Friday, August 31, 2007


And if the immigration hordes aren't enough to register on your outrage scale, try wrapping your brain around this latest Bush plan for kissing up to Mexico to benefit his business buddies.

The Teamsters Union said today it has been told by officials in the Transportation Department's Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration that the first Mexican trucks could come across the border as soon as Saturday unless Congress gets involved. Tell Congress to block the Mexican trucks.

The union said Thursday it would ask a federal appeals courts to block the Bush administration's plan to begin allowing Mexican trucks to carry cargo anywhere in the United States. Teamsters leaders said they planned to seek an emergency injunction Wednesday from the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in San Francisco.

"What a slap in the face to American workers, opening the highways to dangerous trucks on Labor Day weekend, one of the busiest driving weekends of the year," said Teamsters President Jim Hoffa. Joining the Teamsters in seeking the emergency stay were the Sierra Club and Public Citizen.

"Before providing unconditional access throughout the country to tens of thousands of big rigs we know little to nothing about, we must insure they meet safety and environmental standards," Sierra Club executive director Carl Pope said.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, in a statement, said it was working closely with the department's inspector general "as his office completes an additional assessment of the program and we prepare a detailed response to that report."

The Bush administration said last week it would start the cross-border program once the Transportation Department's inspector general certifies safety and inspection plans.

Leslie Miller, a Teamsters spokeswoman, said attorneys for the federal truck safety agency advised the union's lawyers that they expect to get that certification on Friday. She said the Teamsters also were told by the agency attorneys that limited authority for trucks to begin crossing the border will be approved Saturday. Supporters of the plan say letting more Mexican trucks on U.S. highways will save American consumers hundreds of millions of dollars. Labor and driver-owner groups have been fighting the measure—part of the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement—since it was first proposed, saying the program will erode highway safety and eliminate U.S. jobs.

A one-year demonstration project would allow 100 Mexican motor carriers full access to U.S. roads. It can begin as soon as the inspector general certifies that safety and inspection plans and facilities are sufficient to ensure the Mexican trucks are as safe as U.S. trucks.

My opinion is that if Mexico wants to become part of the United States republic, it should apply to become number fifty-one. Then American laws and standards should apply across the board, and perhaps this land grab would work in both directions in a more appropriate way than it does now. Of course this is a silly suggestion, but we all but have those conditions in play now, with open borders and undocumented foreign commerce operating on our highways.

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Three opinions.

I hate to tell you, but it's not 1624 anymore. In 1624, due to a wide variety of historical factors that are no longer present, rulers of a population were far more able to retain a chokehold on that population. Today's rulers do not have the command over their population that the Algerian pasha did.

The Algerian pasha controlled the government, had formed an alliance with the pirates, and was holding Dutch prisoners in state prison. The dynamic between the terrorists/insurgents and national leaders is far more complex today (except in Pakistan, where Musharraf has allied with the radical Islamists): In Lebanon, Hezhbullah waged a fairly successul Jihad against Israel even as the the Lebanese PM pleaded for an end to the violence. Hamas has also used the state-within-a-state model. Finallly, all those Saudis on 9/11 did just fine without engineering a coup d'etat against the government.

Unlike in 1624, today we are fighting a war not against governments and not against rulers, but against INDIVIDUALS. This means that our main task is to win over INDIVIDUALS—not to enrage an entire population by carrying out a grotesque killing. That worked in 1624, but there were no suicide bombers in 1624. Wake up. You're not in Algeria anymore.

I disagree. We can only defeat Muslims if we fight them in a way they'll understand. It is true that we are fighting against individuals therefore we must fight in a way that eliminates enemy individuals while discouraging other individuals from fighting.

The population of Algiers were outraged and, more important, distraught to see their loved ones hanged. They also knew the same would happen to them if they continued piracy. Right now, an individual who does a suicide-bombing in Tel Aviv knows he will be lionized while his family is financially rewarded by Saudi foundations. If he knew that his family instead would all be executed in the most viscous manner and then cremated, he might think twice before blowing himself up.

One of Osama Bin Laden's sons just got married in London and lives free in the UK. An effective policy would be to round up all the family members of Al-Qaida, Hizbullah, and the Taliban leaders and start executing them until every terror organization is disbanded.

Ancient Carthage continually threatened Rome until the Romans finally slaughtered all the Carthaginians and resettled the city with loyal subjects. They also defeated the army of Boudaccia the same way. Of this latter conflict Tacitus wrote, "they made a desert and called it peace." Well, it was cruel to make that desert but it did bring peace.

The only thing I can think of at a time like this is a line from Bob Dylan. Well, what the hell, let's just go for the whole riffing song:

They're selling postcards of the hanging
They're painting the passports brown
The beauty parlor is filled with sailors
The circus is in town
Here comes the blind commissioner
They've got him in a trance
One hand is tied to the tight-rope walker
The other is in his pants
And the riot squad they're restless
They need somewhere to go
As Lady and I look out tonight
From Desolation Row

Cinderella, she seems so easy
"It takes one to know one," she smiles
And puts her hands in her back pockets
Bette Davis style
And in comes Romeo, he's moaning
"You Belong to Me I Believe"
And someone says," You're in the wrong place, my friend
You better leave"
And the only sound that's left
After the ambulances go
Is Cinderella sweeping up
On Desolation Row

Now the moon is almost hidden
The stars are beginning to hide
The fortunetelling lady
Has even taken all her things inside
All except for Cain and Abel
And the hunchback of Notre Dame
Everybody is making love
Or else expecting rain
And the Good Samaritan, he's dressing
He's getting ready for the show
He's going to the carnival tonight
On Desolation Row

Now Ophelia, she's 'neath the window
For her I feel so afraid
On her twenty-second birthday
She already is an old maid

To her, death is quite romantic
She wears an iron vest
Her profession's her religion
Her sin is her lifelessness
And though her eyes are fixed upon
Noah's great rainbow
She spends her time peeking
Into Desolation Row

Einstein, disguised as Robin Hood
With his memories in a trunk
Passed this way an hour ago
With his friend, a jealous monk
He looked so immaculately frightful
As he bummed a cigarette
Then he went off sniffing drainpipes
And reciting the alphabet
Now you would not think to look at him
But he was famous long ago
For playing the electric violin
On Desolation Row

Dr. Filth, he keeps his world
Inside of a leather cup
But all his sexless patients
They're trying to blow it up
Now his nurse, some local loser
She's in charge of the cyanide hole
And she also keeps the cards that read
"Have Mercy on His Soul"
They all play on penny whistles
You can hear them blow
If you lean your head out far enough
From Desolation Row

Across the street they've nailed the curtains
They're getting ready for the feast
The Phantom of the Opera
A perfect image of a priest
They're spoonfeeding Casanova
To get him to feel more assured
Then they'll kill him with self-confidence
After poisoning him with words

And the Phantom's shouting to skinny girls
"Get Outa Here If You Don't Know
Casanova is just being punished for going
To Desolation Row"

Now at midnight all the agents
And the superhuman crew
Come out and round up everyone
That knows more than they do
Then they bring them to the factory
Where the heart-attack machine
Is strapped across their shoulders
And then the kerosene
Is brought down from the castles
By insurance men who go
Check to see that nobody is escaping
To Desolation Row

Praise be to Nero's Neptune
The Titanic sails at dawn
And everybody's shouting
"Which Side Are You On?"
And Ezra Pound and T. S. Eliot
Fighting in the captain's tower
While calypso singers laugh at them
And fishermen hold flowers
Between the windows of the sea
Where lovely mermaids flow
And nobody has to think too much
About Desolation Row

Yes, I received your letter yesterday
(About the time the door knob broke)
When you asked how I was doing
Was that some kind of joke?
All these people that you mention
Yes, I know them, they're quite lame
I had to rearrange their faces
And give them all another name
Right now I can't read too good
Don't send me no more letters no
Not unless you mail them
From Desolation Row

As they say, all's fair in love and war. Oh, I forgot. They don't say that anymore. Oh, by the way, if the preceding blog entry doesn't make sense on its own, please continue down the page, reading the next entry, which prompted this one.

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Exercising the Muslim tradition of extracting jizya from any and all, the Taliban demanded and South Korea paid $2.46 million to Taliban extremists in Afghanistan to secure the release of 19 hostages. Citing unidentified sources in Afghanistan, a Japanese newspaper Asahi Shimbun said Afghan mediators persuaded South Korea's ambassador in Kabul that there was no other way to end the six-week kidnap ordeal.

"Two million dollars were paid to release all 19 people," an Afghan mediator was quoted as telling the influential Japanese daily.

Officially however, the Asahi Shimbun said both a South Korean official and a Taliban spokesman contacted by the newspaper denied any payment. The Taliban, who earlier killed two of the hostages, freed the 19 Christian aid workers this week after South Korea promised to withdraw its military from Afghanistan as planned and ban missionary groups from the Islamic country. South Korean officials have not commented on whether a payment was made to any party to help secure the release.

In 1622 the Dutch entered into a treaty with the pasha of Algiers in which payments to the pasha would “buy the peace” and Dutch merchant vessels would be allowed to pass in the Mediterranean unmolested. By 1624 the depredations of the Algerian corsairs on Dutch ships returned to the pre-treaty levels.
The Algerians would capture the Dutch ships, seize their cargo as war booty and return to Algiers with the Dutch crews who would then be sold into slavery throughout the Islamic empire. All of which of course is sanctioned by the Islamic canon that enjoins jihad upon the non-Muslims wherever they may be encountered.

The Dutch leaders had their fill of the unprovoked jihad and so dispatched a squadron of warships under the command of Admiral Lambert Hendrickszoon (”Mooy Lambert”) to deal with the pasha. Admiral Lambert soon arrived at the mouth of the Algerian harbor with several Algerian corsairs in tow that he had captured along his way. He anchored his squadron in the harbor and sent word to the pasha that he demanded the immediate release of all Dutch citizens and return of their ships and cargo. If the pasha did not comply, the admiral would hang all of the Algerian officers and crewman in his possession. The pasha refused, believing that Lambert was bluffing. Lambert promptly turned his squadron out to sea with every one of the Algerian captives hanging from the spars as the Dutch squadron disappeared over the horizon.

The spectre horrified the Algerian populace and the city convulsed with wailing crowds and tumultuous clamor at the gates of the pasha’s palace. There was no time for the pasha and his officers to fully ponder the implications of the event as soon they beheld the return of Lambert’s squadron with a fresh collection of captured corsairs and their crews. Lambert again anchored in the harbor and repeated his demands with the same threat if they were not met. The pasha relented immediately, all the Dutch captives in the city were freed and their property restored. Admiral Lambert turned to sea and returned to Holland.

Unfortunately the victory of Lambert had only a temporary effect but it did demonstrate to all the Europeans that the jihad emanating from the Maghreb could be stemmed if the Europeans were willing to wield an uncompromising sword in their hand. It would be nearly two centuries before the United States, under the leadership of President Thomas Jefferson would adopt the Lambert solution to subdue the depredation on American merchant ships by Algiers, Tripoli, Tunisia and Morocco. It took the Americans nearly 15 years of intense and often brutal military effort to finally achieve a lasting cessation to the jihad. Consistent with over a thousand years of experience, it also proved again that the jinn of jihad can only be contained with direct and overwhelming force.

Thanks to Dr. Mack for this lesson of the Dutch fighting back against the Muslim pirates.

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Newt Gingrich of Georgia speaks out against George Bush's "Phoney War" with a resolute directness and strength most welcomed here at the Two-Fisted Quorum. I won't spoil the fun by revealing too much here. Just watch the video.

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Thursday, August 30, 2007


"Poems From Guantanamo is a challenge for even overwhelmingly sympathetic reviewers," says online pundit Mark Steyn.

Well, I had occasion to pick up one of these books and browse through it just last weekend at Washington DC's ever so trendy Busboys & Poets diner and bookstore. The establishment is actually a hopping swell place to be, day or night, no matter what your take on world events, political dodge ball, or cheap but scrumptious food. Open mikes, poetry readings, diligent roundtables, sofa dining, locally-produced contemporary art on the walls, and extra friendly management all give dress up props to any controversy rolling in off the curb.

The book was thin, in hardcover, and driven with poems reeking of sentimental sour mash known to egg-eyed romanticists and incarcerated malcontents everywhere in a phenomenon generally known as the gnashing of teeth, in that former culturespeak now lost to multicultural scapegoating. Artistry? Perhaps. I can except these writings for what they are. I almost even laid out the sixteen bucks it would have cost me to walk out the door with those words. But I soon came to my senses when I leaned over to my wife with a whisper, "Yeah, well, you don't see any poems like these from coalition forces because they are all beheaded within days of their capture," and turned to put the book back on the shelf.

More from Mark Steyn...

The jacket of Poems From Guantanamo: The Detainees Speak shows a photograph by Paul J. Richards of Agence France-Presse: a close-up of the shackles that chain a man's ankles to the floor while he's being interrogated. But what rang a bell with me was the strip of carpet you can glimpse just above it. I visited Gitmo last fall—for Ramadan, as it happens—and, among other highlights, got to visit the interrogation room. The detainees are questioned while seated on a La-Z-Boy recliner or a sofa—blue plush with gold piping. I found this a sufficiently novel form of torture upholstery to ask the guard if he'd mind snapping a picture of me in the jihadist La-Z-Boy. It's sitting in a file at the Pentagon somewhere. But no doubt in 20 years' time I'll be running for public office and my opponent's oppo-research team will use it for an attack ad claiming I was a top al-Qaeda operative at the turn of the century.

There's no point debating Guantanamo anymore. Pretty much everyone's made up his mind. Some of us think the Americans have done the best they could given the unconventional nature of the enemy in this war (no uniforms, no serial numbers, all volunteers from many lands, including Canada). A much larger number of people think it's "the American gulag." Alain Grignard, who visited the camp on behalf of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, objects to the black hole of the detainees' legal status but declares that "it is a model prison, where people are better treated than in Belgian prisons." Still, there aren't many takers for that position. If you think the detainees shouldn't be there, you generally incline, as Kate Allen, director of Amnesty International U.K., does on the back of this book, to the view that the prisoners are pretty much routinely tortured.

So I mention the La-Z-Boy recliner not to make a political argument so much as an artistic one. Presumably when Paul J. Richards snapped his pic for Agence France-Presse, either the La-Z-Boy or the sofa was in the frame. But the Iowa University Press chose to crop the furniture out of the cover shot. Why? You can figure they'd have left it in if there'd been a rickety wooden chair under a bare lightbulb swinging on a frayed cord. But a book with a La-Z-Boy on the front doesn't exactly shriek "Death camp!"

When I was down there, Rear Admiral Harry Harris, who runs the joint, observed that most of what we know about prison camps comes from "bad movies and worse TV shows." And it's striking how reluctant the anti-Gitmo crowd are to abandon the clichés. There was a film out last year called The Road To Guantanamo, and the poster showed the usual emaciated husk hanging in chains from the dungeon wall. One trusts the actor in question did the full Robert De Niro and lost 40 lb. to get himself looking that cadaverous. Back in the real Gitmo, Admiral Harris invited me to sample some of the fresh-baked baklava his pastry chef had made the prisoners for Ramadan. They were truly scrumptious, but a week or two of those and the poster for The Road To Guantanamo would either be showing a dimpled blubbery bloated whale or the entire dungeon wall would have collapsed. It's the only death camp where you put on weight. Average gain: 18 pounds.

Read the entire article here.

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Hugh Fitzgerald again sums up the situation rather tightly...

A Jihad Watch reader recently wrote: “You don't want them in the UK. And they don't want you in Iraq, Afghanistan. They don't want your diplomatic double standards over Palestine, Somalia, Darfur, Iraq, Afghanistan, et cetera. If you want to be left alone, leave others alone.”

Yes, one can partly agree with this. The West should remove itself from Iraq and from Afghanistan, and never try to engage in such a baseless "bringing freedom to ordinary moms and dads" bit of nonsense again. And it should cease the transfer, from Infidels to Believers, of all that wealth, including more than $60 billion to Egypt from the United States alone, and $27.5 billion, if one includes debt relief, to Pakistan by the United States since 2001 alone. The disguised Jizyah of foreign aid to Muslim states that do not have oil does not change the attitudes and atmospherics of Muslim states, attitudes and atmospherics that flow naturally from the tenets, that are derived naturally from the immutable canonical texts of Islam—Qur'an, Hadith, and Sira. The fiasco of Tarbaby Iraq, which has cost the United States $880 billion, more than the total cost of all the wars, save World War II, ever fought by the United States, should be clear.

And it should be clear that the large-scale presence of Muslims in the Bilad al-Kufr, the Lands of the Infidels, has created a situation which, both for the indigenous Infidels, and for non-Muslim immigrants as well, is much more unpleasant, expensive, and physically dangerous than would be the case without that large-scale presence. Once that is clearly understood, sensible measures—beginning with a halt to Muslim migration, and intelligent ways to reverse current trends, can be undertaken. One has only to look around—for Americans, say, to see what has happened in England or France, or the British to see what has happened in the Netherlands, or the Italians to look at Malmo or Rotterdam, or the Americans, who have the advantage of seeing what has happened and is happening in Western Europe—to understand this problem.

Finally, there is no way to "reform" Islam through the efforts of Infidels, and possibly not through the efforts of those who are now aware of the problem, but out of filial piety or embarrassment continue to Defend the Faith, and do not join the impressive and articulate defectors from it, such as Ibn Warraq, Wafa Sultan, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, and many others. For not only is their the fear of what true Believers will do (death for such defectors can and has been the result in some cases) inhibiting, but complete social ostracism is a powerful inhibitor as well. And it is difficult to see steadily and whole a Total System, that regulates all areas of life, and—at no extra cost—explains the universe.


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When in doubt about the veracity of the big mouths, all you have to do is listen, right? Well, here's Pamela of Atlas Shrugs whacking off to Bill. For my money, they both seem a tad too self-deluded for the "body language" test.

Details are leaking out of the region after years of misinformation. Milosevic was hardly an instigator. Should I mention that Clinton picked the wrong side in Bosnia? That the war criminals were not Croatian, but Kosovo Muslims who were committing atrocities on a daily basis, and had started that war, as they have picked fights just like their war manual instructs them to do all along the southern fringes of Western nations they have encroached?

Actually my take on the Clinton war games fiasco is the Saudis wagged a finger, and that was that! The Saudi Arabian connection knows no bounds. They are our enemies, and can cripple the US economy in a New York minute. Holding trillions of petrodollars with threats to convert to Euros is a powerful incentive of our spineless leadership to do Saudi bidding. They build wahabbi madrassas preaching hatred all over the world, we fight their wars, defending the kingdom like a mercenary force.

We must stop this madness!

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Wednesday, August 29, 2007


Mark Steyn writes convincingly:

If we’d understood Iran back in 1979, we’d understand better the challenges we face today. Come to that, we might not even be facing them. But, with hindsight, what strikes you about the birth of the Islamic Republic is the near total lack of interest by analysts in that adjective: Islamic. Iran was only the second Islamist state, after Saudi Arabia—and, in selecting as their own qualifying adjective the family name, the House of Saud at least indicated a conventional sense of priorities, as the legions of Saudi princes whoring and gambling in the fleshpots of the West have demonstrated exhaustively. Hypocrisy is the tribute vice pays to virtue—though, as the Royal Family has belatedly discovered vis-à-vis the Islamists, they’re somewhat overdrawn on that front. The difference in Iran is simple: with the mullahs, there are no London escort agencies on retainer to supply blondes only. When they say “Islamic Republic,” they mean it. And refusing to take their words at face value has bedeviled Western strategists for three decades.

Twenty-seven years ago, because Islam didn’t fit into the old cold war template, analysts mostly discounted it. We looked at the map like that Broadway marquee: West and East, the old double act. As with most of the down-page turf, Iran’s significance lay in which half of the act she’d sign on with. To the Left, the shah was a high-profile example of an unsavory U.S. client propped up on traditional he-may-be-a-sonofabitch-but-he’s-our-sonofabitch grounds: in those heady days SAVAK, his secret police, were a household name among Western progressives, and insofar as they took the stern-faced man in the turban seriously, they assured themselves he was a kind of novelty front for the urbane Paris émigré socialists who accompanied him back to Tehran. To the realpolitik Right, the issue was Soviet containment: the shah may be our sonofabitch, but he’d outlived his usefulness, and a weak Iran could prove too tempting an invitation to Moscow to fulfill the oldest of czarist dreams—a warm-water port, not to mention control of the Straits of Hormuz. Very few of us considered the strategic implications of an Islamist victory on its own terms—the notion that Iran was checking the neither-of-the-above box and that that box would prove a far greater threat to the Freeish World than Communism.

But that was always Iran’s plan. In 1989, with the Warsaw Pact disintegrating before his eyes, poor beleaguered Mikhail Gorbachev received a helpful bit of advice from the cocky young upstart on the block: “I strongly urge that in breaking down the walls of Marxist fantasies you do not fall into the prison of the West and the Great Satan,” Ayatollah Khomeini wrote to Moscow. “I openly announce that the Islamic Republic of Iran, as the greatest and most powerful base of the Islamic world, can easily help fill up the ideological vacuum of your system.”

Today many people in the West don’t take that any more seriously than Gorbachev did. But it’s pretty much come to pass. As Communism retreated, radical Islam seeped into Africa and south Asia and the Balkans. Crazy guys holed up in Philippine jungles and the tri-border region of Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay who’d have been “Marxist fantasists” a generation or two back are now Islamists: it’s the ideology du jour. At the point of expiry of the Soviet Union in 1991, the peoples of the central Asian republics were for the most part unaware that Iran had even had an “Islamic revolution”; 15 years on, following the proselytizing of thousands of mullahs dispatched to the region by a specially created Iranian government agency, the Stans’ traditionally moderate and in many cases alcoholically lubricated form of Islam is yielding in all but the most remote areas to a fiercer form imported from the south. As the Pentagon has begun to notice, in Iraq Tehran has been quietly duplicating the strategy that delivered southern Lebanon into its control 20 years ago. The degeneration of Baby Assad’s supposedly “secular” Baathist tyranny into full-blown client status and the replacement of Arafat’s depraved “secular” kleptocrat terrorists by Hamas’s even more depraved Islamist terrorists can also be seen as symptoms of Iranification.


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One should always thank Mr. Dodgson for creating Alice, you know, that girl from Wonderland. For without his protrayal of a world gone mad, we would have no handle on what's happening today across the magical lands of California. Also known as Lewis Carroll, Charles Dodgson was a mathematician. Perhaps, if China only had nurtured their own brilliant teaser, then this article and the next one might make more sense to those in charge over there. But here's the straight dope from California today:

In legal briefs submitted to the California Supreme Court, which is considering whether to license "same-sex marriages" next year, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and Attorney General Jerry Brown both stated that a future Legislature could abolish marriage and yank marriage rights from a married husband and wife. A group hoping to place a question on the 2008 ballot to defend traditional marriage suggests that the briefs are evidence of the urgent need for the ballot initiative.

In the Governor's brief, filed by his team of lawyers, Schwarzenegger says, "The Administration submits that use of the words 'marry' and 'marriage' is not required by the California Constitution. Thus, the name of the legal relationship now known as 'marriage' could be changed."

In his brief, Brown says similarly, ". . . the words 'marry' and 'marriage' have no essential constitutional significance under the California Constitution. Thus, the Legislature could change the name of the legal relationship now known as "marriage" to some other name without any constitutional impediment."

In the briefs the Governor and Attorney General also suggest that marriage rights and marriage benefits for a husband and wife can be eliminated by the California Legislature.

Said Brown ". . . except for this essential ability to choose and declare one's life partner in a reciprocal and binding contractual commitment of mutual support, any of the statutory rights and obligations that are afforded exclusively to married couples in California could be abrogated or eliminated by the Legislature or the electorate for any rational legislative purpose."

Schwarzenegger's brief states: ". . . except for the ability to choose and declare one's life partner in a reciprocal commitment of mutual support, any of the statutory rights and obligations that are afforded to married couples in California could be abrogated or eliminated by the Legislature or the electorate for any rational legislative purpose."

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More centralized planning chaos. This one involves China.

Recent demographic reports are showing that the ratio of males to females in China is spiraling out of control. If the increasing imbalance, caused primarily by sex-selected abortions and infanticide, is not remedied, it will lead to increased crimes against women and the threat of an aggressively militant state.

In January Chinese media reports said that by 2020, 30 million Chinese men would be unable to find wives. Since then, however, recent reports indicate that the numbers have dramatically risen. According to these findings, the imbalance will increase to 37 million more marriageable Chinese men than marriageable women by 2020, the Guardian Unlimited reports.

Nationwide there are 119 Chinese males for every 100 females, rather than the average 105 males for every 100 females in the Western developed nations, ABC News reports. In some regions, however, there is an even greater divide with 130 males to 100 females. The city of Lianyungang in Jiangsu province has the most marked difference of 163.5 boys to 100 girls among children aged one to four. According to a recent report by the China Family Planning Association (CFPA), 99 cities in China have sex ratios above 125 boys per 100 girls.


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Wednesday, August 22, 2007


By Hugh Fitzgerald of Jihad Watch

This endorsement of Giuliani is premature. He has not shown, has shown signs in fact of the opposite, of being sufficiently clear-minded about Islam, and sufficiently unsentimental (none of that business of Bush's "ordinary moms and dads" or his latest business about not "abandoning" the Iraqis to their islamically generated fate) to view "victory" in Iraq to be achievable not through remaining and tamping down internal sectarian and ethnic fissures, but in welcoming them, just the way the Muslims in Europe have welcomed, and cleverly exploited, the two mental pathologies of antisemitism and anti-Americanism to drive a wedge, in policies related to Muslims and the Islamic countries, between America and Western Europe).

Until Giuliani gives signs that he is no longer a Bush loyalist, or listening to them, he will not be satisfactory. We can't tolerate more years in Iraq; the Amerian army can't, taxpayers cannot. The Americans must get out of Iraq not because Islam is not a world-wide threat, but because it most definitely is.

Unless and until Giuliani, Thompson, someone on that side, begins to get this, and clearly distiniguishes himself, unsticks himself from Bush, adducing the right reasons for so doing, then Bush, who is for the Republicans a Tarbaby as Iraq is a Tarbaby for the whole country, will bring down that Republican candidate, whoever he is.

And meanwhile, while everyone focusses on Iraq, trivial Iraq, and because of Iraq continues to be inveigled into thinking that the main weapon of Jihad at present is "terrorism" and thereby overlooks Da'wa and demographic conquest and the Money Weapon that furthers both, other things are also happening but being overlooked.

Not only the matter of Islam. There is the economic warfare being conducted by China. Everywhere you go now in sub-Saharan Africa you will find colonies of Chinese, busily engaged in locking in the vast natural resources, for the Chinese are not inhibited in any way in their attempt to ruthlessly dominate in the new "Race for Africa" which, unlike the late-19th century vresion, now has only one entrant—China. And go to remote places (Belize, say) or go to un-remote places (Italy, say) and you will find economic colonies of Chinese who have managed to beat the locals, and forced them go give up. The silk manufacturers of ties and other clothing in Como now have yielded to Chinese suppliers; the small manufacturers of pots and pans in Italy have done likewise. And it is the same everywhere that the God of Globalization has been worshipped, unthinkingly, and the lowest-price competitor wins, as Ricardo's comparative advantage takes the place of any considerations of patriotism, or a sense that local manufactures, for not only economic but for social and political reasons, may well be worth protecting, even if they may cost more.

And what else is not being attended to as we tie ourselves in idiotic knots over Iraq, aside from the real menace, and real instruments, of Jihad? And aside from China's economic march through the globe? Well, there is anthropogenic climate change, and the problem is not so much the end-state (with Boston having a climate like Savannah) but all the things that will happen because of the astounding unprecedented speed of the change, the rate of the change. The flooding of all of Lower Manhattan, Shanghai, all of Bangladesh, and of a great many islands are part of it, but only a part.

What is causing calendrical confusion in bird migrations? What has caused the CCD—colony collapse disorder—with bees? What is causing strange mutations in the amphibia of Costa Rica? What may be causing the disappearance, within a century or two, of 90% of the world's species? Who is minding the global-warming store, while the richest, most powerful country on earth, with the largest scientific establishment, seems preoccupied with keeping Iraq, and its assorted Muslims, in a unified state?

This misguided war, which it is now clear was based on ignorance of Islam, has been colossaly exensive. It is war that was, and is being commanded, by those who demonstrate repeatedly an ignorance of the full menace of Islam and the varied instruments of Jihad, and who never considered, never thought of considering, the ways in which, for our purposes, we might welcome rather than deplore, exploit rather than attempt to remedy, the pre-existing fissures within the Camp of Islam, not by doing something but by leaving the place alone, once the American forces had scoured the country and assured themselves that the regime had not had, or was not close to developing, nuclear or other weapons of mass destruction.

This war, Tarbaby Iraq, has now cost in past, present and committed future costs, $880 billion. That is more than the total cost of all the wars, save World War II, ever fought by the United States. If the Administration were to achieve its stated goals in Iraq—a unified Iraq, with a "democratic" government and a populace in which various local lions lie down with various other local lions—then nothing whatever will have been done to weaken the Camp of Islam, or to diminish the menace of the Money Weapon, of Da'wa, and of demographic conquest. Those ignorant of Islam think or claim to think that the example of "democratic" Iraq will do something.

What? What will it do? Will Sunni regimes take pleasure in an Iraq, and in Baghdaad, madinat al-islam, the fabled capital for four hundred years of the Abbasid Caliphate and hence the most important city, after Mecca and Medina, in the history of Arab Islam, and dear to the history-haunted and myth-making Arabs, especially those Sunni Arabs who rule in every state except Iraq (even where, as in Bahrain, the Shi'a may outnumber the Sunnis, or as in Yemen, where they come close)? Will they be impressed by the transfer of power from Sunnis to Shi'a in the Land of the Two Rivers? What madman could think so. Answer: the madmen, or dopes, who have conceived of this policy and who cling to it, and all those who, not having thought things through but determined to show those "cut-and-runners" especially if they happen to be Democrats, stick loyally with Bush on the assumption that any criticism of the war must come from appeasers. As visitors to Mihad Watch know perfectly, the must unanswerable, withering, and therefore dangerous (to Bush loyalists, to those who support Tarbaby Iraq) criticism can be found at this website.

But it is not only thaat $880 billion that has been largely squandered, nor the problem of norale in the services, where many of the best young officers leave the service, and few of those whom one would like to have join, will now think of joining (well aware, as they are, of how peremptorily and unfairly the Pentagon has misused and abused their predecessors, assuming they could simply push them around, interrupt without end their regular careers and lives, all because the Pentagon itself miscalculated completely the size of the regular army, and the specialties that would be needed, but that have been permanently farmed out, it appears, to those citizen-soldiers who, one suspects, will not be re-enlisting in large numbers).

No, it is also the Opportunity Costs. What hasn't been handled. The growing Muslim presence and threat in Western Europe. The economic warfare of China. Anthropogenic climate change that may be unstoppable—it may be too late, and time now only to plan to mitigate, to build those seawalls in, say, Lower Manhattan to protect it.

Meanwhile, Tarbaby Iraq holds us fast.

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I may want to "see the goodness in all people", too, but then along comes Hitler, Mao, Stalin, Pol Pot or Mohammad, and spoils the party. A doctor may want to see health in all people, but sometimes it's cancer.

Better to see what's there, and not what you wish.

And why do those who oppose the historical "evils" of the West always fail to oppose the greater, more dangerous and current evils of the marching, militant, intolerant Islamic theocratic tyranny?

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Monday, August 20, 2007


CAIR Thugs on Islamophobia Patrol: Coming Soon to Your Neighborhood?

By Patrick Poole

FSM Contributing Editor Patrick Poole characterizes CAIR's harassment of a private citizen in his home, which CAIR describes as an "invitation to dialogue," as nothing more than a masquerade for their alarming scare tactics. Jackboot thuggery or inter-faith engagement? You decide.

Three officials of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) in Ohio admit to going unannounced to a man's home to confront him over a bumper sticker on his car—a testament, they claim, of their tolerance and moderation. The incident occurred last year, but the CAIR trio involved—Ahmad Al-Akhras, CAIR national vice chairman, Asma Mobin-Uddin, CAIR-Ohio president, and Abukar Arman, CAIR-OH board member—have recently recounted this incident to the local establishment media as an example of how they "invite dialogue."

Others, however, believe the incident is additional proof that CAIR regularly resorts to threats, intimidation and demonization to silence its critics. Earlier this month, attorneys for CAIR sent a letter threatening legal action against the Young Americans Foundation if they allowed NY Times bestselling author and JihadWatch director, Robert Spencer, to speak at their conference on "The Truth of the Council on American-Islamic Relations." This thuggery is reminiscent of CAIR's 2004 lawsuit against independent journalist Andrew Whitehead of Anti-CAIR, a suit which was dropped by CAIR in order to avoid responding to required interrogatories about its historic ties to HAMAS and role in terror financing.

The CAIR-OH incident is without known precedent, harassing a private citizen at his home because CAIR officials did not like one of his bumper stickers. One of the trio, Abukar Arman, has described how they set upon their unwitting victim:

Several months ago, a non-Muslim fellow in the inter-faith community brought to the attention of CAIR-Ohio a picture of his neighbor's truck with a bumper sticker that read "Jesus loves you, and Allah wants you dead."

Some of us thought that the appropriate thing to do was to get media involved and use this truck owner as a poster-child of the prevalent assertive ignorance that is widening the post 9/11 political divide between Muslims and non-Muslims. Others, on the other hand, saw this as an opportunity for human contact, discourse, and to build bridges of understanding.

The latter opinion prevailed.

Therefore, I had the privilege of being one of three Muslims (2 male and a female with Islamic veil) who paid a neighborly visit to the truck owner. What ensued was an interesting discourse that I found to be very educational (its final outcome notwithstanding). The truck owner was a former Marine officer who served in Somalia and Iraq. Initially, as he opened the door, he was visibly apprehensive (and rightfully so).

We greeted him and introduced ourselves. We reassured him that we were only interested to get to know him, address any questions or perhaps grievance that he may have, and to give him a chance to meet and dialogue with ordinary Muslims.

Long story short: in a conversation that took place right outside his door and lasted for over an hour, the former Marine talked about how he was very suspicious of Muslims and how, both in Somalia and in Iraq, he and other Americans who "came to help these two countries had their hands bitten..." He talked about how he did not believe there were any moderate Muslims and how organizations such as CAIR were deliberately silent about condemning terrorism. He also talked about being alarmed by the growing Muslim population in Central Ohio and how they may be hiding a terrorist who has in his possession a "briefcase nuke." He said, "I don't want to see a giant mushroom in Columbus" [I will come back to this point].

Lastly, he talked about his career in the private he worked as a "corporate anti-terrorism expert" and a "consultant to a numerous multinational corporations..."

Arman admits that the original intention was to make this two-war veteran a "poster-child" of Islamophobia and publicly to vilify the man by enlisting the help of the local media—all because they didn't agree with the sentiments the man expressed via a bumper sticker. He also admits that the man was visibly leery of his late-night visitors showing up on his doorstep, what they probably would argue is proof of his Islamophobia.

What makes this situation and Abukar Arman's comments even more appalling is that the former Marine had served in the UN-backed peacekeeping mission in Somalia, Arman's native country, to protect the people there from the warlords that had taken over the country and who were starving the people by the tens of thousands. Additionally, the former Marine had been reported to CAIR by one of his neighbors who was a friend to the CAIR officials in the "inter-faith community."

But imagine if the roles in this case were reversed: imagine if Robert Spencer, Andrew Whitehead and myself showed up on the doorstep of any of these CAIR officials—unwelcome and unannounced—to confront them about their repeated statements of support for extremism, bigotry and terrorism: Ahmad Al-Akhras for his public defense of convicted terrorists, including his "long-time friend," convicted and deported Palestinian Islamic Jihad operative Fawaz Damra; Asma Mobin-Uddin for promoting several hate sites with rabidly anti-Jewish content on her own personal website; or Abukar Arman, for his vocal public support of HAMAS, Hezbollah and the al-Qaeda-backed Islamic Courts Union. Would they see such action as "inviting dialogue," or would they instead denounce such an "invitation to dialogue" in a flurry of CAIR press releases as a "hate crime" that would merit restraining orders and warrant federal criminal charges?

With their opponents on the working end of this tactic of cultural terrorism, however, they enthusiastically recount this act of intimidation, attempting to paint their "neighborly visit" as a peaceful effort to "engage" non-Muslims. The establishment media has been quick to pick up this twisted narrative. Earlier this month, in a front page Columbus Dispatch article on Mr. Arman, Mobin-Uddin cites this incident of confronting a man at his home as evidence of Mr. Arman's "kindness":

"Mr. Arman is a man of the greatest integrity, kindness and responsibility," Mobin-Uddin said. She recalled a visit with Arman a few years ago to the home of an ex-Marine who displayed an anti-Muslim bumper sticker.

"We stood and talked with the man on his doorstep for an hour and a half. Mr. Arman never raised his voice. He told the man, 'You know, sir, I have four children. I've lived in this country for decades. If I knew someone who was going to put a bomb somewhere, I would be the first one to jump on them.' "

This isn't the first time, however, that the Columbus Dispatch has pulled out this story as an example of the tolerance and moderation of the CAIR trio and their cohorts.

In an Orwellian-titled article this past April, "Changing Hearts, Minds," Ahmad Al-Akhras gave his analysis of his and his comrades' late-night "invitation to dialogue" to an attentive Dispatch reporter: Changing minds isn't always as pleasant as sharing some snacks and laughs.

Last year, Ahmad Al-Akhras and two other community leaders knocked on the door of a man whose car bore a bumper sticker that read: "Jesus loves you. Allah wants you dead."

Al-Akhras is president of the Islamic Foundation of Central Ohio and is the vice chairman of the national Council on American-Islamic Relations. They spoke to the ex-Marine for more than an hour at his doorstep, telling him they had 11 children between them and cared strongly about America's safety, Al-Akhras said.

"More than 95 percent of the time, we agree on things," Al-Akhras said of Muslims and non-Muslims. But he added that he isn't sure that the visit did any good.

It should be evident that going to a man's home, particularly someone entirely unknown to you, to confront them about the content of their bumper stickers is not an invitation to dialogue, but jackboot thuggery reminiscent of the Nazi SA Storm troopers. One of them admits that rather than painting a symbol on the man's house or business to show their disapproval for his religious statements (much as the SA would mark Jewish homes or businesses with a Star of David and the word "Juden"), they considered calling in the media to condemn this two-war Marine veteran and expose him to public scorn all because they didn't like his bumper sticker.

CAIR has repeatedly demonstrated that their methodology and discourse must rely on increasingly shrill rhetoric to get public attention and publicly attacking anyone who questions their troubling ideology. Nor has CAIR ever hesitated to inflame a situation to further its own agenda to the detriment of the rest of the community, Muslim and non-Muslim alike. As their own supposed constituency continues to abandon CAIR, such now that their membership is less than two thousand nationwide, CAIR will need to resort to more confrontational and escalating tactics to keep the establishment media's attention in order to disseminate their message of hate, alienation and conflict.

CAIR's Islamophobia patrols: coming soon to a neighborhood near you.

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Thursday, August 16, 2007


by Hugh Fitzgerald of Jihad Watch.

Islam is an all-encompassing belief-system. It is quite different from those other monotheisms which, for obvious reasons while they are still a small group in the West, Muslims like to have "so very much" in common—that "three abrahamic faiths" pitch that once went over well, but nowadays appears to attract only the most muddle-headed or those who, while supposedly being Christian or Jewish clergymen, have brought their art of self-preening or cravenness to such a level that they become Defenders of the Faith, that Faith being Islam.

But Infidels can no longer be stopped. Once they begin to realize that the texts of Islam are not hermetic, and can be studied, they will study them. Once they realize that a knowledge of classical Arabic is not essential to learning about Islam, not least because 80% of the world’s Muslims know not a bit of Arabic, classical or otherwise, and that even many Arabs have difficulty understanding classical Arabic and certainly the text of the Qur’an (see Christoph Luxenberg on the 20% of the Qur’an that is inexplicable, in his view, until one recognizes an Ur-text of Syriac—that is, the Aramaic of Edessa), they will dare to open them. So Infidels are now free to read the immutable texts of Islam—Qur'an, hadith, and Sira—read, and reread, and study with growing understanding, but not necessarily growing delight or pleasure. They can find out about the interpretative doctrine of “naskh” or “abrogation,” by which—as in the common law—the texts deemed later cancel out, or abrogate, the texts deemed to have been set down earlier. And those later texts, presumably from the “Medinan” period of Muhammad’s existence, are far harsher than the softer, “Meccan” verses from the period when Islam was still weak.

Infidels can do so many things. They can find out, as apparently George Bush was incapable of finding out or being told, why Qur’an 5.32 cannot conceivably be understood without the context of the succeeding verse, 5.33. They can learn the real meaning, the meaning that Islam and Muslims assign to the seemingly benign Qur’anic observation that “there is no compulsion in religion.” They can find out what is Halal and what Haram in Islam. They can find out what Muslims are taught to think of sculpture, of paintings depicting living creatures, of music. They can find out what Muslims think of free and skeptical inquiry, and of the possibility of someone born into Islam being permitted to choose for himself whether to remain a Muslim, or to abandon that faith for another, or for no faith at all. They can find out. They can find out the details of Muhammad’s life, and consider what is the likely effect of those details on Muslims who are taught to regard Muhammad, a warrior who took part in 78 military campaigns, 77 of them offensive, as the Model of Conduct, the Perfect Man—uswa hasana, al-insan al-kamil—for all Muslims, and for all time. Consider the implications of that in light of the beheading of the bound prisoners of the Banu Qurayza, the attack on the inoffensive Jewish farmers of the Khaybar Oasis, the satisfaction taken when he heard of the assassinations of Abu Akaf and Asma bint Marwan, the “treaty-making model” of Al Hudaibiyyah, and of course the business with little Aisha.

The Qur’anic text is available online, a click away, with several different translations set out synoptically. Much of the Hadith is too, and so is the Sira. More and more studies by the great Western students of Islam, from the period of genuinely free and uninhibited study, roughly 1860 to 1960, are being gathered into sourcebooks (such as Bostom’s The Legacy of Jihad) or republished (especially in accessibly cheap Indian editions). More and more people have uncovered what the Great of the Past had to say about Islam, writing as they did in a period when no punches had to be pulled, and one could speak or write one’s mind. What did that great religious reformer John Wesley write about Islam? And the most learned of nineteenth-century American statesmen, John Quincy Adams? What did that wise student of men and events, Alexis De Tocqueville, write about Islam, based on his wide knowledge, including his observations in Algeria? What did Gladstone have to say about the Turks, and about their role in Europe, and about the Bulgarian Wars? What did Winston Churchill, with his knowledge of history, say about Muslims and Islam?

And above all, we know have the phenomenon of “defectors” from Islam, the apostates from Islam, who in the Western world are no longer fearful, and are willing to speak from their own lifetimes of experience of being born into Islam and then choosing to abandon it, some for Christianity (Walid Shoebat, Nonie Darwish), and some to be resolute freethinkers, such as Ibn Warraq, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Ali Sina, Wafa Sultan, and so many more. Some have been Iranians, some Pakistanis, some Arabs, some from still other backgrounds. Muslim spokesmen would prefer that you pay as little attention to these keen observers as possible, and attempt on every occasion to shut them up or shout them down. But up or down, those Muslim spokesmen and enforcers have not succeeded, for when someone such as Ibn Warraq writes Why I Am Not a Muslim and Ayaan Hirsi Ali writes her own stirring testimony in Infidel, or when Ali Sina, with a growing army of fellow apostates, conducts his own lucid campaign from the heights of, Muslims in this country cannot, as they would in a minute in a Muslim country, shut such efforts down. Thus we, the Infidels, are the beneficiaries of such valuable witnesses, such indispensable temoignage.

It seems a century ago that we were willing to engage in those phony “dialogues” which always end up being sinister apologies for Islam, with the non-Muslim clergymen willingly or unwillingly inveigled into participating into a farce of supposedly symmetrical fault-finding, a farce that relies heavily on Infidel ignorance of Islam, and willingness to assume that if some belief-system is called a “religion” then of course it must be a force for good, must be beyond criticism, and only that “handful of extremists” are not good. But “extreme” about what? If Islam is in its essence so unthreatening, so peaceful, so tolerant, so good, then why should someone who is fanatically in favor of that something good be a threat to Infidels?

Those “interfaith candlelight ceremonies” that were all the rage just after 9/11/2001 ring hollow today, especially with the list of all those Muslim clerics who appeared to utter all kinds of soothing words, and then were discovered in the past, or at the same time, or later on, to have been heard, even recorded, making quite different statements when they thought no non-Muslims were around. It has been quite a revelation, too, to discover the Islamic websites that counsel Muslims in how to talk to Infidels, telling exactly the things that should be said and the topics that should be carefully avoided, even explaining that one should “let the Sisters talk” if the subject is Islam and the Treatment of Women. And there are those Muslim websites that inform parents just how to wangle special treatment—prayer rooms and suchlike—from teachers and principals. It’s down to a science, all written out. And eventually someone is going to put all that advice for fellow Muslims together, and publish it, but as a warning to, and for the edification of, Infidels.

No Infidels need any longer accept the word of tireless apologists as to what those texts say, or what their "meaning" is, especially when we have all been treated to example after example of Tu-Quoque-and-Taqiyya, sometimes by omission, sometimes by deliberate misinterpretation for the limitlessly naive. Furthermore, we have the long historical record of Jihad-conquest, and the texts, written by Muslims themselves, on the subject of the necessity of Jihad, and the rules of Jihad—here again, see Bostom's sourcebook, The Legacy of Jihad. We have 1350 years of such a record, and are entitled to study that record, from Spain in the west to what is present-day Indonesia in the east. We can study how non-Muslim populations slowly or quickly were reduced in size: what happened to the Copts of Egypt? What happened to the Jews and Armenians under Shah Abbas II in Iran? What happened to the Christians and Jews of the Arabian peninsula? What happened to the Christians of North Africa, where Tertullian and St. Augustine once lived? What happened to the Hindus of India under Muslim rule? Was it all wonderful, or is there reason to think that K. S. Lal and other Indian historians are right in their claim that between 60 and 70 million Hindus lost their lives? What was the historical record of Arab Muslims and slavery in Black Africa? Splendid? A tale of Muslim Wilberforces, long predating the English one? When was slavery formerly abolished in Arabia, and why? And is there any evidence of the continuance of slavery in Arab Muslim countries? And is there any evidence that Muslim scholars today have written about the continuing, indeed permanent, legitimacy of slavery, because it was recognized and accepted by Muhammad?

And these are not the only questions that need to be examined, studied, discussed. One wishes to know what happened to the Hindus of Pakistan and Bangladesh. Why did their numbers in the populations of those countries drop so precipitously, while the Muslim population of India has gone up, both relatively and absolutely? What has happened to Buddhists in southern Thailand, and why? What happened to the Christians of East Timor under Muslim rule? What has been happening to the Christians of the Moluccas? Or Iraq? Or Lower Egypt? Or in Lebanon over the past fifty years? What has happened to the French peres blancs and the Italian monks who tried to help the Muslims of Algeria, and for their pains were murdered? What is that history all about? What happened to the Armenians, and why was it that when Turks and Kurds killed those Armenians, they took pleasure in calling them "gavours" (Infidels), and were delighted if Armenian priests and their wives were among the victims, as recorded by eyewitnesses?

And here is yet another question that needs to be considered, to be discussed, to be pondered and not only in the corridors of power. What are the instruments of Jihad? Bush has focused quite monomaniacally on "terror"—as if he cannot bring himself to see the use of the Money Weapon, carefully-targeted campaigns of Da'wa, and of course a demographic conquest that has been openly discussed by Muslims. It has been discussed by Boumedienne at the U.N. in 1974, and by mild-mannered Pakistani accountants in the letters pages of "Dawn" (see that for December 5, 2001 for example). There are Muslim websites where these developments are openly discussed—as they are by all kinds of Muslim posters at this (see "Naseem") and other websites.

Is it illegitimate for inhabitants of the Western or larger non-Muslim world to study these matters, and to raise these issues? Why? Is it illegitimate to discuss the proposition that one has a perfect right to defend the legal and political institutions that one's own society has received as a legacy, that others before one helped to create, over time, and that in every respect are flatly contradicted by what Islam inculcates? Is the individualism of the West, are our individual rights, those enshrined in the Bill of Rights, and in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, to be simply swept away, or to be subject to incessant attack by the adherents of a collectivist faith who do not believe in free speech, or in freedom of conscience, including the freedom to leave one faith for another, or to have no faith at all? Are these illegitimate questions?

And is it illegitimate to point out how frequently in history states and peoples have felt it necessary to expel others in their midst, and that it is a bit hasty to denounce all such efforts (though many certainly should be denounced), especially when one considers the reasons, the historical context, of the Benes Decree, which was adduced not as a model to follow, but as a case to study and ponder?

We in the West have an obligation to defend a civilizational legacy, even if many of us, individually, have not exactly proved ourselves worthy of it. And that includes considering measures that others have undertaken, to see if they provide lessons, any lessons at all, for us at this point in our endangered history.

And that is hardly illegitimate. It is the very least we should ask of ourselves, and of those who presume to "lead" us, or rather, in the cant of this cant-filled age, presume to "take a leadership role." Many people in this country have gone far beyond their so-called leaders, Democratic and Republican, in their understanding of Islam. And that is a good thing. That is a necessary thing.

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By Daniel Henninger

People in ethnically diverse settings don't care about each other.

Diversity was once just another word. Now it's a fighting word. One of the biggest problems with diversity is that it won't let you alone. Corporations everywhere have force-marched middle managers into training sessions led by "diversity trainers." Most people already knew that the basic idea beneath diversity emerged about 2,000 years ago under two rubrics: Love thy neighbor as thyself, and Do unto others as they would do unto you. Then suddenly this got rewritten as "appreciating differentness."

{Uh, I think it went, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." Something radically different from the latter part of Henninger's quote, but nevertheless.]

George Bernard Shaw is said to have demurred from the Golden Rule. "Do not do unto others as you would have them do unto you," Shaw advised. "Their tastes may not be the same." No such voluntary opt-out is permissible in our time. The parsons of the press made diversity into a secular commandment; do a word-search of "diversity" in a broad database of newspapers and it might come up 250 million times. In the Supreme Court term just ended, the Seattle schools integration case led most of the justices into arcane discussions of diversity's legal compulsions. More recently it emerged that the University of Michigan, a virtual Mecca of diversity, announced it would install Muslim footbaths in bathrooms, causing a fight.

Now comes word that diversity as an ideology may be dead, or not worth saving. Robert Putnam, the Harvard don who in the controversial bestseller "Bowling Alone" announced the decline of communal-mindedness amid the rise of home-alone couch potatoes, has completed a mammoth study of the effects of ethnic diversity on communities. His researchers did 30,000 interviews in 41 U.S. communities. Short version: People in ethnically diverse settings don't want to have much of anything to do with each other. "Social capital" erodes. Diversity has a downside.

Prof. Putnam isn't exactly hiding these volatile conclusions, though he did introduce them in a journal called Scandinavian Political Studies. A great believer in the efficacy of what social scientists call "reciprocity," he wasn't happy with what he found but didn't mince words describing the results:

"Inhabitants of diverse communities tend to withdraw from collective life, to distrust their neighbors, regardless of the color of their skin, to withdraw even from close friends, to expect the worst from their community and its leaders, to volunteer less, give less to charity and work on community projects less often, to register to vote less, to agitate for social reform more, but have less faith that they can actually make a difference, and to huddle unhappily in front of the television." The diversity nightmare gets worse: They have little confidence in the "local news media." This after all we've done for them.

Colleagues and diversity advocates, disturbed at what was emerging from the study, suggested alternative explanations. Prof. Putnam and his team re-ran the data every which way from Sunday and the result was always the same: Diverse communities may be yeasty and even creative, but trust, altruism and community cooperation fall. He calls it "hunkering down."

Give me a break! you scream. What about New York City or L.A.? From the time of Sherwood Anderson's "Winesburg, Ohio" through "Peyton Place" and beyond, people have fled the flat-lined, gossip-driven homogeneity of small American "communities" for the welcome anonymity of big-city apartment building—so long as your name wasn't Kitty Genovese, the famous New York woman who bled to death crying for help.

It's a wonderfully thought-provoking study, suitable for arguing the length of a long August weekend and available as a lecture on Prof. Putnam's Harvard Web site, the "Saguaro Seminar." Astute readers, however, have already guessed who's thrilled with the results.

Pat Buchanan, reflecting an array of commentaries on the study from the American right, says, "Putnam provides supporting fire from Harvard Yard for those who say America needs a time-out from mass immigration, be it legal or illegal." The "antis" believe the Putnam study hammers the final intellectual nail in the coffin of immigration and diversity.

The diversity ideologues deserve whatever ill tidings they get. They're the ones who weren't willing to persuade the public of diversity's merits, preferring to turn "diversity" into a political and legal hammer to compel compliance. The conversions were forced conversions. As always, with politics comes pushback. And it never stops.

The harvest of bitter fruit from the diversity wars begun three decades ago across campuses, corporations and newsrooms has made the immigration debate significantly worse. Diversity's advocates gave short shrift to assimilation, indeed arguing that assimilation into the American mainstream was oppressive and coercive. So they demoted assimilation and elevated "differences." Then they took the nation to court. Little wonder the immigration debate is riven with distrust.

The diversity ideologues ruined a good word and, properly understood, a decent notion. What's needed now is for a younger black, brown or polka-dot writer to recast the idea in a way that restores the worth and utility of assimilation. Somebody had better do it soon; the first chart offered in the Putnam study depicts inexorably rising rates of immigration in many nations. The idea that the U.S. can wave into effect a 10-year "time out" on immigration flows is as likely as King Canute commanding the tides to recede.

Here, too, Robert Putnam has a possible assimilation model. Hold onto your hat. It's Christian evangelical megachurches. "In many large evangelical congregations," he writes, "the participants constituted the largest thoroughly integrated gatherings we have ever witnessed." This, too, is an inconvenient truth. They do it with low entry barriers to the church and by offering lots of little groups to join inside the larger "shared identity" of the church. A Harvard prof finds good in evangelical megachurches. Send this man a suit of body armor!

My own model for the way forward in a 21st century American society of unavoidable ethnic multitudes is an old one, a phrase found nowhere in the Putnam study or any commentary on it: the middle class. Its assimilating virtues may be boring, but it works, if you work at getting into it.

Of course Hillary Clinton believes this can't happen here because the middle class has been "invisible" to George Bush. As with diversity, progress is always just beyond the horizon.

Mr. Henninger is deputy editor of The Wall Street Journal's editorial page. His column appears Thursdays in the Journal and on

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Friday, August 03, 2007


Well, it looks like the tide is turning, and CAIR may be on the first wave back out to the sea from which it came. This is good news for America. This is good news for truly peaceful Muslims. This is good news for you, those enemies in waiting on the Left, who act as apologists for these interlopers, these invaders who are using our system to gain footing, only to have already voiced their agenda to replace the US Constitution with sharia law. How many times do they have to tell us these things. Yes, this is good news for you doubters and appeaser. You just don't know it yet.

Read it all. Check out the three links. Check out the parties in play. Do your homework people. Before it's too late.

PHILADELPHIA - The Legal Project of the Middle East Forum announces its support of Robert Spencer and the Young America's Foundation (YAF), the latest victims of what appears to be a targeted intimidation and defamation campaign by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) designed to silence critics of its organization.

Spencer, a well-respected author and the director of Jihad Watch, spoke today for YAF on "The Truth about CAIR" on the campus of George Washington University. As a consequence of this invitation, YAF's president Ron Robinson received a threatening and possibly defamatory letter written by CAIR's acting attorney, Joseph E. Sandler, of the law firm Sandler, Reiff & Young, P.C.

Sandler's letter (available in pdf format here) accuses Mr. Spencer, without offering any factual support, of being a "well-known purveyor of hatred and bigotry against Muslims," with "a history of false and defamatory statements." Sandler goes on to "demand that YAF cancel the subject session or else take steps to ensure that false and defamatory statements are not disseminated," and states an intention to pursue a "legal remedy" against YAF, should CAIR deem statements made by Spencer at the session "false and defamatory."

CAIR's letter appears to be aimed at maliciously harming Spencer's reputation, interfering in his lawful employment, and aimed to discourage both Spencer and YAF from exercising their fundamental rights to free speech and assembly. Furthermore, the letter wrongfully implies that YAF has an independent duty to censor Spencer, and that it may be subject to suit for allowing Spencer to speak on private property. It is our opinion that CAIR's pre-emptive accusations are without merit, without any legal basis, and that CAIR has yet to prove any of its statements as true.

Therefore, the Legal Project hereby gives CAIR and its attorneys notice that it, too, will pursue "every available and appropriate legal remedy to redress any false or defamatory statements that are made" or have been made by CAIR and its attorneys against Spencer. We advise CAIR's staff to govern themselves accordingly.

The Legal Project, established by the Middle East Forum in June 2007, is dedicated to safeguarding the democratic liberties afforded by the Constitution to U.S. citizens, namely the rights to free speech and free assembly. The Legal Project protects researchers and analysts working on the topics of terrorism, terrorist funding, Islam, and Islamism against those who seek to silence them through intimidation, defamation, and predatory lawsuits.

Immediate release

For more information: John Matthies, (215) 546-5406, ext. 16, or

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Wednesday, August 01, 2007


Posted: June 18, 2007 | 1:00 a.m. Eastern

By Doug Powers of WorldNetDaily

Every now and again, I hear people being interviewed who believe federal income taxes are constitutionally invalid, and, as a result, they refuse to pay them. My first thought is usually "have fun in prison," but recent statements and proposals from some of our politicians have led me to believe that this is a cause worth fighting for.

Enter Ed and Elaine Brown, New Hampshire residents who don't believe in paying income taxes. As a result, the Browns have been sentenced to five-and-a-half years in prison and ordered to pay more than $200,000 after being convicted of tax evasion and are now holed up in their home, complete with solar and wind power. So far, Al Gore has offered no defense of the carbon offset to his mansions and heated pools.

Federal authorities now have their property surrounded, and the standoff could last indefinitely – ending much sooner if the Clintons are elected and put Janet Reno back in the Attorney General's office.

CBS News reports that federal authorities have "cut phone, power and Internet service at the fortified compound" of the couple.

The terms "fortified compound" and "tax evasion" usually seem to go hand-in-hand in stories such as these. "Fortified compound" is a term applied by the government for psychological reasons that is repeated by the media out of psychiatric reflex.

The government has trillions of dollars, tanks and armies of heavily armed individuals at their disposal. Our politicians have access to around the clock protection and bunkers that can withstand a direct nuclear strike. Not only that, but try running into any mainstream media building in New York or Los Angeles without being tackled by armed guards and tasered until your nose gives off a 75-watt glow.

But a married couple who lives in a six-bedroom colonial that might have an extra bolt on the door are the ones who the government and media says have a "fortified compound."

The government and media parrot terms such as "fortress-like home" to imply paranoia, which implies mental illness, which implies there's a good reason for the government to move in and save the "fortified compound" dwellers from themselves and the rest of us.

What's gone wrong?

Taxes weren't always such a treacherous undertaking. For a long time, this country was run on very limited funds. Up until the early 1800s, the government was run purely on internal sales taxes and revenue from a gigantic powdered wig closeout sale. Then, in 1817, the government got rid of internal taxes and functioned completely on tariffs on imported goods.

Can you imagine running the bloated monster of a federal government we have today solely on the 4 percent we'd get from taxes imposed on imports of running shoes and plastic novelty poop?

We were created with the ability to create. All this is evidenced in the brilliance of many of our finest moments, from medicine to art to science – but that all came to an end with the adoption of the 16th Amendment in 1913. The amendment gave Congress legal authority to tax income and resulted in a revenue law that taxed incomes of both individuals and corporations.

At that point, all the creative energy that would have gone into curing disease, designing grand buildings, creating art and music and exploring the farthest reaches of the universe now goes into trying to figure out a way to write off our lawnmower as a dependent or simply to hide out in a "fortified compound" in New Hampshire waiting for the tear gas to come flying through the window.

Here's what is really irksome about Ed and Elaine Brown's situation. They are legal American citizens surrounded by their own government. In the meantime, many members of Congress, along with President Bush, are pushing to legalize 12 million "undocumented workers" (the artist formerly known as "illegal aliens") while forgiving them any back taxes owed, along with any IRS fines.

Ed and Elaine Brown should renounce their citizenship, declare themselves "undocumented workers" and then push for the passage of an immigration "reform" bill. Their tax problem would be solved, and they'd be free. Maybe we should all do this.

Until American citizens are afforded at least the same rights and privileges that our politicians seek for illegal aliens, the government must free Ed and Elaine Brown!

Now if you don't mind, I have to run along and repair the screen door on my "fortified compound."

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