But Isn't The West The Bad Guy?

Author Christopher Hitchens is first slammed by a marginally young peacenik, whom one presumes doesn't believe that blood should be shed for oil, and then by a well-spoken elderly gentleman who claims to be a Marxist. Hitchens swings back in typical fashion, not missing a beat, quickly dismissing the notion that the West is the bad guy in this struggle against Islam. Funny stuff in a sad way.

Here, Chris Hitchens mops up spilt milk by telling the elderly gent Marxist where to get off the Hitchens' train. Below are a few quotes from Hitchens for your investigation.

  • What can be asserted without proof can be dismissed without proof.
  • The only position that leaves me with no cognitive dissonance is atheism. It is not a creed. Death is certain, replacing both the siren-song of Paradise and the dread of Hell. Life on this earth, with all its mystery and beauty and pain, is then to be lived far more intensely: we stumble and get up, we are sad, confident, insecure, feel loneliness and joy and love. There is nothing more; but I want nothing more.
  • The person who is certain, and who claims divine warrant for his certainty, belongs now to the infancy of our species.
  • What happens to the faith healer and the shaman when any poor citizen can see the full effect of drugs or surgeries, administered without ceremonies or mystifications? Roughly the same thing as happens to the rainmaker when the climatologist turns up, or to the diviner from the heavens when schoolteachers get hold of elementary telescopes.
  • Religion looks forward to the destruction of the world. Perhaps half aware that its unsupported arguments are not entirely persuasive, and perhaps uneasy about its own greedy accumulation of temporal power and wealth, religion has never ceased to proclaim the Apocalypse and the day of judgment.
  • Religion comes from the period of human prehistory where nobody—not even the mighty Democritus who concluded that all matter was made from atoms—had the smallest idea what was going on. It comes from the bawling and fearful infancy of our species, and is a babyish attempt to meet our inescapable demand for knowledge (as well as for comfort, reassurance, and other infantile needs). Today the least educated of my children knows much more about the natural order than any of the founders of religion.
  • The Bible may, indeed does, contain a warrant for trafficking in humans, for ethnic cleansing, for slavery, for bride-price, and for indiscriminate massacre, but we are not bound by any of it because it was put together by crude, uncultured human mammals.
  • If god really wanted people to be free of [wicked thoughts], he should have taken more care to invent a different species.
  • Is it too modern to notice that there is nothing [in the ten commandments] about the protection of children from cruelty, nothing about rape, nothing about slavery, and nothing about genocide? Or is it too exactingly “in context” to notice that some of these very offenses are about to be positively recommended?
  • Religion has run out of justifications. Thanks to the telescope and the microscope, it no longer offers an explanation of anything important. Where once it used to be able, by its total command of a worldview, to prevent the emergence of rivals, it can now only impede and retard—or try to turn back—the measurable advances that we have made.
  • Sometimes, true, it will artfully concede them. But this is to offer itself the choice between irrelevance and obstruction, impotence or outright reaction, and, given this choice, it is programmed to select the worse of the two.
  • Meanwhile, confronted with undreamed-of vistas inside our own evolving cortex, in the farthest reaches of the known universe, and in proteins and acids which constitute our nature, religion offers either annihilation in the name of god, or else the false promise that if we take a knife to our foreskins, or pray in the right direction, or ingest pieces of wafer, we shall be “saved.”

Obama's Mysterious Religious Convictions

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Neither Christian nor Muslim, but Marxist?
Honest minds want to know, and we have little to offer but a bit of light reporting by the Washington Post. Read it all. But in savoring the PR of the man who seems to feel peculiarly qualified to lead America in these treacherous times solely because he has smelled the stench of poverty in his own family, and by virtue of mixed race, can solve America's racial puzzle, I suggest we look closer at the man and not so much at the tailored suit he's wearing.

Let's step back. I watched Obama's breathtaking speech at the '04 National Democratic Convention, and like any of the millions of patriotic Americans who watched with me, I was enthralled by the combination of words, the force of delivery, the charm and charisma of this man from Illinois. But one cannot help but wonder, how far this packaged idealism will fly in a world of hidden bombs and brutal treachery, particularly since this article doesn't answer any of the tough questions it only hints at asking. Is it possible that Obama can stride into the White House and become the new Lincoln? It's possible, but so far I haven't seen or heard much since that speech at the Convention to warrant such sketch of wishful thinking.

This article answers none of the questions that have been floating about, including the one about the racist attitudes of the Chicago-based church of which he is a prominent member. The Chicago Sun-Times reports on this matter here. Are Obama's ties to Islam equally entrenched in shadows and undergirded by secrets? It is easy to doubt that these things can be true. But surely, it is better to know that they are false.

The article...

In his speeches and often on the Internet, the part of Sen. Barack Obama's biography that gets the most attention is not his race but his connections to the Muslim world. Since declaring his candidacy for president in February, Obama, a member of a congregation of the United Church of Christ in Chicago, has had to address assertions that he is a Muslim or that he had received training in Islam in Indonesia, where he lived from ages 6 to 10. While his father was an atheist and his mother did not practice religion, Obama's stepfather did occasionally attend services at a mosque there.

Despite his denials, rumors and e-mails circulating on the Internet continue to allege that Obama (D-Ill.) is a Muslim, a "Muslim plant" in a conspiracy against America, and that, if elected president, he would take the oath of office using a Koran, rather than a Bible, as did Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), the only Muslim in Congress, when he was sworn in earlier this year.

In campaign appearances, Obama regularly mentions his time living and attending school in Indonesia, and the fact that his paternal grandfather, a Kenyan farmer, was a Muslim. Obama invokes these facts as part of his case that he is prepared to handle foreign policy, despite having been in the Senate for only three years, and that he would literally bring a new face to parts of the world where the United States is not popular.

The son of a white woman from Kansas and a black man from Kenya, Obama was born and spent much of his childhood in Hawaii, and he talks more about his multicultural background than he does about the possibility of being the first African American president, in marked contrast to Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.), who mentions in most of her stump speeches the prospect of her becoming the first woman to serve as president.

"A lot of my knowledge about foreign affairs is not what I just studied in school. It's actually having the knowledge of how ordinary people in these other countries live," he said earlier this month in Clarion, Iowa.

"The day I'm inaugurated, I think this country looks at itself differently, but the world also looks at America differently," he told another Iowa crowd. "Because I've got a grandmother who lives in a little village in Africa without running water or electricity; because I grew up for part of my formative years in Southeast Asia in the largest Muslim country on Earth."

Read it all here.

Talkin' Those Meltdown Crusades Blues

newstand
The Big Beat of the Left and the Big Lie of Islam
team to undermine western civilization.

YAWN. NINETY-FIVE PERCENT of the people must be genetically inclined to be wrong 95% of the time, I suppose. But do they all have to be so obvious in their flip to skullduggery?

Or put more politely another way:

An' here again I sit so patiently
waiting to find out what price you
have to pay to get out of going through
all these [damned] things twice.

Take a gander at the soggy mush of radio personality and high-ranking dhimmi—Garrison Keillor—as he frolics through the dandelion fields of gross dhimmitude along with a gentle rejection of said mush by meat-chewing, fact-resolving, hard-working author and anti-Jihadist scholar Robert Spencer of Jihad Watch.

Perhaps Keillor should jump up off his stool, wring out his PC drawers and get real. Let's begin with any number of Muslim sites which contradict this screwball western-dhimmi propaghanda. Here's one called Muslims Against Sharia, who are very clear about what is wrong with Islam, historically and currently.

Let's start here: THE BIG LIE

The Big Lie is taqiyya. The Allah-sanctioned lie is defined quite clearly in the Qu'ran.

Bloody, Brutal, And Newsworthy: Allah's Messengers

Islamists On The March
Islamists On The March
DEAD THE FOLLOWING, AND DO not be confused. This sort of activity is not unusual in parts of the world ruled by Islamicists. The question is: should we not be at war or at word, against them? But you won't hear about this slaughterhouse army of thugs busy bloodying the planet of peace in the name of God via the mainstream media representing the West. Why not?

Crucifixion:

"The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger, and strive with might and main for mischief through the land is: execution, or crucifixion, or the cutting off of hands and feet from opposite sides, or exile from the land: that is their disgrace in this world, and a heavy punishment is theirs in the Hereafter..." (Qur'an 5:33)

Beheading:

"Therefore, when ye meet the unbelievers (in fight), smite at their necks; at length, when ye have thoroughly subdued them, bind a bond firmly (on them): thereafter (is the time for) either generosity or ransom, until the war lays down its burdens...." (Qur'an 47:4)

"Muslim crucified, two Buddhists beheaded in Thailand: police," from AFP (thanks to the Constantinopolitan Irredentist):

NARATHIWAT, Thailand (AFP) — A Muslim military informant was shot and crucified, while two Buddhist men were beheaded Wednesday by suspected Islamic separatists in Thailand's restive south, police said. The Muslim man, a 58-year-old who belonged to a government-backed militia, was shot and then stabbed so badly that he was nearly decapitated, police Lieutenant Khanchitthol Kreunor told AFP.

Suspected rebels then drove six-inch nails through his head, arms and legs to attach him to two pieces of wood, which were laid out like a cross in the middle of a road in Rueso district of Narathiwat province, near the southern border with Malaysia, he said. Khanchitthol said police found a note written in Thai and left near the cross, reading: "This is what the infidels deserve. The soldier dogs must meet this end."

"The victim was attacked and killed in such a grisly way because they knew he was a military informant. This is to terrify the people," Khanchitthol said.

About two hours later, two Buddhist fishmongers aged 20 and 61 were shot and then beheaded in another district of Narathiwat, police said. The killings came after a month of spiralling violence in the region, which has seen more than 2,700 killed since separatist unrest erupted four years ago...

This phenomenon is not the religion of peace. It's no religion at all. It's a bloody, brutal, political force, a psychological farce, a contagion of the mind, a newsworthy challenge to the idea of a rational and peaceful humanity, and everywhere on the march.

Trouble In Annapolis

politicians
President Bush, center, looks on as Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, left, and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas shake hands at the opening session of the Mideast conference at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md., Tuesday, Nov. 27, 2007. President Bush hopes the Annapolis Conference will be the launch of the first Israeli-Palestinian peace talks in seven years. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

What would you do if your foreign policy agenda had these priorities:

    1. Get Arab and European support for solving the Iraq crisis.
    2. Mobilize Arab and European forces against a threat led by Iran and its allies, Syria, Hamas, and Hizballah.
    3. Get Iran to stop its campaign to get nuclear weapons.
    4. Reestablish American credibility toward friends and deterrence toward enemies.
    5. Reduce the level of Israel-Palestinian conflict.

That pretty much describes the U.S. framework for dealing with the Middle East nowadays. The Annapolis conference is not going to contribute to these goals. The most likely outcome is either failure or a non-event portrayed as a victory because it took place at all. No one is going to say: We are so grateful at the United States becoming more active on Arab-Israeli issues that we are going to back its policy on other issues.

On the contrary, the conference is more likely to show the inability of the United States to produce results, thus undermining belief in U.S. leverage in the region in general. It shines the spotlight on the most divisive issue, the great excuse for not doing more to help U.S. efforts, raising its prominence. What most of Washington simply fails to understand is that any real demand for Palestinian or Arab concessions will be fodder for radical groups and frighten Arab regimes, pushing the latter away from support for America rather than toward it. And any Israeli concessions obtained by this process will not satisfy their demands either.

Despite thousands of claims by lots of famous people, national leaders, and respected journals, solving the Arab-Israeli conflict will not make radical Islamism or terrorism go away. Would you like to know why? Because even if this issue could be solved—which isn’t about to happen for reasons requiring a different article—to do so would necessitate a compromise including an end to the conflict, acceptance of Israel, and compromises by the Arab side. These steps would inflame the extremists and make any Arab rulers who accepted it vulnerable to being called traitors. It would increase instability in the Arab world, also by removing the conflict as splendid excuse and basis for mobilizing support for the current rulers. Arab politicians understand this reality; most people in the West don’t.

Read it all here in the essay by Barry Rubin at the GLORIA Center.

Rubin's headline for this article is Drilling a Hole in the Lifeboat. But here's my own bit of painful, yet nevertheless, strategic wishful thinking. The operative question is simple. Is the United States still operating with a few aces short of a full deck in dealing with this foul enemy of basic human dignity and its phoney peacemakers, or is this rather the traditional final opportunity for the five families to look each other in the eye and declare themselves according to their own peculiar lights as rational businessmen just prior to the moment when the real turf war begins?

We know what happens next. Vito Corleone is hammered with bullets as the hapless Fredo fumbles about nearby. But this despicable action sparks the required no holds barred heroic response to take down these unlikeable mobsters who wish to spread its immoral oppression, in our case, around the globe. I'd like to think it is this latter scenario we are facing, in anticipation that Bush and company are determined that we must finally move this sixty year old family feud towards the finishing stage, which is a true peace built of strength of character and not some awkward and deceitful strength by religious police we see implemented across the sand belt from Africa to Indonesia.

But I'm not getting my hopes up. Old fashioned nationalism certainly seems to be taking a back seat to this push toward absolute globalism these days.

Breaking news. Same old Saudi smoke and mirrors. Yesterday we read in the Arab News that the House of Saud has released 1500 Al-Qaeda extremists, who were detained on charges of embracing and spreading takfeer (the ideology that brands other Muslims who disagree with them as infidels) after they repented. Today we hear that the Saudi regime has arrested over 200 extremists who have terrorist ties.

One must wonder how many of the 1500 released were rounded up again the next day in order to create a splash at Annapolis. It is the House of Saud, of course, who finances the madrassas and mosques around the globe including over 1500 here in the States. These schools teach the most virilent form of Wahabbism, including one in the Washington, DC area that several US Senators are trying to have shut down. No word on the traction of this shut down, but we shall certainly follow the story here.

The Teddy Bear Outrage

sudan_teddy_bear

LONDON, England (CNN)— UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown said Tuesday that officials were working to secure the early release of a British teacher who faces being whipped in Sudan after she allowed her class to name a teddy bear "Mohammed" in an exercise designed to teach creative exchange, voting protocol, and consensus-building, Gillian Gibbons, 54, has been accused of blasphemy and is being held by police in the capital Khartoum, Kirsty Saunders, British Foreign Office spokeswoman told CNN. Police arrested the school teacher after she asked her class of seven-year-olds to come up with a name for the toy as part of a school project, according to widespread media reports. Parents of students at the Unity High School in Khartoum informed the authorities and Gibbons was taken into custody Sunday, Saunders told CNN. So far Gibbons has yet to be charged with any offense, however, under Sudanese law, insulting Islam is punishable with 40 lashes, a jail term of up to six months or a fine, she said.

However, a Sudanese official told CNN that if police decided that Gibbons had acted in good faith, she would most likely be spared punishment.

"If the intentions are good, definitely she will be absolved and will be cautioned not to repeat this thing again," Mutrif Siddig, Sudan's under secretary for foreign affairs, said.

According to a report in The Times newspaper, Gibbons had asked the children to pick their favorite name for the new class mascot, which she was using to aid lessons about animals and their habitats. A member of the Sudanese government told CNN Muslim parents at the school informed the authorities after considering that her actions were offensive to their faith.

Mutrif Siddig, Sudan's under secretary for foreign affairs, said: "To give the name of Mohammed to this teddy bear, it was considered as insult by some parents. And this school is mixed, it is not all Christian students."

Separately, CNN contacted a member of staff, who confirmed the school had been shut down temporarily as a result of the incident involving Gibbons. He refused to give his name and said no other members of staff were available.

Geez, it was the kids who named the teddy bear, not the teacher. As someone surely must point out, if there is to be an outrage, should it not theoretically be directed against these "blasphemous" Islamic children?

Read more.

France And Her Muslim Youths

france-anti-islam
French Muslim Gangs Plague Paris

VILLIERS-LE-BEL—Rampaging youths rioted for a second night in Paris' suburbs, firing at French officers and ramming burning cars into buildings. France is not stunned that at least 77 officers were injured, according to a senior police union official.

The overnight violence was more intense than during three weeks of rioting in 2005, said the official, Patrice Ribeiro. He said that "genuine urban guerillas with conventional weapons and hunting weapons" were among the rioters. The riots were triggered by the deaths of two teens killed in a crash with a police patrol car on Sunday in Villiers-le-Bel, a blue-collar town in Paris' northern suburbs.

Residents claimed that officers left the crash scene without helping the teens, whose motorbike collided with the car. Officials cast doubt on the claim, but the internal police oversight agency was investigating. Rioting first erupted in Villiers-le-Bel on Sunday night. It grew worse and spread Monday night to other towns north of Paris. Rioters hurled stones and petrol bombs at police, authorities said.

The use of firearms added a dangerous new dimension. Firearms are widespread in France, and police generally carry guns. Guns, though, were rarely used in the 2005 riots that spread to poor housing projects nationwide. Police are facing "a situation that is far worse than that of 2005," said Ribeiro, national secretary of the Synergie officers union.

"Our colleagues will not allow themselves to be fired upon indefinitely without responding," he warned on RTL radio. "They will be placed in situations which will become untenable."

Read more commentary on the sad state of French affairs here, but in particular, new observers to this story should first read Hugh Fitzgerald's more comprehensive comments found here.

France has some 751 “No Go” zones. The French government has labeled these areas “sensitive urban zones” that are dangerous for whites and non-Muslims to enter. French writer Guy Milliere said even the local authorities stay out of these zones. “It means that it’s the part of the country where the police don’t go,” he said. “The firemen don’t go and even doctors and ambulance don’t go, except if they have no other choice.”

“Our government, our politics are leading us to war,” he said. Many say the government treats the majority in France like a minority. They have been marginalized politically and victimized by immigrant crime.

“There is on one end, the political speech which says, ‘Oh, everything is okay. It feels so good to feel the difference, to live together, everything is great. We live in harmony. It’s communion. It’s perfect,’” a resident explained. “And on the other hand, you got the truth of what people are feeling. They are feeling like foreigners in their own country,” he continued.