June 25, 2007
Tasteless, tacky and crude is the best way to describe the video posted by the Baron, at Gates of Vienna.
The posted video is of a group of kids that burn an effigy of Mohammed.
The Baron is pointed, clear, and direct with a deliberate silence.
Will we see more summer riots? Will some kinds of free speech come under attack, while other kinds of free speech be given a free pass?
The Baron and Dymphna say a whole lot without saying a whole lot. Impressive.
June 25, 2007
Wars end because of disproportionate responses. If wars were fought on a ‘tit for tat’ basis, they would last indefinitely.
After September 11, 2001, the decision was made to go into Afghanistan and rid that nation of the beasts that claimed that country as their own. Lots of people died and there has not yet been an attack of consequence on our shores. Afghanistan is no longer stoning women in soccer stadiums, girls are now going to school and the Taliban’s Mullah Omar (who made sure his animals, but not his people has potable water) and Osama bin Laden are hiding in caves bereft of indoor plumbing. All in all, a good thing.
In the event the Iranians or any of their proxies (Syria, Hizbollah, Hamas, et al) manage to mount an attack that kills innocents, the appropriate response is as follows: attack the sponsor of the attacks and/or the regime where the attack originated and inflict as much damage as possible.
Will many innocents die? Yes, they will.
The moment the first innocent dies in a war, that war becomes immoral. Civilized societies understand that all wars are immoral. That does not mean the war is unjust. Uncivilized societies do not understand that war is immoral. In the case of much of the Islamic and Arab world, not only is war that targets innocents politically moral, it is also a religious expression.
Dr Sanity, in The Brilliance Of The New Barbarians, quotes Wretchard:
The brilliance of the new barbarism is that you cannot fight it without destroying your own value system into the bargain.
Traditionally the solution has been to consider wartime a discontinuity, when civilization’s rules are suspended. It becomes possible, for example, to lay waste to the Monte Cassino Abbey. Berlin was bombed without regard for its buildings, churches or people.
The alternative is to create methods of fighting so discriminating that we can literally shoot between the raindrops. But that creates a different problem, for we will need an intelligence system so comprehensive that it will become intrusive.
Either way, the war cannot be won without cost. And the fundamental fraud foisted on the public is to claim we can have war without horror, conduct an intelligence war without dishonesty and cunning and obtain victory without sacrifice.
Dr Sanity, in her own words:
The cost of this war will be more than all the lives lost; it will also be for the humanity and civilization we must temporarily abandon to win. I love to read fantasies as much as anyone, but in the real world, the good and virtuous whose cause is just do not always win.
When we are finally cornered and must allow our own barbarism to surface to combat theirs head to head, then we must be prepared to live with the consequences, including the agonizing guilt that will ensue–or everything we hold dear, everything we aspire to become, will forever perish from this earth.
I’ve said it before, but this reality is what I hate and despise most about these Islamic fanatics–who do not let reason or life interfere with their jihad; who abide by no treaties, follow no rules, and scorn the very values upon which western civilization is founded. We could have lived with them they did not insist that we must become what they are or die. But they have defined the groundrules (or the non-rules) of this conflict; and eventually, we will have to meet them at their level–or they will win. We should hold tight to the thought that it is they who have set the playing field.
As Wretchard notes, wars are fought as wars, not as tea parties. Innocents die, great cities are laid to waste and vast populations suffer for years. Bad things happen, and in the heat of battle, barbarism will occur. That is all part of the cost of war.
If most people had their say, there would be no aggressive wars. They after all, are the ones who suffer the most. The leaders of nations and faiths that demand war, aren’t usually made to pay the price till long after most if the damage has been done- if ever.
The problem is that most people don’t have a say. Nations and leaders that demand aggressive wars are not free nations. They are ruthless tyrannies that exist only to serve themselves and their needs. They do so by institutionalizing bigotry, hate and racism.
When nations that are that are led by or are under the influence of tyrants or dictators, attempt to justify those actions, we can rightly assume that justification is false. Tyrants and dictators do not make moral choices, because moral choices can only lead to the demise of the tyranny.
Anyone that comes to the defense of tyrannical regimes and their leaders, have themselves made a conscious choice to defend and stand by what is immoral.
It really is that simple.
The problems in the Middle East are not derivative of Israel’s existence, notwithstanding the deceit that would have you believe that.
American troops would have been invited to the region by Kings, Princes and Sheikhs, regardless. Those invitations had nothing to do with Israel.
Saddam would have invaded Iraq and the Egyptians would have used chemical weapons in Yemen. Hafez Al Assad would have butchered 15,000 to 30,000 in Hama, irrespective of American policies .
Israel’s fight with Hizbollah and Hamas is not political and never was. Hizbollah and Hamas see the conflict with Israel as an existential, having nothing to do with politics or borders.
Nasrallah, Fadlalah, Haniyah, et al, have made clear that the existence of Israel, with any borders, cannot be tolerated. They do not make even the slightest effort to hide their respective agendas. Nasrallah, openly expressed his delight that there are so many Jews in the land he wants to eliminate. In speaking of his murderous intentions, he is deliberate- ‘It will save us the trouble of rounding them up.’
Clearly, as far as Hizbollah and Hamas are concerned, violence in the region is not predicated in political differences. The violent elimination of Israel remains a clear and unequivocally stated goal. In their world, Israel is simply not permitted to exist.
Much, if not most of the Arab world share those beliefs. They have thrown down the gauntlet, by refusing to recognize the Jewish state. They have issued the challenge.
The very real threat of a disproportionate response underscores the truth that calls to ‘Slaughter the Jew!’ or ‘Slaughter the American!’ are not considered acceptable forms of political or religious expression by the civilized world.
The rules of civilizations are far more preferable to war. Those rules however, are applicable to those who understand that war is preferable to peace. For over 60 years, we have been ‘talking’ and ‘discussing’ with regimes that would harm our interests at at moment notice, and regimes who openly admit that if given the opportunity, would eliminate Israel, America and for that matter, the western world that doesn’t share the ‘values’ that celebrate misogyny and the subjugation a of women, the slaughter and oppression of some non Muslims, including Jews, gays, apostates and others.
That is no exaggeration. In 2002, Saudi Arabia’s ‘religious’ police prevented schoolgirls from escaping a burning school building because they weren’t wearing ‘appropriate’ religious garb. Do regimes such as these really understand civilized behavior?
For sixty years, the American position on Israel and the Arab nations in the Middle East under every administration since Truman has been remarkably consistent. Irrespective of the Republican or Democrat occupants of the White House, American policy has been remarkably consistent and clear: Cessation of hostilities, diplomatic recognition and secure borders.
After 60 years, those things have yet to be fully accepted by the Arab world.
Imagine negotiating with the Nazi Party for 60 years, during which time it engaged in a limited- but relentless terror and war- as well as their stated genocidal aims.
From Der Speigel, in response to the war with Hizbollah:
The pacifist reaction that the Israeli defensive war has triggered in Germany and Europe is not well thought out and is disingenuous. It is also counter-productive. An immediate cease-fire would merely result in a worse conflict in the future. The consequences drawn from Adolf Hitler’s World War II — “Never again fascism! Never again war!” — were intended to prevent an anti-Semitic war from ever again taking place. Today, that lesson has been forgotten. “Never again war against fascism” is all that remains.
Israel must not be forced to abandon its war against Hezbollah, rather it must win the conflict. Just as Hezbollah is fighting the war as Iran’s proxy, Israel is fighting genocidal Islamism as the proxy for the rest of the Western world. The least Israel should be able to expect from the West is that it not be betrayed.
There is a cost to war and to abrogating the the rules of civilization. Sooner or later, the disproportionate response to wild and frenzied calls of ‘We will finish what Hitler started’ will be paid, once and for all.
The final cost will be determined by the Arab world. Whatever the cost is, they will have no one but themselves to blame.
June 25, 2007
It seems like Ann el Khoury, Phd candidate, wants another beating. The author People’s Geography, has replied to a comment we left (surprisingly, after she refused to post earlier responses to her efforts) in response to yet more drivel posing as ‘considered thought.’
The scope and breadth and her deceit is wide. El Khoury is unhappy with the way we treated some other bigots and frauds that are among the great poseurs of our time. In fact, Ms el Khoury ought to be pleased she is a part of such a distinguished group of recognized frauds.
We urge you to read each of the posts Ms el Khoury refers to (we have changed the links to reflect our WordPress blog posts, for technical reasons).
For example, the case of Robert Fisk is instructive. The ‘highly regarded’ Fisk, was so unaware of reality that he actually published an ‘analysis’ that noted that he was absolutely sure that
‘there are no Hizbollah rockets in Southern Lebanon, as the UN will confirm…Hizbollah Resistance…Hizbollah missiles… are a myth.’
We noted in our post
On April 29, 2004, when The Independent asked Hitler-admiring historian David Irving for a quote about his plans for a lecture tour of Britain, Irving replied: “I will be happy to assist any journalist on the newspaper that publishes Robert Fisk.”
No surprise Ann el Khoury is fan.
Mr Fisk is at it again, this time accusing Israel with the use of uranium weapons (of course, ’secret weapons’ are the tried and true mantra’s of Israel hating left (this is our favorite example). Inasmuch as he either lied or was totally misinformed about Hezbollah’s rockets (either scenario is sufficient grounds to ignore and/or distrust Fisk’s reporting), it is clear that Robert Fisk’s ‘analysis’ skills are woefully lacking, at best.
That said, they are clearly good enough for el Khoury.
Before you read the posts that so enraged el Khoury, we want to address some of the drivel she posted. Our words are in bold. What follows is her response.
* the ‘occupation’ of the Palestinian territories has been the most benign occupation in history.
This is a false statement and an utterly absurd claim. The longest running military occupation in history has been devastating for the Palestinians in the OPT (West Bank and Gaza Strip), with a ratio of 1:4 deaths – four Palestinians killed for every Israeli, most of them civilians, women and children. Is withholding Palestinians own money to invest in infrastructure, taxes Israel collects, benign? Is bombing an electricity station in the Gaza Strip “benign”? Is subjecting children and civilians to terrifying sonic booms “benign”? Humiliation at numerous checkpoints? Torture, strip-searches, strikes, bulldozing of houses, starvation, targeted killing, kidnapping of Palestinian ministers — the list could go on and on — “benign”?
More bigoted drivel. See this for a reality pill. The Palestinians wanted a violent intifada. They got one and they don’t like the outcome. On daily basis, institutionalized bigotry, racism and hate are forced on Palestinian society, exhorting them to embrace the ideology of slaughter. See here and here for a look at el Khoury’s ‘victims,’ for whom hate has long preceded the intifada. In the end, if it weren’t for the Israelis, the Palestinians would still be crapping in the streets (using Jewish tombstones from Mt Olives to line latrines and for sewage conduits).
* Cessation of hostilities and terror
* Secure borders.
* Diplomatic recognition of Israel.
Those are the minimum requirements as noted by Israel, the UN, the US, and the EU.
Which of those requirements are too onerous for the Palestinians and the Arab world?
El Khoury again attempts to manipulate the truth. We write (in bold) and she answers.
* Just because it is au courrant to say criticism of Israel is not anti-Semitic, does not make it so. It an absurd and skewed look at reality. Criticism of Israel has become anti-Semitic because there is a different standard of measurement for Israel than there is for any other country (the same applies to the US. When America is criticized, is also by a different yardstick).
Whether it is au courrant or not is irrelevant, the simple fact is that criticism of Israel in and of itself is most certainly not anti-Semitic. Judith Butler has written a good piece here, No, it is not anti-Semitic. The standards Israel are measured by are the standards it claims for itself – that of being democratic, claiming purity of arms, holding itself up above others (“light of nations). We already know most current Arab governments are despotic and authoritarian, but not uniformly so, but nor do they claim to be western-style democracies, nor are western-style democracies themselves the yardstick or paragon of virtue for other nations. In the region, Lebanon is also democratic and diverse along multi-religious lines.
The US is both praised and criticized by a hegemonial yardstick for the common-sensical reason that it’s a superpower. There are vastly different types of states, and it would not make sense holding Tuvalu or the Congo to the same set of standards, in part because they do not even claim the same standards as the US.
Indeed. Criticism of Israel is not anti Semitic. Criticism of Israel that holds that nation to a different standard from other nations is profoundly anti Semitic. As you denigrate Israel on a daily basis, by way misrepresentation, misinformation and outright deceit, is clearly anti Semitic. In addition, while Ann el Khoury excoriates Israel regularly, she has yet to refer to the Palestinians and Arab world that bask in the institutionalized hate and bigotry, as ‘racists,’ or other such terms with which she prefers to label the Israelis. That isn’t so much because those labels aren’t warranted- clearly, they are- but rather, because el Khoury can’t tear herself away from her own bigotry even long enough to pretend to be ‘even handed.’
The argument that the Palestinians need not be held top same standards as civilized nations, because ‘they do not even claim the same standards’ is idiotic. Who in their right mind then, would agree that a society as corrupt, broken, dysfunctional, racist, bigoted and violent as the Palestinians, deserved their own state? While that kind of bestial behavior is not noteworthy in the Arab world, it is behavior that is repulsive in the civilized world.
El Khoury would do well to read Dr Sanity’s Are Idiots Of This Magnitude Born Or Made? (we can only hope el Khoury finds Dr Sanity’s work as ‘promising’)
If all this Islamic intellectual discussion sounds familiar, it should. Jewish Conspiracies is another discipline (along with Genocidal Studies) that is a favorite academic field of study in the institutions of higher learning (such as they are) of the Middle East. Indeed, these complex disciplines are taught even in institutions of lower learning, so that a vast majority of the Islamic population are completely conversant with them and find them extremely helpful for explaining away the oppressive, barbaric, and primitive aspects of their culture and religion.
The ubiquitous unwillingness to look within themselves or their cultural and religious practices to understand the serious defects that keep them among the most backward and ignorant people on the planet, despite their access to great wealth, is the psychological foundation of their dysfunction.
The psychodynamic explanation has been discussed many times on this blog, and it is a psychological defense mechanism called projection–which in more extreme and bizarre forms is referred to a paranoia. And this cultural projection and paranoia serves a very important purpose for the culture: it allows them to maintain a delusional sense of grandiosity and superiority, despite the obvious evidence to the contrary in the real world. Thus, they never have to confront their own inadequacies and failures. If everything is the fault of the Jews, then the solution is to eradicate the Jews and all will be well!
Onward. Our words in bold and the bigot’s response.
SC&A wonder why el Khoury singles out Israel for such treatment. What is it about Israel that is so special? Why does el Khoury treat Israel so differently from other, real human rights violators? Of course, the answer is clear. Simply put, it is anti Semitism. To point to Israel as the worst human rights offender in the world is laughable.
First of all, where exactly do I claim that Israel is the worst human rights offender in the world? I’ve not claimed that, this constitutes yet another false claim and straw man fallacy.
Second, is Sigmund trying to circumscribe the content of my posts? That is my choice of what to post on, not his. I am not choosing to focus on human rights abuses in China, or the United States, or Australia. That is not my chosen area. My chosen area of interest on this occasion in this blog venue is the Middle East, and by pointing out Israel’s egregious abuses and the fact that it does not live up to its own claims, does not constitute singling out. Does someone interested in China get accused of singling out China? Hardly, that’s their area of focus.
So let me put the question back to Sigmund. What is it about Israel that is so special that one can not choose to legitimately focus upon its foreign policies without attracting the absurd charge that one is singling it out?
Is anyone telling him not to focus upon the Arab world? Or the Left? Or Islam, which he systematically vilifies?
The apparent difference between us is that I include Israeli voices of dissent, as well as right-of-centre voices too, whereas the left only appears in his posts to smear and slander them.
Finally, a fair response. El Khoury admits that Israel is not the worst human rights violator in the world. She also admits to singling Israel out to service her own anti Semitic agenda.
If el Khoury is going to single Israel out, let her do so in context. On the one hand, she says Israel and the Palestinians are moral equals- on the other hand, she points to what she says are Israeli hypocrisies.
Pay attention, bigots. There are comparisons to made in the world of hypocrisies, too. Does Ann el Khoury really want to play the comparison game? Does Ann el Khoury really want to examine what is published in Arab and Palestinian media on a daily basis? Does Ann el Khoury want to talk about human rights abuses in Israel and compare them to human rights abuses in the Arab world? We could go on, but human nature dictates that criticisms always invite comparisons.
There is simply a closing of doors and a cessation of communications, as if the case against Israel were so egregious that it stood out in a most singular fashion.
Sigmund, first you say I expended thousands of words, now you claim a “cessation of communications”. How exactly was the door closed? Did I not engage you point by point and address all key points? I’d say my communication was quite comprehensive, whatever its merits.
El Khoury believes that parroting and upholding bigotry as moral equivalence is keeping the door open. That is like saying ongoing discussions that allow for the KKK or Nazi ideology (‘We’ll finish what Hitler started’) as an exchange between moral equals is a good and worthwhile idea. That may make the Arab world feel good, but in the end, Arab racism, bigotry and hate are not acceptable forms of political or religious ideology in the civilized world.
It is the Arab world and Palestinians that have closed the door to civilized behavior. We wrote:
What we see in the Middle East are members of a group so desirous of love (worthiness) and attention, that they make a deliberate choice to opt out of the rules that define civilized society. They refuse to deal with or even interact with non members. This is no small matter or self imposed isolation. Human progress of every single type has it’s origins in the interaction we have with each other. By deliberately choosing to not participate in an honest exchange with others, or by believing that forced or coerced interactions… are the equivalent of real exchanges, many in the Arab world separate themselves from the reality, even as they perceive that their forced interactions place them center stage, or in a position to dictate reality. The Cartoon Riots are an example of that. In the end, free speech in the west will not simply disappear (notwithstanding shrill cries to the opposite).
There is no desire for peace or accommodation. The Arab world, influenced by the fundamentalists, desires to be both victim and victimizer. They at once see themselves as tormented and passive, and in the same breath, declare their wild desire to be tormentors and inflict all kinds of punishment. As long as there is a single Jew left, they are justified in their primal desires. Religious authorities indoctrinate entire populations with hate and fundamentalism, knowing full well that these citizens, frustrated by their own impotence, will react to their exhortations with an almost sexually driven kind of frenzy that releases pent up emotions in the form of murderous rage, sadism and the urge to dominate.
The need to hate is not about hate, per se. The more one hates, the more one wants to destroy. Hate the Jews enough and you will want to destroy them. Hate the west enough and you will want to destroy that, too.
In a shame culture, the success of the other only deepens the sense of failure and humiliation. In most cultures, in order to overcome a sense of shame, huge efforts are expended to correct and then exceed and excel.
In the Arab world, pride can be regained not by excelling or achieving, but rather, by destroying. If the source of humiliation is no longer visible, then the humiliation no longer exists. No matter the cost to the society, culture, individual or community, destruction is preferable to achievement. Why? Because in order to achieve, you have to fail before you find the formula for success. That is the price of achievement- decades, and sometimes a lifetime of hard work. That is a formula that remains a mystery to most Arabs in the Middle East. They believe they are entitled to the successes that elude them.
One last bite for now. Our words on bold, el Khoury’s ‘response’ follows:
Her defense of Hamas- and even worse, her implying that they and Israel are moral equivalents- is no different from support of the KKK, Nazi or any other racist and bigoted ideology.
I said Arabs and Israelis were both human beings and moral equals as such, get your facts straight first of all. Then apply the same standard rather than double standards.
Nowhere do I say that I “support” Hamas, rather I say they should be recognized as the democratically and legitimately elected government.
I also made a clear distinction between recognition of a regime and between active support for it, citing the fact that the current Bush-Cheney presidency are also responsible for a genocidal war yet recognizing them is not tantamount to “supporting” them, nor to supporting any other regime. And for all your touted racist and bigoted ideology, no word about Israel’s mutated militant Zionism, very racist and very bigoted.
Yes, Arabs and Israelis are human beings. That, sadly, is not enough to make them moral equivalents. There is a difference between murderers and your grandmother. There is even a difference between you and cannibals.
Simply walking upright does not convey moral equivalence.
Further, as we have mentioned before,
…Adolph Hitler too, was democratically elected. Had free European nations boycotted or even eliminated the Nazi leadership, 50 million lives would have been spared. We are under no obligation to recognize or support any regime, even if democratically elected, that promises ‘rivers of blood.’
We have also noted that the Nazis attempted to hide their evil intentions. Hamas cannot be bothered- and for good reason. The Nazi ideology was not fully known or understood by the Germans until after Hitler was in power. Hamas has never made a secret of it’s ideologies and beliefs that have espoused hate, racism, bigotry and violence. The Palestinians that voted for Hamas knew exactly what and who they were voting for. They made very clear who and what they are, as do the Arab nations that support Hamas.
National political parties and social service agencies that want to be considered moral equals to with those in the western world cannot preach and teach hate- and be surprised when violence becomes a way of life. Hamas and Jihad for example, make no effort to hide their bigoted and racist agenda. In fact, Hamas, Jihad, et al, are no different than the Ku Klux Klan and other neo-Nazi organizations (many of which maintain relationships with Hamas).
Imagine a the Ku Klux Klan insisting it were the equivalent of other political party and organizations. Imagine a network of Ku Klux Klan schools. What do you suppose that curriculum would be like? Now, imagine that the children that attended those schools went home every day and were then exposed to Klan TV. Imagine those ideologies reinforced by the clergy, each week.
Imagine Klan summer camps that taught children guerrilla warfare and how to kill the neighbors they hated.
Imagine Klan schools, camps and other institutions bordered on a black, Jewish, Catholic or other immigrant neighborhoods.
Do you still see Hamas in the same way?
That el Khoury attempts to legitimize the morality of Hamas speaks volumes to her own bigotry. Now, no one ever said Hamas was not elected. They were. That said, we are not obliged to deal with that government, by virtue of her win at the polls. If that were mandatory, why doesn’t el Khoury demand the Arab world recognize a democratically elected Israeli government, one far less bigoted, racist and committed to violence than Hamas?
That ought to be quite a dance, Ann.
In any event, below are the SC&A posts referenced by Ann el Khoury as offensive. Apparently, she doesn’t like her kinds of deceit exposed.
Dr Saree Makdisi: Tenured Deceit
Phillip Weiss: Deceit, Dysfunction and the Dance of the Left *
Dr Joseph Massad: Joseph Massad, Columbia’s Comedian
Dr Steven Soldz: Gagdad Bob Finds The Blogosphere’s Holy Grail
We will address Ann el Khoury’s other deceit in subsequent posts.