Monday, April 30, 2007

The Occupation of Iraq: Hitchens on Allawi

Most Americans assume that the sectarian violence embroiling Iraq only happened after Saddam was deposed. In fact it has been going on for centuries. Christopher Hitchens is a liberal writer for “Slate” who “gets” it. His perceptive observations on Iraq have been based on extensive knowledge of the culture of the area. I ran across his book review of Ali Allawi's memoir "The Occupation of Iraq: Winning the War, Losing the Peace".

Allawi is a member of Iraq’s National Assembly and held high posts in the post-war government.

Slate April 23, 2007 (Excerpt)

“When the Coalition arrived in Baghdad on 9 April, 2003, it found a fractured and brutalized society, presided over by a fearful, heavily armed minority. The post-9/11 jihadi culture that was subsequently to plague Iraq was just beginning to take root. The institutions of the state were moribund; the state exhausted. The ideology that had held Ba'athist rule together had decayed beyond repair.

I pause to make two points. First, it's a pleasure to see someone use the word brutalized correctly, to mean not so much the experience of being maltreated as the familiarity with being brutal. Second, if what Allawi says is true, then Iraq was headed straight for implosion and failure, both as a state and a society, well before 2003. Not only this, but its Sunni ruling elite was flirting increasingly with a Salafist ideology. In such circumstances—as many Iraqi dissidents argued even at the time—the United States had to face the alarming fact that a ruined Iraq was in its future whether it intervened or not.

How had a country that was bursting with oil wealth and development in the 1970s become a sweltering, violent basket case? Because the historic compromise between Sunni and Shiite, uneasy as it was, had been ripped apart by dictatorship and overseas aggression. As Allawi phrases it:

The state removed the elements that kept a vigorous Shi'a identity alive in parallel to a Sunni-dominated state. Nationalizations, emigration and expulsions destroyed the Shi'a mercantilist class; the state monopoly on education, publishing and the media removed the cultural underpinnings of Shi'a life. … When the state embarked on the mass killings after the 1991 uprisings, Iraq became hopelessly compromised in the minds of most Shi'a.

And this is to say nothing of the Kurds: the one-fifth of Iraqi society who, as Allawi points out, had already left the Iraqi state by the time the coalition arrived. Without needing or wishing to soften any critique of post-invasion planning, I would propose that this analysis has a highly unsettling implication.

Hell was coming to Iraq no matter what.

This point is undergirded by another one, which is that hell was already making considerable strides in Iraq in the decade before 2003. Again, Allawi's cool analysis and careful evidence darkens this already black picture. All the crucial indices, from illiteracy to unemployment to the emigration of talent and skill, were rapidly heading south. Perhaps most ominously, the reaction of Saddam Hussein was to ratchet up religious and theocratic rhetoric and policy, broadcasting for jihad 'round the clock, engaging in a massive mosque-building program, and launching sporadic "morals" campaigns. Again, U.S. policy could hardly be indifferent to this distress and misery and demagogy, if only because the whole context was shaped by two largely American decisions. The first was to allow Saddam to remain in power after 1991 and to watch while he massacred the Shiites and Kurds, an action that Allawi rightly describes as "unforgivable." The second was to impose sanctions, which, unduly prolonged, did far more damage to an already distraught society than they did to the ruthless and corrupt regime.

I think I could pass an examination in the failures of our post-2003 policy and even add a few observations from experience. But I have never been able to overcome the feeling that Iraq was our ward and responsibility one way or another, and that canceling or postponing an intervention would only have meant having to act later on, in conditions even more awful and dangerous than the ones with which we have become familiar. Whether Ali Allawi now agrees with this I could not say, but his excellent and lucid book makes it a case that is extremely difficult to dispute.”

Christopher Hitchens is one of many prominent liberals (like Alan Dershowitz) whose political leanings have never blinded them to the dangers facing the civilized world from Islamic jihad and the key role that Iraq plays in defeating this plague.


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Sunday, April 29, 2007

Why Has Schwarzenegger Become a Girlieman?

After initially running for governor of California as a moderate conservative, Arnold Schwarzenegger has made several moves to the left, and can now be considered a RINO or even a closet Democrat. To conservatives, this move to the left seems all too common. We in Florida are watching the same thing happen with our recently elected Republican Congressman Vern Buchanon (from Katherine Harris old district), who has been voting with the Democrat majority on most important issues, and we have seen it happen often with others elected as Republican conservatives.

What is it about politics and conservatives that causes this slippage time after time? Two things are at work here. First, it’s hard to be a conservative. Conservatives deal with reality, and real life problems are tough to solve and require maintaining an inner toughness. When a conservative gets to Washington he finds that all the journalists, all the permanent staff, all the residents, all the party-givers and all the academics are feel-good liberals. It takes resolve to be on the outs with all these people that you wish would like you. A conservative soon finds out, though, that these people hate you; they don’t just disagree with you, they hate you. They want to see you destroyed. They want to ‘Bork’ you. It is almost beyond my capability to understand how President Bush has been able to stand up and maintain his principles and his resolve in the face of the incredible vitriol that has been directed at him from the left.

Second, I think the problem also has more to do with human nature than with politicians. Since the end of World War II, when liberals have gained political power they have usually made a fine mess of things. Democrats got us involved with Vietnam, and Nixon was elected largely because he promised an honorable way out; with Carter came the Iranian revolution, the hostage crisis and the energy shortage, followed by Reagan; with Clinton came dishonor in the White House, the attempt to impose a draconian National Health Plan and huge tax increases, followed by Bush.

But then, after Republicans take over, cut taxes and try to return some measure of control over our own lives to individuals, people forget the damage that liberals do – and start listening to the promises and the criticisms being put forth by Democrats and magnified and repeated over and over by the mainstream media. Their promises always sound so good and have such terrible unintended consequences. Give welfare to unwed mothers - and the black fatherless children rate jumps to 75%; ban DDT - and millions around the world die of malaria; eliminate all control over what goes out to children on TV and movies - and children begin gunning down other children; eliminate mental health facilities and go overboard in protecting the “rights” of the mentally ill - and then fill our Dunkin Donuts with poor, confused, homeless wretches. The problem is that voters start forgetting those consequences, start listening to the lies and the promises, and Republicans start getting nervous about sticking to their principles.

If you factor out the Iraq War, what happened in 2006 was a combination of three things: relentless hammering by Democrats and their willing allies in the mainstream press, bungling and ineffectiveness by Speaker Haskert and by Majority Leader Frist, and corruption and overspending by the Republican Congress – which was a betrayal of their conservative principles.

We are going to have to work very, very hard to keep the White House and to regain control of the Congress in 2008; if we are successful, every one of us conservatives out there in the heartland is going to have to keep closer watch on what our politicians do to prevent another electoral disaster in 2010, and several 9/11’s thereafter.

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Saturday, April 28, 2007

Second Recent Case of ACLU Perversion

Last month I wrote about former ACLU official, Charles Rust-Tierney, who is slated to go on trial shortly for possession of lurid child pornography.

“Prosecutors say Charles Rust-Tierney, a former president of the Virginia ACLU, was leading a "double life,'' coaching Little League baseball by day and using a computer in his 10-year-old son's bedroom to view child pornography at night.”

Today a second similar case has appeared in which an ACLU lawyer has been disbarred for the same acts that got former Representative Mark Foley out of Congress. The question arises, What is the real motivation for the ACLU’s frequent, and usually successful, attempts to thwart those who wish to protect children from access to pornography over the internet, either directly, or at a public library’s computers?”. Not only are these attempts wrong-headed, even if motivated by free speech concerns, but the possibility arises that the true motivation of many ACLU personnel is to debase children for their own perverted ends.

Local lawyer disbarred for kid-sex online chats
Monday, April 16, 2007

“Chatting online about sex with someone he believed was a 12-year-old boy has earned a Jersey City lawyer permanent disbarment in New Jersey, officials said.

The disbarment is the result of a guilty plea by Steven C. Cunningham to one count of attempted endangerment of the welfare of a child, an act that "reflects adversely on his honesty, trustworthiness or fitness as a lawyer," according to the New Jersey Office of Attorney Ethics.

On three separate occasions between September and October 2004, Cunningham chatted online via his home computer in Jersey City with a person he believed to be a 12-year-old boy, officials said. In reality, it was an undercover Passaic County investigator.

During the sessions, Cunningham "described, in lurid detail, certain sexual acts that he hoped to perform on the boy," court papers said.

"He also described sex acts that he hoped to teach the boy to perform on him, inviting the child to 'get together in New York,'" according to the documents.

Cunningham pleaded guilty to the charges Dec. 13, 2005, and was sentenced to parole supervision for the rest of his life, court papers say.”


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Thursday, April 26, 2007

The Jackals and Pat Tillman

In every modern war, commanders have tried to write comforting letters home to parents of soldiers killed in the service. Regardless of the circumstances of their deaths, decent and compassionate commanders have always tried to put those circumstances in the best light possible, sometimes stretching the truth or even glossing over painful facts. Sometimes their actions were also designed to hide the fact of their own incompetence or “for the good of the service”, but usually the motives were benign.

Upper level commanders sometimes have another problem to consider when unfortunate things happen. On the battlefield, first reports are often confused and sometimes dead wrong. Sometimes, for example, a casualty is reported as a combat death in honorable circumstances, but when the smoke clears, the circumstances change, and sometimes friendly fire or something else is found to be involved.

The suicide rate for police officers is high, but would probably be much higher if first responders did not occasionally rearrange things or give every benefit of the doubt to report the death as an accident. The people I’m discussing here are good people, trying to leave families coping with violent, sudden death in the best circumstances possible.

Another aspect of this situation has to do with the difficulties facing military commanders trying to fight a war in today’s world:

“There is a word for this sort of thing. It is "propaganda". Now, this word has come to take on bad connotations in our day, but in fact, propaganda is a necessary component of any war effort, as even the genteel beast of the Press recognized some sixty years ago, when they were willing agents of U.S. and Allied propaganda. Of course, back then, the Press considered themselves to be Americans first and journalists second, so the kind of mindless "objectivity" we see in reporting from Iraq and Afghanistan would have been unthinkable in the Philippines, New Guinea, North Africa, Italy or Normandy. The Press was on our side, and spoke possessively of "our troops." There was none of this "U.S. commanders claimed today....", but rather, "Today our troops smashed... "There was a very good reason for this.

Karl von Clausewitz wrote that modern war rests on three pillars: the state, the army and the people. If one of the pillars is weak or collapses, the war effort collapses with it. It is impossible to wage a war -- any war -- without controlling the information the public receives concerning the conduct of that war. War is a terrifying, grotesque and confusing business; it is hard enough on men who have been trained to endure its rigor and who have become accustomed to its images. Civilians, without any standard by which to judge, will find the whole thing repulsive, and will turn away from it. In other words, the morale of the home front will suffer. This is particularly true when they attempt to judge the progress and leadership of war by the standards of the civilian world. Wars are not won by armies that are 90% effective over those that are 85% effective, but by those that are 15% effective over those that are 10% effective. This is due to Clausewitz's concept of "friction," the compounding effect of myriad minor errors that combine to make even the simplest thing difficult; it is what separates "real" war from "war on paper." Yet the press, which deals in paper, can only talk of war on paper, therefore, from their perspective, wars are always being run badly. Civilian morale suffers, which in turn undermines support for the state and the army, and the war effort collapses.

If this war has demonstrated anything, it is the impossibility of waging a sustained war in a liberal democracy in the presence of an unfettered press. The enemies of liberal democracy, of course, do not believe in, nor have to deal with, a free press -- and this gives them an dangerous advantage in the kind of war where will to victory is far more important than actual victories on the battlefield.” -- Stuart Koehl, Falls Church, Virginia, Letter to American Spectator

Perhaps the death of Pat Tillman, who remains a hero to all patriotic Americans, was misreported for other than compassionate reasons, but only the lowest form of vermin would use his death to gain political advantage. We know many Democrats want us to lose in Iraq. Senator Reid and Congressman Murtha have made that very clear. Their hatred of our president knows no bounds.

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Wednesday, April 25, 2007

The Quick Scorecard on Global Warming

Except for the likelihood that there has been a small amount of global warming in the last 100 years, every aspect of the manmade global warming argument has now been disproved:

1. Ice cores reveal CO2 levels increase after temperatures increase.

2. Formulas and algorithms of the “hockey-stick” graph produce hockey sticks regardless of the data entered.

3. Weather computer models are shown to be wildly inaccurate and require scores of data-variable entries.

4. The earth has actually cooled since 1940. Any increase noted took place before there was large scale carbon production.

5. A correlation between sunspot activity and earth’s temperatures is known to exist.

6. Man-made global warming theory ignores known warming and cooling cycles that are undeniable historical facts.

7. Although some glaciers are thinning, others are known to be thickening.

8. Many evidences of previous civilizations are known to exist under water off the coasts of many countries.

9. Ice core samples also reveal that higher levels of CO2 than are now present have existed in the past.


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Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Hooray For Don Imus and His Bum Rapp

Something good may yet come of the years of vulgarities by Don Imus and his subsequent firing. Discussions of his firing and the right and the wrong of it have developed into a more general discussion of the damage to society (especially to children) of the obscenities and vulgarities many rapp singers commonly employ. Hopefully these discussions will lead to self-censorship by the industry, and then lead to some consideration of the damage that gratuitous violence and the glorification of casual sex does to young viewers of the cesspools our TV and movie industries routinely parade before America’s children. (Excerpt) 4/24/07
Hip hop's Simmons: Restrict offensive words

Story Highlights

• Def Jam co-founder wants certain words cut from music biz
• Russell Simmons terms such words "extreme curse words"
• Language has become flashpoint since Don Imus controversy

NEW YORK, New York (AP) –“ Hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons said Monday that the recording and broadcast industries should consistently ban racial and sexist epithets from all so-called clean versions of rap songs and the airwaves.

Currently such epithets are prohibited in most clean versions, but record companies sometimes "arbitrarily" decide which offensive words to exclude and there's no uniform standard for deleting such words, Simmons said.

The recommendations drew mixed reaction and come two weeks after some began carping anew about rap lyrics after radio personality Don Imus was fired by CBS Radio and NBC for referring to the players on the Rutgers university women's basketball team as "nappy-headed hos."

Expressing concern about the "growing public outrage" over the use of such words in rap lyrics, Simmons said the words "bitch," "ho" and "nigger" should be considered "extreme curse words."

"We recommend (they're) always out," Simmons, the pioneering entrepreneur who made millions of dollars as he helped shape hip-hop culture, said in an interview Monday. "This is a first step. It's a clear message and a consistency that we want the industry to accept for more corporate social responsibility."”


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Monday, April 23, 2007

There Is No Moral Equivalence Between Us and Them

Multiculturalists and one-worlders in the USA often speak derisively about the efforts of every U.S. president to prevent nations run by madmen, such as Iraq, Iran and North Korea, from acquiring nuclear weapons. They somehow see some kind of moral equivalence in this critical problem, saying, “We have weapons, why shouldn’t they?”.

For example, here are some excerpts from an article in the left wing publication, “Counterpunch” (written by a Muslim author):

“He (President Bush) is the commander-in-chief of a military force that not only possesses and maintains nearly 10,000 nuclear weapons but also boasts an array of weapons of mass destruction, including chemical and biological arsenals. The American position on nuclear weapons is rife with hypocrisy and layered with double standards….

Washington continues to maintain close relations with such nations as India, Pakistan, and Israel that have refused to sign the nuclear nonproliferation treaty and are widely known to possess significant nuclear arsenals. Israel is reputed to have anywhere between 50-200 illegal nukes. Yet the Bush administration is determined to intimidate and punish nations that evidently do not have nuclear weapons but only nuclear ambitions, such as Iran and Iraq. The nuclear ambitions of these two nations are not unlike those that spurred India, Israel, and Pakistan to develop their own nukes.” Counterpunch

Only fairly recently did Americans learn of how close both Hitler’s Germany and Tojo’s Japan came to acquiring atomic weapons; actually the race was so close we have to thank God that we won. We had no control over the gaining of nuclear weapons by India and Pakistan, and every thoughtful and decent person is openly or quietly comforted that Israel undoubtedly possesses a nuclear arsenal. Clearly it may someday soon be the only thing saving it (Israel) from extermination by Muslim madmen.

When Islamic terrorists are murdering thousands of non-Muslims around the world almost routinely on a daily basis, and when the leaders of Iran and North Korea are plotting and proclaiming the nuclear destruction of their “enemies” (thank God not Iraq any more), we must do everything in our power to stop them from acquiring such weapons. I can only hope we now have intelligence assets in place now that can warn us when non-military measures have fallen short and military strikes become necessary. Until then I hope that the civilized world will do everything in its power to prevent that from ever happening.

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Sunday, April 22, 2007

Conservatives Must Rally

One of the worst decisions I ever made was after Bush 41 broke his "read my lips, no new taxes" pledge. Like millions of other outraged conservatives, I sat on my hands, gave Bush no money, and offered no help whatsoever in his campaign for reelection. Although he only got a minority of the votes cast, because of this and because of the entry of Perot, we got Clinton, a debased White House and 9/11.

Again in 2006, many conservatives stayed home or voted to send a message to Washington because of the failures of the Republican majority in Congress and the blunders and the agony of the Iraq sector of the war on terror. Now we have Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid running things - threatening another Vietnam disaster in Iraq, skipping around the world conducting their own foreign policy and preparing to inflict the greatest tax increase in history on us.

I say forget those areas of disappointment and disagreement and focus on the bigger picture. We must hold the White House and reelect a Republican Congress in 2008, and the only way to do this is to stick together, donate as much as you can possibly afford and as early as possible and get active in your own communities. The following essay (Excerpted) mirrors my thinking:

Conservatives Must Rally
By Quin Hillyer
The American Spectator
Published 4/18/2007 12:08:30 AM

“Fight back.

Conservatives need to fight back.

Fight back against the outrageous "mainstream" media bias. Fight back against the Leninists who run much of academia. Fight back against the baseless smears from two-bit cheap-shot artists masquerading as Democratic U.S. senators. Fight back against Hollywood's cultural rot.

More importantly, fight back against the foreign enemies of the United States, including those in western Europe who blame their own inadequacies on us. Fight back against the purveyors of an international bureaucratic state. Fight back against the carpers and critics who envy American power without appreciating American generosity and moral purpose. Fight back against those who still espouse Marxist ideologies. Fight back, most of all, against the jihadists and their enablers and fellow travelers.

But how? How to fight back? What to do?....

James Madison famously noted that men are not angels and are not governed by them. To "get real" is to recognize those times (which are most times) when the perfect is, in the short run, unattainable, and to therefore accept the imperfect-but-good when it is available. There's nothing wrong with doing some good now and then immediately starting to work for even greater good later. Incrementalism can work. And imperfect friends may well remain friends unless we choose to turn them into enemies.

That's just a start on the list of the essentials for fighting back. Rather than continue the list, let's leave theory behind and apply those lessons, especially that last one, to today's political and historical circumstances. Here's what's real: Conservatives' weak political position will be hard to turn around while a president whom the public firmly identifies as a conservative is unpopular and under siege. President George W. Bush has made more than his share of mistakes and has proved not to be conservative on a number of issues -- but conservatives cannot fly so long as Bush is grounded.

And the fact is that Bush has delivered tax cuts that have created what is quite arguably the strongest economy in the history of the world. Bush has chosen a host of good judges (even if he hasn't fought well enough for some of them), and has delivered two excellent Supreme Court judges. Bush led well in the immediate aftermath of 9/11. Bush put his political capital on the line, with great success, to elect Republicans (all of them more right-leaning than their Democratic opponents) to the House and Senate in 2002 and 2004. Bush has strongly pursued the war against international terrorists and has done well at warding off any major attacks on our homeland since 9/11. And, ineffectually but bravely, Bush tried hard to deliver Social Security reform that included market-based personal accounts.

I think it was National Review which long promised to be fair-weather critics but foul-weather friends to those who would try to carry the conservative banner. The Bush administration is experiencing the foulest of weather right now. It's therefore time to be friends, to prop up what is still prop-up-able, to defend every single thing that is defensible, and to claim those successes (such as the economy) which should by rights be indubitable. "Getting real" means that it's time to recognize that foul weather affecting the president befouls the whole conservative movement as well, and that manning the oars and the bailing buckets and tightening the sails is now the best way forward.

As we accept that reality, let's offer hope. Recapture the spirit of Ronald Reagan's insistence that our best days lie ahead.

And then communicate that hope, and the worthiness of our cause, to the fullest extent of our abilities. Get real, offer hope, and communicate, all in the name first of fighting back, and then of absolutely prevailing -- not just for our own good, but for a good greater than ourselves.”

Quin Hillyer is a senior editor of The American Spectator.


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Was Cho taught to hate? by James Lewis

Was Cho taught to hate?
James Lewis, American Thinker

Yes, I know. Tens of thousands of ordinary college students are lonely, full of rage, lost and frustrated. A few percent are psychotically disturbed, and some of them can kill. Our big factory colleges are alienating. Take millions of adolescents, and at any time there are bound to be quite a few confused and seething souls walking loose. Just visit downtown in any American or European city, and you can see all the lost and disturbed living in their private hells. And no, that doesn't excuse executing thirty-two innocents.

Still, I wonder --- was Cho taught to hate? Whatever he learned in his classes --- did it enable him to rage at his host country, to hate the students he envied so murderously? Was he subtly encouraged to aggrandize himself by destroying others? Was his pathology enabled by the PC university? Or to ask the question differently --- was Cho ever taught to respect others, to admire the good things about his host country, and to discipline himself to build a positive life?

And that answer is readily available on the websites of Cho's English Department at Virginia Tech. This is a wonder world of PC weirdness. English studies at VT are a post-modern Disney World in which nihilism, moral and sexual boundary breaking, and fantasies of Marxist revolutionary violence are celebrated. They show up in a lot of faculty writing. Not by all the faculty, but probably by more than half.

Just check out their websites.

I wonder if Cho took the senior seminar by Professor Knapp, on "The self-justifying criminal in literature." Because he certainly learned to be a self-justifying criminal. Or whether he sat in courses with Nikki Giovanni, using her famous self-glorifying book, "The Prosaic Soul of Nikki Giovanni (2003)". Maybe he read Professor Bernice Hausman's "Changing Sex: Transsexualism, technology, and the idea of gender" --- just the thing for a disoriented young male suffering from massive culture shock on the hypersexual American campus. And even more gender-bending from Professor Paul Heilker, who wrote "Textual Androgyny, the Rhetoric of the Essay, and the Politics of Identity in Composition (or The Struggle to Be a Girly-Man in a World of Gladiator Pumpitude)." Or the Lesbian love stories of Professor Matthew Vollmer. Yup, that's just what this student needs. These trophy "art works" are all advertised on the English Department faculty websites.

Or maybe Cho was assigned Professor Lisa Norris' prize-winning book, Toy Guns, featured on her web site. The book reviewers wrote
"All ten stories in this disturbing collection revolve around Americans' passionate devotion to guns, gun-toting, sexually-tinged violence, and the womanly pursuit of power and dignity." [....]

"In each wrenching story, we see an America out of control, in love with war...."
I don't know any Americans who are in love with war, but that is the picture Cho got from his teachers. Having spent the last 14 years as a resident alien in the school system, he could know nothing else.

And then there is the big Marxist website from Professor Brizee, all in fiery red against pitch black, showing old, mass-murder-inspiring Karl flanked by two raised fists. It celebrates revolutionary violence and hate for capitalist America (which is paying for Cho's education). "Critical Social Theory" --- the euphemism for PoMo (Post Modern) Marxism --- is a big part of English teaching at VT. The Marxist page links prominently to the British Socialist Worker's Party, which is currently leading the charge for Islamic fascism through such creatures as George Galloway.

And, talking about Islamist ideas, there is Professor Carter-Tod, who wrote a report about "Treatment of Arab American, Muslums and Seiks (sic) Post 911," for the US Civil Rights Commission. The racial grievance industry is alive and growing at VT.

Post-modernism, with its hatred for reason, is another big theme at the VT English Department. Professor James Collier boasts about his book, Philosophy, Rhetoric and the End of Knowledge: A New Beginning for Science and Technology Studies, But "the end of knowledge" is the beginning of ignorance.

And of course there is the "diversity" crowd, diversity being a very well-funded program at ole' guilt-tripping VT. There's Professor Carlos Evia, who describes himself as " director de la Comisión de Igualdad y Diversidad en Virginia Tech." Or in English, "I am also chair of the Virginia Tech Commission on Equal Opportunity and Diversity." There's "research" in "Feminist science fiction" and "The comic strip" from Professor Susan C. Allender-Hagedorn. Scratching racial and gender wounds until they bleed is a big preoccupation at VT. What's a kid from South Korea to think?

The question I have is: Are university faculty doing their jobs? At one time college teachers were understood to have a parental role. Take a look at the hiring and promotion criteria for English at VT, and you see what their current values are. Acting in loco parentis, with the care, protectiveness, and alertness for trouble among young people is the last thing on their minds. They are there to do "research," to act like fake revolutionaries, and to stir up young people to go out and revolt against society. Well, somebody just did.

I'm sorry but VT English doesn't look like a place that gives lost and angry adolescents the essential boundaries for civilized behavior. In fact, in this perversely disorienting PoMo world, the very words "civilized behavior" are ridiculed --- at least until somebody starts to shoot students, and then it's too late. A young culture-shocked adolescent can expect no firm guidance here. But we know that already

What's the English Department's official frontpage reaction to the murder of thirty-two students just a few days ago? Here it is.

"We do not understand this tragedy 

We know we did nothing to deserve it

But neither does a child in Africa 

Dying of AIDS

Neither does the baby elephant watching his community 

Be devastated for ivory 

... Neither does the Mexican child looking 

For fresh water

... Neither does the Appalachian infant killed 

By a boulder 


Because the land was destabilized"

In other words: We didn't do nuthin.' It ain't our fault. It's greedy capitalism's fault. We don't teach civilized behavior, the value of reason, the cultural foundations of Western thought. We teach adolescent rage, because that's how we make a living. We do narcissistic "research" in Marxist analysis of American brutal capitalism. We're good people. See how much we care about AIDS in Africa. Don't blame us. We ain't responsible.

To check out the Virginia Tech faculty websites mentioned, go to the original American Thinker article.


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Saturday, April 21, 2007

Will Those Calling Him a Liar, a Hitler, Listen?

Do all you childish posters suffering from Bush Derangement Syndrome who place all these nasty posts every day calling for the impeachment of Bush and Cheney or calling President Bush a liar, a Hitler, a murderer, who think it’s funny to speculate about his assassination, do you have the ability to grow up and sit down and read a portion of the speech he gave yesterday?

President's Tipp City Address, April 19, 2007 (Excerpt)

“My decision making was deeply affected by the attack of September the 11th, 2001. It was a -- it was a moment that defined a dangerous world to me with absolute clarity. I realized then that this country was no longer invulnerable to attack from what may be happening overseas.

I realized that there is an enemy of the United States that is active and is lethal. At further study of that enemy, I realized that they share an ideology, that these weren't -- that the -- and when you really think about it, the September the 11th attack was not the first attack. There was a 1993 World Trade Center attack, there was attacks on our embassies in East Africa, there was an attack on the USS Cole, there have been other attacks on U.S. citizens, and that these attacks were instigated and carried out by cold-blooded killers who have a belief system. They are threatened by free societies. They can't stand the thought of freedom being the prevailing attitude in the world because their view is, if you don't believe in what I believe in, you probably shouldn't be around.

This enemy is smart, capable, and unpredictable. They have defined a war on the United States, and I believe we're at war. I believe the attack on America made it clear that we're at war. I wish that wasn't the case. Nobody ought to ever hope to be a war President, or a presidency -- a President during war.

But that's how I see the world. And I made a vow that I would do everything I could, and work with members of Congress to do everything they could, to protect the United States. It is the most solemn duty of our country, is to protect our country from harm.

I've chosen a path that says we will go overseas and defeat them there. I also know full well that it's important for us if we're facing an ideology, if we're facing ideologues, if we're confronting people who believe something, that we have got to defeat their belief system with a better belief system. Forms of government matter, in my opinion. It matters how -- the nature of the government in which people live.

And therefore, I have put as part of our foreign policy not only an aggressive plan to find extremists and radicals and bring them to justice before they hurt us, but also to help people live in liberty -- free societies, as the great alternative to people living under a tyrant, for example.

And so my decision making was based upon those principles. And now we're involved in -- I call it a global war against terror. You can't call it a global war against extremists, a global war against radicals, a global war against people who want to hurt America; you can call it whatever you want, but it is a global effort. And by the way, the United States is not alone in this effort. We're helping lead an effort. And the major battlefield in this global war is Iraq. And I want to spend some time talking about Iraq.

Living under a tyrant must be just brutal, and living under the reign of Saddam Hussein was incredibly brutal. A lot of innocent people were killed, a lot of people were cowed by the state. There really wasn't much in terms of a civil structure that would enable people to have a form of a representative government. People were kept apart through violence, in many ways. People were pitted against each other. A lot of people were given favored treatment.

The decision to remove Saddam Hussein was a difficult decision, I think a necessary decision. If you want to talk about that later on, we can. And what has happened since then is that we are trying to help a young democracy survive in the heart of the Middle East, and at the same time prevent our stated enemies from establishing safe haven from which to attack us again.

Now I say that -- preventing our enemies from establishing a safe haven from which to attack us again -- because that is their stated objective in Iraq. That's what al Qaeda says. Al Qaeda is the same group of folks that attacked us on September the 11th. They have said their objective is to drive the United States out of Iraq in order to establish safe haven. And why would they need safe haven? They would need safe haven from which to plot and plan and train to attack again. They have an objective, and that is to spread their ideology throughout the Middle East. That is what they have stated. That's their objectives.

Our objective is to deny them safe haven, is to prevent al Qaeda from being able to do in Iraq that which they did in Afghanistan, which is where they trained thousands of young men to come and kill -- to eventually kill innocent people.

Our objective also is to help a young democracy flourish in a part of the world that desperately needs liberty, in a part of the world where government -- forms of government will provide hope so as eventually to discourage the type of mentality that says 19 kids should get on airplanes and kill 3,000 people.

And it's incredibly hard work, but I have come to the conclusion, obviously, that it's necessary work. It's necessary work for peace.

In 2005, the Iraqi people went to the polls; 12 million voted. I view that as a statement that says -- by the way, I wasn't surprised that 12 million people, if given a chance to vote, voted. I was pleased, but I wasn't surprised. And the reason I wasn't surprised is because I believe in this principle: I believe liberty is universal. I don't believe freedom is just confined to America. I think there is a universal principle that all people desire and want and should be free, that it's not just an American ideal, it is universal.

I think back, for example, right after World War II -- people might have argued after fighting the Japanese that they don't want to be free, they're the enemy; they killed a lot of people, they attacked the United States; why should we work to help them be free? Except those people were -- didn't quite understand not only do people want to be free, that when free societies emerge they're more likely to yield the peace.

And so it's a -- this country began to evolve, and it started with elections. It's easy to forget the elections because of all the violence. In 2006, I was convinced that we would be able to reposition our troops and have fewer troops in Iraq because the Iraqis want to take on the security themselves. This is a sovereign government. People got elected. They want to be -- showing the people of Iraq that they can run their own government. I don't know if you get that sense on your TV screens or not, but I certainly get that sense when I talk to the Prime Minister, with whom I speak quite frequently.

And yet they -- and yet, the enemy -- and the enemy -- when I say, enemy, these are enemies of free societies, primarily al Qaeda inspired -- blew up the great religious shrine in '06, a year ago -- all aiming to create a sense of sectarian violence, all aiming to exacerbate the religious tensions that sometimes were exacerbated under Saddam Hussein, all aiming at preventing this young democracy from succeeding. And they succeeded. The enemy succeeded in causing there to be sectarian strife. In other words, the government wasn't ready to provide security. People started taking matters into their own hands. I'm going to protect myself, or I'm going to rely upon somebody else to protect me, they would say.

So I have a decision point to make, last fall. And the decision point was whether or not to either scale back or increase our presence in Iraq. And that was a difficult decision. It's difficult any time, as I told you, you put a soldier in harm's way. I understand the consequence of committing people into war. The interesting thing is I'm the Commander-in-Chief of an incredibly amazing group of men and women who also understand that consequence, and yet are willing to volunteer.

The question was, do we increase our -- I call it, reinforce, you can call it, surge, there's all kind of words for it -- or do we pull back? As you know, I made a decision to reinforce. And I did because I believe the Iraqis want to have a peaceful society. I believe Iraqi mothers want their children to grow up in peace, just like American mothers do. I think, if given a chance, that society can emerge into a free society. I felt strongly that if violence erupted, sectarian violence erupted in the capital, it would make it impossible to achieve the objective, and that is to help this free society. Listen, there are -- or let it emerge into a free society.

And the goal is a country that is stable enough for the government to work, that can defend itself and serve as an ally in this war on terror, that won't be a safe haven, that will deny the extremists and the radicals. I happen to think there will be an additional dividend when we succeed -- remember the rug? I'm optimistic we can succeed. I wouldn't ask families to have their troops there if I didn't think, one, it was necessary, and two, we can succeed. I believe we're going to succeed. And I believe success will embolden other moderate people that said, we're going to reject extremists and radicals in their midst.

There's a good group of people in Washington, fair, decent, honorable people -- and by the way, in this political discourse, we should never question anybody's patriotism if they don't happen to agree with the President. That's not the American way. The American way is we ought to have a honest and open dialogue. There are good people, patriotic people who didn't believe that additional troops would make that big a difference, and therefore, we should not increase, but in some cases, pull out; in some cases, pull back. Either case, having weighed the options, I didn't think it was viable, and I didn't think it would work.

A couple of points I want to make, and then I promise to stop talking and answer your questions. People often ask me, what are we seeing on TV? What's happening with the violence? Here's my best analysis: One, the spectaculars you see are al Qaeda inspired. They claim credit for a lot of the big bombings. The bombing of the parliament was al Qaeda; the bombing of the Golden Samarra was al Qaeda. These are the Sunni extremists inspired by Osama bin Laden who attacked the United States. I keep repeating that because I want you to understand what matters overseas, in my judgment, affects the security of the United States of America in this new era.

Their objective is twofold: One, shake the confidence of the average Iraqi that their government is incapable of providing security, and therefore, people will turn to militias in order to protect themselves. Their second objective is to shake our confidence. It's an interesting war, isn't it, where asymmetrical warfare is -- and that means people being able to use suicide bombers -- not only, obviously, kills a lot of innocent people, like which happened yesterday in Iraq, but also helps define whether or not we're successful.

If the definition of success in Iraq or anywhere is no suicide bombers, we'll never be successful. We will have handed al Qaeda "that's what it takes" in order to determine whether or not these young democracies, for example, can survive. Think about that: if our definition is no more suiciders, you've just basically said to the suiciders, go ahead.

Iran is influential inside of Iraq. They are influential by providing advanced weaponry. They are influential by dealing with some militias, tend to be Shia militias, all aiming to create discomfort, all aiming to kind of -- according to some -- to create enough discomfort for the United States, but in doing so, they're making it harder for this young democracy to emerge. Isn't it interesting, when you really take a step back and think about what I just said, that al Qaeda is making serious moves in Iraq, as is surrogates for Iran.

Two of the biggest issues we face for the security of this country today and tomorrow is al Qaeda and Iran. And yet their influence is being played out in Iraq.

I believe that if we were to leave before this country had an opportunity to stabilize, to grow -- and by the way, I fully understand and completely agree with those who say, this is not just a military mission alone. That is too much to ask our military to be able to achieve objectives without there being a corresponding political avenue, political strategy being fulfilled by the Iraqis. I fully expect them to reconcile. I fully expect them -- and I made it clear to the Prime Minister -- that they should pass different de-Baathification law, that they ought to have local elections, that they ought to share their oil wells so that people feel a common -- you know, a common bound to something bigger than provincialism.

They have to do work. They know they have to do work. I told that to Prime Minister Maliki this week on a secure video: You have an obligation to your people, and to our people, for that matter, to do the hard work necessary, to show people that you're capable of getting your government to move forward with political reconciliation. There has to be reconstruction money spent, their reconstruction money. They've dedicated $10 billion out of their budget, and now they've got to spend that money wisely to show people that the government can be for all the people.

But if we were to leave before that were to happen, I will share a scenario that I'm fearful of. One, that the very radicals and extremists who attack us would be emboldened. It would confirm their sense that the United States is incapable of long-term commitments, incapable of -- it would confirm their commitment that they think we're soft, let me put it to you that way. That's what they think.

I didn't necessarily mean that the United States has to kind of muscle up for the sake of muscling up. That's not what I'm trying to say. But I do believe it is risky to have an enemy that has attacked us before to not take the United States seriously for the long run.

Secondly, there would be a violence -- level of violence that would spill out beyond just the capital, could spill out beyond Iraq. And then you would have ancient feuds fueled by extremists and radicals competing for power -- radical Shia, radical extreme Sunnis, all competing for power. They would happen to share two enemies: one, the United States and Israel, for starters, and every other moderate person in the Middle East.

Imagine a scenario where the oil wealth of certain countries became controlled -- came under the control of a radical, extremist group. And then all of a sudden you'd be dealing not only with safe haven for potential violent attack, you'd be dealing with the economic consequences of people who didn't share the values of the West, for example.

Iran wants to -- they've stated they'd like to have -- let me just say, we believe they would like to have a nuclear weapon. Part of our diplomacy is to prevent them from doing so. If the United States were to leave a chaotic Iraq, not only would the vacuum of our failure there to help this young government enable extremists to move more freely and embolden them, but I also believe it would -- it could cause the Middle East to enter into a nuclear arms race.

The scenario I'm beginning to describe to you I believe is a real scenario, a real possibility for a scenario, and I believe if this were to happen, people would look back 30 years from now, or 20 years from now, and say, what happened to them in 2007; how come they couldn't see the threat?

And so I want to share that with you -- these thoughts with you, because as a person whose job it is to make decisions, you've got to understand that I'm making them on what I believe is solid ground. These are necessary decisions for the country.
We're having an interesting debate in Washington. John and I spent some time talking about it, and that is, this supplemental funding. I sent up a request to make sure our troops had the money necessary to do the missions that they have been asked to do. I want to share a couple thoughts with you on that, and then I'll answer some questions.

First, I think it's a mistake -- and I've made it clear -- that the Congress should not have artificial timetables for withdrawal in a funding statement. I'll tell you why. (Applause.) Thank you. The reason why is, if you're a young commander on the ground, or an Iraqi soldier, and you've been tasked with a mission to help provide security for a city, and an enemy hears that you're leaving soon, it affects your capacity to do your job. It sends a signal to a dangerous part of the world that it's just a matter of time things will happen.

I think it's a mistake for Congress to tell the military how to do its job. We've got fantastic generals and colonels and captains who are trained to carry on military missions; that's their responsibility. And it's very important that they be given the resources and the flexibility necessary to carry out that which the Commander-in-Chief has asked them to do.

I fully understand the debate, and again I repeat to you, it's an important debate. I would hope it would be conducted with civil tone to bring honor to the process. Sometimes it gets a little out of hand there in Washington, I admit. But my message to the Congress has been, don't put our troops in between the debate; let's get them the money, let's get the commanders the flexibility, and we can debate Iraq policy without shorting the capacity for these troops to do their jobs.

These are -- I would call these times consequential times. I believe we're in a long, ideological struggle. And I believe the struggle will determine whether or not this country is secure. People ask me -- you know, I've been reading a lot of history. People ask me, can you think of any historical parallels? Well, clearly the Cold War is an interesting parallel. There's a -- by the way, every new phase of history has its own unique features to it. For example, you've got a kid in the battlefield and he's emailing home every day. Or, four-hour [sic] news cycles.

There's a lot of -- asymmetrical warfare, or $50 weapons are sometimes used to defeat expensive vehicles. In other words, these are different times.
But there are some parallels. One is, of course, the ideological standoff during the Cold War, eventually won by freedom, the forces of freedom. For some, that sounds maybe corny. But it's true. It's an historical truth. And in my judgment, it requires people to have faith in that universal principle of liberty.

I like to remind people that my dad was a 18-year-old kid when he signed up to -- for the United States Navy in World War II, and went off to combat in a really bloody war. And yet, his son becomes the President, and one of his best friends in the international scene was the Prime Minister of Japan. Prime Minister Koizumi was a partner in peace. Isn't it interesting? I think there's a historical lesson there, that liberty has got the capacity to transform enemies to allies.

I think there's a lesson in Korea. I think if you were to ask somebody to predict in 1953 what the world would look like in the Far East, I don't think they would have said, China would have a marketplace that was growing, Korea would be our sixth largest trading partner -- I think it's the sixth largest trading partner, but certainly a partner in peace. And Japan would have been an ally, a strong ally that would have committed troops to the young democracy of Iraq, to help this democracy. I don't think people would have predicted that, but, in fact, it happened. It happened because the United States provided enough stability so that societies were able to evolve toward free societies, or freer societies.

We've got -- we face this -- we face a unique set of challenges, but I think we can learn something from history when we think about those challenges. I guess my conclusion is, I believe the decisions I have made were not only necessary to protect the country, but are laying a foundation of peace, the beginnings of laying that foundation of peace, so that generations will look back and say, thank goodness -- thank goodness, America didn't lose sight of basic principles, and thank goodness, America stayed true to her beliefs, and thank goodness, America led.”

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Thursday, April 19, 2007


After years of watching my beautiful daughter slowly commit suicide by drinking herself to death – frustrated over and over by Massachusetts laws that protect the “rights” of those with minor mental health problems to kill themselves – and prevent family members from ever being able to do anything effectively to stop them, it was with the greatest sadness and outrage that I watched the tragic events at Virginia Tech unfold. We have closed institutions that needed to be closed; we provide drugs that give temporary respite to those bedeviled by mental dragons; we fill Dunkin Donuts with poor wretches with no other place to go; but as Cho Seung-Hui reminds us, all we have done is make a terrible problem worse.

I pray that this horrendous event triggers actions that will give families, public officials and administrators more power to protect the public without incurring lawsuits by mental health “advocates” – and give families more power to intervene to protect their own loved ones.


NY Post, April 19, 2007 -- Now comes news that a court in 2005 found Virginia Tech gunman Cho Seung-Hui to be "mentally ill" and an "imminent danger to others" - but then let him go.

Anyone who doubts that the court's diagnosis was correct need only reference the video diatribe Cho mailed to NBC news, which aired the clip last night.

That Cho was free is an outrage.

But it's not exactly news that American courts regularly elevate abstract personal rights above those of the public.

Certainly, many questions remain in the the Virginia Tech massacre.

But it's not too soon to wonder why in hell Cho was left to wander freely after that sort of a court finding - and numerous other warnings as well.

Were authorities so concerned with Cho's rights that they declined not only to commit him to a secure hospital, but even allowed him to stay in school?
Most perplexing: How on earth was Cho able legally to purchase a gun, given his history of mental illness?

Yes, the law in this country is deferential to individual rights - as opposed to those of society in general. That's the American way.

But ever since the development of effective psychotropic drugs back in the '60s spurred the so-called "de-institutionalization" movement - fancy words for dumping mental patients on the streets - it's been clear that in this realm, at least, the pendulum desperately needs to swing back in favor of the public.

Nothing drives home that point more painfully than the 32 murders committed Monday at VT.

And, yes, Cho's own suicide

Looking back at Cho's past, the red flags just leap right out:

* More than a year ago, he was accused of stalking two female students.
* Officials feared he might be suicidal.
* Teachers say his writings were dark and twisted, and students say he shunned eye contact and conversation.
* His behavior so alarmed faculty that he was removed from an English class and urged to get counseling.
* Some reports suggest he was taking medication for depression.

But most troubling is the finding by the Virginia court - issued in a "temporary detention order" - that Cho was un- stable and dangerous.

If so, why was he sent only to outpatient care, rather than confined to a forensic ward in a secure hospital?

Cho apparently did go to a nearby pyschiatric center for evaluation. But so far there's been little evidence of any meaningful action after that.

He was also referred to the school's disciplinary system. But federal law is so skewed toward individual rights that university officials said yesterday that they can't divulge any information about that.

New York has had its own painful experiences with mentally ill individuals who were shown far too much latitude.

When Kendra Webdale lost her life in 1999 at the hands of a violent, mentally ill man who had stopped taking his medication, the Empire State finally woke up.
Albany passed Kendra's Law, which provided for forced medication of the violent mentally ill.

Surely, there's more that New York can do to protect the public - without unreasonably infringing on personal rights.

But it may well turn out that Virginia - and other parts of the nation - are behind even New York.

Meanwhile, America awaits a timely explanation as to why Cho Seung-Hui - armed to the teeth and declared by a court to be dangerous - was on the VT campus in the first place.

And as to what Virginia's plans are to ensure it won't happen again.


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Supreme Court OKs Abortion Procedure Ban

A little sanity enters a crazy world, and the first step in restoring constitutional government has now been taken.

Apr 18, 3:48 PM (ET)

By MARK SHERMAN, (Excerpt)

WASHINGTON (AP) - "The Supreme Court's conservative majority handed anti-abortion forces a major victory Wednesday in a decision that bans a controversial abortion procedure and set the stage for further restrictions.
For the first time since the court established a woman's right to an abortion in 1973, the justices upheld a nationwide ban on a specific abortion method, labeled partial-birth abortion by its opponents.

The 5-4 decision written by Justice Anthony Kennedy said the Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act that Congress passed and President Bush signed into law in 2003 does not violate a woman's constitutional right to an abortion."

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Wednesday, April 18, 2007

My Slow Transformation Concerning Islam

Like most Americans before 9/11, I spent little time thinking about the Muslim religion and its implications for America. Of course I was aware of the many acts of terrorism that had been carried out against Americans and American interests that restarted in 1979 with the kidnapping of our diplomats and citizens in our embassy in Tehran, but I never really connected these dots until 9/11. I vaguely had associated the many terrorist bombings and mass murders with our support for Israel or our support for the Shah. Then I went through a stage where I understood that we had to confront the terrorists militarily everywhere in the world that they were operating, but I had no problems with Muslim-Americans living here.

In this I took my cue from President Bush, who has a different outlook and different responsibilities than I have, and who maintained that this was not a religious war, and that jihad was limited to a small number of Muslims who either misapplied their religious tenets or took certain commandments too far. The President is right in not wanting the world to see this as a religious war, and he is especially right in wanting to protect the rights of Muslim-Americans from the yahoos among us.

But, unfortunately, it is a religious war – not by us against them, but by them (the Islamists) against us. Almost everywhere around the world terrorist acts are occurring daily, and it is ALWAYS carried out by Muslims – against Christians, against Jews, against Hindus, against Buddhists and against other Muslims. And where they are not actively engaged in terrorism, they are trying to overwhelm whatever country they have chosen to live with their demands for imposition of their Sharia – their code of laws – sometimes on an incremental basis and sometimes the whole thing at once. This is going on in the USA and in many countries around the world.

“Three weeks ago Minneapolis Star Tribune columnist Katherine Kersten took to the Wall Street Journal to explore the phenomenon of Sharia in Minnesota. Kathy's Star Tribune colleague Curt Brown subsequently reported:

Minneapolis Community and Technical College is poised to become the state's first public school to install a foot-washing basin to help the school's 500 Muslim students perform pre-prayer rituals. "We want to be welcoming," MCTC President Phil Davis said, noting a student was hurt trying to wash in a regular sink.” See Continuation below*

I have written before about the attempted imposition of Sharia law in Ontario, Canada – successfully resisted mainly through the efforts of one woman, Homa Arjomand, an immigrant from Iran who once lived under its draconian measures. We may not like it, and it may offend our traditions about religion, but we have to watch for and we have to counter the many attempts to impose Sharia here in the USA.

In Europe the bullying by Muslims has been reported hundreds of times in the last five years, and it appears that Denmark, Germany, France and Great Britain have the biggest problems in this respect, although Spain, which kowtowed to Islam after a major loss of life in a terrorist bombing, is now poised to feel the brunt:

NEWS FEATURE: Alarm in Spain over al-Qaeda call for its "reconquest"
By Sinikka Tarvainen, EUX TV, 4/13/07

Madrid (dpa) - The emergence of a new al-Qaeda-linked organization in Northern Africa is alarming Spain, which is concerned about Islamists' calls for the reconquest of the country they regard as a lost part of the Muslim world.

"We will not be in peace until we set our foot again in our beloved al-Andalus," al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb said on claiming responsibility for an attack which killed at least 24 people in Algiers on Wednesday.

Al-Andalus is the Moorish name for Spain, parts of which were ruled by Muslims for about eight centuries until the last Moorish bastion, Granada, succumbed to the Christian Reconquest in 1492.

The terrorists will undoubtedly attempt to extend their offensive from Northern Africa to European soil, anti-terrorism judge Baltasar Garzon warned, cautioning that Spain was at a "very high risk" of suffering an Islamist attack.

The reference to al-Andalus was not the first by al-Qaeda, which has also vowed to put an end to the Spanish "occupation" of the enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla on the Moroccan coast.

Such announcements worry the security services in Spain, where 29 mainly Moroccan suspects are on trial for the 2004 Madrid train bombings that killed 191 and injured about 1,800 people.

The bombings were mainly a reaction to the war alliance of Spain's former conservative government with the United States in Iraq, but some of the terrorists are also known to have dreamed of reconquering al-Andalus.

The bloodbath in Algiers could launch a new string of attacks in Northern Africa and Europe, including Spain, terrorism expert Fernando Reinares warned.

Al-Qaeda is extending its activities in Northern Africa, where the Algiers bombings were preceded by the suicides of three Moroccan Islamists who blew themselves up to avoid being captured by police on Tuesday.

The Algerian-based al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, formerly known as the Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat (GSPC), intends to federate North African Islamist cells under a common umbrella.

Some of the people who could attack Spain may already be in the country, where nearly 80 per cent of prison inmates jailed on charges related to international terrorism have come from Northern Africa over the past five years.

Islamist radicals proselytize at an estimated 10 per cent of Spain's hundreds of unofficial mosques, which operate in garages, basements and the like.

Spain has become an important base for the recruitment of suicide bombers who are sent to Iraq, according to press reports. Some of the fighters are believed to be trained in new al-Qaeda camps in Sahel countries such as Mali, Niger or Mauritania.

The Madrid train bombings appear to have been organized by a home- grown Islamist cell with the backing of the Moroccan Islamic Combatant Group (GICM).

Ceuta and Melilla, which have sizeable Muslim populations, could well be the next targets, judge Garzon warned.

*“today Kathy contrasts the treatment of Christianity and Islam at Minnneapolis Technical Community College:

Its officials say the college, a public institution, has a strict policy of not promoting religion or favoring one religion over another. "The Constitution prevents us from doing this in any form," says Dianna Cusick, director of legal affairs.
But that seems to depend on your religion.”

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Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Slain Israeil Professor Saved Others in Va. Tech Massacre

by Gil Ronen
As Israel observed Holocaust Day, thousands of miles away, A Rumanian-born Holocaust survivor gave his life in another senseless murder - and apparently in an act of heroism.

Among the 32 people killed by a lone gunman at Virginia Tech Monday is 77-year-old engineering professor, Liviu Librescu, a citizen of Israel. According to eyewitness accounts, Librescu ran to the door of his classroom and blocked it with his body – preventing the gunman from entering but getting shot to death himself as a result.

Alec Calhoun, a 20-year-old student who had been in Librescu's class in room 204, told a reporter that at 9:05 a.m. the heard screams and a loud banging sound from the next-door classroom. When the students realized it was gunfire, he said, some hid behind tables, and others leapt from the classroom's windows. Calhoun himself was among the last to jump. "Before I jumped from the window, I turned around and looked at the professor, who stayed behind, maybe to block the door. He had been killed."

Librescu is survived by his wife of 42 years, Marlena, who was with him in Virginia, and sons Aryeh and Joe who are in Israel. They intend to bury him in Israel.

Asael Arad, an Israeli student who visited the widow after the tragedy, told Army Radio Tuesday that Marlena had been receiving e-mails from students who credited Prof. Librescu with saving their lives. "I lost my best friend," the widow told a reporter for NRG at her home near the Blacksburg campus. "He was a great person, who loved teaching more than anything." Marlena said someone had initially informed her that her husband was injured in the shooting. "I looked for him in the hospitals all day but I didn't find him," she said.

The Librescus are Rumanian Jews who came on aliyah (immigrated to Israel) in 1978 – after then-Prime Minister Begin interceded on their behalf with the Rumanian government, according to Marlena. The couple went on a sabbatical to the United States since 1986 and has been living there ever since.


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Monday, April 16, 2007

Is Google Messing With A Global Warming Video?

A few weeks ago, I posted a link to the “Great Global Warming Swindle” video here on my weblog. As a skeptic about the evidence presented so far by global warming alarmists, I wanted another side and facts I thought more persuasive to be told. The video points out that CO2 increases happen AFTER temperatures rise, that the “hockey stick” has been discredited, that computer models are wildly inaccurate, that most of the recent temperature rises have occurred BEFORE 1940 and that there have been warming and cooling cycles of the earth throughout known history. After posting the link to the video, two things occurred: Google kept changing the location of the link, and left-wingers began flooding the internet with attacks on the character of the video’s director.

I’m not much for conspiracy theories, but these changes by Google do seem odd. Four times I have had to correct the link address since I put it up. If you follow the link and don’t find the video, you can always (so far) search Google and find its present location.

Here is a response by the video’s director to the name-calling and attacks on his character:

'The global-warmers were bound to attack, but why are they so feeble?'
Telegraph, 17/03/2007

'The Great Global Warming Swindle', broadcast by Channel 4, put the case for scepticism about man-made climate change. The programme sparked a heated debate and charges of scientific inaccuracy. Here, its director, Martin Durkin, responds to the critics.

On March 8, Channel 4 broadcast my programme. Since then, supporters of the theory of man-made global warming have published frothing criticism. I am attacked for using an "old" graph depicting temperature over the past 1,000 years. They say I should have used a "new" graph - one used by Al Gore, known as the "hockey stick", because it looks like one.

But the hockey stick has been utterly discredited. The computer programme used to generate it was found to produce hockey-stick shapes even when fed random data (I refer readers to the work of McIntyre & McKitrick and to the Wegman Report, all available on the internet). Other than the discredited hockey stick, the graph used by us (and published by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) is the standard, accepted record of temperature in this period.

A critic claims that one of the graphs cited by us, illustrating the extraordinarily close correlation between solar variation and temperature change, has since been "corrected". It most certainly has not. The graph was produced by Prof Eigil Friis-Christensen, the head of the Danish National Space Centre, who says it still stands. But if the global-warmers don't like that graph, there are plenty of others that say the same thing.

No one any longer seriously disputes the link between solar activity and temperature in earth's climate history. I urge readers to look up on the net: Veizer, Geoscience Canada, 2005; and Soon, Geophysical Research Letters, 2005.

In the film, we used three graphs depicting temperature change in the 20th century. On one there was an error in the dates on the bottom. This was corrected for the second transmission of the programme, on More4, last Monday. It made no difference.

Global-warmers can pick whichever graph they like. The problem for them remains the same. The temperature rise at the beginning of the century (prior to 1940, when human emissions of CO2 were relatively insignificant) was as great, most graphs show greater, than the temperature rise at the end of the century.

So what else do they hit me with? Prof Carl Wunsch, of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, who appeared in the film, later claimed he was duped into taking part. He was not.

The remarkable thing is not that I was attacked. But that the attacks have been so feeble. The ice-core data was the jewel in the global-warming crown, cited again and again as evidence that carbon dioxide 'drives' the earth's climate. In fact, as its advocates have been forced to admit, the ice-core data says the opposite.

Temperature change always precedes changes in CO2 by several hundred years. Temperature drives CO2, not the other way round. The global-warmers do not deny this. They cannot.

During the post-war economic boom, while industrial emissions of CO2 went up, the temperature went down (hence the great global-cooling scare in the 1970s). Why? They say maybe the cooling was caused by SO2 (sulphur dioxide) produced by industry. But they say it mumbling under their breath, because they know it makes no sense. Thanks to China and the rest, SO2 levels are far, far higher now than they were back then. Why isn't it perishing cold?

Too many journalists and scientists have built their careers on the global-warming alarm. Certain newspapers have staked their reputation on it. The death of this theory will be painful and ugly. But it will die. Because it is wrong, wrong, wrong.


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Sunday, April 15, 2007

Stem cells shown to rein in Type 1 diabetes

Researchers say the experimental treatment left most patients 'absolutely medication-free' for months -- even years.

By Karen Kaplan
LA Times Staff Writer (Excerpt)

April 11, 2007

”Researchers have demonstrated for the first time that the progression of Type 1 diabetes can be halted — and possibly reversed — by a stem-cell transplant that preserves the body's diminishing ability to make insulin, according to a study published today.

The experimental therapy eliminated the need for insulin injections for months or even years in 14 of 15 patients recently diagnosed with the disease. One subject, a 30-year-old male, hasn't taken insulin since his stem-cell transplant more than three years ago, according to the study in the Journal of the American Medical Assn.”

Editorial note: these are adult stem cells and not embryonic stem cells. Embryonic stem cells continue to receive virtually no private research funds because the prospect for meaningful results is considered so poor. As the controversy over federal funding of embryonic stem cell research flares again, please remember that potential human life is at stake and what the real facts are.

Recently, Charles Krauthammer, not only a leading columnist but also a medical doctor said recently:

“You don't need religion to tremble at the thought of unrestricted embryo research.
You simply have to have a healthy respect for the human capacity for doing evil in pursuit of the good. Once we have taken the position of many stem cell advocates that embryos are discardable tissue with no more intrinsic value than a hangnail or an appendix, then all barriers are down. What is to prevent us from producing not just tissues and organs, but human-like organisms for preservation as a source of future body parts on demand?

South Korea enthusiastically embraced unrestricted stem cell research. The subsequent greatly heralded breakthroughs -- accompanied by lamentations that America was falling behind -- were eventually exposed as a swamp of deception, fraud and coercion.

The slope is very slippery. Which is why, even though I disagreed with where the president drew the line -- I would have permitted the use of fertility-clinic embryos that are discarded and going to die anyway -- I applauded his insistence that some line must be drawn, that human embryos are not nothing, and that societal values, not just the scientific imperative, should determine how they are treated.

Congress will soon vote to erase Bush's line. But future generations may nonetheless thank Bush for standing athwart history, if only for a few years. It gave technology enough time to catch up and rescue us from the moral dilemmas of embryonic destruction. It has just been demonstrated that stem cells with enormous potential can be harvested from amniotic fluid.

This is a revolutionary finding. Amniotic fluid surrounds the baby in the womb during pregnancy. It is routinely drawn out by needle in amniocentesis. The procedure carries little risk and is done for legitimate medical purposes that have nothing to do with stem cells. If it nonetheless yields a harvest of stem cells, we have just stumbled upon an endless supply.

And not just endless, but uncontroversial. No embryos are destroyed. The cells are just floating there, as if waiting for science to discover them

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Friday, April 13, 2007

Islam Part III - Ban the Muslim Religion Say Some

There are serious efforts being made by serious people to introduce a Constitutional amendment that would ban the Muslim religion since it is a political movement, and not simply a religion, and since it seeks to destroy all opposition and impose Sharia on the western world. There is ample precedent for such an approach in that we have had the Smith Act that was aimed at combating the Communist Party in the United States. The Smith Act (1940) provided for the registration and fingerprinting of aliens living in the United States and declared it unlawful to advocate, teach, or belong to any group advocating the forceful overthrow of any government in the United States. The Smith Act was declared constitutional as long as it was applied to persons who committed an overt act towards the overthrow of our form of government.

A more moderate, but possibly more acceptable, but yet effective approach to the problem we face has been proposed by Lawrence Auster in his blog, “View From The Right”:

1. Declare that Islam is not just a religion but a political movement aimed at gaining power, and therefore the individual beliefs of individual Muslims matter less than the overall presence of Islam among us which strengthens the Islamic political agenda. Therefore (1) Islam is not a religion receiving protections under the First Amendment, and (2) Islam is not welcome in this country. Also declare that America renounces multiculturalism, the idea that all cultures are equal, and that it intends to go on existing as a distinct country with a distinct culture and way of life and will in the future adopt laws consistent with that purpose.

This declaration is the basis of everything that follows.

2. Cease all further immigration of Muslims, from whatever country, with only special individual exceptions for close relatives, etc.

3. Make resident aliens leave. This could start with singling out resident aliens with jihad associations, but then if deemed necessary be upped to include all Muslims resident aliens.

4. Make all Muslim illegal aliens leave.

5. Examine the beliefs, associations, statements, and actions of all naturalized Muslim citizens. Those who are jihad supporters will lose their citizenship and be made to go back to their country of origin.

6. Leave open as an option doing the same with natural born American citizens who are children of Muslim immigrants, as I discussed in my 2004 article at FP, “How to Defeat Jihad in America.”

7. Outlaw all mosques and Muslim schools and Muslim organizations that preach jihad and sharia or that disseminate literature advancing jihad and sharia.

8. Urge other non-Islamic countries to do the same, with the aim of initiating a vast worldwide Rollback of the Muslim “diaspora” back into the Muslim lands.

The fact that there is a serious discussion of this approach, and not just by the ‘crazies’ who also inhabit the internet, should be noted and acted upon by C.A.I.R and other Muslim organizations who deny Muslim terrorism and shield American imams preaching hatred and Sharia in the United States. If there is another horrendous incident of Muslim terrorism in our country like 9/11 (and who out there doesn’t believe that that is going to happen), we will certainly pass laws of this nature and carry them out with ferocity.

After all, this is what we face. American and European liberals don’t want you to see the following presentation, as they continue to downplay and ridicule the dangers we face. Please click

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Thursday, April 12, 2007

The Trouble with Islam Part II

Islam is not a Peaceful Religion

By Jesse Nickles,

I love Muslims. The few Muslim nations that I’ve visited are home to some of the most hospitable and generous people that I have ever met. However, this does not change the politically incorrect fact that Islam is an ideology that inherently promotes violence, subjugation, and inequality.

Before you call me a racist, let me clarify to you that I am analyzing Islam as an ideology that affects millions of people, and not generalizing the actions or attitudes of any certain ethnic group. You see, when the claim is submitted that “Islam is a peaceful religion,” it is most always based on the fact that indeed, most Muslims are peaceful people. This, however, only confirms the fact that most humans of the world pursue peaceful lives, without truly addressing the ideology itself.

I could easily construct an argument calling solely upon the news photos I see regularly of women being beaten in Kabul, or the mutilated bodies of Hindus in Bangladesh, or the toddlers dressed up as suicide bombers in Palestine, or a Ronald McDonald statue being burned in Pakistan. I could also call upon Muslim holidays like the Day of Ashoura, when Shiite Muslims slice open the heads of their babies with swords. I could even point out the fact that the Muslim world seems to have continually bloody borders: central and east Africa, the Balkans, the Caucasus, central Asia, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Philippines, etc. - but I suppose these would be cheap shots.

Many ideologies in the world that by their nature seek “good” have been perverted to accomplish “evil.” Hitler justified his wars by claiming allegiance with Christianity. “By fighting off the Jews,” he wrote in his book, Mein Kampf, “I am doing the Lord's work.” The list of perversions justified by the Catholic Church, likewise, is almost limitless - and interestingly, they have yet to add Mein Kampf to their “Index of Forbidden Books.”

In fact, a recent poster put up on UC Irvine’s campus by the recently established Atheists, Agnostics, and Rationalists Club argued that without religion, we would have “No Holocaust… No 9/11… No Problem.” Perhaps ignorance like this has certain foundations. But, as it turns out, there are other non-religious, well-meaning ideologies like communism that, according to the U.S. Senate, has been responsible for upwards of 100 million human deaths within the last century alone.

Islam is different than many “well-meaning” religious and social ideologies in that the ideology itself contains oppressive elements – it requires no perverting. In Arabic, the word “Islam” means “submission” (to the will of Allah); which is what Islam expects from both Muslims and non-Muslims, according to the Koran. It is now the fastest growing religion the world.

Ultimately, much of the inconsistency in Islamic ideology comes from the concept of “Nashk” – the idea of abrogating older ideas with newer ones. The very core of Islam is built upon this idea: the words of Christ are said to abrogate any conflicting commands of past Jewish texts, and the words of Mohammed are said to abrogate any conflicting commands of Christ. But since Mohammed’s death, his descendants and followers have routinely declared additions and subtractions from original Islamic texts in this same spirit of Nashk. Hence the ensuing chaos: Sunni verse Shiite, Egypt verse Iran, Osama bin Laden verse… well, I suppose most ayatollahs hate America these days too.

But most major Islamic texts and religious leaders seem to agree on one thing –that violence is desirable, or at least justifiable, against non-Muslims and “hypocritical” Muslims. In Surah 9:29 of the Koran, for example, it states:

“Fight against those who believe not in Allah, nor in the Last Day, nor forbid that which has been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger and those who acknowledge not the religion of truth among the people of the Scripture, until they pay the Jizyah with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.”

In other words, non-Muslims must either: convert to Islam, pay a heavy tax to Muslims, or face war. This verse, according to mainstream Islamic theology, abrogates earlier peaceful verses in the Koran that Mohammed wrote during the Mecca phase of Islam. Among other reasons for the shift, his new empire was short on money at the time.

Most Americans don’t realize that the very first foreign military engagement of the United States after gaining our independence was a response to proactive Muslim aggression – the First Barbary War, fought in the Mediterranean Sea. Muslim pirates had been demanding (and receiving) the Jizyah tax from American trade ships in exchange for safe passage, which eventually amounted to 20 percent of U.S. government annual revenues by the year 1800. In 1786, when Thomas Jefferson and John Adams went to negotiate with Tripoli’s ambassador in London, they asked him by what right the pirates extorted money and took slaves. Jefferson reported to Congress:

“The ambassador answered us that [the right] was founded on the Laws of the Prophet (Mohammed), that it was written in their Koran, that all nations who should not have answered their authority were sinners, that it was their right and duty to make war upon them wherever they could be found, and to make slaves of all they could take as prisoners, and that every Mussulman (Muslim) who should be slain in battle was sure to go to heaven.”

Upon Jefferson’s inauguration as president in 1801, further ransoms were denied, and a four-year war was eventually launched against Tripoli that ended in U.S. victory, now memorialized in the U.S. Marine Hymn. Ironically, it was Jefferson’s Koran that U.S. Congressman Keith Ellison was recently sworn in on.

Many Muslims respond to exposures like this by saying that verses have been “mistranslated” and that one cannot truly understand Islam without speaking Arabic. This is a hilarious defense when you realize that there are more Muslims in Indonesia than in all Arab nations combined – and yet, the growth of al-Qaeda and other violent Muslim groups doesn’t seem to be phased by so-called “mistranslation” in that part of the world, let alone anywhere. In fact, according to PBS, only 12 percent of Muslims worldwide are Arab, and the vast majority of Arab Americans are Christian.

I recently attended an event at UC Irvine put on by the Muslim Student Union where a former Christian pastor-turned-Muslim, Yusuf Estes, came to speak on peace, unity, and Islam. The audience was given the chance to submit question cards at the end, so taking up the offer, I wrote my own:

“Do you really think that Islam can contribute to a so-called ‘global peace’ when verses in the Koran such as Surah 9:29 and 9:39 advocate proactive violence against non-Muslims and when religious leaders in Iran and elsewhere lead Friday prayers asking Allah to aid them in the destruction of the United States and Israel?”

As my question was passed to the aisle, an MSU student leader collected it, and bewilderedly showed it to another man. After reading it, the man whispered back, “Tear it up or something,” and they ran to the back of the room to consult other MSU leaders. It made me feel sorry for them, because they obviously were peaceful Muslims that had not truly pondered the foundations of their religion. Perhaps I should let a few more verses from the Hadith (oral teachings of Mohammed) speak for themselves:

“You (i.e. Muslims) will fight with the Jews till some of them will hide behind stones. The stones will (betray them) saying, ‘O Abdullah (i.e. slave of Allah)! There is a Jew hiding behind me; so kill him.’” Hadith Sahih Bukhari, Vol. 4, Book 52, Number 176

“If a man is in a mood to have sexual intercourse, the woman must come immediately even if she is baking bread at a communal oven.” Hadith Sahih Tirmzi, Vol. 1, P.428

There is no such thing as Muslim extremists. There are only those that follow the teachings of Islam and those that don’t. Islamic “terrorists” simply choose to follow all such teachings, while most Muslims reject the teachings that they sensibly, and commendably, conclude are oppressive – even though they have trouble condemning Islamic “terrorists” dogmatically. It is a bizarre situation when an American can’t legally be a communist in some states, but is allowed to propagate an ideology that calls for the outright destruction of our country.

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The Trouble With Islam, Part I of a Series

Charles Lindbergh and Senator Kennedy’s father, Joe Kennedy, changed their minds about Adolph Hitler and Nazi Germany when their true nature became obvious. I guess I have to say that, reluctantly, I am changing my mind about the dangers posed to the future of America by Muslims who seem determined to impose their Sharia and their beliefs on the rest of us.

We cannot any longer ignore what has happened and is happening in Great Britain and in continental Europe as the tide of “peaceful” Islam rolls over their culture and their citizens. And it is happening here. The terrorist sponsorship by C.A.I.R., the denial of Islamic terrorism by other American Muslim groups, the large number of minor terrorist killings by Muslims here since 9/11, the attempt to impose the Sharia in Canada, the refusal of Muslim taxi drivers to carry passengers who offend them, the atrocious act by the so-called “flying Imams” and their subsequent lawsuit – all this and more have changed my mind and led me to come to believe that we need a policy concerning Islam in America that encourages assimilation and discourages the imposition of the Muslim culture on us. Islam is a political movement as well as a religion and should be treated as such.

I suppose this will surprise my readers who know that I have consistently tried to keep separate the Islamic terrorists and their barbaric acts from the neighbors I have here in America who just happen to be Muslim. Only several days ago I wrote a column in which I praised President Bush for his attempts to protect Muslim citizens and his insistence that we are not in a religious war, but if American Muslims want to continue to keep silent about the terrorism, if they want to keep supporting American Imams who preach hatred, if they want to keep maintaining practices abhorrent to American customs, and want to keep trying to impose their beliefs on their neighbors, I have to say,”enough”. I understand that most American Muslims pose no danger, and that they are intimidated by those who do, but I also understand that what is happening in Europe cannot be allowed to happen here.

We need also to give American Muslims who want nothing more than to be left alone to pursue the American dream some tools to fend off the radical Muslims and we need to give them better incentives to expose the jihadists.

I will say that it has been the speeches and public appearances of former Muslim women like Homa Arjomand and Ayaan Hirsi Ali which also helped push me over this edge. The following article by another courageous Muslim was another straw among the thousands that have been piling up:

The Trouble With Islam
Sadly, mainstream Muslim teaching accepts and promotes violence.

BY TAWFIK HAMID, Opinion Journal
Tuesday, April 3, 2007 12:01 a.m.

Not many years ago the brilliant Orientalist, Bernard Lewis, published a short history of the Islamic world's decline, entitled "What Went Wrong?" Astonishingly, there was, among many Western "progressives," a vocal dislike for the title. It is a false premise, these critics protested. They ignored Mr. Lewis's implicit statement that things have been, or could be, right.

But indeed, there is much that is clearly wrong with the Islamic world. Women are stoned to death and undergo clitorectomies. Gays hang from the gallows under the approving eyes of the proponents of Shariah, the legal code of Islam. Sunni and Shia massacre each other daily in Iraq. Palestinian mothers teach 3-year-old boys and girls the ideal of martyrdom. One would expect the orthodox Islamic establishment to evade or dismiss these complaints, but less happily, the non-Muslim priests of enlightenment in the West have come, actively and passively, to the Islamists' defense.

These "progressives" frequently cite the need to examine "root causes." In this they are correct: Terrorism is only the manifestation of a disease and not the disease itself. But the root-causes are quite different from what they think. As a former member of Jemaah Islamiya, a group led by al Qaeda's second in command, Ayman al-Zawahiri, I know firsthand that the inhumane teaching in Islamist ideology can transform a young, benevolent mind into that of a terrorist. Without confronting the ideological roots of radical Islam it will be impossible to combat it. While there are many ideological "rootlets" of Islamism, the main tap root has a name--Salafism, or Salafi Islam, a violent, ultra-conservative version of the religion.

It is vital to grasp that traditional and even mainstream Islamic teaching accepts and promotes violence. Shariah, for example, allows apostates to be killed, permits beating women to discipline them, seeks to subjugate non-Muslims to Islam as dhimmis and justifies declaring war to do so. It exhorts good Muslims to exterminate the Jews before the "end of days." The near deafening silence of the Muslim majority against these barbaric practices is evidence enough that there is something fundamentally wrong.

The grave predicament we face in the Islamic world is the virtual lack of approved, theologically rigorous interpretations of Islam that clearly challenge the abusive aspects of Shariah. Unlike Salafism, more liberal branches of Islam, such as Sufism, typically do not provide the essential theological base to nullify the cruel proclamations of their Salafist counterparts. And so, for more than 20 years I have been developing and working to establish a theologically-rigorous Islam that teaches peace.

Yet it is ironic and discouraging that many non-Muslim, Western intellectuals--who unceasingly claim to support human rights--have become obstacles to reforming Islam. Political correctness among Westerners obstructs unambiguous criticism of Shariah's inhumanity. They find socioeconomic or political excuses for Islamist terrorism such as poverty, colonialism, discrimination or the existence of Israel. What incentive is there for Muslims to demand reform when Western "progressives" pave the way for Islamist barbarity? Indeed, if the problem is not one of religious beliefs, it leaves one to wonder why Christians who live among Muslims under identical circumstances refrain from contributing to wide-scale, systematic campaigns of terror.

Politicians and scholars in the West have taken up the chant that Islamic extremism is caused by the Arab-Israeli conflict. This analysis cannot convince any rational person that the Islamist murder of over 150,000 innocent people in Algeria--which happened in the last few decades--or their slaying of hundreds of Buddhists in Thailand, or the brutal violence between Sunni and Shia in Iraq could have anything to do with the Arab-Israeli conflict.

Western feminists duly fight in their home countries for equal pay and opportunity, but seemingly ignore, under a façade of cultural relativism, that large numbers of women in the Islamic world live under threat of beating, execution and genital mutilation, or cannot vote, drive cars and dress as they please.

The tendency of many Westerners to restrict themselves to self-criticism further obstructs reformation in Islam. Americans demonstrate against the war in Iraq, yet decline to demonstrate against the terrorists who kidnap innocent people and behead them. Similarly, after the Madrid train bombings, millions of Spanish citizens demonstrated against their separatist organization, ETA. But once the demonstrators realized that Muslims were behind the terror attacks they suspended the demonstrations. This example sent a message to radical Islamists to continue their violent methods.

Western appeasement of their Muslim communities has exacerbated the problem. During the four-month period after the publication of the Muhammad cartoons in a Danish magazine, there were comparatively few violent demonstrations by Muslims. Within a few days of the Danish magazine's formal apology, riots erupted throughout the world. The apology had been perceived by Islamists as weakness and concession.

Worst of all, perhaps, is the anti-Americanism among many Westerners. It is a resentment so strong, so deep-seated, so rooted in personal identity, that it has led many, consciously or unconsciously, to morally support America's enemies.
Progressives need to realize that radical Islam is based on an antiliberal system. They need to awaken to the inhumane policies and practices of Islamists around the world. They need to realize that Islamism spells the death of liberal values. And they must not take for granted the respect for human rights and dignity that we experience in America, and indeed, the West, today.

Well-meaning interfaith dialogues with Muslims have largely been fruitless. Participants must demand--but so far haven't--that Muslim organizations and scholars specifically and unambiguously denounce violent Salafi components in their mosques and in the media. Muslims who do not vocally oppose brutal Shariah decrees should not be considered "moderates."

All of this makes the efforts of Muslim reformers more difficult. When Westerners make politically-correct excuses for Islamism, it actually endangers the lives of reformers and in many cases has the effect of suppressing their voices.

Tolerance does not mean toleration of atrocities under the umbrella of relativism. It is time for all of us in the free world to face the reality of Salafi Islam or the reality of radical Islam will continue to face us.

Dr. Hamid, a onetime member of Jemaah Islamiya, an Islamist terrorist group, is a medical doctor and Muslim reformer living in the West.

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