Thursday, January 11, 2007

The Departure of the Elves

One commentator named Abdikarim, bristling at ouster of the Islamic Courts Union from Somalia remarked in a newspaper that one day the Christians, not the Muslims would be hunted. "You need to understand all you are doing is killing inocent mosles. like there is a terrorist in philipine give me a break. Look at Somalia they the Crusedrs have destroyed a whole nation just becouse they hapened to a Moslem Nation. You know what? one of this day table will turn and it will be Christian who are going to be hunted,becouse there is good in this world and there is justice". He is somewhat behind the times. The Christians are already being hunted. Der Spiegel talks about the unacknowledged ethnic cleansing: the latest and perhaps final departure of Christians from the Middle East.

Christians have lived in the Arab world for the past 2,000 years. They were there before the Muslims. Their current predicament is not the first crisis they have faced and, compared to the massacres of the past, it is certainly not the most severe in Middle Eastern Christianity. But in some countries, it could be the last one. Even the pope, in his Christmas address, mentioned the "small flock" of the faithful in the Middle East, who he said are forced to live with "little light and too much shadow," and demanded that they be given more rights.

There are no reliable figures on the size of Christian minorities in the Middle East. This is partly attributable to an absence of statistics, and partly to the politically charged nature of producing such statistics in the first place. Lebanon's last census was taken 74 years ago. Saddam Hussein, a Sunni who is himself part of a minority, was fundamentally opposed to compiling denominational statistics. In Egypt the number of Christians fluctuates between five and 12 million, depending on who is counting.

Given the lack of hard numbers, demographers must rely on estimates, whereby Christians make up about 40 percent of the population in Lebanon, less than 10 percent in Egypt and Syria, two to four percent in Jordan and Iraq and less than one percent in North Africa. But the major political changes that are currently affecting the Middle East have led to shrinking Christian minorities. In East Jerusalem, where half of the population was Christian until 1948, the year of the first Arab-Israeli war, less than five percent of residents are Christian today. In neighboring Jordan, the number of Christians was reduced by half between the 1967 Six Day War and the 1990s. There were only 500,000 Christians still living in Iraq until recently, compared to 750,000 after the 1991 Gulf War. Wassim, one of the seminary students now fleeing to Kurdistan, estimates that half of those remaining Christians have emigrated since the 2003 US invasion, most of them in the last six months.

To a West ostensibly eager to preserve "older" cultures and desperate for authenticity, the indifference to the decimation of the Christian heartland -- the churches to whom St. Paul addressed his Epistles -- can only be explained by political correctness. But ignorance plays a large part too. Many half-educated individuals wrongly assume Christianity is a Western religion. Nothing could be further from the truth. Christ was born and spread his message in the historical Middle East. The oldest Christian communities in the world, including the one to which the apostle Paul found his way in Damascus were exactly where they are being driven from. Its ironic that a West which hardly regards itself as Christian should consider it a shameful Western doctrine. But then that demonstrates that which is to be demonstrated.

The European legacy of the past centuries has not only tainted Christianity with the colonial brush but created conditions which objectively favored the politics of terrorism in the Middle East. By pursuing the policy of divide and rule and then following it with a cynical willingness to deal with the Last Man Standing, the West created an environment where Islamic extremism and other toxic ideologies thrived. That noxious atmosphere expels everything opposed to it. Were it not for the fact that Israel were defended on all sides by the IDF it could not exist. Perhaps the real objection to Israel is that it constitutes a polity which is prepared to resist force with force. And that, fairly enough, is always a recipe for war.

When Napoleon's troops advanced into the Nile delta in 1798 and occupied Egypt, they noticed strange customs. Coptic women were required to wear one blue and one red shoe. The men were permitted to ride on horseback, but only facing backwards. The French quickly realized that the Copts were subjects "de troisième classe" -- third-class citizens. Some continue to feel that way today.

When Christians apply for an identification card in Egypt, they are occasionally registered as Muslims -- without their knowledge. Once the record is official, it can take up to a dozen visits to the relevant government agency to amend the entry.

For decades, obtaining a permit to build a new church in Egypt was a true test of patience for Coptic Christians. Under an archaic Egyptian law from the Ottoman days, no less than the president's approval was required for a project as insignificant as repairing a church roof. Hosni Mubarak, the current president, only abolished the law last year.

Abdikarim, in longing for the day when he can hunt Christians suffers not from a lack of motivation but a lack of information. The time to hunt Christians is now.


Blogger Peter Grynch said...

The bipolar nature of the Muslim psyche appears to be that whenever they are out-of-power they view themselves as victims, but when they gain power they become horrendous oppressors.

There's an old Arab saying: "Me against my brother; my brother and I against our cousin; my brothers and our cousins against the stranger"

1/11/2007 06:39:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

I eagerly await someone’s rationalization of this piece of news. Can non-Muslims ever expect to fare better?

“The United States recently provided Mr. Abbas and his Fatah 3,000 M-16s and one million rounds of ammunition, to be used against Hamas. Furthermore, the President has asked Congress to approve an emergency aid package of $86 million to Fatah, again to assist it against Hamas. And what does Mr. Abbas do:”
Abbas Calls to Attack Israel, AP Ignores It

Not that long ago, the Copts comprised about ¼ of Egypt’s citizens. If memory serves, that number is now about 1/20. Where have all the Copts gone?

1/11/2007 06:55:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Poignant title. I always felt a bit melancholy when reading about the Elves departing for Valinor. Peter Jackson did a fine job illustrating it in film.

1/11/2007 07:35:00 PM  
Blogger 3Case said...

An Open Letter to the nitwit Abdikarim:


Dig around the internet a while you'll find a joke that ends "That's 'cuz we ain't played Cowboys and Muslims yet." Pay attention to that joke. Print yourself a copy. That day is coming. Your weak, defective, ego makes it so. It is that weakness and defectiveness that makes you so good at hiding and abusing women and old people.

Your bretheren who dare face us learn about our hunting...for a short time before they are dispatched like the sons of dogs they are. Do not fear, we are quick and merciful in our notes with Zarqawi when you see him in Hell.

We are coming for you. Our nitwit Dhimicrats cannot restrain us forever; your ego and abuse of the innocent will free us one day and the real hunting party will begin.

Men far better than you, but no less wicked, named us Devil Dogs ninety years ago. We are coming for you.

Semper Fi.

1/11/2007 09:44:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maliki's officials were at pains to say that the prime minister would decide the issue of most concern to the Iraqi leader: whether, and when, Iraqi and American forces would be allowed to move in force into Sadr City.

That Shiite working-class district in northeast Baghdad is the stronghold of the Mahdi Army, the most powerful of the Shiite militias, and the main power base of Moktada al-Sadr, the Mahdi Army leader, whose parliamentary bloc sustains Mr. Maliki in office.
Samo Samo in Baghdad

1/11/2007 11:49:00 PM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

1/12/2007 02:23:00 AM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...

> [al-Sadr] whose parliamentary bloc sustains Mr. Maliki in office.

That appears to be a typical NY Times article written to generate opposition to the Iraq War, even if it has to lie to do it. It uses the typical liberal technique of arguing the negative, saying "it will never work".

For example, this article,

Maliki-Sadr Breakup

quoting top Maliki advisers, says that Sadr left the government months ago and isn't coming back.

Quote from article below:

When Sadr's supporters first withdrew from Maliki's coalition government, both sides downplayed the rift. Nasar al-Rubaie, the head of the Sadr bloc in parliament, described the boycott as a temporary protest, saying the move did not represent an indefinite withdrawal from the government. And politicians of Maliki's Dawa party said the Sadr faction was likely to return in a short time, perhaps a matter of days. But both sides seem to have lost interest in remaking an alliance since then. Sadr has made no meaningful move to rejoin the government, even as Maliki's office seemed to hold the door open for his return through November and December. Rikabi and others close to Maliki say Sadr is no longer considered a workable ally. "Sadr's people have their own political vision, and we definitely do not agree with them," says Kamal al-Sa'iday, a minister of parliament and longtime confidant to Maliki from the Prime Minister's Dawa party. "And Sadr's followers have decided themselves to leave the political process."

If indeed Maliki has decided to break with Sadr, the move in essence opens the way for U.S. forces to attack the Mahdi Army without political hindrances.

1/12/2007 02:27:00 AM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...

To be honest about it, the Der Spiegel article reminds me of typical liberal whining about discrimination in the US. It uses the same dishonest techniques. It talks about countries in the Middle East which are at war or have closed political systems where all kinds of groups are harassed, and just assumes without saying so that Christians are suffering just because they are Christians. It doesn't point out any Christian group which is discriminated against like Shiites and Sunnis in Iraq.

It's like the feminist headline:
Ship Sinks. Women Drown.

1/12/2007 02:42:00 AM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...

Iraqi Government Expects Sadr's Backing for Crackdown

The Iraqi government said on Thursday it would impose a strict ban on militias on the streets of Baghdad under a new security plan and it expected radical Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr's supporters to comply...

Asked again, in Arabic, if Sadr has pledged his support for the plan, Dabbagh said: "We expect from Moqtada's customary wisdom that he will restrain the supporters of the Mehdi Army from confronting the security forces. These are expectations and commitments we have taken from Moqtada."

1/12/2007 02:53:00 AM  
Blogger 3Case said...

A bit more than assumption from just 2 months back from The Australian:

Beheaded girls were Ramadan 'trophies'

* Stephen Fitzpatrick, Jakarta correspondent
* November 09, 2006

THREE Christian high school girls were beheaded as a Ramadan "trophy" by Indonesian militants who conceived the idea after a visit to Philippines jihadists, a court heard yesterday.
The girls' severed heads were dumped in plastic bags in their village in Indonesia's strife-torn Central Sulawesi province, along with a handwritten note threatening more such attacks.

The note read: "Wanted: 100 more Christian heads, teenaged or adult, male or female; blood shall be answered with blood, soul with soul, head with head."

Javanese trader Hasanuddin appeared in Jakarta Central Court yesterday charged with planning and directing the murders in October last year. He faces a death sentence if found guilty under anti-terrorism legislation.

Hasanuddin allegedly returned from a visit to members of Philippines Islamist group the Moro Islamic Liberation Front with tales of how that organisation regularly staged bombings to coincide with Lebaran, the festival that ends the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. He later spoke with a preacher in Poso, Central Sulawesi, about whether such a plan could work in Indonesia, but expressed doubt about whether it was appropriate.

However, after further discussion with friends, he decided that beheading Christians could qualify as an act of Muslim charity.

Conscripting several accomplices at a local pesantren, or Islamic school, he directed one of them, Lilik Purnomo, to seek out "the head of a Christian", prosecutors alleged.

"It would be a great Lebaran trophy if we got a Christian. Go search for the best place for us to find one," Hasanuddin allegedly ordered his companion.

Lilik returned to say he had found an "excellent" target - a group of schoolgirls who travelled to and from class by foot in the Central Sulawesi village of Gebong Rejo. The village is in the district of Poso, where hundreds of people have died in sectarian violence in recent years.

Many observers worry that Central Sulawesi has become the latest battleground in a deadly jihad.

Three Christian men were executed there last month for their role in a massacre of Muslims in 2000 and there have been a series of deadly attacks in the province in recent months.

Prosecutors yesterday detailed how Hasanuddin, Lilik and co-accused Irwanto Irano planned the schoolgirl beheadings with six other men. They prepared six machetes and black plastic bags for carrying off the severed heads and spent several days surveying the area where the students regularly passed by.

The operation was called off on one occasion, when a woman spotted the attackers hiding by the roadside, waiting for their victims. On the night before the attack, Lilik told Hasanuddin: "I hope you are ready to receive your Lebaran gift."

The attack was launched the following morning, but only four of the six targeted girls appeared.

Lilik, directing the attack from a nearby hill, told his accomplices to act quickly so that the remaining two girls could still be killed should they appear behind their friends.

The attackers cleanly beheaded three of the students but a fourth, Noviana Malewa, escaped after a struggle and ran away screaming. Her attackers gave chase but were unable to catch her.

The bodies, dressed in school uniform, were left by the roadside near the execution site, but the heads were carried in a backpack to Hasanuddin.The trial of his two co-accomplices was adjourned until Wednesday, when Hasanuddin will also reappear."

1/12/2007 06:26:00 AM  
Blogger dla said...

Peter Grynch wrote:The bipolar nature of the Muslim psyche appears to be that whenever they are out-of-power they view themselves as victims

Acurate observation. I believe this is a simple quirk of Islam - when times are good Allah is pleased with us, when times are bad....

This is why Islam is in intellectual retreat and partly why Muslim nations are largely "have nots", while the west has flourished.

1/12/2007 07:13:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


You're completely unaware, then, of the attacks in Iraq on Christian churches?

And is the whole idea of dhimmitude an urban legend?

1/12/2007 07:16:00 AM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...

> You're completely unaware, then, of the attacks in Iraq on Christian churches?

I know the Shiites and the Sunnis are killing each other by the hundreds, and blowing up each other's mosques.

Headline: Iraq Floods
Christian Drowns

1/12/2007 07:55:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Apropos "departure" and Western decay, here's Joseph Campbell:

"The disintegration of civilizations, schism in the soul, schism in the body social, will not be resolved by any scheme of return to the good old days (archaism), or by programs guaranteed to render an ideal projected future (futurism), or even by the most realistic, hardheaded work to weld together again the deteriorating elements. Only birth can conquer death—the birth, not of the old thing again, but of something new. Within the soul, within the body social, there must be—if we are to experience long survival—a continuous “recurrence of birth” (palingenesia) to nullify the unremitting recurrences of death. For it is by means of our own victories, if we are not regenerated, that the work of Nemesis is wrought: doom breaks from the shell of our very virtue. Peace then is a snare; war is a snare; change is a snare; permanence a snare. When our day is come for the victory of death, death closes in; there is nothing we can do, except be crucified—and resurrected; dismembered totally, and then reborn."

In this passage he is referencing Toynbee in the context of myth-as-symbolized-truth. Is he right?

I fear that he is. Is Iraq not exhibit A?

1/12/2007 08:40:00 AM  
Blogger Annoy Mouse said...

The Iraqi Olympics team is short staffed because most of the Iraqi Caldeans (Christian sect) that can run, jump, and swim are already in the US running grocery stores. Perhaps it wasn’t persecution that drove them en mass from Iraq but countless stories in the news indicate that the small minority have been driven from their homes to safer places abroad. Father Boulos Iskander had his head severed in October of last year, probably just another “Lebaran gift”. Maybe there are not enough of them left for you to rise above your cynicism.

1/12/2007 08:44:00 AM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...

There is no doubt there is lethal discrimination against Christians. My point is that the way the article was worded, it sounded politically correct, like something a liberal would write. There is enough real discrimination in the world that we don't need phony-sounding articles.

1/12/2007 09:48:00 AM  
Blogger Roderick said...

I found it astounding when Westerners started apologizing for the Crusades a few years back. For one thing, that was 900-700 years ago, and playing the stupid "long memories" game that is so destructive of the Middle East is dumb enough for Westernenrs to do as it is.

More importantly, they fail to grasp that the entire Mediterranean basin was largely Christian at the time of the rise of Islam. Christianity found itself with its back to the wall, and, naturally, chose to push back.

1/12/2007 10:04:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Always Working Together For The People - Part 6

Bush the war criminal warmongering mental retard stupid corporate redneck capitalist cowboy is evil to the point of sucking out the blood of veterans of his criminal wars of aggression, but the Dear Leader Comrade Generalissimo Kim Jong Il the brilliant statesman political genius, prodigious humanist and invincible military commander is a very loyal leader who take the loving care of the veterans of the Revolutionary Anti-Japanese Liberation War and the Fatherland Liberation War.
When the Great Leader went abroad to conduct international affairs he could always work in ease of mind knowing that Comrade Kim Jong Il was back home. "All the world leaders are envious of our country because of our solution to the problem of the Revolution's successor" said President Kim Il Sung.

This is part six of the Korean documentary "Always Working Together For The People"

1/12/2007 10:08:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

sorry, no trashcans for beta bloggers. Wrong thread, obviously.

1/12/2007 10:10:00 AM  
Blogger Joe Buzz said...

I guess that some of yall would like Centcom, Bush and Maliki all to say "heads up Muqy we are sending the 82nd ABDiv after you."
Then yall would also be the first to point out the problems when it takes us weeks or longer to find his hiding place.....

1/12/2007 10:26:00 AM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...

Sadr is preparing his own surge, according to this article.

New Arms To Militias

US military intelligence sources tell ABC News that large shipments of weapons have been smuggled to Iraqi militia over the past five weeks, including dozens of Iranian supplied EFP's , or Explosive Form Projectiles, highly effective against armored vehicles.

The weapons were sent to Moqtada al Sadr's Shi'a militia, known as "Mahdi’s Army" who control Sadr City, a slum in northern Baghdad with a population of 2 million.

US and Iraqi intelligence units on the ground detected the shipments which are believed to be of Iranian origin. In addition, US military sources tell ABC, Al Sadr has been working on his own "surge," actively recruiting hundreds of residents of Sadr City to supplement the 8 to 10,000 militiamen already believed to make up the "Mahdi Army" in Baghdad.

1/12/2007 11:16:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This was a great link, Wu.
Very Sad.
Reality has deserted the Whitehouse.
Unbelievable Incompetence
Taliban forces are poised for a major offensive, American senior officers believe.

KABUL, Afghanistan -- Radical Islamist Taliban forces, shattered and ejected from Afghanistan by the U.S. military five years ago, are poised for a major offensive against U.S. troops and undermanned NATO forces, prompting American commanders here to issue an urgent appeal for a new U.S. Marine Corps battalion to reinforce the American positions.

NATO's 30,000 troops in Afghanistan are supposed to have taken responsibility for security operations across the country. But Taliban attacks have risen sharply, and senior U.S. officers here describe the NATO operation as weak, hobbled by a shortage of manpower and equipment and by restrictions put on the troops by their home capitals.

The accelerating war here and the critical need for troops complicate the crumbling security picture across the region -- from Afghanistan, where the United States chose to strike back after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, to Iraq, where American troops have been unable in almost four years of fighting to establish basic security and quell a bloody sectarian war.

As a last-ditch effort, President Bush is expected to announce this week the dispatch of thousands
of additional troops to Iraq as a stopgap measure, an order that Pentagon officials say would strain the Army and Marine Corps as they struggle to man both wars.

Already, a U.S. Army infantry battalion fighting in a critical area of eastern Afghanistan is due to be withdrawn within weeks in order to deploy to Iraq.

According to Army Brig. Gen. Anthony J. Tata and other senior U.S. commanders here, that will happen just as the Taliban is expected to unleash a major campaign to cut the vital road between Kabul and Kandahar. The official said the Taliban intend to seize Kandahar, Afghanistan's second-largest city and the place where the group was organized in the 1990s.
Conway said U.S. commanders understand that the Afghan war is an "economy of force" operation, a military term for a mission that is given minimal resources because it is a secondary priority, in this case behind Iraq.

Nevertheless, Conway said, he favored dispatching a Marine battalion here, a decision that would have to be approved by new Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates, and by President Bush.

1/12/2007 12:06:00 PM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...

Already, a U.S. Army infantry battalion fighting in a critical area of eastern Afghanistan is due to be withdrawn within weeks in order to deploy to Iraq.

I wonder "Is this really true?" because it disagrees with other sources. The original AEI / Kagan plan did not involve any troop movement other than from the US plus the reserve in Kuwait. It mostly extended times in Iraq and sent other brigades earlier than they were scheduled.

The Defense Department memo quoted below seems to agree with that.

Also, the Democrats would rip Bush to shreds if he moved troops from another theater, especially Afghanistan. Given that I don't know why he just wouldn't follow the Kagan plan.

DOD Troop Surge

The increase in the number of troops in Iraq will begin today, as the 2nd Brigade, 82nd Airborne Division, begins moving from Kuwait to Iraq, a senior DoD official said yesterday. The unit was the “call forward” force based north of Kuwait City.

DoD officials said they will increase the number of brigade combat teams gradually, and that some units will have to extend. The Minnesota National Guard’s 1st Brigade, 34th Infantry Division, will extend approximately 125 days to July 2007.

The members of the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit will remain in Iraq for about 60 additional days, officials said.

Other units will continue to deploy.

-- The 4th Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, based at Fort Riley, Kan., will deploy in February, as previously announced.

-- The 3rd Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division, based at Fort Benning, Ga., will deploy in March.

-- The 4th Stryker Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, at Fort Lewis, Wash., will deploy in April.

-- The 2nd Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division, at Fort Stewart, Ga., will deploy in May.

Officials said other combat support and combat service support units may be deployed as needed once new requirements are assessed.

1/12/2007 12:31:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, odd that it Quotes Conway and other US sources.
Good news from Afghanistan

1/12/2007 01:31:00 PM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...

I think I get it. The troops were moved from Afghanistan to Iraq before the surge, so this isn't part of it.

1/12/2007 02:06:00 PM  
Blogger Baillie said...

An apt post title: look at any world map and you'll see that the Levant and surrounding areas are indeed in the very middle of the earth's land masses.

1/12/2007 03:25:00 PM  
Blogger runtchard said...

Well, who are the Rohirrim? American will? Northern Europe? The Indians?

1/12/2007 04:05:00 PM  
Blogger runtchard said...

Oh noes!!1 our warning beacons failed :....(

Whose coming on the fifth day, from the east? Ethiopia, aloft Chinese watercraft?

1/12/2007 04:08:00 PM  

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