Wednesday, April 12, 2006

The first front

The rise of radical Islam in Europe described by Bruce Bawer which was the subject of the previous post, is amplified in a Wall Street Journal article by Frederick Kempe. Entitled the U.S. Sees Europe as New Front Against Islamist Extremism, the article says that:

The Bush administration has quietly opened what senior officials consider a third front in a global campaign against Islamist extremism, this one aimed at the rising threat from Europe. ... The administration's evolving thinking came into sharper focus last week during a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing at which Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Daniel Fried said: "While Islamist extremism is a global phenomenon, we find the nature of the problem in Western Europe to be distinct -- both in its character and its potential to threaten the United States."

What makes the challenge so complex, Mr. Fried said in a subsequent interview, is that the U.S. can't address it through arrests, military campaigns or even greater democracy, but needs to launch a generational "battle of ideas" that would be no less critical in importance than that against communism after World War II. It ultimately will have to rely on European allies who mostly have failed to integrate Muslim minorities.

Daniel Fried said at a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on Islamic Extremism in Europe that Islam is rapidly growing within the body of Europe and alien to its host culture.

While Islamist extremism is a global phenomenon, we find the nature of the problem in Western Europe to be distinct – both in its character and in its potential to threaten the United States. Many, perhaps most Muslims in Western Europe are outside the mainstream in several respects. They are a minority, and even the third generation is still predominantly viewed as “foreign.” Muslims’ struggles with unemployment, discrimination, and integration have created an audience potentially open to receiving an extremist message. In many countries, this is compounded by legal institutions that struggle with the challenge of free speech that is exploited by extremists, thus leading to the phenomenon sometimes called “tolerance of intolerance.” Add a deeply negative perception of U.S. foreign policy among Western Europe’s Muslims, and relative freedom of movement across the Atlantic, and you have a particularly dangerous mix.

Moreover, European institutions --  in Fried's estimation -- do not know how to respond to the Islamic growth within it, or rather have responded as they would to other European ideas.

Many European governments hesitate to take action against extremist preaching in the name of defending religious tolerance and free speech. They often fear that crackdowns will only drive radical elements underground. Extremists take advantage of European freedoms to proselytize and recruit from radical mosques and they have taken over several major mosques. In the early 2000s, London’s Finsbury Park Mosque was attended by Algerian-born UK citizens loyal to Chechen Shamil Basayev, who claimed responsibility for the September 2004 Beslan school attack in Russia. In February 2006 a judge sentenced the mosque’s former imam, Abu Hamza al-Masri, to prison for inciting followers to kill non-Muslims. French citizen Zacarias Moussaoui attended London’s Brixton Mosque for a time but was eventually expelled for exposing younger members to his extremist views. Brixton was also attended by “shoe bomber” Richard Reid. Mohammed Atta and other Hamburg Cell members began attending Hamburg’s Al-Quds Mosque in late 1997.

The European debate can fall into a trap of seeking a defensive solution, such as formulas to define and ban hate speech. These kinds of legal bans may well be a dead end. A better solution is to develop norms that challenge and expose extremist thought as with other forms of anti-democratic ideology.

Fried's call to develop "norms that challenge and expose extremist thought" are on closer inspection nothing less than a call to ideological confrontation, chiefly remarkable for being exactly what European societies do not intend to do. Realizing that the European institutions will not confront Islamic ideology directly, the WSJ article describes State Department attempts to engage extremist ideology directly by sponsoring meetings between "moderate" American Muslims and their fire-eating European counterparts.

The evolving U.S. approach adds soft power to the hard power of expanding law-enforcement and intelligence cooperation with European states through increased efforts to combat extremist ideology. That involves engaging the moderate Muslim majority by, among other measures, bringing more Muslims into such existing trans-Atlantic exchanges as the high-profile Fulbright academic-exchange program and the International Visitors Leadership program, whose aim is to identify and cultivate emerging leaders. The State Department also has launched initiatives to bring together U.S. and European Muslims.

U.S. Ambassador to Belgium Tom C. Korologos in November convened what he called the first-ever people-to-people exchange between American and Belgian Muslims, who compared notes on coming to terms with secular Western societies. The Islamic Society of North America, the largest U.S. Muslim organization, announced internships, scholarships and exchanges for Belgian imams and Muslim leaders, teachers and students. The mayors of Dearborn, Mich., and Genk, Belgium, formed a sister-city relationship to help link their communities.

As a program it seems hopelessly inadequate; and whether the exchange will moderate European extremists or radicalize American moderates remains to be seen.


If developing "norms that challenge and expose extremist thought" are a prerequisite to challenging Islamic extremism then the road will be long and hard. Intellectual challenges to radical Islamism have largely been the effort of outcast intellectuals like Oriana Fallaci, Bat Y'eor, Hirsi Ali and others like them. They live in a shadow world, "scorned by the academic establishment for their politically incorrect views", as Bruce Bawer puts it; and literally on the run. Fallaci in fact, has been ordered to stand trial for "defaming Islam" in her native Italy. Hirsi Ali leads a precarious existence under round-the-clock protection from the Dutch government. On the other hand, as Bawer also notes, European intellectuals like Timothy Garton Ash who argue for submission, who say that "for this increasingly Muslim Europe to define itself against Islam would be ridiculous and suicidal" are free to move, speak and publish. Ash is a professor at "Oxford, where he directs the European Studies Centre, and is a fellow at Stanford’s Hoover Institution. He is considered a world-class expert on Europe and its future, and he refers frequently in his book to his participation in glamorous-sounding international conferences on weighty topics. In short, he is at the heart of the European academic elite". Islam's intellectual challengers live a fugitive existence while its defenders move in a celebrity world. If challenging Islamic extremism intellectually is a necessity then the enterprise has gotten off to a bad start.

In fact, there nothing remotely approaching a consensus in Western politics on the need to fight totalitarian Islamism physically or intellectually. Even in America Iraq has become the "unnecessary war"; Guantanamo Bay the unnecessary prison. Wiretapping Al-Qaeda, worrying about the Iranian nuclear weapons program, even building a border fence are all unnecessary acts. And they are superfluous precisely because the notion of opposing radical Islamism is itself an unnecessary idea, inexpressible even as a cartoon. The problem with opening a Third Front in Europe is that the cart may have come before the horse. The truth may set you free, but first you must have truth.


Blogger ignacio said...

If there are two components to this war, soft and hard, the West is being slaughtered in the soft component. The seeming natural allies, such as feminists and the Gay and Lesbian Task Force still see any recognition of Radical Islam's horrors as giving aid and comfort to their number one enemy, George W. Bush. Nothing seems to penetrate this.

The "hard" component is actual battle, and here there is such a predisposition towards pacifism as to be suicidal.

Bruce Bawer is an excellent writer who gains "cred" because he is gay, but after his years in Norway he arrives rather late to the fray.

4/12/2006 08:25:00 AM  
Blogger Dan said...

And even formerly reliable erstwhile defenders of the USA against Euro-petulance such as Bernard Henri-Levy have folded into the "alternative paranoia": that 9/11 provided an opportunity for the proto-tyrants to seize concentrate more executive power, supported by a theocracy-inclined Evangelist swarm. What is this masochistic impulse, and how was it determined to be the position of health, in a Nietzschean sense? ("The Use and Abuse of History for Life" ought to be required reading upon entering University in these times.) I can think of no living philosopher, Continental or Anglo, whose work would compel a more or less correct view. I can think of no artist - other than Southpark! - who addresses these questions, as deep and old as "Europe" itself. The class we would hope to enlist seem the very embodiment of the Eloi. And we get a very precise image of the value of having a vigorous high culture chiefly through the so obvious cost of its absence. I thought Michel Houelllebecq would be a small mercy, and while he is, he is smaller than originally hoped, since he is as ridden with vice and ennui as the culture he ostentatiously condemns. This is the very issue that turned me to organic conservatism in the first place, and I have yet to find reason for hope beyond the authors Wretchard mentions in his posts.

First though, the education must begin. I recommend: The Glorious Quran (Picthall), The Ottoman Centuries (Lord Kinross), History of the Byzantine State (Ostrogorsky), A History of the Byzantine State and Socitey (Walter Treadgold), Muhammad (Karen Armstrong - yes I know she's a douchebag), A History of Islamic Socieites (Ira Lapidus), Byzantium Viewed by the Arabas (El Cheikh), The Formation of Islam (Berkey), Mohammad and Charlemagne (Pirenne), The Meditteranean (Braudel), Islam and Dhimmitude and The Decline of Eastern Christianity (Bat Ye'or), The Chatham House Version (Kedourie), Roman, Provincial and Islamic Law (Crone - in fact Crone has almost cornered the market on scholarship of this kind), The Arab Mind (Patai), The Wretched of the Earth (Fanon), and Beyond Belief and Among the Believers (VS Naipaul) - among others.

The first and foremost problem is that people are not finding and reading the right books, beyond the fact that they are entirely credulous of the "Orientalism" accusations. If anyone has anything to add to the list, please do.

4/12/2006 08:44:00 AM  
Blogger Evan said...

In fact, there nothing remotely approaching a consensus in Western politics on the need to fight totalitarian Islamism physically or intellectually.

That could be because of fear of confrontation, especially in Europe, or a lack of belief that the West is worth defending.
Or it could be that people have decided that Sept. 11 and July 7 are aberrations, unavoidable outbursts equivalent in human-cost terms to several plane crashes a year and not worth radically remaking society over. That the threat from Islamism, IOW, is overstated.

I really don't know which explanation is likeliest.

4/12/2006 08:45:00 AM  
Blogger wretchard said...


"If there are two components to this war, soft and hard, the West is being slaughtered in the soft component."

From one point of view the West was already in the middle of a cultural civil war, the Culture Wars. From that vantage Islam is the cavalry come to rescue the Left after so many lean years. They are bent on winning the Culture Wars. What happens afterward they do not think about.

Their indifference to the consequences may spring from the illusion that once esconced in power power they will be able to "deal" with Islam in the great tradition of Purges following the Binges, that is to say the cleanup after the Revolution when allies are normally sent off to re-education camp. The problem is the Left isn't what it used to be. The old Leninst Parties were hard, like a giant-sized Irish Republican Army. But today they are more like the Gay and Lesbian Task Force. Bruce Bawer's great achievement is to realize that the modern marshmallow Left will be dead meat for the Islamists.

Fallaci, Hirsi Ali, Hitchens and even David Horowitz were all or still are close to the Left and they understand this suicidal cocktail much more clearly than ordinary working folk. They know the Left can cut off its arms to spite its fingers in a fit of ideological madness. Events in Europe have shown that nothing has to make sense. So if the drama seems absurd, that's because it is, though none the less lethal.

4/12/2006 08:48:00 AM  
Blogger Dan said...

The Closed Circle by David Pryce-Jones is great, too. The Great Game by Peter Hopkirk reads just like a The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich (style-wise)...

Hm... what else... c'mon, ye scholars & apostles...

4/12/2006 08:48:00 AM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...

You can't help people who refuse to help themselves. Whether that's do to a hubristic belief among the European elites that they can mangage the "problem" or something even more serious, cultural suicidism, doesn't weem to matter at the moment. There does not seem to be any native counter to the drift of Old Europe into dhimmitude.

Hey. But what the heck, we can have fun in the meantime running down our own Commnader in Chief with puerile ankle biting.

If you don't have a copy of Mozart's "Requiem" yet you should. It's all the rage.

4/12/2006 08:55:00 AM  
Blogger wretchard said...


You should start your own blog, or maybe you already have one. The scholarly investigation of Islamism and the West deserves its own thread. One of the unacknowledged powers of the blogosphere is organize people around threads -- or memes if you will -- and that sometimes results in further action.

Vis a vis the Leftist academic juggernaut the ideas of Fallaci etc are in the John Conner phase. Nobody can take the survival of the idea of challenging Islamism for granted. It's better if everyone tried his hand. Someone might make it.

4/12/2006 08:57:00 AM  
Blogger nittypig said...

"Better Hitler than Blum!"

4/12/2006 09:04:00 AM  
Blogger Paul Coyle said...

Why do I get the feeling that our, ahem, Islamists building networks with European Islamist is going to work against us? What's next, Alantist bomb school?

4/12/2006 09:07:00 AM  
Blogger Ash said...

Wretchard wrote:

“In fact, there nothing remotely approaching a consensus in Western politics on the need to fight totalitarian Islamism physically or intellectually. Even in America Iraq has become the "unnecessary war"; Guantanamo Bay the unnecessary prison. Wiretapping Al-Qaeda, worrying about the Iranian nuclear weapons program, even building a border fence are all unnecessary acts. And they are superfluous precisely because the notion of opposing radical Islamism is itself an unnecessary idea, inexpressible even as a cartoon.”

You are making some very large intellectual leaps here and engaging in conflation. These leaps and conflation then get extended to a ‘clash of civilizations’, a war against Islam, and just ‘nuke ‘em all’ by many of your readers.

In fact there is much that indicates western politics has formed a consensus to fight Islamic extremism as evidenced by the multitude of reactions to 911. To take opposition to the war in Iraq, Guantanamo Bay, unauthorized wiretapping, and reluctance to invade Iran as evidence of opposing radical Islam is to horribly misread the critics. The critic’s views in a nutshell:

Iraq war – doesn’t address or confront the radical Islamists but rather it is a war of an entirely different nature.
Guantanamo Bay – runs counter to American ideals of due process and government accountability.
Unauthorized wiretapping – Nobody has a problem with tapping al Qaeda folks but rather the problem resides with a US President by fiat tapping many other Americans with no court oversight or congressional authorization.
Iranian uranium processing – they have a right to pursue nuclear energy and do the costs of the war out weigh the benefits?

I am against Islamic extremists, I abhor them, but I can legitimately question the methods of dealing with the problem with out relinquishing my condemnation of those people.

4/12/2006 09:17:00 AM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...

I don't believe there's time to develop and promulgate an alternative philosophy to the foundational belief of the Left that competing for land, space, resources and the supremacy of values is wrong and must not be done under any circumstances. It's the grand scale analog of banning dodge-ball.

Rationality no longer works at the cultural level. The Enlightnment is dead and buried. We need nothing less than the new Pope publicly and cleary standing up for supremacy of Western values. More confrontation, not less.

4/12/2006 09:22:00 AM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...

Iranian uranium processing – they have a right to pursue nuclear energy

No. They do not. We, the USA, Israel, the West, are competing with Iran for the supremacy of values. We should win. Must win. The objective is not the pursuit of some idyllic sense of fairness. The sooner that canard is disabused the sooner humanity can progress.

4/12/2006 09:27:00 AM  
Blogger Dan said...

Except when all you do is criticize methods used against enemies that you quite evidently do not understand in sufficiently detailed relief it is very difficult to count you among those who have, in most of our estimations, a true sense of the proportion and character of the threat, Ms. Ash. Perhaps it is a telling kind of opposition, because as much as you spend time criticizing our methods, I do not spend almost any time doing so, yet I am as grateful for and admiring of our civil liberties and all the other principle aspects of our political way of life. The salient difference probably lies here: I am not actually worried that even indefinite detention of executive-designated enemy combatants actually threatens my exercise of my rights and responsabilities. I think the case made in that particular instance is perfectly bounded, limited, and driven by exigencies all of us would rather not be involved in in the first place and did nothing that could be reasonably construed as justifying the conflict in the first place. But that's the great emphasis of Wretchard's post and the purpose of my list: as usual, the problem is ignorance of a culture which gave us little reason to know it intimately prior to 9/11. This is not because we're "ignorant Americans," but because - hey man, I got things to do. I can't be researching every goddamn tribe in the world and endeavouring to understand, in the absence of personal expertise, the contours of the historiographical and philosophical controversies and the determinative personal rivalries of scholars - let alone of the subjects of the study. Of course no one wants to be bombed at his local Wal-Mart or Pottery Barn, but you don't get any credit for that; you don't get any credit for liking Led Zeppelin. But you get discredit for not understanding the methods employed, and you cannot appraise the methods employed solely with respect to our own Constitution and jurisprudential history, which after all has its own history, one that had no intercourse with the present enemy. Take warrantless wire-tapping of calls made from, say, Waziristan via satellite phone to Detroit, USA: ok, it is technically against the law as casually construed; they should have probably filed for warrants within the 72 hours mandated for emergency taps (although they did follow the procedure with respect to the Attorney General). But the question doesn't seem to get asked: what do we do about this, given new technologies? If we couldn't tap except under existing laws, and experienced another 9/11, would the political consequences that would inevitably follow in the current disgusting political environment be a reasonable casualty of the "failure to prevent the attack"? Just for example. As usual, the problem the pro-War, conspicuously anti-Islamist faction addresses is: how do we destroy this enemy? The only alternatives offered are diplomacy and essentially bribery - a grand jizya - to the tyrannies of the Middle East and Africa. Well, that is a Stupid, Dangerous plan, and that would be obvious to anyone who knew the enemy and wasn't pathologically obsessed with bringing down Herr Bush, Theocrat.

And hey that's not a bad idea Wretchard - thank you for the suggestion. Is it expansive to run a blog, or free, or?

4/12/2006 09:37:00 AM  
Blogger anonymouscoameq said...

I hope the US is successful in its attempt, but it seems like a better solution would be for European schools to develop a thorough curriculum that teaches all children, year after year why tolerance is preferable to totalitarianism. This would include lesson about:

The free exchange of ideas, and tolerance of different beliefs leads to improvements and science, economics, government, medicine, religious interpretation and religious understanding, and in all areas of life.

When violence is used to coerce others with differing beliefs it causes civilization to regress back to the middle ages because violence corrupts those who use it and turns them into uncontrolled tyrants. Such tyrants inevitabley use their power for their personal gratification without respect for civil or religious law.

War and violence over religious differences has caused more immorality and sin than heresy or blasphemy ever has. Therefore each person must be allowed to chose his own religious beliefs.

The misuse of religion for political purposes has done more to harm to religion and driven more people away from God than any heresy or blasphemy ever has. For ths reason religion and government should be separated and religious law must be subordinate to civil law.

Women and men should be educated equaly, and treated equally in society and under the law.

Maybe the US can insinuate these ideas into the mass media.

4/12/2006 09:40:00 AM  
Blogger Karridine said...

Wretchard, Dan, Friends all...

The scholarly and thorough examination of both Islam AND Islamo-fascism is displayed brilliantly here:

4/12/2006 09:46:00 AM  
Blogger wretchard said...


The principal cost of running a blog is time. Ok. You can run any old blog. But the cost in time rises proportionately to the quality of the blog. And there's no way around it.

The best thing to do is focus on an area you're interested in anyway. Bloggers do best when they remain near areas of their competitive intellectual advantage. That makes them better than most journalists in that area because journalists are normally generalists. Everyone is the the world's best at something, if he knew what that was.

4/12/2006 09:50:00 AM  
Blogger wretchard said...


Otherwise, blogging is free. Blogspot is a real drag, but it has the advantage of being gratis and hosted, ultimately, by Google. That means that any denial of service attack on you will have to cross swords with Google. So there's good and bad in staying with "free" blogging sites.

4/12/2006 09:52:00 AM  
Blogger Karridine said...

I've been studying that website all day, having only found it this morning when following a linkie about "Its In the Koran!"

And unfortunately, his examination of Islamo-fascism doesn't have ANYTHING on the coming of, teachings of, community raised by or effects of rejection of... Baha'u'llah, the Lord of Hosts.

And the absence is grievous.

4/12/2006 09:53:00 AM  
Blogger Karridine said...

Dan, I concur Wretchard's assessment of the major cost of blogging: time is invested in learning what developed, transpired, occurred, happened... yesterday, last week...

Then when you think you have a grasp on the actualities of the happenings, you invest time in analyzing, sorting, assessing and reporting...

By then, you wanna grab some shuteye before you get up and start it all again!

Like yr style, and wish you well blogging!

4/12/2006 09:58:00 AM  
Blogger orlandoslug said...

Two mistakes: 1) Pushing our culture down the moslems throats; we need to realize that most moslems share many of the conservative values (family, soberness, modesty, etc.) we do and that many of them mainstream moslems have higher ethics than most of our society, and 2) We're letting the radical moslems shape the debate - we need to bypass them and go direct with the debate to the moderate masses of India, Indonesia, etc. and flank the full on assault with un-assimulated, conflicted moslems in the heart of a fully westernized culture...

4/12/2006 10:02:00 AM  
Blogger diabeticfriendly said...

ridicule, ridicule, ridicule, draw out the extremists by ridicule...

make fun of them

laugh at them, sponsor "islam looking stupid" contests to DRAW out the radicals prematurely!!!

Radicalize them now while there is TIME to let themselves separate from the mainstream, do not allow them safe havens to thrive quietly under the radar..

give them (not sell he he) rope to allow them to over play their hands...

we cannot change them, they do not wish to "get along" their faith is sincere, they sincerely wish to remove my head from my shoulders.

so what is there to loose? they might not LIKE us?

newsflash... they dont...

4/12/2006 10:06:00 AM  
Blogger wretchard said...


"I am against Islamic extremists, I abhor them".

You can say this on a shabby Internet site like the Belmont Club. But try publishing a pamphlet to that effect and distributing it through Borders. Or drawing a caricature of an Islamist extremist and exhibiting it on CNN. Alternatively try printing it in a Canadian student newspaper. Or in a pillar of press freedom like the New York Times. Perhaps you will have better luck in academia. Try out that statement in Professor Ward Churchill's class. Or carry a placard to that effect in Trafalgar Square. It will be an interesting exercise. Wafa Sultan's name is now on a hitlist. Can't say I'm surprised.

4/12/2006 10:16:00 AM  
Blogger skipsailing said...

I disagree with orlandoslug. I don't think we're shoving our culture down anyone's throat.

american culture is very seductive and with global media such as it is many people are getting a glimpse of our way of life. We're not demanding that the iraqis watch too much TV and eat too many cheeseburgers, but we are saying that free people have choice.

This statement:

" we need to realize that most moslems share many of the conservative values (family, soberness, modesty, etc.) we do and that many of them mainstream moslems have higher ethics than most of our society, ..." simply does not stand up to scrutiny.

what we are seeing right now is quite the oppasite of what you contend. What we're seeing isn't a superior set of ethics we're seeing a different set of ethics.

The muslims may have problems with alcohol and sex and rock and roll but it seems that extortion, bribery, kidnapping and heroin are all well within the ethical framework of the Muslims.

If there are any so called moderate muslims out there, let's see them. If there are such people it's long past time for them to show the same level of courage as our Marines and take arms against the madmen that have highjacked their faith.

4/12/2006 10:21:00 AM  
Blogger Tony said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

4/12/2006 10:29:00 AM  
Blogger Tony said...

Wretchard mentions the "John Connor phase" but I think it more likely that we're going to move to the role of Skynet, via net-centric warfare, Predators, Global Hawks, B-2's with their new 80-barrelled GBU-38 shooters, and so on, sticking to what we're good at, eschewing evangelism and nation-building.

Sorry to intrude on such a serious post with a little Terminator humor.

4/12/2006 10:33:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

How Zbigniew Brzezinski, Carter, and Muzzie French Thinking

Brzezinski envisaged the creation of a string of Islamic allies that, for religious and political reasons, would prefer the United States against the "godless" Soviet empire.
The second stage in Brzezinski's grand strategy was to incite the Muslim peoples of the Soviet Union to revolt against Moscow and thus frustrate its global schemes.

The Bzrezinski strategy had been partly inspired by Helene Carrere d'Encausse, who, in her book "The Fragmented Empire," predicted the disintegration of the Soviet Union as a result of revolts by Muslim minorities.
Zbigniew Brzezinski on "stirred-up Moslems".
Brzezinski: What is most important to the history of the world? The
Taliban or the collapse of the Soviet empire? Some stirred-up
Moslems or the liberation of Central Europe and the end of the
cold war?**

Question: Some stirred-up Moslems? But it has been said and repeated:
Islamic fundamentalism represents a world menace today.

Brzezinski: Nonsense!
It is said that the West had a global policy in regard to Islam.
That is stupid.
There isn't a global Islam
Look at Islam in a rational manner and without demagoguery or
It is the leading religion of the world with 1.5 billion followers. But what is there in common among Saudi Arabian fundamentalism, moderate Morocco, Pakistan militarism, Egyptian pro-Western or Central Asian secularism?

Nothing more than what unites the Christian countries.

4/12/2006 10:51:00 AM  
Blogger diabeticfriendly said...

we dont have to use bullet when crayola is better..

islam could give a hoot about "how many lives" it costs, they dont give a hoot about "living standards"

no, the religion of islam needs it's ass kicked...

just as the christian church has lost it power

just as the jewish temples were destroyed

islam needs to be "corrected"

start with ridicule, finish with a big black rock being destroyed...

it's funny watching the west see what I have seen since mohammed murdered his way across arabia..

4/12/2006 10:55:00 AM  
Blogger wretchard said...

My own thinking, for whatever it's worth, is that Muslim communities Europe are there to stay. Once a population reaches 10% of the total, equivalent to say Blacks in the USA, then it becomes a permanent fixture. Europe's collapsing demographic guarantees that Islam is setting down roots in the old continent for keeps.

But because people have become addicted to a way of life which requires an influx of immigrants (sound familiar?) no one is prepared to alter the situation, even if it could be altered. And because politicans are ready to sell their souls for a few votes more, nothing will change until a crisis is reached, and even then only such minimal changes as can be endured.

The problem is that in the contest with Islamist extremism, the West can't do enough. It may already be too late. But throughout the 90s and earlier, the problem flew under the radar. Now President Bush's policies may have the effect of heightening the tensions without solving the problem. On the other hand, what else is there to do?

4/12/2006 11:12:00 AM  
Blogger vogz said...

Europe will go out with a whimper not a bang, and I hope I'm wrong. To confront Islam directly would mean to admit that the entire postmodern worldview (de-)constructed over the last thirty years or so amounts to zilch. And that would be blasphemy (or whatever the secular equivalent is).

4/12/2006 11:34:00 AM  
Blogger Starling David Hunter said...

Skipsailing said:..."If there are any so called moderate muslims out there, let's see them."

Skip, here are three places where you can find them, and in abudance: American University of Dubai and American University of Sharjah and Education City in Qatar, e.g. Carnegie Mellon's campus.

I required this term that all my strategy students this term at AUS create their own blogs. They blog mostly about business and somethimes political issues with business implications. If you are interested to know what some of them had to say about things like Dubai Ports world and the Danish boycott, check the sidebar of my blog, The Business of America is Business.

Among the notable student blogs are Lina the Warrior Princess (I actually thought that one up); Sara Strategy, she's been reading John Stuart Mill lately; she also has an interesting take on the Middle East versions of those Dove soap ads that sprung up all over the states last summer; Nothing is Crystal Clear; Qais Sedki's Unimaginatively Titled MBA blog; Sultan's blog who did a very nice analysis of the Saudi banking industry; Nazia's "Guiding Star" , see her very interesting, semi-autobiographical short story about escaping arranged marriage and studying in the West; and Omair's Anecdotes, Uncensored, the best writer in the class.

My point is that there are a lot of people here who are moderate, who get it or who are starting too.

Skipsailing also said: "I don't think we're shoving our culture down anyone's throat."

Here we agree. You don't generally have to push that which people already strongly desire. There is a huge and uptapped demand in the Middle East and Gulf States for more knowledge about American values, about everything from politics, education, media, art, science, and business. The only thing people here don't seem to have an interest in is our religion, which is fine by me because that's not what I teach or am here to promote.

4/12/2006 11:42:00 AM  
Blogger Eggplant said...

Is it possible that "Spengler" is Lee Kwan Yew?

4/12/2006 11:50:00 AM  
Blogger allen said...

dan, 8:44 AM

You have done well!

Henri Pirenne
___ A History of Europe

Alfred F. Havighurst
___The Pirenne Thesis

Carroll Quigley
___The Evolution of Civilizations - An Introduction to Historical Analysis

Gary Belsky & Thomas Gilovich
___Why Smart People Make Big Money Mistakes etc - Lessons from the New Science of Behavioral Economics

Belsky & Gilovich would be helpful in understanding why people make monumental foreign policy and strategic mistakes, as well.

Quiqley spent decades lecturing at the Georgetown School of Foreign Service. Among so many other things, he offers what may be the most succinct and understandable explication of the "Scientific Method" ever done.

Pierrne and Havighurst can be hard to find. If a drug addled mind (analgesic) can be relied upon, serviceable copies can be had on e-Bay and possibly Amazon.

Quigley is the exclusive product of the Liberty Press Foundation.

4/12/2006 12:13:00 PM  
Blogger Ash said...

Wretchard at 10:16 AM,

You seem to be stretching the Cartoon debacle to allege a blanket ban has been made on speaking out against Islamic Extremism. Numerous leaders have stated publicly their disdain for Islamic extremism. Bush himself has even referred to Islamofacism.

4/12/2006 12:16:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Yeah, Ash, no problem at all speaking out, unless they put a Fatwah on your head, or the PC Police in Academia, MSM, DC, ACLU, and etc set upon you.
No problem at all.
Talk about putting the horse before the Cartman:
If you watched SouthPark they could update you on the latest defense:
Order lots of Sand to Bury your head in.

4/12/2006 12:52:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

I forgot about our friendly Muzzies who CAIR so much about free speech too, unless they don't like what it says.

4/12/2006 12:54:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

starling david hunter, 11:42 AM

Re: "moderate muslims"

It is a pleasure to read your work on this site. Your links are of benefit, as well. Thank you.

When the question of what is a moderate Muslim comes up, I take the shortcut: from a moderate Muslim I expect to hear the unequivocal repudiation of anyone or any organization responsible for sending a bomb-laden or otherwise armed assailant into Israel to kill civilians. I want to hear a single word (and not one word more) used to describe such an act: terrorism. Instead, to date, this is what I get in response to such a real or hypothetical act:

This was sent to Mika, yesterday.

Re: Makkah

"MAKKAH, Jan 10: ('02) "Muslim scholars meeting in Makkah stressed on Thursday that terrorism is alien to Islam, which the West has often associated with terror since the September 11 attacks on the United States.

In a statement issued after a six-day meeting, a group of scholars affiliated to the Muslim World League spelled out their definition of terrorism, saying it applied to '“any unjustified attack by individuals, groups or states against a human being.”'

Those Muslim scholars are a hard audience - "any UNJUSTIFIED attack." Well, like Mr. Bush, I know I'll sleep better knowing that the scholars of Islam speak for the undisputed "Religion of Peace." I do have some reservation about "unjustified."'

I have no doubt that in the vast population of Muslims will be found some number of "moderates". Unfortunately for us all, these moderate voices do not have the power to speak authoritatively. Therefore, with regret, I will continue to assume that a "moderate" Muslim is as rare as a Phoenix.

Again, sir, you are a gift to this site. The thoughtful contribution of your scholarship is one of the reasons that the Belmont Club is so highly regarded, Wrecthard's funk, today, notwithstanding.

4/12/2006 01:04:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...


"Bush himself has even referred to Islamofacism."

He's got the Secret Service. Remember this?

"Italian cabinet minister Roberto Calderoli resigned on Saturday after wearing a T-shirt printed with cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad."

That was less then two months ago. And then there's Wafa Sultan. And she didn't even speak against Islamofascism. Simply said to the Imam, you believe in what you want, let me believe in what I want. How safe is Wafa Sultan now? She lives in LA? But no Secret Service.

4/12/2006 01:08:00 PM  
Blogger CatoRenasci said...

The irony of all of this is that the divisions and rivalries among Christian authorities and various contending groups coveting power over each other are the primary reason Islam was successful in the 7th century when in burst out of Arabia. The West and Byzantium squabbled on all levels, and the Mahometans were united in their desire for plunder and spoil. A reasonably united and vigorous Western and Byzantine response to the Arabs would have made short shrift of them around 650AD.

4/12/2006 01:10:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...


How about this this one?

Hussein Naboulsi of Hezbollah to Michael Totten:

“We know who you are, we read everything you write, and we know where you live”.

Hussein Naboulsi is threatening to go after Michael Totten in America because he doesn't like what Totten writes. Where is it safe to speak out against Islamofascism?

4/12/2006 01:16:00 PM  
Blogger speaker-to-animals said...

When the question of what is a moderate Muslim comes up, I take the shortcut: from a moderate Muslim I expect to hear ....
no. what you want is reformist muslims, like Hiirsi, Sultan, Warraq, Manjid.. people who think just like you, who are westernized.
Moderate muslims, or, as i prefer, "the pious middle", are not interested in reforming Islam. They are not interested in becoming secularized western ideology clones like the afore mentioned reformists. They are interested in raising their families and making dhikr.

and Wretchard, in my work experience" mentoring" programs rarely work.

4/12/2006 01:21:00 PM  
Blogger orlandoslug said...

Wretchard said:
"...what else is there to do?"

We can take a play out of Hamas's play book...hit their humanitarian needs hard.

Screw the elites & liberals...we need Red on Red; that is, the upright, conservative, down-to-earth, hardworking people of America (not sure there enough left in Europe to bother) working alongside like-minded moslems on their home turf.
For security reasons this will rule out many locales; however, many soldiers fit the mold and could right in while serving a dual purpose (I know I'll hear howls of protest...but, everyone acknowledges that our soldier's mission is changing...)

4/12/2006 01:25:00 PM  
Blogger speaker-to-animals said...

Wretchard, Wafa Sultan did not have a death fatwa issued against her.
you would know that if you had read the entire transcript of the debate. MEMRI only translated excerpts and called it an interview.

you can read some discussion here.

Dr. Shackelford's hypothesis is that the pious middle doesn't sell nearly as well as death fatwa! and beheading! and stoning! and rioting! to the MSM.
kinda like the good news from Iraq. ;)

4/12/2006 01:28:00 PM  
Blogger skipsailing said...

Many thanks Mr Hunter. What, in your opinion lead to the isolation of these two cultures?

I can understand that Iran and Iraq would wish to limit interaction between their citizens and America for political reasons, but are there structural barriers within the muslim/arab culture that make it impossible for them to live with us?

4/12/2006 01:36:00 PM  
Blogger Habu_1 said...

Ash re: your 9:17.

First of all almost all your assertions regarding the action of the President and wiretapping are leftist dogma and incorrect.
It is as if you repeat them, or hear them often enough with your circle of friends it becomes fact.

There can be as little rational discourse with you as there can be with Islam. After 9-11 to contain a mighty furyin this country the President went out of his way, as did other officials, to cast Islam as a religion of peace. You hear it every day.
But it is the same peace that Lenin spoke of. Peace as defined by both Islam and Lenin means when all reisitence to their tenents are abandoned and they rule all, undemocratically. In the case if Islam it would be a return to the Dark ages, and the efforts of the millions of souls who have perished to protect enlightened freedoms, from Runnymede to today would be in vain.
I don't know where you get your primary and secondary source material to justify what you say but it's cuurency in the real world isn't of much value.
You will learn more on this single blog than you will almost anywhere.
I exclude myself, but the writing's of Dan,Karridine,Wretchard,Allen, just to name a very few are well researched and excellently written.
Please read then with an open mind.
It is often said that the true mark of genius is to be able to debate both sides with equanimity.
I wish you the best life and entreat you to examine honestly what is here to read and learn.

4/12/2006 01:52:00 PM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...


They are interested in raising their families and making dhikr, why? What's so special about dhikr?

4/12/2006 02:00:00 PM  
Blogger John B said...

Here is an interesting comment from the other day at Jihad Watch. The author is Italian:

"The Muslim delusion. What is going to happen is that the more they murder and disrupt, the more any Westerner who is not insane (unfortunately, this thread starts with a prize example of illiterate insanity) will just shake his/her shoulders and say, "Well, I don't like going to war much, but I guess we have no choice." If only all our Muslim enemies were as violent and as outspoken as this twit, we would have no trouble in mobilizing public opinion; it is the softly softly catchee monkey option - significantly deployed by people like Tariq Ramadan, who know us well - that makes it difficult to unite the public behind resistance. But sooner or later, the mere force of facts will drive the majority throughout the West to accept intervention in Muslim countries."

"If anyone wants to ask how this fits into the razor-thin victory of the left in the Italian election, the answer is simple: it almost saved Berlusconi. A month ago, Berlusconi was a political corpse. All reasonable Italians knew, and still know, that he was and is, as Hugh calls him, "a comical crook," a right-wing Italian Hugo Chavez, who broke all his promises, used government to protect his criminal self and his criminal friends, and pursue a crazy vendetta against the judiciary; in normal times, he would have been crushed. But millions of people who would have voted against him were horrified at the thought of vile dhimmi bastards such as Diliberto and half-baked PC maniacs such as Pecoraro Scanio in government, and voted for him as the lesser of two evils. Berlusconi's campaign was entirely about the evils of the Left - there were times when he seemed to have forgotten every word of Italian except for the proper name "Stalin", and by God, it worked. He almost won. By assaulting the left, he managed to gather votes where the insistence on the shimmering wonders of his administration had done nothing but give feed-lines to every comedian in the country. Hamza Piccardo's consultation with Diliberto and his order to Muslims to vote for Diliberto's party probably helped, too."

"It does not pay to be pro-Muslim and PC in the West, and as time goes on, it will pay less and less. Even in Norway, Carl Hansen is at the gates of government; in Germany, Schroeder's anti-Americanism proved a broken reed. The high tide of dhimmitude and PCness was the victory of Zapatero in the Spanish elections - and it is my hope and belief that the tide is turning. In the future, even the left, if they want to win elections, will have to be careful not to sound too dhimmi or "concerned"."

Posted by: Paolo

4/12/2006 02:03:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

O/T, but a solid read, the great Canadian Catholic essayist David Warren looks in on the Intifada, on this beginning of Passover.

4/12/2006 02:13:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

speaker-to-animals, 1:21 PM

Catchy name. I readily admit to being the offspring of what "moderate" Muslims call pigs and monkeys.

Now, you have not answered the question. Can you say "terrorism" without the obligatory "moderate" Islamic "but"?

4/12/2006 02:16:00 PM  
Blogger Ash said...

wretchard, I agree that the threat of death can have a chilling effect on what one says and so does 'libel chill'. Good free thinking people should resist such coercion. I do not dispute that the Islamic extremists will do this and that some have succumbed but I do dispute that everyone cowers in fear and refuses to speak.

4/12/2006 02:20:00 PM  
Blogger onetailtest said...

Highly recommend The Venture of Islam, three volumes, University of Chicago Press.

4/12/2006 02:39:00 PM  
Blogger Aristides said...

There are at least two men in this country who refuse to cower.

Watch Southpark tonight at 10 p.m. ET. It's going to be eventful.

4/12/2006 02:48:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

"...the threat of death can have a chilling effect on what one says...."

This is because death has a freezing effect on what one says. Step in closer, Ash.

4/12/2006 02:49:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...


There's two reasons people enjoy any safety at all. The first is that they take precautions. Ms. Sultan and Mr. Totten must now take precautions. The other is that men stand on guard to keep to worst threats out. Every night I remember who it is that keeps the bad men away.

4/12/2006 02:50:00 PM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...

Watch Southpark tonight at 10 p.m. ET. It's going to be eventful.

You got my interest. Preview?

4/12/2006 02:53:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...


There's a hit list of apostates that just came out. Sultan's name is on it. Now it could be spurious, but who's to know?

4/12/2006 02:56:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Murder is pretty serious. If it were acceptable, we would be back to short brutish lives, as who would venture to compete with anyone who has no stricture against murder other than the physical obstruction posed by hiding, or gun/fort protection. WalMart would have a huge problem if the unions opposing it were to just start killing WalMart employees. What if instead of on the net we were all in a physical room, and it was ok--in my belief--for me just to shoot you, Ash, because you disagree with me? Sound grim? Sounds jihadi. For real, too.

4/12/2006 03:06:00 PM  
Blogger Dymphna said...


Here's something new concern to focus on...or at least new to me. I hadn't put the information together till now:

Nuclear Reactors, Earthquakes and the Persian Empire

Or maybe I'm late to the ball and you covered this months ago.

If not, let it serve as a kind of ultimate distraction...

4/12/2006 03:21:00 PM  
Blogger trangbang68 said...

Dan,Are you familiar with the book"Jihad" by Paul Fregosi?It is an interesting compilation of Islam's history of conquest.
I was listening to the tape of the flight 93 takeover on the news and thought,it is a good metaphor for the stew we're in.
The plane is western civilization.The Al Qaidas are playing themselves.There are excerpts of passengers or crew begging for mercy from the merciless.
I can hear Ash's heartcry in the plaintive "Please don't hurt me".Ash's 9:17 post shows the best we can hope for in this fight from the left;verbal agreement that Jihadis are mean-spirited.If we could only make them understand that"Mean people suck" or "War is not healthy for Children and other Living Things" or "You can't hug a child with nuclear arms".Yeah that's the answer,let's sloganize them.
Meanwhile as Ash so cogently states, any attempt at actually fighting back can't be allowed because...don't you see then we'd be mean too.Imagine all the people...
The best part of the metaphor though is the brave men that stood and fought.One was a Christian,one was a guy,etc.They gave their lives to prevent greater evil.
The tape also demonstrated why fight we must.The jihadi at the controls screamed Allahu Akbar! as he plunged the jet to earth.A madman from the womb to the tomb.Kill them we must.Let's roll!

4/12/2006 03:26:00 PM  
Blogger heather said...

Dan, reading material: Gildas, on the ruin of Britain. Old (500 AD or thereabouts). But substitute Vortigern for deGaulle/Chirac and the Saxons for the Islamists. The "Dark Ages" of the 3rd through 7th centuries are very relevant today.

But, to be cheerful for a moment, stuff is happening. Alberta is booming, developing its oil sands, etc., and is BEGGING for engineers. However, I know of one case where a fellow was leaving Calgary, after fruitlessly hunting for a job - he got not one response to his resume. He has a Middle Eastern name; English is his second language; and he has had lots of experience in the oil biz in the Middle East....

Suddenly, I have some hope ....

4/12/2006 03:35:00 PM  
Blogger trangbang68 said...

Correction: Among my heroes was "A Christian and a guy.."Actually he was a light in the loafers guy.That guy from Seattle.
Ash,were you deeply disappointed that Neil Young made the song"Let's Roll" which celebrated Todd Beamer and company stompin' some Al Qaida posterior?

4/12/2006 03:38:00 PM  
Blogger Dymphna said...


That Warren post wasn't OT at all. It was spot on. I'm glad to hear they couldn't get the usual Israeli condemnation in the UN for the response to the Gaza strikes.

My only fear, which I think Warren downplays, is that Israel is appeasing over and over again as it gives up more and more territory.

I can't remember who suggested that Israel and Jordan ought to form a stronger alliance. The fact that the Jordanian queen is a Palestinian gives the Hashemites some gravitas against their homegrown terrorists.

4/12/2006 03:49:00 PM  
Blogger Jamie Irons said...


You wrote:

wretchard, I agree that the threat of death can have a chilling effect on what one says and so does 'libel chill'. Good free thinking people should resist such coercion. I do not dispute that the Islamic extremists will do this and that some have succumbed but I do dispute that everyone cowers in fear and refuses to speak.

Now, having read many, many of your comments here I have concluded that you are a good-hearted person of good will, and sometimes you even make sense.

But really, Ash, this is lame. "Extremists will do this..."? "This" being murder anyone who disagrees with them!

"Good free-thinking people should resist such coercion..." (!)

Indeed! Ash, sometimes you just have to kill the f****ers! Really, you do. It is terrible and terribly unpleasant, and I am not a brave person myself. But we are being pushed to the wall here.

Give up the left-wing nice guy pose, because you know if they came after your wife or your sister or your mom, you would be just as evil as some right-wing yahoo like me. I think you might be even meaner, because your illusions had been stripped away.


Jamie Irons

4/12/2006 04:35:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Heather, how many things is radis (euphimized/neologged "Radical Islam") pulling backwards? What you described was once called "shunning", later "racism", now perhaps just "tragic".

Wellll, nope, 'tragic' isn't quite right.

Something to connote risk. Maybe that's it, just "security". IOW, all those personnel managers were only being resonsible, only protecting their community. The poor engineer, your heart has to go out to him. But, whatcha gonna do? After all, the risk, tho tiny, is grave. Like swimming with sharks.

4/12/2006 04:39:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...

What's first prize for winning a beauty contest under a system no one dare mention? It's a race to the bottom now.

Miss Iraq goes into hiding from militants.

"Silva Shahakian, an Iraqi Christian, received the title of Miss Iraq when the initial winner stepped down after receiving death threats and two other runners-up also bowed out, a person familiar with the event said Wednesday."

4/12/2006 04:43:00 PM  
Blogger Aristides said...


Last week Southpark decided to join the Cartoon Wars. Here is a good summary:

The reason for their panic? In the South Park episode, Fox's animated sitcom The Family Guy is planning to air an episode where the Prophet Mohammed makes a cameo appearance.

The townsfolk of South Park barricade themselves into the village community center, fearing an American repeat of the violent Muslim response to the Danish cartoons. Only after a news report airs the following morning that Fox made a last minute decision to censor Mohammed do they emerge from their makeshift fortifications.

The South Park show ends on a cliffhanger, as the people of America begin burying their heads in the sand to prove their sensitivity to Muslims (they won't hear the show or see the show with their heads buried, get it?), while a voiceover announces that South Park is also a two-part series, and begins asking that Adam West-Batman style of questioning: "Will the people of America be safe? Will Fox let the Family Guy air? Will they show Mohammed Uncensored? Find out next week to see if Comedy Central pusses out."

South Park used the Family Guy as a metaphor for their own show. Trey Parker and Matt Stone announced to the world that they will caticature Mohammed next week, and dared Comedy Central to stop them.

4/12/2006 04:53:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Dymphna, if there's an earthquake/reactor accident, it'll be Bush's (ahem) "fault".

4/12/2006 04:58:00 PM  
Blogger pete speer said...

I doubt that anyone will get down this far. But it as to be clearly evident that we can not treat Islam as a single fath with a single set of beliefs. Er have the extremism of Wah'hab Sunni and their ilk, who believe that in any organized society religion is the single dynamic force and secular society must obey the dictates of the Imams. Then we have the Shia, who as a basic tenet of their belief call for the coexistence of the seculkar and the religious. he mercedes Mullahs in Iran are a schism, designed to justify the overthrow of the Shah. They have a tiger by the tail in terms of the formerly repressed secular underclass, which form the core of the Reviolutionary Guard. They control civil society in Iran abd the currnt president can be removed by the Supreme Council.

These bazaaris are playing us. The ewnrichment of uranium to levels suitable for a power plant is not inappropriate.

But as I said before, we are face to face with fifteenth century Christianity -- and appropriately so, since if we counted the Hegira as year zero, the Muslim religion in year totals is at that point.

It took at least another 100 years before our secular Christian philosophers started parsing out theories which led at the end of the eighteenth century to the formation of the United States. There is not an Abou Ben John Locke.

Examine if you will the tratment of the Afghan Muslim turned Christian. Compare it to the fifteenth century inquisition, when heretics converting to Islam were put to death forthwith.

Let's understand what we are dealing with here

And how can a country like Iraq turn into a unitary democracy, since that was not accomplished until the eighteenth century. And even in America it took a some time before the former colonies agreed that it would serve their common interest to have a stronger central government, but still retain the states.

We have to understand what we are facing before we can defuse it

4/12/2006 05:14:00 PM  
Blogger Aristides said...

Spengler on France:

Habsburg Austria, the embodiment of the medieval Catholic empire, became the target of the French messianists, because it was precisely this model that the French desired to supplant. Catholic universal empire, the "prison of the nations" in its 19th century Habsburg expression, ultimately was a failure. By contrast, the United States, a melting-pot nation of immigrants, achieved a transcendant kind of universality, and thereby became the world's dominant power.

It is this that France cannot abide in its sacred heart of darkness. Habsburg Austria was a competitor, but America is an obsession. The fact that America twice saved France during the 20th century merely reinforces the French sentiment of ultimate irrelevance. Centuries of accumulated bile ooze and gurgle in mortification. None of it matters. France has no military power and a sclerotic economy. Along with the rest of Europe, its population is aging and soon will decline. Its protest against American hegemony is the last echo of an evil age in Europe whose passing will go unmourned.

4/12/2006 05:21:00 PM  
Blogger Dymphna said...


Of course the first nuclear reactor earthquake accident in Iran will be Bush's fault. Some special ops gone awry.

Just like that tsunami was Bush's doing.

But how about the third and fourth (figuring one every decade, if the stats are right?)implosions?

Why then it will be Hillary's fault, or whomever is in office. It's an old game: "draw horns on the American president."

Old Jimmah's been trying to remove his ever since. But the world doesn't have enough white out to accomplish the task, nor does he have enough years left.

Anyone crazy enough to run for the American presidency ought to be certified and put in a rest home.

4/12/2006 05:29:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

I agree. If I had been George Bush in the month after Katrina, with the left accusing me of racism and the right of "not handling the left properly", I believe I would've called a presser, popped david gregory in the nose, shot the whole country the royal bird, and come on back here to Crawford, For good.

Nah, I'd've stuck around for you, Dymphna.

4/12/2006 05:44:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

"Hey, let's use the hurricane to lose the war, so we can take back that House seat in Illinois!"

4/12/2006 05:46:00 PM  
Blogger Cedarford said...

2 problems:

First,not enough blood has been shed yet by Islamoids to get past 40 years of "victim-oppressor class worldview", multi-culti. enemy "rights". To get people serious, we need more dead people. That simple.

Second, Bush has done little to engender confidence. The confidence a President engenders is the sum of public perception of how well things are going under his leadership. You can't just say Only Iraq matters and.... please ignore 3.00 a gallon gas, doubling corporate pork, unguarded borders with him standing next to Fox calling private citizens watching the borders "vigilantes", heartland America jobs gutted and outsourced to China while the trade deficit grows from 200 billion to 850 billion in 5 years, 3 trillion in Bush-added national debt (more than all previous Presidents put together), more Big Government growth than under LBJ, tax cuts mostly going to the top 5% of Americans in the Owner Class, failing health care, widening inequalities between Americans. Or give the guy a pass in Iraq and fighting the "few evildoers who hijacked the Religion of Peace" - while ignoring his major bungles with postwar Iraq, inability to seek trying any strategic communications in the struggle with radical Islam, alienating all of Europe & Asia and losing Latin America to Castroism, Harriet Miers, the Terri Schiavo Fiasco, Katrina, and pissing off the Republicans in Congress with lack of consensus.

In short, Bush has shot his Presidency all on his fixation with saving the "noble people of Iraq" from themselves - who other than the Kurds - appear to be among the most ungrateful people on the planet, next to the French.

Might as well wait, folks. The best you can hope for is Bush doesn't get impeached and gas fails to reach 8.00 a gallon before a competent person replaces him and tried repairing the country like Reagan had to do after Carter..

4/12/2006 06:41:00 PM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

Iraqi Air Force Vice Marshal Georges Sada on Saddam’s WMD Secrets

4/12/2006 06:46:00 PM  
Blogger RWE said...

"The truth will set you free."

And it is increasingly obvious that the truth is that whether they are Mexicans crossing the U.S. border or Muslims fleeing into Europe, what they really want is for some white males to tell them what they need to do to escape their own culture.

Now, the battle of ideas is basically: How do we get them to realize that fact?

4/12/2006 07:14:00 PM  
Blogger Ash said...

Jamie Irons wrote:

"Indeed! Ash, sometimes you just have to kill the f****ers! Really, you do"

And that is true sometimes it is you or them. This is very different then condemning a whole class of people (muslims) because some (extremists) threatened you.


I'm not trying to make a strong point here but...

You lament political correctness, the lack of gumption, the caving in of folks, over things like the Cartoons. Free speech and all. On the other hand we are ready to invade Iran because of words like "Israel is a mistake" "Wipe Israel off the map"...rhetoric... and yet many are prone to excuse Habu_1' "level all the mosque's" rhetoric as a 'turn of the phrase'. In Britain they are trying to shut up the radical Imams with speech laws...legislated PC...yet we shudder to think we can't/shouldn't make cartoons of Mohammed. My instincts lead me toward freedomm of speech but as Buddy likes to stoke our fear; they've said it and if they have the tools...

anyway, just musing.

4/12/2006 07:19:00 PM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...


There are only 2 reasons that you do not fear Islamists.

1. You are fearless
2. You are one of them

So which is it?
In any case, I'd like your address.

4/12/2006 07:36:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Ash, Mika is very subtle--he wants you catch onto the difference between a blogger venting spleen, and the head of a bloody-handed and vastly powerful murder state making promises. If I'm a fear-monger, it's because I read a lot of history, and know that we ought to be a-feared.

Cedarford, how many times over the years have you put up that same rant, and how many times have I let myself get suckered into a 500 worder pointing out that you write well enough to prove that you cannot possibly believe yourself, and ergo are only pretending that you do.

4/12/2006 07:52:00 PM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

You know Ash, sooner or later I'll have your address. And then what will you do.

4/12/2006 07:58:00 PM  
Blogger Aristides said...

You know, I was thinking. If we are truly involved in an ideological war, what we need are ideological tools. (If, which I think is correct, memes have power, the course of human history could be understood as an arms-race of ideas in addition to an arms-race of weaponry.)

Now, a tool is something built for a purpose. With memes, it would be a message. An incredibly useful tool would be usable on a wide variety of heteroglossia. It's message would be eminently communicable. It's effect would be distributed broadly.

Well, I think--and here I am being awfully presumptive--that the most recent South Park is precisely the tool we've been looking for. The message, the medium, the outcome--all are absolutely aligned to accomplish our goal: the goal, obviously, of steeling our people against the memetic onslaught of multicultural suicide.

Matt Stone and Trey Parker have given us a gift, and we should use it.

The conduit of communication in 21st Century America flows from the people. Here, a niche market like Comedy Central can produce something that, if absorbed by a vast amount of people, can change the way we think--and therefore change the way we live.

The blogosphere is an entry key into this flow of communication. We can find something overlooked, force it into the national conversation, and change the way people think about a certain issue. Our power comes from discovery and persistence, our refusal to accept partial answers to partial questions. We can agitate what's important onto the national radar screen. Once sufficiently agitated, the MSM will pick up on it, and the message will be broadcast.

Well, here we have our chance. We can make the South Park episode the topic du jour, the catalyst, the entry vehicle into the issue of cultural certitude. If we talk about it enough, if we make an issue about it in the blogosphere, sooner or later the nation, and then the world, will be talking about it. And then the world will change (I'm not joking, this is not a pollyannish assertion; if the world were divided into those who condemn South Park's message and those who defend, the world would change). Now's our chance.

Of course, we could just sit back and wait until others make a big deal about it. I think it's inevitable. But why not us, why not now?

4/12/2006 08:09:00 PM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...


The MSM will not pick up on it, because the MSM will be dead. What you will have instead are Town Cathedrals where Town Meetings take place. One such Cathedral is the Belmont Club.

4/12/2006 08:21:00 PM  
Blogger Aristides said...

I don't know. Comedy Central prohibited South Park from showing Mohammed. That is an incredibly potent fact.

4/12/2006 08:28:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

it is for sure, savagely funny stuff--wikipedia does a good job of transferring the humor to the pagescreen. satire: mental fiber--can't get too constipated with enough consumption--

4/12/2006 08:30:00 PM  
Blogger Aristides said...

For those who didn't see it, South Park's message, continuously driven in, was this:

If everything's not okay to joke about, then nothing is.

4/12/2006 08:31:00 PM  
Blogger Aristides said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

4/12/2006 08:35:00 PM  
Blogger Aristides said...

And then, after censoring Mohammed, the show ended with cartoons of George Bush, the American Flag, a single mother, two gay guys, and Jesus getting shat on and singing how they loved it.

A stronger juxtaposition has never been produced.

4/12/2006 08:37:00 PM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...


Why would I pay $600 a year for CableTV, when BitTorrent and Firefox will do just fine?

4/12/2006 08:40:00 PM  
Blogger Karridine said...

Aristides, in even TELLING of the abuse, scorn, indignities and physical suffering HEAPED onto Baha'u'llah, it approaches extremism because the combined theocratic governments of Iran and Iraq were united in their efforts to discredit Him, and actively worked at it for nearly the full 40 years of His ministry!

The Bible tells us that after His coming, Christian clergy are safe if they get hot, get enthusiastic for Him, as this leads people TO Him.

And clergy do good if they wax cold, as this criticism leads people TO Him.

But Christian clergy are DAMNED when they choose lukewarm, neither taking a stand FOR Baha'u'llah or AGAINST Him!

THIS, that the Bible condemns as 'lukewarm', is the ONLY way the Christian and Muslim clergy can prolong their pitiful grasp on the hearts and minds of the people of this world!

4/12/2006 08:49:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

for the History channel, of course! And FoxNews, CNBC's mkt shows--esp Kudlow's and Cramer's--and Turner (*spit*) Classic Movies.

4/12/2006 08:53:00 PM  
Blogger Charles said...

wretchard said...

My own thinking, for whatever it's worth, is that Muslim communities Europe are there to stay. Once a population reaches 10% of the total, equivalent to say Blacks in the USA, then it becomes a permanent fixture. Europe's collapsing demographic guarantees that Islam is setting down roots in the old continent for keeps.
I disagree. The reason I disagree is that in the hours days and weeks after 9/11 there was little or no confusion.

My aunt was visiting that morning from north carolina. we were chatting over breakfast with the tv on in the background when the reports of the first airliner hitting the world trade center came in. We saw the second airliner hit the world trade center live. When the third airliner hit the pentagon my aunt -- who had planned to go downtown to Washington DC to see the sights-- decided it was best to stay at home in the suburbs.

9/11 created a moment of great clarity.

4/12/2006 09:12:00 PM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

4/12/2006 09:26:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

How are the whale-oil futures lately?

4/12/2006 10:05:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

charles--me too, every second of that day is burned in.

4/12/2006 10:09:00 PM  
Blogger Karridine said...

Friends, I only post on-thread here because:
1) we talk about 'reforming Islam', and
2) we talk about the unacceptable outcomes of Islamo-fascism; and
3) we talk about finding something better;

1)Baha'u'llah HAS come, making direct reference to Islam, free speech, freedom of worship, equality of men/women, the one-ness of humanity... ALL of which has been rejected by Islamic clergy and kept hidden from the Muslims; and
2)fighting Islamo-fascism will affect us all, so why not LEVERAGE our good efforts (in the 'soft war') by publicly, repeatedly referencing the only One with the authority to reform Islam, Baha'u'llah?

3)is it possible that the administrative system, now functioning effectively in every nation, island, protectorate and administrative region in the world, MIGHT be better than a party-based adversarial system or any of the tyrranical systems of CONTROL masquerading as GOVERNMENTS?

4/12/2006 10:09:00 PM  
Blogger speaker-to-animals said...

wretchard, the authors of that list are takfir--they have no authority to issue fatwa.
internet script kiddies, i betcha.
and a fatwa is a non-binding jusrisprudent opinion.

in this country our supreme court justices get death threats, too. i just think Islam is not the only evil operating here.

dhikr means remembrance. Instead of the doctrine of Original Sin, Islam teaches that man is forgetful, and dhikr, praying five times a day, reminds him.

there are 1.3 to 1.5 billion muslims--what percentage rioted over the cartoons?

and i loved south park tonight. if one thing is not worth making fun of, then nothing is.
the cartoonnetwork screen was part of the mock. adult swim is fearless. ;)

and speaker-to-animals is a kzintzi ambassador, from Larry Niven's Ringworld. it is a sci-fi reference to one of my favorite characters, is all.

4/12/2006 10:30:00 PM  
Blogger Anointiata Delenda Est said...


You know, I was thinking. If we are truly involved in an ideological war, what we need are ideological tools.

You are absolutely right, as is Pork. We need to ramp up this 'offensive' weapon.

My suggestion, from a year ago, was an airdrop of Fender Strats and Marshall 4x4s to the kids of Iran and just watch the sex, drugs, and rock n roll wipe out the Mullahs.

It wiped out the priests.


4/12/2006 10:47:00 PM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

there are 1.3 to 1.5 billion muslims--what percentage rioted over the cartoons?


Good point! I'll be making the same point when those 1.3 to 1.5 are soon wiped off the earth. How many people do you suppose it would take to send the nuclear tipped missiles on their way? What percentage of the Judeo Christian world would that be?

4/12/2006 11:48:00 PM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...


dhikr means remembrance. Instead of the doctrine of Original Sin, Islam teaches that man is forgetful, and dhikr, praying five times a day, reminds him.

Why not tattoo it on the forehead. Worked for Cain.

4/12/2006 11:53:00 PM  
Blogger ledger said...

On a slightly different subject, Wretchard's series on the Murders on Haifa Street and the seemly inexplicable fact an Iraqi stringer "just happened" to on the scene to photograph the murders of Iraqi election workers on Haifa Street seems to becoming clearer.

The AP stringer Bilal Hussein (who photo graphed the Murders on Haifa street) has been arrested with insurgents and weapons. It appears he worked hand-and-hand with the terrorists to spread propaganda.


Bilal Hussein has worked for the Associated Press during most of the Iraq War, bringing pictures of insurgents... among other issues. Michell Malkin reports that the AP's lensman has been caught with a weapons cache and has been detained by the US military. She has links to the complete back story

See: Captian's Quarters blog via Michelle Malkin link below.

[Photo of AP stringer Bilal Hussein]

This afternoon, in response to a tip from an anonymous military source in Iraq, I contacted both the AP reporter embedded with the Marines in Ramadi, Todd Pitman, as well as AP's media relations office head quartered in New York concerning Hussein's whereabouts. No word from Pitman. But at 6:20pm EST, I received the following e-mail response from AP:

"We are looking into reports that Mr. Hussein was detained by the U.S. military in Iraq but have no further details at this time.

Jack Stokes
The Associated Press
Corporate Communications"

According to my tipster, Hussein was captured earlier today by American forces in a building in Ramadi, Iraq, with a cache of weapons.


4/13/2006 02:13:00 AM  
Blogger ignacio said...

Ledger: I remember that case -- illuminated by Wretchard -- very well.

4/13/2006 02:59:00 AM  
Blogger Dan Dare said...

"Today apostasy is punishable by death in the countries of Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Yemen, Iran, Sudan and Mauritania. In Pakistan blasphemy is also punishable by death. Other punishments prescribed by Islamic law include the annulment of marriage with a Muslim spouse, the removal of children and the loss of all property and inheritance rights."


What a shame they don't have "Speaker-to-Animals" to point out that the fatwas are non-binding.

4/13/2006 03:59:00 AM  
Blogger Dan said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

4/13/2006 05:07:00 AM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...

Just to be sure I've got my framing right:

It's only the percentages that matter. 100,000,000 nut jobs is only 10% so no prob.

What some loosely connected identity group did 500 years ago should determine how I/we respond to events today. You can get mileage out of victimhood but grabbing your ankles for one side of a 500 year old story may be asking too much.

Time to 'fess up speaker. It's OK to argue the other side but at least be honest about it.

4/13/2006 05:17:00 AM  
Blogger Dan said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

4/13/2006 06:03:00 AM  
Blogger Dan said...

Speaker - but Islam is obviously more vulnerable to mere charismatic leadership. This is inherent in Islam's non-structure. Colleges of law, no rules for ordination, Sunni/Shia splits, conflation of polity and clerisy, absence of caliph - though even under the Caliph the same prevails. It is hard for us in the era of Constitutions and bureaucracy to appreciate the sheer Asiatic sprawl, terminating in one colossal leap up to the Caliph and the tyrant - entire majorities of humanity providing a trellis so that one man may live in, as Locke says, the State of Nature. From a Darwinian point of view, interesting.

4/13/2006 06:15:00 AM  
Blogger Ash said...

Mətušélaḥ said...


Why would I pay $600 a year for CableTV, when BitTorrent and Firefox will do just fine?

I guess in your world only Chinese people engage in copyright ripoffs?

4/13/2006 06:34:00 AM  
Blogger Ash said...

Mətušélaḥ said...

You know Ash, sooner or later I'll have your address. And then what will you do.

ahhh, I see, using your logic, now that you've threatened me, it is now perfectly ok for me to search you out and kill you and your family.

4/13/2006 06:41:00 AM  
Blogger Dan said...

this amir taheri article is interesting for its discussion of the probably inevitable Tehran-Moscow axis influencing the Middle East after Bush.

4/13/2006 06:50:00 AM  
Blogger Dan said...

this amir taheri article is interesting for its discussion of the probably inevitable Tehran-Moscow axis influencing the Middle East after Bush.

4/13/2006 06:50:00 AM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...


I haven't threatened you. I just asked for your address. Why do you feel threatened? And why would you assume the thread is so serious that you must now seek out and kill me?

You say were using my logic. Fine. Let's use your logic, and have that address.

4/13/2006 07:26:00 AM  
Blogger allen said...


I am still waiting. Cat got your tongue?

When the question of what is a moderate Muslim comes up, I take the shortcut: from a moderate Muslim I expect to hear the unequivocal repudiation of anyone or any organization responsible for sending a bomb-laden or otherwise armed assailant into Israel to kill civilians. I want to hear a single word (and not one word more) used to describe such an act: terrorism.

Come on, don't make me wait any longer, just simply say that the assailants and enablers above are going to hell. Can you say "Terrorism?"

4/13/2006 07:27:00 AM  
Blogger Dan said...

Awesome post on Iran from Reuel Gerecht. Ash - check it out.

4/13/2006 07:34:00 AM  
Blogger Dan said...

Whoops I don't think it pasted fully.

It's the topic item today in weekly standard online. Must-read.

4/13/2006 07:36:00 AM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...


How to link. Click here.

4/13/2006 07:50:00 AM  
Blogger doolz said...

I think that this lgf post is relevant to Bawer's argument:

'According to Schoonenboom “we should not be so spastic about the Sharia.” It may be that the system leads to corporal punishment in countries like Saudi Arabia and Sudan, “but under the Sharia in Morocco, family law has been reformed, very much to the advantage of women’s rights.” The Sharia for Muslims is comparable to the Ten Commandments for Christians, in the researcher’s view. “It is God’s plan for human nature.”'

Is Schoonenbloom Dutch for 'Pangloss'? I'm sure that Dutch women can't wait to enjoy the advantage to their rights that Moroccan women so enjoy.

4/13/2006 08:41:00 AM  
Blogger allen said...


I think it means "Vichy".

You really must try to understand that European sophisticates have the situtation well in hand; it is the best possible of all possible worlds. And, if not, well, they'll just have to call on the colonials again.

4/13/2006 09:03:00 AM  
Blogger Oengus Moonbones said...

Wretchard: "...the modern marshmallow Left will be dead meat for the Islamists."

Hmmh. The "marshmallow Left" is an interesting epithet. I like it.

I guess after the Islamic Revolution in Europe and Canada, and Shari'a has been imposed everywhere, there'll be a grand "marshmallow roast"— excepting possibly in a few small Pornostans set aside where the dhimmi's are allowed to be relatively unmolested while they live out their old age. After that, universal peace.

4/13/2006 06:39:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

And, universal religious secret police, armed with the power to beat and kill on sight, to enforce it.

The whole world a taliban soccer stadium (donated by the west, where people know how to create economies), where women have their brains blown out in front of (western-made) video cameras, for the sin of having husbands who think they might have thought of another man maybe.

Beautiful world, where only the infidel can produce anything besides opium and hashish, and human nature is punishable by torture and death.

4/13/2006 09:50:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

buddy larsen, 9:50 PM

Thanks! Some ideas (like some people) just need kill'n.

4/13/2006 10:00:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Papa ray linked somewhere nearby, to this story of Universal Peace.

4/13/2006 10:45:00 PM  
Blogger Tex said...

dan: I have yet to find reason for hope beyond the authors Wretchard mentions in his posts.

Even with the additions you've provided in this thread, it is an astonishingly short list. And that itself should be sobering, to those who are inclined to sobriety.


Dan, thank you also for mentioning
On the Use and Abuse of History for Life, which I link.

As I read and thought again about the best uses of history, I found myself involuntarily popping through the layers of history that the GWOT has now draped across our actions. This uninvited return of history, which is such a nuisance to many, serves a few well. The army private reading Sir Lawrence's 'The Seven Pillars of Wisdom' in his Bradley is using history well, because it addresses his real need as a western soldier among Arabs. And because he consciously uses history for his need, it does not overwhelm him.

I was heartened by Nietzsche's assessment of the value of this process: a process whereby men, in his words, "seized possession of themselves again." It's an ennobling thought. Would you have some elaboration, btw? Especially, elaboration on this paragraph:

There were centuries when the Greeks found themselves in a danger similar to the one in which we find ourselves, that is, the danger of destruction from being swamped by what is foreign and past, from "history." The Greeks never lived in proud isolation; their "culture" was for a long time much more a chaos of foreign, Semitic, Babylonian, Lydian, and Egyptian forms and ideas, and their religion a real divine struggle of the entire Orient.... Nevertheless Hellenic culture did not become an aggregate, thanks to that Apollonian saying: ["Know thyself."] The Greeks learned gradually to organize the chaos because, in accordance with the Delphic teaching, they directed their thoughts back to themselves, that is, to their real needs, and let the apparent needs die off. So they seized possession of themselves again. They did not remain long the over-endowed heirs and epigones of the entire Orient. After an arduous battle with themselves, through the practical interpretation of that saying, they became the most fortunate enrichers and increasers of the treasure they had inherited and the firstlings and models for all future national cultures.

4/14/2006 01:03:00 AM  

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