May 2005

When I first read this boneheaded New York Times article, “The Mystery of the Insurgency”, which asks why the insurgents act like terrorists, all I could say was “duh.”

They’re not insurgents, they are terrorists, and if the Times hasn’t figured that out by now, they are, in the Darwinian sense, way too dumb to live.”

Christopher Hitchens has more patience than I do (which says a lot) and he takes the time to carefully and precisely dismember this pathetic article:

On many occasions, the jihadists in Iraq have been very specific as well as very general. When they murdered Sergio Vieira de Mello, the brilliant and brave U.N. representative assigned to Baghdad by Kofi Annan, the terrorists’ communiqué hailed the death of the man who had so criminally helped Christian East Timor to become independent of Muslim Indonesia. (This was also among the “reasons” given for the bombing of the bar in Bali.) I think I begin to sense the “frustration” of the “insurgents.” They keep telling us what they are like and what they want. But do we ever listen? Nah. For them, it must be like talking to the wall. Bennet even complains that it’s difficult for reporters to get close to the “insurgents”: He forgets that his own paper has published a conversation with one of them, in which the man praises the invasion of Kuwait, supports the cleansing of the Kurds, and says that “we cannot accept to live with infidels.”

Ah, but why would the “secular” former Baathists join in such theocratic mayhem? Let me see if I can guess. Leaving aside the formation of another well-named group—the Fedayeen Saddam—to perform state-sponsored jihad before the intervention, how did the Baath Party actually rule? Yes, it’s coming back to me. By putting every Iraqi citizen in daily fear of his or her life, by random and capricious torture and murder, and by cynical divide-and-rule among Sunnis, Shiites, and Kurds. Does this remind you of anything?

Of course, Michael Moore’s insurgent Minutemen have already murdered a journalist who called them “terrorists”, so I doubt that the New York Times will take Hitchens’ advice.
Still, History and Mystery is a good read.

* Carl Oglesby is the former leader of the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), the group that spawned the terrorist “Weathermen”.

A short history of Oglesby’s SDS:

SDS members also rationalized this more frequent civil disobedience and resistance on the ground that the “Establishment” fails to listen when protests are “merely verbal.”45 At the 1967 convention, SDSers were extremely hesitant to endorse an anti-war march. Secretary Carl Davidson gives the reasons for this hesitancy: “Marches are just not enough. They won’t stop this war. More important, they won’t stop the military-industrial complex, the powerful institution that decide the fate of people in this country.”… Members also began reading Marxist historians such as William Appleman Williams, who viewed the U.S. as an imperial power with an history rife with imperialistic ventures. …Talk of violence did not meet with much resistance among the SDS’s ranks. Many members wanted to see results that were not being accomplished by their peaceful marches and sit-ins.53 The SDS of 1967 had forgotten, or chose to ignore the statement made in the Port Huron Statement five years earlier in which the SDS found violence to be “abhorrent” because it transformed a human being or a group of people into a “depersonalized object of hate.”

..In an SDS pamphlet titled “Cuba v. US Imperialism”, the SDS lauds the Cuban Revolution for its “freshness and anti-dogmatism, its version and firmness in the fight with imperialism.”57 Through their admiration for revolutionaries, and their movement from peaceful protest to resistance, the SDS began their metamorphosis into a more radical and defiant revolutionary organization.

Oglesby blames the turn to violence on the FBI, of course.

I mention him because Oglesby also wrote this letter to the New York Times, which they printed without comment:

By combining the antiwar movement with the counterculture, Bai ignores the fact that S.D.S. was destroyed by an enormous but still incompletely understood campaign of federal penetration and disruption. From 1968 through the early 1970′s, part of that campaign was the F.B.I’s counterintelligence program, Cointelpro. Unknown numbers of federal undercover agents were involved, and it wasn’t long before S.D.S. leaders began to sense the government’s presence. Their anger, panic and naïveté helped lead to the dissolution of S.D.S., as the organization’s members began retreating into the secret terrorist cells of the revolutionary group known as the Weathermen.

As a national leader of S.D.S. (I was its president in 1965 and 1966 and a member of its governing body through 1972), I must say that what this experience demands of today’s Democratic Party is that it confront its own passivity. The current mess in Iraq is one result of this passivity. Other such messes — Iran? Syria? Korea? — will almost certainly follow as the national defense budget continues to soar and the military establishment continues to lock up its control of foreign policy.

Carl Oglesby
Cambridge, Mass.

So, what non-passive action is being proposed here?

Via LGF: According to an Indian security analyst, the Islamist rioting in Afghanistan is being deliberately incited by well-organized agents of the Hizb ut-Tahrir terror gang. They realized that Newsweek “Quran desecration” story was a propaganda windfall:

In Newsweek’s May 9 edition, a brief item carried a single sentence saying that a U.S. military investigation had found that interrogators at Guantanamo Bay, where Islamist terror suspects are being held, had flushed a Koran down a toilet.

A populist politician in Pakistan called a press conference to draw attention to the claim, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia issued strongly worded statements, and protests erupted in the Afghan city of Jalalabad and spread..

..Myers said at the Pentagon briefing Thursday that according to U.S. commanders in Afghanistan, the Jalalabad protests had more to do with the political situation on the ground than anger about the report.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai, a U.S. ally, has also suggested that foreign elements and “enemies of peace” were responsible for the violent rioting…

..South Asian political and security analyst Bahukutumbi Raman said the protests in Afghanistan were not spontaneous.

“They had been well-prepared, and were well-organized and well-orchestrated. Groups of students went from town to town instigating the local students to take to the streets.”

Raman, who is director of the Institute For Topical Studies in the Indian city of Chennai, also reported that many members of the police and army appeared to have sympathized with the protestors.

He cited “reliable Afghan sources” as saying the demonstrations had been organized by a growing global movement called Hizb ut-Tahrir al-Islami.

Why, what a coincidence! Hizb ut-Tahrir al-Islami has been involved in the recent violence in Uzbekistan:

The rally in Andizhan, Uzbekistan’s fourth-largest city, began after demonstrations over the trial of 23 local businessmen boiled over. Prosecutors had accused the men of belonging to the outlawed Hizb ut-Tahrir al-Islami (Islamic Party of Liberation) but their supporters say the charges are fabricated, and Hizb ut-Tahrir denies any link to the violence.

According to this report, Hizb ut-Tahrir is never “overtly” violent

Hizb ut-Tahrir al-Islami (Islamic Party of Liberation) a radical Islamic political movement that seeks ‘implementation of pure Islamic doctrine’ and the creation of an Islamic caliphate in Central Asia. The group’s aim is to resume the Islamic way of life and to convey the Islamic da’wah to the world. The ultimate goal of this secretive sectarian group is to unite the entire ummah, or Islamic world community, into a single caliphate. The aim is to bring the Muslims back to living an Islamic way of life in ‘Dar al-Islam’ [the land where the rules of Islam are being implemented, as opposed to the non-Islamic world] and in an Islamic society such that all life’s affairs in society are administered according to the Shariah rules…

…It is active all over the world. Hizb ut-Tahrir now has its main base in Western Europe, but it has large followings in Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Kazakhstan, as well as in China’s traditionally Muslim Xinjiang Province…

Unlike similar Islamic groups, the radical Sunni Muslim group Hizb ut-Tahrir recruits new members irrespective of differences among the various tendencies within Islam. Unlike more traditional Islamic parties, it is supranational and refuses to be involved in local politics. Therefore, it is impossible for regional leaders to co-opt the group, as happened with the former Islamic opposition in Tajikistan. Hizb ut-Tahrir is not a political party in the sense that it does not want to participate in national politics. It does not want to go for elections. It does not want to be part of any coalition government.

The group has never been overtly involved in any violent actions, and Hizb ut-Tahrir has long claimed it wants to achieve its objectives through nonviolent means.

Hizb ut-Tahrir calls their “nonviolent” demand for a genoicidal, apartheid Caliphate based on Shariah law “democracy”

Like our moderate, non-overt nonviolent allies, the Saudis, Hizb ut-Tahrir also likes to blame the Jews for everything.

The Saudi government has published this defense of Hizb ut-Tahrir in their English-language publication, Arab News.

Which brings up another amazing coincidence – Hizb-ut-Tahrir was formed in Saudi Arabia as a pan-Islamic movement in the 1950s. In their own words:

At that time we had a united plan with the Wahabbi movement, but we soon split because Hizb-ut-Tahrir wanted to bring about sharia {Islamic religious law} in a peaceful manner while the Wahabbis were extremists who wanted guerrilla war. Hizb-ut-Tahrir went underground during Soviet times and many members were in Soviet prisons. But today we have tens of thousands of members across Central Asia. We want to make a caliphate {Islamic state} which will reunite all the Central Asian states. Hizb-ut-Tahrir wants a peaceful jihad, but ultimately there will be war because repression by the Central Asian states is so strong.

Hizb-ut-Tahrir broke with the Saudi Wahhabis because our allies were extremists who wanted guerrilla war.

Saudi Hizb ut-Tahrir isn’t as violent as Osama bin Laden’s Saudi al Qaeda paramilitaries, but they share the same goals, a worldwide Islamic state under Shariah law.

Of course, this doesn’t mean that we should continue to support Uzbekistan’s burtal authoritarian ruler, Karimov.

It does mean that we shouldn’t allow Hizb ut-Tahrir to install a Taliban/Saudi style theocracy. We’re already allied with one non-overt terror-supporting Islamist state. We really don’t need more friends like these.

[Cross-posted at Dean's World]

..and “Peace Democrats” in 1865

[Link thanks to Irwin C.]

I was wondering how this group got my address..

Via Yahoo:

E-mail users perplexed by the barrage of German-language spam waiting in their inboxes Monday morning can point the finger of blame at the latest version of the Sober mass mailing worm which began rapidly spreading over the weekend..

..Sober.q uses both German and English-language messages to direct recipients to Web sites with right-wing German nationalistic content, according to an advisory from e-mail security company MX Logic. One of the URLs points to the Web site of the right-wing German NPD party, it says..

..Although Sophos is seeing a lot of German-language spam sent by the new Sober variant, the worm itself doesn’t appear to be spreading anymore, Cluley says.

E-mail users are advised to update their spam filters to guard against the new Sober spam

Once again, inspired by Bush Derangement syndrome, the media did a stupid thing. They didn’t properly check their sources because they wanted to publish an article that made Bush look bad.

Newsweek is incompetent. This is news?

In contrast, take a look at the Muslims who were spontaneously overwhelmed with rightous indignation in response to Newsweek’s story. Look at these mass-produced signs.

For a bunch of righteously indignant zealots, they’ve got a cutting-edge graphic-arts team. Is that a custom font?

These righteously indignant zealots have Photoshop and Kinkos and they know how to use them. A lot of cash, planning and organization went into this fiery media-savvy display. It’s almost like they were waiting for some kind of opportunity to bring back the good old days of the “Arab street”.

Oh, for the good old days, when Islamists could slaughter American soldiers and innocent civilians and still claim to be the victims. Unfortunately, the good old days are still alive and well at Newsweek, and in our government.

Like Newsweek, our government is using this incident to demonstrate our gullibility and stupidity. Our response to Islamist violence? We’re worried about our image abroad.

The Ayatollah Khomeini called American efforts to win hearts and minds in the Muslim world the headless chicken strategy. Pathetic efforts to make Islamists “like” us have been winning contempt and disdain since 1979.

According to the AP, the 22-nation Arab League issued a statement saying if the allegations panned out, Washington should apologize to Muslims. Is this the same Arab League that backed the Sudanese genocide? They’re troglodytes, they’ll always be troglodytes, and apologizing to these creeps will only make us look weak.

The only people who deserve an apology and compensation are the victims of Islamist violence. Not the perpetrators.

However, the Arab League does deserve something. We should publicly congratulate the spectacular amount of planning, organization and artwork that went into this spontaneous display of fiery righteous indignation. Maybe our publicity team can talk to their team. Let’s do lunch.

Years ago, an intrepid writer had this to say about Lebanon:

Beirut, at a glance, lacks charm. The garbage has not been picked up since 1975. The ocean is thick with raw sewage and trash dots the surf. Do not drink the water. Leeches have been known to pop out of the tap. Electricity is intermittent.

It is a noisy town. Most shops have portable gasoline generators set out on the sidewalk. The racket from these combines with incessant horn-honking, scattered gunfire, loud Arab music from pushcart cassette vendors, much yelling among the natives and occasional car bombs…

…The Green Line’s four crossings were occupied by the Lebanese Army – the Moslem Sixth Brigade on one side, the Christian Fifth Brigade on the other. Though under unified command, their guns were pointed at each other. This probably augers ill for the political stability of the region..

Years later, another intrepid writer had these first impressions:

We came upon not only photo murals and monuments to Christian war criminals Samir Geagea and Bashir Gemayel but a surly mob of students – all of them men – arranged before us in a phalanx. All wore the same brown shirts with a picture of Geagea on the front and a black Christian cross on the back. They loudly chanted Christian war songs, raised their right hands and aped the Nazi salute. Others, behind the phalanx, banged drums. Someone rang the church bells furiously and violently. Far from a celebration in the new Lebanon, it looked more like a political pep rally in General Franco’s Spain.

The three activists from the democracy movement I was traveling with – Ribal, Michel and Alaa – ran up to the mob of radical Christians and hugged them. I felt sick to my stomach. What on earth were so-called democracy activists doing buddying up with sectarian ethnic chauvinists? I snapped some digital pictures because I didn’t know what else to do.

Just then a bald university administrator wearing a suit and a tie got in my face. “Where are you from?” he screamed. It was the first and only time anyone yelled at me in Lebanon. “You erase those pictures,” he said. “And you erase them right now.”

As he says, read the rest..

Quote of the day: “If The Huffington Post sucked any harder, it would have an event horizon.”

Thanks to Steve H., who may or may not know something about HuffingtonsToast.

The Free Muslims Against Terrorism are proud to announce that on May 14, 2005, Muslims and Middle Easterners of all backgrounds will converge on our nation’s Capital for a rally against terrorism and to support freedom and democracy in the Middle East and the Muslim world. This will be the first rally of its kind in Washington, D.C., that is led by Muslims and Middle Easterners.

Join us in sending a message to radical Muslims and supporters of terrorism that we reject them and that we will do all we can to defeat them.

We also want to send a message of hope to the people of the Muslim world and the Middle East who seek freedom, democracy and who reject radical Islam that we are with them and that we will do all we can to support them.

This rally is NOT limited to Muslims and Middle Easterners. We request anyone and everyone who supports our message to join us at the rally. We want to send a message to the extremists and terrorists that American Muslims, Christians, Jews and people of all faiths are united against terrorism and extremism.

We welcome all endorsers and we ask that you circulate and publish this message to as many groups and people as possible. Help us make history.

I wish I could go, but this weekend we’re meeting the Mexican exchange student who will be living with us for the next two weeks…and my son is coming home from college..and my daughter is walking for AIDS research.
But if you can be there, go!

More information here and here..

In his essay Was World War II worth it?, anti-war Nazi apologist Pat Buchanan says:

When one considers the losses suffered by Britain and France – hundreds of thousands dead, destitution, bankruptcy, the end of the empires – was World War II worth it, considering that Poland and all the other nations east of the Elbe were lost anyway?

If the objective of the West was the destruction of Nazi Germany, it was a “smashing” success. But why destroy Hitler? If to liberate Germans, it was not worth it. After all, the Germans voted Hitler in.

“Why destroy Hitler?” Words fail me. As usual, Pat Buchanan induces an urge to purge.

Fortunately, VodkaPundit has a stronger constitution, and he fisks Buchanan’s whole rotten mess. He answers:

Not all wars are fought for liberation – ask a Cherokee. Whoops! Something tells me Buchanan isn’t ready to turn Florida back over to any of those heathen redskins any time soon.

Seriously though – I am serious. Some wars are fought for no purpose greater than destroying something. Sometimes that something is evil (Nazi Germany), and sometimes it isn’t (at least half of our Indian Wars). Pat Buchanan would have you think the Trail of Tears was more just than D-Day.

After Pearl Harbor, Roosevelt promised us victory over our enemies. He didn’t promise to liberate them, and he didn’t promise us that they’d cheer for us and toss us flowers. Just victory.

In this Guardian article, Cambridge professor and anti-war Nazi apologist Richard Drayton, also wonders if WWII was worth it.

He seems to agree with Pat, for different reasons. This nazi apologist believes that WWII allowed the foul pestilence that is “democratic imperialism” to grow stonger. Once again, Hitler is not to blame, this time because, like most evil, fascism was the fault of the Americans (with the help of the UK, of course).

The British and American publics share a sunny view of the second world war. The evil of Auschwitz and Dachau, turned inside out, clothes the conflict in a shiny virtue.

Movies, popular histories and political speeches frame the war as a symbol of Anglo-American courage, with the Red Army’s central role forgotten. This was, we believe, “a war for democracy”. Americans believe that they fought the war to rescue the world. For apologists of the British Empire, such as Niall Ferguson, the war was an ethical bath where the sins of centuries of conquest, slavery and exploitation were expiated. We are marked forever as “the good guys”and can all happily chant “Two world wars and one world cup.”

All this seems innocent fun, but patriotic myths have sharp edges. The “good war” against Hitler has underwritten 60 years of warmaking. It has become an ethical blank cheque for British and US power. We claim the right to bomb, to maim, to imprison without trial on the basis of direct and implicit appeals to the war against fascism…

..Our democratic imperialism prefers to forget that fascism had important Anglo-American roots. Hitler’s dream was inspired, in part, by the British Empire. In eastern Europe, the Nazis hoped to make their America and Australia, where ethnic cleansing and slave labour created a frontier for settlement. In western Europe, they sought their India from which revenues, labour and soldiers might be extracted.

Apparently, spreading evil, corruption and fascism around the world has been a centuries long full-time job for the Anglosphere. Being the fount of all that is foul takes a lot of energy. How do we find the time to destroy lives worldwide and do our laundry?

So, was WWII worth it? The anti-war movement has been asking itself this question for some time, and the answer seems to be a consistent NO.

The anti-war movement’s mission statement was written in the mid-1930′s by Major General Smedley Butler, who famously said “War is a Racket”, run soley for profit by profiteers. He says:

Well, eighteen years after, the world has less of democracy than it had then. Besides, what business is it of ours whether Russia or Germany or England or France or Italy or Austria live under democracies or monarchies? Whether they are Fascists or Communists? Our problem is to preserve our own democracy.

What a mook. Smedley died before WWII began, but if we’d followed his advice, we’d never have gotten involved in WWII. The anti-war movement clearly wishes we had followed Smedley’s advice.

Of course, the question no anti-war activist wants to answer is – “if WWII had never happened, would we even know what a Jew is?

Ace of Spades says:

As William F. Buckley concluded in a long essay on Pat way back in the late eighties (I think), Buchanan takes a number of positions, each of which seems defensible on its face, and yet, taking them all together, the cumulative impression is that he just hates Jews.

My words, not WFB’s. But that seemed to be WFB’s basic gist.

Taken all together, the cumulative effect of the anti-war movement’s anti-Semitism is also starting to show.

When the Sous-Chef Is an Inkjet:

HOMARO CANTU’S maki look a lot like the sushi rolls served at other upscale restaurants: pristine, coin-size disks stuffed with lumps of fresh crab and rice and wrapped in shiny nori. They also taste like sushi, deliciously fishy and seaweedy.

But the sushi made by Mr. Cantu, the 28-year-old executive chef at Moto in Chicago, often contains no fish. It is prepared on a Canon i560 inkjet printer rather than a cutting board. He prints images of maki on pieces of edible paper made of soybeans and cornstarch, using organic, food-based inks of his own concoction. He then flavors the back of the paper, which is ordinarily used to put images onto birthday cakes, with powdered soy and seaweed seasonings…

… Mr. Cantu is experimenting with liquid nitrogen, helium and superconductors to make foods levitate. And while many chefs speak of buying new ovens or refrigerators, he wants to invest in a three-dimensional printer to make physical prototypes of his inventions, which he now painstakingly builds by hand. The 3-D printer could function as a cooking device, creating silicone molds for pill-sized dishes flavored, say, like watermelon, bacon and eggs or even beef Bourguignon, he said, and he could also make edible molds out of cornstarch…

Edible molds, yumm.

A glass of fine, dry, 1999 Tang would be the perfect accompaniment, followed by a palate-cleansing dish of freeze-dried Astronaut ice cream

[Link thanks to Chiasm]

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