Saturday, September 17, 2005

John Rhys-Davies: Gimli on Islam

No Sean Penn
John Rhys-Davies, without Oscar censors.

by Andrew Leigh

— Another Academy Awards ceremony has come and gone. If you're like me, you spent much of it on the edge of your seat, silently praying that none of the winning actors would launch into a noxious left-wing tirade, featuring such sagacious bromides as "War is Not the Answer" (to what?).

It's a common perception that Hollywood is a liberal town, and rightly so. There are a few bold souls, however, who are willing to swim against the tide.

One of these starred in the film that won the most Oscars last Sunday night. He's John Rhys-Davies, who played Gimli in The Lord of the Rings (as well as Sallah in the Indiana Jones movies, in addition to many other roles). His comments over the past month or so regarding world affairs have ignited a firestorm of controversy in his home country of Great Britain.

Rather than taking up the banner of global warming, AIDS, world peace, or some other trendy cause, as most of his colleagues are prone to do, the Welsh-born actor has chosen as his particular hobbyhorse the growing demographic crisis in Europe.

He also regularly heaps praise on President George W. Bush and his war on terror, including the invasion of Iraq. "There are at least four or five [officials in the Bush administration] who could hold their own against the Founding Fathers," he says. This is blasphemous speech in Europe and Hollywood alike.

In a recent interview at a European-style café near Hollywood's Universal Studios, Rhys-Davies jokes about his candor, saying with a laugh that betrays a little nervousness, "Every time I open my mouth, I may be committing career suicide."

But he does not hold back, flatly stating, "I think that radical Islam has declared war on the West."

"It's not a question of the decency of Muslims," he says, many of whom he admires and respects. But "radical Islamist groups are controlling, manipulating, and forming the attitudes of Muslims throughout Europe," he adds. And Rhys-Davies fears that, due to their demographic advantages, their culture may eventually swamp or supplant the indigenous cultures of Europe.

Europeans are having fewer and fewer children, while migrant populations, predominantly Muslim, are growing much faster. Most European fertility rates have dropped so much that they have declined below the break-even point, to the degree that populations are actually beginning to shrink.

If the current trend continues, Rhys-Davies says, "The population of Germany at the end of the century is going to be 56 percent of what it is now. The population of France will decline to about 52 percent."

Meanwhile, Muslim immigrants are having babies at a much faster clip, so that in time, they may become the majority population throughout Europe.

"Last year, 56 percent of the babies born in Brussels were Muslim," Rhys-Davies notes. "In a matter of 20-50 years, we are going to see two to three countries become predominately Muslim — Holland, France, and possibly Germany."

This sort of talk, predictably enough, has provoked cries of "racism" from Muslim advocacy groups and left-wing critics back on his home turf. "We want an apology," demanded Mohammed Javed, chairman of the Muslim Society for Wales. "This could stir up racial hatred in society. It's ignorance, he should learn more about Islam...before he makes these comments."

At the same time, the far-right British National party, a fringe white-supremacist group, has tried to co-opt Rhys-Davies's message by reprinting some of his quotes on flyers they distributed at Lord of the Rings movie showings around the United Kingdom. Rhys-Davies strongly repudiated the BNP for their action; he belongs to the Conservative party, which has condemned the BNP as well.

"There is a demographic catastrophe happening in Europe that nobody wants to talk about, that we daren't bring up because we are so cagey about not offending people racially. And rightly we should be. But there is a cultural [aspect] as well," Rhys-Davies has said.

It is the culture of fundamentalist Islam that concerns Rhys-Davies the most. "When I look at contemporary Islam, I see homophobia, forced conversion, genital mutilation, slavery, two million people being put to death in the Sudan because of their religion."

He also sees its hand in an ugly trend: "There is a rise in anti-Semitism in Europe unprecedented since the 1930s," he laments.

In his view, "Fundamental Islamism is a particularly brutish and unpleasant form of fascism." He fears that if it becomes the dominant culture in Europe, it will wipe out all that is good about Western culture.

"It's easy to lose a civilization," Rhys-Davies warns. "The values of Western civilization have brought so much good to the world: the notions of equality, democracy, tolerance, abolition of slavery."

Rhys-Davies sees these same themes espoused in The Lord of the Rings, observing, "[J.R.R.] Tolkien knew that civilization is worth fighting for. There are times when a generation is challenged and must fight to defend their civilization from annihilation."

Of course, others on the set didn't see it the same way. Viggo Mortensen, who played Aragorn in The Lord of the Rings, wore a "No Blood for Oil" T-shirt during a promotional interview for the movie on Charlie Rose's PBS show.

Ironically, Mortensen's character in the movies is a military leader. And many have drawn parallels between the conflict in The Lord of the Rings with the war on terror. With a twinkle in his eye, Rhys-Davies confides that a friend whispered to him while watching Mortensen in The Return of the King, "Does he realize he's George Bush?"

Conservatives indeed are scarce in Hollywood. "You introduce a Republican to another in Hollywood, it's like a meeting between two Christians in Caligula's Rome," he observes.

Rhys-Davies does not appreciate the images of President Bush and America broadcast by Western media. "When Hollywood constantly projects that the West is weak, the military is corrupt, that big business is corrupt, it has to have an influence on Muslims," he says.

Rhys-Davies used to be a radical leftist, as a university student in the '60s. He first started to come around when he went to the local hall to hear a young local member of parliament by the name of Margaret Thatcher. "I went to heckle her," Rhys-Davies says. "She shot down the first two hecklers in such brilliant fashion that I decided I ought for once to shut up and listen."

It was the beginning of his eventual transformation into a conservative. Rhys-Davies's father was a colonial officer, but from a poor "working-class socialist" background, which Rhys-Davies absorbed into his bloodstream. He spent a large portion of his childhood in Tanzania, where his father was posted.

He says, "As a child, my father showed me a dhow in the harbor at Dar es Salaam and said, 'You see that dhow? Twice a year it comes down from Aden filled with boxes of goods. On the way back up it's got two or three black boys on it. Those boys are slaves. And the U.N. won't let me do a thing about it.'"

Rhys-Davies says that his father predicted our current state of affairs, once telling his son, "The next world war will be between Islam and the West. And it will happen in your lifetime."

— Andrew Leigh is a screenwriter based in Los Angeles.

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Friday, September 16, 2005

TheFuture of Islam, Part Two.

John B at put this article up for us recently, and here we pass it on to others. Due to the length of the following we'll keep our editorial comments to a minimum-- this time.

The Impending Collapse of Arab Civilization

Proceedings, September 2005

Slender minarets with muezzins calling the faithful to prayer symbolize the stability and timelessness of the Muslim world. This one in Rabi'ah, a small town on the Iraqi-Syrian border, is a classic—and the Muslim faith is flourishing. Arabs, however, most of whom are Muslims, are not.


If a country wants to be on the winning side of history it first and foremost must get its grand strategy right. With that done, it can make any number of operational mistakes and weather many a setback and still walk away a winner. In the Cold War, our grand strategy of containing the Soviet Union eventually won the day despite many tribulations over the fifty years it was in place. Diplomat George Kennan's famous "X Article," anonymously published in the journal Foreign Affairs in 1947, became the conceptual pillar of Cold War strategy and withstood a decades-long assault by critics until eventually vindicated by the disintegration of the Soviet Union.

Was the containment theory hurt by the vitriol of its critics? I would argue the opposite is true. Criticism forced the supporters of containment theory to examine and hone their arguments. In order to properly answer their critics, supporters of containment were forced to continually evaluate their strategic models under regularly changing conditions. The end result was a strategy that proved adaptable to shifting circumstances and able to garner the support of the bulk of public opinion.

Today, however, more and more of our strategic judgments are being built upon the untested edifice of two books: Bernard Lewis' The Crisis of Islam: Holy War and Unholy Terror and Samuel P. Huntington's The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order . While there have been a few critical reviews of both works, for the most part they have become the basic canon of 21st century strategic thought with very little serious negative commentary. In military publications and briefings these works are now cited repeatedly and uncritically as authoritative support for developing strategic concepts.

Both books paint a dismal global picture. Huntington argues that for centuries civilizations have been kept apart by distance and serious geographical obstacles. However, modern technologies are eroding these obstacles and as civilizations begin to interact on a more regular basis they will find each other so repugnant they will be unable to resist trying to slaughter one another. Bernard Lewis is not as pessimistic about the global environment. Rather, he focuses his dire warnings on just the Muslim world, which appears to him on an irreversible road to doom.

It amazes me that Huntington's theory of civilizational war ever gained the traction it did. I had always assumed that everyone would awake one day and discover Hindus were not planning the annihilation of the Mongols, that Africans were incapable of getting together to fight anyone, and that Europeans have lost the will to fight about anything. Maybe, just maybe, some Arabs would like to take on their neighbors. But let's assume for a moment that all twenty-two Arab nations put aside their considerable differences and raise a military force to take on the world, what would that force look like? Well, with a combined GDP a bit less than Spain's, it probably would not amount to much. The combined conventional military power of a united Arab world is not likely to keep Pentagon planners up at night. Lewis, on the other hand, makes a good argument for the collapse of the Islamic world. Unfortunately, by accepting his thesis the United States is put in the unenviable position of confronting a religion in what may be a prolonged conflict-prone situation. Do we really want to make war on a religion? The major flaw in Lewis's argument, though, is in the title of his book. Islam is not in fact in a crisis state. From a purely religious point of view things have not looked this good for the Muslim faith in hundreds of years. Mosques are full, new adherents are pouring in, and the cash coffers are being filled with donations. If this is a religious crisis it is one most of the world's other faiths would envy.

A more accurate understanding of events leads to the conclusion that Arab, not Muslim, civilization is in a state of collapse, and it just happens that most Arabs are Muslims. In this regard, the fall of the Western Roman Empire was a collapse of Western Europe and not a crisis of Christianity. The next question is, how could the world have missed an entire civilization collapsing before its eyes? The simple answer is that no one alive today has ever seen it happen before. Well within living memory we have seen empires collapse and nation-state failure has become a regular occurrence, but no one in the West has witnessed the collapse of a civilization since the Dark Ages. Civilizational collapses take a long time to unfold and are easy to miss in the welter of daily events.

Interestingly, on the Arab League's website there is a paper that details all of the contributions made by Arab civilization. It is a long and impressive list, which unfortunately marks 1406 as the last year a significant contribution was made. That makes next year the 600th anniversary of the beginning of a prolonged stagnation, which began a dive into the abyss with the end of the Ottoman Empire. Final collapse has been staved off only by the cash coming in from a sea of oil and because of a few bright spots of modernity that have resisted the general failure.

Statistics tell an ugly story about the state of Arab civilization. According to the U.N.'s Arab Human Development Report:

There are 18 computers per 1000 citizens compared to a global average of 78.3.

Only 1.6% of the population has Internet access.

Less than one book a year is translated into Arabic per million people, compared to over 1000 per million for developed countries.

Arabs publish only 1.1% of books globally, despite making up over 5% of global population, with religious books dominating the market.

Average R&D expenditures on a per capita basis is one-sixth of Cuba's and less than one-fifteenth of Japan's.

The Arab world is embarking upon the new century burdened by 60 million illiterate adults (the majority are women) and a declining education system, which is failing to properly prepare regional youth for the challenges of a globalized economy. Educational quality is also being eroded by the growing pervasiveness of religion at all levels of the system. In Saudi Arabia over a quarter of all university degrees are in Islamic studies. In many other nations primary education is accomplished through Saudi-financed madrassas, which have filled the void left by government's abdication of its duty to educate the young.

In economic terms we have already commented that the combined weight of the Arab states is less than that of Spain. Strip oil out of Mideast exports and the entire region exports less than Finland. According to the transnational Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), regional economic growth is burdened by declining rates of investment in fixed capital structure, an inability to attract substantial foreign direct investment, and declining productivity — the economic trinity of disaster.

Economic stagnation coupled with rapid population growth is reducing living standards throughout the region, both comparatively and in real terms. In the heady days of the late 1970s oil boom, annual per-capita GDP growth of over 5% fueled high levels of expectations. GDP per-capita grew from $1,845 to $2,300. Today, after adjusting for inflation, it stands at $1,500, reflecting an overall decline in living standards over 30 years. Only sub-Saharan Africa has done worse. If oil wealth is subtracted from the calculations the economic picture for the mass of Arab citizens becomes dire.

Things are indeed bad in the Arab world and will get much worse.

This statement should not be read as mere opinion. While predictions of the future are usually fraught with peril, those based on demographics are, barring some unforeseen plague or truly catastrophic war, uncannily accurate. Using even the most optimistic assumption—that fertility rates drop by fifty percent in a generation—the respected Population Resource Center, based in Princeton, New Jersey, expects Arab populations to grow from 280 million to almost 460 million by 2020 and to over 600 million a generation later. On the face of it the Arab world is staring political and economic disaster in the face. Arab governments and institutions are already failing to meet basic human needs in many Arab countries. It is hard to imagine how they will cope with the stress of such a massive population increase.

The percentage of the population under age 15 is double that of Western Europe and those under age 24 make up 50% to 65% of Middle East countries—an astonishingly young population. This youth bulge is already beginning to rock the foundations of Islamic society. Upheaval and revolution are the likely results of a massive number of youth confronted by stagnating or collapsing economies as they enter adulthood.

The Impending Collapse of Arab Civilization

A youth bulge has always correlated strongly with increased levels of violence within a society, from terrorism to war. Massive youth violence is predictably more likely when lack of economic opportunity stunts ambitions for a satisfying job, a good marriage, and a home. A 2004 study by The World Bank calls this combination of a youth bulge coupled with poor economic performance an "explosive combination." In socially and politically repressive societies, found throughout the Middle East, there are very few outlets for pent-up frustrations except for violence or immersion into religion—a combustible mixture. In the Middle East, it is evident that terrorism and especially suicide operations are a phenomenon closely associated with youth. Youthful involvement in terrorism can be viewed as the extreme end of a broader youthful attraction to violence more generally. Additionally, this attraction is being reinforced within a generation that is being radicalized by an environment featuring high levels of violence, radical religious ideology, and growing anti-Americanism.

One serious question that requires an answer is why youth are attracted to Islamic organizations, which to Western eyes appear to be extremely repressive to many of the aspirations and desires of typical young men and women? In a 2003 Brookings Institution paper, Graham Fuller, a senior resident consultant at the RAND Corporation, provides this answer:

. . . the religious activism of Islamism in the Muslim world is not politically conservative at all: it calls for change to the status quo that is broadly hated. Much of the youthful spirit of rebellion against the status quo can thus be readily harnessed by the Islamist movement, both violent and non-violent. They provide a channel for the expression of discontent, blessed and legitimized by powerful religious tradition that incorporates nationalist impulses as well. It is noteworthy that Islamism serves as a vehicle of protest everywhere except where it is in power, such as Iran and Sudan. It is the status quo that is the major target of anger. (Author's emphasis)

A youth bulge is always destabilizing, but it can often be managed if a society is able to properly educate its youth and provide them with adequate economic opportunities at the end of the education process. Arab nations are failing in both areas.

As I see it, the overarching cause of civilizational collapse is that culture and institutions of that civilization can no longer adapt to external stresses. This assertion is grounded in my interpretation of the writings of Will Durant, Story of Civilization, John Roberts' The Rise of the West, and Fernand Braudel's A History of Civilizations. The tyrants and dictators who have long ruled the Arab world have proven unable to implement the changes required to reverse the trends of collapse. Unable to reverse economic and societal ills, and unresponsive to the mass of the Arab population, these rulers instituted polices of strong internal oppression, which further closed off Arab society from the adoption of new ideas and methods.

Populations that were unable to influence their governments found that some methods of expression were still allowed within the context of Islam. Working within this framework radicals found that they could shelter their activities within a religious infrastructure, while at the same time religious leaders realized that they were gaining enough strength to make a grasp for secular power. This was a struggle that went on in the West for a thousand years after the fall of Rome until finally won by secular authority during what is now called the Age of Reason.

Still, Islam is not the root cause of collapse. For instance, it has not stood in the way of economic advancement and societal adaptation in Asia. It is more accurate to say that fundamental failure of Arab culture is causing people to begin looking backwards at the golden age of their civilization. Two things ring out to them from those past centuries: Arabs were powerful when they were united and when their faith was new, vital, and fundamental.

A lot of the evidence that Huntington presents for his theory of civilizational war makes more sense when viewed through the prism of the collapse of Arab civilization. Global maneuvering that Huntington interprets as preparations for a new round of world conflict are in reality the spontaneous adjustments that other societies are making in reaction to the collapse of a neighboring civilization. By accepting that we are facing the collapse of Arab civilization we can, for the first time, create a grand strategic concept for success. We no longer have to engage in a war against terrorism, which is a method of fighting and not an enemy. Additionally, we now have a strategic explanation for what is going on that does not make Islam the culprit. Hence we do not have to fight a religious war to win.

The grand strategic concept that provides the best chance of success is the one that served us so well in the Cold War—containment. No matter what else we do we must position ourselves to contain the effects of the complete collapse of Arab civilization. Already 10 percent of the French population is from Muslim North Africa. Europe's ability to assimilate a larger flood of economic refugees is questionable. And mass migration is just one effect a total collapse will have. Containment will mean adopting and maintaining difficult policy choices, which include:

  • Working closely with the European nations to defend their southern border against the mass migration of tens of millions of destitute Arabs as well as armed confrontations with failing Arab states.
  • Renewing our close ties with Turkey and making that nation a bulwark against the effects of collapse.
  • Working to help modernize and integrate the Russian military into an enhanced European defense structure.
  • Ensuring China is a partner in this containment effort.
  • Propping up weak border states that are already dealing with the spillover effects of Arab collapse—such as Pakistan and the new Caucasus states.
  • Assisting the Iranian popular will to establish a government not based on a religious oligarchy. The Persian people may form an eastern bulwark against collapse.
  • Plan for the security of critical resources even during possible upheavals and regional turmoil.
  • Spillover effects such as terrorist groups already evident in places like Indonesia and the Philippines must be eradicated or reversed.
  • We need to be clear that this is not a failure of Islam. In this regard we must help Muslims outside of the Arab world find their own interpretations of their faith and not fall prey to those being espoused by the Arab world—Wahhabism.
None of the above policy prescriptions will be easy, nor can they be achieved overnight. Most of them require the support of other nations, which may be problematic. Many of these nations have not recognized the risks they face from Arab collapse and see no reason to take preemptive measures. It is easy to say that we need to work closely with Europe to secure its southern border. In reality, that task will be devilishly hard, not least because the Europeans appear very reluctant to take any measures to protect themselves that might give even a whiff of intolerance. Furthermore, American diplomacy, as of recent decades, has not shown it is up to accomplishing many of the recommended tasks. For instance, all attempts to engage Iran since the fall of the Shah have been a debacle. Unfortunately, as the Iranian nuclear crisis unfolds there is no indication we have gotten any better at it. Do we have the wherewithal to engender a democratic society in Iran and then to engage its support in our common interests? Can we deal with an increasingly autocratic and threatening Russia? Can we manage China's emergence as a superpower so that it can be peacefully integrated into the global political system? The answers to these questions are still unknown. However, because containment of a civilizational collapse cannot be done by the United States alone finding the right answers is critical.

By accepting that we need to contain the effects of a failing Arab civilization we are then free to adopt one of three basic approaches:

  1. Attempt to accelerate the collapse and pick up the pieces, akin to letting an alcoholic hit bottom.
  2. To contain the effects, but not to interfere with the fall for good or bad.
  3. Reverse the tide when and where we can.

For a number of ethical and practical reasons the third choice is the one that should and is most likely to be adopted, keeping in mind that resisting the macro-forces of historical change will not be easy.

By adopting the third option we can craft policies to improve economic conditions and help specific regions within the Arab world adapt to encroaching modernity. The United States must be able to spot shining lights in the Arab world and work to protect them even as we help to expand their influence. Discarding the theories of two men as eminent as Samuel Huntington and Bernard Lewis is not a matter to take lightly. History may even prove both men right and my analysis to be well off the mark. However, the almost blind acceptance now being given to these men's ideas is a dangerous trend. As military leaders build the strategic plans and policies that will guide our forces for a generation or more it is best to be skeptical of all underlying assumptions. This article is designed to strike at the foundation of the two most widely accepted arguments in the current forum of ideas. If they are correct and sturdy then my position will not topple them. In fact, like Kennan's X article they will be made stronger by having to defend themselves against criticism. If they are weak, then it is best to discard them now.

Lieutenant Colonel Lacey is a Washington-based writer focusing on defense and international affairs issues. He was embedded with the 101st Airborne Division during the war in Iraq. He served on active duty for a number of years and later edited journals on international finance.

Dhimmi Nation Poll

This link should take you to a poll in which you can vote for the dhimmi nation of your choice. Who's the biggest dhimmi of them all? You decide.

Rape Culture

Islam is a rape culture. When cultures segregate and dehumanize women the result is rape. When women are treated like chattel instead of autonomous beings with recognized rights as equals no different from men, the result is rape, slavery, torture, and murder. When chattel slavery is enshrined as culture, then rape is a result, obviously so to anyone who cares to read even the two articles below, not to mention the myriad others available to those who care to pursue the inquiry further.

We take issue with the privileging of culture over the individual. Why, we ask, is culture valued at all? Social cohesion is some benefit? To what end are people cohesive? And if for some reason, by some wild lucky chance one can make a coherent argument that culture is a benefit because it creates social cohesion, then will one go further and claim that social cohesion is better than atomic individuality? Is the collective good better than the good of the collection of individuals pursuing their own happiness? Should the state prevail over the individual? Is the greater number better prepared to express the truth than the smaller? Or is the smaller group of perhaps Philosopher Kings better informed, nobler, wiser than the great unwashed? Should there be, regardless, a perfect monoculture? Should we all subsume our interests to the ummah?

Perhaps Islam is a great thing that all should follow. If Islam segregates women, and if from that women are property to be used and traded like any other commodity, if, in short, Islam is a good thing and women should be raped if they can be, and if culture is supreme, then all women should be raped if they are outside the protective boundaries of their protecting family males. There should be no law preventing or even discouraging the cultural Islamic practice of raping women-- or boys for that matter.

Ah, but culture is distinct, an organic outgrowth of social conditions applicable only to those within a specific group, that group based on language perhaps, or religion, or the shape of the head, the size of the nose. Rather than atomic individuals we have instead atomic cultures. Islam, having its own cultures, privileges rape. Who are we to judge if we allow the concept of particularism? If there is multi-culture, then we must allow rape as a cultural expression if that is indeed part of authentic cultural expression. Forget the individual. Think in terms of the benefits of social cohesion.

Or, take a brick to the face of anyone who suggests that culture is anything other than fascism writ big, red, and evil.

Below we have two pieces on rape in Pakistan. Rape is culture. Rape is Islamic culture. If we accept the dominance of culture we must accept the rape that goes with it as policy. Culture is for those who refuse to think for themselves. They rape if they're Muslims. No, not all Muslims. But for those who do it's culture. It's ok. Not for us, those of us with a different culture, but it's ok for Muslims. Too bad for the women, but hey, culture is supreme for those who think culture is supreme.

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (Reuters) -- Outrage mounted in Pakistan and abroad on Friday over President Pervez Musharraf's comment that many Pakistanis felt that crying rape was an easy way to make money and move to Canada.

Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin has already condemned the remarks made by Musharraf, who is in the United States having addressed the U.N. General Assembly on Wednesday.

London-based rights group Amnesty International said Musharraf should apologize, and newspapers back home decried their leader's attitude.

Musharraf told the Washington Post in an interview published on Tuesday that Pakistan should not be singled out on rape issues as other countries had the same problems.

"You must understand the environment in Pakistan ... This has become a money-making concern. A lot of people say if you want to go abroad and get a visa for Canada or citizenship and be a millionaire, get yourself raped," the Post quoted Musharraf as saying.

Dawn, Pakistan's leading English-language daily, rounded on Musharraf in an editorial headlined "Wrong thing to say".

"If this attitude, of blaming rape and other crimes against women on women themselves and ridiculing NGOs (non-government organizations) that take up such issues, begins to travel upward from ignorant mullahs and male chauvinists to permeate the higher echelons of the administration, then God help us," it said.

Amnesty International said it was outraged at the remarks by Musharraf, who is due to address an audience of Pakistani-American women in New York on Saturday.

"This callous and insulting statement requires a public apology from President Musharraf to the women of Pakistan and especially to victims of rape, sexual assault and other forms of violence that are rampant with impunity in Pakistan," the group said in a statement issued on Thursday.

"His statement is an offence to women all over the world."

Musharraf, according to media reports, told a news conference in New York on Thursday that he had been expressing a commonly held opinion rather than his own.

Earlier, Canada's Martin said he had raised the matter with the Pakistani leader during a meeting on the sidelines of the General Assembly.

"I stated unequivocally that comments such as that are not acceptable and that violence against women is also a blight that besmirches all humanity," Martin told a news conference.

Rape is prevalent particularly in rural areas of Pakistan, but local media have recently become more active in following up stories since a notorious gang rape generated massive publicity at home and abroad when the victim spoke out about her ordeal.

Mukhtaran Mai, now an icon for human rights in Pakistan, was gang-raped three years ago on the orders of a village council after her brother, then 12, was judged to have befriended a woman of a powerful clan.

Earlier this year Musharraf blocked Mai from traveling to the United States to attend a women's rights conference, but later lifted the ban after international criticism including from the U.S. government.

Mai told Reuters she was pained by Musharraf's comments in the United States.

"Nobody does it intentionally. A large number of women are molested and insulted in the country. How many of them have made money?," she said. "Such thinking about women is not good."

Copyright 2005 Reuters. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

ASI held in gang-r ape case, 3 cops absconding

By Munawer Azeem

ISLAMABAD, Sept 6: A police officer has been arrested in Rawalpindi and hunt for two others in a gang-rape case in the second case in a week, police sources told Dawn late on Tuesday.

A woman, resident of Dhok Choudhrian, lodged a complaint with the Airport police that an assistant sub-inspector, Ilyas Kalyar, two constables, Mohammad Sadiq and Bilal, gang-raped her in her house on Sunday.

On the directives of assistant superintendent of police,

Civil Lines, an FIR has been registered against the accused.

The medical test on the victim was done in the Rawalpindi General Hospital and the report is due to be released soon.

District Police Officer Saud Aziz told the BBC that three constables had absconded.

He said that a sub-inspector had been arrested in connection with the case.

The woman alleged that the police officials had arrested her husband and demanded a bribe of Rs100,000, a BBC website reported.

The victim said she paid the police Rs30,000 after which her husband was released but the officials continued demanding the remaining amount.

She accused the four officers of then barging into her house on Sunday and raping her after locking her husband and uncle in another room in the house.

The case comes after Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz and Supreme Court Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry ordered separate inquiries into the alleged rape of a woman in Faisalabad, BBC reports.

DAWN - the Internet Edition ***

Thursday, September 15, 2005

The Future of Islam, Part One

There are two pleasures in life that we adore: one being the nurse who comes to feed us pudding, bending over just far enough that we can look down her blouse; and second, reading wonderfully smart essays.

Below we have two essays on the future of Islam, of Muslims. Both essays are large enough to warrant that we post one only today and the second tomorrow to keep our readers from fatigue. Hence, our clever editorial wil remain unwritten.

Please feel free to leave comments, keeping in mind that they are for your fellow readers and are not for us to critique or complain about, tempting sometimes as it is.

The demographics of radical Islam

By Spengler

General staffs before World War I began war planning with demographic tables, calculating how many men of military age they might feed to the machine guns. France preferred an early war because its stagnant population would not produce enough soldiers a generation hence to fight Germany. Only Israel's general staff looks at demographic tables today, to draw prospective boundaries that will enclose a future Jewish majority.

Demographics still provide vital strategic information, albeit in quite a different fashion. Today's Islamists think like the French general staff in 1914. Islam has one generation in which to establish a global theocracy before hitting a demographic barrier. Islam has enough young men - the pool of unemployed Arabs is expected to reach 25 million by 2010 - to fight a war during the next 30 years. Because of mass migration to Western Europe, the worst of the war might be fought on European soil.

Although the Muslim birth rate today is the world's second highest (after sub-Saharan Africa), it is falling faster than the birth rate of any other culture. By 2050, according to the latest UN projections, the population growth rate of the Muslim world will converge on that of the United States (although it will be much higher than Europe's or China's).

Falling fertility measures the growing influence of modernity upon the Muslim world. Literacy rates, especially female literacy, best explain the difference between the very high fertility rates of pre-modern society and the moderate fertility rates of industrial countries, as I showed in a recent study (Death by secularism: The statistical evidence, August 1, 2005).

This is clearly the case in the Muslim world where the lowest rates of adult literacy correspond to the highest population growth rate. Literacy alone explains 58% of the variation in birth rates among Muslim countries.

Urbanization, literacy, and openness to the modern world ultimately will suppress the Muslim womb, in the absence of radical measures. In a new volume of essays on modern Islamic thought, the Islamists Suha Taji-Farouki and Basheer M Nafi observe, "Rather than being a development within cultural traditions that is internally generated, 20th century Islamic thought is constitutively responsive; it is substantially a reaction to extrinsic challenges." [1] The challenge stems from the transformation of Muslim life:
In the Middle East of 1900, for example, less than 10% of the inhabitants were city dwellers; by 1980, 47% were urban. In 1800, Cairo had a population of 250,000, rising to 600,000 by the beginning of the 20th century. The unprecedented influx of immigrants from rural areas brought the population of Cairo to almost 8 million by 1980. Massive urbanization altered patterns of living, of housing and architecture, of the human relation with space and land, of marketing, employment, and consumption, and the very structure of family and social hierarchy. [2]
The sharp fall in the Muslim population growth rate expresses the extreme fragility of traditional society. Translated into the Islamist vocabulary (citing again Taji-Farouki and Nafi), this means that:
A Muslim sense of vulnerability and outrage is further exacerbated by the seemingly unstoppable encroachment of American popular culture and modes of consumerism and the transparent hypocrisy of the American rhetoric of universal rights and liberties. It is also stoked by Western ambivalence towards economic disparities in the world. [3]
Rapid urbanization, to be sure, produced growing pains in every case on record. Britain transported its displaced population to America and then to Australia, including the "clearing" of entire Scots villages forced onto ships for Canada. But Britain's urbanization coincided with rapid economic growth and improving living standards. The Arab world's urbanization has only created a stagnant pool of urban poor. As the London Economist summarized in the United Nations Arab Development Report for 2002:
One in five Arabs still live on less than $2 a day. And over the past 20 years growth in income per head, at an annual rate of .5%, was lower than anywhere else in the world except sub-Saharan Africa. At this rate, says the report, it will take the average Arab 140 years to double his income, a target that some regions are set to reach in less than 10 years. Stagnant growth, together with a fast-rising population, means vanishing jobs. About 12 million people, or 15% of the labor force, are already unemployed, and on present trends the number could rise to 25 million by 2010. [4]
Excluding Indonesia, the Muslim's world literacy rate stands at only 53%, against 81% for China; Arab literacy is only 50%. Only 1% of the population owns a personal computer. It is delusional to believe that the Arab world, which now exports (net of oil) as much as Finland, might come to compete with China, India and the rest of Asia in the global market for goods and services.

Just as the Muslim population peaks, the one bounty that nature has bestowed upon the Arabs, namely oil, will begin to diminish. According to the US Department of Energy, conventional oil production will peak just before 2050 at the present 2% rate of production growth.

In short, the Muslim world half a century from now can expect the short end of the stick from the modern world. It has generated only two great surpluses, namely people and oil. By the middle of the century both of these will have begun to dwindle. But at the moment it has 25 million idle young men. No leader can remain in power who does not give them a destination to march to.

By no means does that imply that all of these 25 million will become suicide bombers, but a great many of them are likely to emigrate to Europe, including Eastern Europe, where populations are stagnant and about to decline. A Muslim takeover of Western Europe surely is a possible outcome.

[1] Suha Taji-Farouki and Basheer M. Nafi, Islamic Thought in the Twentieth Century (Tauris: London 2004), p 9
[2] Ibid, p 2
[3] Op cit, p 14
[4] Economist, July 4, 2002

(Copyright 2005 Asia Times Online Ltd. All rights reserved.

On this topic we will return tomorrow with another perspective on the future of Ilam, which means the lives of people themselves, individuals who must concern us as our fellow men. Yes, even hate-filled ranting bigots that we are here we do still muster at times the pretense of humanity to try to fool some of the people some of the time, though there are those geniuses who see through us.


Wednesday, September 14, 2005

bin Trotsky, bin Lotsa-Things

If you want to dance with the devil, why not dance the fox-trotsky?

Below we have two pieces on Trotskyism and Islam, the second being excerpts from the Trots themselves, cut down for the sake of our readers. The gist of it? Well, who really cares? Perhaps we are "organically incapable" of analysing it properly too. Or maybe it's just silly and you don't want to bother trying to follow it. We leave it to you, dear reader, to decide if the Trots are really, truly, deeply as right about all things as they seem to think they are. Yes, they have every answer to all important questions about how to run the world, but don't ever hire a Trot to do your roof or mow your lawn. These are the geniuses who have allied themselves in solidarity with Islam, the Galloways, the Livingstones, the Left David Dukes of hazard.

The first article below is a nicely written piece of bourgeios propaganda that tries to con the workers with capitalistic flim flams such as reason, order, and clarity. Lucky for you the piece following is directly from the founts of Trot. We do it all for you.

Next time we might just do the cha cha che.

The new Islamo-Marxism: Where Trotsky meets bin Laden

By Bill King
web posted December 20, 2004

Karl Marx once infamously referred to religion as "the opium of the people", and argued that it served to dampen the revolutionary fervor of the masses. Yet if Marx were alive to witness the acts of ferocity being committed by zealots in the name of Islam, one suspects that even he would readily admit he got that one wrong.

Just such a reconsideration of religion is taking place today among the remnants of the Marxist left in Europe and North America -- only their reassessment is taking them in an even more dangerous direction. Since the morning of September 11th, 2001, Western Marxists have been steadily discarding Marx's old materialist dictum in favor of a new found admiration for one religion in particular: radical Islam.

This is not to say, of course, that we will soon see those on the far left swapping their belief in History and Progress for a belief in Allah and the Koran as interpreted by radical Wahhabi or Shia clerics. But given their all-consuming hatred of America and the West, Marxists are increasingly throwing their political lot in with those they feel are leading the struggle against "imperialism" -- namely, the forces of world wide jihad.

So far, this new phenomenon has been taken up in a comprehensive manner only by David Horowitz in his new book, Unholy Alliance: Radical Islam and the American Left, which as the title indicates focuses on the American far left. Yet the reality of a new "Islamo-Marxism" is immediately apparent to any objective observer of the Marxist left in Europe and Canada as well. And while the idea that secular Western Marxists would seek to ally with militant Islamists may seem incongruous at first, if one looks at the history of organized Marxism in the industrialized West, it is not really so surprising.

In the decades after the Second World War, the far left in Europe and North America turned to a whole series of forces -- from "student vanguards" to "national liberation movements" -- to find a substitute for a working class that refused to play the revolutionary role assigned to it by radical intellectuals. Throughout the 1970's and 80's, as Marxism became progressively more ensconced in the world of university seminars and academic journals, and as once radical social movements joined the mainstream, the left found itself increasingly bereft of a social force that could serve as the "subject" of its revolution.

Towards the end of the last century, with the collapse of the Communist project around the world and the rise of the United States to the status of sole superpower, the long held goal of a socialist revolution in the West finally gave way in practice to the far more realizable, and hence all the more furious, end goal of anti-Americanism. The stage was now set for an embrace of those not afraid to strike at what Che Guevara once called the "belly of the beast". In the rubble of the World Trade Centre and the death of 3000 innocents on 9/11, political convergence between the radical left and radical Islam was born.

There were, of course, precursors to the new post-9/11 Islamo-Marxism, the most notable being the tacit approval that was given by the far left after 1967 to Palestinian terrorists whose specialty was targeting the most defenseless: children in Israel, elderly Americans on cruise ships, tourists in airports in Europe. Today, however, the face of the new Islamo-Marxism is seen most clearly not in its stance on the Israeli-Palestinian question, but in its cheerleading (PDF format) for the murderous "resistance" in Iraq -- a "resistance" whose tactics, such as the summary execution of cooks and cleaners from Nepal (a country that had not even sent troops to Iraq!) with a shot to the back of the head as they lay with their hands bound behind them, are reminiscent of those used by the right-wing death squads of El Salvador in the 1980's.

George Galloway

As Joshua Kurlantzick points out in the December 2004 issue of Commentary, in his review of Horowitz's Unholy Alliance , it is in Europe that the political convergence between Marxists and Islamists is most advanced. But even Kurlantizick's article has been outpaced by the speed at which the alliance is growing. In England, for example, left wing Labourites, Trotskyists, and the Islamists in the Muslim Association of Britain have now formed an actual political party called "Respect" that has run in British and European elections. Its leader is none other than George Galloway, the former Labour MP with reported ties to Saddam Hussein's former regime and other Middle Eastern dictatorships.

Here in Canada, the tiny and splintered -- but often surprisingly influential -- Marxist movement has come down firmly on the side of radical Islam and jihad. One of the most sycophantic in its praise of all things Islamist is the Trotskyist Socialist Voice. This group of far leftists is so ingratiating towards those who would just as soon behead them, that they actually made a point of celebrating on their web site the fact that the Imam Ali Shrine was not damaged during last fall's fighting in the Iraqi city of Najaf. According to them, the fact that the mosque was spared was something that, "…working people around the world should join our Islamic brothers and sisters in greeting".

The largest Marxist group in Canada, the quasi-Trotskyist International Socialists (IS), has also chosen to cast its lot with the Islamists against the West. In fact, as far back as 1994, the IS's parent group in Britain, the Socialist Workers Party (SWP), published a pamphlet entitled "The Prophet and the Proletariat", in which they called for "defending Islamists against the state", and for "occasionally" siding with radical Islamists while maintaining an ideological distance. Today, in the pages of the IS publication Socialist Worker, in which the Islamist torturers in Fallujah, serial murderers of women in Mosul, and holders of sharia courts in Najaf and Sadr City, are all labeled "heroic", that "distance" has all but disappeared.

As would be expected, there are more than a few ironies in Western Marxism's current suicidal death-clinch with militant Islam. By far the most glaring is that a political movement so profoundly Western (one that, despite its protestations, is itself a historical product of capitalism and liberal democracy, and even more, has its roots in the West's supposedly most enlightened, rational, and progressive thinking) would choose, because of its obsessive anti-Americanism, to side with the most retrograde, nihilistic, indeed fascistic, politico-religious movement of our era, one which abhors every "progressive" value the left claims to uphold.

Leon Trotsky's ice-picked body must be rolling over in its grave
Leon Trotsky's ice-picked body must be rolling over in its grave

Yet another irony is that, within Marxism, it is the Trotskyists that are spearheading the turn to radical Islam. While in recent years Trotskyism has been most infamously (and most mistakenly) linked to neoconservatism, the actual Trotskyites are in fact the most zealous among the Marxists in seeking to unite with the jihadists. It is a massive and ignoble irony -- one that points to the complete moral-ideological collapse of international Trotskyism, even by its own standards -- that a movement founded by the scientific-minded atheist and arch secularist Leon Trotsky, who in the words of Norman Geras, "embodied in his person at once the traces of his Jewish origin and a powerful attachment to the universalist dream of the radical", would today be knowingly aiding and supporting those who murder, torture, and behead to the cry of "Allahu Akbar!"

But if those are some of the most immediately apparent ironies, they are not the cruelest. The cruelest is that in championing the Islamist insurgencies in Iraq and Afghanistan, today's Western Islamo-Marxists are supporting the very forces that are terrorizing and murdering politically active women, trade unionists, foreign aid workers, and left-wing activists in those countries -- and yet they continue to support those forces in the name of defending… the oppressed! Such "anti-imperialism" by comfortable Western Marxists in Europe and North America would almost be laughable were its consequences not so grisly and nefarious for those in far less safe places.

In another of his famous phrases, Marx once wrote that history repeats itself "the first time as tragedy, the second as farce". But it would seem that Marx got that one wrong too. For if the murder of millions by Stalinist Communism in the 20th century was tragedy, Islamo-Marxism's collusion with radical Islam in the first years of the 21st is more than just farce. It is farce, betrayal, and tragedy all at once -- and the collusion is just beginning. There can be little doubt that winning the global war against radical Islam will entail winning the ideological battle against its Islamo-Marxist allies right here at home in the West.

Bill King is a Vancouver based writer focusing on international politics, terrorism, and the radical left.

Afghanistan, Islam and the Revolutionary Left

By Peter Taaffe

The following is a lengthy article written in February 2002. We are publishing it now because the issues it analyses, of war, Islam and the approach of Marxists, are relevant to the new world situation of increased imperialist intervention in the neo-colonial world and the continued threat of a US invasion of Iraq. CWI online, July 2002



The Taliban and Osama bin Laden's al-Qa'ida have suffered a severe military and political defeat. The scale of their defeat is heightened by the fact that there was virtually no resistance on the ground to the imperialists and the Northern Alliance. We have analysed this elsewhere (see the CWI's previous statements) and wish here to compare the positions taken by the CWI and its sections with those of other organisations, particularly those who claim to stand on the revolutionary left. This approach, the method of contrasts, was deployed by Leon Trotsky, particularly in the 1930s, as a means of educating the revolutionary cadre. Most of the revolutionary left erred, and sometimes quite grossly, during the war. Some were opportunist; mostly however they were ultra-left and sometimes managed to combine both opportunism and ultra-leftism.

Misuse of Trotsky's writings


The world has undergone colossal changes since Trotsky wrote. The reality which confronts us is entirely different today. Therefore, it would be completely mechanical to simply apply remarks made in the 1930s to the current situation. World relationships and particularly the relationship between the 'advanced' imperialist countries and the neo-colonial areas of the world have undergone immense changes. In the past, imperialism exercised direct, military domination of many – but not all – areas of what is now the neo-colonial world. This has been largely replaced by indirect economic control. Undoubtedly, the effects of this are, in general, no less oppressive for the masses. Nevertheless, independence for the former 'colonies', the development of new states and with this a national consciousness, as well as the relative strengthening of these regions vis-à-visimperialism – at least of the larger states – has considerably changed the position.

Marxists have to implacably oppose the continued imperialist domination and the obscene use of overwhelming military might to maintain their power against the masses in the neo-colonial world, as in the case of Afghanistan. But the profound changes which have taken place mean that it is ludicrous today to compare, for instance, the regime of the 'emperor' of Ethiopia, Haile Selassie, in 1935 with the phenomenon today of bin Laden's al-Qa'ida and the Taliban. The colossal development of the means of worldwide communications – TV, radio, newspapers, Internet, etc. – is one of the most obvious differences between now and then. In consequence, there is a heightened awareness of what is happening internationally.

The masses in the 1930s would have understood little of the precise detail of the Haile Selassie regime. Moreover, Ethiopia was under attack by the fascist regime of Benito Mussolini at the time Trotsky was writing. Given the democratic illusions of the working class of Europe or the US in particular, together with the recent bloody example of what fascism would mean for them in the coming to power of Adolf Hitler and Mussolini, it was natural that the sympathies of the masses in the 1930s would be with Ethiopia against fascist Italy. The British and most of the European bourgeoisie together with the US, for their own imperialist strategic interests, also played on this sympathy for Ethiopia. It is nonsense to imply, however, as the sectarian organisations do by quoting these remarks of Trotsky, that the mass of the populations in most industrialised countries could take the same attitude today towards bin Laden and the Taliban.


This does not mean to say that we have to revise the past positions of Marxism, particularly elaborated by Lenin and Trotsky. We clearly differentiate between the advanced imperialist countries and those in the colonial or the neo-colonial world. In general we still support the peoples in the neo-colonial world in the struggle against imperialist domination, particularly when this takes on the form, as it did in Afghanistan, of military intervention. In this case we were clearly on the side of the Afghani people and in the imperialist countries we opposed the war. Support for the Afghani people and their resistance against the armed incursions of imperialism is not the same as support for the Taliban, even if this support is 'critical', as some left organisations have posed it.

Moreover, to call baldly and crudely for the 'defeat of US imperialism' and its coalition allies as an agitational slogan is wrong. When Lenin used the term "revolutionary defeatism", as Trotsky subsequently explained, it was in order to clearly delineate revolutionary Marxism from opportunism following the betrayal of the German social democracy and their opportunist international co-thinkers at the beginning of the First World War. It was primarily a policy for the cadres to draw a clear line of separation between the revolutionaries and the opportunists. It was not a policy that could have won the masses to the banner of Bolshevism or to the revolution. It was the programme of the Bolsheviks and everything that flowed from this, including the taking of power by the working class in alliance with the peasantry, which guaranteed the success of the Russian Revolution.

Many ultra-left organisations are organically incapable of understanding the approach of Lenin, Trotsky and the Bolsheviks. They take what have been essentially formulations used within the Marxist movement to sum up, delineate and clearly differentiate one idea or conception from another as an expression of what should be stated publicly. Consequently they have been unable to pass from a circle mentality and intervene successfully in mass movements. Even worse, they have miseducated a layer of young people and occasionally workers, who otherwise could play an important role in strengthening and building Marxism.

How we relate to the consciousness, which can be different in the industrialised world compared to the neo-colonial world, whilst still maintaining a principled Marxist position, is the key to finding a road to the working class and the youth. This is not an easy task; a correct position can only be arrived at through analysis and discussion, sometimes of the most painstaking kind. Such an approach is, however, foreign to many organisations of the revolutionary left. For them it is merely a question of presenting a 'programme', usually sucked out of their thumb or drawn out of the writings of Trotsky or Lenin from a different period, and mechanically applied to the situation irrespective of the ebbs and flows in the mood or understanding of the masses.

This was not the approach of Lenin, Trotsky and the Bolsheviks in the Russian Revolution. The mood of the masses was a vital issue which was crucial in determining tactics at different turning points in the nine months between the February and October Revolutions. For instance, in July Lenin opposed the seizure of power by the Petrograd working class who were ready to take this step because it was premature, given that consciousness lagged behind throughout the rest of Russia and particularly amongst the peasant masses who formed the bulk of the Tsarist armies at that stage. A serious attempt to seize power would have risked the crushing of the Petrograd working class, and therefore the vanguard of the revolution, with the possible complete derailment of the revolution. In the event, the decision of the Bolsheviks to go along with the demonstration, but stopping short of an insurrection, lessened the repression which inevitably followed the July events. Similar care in gauging the mood of the working class in the three months before the October Revolution was a key, hotly disputed issue within the ranks of the Bolshevik party.

We have always taken the consciousness of the working class, which is not a static thing, into account in formulating demands and an approach towards issues such as war. This is not an easy task and even in a healthy Marxist organisation can provoke controversy and differences.

Friends, Romans, countrymen, workers and peasants, drug addicts and suicide bombers, Lenin me your ears: Quit Stalin.

How can we read that nonsense without laughing? And yet, here we are faced with half the world of the West lapping it up like porrige in a gulag. The idiot Troyskite rubbish flows down from on high, and the pseudo-intellectuals of our Left in the West think it's manna from Heaven. What on Earth are we going to do with these people?

Mr. al-Rogers' Neighbourhood

A short piece for our Princeton University readers who can't concentrate on anything more than this length. And none of that, you know, like, hard stuff. No, this is pretty straight-forward. We've even kept the typos out so as not to confuse.

Yes, it's another look at the most important people on Earth.

Gaza Rally Erupts into Riot; Abbas Did Not Attend
19:59 Sep 14, '05 / 10 Elul 5765

( Palestinian Authority (PA) police shot in the air Wednesday evening after a Hamas terrorist grabbed the microphone in a Gaza rally celebrating the PA takeover of the Gaza region. The smaller than expected crowd of about 2,500 began to riot and then dispersed after the gunshots.

PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) avoided the rally on the ruins of the former N'vei Dekalim community because of the small turnout and concerns for his security, PA sources said. Terrorists boycotted the rally, and Hamas scheduled its own rally for Friday.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

The World's Most Important People

The height of fashion in the West is to dress oneself in political cliches derived from Counter-Enlightenment Romantic philosophers of 18th and 19th Germany. Those who've followed this blog in detail will know that Nazi Germany arose from the philosophies of von Herder and Fichte, for example. Nazis did not spring full-blown from the mind of Hitler.

We've spent considerable time and risked boring our readers by providing some slight critiques of some philosophers to make the point obvious and provable that in reaction to the Enlightenment and the spread across Europe of the French Revolutionary values of liberty, fraternity and equality the feudalists of the past age rose up to combat Modernity itself, a war that continues to this day. Modernity is under attack today, as it has been since 1790, by reactionaries of all sorts, roughly known as fascists in today's language. From the progress we've made so far in this thesis we see there are still a few months to go to cover the main points of our description of living fascism in today's Modernity.

We hasten to state that most people who today consider themselves liberal and progressive are, to some extent, exactly so. It's in the details that we find many liberals to be fascistic. We can turn immediately to the case of the Palestinians, so-called, to find out what that means.

When we refer to liberals as fascists the first reaction from them is that we are evil, stupid, and uninformed. The record shows clearly that the Left is fascist. The Left's adoption of the cause of the Palestinians is a prime example of the misunderstanding of the Left by the liberal individual who treats the cliches of the age as truth. Liberals, through a lack of knowledge of the philosophical background of the Left have fallen into a well-intentioned fascism, and one result is a conditioned response favoring Palestinians regardless of their behaviours.

Often we encounter terms we're not able to easily define, one such perhaps being "philobarbarism," the love of barbarians. Philobarbarism is a liberal attribute, one barbarians themselves cannot hold because they have no critical distance to understand themselves as barbarians. To do so would be to destroy the barbarism itself, alienating them from their identity, making them not what they were. They can love themselves, but they cannot love their own barbarism without becoming sophisticated and modern in the process. Only Moderns, us, can admire them--if we so choose. And we often do.

The love of barbarians is akin to the enjoyment of camping or other Nature activities. It's something one can only enjoy if it's not ones permanent state. One can love the wilderness only if one isn't living in it as a totality. So it is with Palestinaians and other barbarians. They look good from a distance, romantic, mysterious, nostalgic, and interesting. One may sentimentalize them from afar, even up close for very short periods of time. From a distance they are such stuff as comic books are made on. To suggest that one loves them or cares about them as people, or sympathizes with their plights, or wishes they were better off is to deny them the basic rights of all people as Human individuals to have the rights of free individuals. To drop these barbarians in the amber of culture and to pretend that they are somehow unique and special due to their romantic barbarism, their interesting clothing, their exotic traditions, is to dehumanize them. It is to be oneself inauthentic as a person. It is a form of fascism to deny people basic Humjan rights simply because of ones own lack of interest in life. To assign others a place in the social world based on exceptionalism, of, for example, culture, is to dehumanize the other, to make that individual less than a person and to make him a cariciture fitting into "culture or ethnicity." Von Herder and Fichte did so with Germans, Hitler took it further with Aryans and Jews. Leftists do it today with Palestinians. Exceptionalism and philobarbarism are fascistic.

In coming posts we'll return, even at the risk of losing our dedicated readers' attention, to concerns of "identity, culture, tradition, authenticity, and such things as autarky and obscuratism." All of these problems are evident in the lives of the Palestinians, and all of them are held dear by well-meaning liberals who don't have to live with the very barbarians they give cheques to.

Below we see a story from the CSM on the chaos of primitivism in the midst of Modernity. Those who will excuse this behaviour on whatever grounds are simply intellectually dishonest. These dishonest liberals are people who might "love Humanity," as Dostoyevsky writes, "but they hate people."

There cannot be any exception to Human rights. If one is not Human, then one cannot claim such rights as are automatically granted to Humans. But if one is Human, even if one is a Moslem or a Palestinian, then those Human rights are automatically in place from birth to death; and to deny people those rights on the grounds of exceptional tradition, culture, or ethnic identity is to dehumanize them. That's what we will see below.

Palestinians, driven to madness by exceptionalist philosophies from Western liberals are turned into a culture of monsters. God, in His infinite wisdom, created lamp posts for such liberals to hang from.

The Palestinians, barbarians from the beginning of time, are deliberately excluded from Modernity to satisfy the romantic longings of the fat and sated, the cynical and the mean-spirited. Palestinaians are barely able to survive physically without the endless assistence from the rest of the world, primarily the West, including Israel. It is the liberals of the West who have allowed this madness to grow unchecked. If we do not stop our own from feeding this frenzy of Palestinian and Islamic triumphalism of Death Whorship we will in time have to intervene and exterminate the lot of the barbarians now emboldened by our liberal enthusiasms for vicarious Wilderness.

Below is the result of liberal fascism, the pretense that barbarians are the most important people on Earth:

Palestinians rush into the new Gaza

The last Israeli soldier left Gaza Monday, ending Israel's 38-year occupation in the strip.

| Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor

Nearly every Palestinian who could Monday flooded into lands Israel had occupied for 38 years, their mood pulsing with celebration tinged with frustration.

Synagogues in several of the largest settlements in Gaza, which Israel did not demolish, were burned or bulldozed, a move condemned by Israel's foreign minister as "a barbarous act by people who have no respect for holy places."

The Palestinian Authority (PA) had insisted Israel demolish the houses of worship along with the homes of 8,500 settlers it evacuated last month, complaining that Israel's refusal to do so left the Palestinians in a "no-win situation" because the buildings would prove impossible to protect.

The cycle of blame and counter-blame is symbolic of what may be the direction of any return to negotiations. Talk is not of bridge-building, but of cutting losses and calculating gains, underscoring the gap in expectations about the land transfer and its role in setting the stage for future peace talks.

"We don't want them to leave behind anything that will remind of us of the Israeli occupation," says Mohammed Farouk, a high school student carrying a rusty mortar for memories. It was a bit of old ammunition that he, like many other young men, picked up as they scavenged for raw materials - from wiring and pipes to wood beams and broken chairs.

But many other Palestinians were disappointed at the way the day unfolded. As people picked and plucked at the ruins here, a Palestinian policeman ran to a lamp post waving his night stick. He yelled to one young person who was already halfway up the pole to leave the light in place.

"We want to protect things because it's in our interest, but there are people who want to destroy everything," complained Lieut. Izzadin Najar, sweating and breathless from chasing teenagers.

From 2 a.m. to 3 a.m., he says, the Palestinian police ringed the synagogue and tried to stop it from being damaged, but were quickly overrun. "There was a huge number of people and we couldn't control it," he says. "I'm unhappy with what I see because I wanted everything done in a civilized way. What will the world think about us?"

Mr. Najar had hoped that the Palestinians would be able to present a unified voice at such an important moment. But instead, an array of flags flew from synagogues and cars - as Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestinian (PLFP) all tried to claim a share of the credit for Israel's withdrawal. "We should have be flying one flag, not many," Najar says.

The overwhelming majority of Palestinians, according to a poll released Sunday, believe that armed resistance caused the Israeli withdrawal from the Gaza Strip.

According to the poll, carried out by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research, 62 percent said attacks from Gaza against Israel should end after the withdrawal, while 35 percent said attacks should continue.

"It is a step toward freedom," says Mr. Farouk, the high school student. But his friends scoff and say it's ultimately a sad day. Palestinian aspirations for a state that includes the West Bank and a part of Jerusalem still seem far off, says one.

"What joy is there without that? Even in Gaza, we're still governed by the Israelis from the air, by the sea," says Ismail, who would only give his first name. "It's not enough."

But what isn't enough for Palestinians has been off-putting for many Israelis. An adviser to Mr. Sharon says Israelis will not be left with an appetite for making further gestures anytime soon.

"I think Israelis felt that by completing the withdrawal from Gaza, they had created an opportunity for peace for the Palestinians to seize upon," says Dore Gold, Sharon's adviser. "And what they saw was synagogues in flames, and that's something with a very ominous tone for the success of any future negotiations."

It was not only in the emptied Jewish enclaves in Gaza where the crush of Palestinians celebrating raised concerns. An Egyptian border guard shot and killed a Palestinian teenager along the Gaza-Egypt border Monday.

The shooting occurred after dozens of Palestinians rushed the wall along the border crossing at Rafah. Egyptian security forces allowed scores of Egyptians and Palestinians to flow through the border to mark the handover. Israel and Egypt had reached an agreement in which 750 Egyptian policemen would guard the route separating Gaza and Egypt, to allay Israeli concerns about Palestinian militants smuggling weapons into Gaza.

In Neve Dekalim, the twin synagogues that were the rallying point for fervent Jewish settlers resisting the evacuation a few weeks ago was crowded Monday with Palestinians scavenging whatever they could carry. A Hebrew poster signing the praises of the messiah was spraypainted with graffiti saying, "Yes to Islam."

Inside the former sanctuary, the floor was littered with shattered glass. Young men in the rafters with makeshift pick-axes sent debris and window panes crashing.

"We have been waiting for 38 years. What do you expect from me?" says Ahmed Ikheya from the third floor rafter. "We are not a destructive people, but we want to end the occupation and we don't want any memory of it."

Outside what used to be the regional council building of the Gush Katif settlement, a few Palestinian troops guarded against looters. "It is our mission to protect these buildings, but as you can see we are not very successful," says Maj. Mohammad Mansour. "The Palestinian resistance has more authority than the Palestinian Authority."

Joshua Mitnick contributed to this report from Gaza.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Islamic Flat Earth News

Pal.s Rush to Raise New Gaza Flag

In a movement that choked onlookers with true emotion Palestinian victims ran like little grasshoppers to claim bits of metal and nails for their next round of Katusha rockets and car bombs . The poor exploited victims, armed with mere AK 47s, rioted in an orderly fashion, smashing old religious buildings left behind by the evil Zionist Entity, pausing only long enough to avenge themselves on some of Yassir Arafat's relatives and a village full of Arab Christians.

Hamas commander Abu Abu Abu Wazu claimed, as the crowd tore apart a traitor and burned his stinking guts on a make-shift bridge, "Victory is at hand. Now we are so much closer to the evil Zionist Entity that some of our rocket scientist can manage to hit the ground before the Qassam rockets explode."

In the only accident of the day one Hamas fighter burned to death when he fired a mock RPG at a papier mache version of New Jerusalem. The fireworks inside the tube exploded and ripped his arm off. He burned quickly. He is a martyr. Praise Allah!

A gentle reminder that my book, An Occasional Walker, is available at the link here:
And here are some reviews and comments on said book:

Melting Mecca

Art is a rehearsal for eventuality. A poem told by the campfire, some old blind man recounting the tale of the siege of Troy, a story rhythmic and vivid, prepares us for life as we might experience it ourselves in coming time. We can pick and choose and sort out the men we want to be from the panoply of characters in a play, find our soul-mates in the past, live as they lived, and die as they died. When I first heard the story of the Iliad I wanted to be the top guy there. And so it was in Sunday school when I heard the story of Cain and Abel: I wanted to be God. But as time passed, I realized the best I could do in this Earthly existence is be the best me I can fake well enough to fool some girls into loving me at least briefly. I should have settled for being a hero. I should have paid more attention to the narratives of our lives. I want to correct past failings here. Let's look briefly at the cosmic struggles of our time and see what they say to us and where we might fit in realistically.

We talk about things that we hope to do, and we talk about the things we hope we've done. We go to plays and movies and watch dramas on television. We do these things to rehearse our responses to the future possible, to clear the way for whatever might befall us. To prepare ourselves for it we talk about death.

The stories below are both about death, and they are both preparatory for us. They both speak the unspeakable, they tell stories of nuclear war against our enemies.

The first story comes as a reaction from Muslims against an American congressman who raises the idea of nuclear assault on Mecca in retaliation for an attack on us. Unsurprisingly, Muslims think it's a bad idea to melt Mecca. They seem not too concerned that Islam is likely to provoke such a response, only that such a response would end up destroying one of their preferred religious sites. Muslims don't often bother to mention that they urge the destruction of the modern world and its replacement with a 7th century caliphate; dhimmis like us, if we aren't killed, being enslaved and made to live only to provide our new Muslim masters with jizya, the survival tax. Tancredo spoke the unspeakable. Having done that we can all get nervous in public. We'll follow in the steps of our nervous Muslim cousins.

Four years and a day after Muslims destroyed much of the Pentagon, the Pentagon is in the news with a story about using nuclear weapons against our enemies. The unspeakable is becoming quite articulate. We've excerpted below some paragraphs from that longer essay.

We aren't likely to act on a plan we haven't aired in public. Public societies, such as those in the West, need time to rehearse their reactions to public ventures. We talk things over, mull them in our collective national minds, and sometimes we think better of our ideas and go on to others. We don't react impulsively. Ours is a rationalistic society, whether Sweden or New Zealand. And here we are, our leaders talking about nuclear war on our enemies.

America, for all the farcical grunting, the chest-pounding histrionics and hair-pulling theatrics people perform at the mention of its name, America is not a militarily aggressive nation. But we have dropped the Big One. Twice. And now there's talk of it again. If America gets a good case of war fever, we could flatten the whole world in an hour, and no one can stop us.

So this debate is among us. No one else really matters. This is the time when we talk and listen and decide what role we will play in whatever eventuality comes to fruition. I want to be the president this time. Our mates here have chimed in that they want to be the ones pushing the buttons. But the fact is that to even write about this means the debate has now begun in earnest, and we are preparing ourselves for an eventuality that was almost impossibly remote even yesterday.

Congressman Tancredo Advocates Preemtive Nuclear Strike on Mecca

July 18, 2005, Washington, DC -

In a radio interview last Thursday, July 14, Congressman Tom Tancredo (R-CO) advocated the United States preemptively strike Mecca with nuclear weapons. The Colorado Congressman's made his comments on the Pat Campbell Radio Show (AM 540) in response to Campbell's statement that terrorists are seeking the means to attack the United States with a dirty bomb. Tancredo suggested that a preemptive attack on Mecca would be enough of a threat to make terrorists think twice about attacking the United States again. Listen to his comments here:


The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) is alarmed at Congressman Tancredo's comments advocating an attack on Mecca. It is irresponsible for a member of the United States Congress to advocate destroying the holy site of the world's 1.2 billion Muslims with a nuclear weapon. For good reason members of Congress and the Administration have expressed deep concern at the negative effects of hateful rhetoric directed against the United States in some elements of the Arab and Muslim worlds. But we must also be keenly aware of the damaging and irrational rhetoric against Arabs and Islam expressed by members of Congress, the Administration, and the media.

Statements by members of Congress, just like the legislation they pass, are closely followed around the world. Tancredo's remarks will be widely distributed by media outlets throughout the world and will be seen as representative of the views of the United States government. At a time when the United States is asking religious tolerance of others shouldn't others expect the same from the United States?

This incident is all the more inexplicable as just last week, on July 14, Congressman Tancredo expressed extreme disapproval at a Chinese government official for his remarks regarding the use of nuclear weapons. Tancredo said "For a senior government official to exhibit such tremendous stupidity by making such a brazen threat is hardly characteristic of a modern nation." For more information, see:

In a letter faxed to Congressman Tancredo today, former congresswoman Mary Rose Oakar, ADC President said, "While we must do all that we can to find terrorists and end their means to strike again, advocating for a nuclear attack against a holy place revered by the world's 1.2 billion followers of Islam is completely unacceptable and contrary to American values and tradition of freedom and tolerance of religion." Oakar said, "These remarks have no place in the United States Congress."

ADC demands Congressman Tancredo provide an immediate and public explanation for his remarks. We urge ADC members, supporters, and friends to contact the congressman and request a clarification and apology. Additionally, ADC asks Members of Congress and the Bush Administration to denounce Congressman's Tancredo's comments and to clarify that dropping a nuclear bomb on Mecca is not part of the United States policy to win the war on terrorism.
Pentagon Revises Nuclear Strike Plan
Strategy Includes Preemptive Use Against Banned Weapons

By Walter Pincus
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, September 11, 2005; A01

The Pentagon has drafted a revised doctrine for the use of nuclear weapons that envisions commanders requesting presidential approval to use them to preempt an attack by a nation or a terrorist group using weapons of mass destruction. The draft also includes the option of using nuclear arms to destroy known enemy stockpiles of nuclear, biological or chemical weapons.

The document, written by the Pentagon's Joint Chiefs staff but not yet finally approved by Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, would update rules and procedures governing use of nuclear weapons to reflect a preemption strategy first announced by the Bush White House in December 2002. The strategy was outlined in more detail at the time in classified national security directives.

At a White House briefing that year, a spokesman said the United States would "respond with overwhelming force" to the use of weapons of mass destruction against the United States, its forces or allies, and said "all options" would be available to the president.

The draft, dated March 15, would provide authoritative guidance for commanders to request presidential approval for using nuclear weapons, and represents the Pentagon's first attempt to revise procedures to reflect the Bush preemption doctrine. A previous version, completed in 1995 during the Clinton administration, contains no mention of using nuclear weapons preemptively or specifically against threats from weapons of mass destruction.

Titled "Doctrine for Joint Nuclear Operations" and written under the direction of Air Force Gen. Richard B. Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the draft document is unclassified and available on a Pentagon Web site. It is expected to be signed within a few weeks by Air Force Lt. Gen. Norton A. Schwartz, director of the Joint Staff, according to Navy Cmdr. Dawn Cutler, a public affairs officer in Myers's office. Meanwhile, the draft is going through final coordination with the military services, the combatant commanders, Pentagon legal authorities and Rumsfeld's office, Cutler said in a written statement.

The first example for potential nuclear weapon use listed in the draft is against an enemy that is using "or intending to use WMD" against U.S. or allied, multinational military forces or civilian populations.

Another scenario for a possible nuclear preemptive strike is in case of an "imminent attack from adversary biological weapons that only effects from nuclear weapons can safely destroy."

The draft document also envisions the use of atomic weapons for "attacks on adversary installations including WMD, deep, hardened bunkers containing chemical or biological weapons."

The Joint Staff draft doctrine explains that despite the end of the Cold War, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction "raises the danger of nuclear weapons use." It says that there are "about thirty nations with WMD programs" along with "nonstate actors [terrorists] either independently or as sponsored by an adversarial state."

To meet that situation, the document says that "responsible security planning requires preparation for threats that are possible, though perhaps unlikely today."

To deter the use of weapons of mass destruction against the United States, the Pentagon paper says preparations must be made to use nuclear weapons and show determination to use them "if necessary to prevent or retaliate against WMD use."

The draft says that to deter a potential adversary from using such weapons, that adversary's leadership must "believe the United States has both the ability and will to pre-empt or retaliate promptly with responses that are credible and effective." The draft also notes that U.S. policy in the past has "repeatedly rejected calls for adoption of 'no first use' policy of nuclear weapons since this policy could undermine deterrence."
Hans M. Kristensen, a consultant to the Natural Resources Defense Council, who discovered the document on the Pentagon Web site, said yesterday that it "emphasizes the need for a robust nuclear arsenal ready to strike on short notice including new missions."

In spite of our attempts at levity above we do feel that the very fact that nuking our enemies is today part of the public discourse brings such a possibility to our immediate attention in a way that it could not have been without public articulation by members of the governing public. In other words, when the big guy speaks, we listen up quick. We think it's serious. How serious is something we should think about before we declare ourselves of any position at all.