muslim supremacism, expressed in terms that would make David Duke blush, and murderous behavior that would make Johannes von Leer proud. They know they must identify themselves, think of themselves, as "Muslims" but beyond that, a number of Darfurian refugees in the West, in their willingness to listen to Christian missionaries, suggest that the commitment of black Africans in Darfur to Islam is not unwavering -- and why should it be, after what they have endured at the hands of Arab Muslims, or those who think of themselves as Arab Muslims? These black Africans are very different from the meretricious and grasping Sunni and Shi'a Arabs playing the Americans for all they are worth, and exhibiting not the slightest real or permanent gratitude.

Second, the humanitarian mission is not confined to Darfur but should also, and necessarily, for logistic reasons, must, include the southern Sudan, which also is peopled by black Africans who are, however, not Muslims but Christians and animists. And the two groups have more in common, or can be made to feel more in common, as the common recipients of murderous treatment at the hands of Muslim Arabs.

What could be better, what more intelligent a use of American power -- and not very much power -- than a mission that, no one save the Arab League can deny, has great and obvious humanitarian goals? And at the same time, such a mission will be geopolitically astute, for it will clearly signal the American or even, possibly, the Western will to halt the steady advance of Islam down through East Africa. Egypt has only pretended to be serving as a brake on the behavior of the Sudanese government, just enough fakery to satisfy the ever-credulous American officials who cannot quite see Egypt as the malevolent force it is (it's much the same game with Egypt's supposed usefulness in putting pressure on the "Palestinians"). Egypt's Muslims, and other Arabs, are delighted that over the past half-century they have steadily islamized, largely through murder and deliberate starvation, so much of the Sudan, so that its demographic makeup has changed, and Egypt looks beyond Sudan to Ethiopia, the famous Christian kingdom, and its steady demographic changes in favor of local Muslims, and of course the coming Water Wars in East Africa, in which Egypt will try to prevent Ethiopia from diverting any of the headwaters of the Nile (a river to which Egypt lays virtual claim, from its debouchment at the delta in Alexandria, all the way back beyond the fifth, the sixth, the seventh cataracts, all the way to its source in the lakes, that old-fashioned African couple named Victoria and Albert Nyanza. Calling a halt to this, in such a way that cannot be convincingly opposed -- unless the Arabs claim a divine right to continue persecuting and murdering black Africans, which might be a little hard even for the BBC and The Guardian to swallow (though don't worry -- they'll do their unlevel best to make the Arab Muslim case) -- could be a significant measure.

It would drive Bin Laden, and Al-Qaradawi, and the Sheik al-Azhar, and all the Arabs mad. And it would rip the veil from Islam a little bit more, exposing it as merely a vehicle for Arab imperialism. And that will be useful among the Berbers in both North Africa and in France. It will be useful as far away as Indonesia. And in the Infidel lands, it can be a source of great discomfort among Muslim missionaries now carefully conducting their Da'wa, virtually unopposed, among black prisoners, and other minorities whom those Da'wa campaigners have targetted for their efforts.

Think of that "country Muslim from Norfolk, Virginia" Mahdi Bray. He'd have a little explaining to do, wouldn't he, if he chose to denounce an American effort to rescue black Africans from Arab Muslims in the Sudan?

Wouldn't he?

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Posted on 10/28/2007 4:11 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Sunday, 28 October 2007
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Sunday, 28 October 2007
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What a dope Ford was. But his dopiness reflects a more general dopiness.

The very idea that behavior that has been going on since time began should be called an addiction and treated therapeutically, when it just the usual behavior of a large number of men -- the womanizer, tombeur de femmes, donnaiolo, okhotnik do bab -- annoys.

Not an "addict" deserving of clinical treatment or sympathy, Clinton was unseemly in his behavior, and cruel in his indifference to his victims, always chosen -- perhaps that was the best he could do -- from those far beneath him in status, and whose lives, or at least some of them, have been permanently ruined by him. That is quite unlike the womanizing of Kennedy, who picked on women his own size, women who knew what they were doing.

Ford's "sex-addiction" represents the Triumph of the Lack of Will, the Triumph of the Therapeutic. Back to Deep Biology  and hormones, but that too is not an excuse, for not everyone behaves like Bill Clinton. Behavior is modified by civilization. Men -- and women -- learn to keep things in check, to make things more interesting, to slow things down, to make them part of an elaborate system. and, as well, for all kinds of reasons that make sense, to control their impulses, should they have them.

We need not mimic the cavemen. Instead of the club, or the palaeolithic come-on -- say, want to see my wall etchings? (see Lascaux, see Altamira), over time other ways have developed. In the Western world, romantic love. See Denis De Rougemont. Horace and Propertius. The troubadours. Cours d'Amour. Lancelot and Guinevere. Petrarch. Elizabethan sonnet-cycles. The 1930s tenor who rhymes "moon" and "June." The shy boy carrying the shy girl's books back from high school. The soda-fountain date, with the soda jerk watching Andy Rooney and Judy Garland. The tango, Argentinean, Polish, Russian. The Personals Columns: "Love long walks on the Vineyard.  Weekends in Umbria and Normandy. Bouley and Nobu. Pachelbel Canon by candlelight." All of it.

Clinton was more like a caveman, that's all. A smooth-talking and plausible caveman, and apparently a crowd-pleaser, but a primitive caveman nonetheless. No need to consult the Handbook of Psychiatric Disorders.  The language employed in, say, 1940, or 1840, or 1740, meets the case.

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Posted on 10/28/2007 12:01 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Sunday, 28 October 2007
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Jacques Barzun wrote clearly in his book, Darwin - Marx - Wagner - A Critique of Heritage, how the concept of biological evolution became melded to the concept of natural selection during the 19th Century. The conflict between evolution on the one hand, and evolution solely by the mechanism of natural selection on the other was clear during a time when philosophical depths were more widely plumbed. The ethical implications for the idea that man is nothing more than a biological machine created by mindless forces is abominable and thus the conflict keeps returning. Writes Barzun:

"...the error which dogs evolutionists, the error of believing that if you isolate the elements or label the beginnings of a process you have thereby grasped the process in its entirety. Because living things depend on certain chemico-physical things, therefore human beings are physico-chemical combinations and nothing more. This error is the so-called "genetic fallacy"...It is a common error and the very one, incidentally that both sides fell into when disputing over the origin of species...

Both should have known that becoming or growing, if is means anything, must mean a change not reducible to the stage before, much less to the original stage of the process. Something exists at the end which was not there at the beginning. An oak may come from an acorn, but it is not identical with an acorn, nor even with an acorn plus all that the oak has absorbed of moisture and food in the process of growing upwards. This problem of Becoming was the staple of discussion for the whole half century of Romantic thought before Darwin and Spencer. To the Germans particularly - Hegel, Schopenhauer, Schelling and Fichte - we owe the establishment of the basic evolutionary notion that Being is Becoming and that fixity is an abstraction or an illusion. Unfortunately, this view was linked in biology with the principle of vitalism, or life force, which though it inspired very fruitful researches into the nature of living cells, ultimately proved untenable. The difficulty is that if there is no superadded life force in living beings, seemingly nothing but matter is left. Remove the mysterious, "metaphysical" soul or controlling power and mere physical an chemical units remain behind. From these everything else must now be explained in "positive" terms."

In other words, the living cell differs from the dead cell in some fundamental qualitative way and the living cell cannot be reduced to its component parts without killing it - removing its metaphysical component. By removing the metaphysical component of philosophy, we likewise kill it, by destroying the source of its vitality.

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Posted on 10/28/2007 11:12 AM by Rebecca Bynum
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Sunday, 28 October 2007
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Mindful of the ukulele revival I mentioned here two weeks ago I should not have been surprised to see these in the window of a music shop while on holiday in Sussex.
Flying V ukuleles.
As Mary is not here this week to post any more George Formby I thought something a little different. However I believe that the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain do not use Flying Vs.  If they do they were not in evidence when they were filmed on Jools Holland at New Year 2005 with their version of Sounds Like Teen Spirit.
The Ukulele Orchestra are good and experienced musicians - but horror of horrors, the box to the left in the picture was nearly empty of kazoos . . . ! Aaaargh!
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Posted on 10/28/2007 11:01 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
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Sunday, 28 October 2007
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The Daily News:

Gerald Ford was disturbed by Bill Clinton's skirt-chasing ways - and thought he should check into a sex addiction clinic.

A new book on the late 38th President reveals he had strong views about the Clintons: He thought Hillary wore the pants and that Bill couldn't keep his zipped.

"He's sick - he's got an addiction. He needs treatment," Ford told Daily News Washington Bureau Chief Thomas M. DeFrank, author of "Write It When I'm Gone: Remarkable Off-the-Record Conversations with Gerald R. Ford."

And Ford had this to say about Hillary:

"She's stronger and tougher than he is," he said. "When she takes a point you're gonna have to be damn sure you're well informed because she won't compromise as quickly or as easily as he.

"She's very bright. She's strong, and I think he defers to her. When she gets her dander up, she ain't gonna roll over."

And he had no doubts about her ambitions. "Hillary is gonna be on the ticket in '04 or '08, one or the other, you can write that down," he said in 2002.

Yet he didn't think she would win - "I don't think the country is ready for a lady President," he said - and he didn't live long enough to find out if he was right.

The Clintons, through spokesman Howard Wolfson, declined to comment about the book.

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Posted on 10/28/2007 10:47 AM by Rebecca Bynum
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Sunday, 28 October 2007
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Our thanks to Alan who sends in this very clever piece of editing: 100 Movies, 100 Quotes, 100 Numbers
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Posted on 10/28/2007 10:04 AM by Rebecca Bynum
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Sunday, 28 October 2007
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"It all sounds so simple. A couple of thousand Americans to do what several Million Africans seem unwilling to do. Like Kristof won't turn on the Forces we send the minute they kill somebody." --from a reader responding to this posting

The spectacle of American soldiers protecting black Africans from murderous Arabs -- how would Kristof attack that? On what basis, given the twenty years of mass murder of Christians and animists in the south, and now four or five years of uninterrupted killings by the government-sponsored Janjaweed in Darfur, and after many months in which troops from the African Union (a few thousand, not "millions") have proved incapable of providing such protection, would all the kristofs in the world be able to protest? What could Islam-appeasing bureaucrats at the E.U. do, without being laughed at? Or the U.N., in solemn conclave assembled, where Muslim Arabs would, in their attempts to make the Sudan, and East Africa, and All of Africa, Safe for Arab Islam, finally behave in such a manner that everyone, including the most advanced non-Arab Muslims, would begin to achieve a new understanding of Islam. And that understanding, which the fulminating Amr Moussa, foaming at the mouth at a meeting of the Arab League, would not be able to prevent, would be this:

Islam, despite its universalist claims, arises out of the Arab need for a vehicle for Arab imperialism -- linguistic, cultural, economic, and political. Islam in fact is the most successful, and complete form of imperialism, one that causes those conquered to forget their own histories, their own identities, languages, cultures, and as much as possible, to ape the manners and customs of seventh-century Arabs. It is the Arabs who are the "best of peoples" for Allah revealed the Qur'an to them, and in their language. Muslims everywhere must read (and memorize as much as possible) the Qur'an in Arabic; only in the last century did Ataturk break that tradition by commissioning a Turkish Qur'an, and still the "real" Qur'an is that which remains untranslated, in the Arabic (or Arabic with a substratum of Aramaic, if Christoph Luxenberg's arguments are to be accepted).

Along with support for the Kurds, and for Berbers in their attempts to obtain decent treatment from their Arab masters in North Africa, American support should go to the non-Muslims and non-Arab Muslims of Sudan.

Who will object to using American power to rescue from death and destruction the black Africans of Darfur and the southern Sudan? Hillary Clinton? Barack Obama?

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Posted on 10/28/2007 9:16 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Sunday, 28 October 2007
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Sunday, 28 October 2007
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The Shi'ite government of Iraq is refusing to arm the Sunnis, not as police, nor under any other circumstances. This is a problem for America's plan for creating a national unity government. So the Americans are using American taxpayer money to train and equip the Sunnis who are more than happy to take the weapons and anything else they can get. Both sides are preparing for the day the Americans leave.

New Duranty: HABBANIYA, Iraq — The American military’s push to organize Sunni Arabs into local neighborhood watch groups has been one of the United States’ most important initiatives in Iraq — so much so that President Bush flew to Anbar Province in September to highlight growing alliances with Sunni tribal leaders.

But now that the Americans are trying to institutionalize the arrangement by training the Sunnis to become police officers, the effort has been hampered by halfhearted support and occasionally outright resistance from a Shiite-dominated national government that is still inclined to see the Sunnis as a once and future threat.

It was the American military that pressed to open the new Habbaniya Police Training Center where Sunni tribesmen and former insurgents are to be trained to serve as police officers in Anbar. And it was the Americans who provided the uniforms, food, new classrooms and equipment for the police recruits...

To augment its ability to train police and supplement the training at the Baghdad police academy, the Iraqi government has decided to build two new police academies. They are to be located in the southern city of Basra and the northern town of Mosul.

That is of little help to the Sunnis in Anbar. So the Americans pushed this summer to establish a police academy at a former Anbar air base that the British established at Habbaniya during their colonial occupation. At a cost of just over $10 million, the Americans financed the complex and paid for the international police advisers, who are mostly Americans. The base, which is situated between Falluja and Ramadi, is also used for training the Iraqi Army and still features the sturdy structures erected during the British occupation, as well as a British cemetery.

Brig. Gen. Khalid Adulami, the dean of the Habbaniya academy and a former officer in the Republican Guard during the days of Saddam Hussein’s rule, said many of the prospective recruits were picked by Sheik Abdul Sattar Buzaigh al-Rishawi, the leader of the Sunni tribal movement in Anbar who was assassinated in September. The academy will soon graduate its second class of recruits, more than 700, and plans to expand its enrollment....

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Posted on 10/28/2007 8:37 AM by Rebecca Bynum
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Sunday, 28 October 2007
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Ex CIA agent Bruce Tefft is interviewed at Frontpage where he refutes Jamie Glazov's use the the word Islamo-fascism and Pipes' optimistic assertions. Here is some of that exchange:

Tefft: Like Nazism, Islam is an ideology one chooses to adhere to. Were there "good" or "moderate" Nazis? If not, then no one can claim that there are good or moderate Muslims as they are voluntarily subscribing to an ideology that advocates murder, torture and jihad and does not permit its follower to cherry-pick which parts they believe in. The requirement to accept the Koran as the literal word of God also carries with it the obligation to accept it all. And as you say, the Koran instructs all Muslims to wage war against non-Muslims and all schools of Islamic thought instruct the subjugation of the non-Muslim world through jihad. Therefore, I do not believe it wise to attempt to create artificial distinctions between Muslims that don't really as far as their attitudes towards non-Muslims is concerned.

As the prime minister of Turkey recently said: There is no radical nor moderate Islam. That is an insult to Muslims. There is only Islam.

We may wish to give Muslims the benefit of doubt, due to our humanistic and liberalized Western way of thinking. But treating the enemy as we wish they were, than as they are, will only lead to our ultimate defeat....

Glazov: ...there is a verse in the Qur’an (2:256) which states: "There is no compulsion in religion." As Daniel Pipes has pointed out, this verse, though very complicated in the many interpretations surrounding it, can serve as a foundation to a more enlightened Islam. Pipes profoundly notes that Islam can be what its believers make it, they “can decide afresh what jihad signifies, what rights women have, what role government should play, what forms of interest on money should be banned, plus much else.” And we have a big stake in trying to influence them in this matter.

Tefft: I do not believe that there will be a Muslim Martin Luther reforming Islam. In truth, bin Laden, the Iranian Ayatollahs and the Saudi Wahabbis are the 'reformers' who are bringing Islam back to its original "pure" state. I suspect that anyone wishing to democratize and modernize Islam will have to re-write the Koran, leaving out 26 (of the 114) Chapters, or suras, dealing with holy war, fighting Islam's enemies, chopping their heads off, and etc. Of course then it would no longer be Islam -- perhaps a "Reformed Islam", such as Reform Judaism, or a Muslim Lutheranism.

But I'm an ex-spy, not a theologian -- from the psy-war aspect, the best thing the West can do in this war with Islam is to publicize and support morally and monetarily the apostates and ex-Muslims. They know the evils of Islam better than any outsider...

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Posted on 10/28/2007 8:00 AM by Rebecca Bynum
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Sunday, 28 October 2007
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Having been away in (intermittently) sunny Sussex all week I couldn’t post this at the time and have been reminded of it by Carole Malone’s comments in this morning’s Sunday Mirror. First from The Telegraph on Wednesday.
A veteran of the Afghan conflict was refused service in a petrol station because he was wearing his Army uniform.
The officer (a captain with the 16 Air Assault Brigade) claims an Asian store attendant told him to change his clothes before he could buy beer.
Witnesses claimed the attendant, at the Wisley South Connect station on the A3 near Guildford, Surrey, was anti-war and prejudiced against soldiers.
A BP spokesman insisted the attendant was "over-zealous" and had simply "misunderstood" licensing laws meaning he cannot sell alcohol to uniformed policemen.
He added that staff at the site have been retrained and said: "We have given our sincere apologies to the customer. This was not in any way a racist incident."
Carole Malone (keep scrolling down through her views on Sharon Osbourne and Sienna Miller) says:-
Weasel Of The Week award must go to the gutless executives at BP Connect who were too terrified to sack an Asian worker for refusing to sell beer to a British soldier because he was in uniform.
And instead of kicking this man out on his ass the PC lackeys at BP have instead issued a grovelling apology and are trying to pretend it wasn't because of the Asian man's religion or his anti-war views but simply because he'd misunderstood the licensing laws.
What? So this idiot worker actually believes there's a clause in BP's rulebook that says he can't serve British Army officers in uniform? Because if he does he ought to be sacked anyway for being so damned stupid.
And I'm sorry, if this had been a white Christian BP worker telling a woman wearing a burka or a man wearing a dhoti or a turban that he couldn't be served (with anything) until they went home and changed, the worker would have been sacked quicker than you could say "industrial tribunal" and charged with racism to boot.
I'm sorry, racism isn't a one-way street. There were witnesses to this incident and they are certain it had nothing to do with a misinterpretation of the licensing laws and everything to do with this worker's anti-war views. And if white Christians have to afford other religions respect, then they have to respect ours. And people who don't follow those rules need to be dealt with.
Bp are obviously terrified to sack this man for fear of a lawsuit. Well, they're cowards and because of it this Asian has got away with insulting one of our heroes. Which is why he will do it again. As will other people like him because they know that in this skew-whiff, politically-correct world that is now Britain they will always win.
And come the next election, Gordon Brown shouldn't be surprised when the contemptible BNP snatch 20 per cent of the vote. And whatever gains they make it won't be because the people of this country are racist but because they want fairness for everyone in our society - white and black, Christian and Muslim. No preferences. No special treatment. 
The reports call this cashier an "Asian" although the Army Families Federation spokewoman did refer to Muslims when talking to The Sun newspaper. I cannot imagine a Hindu or Sikh taking that attitude so I think thr AFF lady is correct.
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Posted on 10/28/2007 5:13 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
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Sunday, 28 October 2007
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A HARD core of 20 Islamic extremists with links to foreign terror groups is operating north of the Border and poses a "significant" risk to public safety, Scotland on Sunday can reveal.
Senior intelligence insiders have revealed the suspects - many of them born and brought up in Scotland - pose a similar threat to that of Mohammed Atif Siddique, the Scottish Asian who was last week given an eight-year prison sentence for terrorist offences. Which sentence was condemned by worshippers at Edinburgh's central mosque as “too severe”. Telegraph report on the Judge’s comments here.
Scotland on Sunday can also reveal that concern at the terror threat is now so great that up to 1,000 Scottish Asians will be placed under surveillance in coming months because they associate with known radicals.
Special Branch, backed by MI5 officers, will carry out checks on the individuals looking for evidence of radicalisation such as changes in clothing and increased mosque attendance.
Security sources deny targeting the Asian community and say the move is essential to prevent terrorist outrages and curb the growth of extremism. But community leaders and civil rights experts last night warned it could cause a backlash and reduce cooperation.
Checks will include regular assessments of how they act within the wider community, what they wear, whether they are becoming more religious or becoming involved in leafleting or petty crime, which could be helping to raise funds for an illegal group.
Anyone who "ticks all the boxes" will be passed on for more intense scrutiny by the security services.
Human rights lawyer Amar Anwar, who represents Siddique, said the policy risked isolating a whole community. "To fight terrorism, intelligence from the community is essential but what they are talking about here is racial profiling. If MI5 adopts this approach then they may as well round up half the Muslim community because they are becoming more religious and more politicised."  To which I answer that if necessary we should, because “intelligence from the community” has been slow a coming.
Arun Kundnani, of the Institute for Race Relations, echoed that view. He said: "There are lots of cases of British Asians being arrested for wearing Islamic clothing or growing a beard, but the number of people who end up being convicted for terror offences is miniscule. It just creates the impression that the state is targeting a community and a religion and that cannot be helpful."  
But Paul Martin, Labour MSP for Glasgow Springburn, welcomed the move, saying it was vital to prevent another terrorist outrage.
"If the security services have a profile or methods of profiling then they should use them. We are all very good with 20/20 vision after an event but what I would like to see is us having a bit better vision beforehand."
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Posted on 10/28/2007 3:36 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
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Saturday, 27 October 2007
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From The Telegraph (with thanks to Alan):

Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip are using Google Earth to select targets in Israel for rocket attacks.

Google Earth, the internet site which provides detailed satellite maps of the world, has come under fire in the past for allegedly aiding Islamic militants.

A failed September 2006 attack on oil facilities in Yemen was reportedly planned with its use.

After The Daily Telegraph revealed in January that Iraqi insurgents were using Google Earth to attack British bases in Basra, the company took the rare step of replacing the images of military positions there with others taken before the war.

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Posted on 10/27/2007 1:34 PM by Rebecca Bynum
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Saturday, 27 October 2007
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The revelations about Rice just keep getting worse. I wrote a rather less-than-laudatory article on her in August of 2005 in which I placed the Iraq folly on her side of the ledger. Now, we may possibly have to add another foolish negotiation between Israel and the murderous Jihadis formally known as the Palestinian Authority, or, the Fatah wing of the lesser Jihad. From the Jerusalem Post (hat tip: VFR):

US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has sought the advice of former US presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton ahead of a planned Middle East peace parley scheduled to take place in Annapolis, Maryland, in November or December.

State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said Saturday that Rice met with Carter this week. The two reportedly discussed the peace talks Carter brokered between Israel and Egypt in the late 1970s. The White House called the meeting with Carter positive and "to the point."

Rice has also spoken with Clinton, who led the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians in the 1990s. "[Secretary of State] Rice is trying to learn from others what can be done and how their experience can be adapted to today's situation," McCormack said, adding that Rice placed great emphasis on "learning from the past."

The State Department also reported that Rice has recently conferred with former UN Middle East envoy Dennis Ross, as well as her predecessors James Baker, Henry Kissinger, and Madeline Albright.

Rice has stated that she intends to devote the rest of the 14 months remaining in her term to establishing an independent Palestinian state while ensuring Israel's security.

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Posted on 10/27/2007 1:11 PM by Rebecca Bynum
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Saturday, 27 October 2007
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[A "recent graduate"] of a madrassa, or religious school, in Pakistan, and when he returned to his home in Uruzgan province over the weekend announced that he planned to carry out a suicide attack, Interior Ministry spokesman Zemeri Bashary said.

Surviving family members told police that the suicide vest exploded during a struggle between the mother and her son, said Juma Gul Himat, Uruzgan's police chief. The man's brother and two sisters were also killed.  --from this news item

"recent graduate..."

He was only trying to follow in the path of Islam's Permanent Commencement Speaker, Muhammad, uswa hasana, al-insan al-kamil -- to walk not in the ways of the Lord but rather, fi sabil Allah, to engage in Jihad.

And the temporary commencement speaker no doubt told the eager young graduates that they should "give something back" -- but didn't mean it in the way those American speakers, with their treacle about challenges and change and compassion and commitment, always do.

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Posted on 10/27/2007 12:58 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Saturday, 27 October 2007
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... at the Weekly Standard, here.  Not to be missed — hits all the right notes.

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Posted on 10/27/2007 9:30 AM by Andy McCarthy
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Saturday, 27 October 2007
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This was such a stupid thing to do — mindboggling.

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Posted on 10/27/2007 9:29 AM by Andy McCarthy
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Saturday, 27 October 2007
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...The first infers poverty, while the last infers that you dislike your entertainment.”

This advice — and much besides — might usefully be presented to members of the PlayStation generation, as they wolf down microwaved meals in front of EastEnders.  But it was actually offered to 18th century youths, in a rare book uncovered by an auctioneer in Derby.

This was in last week’s Telegraph and I thought it might keep for later.

The Honours of the Table, written in 1791 by the Rev John Trusler, lays down a daunting list of customs and conventions.


He warns that “to eat soup with your nose in the plate is vulgar”, since it has “the appearance of being used to hard work”.  There is nothing wrong with hard work, but that is the remnant of the Victorian and/or Protestant work ethic still strong in me.


He tells of a child (“ill-bred”, he suggests) who committed the sin of sniffing a piece of meat on their fork.  This made Trusler “so angry that I could have kicked him from the table”.


Trusler, a prolific author of the time whose other works included gardening tips and commentaries on Hogarth engravings, goes on to chide young women who might be eyeing a second helping. Eating too much, he warns, is “indelicate in a lady, for her character should be divine”.  That puts me in my place!


This sounds like the beginnings of the U and NonU practices which still plague and divide us. I have heard of some snobby ladies who look down on others for being, as I am, MIF, meaning milk in first.  When pouring a cup of tea from the pot I put the milk in the cup first, all my family do and to me it doesn’t taste quite right otherwise. This indicates working class origins because that method cools the tea quicker, the workers only having a quick tea break in which to down the cup. Our mistresses had all afternoon to sip genteelly. My grandmothers, in the days of cup and saucer and before the ubiquitous mug would drink their tea from the saucer which cooled it really quickly, and cooler than my dad and I liked.  

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Posted on 10/27/2007 8:52 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
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Saturday, 27 October 2007
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Saturday, 27 October 2007
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Even though we mock the New York Times for its poor coverage of Islam, their coverage of the conditions on the ground in Iraq is very good. The following was taken from a long story by Michael R, Gordon, an embedded reported with Lt Col. Mark Odom's battalion in the Sunni areas. Colonel Odom is the son of Lt. General William E.Odom who has been very critical of the war However, he has also made the unfortunate comment that we could get Iran to give up its nukes by forcing Israel to give up hers.

By the beginning of last month, the alliance had been rebuilt, and it was time to resume the battle for Hawr Rajab. On Aug. 1, Ali led 29 fighters to Checkpoint 20 around midnight. The fighters were fingerprinted, and retina scans were taken so the biometric information could be entered into an intelligence database. To identify them as “friendly,” the soldiers gave them numbered orange reflector belts, the kind used by traffic crossing guards. Ali [Sheik Ali Majid al-Dulaimi, allied with the US forces], Mahir and [Lt. Col. Mark ] Odom huddled inside a nearby building to discuss the tactical situation in the town, while an American soldier and a newly minted concerned citizen exchanged past military experiences in a Tarzan-like amalgam of English and Arabic.

On the morning of Aug. 4, the Americans were to drive downtown. The day before, Klascius sketched out the plan. Two platoons, including combat engineers with heavily armored mine-detection vehicles, would clear the road to the town. Then two more platoons would head to the town square with shipments of food and a psychological operations unit. Fliers would be distributed urging the people to take back their community from the Al Qaeda militants by cooperating with the American-backed sheiks. The captain added in an offhand manner that every mounted operation the troop had conducted had encountered enemy fire. Ali’s men were to let the Americans know if I.E.D.’s had been seeded along the route, and Mahir’s men were to alert them if Al Qaeda fighters were active in the town.

We pulled out from Forward Operating Base Falcon at 5 a.m. and arrived at Checkpoint 20 only to see that Odom was already there. Ali and a couple of his men were there as well, prepared to make a triumphant entry. While the colonel and I waited for the “route clearance” team to sweep the road of I.E.D.’s, a frown crossed his face. The radio traffic reported that the operation had had its first casualty. Specialist Jose Collazo was driving a Husky mine-detecting vehicle — he had already found one I.E.D. that day — when he hit a buried bomb. The driver’s cab was thrown 50 feet. Collazo had an open head wound and had been rushed back to a sand lot in front of Checkpoint 20 to await a medevac helicopter.

The militants had resorted to the same sort of chemistry that Timothy McVeigh used in the Oklahoma City bombing. Odom explained that they had combined fertilizer and nitric acid, boiled the concoction and then extracted a white explosive substance that was laid out to dry. The explosive was very powerful, and the American military had already given the weapon a name: HME, for “homemade explosive.”

The fact that there was only one route into town must have simplified the enemy’s task. But soon word came that the ordnance team had cleared the route. The soldiers lumbered into the armored Humvees, wearing their standard kit: Kevlar helmet, body armor, ballistic glasses and Nomex gloves to protect against fire. Ali, who was wearing a track suit with “England” emblazoned across the front, had no protective gear as he settled into the cab of the lightly armored truck carrying the food. Several Iraqi soldiers also made the trip.

With the wind whipping the sand, the helicopters were grounded again. We would not have Apache gunships above us, and any medical evacuation would need to occur by ground. As we headed to town, I glanced up at our gunner and saw he was wearing a small, black memorial bracelet for one of the soldiers killed in the April suicide bombing at Patrol Base Dog. It was one way soldiers have been honoring their fallen comrades and is increasingly common. Klascius observed that the stores were shuttered. That was a bad sign. The residents tended to clear out when trouble was expected.

After we reached the town center, the Humvees and the food truck formed a protective circle. The soldiers jumped down and began scanning the streets for militants. Ali got on a loudspeaker to urge the residents to come get the food. A few residents nervously approached. A soldier waved a metal detector over them to check for bombs after they entered the perimeter. But the citizens did not seem threatening, and the soldiers were preoccupied with the threat of snipers. The soldiers handed out several bags of rice, some cans of tomato paste and powdered milk.

As I was scribbling some notes, there was a boom in the distance. Klascius ran over to me and instructed me to get back in the Humvee. “The colonel’s been hit,” he said.

We drove back toward Checkpoint 20 and came upon a terrible sight. The twisted wreck of a Humvee was in the middle of the road. Combat medics were hovering over two soldiers lying in the grass. One was the turret gunner. The other was Odom, whose face was swathed in bandages. The wounded soldiers were lifted by stretcher into waiting Humvees and driven back.

Another Humvee, meanwhile, drove down from Checkpoint 20 to guard our flank. Suddenly there was a massive blast. Much of that Humvee disintegrated into fragments that rained down around us. Nobody could survive such a blast. The radio traffic reported three killed in action.

We were trapped on a “Tier 1 I.E.D. site”— a stretch of road chockablock with buried bombs — with no air cover. There was no heading back to town: the soldiers who had stayed there had been attacked by small arms, and two had been wounded. They would need to be evacuated as well. Yet heading back to Checkpoint 20 was still problematic. A Humvee started to make its way, only to set off another bomb. This blast, at least, was not catastrophic. The front end of the vehicle had been blown off, but there were no casualties.

As we sat in the captain’s Humvee and waited to make our return on the road, Ben Lowy, an experienced combat photographer, asked me for a pen and wrote his blood type on each of his Nomex gloves. With no Apaches on call, the soldiers called in a “show of force” mission. A jet flew by and bombed an empty field to show the adversary the Americans could call in an air strike if necessary. It was not clear if the enemy was still around to absorb this message — or if he would care.

We had no choice but to leave. A few vehicles made their way back, and we followed. After driving a short stretch, our vehicle stopped by the side of the road, and Captain Klascius walked back to supervise the scene. There were vehicles to recover and the grim business of collecting human remains. Several soldiers took black bags out of the Humvees and began to walk the fields in search of body parts. The road was a tableau of destruction. There were a soldier’s soft cap, a can of chewing tobacco, part of a notebook and the twisted end of a gun.

“I need another body bag,” a soldier called out.

A trooper asked if he had found another body.

“Don’t know,” the first soldier replied.

The three Iraqi soldiers who came with the mission — cigarettes in their mouths, cradling their weapons — pointed out some of the remains to the American soldiers but refrained from picking up the pieces. Ali sat in the front cab of the food truck, staring straight ahead.

As the soldiers went about their task, Klascius raised his weapon and peered through the scope at two men peering at our position from the roof of a building in the distance. “Best 1,200 bucks I ever spent,” he muttered. Since his troops had been supplied with only 10 high-powered scopes, he had bought his own. Klascius got on the radio and reported that the stricken convoy was being watched. The Americans needed to get back before they were attacked again.

When we got back to Checkpoint 20, the outpost was silent. The soldiers had lost three of their comrades. Another eight had been wounded. The enemy had suffered no casualties. Food had been given out to 40 residents...

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Posted on 10/27/2007 7:44 AM by Rebecca Bynum
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Saturday, 27 October 2007
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Joel Fishman explores the fatuous self-absorption of our Secretary of State at the Conservative Voice (hat tip: VFR):

Last week in Jerusalem, U.S. Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, articulated some of her personal views which ultimately found their way into the press. For Dr. Rice the struggle of the Palestinians is analogous to that of the Afro-Americans for civil rights and she identifies with the Palestinians. She recalled what it meant to travel in segregated buses as a little girl in Alabama. She also compared the head of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, to Reverend Martin Luther King, because, in her mind, both were committed to peace. According to reporter Aluf Benn, Rice views Abbas as committed to the struggle for Palestinian independence and, like Martin Luther King, opposed to terror and violence (Haaretz, October 16, 2007). Independently, David Bedein reported Rice's statements in The Bulletin (Philadelphia, October 17, 2007).

While this juxtaposition of the Afro-American campaign for civil rights and the Palestinian (armed) struggle seems strange, by using methods of political analysis it is possible to appreciate the significance of this type of information. Condoleezza Rice has given us the "Attitudinal Prism" of her decision-making process. Political scientists Gabriel Almond and G. Bingham Powell defined the term and explained its importance: "Men choose among alternative paths in accordance with their perception of the world in which they must act. The lens through which that setting is filtered may ... be called the Attitudinal Prism. The content of that which they perceive is the Image. Together these constitute the Psychological Environment , the framework of choice, decision, and action. In foreign policy, as in all politics, the prism is shaped by three interacting variables-political culture, historical legacy, and the personality traits of the decision-makers."

It is clear that Rice personally considers that the Palestinians have a strong moral case and that Israel does not. Furthermore, she bases her views on her personal experience, drawing upon an analogy from the memories of her own childhood, particularly her identification with the Afro-American struggle for civil rights. According to Almond and Powell's analytical criteria, such attitudes are critically important because they become part of the decision-making process...

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Posted on 10/27/2007 6:47 AM by Rebecca Bynum
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