Sunday, January 01, 2006

Happy New Year

You've got to wonder what to make of this:  Gunmen kidnap Italian peace activist in Gaza:

GAZA CITY, Jan 1 (AFX) - An Italian peace activist was kidnapped by masked Palestinian gunmen in the southern Gaza Strip, security sources and witnesses said. ... The hostage was a member of an Italian peace mission designed to show solidarity with the Palestinians and which had only arrived the night before in Khan Yunis, security sources said.

My fearless prediction is that not a single "peace organization" will denounce this kidnapping. If this hostage is ever safely released, which I hope is the case, this person will utter not a word of condemnation of his/her abduction, an act which in most Western societies is capital crime, and which, under the name of "extraordinary rendition" is considered an international outrage. That, and not the abduction itself, which is dime-a-dozen in Gaza these days, is the real news.

The interesting thing about the Chrobog abduction and the great Ukranian natural gas shakedown (the subject of a Belmont Club post before it really hit the headlines) is that neither can be remotely related to Iraq, even in fantasy. Neither can this: Palestinian gunmen blow up UN club in Gaza City.

GAZA (Reuters) - Masked gunmen stormed into a club for UN workers in Gaza City on Sunday and blew up the drinking hall in a new sign of spiralling unrest ahead of a Palestinian election. It was the first such attack in Gaza on a UN target and came against a backdrop of growing unease. On Friday, a group freed three British hostages that had been seized to demand foreign pressure on Israel. ... "The club has been there for 50 years," said one UN security worker. "This is the first time anything like this has happened."

Although Israel has probably committed it's share of crimes in the world, it's a matter of serious doubt whether they had anything whatsoever, remotely or otherwise, to do with the assault on a UN saloon in Gaza.


What we've got here is the failure of a paradigm. The normal controls (taking the Ukranian gas crisis to the UN or issuing an EU statement) of the "international community" don't work any more. The usual suspects (Israel and George Bush) have already been shot while trying to escape. And 2006 is just beginning. The good news is that academic intellectuals can start thinking creatively again, because it is increasingly futile to keep interpreting the world according to Leftist models of the late 20th century. Come writers and critics, prophesy with your pen, and keep your eyes wide, the chance won't come again. Your old road is rapidly aging. You can't criticize what you can't understand. For the times ... well you know.

Happy New Year everybody.


Blogger Doug said...

France's rift: culture, not color

I am a young black male who has lived in both France and United States, and I can tell you that France's problem isn't about race. In a way it's a more insidious problem than that, and I worry that events in France may actually be a sign of what could happen in America.

I had my first interaction with the French police on a December night in 1991. I had recently moved to Paris, and was strolling back to my tiny apartment in an exclusive neighborhood. I probably looked scruffy in my old army jacket and jeans. Suddenly two unmarked police cars pulled up. Four officers climbed out, asked where I was going, and demanded to see my "papers." But when I began speaking French, one of the officers heard my accent. "Oh, you're American? Please excuse us. Have a great evening."

I was stunned. Americans had warned me that the French didn't welcome people of color and constantly harassed Arabs and Africans. But I soon learned that being an African American in France is wonderful. I was generally treated better than I would have been back in the States.

I worried that after the Sept. 11 attacks, and America's response, the goodwill that Europeans showered on me would diminish, as anti-American sentiments in Europe grew. My white American friends in Europe tried to hide their nationality. But I was given a free pass. For the most part, Europeans exempted me from their stereotype of America as the arrogant and ignorant bully on the world stage.
In other words, I was treated even better than my fellow whites - because I was black.
Europeans associate me with the aspects of America they embrace, especially African American art and music, and the historical struggle for freedom and civil rights - exotic, but not threatening. It never seemed to matter that I personally was not artsy or hip. I was "ethnic," but I wasn't an immigrant with a culture and customs that were so different as to be feared. I was Christian, not Muslim. Different, but not too different.

Debates are now raging about what to do in France, and the rest of Europe is watching keenly.

Europeans have to learn to understand and appreciate - and, ultimately, embrace - the cultural riches of their immigrants, just as they have embraced mine. And in doing so, they may even discover that some of those riches are as much European as they are African or Arab.
(kum ba ya my lawd......kum ba ya....oh oh.... lawd..kum ba ya)

Cultural prejudice can be fueled by different types of fear. In Europe it's largely a fear of change; in the United States, of terrorism.
But the negative results are the same.
On Sept. 12, 2001, the French newspaper Le Monde declared "we are all Americans."
But now, perhaps, we are all French.

1/01/2006 05:05:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

More Secrets of European Superiority Revealed!

1/01/2006 05:38:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

(Sisyphus Comments)

Brave Sir Robin ran away,
Bravely ran away, away.
When danger reared its ugly head, he bravely turned his tail and fled.
Yes, brave Sir Robin turned about
And gallantly, he chickened out. Bravely taking to his feet,
He beat a very brave retreat,
Bravest of the brave, Sir Robin.
Captain Ned

Calling the EU nations "pussies" supposes that the EU countries are scared, rather than implementing their strategic vision.

As a logical proposition, it is inarguable that you can never be defeated if you can always run away.
Or, as the grade scool saying goes:
"The only time I lost a fight was when I slipped, going around a corner."
Samuel Stott

1/01/2006 05:47:00 AM  
Blogger Dr. Sanity said...

It may be increasingly futile to interpret the world according to Leftist model of the late 20th century--but you can bet they will continue to try. And as a result, the discourse and rhetoric will become even more contradictory, incomprehensible, and irrational as events and facts will be laid upon the procrustean bed and distorted to fit the ideology. I become more and more convinced that the real obstacle to winning the war on Islamofascism is this ideology that is so firmly ensconced in some people's way of looking at the world that they are basically living in a parallel bizarro world. (full disclosure- I may be overemphasizing this issue , since I live in Ann Arbor, Michigan a central junction in the bizarro world!)

1/01/2006 06:41:00 AM  
Blogger RWE said...

Those events could not be tied to Iraq, even in fantasy? Oh come now my good Wretchard! You clearly lack the imagination required to becaome leftist novelist/commentator!
If a British leftie can get scammed by a letter from (of all places) Nigeria and then blame it all on Presdient Bush.... If a socialist sociologist can blame the rising crime in our cities in the 60's on the nuclear confrontation between the U.S. and USSR (funny how when one went away the other one did not) .. if the New York Times can publish its annual wondering question of why crime rates go down when we lock more people up ... and if John Kerry can support gun control and restrictions on free speech via theMcCain Amendment and then rail against the Republicans "who want to control every aspect of your life" - well, then it is but a short trip indeed to blame everything on "The Bush Regime" in general and Iraq in particular.
Happy New Year!

1/01/2006 06:45:00 AM  
Blogger diabeticfriendly said...

Un Club in Gaza was blown up, by MOSLEMS that did not like the alcohol... the place has been in operation for 50 years...

got to love those palestinians...

murder, kidnapping, rockets, stabbings, firebombs, extortion, rape, ethnic cleansing...

all without israel!

pass the pork rinds, the people of baal are performing!

1/01/2006 07:01:00 AM  
Blogger K. Pablo said...

The one 20th century model which may see resurrection in 2006 is that hoary old concept containment. Allow me to be so bold as to predict that, for the forseeable future, this will be the policy towards Iraq. Basing rights in Turkey, Oman, Iraq, etc. will be used to establish anti-missile defenses (remember, there is no ABM treaty with Iraq.). Although I speculate, certainly anti-ballistic missile technology has come a long way since the Patriot missiles of the 1991 Iraq War.

Following a policy of containment allows breathing space to position espionage assets within Iran via the porous borders with Iraq and Afghanistan. It gives diplomacy time to work. By temporally separating the Iraq conflict from any new conflict with Iran, domestic "selling" of any military intervention can proceed under the premise that it does not threaten strategic overreach of already overburdened U.S. military forces.

1/01/2006 07:16:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

These events ARE tied to actions in Iraq. However they are not CAUSED by those actions.

More & more, even here, there is an attempt to find the Individual culprit. Hamas, Hezbollah, aQ, Muslim Brothers, etc. and then their particular action agent

That is like arguing whether the 1st Infantry Division and the Ist Cavalry Division are seperate entities.

Whether England and the US were united or seperate, on the eve of D-Day.

To discuss the splinters of Hamas in Gaza and the aQ terrorists misbehaving in Iraq seperately is all the more evidence that, even here, there is no real War.
No true believe in the Clash of Civilizations, just a hunt for those 'evil doers' whose actions as illegal combatents or speaking plainly, criminals, make them objects of a manhunt.
Even Israel hunts the Individual, then executes them without 'Due Process' and is assailed for that, sometimes even by US.
The desire to place blame and seek selective Justice, truer indicators then this do not exist that there is no War.

Welcome to the 21st Century, where wars of liberation are really not anything more than giant Police raids. Complete with Arrest Warrants & Defense Lawyers
Despots morph into mere Gang leaders that must be afforded all THEIR Rights.
Gangs become States, but are treated, still, as individuals.

We do not see the forest for the trees.

1/01/2006 07:24:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Gerhard Schroeder: Vladimir Putin's "Western Collaborator"

"Das ist ein Freundschaftsbesuch"

1/01/2006 07:27:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

"We do not see the forest for the trees."
Who is we, 'Ratman?

1/01/2006 07:34:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Why would the KGB be expected to continue to subsidize the Ukraine?
While the Ukraine was within the Russian Sphere of Influence there were benefits to both countries in the arrangement.

Now that Ukraine has left the Russian Sphere what 'right' have they to Russian subsidies?

There are costs to Freedom, even those freedoms gained without bloodshed. Ukranians should open their wallets and pay the piper, or should I say, the pipeline.

Maybe the Chinese will loan them the money directly, that way the US won't get hit for the spread.

1/01/2006 07:38:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Our Government, keemo sabe

The collective known as US

1/01/2006 07:40:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Ah, the collective.
Mui Bien, Comrade 'Rat.

1/01/2006 07:48:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Just call 'em like I see 'em

How about that Osama fella, where did he and his personal Doctor, Z, get off to?

Eastern Iran or western Pakistan, only Potter Goss knows for sure.

1/01/2006 07:54:00 AM  
Blogger NooYawkah said...

The kidnaps themselves will make some headlines, but in even bolder type will be any news of release.

The emphasis will always be on the fact that these abductees were let go, thereby inferring some level of humanity and even magnanimity on the part of the abductors. ("See, they can be negotiated with")

It's appeasement, and only a few short steps away from dhimmitude.

1/01/2006 07:55:00 AM  
Blogger Aristides said...

These peace activists always remind me of the Traveling People and their Way of the Leaf. Their ideals are admirable, but not yet applicable, in a world of evil men.

Those who know what I mean will know what I mean.

1/01/2006 08:11:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

dan darling, over at winds of change, thinks there is an ongoing multi front War against the Mohammedans. He's compiled quite a list of good, bad & ugly in the Mohammedan Wars for '05.

A lot more bad & ugly than good.
Some disagreement on the boards, though. Trying to balance gains on one Front against losses on others.

These Pali kidnappings are no more than street theater, unless they start to chop some heads off.
If, as reports indicate, the I in aQI will soon stand for Israel. Then heads will roll, sooner rather than later.

Oh, that link to Winds of Change

1/01/2006 08:18:00 AM  
Blogger Boghie said...

To All,

I am starting to get interested in a scholarly study of kidnappings of Lefties and Peace Activists in the land of Lefty Activists...

1. They seem to get kidnapped without real violence. In violent parts of the world Without weapons. Very smartly following all the demands of the kidnappers. Even after the lessons learned on 9/11.

2. Then held for a short time. Never too short, never too long. About right. Just enough time to put up billboards and get face time in their nations media.

3. Then released to the media. All treated well, gushing praise at the humanity of the head choppers. Love and Kisses all around. The only bad thing that can happen occurs when the US Military screws things and attacks them prior to release...

The only example of a peace activist whose kidnapping did not follow this model was an individual who spent her life in Iraq helping those people - even in the time of Hussein. Then again, she was not a bombastic lefty media whore.

I mean, it might just be that Lefty Peace Activists are more prevalent in the West Bank, Gaza, Iraq, Yemen, etc… It might be just demographics at work… Who knows…

Maybe I'll spend some time researching this phenomenon.

1/01/2006 08:52:00 AM  
Blogger diabeticfriendly said...

1. They seem to get kidnapped without real violence. In violent parts of the world Without weapons. Very smartly following all the demands of the kidnappers. Even after the lessons learned on 9/11.

hmmmm... even IF the people of Baal (palestine) were to do harm to these people, would they admit it? after all it would destroy their very point of view... it would cause a rupture in the very fabric of left wing nutsville POV...

personally I cant wait to see some of these morons get what they deserve... a palestinian state..

give freedom to the palestinians!

pass the pork rinds please...

1/01/2006 09:27:00 AM  
Blogger Boghie said...

LittleGreenFootballs is having their annual 'Robert Fisk Idiotarian of the Year Awards' right now...

I will be hard pressed to determine the correct category for the first family of anti-western 'peace' activists who get their heads chopped off by some overambition jihadist.

Should they be Idiotarians
Should they be Moonbats
Should they be Darwin Award contestants

Oh, the humanity...

1/01/2006 10:03:00 AM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...


It's interesting that, no mention is made of the reason(s) for the abductions. No mention is made of what the demands were. No mention if these demands were met, by whom, and why. No mention of the cost in allowing these (staged) abductions to occur ad infinitum. No mention of the real purpose behind this theatre performance.

1/01/2006 10:12:00 AM  
Blogger Ray said...


Do not underestimate the abilty of the Left to blame the bombing of UNBAR (UN Booze and Recreation) or the snatching of the Italian on Bush and/or the Israelis. If the ususal suspects are not there to be rounded up, then there are always "root causes" - which must be the fault of the true villians. It reminds me of an episode of The Sopranos where Tony's daughter Medow, speaking to her boyfriend, rationalizes the brutality of the gangstas with pseudointellectual blather about patterns of authority and corruption in Sicily. But what else could she do? She herself is not a gangster and professes values of peace and justice, but she owes her style of life to gangsterism and has ties of family and friendship to brutal bastards. To accept the truth is too difficult and so actions cannot be left as material reality but instead must be deconstructed into abstractions that have no value of themselves except to highlight root causes that absolve the actors.

1/01/2006 10:17:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Good point about rut causes, Ray.
What if that UN incident was mere petty theft gone awry?

Those folks have had it so rough for so long that like Celine Deione says, they had never *touched* good whiskey in their impoverished lives.

One stolen sip led to another, and the rest is now history.

1/01/2006 11:36:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Poverty plus Diminished Capacity, I mean C'mon, have a heart, in the spirit of new beginings, this year.

1/01/2006 11:41:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Using Comparitive Anthropology, it could be Gene Expression, ala the American Injun.
Mika would know.

1/01/2006 11:54:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

'Noisy' Genes Can Have Big Impact
(May 28, 2004)
-- Experiments by Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) investigators have revealed how randomness in gene expression can have profound biological effects, both good and ... > full story
Experiments by Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) investigators have revealed how randomness in gene expression can have profound biological effects, both good and bad.
The research in *yeast* helps explain how it might be possible for randomness in gene expression to lead to differences in cells -- or people for that matter -- that are genetically identical.

1/01/2006 12:02:00 PM  
Blogger Voltimand said...

"The good news is that academic intellectuals can start thinking creatively again, because it is increasingly futile to keep interpreting the world according to Leftist models of the late 20th century. Come writers and critics, prophesy with your pen, and keep your eyes wide, the chance won't come again. Your old road is rapidly aging. You can't criticize what you can't understand."

I'm unclear why academics are appealed to here. Dr. Sanity's prediction is more likely to be the true one. Academics are careerists and their main investment is in the saleability of their pet narrative templates. Dr. Sanity's appeal to the inevitable incoherence of these narratives, however, needs qualifying. The capacity to blame "everything" on a single source (like medieval religionists blaming "everything" on the devil or witches) requires a "rube goldberg" chain of causes: this causes that and that causes the other. There is literally no limit to making anything relevant to anything if you insert enough eonnections in between.

This is finally not a matter of reasonable discourse (or "reasonable" discourse either). It's a contest of wills pure and simple: it's what you want (don't want) to be the case that counts.

It's form or paranoia and fetishizing: the downtrodden are fetishized as "good"; the oppressors are likewise fetishized as "evil." This is how these people make sense of the world they live in from moment to moment every day of their lives. Take that fetishizing away, and they are faced with a fate worse than death: totally incoherent and meaningless chains of events from one second to another second until death.

Sartre's novel "Nausea" is a about a narrator who discovers that he lives in such a world. He discovers that nothing has meaning in a world in which there is no narrative to give its events a center around which to turn. Sans that narrative, there is nothing else than falling through a vacuum.

The left is desparate to hold onto its narratives.

1/01/2006 12:09:00 PM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...


The only American injun I know of, is a white majnun professor pretending to be an injun.

1/01/2006 02:02:00 PM  
Blogger diabeticfriendly said...

wise words from the italian that was KIDNAPPED by the subhuman palestinians (linked to FATAH, the RULING PARTY)

Bernardini works as an aide in the European Parliament and was part of a delegation that included two European lawmakers. After the ordeal, Bernardini drove off in a Palestinian security vehicle.

Later talking to reporters in Gaza City, he said he was treated well and would not change his pro-Palestinian views. “They gave me cigarettes and tea,” he said. “I’m not going to change my ideas about the Palestinians. I will not change my ideas about the (Israeli) occupation.”

yep he was KIDNAPPED in OCCUPATION FREE GAZA and still loves his palestinian felons....

what a moron...

1/01/2006 08:00:00 PM  
Blogger diabeticfriendly said...

I do make an apology for calling palestinians "sub-human" please note, i am only referring to those that support, enable, fund, approve of: kidnapping, killing of jews, suicide bombers and jihad for jerusalem to ethnical cleanse it etc...

1/01/2006 08:25:00 PM  
Blogger diabeticfriendly said...

Not a bad word'

and now another moron!!!

Ms Burton told the BBC she and her family had been moved three times in two days by their captors, who remained masked throughout.

She spoke of her sadness that her parents had had such a "desperate experience" during their visit to Gaza but said she hoped to continue her human rights work there.

Ms Burton, who works for the Palestinian Al Mezan Centre for Human Rights, also told the BBC Arabic service she and her parents had been held in Rafah, southern Gaza.

She added that she could not say a bad word about her captors, who always asked whether they needed anything.

1/01/2006 11:27:00 PM  
Blogger opotho said...

"what a moron...". Yes, but certainly not the first. I never tire of recalling:

"UK journalist beaten by Afghan mob" [Sunday, 9 December, 2001]

"'My glasses were smashed and my spare glasses were ripped away from me. I was covered in blood and couldn't see anything. I was obviously frightened.' ...

"But Mr Fisk said he could understand the refugees' anger, as many had relatives who had been killed by the US bombing of Afghan city Kandahar last week. ...

"They had every reason to be angry - I've been an outspoken critic of the US actions myself. If I had been them, I would have attacked me."

1/02/2006 08:50:00 AM  

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