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Saturday, September 30, 2006

Virginian Pilot takes a dive for Kellam

The Virginian Pilot (motto: motto: "True to the Democratic Party in victory or defeat.") decides that the REAL story about the Phil Kellam assault case is that the story came out at all. Of course it would be too much to expect the “Crack Staff” of the Pilot to check on the criminal history of the candidates, but it’s fairly clear that they believe that the story about the assault that Phil Kellam pled guilty to was dirty pool.

For myself, I really don’t care what Phil Kellam did 28 years ago – much. Oh, maybe it bothers me a little that a man would assault a woman. There also appears to be a discrepancy about what the assault actually consisted of. Kellam claims he shouted at the woman a “pounded” on her car. If I had been that woman, having a man shouting at me and pounding on my car would have frightened me. The woman told a different story, adding that Kellam pulled her hair.
But don’t expect the Pilot’s “Crack Staff” to interview Kellam’s victim. They are waaay too busy interviewing George Allen’s college teammates to find out if he ever used the “N” word and interviewing people like Larry Sabato who heard of people who may have heard Allen use the “N” word.

No, the Pilot’s “Crack Staff” is trying to find out who leaked the information to Jim Hoeft of Bearing because the “Crack Staff” of the Pilot knows the difference between the “real’ story and mudslinging, helpfully labeling Thelma Drake’s workers as “goons” in case anyone need any guidance.


Kellam has changed his story about the assault. In the Virginian Pilot story the assault took place at a convenience store drive-through. In an interview with ABC Affiliate, WVEC Kellam claims that the assualt took place as the result of a "traffic accident." Will the "Crack Staff" of the Pilot resolve this discrepancy? Don't hold your breath.

Lying the Virginian Pilot Way

There are ways of telling lies while every word you say it true. Take this as an example:
“John Hinckley shot Ronald Reagan. Reagan later died.” Every word is true but the two sentences in combination are designed to mislead … to lie.

This “cute” way of misleading was brought to mind while killing time in a restaurant reading September 30th Hampton Roads section of the Pilot (motto: "True to the Democratic Party in victory or defeat.")

On page B3 they had a section on “How They voted” listing how Virginia’s members of congress voted on various issues.

Under the heading “Habeas corpus” this is what they wrote:

Voting 48-51 the Senate on Thursday refused to establish the right of habeas corpus for terrorism prisoners. Established in the Magna Carta in 1215 and written into Article 1 of the Constitution, habeas corpus gives prisoners the right to be brought into court to be formally charged.

Reading that description of habeas corpus one would be inclined to think that an historic right has been denied. In fact, it reinforces the meme that we are becoming a dictatorship while our historic rights are being denied. And that is, indeed, the way the Left is portraying this issue. For a definition of Habeas corpus go here.

But let’s see if this formulation is true. The issue is whether prisoners of war, or worse, captured foreign terrorists, are to have the right of habeas corpus and be tried in a court of law. One may argue that they should have that right, but no one should be able to imply, as the Pilot does, that they have historically had that right unless they can prove it.

So let’s go back to history and see whether prisoners of war or captured foreign terrorists were ever granted habeas corpus or were ever tried by civilian courts. Let’s see (in reverse chronological order):

Gulf War 1 – nope
Viet Nam War – nope
Korean War – nope
World War 2 – nope (Even non-combatant American citizens of Japanese descent were denied habeas corpus)
World War 1 – nope
Civil War – nope (in fact Abraham Lincoln suspended habeas corpus for everybody, not just war prisoners)
Mexican War – nope
War of 1812 – nope
American Revolution – nope

In fact, I invite the editors of the Pilot to cite examples war prisoners who were granted a writ and tried in civilian courts. There may be examples, but I have been unable to find any.

But the formulation used by the editors of the Pilot exposes the difference between those of us who believe that we are in a war and those who believe that 9/11 and its aftermath are the acts of criminals. It’s the difference between those who take the Islamofascists at their word when they declared war on us, and those who don’t.

And those who don’t take them seriously are, in my estimation, guilty of a kind of arrogance that assumes that those who are not as learned, as sophisticated, as “civilized” as themselves are to be treated as children. As George Bush put it in another context, it’s the “soft bigotry of low expectations.”

Thursday, September 28, 2006

A Clockwork Strawberry

A hilarious spoof on Keith Olberman. If you don't know who he is, never mind.

CAIR's Hooper: "We Don't Take Money from Saudi Arabia"

Here’s an appearance by CAIR flack Ibrahim Hooper on Tucker Carlson’s show, in which Hooper says that “to his knowledge,” CAIR does not receive funding from Saudi Arabia:

From 2002, here’s a report at Arabic News that Saudi prince al-Waleed bin Talal had donated a half million dollars to CAIR for a PR campaign: Al-Walid Bin Talal donates half a million for CAIR campaign in the USA.

And this June, ArabNews reported on a meeting of the Islamic supremacist da’wa group WAMY, CAIR officials, American antisemite Paul Findley, and Saudi royalty, announcing a $50 million campaign to “combat Islamophobia” in the US: lgf: CAIR, WAMY Announce $50M Propaganda Effort. Follow the link to the original article and notice how coy they are about the source of this money.

(from Little Green Footballs)

"Our avant-gardist artistic establishment... prefers to exercise its anti-bourgeois animus within the coddled purlieus of bourgeois security."

Ann Althouse comments on the cowardice of the avant-gard:

Now that some Muslims have made it painfully obvious that religion-taunting is not an easy game anymore, abandoning it expresses fear, not respect for religion. And continuing to disrespect the religions that don't lash back only highlights that cowardice. Poor transgressive rebel artists! How are they to shock the middle class anymore?

James Webb and George Allen

Powerline has two articles on the very nasty race in Virginia between Allen and Webb.

The Webb legacy
In 1994, Fred Thompson was locked in a Senate campaign against an increasingly desperate opponent, Jim Cooper. During a debate, in response to what Thompson thought was an unfair attack, the once-and-future actor said in his most authoritative voice, "Jim, it's one thing to lose an election; it's another thing to lose your honor." Cooper seemed to shrink, and I could tell then-and-there that Thompson would be the one going to Washington.

I'll leave it to others to debate whether, or to what extent, James Webb has lost his honor as a result of the smear campaign against his opponent Senator Allen. But I do think it would have been honorable for Webb to have distanced himself from his "netroots coordinator" when that blogger attacked Allen for alleged "deep-seated issues" regarding his Jewish heritage. More generally, it would have been honorable for Webb to have denounced making that Jewish heritage an issue in the campaign.

In any event, I agree with John Podhortetz's take on the surprising turn the Webb candidacy has taken:

Webb is a brilliant and unclassifiable guy — I'd say he's very close to being a paleocon with socially liberal attitudes. But if he is anything, he's politically incorrect. How ironic, therefore, that his campaign has now staked itself on the incredibly dreary politically correct issue of "offensive language" dating back decades. Instead of being the philosopher-novelist candidate, Webb is instead on the line in the most dispiriting and unintelligent political contest the United States has seen in years.

I think one of the reasons Allen appears to be in the lead is that Webb, who was regarded as a tough, principled guy, is now perceived as a weasel trying to win his race with dishonorable methods.

Second, Larry Sabato will never again command bipartisan respect after being exposed as a leader in the attempt to smear George Allen.

The Right Approach To Rough Treatment

In passing the law defining what we can and cannot do with terrorists we capture, Jonathan Rauch makes an important point that differntiates Liberals from Conservatives.

There is general agreement that the central purpose of a detention and interrogation system is to prevent terrorism, not to prevent torture. That point may sound trivial, but it is not.

I don't agree with all of his points, but this one is critical.


Senator Inhofe gives a second speech following MSM reaction to his first speech on global warming hysteria.

This past Monday, I took to this floor for the eighth time to discuss global warming. My speech focused on the myths surrounding global warming and how our national news media has embarrassed itself with a 100-year documented legacy of coverage on what turned out to be trendy climate science theories.

Over the last century, the media has flip-flopped between global cooling and warming scares. At the turn of the 20th century, the media peddled an upcoming ice age -- and they said the world was coming to an end. Then in the 1930s, the alarm was raised about disaster from global warming -- and they said the world was coming to an end. Then in the 70’s, an alarm for another ice age was raised -- and they said the world was coming to an end. And now, today we are back to fears of catastrophic global warming -- and again they are saying the world is coming to an end.

Today I would like to share the fascinating events that have unfolded since my floor speech on Monday.


This morning, CNN ran a segment criticizing my speech on global warming and attempted to refute the scientific evidence I presented to counter climate fears.

First off, CNN reporter Miles O’Brien inaccurately claimed I was “too busy” to appear on his program this week to discuss my 50 minute floor speech on global warming. But they were told I simply was not available on Tuesday or Wednesday.

I did appear on another CNN program today -- Thursday -- which I hope everyone will watch. The segment airs tonight on CNN’s Headline News at 7pm and repeats at 9pm and midnight Eastern.

Second, CNN’s O’Brien falsely claimed that I was all “alone on Capitol Hill” when it comes to questioning global warming.

Mr. O’Brien is obviously not aware that the U.S. Senate has overwhelmingly rejected Kyoto style carbon caps when it voted down the McCain-Lieberman climate bill 60-28 last year – an even larger margin than its rejection in 2003.

Read the rest...


Senator Inhofe gives a second speech following MSM reaction to his first speech on global warming hysteria.

This past Monday, I took to this floor for the eighth time to discuss global warming. My speech focused on the myths surrounding global warming and how our national news media has embarrassed itself with a 100-year documented legacy of coverage on what turned out to be trendy climate science theories.

Over the last century, the media has flip-flopped between global cooling and warming scares. At the turn of the 20th century, the media peddled an upcoming ice age -- and they said the world was coming to an end. Then in the 1930s, the alarm was raised about disaster from global warming -- and they said the world was coming to an end. Then in the 70’s, an alarm for another ice age was raised -- and they said the world was coming to an end. And now, today we are back to fears of catastrophic global warming -- and again they are saying the world is coming to an end.

Today I would like to share the fascinating events that have unfolded since my floor speech on Monday.


This morning, CNN ran a segment criticizing my speech on global warming and attempted to refute the scientific evidence I presented to counter climate fears.

First off, CNN reporter Miles O’Brien inaccurately claimed I was “too busy” to appear on his program this week to discuss my 50 minute floor speech on global warming. But they were told I simply was not available on Tuesday or Wednesday.

I did appear on another CNN program today -- Thursday -- which I hope everyone will watch. The segment airs tonight on CNN’s Headline News at 7pm and repeats at 9pm and midnight Eastern.

Second, CNN’s O’Brien falsely claimed that I was all “alone on Capitol Hill” when it comes to questioning global warming.

Mr. O’Brien is obviously not aware that the U.S. Senate has overwhelmingly rejected Kyoto style carbon caps when it voted down the McCain-Lieberman climate bill 60-28 last year – an even larger margin than its rejection in 2003.

Read the rest...

The AP Goes Over the Top for the Democrats

From Powerline:

The administration declassified and released the three-page "key judgments" of the National Intelligence Estimate; we linked to it earlier today. The document, taken as a whole, shows that the leaks given to the New York Times and Washington Post were so incomplete and unrepresentative as to be wildly misleading, as were the stories those papers wrote based on the leaks.

At this morning's press conference, the AP's Jennifer Loven, one of the most partisan reporters in that highly partisan stable, asked a tendentious question about the NIE, in response to which President Bush announced that he had ordered the report's conclusions declassified so that the American people can read it for themselves and draw their own conclusions.
The Associated Press is apparently relying on the assumption that hardly anyone will read the report's conclusions. Here are a few significant items that, with just one exception, Loven and her colleague didn't see fit to mention:

The NIE is very much a mixed bag, with a lot of on-the-one-hand and on-the-other-hand. But, given the assessments noted above, which are not only positive but also reinforce the importance of the goals the Bush administration is pursuing--victory in Iraq and reform, eventually, in the Arab world--the AP's characterization of the report as "bleak" is ridiculous, and its claim that "[v]irtually all assessments of the current situation were bad news" is simply false.

Beyond the misreporting of the NIE, what strikes me most about it is what a useless document it is. It is couched in such generalities that I don't see what use the President, or anyone else, could make of it for policy-making purposes. I would hope that if we saw the whole report, there would be substance that is not reflected in the "key judgments." If not, if I were President, I would send it back to the agencies it
came from with a request to tell me something I didn't already know.

The Late, Great, '98

According to the just released National Intelligence Estimate (pdf), US actions in Iraq inspire terrorism. For a second - and earlier - opinion on the topic, here's Osama bin Laden:

Read the rest...


Overall 94 percent have an unfavorable view of al Qaeda, with 82 percent expressing a very unfavorable view. Of all organizations and individuals assessed in this poll, it received the most negative ratings. The Shias and Kurds show similarly intense levels of opposition, with 95 percent and 93 percent respectively saying they have very unfavorable views. The Sunnis are also quite negative, but with less intensity. Seventy-seven percent express an unfavorable view, but only 38 percent are very unfavorable. Twenty-three percent express a favorable view (5% very).

Views of Osama bin Laden are only slightly less negative. Overall 93 percent have an unfavorable view, with 77 percent very unfavorable. Very unfavorable views are expressed by 87 percent of Kurds and 94 percent of Shias. Here again, the Sunnis are negative, but less unequivocally—71 percent have an unfavorable view (23% very), and 29 percent a favorable view (3% very).

To sum up - Iraq is coming along better than the news project. Indeed, more and more Iraqis believe that they will be soon ready to stand on their own two feet. This optimistic assessment may to a large degree reflect their disappointment in the efficacy of the American forces but, all in all it is a positive development.

Do remember this when you read headlines accurately reporting that "most Iraqis Want US Troops Out Within a Year and Say US Presence Provoking More Conflict Than it is Preventing."

Merkel call to stand firm over terrorists

From the Scotsman - more signs of sanity:

ANGELA Merkel, the German chancellor, yesterday urged her people not to bow to fears of Islamic violence after a Berlin opera house cancelled a Mozart work over concerns that scenes might enrage Muslims and pose a security risk.

"I think the cancellation was a mistake. I think self-censorship does not help us against people who want to practise violence in the name of Islam," she told reporters.

Mrs Merkel's comments, fuelled a row over the cancellation of Mozart's Idomeneo that overshadowed a government-sponsored conference to promote dialogue with the country's 3.2 million Muslims.

The Deutsche Oper Berlin pulled Idomeneo, which has a scene depicting the severed heads of Mohammed, Buddha and Jesus, after police warned it might pose an "incalculable" security risk.

Tancredo valiant not to tap dance

The Denver Post - never an organ of the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy - stands up for free speech. Are the Liberals in the West finally beginning to realize that pre-emptive surrender to Islamofascism is not a good idea?

Many of us find Tom Tancredo's views on immigration a bit much, but that certainly doesn't mean the guy is wrong about everything.

The most recent brouhaha surrounding the GOP congressman from Littleton began when he penned a letter urging Pope Benedict XVI not to apologize for remarks he made about radical Islam.

Nayyera Haq, spokeswoman for Democratic Congressman John Salazar, came to the rescue, accusing Tancredo of using his congressional seat in an irresponsible manner. The letter, she wrote, created a more "dangerous environment."

(And all this time I was under the impression that dangerous environments were created by dangerous, violent people - certainly not free speech.)

Bill Winter, Democratic candidate running against Tancredo, echoed Haq's absurdity in an appearance on Dan Caplis and Craig Silverman's radio show this week.

"I would suggest to you this," Winter explained. "Prior to Mr. Tancredo making comments of this nature, ... folks in the Muslim world probably never heard of Littleton and had no reason to ever have thought about Littleton, and now they do."

In a news release, Winter had written that Tancredo's letter would "undoubtedly lead to more attempts at violence toward our country and this district."

Did he really mean this? asks Caplis.

"Yes, and I stand by that," declared Winter. "Absolutely."

Elected officials, you play nice with those radicals. If you're in Littleton, keep your head down and be quiet. Theocrats should not be insulted. (Unless we're talking about the imaginary ones in Colorado Springs, naturally.)

Truly, I'm confused by Haq's and Winter's contention. As a resident of New York for more than 30 years leading up to 9/11, I don't recall Rudy Giuliani or George Pataki or Mario Cuomo or Ed Koch - anyone - ever disparaging Islam.

What I do remember, vividly, is New Yorkers jumping out of a burning tower to their deaths for one reason: They were nonbelievers.

Afraid of the Fear of Terror

From Der Spiegel:

One of Mozart's operas been taken off the playlist at Berlin's State Opera for fear of a terrorist attack. It's a shocking example of pre-emptive surrender: At this point, it seems, terrorists don't even need to issue a specific threat in order to intimidate us.

Representatives of other religions, of course, are a bit more relaxed when they become an object of ridicule or malice. No Catholic authority got upset when Cologne's Cardinal Meisner was represented as an inquisitor who burns women at the stake. German Chancellor Angela Merkel didn't send out any hit squads either when she became the object of sexist caricatures in Mainz.

But during this year's Carnival festivities -- a time when, traditionally, no taboo is respected as long as overstepping it raises a laugh - Cologne's famed carnival societies decided to take no risks and do without jokes about Islam and Muslims. And so the festivities remained untainted by violence.

It was no great loss for the freedom of opinion, but it was another step in the direction of preventive surrender. When it comes to cultural events -- as opposed to politics -- fear is a potent weapon. At this point, no specific threat of violence seems even to have been needed. One "risk analysis" was enough, and the citation of concrete facts wasn't necessary either. Fear takes care of the rest.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Video: Karzai responds to reporter’s question about terrorism; Update: Reporter was left-wing shill Jennifer Loven

You’ll find the clip at the end of this sequence, which also features Bush’s angry comments about the NIE leak. Rarely has he been so blunt in his criticism of the press.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Roger Simon on taking Islam seriously assuming that we are the ones who most fan the flames of Islamism we do not take the Islamists seriously. We are in a sense solipsistic and racist. Obviously jihad is a very powerful doctrine. It has lasted for fifteen hundred years - the terrorists of the Atocha Station cited the reconquista as their motivation...


Charles Krauthammer on Fox News with Brit Hume tonight made a comment that expresses my feelings exactly about these National Intelligence Estimates: this is Junior High School analysis. If this is what the President is getting for a budget of $50 billion, scrap the whole organization and give the money to the Boy Scouts.

It's utter rubbish, declaring the blindingly obvious as if it were a deep insight, making assertions that are simply not true (about poverty being a root cause of radicalism), and providing no guidance to policy makers beyond stating that winning the war means winning the war.

Robert Kagan: More Leaks Please

Based on the press coverage alone, the NIE's judgment seems both impressionistic and imprecise. On such an important topic, it would be nice to have answers to a few questions.

For instance, what specifically does it mean to say that the Iraq war has worsened the "terrorism threat"? Presumably, the NIE's authors would admit that this is speculation rather than a statement of fact, since the facts suggest otherwise. Before the Iraq war, the United States suffered a series of terrorist attacks: the bombing and destruction of two American embassies in East Africa in 1998, the terrorist attack on the USS Cole in 2000, and the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Since the Iraq war started, there have not been any successful terrorist attacks against the United States. That doesn't mean the threat has diminished because of the Iraq war, but it does place the burden of proof on those who argue that it has increased.

Probably what the NIE's authors mean is not that the Iraq war has increased the actual threat. According to the Times, the report is agnostic on whether another terrorist attack is more or less likely. Rather, its authors claim that the war has increased the number of potential terrorists. Unfortunately, neither The Post nor the Times provides any figures to support this. Does the NIE? Or are its authors simply assuming that because Muslims have been angered by the war, some percentage of them must be joining the ranks of terrorists?

As a poor substitute for actual figures, The Post notes that, according to the NIE, members of terrorist cells post messages on their Web sites depicting the Iraq war as "a Western attempt to conquer Islam." No doubt they do. But to move from that observation to the conclusion that the Iraq war has increased the terrorist threat requires answering a few additional questions: How many new terrorists are there? How many of the new terrorists became terrorists because they read the messages on the Web sites? And of those, how many were motivated by the Iraq war as opposed to, say, the war in Afghanistan, or the Danish cartoons, or the Israel-Palestine conflict, or their dislike for the Saudi royal family or Hosni Mubarak, or, more recently, the comments of the pope? Perhaps our intelligence agencies have discovered a way to examine, measure and then rank the motives that drive people to become terrorists, though I tend to doubt it. But any serious and useful assessment of the effect of the Iraq war would, at a minimum, try to isolate the effect of the war from everything else that is and has been going on to stir Muslim anger. Did the NIE attempt to make that calculation?

“Hot & Cold Media Spin: A Challenge To Journalists Who Cover Global Warming”


Click here for highlights of the speech and to watch


I am going to speak today about the most media-hyped environmental issue of all time, global warming. I have spoken more about global warming than any other politician in Washington today. My speech will be a bit different from the previous seven floor speeches, as I focus not only on the science, but on the media’s coverage of climate change.


Since 1895, the media has alternated between global cooling and warming scares during four separate and sometimes overlapping time periods. From 1895 until the 1930’s the media peddled a coming ice age.

From the late 1920’s until the 1960’s they warned of global warming. From the 1950’s until the 1970’s they warned us again of a coming ice age. This makes modern global warming the fourth estate’s fourth attempt to promote opposing climate change fears during the last 100 years.


Many in the media, as I noted earlier, have taken it upon themselves to drop all pretense of balance on global warming and instead become committed advocates for the issue.

Here is a quote from Newsweek magazine:

“There are ominous signs that the Earth’s weather patterns have begun to change dramatically and that these changes may portend a drastic decline in food production– with serious political implications for just about every nation on Earth.”

A headline in the New York Times reads: “Climate Changes Endanger World’s Food Output.” Here is a quote from Time Magazine:

“As they review the bizarre and unpredictable weather pattern of the past several years, a growing number of scientists are beginning to suspect that many seemingly contradictory meteorological fluctuations are actually part of a global climatic upheaval.”

All of this sounds very ominous. That is, until you realize that the three quotes I just read were from articles in 1975 editions of Newsweek Magazine and The New York Times, and Time Magazine in 1974.,23657,944914,00.html

They weren’t referring to global warming; they were warning of a coming ice age.

Let me repeat, all three of those quotes were published in the 1970’s and warned of a coming ice age.

In addition to global cooling fears, Time Magazine has also reported on global warming. Here is an example:

“[Those] who claim that winters were harder when they were boys are quite right… weathermen have no doubt that the world at least for the time being is growing warmer.”

Before you think that this is just another example of the media promoting Vice President Gore’s movie, you need to know that the quote I just read you from Time Magazine was not a recent quote; it was from January 2, 1939.

Yes, in 1939. Nine years before Vice President Gore was born and over three decades before Time Magazine began hyping a coming ice age and almost five decades before they returned to hyping global warming.

Time Magazine in 1951 pointed to receding permafrost in Russia as proof that the planet was warming.

In 1952, the New York Times noted that the “trump card” of global warming “has been the melting glaciers.”


There are many more examples of the media and scientists flip-flopping between warming and cooling scares.

Here is a quote from the New York Times reporting on fears of an approaching ice age.

“Geologists Think the World May be Frozen Up Again.”

That sentence appeared over 100 years ago in the February 24, 1895 edition of the New York Times.

Let me repeat. 1895, not 1995.

A front page article in the October 7, 1912 New York Times, just a few months after the Titanic struck an iceberg and sank, declared that a prominent professor “Warns Us of an Encroaching Ice Age.”

The very same day in 1912, the Los Angeles Times ran an article warning that the “Human race will have to fight for its existence against cold.” An August 10, 1923 Washington Post article declared: “Ice Age Coming Here.”

By the 1930’s, the media took a break from reporting on the coming ice age and instead switched gears to promoting global warming:

“America in Longest Warm Spell Since 1776; Temperature Line Records a 25-year Rise” stated an article in the New York Times on March 27, 1933. The media of yesteryear was also not above injecting large amounts of fear and alarmism into their climate articles.

An August 9, 1923 front page article in the Chicago Tribune declared:

“Scientist Says Arctic Ice Will Wipe Out Canada.” The article quoted a Yale University professor who predicted that large parts of Europe and Asia would be “wiped out” and Switzerland would be “entirely obliterated.”

A December 29, 1974 New York Times article on global cooling reported that climatologists believed “the facts of the present climate change are such that the most optimistic experts would assign near certainty to major crop failure in a decade.”

The article also warned that unless government officials reacted to the coming catastrophe, “mass deaths by starvation and probably in anarchy and violence” would result. In 1975, the New York Times reported that “A major cooling [was] widely considered to be inevitable.” These past predictions of doom have a familiar ring, don’t they? They sound strikingly similar to our modern media promotion of former Vice president’s brand of climate alarmism.

After more than a century of alternating between global cooling and warming, one would think that this media history would serve a cautionary tale for today’s voices in the media and scientific community who are promoting yet another round of eco-doom.

Much of the 100-year media history on climate change that I have documented here today can be found in a publication titled “Fire and Ice” from the Business and Media Institute.

Dick Morris: The real Clinton emerges

From behind the benign fa├žade and the tranquilizing smile, the real Bill Clinton emerged Sunday during Chris Wallace’s interview on Fox News Channel. There he was on live television, the man those who have worked for him have come to know – the angry, sarcastic, snarling, self-righteous, bombastic bully, roused to a fever pitch. The truer the accusation, the greater the feigned indignation. Clinton jabbed his finger in Wallace’s face, poking his knee, and invading the commentator’s space.

Text: Bush, Karzai News Conference

Text of news conference by President Bush and President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan on Tuesday, as transcribed by CQ Transcriptions:

House Passes Public Expression Of Religion Act

The bill, H.R. 2679, would deny legal fees and out-of-pocket expenses to be taken from taxpayers and given put into the pockets of groups like the ACLU when they successfully sue against references to God and religion in public settings, has passed by a vote of 244-173! This is good news, but it isn’t the end of the battle. The legislation still needs to pass the Senate and for that to happen we will need all the support we can get. Keep contacting your Senators and let them know you support it!

Mark Steyn: The church dance that snowballed

The human comedy in The Looming Tower is very illuminating. Bin Laden, for example, emerges not as the fearless jihadist and scourge of the Soviets but as a laggard and faint-heart with a tendency to call in sick before battle and, if pressed into service, to pass out during it due to his blood pressure. The "nap" he took during the battle of the Lion's Den in 1987 is spoken of by awed al-Qaeda types as evidence of his cool under fire, but it seems more likely he just fainted.


In an Islamist grievance culture, the tower doesn't have to be that tall to loom. The tragedy in Wright's book is that across little more than half a century a loser cult has metastasized, eventually to swallow almost all the moderate, syncretic forms of Islam. What was so awful about Sayyid Qutb's experience in America that led him to regard modernity as an abomination? Well, he went to a dance in Greeley, Colo.: "The room convulsed with the feverish music from the gramophone. Dancing naked legs filled the hall, arms draped around the waists, chests met chests, lips met lips . . ."

In 1949, Greeley, Colo., was dry. The dance was a church social. The feverish music was Frank Loesser's charm song Baby, It's Cold Outside. But it was enough to start a chain that led from Qutb to Zawahiri in Egypt to bin Laden in Saudi Arabia to the mullahs in Iran to the man arrested in Afghanistan on Sept. 11. And it's a useful reminder of how much we could give up and still be found decadent and disgusting by the Islamists. A world without Baby, It's Cold Outside will be very cold indeed.

U.N. Shows Why It's Incapable of Reform(Mark Steyn)

Iran's president was a huge hit at the U.N. Short of bringing out some burqa-clad Rockettes and doing a couple of choruses of "This Is the Dawning of the Age of a Scary Us," he couldn't have been a bigger smash. I said a year or two back, apropos the U.N., that it's a good basic axiom that if you take a quart of ice cream and blend it with a quart of dog poop the result will taste more like the latter than the former. And last week's performances at the General Assembly were a fine illustration of that. Ahmadinejad and Hugo Chavez were the star finalists of "UnAmerican Idol," and, just when you need Simon Cowell, the only Brit in sight was the oleaginous Mark Malloch Brown, Kofi Annan's deputy, fawning over every crazy in town. The rest of the bigwigs reacted like Paula Abdul, able to discern good points even in fellows who boast about not having any. That's the reality the Dershowitzes refuse to confront: that structurally the U.N. enables thugs to punch above their weight.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Stoning Women to Death

By Nat Hentoff:

On June 29, 2006, a court in the Islamic Republic of Iran sentenced Malak Ghorbany, a 34-year-old mother of two, to a brutal death by stoning after finding her guilty of adultery. . . . Two men who were found guilty of murder in the same court were only given jail sentences of six years. . . . The size of the stones used during the execution are required to be . . . not so large that they would kill a woman too quickly, nor so small that they would fail to cause serious injury or pain . — A letter, unanswered, to George W. Bush from John Whitehead, head of the Rutherford Institute, one of the nation's premier civil liberties organizations. The part about the stones is from Article 104 of the Iranian penal code.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the president of Iran, has become an international celebrity, brandishing his nuclear program—and his yearning to wipe Israel off the face of the earth. He is visited by such personages as U.N. secretary-general Kofi Annan and Mike Wallace of 60 Minutes. In their conversations with him, neither has asked the swashbuckling leader about "honor killings" by the government of women charged with having committed "adultery."

As human rights lawyer Lily Mazahery, president of the Legal Rights Institute reports, "in 99 percent of these cases, the accused women have received no legal representation because, under the Shariah legal system, their testimony is at best worth only half the value of the testimony of men."

And there is no single executioner. These are mass murders by stone-throwing members of the community, having the kind of festive time common among American mass lynchers of blacks, when the murderers brought their children to join in the fun. In Iran too, kids are present to witness the sinners' redemption.

The capital crime of adultery, Mazahery has explained to World Net Daily, "includes [under Shariah law] any type of intimate relationship between a girl/woman and a man to whom she is not permanently or temporarily married. Such a relationship does not necessarily mean a sexual relationship.

Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad: Bringing back the 'dark ages'

When not threatening the world with nuclear weapons, wiping Israel off the map and forced religious conversion, the Islamic Republic of Iran stones women to death ... for being raped.

Read the rest...

By the way, how did the Geneva Conventions work out for McCain at the Hanoi Hilton?

Ann Coulter on the Geneva conventions asks a question I would like to see asked of John McCain.

September 20, 2006

Sen. John McCain has been carrying so much water for his friends in the mainstream media that he now has to state for the record to Republican audiences: "I hold no brief for al-Qaida."

Well, that's a relief.

It turns out, the only reason McCain is demanding that prisoners like Khalid Sheikh Mohammed — mastermind of the 9/11 attacks, the beheading of journalist Daniel Pearl and other atrocities — be treated like Martha Stewart facing an insider trading charge is this: "It's all about the United States of America and what is going to happen to Americans who are taken prisoner in future wars."

McCain, along with Sen. Lindsey Graham and Sen. John Warner — or, as the Times now calls him, the "courtly Virginian" ("fag-hag by proxy to Elizabeth Taylor" being beneath his dignity these days) — want terrorists treated like Americans accused of crimes, with full access to classified information against them and a list of the undercover agents involved in their capture. Liberals' interest in protecting classified information started and ended with Valerie Plame.

As Graham explained, he doesn't want procedures used against terrorists at Guantanamo "to become clubs to be used against our people." Actually, clubs would be a step up from videotaped beheadings.

Or as The New York Times wrote in the original weasel talking points earlier this summer: "The Geneva Conventions protect Americans. If this country changes the rules, it's changing the rules for Americans taken prisoner abroad. That is far too high a price to pay so this administration can hang on to its misbegotten policies."

There hasn't been this much railing about the mistreatment of a hostage since Monica Lewinsky was served canapes at the Pentagon City Ritz-Carlton Hotel while being detained by the FBI.

The belief that we can impress the enemy with our magnanimity is an idea that just won't die. It's worse than the idea that paying welfare recipients benefits won't discourage them from working. (Some tiny minority might still seek work.) It's worse than the idea that taxes can be raised endlessly without reducing tax receipts. (As the Laffer Curve illustrates, at some point — a point this country will never reach — taxes could theoretically be cut so much that tax revenues would decline.)

But being nice to enemies is an idea that has never worked, no matter how many times liberals make us do it. It didn't work with the Soviet Union, Imperial Japan, Hitler or the North Vietnamese — enemies notable for being more civilized than the Islamic savages we are at war with today.

By the way, how did the Geneva Conventions work out for McCain at the Hanoi Hilton?

It doesn't even work with the Democrats, whom Bush kept sucking up to his first year in office. No more movie nights at the White House with Teddy Kennedy these days, I'm guessing.

It was this idea (Be nice!) that fueled liberals' rage at Reagan when he vanquished the Soviet Union with his macho "cowboy diplomacy" that was going to get us all blown up. As the Times editorial page hysterically described Reagan's first year in office: "Mr. Reagan looked at the world through gun sights." Yes, he did! And now the Evil Empire is no more.

It was this idiotic idea of being nice to predators that drove liberal crime policies in the '60s and '70s — leading like night into day to unprecedented crime rates. Now these same liberal ninnies want to extend their tender mercies not just to rapists and murderers, but to Islamic terrorists.

Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Ronald Reagan and Winston Churchill had a different idea: Instead of rewarding bad behavior, punish bad behavior. How many times does punishment have to work and coddling have to fail before we never have to hear again that if we treat terrorists well, the terrorists will treat our prisoners well?

Fortunately, history always begins this morning for liberals, so they can keep flogging the same idiotic idea that has never, ever worked: Be nice to our enemies and they will reward us with good behavior.

Never mind trusting liberals with national security. Never mind trusting them with raising kids. These people shouldn't even be allowed to own pets.

If the Democrats and the four pathetic Republicans angling to be called "mavericks" by The New York Times really believe we need to treat captured terrorists nicely in order to ensure that the next American they capture will be well-treated, then why stop at 600-thread-count sheets for the Guantanamo detainees? We must adopt Sharia law.

As McCain might put it, I hold no brief for al-Qaida, but what would better protect Americans they take prisoner than if America went whole hog and became an Islamic republic? On the plus side, we can finally put Rosie O'Donnell in a burka.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Bombshell: ABC independently confirms success of CIA “torture” tactics

Anti-”torture” absolutists like Sullivan adamantly deny that harsh tactics produce reliable information. It’s their way of avoiding the moral dilemma presented by a ticking time-bomb scenario. But they’ll have to face it now, because in four short minutes Brian Ross utterly explodes that particular article of quasi-religious faith as fantasy. Not only did they break Khaled Sheikh Mohammed; not only was the information he gave them valuable; not only did it save lives; but Ross’s sources include people within the CIA who are opposed to the practices.
The best part, though? Learning that Ramzi Binalshibh cried like a three-year-old girl.
Hard decision time for St. John of Tucson. Choose carefully, Senator.

Click on the link to see the video.

Investigate Fitzgerald

Clarice Feldman has mailed today (9/19/06) the following letter to the Department of Justice, Office of Professional Responsibility regarding the conduct of Patrick Fitzgerald, in the matter of the prosecution Lewis “Scooter” Libby. With her permission, we reproduce it in its entirety.

H. Marshall Jarrett, Counsel

Office of Professional Responsibility

950 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Suite 3266

Washington, D.C. 20530

Re: Patrick Fitzgerald’s handling of the Plame Case

Dear Mr. Jarrett:

I am writing to suggest that if one is not underway yet, it is long past due to undertake an investigation into the circumstances of the appointment of Patrick Fitzgerald and the way in which he has conducted this matter.

Read the whole thing...

Rove Didn't leak Plame? Never Mind Then.

The American Journalism Review has a rather lame summary of the reason the MSM dropped “Plamegate” like a hot potato after it was revealed that it was not a White House plot after all.

As any number of people who have been slimed by the creatures of the press has asked, “where do I go to get my reputation back?” Malicious gossips can be ostracized. But if the malicious gossips are hired by newspapers, magazines and TV networks, they have the opportunity to change the subject and never suffer the opprobrium that real people suffer for spreading lies.

Because the people who wear the filthy badges of the MSM are not real people. They are, like the creatures in Tolkien’s books: orcs. You can see them and read them daily. They are creatures without conscience. They can print faked pictures during wartime, photograph murders at high noon and receive bonuses for it, they proudly tell us that if they witnessed American troops heading into an ambush they would keep quiet and keep filming. And for this they are lavishly rewarded by their creators in Mordor.

Am I being unnaturally harsh? Not at all. Read this apologia by Rem Reider of the American Journalism Review and see how he ends.

What Happens When A Blind Man Blunders Into a Fight? Meeting engagment

Belmont Club comments on the lengths to which the Left in the West (and the so-called Moderate Wing of Islam) delibertely try to hide that which is in plain sight, the violence that deep Islamic faith engenders.

The worst place for a leader to be is behind those he seeks to lead, desperately calling out to a crowd that is increasingly outdistancing him, in a vain attempt to shift them this way or that. Sometimes opinion "leaders" put themselves in a retrograde position by ignoring what everyone around them plainly sees. Here's an example: writing in the context of the controversy generated by Pope Benedict XVI's remarks, ABC News says the 'Day of Rage' is not a day of rage.....

These hilarious semantic contortions are not the fault of Muslims, who are pretty straightforward about what they believe in, so much as the willful obtuseness of the politically correct Western cultural elite, which feels the need to interpret the world for a perfectly literate public, like some pedant who insists on reading out a poster to his students....

It is a failure which will sooner or later lead to what military historians call a "meeting engagement" in which two forces, each possessed of its own momentum, blunder into each other with catastrophic results. A false kind of tolerance has abolished the fence between the piggery and mosque, the adult video store and the cathedral, the flaming match and the stick of dynamite and called it progress. It is no such thing. It is called stupidity.


Don Feder has some thoughts on Liberalism as a Fifth Column.

In a recent commentary, former New York Mayor Ed Koch - a Democrat with at least half a brain (which makes him the leading intellectual light of his party) - asked rhetorically, "Why do so many Americans refuse to face the fact that our country is at war with international terrorism?"

Because they're liberals?

During the Spanish Civil War, as the climactic battle for Madrid approached, Nationalist leader Francisco Franco told a reporter: "I have four columns marching on Madrid and a fifth within the city ready to rise at my call."

Franco's comment gave rise to the World War II-era expression "fifth columnist" - a subversive, the enemy within who works covertly to sabotage a nation or cause. That pretty much sums up the part liberals play in the war on terrorism - except many of them are open in their admiration for Muslim murderers.

If anything, liberals are even more dangerous than Islamacists. The terrorist attacks with bombs and bullets. The liberal saps our will to resist. He rationalizes evil. In the name of civil liberties, he constantly seeks to undermine national security and make it impossible to safeguard our people from another 9/11.

One of the nation's foremost liberal institutions, Harvard has trained generations of the best and brightest to subvert our republican institutions, corrupt the culture and destroy representative government.

Is anyone shocked that former Iranian President Mohammed Khatami will address Harvard's Kennedy School of Government tonight? Khatami helped to create Hezbollah, and calls his handiwork "a shining sun that illuminates and warms the hearts of all Muslims."

When challenged on this bizarre observance of the fifth anniversary of 9/11, David Elwood, dean of the Kennedy School, wrapped himself in the mantle of the free exchange of ideas. "Do we listen to those we disagree with and vigorously challenge them, or do we close our ears completely?" Elwood sniffed.

Good old Crimson - let every voice be heard and all that. Well, not quite every voice. When he dared to suggest that, regarding scientific aptitude, there may be inherent differences between men and women, the feminist jihad issued a fatwa on then-Harvard President Lawrence Summers, who was eventually driven from his post.

Read the rest.

There is a horrifically evil force in the world today,

and that force is the movement that seeks to spread Islam by the sword. Pope Benedict XVI is the spiritual and moral leader of a great religion the members of which that movement would either forcibly convert or murder. Recently, he called out that evil, related it to what plainly is its origin, and declared it "incompatible with the nature of God and the nature of the soul."

All of this is too much for E.J. Dionne. "Why did Benedict take his shot at Islam?", Dionne asks, as if he didn't read the Pope's words (and as if he's been asleep for the last five plus years). And "why didn't he pause to acknowledge that at various mements in history Christians, including Catholics, have themselves been guilty of inappropriate uses of violence?" Maybe because he was focused, as Dionne should be, on the evil that confronts us today, not the evil that was current 500 years ago. As I said, Pope Benedict is the moral and spirtual leader of a great religion that (along with the rest of us) is under attack. He's not an editorial writer for the New York Times. I hope that, unlike Dionne, most Catholics are looking for moral clarity, not mindless moral equivalency, from their leader (unfortunately, the Pope has flirted with the latter in his subsequent "clarifiations").

Dionne contends that "those who are hoping for a liberalized Islam should take Benedict to task" because "religious dialogue will not progress very far if it starts off with a slap in the face." Captain Ed puts this argument to the sword (so to speak):

Any liberalized version of Islam has to afford people the right to criticize Islam without resorting to intimidation and violence in response. How can Islam reform when the entire world enables its temper tantrums? Does appeasement ever work? One would hope that a newspaper columnist, operating under the freedom of the First Amendment, would understand that. To reframe the issue on Dionne's terms, does he believe that silence in the punditry would result in a more open government, or a more oppressive and abusive one -- and if he believes the former, then why does Dionne bother to write his column?

From Power Line.

The CBS Ambush

By Austin Bay:

Remember the "Arab street," that riot-in-the-road featuring flammable Israeli flags, Saddam Hussein posters, clenched fists and chants threatening "Death to America"? The street may have lacked pavement and a fire hydrant, but it had beaucoup television cameras.

Flames, clenched fists and death threats -- a heart-pounding collage of sensational imagery and rhetoric. What more could a TV exec need to attract audience eyeballs?

Recall the talking heads who told us in 1990, after Saddam invaded Kuwait, that "the Arab street" was going to rise en masse, as an ur-proletariat, which would support Saddam against the West. If you need documentation, check out a few old PBS "NewsHour" transcripts.

But the mass rising didn't happen. Why? Because the Arab street was, to a great extent, the creation of television cameras. Political operatives -- no doubt many on Saddam's payroll -- knew they could attract the sensation-hungry camera crews and use the media to project the operatives' preferred "image of anger."

Twenty-first century Islamo-fascist terrorists, however, have refined the model and moved beyond an image of anger to a new form of prepared global ambush that integrates murder, terror and instant media.

The ambush technique coordinates blood-spilling violence with sensational imagery and rhetoric using a dispersed network of media operatives, guerrillas and terrorists. Networked, Coordinated Blood-spilling plus Sensationalism -- hence the technique's acronym: the CBS ambush.

Since May 2005, we've seen the CBS ambush employed effectively on three notable occasions, the latest being Pope Benedict's remarks at Regensburg University.

In May 2005, Newsweek ran its phony Guantanamo Bay prison "Koran flushing" story. Violent riots broke out in several predominantly Muslim countries. The riots in Afghanistan attracted particular attention. Indian military analyst Bahukutumbi Raman wrote that those riots were incited by "well-organized agents of the Hizb ut-Tahrir terror gang."

The Newsweek story gave the terrorists an emotion-laden "grievance trigger." The ambush consisted of violent riots and a prepared deluge of anti-American propaganda. The vicious riots not only attracted further global media coverage, but also intimidated Muslims who oppose terrorist organizations and their violent interpretation of Islam.

In September 2005, the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten published a series of editorial cartoons featuring the Prophet Muhammad. The cartoons attracted political protests and several violent threats, but the cartoons were no international cause celebre. In fact, an Egyptian newspaper published several of the cartoons in an article condemning the Jyllands-Posten.

But in January 2006, waves of orchestrated, coordinated violence broke out in predominantly Muslim nations and in Muslim neighborhoods. The terrorists and political operatives promoted a "clash of civilizations" propaganda line, with the cartoons as the "grievance trigger."

Pope Benedict's Regensburg ruminations provided another CBS ambush trigger.

Benedict -- in a speech that examined historical relations between Muslims and Christians -- quoted the Byzantine Emperor Manuel II Paleologus, a ruler whose empire consisted of little more than the city of Constantinople. Muslim Turks had all but dismembered his realm. Manuel II, engaged in a dialog with a Muslim Persian scholar, challenged the Persian to show him "just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached."

An imprudent quote by a man on a global podium? Yes -- particularly since popes blessed several sword-bearing Crusades. It is, however, a defensible quotation in the context of an academic lecture. The pope pointed out the dialog between Manuel II and the Persian examined "the truth of both (religions)." But context doesn't matter when triggering a CBS ambush, only the superficial trace of historical grievance and the energy of emotional slight. The "distributed" violence following the media magnification of the pope's remarks included firebombing Christian churches (in several Muslim countries) and the execution-style slaying of a Catholic nun who worked in a hospital in Somalia. A hospital administrator said her murder was "not a random act."

Executing a CBS ambush requires the implicit cooperation of sensationalist media -- media that delight in emotional slights and rarely probe beyond the superficial. Until that implicit cooperation ends, the Islamo-fascists will continue to exploit this productive stratagem, achieving propaganda victories designed to ignite a "clash of civilizations" and brutally intimidate their Muslim and non-Muslim opposition.

Jonah Goldberg on the Pope's Speech

Jihad Enablers
The pope, the protesters & White Guilt.

By Jonah Goldberg

Before you can discuss the manifest seriousness of the latest controversy involving the pope, you have to acknowledge its hilarity. Pope Benedict XVI, in an austere philosophical address, invoked Byzantine emperor Manuel II Paleologus, the 14th-century ruler who offered a harsh assessment of Islam. While the Koran says, “There is no compulsion in religion,” Manuel couldn’t help but notice that Muslims were setting up more franchises in his neighborhood than Starbucks — and they weren’t doing so by selling the best darn Mocha Frappuccinos on his side of the Bosphorus Straits.

“Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new,” Manuel complained sometime around the siege of Byzantium, “and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached.” Why Pope Benedict quoted Manuel is hotly debated. But one explicit reason was to enunciate the Church’s opposition to using faith to justify violence or intolerance.

And this is where the hilarity comes in. A Pakistani foreign-ministry spokeswoman responded: “Anyone who describes Islam as a religion as intolerant encourages violence.”


This week, French President Jacques Chirac explained that everyone in the West must avoid everything that sparks tensions. In other words, we must forever be held hostage by the tactical outrage of a global mob. There’s nothing funny about that.

Colorado State professor disputes global warming is human-caused

Via Drudge we learn that some climate scientists deny that global warming is an anthropological event.
Global warming is happening, but humans are not the cause, one of the nation’s top experts on hurricanes said Monday morning.

But the climate scientists who are not afraid to say it no longer have to worry about that their peers may say, or who their next grant is coming from.
Gray, who is a professor at Colorado State University, said human-induced global warming is a fear perpetuated by the media and scientists who are trying to get federal grants.

Read the whole thing.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Cardinal Pell: Pope Rage "showed the link for many Islamists between religion and violence, their refusal to respond to criticism with rational argume

From Jihad Watch:

...Cardinal George Pell says "the violent reactions in many parts of the Islamic world" to a speech by Pope Benedict justified one of the very fears expressed in that address. "They showed the link for many Islamists between religion and violence, their refusal to respond to criticism with rational arguments, but only with demonstrations, threats and actual violence," Cardinal Pell said in a statement yesterday.

Ratzinger's zinger

From Roger L. Simon:

In a BBC News article concerning the current crisis over the Pope's words about Islam, we find the following:

The BBC's David Willey in Rome says Pope Benedict, a theologian who has led a sheltered life in the Vatican for more than two decades, may not have understood the potential implications of his remarks.

Oh, really? The sheltered life here may be Wiley's, as it seems to be often with his Beeb cronies. [Is everything "projection" to you?-ed. Well, not everything, but close.] I think Ratzinger knew perfectly well what he was saying and what he was saying is true. Violence is structured into Islam, because Islam dictates scripturally that the world must be Islamic via jihad (as opposed to Christianity, which says "Render unto Caesar... etc.") and has never reformed on any level that is remotely permanent.

The near-irreparable breach

From the Belmont Club:

But it would be untrue to say the recent controversy over the Islamic world's reaction to the Pope's remarks have no effect. Just as the public will probably read the Pope's sorrow for the reaction to his remarks as being sorry for his remarks -- that is, as an apology-- much of the simple public will probably regard the apology as as the product of a bullying Islamic world as abetted by the liberal establishment, of which the nun's recent death is an example. And while such sentiments are unlikely to manifest themselves in any large shift in the political proportions of Western countries, it will have the effect of hardening the attitudes of those who suspect they are being sold down the river by the liberals and the left. Not by any great measure, but by some small increment. Added on to the context of train bombings, airline scares and the ceaseless belligerence of militant Islamic preachers in the West, it will make unctuous remarks at how carelessly and insensitively the Pope has treated Islam just that much more nauseating. The New York Times for example says "Because the world listens carefully to the words of any pope, Benedict XVI needs to offer a deep and persuasive apology for his hurtful speech." The NYT may be playing to an audience, but not since the phrase "let them eat cake" has there been such an unwitting example of contempt for those outside the charmed circle. We have learned less from Pope Benedict's words then we have discovered from the reaction to them.

Hot Air: The Religion of .....?

Riots on film

Head-in-the-Sand Liberals

Sam Harris on the LA Times (Pigs fly):

Perhaps I should establish my liberal bone fides at the outset. I'd like to see taxes raised on the wealthy, drugs decriminalized and homosexuals free to marry. I also think that the Bush administration deserves most of the criticism it has received in the last six years — especially with respect to its waging of the war in Iraq, its scuttling of science and its fiscal irresponsibility.

But my correspondence with liberals has convinced me that liberalism has grown dangerously out of touch with the realities of our world — specifically with what devout Muslims actually believe about the West, about paradise and about the ultimate ascendance of their faith.

On questions of national security, I am now as wary of my fellow liberals as I am of the religious demagogues on the Christian right.

This may seem like frank acquiescence to the charge that "liberals are soft on terrorism." It is, and they are.

A cult of death is forming in the Muslim world — for reasons that are perfectly explicable in terms of the Islamic doctrines of martyrdom and jihad. The truth is that we are not fighting a "war on terror." We are fighting a pestilential theology and a longing for paradise.

This is not to say that we are at war with all Muslims. But we are absolutely at war with those who believe that death in defense of the faith is the highest possible good, that cartoonists should be killed for caricaturing the prophet and that any Muslim who loses his faith should be butchered for apostasy.

Unfortunately, such religious extremism is not as fringe a phenomenon as we might hope. Numerous studies have found that the most radicalized Muslims tend to have better-than-average educations and economic opportunities.

Given the degree to which religious ideas are still sheltered from criticism in every society, it is actually possible for a person to have the economic and intellectual resources to build a nuclear bomb — and to believe that he will get 72 virgins in paradise. And yet, despite abundant evidence to the contrary, liberals continue to imagine that Muslim terrorism springs from economic despair, lack of education and American militarism.

At its most extreme, liberal denial has found expression in a growing subculture of conspiracy theorists who believe that the atrocities of 9/11 were orchestrated by our own government.

Read the whole thing...

Sunday, September 17, 2006

The Case of the Missing Crime. The CIA leaker has been found. No law was broken. Why is the prosecutor still going after Scooter Libby?

Clarice Feldman in the Weekly Standard provides an outstanding summary of the Wilson/Plame/Libby case.

He begins:

The New York Times and Washington Post are hard at work airbrushing history to obscure their role in promoting Joseph C. Wilson's incredible tale of his Mission to Niger and subsequent fantasy of martyrdom at the hands of Karl Rove. Both add insult to injury. While minimizing their own responsibility for the three-year witchhunt for an imagined White House conspiracy, they still suggest that I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby--Vice President Cheney's former chief of staff and the only man indicted in the case--committed a crime for which he must be held accountable.

Really? It would appear that the Fourth Estate has been as inattentive to the criminal case as it was to the facts that led up to it. The case against Libby is as weak as the basis for the investigation was, and the animus that impelled it so distorted the investigative process as to make its continuation a travesty. It's long past time for Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald to do the right thing and drop the charges.

We now know that the July 2003 leak that launched this case came from the State Department, not the White House. Columnist Robert Novak wondered (as did many in Washington) why such an acid critic of the Bush administration's Iraq policy as Joe Wilson--not a spook but a retired foreign service officer and Clinton NSC staffer--had been chosen by the CIA to investigate Saddam Hussein's interest in Niger's uranium. So at the end of an hour-long interview with Colin Powell's top aide at the
State Department, Richard Armitage, Novak put the question to him. Armitage replied, in so many words, here's a good nugget for your column: It was Wilson's wife's idea to send him, she works at the CIA. Novak confirmed the gossip and included it as a detail in his next column. It was, in many respects, a routine Washington transaction between a political columnist and a well-placed source. All these details, in their essentials, were known to the Justice Department by October 2003. Why, then, was a special prosecutor unleashed two months after that? Why were reporters subpoenaed, compelled to testify, even jailed? Why is Libby still under indictment and threatened with prison in a trial expected to begin next January? Let's review the origins of this sorry story.

Read the whole thing.

A brief summary of Islamist reaction to Pope Benedict's lecture

Little Green Footballs gives us these stories:

ROPs Iraq Branch Threatens Pope with Suicide Attack

Misogynist Medieval Murderers Want Pope to Apologize

London Arabic Paper: Pope = Bin Laden/Hitler

Saudi Grand Mufti: "These Are All Lies"

Somali Cleric Calls for Pope's Death

Alykhan Velshi said this just a day or two ago:

...maybe I should agonise over it more, but somehow I don't. With respect to my religious faith, I agonise more over memorising difficult prayer verses and singing religious songs in tune.I don't however agonise over whatever it is that bothers the violent jihadists.
Which is more important: memorization exercises, singing in tune, or watching members of your religion - these are "your people" - threaten death to the Pope? If this were the public face of Christianity, I would be agonizing over my association with it.

Belmont Club: "Book 'em Danno "

The government of Pakistan has released thousands of Taliban fighters.

Via Belmont Club we get this from the Telegraph News

Pakistan's credibility as a leading ally in the war on terrorism was called into question last night when it emerged that President Pervez Musharraf's government had authorised the release from jail of thousands of Taliban fighters caught fighting coalition forces in Afghanistan.

The mass release of the prisoners has provoked a stern rebuke to the Musharraf regime from the American government. "We have repeatedly warned Pakistan over arresting and then releasing suspects," said a US diplomat in Islamabad. "We are monitoring their response with great concern."

Click on the link to find who was included in the release.

But Richard Fernandez asks:

Some of these individuals may never have been charged or prosecuted in a way that would satisfy "International Law". By that standard, they should be released. Grant the premise, grant the conclusion. What I want to know is how this prisoner release is different in principle from the policy advocated by critics of Guantanamo prison. I am sure there must be some difference. But the question remains. How should prisoners captured on the terrorist battlefield be treated and how long should they be detained?

I know what my opinion is of this release, but I am afraid that that ACLU has an opposite opinion.

Funny take off on unusually offensive NY Times Editorial regarding the Pope and the usual Islamic riots.

Click on the link.

Yahoo News: Anglican church in Gaza firebombed

Via Michelle Malkin.

Item: Sheikh Abubakar Hassan Malin's fatwa:

"Whoever offends our Prophet Muhammad should be killed on the spot by the nearest Muslim."

Item: Iraqi jihadi threat:

"We swear that we will destroy their cross in the heart of Rome ... and that their Vatican will be hit and wept over by the Pope," said Jaish al-Mujahideen (the Mujahideen's Army) in the statement, whose authenticity could not be confirmed.
The statement lashed out at "Zionised Christians and loathsome crusaders" and was accompanied by six films showing attacks against US military targets in Iraq, which it said were "dedicated to the dog of the crusaders (an apparent reference to the Pope) in retaliation for his remarks".

"We will not rest until your thrones and your crosses have been destroyed on your own territory," said the group, which has claimed many attacks against US and government forces in Iraq.

How Bad Is the Senate Intelligence Report? Very Bad.

Stephen Hayes of the Weekly Standard:

According to a report released September 8 by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Saddam Hussein "was resistant to cooperating with al Qaeda or any other Islamist groups." It's an odd claim. Saddam Hussein's regime has a long and well-documented history of cooperating with Islamists, including al Qaeda and its affiliates.

As early as 1982, the Iraqi regime was openly supporting, training, and funding the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood, an Islamist organization opposed to the secular regime of Hafez Assad. For years, Saddam Hussein cultivated warm relations with Hassan al-Turabi, the Islamist who was the de facto leader of the Sudanese terrorist state, and a man Bill Clinton described as "a buddy of [Osama] bin Laden's."

Throughout the 1990s, the Iraqi regime hosted Popular Islamic Conferences in Baghdad, gatherings modeled after conferences Turabi hosted in Khartoum. Mark Fineman, a reporter for the Los Angeles Times, attended one of the conferences and filed a story about his experience on January 26, 1993. "There are delegates from the most committed Islamic organizations on Earth," he wrote. "Afghan mujahedeen (holy warriors), Palestinian militants, Sudanese fundamentalists, the Islamic Brotherhood and Pakistan's Party of Islam." Newsweek's Christopher Dickey attended the same conference and wrote about it in 2002. "Islamic radicals from all over the Middle East, Africa, and Asia converged on Baghdad," he wrote, "to show their solidarity with Iraq in the face of American aggression. . . . Every time I hear diplomats and politicians, whether in Washington or the capitals of Europe, declare that Saddam
Hussein is a 'secular Baathist ideologue' who has nothing to do with Islamists or terrorist calls to jihad, I think of that afternoon and I wonder what they're talking about. If that was not a fledgling Qaeda itself at the Rashid convention, it sure was Saddam's version of it."

Iraqi leaders frequently touted their Islamist credentials. "We are blessed in this country for having the Islamic holy warrior Saddam Hussein as a leader, who is guiding the country in a religious holy war against the infidels and nonbelievers," said Izzat Ibrahim al-Douri, one of Saddam's top deputies, in an address to the terrorist confab. On August 27, 1998, 20 days after al Qaeda attacked the U.S. embassies in Africa, Babel, the government newspaper run by Saddam's son Uday Hussein, published an editorial proclaiming Osama bin Laden "an Arab and Islamic hero."

None of this is a secret, as the press coverage attests. But the authors of the Senate report seem determined to write it out of the history. On what basis do the authors claim that Saddam Hussein was "resistant" to cooperation with Islamists? The finding is sourced to "postwar detainee debriefs--including debriefs of Saddam Hussein and Tariq Aziz." Well then, that settles it.

But why take Saddam's word for it? This is, after all, the same man who claims that he is the president of Iraq. Even assuming the man isn't a pathological liar, isn't it the case that detainees interrogated by a government fighting a global war on terror might have an incentive to understate their complicity in global terror?

Read the rest.

Coverage Of 9/11 Was Too Wimpy (Mark Steyn On The Feminized 9/11 Remembrance Fetish Alert)

A lot of the 9/11 anniversary coverage struck me as distastefully tasteful. On the morning of Sept. 12, I was pumping gas just off I-91 in Vermont and picked up the Valley News. Its lead headline covered the annual roll call of the dead -- or, as the alliterative editor put it, "Litany of the Lost." That would be a grand entry for Litany of the Lame, an anthology of all-time worst headlines. Sept. 11 wasn't a shipwreck: The dead weren't "lost," they were murdered.

So I skipped that story. Underneath was something headlined "Half a Decade Gone By, A Reporter Still Cannot Comprehend Why." Well, in that case maybe you shouldn't be in the reporting business. After half a decade, it's not that hard to "comprehend": Osama bin Laden issued a declaration of war and then his agents carried out a big attack. He talked the talk, his boys walked the walk. If you need to flesh it out a bit, you could go to the library and look up a book.

But, of course, that's not what the headline means: Instead, it's "incomprehensible" in the sense that, to persons of a certain mushily "progressive" disposition, all such acts are "incomprehensible," all violence is "senseless." Unfortunately, it made perfect sense to the fellows who perpetrated it. Which is what that headline writer finds hard to "comprehend" -- or, rather, doesn't wish to comprehend. The piece itself was categorized as "Reflection" -- dread word. No self-respecting newspaper should be running "reflections" anywhere upfront of Section G Page 27, and certainly not on the front page. But it has exactly the kind of self-regarding pseudo-sophistication the American media love. The proper tone for 9/11 commemorations is to be sad about all the dead -- "the lost" -- but in a very generalized soft-focus way. Not a lot of specifics about the lost, and certainly not too many quotes from those final phone calls from the passengers to their families, like Peter Hanson's last words before Flight 175 hit the World Trade Center: "Don't worry, Dad. If it happens, it will be very fast." That might risk getting readers worked up, especially if they see the flight manifest:

"Peter Hanson, Massachusetts

"Susan Hanson, Massachusetts

"Christine Hanson, 2, Massachusetts"

No, best to stick to a limpidly fey, tastefully mopey, enervatedly passive prose style that suggests nothing very much can be done about the incomprehensible lost. This tasteful passivity is the default mode of the age: Five years ago it was striking, even in the immediate aftermath, how many radio and TV trailers for blood drives and other relief efforts could only bring themselves over the soupy music track to refer vaguely to "the tragic events," as if any formulation more robust might prove controversial.

Passivity is far slyer and more lethal than rabid Bush hatred. Say what you like about the left-wing kooks but they can still get a good hate on. Sure, they hate Bush and Cheney and Rummy and Halliburton and Fox News and Rush Limbaugh rather than Saddam and the jihadists, but at least they can still muster primal emotions. Every morning I wake up to a gazillion e-mails from fellows wishing me ill, usually beginning by calling me a "chicken hawk" followed by a generous smattering of words I can only print here peppered with asterisks, and usually ending with pledges to come round and shove various items in a particular part of my anatomy. There's so much shipping scheduled to go up there I ought to get Dubai Ports World in to run it.

The foaming leftie routine seems to be a tough sell to a general audience. I see that, a mere three weeks after I guest-hosted for Rush, the widely acclaimed and even more widely unlistened-to Air America is going belly up. Coincidence? You be the judge. But I doubt the "liberal" radio network would be kaput if anti-Bush fever were about to sweep the Democrats to power this November. I think I said a few months back that the Dems would be waking up to their usual biennial Wednesday morning after the Tuesday night before, and I'll stick with that.

But there's more to the national discourse than party politics. And, whoever wins or loses, the cult of feebly tasteful passivity rolls on regardless. As part of National Review's fifth anniversary observances, James Lileks wrote the following:

"If 9/11 had really changed us, there'd be a 150-story building on the site of the World Trade Center today. It would have a classical memorial in the plaza with allegorical figures representing Sorrow and Resolve, and a fountain watched over by stern stone eagles. Instead there's a pit, and arguments over the usual muted dolorous abstraction approved by the National Association of Grief Counselors. The Empire State Building took 18 months to build. During the Depression. We could do that again, but we don't. And we don't seem interested in asking why."

Ray Nagin, New Orleans' Mayor Culpa, is a buffoon but he nevertheless had a point when he scoffed at the ongoing hole in the ground in Lower Manhattan. And whatever fills it is never going to include those "stern stone eagles." The best we can hope for is that the Saudi-funded Islamic Outreach Center will only take up a third of the site. But in our hearts we know whatever memorial eventually stands on the spot will be rubbish -- tasteful rubbish, but rubbish all the same. Last year, I criticized the Flight 93 memorial, the "Crescent of Embrace," whose very title is a parodic masterpiece of note-perfect generically effete huggy-weepy blather. And in return I received a ton of protests pointing out that the families of the Flight 93 heroes had "approved" the design. All that demonstrates, I think, is how thoroughly constrained our society is within its own crescent of embrace: The cult of passivity has insinuated itself deep into our bones. Behind those "IMAGINE PEACE" stickers lies a terrible failure to imagine.

At what point does a society become simply too genteel to wage war? We're like those apocryphal Victorian matrons who covered up the legs of their pianos. Acts of war against America have to be draped in bathetic music and uncomprehending reflections and crescents of embrace. We fight tastefully, too. Last week one of America's unmanned drones could have killed 200 Taliban big shots but they were attending a funeral and we apparently have a policy of not killing anybody near cemeteries out of sensitivity. So even our unmanned drones are obliged to behave with sensitivity. But then, these days the very soundtrack to our society is, so to speak, an unmanned drone.

Saturday, September 16, 2006


The Pope's speech at the University of Regensburg.

In case you are the kind of person who is interested in the truth instead of the headlines.

Very deep and very interesting.


RICHARD MINITER writes in the New York Post:


The politically correct regulations are unbelievable. Detainees are entitled to a full eight hours sleep and can't be woken up for interrogations. They enjoy three meals and five prayers per day, without interruption. They are entitled to a minimum of two hours of outdoor recreation per day.

Interrogations are limited to four hours, usually running two - and (of course) are interrupted for prayers. One interrogator actually bakes cookies for detainees, while another serves them Subway or McDonald's sandwiches. Both are available on base. (Filet o' Fish is an al Qaeda favorite.)
And they can make weapons from almost anything. Guards have been attacked with springs taken from inside faucets, broken fluorescent light bulbs and fan blades. Some are more elaborate. "These folks are MacGyvers," Harris said.

Other cells pass messages from leaders in one camp to followers in others. How? Detainees use the envelopes sent to them by their attorneys to pass messages. (Some 1,000 lawyers represent 440 prisoners, all on a pro bono basis, with more than 18,500 letters in and out of Gitmo in the past year.) Guards are not allowed to look inside these envelopes because of "attorney-client privilege" - even if they know the document inside is an Arabic-language note written by a prisoner to another prisoner and not a letter to or from a lawyer.

That's right: Accidentally or not, American lawyers are helping al Qaeda prisoners continue to plot.

There is little doubt what this note-passing and weapons-making is used for. The military recorded 3,232 incidents of detainee misconduct from July 2005 to August 2006 - an average of more than eight incidents per day. Some are nonviolent, but the tally includes coordinated attacks involving everything from throwing bodily fluids on guards (432 times) to 90 stabbings with homemade knives.

One detainee slashed a doctor who was trying to save his life; the doctors wear body armor to treat their patients.

"Anyone Who Describes Islam As Intolerant Encourages Violence"

Click on the link, but here's the picture:

This Just In: Muslims Furious

In other news: the sun will set in the west.

Since When Has Geneva Protected Our Troops?

Read Captain's Quarters.

And according to the recent press briefing by Tony Snow the much discussed common Article III has NEVER been applied to US troops. That's why it's vague provisions need defining.

Day By Day

New Jersey Switcheroo

From the WSJ (excerpt)

For pure entertainment value, not much can compete with the blood sport of New Jersey politics. Last week federal investigators launched a probe into whether U.S. Senator Robert Menendez illegally benefited to the tune of more than $300,000 from a rental-income deal he had with a nonprofit agency that received millions of dollars in federal contracts. Even liberal good government groups agree that the relationship may have violated congressional conflict-of-interest rules.

The allegations have sparked a mini-panic among state Democratic operatives, who not so long ago thought Mr. Menendez -- who was appointed by Jon Corzine to complete his Senate term after being elected Governor in 2005 -- had the November election in the bag. Now they see Republican Tom Kean Jr. surging into a lead. If Republicans were to pick up a seat in this deep blue state, Democrats' chances of winning control of the Senate would be all but slammed shut.

That's why, as reported by the Newark Star-Ledger, there's now widespread speculation that the party brass may decide to throw Mr. Menendez overboard and replace him with an alternative

Ten Things About Gitmo

The Pentagon successfully avoided being on David Letterman's Top Ten list for many years. So this week Secretary Donald Rumsfeld 's speechwriters tried to help, sending out "Ten Facts About Guantanamo" to highlight what a nice place it is.

The first fact notes that the inmates include some truly nasty terrorist trainers and bombmakers. The second says "More money is spent on meals for detainees than" on U.S. troops stationed there. "The average weight gain per detainee is 20 pounds."

"The Muslim call to prayer sounds five times a day," we are told, and arrows point "toward the holy city of Mecca."

The prisoners receive free medical, dental and psychiatric care, and in 2005 "there were 35 teeth cleanings." The other 400 or so housed there will have to wait awhile.

Fact No. 5 notes that the Red Cross visits "every few months" and that there's regular contact between the terrorism suspects and their families.

Read the rest

Alykhan Velshi Responds to Robert Spencer and I Respond to Him.

Alykhan Velshi was kind enough to reply to my post and to direct me to his reply to Spencer. I don't know if - or whether - Mr. Spencer will reply, but here's my two cents:

Essentially, Robert challenges me, as he does all moderate Muslims, to "renounce definitively, the elements of Islamic theology that jihadists are using to wage war against non-Muslims around the world."

I do.

Before I say anything else, let me say that this is a basis on which we can all get along. I rejoice in every Muslim that stands for life and against terror; who stands for freedom of religion and freedom of speech and freedom of thought.

Though the ease with which I do so will probably dissatisfy Robert Spencer.
I don’t think that Spencer has any real problems with you as an individual. I don’t really believe he thinks of you as a “reformer.” His problem is with Islam’s would-be Martin Luthers who should be horrified at the things Muslims are doing and saying in the name of Islam. But there do not seem to be many of those who reach the world stage. Those that are, are threatened with death or go into hiding or flee their countries like Ayaan Hirsi Ali.

Robert wants me to admit there is a problem with Islam. Of course there is - thousands, possibly millions, are willing to commit suicide in its name.
Let’s stop right there. This is an example of what I (I won’t speak for Spencer) find troublesome about the way moderate Muslims pose the problem. The problem is not that “thousands, possibly millions, are willing to commit suicide in its name.” Committing suicide in protest is done in many societies. Remember the Buddhist monks immolating themselves during the Viet Nam war? (Probably not. You were not even born before the Viet Nam war ended – and the real killing began). Hunger strikes or suicide are designed to obtain the moral upper hand. I would view Muslims who choose suicide benignly. Be my guest, just don’t leave your blood on my rug. But suicides kill only themselves.

To suggest that the problem the US faced on 9/11, that occurs daily in Iraq, via car bombers, or that was planned for the flights from London is a “suicide” problem is to stretch the use of euphemism way past the breaking point. Bring that term before a jury and you’ll get laughed out of court.

Let’s be honest and say that there are thousands, possibly millions who are willing to KILL tens of thousands and tens of millions and don’t mind losing their lives in the attempt.

That's a very serious problem. But admitting there is a problem doesn't mean I'm agonising at the (minor) epistemological leap it took for me personally to renounce violent jihad. I think Robert Spencer and people who support him consistently trumpet the most violent interpretations of Islam, and then go on to make it seem as though those Muslims who are not violent are somehow betraying the essence of the faith.

I’m glad that you renounced violent jihad although I’m a little troubled that it was something that you had to renounce. Is this something every Muslim has to do? Christianity has no analog. We are supposed to avoid sin and when we sin – as we all do - we are supposed to seek forgiveness from God through Jesus. But the concept of violence against non-Christians is not part of our culture, at least not now.

The reason that Robert Spencer focuses on the violent aspects of Islam is because that is the part that is causing the violent deaths of literally millions of people. When a religion – perverted or not - is the cause of that much violence, it is neither wise not prudent to shut our eyes to its teachings and to understand the “essence of the faith.” I'm not the scholar Spencer is but I will give long odds that he can find at least 10 leading Islamic clerics who will say you are betraying the essence of your faith.

And if you maintain that you are right and they are wrong that makes you a minority and theirs a majority view.

Although I concede that those who advocate violent jihad point to actual texts in the Quran and early and subsequent Islamic practice, I believe their interpretation is wrong and the historical examples they cite are opportunistically chosen. This doesn't mean I'm denying the violent aspects of Islam that come from a literal reading of religious texts, just that I, as Muslims have for centuries, reject that literalism is the only way to interpret religious documents - in fact, I'll readily admit that the bin Ladenists aren't creating doctrine out of thin air, but they are distorting what is there considerably through their weirdly post-modern focus on literalism, which has less of a basis in Islam than common intuition would suggest. I don't want to get into the weeds of Islamic history and Quranic exegesis on a Friday evening, though.

I hope my response still satisfies Robert: I admit that there is much violence and intolerance inherent in verses in the Quran and elsewhere (although I disagree that it's as bad as Robert says it is) - still, I "renounce [it] definitively."

Than you, again for your decision to eschew violent jihad.

I can't speak for other Muslims - indeed, I refuse to do so, cherishing as I do my individuality and respecting theirs - but I can say that the doctrines of my particular subsect of Islam, the Shia Ismailis, make it easy for me to renounce violent jihad. I don't know - maybe I should agonise over it more, but somehow I don't. With respect to my religious faith, I agonise more over memorising difficult prayer verses and singing religious songs in tune.I don't however agonise over whatever it is that bothers the violent jihadists.

I too, cherish my individuality and – since no one elected me – I don’t claim to speak for others. And there are billions of us in this world. Even in a war, most of the people are bystanders trying their best to stay alive by keeping their heads down. It’s not a dishonorable thing to be a civilian in a war zone.

But it does underscore one thing. You appear to be unconcerned about being attacked, kidnapped or beheaded by rampaging Presbyterians on their way home from Sunday church services. This despite Presbyterians never renouncing either jihad or crusade. It’s no small thing. Please think on it.

UPDATE: Jihad Watch visitors please look around and make yourself at home

UPDATE 2: Robert Spencer has responded HERE

With respect, sir, maybe we do need a bit more agonizing, in the sense that we need more active challenges to the jihadists from Muslims who claim to reject their deeds and perspective. I hope we will see more in this vein from you in the future, and in the meantime I thank you for taking the time to write this reply, which in itself suggests that you have modified your earlier erroneous view that I leave Muslim reformers and would-be reformers no "wiggle room."

Ralph Peters vs. Robert Spencer

There is quite a little spitting contest going on between retired Colonel Ralph Peters and Robert Spencer of Jihad Watch.

To read Peters’ article in the NY Post “Islam-Haters: An Enemy Within” you find yourself nodding your head if you have read web sites which notoriously attract extremists keyboard warriors. But Peters’ language is intemperate and at the end he is not persuasive since he refuses to name names or cite sources. Thus, he is able to set up straw men and knock them down with ease.

Is he claiming that mainstream critics like Robert Spencer are (and I quote): “the really ugly "domestic insurgency" ... among right-wing extremists bent on discrediting honorable conservatism.

Well those are fighting words. And Robert Spencer is not taking them lying down. He responded to an e-mail Peters sent to CaliforniaRepublic with this "fisking" of Peters' screed. And I have to say that Peters' reputation does not survive unscathed.


[SPENCER] Ralph Peters has followed up his mudslinging attack on no one in particular with a stinging email to California Republic, in response to an invitation to reply to my recent article about him. In this email, he names me and makes a number of false accusations. For the record, I will correct them here.

[PETERS] Thanks. No, I don't intend to reply to Spencer, Bostom and Co. Replying only gives them what they crave so desperately: Attention. Bostom, for example, has been panting for attention for his book and his views in my columns for years (he doesn't mention that, does he?). I'm tempted to publish some of the sycophantic e-mails this crowd has sent me over the years--just to let their groupies know how little integrity they have.

[SPENCER] In fact, I have never sent even one email to Ralph Peters, sycophantic or otherwise. I do not even have his email address.

[PETERS] But this shouldn't be a personal matter--it's about ideas, about freedom, about defending our country, about getting it right. And I simply don't find close-minded loonies helpful--so I don't respond to their pleas for my time.
By the way, that's why I didn't "name names." First, it would have given them attention. And, second, it's my belief that it's okay to attack those more powerful than me by name, but it's ungentlemanly to attack the weak as individuals. And you shouldn't exaggerate the reach of these guys. The blogosphere inflates the image of a lot of little men, from the Timothy McVeigh Fan Club to pedophiles. If their views had genuine merit, they would be widely published in forums where they have to get past the editorial gates. But they're not widely published because they don't pass the quality or sanity tests. Their stuff is just self-important net-dweller hate-porn. And in a nation of 300 million, they'll be able to find a good number of fellow haters.

And please note that my attack was on their positions--their attacks (very poorly written, by the way) have been on me personally...on my integrity, my military services, etc.

[SPENCER] It's interesting that he calls the work of those he hates "self-important net-dweller hate-porn" and then claims to take the high road. But again, he is making false statements. And if we are indeed the ones he meant in his column, and we are so insignificant, why did he see fit to spend a Post column attacking these shadowy evildoers at all?

There remains the very real question how to react to Jihad. It does not seem wise to antagonize over 1 billion Muslims. It is not a good idea to create a billion enemies if you really only have a few thousand (or a few million) people who want to kill you.

On the other hand, we have seen nothing of the “moderate” Muslim world except studied indifference and defensive - and increasingly silly – claims that Islam is a religion of peace.

Is Islam similar to the pre-Reformation Catholic Church, and are we hoping its Martin Luther will appear? Has Peters found that vast majority of peaceful Muslims who will help us eradicate the jihadists, but is he keeping it a secret?

I realize the last comment was a bit sarcastic, but rather than denounce “right wing bigots” who –so far – have not blown up, beheaded or kidnapped any Muslims, I would like to hear from Peters how he views the transformation of Islam. Because in terms of interpreting Islam’s official teachings Spencer seems more persuasive than Peters.

After reading both Peters and Spencer on this subject, I have to conclude, regretfully (I have liked Peters in the past) Peters comes across as the name calling extremist and Spencer as the reasonable voice.