Saturday, January 31, 2009

What do you do when you're wrong?

'How predictions for Iraq came true

By John Simpson
BBC World Affairs Editor

It was a few weeks before the invasion of Iraq, three years ago. I was interviewing the Saudi Foreign Minister, Prince Saud al-Faisal, in the ballroom of a big hotel in Cairo. Shrewd, amusing, bulky in his superb white robes, he described to me all the disasters he was certain would follow the invasion.

The US and British troops would be bogged down in Iraq for years. There would be civil war between Sunnis and Shias. The real beneficiary would be the government in Iran.

"And what do the Americans say when you tell them this," I asked? "They don't even listen," he said.

Over the last three years, from a ringside seat here in Baghdad, I have watched his predictions come true, stage by stage.'

I haven't seen John Chimpson recently. He seems to be semi-retired or something. I certainly did not see him today on BBC news, reporting from a very quiet and busy Baghdad where everybody Iraqi was voting. Again. In another PROPER election. In peace. In a country which controls its own borders, is not run by murderous Ba'athist thugs nor even more murderous Al Qaeda scumbags, and is quietly turning into a huge, rather pleasant, well-organised democracy, as planned and executed by the United States under the leadership of George W Bush.

Darn it, where is Chimpy McReporter when you need him? He is so fat, I rather predict he is in the nearest kebab shop, eating the extra large one. Yep, when you're wrong, you hide, and overeat.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

A hundred years ago

'Exactly 100 years after two robbers went on a shooting rampage in a London suburb, the dead victims are being officially remembered. But the shocking details of the "Tottenham Outrage" still offer parallels with current events.

It sounds like a scene from a Hollywood movie - two outlaws rampaging through the streets chased by police and public, while firing more than 400 rounds of ammunition at their pursuers.

Throw in concerns about politically-motivated terrorists, uncontrolled immigration and police tactics not keeping pace with the villains' methods, and you have a thoroughly modern seeming incident.

But this was 23 January 1909. The two robbers killed a police officer and a 10-year-old boy in Tottenham, north London, as they tried to escape with the £80 wages they had snatched from a rubber factory.'

This could not happen today.

'As well as representing a shift in the history of criminality in the UK, the episode was remarkable for the response of the officers and passers-by, says local historian Martin Belam.

"You also have to think about how brave the police were. The two robbers were shooting to kill, over 20 people were injured. They were constantly firing back into the crowd.

"Ordinary citizens joined in the chase in a display of civic values I'm not sure you would get today."'

Thats why. Armed citizens defended their community with gusto. Now we are pathetic sheep, at the mercy of knife and gun wielding thugs. Fantastic.

Aux Barricades,7340,L-3661576,00.html

'Pro-Israel rally crashed in Sweden

Protestors gathered to support Israel were pelted with eggs and bottles, then dispersed by police

A pro-Israel rally in Malmo, Sweden was torn apart Sunday by pro-Palestinian residents who arrived on the scene with eggs, bottles, and tear gas grenades which they threw at Israel's supporters. Police dispersed the entire crowd.

"At some point, about a half an hour after the protest began, pro-Palestinian protestors began to throw eggs, bottles, and even a tear gas grenade," Elad Meier, a Bnei Akiva and Jewish Agency envoy to Sweden, recounted.

Meier added that the lawless protestors disconnected the speakers brought to the square by the Jewish community while its leader was speaking. The act brought the pro-Israel rally to an end, as others could not speak.'

It begins. We will not submit.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Your President?

'Restoring our place in the world community, one missile at a time'

As Glenn Reynolds would say, who are the Rubes? Who got the President they wanted in 2008? If you voted for 'peace', President Obama ain't your man.


The gloves are off

'Rivals break with BBC in Gaza row

ITV, Channel 4 and Five are to show a charity appeal for Gaza amid a row over the BBC's decision not to run the film.

Ministers urged the BBC to recognise "immense human suffering" and show the Disasters Emergency Committee appeal.

At least 200 people protested in London at the BBC's decision. The corporation fears compromising its impartiality in covering the Israeli offensive in Gaza.'

I make no claims to impartiality. I support Israel against its enemies.

Why can't the BBC play this charity appeal? Because most of the groups who are conducting it are not impartial either. They are plainly, unequivocally pro-palestinian. They have claimed in the past to be anti-war, pro-peace, and hidden at least to some extent their bias. But in the last battle fought between Israel and Hamas, they have shown their true colours. Much of the money now being collected will inevitably fall into the hands of Hamas. Most of the organisations involved in this appeal are perfectly at ease with that fact. Many secretly want Hamas to rearm and take the fight to Israel. These organisations are largely peopled with palestinian-lovers. You only needed to listen to their screeching and moaning during the conflict about the terrible humanitarian disaster which they fantasised.

Why does any of this matter? Because the ground has shifted. The BBC understands that this appeal is not politically neutral. It understands that it takes no note of Israeli suffering, only arab suffering. It also knows that the 'humanitarian disaster' is no such thing. Over and over again the BBC showed and described 70 and 80 truck convoys entering the Gaza strip during the battle, and also reported on the three hour daily truces during which people could fetch food, water and fuel. The money donated during this appeal will not go to feed starving people- there aren't any. It will go to buying new Qassams and Grads, and rebuilding the infrastructure of a terrorist regime.

According to lefties I've spoken to, we in the west are not allowed to fight our enemies. Because of our inherent oppressiveness and colonial original sin, we must just submit. Well, let me tell you, the will is building amongst millions in the free world to take on our enemies, fight them, and defeat them. If need be, annihilate them. And what of those amongst us who constantly militate for the victory of our enemies? What indeed.

Government rides to the rescue

'But White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs countered: "There was a lot of agreement in that room about the notion that we're facing an economic crisis unlike we've seen in quite some time ... that we must act quickly to stimulate the economy, create jobs, put money back in people's pockets."'

When did that EVER happen? Apart from when governments just get the hell out of the way, don't increase the hazards and overheads, and lower taxes, when do governments EVER 'stimulate the economy, create jobs, put money back in people's pockets'. Do these fuckwits not know any 20th century history at all?

Socialists WANT this pipe dream to be true. They want government to magic everything better, they want to develop the all-powerful, all-knowing, all-controlling state which directs businesses in how and when and what to produce, and who to employ and for how long and in what conditions. Thats definitely what they want. But every single time theyve got it, it has done the diametric opposite of 'stimulate the economy, create jobs, put money back in people's pockets'.

The Soviet Union crumbled because the arse fell out of the Russian economy. After a while, the cumulative effect of economic collapse was demoralisation, political discontent and the failure of crucial systems. Is there a risk that the US will go the same way? Only Robert Gibbs and the other Dem morons would doubt it.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Geez, he's stoooooooooopid

'Roberts, one of former President George W. Bush's appointees on the high court, led the way. But, when he reached the phrase, "that I will faithfully execute the office of president of the United States,'' Roberts at first omitted the word "faithfully'' - he re-inserted it after "president of the United States.''

Obama paused, not taking the miscue at first.

So Roberts repeated the phrase correctly, inserting "faithfully" in the right order: "faithfully execute the office of president of the United States."

Yet Obama then repeated Roberts' original misstatement - "the office of president of the United States faithfully."'

Now, it would be very tempting to mock Mr Obama as an oaf who can't put a few words together in a simple phrase without screwing it up, calling into question his IQ, and laughing uproariously at this hick from Illinios. What sort of people would we be if we did that?

Monday, January 19, 2009

Tanks and beliefs

Why Israel Can’t Make Peace With Hamas

Very interesting and insightful piece in of all things the New York Times.

At the end, though, we find this mystifying assertion:

'There is a fixed idea among some Israeli leaders that Hamas can be bombed into moderation. This is a false and dangerous notion. It is true that Hamas can be deterred militarily for a time, but tanks cannot defeat deeply felt belief.

The reverse is also true: Hamas cannot be cajoled into moderation. Neither position credits Hamas with sincerity, or seriousness.'

There is a mix of ideas there, many dubious in nature. Is there a fixed idea among Israeli leaders that Hamas can be bombed to moderation, or to oblivion? Even if the 'bombed to moderation' idea is held by actual Israeli leaders, is it so obviously false? I'm not so sure. The Soviets and the British and the Americans had a fixed idea that the Germans could be bombed, blasted, machine-gunned into moderation. That worked out pretty well, by the time hundreds of thousands had gone to meet their long-term host down under. Even in the last sixty years, many many groups of homicidal thugs have been smashed to pieces, killed, wiped out (Sierra Leone anyone?). What makes Hamas so different, one wonders? 'Tanks cannot defeat deeply held beliefs'? What a crock. Tell that to the people of Tibet, who watch as every passing year, their religion and culture are systematically destroyed by the people with the tanks, ie the Chinese. Tell that to the people of northern Ceylon, who are now going to be ruled by Sinhalese whether they like it or not, and whether their religion and culture are respected or not.

Bismarks comment about 'God is on the side with the most divisions' is a swipe at the sentimentalists and those who believe that evil can never triumph over good. If we want to protect our values and our ideas, we have to have tanks, aircraft carriers and missiles and use them against murderous thugs who hate our values and ideas. The US just got done doing a whole load of that in Iraq, and Israel has just got through three weeks of doing that in Gaza.

I think what Mr Goldberg is saying is not that you CAN'T defeat deeply held belief with tanks; but that you musn't. Its a liberal cri-de-coeur, an insistence that we behave in a 'civilised' way. His further statement about Hamas's imperviousness to verbal blandishments is honest and truthful, but then he goes on to spoil that. 'Neither position credits Hamas with sincerity, or seriousness.' So, let me work out what he's saying: the idea that Hamas can be bombed to moderation does not credit Hamas with sincerity or seriousness. What bollocks. It is precisely because the Knesset believe that Hamas are sincere and serious that they are willing to expend huge sums of money, political capital and the lives of its precious IDF soldiers in the attempt to destroy it utterly. Its either that, or wait while Hamas produce tens of thousands of young fanatic wannabee shahids in Gazas schools, arm them with effective modern weapons, and launch them upon southern Israel.

Only the most laggardly and stupid government would allow that to gestate on its borders. And Israel has some pretty good leaders, even now.

Going nowhere fast

'Friedman frequently uses a rhetorical technique that goes something like this: “I was in Dubai with the general counsel of BP last year, watching 500 Balinese textile workers get on a train, when suddenly I said to myself, ‘We need better headlights for our tri-plane.’” And off he goes.'

Its called the Grandad Simpson school of public discourse.

Self-congratulatory Media

Balancing act in an asymmetric war, by Chris Curtis, Broadcast Magazine, 16th Jan 2009.

I read through this piece expecting to find mealy- mouthed justification and plain lying, and I was not disappointed.

'BBC World News editor John Williams says the ban on journalists travelling into Gaza has made reports from around the region all the more important' Er, that doesn't make any sense. If the story is in Gaza, how does a piece from Ankara shed light on it? Making even less sense are his quoted words "Because we have bureau in Gaza, Ramallah, Jerusalem, Cairo and Beirut, we can put the pieces of the jigsaw together". I thought you said you couldn't get into Gaza, and now you say you've got a whole bloody bureau there? So lets see, there was no ban on journalists travelling into Iraq, yet the BBC coverage from there was appalling- scanty, biased and highly selective. Yet Gaza has a permanent bureau. How many 'bureau' staff do you need to cover one tiny strip of land so narrow you can see all the way across it?

'...Channel 4 News foreign editor Ben de Pear: "I've been surprised by the extent to which Israel has attempted to control the story, but Gaza is a chaotic place and it hasn't been as watertight as it wanted". There's one in the eye for those evil Israelis huh? Sadly Bendy doesn't mention any actual things that Israel did in 'attempting to control the story'. I hear and read that a lot, but nobody has mentioned any actual things done by Israel. They excluded the international journos from Gaza, but how many would have actually walked into that maelstrom of missiles, mortars and jdams? Not only that, but EVERY SINGLE BBC piece included the exclusion 'warning' at the beginning.

There is this hilarious bit of flummery at the end- 'Perhaps the best way to ensure impartiality is to be criticised for bias in equal measure by both sides'. Really? That rule would stand up to zero critical thought. Impartiality would mean reporting what happened, regardless of whose 'narrative' it suited. It would mean gathering the facts, and then relaying them to the audience, in as straightforward way as possible. But British politics (and let it never be forgotten that the BBC is a state broadcaster) means that telling the unalloyed truth about what goes on in Israel and its environs would send the muslims in Britain into paroxysms of anti-British hate. British muslims are very very easy to piss off, have no self-control or desire for self-control, and allow themselves to be used by extremists all the time to blackmail our politicians and civil society. Straight reporting of the facts about palestinian arab stupidity and self-destruction would 'enflame community relations', so it doesn't happen.

I watched many news bulletins during the three weeks of military ops, and not once did I hear anybody on the BBC refer to Hamas as a terrorist organisation, despite the fact that the US, Britain, Canada and the EU all have Hamas on their list of proscribed terrorist organisations. If I go out and collect money on the street corner for Hamas, I can go to prison. Yet this article calls them 'an irregular band of guerilla fighters with inferior firepower and medical infrastructure.' You know, a bit like Robin Hood. Enormous quantities of relevant facts were omitted from broadcast after broadcast about these merry men. Many times it was mentioned that Hamas won an election in Gaza; never mentioned was the disgusting little war which followed the election, where Fatah operatives and politicians were murdered in the street, thrown from buildings and tortured to death. Also strangely absent is any mention of the NEXT election, which everybody in the media know will never occur because there is now no opposition of any kind to Hamas in Gaza.

Over and over again, TV broadcasts presented the same rigid set of 'facts': the palestinian casualty count, the proportion (pure guesswork) of civilian casualties, the number of days the Israelis had been bombarding, a run-through of which cities had anti-Israel marches and some boilerplate about 'terrible destruction'. And of course, that they couldn't report from inside Gaza because of the dastardly Israelis.

Missing from these reports? Every kind of historical context, military assessment and political analysis. In the same way that stories about the IRA and northern Ireland never mentioned the REASON why Catholic ulstermen wanted to kill and maim Protestant ulstermen (and vice versa), we pick up the story as if it just started last weekend. The story doesn't even reach back as far as the Israeli withdrawal from Gush Khatif and the rest of the strip. I remember only one broadcast that mentioned this extremely pertinent fact. Every broadcast from the BBC belittled Qassams and BM-21s, making out that they were annoying firecrackers. Wouldn't we all love to see every BBC newsreader have to put up with incoming Qassams for three years. There was virtually no reporting of the military situation- no effort to analyze the tactics being used by both sides, no effort to devine intent or mission goals. Thats probably because as soon as you start analysing Hamas's tactics, things start getting disgusting. Who stores their explosives unders schools, mosques and family homes, other than vile barbarians? Can you imagine if it was the Israelis doing that?

There was no political analysis of why Hamas had provoked this confrontation with Israel. No BBC person I saw at any stage seemed interested in that vital issue. Forget for a moment the issue of land rights: what about simple rational calculation of interest? How could it possibly be rational to provoke Israel to tear apart the Gaza strip to destroy Hamas, when the human catastrophe would be inevitable? Never heard a peep. Presumably the BBC has bought into the idea that sacrificing Gazan civilian lives on the altar of Hamas propaganda is worth it in the long haul. Utterly disgusting.

The penultimate paragraph says 'The consensus among broadcasters is that the industry worked hard to produce strong, balanced coverage of a politically and emotionally sensitive conflict'. Can't... express... feelings... words... won't... come...

The work is unfinished

'A spokesman for Hamas' military wing, Abu Ubaida, said its rocket capabilities had not been affected by the conflict.

"We hereby stress that our rockets are being developed and are piling up, and that the enemy will receive more rockets and God willing, our rockets will hit more targets," he said in a news conference broadcast live on Hamas' al-Aqsa TV.'

I hoped, as did millions around the world, that Israel would carry on until Hamas was a dark smudge on the ground. Hard to do, but essential. How many parallels will Hamas draw with Hezbollah in 2006? A lot. How many parallels will Israeli voters make with the same event? We'll see.

I'm thinking Netanyahu will be the next Israeli PM.

How Hamas are You?,22049,24921007-5001030,00.html

'12-40: Shalom, Schlomo! What are you doing completing a quiz during the Sabbath? For shame.

41-80: You have the potential to be a loyal and valuable Hamas supporter, yet you exhibit worrying signs of reasonableness and sanity.

81-120: Congratulations, honorary Hamas operative! Your solidarity with the struggle is duly noted. Now, let's see if this modest, home-made Semtex vest fits you.'

This is a web quiz I can get on board with. Thank God a few people in the world still have a bracing sense of humour. Much Kudos to Tim Blair.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Just askin'

HRT 'can shrink women's brains'

What about watching 'Sex and the City' and shoe shopping?

NSS Goes Global

'Admit It: The Surge Worked

By Peter Beinart
Sunday, January 18, 2009; Page B07

It's no longer a close call: President Bush was right about the surge. According to Michael O'Hanlon and Jason Campbell of the Brookings Institution, the number of Iraqi war dead was 500 in November of 2008, compared with 3,475 in November of 2006. That same month, 69 Americans died in Iraq; in November 2008, 12 did.' [Hat Tip: Instapundit]

In other news, shit smells bad, smoking is not all that good for you, and poking yourself in the eye sorta hurts.

Peter Beinart may wonder in the odd moment why nobody else is discussing the surge. Thats because we listened to the soldiers and General Petraeus. Peter Beinart, moron.

Israel and Pakistan: A question of legitimacy

'The massacres in Gaza are the latest phase of a war that Israel has been waging against the people of Palestine for more than 60 years. The goal of this war has never changed: to use overwhelming military power to eradicate the Palestinians as a political force, one capable of resisting Israel's ongoing appropriation of their land and resources. Israel's war against the Palestinians has turned Gaza and the West Bank into a pair of gigantic political prisons. There is nothing symmetrical about this war in terms of principles, tactics or consequences. Israel is responsible for launching and intensifying it, and for ending the most recent lull in hostilities.

Israel must lose. It is not enough to call for another ceasefire, or more humanitarian assistance. It is not enough to urge the renewal of dialogue and to acknowledge the concerns and suffering of both sides. If we believe in the principle of democratic self-determination, if we affirm the right to resist military aggression and colonial occupation, then we are obliged to take sides... against Israel, and with the people of Gaza and the West Bank.

We must do what we can to stop Israel from winning its war. Israel must accept that its security depends on justice and peaceful coexistence with its neighbours, and not upon the criminal use of force.

We believe Israel should immediately and unconditionally end its assault on Gaza, end the occupation of the West Bank, and abandon all claims to possess or control territory beyond its 1967 borders. We call on the British government and the British people to take all feasible steps to oblige Israel to comply with these demands, starting with a programme of boycott, divestment and sanctions.'
Signed by a bunch of humanities lecturers.

Can there be anything under the sun less potent and more self-defeating than these humanities lecturers and their footling letter? Far from rallying around the palestinian arab cause, more and more people round the globe are drifting away from it. Specifically, many of the nations that surround Israel are now either ambiguous about them, or becoming decidedly tired of the frozen-in-time platitudes of the sixty year intifada.

Quick question for the humanities guys (and gals, if you can call them that): the military question has been posed to the Israelis about twelve times over the last sixty years, and on every single occasion they have answered with victory. What possible point is there to call for them to lose when they just won't?

Packing a rucksack, flying to Israel and trying to murder Israelis might make a difference. Collecting money and buying guns and missiles for the intifada might make a difference. Spying and passing information to the intifada guys might make some slight difference. But writing a letter to the Guardian, which already despises Israel and wishes its destruction isn't going to make the slightest difference.

These are the main arguments, so far as I can discern them: Israel is the new South Africa, an apartheid state. Israel is the new Nazi Germany, because of its 'holocaust' against the palestinians. Israel is an illigitimate imposition upon muslim lands by America and Britain. Israel is not defending itself, it is attacking the palestinians and trying to exterminate them.

If you want a REAL parallel in history for Israel, the best one is Pakistan. Pakistan never existed before in the history of mankind - it was an invention of the dastardly British empire. Check if you don't believe me. For some reason, the British decided to create a muslim homeland, and cut it from whole Indian cloth. Its borders were completely arbitrary, and removed an enormous area of fertile land from ancient India. The creation of Pakistan generated hundreds of thousands of muslim refugees heading north west, and hundreds of thousands of Hindu refugees heading south east. Pakistan and India fought a series of wars, in which many many thousands died, mostly in the first, bloodiest encounter. So far so similar.

The differences start quite soon after the wars of creation, however. Crucially, the UN had nothing to say about the many hundreds of thousands of refugees between Pakistan and India; thats why we don't still talk about Pakistani refugees or Indian refugees, but we do talk about palestinian refugees. We just talk about Pakistanis and Indians. See how that works? The UN froze the Palestinian refugees in time, after they walked out (or were chased out) in 1948. There are still refugee camps in Jordan, Egypt and Lebanon, SIXTY YEARS LATER, still paid for by the UN, still under the nominal control of UNWRA. How NOT to solve a problem.

The palestinian 'refugees' are used as a permanent reason for Israel not to exist. So despite the fact that Pakistan is less legitimate in every way than Israel, given that the former was created by the dastardly British; Israel, which was created by the United Nations General Assembly by a democratic vote, is now the one whose legitimacy as a nation is constantly denied.

During the war of Pakistans creation, many many thousands of Hindus were murdered as they tried to flee to India. During the war of Israels creation, fought the same year (1948), a few hundred palestinian arabs were murdered during the exchanges of population. Guess which country is constantly harangued by its 2009 critics for those six decades old dastardly deeds? I'll give you a clue. Nobody gives a shiny shit about nameless Hindus, just like they don't give a SS about nameless Congolese.

The original 1947 UN borders of Israel gave the Jews 55% of the territory of Mandate Palestine, and did not include Jerusalem at all. The latter was intended to be controlled by the UN as an 'international' zone. It would have been a very odd shaped country, and in no sense defensible militarily. But the Jews accepted it! There was great singing and rejoicing among Jews when the UN voted Israel into existence, even though it was such a piffling little thing. But instead of accepting this tiny, non-problematic Israel, the arabs decided to wipe it out. But they couldn't, and Israel grew quite dramatically, and gained at least somewhat defensible borders. Do you see how the arabs are serially responsible for snatching defeat from the jaws of victory?

On the other hand, the Indians, while abhorring what was done to their nation by the British in snatching a great swathe of territory to create a completely artificial muslim state where none had existed before, did not spend the next sixty years denying Pakistans existence, campaigning amongst witless British lecturers to support them in the destruction of the illigitimate pakistani entity and inventing all kinds of ludicrous 'crimes' with which to libel them. Perhaps they should have. Maybe Israel would have an easier time defending itself on the world stage if there was a direct muslim equivalent (which there is) constantly being debated.

Maybe there is declining support for the pali cause because the arguments they present are so overwhelmingly weak; they don't stand up to the merest scrutiny by vaguely objective people. Israel is a legitimate state. Pakistan may not be.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Hear the roar of the lefty gatekeepers

Rick Sanchez of CNN brought forcefully to mind a number of tactical issues which the democrats have 'learned' over the last ten years- since the Clinton White House went into terminal meltdown over Monica Lewinsky. These tactical issues are mostly to do with media.

The first is, as soon as any non-democrat controlled media comes into existence, spend every minute in every possible forum painting it as black as possible. So, Fox news is not just centrist/conservative. No No. It is a raging torrent of fascist propaganda and foaming-at-the-mouth xenophobia. It is the mouthpiece for the KKK, the John Birch Society, and the guy down your block who wants to murder any latinos who won't go back to Mexico.

Secondly, any democrat who does something scurrilous in public office, their private life, or business will not be identified as a democrat. All Republicans who do something bad will be identified prominently as a Republican.

Thirdly, the gatekeepers of democrat orthodoxy will not let any mere blogger or home-grown journo like Joe the Journalist participate in the media game. Unless the dem gatekeepers have exclusive access, how can they ever hope to complete their task of restructuring our conception of reality so we will accept abject failure as success? Defeat as victory? Hate as love? Restriction as freedom? Immorality as moral? Self-loathing as self-criticism? Dependency as true independence?

Fourthly, their are no holds barred in the hiding of evidence which does not support our goals. There is no sin of omission in the dem media playbook.

Lastly, there are no ideology-free zones. Every event in every place in the world at any time is a good opportunity to vilify, castigate and lie about Republicans/patriotic Americans. The Iraq war is the most recent and most extreme example, but there have been countless going back to the mid-sixties. Extreme mockery and sarcasm are good weapons when trying to persuade the viewership of the malign intentions and behaviour of Republicans. The 'cynicism' of Jon Stewart and Michael Moore stand in here for all the aforementioned.

My question would be, when is the fight-back? When are conservatives in the vaguely free world going to actually get to grips with their lefty (mostly communist) enemies? I would strongly encourage them not to leave it much longer, or they will represent only a tiny minority anywhere in the world.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

I get it

'Entropa portrays Bulgaria as a toilet, Romania as a Dracula theme-park and France as a country on strike....

The Netherlands is shown as series of minarets submerged by a flood - a possible reference to the nation's simmering religious tensions.

Germany is shown as a network of motorways vaguely resembling a swastika, while the UK - criticised by some for being one of EU's most eurosceptic members - is absent from Europe altogether....

The 16-square-metre (172-square-foot) work was installed at the weekend to mark the start of the six-month Czech presidency of the EU.'

That is just fantastic. Isn't that called speaking truth to power, or is that only something 'shocking' lefty artists are allowed to do?

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

BS on Gitmo

'Obama to act early on Guantanamo

Barack Obama will issue an executive order within days of entering the White House to close the Guantanamo detention centre, senior advisers have confirmed.'

But whats this?

'...experts say it is likely to take many months, perhaps as long as a year, to empty the prison that has drawn international criticism since it received its first prisoners seven years ago this week. One transition official said the new administration expected that it would take several months to transfer some of the remaining 248 prisoners to other countries, decide how to try suspects and deal with the many other legal challenges posed by closing the camp.'

A week is a long time in politics. A year is... longer. I'm going to make a prediction. In a year, Gitmo will still be open, and all the lefty wankers who have been screeching about it for the last six years will have triangulated their positions. Because St Obama will be in charge, Gitmo will become strangely benign, a holding pen rather than a torturers hide-away. The cushyness of the place will be revealed lovingly by the New York Times and Washington Post, including the haute cuisine food and the free korans.

Gitmo is a symbol- a symbol of the deranged response the left took to the events set in motion by 9/11, and Americas fight-back against a determined foe. Apparently, America is not allowed to fight its enemies, and if it does, it has to keep to an enormous set of rules dictated to it by the ACLU, the Council for American-Islamic Relations and the bien-pensants of San Francisco. If men in t-shirts and jeans attack it, hiding behind the locals and attacking mostly civilian targets, we are to treat them... well, how are we to treat them? According to the Geneva Convention, they have broken the laws of War and are therefore not protected by the convention. In normal wars, they would be shot or hung.

Instead, America invented Gitmo. Vile criminal terrorists are held there for indefinite periods, quizzed and shaken up with psych warfare techniques, and eventually released with no charges. They are so so lucky. Many of them wander back to the battlefields of south Asia to resume their disgusting deeds.

The people who should be angry, in a world that made sense, would be the people whose relatives are murdered by these Gitmo inmates. Especially the ones whose precious family members died at the hands of released Gitmo inmates.

Mr Obama has committed himself to really fighting the war in Afghanistan. Good. But what will he do with the inevitable surge of individuals caught on the battlefield out of uniform, hiding their weapons, using civilians as cover? Take them all back to the US to be tried? Shoot them on the battlefield, as combatant nations have done in every previous conflict? Or has he got some humane method of incarceration and punishment yet to be revealed?

If he comes up with something more humane than Gitmo, I'll eat my Biro.

On second thoughts...

Anton: [from the Comments. I know, I lied, I'm sorry]
'I think that the real problem that the MSM types have is that the IDEA that anyone else can access the information flow is a threat. I veiw [sic] it this way; They have for years been the only ones with access to the “information bank” they doled out what type, and how much, of the total information that came to them. Now it seems that anybody with the money and the balls to go into a combat area can provide news.

This is a threat to their carefully constructed narrative. Michael Yon and Michael Totten have been doing this for several years now, but compared to TV their coverage has relatively less exposure. Joe is well-known (in a way that neither of the Michaels are) so he is an instant draw. The MSM feel the need to denigrate him so as to try to dissuade viewers from tuning in. They are afraid that people will like him and Rivera and Olbermann will be history.'

I would replace the words 'carefully constructed narrative' with 'rigid control of access to the oracle'. We have a situation now where motivated individuals are going out, doing journalism, writing it on blogs/websites, and picking up tens of thousands, maybe hundreds of thousands of readers. They are cutting out the gatekeepers: the news editors and editorial committees. If they are doing the job well, there is every prospect of them collectively eliminating the news editors and editorial committees altogether over time. If you work for one of the media churches, this is a pretty scary prospect. I hate to admit it, but I think this may be primary motive behind the vicious denunciations of Joe the Journalist.

Imagine: you could be a journalist, get rich AND piss off Reuters and AFP. Now stop shoving, there's enough gravy for everybody.

Right wing celebrity in a lefty age

'As I write this, comments on the various Pajamas Media posts, including mine, on Joe the Plumber’s journey to Israel for PJTV are approaching one thousand - or perhaps they have already passed that figure.'

Why can't the lefties just bask in all their good fortune, and quit hassling over a few bits and pieces that just didn't go their way?

Here is the overall situation for the left as I see it:

- George W Bush is just about to leave office
- The first black POTUS, a democrat with lefty leanings, is about to take office
- Both the House of Representatives and the Senate in the US Congress have democrat majorities
- About 90% of the staff in the US mainstream media are democrats and lefties, often the same people
- The right in the US seems leaderless, idea less, stumbling and morally bankrupt

So why do you suppose they are dog piling on Joe the Plumber, a straight-talking, no-nonsense old-school American who dared to ask the Anointed One a question he wasn't ready to answer, resulting in a minor disaster for Obama? The latters' attempt at an answer came perilously close to advocating socialism, something which less than five percent of Americans endorse, and which hundreds of millions hate.

So after his big question, Joe the Plumber became a right-wing celebrity pin-up. He wrote a book, is going on a book tour, and is currently in Israel doing some pick-up reporting on the situation there.

So why has he become the object of extreme bile and loathing for the lefties? Just what is there about this guy that gets under their skin so much, at a time when they should all be out every night getting pissed in celebration?

I suspect its because he crashes through the zeitgeist, refuses to bow down before its little gods, has a firm moral compass, and doesn't give off any whiff of subservience or apology. He is a real man in an age of metro sexual girlymen. He does a real job with real dirt and sweat. He looks people in the eye, and assumes that he is neither superior nor inferior. He is not particularly academic, but has a firm grip on the important issues that affect him.

But the clincher for me is his affection for Israel. He is happy to let us know that he is on Israels side. For someone with THAT prejudice to go to Gaza and report is a disaster. The lefties thought they had that shindig all sown up. They have an almost choke-hold on the media outlets currently reporting from Gaza, so the TV screens and computer monitors and newspaper pages are heaving with very thinly veiled palestinian propaganda. The idea that someone, somewhere might be putting out an Israeli-friendly stream of stories makes these spoilt children immensely angry. Just go read the comments Mr Simon is talking about. I would put a few in this post, but I actually can't bear to read them again.

One day, lefties might grow up and count their blessings. But if Sean Penn is anything to go by, they won't.

Top Headline of the Week

'Did David Bowie Cause the Credit Crunch?'

With a headline like that, who's gonna walk on by? My immediate thought was, so it was David Bowie who suggested giving loans and mortgages to tens of millions of bad-risk Americans, in some kind of deranged social engineering experiment. But instead it credits David Bowie with inventing securitisation as a financial instrument. Now, I absolutely don't believe that is true. But as I'm not an expert on derivatives, somebody is going to have to debunk this one for me.

But I'd bet a very large pizza, plus six pack of cold ones, that David Bowie was nowhere near the inventor of securitisation when he/she invented it.

I could be wrong, but I really really don't think so.

Monday, January 12, 2009

A modest proposal to engage in violence


commenter retorted: “There’s no way an American would use the word ‘Jap’ to describe a Japanese, or ‘Chink’ for Chinese.” Good point. One observes that, as with the condensation of “Pakistani” into “Paki,” both “Jap” and “Chink” have the effect of abbreviation, and perhaps there is a derogatory intent implied in depriving these groups of an extra syllable or two.

No way an American would use words like Jap, Flip, Chicommie, NORK, frog, russkie, Mex, beaner, canuck, nip, limey, raghead? Please, what planet are you on…

Rich Johnston - And while indeed some groups reclaim terms of sbuse, if you were to walk through Brick Lane in London shouting “Paki” at people you walked past… well, you might not get to the end of the street.

Time and time again, we are told that the demand to not use a “hurtful word” is reinforced and made morally correct by the possibility the “aggrieved, offended” might respond with violence. So we all best watch what we say, or we might be injured or killed by the angry insulted.
That sort of reminds me of the homosexuals who thought it was safe to Mormon-bash in their street theater of outrage, but go nowhere near anti-Prop 8 black and hispanic churches and neighborhoods.
If violence works, then we should be ready to accept both sides employing the threat of it. I walk down Brick Lane in London Metro and say Paki all I want and the Pakis keep their knives put away because they know 2 years before that they tried stabbing a couple of skinheads to death for saying it and the skinheads pulled out shotguns and wasted 8 followers of Allah. After that, all violence, or threats of violence seemed to abate about “Paki”.
Same in the USA..if black women started killing Niggahs for calling all black ladies bitches, ‘hos, and skank sluts…black male rap and street lingo would rapidly get modified.
And if in Canada, some person that ran afoul of the Human Rights Councils on PC responded by killing a few Canadian “activist lawyers” - PC prosecutions would become a lot rarer.

Hate to think it, but your free speech rights may be substantially improved if they are backed with a threat of violence, just as speech is intimidated by the other side attacking you physically, through the legal system, threatening your job. And people using PC to assault those they disagree with, like the homosexuals…appear greatly deterred by the possibility of violent backlash against them.

Food for thought.
Like - How much would men’s rights in PC Family Court be improved with a few salutory feminist, judge or lawyer shootings? I think it would only take a half dozen men screwed out of their kids, home, most of what they saved, and half their income for the next 15 years to “take one for the team…” to have a big effect on court fairness.

Free speech is influenced by violence. PC is influenced by the lack of violence it meets in efforts to attack offenders and punish them through courts, employers, even threats or actual physical violence.'

Jan 12, 2009 - 5:27 am

This comment is well worth thinking about. I have been bemused over the last couple of weeks by the extreme difference in the attitude of the lefties and the media (often the same people) to words spoken by those on the right, and to words spoken by their protected groups. In the same week that Prince Harry is hauled over the coals for a bit of light-hearted banter in an army barracks, numerous people have stood in the streets of our large Western cities and called for Jews to be taken to gas chambers to be murdered. The first, we are told, is inexcusable insult, which will cause great anger and possibly violence. The second, we are told, is rhetorical flourish, a bit like saying 'I really hate chillies'.

How are we to explain this discrimination which goes far beyond normal hypocrisy?

I think cedarford is right. We may not be happy that he/she is right, but the evidence is hard to refute. As we have pointed out over the years, there are vastly more Christians and Hindus in Britain than muslims but try finding a story about either of those religions in the papers or on TV. The public profile of muslims is striking, and how did it get that way? Violence and threats of violence.

Human beings learn, and often not the lessons we think in the best of all possible worlds they should learn. How far in the future do we have to look before everybody learns the lesson? In our hotly contested cultural landscape, how do you get to be in the hot-seat? Murder some people, 'martyr' them for your purposes. The huge lengths that Britain, the Netherlands and many other countries have gone to try to placate murderous muslims shows that this is really the way to get your agenda advanced.

Do we put the Britain-haters, the Jew-haters, the Christian-haters on the first plane home to whichever shitty hole they came from? Er, no. We ply them with money, homes, incentive schemes and work placements. That'll show 'em! What do they learn from this? More violence will mean more goodies, more grovelling, more attempts to 'understand the other'.

Do the liberal elite and the 'great and good' of this country think they will not reap the whirlwind? I hope, for all our sakes, that we DON'T learn the lessons currently being taught, but I'm not that optimistic.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Go read your English history, young Paki

'Representatives from a number of British Muslim organisations have expressed their concern in an open letter to the Prime Minister Gordon Brown, urging him to take more visible action to stop the violence in Gaza.

They have contrasted what they see as Britain's low-key approach with the example of the French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who swiftly departed to the Middle East on an intensive round of shuttle diplomacy.'

The underlying premise of this whole piece is that Britain is guilty of not helping kill the Israelis. And because we are guilty, we are under threat of violence from... well, from who? Palestinian Arabs? Er, no. Egyptian Arabs, Jordanian Arabs, Arabs from anywhere at all? Er, no. We are under threat of violence from pakistanis and bangladeshis.

Yup, pakistanis and bangladeshis. Let me see if I can summarize: hundreds of thousands of pakistanis come to Britain looking for a better life, take up residence here and then start threatening us with bloody murder if we don't help the palestinians murder the Israelis. Talk about cutting off the branch you're sitting on. One thing about mafia-style 'protection' rackets- you'd better have the muscle to back those kind of threats up. And the real truth is, they don't. The only thing the young pakis and bangladeshis will achieve is an increasingly unpleasant life for themselves, and perhaps one day mass expulsion. If there are any more repeats of 7/7 and 21/7, things could get much nastier than that.

The young pakistanis and bangladeshis of our northern and industrial towns don't know any history. If they did, they would not pick a fight with the English. Its not some weird anomaly that we ended up with a world empire. We LOVE to fight. Sometimes its everything we can do to not fight. Please please please don't haul that world of hurt down on yourselves. Honestly.

Bit of a rant, but you will learn some things

[Hat Tip: Atlas Shrugs]

Are we worthy of these heroes?

Capt. Yehonatan Netanel

A hero.

Stephen Harper, you are no conservative

Q: Will the government amend the Canadian Human Rights Act to prevent unwarranted interferences in free expression by human rights commissions?

A: The government has no plans to do is a very tricky issue of public policy because obviously, as we’ve seen, some of these powers can be abused. But they do exist for valid reasons, which is obviously to prevent public airwaves from being used to disseminate hate against vulnerable members of our society. That’s a valid objective. It’s probably the case that we haven’t got the balance right, but I’m not sure the government today has any answer on what an appropriate balance would be.

Margaret Thatcher had a name for 'conservatives' like Stephen Harper. Wets. According to someone in the comments section '[Harper] is on the Record as saying this:
“Human rights commissions, as they are evolving, are an attack on our fundamental freedoms and the basic existence of a democratic society,” says Stephen Harper, president of the National Citizens' Coalition. “It is in fact totalitarianism. I find this very scary stuff.”'

I'm glad Mr Harper has seen the light, unzipped his backbone and put it somewhere nice and safe.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Beyond debate

'Who Are the Real Nazis? With Hamas, Hitlerism comes to the Middle East wearing the mask of anti-Hitlerism.

‘Go back to the oven! You need a big oven, that’s what you need!”

This is what one young woman thought passed for acceptable discourse during an anti-Israel rally last week in, of all places, Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Other chants were similarly unlovely. You can watch it on YouTube if you like.'

I don't want a blue-on-blue incident here, but I don't think this article approaches a decent confrontation with the things being said by the Israel-haters. There is no sense of scale. At one end of the scale, we have the kind of debate participated in by English MP's and government ministers in the House of Commons in the 1930's. Learned, polite, well-reasoned, thoughtful and humble. Full of gravitas, but also the salty truths of bitter experience. Then, on the other extreme, we have what the arabs (and now their proxies in the west who copy their thoughts and syntax) do.

I'm in Norway at the moment, and yesterday lunchtime I got into a debate with a Norwegian about Iraq, George W Bush and Gaza. It got quite animated at times, but absolutely no one was rude, no personal insults were launched, no scatalogical launguage was employed, and no vaunting hyperbole either. It didn't end with threats to murder, just a gentle agreement to continue to disagree.

What the arabs do has nothing to do with debate. Debate has certain basic rules, even if those rules are somewhat flexible. What the arabs do is invent the most heinous lies they think they can get away with (there is a lot of cunning and triangulation involved), hedge them around with threats, and keep spitting them into peoples faces for as long as they can get a forum to do so. Their proxies in the west have modelled their own behaviour and 'argumentation' on this rabid diatribe. For those foolhardy enough to go into the minutiae of their rants, there is precious little to refute. Most of the assertions made are self-evident garbage. Most of the salient facts are left out.

What really marks out the Israel-loathers is their murderous hatred. It used to be that rallies in the West Bank or Jordan would be characterised by blood-curdling threats and vicious abuse; whereas the rallies in Europe and America would be much more genteel and 'reasonable-sounding'. That is no longer true. A high percentage of the 'protestors' in London this time were pakistani and somali youths, the same ones who wore mocked-up suicide vests and carried placards saying 'behead those who don't accept islam' in previous 'demonstrations'. Their Israel-hate is not moderated in any respect by the desire to appear liberal (in the old, true sense of that word). It is visceral and full of murderous intent. It is the same primal hatred the nazis used so successfully in their demolition job on German politics and culture.

We need more bite and stronger words to describe the behaviour of our enemies. Where are our Tom Paines? Mark Steyn is good, but seems to be preoccupied with something. But this piece by Jonah Goldberg is really hopelessly flaccid given the current state of affairs. We need people who get how far beyond decency, beyond civilisation, beyond any possibility of connection to debate the haters of Israel have travelled.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Well, yeah

'To my Arab brothers: The War with Israel Is Over — and they won. Now let’s finally move forward...

Dear friends, you and your leaders have wasted three generations trying to fight for Palestine, but the truth is the Palestine you could have had in 1948 is much bigger than the one you could have had in 1967, which in turn is much bigger than what you may have to settle for now or in another 10 years. Struggle means less land and more misery and utter loneliness...

Your young people are growing up illiterate, ill, and bent on rites of death and suicide, while you, in effect, are living on the kindness of foreigners, including America and the United Nations. Every day your officials must beg for your daily bread, dependent on relief trucks that carry food and medicine into the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, while your criminal Muslim fundamentalist Hamas government continues to fan the flames of a war it can neither fight nor hope to win.' [Hat tip: IsraellyCool]

Yeah. Yup. Uh huh. Know what you are saying. An Arab wrote this. Not only is this a highly persuasive piece, it is cold and harsh and rational in a way I can't ever recall an Arab talking. Time to grow up, sons and daughters of palestine.

You know what kind of people your fighting when...

'The Israel Defense Forces soldiers attacked the UN-run girl's school near the Jabalya refugee camp in self-defense, saying militants barricaded inside began firing mortar rounds at them.'

Those brave brave Hamas fighters- hiding behind the skirts of schoolgirls. Brrrrraaaaaaaaaaavvvvvvvvveeeeeeeeeee!

Stout men and true

'Three soldiers – Major Dagan Vertman, Captain Nitai Netanel and Corporal Yousef Maudi were killed Monday evening and 24 other fighters were injured near Jabalya refugee camp, as a tank shell hit a building housing dozens of fighters.',7340,L-3651665,00.html

I remember many years ago reading a book about the Six Day War. One of the most remarkable things about the Israeli army was the number of officers who died in combat, in comparison to the number of Egyptian and Syrian officers (virtually nil). Thats because the Arab officers were, well, in an office somewhere; whereas the Israeli ones were at the front, very often IN front of their soldiers.

I commend these brave, brave men for their service and for upholding the proud martial traditions of the IDF. May they never be forgotten. And may the victory they were fighting for come soon.

The Nazis and the Arabs

Whats the difference? The difference is the Arabs loved the Nazis, collaborated with them, fought with them and took many of their ideas; but they hate the Israelis. Thats the difference.

And if you think I'm lying, Haj Amin al-Husseini, leader of the most prominent faction of palestinian arabs during the run-in to World War Two, led a rebellion against British rule, which failed. I'll let Benny Morris pick up the story:

'The Palestinians, reeling from the suppression of their rebellion and largely unsympathetic to Western liberal, democratic values, grimly hoped for an Axis victory. In this, they were at one with most of the Arab world. The Palestinians, Khalil al-Sakakini, a Christian Jerusalem educator, jotted down in his diary, "rejoiced [as did 'the whole Arab world'] when the British bastion of Tobruk fell [in 1941] to the Germans." One of the first public opinion polls in Palestine, conducted by al-Sakakinis son, Sari Sakakini, on behalf of the American consulate in Jerusalem, in February 1941, found that 88% of the Palestinian Arabs favoured Germany and only 9% Britain. The exiled al-Husseini himself helped raise a brief anti-British revolt in Baghdad in spring 1941 and then fled to Berlin, where he served the Nazi regime for four years by broadcasting anti-British jihadist propaganda to the Middle East and recruiting Bosnian muslims for the Wehrmacht. He was deeply anti-semitic. He explained the Holocaust as owing to the Jews' sabotage of the German war effort in World War I and the millenia of Gentile anti-semitism as due to the Jews "character": "One of the most prominent facets of the Jewish character is their exaggerated conciet and selfishness, rooted in their belief that they are the chosen people of God. There is no limit to their covetousness and they prevent others from enjoying the Good... They have no pity and are known for their hatred, rivalry and hardness, as Allah described them in the Koran". (pp 21-22, 1948, Benny Morris)

Geneva convention violations

Your timing is way off

'Shortly before Christmas, I posted an item in the Corner called “The Conductor’s Podium as Political Platform.” This drew an unusually big response, from readers. I propose to examine that response and see what it tells us about our political culture today — or about our culture plain and simple.'

Relatively weird piece about importing politics into daily life when it may not be appropriate. I have a big problem with the central thesis: that its not polite to talk about your politics at dinner parties and public engagements. Why the hell not? Unless you have some raging phobia about disagreeing with people about anything and/or a phobia of being in conflict, why should politics be out of bounds?

And at this precise moment, when a controversial Republican president is being replaced by a controversial Democrat president, it is an extremely foolish thing to be seen to suppress the public expression of political preference. A certain amount of triumphalism and catharsis is inevitable at the end of a long political reign.

I vote Conservative (more than anything else) but in 1997, I voted straight Labour. I did so because for eighteen years the Conservatives had been more or less in the driving seat, and at the end of that period had become extremely jaded, lazy and disinterested with the rigors of ruling. They needed to be kicked up the arse. I felt extremely relieved, bouyant even the morning after the election, feeling that a tired and shabby bunch of people had been replaced by a vigorous and dynamic one. I'm sure many many Americans have the same feeling right now, probably many of them on the right.

What comes across strongly in the contributions sent in by people is the feeling that no matter how controversial or out-of-place the remarks liberal people make in a public gathering, they won't say anything themselves in response. How timid and pathetic is that? Why don't you boo? Why don't you stand up and shout 'George Bush rocks!' or 'Republicans are the doooooooooooods' or anything really? If its a public space, and people are declaring their political preference, I'd assume everybody gets equal time. Certainly you can act as if you do. Just sitting there quietly getting all steamed up makes you a victim. Do not be a victim.

I work in an industry absolutely crammed full of centre-left and far-left people, most of whom hate America (and often Britain too). I am not phased. I will happily go a few rounds with any of them, and do so on frequent occasions about their shibboleths and mine. Many of them are rubbish at argumentation, don't know the facts, and can be quite easily induced into ludicrous positions, so I often have an easy time of it. They then usually get personal and very occasionaly violent. But thats fine. Its a free country and I haven't lost my job, nor recieved any permanent scars. Quite a lot of my colleagues dare not discuss politics with me any more because they just lose, which is fine. And the ones I still discuss politics with tend to be the more knowledgeable ones, whether lefty or righty. So I win in every direction.

If you've ever read Tom Sawyer, you will remember the airs and graces and faux gentility which Toms aunt put on. It is exactly that Victorianish petit bourgeouis attitudinising which I believe underlies the harrumphing of these people about 'impertinent' politicising. Get over it people. Where is the Andrew Jackson tendency these days? Sigh.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Disgusting liberal exceptionalism

'Witnesses and analysts confirm that Hamas fires rockets from within populated civilian areas, and all sides agree that the movement flagrantly violates international law by targeting civilians with its rockets.

But while B’Tselem's Ms Montell describes the rocket fire as a "blatant war crime", she adds: "I certainly would not expect my government to act according to the standard Hamas has set for itself - we demand a higher standard."'

Actually, you demand a ludicrous standard no one will ever attain, and which most countries scoff at.

So all sides agree that '[Hamas] flagrantly violates international law by targeting civilians with its rockets' huh? I challenge the author of this piece to find me ten quotes from mainstream news outlets stating baldly this fact. I could find you ten times ten quotes stating that Israel is committing war crimes in those mainstream news outlets. The fact that this particular statement only appears at the very very end of this piece, which I bet about ten percent of readers eventually get to, tells you everything you need to know about the sympathies of the author(s) and also the importance given to delineating the precise nature of what is going on in Gaza.

I'd like someone (I don't have the time sadly) to compare how many wailing gnashing of teeth inquiries into the minutiae of international law accompanied reporting of the recent Russian invasion of Georgia, which trashed every known principle of legality and justice. I suspect you will search in vain. And yet you can get very expensive QC's like the America-hater Phillipe Sands to contribute time and energy to bitching out the Israelis. Ah, liberals. You can't live with 'em, and you can't legally shoot them. What a quandary.

One million people without Cable tv

'One million people are without electricity. Crucially the hospitals in Gaza are running on emergency generators - this in my book amounts to a humanitarian crisis'
UN spokesman Christopher Gunness

Chrissy-woos, I'd get out more. In more than half the world, electricity is not something which is occasionally off. Its never on, never has been, ever, at all. But then those are the places that the UN doesn't give a teeny tiny rats arse about. Liberia, Central Africa Republic, Angola and on and on and on. Their hospitals don't have electricity either. Sometimes their hospitals don't have walls and floors.

Oh, and why is it that the Palestinians have hospitals? 'The Palestinian Authority (PA) has received about $600m (500m euros; £340m) a year in aid from the EU since its foundation in 1994, with another $400m coming from the US.'

Its the billion dollars a year they get from us, thats why.

It sure as f**k isn't because of the Swiss-like work ethic of the Palestinians. Many of them have never had a job. Of any kind. At all. Thats why Mark Steyn very perceptively compares the Palestinian areas to a giant sink-estate in Britain, where welfare dependency has bred vicious, selfish, violent people. 'The devil finds work for idle hands' was my mums constant refrain.

So my blood boils when pathetic morons like Chrissy-wissy make up fake 'humanitarian crises' for their own pitiful political purposes. How bout getting a real job, arsehole?

Are blogs the new MSM

'I do kind of chuckle when Glenn Reynolds, Drudge, Huffington, and Malkin start spouting off about MSM though…I mean at what point do we stop considering groups like PJ Media “New Media” and start treating them more like the Tribune Corp of the internet? Soon these kinds of Webring-one-voice organizations are going to have to realize they are the new MSM.'

I haven't spouted off much about this 'process' story concerning the relationship between blogs and the 'old' media like paper newspapers, paper magazines, radio and tv. Thats largely because it seems an artificial, sterile controversy. Nobody has to watch tv for their news. Nobody has to intake any news or current affairs at all. And if they choose to read news, does it matter whether its via a piece of newsprint or off a tft monitor? No.

Secondly, is a blog news? Very few blogs are news blogs. Thats because news requires reports, and reports require reporters, and reporters require salaries and facilities and training. There are a few blogs which are news blogs, like the hugely estimable Michael J Totten, but he and a few others are the exceptions which prove the rule. I would love to have a news blog- I'd love to have time to go and do primary story investigation and reveal some relevant truths. But I have a job and I just don't have the time.

Accumulator blogs like Instapundit are great for what they are, which is a series of links to other blogs and to news sources, indicating some interesting news or comment. They are like mind-maps of the individuals (or like Huffpo and Kos collections of people) who accumulate the links. And I guess there are hundreds of thousands of people who like how Glenn Reynolds thinks because every day they access his site. I am one of them.

I don't think we've discovered all the ways to use the web in relation to current affairs and news dissemination, so its still a very interesting period. I still think somebody should try a web newspaper, with properly vetted, properly salaried 'correspondents' in as many places round the world as possible- a Michal J Totten in every port, if you will. You would probably need an editorial board to adjudicate if a particular correspondents output was covertly biased or even propagandist. Overt bias is not a problem, as long as no lies are told and no material facts are suppressed. I hope somebody does this one day, and I hope they ask me to become a correspondent.

Anyway, my answer to the question 'Are groups like Pajamas Media the new MSM?' is no. PJM is a collection of pundits and opinion-mongers, and that is only one small function of the 'old' MSM. When PJM employs three thousand journalists (or any at all) like the BBC do, they will be the new MSM. But not until.

Levi Goldstein the Christian scientist

'The 'first true scientist'

By Professor Jim Al-Khalili
University of Surrey'

There is now whole mini-industry whose goal is to persuade us that islam isn't actually the religion of dusty ignorance and superstition that we all think it is. This mini-industry puts out reams of stories like this about the genius academicians, scientists and thinkers who lived in moslem countries.

I don't mind this, but I do think it should be across the board. In future, whenever a scientist is mentioned in any context, the dominant religion of the country he lives in, whether he personally happens to be Jewish, Zoroastrian or Jainist, should be affixed to his name. So for instance, any Jewish scientists in America will be called for instance 'The Christian scientist Levi Goldstein' or Hindu scientists 'The Christian scientist Krishna Chiprapati'. If the rule is that anybody working in say 11th century Iraq is 'The Islamic scientist Moshe Abrams', it only seems fair to make that the rule for everybody.

Right? Er, obviously ludicrous. But then the ludicrous appears in many contexts to do with islam, if you'd noticed.

'For, without doubt, another great physicist, who is worthy of ranking up alongside Newton, is a scientist born in AD 965 in what is now Iraq who went by the name of al-Hassan Ibn al-Haytham.'

What difference did it make to Mr al-Haytham that he lived in a country where islam was the dominant religion? How did it interact with his scientific jottings and musings and investigations? Not one teeny tiny bit. So why is he an islamic scientist and not just a scientist?

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Why do we do it?

Here, I’ll lift Bruce’s comment since it is a pearler:

Number of Palestinian Arabs in 1948 = 1,308,00.

Number of Palestinian Arabs in 2008 = 10,574,521.

Israeli attempted genocide of Palestinian Arabs over 60 years = EPIC FAIL!

One addenda- how many Palestinian Arabs would there be without US food shipments, EU food shipments, Israeli food shipments, US medical aid, EU medical aid, Israeli medical aid?
If it were left up to the humanitarian instincts of their fellow Arabs, most would be dead by now.

Grrrrrrrrrrrrr! [Hat tip: Instapundit]

'Mr. Gore has stated, regarding climate change, that "the science is in." Well, he is absolutely right about that, except for one tiny thing. It is the biggest whopper ever sold to the public in the history of humankind.'

For obsessive readers of this blog (I know who you are!) you may never have seen a link to the Huffington Post before. I don't think theres been one. But this is too good to miss. I had a taxi ride the other day where I debated the merits of anthropogenic global warming with a particularly interesting cabby. If only I'd read this first!

I don't know the science from a hole in the ground, but I'm pretty sure this guy knows what he is talking about. Certainly, this point I agree with most vociferously- 'To be told, as I have been, by Mr. Gore, again and again, that carbon dioxide is a grave threat to humankind is not just annoying, by the way, although it is that! To re-tool our economies in an effort to suppress carbon dioxide and its imaginary effect on climate, when other, graver problems exist is, simply put, wrong.' Indeed. In fact, you might say thats why we have science. As opposed to me putting on a blindfold and pointing at a ouija board.

Sucking on the propaganda teat

'It is clear that Israel believes it is also sending a message to its other enemies - especially Hezbollah in Lebanon.

Israeli military sources say Hezbollah's capacities have not been decreased, but if they want another round they would pay the price.

The Israeli army was hit hard by Hezbollah in the 2006 war. Hamas will want to emulate them. Israel does not want a repeat of what happened the last time it invaded Lebanon.'

Jeremy, Jeremy, Jeremy... just when I was starting to believe the BBC actually employed non-zombies, you go and spoil things.

Simply Google 'Hassan Nasrallah admits mistake' or 'Hezbollah ceasefire terms Israel' and you will discover that Hezbollah were down to their last few rusty rounds and had suffered a severe depletion of manpower and will to fight by the time Israel ceased its operations. Military analysts believe that if the Israelis had carried on for two more weeks, Hezbollah would have been annihilated. And a cursory examination of what has happened in South Lebanon since (very little Hezbollah military activity and no rockets into Israel) and in Lebanese politics (a huge revival of interest on the part of Hezbollah in trying to win stuff via the ballot box), and you can see that Jeremy Bowens statement does not stand up under close examination.

It was Hezbollah who were 'hit hard' in 2006 and we haven't heard a peep from them since. Indeed, one big thing that HASN'T happened in the last eight days is rumblings and trumpetings from Hezbollah that it will attack Israel from the north to assist its 'brothers' in Gaza? Why is that do you suppose? Because Hezbollah kicked Israels arse in 2006 of course... and they're a bit busy now with little raffia-work things... sorry, can't talk, must run...

Sadly, the BBC sucks on the Islamist terrorists propaganda teat like a hungry whelp. Any old blarney churned out by them gets turned into 'common knowledge' by the leftards on the BBC website after a few months of gestation. Lazy lazy lazy.

Of course, what Mr Bowen really means by this whole section is 'if the Israeli troops suffer more than three casualties, Hamas win'. That is considered the winning post by most Arab armies and militias, it seems. The fact that they lose eight hundred and fifty of their own forces to extract this tiny price from Israel is immaterial. WE GOT SOME OF THE BASTARD JEWS!!!! YEAHHHHHHH!!!! That will be presented by much of the Arab world and the useful idiots of the west as a resounding victory for the palestinians, just like the events in South Lebanon.

But as I said in a previous post, the reason Israel wins and the palestinians lose is because the Israelis live in the real world, and the palestinians live in a world of lies and fantasy. The palestinians glee club in the west join them in this fantasy very willingly, but it doesn't change the 'facts on the ground'. Which all favour Israel, and will do so for the foreseeable future, thank God.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Funny while being true

'Hamas Calls For 'Giant Summit' With All Israelis'

'Haniyeh characterized the one-day summit as "the final solution to the Israeli-Palestinian dispute," and invited every Jewish citizen of the world to attend. Haniyeh said he expects more than 5 million participants from Israel alone.

"It was foolish of us to think that a satisfactory resolution could be reached through small-scale aggression," Haniyeh said. "It will take more than the sporadic deaths of small groups of Israeli civilians to achieve our ends."'

Read the whole thing. Very nicely done. But then The Onion guys are pretty much always superb.

And as if to make my point for me...

'Correspondents say the activity could be an indication the Israeli military is preparing to launch a ground attack.

In one raid, at least 10 people were killed when a missile hit a mosque in Beit Lahiya, Palestinian sources said.

Correspondents say the activity could be an indication the Israeli military is preparing to launch a ground attack.

In one attack, at least 10 people were killed when a shell hit a mosque in Beit Lahiya, Palestinian sources said'

If a dubiously sourced calumny is worth publishing, its worth repeaating (and repeating and repeating ad nauseum).

Propaganda: Who needs it?

'Propaganda war: trusting what we see?

By Paul Reynolds
World affairs correspondent, BBC News website

Israel has tried to take the initiative in the propaganda war over Gaza but, in one important instance, its version has been seriously challenged.'

There is no question that one of the weapons in the arsenal of war is propaganda. A good question to ask is who in the current operations in Gaza needs propaganda more, Israel or the Palestinians? Who is more likely to lie to get the support of the world community?

The answer is, whoever lacks the means to fight this battle through conventional means, the actual effective weapons of war, is far more likely to rely on lying about the enemy.

Lets delineate the situation a little further. Going back to 2005, which is when Israel pulled out of the Gaza strip, what have been the salient developments in that territory? First, Israel removed, at great psychological and political cost to itself, many thousands of settlers from within the Gaza territory. Second, Israel continued to employ Gazans in its economy, and supply Gaza with power, water and food. Thirdly, there were elections in Gaza which were won by Hamas, an Islamist party dedicated to the annihilation of Israel, and lost by Fatah who then tried to retake power by military means. They failed dismally. Fourthly, Hamas then started launching unguided missiles are Israeli settlements round about Gaza, dug tunnels into Israel for the purposes of capturing Israelis soldiers, and trying to kill the Israeli border guards by mortar and machine gun attacks. Finally, in response to all these actions both Israel and the world community sanctioned Hamas and cut off Gaza from recieving most kinds of money and aid.

Given that timeline, its easy to see why Israel, the EU and the United States distrust information coming out of Gaza representing Hamas and the population which supports them as victims. More surprising is the fact that now a number of Arab countries, especially Egypt, also blame Hamas for the current situation. That those who know the material facts tend to blame Hamas should surprise no one really. But does that include the BBC?

Jeremy Bowen, who has been the chief correspondent in Israel since 2007, seems on top of the material facts. As stated before Mr Bowen is perfectly capable of summarising the current sitation in detail, and with proper proportion given to all the salient facts. Does that go for the rest of the BBC? If you read this piece by Paul Reynolds about Israeli propaganda, its obvious that the answer is no.

The salient fact about Hamas and the Gazan arabs in general is that propaganda is really their only weapon in this fight. Why provoke a war in which propaganda is your only effective weapon, a reasonable and rational person would ask? Well, no reasonable and rational person would start such a war. Read the history of this part of the world, and something that strikes the observer with great force is how unreasonable, irrational and muddled palestinian arab thinking is. It is a melange of fierce machismo (when in front of cameras or podiums), girlish panic (when in combat), bathetic victimhood (when talking to western journalists) and machiavellian deviousness (when engaging in any kind of politics). You may think I am being racist or overly harsh, but I'm not. For confirmation, read histories of the last hundred and twenty years of this part of the world.

The Jews have always said that the palestinian arabs worst enemy is themselves. More and more relatively disinterested observers are tending to agree with that assessment. And a large part of the cause is the lying. The palestinian arab tendency to lie and lie and lie again, both to external parties and to themselves means they can't grapple effectively with the real situation and what their best interests are. One of the main reasons Israel still exists is this palestinian proclivity, and the terrible effect it has on palestinian competence.

The BBC as an organisation seems blissfully unaware of this simple truth.

Were those missiles being loaded onto the truck in the video, or gas bottles? We have the word of the Israelis, whose drone video analysts constantly view men loading and unloading missiles which are then duly fired into Israel, as all observers agree. And on the other, a palestinian man who says the objects weren't missiles and has a picture of some burned out gas bottles. There is some doubt and we may never know the truth. But in what direction does the balance of probabilities lie?

One last aspect of this episode. You probably don't remember the Hezbollah ambulance incident from the Hezbollah battles of 2006, unless you followed the story at the time. Investigation of an alleged Israeli attack on a clearly-marked ambulance near the village of Qana brought to the fore a lot of evidence that the whole thing was manufactured by Hezbollah to make Israel look like callous murderers of medical staff. Of particular interest to those with an eye for the habits of propagandists is the location: Qana. Why? In 1996, there was an incident covered here in Wikipedia blaming Israel for killing 106 innocent Lebanese civilians. The incident became a cause celebre in the west and was also given as a prime motivating cause in the establishment of Al Qaeda.

What was the response of the large news organisations to the doubtful story about the ambulance attack in 2006?

The AP reported it like this:

'...the Lebanese Red Cross suspended operations outside Tyre after Israeli jets blasted two ambulances with rockets, said Ali Deebe, a Red Cross spokesman in Tyre. In the incident Sunday, one Red Cross ambulance went south of Tyre to meet an ambulance and transfer the wounded to the hospital. "When we have wounded outside the city, we always used two ambulances," Deebe said. The rocket attack on the two vehicles wounded six ambulance workers and three civilians - an 11-year-old boy, an elderly woman and a man, Deebe said. "One of the rockets hit right in the middle of the big red cross that was painted on top of the ambulance," he said. "This is a clear violation of humanitarian law, of international law. We are neutral and we should not be targeted." Kassem Shalan, one of the ambulance workers, told AP Television News that nine people were injured. "We were transferring the wounded into our vehicle and something fell and I dropped to the floor," he said. Amateur video provided by an ambulance worker confirmed Deebe's account of damage to the vehicles, showing one large hole and several smaller ones in the roof of one ambulance and a large hole in the roof of the second. Both were destroyed.'

AP stories are what much of the news output of the big media outlets is based on. Sure enough, this story was reported 'straight'; in other words unchallenged and as if it came from a trustworthy source. Interestingly, there is not a single archived story about this on the BBC website.

Another of the well-evidenced claims to come out during the blogosphere investigation of the Qana ambulance 'attack' was that Hezbollah were using ambulances as troop carriers in a number of places around Lebanon. This received no coverage at all in the large media outlets.

The picture that gradually builds up once you've paid attention to coverage of Israel and in particular its military engagements with its enemies is that stories touted which show Israel as brutal, murderous and anti-humanitarian are often given the benefit of the doubt by our larger media organisations; whereas stories that are put out by Israel showing it as careful, responsible and humanitarian (insofar as that is possible when you are fighting for your existence) are brought into question, even when the evidence provided by Israels enemies is of dubious veracity.

As Glenn Reynolds points out, its not so much that many of the media functionaries are 'sceptical' (which is how they see themselves), they're actually on the other side. That is a crazy situation. How can our societies fight and win when our media is actually rooting for the other guys?

Friday, January 02, 2009

Get in line bud

'Prof. Panarin, 50 years old, is not a fringe figure. A former KGB analyst, he is dean of the Russian Foreign Ministry's academy for future diplomats. He is invited to Kremlin receptions, lectures students, publishes books, and appears in the media as an expert on U.S.-Russia relations.

But it's his bleak forecast for the U.S. that is music to the ears of the Kremlin, which in recent years has blamed Washington for everything from instability in the Middle East to the global financial crisis.'

Thats ok- we already have a whole gaggle of our own doommeisters. That position is filled, Professor. You could apply to the saddos club...but getting in is in hotly contested. There are so many serious old men with very poor judgement... the Communists have been predicting Americas catastrophic failure since about 1848 but don't let that damp your enthusiasm. You go girl!

If you repeat the lie enough times...

'Major Israeli settlement 'unlawful'

By Tim Franks
BBC News, Ofra

Israeli settlements on occupied territory are seen as illegal by the rest of the world.'

Thats right, folks, EVERYBODY IN THE WORLD thinks YOU SUCK!

'The research into land ownership in Ofra was carried out by the Israeli human rights group, B'tselem.

Sarit Michaeli, the spokeswoman for the group, says it is important to remember that under international law - at least in the eyes of the rest of the world - all Israeli settlements on occupied territory are illegal.

But she says that the new research removes any legal prop for Ofra to exist under Israeli law.'

You may or may not have followed the whole Israeli settlements saga, but reading this has a special resonance for me- I am currently reading '1948' by Benny Morris. The purchase of land by incoming Jews (Jews additional to the thousands who never left Palestine that is) started in the 1890's and it was a brisk market. The sellers? The bigwig Arab landowners under the Ottomans rule. By the end of the 1920s large amounts of the coastal plain had been purchased.

After the 1948 war, sales still went on, but they had to be kept quiet, because now the sellers were considered traitors- traitors to what exactly is hard to say because there is no Palestinian state to betray.

But two things are being conflated here. There is the legal ownership of land which has to do with title deeds, land registrys and that sort of thing. And completely seperate is land which is conquered in war. Over and over again, the Arabs have attacked the state of Israel, and pretty much every time they LOSE more land. Now, smart people would stop that after a couple of goes, but hey, the Palestinians are no Einsteins (pun intended). So lets see- you start a war to annilihate some people, but they are much better at war than you, kick your arse and you lose some of your land. What claim do you have to the land you lost, exactly? In what court are you going to try to reclaim that land, precisely?

After world war II, Germany lost a huge chunk of its land in the east to Poland- taken away, lost, denied to it forever* (* or until the next war anyway). I can't remember hearing the international press bleating on about the poor lower Silesians, and all the illegal Polish settlements... but then thats probably because everybody felt the Germans didn't deserve pity after starting such a long and immensely destructive war. So whats different about the Arabs? How come no matter how many times they attack Israel and lose, land taken by the Israelis doesn't now belong as of right to Israel?

Well it does. The 'facts on the ground' may be locked in a 'Groundhog day' for moron leftards but in the actual Israel there is a wholly different reality. I suspect that most of the land currently under Israels control will end up controlled by, lived on, bought and sold by Jews. For BBC website writers and readers that must sting but hey, sometimes you just don't get what you want.

Good story guys

'Gaza facing 'critical emergency'

The UN has warned that Palestinians in Gaza are facing a serious health and food crisis, as Israeli air strikes continued for a seventh day.'

Those dastardly dastardly Israelis!!! Oh, hang on though.

'The UN's Maxwell Gaylard said: "It is true supplies have been going into the Strip, in fact possibly more than in previous weeks, but at the same time there are critical gaps."'

For instance they now only have the Extra Hot nachos left. Which is obviously sad. It may be just my imagination, but I think some of the people who in the past sucked up this spurious garbage pumped out by the international Palestinian glee club are getting a bit... jaded. Could it be that the juvenile inconsistencies and utter lack of responsibility displayed by both the Palestinians and their supporters are starting to pall as a spectator sport?

We can only hope.

God wasn't willing (Inshallnot?)

The day before a powerful blast sent his headless body flying out of his Gaza home on Thursday, senior Hamas leader Nizar Rayan predicted that the Islamist movement would defeat Israel.
"God willing, Hamas will win," Rayan said in a vitriol-laden speech that the movement's television broadcast just after he, his four wives and 10 of his children were killed in the Israeli blitz of the Gaza Strip on Thursday. [Hat Tip: Instapundit]

According to Otto Von Bismark, God is on the side with the most divisions. These days, God is on the side with the JDAMs (super-accurate bombs) and the Merkava IVs. When are the Palestinians going to learn, if you tweak the tail of the tiger, don't be surprised if you end up headless...