Monthly Archives: August 2006

The British Disease

I am reading Melanie Phillips’ book Londonistan, a frightening picture of Britain’s capitulation to Islamicism. I added her website link to my blog; please check her out.

Here’s an excerpt from a recent article:

A recent Pew opinion poll across Europe revealed that, while Britain was the most respectful country of all towards its Muslim citizens, they repaid the compliment by hating their home country, the West and the Jews more than Muslims anywhere else. Why? The answer is inescapable. British Muslims are being radicalised by Britain itself.

Since Muslims whose minds are already bent by the propaganda of lies and hatred against America, Israel and the Jews pouring out of the Muslim world are further subjected by the BBC and other media outlets to daily — even hourly — diatribes about the evil of America, the evil of Israel and the fact that Britain is a patsy of evil America and evil Israel, who can possibly be surprised that untold numbers of impressionable young Muslims sign up to rid the planet of this apparent scourge?

The BBC, whose global influence is equalled only by its culpability, powerfully incites hatred by persistently misrepresenting Israel’s self-defence as unwarranted aggression, and giving air-time to an endless procession of Islamic jihadists, propagandists, anti-Western activists and bigots with rarely even a hint of a challenge.

The British political and security establishment, meanwhile, still fails to understand that it is not enough to thwart terrorist plots and disrupt terrorist cells but it must also combat the ideology of lies, hatred and paranoia driving certain Muslims to these terrible acts. Not only do they fail to do so, but they have even recruited jihadists into the very heart of government as advisers.

The mantra justifying this appeasement of extremism is that the vast majority of Britain’s Muslims are “moderate.” True, the vast majority oppose terrorism. But Britain has now effectively defined as a moderate someone who does not support mass murder — and even then, only in Britain.

Where are the Muslim public figures condemning those in their community who support suicide bombings in Israel and Iraq? Or those who blame Israel and the Jews for all the ills of the world? Or who claim that the West is a giant conspiracy to destroy Islam?

You won’t hear such condemnations from the head of the Muslim Council of Britain — an organisation which venerates Sheikh Yusuf Qaradawi, who endorses suicide bomb attacks in Israel and Iraq — who has said his aim is to get Britain to adopt Islamic values.

Nor from Syed Aziz Pasha, secretary general of the Union of Muslim Organisations of the U.K. and Ireland, who has said he wants public holidays to mark Muslim festivals and Islamic laws to cover family affairs which would apply only to Muslims — a demand which astoundingly the Communities Secretary Ruth Kelly said she would consider. Are these really moderate attitudes?

The unpalatable fact is that there is actually a continuum of Islamic extremism in Britain. While probably only a small number on this continuum will ever be involved in violence, too many others subscribe to odious beliefs and ideas which maintain the sea of hatred and bigotry in which terrorism swims.

The key belief that sustains this continuum and fuels the global jihad is the paranoid falsehood that the West is engaged in a conspiracy to destroy Islam — and that the puppet masters of the West are the Jews.

The centrality of anti-Jewish hatred to the threat to Britain and the West makes Britain’s animus against Israel — and gross inversion of Israel’s 50-year fight to defend itself from extinction — not merely a regrettable prejudice but an act of cultural suicide.

Israel’s many enemies in the U.K. will doubtless be highly satisfied with the United Nations resolution to end the Lebanon war. But by emasculating Israel, this resolution has further empowered Iran and boosted the global jihad against themselves.

Israel’s inept prosecution of the war in Lebanon and the resulting ceasefire are not merely a potential disaster for Israel. Al Qaeda and — even more importantly, Iran — will now scent not just Jewish blood but, in the apparent weakness of this key salient in the defence of the West, an opportunity to redouble their efforts to strike directly at Britain and America. For Israel’s fight is the world’s fight. Lose Israel, and the world is lost.

By the time Britain finally works out just who are its allies and who are its enemies, it may well be too late.

In Londonistan, Phillips notes the difference between Britain and the U.S. : While Britain supinely yields to the idea of Muslims as victims, in America:

…there has, at least been a counter offensive. The grip of the left-wing intelligentsia has been loosened by the growth of conservative think tanks and publishing houses, talk radio and now the internet bloggers. In Britain, by contrast, there has been no equivalent institutional challenge to the hegemony of the left and its stranglehold on the universities, media, civil service and other key institutions. In the United States, at least there are wars over culture; in Britain, there has been a rout.

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Those Peculiar People

Mark Steyn quotes the late, great Eric Hoffer on the “peculiar” Jews:

“The Jews are a peculiar people,” wrote America’s great longshoreman philosopher Eric Hoffer after the 1967 war. “Things permitted to other nations are forbidden to the Jews. Other nations drive out thousands, even millions of people and there is no refugee problem . . . But everyone insists that Israel must take back every single Arab . . . Other nations when victorious on the battlefield dictate peace terms. But when Israel is victorious it must sue for peace. Everyone expects the Jews to be the only real Christians in this world.”

That’s an interesting question, isn’t it? Is it that we hold Israel to a higher standard? Or is rather that in the postmodern era Israel–unlike Canada, Britain, France, New Zealand–is the only western nation that’s found itself fighting an existential struggle? Let’s take it as read that a lot of folks don’t like Jews. The present conflict then is chiefly of significance as a study in whether the least enervated of western nations is capable of seeing off the terrorist proxies of nuclear Islamists. Because, if Israel can’t hold off a resurgent Islam, what chance Norway or Belgium?

For over a generation now, Canada and many other countries have regarded civilizational self-loathing as just another alternative lifestyle, like being gay or vegetarian. It’s a kind of literal “homophobia”–a fear (phobia) of the same (homo-), the same old white-bread people that produced the world in which you live, the legal system, the property rights, the economic prosperity. Yawn. Who needs them?

The Saber-Rattling of an Inferiority Complex

Shelby Steele on “why they hate us” and how “white guilt” feeds the hatred.

An excerpt:

The West is stymied by this extremism because it is used to enemies that want to live. In Vietnam, America fought one whose communism was driven by an underlying nationalism, the desire to live free of the West. Whatever one may think of this, here was an enemy that truly wanted to live, that insisted on territory and sovereignty. But Osama bin Laden fights only to achieve a death that will enshrine him as a figure of awe. The gift he wants to leave his people is not freedom or even justice; it is consolation.

White guilt in the West — especially in Europe and on the American left — confuses all this by seeing Islamic extremism as a response to oppression. The West is so terrified of being charged with its old sins of racism, imperialism and colonialism that it makes oppression an automatic prism on the non-Western world, a politeness. But Islamic extremists don’t hate the West because they are oppressed by it. They hate it precisely because the end of oppression and colonialism — not their continuance — forced the Muslim world to compete with the West. Less oppression, not more, opened this world to the sense of defeat that turned into extremism.

But the international left is in its own contest with American exceptionalism. It keeps charging Israel and America with oppression hoping to mute American power. And this works in today’s world because the oppression script is so familiar and because American power cringes when labeled with sins of the white Western past. Yet whenever the left does this, it makes room for extremism by lending legitimacy to its claim of oppression. And Israel can never use its military fire power without being labeled an oppressor — which brings legitimacy to the enemies she fights. Israel roars; much of Europe supports Hezbollah.

Over and over, white guilt turns the disparity in development between Israel and her neighbors into a case of Western bigotry. This despite the fact that Islamic extremism is the most explicit and dangerous expression of human bigotry since the Nazi era. Israel’s historical contradiction, her torture, is to be a Western nation whose efforts to survive trap her in the moral mazes of white guilt. Its national defense will forever be white aggression.

But white guilt’s most dangerous suppression is to keep from discussion the most conspicuous reality in the Middle East: that the Islamic world long ago fell out of history. Islamic extremism is the saber-rattling of an inferiority complex. America has done a good thing in launching democracy as a new ideal in this region. Here is the possibility — if still quite remote — for the Islamic world to seek power through contribution rather than through menace.

The Plague of the "Cultural Experts"

A letter in today’s Wall Street Journal tells us why we can’t fight Islamists when we refuse to acknowledge the identity of the enemy:

9/11 Without Terrorism? Now Here’s a Conspiracy

It’s odd to complain about a movie “World Trade Center” for ignoring the conspiracy in the 9/11 attacks (“None Dare Call It Conspiracy” by Brian Carney, Editorial Board, Aug. 5) when, at the WTC site, construction is about to begin on a $768 million “Memorial Plaza” that excludes all evidence of 9/11. Why? Well, because the jury of high-brow professionals that is responsible for the memorial design has said that all history of 9/11 must be discarded from the site “in order to preserve the integrity of the memorial.”

There can be no history of 9/11 in the memorial that commemorates 9/11 — at the WTC site. Further, the visitor must be protected from any hint of 9/11 when they visit the same site.

At least Mr. Stone’s movie, dedicated to the heroism and sacrifice of 9/11, examines a genuine segment of 9/11; the “Memorial Mission Statement” ruled out including either word in the final draft.

So, what is the 9/11 memorial dedicated to if not, eh, 9/11?

Jury members claim that the memorial must be dedicated to “what we need and deserve.” Visitors must be allowed their “own memorial experience” without reference to 9/11, which would be tantamount to “telling them what to think.” The entire site should be nothing more than a “special place to mourn our losses.” Again, without reference to how and why these were “lost.”

Such a memorial is dedicated to narcissism and nihilism and fails to acknowledge why the site needs commemoration in the first place. In other words, it substitutes the values of the handful of intellectuals, artists and “cultural experts” for the truths demonstrated on 9/11.

All of this with the smiling approval of Gov. Pataki and Mayor Bloomberg. Now there’s a conspiracy surrounding 9/11 all right; the question is why is it getting a free pass?

Michael Burke
Brother of FDNY Capt. William Burke
Bronx, N.Y

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Did Hezbollah Lose?

A different take on the Lebanon war.

The White Flag

The quagmire of perpetual interminable U.N.-brokered EU-led multilateral dithering.

Mark Steyn on the difference between September 2001 and now, an excerpt:

What’s the difference between September 2001 and now? It’s not that anyone “liked” America or that, as the Democrats like to suggest, the country had the world’s “sympathy.” Pakistani generals and the Kremlin don’t cave to your demands because they “sympathize.” They go along because you’ve succeeded in impressing upon them that they’ve no choice. Musharraf and Co. weren’t scared by America’s power but by the fact that America, in the rubble of 9/11, had belatedly found the will to use that power. It is notionally at least as powerful today, but in terms of will we’re back to Sept. 10: Nobody thinks America is prepared to use its power. And so Nasrallah and Ahmadinejad and wannabe “strong horses” like Baby Assad cock their snooks with impunity.

A Militant Ruthless West? I Wish.

Ralph Peters on the bad news and the good news.

Here’s the good news:

* Israel’s recent defeat, for one thing. Yes, you read that right. The truth is that Israel got a relatively cheap, if embarrassing, wake-up call. And Israel’s a part of Western civilization, not of the Middle East’s decaying cultures. That means that Israel doesn’t just wallow in blame – like Americans, Israelis figure out what went wrong and then fix it. After the post-war soul-searching and investigations are finished, failed leaders will be replaced and Israel will re-emerge with a renewed sense of mission, a stronger government and a powerfully reformed military – the next time the IDF goes to war, watch the way it devastates its enemies.

* The “unity of Muslims” confronting the West is history (it was always a bogus, ramshackle affair). Sunni-Arab leaders increasingly grasp that the real threat isn’t from the United States or Israel, but from the explosion of Shia ambitions, prowess, wealth and desire for vengeance. The future of the Middle East could go a number of ways, but we may find ourselves as bemused spectators, while our sworn enemies and phony friends kill each other. Afterward, we’ll pick up the pieces.

* Iraq still could muddle through – but even if it doesn’t, our stock in the region is headed up, not down. The paradox is that a future civil war between Iraq’s Sunnis and Shias makes our military protection more essential than ever to the effete Gulf emirates and the cowardly Saudis. Avoid linear analysis and reflexive predictions of doom for American interests: The Middle East will always do more harm to its natives than it does to foreign powers. Human beings may hate a distant enemy in theory, but they generally prefer to kill their neighbors.

* Terrorist groups with global aspirations continue to pursue grand, counterproductive gestures rather than effective actions. Plots to blow up a series of airliners, lesser strikes on subways or trains in the West and even the eventual “big one” they’ll pull off won’t convince the West to surrender. Despite intermittent left-wing lunacy, our debates and disagreements are about how best to solve the problem – not how to capitulate. Bit by bit, the Western mood is turning from disbelief regarding the “terrorist threat” to hard-knuckled realism about extremist Islam. 9/11 taught the terrorists little of use and many wrong lessons. It may be hard for some of us to discern what’s really happening, but the Islamists are resurrecting a militant, ruthless West.

The florid American master of horror fiction, H. P. Lovecraft, warned his characters, “Do not raise up what ye cannot put down.” Islamist terrorists are reviving the West’s thirst for blood. And this time it won’t be slaked in Flanders.

Things are going to get uglier east of Suez. And we’re going to win.

I’m skeptical about the West’s debates and disagreements being about “how best to solve the problem – not how to capitulate.” I believe the West’s liberal establishment is in the grip of a death wish born of self-loathing.

Israel is the only Western country largely free of that disease (Israelis can’t afford it ) and thus is our only hope. Have a nice day.

Civilization and Its Delusions

Victor Davis Hanson writes about the events of the past few weeks and concludes:

In an amorphous war of self-induced Western restraint, like the present one, truth and moral clarity are as important as military force. This past month, the world of the fascist jihadist and those who tolerate him was once again on display for civilization to fathom. Even the most timid and prone to appeasement in the West are beginning to see that it is becoming a question of “the Islamists or us.”

In this eleventh hour, that is a sort of progress after all.

I wish I were as hopeful as he about “civilization’s” capacity “in this eleventh hour” to comprehend “truth and moral clarity.” I continue to believe that the Israelis, who do not have the luxury of self-delusion, will do what is necessary to insure their survival. The rest of “civilization” will, I fear, wallow in denial until well after the midnight hour…if ever.

Wouldn’t it be ironic if the Jews, at the beginning of the 21st century, save the self-loathing “civilization” that once abandoned them to the barbarians of the 20th century?

The Coming Wars

Jerusalem Post columnist Caroline Glick makes a soberingly strong argument that Israel must prepare for the inevitable wars with Syria, Iran and their terrorist puppets, Hezbollah and Hamas.

Unlike “the world,” Israel has no choice.

Caroline Glick’s conclusion:

In the not so distant future, we will find ourselves at war with Iran. Today, the choice of whether we fight that war in our own time, and before Iran gets nuclear weapons is in our hands. If we hesitate, if we and the rest of the free world waste precious time with worthless diplomatic wrangling with the ayatollahs, war will come to us, but on the enemy’s terms. And we will have only ourselves to blame.

All of these future wars present us with a clear challenge as a country. We must prepare for war. This means, that technologically, we must engage in a crash program to find means to protect our cities from missile attack. We got off relatively easy this time. Hizbullah chose not to attack our industrial centers but showed it has the ability to do so through its missile attacks near Haifa’s port and its attacks near Hadera’s power plant.

Militarily, we must not relent in targeting our enemies. The IDF must target every Palestinian terrorist. It must reassert control over the international border between Gaza and Egypt. Israel must accept the reality that the PA is a terrorist organization, not a legitimate regime, and stop viewing Abbas and his associates in Fatah as potential peace partners. Obviously, Israel must give up the idea of transferring Judea and Samaria to Palestinian control and take all necessary measures to stabilize the situation on the ground in a manner that neutralizes the threat of Palestinian jihad.

Furthermore, the war in Lebanon exposed the results of years of neglect of the IDF reserve forces. These forces must be properly equipped, properly trained for war, and properly led. The talk of releasing men from reserve duty at 35 must be abandoned. The IDF has to accept that it is a fighting force in war. Commanders have to stop acting like yuppies in uniform and understand that they have a war to train for and fight and win.

Finally, Israel needs a political leadership that will be capable of telling the Israeli public the truth that has been ignored for the past decade and a half. We are not a “normal” nation and we are not going to get peace in the coming years. We are an abnormal nation in our neighborhood and in the world and will always remain so, as is our right. Our people must be ready to sacrifice for the survival of the state and the defense of our freedom to be abnormal. We need leadership that will tell the Israeli people that a struggle awaits us but that our democracy, our freedom, and our values give us the power of creative thought that will allow us to beat the dull forces of jihad that surround us.

In response to Assad’s speech on Tuesday, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni said that Assad has to decide if he’s on the side of peace or on the side of war. Defense Minister Amir Peretz outdid even that when he said that now that the war is over, it is time for Israel to get down to the real business of peace and to set the conditions for a renewal of the peace negotiations with Syria.

In so responding to Assad’s unequivocal warmongering, our leaders again have shown us that they have learned nothing and are incapable of learning anything from the disaster into which they led us with Hizbullah in Lebanon. There is no missile that is capable of penetrating their walls of self-deception and delusion. They are blind and deaf to all evidence that their way of appeasement has failed.

With the Olmert government’s stubborn insistence that Israel won the war it just lost, with the General Staff’s absurd statements that the mission was successful, it is clear that both our political and military leadership must be replaced as quickly as possible. Our enemies give us no time for hesitation. They plan their next wars in broad daylight as our leaders squawk in the darkness of their ideological stupor.

Please read the whole essay.

Karl Rove's Answered Prayers

Before Karl Rove goes to sleep at night, he must get down on his knees and thank God for the Democratic Party.

After the British, thanks to their unfettered ability to monitor phone calls and financial transanctions, uncover a massive terrorist plot that would have killed thousands, a Carter appointed federal judge declares similar powers exercised by the president to be unconstitutional.

Just when you think the GOP is finished, the Democrats go and prove they are soft on terror. And what does the New York Times, the Dems’ chief megaphone, editorialize about one day after the terror plot becomes known – Bush’s alleged attempt to “rewrite” the Geneva Conventions.

I believe the Bush administration should be held politically accountable for their failures in Iraq in the same way the current Israeli government should be held accountable for its failure in Lebanon. In the case of Israel, the opposition will make the case that the government failed to do what it set out to do – destroy Hezbollah. Here, the Democratic opposition will argue, not that Bush is an insufficient threat to terrorists, but that he is a mortal threat to the rights of Americans.

That argument may play well in the liberal swamps, but I doubt it’s a hit with most voters.