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June 2006
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August 2006

A Unique War


The attack by Hamas on Israeli forces, citizens, and land (after evacuating from the Gaza strip in a failed show of trading land for Peace) and then by Hezbullah in the north shows a different type of that the West is almost helpless to wage. It is not the case that the West lacks the military forces; rather, it is the lack of a legal or ethical foundation on which to wage war effectively when at least one side refuses to fight “by the rules”.

The entire Western world will have to deal with such constraints. Though, before that, a critical mass needs to be reached--Westerners must realize that we are in a world war.

Related: In late 2002, I was talking with a bunch of friends about 9/11 and its repercussions. I plainly mentioned that we are engaged in a world war and the looks I got were priceless. To my Canadian friends, a couple of buildings fell in NYC. That's it. They really didn't see the connection between the ever-growing Islamist movements around the world and the importation of terror in Western society.

Those friends, and Canadians in general, still think that Islamism is mainly an American problem. I'm afraid, they'll learn the hard way.

Muhammed Cartoons #4

The BBC via Dhimmi Watch:

An Indonesian journalist faces trial over his decision to publish cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad.

Teguh Santosa, online editor of Rakyat Merdeka, is charged with inciting hatred towards a religious group.

Mr Santosa posted the cartoons in February at the height of international controversy over drawings which first appeared in a Danish newspaper.

Here you go:


You'll find the cartoons at Western Resistance and Jihad Watch. They were originally published by the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten.

What Will The Future Bring?

Haaretz has an engrossing article in which they interview different experts about the Middle East including Michael Kramer. A few days ago, I went to Kramer's blog to see what he had to say about the recent hot war. His last entry was on July 2, he was on vacation! He's back.

On the second page of the Haaretz article, G., a former Mossad agent says:

This campaign is almost the last chance for the sated and concerned West to deliver a truly powerful blow to the conception of terrorism as a strategic instrument and to one of the most murderous and most dangerous terrorist organizations we have known in the past 30 years. Effectively, the whole Islamic world on one side and the West on the other are sitting in the stands, watching the events and hoping it does not end with penalty shots or with a headbutt, but with a crushing victory, or at least with a small 1-0. That depends on us, on condition that we are able to restrain all thirst for revenge per se.

That's a fine description of the war.

Thanks to Shira for the impressive link.

A Stagnant Culture


My mother just told me of an incident I thought would be educational to share. But, first, a warning: the following post may be considered racist and offensive. I am sharing this to offer some indication of how inter-racial interactions can be like and how certain ethnicities are prejudiced against others. Please do not continue if you think you might be offended.

The incident hints at a deeper sickness at the heart of Arab society. I've written quite a bit on this topic:

  1. The Holy Land of Racism.
  2. The Orwellian Kingdom.
  3. The Arab Superiority (Insecurity, to be honest).

Idiotic Indians

What the hell?

India is still censoring this website. Apparently, India considers making fun of terrorists and their Islamist supporters more dangerous than the terrorists themselves. We are #2 on India's list of 17 websites that are being censored.

India reemphasized the ban today. Contrary to MSM reports, the only retreat was from the broader domain level ban, which was instituted by ISPs in India as a way to follow the directive to ban this and other websites.

I linked to a Slashdot story yesterday which stated that the censorship had ended but apparently it hasn't.

What exactly is the Indian government trying to gain by censoring / banning anti-Islamist blogs? Do they really think that they'll get brownie points from terrorists if they rip apart free speech? Moreover, do they not realize that, in an era where music and movies can be easily swapped on the Internet, banning text won't work.

The Indian government has put its name alongside the thuggish regimes of the world and shown itself to be utterly stupid.

The Pakistani Weakness

Bob Woolmer defends the fragile and inconsistent top order batsmen of Pakistan. It won't help. I don't think Salman and Imran will open for Pakistan in the second Test. They had a golden opportunity recently to score big against Northants and they blew it by scoring 4 runs each.

Fortunately, Pakistan has one of the strongest middle orders in the world: Inzi, Yousuf, and Younis.

Knocking Sense Into the Indian Government


A few things I did not know before Government Of India ’s blanket-ban on Blogger/Typepad.— a ban whose supposed purpose we learn is to keep SIMI terrorists from passing love-notes between themselves.

1. SIMI-ians exclusively use Blogger and Typepad to communicate. Which is why these are the only blogging platforms that are blocked. SIMI stays clear of Wordpress (too dynamic for static fundamentalists), Rediff blogs (because they don’t like the template), O3 Indiatimes (because even they disapprove of a paper that sells editorial space), and Yahoo 360 (yes even SIMI activists have some sense). And like everyone else, they have never heard of MSN Spaces.

The Indian government has learnt its lesson. According to Slashdot, the ban has been lifted.

The ban has not been lifted.

Unfortunate Drivel


In its creation, by dispossesion and theft, Israel has written the fate of the Middle East for some time to come -- the cycle of violence and hate we see today flows directly from Israel's choice to take Palestine and displace the Palestinians (many of whom are now in the same Lebanese, West bank, and Gaza camps Israel bombs). And the people of the region -- people of all faiths, Muslim, Christian, and Jewish -- will continue to suffer the consequences of Israel's unfortunate birth.

It takes a certain amount of talent to curse a democratic state while utterly ignoring the wretched ocean of darkness that surrounds it.

Here's a humorous take on proportionality thanks to AbbaGav.

Deadly Incompetence

KPUA via On The Third Hand:

The center issued a tsunami warning to Indonesia via e-mail, fax and a dedicated telecommunication system after a powerful earthquake was detected deep in the Indian Ocean yesterday.

But Indonesian officials chose not to relay the warning to residents.

The tsunami crashed into Java island, killing at least 463 people. Nearly 280 others are missing.



Arab News:

The process in which prospective marriage partners undergo pre-marriage medical examinations is an illogical, unacceptable and unhealthy procedure. Medical centers and hospitals ask couples, who have been shown to be medically incompatible, to sign a pledge.

The pledge denies them and their future children free medical services if they were to suffer from some sort of medical condition. This is something ridiculous, especially in light of the fact that treating blood diseases can be extremely costly.

It's amusing to see that the article doesn't explicitly point out the sick problem. The title of this post gives it away.

Searching for Precision in War

Love disses "disproportionate":

The key word for those criticizing Israel's war against Hezbollah and Hamas is "disproportionate." No one, not even Israel's strongest critics, can claim that Israel or any other country does not have the right to respond in kind for cross-border military attacks, so instead they claim to criticize only because they believe Israel's response "disproportionate" to the offense.

However, in this context, using the term "disproportionate" merely serves to create the appearance of saying something reasoned and honest while in actuality saying nothing practical beyond connoting disapproval.


Baron Bodissey is also sick of the whole business.

Jesus Christ, just substitute Helen Thomas with a blogger. Any blogger. Laurence Simon has the best comment on the whole sorry event.

Mimi 4Gov.

"An Interview With Porn Star Mimi Miyagi,..."

That was the subject of an email I got. I thought, "Great, Gmail couldn't even spot this spa-"

Wait a minute. John Hawkins from Right Wing News had sent me the email! Mimi Miyagi, a former porn star, is running for governor in Nevada as a Republican. A small taste:

John Hawkins: When did you start getting into politics and what drew you to the Republican Party?

Mimi Miyagi: I am an avid supporter of bearing arms since 2001...

I'm sure she supports bearing a lot more.

Sorry, I couldn't help it. By the way, the post has a great money shot.


Lahore in 1996 and 2006

One thing hasn't changed.

Rain in Lahore

We got a river in front of our residence a decade ago. There was no avoiding the water. It presents a tough problem for those who've to walk through it. You see, most roads are in terrible shape, all broken up and crooked, with few sidewalks. So, one has to go slow to avoid holes and cracks. Imagine slipping or spraining an ankle in that.

Another thing, pray for very very considerate drivers.

Perils of Apostasy

First article via Dhimmi Watch:

Broken by the very well-informed agency "AsiaNews" of the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions, the news of the arrest in Egypt of citizens guilty only of being ex-Muslim Christians sheds new light on the dangers encountered by those who convert from Islam to another faith.

One doesn't necessarily have to convert to another faith, simply leaving "the peaceful" Islam is enough.

[...] on the part of the Catholic Church, there is a widespread tendency to respond to this situation simply by refusing to "create the problem"; that is, to proselytize among Muslims. An Italian director of the Fondazione Migrantes, who asked to remain anonymous, has worked for years with Tunisian Muslims and says: "We decided not to encourage conversion to Christianity in any way, no matter what cardinal Giacomo Biffi thinks about it."

Does that mean that Muslims can't be "saved"?

Second article:

Ibrahim was preaching in the mid-1990s, when, under the pressure of the Islamic movements, many of them connected with the university of Al Azhar, the hadit had been reintroduced to Egypt. [...] One of the first hadit holds that the blood of a Muslim "may be spilled in three cases: homicide, adultery, and apostasy." Thus the pious citizen is authorized to kill the sinner. On the basis of this dogma, many intellectuals condemned for their unorthodox works were assassinated during those years, or seriously injured, like the Nobel-winning writer Naghib Mahfuz.

Some of the brightest are marked for death.

Ibrahim-Mikeil lives his conversion in great secrecy. His family, his friends, and even his wife are unaware of it. He risks being run over by the accusation of apostasy, he says, "on the part of old friends, a relative, which could become a death sentence, or in the best of cases a sentence which would inflict years of imprisonment and certain torture."

The Evil Regime

Exactly one year ago, two teenagers were hanged in Iran.

Teenagers Executed

Their crime? Homosexuality. "... prior to their execution, the teenagers were held in prison for 14 months, severely beaten and given the lash 228 times."

Direland has more information:

There will be vigils and demonstrations on July 19 in 25 cities around the world -- including 10 in the U.S.

Small Messages

Aussie Dave is liveblogging the war. Check out the update at 12:50PM.

Fayyad at Kabobfest has a post up with the title, "How To Sustain a Culture of Warmongers?" The offense? This photo:

From Israel, With Love

A commenter named anonymous [8:16 PM] says:

I don't mean to be a spoilsport in the otherwise sparkling-as-usual debate, but did anyone actually take the time to read the message on the shell? Aside from mispelling the anglicized version of Nasrallah, those little girls seem to have a pretty astute grasp of power politics in the middle east. First, They're addressing the shells to the man himself--instead of the 'islamist pigs and apes in the occupied northern galil' (I don't think paraphrased the Good Sheik verbatim, but i've heard similar language come out of his mouth directed at others...). Second, I think we can all admit its quite clever of them to realize that Nasrallah probably doesn't speak Hebrew. After all, why write anything at all if your intended recipient won't understand? While it would be nice to pretend that those Israeli children are--like their peers in Gaza-- taught to indiscriminately kill and maim from an early age, the facts just don't bare that out, do they Fayyad?

Fayyad hasn't replied.

See what Sandmonkey found out. (DAMN IT! There goes the bloodthirsty Jews theory.)

Harper Derangement Syndrome

Canadian Arab Federation press release via Daimnation:

The Canadian Arab Federation holds Prime Minister Stephen Harper responsible for the death of 8 Canadians in Lebanon.

While Israel was bombarding Lebanon, terrorizing and killing civilians and destroying the infrastructure of the country, Harper appallingly was quoted a saying that these Israeli war crimes are a "measured response" to the capture of 2 Israeli soldiers.

It's interesting that the parties responsible -- Hizbollah, Syria, and Iran -- are not even mentioned. Instead, the Canadian Prime Minister is to blame for the deaths of Canadians in Lebanon!

By this logic, only Israel and the nations that support her deserve total "credit" for the conflict. The Islamists who started the whole mess...well we can't have Muslims blaming other Muslims, that would be uncouth.

What a topsy-turvy world. Freakin' Saudi Arabia blames Hizbollah whereas the Canadian Arab Federation kisses terrorist ass.

Distorted Incentives

Abiola Lapite comments on this article from The Independent.

This reminds me of a story I heard from one of my friends. A student he knew had gotten pregnant. Her parents provided her support, both emotional and financial. The pregnancy had minimal impact on her life. This girl had a younger sister, a teenager.

I'm sure you can guess what happened next.

Her sister got pregnant as well. Only this time, it wasn't an accident.

There's a simple lesson in that for parents and for society as a whole.

Pejman links to this shocking item.

Learned Nothing

This link via Stop The ACLU:

Israel would agree to a cease-fire in its six-day-old offensive against Hezbollah if the Lebanese guerrillas withdraw from the border area with Israel and release two captured Israeli soldiers, a senior official said Monday.

What a horrible condition--that will merely pause the war.

An Israeli blogger asks:

Why should there be any talk of cease-fire whatsoever? Have we learned nothing in 60 years? This problem exists today because of are continued capitulation in the form of cease-fires and armistice agreements. Our aim should not be to wound Hizbollah, or even reduce its operational capacity to nil. Our aim should be victory and the unconditional surrender of the enemy on all fronts.

The important question: Is the Israeli leadership up to the task?

Can't Get a Break

James Lileks:

It takes a certain kind of person to see a liberal free society attacked by Islamicists, and find himself wondering: what are those crafty Jews up to now?

Jews: The Chosen Scapegoats.

The US Marines stand with Israel.

This is a world war. It has been a world war since 11 September 2001. Hopefully now people are realizing the true scale of this conflagration. And Israel is fighting the same enemy in Gaza and Lebanon as America is fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan, just on another front in the same war. And we see the Israeli Soldiers as brothers in arms against a common enemy.

Link via AbbaGav.

Agony for Canadians

National Post:

The raging conflict in the Middle East claimed the lives of seven Canadians as the federal government scrambled Sunday to work out plans to evacuate citizens from Lebanon.

Prime Minister Harper has not made a statement about this tragedy.

Foreign Affairs Minister Peter MacKay said the government has hired vessels to pick up Canadian evacuees off the coast, and was considering helicopters to airlift other Canadians out of Lebanon.

There are approximately 40,000 Canadians in Lebanon.

Fearing the Followers of Muhammed

Nine MSN via Dhimmi Watch:

The Viacom Inc.-owned cable channel plans to air a repeat of a "South Park" episode from last autumn lampooning the Church of Scientology and its movie star adherent on July 19, four months after cancelling a rerun of the show.

At the same time, an animated image of Mohammad created for a more recent two-part episode entitled "Cartoon Wars" will remain blacked out - as it was for its original telecast - in future airings and DVD releases, the network said this week.

Series creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone have criticised Comedy Central as "cowardly" for censoring that episode, which they intended as a commentary on the bloodshed sparked earlier this year by editorial cartoons in a Danish newspaper.

Nothing is off-limits at South Park except Islam and it's not because of respect...

"If you're saying that this is the one thing we can't do, besides Tom Cruise, because they're threatening violence, well then, I guess that's what everyone should do," Parker told a gathering of critics on Thursday.

Some will learn that ugly lesson.

Pressure Syria

True words via The Corner:

A microphone picked up an unaware President Bush saying on Monday Syria should press Hezbollah to "stop doing this shit" and that his secretary of state may go to the Middle East soon.

Tim Blair:

And people think this guy, who’s just distilled the current madness down to 19 crisp words, has no grasp of complex global policy.

In addition, Blair links to this Afghani work of art.

Craving Pixels


If you're worried your World of Warcraft habit might be getting a little out of hand, you might think about checking yourself into the Wild Horses Center in Amsterdam. Their video game rehab program, which was started by addiction specialists Smith and Jones, is designed to help you replace the excitement of the fantasy world with real world experiences such as therapy sessions and group interaction.

Some people just have no control. I once knew a guy who played online 24/7. He would deplete his food money to buy games so that his parents wouldn't find out. You see, they provided him financial support.

His diet? 90% noodles.

I wouldn't be surprised to see him in this program.