Thursday, March 29, 2007
I can feel the food curdling in my stomach, and my teeth starting to grind. Yes, it must be a story about poor ickle Muslims.
"The scuffle over La Mezquita is echoed throughout Spain these days as members of each faith tests the other's tolerance in this overwhelmingly Roman Catholic country with a fast-growing Muslim minority. Tensions were further inflamed when Islamic militants blew up commuter trains in Madrid three years ago, killing nearly 200 people.The dispute has special resonance in Cordoba, an Andalusian crossroads that beginning more than a millennium ago was the capital of Moorish Spain and one of the Western world's greatest centers of intellectual and artistic culture. Some of today's Muslims may long for Islam's glorious past, but Mansur Escudero insists he just wants a place to pray. "We could be an example for the world," he said, "awakening the consciences of both Christians and Muslims and showing it's possible to put aside past conflicts."
My capital city is veritably bristling with Mosques, many of them preaching jihad in stage whispers. Every time somebody in Britain says something Muslims don't like, gangs of them show up in London's streets wearing suicide bomber vests and carrying placards saying they are going to start beheading people. Many 'mainstream' Muslims will go on the record saying that their intention is to turn Britain into a Muslim country. Our consciences are wide awake!
You are talking to the wrong people, Mr Escudero. Who is it that can't 'put aside past conflicts'? Many Muslims talk about Spain as Al-Andalus, as if the reconquest of Spain never happened, and wishing for the day when Muslim empire building can re-commence. The comical incongruousness of this mans requests to be allowed to turn a Catholic cathedral back into a Mosque when all over the Muslim world Christians and members of other religions are murdered and beheaded on a regular basis (see story about female teacher in Nigeria in last weeks news) by Muslims who believe that we are all fair game is painfully unfunny. When you've removed the gargantuan timber from your own eye, we'll consider the teeny tiny speck in ours, OK?
Tuesday, March 27, 2007
Last night there was a TV program on BBC4 called Racism: A History. There was a whole discussion about the origins of racism that never mentioned the Arabs. Here's a summary I found on the web:
'Racism: the driving force behind some of the most atrocious crimes in human history. This three-part series starts by considering the implications of the early contact between Europeans and people of Africa and the Americas in the fifteenth century. Featuring interviews with distinguished scholars, the programme explores the development of racist ideas and practices in key institutions, and shows how the writings of some of Europe's greatest thinkers influenced debates surrounding slavery, freedom and imperialism.'
According to this program, racism and slavery were invented by the Europeans in the 1400's. I watched as professor after professor came out with the same information, the same theories from the same set texts- as if slavery didn't exist before the 1400's. That's not scholarship- that's anti-European propaganda and political diatribe, spouted by Europeans. God, we must hate ourselves!
Who were the slave procurers to the world for at least the last 2000 years, and as you can see from the news article today, still ship people as commodities? Yes, its the Arabs. Forget about Frenchmen or Englishmen or Dutchmen inventing racism. The Arabs were capturing, dealing and selling black Africans long before the English emerged from their little island to conquer the world. But to know that you'd actually have to tell the whole historical narrative, and to tell it you'd have to know it in the first place. Most of the 'anti-racism' and 'blame-whitey-for-slavery' campaigns are covertly or overtly about reparations. These people want money. They don't want to earn it. They want to be given it, even though they aren't slaves and never will be slaves.
The slavery system was run in Africa by Africans to a very large extent. Dominant tribes would raid small tribes, and sell the 'proceeds' to tribes near the coast, who sold the slaves on to the Arabs. Anybody who takes five minutes to research the slave trade could tell you this- but interestingly this is not the story we are being told. All the stories are about the middle passage, when the slaves were finally sold into Europeans hands to be transshipped to the America's. Given that most of the written records are horrified accounts of this stage of the slaves journey written by Europeans, this is to some extent not surprising. But it is still not excusable if your interest is historical truth rather than dollar accumulation.
To get any of my money, all the claimants for reparations will have to prove to me incontrovertibly that their ancestors were victims of the slave trade and not its executors. I have never owned a slave, and given that my ancestors were to the best of my knowledge field labourers in Hampshire for the last few millenia, I don't feel even a bit responsible for the slave trade. Collective punishment of the British for the sins of our forefathers would also bring up some issues as a precedent. I imagine their are few groups of people across the globe who don't have some blots on their consciences. Here's a suggestion to the reparations activists angling to get their hands on my money- go get real a job and stop bringing yourselves into disrepute.
Monday, March 26, 2007
"Steyn is right that the main struggle is one of ideas. Unfortunately, political correctness, which is to thought what sentimentality is to compassion, means that the intelligentsia of the West has disarmed itself in advance of any possible struggle. But I think Steyn is mistaken, or at least fails to make a proper distinction, when he says that Islam is ideologically strong and confident. Shrillness and intolerance are not signs of strength, but of weakness; fundamentalism is a response to an awareness that, if the methods of intellectual inquiry that were used to challenge Christianity were permitted in the Muslim world, Islam would soon fall apart. But if Islam fell apart in the Islamic world, what source of self-respect would be left to the population? Their backwardness and mental impoverishment would then be exposed in all nakedness."
This is a thought that has struck me many times. Islam is the only export (apart from Oil) from many places in the 'Muslim lands'. Should it be discredited, they would be desperately forlorn places. And should the west develop nuclear fusion, even the oil would be surplus to requirements...
“The Central Principle of this next phase of government should be the extension of power to the people… it is an egalitarian principle… it calls for an enabling State rather than a shrinking one.”
“But the old social democratic approach, which saw the State providing broadly the same service to everyone, will not be enough, either. People today have different aspirations from each other, and face different barriers, so public services must meet different needs. Public services need to be personal.”
“[The] enabling State gives power to individuals and communities, and trusts them to know how to use it. This means government doing everything it can to help people get on, and overcome the barriers they face.”
“Life chances should not be inherited at birth. That means an unrelenting focus on education.”
“But we should also be aiming to stretch those with particular talents. We could pilot Talent Budgets, where secondary-school pupils are given funds to develop their skill –whether for an individual to take extra music or sports lessons, or for groups of young people to pool their budgets to set up a business or get extra tuition to go to University.” [Yes, they really did start a paragraph with the word ‘but’]
"Our aim would be an aspiration society. We could consider the model of the Climate Change Bill – setting a bold goal, independently monitored, which then requires government action… The goal could be, as in Denmark, to ensure that children have the same chances, whatever their parents’ wealth.”
“This would be the beginning of the next era of change in British politics.”
“Social responsibility is an important means- everyone agrees the voluntary sector is important. But it is not enough. We need a clear goal- an aspiration society- and an effective method- an enabling State.”
By the end of the article, I felt like I'd just been assaulted by someone with one of those foam hammers you can buy for kids- slightly annoyed and wondering what the hell these people are trying to achieve. First of all, the English on display here is lamentable. No educated person in Britain should be this bad at explaining ideas. I imagine thousands of text messages will be sent today in clearer and more understandable language than our authors manage. Government ministers have few core tasks. First among them is clearly understanding the purpose of their departments, and steering them to the greatest extent possible toward the effective achievement of that purpose. Would you trust these two intellectual fluffy bunnies to clearly understand the purpose of a lamppost, let alone a very large and massively expensive Government department?
But now to the content: is there a genuine vision here?
We have a number of animating principles jockeying for prime position- The extension of power to the people, the enabling state, public services that are personal, life chances not inherited at birth, and the aspiration society.
First, let’s consider the extension of power to the people. The authors say “[The extension of power to the people] is an egalitarian principle… And it calls for an enabling State rather than a shrinking one. The Cameron thesis is that if the State withdraws, then miraculously the people are granted power. But the opposite is true- if the State withdraws, then those with power keep it, and those without fall further behind.” As usual I like to look at real-life cases. More people try to get into the United States every year than try to get into the EU and every other country in the world combined. Why? Because the state is largely absent from most peoples lives. They don’t take much of your money, and largely confine themselves to the core activities of a state as defined by the US constitution 230 years ago. Those core activities are the ones which only states can do because they require resources at the whole-community level. ALL OTHER ACTIVITIES can be done by individuals or communities so the state refrains from intruding. These two Labour bozo’s want the British state to intrude further and further into national life, eating up functions and charging us for doing them. Their model is not the United States, its Denmark. Actually, the Soviet Union would be much closer to the final position. Make your own conclusions.
Second, is there a genuine idea in ‘The Enabling State’? Enabling is an interesting concept. Think of International Development Aid as an obvious piece of Labour ‘enabling’. In theory, rich countries give money to ‘developing’ countries, who spend our aid on building hospitals, universities, roads, factories and fresh-water facilities for their people. In practice, rich countries give money to ‘developing’ countries, whose fifteen top ministers squirrel away our money in Swiss banks and live out their long lives in splendid mansions. The ninety-five million other residents of those ‘developing’ countries gradually get poorer and hungrier and angrier. This Labour government has spent very large sums indeed picking winners in ‘developing’ countries with virtually nothing to show for it other than some very happy Monaco residents. Picking winners is a job governments do very badly. But that’s because the whole process by which some people succeed and other fail is a mystery to Labour and always has been. Labour chose the conspiracy theory of wealth very early on, which burdened successful people with great opprobrium as ‘oppressor capitalists’ as soon as they were successful. They loved the unsuccessful, and trumpeted them as the only virtuous people. In America, by contrast, failure is met with its due opprobrium, and successes hailed and touted; and look at the difference in results. Whose ‘best practice’ should we copy?
Third, Public Services that are personal. I can’t actually imagine what this means in practice, other than employing a lot more people in the public sector, and descending ever further into the minutiae of peoples lives and ‘fixing’ them the government way. We already have vast tracts of this kind of activity. Anybody who has followed the comical Training and Enterprise Councils/Learning and Skills Councils progress will know that billions and billions of pounds can disappear during the pointless endeavor of ‘forcing’ people into particular sectors of the economy. Most Public Services are unnecessary to begin with. Gold-plating the unnecessary is a task worthy of Sisyphus. A logical approach would keep removing functions from the public sector until only those things which truly require whole-nation resources to achieve remain. Margaret Thatcher started the process; who will finish her work?
Fourth, life chances not inherited at birth. This ‘principle’ is a perfect example of ideas which have no validity except as a means of renouncing what came before. Labour people have to revile ‘life chances inherited at birth’ because they believe that this terrible principle ruled the world before 1948 (or perhaps 1848). It’s a straw man- Britain never had a strong attachment to this principle as evidenced by the vast number of prominent, successful Britons down the ages born into meager circumstances. For every rich and important man in British public life who is a scion of a great landed family I can show you ten who were born to Mr. and Mrs. Smith from Watford; and not just in 2007, but in 1907 and 1707 and back into the mists of time. Henry the Eighth was the son of a usurping Welshman. Oliver Cromwell came from an obscure East Anglian family. William Shakespeare’s father was an illiterate tradesman. I could go on… Perhaps the French stifled public life by requiring a pedigree before you could found a business or get a cushy government job, but we didn’t. The simple fact is that life chances are mainly determined at birth, very often because a particular set of genes combines very well with another set of genes and the recipient gets a head start on all his or her peers because of it. That’s how the world is. But given a fair crack, most of us can improve our circumstances by study and effort and work. And nobody needs to ‘enable’ us, just avoid getting in our way.
Also, by slightly changing the angle at which this ‘principle’ is viewed, I could probably get a large percentage of the public to support the principle of ‘life chances inherited at birth’. Lets describe it thus: wouldn’t it be great if every one of us inherited a great societal and personal bequeath of cultural and material wealth, so that our subsequent life was that much richer and more satisfying? Wouldn’t it be great if we started our lives with a great stock of personal confidence and positivity? Hard to argue against isn’t it? And that’s what I’d call ‘The American Way’.
Lastly, we come to the most amusing of the New Labour great ideas- the aspiration society. I find myself imagining “a bold goal, independently monitored, which then requires government action” in practice. In some vast government building, a voice comes over the tannoy “Have we met the Aspirational people production target for the fourth quarter yet? I want every droid working at full speed! Heil Gordon!” We already have an ‘aspiration’ society- there’s this thing called the Maslowean hierarchy of needs. As a person meets basic needs, they naturally begin thinking about the needs at the next level and trying to have them satisfied. Every single person on the planet ‘aspires’ in this way, unless they never start down the path to self-actualization in the first place. Regarding the latter, more in a moment.
Successful societies allow for individuals to rise as high as their drive and effort take them. They do this by NOT GETTING IN THE WAY. They have institutions which determinedly respect the individual and do not in the main intrude themselves into the domain of the individuals choice. Labour have almost completely ruined the British set of institutions which for many generations served the nation while not stifling and blocking the individual. Even the poorest people in Britain now have great forests of legislation determining the starting conditions for any entrepreneurial activity they might want to start, for instance, and a vast array of different bodies and bureaucracies to oversea their activity once started. The day of showing up at the town square and selling people things from a little cart are completely gone. Try it in Britain and see how many state representatives show up to ‘enable’ your activities.
The other reason I find this grand idea so humorous is that in New Labour Britain the state has taken it upon itself to provide the base needs in the Maslowean hierarchy for everybody, even foreigners just off the plane. For those who are very lethargic and lazy, this means they need never exert any effort on their own behalf. Their children are born into a world where absolutely no effort or personal responsibility is in required, and a dynasty is born. The welfare state removes aspiration from the radar of many, many of our least bothered citizens. In America, if you don’t at least get your ass out of bed and go fill coffee cups at the local eatery, you don’t have food or a house. The conditions are set for people to start the process of self-actualization. But lets not copy that ‘best practice’!
A few last comments… all through this article the word state is capitalized. Why? The last time I checked only words like God and Great Britain were capitalized… you know, words that conjure up our most respected and valued cultural icons. Early in this article, the authors provide a potted history of Britain since the second world war. See my previous posts about completely distorted and threadbare historical narratives… ‘Our history might have been very different if we had confronted the Empire illusion, shaped the European Union from the start and reformed our economy in the way Germany and Japan were rebuilding theirs.” With unmitigated twaddle like that, its hard to know where to start. How many historical fallacies can you fit into one sentence?
Overall, I’d say there’s very little here that an old Labour dinosaur would not agree with, once the strange language was translated into actual English. Socialism= good. Capitalism= bad. People born with a double-barrelled surname=bad. Scruffy nere-do-well living in Camden squat=good. Aspiration= good. Real-world tested means of enabling aspiration= bad. It turns out there is no third way. Just the second way with a facelift.
Friday, March 23, 2007
Is it plain, simple ignorance?
Is it a choice of historical narrative that is so selective and omits so much evidence that it can provoke audible laughter?
Is it the strength of emotion which seems to be in reverse correlation to the depth of understanding?
Is it the disgusting moral equivalences that are made between religions, institutions and people which are so far from equivalent that educated people are left speechless by them?
Is it the absolute refusal to ever consider themselves part of 'us', only as part of 'them'?
Is it the grotesque caricatures which they seem to genuinely believe are matter-of-fact truth?
Is it the tiny range of their analytical reach?
Is it the dependence on key phrases and forms of wording that are used like magical incantations to hide the vacuum of original thought?
Is it the parochial worldview which sees the world outside America and Britain as merely cyphers in a bitter war between 'progressives' and 'neanderthal conservative/Christians'?
Is it the widespread acceptance of personal ad hominem abuse which substitutes for cogent reasoning?
Is it the expectation that the world at large will naturally see the virtue of their position despite their complete inability to justify it using words and logic? (see also the Global Warming Fanatics)
Is it that there is no disgusting foulness or unspeakable brutality that a Muslim can commit which will elicit any condemnation from them, while all Christians have to do is raise a tiny squeak of protest and they are deemed fanatics and fundamentalists?
All these and more. I'm sure there are lots of other things that contribute to my loathing, but these are the ones currently broiling around my mind.
This is a fascinating and frightening article about Pakistan and its role in world terrorism. Saudi Arabia, Iran and Pakistan are the three main sources of Islamist money, ideas and personnel. Of these three, only Pakistan has 50-60 nuclear weapons. Of the three, the Pakistani government is by far the flimsiest. The Pakistani government has the most tenuous control of its country and its borders. It also has the most potent internal dissent, and the fewest tools at its disposal for dealing with that dissent. President Musharraf is a genuine friend of Britain and America, but that leaves 169 million Pakistanis who loathe us to a greater or lesser extent. Should he 'drop off the twig' as our Foreign Office so endearingly put it, we would confront a very unpleasant near-term situation. Forget about Iraq- there are only 26 million of them, and they don't have anything more lethal than RPG's. Should a toxic combination of ISI (the Pakistani secret service), the Taleban and Al-Qaeda make it into power in Pakistan a powder keg would be turned into a regional and international bomb. Any number of flashpoints could set it off- Kashmir, NWFP politics, tension with Afghanistan, sponsorship of terrorism in Britain.
Although the experts commenting in this article believe it to be a low probability, there is at least some chance that Pakistan could be a second Afghanistan- a chaotic state providing cover and facilities for terrorists, just on a much larger scale. There may be few options for the west and India should that happen. It could get awfully bloody. Wear your extra body army for me, Pervaiz...
Thursday, March 22, 2007
'Bolton was interviewed for a BBC radio documentary on the war to be broadcast in full next month.
The former ambassador, who has a reputation as a blunt-spoken hawk, is writing a book about his days at the UN titled "Surrender is Not an Option."
British Foreign Office Minister Kim Howells said Bolton's remarks came as a surprise.
"I certainly didn't get the sense that there was some sort of formal collusion between the Americans and the Israelis," he told the BBC.'
Collusion? The dictionary says collusion means "a secret agreement, esp. for fraudulent or treacherous purposes; conspiracy". So helping to defend a country from attack by a non-state militia hiding in a neighboring country is a fraudulent, treacherous purpose? I seem to remember that when the Hutu militias had been kicked out of Rwanda and then started cross-border raids from DRC, the whole of Europe (except France) rallied around to help (financially and diplomatically) Paul Kigame's regime repulse them and eventually cross over into DRC to destroy them there. But I guess the difference is there were no Jews involved.
Its worth reading the whole of this article. Not because it says anything novel- it doesn't. In fact, it is a perfect distillation of the mainstream media's moonbat dirge relating to Iraq.
Middle East fears broken Iraq
By Jeremy Bowen BBC Middle East Editor [The BBC seems very top-heavy these days...]
There was a time in 2003, between the removal of Saddam Hussein and the start of the insurgency, when you could stroll through Baghdad down to one of the teahouses on the banks of the Tigris without worrying too much about getting kidnapped or blown up. [This is very important psychologically for moonbats- this is the moment that the world stopped for them. Virtually every article by a moonbat, virtually every public speech by a moonbat stops at this point. Why? I don't know, but somebody needs to get a megaphone and stick it in their faces and remind them that that was four years ago, and a lot of stuff has happened since then]
For those few months, supporters of the Iraq war [this is a constant in Moonbat analysis. The word supporters is used over and over again, as if wars were football games. There can be no sober, reflective, taking-the-least-worst option view of the war, just jingoistic cheerleaders standing on the sidelines whooping] generally felt pretty good about the way things had gone. No weapons of mass destruction had been found, but it was just a matter of time [I was in favour of the war from the beginning, and like millions of like-minded individuals never gave a flying **** whether weapons of mass destruction were found. This piece of minutiae was never important to any except the MSM and their communist chums. After 1992, Saddam Hussein was living on borrowed time. In 2003, the sword of Damocles descended- thats why we went to war. Its only people who were paying NO attention during those eleven years who thought the main reason Mr Hussein was taken out had to do with a WMD program. The WMD was the immediate and subsidiary reason for the invasion- the main reason was that Mr Hussein was a dangerous, evil man in charge of a large country who was corrupting the international system with every tool at his disposal, and he needed taking out]. Yes, there had been looting and banditry, but it would pass. It seemed, to the instigators and supporters of the war, that the dream of the American neo-conservatives was coming true. Iraq was being remade a beacon of democratic values [It is. See copious recent news reports for details, although don't bother with the BBC website]. It would become such a successful friend of the West that all its neighbours would want to copy it. [Get back to me in 10 years about that one]
Of course, it has been clear for some time that the neo-con dreams were delusions [just like it's clear that human-generated CO2 is causing global warming... the only people this is clear to are people who hate Republican conservatives, Conservative conservatives and indeed, all conservatives wherever they might be] But they should not be forgotten, because they are, after all, a big part of the reason why we all ended up in this mess [this is the central argument of the Moonbats. For them, nothing subsequent to the WMD speeches by Bush and Blair are in any way important. Everything that occurs in the Middle East, all the Islamist agitation in Britain and Europe, every damn thing that happens round the world, can and must by linked back to those WMD speeches]. I say "we" because it is going to be very hard for anyone to avoid the consequences of having a broken country and a bloody series of wars at the centre of the world's most strategically important region [What breathtaking arrogance and hubris. How many of the Bowen family have been dismembered by Shia death squads? How many of Jeremys children have been blinded by Chlorine by Al-Qaeda 'resistance' fighters? For most people in the world, apart from the fun of participating in grievance theatre on behalf of the far-away Iraqi people, the insurgency in Iraq has no impact on their lives whatsoever. And to pretend otherwise is disgusting and an insult to the real living breathing Iraqi's getting up today and going to work not knowing if they will die]
The year 2003 was a watershed in the modern history of the Middle East [more than, say, the end of the Ottoman empire? more than, say, the foundation of Israel? more than, say, the Suez crisis? more than, say, Egypt and Jordan making peace with Israel? more than, say, the Shah being kicked out of Iran by the Islamist/fascist clerics? What unutterrable crap]. The results of the invasion are going to be rumbling around the region for a long time - a generation or more [evidence? Why should we believe this stupid prophecy when so much else in this article is unsupported by evidence? I read many such prophecies during the FIRST invasion of Iraq in 1991, supposedly because of the presence of US troops in Saudi, which 'enraged' the Arab street. The Arab street is permanently enraged about one thing or another- who gives a shit?].
Some are already clear. The war has already produced the biggest movement of people in the Middle East since the Palestinian refugee crisis after the establishment of Israel in 1948.
More than a million refugees from Iraq are in Syria, around a million more in Jordan and almost two million have been displaced inside Iraq [can you say 'Darfur'? Oops No you Can't. And if you don't think Sudan is in the Middle East, go to the Government website and read the names of the people who run the country].
The war between Shia and Sunni Muslims in Iraq terrifies people [I think thats why its called 'War' and not 'communal hugging'].
In Saudi Arabia last month a Shia engineer told me how worried his community had been during Ashura, the annual commemoration of the death of their martyr Hussein, the grandson of the prophet Mohammed. "It's simple," he said. "Some of the Sunnis, the extremists, regard us as infidels. We're terribly worried that what's happening in Iraq could happen here." [The Sunni and the Shia have been fighting each other for about 1300 years. I'm guessing they're not done yet, whether Bushitler and Bliar remain involved or not]
When you travel around the Middle East and ask people about how the war in Iraq has affected them you get a combination of regret, anger and trepidation. Last week I visited a senior Saudi security official, a general. I asked him whether the invasion by America, Britain and their friends four years ago had made Iraq into a recruiting sergeant for Islamist extremists [Thank God you went to someone objective, with no possible personal stake in the answer to that question!]. He said it had, and explained. "It inspires these people," he said. [Really? Well Gosh-Darn! Finally some genuinely new information for us. I think the words 'No shit sherlock' cover this revelation satisfactorily] "Some of them think it is their duty to go and perform jihad in Iraq. They think they are supporting the Muslims in Iraq and actually protecting the Islamic civilisation and culture in Iraq." He denied, by the way, that Saudi Arabia's tolerance of some religious extremists was also making matters worse [File this away under "Well I for one believe him"].
'Sound of freedom'
Saddam Hussein was a never a good neighbour, but after his armies were expelled from Kuwait in 1991 he was contained [At last! Some historical backgrounding. Ok, he was contained. Who was doing that, by the way? Was it France and Russia and China? Didn't think so... Was there, perchance, a No-Fly-Zone and a denial by whoever-it-was-doing-the-containing of the whole of Kurdistan to Saddams military? Really? So you could say, if you were of a slightly mischievous disposition, that the invasion of Iraq started in 1991 and was finished mid-2003? Also, perchance, was this all done at the behest of the original coalition and the UN? Really? How interesting... because it changes the complexion of what went on significantly away from the Janet-and-John playground version of Iraqi history touted by the MSM]. The conservative, mainly elderly Sunni royalty who run the Arab Gulf like predictability.[Eh? Whats that got to do with anything?] What is happening in Iraq now is not at all predictable, and that makes them nervous [Ah, I see. Arabs are simpletons who just like simple, predictable lives. Thats not at all racist!] . At the biggest arms fair in the Middle East, which was held in Abu Dhabi last month, the best-selling items were weapons and equipment for border security and counter-insurgency [bought by a bunch of old Sunni princes to protect their simple, simple lives].
And what about the Americans?
Some of them still seem to be believers in the dead dreams of four years ago [what a bunch of frickin' morons. How they ever built the largest economy on the face of the planet, the best universities in the world, the best standard of living the world has ever seen for 300 million people is quite, quite inexplicable]. On the flight deck of the enormous US aircraft carrier the USS Eisenhower in the Gulf this week, warplanes were being shot out of the steam catapults on the flight deck with engines that roared and screamed so loudly you felt it in your sinuses, teeth and jawbone. "Listen to it," one of the officers told me when the warplanes were launched and streaking up the Gulf to Iraq. "It is the sound of freedom." [Fascist!]
So to sum up: Jeremy Bowens take on the situation in Iraq is ahistorical, confused, ignorant, bizarre and impossible to defend in most respects. But fortunately he doesn't hold a position of influence or stature with the public...
"African leaders have started to join Britain and the United
States in calling for some regional resolution to the economic and
political turmoil in Zimbabwe, where the 83-year-old Mugabe has
ruled since independence in 1980.
But South Africa, the regional powerhouse which itself relied on
foreign pressure to bring an end to the whites-only apartheid
regime, insists its neighbour has to chart its own destiny."
This is a very interesting point. South Africa has got away with a piece of egregious hypocrisy over the disgusting and racist behaviour of Robert Mugabe for the last seven years. The ANC were for many years based in London. They didn't seem to have a problem with interfering with the politics of South Africa from Britain through the whole of the seventies, eighties and half the nineties. Yet what they are now saying is that groups based abroad are illegitimate and interfere with the 'sovereign rights' of nations. I call bullshit. The ANC said it just wanted justice and racial equality? What do the MDC want?
The South African government is using national sovereignty as a fig leaf for defending vicious thuggery, racism, theft and grotesque injustice. Nice. The days when third world dictators could literally slice up their political opponents and be given a freebie by the rest of the world just because they weren't white oppressors is over.
Wednesday, March 21, 2007
"What is it about Interpal that makes them the constant target of the Israeli Lobby? Now we learn that NatWest has withdrawn banking facilities from Interpal... This is a very slippery slope for us all.
Today they try to close down the biggest and best Palestinian charity, tomorrow it will be smaller charities and finally the Israelis will have starved the Palestinians from their land."
"The [World Bank] report cited estimates by the International Monetary Fund that foreign aid to the Palestinian Authority doubled to $700 million in 2006 from the previous year. Total foreign assistance to all Palestinian groups -- which includes aid distributed by private organizations -- increased last year to $1.2 billion from $1 billion."
I think the words "Liar, liar, pants on fire" cover this situation adequately.
"London mayor 'sorry' for slavery"
Why? How many slaves has he owned? And how does his slave-owning fit with his political stances?
The battle of Kursk was 'heavy fighting' (about 1,500 tanks destroyed). The Somme was 'heavy fighting' (10,000 casualties the first day). The battle of the Bulge was 'heavy fighting' (a whole US brigade of 2,500 men destroyed).
"Heavy fighting has broken out in the Somali capital, Mogadishu, between government forces backed by Ethiopian troops and armed insurgents. A BBC correspondent says seven people were killed in the battle, the heaviest since the Islamists fell last year."
Seven people? Currently, there is 'peace' in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and the UN estimates that 800-900 people are still being shot dead a month. Seven people? What a f***ing joke.
When the BBC initially discovered that Ethiopian forces were going to help the Somali government retake Somalia they became slightly annoyed, and there were a number of stories heavily hinting that Somalia under the Union of Islamic Courts militia was nigh on a law-abiding nirvana where little old ladies could go the market unmolested, and crime was dealt with very efficiently (albiet brutally). Then towards the end of the Ethiopian invasion, the BBC discovered that the US was sending in AC-130 gunships and maybe helicopters to help, and it went from annoyance to hostility. At that point, it started predicting that the UIC would hold out for ages and they really represented a kind of grass-roots Somaliness rather than anything icky like international Islamo-fascism.
But then when the BBC found out that there were US special forces on the ground fighting alongside the Ethiopian heavy metal they went completely ape-shit. Their stories were now openly suggesting that this was simply another US proxy-war against a kindly, peaceloving, ghat-chewing laid back bunch of Muslims. They asserted that there WOULD be an insurgency in Mogadishu and in fact all over Somalia which would turn it into another Iraq.
Ever since then, their stories have tried to present the day-to-day lawlessness and bad habits of Somalis as a nascent insurgency, nay civil war. This utterly mendacious headline indicates what the BBC would like to see happen- the put-upon Islamists turning Somalia into another front against the fascist Americans. Disgusting.
According to this Iraqi blogger,
"With this series of dirty chemical bombings a war between al-Qaeda and the tribes in Anbar is no longer a possibility. It just became a fact.I've read at least two very optimistic reports from al-Almada in the last week about purported victories of the tribes and police over al-Qaeda in Ramadi and Fallujah. I was reluctant to trust the accuracy of the reports which sited unnamed sources but now seeing the reaction of al-Qaeda suggests that the action of the tribes was so painful that al-Qaeda retaliated in the way we see today."
Funny how this very important aspect of the multi-partite war going on in Iraq has completely escaped the notice and/or interest of the BBC. Some US officers who have learned in detail over the last four years the cultural and political factors that drive both the insurgency and day-to-day politics in Iraq have been talking about the tribes-vs-al qaeda potential conflict for at least a year, yet the MSM have completely ignored it. When I heard the first report about the chemical weapon attacks (which have received virtually no special condemnation from the MSM let it be noted), my thought was that this was punishment. The randomness of gas and the fact that it is instantly recognised as an escalation screams that Al Qaeda will do pretty much anything to get their way. As the Iraqi blogger points out, Al Qaeda are superb at alienating even their natural allies due to their unflinching sadism.
Forgotten in the MSM narrative of disaster and failure in Iraq is how Al Qaeda will be percieved all round the world should they fail in Iraq and Afghanistan. Even for an organisation better at spinning its PR than any organisation based on Madison Avenue, the stigma of defeat will be tremendous. Al Qaeda have trumpeted this location as the epicentre of its (supposedly) titanic struggle against the Great Satan. Failure here means worldwide embarrassment and humiliation. I don't expect it to fold up its operations and disband, but its recruiting in many of the more marginal Muslim areas will decline precipitously I'm predicting.
How arbitrary is that? Why not take things back to the Ottoman empire? Why not take it back to the Abbasid Caliphate? Why not take it back to the Roman empire? Oh yeah, I remember why not- because there was no such 'territorial unit' as Palestine during any of those vast periods. In the back of my Bible there are maps of Israel covering about three and a half thousand years. Israel started out small, got bigger, split in two, shrank and fluctuated about quite dramatically over that time. But the 'territorial unit' of Israel was definitely right there on the map. Palestine in the sense that the PLO define it was an 'indivisible territorial unit' between 1923 and 1947. Whoopee. As far as I'm concerned three and a half thousand years trumps twenty four years.
The way I see it is if you invade a place, then the original inhabitants take it back from you, fair result. I guess you can try invade again, just don't pretend you are the legitimate owners. Military capability is one thing, legitimacy quite another.
What would be so terrible? The US economy is twice as big as the next two largest economies combined (Japan and China). Who wouldn't want to merge with that? Trade between US states is completely free from tariffs and legislative restraints. The British economy would have completely unfettered access to the US market, and the US economy would have 60 million extra consumers- consumers who are amongst the freest-spending and credit-happy in world. The British economy is the sixth largest in the world, so it would provide a huge extra component of productivity to the US one. British taxes, which are extremely high in comparison to the US would fall massively. The NHS would cease to exist, and set free from the manifold inefficiencies and constraints of socialism, British hospitals could once more become world-beating centres of excellence. The British army would very easily combine with US forces (they do it all the time right now) and especially the infantry would bring tremendous experience and effectiveness. The Royal Navy is a highly effective, if small force, and given that the US navy's ethos and traditions spring virtually wholesale from the former, would be a very good fit.
In many many respects, Britain and America are more similar than most other nations on the planet. I would love to have the benefits of being a US citizen- something I have never felt about being an EU citizen. Old Europe, France, Germany, Italy, Greece, Holland and Belgium are all to a greater or lesser extent still polluted with socialist, statist and corporatist thinking. Ireland and Britain have both broken free of much of the socialist crap, and therefore would fit much better into a United States of America than a United States of Europe. I'd vote for it!
Tuesday, March 20, 2007
Bill Roggio is well-known for his mainly anti-terrorism blog, The Fourth Rail. He has great knowledge of general military matters as well, as this article demonstrates. Note to John Simpson: read this article. This is called REPORTING and its what you and the hundreds of other soppy morons at the BBC are actually paid to do. Find out the facts, and then relay them in simple English to the public. They can then decide what spin if any they wish to put on the situation. If you start off with spin, and continue to spin and end with spin, we the public only know what John Simpson thinks. We aren't any clearer about what is really happening in Iraq.
"While the number of car bombings has increased, their effectiveness has decreased." Thats a useful thing to know. And one you would never get from the BBC who seem to be obsessed with not telling us the facts of this insurgency. The upper echelons of the BBC, probably all old hippies, seem to think that understanding a war is the same as morally agreeing to it taking place. They therefore do not expect their journos to actually get to grips with the various combatant groups, how the war is being fought, what the PR positions of the various parties are and what the politics of the combatant groups are.
Yesterday was the fourth anniversary of the start of the invasion of Iraq. The MSM are obsessed with these anniversarys. I watched a long rambling incoherent report on ITV, who buy in their news from ITN. I have rarely witnessed such shoddy journalism. Early on, there was an extremely short interview with a family who had been evicted from their home so that a new COP (combat operations post) could be established in their neighborhood. COP's are like little forts that are used to dominate ground and deprive the insurgents and militia's of easy movement and deployment. They are absolutely essential in Baghdad, where large swathes of the suburbs are not currently under government control. The growing network of COP's is a big part of the new strategy. Sad though it may be for the one family who had to move so a COP could be built, for two or three thousand people it could mean the difference between permanently living in fear, and resuming a normal life. Where was this simple but crucial fact in the ITN report? Completely absent.
There was a two-question interview with Mr Maliki. The idiot journalist prefaced his first question with "I've only been in the country a few days..." and then in his post-interview analysis mocked Mr Maliki's answer for being Polyannaish and naive! Mr Maliki has been living in Iraq all his life, and is sitting atop a mountain of information, but its him who is naive and looking at the world through rose-tinted specs. Right! Because he refused to answer in a manner which pays homage to the "Doomed, doomed, we're all doomed!" MSM tropes, he's a lying stooge of the Americans.
I fantasize about recording all the amatuerish, inaccurate broadcast news reports, and forcing their creators to watch them again when all their dismal prognostications have been contradicted by the passage of time. Unfortunately, having met some of these people personally, I know what boundless reserves of denial and shamelessness these people have. Just like Bill Clinton, he can excuse every bit of laziness and bad judgement throughout his eight years in office with ease. It would be a pointless exercise.
Fortunately for me, there are now a whole host of Bill Roggio's, Michelle Malkins, Michael Tottens and Michael Fumento's who are doing the job the MSM gave up. I thank the lord every day for that.
Monday, March 19, 2007
John Simpson is the Grand BBC World Affairs Editor. His progress up the broadcast journalism tree is perplexing and inexplicable.
"And the most common feeling you come across [in Baghdad] is a kind of slow-burning, gloomy anger"
Scientists are taught during their training about a number of common mistakes easily made when doing research. One is the mistake of only seeing what you set out to find. If I were to characterise John Simpsons output concerning Iraq over the last four years "a kind of slow-burning, gloomy anger" would be a perfect description. John Simpson hates America, and he believes that the invasion of Iraq was illegal and bad. At every point since the invasion, he has wished for a coalition defeat, and has sought the precursive signs of it everywhere. When there is good news, he is silent. When there is bad news, and admittedly there has been a lot of that, he is all over it like flies on poopy. That is not journalism.
It is easy to forget how high the expectations once were.
"I don't like the feeling that my country has been invaded," a shopkeeper in Haifa street told me, a day or so after the fall of Baghdad.
"But thanks to God that it is the Americans who have done this. They are the richest country on earth. They will help us."
But they did not. They did not even protect the ministries and public buildings and museums from being looted.
We filmed as people shouted "Do something!" at an American soldier, while thieves were running out with valuable medical equipment from the hospital behind us. He just shrugged his shoulders and turned away.
Iraqis were infuriated by the gross mismanagement and open theft that American contractors and Iraqi politicians carried out in the first year after the invasion.
They had little but contempt for the feeble administration of Paul Bremer, the American proconsul whose only previous senior job had been as US ambassador to the Netherlands.
What a petulant, non-sensical, mendacious mangled wreck of a narrative.If you want journalism, read Michael J Tottens reportage of the situation in Lebanon. Clear, factual, un-biased, brave, comprehensive and detailed, Mr Totten makes me wish we could clone him and send him all round the world. John Simpson has no interest in the facts. What interests him is the next cudgel to batter the evil Americans over the head with. Like a mopey sullen schoolboy who hates the schoolmaster, he can't bear to scrutinise things with the objectivity which might provide evidence contradictory to his prejudice. The number one rule in my media world would be, don't promote journalists whose personal psychology precludes them from being able to report the truth. Hence my quotation of Henry II's words. John Simpson believes that he is part of a monolithic truth-telling machine which is more important than politicians and voters. He believes that it is his job to enforce the views of this truth-telling machine on us simpletons. It is arrogance and hubris on a grand scale.
But as Thomas Becket discovered, pretending to power one does not actually have occasionally costs you a great deal.
Saturday, March 17, 2007
There is going to be no hiding place soon. According to this highly detailed article, As Sadiyah and Baqubah are playing host to two thousand Al Qaeda recently evicted from Baghdad. They are right now on the receiving end of a hefty battering by the almost invincible Stryker vehicles that have reduced IED fatalities significantly for the MNF. It seems that Gen Petraeus strategy predicted a flight from Baghdad as soon as the surge details were announced, and factored it in. Being chased around Iraq is highly dangerous for Al Qaeda in Iraq operatives, now that there are many areas where they are no longer welcome. Locals in many places now believe that the MNF/Iraqi forces outgun the insurgents, and therefore are happy to shop the latter when they become a nuisance. Unlike the many Sunni nationalist local fighters, most of AQinI operatives are foreigners and are easily detectable by Iraqi government Police and Army units.
Its much too early to declare victory, but the pieces of the puzzle are falling into place.
Reuters covers the erosion of Bush's - and, thanks to him, American - credibility on two fronts:
Four years after he began the Iraq war, a diminished President George W. Bush has sacrificed much of his domestic agenda and eroded U.S. credibility abroad in pursuit of the sort of nation-building he once scorned, analysts say.
And global warming:
"On two issues, the United States were the only ones who spoke against consensus," German Environment Minister Sigmar Gabriel told reporters at the end of the two-day meeting, which he chaired on behalf of Germany's G8 presidency.
What will happen if the US builds a successful democratic multi-ethnic secular society in Iraq, and if someone produces cast-iron evidence that human beings have not caused the earths climate to warm up? Both are entirely possible. According to the 'progessives', neither can happen. And if they do? Will shame and remorse sweep across their rainbow ranks? You know thats not going to happen. Why not? Is it too much to expect that people who constantly get things wrong because they can't be bothered to learn any facts apologise for yammering away constantly on the public airwaves?
Excellent exposition of the malignant psychology of Islam. Especially well described is the process by which the psychopathology of the founder becomes the normative behaviour model for the cult-like followers.
"The narcissists feel grandiose and self-important. They want to be acknowledged without commensurate merit. They want recognition and preferential treatment without feeling any obligation to reciprocate. They get their sense of self-importance by putting you down, criticizing you, decrying your world and disparaging your values, but you are not allowed to slight them. It is okay for them to violate your rights, abuse you and even kill you, but you are not supposed to mistreat them in the slightest way."
I would change that slightly- I believe that the sense of self-importance is derived from the utter conviction that Muhammad is God, pretty much, and that therefore every other religion is deficient. No other religion spends as much time as Islam touting their prophet, and defaming other religions for not recognising him. Christianity and Judaism are the main targets, although the religions that Islam met with later were treated with even greater disdain.
I believe one of Islams biggest problems is it arrived very late in a crowded market. Not only did Muhammad have to persuade Christians and Jews that he was the prophet, he had to contend with a myriad of long-established local religions in Arabia. The Koran is full of rancorous bile against all those around Muhammad in Arabia who just wouldn't believe his spluttering protestations, and rejected his prophethood. That left a legacy of bitterness that we see in Muslims today. The reason their prophet is so important to them is that unlike most of the worlds large religions, Islam has no universal moral foundations. It is a personality cult. The only absolutes in Islam are that all people must submit to the Muslim God and recognise Muhammad as his prophet. Violence for instance is OK if its directed against non-believers. There are no unequivocal condemnations of violence in the Koran, only violence against believers.
Judaism and Christianity are are a constant reminder that for millions in the Middle East in the seventh century, Muhammad did not succeed in his proselytising task. Men with AK-47's and daggers are currently trying to rectify that all over the Middle East, and with backpack bombs in Britain. As Ali Sina at FaithFreedom points out, Islam is the religion of bullies. And the last thing you do with bullies is give them an inch.
Friday, March 16, 2007
Very interesting confirmation of a trend which has just emerged in Iraq over at Iraq the Model. My sense from reading both MSM and blog info, particularly Milblogs, is that a genuine plain simple Iraqi nationalism is emerging. This simple non-fascistic nationalism is rising to replace sectarianism in some of the most unlikely places.
"At last Friday’s ceremony in a major Shia mosque by a senior Shia cleric — in Najaf no less — Tehran’s interference in Iraq was roundly criticized, calling it an interference that “is not in Iraq’s interest.”Another story notes the withdrawal of the Fadheela Party from the Shia bloc (the UIA). The Fadheela leaders said the reason for breaking away from the UIA was because the UIA didn’t act as a patriotic movement. This step stands as a challenge by the Arabic hierarchy of Yaqoubi (the Ayatollah behind Fadheela) to the Iranian-born Sistani and his hierarchy, combined with a call for nonsectarian political process."
Of course, there are still many blocs of die-hard sectarians who will probably have to be physically destroyed, but if this simple nationalism becomes widespread and covers all three major sections (Kurd north, Sunni centre and Shia south) Iraq will have a major chance of weathering this brutal storm. Many stories are emerging of local Sheikhs and Police chiefs fronting up to local militias and Islamists and winning the vital small local battles which will collectively turn the tide in this conflict. This is genuinely new. I would credit the surge at least in part for this affect. Also, the seemingly interminable nature of this conflict has its own strange logic. The longer the 'insurgency' has gone on, the less viable and meaningful it has become to many of the protagonists. Certainly many Sunni groups who were involved in the popular resistance to the 'occupiers' are now toying with joining up to the national government. High mortality rates and a national government that seems to be genuinely Iraqi and genuinely across-the-board both contribute to their changed mood, I'm guessing.
Iraq the Model does sound one note of warning: "All in all, things are not going the way Khamenie or Nejad were dreaming of just a few months ago. Overall the course of events recently in Iraq indicates the beginning of a severe fall for Iran’s stocks in Iraq.Of course we shouldn’t expect Iran to just sit back and not respond. I think an escalation in attacks by militias loyal to Iran will take place soon, especially outside Baghdad."
In a conversation yesterday, it was mooted that the Baghdad surge would simply move the problem elsewhere, as with Fallujah (not a proven case in my view). The crucial thing, as Gen Petraeus would point out, is that the Baghdad surge is no such thing- the point of the extra 22,000 US troops is to have a surge across the whole of the Sunni heartlands at the same time. A brief perusal of the total output of stories about individual unit actions over the last week or so reveals operations up and down the Sunni triangle. For that portion of the insurgency that is the Sunni nationalists, there is literally nowhere to hide. As far as I can tell, Al Qaeda in Iraq are on the run in many places, especially in those locations where the local population have become more nationalist. The Islamist world-view conflicts directly with nationalism of any variety, hence the waning fortunes of the former.
This insurgency is not over, but we may be seeing the beginning of the end.
Monday, March 12, 2007
The 300 has developed its own mini-industry of critical mock-horror. A common thread is to compare it directly with Nazi (as in Germany) propaganda. No shilly-shallying about with Soviet propaganda or any of the other propaganda that has existed since time immemorial. Noooooo. Nazi propaganda. I get the distinct impression that for many Americans and Europeans, there have really only ever been two significant historical times- Nazi Germany and Nazi America. Oddly, nobody mentions in these screeds how one of the great liberal causes of the last 250 years, the Greek fight for independence from the Ottoman empire, was sustained and overtly linked back to the original Greek war for independence from the all-conquering Persians. That was back when liberals tended to a) be better educated and b) understand what being a liberal implied. Hint: Liberals are meant to be on the side of freedom, not oppressive tyranny.
So I guess the reviewers are sympathetic to the present day Persians- the men who declare day after day their desire to conquer the world and force it to obey Allah and his messenger Moham-n-cheese. Men whose treatment of infidels, women, gays, Christians and everybody else who isn't one of them reminds me a bit of the Nazis. But I mustn't equate the two, must I? Although the facts fit rather better than comparing some filmmakers in Hollywood to Nazi propagandists. Still, the best thing to do really is describe things as they are, in the particular, without resorting to pointless and inaccurate historical parallels that you don't have any basis for... any movie critics reading?
Friday, March 09, 2007
According to George Monbiot, "The programme’s thesis revolves around the deniers’ favourite canard: that the “hockey-stick graph” showing rising global temperatures is based on a statistical mistake made in a paper by the scientists Michael Mann, Raymond Bradley and Malcolm Hughes(11)." The hockey-stick graph was mentioned exactly zero times in this documentary, which I watched last night.
Mr Monbiot then goes for ad hominem insult: "In 1997, the director, Martin Durkin, produced a very similar series for Channel 4 called “Against Nature”, which also maintained that global warming was a scam dreamt up by environmentalists. It was riddled with hilarious scientific howlers." Would Mr Monbiot like to tell us what they were? No. Didn't think he would.
We now enter the even more deranged world of the comments section-
"Global warming cannot be caused by Solar activity. For the following reasons. Since life has formed on earth the suns energy has increased from 25% output to 30%, yet the Earths surface temperature has remained the same. How? It is becayse the living Earth can adapt to it's environment (in this case the sun). What this program fails to recognise is that in order for the earth to maintain it's consistency in adapting to the ever-increasing heat, it needs for us HUMANS to not f**k it up by filling the skies with CO2 (thanks aircraft!). Consider this before you disregard humans as the cause for global warming." Can't spell, but can solve the worlds problems from his bedroom... The earths surface temperature has remained the same through the whole of its history? Okay, good argument. Did this guy actually watch the program?
"Climate change isn't a certainty, but when an enormous body of science tells me that something has a 90% probability I tend to believe it. I would question the objectivity of anyone in the non-scientific community who doesn't believe it." Really? If 100% of physicists believe that Newtonian physics pretty much covers all the bases, and one young scruffy Jewish scientist says actually it doesn't, and writes the proofs to demonstrate he is right, I guess that all the orthodox physicists are right because there are more of them...
According to the info on this blog, Rob Elliott, Matt Cole & David Maddison are environmental economists at the University of Birmingham, UK. What is an environmental economist? Does an environmental economist accept a priori that human activities on planet earth always have a 'cost'? If so, their conclusions must always be asterisked with doubt. For many ordinary people, human activity is just as legitimate as say, wolf activity or whale activity. But a whole industry based on human badness and human culpability has grown up, and for them human activity is a scourge and source of shame. How sad.
"Now, all of us take a deep breath, prepare to rethink our ideas about our ancestry. We're familiar of course with the idea that the English are descended from Anglo-Saxons, while most of the people in the rest of the British isles derived from Celtic ancestors, but now a medical geneticist is arguing that we can forget those Celtic ties. Deep down, we've far more in common with the Basques! Dr Steven Oppenheimer from Oxford University has written "The Origins of the British: a genetic detective story". So our ancestors were Basques not Celts, is that it in a nutshell? Yes."
Dr Oppenheimer then goes on to explain the genetic link between the Basque country and the British Isles. Turns out that two thirds of the native population of the British Isles are descended from that region straddling the Spanish-French border, and most of the other third are are descended from the first farmers to settle in these island between six and four thousand years ago. Who cares? Obviously not the BBC. Despite, or perhaps because, of the implications this has for the debate about immigration, there is no text story on the BBC covering this subject. If it turns out that rather than being in Britain for only one thousand five hundred years, two-thirds of the people in Britain have been here for eight to ten thousand years, and most of the rest for four-to-six thousand years, the great PC argument that 'we are all immigrants' here in Britain starts to look like the most desperate of garbage.
Prominence given to this story by the BBC? On the same page as this audio story, it has links to two other stories: 'Rare twin giraffes born in zoo' and a story about a video games conference in San Francisco. If the conclusions of Dr Oppenheimer were that actually most British people had arrived in Britain since 1600, I'm guessing there would have been a big story on the front page of the Beeb website, certainly a text story in the Nature/Science bit. This disgusting PC manipulation of inconvenient truths is very close to social engineering.
The idea that immigrants need to be molly-coddled by the media with fake stories about how we are all recent immigrants so they won't feel like such intruders is based on garbage reasoning. Immigrants ALWAYS feel like intruders into an alien place full of people unlike themselves- that is the lot of the migrant. I've done it and I know exactly what it feels like. But these PC idiocies do nothing to change the raw facts: over time, immigrants meld more or less successfully into the general population. Humans have been doing this for all recorded history and presumably long before. Its hard and stressful but after a few generations it happens. To try to sugar the pill by lying to immigrants is both stupid and unnecessary. Most immigrants have a much more hard-nosed view of moving to a new and alien land. Most take it for granted that life will be difficult until they learn the language, learn the culture and find a way to successfully live in this new situation.
That has not stopped our PC legions from developing The Utterly Moronic way of 'helping' people to migrate to Britain. This includes: giving migrants all their many government hand-outs IN THEIR OWN LANGUAGE, thereby precluding the necessity of learning English. Telling them over and over again that there is no reason to learn or adapt to British culture, they can keep their own GUARANTEEING conflict with British people who may not like Pakistani culturally-acceptable murder of relatives for instance, or African genital mutilation of women. And constantly excoriating the native population in print and on TV and on the radio about their terrible terrible racism, the end result of which is that new immigrants automatically assume that the British ARE racist (beyond the human norm).
Racism (a very poor replacement for the term in-group exclusivity) is endemic to humans. It is everywhere and in all people. Its also not a problem. Discrimination, the day-to-day punishment of people for being outsiders, is a problem. Dhimmitude is a perfect example of discrimination enacted into law. Britain has done a very effective job of suppressing discrimination, as have many countries in western Europe and North America. They have done this through legislation. In-group exclusivity, however is permanent and not open to legislative pressure. Neither should it be. You only have to look at individuals like Michael Portillo and Sgt Beharry to understand that In-group exclusivity very quickly allows the migrant to be in the group if they are successful at adapting to the groups norms and folkways. That should be the goal- not the formation of dozens of disgruntled, badly-adapted, politicised minorities all agitating for a better deal from the racist natives. I already hear a lot of chatter to this affect from New Labour, who have gone down that road and have reaped its awful harvest. Not so much from New Conservatives though. Will we spend another ten years while DaveC learns the same things?
"PM 'says Israel pre-planned war'"
You don't have to be a conspiracy nut to understand exactly how that headline will be read by the millions upon millions of Jew-haters across Britain and the world: Israel conspired to provoke the war in South Lebanon (for its own devious purposes.
The mundane truth that EVERY country has established military doctrines about what to do in certain statistically likely scenarios confronting it will not intrude into the caterwauling that will now follow this 'revelation'. Germany had the Schlieffen plan concocted many years before world war one. It then used this plan not once but twice, the second time successfully, because Germany's geographic situation means that its permanent number one enemy is France. Sadly, Israels permanent number one enemy is the whole of the Ummah. So it has, one presumes, a cast-iron contingency plan for invasion and attack from every one of its neighbors; even plans covering its near-non-neighbors too. The 'revelation' of this fact is not interesting except to BBC journos and the Muslim conspiracy theorists. I don't know who I loathe more.
Thursday, March 01, 2007
How come I didn't read about this on the BBC website? Fifty million dollars is not pocket change. If people knew about the vast scale of Irans efforts to ignite civil war in Iraq, they might think Iran needed a good kicking. But surely the BBC wouldn't suppress information like that?