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January 2006
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March 2006

Who Wants It More?

Brian Tiemann on the Cartoon Jihad.

We're responding to this situation in the Western way to which we've become so accustomed that it sustains the existence of an entire overclass of lawyers: firing newspaper editors, proposing legislation, drafting formal apologies, holding committee meetings, debating endlessly over legal precedent and the philosophy of the rule of law. What we don't do is torch embassies or march by the thousands in city streets, except when the issue is our own involvement in something so primitive and degrading to our civilized values as "war". For the most part, we'll do anything and everything to avoid conflict, up to and including changing everything about ourselves to suit the complainants. But the complainants in this case want exactly what we're all too willing to give away: our identity, our values, and our claim on the future of civilization.

Amazing how a few images--and the reactions to them--illuminate so much about two opposing sides.

Link via Cold Fury.


Pathetic Hyperventilation

Mark Steyn on the MSM and the Cheney metal peppering incident:

... even when they've got the bones of a case, you can always rely on the Democrats and the media to over-react and, in so doing, come across as a lot of prigs. Already, NBC's David Gregory, the George Clooney of the press corps, has been huffin' an' a-puffin' all over the TV demanding answers - multiple answers - about why he had to wait 18 hours to hear about the accident. Who cares? A "sinister cover-up" has to boil down to more than not giving David Gregory a press release. And, given that the media's spent the last two weeks telling the public why they don't need to see these Danish cartoons, it's hard to take them seriously as sudden converts to the public's right to know every detail, if only when it comes to minor hunting accidents.

True.


What Americans Think

John Hawkins dissects a Gallup poll. I think that many Americans incorrectly assume that a full-scale invasion is the option when an attack on Iran is mentioned. It would be interesting to see a poll which asked for American opinion on various offensive options against Iran such as bombing strikes from Iraq and the carriers, special forces, SLBM attacks, ICBM stikes etc.

I would bet that the Bush Administration will have a few workable options as long as the cost in blood is not high. That, I think, is at the core of such low poll numbers. I strongly disagree with these Americans. I would rather not wait for a smoking gun (read: a smoking city).


Sony Makes Amends

Engadget:

Sometimes the hardest words to say are "I'm sorry," followed closely by "please allow us to upgrade your TV's firmware." Sony is now in the position to utter both of those phrases, thanks to a curious error in their LCD and rear-projection sets that causes the TV to either stop turning off or stop turning on after 1200 hours of operation.

Oops.


Kal-El Returns

DVD IGN:

Expectations for a superhero film have perhaps never been higher than for Superman Returns. Singer explained his strategy for meeting those expectations: "Primarily just try and make a good film."

That's a good way to cope with the monumental pressure. I'm definitely going to watch the movie on the big screen.


Mark It Up

I was a little confused when I looked at the photo-shopped image but laughed out loud once I read the last paragraph in the post.

That photo reminded me of various imported magazines in Saudi Arabia. You see, every photo of a scantily clad woman in such magazines was blacked out by a marker. Often, such harlots would be present in different ads throughout a magazine and on many an occasion the text on the next page and the flip side of the marked page would become illegible because of the bleeding.

It was thus very easy to spot the "marked jobs". To me, it was simply an insane waste of money: Hiring tens, hundreds, or thousands of Arab men whose job description was to put magic burqas on women.

What a truly messed up society Arabia is.


The Hinge Turns

Mayor of Tall 'Afar, Iraq writes a letter for the men and women of the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment and their families.

The leaders of this Regiment; COL McMaster, COL Armstrong, LTC Hickey, LTC Gibson, and LTC Reilly embody courage, strength, vision and wisdom. Officers and soldiers alike bristle with the confidence and character of knights in a bygone era. The mission they have accomplished, by means of a unique military operation, stands among the finest military feats to date in Operation Iraqi Freedom, and truly deserves to be studied in military science. This military operation was clean, with little collateral damage, despite the ferocity of the enemy. With the skill and precision of surgeons they dealt with the terrorist cancers in the city without causing unnecessary damage.

God bless this brave Regiment; God bless the families who dedicated these brave men and women. From the bottom of our hearts we thank the families. They have given us something we will never forget. To the families of those who have given their holy blood for our land, we all bow to you in reverence and to the souls of your loved ones. Their sacrifice was not in vain.

Indeed.

Link via LFG.


The Dementia of Gore

It must have hit him in the gut to know that even after winning most of the votes in the US, he still wouldn't be president. He tried his best with the most prosperous economy as his record--and still lost.

Since then, he has spewed increasingly potent rhetorical venom. But now, he has accomplished a most incendiary feat: He trashed his own government, and by extension his countrymen, in the land which produced most of the 9/11 hijackers.

Gore talks of "terrible abuses" of Arabs in the US while standing among those who celebrated and distributed sweets after 9/11. Can you imagine a former vice president standing in the USSR in the late 1940s and speaking of the terrible treatment of Russians in the US while the Soviet regime filled the Gulags?

Gore speaks of Arabs being "held in conditions that were just unforgivable" in a land where Third Country Nationals (TCNs) are treated as slaves; women are the property of their guardian: a father, a brother or a husband; alcohol possession is met with a public beheading; stealing leaves one with only one hand; and the Religious Police -- the Mutaween -- enforce the backward and barbaric Sharia laws.

The Saudi regime is the very nerve center of what we fight. Yet, Al Gore consoles them while spitting at his own government. In a party filled with opportunistic, unprincipled and defeatist politicians, Al Gore has earned the distinction of being the most despicable of them all.


Need for Strength

James C. Bennett:

Anglosphere values and the good things that came from trying to live up to them did not come from the Good Values Fairy. They are not something that come in our DNA. Rather, they came from centuries of finding out all the bad things that come from ignoring or contravening them. Freedom of speech and freedom of conscience came from absorbing the lessons of the decades of religious and political turmoil following the Reformation, the English Civil War, and the Revolution of 1688. The English and American Bills of Rights were the fruits of these lessons. But rights are a "use it or lose it" sort of phenomenon. Are we in danger of losing them?

Yes, we are. For example, Canada is certainly not holding up. This time it was only a few cartoons. Next time, it'll be the banning of "offensive" words, articles and speeches.


The Meaning of Respect

Umar Lee on the dreaded cartoons:

What I am protested as a Muslims is two things; the Western imperialistic mindset towards the Muslim World and the double-standard that exists in the West when it comes to political correctness. In the West there is the Hitleristic notion that all things Western are good and pure and for those who do not adhere to Western norms are by definition uncivilized. Whether this attitude comes across in the form of bombs from Bush or pompous statements from Europe the message is the same; we are the West and you job in the Muslim World is to hear and to obey.

Oddly, I seem to notice mostly the opposite. The current majority view in the West is that we should be multicultural--instead of behaving as cultural chauvinists, we should adopt and integrate other cultures into our own. In addition, American foreign policy towards the Muslim world gets trashed in practically every Western nation and all the blue states.

A Danish newspaper merely printed a few cartoons, nothing more. It is the Muslims who are telling the West to hear and obey them.

If there is going to be a dialogue of civilizations, and not a clash of civilizations, then there most be mutual respect, and if there is no respect then there is no conversation.

One cannot have a clash of civilizations when only one side has a civilization to speak of. In any case, the respect part would be more convincing if you didn't refer to the entire West as Hitleristic or said "Masha’Allah"* when the embassies were torched.

* See explanation here and its proper use.


Some Brothers are More Equal

Baron Bodissey:

Arabs hold African blacks in low esteem, even if they are Muslim; embracing Islam does not make a black equal to his Arab betters. For centuries they have been brutalized and enslaved by Arab Muslims. So a black African Jew must be the lowest of the low — a Zionist and racial inferior, all rolled into one.

Bodissey has been doing his homework.

On racism, here's my experience from Saudi Arabia.


The Comatose West

Belmont Club:

... the question is why it [the Iranian regime] should negotiate at all since nothing is to be gained by negotiations. Iran is free to advance in whatever direction it wishes without opposition. Of what use are negotiations? To provide a forum to make further concessions of course. What else should the West concede? Oh wait, I had forgotten that it is not only important to surrender, but to surrender cravenly. During the Clinton Administration, it was sophisticated policy to pre-emptively hand over the keys to the fortress even before you were asked to. In that distant era the European Union was viewed as as inevitable Wave of the Future, the successor Superpower. Not, as it turned out, the footman in chief to the imams.

Now, every regime in the world knows how to play this rigged game. Even after Iran laid out its support for a second Holocaust, the West still continues to grovel. There is simply zero deterrence for Iran.


"Islamic Republic of Canada"

The Guardian:

The controversial cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad that have incited worldwide violent protests are now causing a stir at the University of Prince Edward Island.

The student newspaper, The UPEI Cadre, chose to run the cartoons in its most recent edition fresh off the press. UPEI moved quickly Wednesday to stop the paper from being distributed on campus.

“When we realized that they were in circulation, we acted to round up the copies that were in circulation,’’ said UPEI president Wade MacLauchlan.

“We see it as a reckless invitation to public disorder and humiliation.’’

That last statement logically applies to plain text as well. If someone printed an article from, let's say, Faith Freedom International, then would Mr. MacLauchlan act as a tyrant and seize the newspapers?

A picture is worth a thousand words...what if someone printed them?

Link via Dhimmi Watch; that's where I got the title of the post.


More Anti-Cartoon Folly

Mian Ijaz Ul Hassan on the Muhammed cartoons:

When the Taliban destroyed the two Buddha statues at Bamiyan, it was a matter of shame for most Muslims. [Riiight] In the same vein I presume denigration of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) through a cartoon must have shamed the Christian world. What the spoilt brats who have published the cartoons in the name of freedom of the press need is a good spanking on their sensitive, democratic hinds. For democracy Bush invades Iraq; for freedom these editors inflame the Muslim world. Hasn’t enough blood been spilt yet?

Again, we see President Bush get the blame for Islamist terror attacks. In addition, the cartoonists get the blame for all the mayhem and murder caused by Muslims. You see Muslims always react when they kill since they're always the innocent victims. Damn you Danish cartoonists!

They have hurt the entire Muslim world. The morons now plead that publishing the cartoon was “at the very core of [their] culture” and that it was part of their “journalistic right of freedom of expression”. I am afraid freedom cannot be granted to monkeys-with-a-matchbox who do not comprehend the virtues, meaning and purpose of freedom. It is tragic that those who pay mere lip service to the holocaust can get away with murder in the name of freedom and democracy. The terrible irony is that those reacting to this gross provocation would be branded and targeted as terrorists.

Oh, I get it: The Westerners should only be free to perform activities that don't hurt the feelings of Muslims and leads some to commit arson and instill terror. Mr. Hassan is, let's put it diplomatically, slightly confused about the true meaning of freedom. To be pro-freedom is to tolerate words and acts that one finds repugnant (which includes drawings of all shapes and manners).

To permit only the speech and acts that one finds halaal is, of all things, not being in favor of freedom.


MOMMY!

A conversation at the NY Times:

Editor A: What to do…this story is HUGE, and by any ethical journalistic standard, we should be showing our readers what the fuss is about. We’d do it if the cartoons were about Christians, or Jews, of Buddhists…but…but…MOMMY! I scared!

Editor B: I’ve got it! Let’s re-print the picture of Chris Ofili’s Virgin Mary! The one with the elephant dung, that’s the ticket! We’ll illustrate the POINT of the riots, without actually risking the wrath of anyone.

The Anchoress has a lot more.

Link via Lorie Byrd.


The Scope of Islamists

Athena provides commentary on the planned attack by Al Qaeda in 2002:

Khalid Sheikh Muhammad, who masterminded the 9/11 attacks, planned this LA operation as a followup to 9/11, at a time when the US populace was still reeling from the devastation in New York City and Washington, DC. Knowing that Arab males would receive high scrutiny within our borders, he planned for this attack to involve Southeast Asian males, working with the al-Qaida-linked Jemaah Islamiyah operational planner Riduan Isamudin, aka Hambali, to obtain the necessary operatives.


The Joys of Multiculturalism

Nanny Knows Best on Omar Khayam:

On the one hand he is a "devout Muslim" attending mosque regularly and supporting various Muslim cultural events (such as the fancy dress party above), and on the other hand he happily dealt in heroin and cocaine. [Mashallah!]

He also takes a keen interest in international events and politics, especially Danish politics.

Some heartless souls may think that Khayam is a stupid little wanker, with about as much brains in his head as the average amoeba has in their entire body. However, that would of course be rather a subjective judgement.

And we can't have that--it's too hurtful.


I Can't Really Imagine That

I got an amusing email today with the subject line, "WHATS IN YOUR MIND??" (I think this post with links to many of my articles answers that question competently.) Here's the email:

Hi
you claim you are an ex-muslim, but i cant really imagine that.
you really dont know anything from the religion, but still you critisice it.
Im really curious whats in your mind when you write these articles, i mean you cant be really healthy in your mind....if you where a muslim you could not lie so badley [ain't that ironic], you would understand and respect everything that has happened.

You say muslims are jew haters, well the jews are muslim haters. Its not your fight, if you arent muslim nor jew.

When the cristian where slaughter the jews the muslims protected them, gave them a home and food.

Who gave you right to critisice muslims when (from my point of view) you are a religion free man. You should see the movie "the believer" because you really like the kid in there (but a muslim hater intstead).
you know what i think....i think that something went wrong in your muslim childhood . you maybe where bullied because of your muslim parents or your religion, or maybe your parents beat you when you were a kid. I dont know what it is but I know its something that made you to a muslim hater, if not you wouldnt react like this and create a racistic site.
To make it easier to understand this: you like Harry Potter, then imagine; you are voldemort and had his past and thats why you are pissed off, you start to "attack the muggles" who are the muslims.
Lastly i would like to say that if you disagree about any point just mail me, if you dont mail an answer I shall know that I have had right on at least on point.
Please mail an answer, because i really want your opinion on this matter. EMAIL: [I'm choosing not to publish it. -- Isaac S.]

/A man who believe in religious freedom

I'm not going to email this guy back. He can enjoy his savoury "point."


Tender Sensibilities

Globe and Mail:

Members of Montreal's Muslim community condemned Thursday the publication of cartoons depicting the Prophet Mohammed as an “abusive use of freedom of expression” but also called for calm worldwide as deadly violence over the images continues to escalate.

Quite an Orwellian use of "abusive" in that declaration.

During Thursday's press conference, representatives of Muslim communities called on all levels of government to condemn the publication of the images and harshly criticized media outlets responsible, saying the move “clearly demonstrated a lack of respect and tolerance for the belief and traditions of the Islamic faith.”

Abiola Lapite has the perfect posts for this type of drivel.

This is just the sort of mealy-mouthed, deeply unprincipled gush I was referring to in saying the idea that one ought to respect any set of "beliefs", simply because they are deeply held, is utterly stupid; if you choose to believe with all your might that the earth is flat and 2 plus 2 make 5, I'm under no ethical (let alone legal) obligation whatsoever to treat your beliefs "responsibly" and "with respect", no matter how many others like you there are out there willing to resort to violence upon hearing my expressions of disdain: in fact the opposite is true, and mockery is just what you need lots more of. You want to get me to stop laughing at you and your foolishness? Simple - just abandon your stupid notions.

For most, it is far more convenient to demand redress, mouth off obscenities, throw Molotov cocktails, or burn flags than to truly re-examine their cherished beliefs and notions.


Cartoons of Dread in Canada

CNEWS:

The largely peaceful protest in Halifax turned tense when some Muslim students confronted a professor who has drawn fire for posting the contentious drawings on his office door.

Peter March, a philosophy professor at Saint Mary's University, said he was merely trying to promote a reasoned debate when he suddenly showed up in the midst of 100 protesters.

That is one gutsy professor.

When the students realized who he was, a group of angry youths started yelling, "Go away!" and "You don't belong here!"

It would have been nice to know where the professor "belongs."

The shouting that ensued, all captured by TV cameras, was precisely the kind of image Canadian Muslim leaders are trying to avoid as governments and religious leaders continue to call for calm amid fears the recent violence has only reinforced Islam's negative image in the West.

The professor calmly discussed the matter with the students. All the shouting was one-sided. Muslims, by acting immaturely in public, have reinforced their doleful image in the West.

In Halifax, protest organizers said they were responding to March's decision to post three of the cartoons on his office door Tuesday.

On Wednesday, the university ordered the images removed, citing concerns over health and safety.

A mere depiction of the Prophet of Peace causes concerns of health and safety at a Canadian university! Sadly, all the negative and increasingly vile posters of brown-people-killing Imperialist Amerikkka on the doors of hip professors get no "respect."

I am sooo disappointed in Bushitler.


Just A Small Part of Sharia

Perry de Havilland:

Muslim Action Committee are calling for changes to the law in Britain to implement an aspect of sharia law and they want the British state to do it for them. What they want is to legally ban people from displaying pictures of Mohammed, the seventh century warlord who founded their religion, because it annoys them. Never mind that showing images of this historical figure does not threaten them with violence or prevent their exercise of religion, they want to make it illegal to annoy them.

They are planning to stage a protest march in London on 18 February, expecting to attract 20,000 to 50,000 people. I hope the number is considerably larger because I am sure as hell going to be their expressing my views as well.

Whoa. Good on ya.


The Clash of the 21st Century

The Big Pharaoh says it like it is:

I look at the issue a little bit differently. I don't regard it as a clash between the West or the East, or Islam and the West, or Islam and Christianity. Instead, I believe that there is an undeniable clash between practiced Islam and the values of liberal democracy, the values that are not just adopted in the "Christian west", but also in countries such as Japan, South Korea, and to some extent India. So do I think there is a clash between the currently practiced Islam and the values that Brits, Americans, Koreans, and Japanese hold? The answer is a definite yes. Islam, as it is practiced today, is not compatible with freedom of speech, freedom of expression, freedom to change religions, gender equality, minorities' rights, and the crucial thing which is called separation of religion and politics.

That's quite a lot of incompatibilities.

I have hope though. What worked for the Europeans will work for us. It might take generations, yet it is bound to happen.

It worked for the Europeans in a pre-globalized and a pre-nuclear age. It is likely that large chunks of the Islamic "civilization" will be annihilated before the forces of reform hit critical mass. Just take a look at the atrocious politicians and the vile rhetoric coming out of Egypt, the Palestinian Authority and Iran.


A New Dynasty?

Vic Carucci:

As Cowher said after the game, he is as proud as anyone of the Steelers' Super Bowl dynasty of the 1970s. But now there is a new Steeler team, in a new era, to be able to call itself a world champion.

The common thread between those clubs is stability. They have been guided by the only two coaches the Steelers have had in the last 37 years -- Chuck Noll and Cowher.

The next few years should be quite exciting for Steelers fans.


No Love for You

More from Pakistan:

Kamal Azfer, the president of Rawalpindi and Islamabad Union of Journalists, said that the cartoons could create differences between Muslims and followers of other religions.

Damn you Jyllands-Posten for destroying the peaceful and harmonious relations between Muslims and non-Muslims.

An Islamist party from Pakistan:

The JD [Jamaatud Dawa] leader said Europe should have apologised after Muslim clerics’ protest against the caricatures, but they continued publishing them, which showed that it was a conspiracy against Muslims. He said that such tactics were promoting terrorism.

I wonder which cartoons pissed off Osama, Zawahiri and Zarqawi?


The Object of Rage

From my birth city:

Angry protestors burnt down two cinemas and broke shop windows after some 50 copies of the Quran were reportedly recovered from a sewage drain near Bhatta Chowk on Tuesday.

Cinema owner: My place had nothing to do with those floating Qurans.

A person in the crowd: Burn it anyway!

That makes perfect sense. If you in the West don't understand the logic, then you're racist.