Category Archives: New York Times

Dodging Islamic Apologistics Of Classic Bait And Switch

HUGH FITZGERALD, THE MYSTERY SCHOLAR OF ISLAM, has written about this tactic of da'wa apologists quite well, and we again strive to honor Hugh in a snippet from a comment we clipped from Jihad Watch. Hat tip goes to Proud Kafir:

Diwan-i-Khas
Diwan-i-Khas at Fatehpur Sikri, a town built by Akbar
The one who really gave himself away was the odious and stupid and remarkably ill-informed William Dalrymple. He went on and on about how, near to where "I live in Delhi" there is some spot connected to the reign of Akbar. And then he proceeded to tell everyone—thank god it has been preserved on tape, for all time—how Akbar, the "Muslim emperor," had called together Shi'a Muslims, and Sunni Muslims, and Jains, and Christians, and even Jews from Cochin, for a colloquy. And he went on and on about how splendid Akbar was. Of course, Akbar was splendid, when he became syncretistic, when he ended the Jizyah, when he essentially stopped being a Muslim in every important way. The British historian V. A. West, in his "History of India," notes that Akbar demanded that those in his inner circle had to abjure the Qur'an -- not exactly the sign of a Muslim.

So his entire speech was all about Akbar, and he apparently did not know that Akbar, the Akbar he praised, is remembered today fondly by Hindus and despised by Muslims. And at one point he even described "Ashoka and Akbar" as Muslim leaders. Ashoka was no Muslim. Could I really have heard him say that? Not possible. No, I suppose anything is possible, especially if Dalrymple shows he has missed entirely the main point about syncretistic Akbar, has not understood the whole point of his later rule, and why he is revered by Hindus and despised by Muslims, though some may now invoke his name to show that “Muslims are tolerant.”

No, Dalrymple’s idiocy about Akbar will live on forever, on the tape made of the other evening, forever made available online with a single click, to haunt him, to mock him, to serve as proof that Dalrymple the historian of Mughal India, “internationally-acclaimed,” is unsteady when it comes to possibly the most important figure in Indian history during the entire Mughal period.

Ibn Warraq, in one of later replies, noted—too quickly, alas—that Akbar was no Muslim, and it was clear, according to observers, that Dalrymple was nervous, that he knew he was out of his depth.

[Dodging Islamic Apologistics Of Classic Bait And Switch]

The Orwellian Media

"After vowing to usher in a new era of responsibility, President Obama has shown a willingness to compromise between campaign rhetoric and the realities of Washington."

1984
George Orwell's 1984

SUCH LANGUAGE IS THE SAFFRON lead in today's top New York Times story. Seems innocuous enough, and frankly had me thinking that perhaps the NYT was going to hold this president's feet to the fire after all. But what was I thinking?

Had this been a Republican president, the lead would have been something like this: Barely two weeks into office, the new president has backtracked on his campaign promises to clean up Washington. Will the hypocrisy of the Republican Party never end?

But the article is not a puff piece, or a slick apologia for the Barack Obama team. “This is a big problem for Obama, especially because it was such a major, major promise,” said Melanie Sloan, executive director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington. “He harped on it, time after time, and he created a sense of expectation around the country. This is exactly why people are skeptical of politicians, because change we can believe in is not the same thing as business as usual.”

Do you think? Truth in politics has never been more relevant than today, a day that is smack dab in the spotlight breathing heavily the fumes of the best of times and the worst of times with everybody watching, even those who usually require a pair of 3D gag specs just to get their attention. You'd think somebody'd finally get it right. My hunch is that the next "great idea" might not be an idea at all, but will quietly come in the form of simple truth.

Now I'd call THAT Lincolnesque, although I am quite sure the Orwellian media would fail to put it up and run with it (guessing they'd all expire in over-vexed surprise)...

Gray Lady Whistles Dixie

Lo and behold! A miracle has occurred in our midst. The daunted Gray Lady of Big Time Journalism has swept aside the cobwebs, and is now reporting the unvarished truth about what is happening in Gaza. This is a wonderful day, folks. Mark it on your calendars. Verily, I tell you, The New York Times has stepped up to the plate on this one. I'm not sure I can even believe my own eyes. Is the tide finally changing on these ruthless thugs who fight under the pernicious flag of Mohammed the Horrible?

Now if only those folks at the desk will admit that this has ALWAYS been the case, that with each subtle and not so subtle encroachment, each lob of a Iranian-suppled missile, each cry of forlorn victimhood from these very same so-called "Palestinian" pan-Arab rebels, it has not been Israel who has been the instigator, the culprit, the cold blooded murderer of civilians but the rebels themselves who wear this badge of disgrace.

But after all, that's how Mohammed taught his followers to make war. It's right there, word for word, in their book. And for fourteen hundred years Mohammedans of every stripe have agreed that war is deceit, and that old adage all is fair is love and war, is as Islamic-sounding as it is old school Western (before we went all soft, weak, and multiculturalist). Except, of course, as many commentators have mentioned, the Qur'an does not mention the noble word "love" even once in all its ferocious pages.

This reportage does beg the question of why this leftist newspaper has suddenly shifted its tone. I'm figuring it has less to do with clarity of thought at the editor's desk or in Israel and thus America finally having its fill of stop gap measures. No. It appears that all it took was the election of the Chosen One, Barack Obama, to the office of presidency, for the leftist media to draw different conclusions on the same batch of details. Mustn't let the messiah fail is the order of the day, and since Obama's hands are pretty much tied at this point, the shift of perspective had to come in the reportage of the facts. Pin this one on dirty playing Hamas. Must keep the messiah clean.

That works for me in this case. But it does show to what lengths the leftist media will go to protect its own.

So, to that end, the NYT has reported that the most important strategic decision the Israelis have made so far, according to senior military officers and analysts, is to approach their incursion as a war, not a police operation. Civilians are warned by leaflets, loudspeakers and telephone calls to evacuate battle areas. But troops are instructed to protect themselves first and civilians second.

Armed Hamas
Armed Hamas

JERUSALEM—The grinding urban battle unfolding in the densely populated Gaza Strip is a war of new tactics, quick adaptation and lethal tricks. Hamas, with training from Iran and Hezbollah, has used the last two years to turn Gaza into a deadly maze of tunnels, booby traps and sophisticated roadside bombs. Weapons are hidden in mosques, schoolyards and civilian houses, and the leadership’s war room is a bunker beneath Gaza’s largest hospital, Israeli intelligence officials say. Unwilling to take Israel’s bait and come into the open, Hamas militants are fighting in civilian clothes; even the police have been ordered to take off their uniforms. The militants emerge from tunnels to shoot automatic weapons or antitank missiles, then disappear back inside, hoping to lure the Israeli soldiers with their fire.

In one apartment building in Zeitoun, in northern Gaza, Hamas set an inventive, deadly trap. According to an Israeli journalist embedded with Israeli troops, the militants placed a mannequin in a hallway off the building’s main entrance. They hoped to draw fire from Israeli soldiers who might, through the blur of night vision goggles and split-second decisions, mistake the figure for a fighter. The mannequin was rigged to explode and bring down the building.

Read it all.

Riding The Big Waves of Capitalism

Capitalism operates in waves. I have held the opinion for a decade or so that the United States would need to eventually ease into a form of national capitalism in order to compete with similar large regimes in China, Russia, Europe, and several oil-rich quasi-socialist entities in the Middle East. Let me be perfectly clear. I am not advocating a misguided heavy-handed socialist agenda for America, or anything remotely close to the pie-eyed Marxist flim flam so popular among Left-wing bookstore café hipsters who are as personally selfish as any pickup truck-driving capitalist I've ever met. Yet so many of these lovely people with the trés chic smiles embrace an ideology which always seems to end in a pernicious totalitarianism and uninvited oppression by an elite class, quite a shell shocker or two in scale from the worse forms of capitalism ever practiced. Forget all that shuck and jive about false consciousness. It exists, but no one has a monopoly on a justifiable antidote. Life is not that damn complex, even for the uneducated. After all, even for the Big Kahuna, negotiating a Big Wave is a good thing. Negotiating a tsunami, not so much.

I predicted this need to ease into a form of national capitalism back in the 1990s to a loosely knit group of internationalists who were known as the Sworgists for no other reason than the fact that we had gathered around the fledgling Scenewash Project to discuss the future of capitalism. Back then, I was a staunch believer in the capitalist system, and at some point in the late 90s I coined the phrase, "Capitalism has proven to be the most effective and purest form of communism ever practiced."

Having founded the listserv I dubbed—THE SWORG SWILL—I was operating among several staunch Marxists, and a couple of progressives who decried all previous failed experiments, of which Situationist Marxism and formal capitalism were the two more prominent. We hailed from Washington, DC, Austin, TX, Nottingham, England, Peoria, IL, and Sidney, Australia. All of us intuited that capitalism was weakening and its constitutional faultlines deepening. Trapped in our own miasma and personal biases however, we often disagreed on how to proceed with our investigations, and the group ended rather abruptly in May, 2000, after several years of communication.

But I had I suggested that we didn't need no stinking revolution because I viscerally agreed with the poet and musician John Lennon, who rejected revolution while advocating peace. No bloody pacifist am I—given the horrid nature of the world—I however still prefer peace to war, a slap in the face or a kick in the collective ass to total war, and a purpose bounced ounce of dignity in life for everyone not waving a death sentence at me or my family. My impression then and my impression now is that capitalism would fall of its own weight and greed, and in that particular historical moment, a massive reorganization towards a kinder gentler socialist model could possibly improve the government, its daily standards, and the uncommon conditions of more common people struggling in this world, where unfortunately the many prop up the few.

I think that time has come. To that end, let's observe the festering approach in today's New York Times:

US Supreme Court
US Supreme Court
FINANCE EXPERTS SAY THAT HAVING Washington take stakes in United States banks now—like government interventions in the past—would be a promising move to address an economic emergency. The plan by the Treasury Department, they say, could supply banks with sorely needed capital and help restore confidence in financial markets.

Elsewhere, government bank-investment programs are routinely called nationalization programs. But that is not likely in the United States, where nationalization is a word to avoid, given the aversion to anything that hints of socialism.

In past times of war and national emergency, Washington has not hesitated. In 1917, the government seized the railroads to make sure goods, armaments and troops moved smoothly in the interests of national defense during World War I. After the war ended, bondholders and stockholders were compensated and railways were returned to private ownership in 1920.

During World War II, Washington seized dozens of companies, including railroads, coal mines and, briefly, the Montgomery Ward department store chain. In 1952, President Harry S. Truman seized 88 steel mills across the country, asserting that unyielding owners were determined to provoke an industrywide strike that would cripple the Korean War effort. That nationalization did not last long, though, because the Supreme Court ruled the move an unconstitutional abuse of presidential power.

In banking, the government took an 80 percent stake in the Continental Illinois Bank and Trust in 1984. Continental Illinois failed in part because of bad oil-patch loans in Oklahoma and Texas. As the nation’s seventh-largest bank, Continental Illinois was deemed “too big to fail” by federal regulators, who feared wider turmoil in the financial markets. In the end, the government lost an estimated $1 billion on the bad loans it bought as part of the takeover of Continental, which eventually became part of Bank of America.

Read it all.

Mugabe Thugs Rejecting Election Results

mugabe8a
Dictator Robert Mugabe

WHITE FARMERS IN ZIMBABWE say militants loyal to President Robert Mugabe's ruling party have forced three cattle ranchers off their land. A fourth is holding out with about 50 militants threatening to break down his farm gates.

The land grabs, revealed Sunday, come as Mugabe and his party confront massive elections losses and an expected presidential runoff. Mugabe has ruled Zimbabwe since his guerrilla army helped overthrow white minority rule in 1980. His popularity has been battered by an economic collapse following the often-violent seizures of white-owned commercial farms since 2000.

Mugabe thugs raided the opposition headquarters on Friday, rounding up foreign journalists, including a New York Times correspondent, Thursday in an ominous indication that he may use intimidation and violence to keep his grip on power. The NYT said police took into custody its correspondent Barry Bearak, who was covering the elections.

"We do not know where he is being held, or what, if any, charges have been made against him," Bill Keller, executive editor of the Times, said in a statement. "We are making every effort to ascertain his status, to assure that he is safe and being well treated, and to secure his prompt release."

The opposition in Zimbabwe is bracing for a dirty war by the Mugabe regime.

And the outrages among the races continue...