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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Islam and the Left - Two Sides of the Same Coin

On the surface of it they seem to have very little in common. The left claims to be progressive, embraces gay bars, abortions, feminism, worker's rights civil rights, multiculturalism and obscene slogans. The Islamists throw acid in women's faces, hang gays on every streetcorner and repress minorities and freedom of expression. This seeming contrast baffles many who demand to know how for example the left can champion Islamic regimes which mandate the death penalty for homosexuality. The answer is very simple. The people asking the question have mistaken the facade for the reality.

The left is socially progressive only in its revolutionary phase. The Soviet Union, Castro's Cuba and Communist China all had much the same view of gay people-- that Iran does today. While gay writers in America campaigned for the USSR or Cuba, both those regimes imprisoned gay writers. Homosexuality was a criminal offense in the USSR until its actual fall. None of this bothered liberals in the West, who were happy to trek to Moscow, meet with Soviet leaders and blame the US for the Cold War. And then come home and talk about how intolerant the United States is.

The USSR was happy to discuss the civil rights of African-Americans in the US. Liberals however did not care that most of the African-Americans who came to Russia early after the revolution wound up in Gulags or dead. This has been documented in books such as Black on Red: My 44 Years Inside the Soviet Union by Robert Robinson, an African-American engineer who came to find a job but was unable to leave for over four decades, while remaining constantly in fear for his life in a racist society.

Then there's Castro's Cuba, which practices unofficial racial segregation. Yes, not a fact you're likely to see in a Michael Moore documentary.

Jorge Luis García Pérez in Cuba, a pro-democracy activist who was only recently released from prison, said: "The authorities in my country have never tolerated that a black person oppose the regime." Carlos Moore has said;  "There is an unstated threat. Blacks in Cuba know that whenever you raise race in Cuba, you go to jail. Therefore the struggle in Cuba is different. There cannot be a civil rights movement. You will have instantly 10,000 black people dead." Do you think that any of the Hollywood liberals like Spielberg or Costner who fall over themselves praising Castro care? Why would they.

Shall we discuss worker's rights? In the West, Communists championed unions. In the USSR, striking workers were meant with machine gun fire. In 1962, workers in the city of Novocherkassk tried to go on strike to protest pay cuts. They were gunned down in the street in front of city hall by Soviet troops. This mind you was in the days of the relatively "moderate" Communist regime of Khrushchev. Independent unions were illegal there. Just as they are illegal in the USSR.

It's possible to write volumes on this topic, but let's just cut to the chase. An actual left wing dictatorship brutally represses everything they claim to fight for.

While in the West, experimental artists were cheering on the USSR, in the USSR, such art was considered degenerate, just as it was in Nazi Germany. And the same went for literature. The USSR did push a sham feminism and occasionally abortion rights, not because they believed in it, but because they needed to expand the workforce. On the other hand divorces were hard to come by, and women who obtained them risked being expelled from the Communist Party. All the elements of political equality and civil rights that the left claimed to be fighting for, were in fact completely absent from Communist regimes. And that never bothered the left at all.

The social progressivism of the left has never been anything but a fraud. A tool used to recruit bohemian activists to fight on their side, while purging them once the revolution was successful. The left tries to overturn the values of a target society as part of a comprehensive revolutionary assault. That doesn't mean that its actual values are different. Once the left gains absolute power, it seeks to create a static and unchanging system. The perfect Utopian society with immovable laws administered by an endless political bureaucracy. In the real world this translates into a repressive search for stability. Which means banning exactly the same things that the left had been fighting for. And the first thing to be banned is always the right to dissent. A right that the left insists on for itself when it is out of power, but does not permit to others when it is.

George Orwell expressed this closed circle at the end of Animal Farm by having the "new bosses" who were once pigs become indistinguishable from the farmers, the "old bosses". The pigs had not been interested in an animal run farm. What they all along wanted was to take over. To become the farmers. Championing the rights of all animals to be free was only a tool to accomplish their end goal. Absolute power.

This finally brings us back to Islam. There has never been any contradiction between the left making common cause with Islamist movements and regimes that murder gay people. Because if the Left in the West ever gained absolute power, they would murder them too. For that matter 90 percent of the idiots attending their anti-war rallies would end up in front of a firing squad. Does this sound far-fetched to you? Guess what, virtually every Communist regime did the same thing in its time.

Do you know what the worst possible way to survive a Communist takeover is? It's being a member of a right wing organization. Do you know what the second worst way is? Being a member of a left wing organization. Do you know what the third worst way is? Being a member of the Communist party before the takeover. Yes, the third worst thing to be when the Communists take over, is to be one of them. Because you'll only get to live long enough to help wipe out the members of right wing organizations and the members of left wing non-Communist groups, before your own turn comes.

This is not just the norm for Communists, it's a common pattern on the left. The French Revolution degenerated into horrifying massacres and endless executions in exactly that same way. First the radicals purge "enemies of the state", then they purge each other, then they themselves are purged to make way for a more stable system. The end result is a repressive state that has wiped out anyone who might want to change things. Which was the goal all along.

So the idea that the Left would have only moral objections to the Islamists is just plain naive. In fact the Left and the Islamists agree on the essential bullet points, including the part about using actual bullets and who they want to kill. As far as both Left Wing and Islamist leaders are concerned, 90 percent of their movements consist of nothing more than useful idiots good for nothing but cannon fodder. Don't believe me? When was the last time, a Hamas leader sent one of his sons to blow himself up? It never happened. And never will.

The Islamists and the Leftists have the same goal. Absolute power. Islam like Communism is a means to that end. This is what makes them so dangerous. Their goal is to create absolute tyrannies based on ideologies that promise a better world. The ideology is what brings them to power as useful idiots kill and die, thinking that they're fighting to create a Utopian society run according to the Koran (a book supposedly dictated by an illiterate merchant who used his claims of getting divine messages from angels to rule over an entire region) or Marxism (essays produced by a man who never worked for a living, but was supported by the profits from a textile factory) that will usher in a new era where everyone (except all the people they killed) are happy.

The Left is on the same page as the Islamists. Just as they were on the same page as the Nazis. Just as they're on the same page with every reactionary totalitarian regime in the world, except those that they think they can overthrow, or those that are allied with the Great Satan or the Imperialist Capitalist Powers.

The Left tells its followers that they're smarter and more moral than ordinary people. What it really means is that they're dumber and more willing to sacrifice for its goals. The Islamists tell their followers that they're braver and more religious than ordinary people. What they mean, is that their followers are suicidally stupid and easily led around the nose. The common denominator isn't very hard to see. The Left is the Islam of the West. And Islam is the Left of the Middle East. But labels like that are virtually meaningless. Both are just totalitarian movements using gullible idiots following an ideology worked out by vicious greedy men to seize power. That is all there is to it in the end. The rest is just technique.

The Left has no problem allying with Islam. Nor does Islam have a problem allying with the Left. That is because they both agree on their enemies and their objectives. They have more of a problem allying with people who actually want to be free, then they do with slaves and their slavemasters. Of course once in power, one would have to absorb or destroy the other. Just as Communism and Nazism united to consume Eastern Europe, with the inevitable consequence that once the job was done, one would have to destroy the other. Hitler successfully fooled Stalin and nearly destroyed the USSR with a first strike. Islam will likely do the same thing to the Left, just as it did in Iran.

The Red-Green Alliance works because both are variations on a theme. The theme is totalitarian rule. It is not the Left that threatens Islam, nor Islam that threatens the Left-- but free societies and individual freedoms. When such societies prove successful, then they particularly infuriate those who insist that they must be replaced with their totalitarian rule. These twin impulses, fear of a loss of control over their own societies, and a lust for power, is what energizes the Jihad of Islam and the Revolutions of the Left. Both want control, rather than freedom. And offer promises of Utopian tyrannies in exchange for freedom.

Destroying Europe, America, Israel, Australia, Canada, etc is about power. Absolute power. And it is about putting out whatever light still shines in the West, for fear that it will spread. The light of freedom and civilization stands in the way of tyranny. And tyranny is the endgame of both the Left and Islam. Two sides of the same coin. Janus, with one head looking back to the impossible past of Mohammed, and with one head looking forward to the even more impossible future of Communism. Both forcibly ignoring the present in which people can still be happy and free.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The Tree of Zionism

Helen Thomas suggested that Jews should go back to Poland and Germany. The Turkish flotilla headed to Gaza was more specific, radioing, "Go back to Auschwitz." But both are only bubbles on the surface of the larger narrative in the Muslim world that is widely redistributed by the left and the far right, that Jews are foreign strangers to the land. On the surface this would seem to be plainly absurd. Israel is not some sort of obscure footnote in history or some forgotten fragment of the past that has to be looked up in an encyclopedia.

Both of the world's two dominant religions derive their background from Israel. David and Solomon, the kings of Israel, are considered prophets in both Islam and Christianity. Jewish history is indivisible from the history of Christianity and Islam. No believer in either religion can deny the history of the Jewish people, without also denying their own scriptures and faith. Which means that the current state of affairs in which Muslims and some Christians pretend that Israel came out of nowhere in the 1940's after the world felt guilty about the Holocaust, is an obscene bit of chutzpah.

Israel was not created after the Holocaust. It was recreated after the fall of the Ottoman Empire opened the door for peoples who had been formerly living under the Ottoman boot to rebuild and govern their own countries. The irony is that Israel is only one short entry on the list of countries that were to be created after the defeat of the Ottoman Empire, and that list includes most of the Arab world. It also includes countries that could not successfully able to gain independence at the time, such as Armenia. Zionism was simply another national liberation movement, one of many that gained new momentum after the breakup of the Ottoman and Austria-Hungarian empires.

The anti-Zionist narrative insists that Jews are foreigners because they came from the diaspora. However the very word "diaspora" highlights the fact that the Jewish returnees were members of a religious and ethnic group that had been forced to leave the region, and were now coming back. Nor were Jews unique in this regard in the post-Ottoman period. There also was and is a large Armenian diaspora around the world. Even today there are more Armenians living outside Armenia than inside it. This does not negate the rights of Armenians to their homeland or make them foreigners. There are other similar diasporas of peoples from the territory of the Ottoman Empire.  

The majority of Jews living in Israel today are refugees or the children of refugees from Muslim countries, from the USSR and from Nazi occupied Europe. That diaspora is continually ignored in favor of sneers about "Settlers from Brooklyn". Yet the same media that forcefully pushed this mischaracterization, did not apply the same standards to American Arabs who moved to the Palestinian Authority in the mid 90's (before moving back once they experienced the shakedowns and corruption of Arafat's cronies). That diaspora was somehow more legitimate than the Jewish one. This is the prejudice at the heart of the case against Israel.

It is natural for Arab Muslims to feel that they have more right to Israel, than the Jews do. Conqueror peoples tend to feel that way. It is certainly commonplace in the Muslim world. That is Turkey's attitude when it denies rights to its Kurdish minority. Iran's attitude when it denies rights to the Azeri minority. Regarding Israel, this repressive attitude finds support in the Koran, from Mohammed's persecution of the Jews, and his insistence that Islam had replaced Judaism and Christianity, and that non-Muslims had no right to govern Muslims. But
the idea that a conqueror people have more rights to a land than the indigenous inhabitants whom they usurped and oppressed, is a bizarre perversion of liberalism's own doctrines.

Yet the left goes on insisting that Zionism is racism, while applying no such standard to the Arab Nationalists they championed, from Yasser Arafat to Saddam Hussein, nor to the Islamists that they whitewash. Unlike them, Zionism has created a country in which ethnic and religious minorities have full legal and political rights. This is a unique phenomenon in a region where Islamic and Marxist fanatics have been battling it out for the chance to create repressive states in which only their dominant group has any power or influence. If the idea that distinct national and ethnic groups have the right to self-government in lands that were historically theirs, is racist-- then so is virtually every single nationalist group on the planet-- the majority of whom the left does support.

Synagogue stone, Galilee, 1800 years ago
Once again the delegitimization of Zionism is logically indefensible. If the Jews had no right to form their own state, then by what possible standard do the Arabs of the Palestine Mandate, an administrative region created in the Post WW1 environment, without regard to any unique culture and ethnicity? If the Jewish diaspora is illegitimate, then how legitimate was a movement run by the Cairo born Yasser Arafat? If Israel is a historical mistake, as some pundits insist, then what is Palestine. Or for that matter Syria and Jordan? Instead so many of Israel's critics still act like colonial mapmakers, insisting that they have the power to define which people have the rights to what land. And therefore which national liberation movements are legitimate, and which are not.

The colonial mapmakers had once upon a time made Israel's road to independence that much more difficult. Israel forced to contend not only with the rabid hostility of Islamists and Arab nationalists who refused to share the region with the country's indigenous inhabitants. This was hardly a new problem. Arab Muslims had already repressed nearly every religious and ethnic group in the region. From Mohammed's massacres and enslavement of the Jews of the Arabian Peninsula, to the plight of the Kurds, the Circassians, the Armenians, Gypsies, Copts, Zoroastrians and many others-- the campaign against Israel was an attempt by the region's ethnic and religious conqueror group to reassert its supremacy over an upstart minority. But Israel's road to national independence was also obstructed by the view of some in the British Empire that client states run by puppet Arab monarchies were more in their interest, than an independent Israel.

For this reason the larger portion of the Palestine Mandate was turned over to the rule of an imported royal family from the Arabian Peninsula, the Hashemites. The kingdom they were given was designated as Jordan, and should have served as the home for all Arabs in the territory of the Mandate. Unfortunately the Empire decided that all of the Mandate should consist of such Arab client states. For this reason Jewish immigration was curtailed, and millions of Jews died, some in Auschwitz, because the Empire thought it in their interest to turn all of Israel into another Jordan. Only when the flood of survivors after the war made the mandate unsustainable, and the United States refused to support the ongoing British occupation, did Israel gain the chance to stand on its own two feet and fight for its independence.

And even then, British officers commanded the Jordanian Arab Legion that they had trained. And when the Arab Legion ethnically cleansed the eastern part of Jerusalem, driving out the residents of the Jewish Quarter and destroying its synagogues, the Empire recognized Jordan's annexation of Jerusalem. An annexation that Israel undid in 1967 when it reunited the city. A reunification that Britain, along with the rest of Europe, refuses to recognize. And that Obama turned into an international incident when he demanded that Israel stop building housing in Jerusalem, while making no such demands of the Arab side. Once again, the bottom line is that Jews have less rights in their own country than Arab Muslims do.

The denial of our rights to our land is not new either. For thousands of years empires have been marching their way across Israel. From chariots to tanks and from spearmen to infantrymen, they have all come and gone. The Assyrian and the Babylonian, the Greek and the Roman, the Arab and the Frenchman, the Turk and the Brit. Some wiped out the Jews who had lived there. Others only oppressed them. But one way or another, the Jews survived and endured, or escaped and returned. Palestinian propagandists boast of some 50 years of resistance. Jews look back on 2500 years of resistance. Israel's rebirth is the legacy of that long struggle. Both the sudden armed clashes with Roman and Jordanian legionaries, and the more arduous struggle or working farms and planting forests. It is a struggle that can be seen today as Israeli residents care for small plots of land, even as Muslim thugs and left wing anti-Israel groups, such as "Rabbis for Human Rights" try to uproot, vandalize and destroy their farms. It is the slow patient endurance of a people of history who are not going anywhere.

This is best expressed in the apocryphal story of the Roman Emperor Hadrian, the destroyer of Jerusalem, who saw an old man planting a fig tree. "Why do you bother when you will surely not live to see its fruits," Hadrian inquired of him. "If I will not live to see them, then my children will," the old man answered. That old man was a Zionist. And across the land, fig trees are still being planted today. If the Muslim terrorist is defined by the bomb, Zionism is defined by the tree. 240 million trees have been planted in Israel. Some are torched by Arab Muslim vandals, and then more trees are planted in their place. Because while rocks and bombs may bruise or kill, it is the trees that hold the land with their roots. As the tree is seen, but the roots are not, so too Zionism is only the surface growth of the Jewish commitment to the lands of their fathers. The Tree of Zionism has been cut down by empires before, but after a time, green leaves rise again, for when a tree's roots go back thousands of years, neither axe nor torch, neither firing squad nor gas chamber can part it from its sacred earth.

Monday, June 28, 2010

A Socialist Government is One that Distrusts its Citizens

The definition of a socialist government is one that distrusts its citizens. It may distrust them in a "benevolent way", that is its leaders believe that the people are insufficiently competent to look after themselves, or it may distrust them in a "paranoid way", in that its leaders believe that the people are dangerous and must be rigidly controlled for the state and society to function along their guidelines. The practical difference between these two lies primarily in their viewpoints and attitudes, in how ruthless and undemocratic the advocates of socialism are willing to be when they don't get their way.

To be a socialist is to assume that the people cannot care for themselves, that they cannot work or run businesses properly, that they cannot eat properly or shop for anything on their own, that they cannot care for their children or teach them, that they cannot choose their own beliefs in a marketplace of ideas or decide what their government should do. That they cannot decide which system of measurements to use, how to open a can of soda or throw a lawn dart on their own. That they cannot go to a doctor on their own or leave their driveway or raise a barn or so much as sneeze, without the enlightened instruction and overlordship of the nanny state.

And that is why we call it a nanny state. Adults do not need nannies, children or the incompetent do. A nanny state is a declaration by the rulers that the people cannot look after their own interests or make their own decisions. A people that willingly and enthusiastically accept the provisions of a nanny state are declaring their own unfitness to be citizens and manage their own affairs. A nanny state is a velvet gloved tyranny, the disenfranchisement of the people for their own supposed benefit.

Socialism reverses the political gains made against royalism and tyranny. It puts the people back in the box, tucks them in and then slams the cage door shut. Where revolutions were once fought to give the franchise to the people from a ruling elite, socialism reverses democracy in favor of an "enlightened" oligarchy. Where the growth of democracy that the people do not need a chosen few to rule over every aspect of their lives, socialism pats the foolish people on the head and promises to take care of them, if they promise to behave themselves and not make any trouble.

By prioritizing social benefits as an absolute moral good, socialists effectively displace freedom and democracy as the moral arbiters of a free society. If free health care is more important than the right to vote, it follows logically that a country with free health care is better off than one that has the right to vote. Every time liberals defend Cuba and tout its health care system, they are explicitly making this exact argument. The problem is that all too few people are willing to call them on it. Because that is exactly the undemocratic and totalitarian premise at the heart of socialism-- that government services are more important and more moral a thing, than democracy or freedom.

Small wonder that Obama and the Democratic party in the United States firmly refuse to hear the American people saying a loud and clear, "No" to their health care plans. Because you can't say "No" to a socialist. To do so is to brand yourself as either ignorant, extremist or greedy-- these are the only legitimate motives that the left will accept for opposing its policies. This is why socialists disenfranchise the public, because agreement with them is a redundant show of support, while opposition to them is counter-revolutionary activity instigated by rich white men who want to keep their grip on the country-- and is therefore illegitimate. Much like the Muslim Caliph Omar, who on capturing Alexandria, commanded that the Library of Alexandria be burned since if the contents of its books were to be found in the Koran they were redundant, and if not they were heretical.

This is a typically extreme worldview held by those who cannot tolerate the notion of people making choices that they disagree with. And that rigidity in a nutshell defines socialism, which insists that only its leaders and bureaucrats are capable of making the people's choices for them. Democracy is a redundant intrusion into a process which is held to be inherently correct because, like the Koran, it is based on the absolutely right philosophy. (And if you think this is an exaggeration, the left regularly purges its own ranks over philosophical differences, though generally not with firing squads as in the USSR.) Of course if your philosophy is absolutely right, your approach can't help but be absolutely correct. And when it fails, someone has to be blamed. Which is when the purges of the enemies of the state begin.

The inability to tolerate dissent is of course one of the more obvious signs of tyranny. Which translates easily into the need to impose your way by force. And the easiest way to do so is by becoming the government. The secular theology of socialism battles perpetually to create a perfect society against the fallen state of the people and the forces of right wing reaction. Naturally the only way to overcome both obstacles is through the use or threat of force.

Since socialism already assumes preemptively that the people are incapable of managing their own affairs or participating in the process, unless their choices are reduced so narrowly that they cannot help but make the right decision-- naturally there are times when the mob will have to be brought into line. And the counter-revolutionaries, who unlike the saintly revolutionaries, want nothing more than to greedily control everyone and stuff their faces with sugarplums, must of course be suppressed as well. Piously the socialists intone that one day such measures will no longer be needed, when every child for numberless generations has been processed through the maw of their cradle to grave propaganda system, and brainwashed to within an inch of his, her or it's life. But for now, it's oppress or be oppressed, in the black and white view of the country that they use to justify every lie, every dirty trick and every act of corruption.

To shield themselves against accusations that socialism is essentially a totalitarian and undemocratic system, its proponents maintain that government imposed controls are necessary in order to end the oppressive economic and social controls of the "elite", often defined by American liberals as "Rich White Men". The obvious absurdity is of course that the average liberal is himself a rich white man. But the left routinely fails to see the hypocrisy in this as its revolutions were traditionally run by the scions of the upper and upper middle class. Lenin's father was a member of the Russian nobility. Fidel Castro came from a wealthy family that owned its own sugar cane plantations and was connected to the Cuban government. Bill Ayers is the son of a man who sat on the boards of the biggest corporations in America.

But the socialist argument that we need them to protect us from the "elites" who would otherwise oppress us and deprive us of opportunities fails to hold water, especially as the people oppressing us and rationing our opportunities through oppressive taxation and quotas are in fact the socialists themselves. Stripped of its pretensions then, the socialist argument is essentially this. Give us power and we'll protect you from the other elites because our rule will be more favorable to you than theirs would. This sort of approach might have marginally held water in 19th century Europe, but completely falls flat today as liberals engage in a never-ending search for new "persecuted groups" they can adopt and protect, whether they have to import them through immigration or manufacture them through political correctness, for the sole reason of maintaining their monopoly on power.

Socialists have to define themselves as anti-elitists, precisely because they are elitists. They have to shout loudly that they are fighting for our rights, precisely because they are fighting to take away our rights. They have to claim that they are the only ones who will actually represent us, precisely because they are the least likely to represent us. In reality, the socialist cause is totalitarian and elitist, it does not credit the people with any rights except those granted to them in the name of social utility. They do not believe in bottom up democracy, unless they have already created and nurtured it from the top down with training and grant money to do exactly what they want. That is because the one thing socialists can never do is trust the people.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Cracking the Code of Civilization

Civilization is a code, and while we easily fall into the habit of assuming that civilized norms are universal, they are limited to the civilized. Kindness, humility and reaching out to the enemy are valid behaviors only when they are likely to be reciprocated. Practicing that code toward nations and cultures which markedly refuse to be civilized, is the same thing as painting a target on your own back.

Because civilized codes of conduct only work when they are reciprocal. They allow us to treat others as we would like to be treated ourselves and permit us to find common ground based on underlying principles. But to those who choose to be outside the code, such concessions are a weakness. Not a sign of moral strength, but physical cowardice. To the Muslim who has been raised on the tales of the Koranic conquests of Mohammed and his successors, only force represents moral truth. In the Koran, the infidels negotiate in good faith, while Muslims negotiate in bad faith. That is because Islam was meant to supersede the old tribal codes with a superior moral system, based not on honor, but on submission to Allah and Mohammed.

What we might consider foul treachery, was to the Muslim only a means to an end. Because moral behavior no longer had anything to do with trust, only with forcing more victims to submit to Islam. Negotiating in good faith was itself a symptom of a lack of faith. For the true Muslim could never honestly accept any enduring compromise with an infidel that would lessen the temporal power of Islam. He could only do so as a stratagem for weakening the infidel. To do otherwise would be blasphemy and heresy, two charges still commonly raised in the Muslim world against their own leaders who make even the appearance of honest negotiations with Western leaders. Meanwhile the willingness of the infidels to negotiate in good faith, in the Muslim worldview only demonstrated their lack of faith.

Paradoxically the willingness to negotiate in bad faith, to betray and assassinate shows a commitment to something greater. While negotiating in good faith and treating your enemy kindly shows a lack of confidence and principles. This attitude is not unique to Muslim fanatics, it is just as ubiquitous the left of our own cities, which considers radicalism and ruthless terrorism the mark of a true revolutionary conscience. From Lenin to Mao to Che, Communists ridiculed and murdered those who were not willing to be as ruthlessly amoral as them. The Western left has long since absorbed that same attitude, treating political activism as a kind of fevered passion that does not answer to any moral code. From the Paris Commune to the Baader Meinhof Brigade. From the Chicago Anarchists to the Chicago Seven. From the Black Panthers to the PLO. The left admires most those who are willing to kill or die, as evidence of their sincerity.

And such people, whether they are Hamas members in Gaza or the descendants of the Mayflower in Berkeley, are savages. Not savages by race, but savages by choice. They know what civilization is. They have often benefited from it. But they despise it as weak and unprincipled. To them the civilized code is a sign of the cowardice of the infidel or the bourgeois, who want to make limited concessions in order to protect their possessions and privileges. To them civilization is the compact of materialism over spirituality for the Muslim and passionate political engagement for the leftist. And they are entirely willing to exploit it, but they have no interest in honoring it.

When we treat savages as civilized, we let ourselves be vulnerable by pretending that people who do not share our code, are nevertheless entitled to its privileges. But civilization can only be a reciprocal code, or it risks being overrun by the barbarians at the gate. Because civilization only has value if membership has its privileges. If one can be a savage and still benefit from being treated according to civilized codes-- then civilization becomes a mug's game. Such a conception of civilization cannot and will not last.

Imagine if taxes were done on the honor system. Or if stores were equally willing to extend credit to thieves as to valued customers. Very soon, honesty and decency would become endangered traits. Instead those who ripped off the system would thrive, while those with integrity would suffer. And that is exactly the consequence of extending the benefit of civilized codes to savages. Civilization itself becomes a devalued and worthless commodity.

A savage can be reformed only by providing him with the incentive to be civilized. That requires a two tiered system. One for those who follow civilized codes. And one for those who do not. The former are protected by mutual agreements. The latter have no protection whatsoever. They are treated as they treat others. They have no rights, but those which they are willing to permit to others. If they are willing to live and let live, so much the better. If they are not, then so much the worse for them. Let them not hide behind words or excuses, because only civilized people may be judged by their words-- savages can only be judged by their deeds.

What is the savage then? He is not a savage because he is illiterate or uneducated. He may have the finest education that civilization has to offer. The savage may be wealthy or poor, but in the civilized world he is more likely to be wealthy. He may be of any race and skin color. These things do not matter. Only this does.

The savage seeks power to rule over others. He lives by no true laws, instead laws for him are means of achieving his goals. His word is worthless, as there is nothing he will not betray for his greater aims. He may believe in all sorts of things, but there is one thing he does not believe in, that others have the same rights that he does. Therefore he cannot be a citizen of any civilized nation. Alone he is a wolf seeking prey. When he finds a pack, then he sets to sniffing around the walls of the city, he looks for a way to bring down the city and all within it.

Mohammed, Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, Karl Marx, Benito Mussolini, Hassan al Banna Bill Ayers, Charles Manson, Eldridge Cleaver, Yasser Arafat, Idi Amin, Lori Berenson, Abu Hamza and so many others-- all savages. And when the savage stands in the light of civilization, his only impulse is to burn it all down. The savage has cracked the code of civilization and to allow him to exploit it, is to let the civilized world burn.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Open Borders, Open Pit

New York City's Mayor Bloomberg seems to have a new exit strategy. After trying to spread rumors that suggested he might run for President, in the hopes that one party or the other would give him the V.P. spot, failing and struggling through a third mayoral election that he promised would never happen against a candidate who never bothered to show up and still almost beat him, Bloomberg needs a way out.

Sure he's done a fine job amusing himself by scattering modern art atrocities painted day glo colors on the city hall lawn. He's made Manhattan impassable for traffic, after Albany shot him down on his commuter tax. But waging a war on good taste and cars just isn't enough. Nor is enthusiastically backing the Ground Zero mosque, spending ridiculous amounts of money overhauling basic city infrastructure like bus stations and firehouses to meet with his idea of architectural standards (transparent and on an angle usually). Now it's immigration reform.

Bloomberg has announced the Partnership for a New American Economy, which is a fancy way of saying that he'd like to legalize a whole lot of Mexican illegal aliens which will somehow lead to a "New American Economy", which is good because anything "new" must be better than old. Like New Coke. Or New Strain of Diphtheria. Or New Kids on the Block. Joining him are a bunch of CEO's, including Rupert Murdoch.

It's not exactly a big secret that the are two reasons we have open borders. The first reason is the Democratic party's reliance on importing dependent minority groups to build a voting base. The second reason is that the Republican party spends too much time answering to corporations who want open borders. The Chamber of Commerce is a big proponent of open borders, which makes Bloomberg's collection of CEO's from Disney (does the Mouse really need migrant workers?), Marriot, Hewlett Packard, Boeing, American Express, Morgan Stanley and the New York Times (migrants could probably do a better and cheaper job of writing their articles) and Rupert Murdoch of Newscorp.

DOOCY: The country is so gridlocked around this. What can business do that Washington, DC has not been effective in doing so far?

MURDOCH: Well you just gotta keep the pressure on the congressmen. You gotta do it on the press and on the television. It’s a political thing. They gotta fess up to it. [...] You gotta recognize that there are millions of bright and intelligent people around the world — whether they are in China or in Hungary or in Germany or something — who want to come to America and live the American Dream.

DOOCY: Right, but they can’t. [...] This is a political hot potato. How do get past the partisanship that is out there and is so biting for a while?

MURDOCH: I think we can show to the public the benefit of having migrants and the jobs that go with them.

So we're once again talking about major corporations lobbying congress to ignore the will of the people.

But Murdoch completely sidesteps the fact that importing migrant workers does not mean importing "bright and intelligent people", it means importing people to do bad and cheap labor, so companies can cut labor costs and pass them on to the taxpayer funding the social services for the migrants. That's already the situation that exists today.

I'm all for importing millions of bright and intelligent people, though perhaps not during a major recession. But that's not what either Democrats or Republican big business advocates want. What they want are cheap and easy people, who can be exploited on the job and at the voting booth. That's why immigration quotas look the way they do. That's why it's much easier for people from the Third World to move here, than for Europeans.

Immigration "reform" has become a euphemism for open borders with Mexico. And you only need one look at some of what's going on in Mexico and now in border states to see why that's a bad idea. This doesn't bother CEO's who live in gated communities, get driven to work in limousines and think they're immune from the problem. Whose exposure to Mexico is through high end resorts and servile waiting staffs who are happy to have a job. And that's exactly the culture they think they're bringing to America. Cheap labor catering to their whims. They have no idea what reality is, and they don't care.

Bloomberg more cynically makes the case that companies are outsourcing because of immigration restrictions

"Immigrants have always been an essential part of America's economic strength," said Mayor Bloomberg. "This coalition was formed to change our current immigration policy, which is undermining our economy and threatening our status as the world's leading power. Too many innovative new companies, and the jobs they create, are being formed overseas because entrepreneurs can't get a green card to start them here. We need to break the legislative stalemate that has taken over Congress if we want the U.S. to remain competitive in the 21st century."

Again Bloomberg, like Murdoch conflates HB1 type workers (which is another issue) with what he's actually proposing, which is the legalization of illegal aliens. We don't have a lot of illegal aliens holding down those kinds of jobs.

And America has booming immigration numbers, yet somehow corporations are still outsourcing. Now with huge unemployment figures, are employers really leaving America because they can't find workers? Is it because we're denying citizenship to some sort of specialists that can only be found abroad? That's not the reality of the situation.

Corporations outsource because of the regulatory environment in the US, which applies high taxes and minimum wages. You don't need a large human resources staff in China. You don't need to pay them more than a fraction of what they're paid in the US. You don't even need to care if they kill themselves.

While yuppies crowd into lines to be the first to get the latest iPhones, those phones are made by Foxconn workers, hundreds of thousands of migrants, crowded into dormitories, subjected to regulations that would not even pass muster in an American prison, who were being paid around 135 dollars a month. Pressure on Apple and Foxconn has doubled salary. Which just means that sooner or later, Apple will move on to a country with even cheaper labor. This is likely to happen once China becomes middle class and workers get used to a base salary and some expectations of how they should be treated.

This already happened in America. And the only place the clock is turned back is around illegal aliens. Which is exactly why businesses love them. But then they demand that the government legalize them and take them off their hands. And then more illegal aliens are brought in to replace them.

Some corporations are just looking to squash competition from companies that do employ illegal aliens. Others genuinely believe this is some kind of solution, which means that they are completely in denial.

For the mayors the payoff is obvious. Legalization means more federal social services dollars and more voters come election day, to shoulder aside those pesky natives who don't want to pay more taxes or see their city implode. As corporations pass the cost to the cities, the cities want to pass the cost to the Federal government, while benefiting from ladling out federal money to supporters in ethnic communities, who return the favor by voting for them. Game, set and match.

But none of this is good for the economy. Even if we ignore the social issues, this is hardly the time to promote more unemployment or government spending. Bloomberg and the CEO's are doing the Obama Administration a favor, and I wouldn't be too surprised if this Partnership for a New American Economy was even solicited by the White House. But their contempt for what the voters actually want is truly stunning.

The marketplace does not reward this strange combination of workplace regulation and immigration deregulation. It's like pouring water through a blocked hose. All you're going to do is break the hose. That's what has been happening to the American economy, as businesses import cheap labor in a system where cheap labor is illegal. That has driven the growth of illegal labor and off the books jobs in ethnic communities. But all that means is people using the system's social services, without paying into it. Immigration "reform" advocates argue that legalization will fix this by having them pay into the system. What they ignore is the fact that the only reason they're viable, is because they're economically viable is because they're not paying into the system.

Outsourcing and companies departing for climes with cheaper labor will continue. There may not be much we can do about it, besides applying tariffs, a notion that would give those same CEO's fits. But unless we can either automate more efficiently, block cheaper products or educate and organize people that buying more expensive but better made products is the thing to do-- the same process will continue.

But pushing legalization will accomplish nothing except to help drown the middle class. The south relied on slave labor, which created a wider gap between those on the top and on the bottom. The north relied on immigrant labor in its factories. Some of those immigrants were treated almost as badly as the slaves, but they did have enough mobility to be able to move up or to have their children and grandchildren move up into the middle class. But that same process can no longer work, when the middle class is being taxed to subsidize a dependent lifestyle for the people on the bottom. As a result those in the middle are sinking and those on the bottom have no real incentive to rise. If they want consumer products, there are credit cards. If they want homes, the government will subsidize their mortgage.

The American Dream increasingly no longer makes sense, as people live on credit and government entitlements. The big businesses and the government see no problem with any of this. The taxpayer sees half the problem with this picture. But it's only half the problem.

Governments and corporations are drowning the middle class in reckless spending. The bill keeps being passed along. Illegal immigration is just one snapshot of a much bigger problem, which is the end of responsibility. Where leaders once thought generations ahead, now they hardly think a year ahead. And the mountain of debt rises. Problems aren't fixed anymore, they're perpetuated and labeled as wise policies. Money is spent and the bill is passed, and then it's passed again and again. Until the system breaks down, and then the bill is passed to someone else. Until finally something that is too big to fail, actually does fail, and there's no one bigger around to bail it out.

Real leadership requires recognizing the nature of a problem, and to understand both the positive and negative consequences of every proposed solution. Illegal immigration for cheap labor is the dark side of an American Dream achieved through regulating business. Legalization is as pointless as pointing to a factory's polluted groundwater runoff and talking up its benefits. It redefines the problem and ignores its negative consequences. That is not leadership. That is spin. And we're drowning in it.

For the Republican party to get serious about stopping illegal immigration, it needs to take a long hard look at big business, and have a serious dialogue with them about the tax based consequences to their own companies of increased social services spending. And for the Republican party to get serious, conservatives need to actually take a hard line on it, instead of letting the Chamber of Commerce and the CATO Institute have the inside track. Because the road we're going on now has a station coming up, and it's called Europe. We're not there yet, but we're getting there. And when we get there, we'll cease to have a functional economy altogether. All we've have are entitlements, subsidies and a half-forgotten dream of former glory.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Friday Afternoon Roundup - Loose Lips Lead to Pink Slips




This was the week of the big McChrystal story, in which the Obama Administration's answer to McArthur proved to have some of the same problems. The irony is that McChrystal had barred access to Michael Yon, and banned FOX News from playing. He namedropped voting for Obama.

All of this should have bought him enough liberal cover, except he forgot that liberals still hate the military. And a Rolling Stone piece on him by the author of I Lost My Love in Baghdad, was never going to go swimmingly. To be fair, the actual impact of the Rolling Stone piece is overblown.

The most damning remarks in the piece that were quoted over and over again came from aides, sometimes unattributed. There were only two problematic quotes directly from McChrystal, and one of could be read as non-derogatory. The other about Jones would fall under the category of flattering, considering that James L Jones is a good deal worse than just a clown. The quotes were gathered in Hasting's words, "they were getting hammered". The article does more to praise McChrystal than to damn him, even as the author clearly disdains the whole war. McChrystal is described as a talented and dedicated general.

Military officials charge that Hastings broke interview ground rules

But the command has concluded from its own review of events that McChrystal was betrayed when the journalist quoted banter among the general and his staff, much of which they thought was off the record. They contend that the magazine inaccurately depicted the attribution ground rules for the interviews.

"Many of the sessions were off-the-record and intended to give [reporter Michael Hastings] a sense" of how McChrystal's team operated, according to a senior military official. The command's own review of events, the official said, gleaned "no evidence to suggest" that any of the "salacious political quotes" in the article were made during a series of on-the-record and background interviews Hastings conducted with McChrystal and others.

The official, one of many subject to a Pentagon advisory not to discuss the situation without authorization, spoke on condition of anonymity. He said he was motivated by what he described as untrue claims made by Rolling Stone.

Two others with direct knowledge of the command's dealings with Hastings offered similar accounts.

...

Some commentators have questioned why McChrystal and his aides were being pilloried for complaints about Washington commonly heard in diplomatic and military facilities overseas. Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told reporters Thursday that the atmosphere of disrespect for civilian leaders that McChrystal tolerated was grounds for dismissal regardless of the context in which the offensive comments were made or who made them.

The lesson here is that you are never off the record when dealing with hostile media. The Post piece also discredits Rolling Stone and Hasting's claims that the article was vetted by McChrystal, the only things vetted were a short list of background facts.

David Brooks accurately points out that the more incendiary parts of the piece were basically the matter of fact friction that goes on in every branch of government.

So every few weeks I find myself on the receiving end of little burst of off-the-record trash talk. Senators privately moan about other senators. Administration officials gripe about other administration officials. People in the White House complain about the idiots in Congress, and the idiots in Congress complain about the idiots in the White House — especially if they’re in the same party. Washington floats on a river of aspersion.

The system is basically set up to maximize kvetching. Government is filled with superconfident, highly competitive people who are grouped into small bands. These bands usually have one queen bee at the center — a president, senator, cabinet secretary or general — and a squad of advisers all around. These bands are perpetually jostling, elbowing and shoving each other to get control over policy.

Amid all this friction, the members of each band develop their own private language. These people often spend 16 hours a day together, and they bond by moaning and about the idiots on the outside.

And you can be certain that similar conversations go on in the White House every day.

Hastings responded with predictable pettiness on Twitter
david brooks to young reporters: don't report what you see or hear, or you might upset the powerful.

But had the McChrystal interview run during the Bush Administration, liberals would have gotten behind him, blaming Bush. Since it ran under the Obama Administration, he was quickly purged

Newsweek had no problem not reporting a story about Bill Clinton and an intern. A paper sat on the Al Gore/Masseuse story for years too. Even had Hastings been driven by pure careerism to go forward, Rolling Stone would never have run a piece that ran counter to their political interests. It was precisely because the piece is geared at attacking the War in Afghanistan that Rolling Stone both ran and promoted it, and because it saw McChrystal as a key proponent and a man who had some liberal cover-- that he became an even bigger target.

Despite whatever McChrystal's political views might be, his limited success in getting Obama to sign on to a limited campaign in Afghanistan made him a target. Rolling Stone just found itself in place to deliver the bomb. Meanwhile Hastings has lost no time in retweeting attacks on Petraeus and the war effort as a whole (just in case you were confused about where he really stood.)

Toby Harnden at the Telegraph meanwhile has some analysis of why Obama really fired McChrystal

As often happens, however, some curious details do emerge that inadvertently give some genuine insights into the President.

The first is that Robert Gates, the Defence Secretary, argued for McChrystal to be kept in post. Gates is widely regarded as perhaps the most impressive member of the Obama administration. He is also a man with a track record of firing people, including McChrystal’s predecessor, an Army Secretary and a head of the US Air Force. So the fact that he believed McChrystal should have stayed is significant.

The second thing is that, according to the NYT, “after scanning the first few paragraphs of the Rolling Stone article – a sarcastic, profanity-laced description of General McChrystal’s disgust at having to dine with a French minister and brief him about the war – Mr Obama had read enough”.

So what were those first few paragraphs? They’re pasted below, with all words and gestures by McChrystal himself bolded up by me. OK, it’s not great. It’s unseemly. It should never have taken place in front of a “Rolling Stone” reporter or anyone else outside McChrystal’s closest circle. But it’s banter. It’s the way soldiers speak when they’re letting off a bit of steam.

It’s an interesting insight into Obama that a few swear words and juvenile jokes about the French in an account of a scene penned by an anti-war Rolling Stone reporter was, for him, enough to justify firing the four-star general he had entrusted with conducting a war.

Wouldn't surprise me one bit.

And all this loosely ties in with the other scandal of the week involving Dave Weigel and the Washington Post. Like McChrystal, Weigel was fired for off the record comments. The difference is that Weigel's comments raised questions about whether he could do his job, which was covering conservatives.

A right wing paper that hired someone to cover the liberal scene, who pathologically hated liberals, would be subject to plenty of pushback. Weigel was supposed to be some sort of balance for Ezra Klein, which of course he wasn't. The Post could have brought someone on board who was willing to honestly report on what was going on. Weigel on the other hand used his vote for Ron Paul as his only credential. But even as Weigel seemed to focus a lot on Ron Paul, he threw in the occasional put downs, even if he tended to pump Ron Paul more at Reason, while sneering at him more in the Guardian.

I'll close with Yisrael Medad's blog which gives the correspondence between Jacob Shrybman of the Sderot Media Center and the Nation in attempt by a to present a pro-Israel article to Copy Chief Judith Long at The Nation. Shrybman seems to have successfully placed op eds in the LA Times, but The Nation is not a crackable market.

In response to the article's submission:

Thank you for thinking of The Nation. Your proposed article is diametrically opposed to our opinion on this blockade, so we will be unable to take you up on your offer of this article.
--jl
Submissions




Author's response to the editor:

Hi Jl,
That is a very interesting email. Never before have I ever been told that a news website or publication wouldn't publish an article of mine because they oppose my point of view. How does your response and refusal to publish my article, based on political reasoning, fall in line with The Nation's founding prospectus?

"The Nation will not be the organ of any party, sect, or body. It will, on the contrary, make an earnest effort to bring to the discussion of political and social questions a really critical spirit, and to wage war upon the vices of violence, exaggeration, and misrepresentation by which so much of the political writing of the day is marred."

It seems to me you are diametrically opposing your own prospectus?

All the best,
Jacob Shrybman




The Nation editor's response to that:

We are a journal of opinion--usually dissenting opinion. You espouse the run-of-the-mill mainstream views that we are here to correct, as they are based on misinformation/propaganda. It doesn't need repeating.




Jacob's response:

The funny thing about opinion is, if you ask me I would say your view is "run-of-the-mill" and that is the one I am here to influence. That's how opinions work, everyone has one. So you should be ashamed that you call your site a "journal of opinion" when you don't allow for opinions other than the decided upon stance to be represented.

Interestingly enough while The Nation was always liberal, it was not always anti-American or anti-Israel. It became so. In doing so it adopted a more "mainstream" radicalism and bigotry. But the Katrina vanden Heuvel era of The Nation set its radicalism into stone. Katrina vanden Heuvel, like so many America and Israel bashers, including the recently deceased Jose Saramago, had a soft spot for the USSR. Limbaugh has called Heuvel and her husband, Communists. I think they fall more into the fellow travelers category, as much of the liberal left did. Though Heuvel and her husband seem to have a good deal of affinity for the Soviet Union, and he did write a book essentially arguing that the Soviet Union need not have broken up.

All that however is mostly beside the point. The point is that the left insists it's countering the mainstream, even when it has a death grip on the culture and what opinions can even be expressed. It isn't interested in equal time, and its capacity for obnoxious behavior is unlimited.

It's amazing when you watch former governor Spitzer doing his CNN piece with Glenn Greenwald, to see that Spitzer comes off looking marginally civilized, while Glenn Greenwald shouts that he's a mouthpiece of Israeli propaganda, that Israel is a dictatorship and Hamas is the democratically elected legitimate government. Because the more you go to the left, the worse the dementia becomes.

Speaking of Saramago, here's Frum's piece on him, "Death of a Jew-hater"

In 1969, he joined Portugal’s clandestine Communist Party. But so long as it was risky to speak, Saramago kept quiet.

The dictatorship collapsed in 1974, replaced by a left-wing military junta. For a few months, it seemed that Portugal might lurch from one dictatorship to another. During this period, Saramago was installed as assistant editor of a formerly pro-regime newspaper. He promptly transformed the paper into an instrument of communist propaganda, dismissing employees who would not follow the party line. Happily, democratic forces prevailed. Elections were organized, the communist militias were dispersed and Portugal joined the European Community.

Saramago later described Portugal’s turn to democracy as a day of “blackness” for him. He was fired from the newspaper in his turn.

...just an excerpt. More on Saramago and Israel and those damned Jews is available here.

Continuing the roundup, Gates of Vienna circulates a translation of a travel guide which shows what the world would be like, if what was good for the goose was also good for the gander

Travel Guide for a Westerner

Want to really experience something? Have a real adventure? Then get ready for a journey you couldn’t imagine in your wildest dreams.

So: Travel illegally to Pakistan, Iran, Turkey, or Syria. Don’t worry about visas, international laws, immigration regulations or other silly rules.

As soon as you have arrived, demand that the local authorities provide you and your family with free medical care.

Insist that all employees of the health agencies speak your language of choice -- German, Greek, Spanish, Hungarian, English, Polish -- and that the clinics where you may be admitted prepare food for you just as you have it at home, in Germany, Greece, Spain, Hungary, USA, Poland.

Insist that all forms, questionnaires, and documents be translated into your language.

Reject any criticism of your attitude by stating emphatically: “That has to do with my culture and religion. You understand nothing about it.”

Categorically maintain your original identity. Hang the flag of your Western country in your window. (And don’t forget a bumper sticker for your car.)

Make sure that you speak only your own language at home and that your children do the same.

Of course liberals incessantly stereotype Americans abroad this way, but demand it as a right for third worlders coming to America.

Omri Ceren has Israel's vuvuzela revenge

At Boker Tov Boulder, another 700 million wasted on winning the hearts and minds of Islam

But apparently that's not how you do that sort of thing. That's because the Islamic world is a little hard to relate to. Case in point:

SAUDI ARABIA: Women threaten to breastfeed drivers if they aren't allowed to drive

Many were stunned when Saudi cleric Sheik Abdel Mohsen Obeikan recently issued a fatwa, or Islamic ruling, calling on women to give breast milk to their male colleagues or men they come into regular contact with so as to avoid illicit mixing between the sexes.

But a group of Saudi women has taken the controversial decree a step further in a new campaign to gain the right to drive in the ultra-conservative kingdom, media reports say.

If they're not granted the right to drive, the women are threatening to breastfeed their drivers to establish a symbolic maternal bond.

"Is this is all that is left to us to do: to give our breasts to the foreign drivers?" a Saudi woman named Fatima Shammary was quoted as saying by Gulf News.

Obeikan argued in his decree that if the women give their drivers their breast milk, the chauffeurs would be able to mingle with all members of the family without having to worry about violating Islamic law. Some Islamic scholars frown on the mixing of unmarried men and women. Islamic tradition, or hadith, stipulates that breastfeeding establishes a maternal bond, even if a woman breastfeeds a child who is not her own.

Drawing from the cleric's advocacy, the women have reportedly chosen a slogan for their campaign that translates to, "We either be allowed to drive or breastfeed foreigners."

Remember this is a culture where family dinners usually involve the women remaining out of sight in the kitchen. Saudi Arabia has a surplus of employed foreigners to do the menial work, but banning women from driving is about control. Under Islam, women are property. And you don't let property off the reservation. Driving or even being driven is a form of independence. And that's not in the cards here.

Meanwhile via the 7th Rangers Mechanized Blog, here's a look at how Hamas really does business



And when reading the previous news story, keep in mind that those who have power also have privilege. Gaza tunnels aren't just used for smuggling weapons, but also for sex trafficking. And Iran has clerics perform very temporary marriages as a form of prostitution.

At The Warrior Class a post on Rabid Sheepdogs

I am a Warrior. I am a Police Officer (retired). I am a Soldier. I am a Sheep dog. I recognize danger and I recognize threat and I recognize when it's time to growl and when it's time to kill.

There are no excuses. There is no justification. There can be no doubt. Such men deserve neither pity nor mercy for what pity or mercy did they show their victims? If we as a society can mandate death for the heinous killers among us how can we exclude these men?

Finally Square Mile Wife is covering TD Bank and Bud Lite's sponsorship of a Toronto Gay Pride parade with anti-Israel and pro-Terrorist propaganda in the mix.

Enjoy the weekend.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

A Terrorist's Guide to Improving Israel's Media Coverage

When you're in a competition and you're losing, one of the first thing to do is to study what your opponent is doing and copy him. In this case Israel is competing for good media coverage with the terrorists. And the terrorists are winning. And if the media likes them so much, maybe it's time to start doing what they do.


1. Get Good Media Coverage By Excluding Bad Media Coverage

Say that two movies will be coming out next week. One of those movies has studio which bans all critics who have spoken unfavorably about it from seeing it. The other movie welcomes all reviewers. When the final numbers are tallied, which movie do you think will have the best reviews? The one that didn't screen the movie for any critics who were not favorably disposed toward it. Sure the other movie might claim that its favorable reviews were honest. And that and a dime will buy you a cup of coffee.

Now say that these two studios keep doing this for 10 years, and that they're the only game in town. Eventually just to be able to do their jobs, critics will almost always positively review movies from the studio that bars critics, and almost always negatively review the movies from the other studio to stay on the good side of the first studio. That is because selecting for optimal results will produce them.

Free societies "screen" for all critics. Totalitarian ones only play to supportive audiences. That is why they get the better publicity than free societies. Journalistic integrity is supposed to make up the difference by telling the truth to the public. When it doesn't, then the journalists are functioning willingly as tools of totalitarian regimes. And maybe it's time to give them the boot.

If Israel wants the same supportive coverage that Fatah and Hamas get, it needs to play by their rules. Press credentials would then go to those who provide positive coverage. Those reporters who want to take pictures of wall graffiti and stage photos of Muslim children throwing stones at Israeli tanks need not apply. If the New York Times or NBC News can't find anyone willing to play by those rules, the way they do in Gaza and Ramallah, then they can stay home and they won't be able to do their jobs.

The mainstream media will be outraged, you say. There will be even more negative coverage. As if there isn't heaps of it now. And what will the negative media coverage be of? Reporters forced to stay home. Foreign correspondents who have to cover an election in Hungary, instead of eating caviar in a Jerusalem hotel and writing vicious articles about Jewish Middle Eastern refugees living in East Jerusalem. Haaretz reporters will have to move to London to write biting columns in the Guardian about how racist the country they used to live in, is. Before they move on to the inevitable theater reviews and finally begin writing ad copy for insurance agencies. Oh the pathos, the pity. No one will care.

Should Israel do this? It's not the way of a free society, but there's only so much propaganda for a totalitarian society that even the freest society can endure before it is destroyed. Freedom comes with responsibility. The main responsibility is not to use that freedom to destroy the free society whose freedom you enjoy. Drill enough holes in a boat, and either the boat will sink or you'll be escorted off and Carnival Cruises will never let you brook a cruise with them again.


2. Get Good Coverage by Killing People All the Time

Terrorist groups are always killing people, which the media is fine with. Israel on the other hand mostly doesn't kill anyone. Occasionally it goes after terrorists and kills some of them. An international outcry immediately results. This paradox is explained by a well known defect commonly present in children and moral idiots. This moral defect judges consistently evil behavior more favorably, than inconsistently good behavior.

Another "Oppressed Mansion" in Ramallah
In other words, someone who steals all the time is viewed more favorably than a seemingly solid citizen who gets caught shoplifting. Don't believe me? Count how many ballads have been written about highwaymen, bank robbers and terrorists. The answer is a whole lot.

This defect does not judge the morality of behavior, but its consistency. Someone who is consistently bad is seen as good, because he sticks to his principles. Which are bad. Clearly proving that he's good. Because if he weren't good, why would he be bad all the time? It must be because he believes that his behavior is really good. So all we have to do is understand his point of view to see why he acts this way.

On the other hand someone who is inconsistent is clearly a hypocrite. Otherwise why is his behavior inconsistent? Clearly he knows he's doing wrong and occasionally tries to restrain himself, but still keeps engaging in wrongdoing. Which means he has no principles, and his behavior is therefore unjustifiable.

Applied to the Israeli-Muslim Terrorist conflict, this means that Israel is bad because it only inconsistently kills terrorists. On the other hand the terrorists consistently kill Israelis, which must mean that they're good. By only killing terrorists sometimes, Israel shows that it doesn't believe that killing them is ever right. By constantly trying to kill Israelis, the terrorists demonstrate a consistent value system that shows they always believe the are doing the right thing.

This seems like madness only because you aren't a cultural relativist. Which is to say that you believe some things are right and other things are wrong irregardless of who believes them or does them. But if you were a moral idiot, or a cultural relativist (but I repeat myself), you would understand that subjective labels such as right or wrong don't matter. What matters is that people behave in a way consistent with their cultural imperatives and global context. Which generally means killing people or feeling bad because their ancestors killed all those people, depending on their level of industrial development, infrastructure and average family income.

Back when Israel was much more consistent about killing enemy insurgents and terrorists, there was also a general consensus in its favor. In the 50's, Ariel Sharon snuck into Egypt and blew up an entire village being used as an insurgent base. Today a single targeted assassination of a terrorist results in shrieks of global outrage. The problem here is the "single" and the "targeted" part. The answer is to kill terrorists like you mean it.

Not only does consistently doing something result in a better global image, but it also deadens any scandal by turning it into static. Assassinate one terrorist in Dubai and the world is upset. Assassinate ten terrorists a day and the world quickly gets bored a month later after the 300th terrorist. There are only so many headlines reading, "Israel Still Killing Terrorists" that anyone will bother to read. And as a major bonus, killing enough terrorists tends to put an end to that whole terrorism thing.


3. Victims of Our Own Competence

The real problem with Israel is not that it has jets and tanks and nuclear weapons. Most of the Middle East has at least two out of three of those. North Korea has all three. The problem is that Israel works a little too well.

What do I mean by that? Israel has working traffic lights, electricity, airlines, police forces and stores filled with things made in the country. Back around 1950 when countries were expected to be able to do things for themselves, this was considered a good thing. But today the anti-capitalism paradigm is dominant, which means that any level of competence defines you as a villain.

When a reporter goes to Tel Aviv or Jerusalem, he notices that despite all the flaws, things somewhat work. No one generally tries to murder him on the street. The Jewish residents at least, aren't using donkeys as transportation, no one throws rocks at his head, and sewage isn't flowing through the street.

But when he goes to Ramallah or Gaza, he sees gorgeous villas and classic Mercedes cars, but he also sees dust, dirt and yes raw sewage. Things don't work, or work only unpredictably. Abused animals are everywhere. Militia gangs prowl the streets. Kids throw rocks. The electricity goes on and off. The doctors occasionally work at the hospital, when they aren't heading up the local wing of Hamas\Fatah or selling drugs. Naturally he thinks these people must be the victims.

The solution is to make Israel appear just as dysfunctional. While the country has its problems, by comparison things do generally work. Now is the time to stop making them work. During a crisis, major cities in Israel should repeatedly lose power. The Knesset will have raucous debates by candlelight. Traffic jams will be orchestrated and donkeys will replace taxis. Raw sewage will spill out in the street and doctors will leave their jobs and do nothing but conduct press conferences denouncing Sweden for making us live this way.

Photographers will be invited to take pictures of senior citizens struggling to manually translate Henning Mankell and Iain Banks novels by hand, due to their boycott of Israel. And of children who are receiving inadequate medical care because of being boycotted by British medical journals. And of course there will be people posing buried in rubble due to the boycotts of the Canadian Union of Public Employees, the Presbyterian Church and Swedish dock workers.

Of course none of this makes any sense. But it doesn't have to make any sense. The facts don't matter. The Muslim terrorists proved that already. The point is to create a lot of sympathetic dramatically staged photos and blame someone for them. It might as well be Sweden since they're spoiling for a fight anyway. This is not about the facts. It's about making the competent feel guilty for their competence. If Israel is demonized because Fatah and Hamas can't provide basic services even with billions of dollars in foreign aid, then it's time for Israel to stop providing basic services.

In the anti-capitalist dogma, competence is criminality. A more advanced society is always more wrong than a less advanced one. Clearly the only way to win their sympathy is a race to the bottom. If the lights go out in Gaza, let there be no lights and sewage in Haifa. In Ramallah has open sewage, then Tel Aviv should go back to using donkeys. If Jenin has armed militias riding on donkeys that are swimming in pools of sewage, it's time to close all the hospitals in the Israel and gather gangs of schoolchildren and start stoning foreign planes.

At some point where Israeli schoolchildren achieve a lower literacy rate than their counterparts in the West Bank. When there is no electricity anywhere in the country, and cold running water only twice a week. When the only forms of transportation in the country are rusting 1960's classic American cars and mistreated donkeys. When there is no working fire department, but cell phones are everywhere. When you can't go a hundred feet without hearing the sounds of machine gun fire. And when there is an entire branch of the UN dedicated to feeding and clothing Israelis. Then finally the public relations battle will be won. Because Israel will truly be a failed state-- and therefore wholly moral.

Only successful states take the blame, because only they are judged as being responsible. Failed states on the other hand are always someone else's victim. If paradoxically the only way to be a successful state, is to be a failed state-- it's time to start failing upward.



Anyone who supports the Muslim terrorist side, and disapproves of the article should ask him or herself, why?

"Or we'll hold our breath until we turn blue"
If censorship, homicidal mania and deliberate dysfunction are effective media relations tools for the poor "Palestinian Arabs" who can hardly walk four steps without claiming citizenship in the great state of victimhood, maybe it's time their victims got a piece of the action. If the left doesn't like working countries that don't throw critics off buildings or constantly try to kill people-- then they're writing a scenario in which those countries will transform themselves into the image of the sort of countries that the left does like.

This is only a satirical piece, but all satire has more than a grain of truth to it. If the media left calls democracy, tyranny and tyranny, democracy. Then perhaps the only way for them to recognize a country as a democracy is for it to become a tyranny. If they praise countries that violate civil rights, for their freedom, and damn countries with freedom for violating civil rights-- clearly then the only way to the leftist heart is by violating civil rights. By calling good, evil, and evil, good-- the left has written this narrative itself with the inkstains of its own moral hypocrisy. It cannot complain about its consequences.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Turkey's State of Terror

This week Turkish forces invaded Iraq and its warplanes bombed 7 Kurdish villages killing a teenage girl and wounding her mother and 3 year old sister. A week ago Iran had done the same things, killing a 14 year old girl and a 45 year old woman. There are no shouts of protest. No worldwide demonstrations. The Obama administration and the media did not deliver any lectures on disproportionate force. Not even when Erdogan vowed to drown the Kurdish rebels "in their own blood".

Instead Ambassador James J. Jeffrey slavishly rushed to assure Turkey's Thug in Chief Erdogan that the PKK  was also America's enemy and promised to "urgently" review any request for help against them. No such help was offered to the Kurds, whose villages were being bombed from the sky using planes sold to Turkey by the United States. Despite the fact that Iraqi Kurds, unlike Turkey, supported the US liberation of Iraq. Because that's what friends of the United States get from the Obama Administration. A kick in the face. And what our enemies get is a slobbering kiss on the cheek.

The PKK is a terrorist organization, but it is not our enemy and it does not have anything to do with us. Any reason for providing aid to Turkey against the PKK ended with the Cold War. Especially considering Turkey's shakedown of the US during the Kosovo operation and its refusal to support US forces in the liberation of Iraq. The United States has no reason to provide military assistance to a regime that is not willing to do the same.

While the US has consistently backed Turkey against the PKK-- the Turkish regime has in response accused the US of supporting the PKK in order to divide Turkey. Ankara knows very well that this is a lie, but it is part of a domestic campaign aimed at demonizing the US. Just as the chairman of the ruling AKP Islamist party, Hüseyin Çelik, has accused Israel of being behind the PKK bombing in İskenderun (legally Syrian territory, in practice occupied Kurdistan) in order to continue the regime's campaign of hateful incitement. (This is particularly ironic as Turkey is actually using Israeli drones against the Kurdish rebels, and Israel's Benjamin Netanyahu  helped Turkey capture PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan.) Further exploiting the more recent Istanbul bus bombing for all it's worth, Erdogan accused everyone from the media to his own political opposition of being tied up with the attacks.

The hypocrisy here is rather pungent as bus bombings were a common tool of the Hamas terrorist organization, which is closely supported by Erdogan. As a radical Islamist, Erdogan's ties to terrorism run deep. Not only was he personally jailed, but Erdogan and his AKP party are tied up with Yassin Qadi, a Saudi businessman who was marked by the US Treasury as a "Specially Designated Global Terrorist"who funneled millions of dollars to Osama bin Laden. Cuneyt Zapsu, a co-founder of the AKP party and an Erdogan advisor, meanwhile only passed along 300,000 dollars to Al Queda, through Qadi.

Meanwhile in a country where members of a Kurdish youth choir as young as 12 were arrested and faced years in prison for singing a Kurdish folk song, that also happens to be the anthem of the anthem of Iraq's Kurdistan Regional Government at the San Francisco International Music Festival in 2007-- Al Queda openly publishes its own magazine, "Kaide" out of an office in the middle of Istanbul. This is no accident. Erdogan claims there's no such thing as Islamic terrorism, just as he claimed that there's no such thing as genocide by Muslims, when he welcomed Sudan's mass murdering leader, Omar Hassan al-Bashir, who is wanted for crimes against humanity. What Erdogan has done is legitimize Muslim terrorism and genocide. Even as he rants about Kurdish attacks on Turkey.

It's understandable why Erdogan and his regime would be worried about the Kurds. Turkey occupies and rules over 12 million of them. And those are the official statistics of a regime which at one time actually criminalized any attempt to list separate Kurdish populations. Suggesting that the real numbers may be far higher. But the real question is why we should care. Erdogan and the AKP are pushing Turkey on an anti-American path. Meanwhile the Kurds are vital to stabilizing Iraq. Which suggests that perhaps we should be focusing more on the rights of the Kurds, than the demands of the Turks.

But the US and Europe have turned a blind eye to everything Turkey does. Even when Erdogan openly threatened to ethnically cleanse Armenians again, if they complained about Turkey's original genocide of their people, in the presence of UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown. Nor did Brown raise the subject with Erdogan. Unlike when Israeli soldiers board a Turkish boat sent to aid Hamas, are stabbed and beaten and defend themselves, then the British government quickly demanded answers from Israel. That is because like every Islamist regime, Turkey gets a free pass to do whatever it likes, whether it's occupying Cyprus, invading Iraq and bombing villages there, or imprisoning 12 year olds for singing folk songs. And Turkey's pipeline power doesn't hurt either, as Europe finds itself on the wrong end of energy based hydraulic despotism.

Germany may keep Turkey out of the EU, not that Europe would have survived more than a decade of a state of affairs in which a Muslim population in the tens of millions, half of whom earns 20 dollars a month suddenly had access to every country in the EU. But the apologetics being penned for Turkey in the Western media claiming that Turkey's move to the Islamist camp is the act of a spurned EU lover, have it wrong. This was a long range and well financed effort accomplished by the same Saudis who funded Al Queda. Turkey once made the transition from Imperialism to Fascism. Now it is going from Fascism to Islamism.

Meanwhile European humanitarians and American liberals will continue vocally denouncing Israel for every talking point sent their way by Hamas. But suppose they spare a glance for 12 million Kurds living under Erdogan's oppression. Or its Armenians who dare not lift their heads. Or the continuing occupation of Cyprus. Or perhaps the ongoing imprisonment of Leyla Zana, who on becoming the first woman elected to the Turkish parliament was sentenced to ten years in jail for taking her oath in Kurdish. Despite winning the Sakharov Prize and being nominated twice for the Nobel Peace Prize, Zana is still in jail today. Perhaps in between declaring boycotts against Israel (though of course they oppose collective punishment) such "luminaries" as Ken Loach, John Berger, Iain Banks, Eve Ensler and Danny Glover might give a thought for her, and for what an actual totalitarian regime that occupies the lands of other people and suppresses their identities looks like.

But of course that would require integrity, which is in rather short supply among those folks. That is the same reason why human rights has become a sham. Why genocide could go on in the Sudan, while human rights groups panhandling for donations in Saudi Arabia, have focused mainly on raving and ranting against Israel. It's why the Human Rights Council at the UN features such notable defenders of human rights as Saudi Arabia, Cuba and Russia. And why Erdogan feels free to conduct a state of terror at home, and even invade Iraq, because he knows that he will never be held accountable for it.