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Monday, April 30, 2012

I Can't Believe It's Not Israel

By On April 30, 2012
In times past the Forward newspaper celebrated the fast of Yom Kippur with a feast and in keeping with that tradition it celebrated Israel's Independence Day by rewriting its anthem to remove the word "Jew" from it. The linguistic purge from the notoriously anti-Israel paper was meant as a way to help Muslims feel better about singing the Israeli national anthem.

The yearning of the Jewish soul becomes the yearning of the Israeli soul and the eyes turned east no longer long for Zion, but the generic "our country". The proposal made by a self-proclaimed linguist seems rather devoid of understanding when it comes to the origin and meaning of words. Purging Jewish souls from the anthem and replacing them with Israeli souls doesn't actually solve anything.

Jews are Judeans, dating back to the Kingdom of Judah, contrasted with the breakaway Kingdom of Israel and its tribes. The Jews are also Israelites, being sons of the patriarch Israel, a category that still does not encompass Muslims. Rewriting Jewish soul as Israeli soul still leaves one with Jews, and as the Forward has discovered, Jews are rather hard to get rid of. Shoot them, gas them and write them out of their own anthem and they still pop back up.

It will take more than a few switched words to write Jews out of Hatikvah. Even if we were to no longer call them Israelis, but perhaps Homo Sapiens or oxygen breathing mammals, so as to leave no one out at all, there is the eastern problem. Why were these carbon breathing lifeforms looking east, when most of the region's Muslims look westward to Israel? And why were they longing for a country for 2000 years when the only Arabs around then were Roman mercenaries carving up Jewish refugees and searching for gold in their stomachs?

A proper post-Jewish anthem must also be post-Israeli. It must be generic, humanistic and tolerant. It must not be associated with anyone's national striving, only the striving for social justice, complete equality and brotherhood. Fortunately such an anthem already exists and it's called The Internationale and it happens to be quite popular among the sort of people who think Hatikvah is too Jewish.

There's even a few Israeli versions, like "Nivne Artzenu Eretz Moledet". The latter, with lyrics like, "We shall build our country despite our destroyers" has gone out of style and sounds too much like those right-wingers who insist on building houses and farms, instead of protesting over the cost of condos in Tel Aviv. Try strumming up lyrics like, "It is the command of our blood" or "The end to malignant slavery" in the wrong place at the wrong time and you might just be hauled in for incitement. These days the only ones building the country or "marching toward the liberation of our people" are the ones being kicked out of Migron and Hevron by the destroyers of the left.

Move over Abraham Levinson for Doron Levinson and "Lay Down Your Arms" with inspirational lyrics like, "Somewhere deep inside the soldier, There's a dreamer dreaming of a world of peace, Lay down your arms, Let Time heal every wound, And Love will someday set us free!" It could easily do for the anthem, but sadly it doesn't represent Muslims any better than Hatikvah does. The only people still dreaming of peace in the Middle East are the ones being ethnically cleansed from their anthem.

Love has yet to heal every wound, but someday it might. All we have to do is lay down our arms, purge ourselves of any selfish nationalistic traits and wait for the other side to return our love. It's bound to work and if it doesn't, at least we will know that we tried and died trying.

For those who find songs with more than one lyric too demanding too remember amid the clouds of pot smoke, there's always the ubiquitous "Od Yavo Shalom Aleinu" better known as "Shalom, Salaam". The proper way to sing it is with an impassioned wail. Like "Lay down your arms", it promises that peace is coming, but doesn't specify a date, just hopeful optimism best expressed by national surrender and out of tune singing.

Peace songs are a cottage industry in Israel. Hardly any peacenik twenty-something wannabe with a pick, a dream and rich parents, or jaundiced professional musician still living down his disco days and his coke habit hasn't produced his or her own peace song. Often more than one. If peace songs were oil, then Tel Aviv would outdraw Saudi Arabia in the energy market.

You don't need to know much about music to write a peace song, just as you don't need to know much about the history of the Jewish people to write them out of their own anthem. All you need is a cheerful message, vague hope and nothing else. Having hope makes you better than those awful people who seem to want war to go on forever, instead of laying down their arms and finding the beautiful dreamer floating in their bidet of hope.

Sadly despite the obligatory Salaams, the Muslims don't particularly feel represented by all the peace song. The occasional Arab singer will join in a duet with an Israeli to the delight of the peace dorks against a backdrop of flying doves and clasping hands, but seem more energized by Fidai, the anthem of the Palestinian Authority, which like everything else about it shows its commitment to peace.

"Palestine is my fire, Palestine is my revenge," Fidai shrieks angrily, "my fire and the volcano of my vendetta." There is no talk of peace, of laying down arms or letting love solve things. Instead there is the eternal war. "I will live as a revolutionary, I will go on as revolutionary, I will expire as revolutionary."

Back in 2004, Hamas held a contest to select an anthem, but it's not clear if the contest yielded any results. It does however have plenty of songs, which you can recreate mentally by tossing words like "Death", "Martyrdom", "Jihad", "Blood" and "Victory" into a pile and rearranging them in any order accompanied by various geographical locations and a disco beat. Take any pop album from ten years ago, throw something in about Allah and killing the Jews, and you're all set.

While the Israelis Salaam, the Muslim Jihad, and while both sets of songs sound like bad Europop, they reveal the character of their respective peoples. Salaaming, in the pre-politically correct jargon, used to mean performing acts of obeisance. It is a pity that this definition has grown dusty as it would save us all a lot of time, trouble and bad music.

Aslim Taslam, Mohammed told his enemies, accept Islam and we will have peace. Singing Salaam to a Muslim without laying down arms and reciting the Shahada is a waste of everyone's time. For the Israeli National Anthem to properly represent Muslims, it would have to lose the Jewish and Israeli stuff, throw in something about Allah, conspiracies of outside foes, a struggle for liberation and the wise leadership of our benevolent tyrant.

Take the Egyptian National Anthem whose singer proclaims that his purpose is to repel the enemy while relying on Allah, or the Syrian National Anthem which namechecks Arabism and mentions that its flag is written in martyr's blood or the Libyan National Anthem, which fulminates about enemy conspiracies and boasts of marching with the Koran in one hand a gun in the other.

None of these anthems are concerned with inclusiveness or how non-Muslims feel while singing it and compared to them, Hatikvah is as pacifist as any peace song. Why it doesn't even mention war, enemies or guns. And if anyone doubts that this attitude is representative of the region, they need only look to the Muslim Brotherhood goosestepping to power in Egypt.

Dejudaizing the Israel National Anthem fools no one, it only makes fools of those who do it. The best way for Israel to maintain the loyalty of those Muslims who have chosen to throw in their lot with the Jewish State is by being strong, not by being weak. In a region where alliances are based on strength, the worst possible message to send is the one that says you aren't in it for the long haul.

Jews may give their allegiance to a Jewish State too weak to defend itself and too lacking in pride to assert itself, but Israeli Muslims will not. The most right-wing member of the Israeli cabinet is not Avigdor Lieberman, as Anti-Israeli pundits think, but Ayoub Kara, a Druze Muslim. Kara isn't just right-wing, he makes every Likud Prime Minister look like a bleeding heart liberal. Those Israeli Muslims who do support Israel want it to be strong. Those who do not, will not be bought off by selling out the Jewish soul and the longing that built the state.

Some time ago, a series of radio ads for Baron Herzog wine dubbed it, "The wine that just happens to be Kosher". There are some who would like to reimagine Israel as a state that just happens to be Jewish. Behind words like that lurks a shame at Jewish labels, the "ASHamed Jews" of Howard Jacobson's Finkler Question, who are proud to be ashamed of being Jewish, proud to rewrite the anthem of the striving of their people until their striving, their hope and their soul are stricken from the page.

Israel is not an accident, it exists because of those who fought and strived for it, who built and labored for a Jewish State, who sang the Hatikvah because it represented their mission. A mission that is at odds with the "I Can't Believe It's Not Israel" agenda of the left to hollow out the country, destroy its sense of purpose, its heritage and its identity, and leave it with a flag, an anthem and a state that no longer stands for anything at all.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

The Empire of Poverty

By On April 29, 2012
Controlling a large number of people isn't easy. The United States alone consists of 312 million people spread out across nearly 4 million square miles. Add on nearly 500 million for the population of the European Union and another nearly 4 million square miles of territory. Then pile on Canada with 34 million people and another 4 million square miles, Australia with 22 million and 3 million square miles and a few other stragglers here and there, and the postmodern rulers of the progressive empire have to cope with nearly a billion people spread out across 15 million square miles.

Large territories and large numbers of people are very difficult to govern. Structures tend to break down and people further away from the centers of power don't listen to the boys at the top. The only way to make a going proposition of it is to consolidate as much power as possible at the center and the very act of centralizing power leads to tyranny.

The most direct chokehold possible is physical. China's rulers, faced with vast territory and population, turned to the water empire. The modern West is quickly rediscovering a more sophisticated form of hydraulic despotism, cloaked in talk of saving the planet and providing for everyone's needs.

Western resources are not innately centralized, which makes seizing control of them and routing them through a central point more difficult. This has to be done legislatively and has to be justified by a universal benefit or a crisis. One example of this is FDR's Agricultural Adjustment Act which allowed the government to control wheat grown on a farm for private consumption. Another is nationalizing health care by routing the commercial activity of medicine through government organs. Both services and commodities can be controlled in this manner.

But the larger challenge is that the West is rich and a water empire depends on scarcity. Central control is much less potent if there is plenty of the commodity or service available. It's only when shortages are created in bread or health care that the system really wields power by rationing a scarce commodity or service.

If a resource is scarce, then the water empire has to distribute it efficiently. But if a resource is widely available, then the water empire has to find ways of making it scarce, until the demand vastly outstrips the supply.

The modern water empire is dependent for its power on manufactured shortages. The rise of the progressive state was closely tied to its exploitation of shortages. Its challenge has been to win the race with industrial productivity by manufacturing shortages and destroying wealth faster than it could be created. While the machine of industry created wealth, the machine of government destroyed it. Today the machine of government is very close to winning the race, creating a state of permanent shortages.

Manufactured shortages are the great project of modern governments. This manufacture is done by prohibitively increasing the cost of creating and distributing products and services, by controlling the means of production in the name of wealth redistribution and by prohibiting the production on the grounds that it is immoral or dangerous. Over the 20th century the transition was made from the first to the second and finally to the third.

The third means of manufacturing shortages is the final trump card in the race between human ingenuity and government power. It began with pollution regulation and has reached the stage where all human activity, from a bike ride to the corner to a puff of exhaled air, is a form of pollution. The carbon footprint is to the human being what the Agricultural Adjustment Act was to wheat, a mandate for total central regulation of all human activity.

While the second means of manufacturing shortages only justified redistributing wealth, the third prevents its creation. It is the final lock of the water empire. When it slides into places, shortages become permanent and the Empire of Poverty rules over all.

The Empire of Poverty is the modern incarnation of the water empire, its feigned concern for social equality disguising its hunger for total power. With the third stage, the empire of poverty is mostly putting aside its pretense of controlling production in order to maximize human benefits from the products or services and is shifting over to controlling production in order to deny use of the products and services to those who need them.

Global Warming rhetoric is still couched in the usual social justice rhetoric, aimed at the poorer kleptocracies who are eager to join the line for a handout, but its logic is poverty driven. It is not out to create wealth, but to eliminate it, on the grounds that cheaply available food or electricity is an immoral activity that damages the planet.

The Empire of Poverty is chiefly concerned with the impoverishing of the West, to maintain the manufactured scarcities of its water empire it has gone beyond taxation to entirely shutting down or crippling entire branches of human activity. This could not be justified by appeals to class or race alone. Social justice could not shut down power plants or decrease food production. Its impact was not sufficient to maintain a state of permanent poverty.

For the water empire to succeed, it is necessary to destroy any form of social mobility not dependent on the centralized system. The only way to do this is to make it nearly impossible for the working class to transition to the middle class and the middle class to the upper class through commercial activity. The only possible form of social mobility is to be through government service.

Stability is the fundamental mandate of the water empire. Free enterprise with its disruptive activity and its constantly shifting social order is a tsunami that overwhelms the water empire, flooding its canals and swamping its bureaucracies. The water empire only works when everyone knows his place and knows that this place is fundamentally unchangeable. While this attitude seems alien to most Americans, it has been cultivated assiduously in racial politics. The urban blight is a symptom.

The ideological goal of the Empire of Poverty is to convince the subjects under its rule that social mobility is either impossible or undesirable. That they need to accept their place and their dole, and bend their shoulder to the task of making a better world under its enlightened guidance. The more that this mindset is cultivated among its subjects, the less they are able to envision another world where they might be free to do what they please.

Corporate monopolies are not the enemies of the Empire of Poverty, though its functionaries and propagandists spend a great deal of time insisting that this is the case. But that is because the Empire needs enemies and scapegoats. Yet the Empire has drawn the bulk of its support from the ranks of the very organizations that it condemns. The growth of unsustainable corporations and governments have come side by side, both engaging in unworkable practices, as its officers move back and forth from boardrooms to cabinet meetings.

The Empire's goal is not to control corporations, it is to control everything. The corporation is a more efficient tool for controlling customers and employees. It is an embryo government and often an ally. The Empire does not fear dinosaurs like that, it fears change and innovation. It is not worried about GE, it is far more worried about small businesses. It is afraid of the man in the garage who might invent something that will make its latest batch of environment regulations suddenly seem foolish.

Innovation undermines the Empire's ability to tighten its grip over the distribution and manufacture of all products and services. The "crisis" of Global Warming has given it an open ended mandate, but its population is clever and able to innovate faster than it can regulate. Its educational systems controlled from the top down are aimed at indoctrinating conformity and suppressing independent thought, but like most empires it is still too slow. It controls most media channels, but innovation and individualism still keeps outpacing it.

The Empire of Poverty is already partially in control of food supplies, medicine, electricity and all commercial activity in general. It can determine in many cases and with variations across different countries, how much of a thing can be produced, at what price it can be sold and under what authority. Its task at the present is the growing consolidation and centralization of these powers in the hands of increasingly more powerful bodies until the Empire is fully formed.

The consolidation of numerous national, local, regional and international bodies into the Empire is a slow chaotic and inefficient process as nations shed the pretense of democratic elections and horse trading continues between various parts of the Empire. But the Empire of Poverty is very nearly here.

Global Warming has given the Empire a global crisis and an unlimited mandate to resolve the crisis. What the threat of war was to a united Europe and the threat of poverty was to a federalized United States, the threat of a melting planet is to the Empire of Poverty. It is an open question whether the economic collapse of any of the smaller entities will inhibit the rise of the Empire or prevent it from coming to being. Every resource crisis gives the Empire another reason to consolidate control of resources in the name of the public good, and then eliminate access to those resources in the name of the planetary good.

The Empire of Poverty is rising on the skeleton of the West, it is eating out its abundance and preparing to lock down power, food, transportation, medical services and countless other elements of the commercial life of the formerly free world. Its water empire will impose its own vision of power by controlling resources and doling them out as a means of power. By controlling access to the things we take for granted, it intends to rule over us all.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

The Flying Car Culture

By On April 28, 2012
Every now and then a hobbyist inspired by splashy magazine covers featuring art deco cities and soaring vehicles full of the cheerful people of the future puts together a flying car. The result is noted chiefly for its novelty and then everyone moves along because we aren't a flying car culture. From the bottom up we might long to soar above the highways, but from the top down we are a light rail culture, a biodegradable house culture and a guard rail culture.

For the people at the top the flying car should be able to fit in a closet, have a minimal carbon footprint, run on the tears of Third World children and not fly. It should be the sort of thing that you can leave outside a vegan tofu restaurant in Portland in order to shame working class truck drivers. That is if you have to have a car at all, rather than a bike and a light rail pass.

The flying car belonged to an America at a crossroads. A nation tiptoeing between the adventure of innovation and the progressive order of the nanny state. Since then the car has driven us to this future that we have now. A world in which we have an expanding poorly managed government that oversees everything and an innovation culture chiefly confined to building a complex social environment within a data infrastructure built on Cold War communications technology. Or as some still call it, the internet.

Flying cars don't have much of a place in a society with emissions standards, mandatory child seats, heavily taxed gasoline and government motor companies. They have even less of a place in one that banned the lawn dart, requires photo ID's to purchase cough syrup and treats toothpaste as a weapon. America has gone from a nation that idealized freedom and treated the car as a vehicle of autonomy to one overrun by central planners still dreaming of the perfect national rail system that no one will use, because unlike its graceful forebears, but like everything overseen by the humanitarian bureaucracy it will be designed to crush the human spirit.

We don't have flying cars for the same reason that we don't any skyscrapers built in the last few decades worth mentioning or moon colonies, monuments, frontiers or anything that a latter day civilization could dig up and admire. There are skyscrapers still going up in American cities, if you haven't heard of them that's because they're self-effacing LEED compliant glass angular shapes that you forget even while you're looking at them. Even their ugliness is not stark enough to commit them to memory.

And of course they aren't very tall. Tallness like flying cars and the ambition to do anything but put out press releases is unsustainable. They do have a sense of the future to them, but an undramatic one, a future in which everything has been done and everyone sits around in glass boxes, pondering the state of their ennui and admiring the architect for putting an unnecessary asymmetrical triangle at the top of the glass box to remind us that the world dies every time we buy non-locally grown produce.

There is still an ambition to make large things. If the Chrysler and Empire State buildings don't make it to the next era, the stone age dwellers of the future can still marvel over the edifices of our countless government offices, temples of stone and steel filling the land, rope lines through which men trudged, in the opinion of future archeologists to participate in arcane rites or perhaps lining up to be human sacrifices. And they won't be entirely wrong.

We still build things, like affordable housing, government offices and memorials to multicultural heroes, we just don't build anything that matters or that lasts. There is no room in the massive fragmented tower of babel for anything but personal ambition and collective ideology. Nothing is made for the ages, we're lucky if most of what we make lasts till tomorrow. 

The vision of bigness that we have is confined to mapping and running a large society. There is no room for individualism within that vision, no towers built to mean something, no vehicles of personal autonomy. It is all about integrating, the endless search for a solution to the puzzle of making all the individual pieces work as perfect cogs in the machine. And that's done by smoothing out the rough human edges so that they all fit together.

There are few personal statements anymore, only approved expressions of social values, even if they come in a grotesque incomprehensible form. Beauty is out, social criticism is in. Making people feel bad with an expression of personal ambition is selfish, making them feel bad with social criticism is good. And since the only people who get it feel good about it, it's all for the greater good of selfishly rooting out selfishness in others.

We have become a culture run by committees and if nothing ever really gets done, if trillions of dollars are spent and vanish without a trace, that is only to be expected. The innovation that we still have is personal, individual. Apple failed as a company until it brought back the eccentric monomaniacal vision of Steve Jobs, whose neurotic impulses turned it into the biggest company in the world. Its mobile success was driven by the individualistic tinkering of app developers, much like the internet's explosion was made possibly not by Al Gore, but by individual obsessive innovations.

Those obsessions can create a programming language like Ruby or a flying car, but it's much harder to get a society to adopt the latter than the former. Innovation succeeds by outpacing committees who blink in bafflement at it or run to catch up. Had the committees understood what the internet would become, they would have killed it back when that was still possible. But flying cars are easy to kill. In the society that the committees have created, the flying car is a non-starter. The conference attendees sitting around tables aren't plotting to kill the flying car, they're plotting to kill the car.

Flying cars are dangerous. Imagine the accidents, imagine the lawsuits. An elite which panics at a child's drawing of a gun or a new Army recruit illegally drinking a beer is in no shape to cope with a crazy world of flying cars. At least not without a prolonged debate on whether the flying car is a phallic or yonic symbol and how it will impact minority representation in congress, not to mention the obesity epidemic, the self-esteem of gay teenagers and the plight of Guatemalan farmers.

A flying car disrupts the larger scheme of things which requires us to make do with less, to take the carpool lane, not to take to the sky. It distracts us from constantly repeating to ourselves that we are the problem, that the automobile is a pestilent plague, and that we are destroying the planet by not listening to our jet setting better's green household tips.

Is there any place for a flying car in a low flow toilet culture? Yes there is, as a reminder of what we can't have so long as the latter isn't being flushed along with the entire corrupt lunatic establishment and its single-minded grip on power.

We can't have flying cars and constant media panics. We can't have flying cars and a man in the White House who is determined to reengineer our society by raising the price of energy. We can't have flying cars and regulations on everything. We can't have flying cars and Lawsuits R' Us. We can't have flying cars and the idea that every time we take a breath we are destroying the planet.

There's a basic choice to be made of the kind of society we want. The FDR to Ike to JFK road we have traveled has foreclosed a great many of those options. They turned the fantastic visions of the future into a limited one where we can innovate so long as we do it on our computer and before the legislative window finally closes on the internet.

The science fiction vision that dominates our culture isn't that of the flying car or the spaceship, it's of the apocalypse, a secular armageddon created by our own irresponsible use of technology. The Warmunists are nothing more than villagers with PhD's still chasing Frankenstein, except that we are now all Frankie, living in a world where it takes a village to raise a transgender multiracial child and torch the reactionary monsters who still haven't had their criminal brains swapped out for progressive craniums with lower sustainable capacity and an automatic dimmer switch for Earth Day.

A country of flying cars is as terrifying to such people as a plague of zombies or the end of the mainstream media. It's outside the box that is being built around us with every law, every new behavior manual and government mandate. Flying is too much like escaping, taking to the air, out of reach of EPA SWAT teams, hectoring anchormen, bickering congressmen and the entire last days of Rome anthill underfoot.

Escape is a dangerous thing. Even the prospect of it gives people hope that there is a future outside the box. And so we may briefly be allowed to look at a flying car, before we head out with our 3-1-1 toothpaste to the TSA, our health insurance bought, our earphones turned to NPR where there is a discussion on how Republican budget cuts are undermining the traditional Native American art of woodcarving. So long as we don't get any ideas about flying away.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Friday Afternoon Roundup - Builders and Destroyers

By On April 27, 2012


It seems almost redundant to link to the Reuters piece on George Zimmerman that nearly everyone has seen by now, but what's interest about it is just how routine it is. It's a standard background piece and thousands like it run after prominent crimes. Any sizable news organization can put one out within a week and smaller community papers and magazines regularly run them when there's a major case. When the case is big enough, some of them get turned into movies, mostly they help set a tone.

All they really involve in meeting with some of the locals, arranging for interviews, taking some notes and writing up the results. And what's really interesting about "Prelude to a Shooting" is how long it took until a media organization chose to run it.

I strongly suspect that there's a dozen pieces like it sitting in file folders and desks in other media organizations that have not decided what to do with them. I suspect the Reuters piece was in that same state until someone decided to finally run it. The Zimmerman family has been proactive in reaching out and trying to tell the story. It's the media that has held the door shut.

"Prelude to a Shooting" is not the last word on the case. It's background on Zimmerman, not the entire set of events, and it wouldn't even be all that significant except for the lynch mob atmosphere in the media and the refusal of the media to do any basic reporting on the case besides spewing back the same 'hoodie and skittles' narrative.

If Zimmerman had just shot a man in cold blood, there would be little point in laying out the background, it would be no more than another Bernie Tiede piece, but instead we do get crucial bits of context that explain what was going on in the neighborhood at the time in the context of property values, constant break ins and a neighborhood on the edge.

It's the final concluding material on Emmanuel Burgess that sets the most important context in the case. It tells us part of why events happened the way they did and that along with Martin's No Limit Nigga material sets a different stage than the one that the media has thrust on us.


We are more than who we are at any given moment. We are also who we aspire to be.

Both Zimmerman and Martin were flawed men, but Zimmerman's writings and behavior showed a man who aspired to be something better, while Martin's showed that he wanted only to sink down. Martin can't be entirely blamed for that, he did not create and perpetuate the fake gansta culture. It's the mostly white entertainment industry that did that, often embedded in the same news corporations which organized the lynching of George Zimmerman.

The entertainment industry did not tell Martin what would happen if he assaulted an adult man who was concerned about the neighborhood, while Martin was concerned about getting the "Respect" that gangsta culture told him he was entitled to by virtue of his posing.

Martin did not understand that life was different than gangsta culture. That men who have guns don't necessarily go waving them around. And that sometimes when you have someone down on the ground and you're beating on them, they will use what they have.

Had Martin killed Zimmerman, he would be preening for the cameras now, the defiant upward head tilt you see so often in court photos. The pose that says, "I don't care, because I'm too cool to care." It's the pose that the man who might have been Martin's father often wears to tell us that he's going to go on doing whatever he likes, because he can.

But that's not what you see in Zimmerman's face, it's not just regret, it's pain. Zimmerman did not intend to take another human life, and he regrets that and regrets how society sees him, and he is coming to terms with doing what he had to do. There is a basic decency in his expression which cannot be photoshopped onto Martin's face. The photoshopping can pale his skin, younger photos can make him look innocent, but nothing can make him look decent.

Zimmerman quoted Burke. Martin quoted hip hop. That was the fundamental difference between the two men, not race, but culture. Zimmerman aspired to be a good human being. Martin aspired to be street trash.

In a society under siege, there are builders and there are destroyers. Zimmerman was a builder, we will never know what Martin might have become, but he was on a path to becoming a destroyer.

We live in a culture that punishes builders and rewards destroyers. That treats the destroyer as innocent and moral, because he is untainted by knowledge and experience, because he resists the builders and spreads anarchy and chaos.

The gap between Martin and Zimmerman is the gap between the graffiti scrawler and the business owner, the occupy wall street thug and the office worker, the rap star and the composer, the activist and the entrepreneur.

Martin was just another pawn in a culture war waged by the destroyers against civilization. As a a man he gorged himself on destroyer culture, imitated it and then fatally lived it out. As a dead man, he became a rallying cry for the destroyers.

There have been multiple black on white hate crimes in his name. There is a trial in his name. And there is an election campaign in his name.

Destroyers are obsessed with martyrs. They need these tokens to see them along to the next fight, the Horst Wessels, the Pavlik Morozovs, the Hussein ibn Alis and the Trayvon Martins. Idealized figures to justify the destruction and repression that they visit on others. Rituals, show trials, songs, marches whip them up into a frenzy of destruction.

The Destroyers are always out for respect, but when they say 'respect' they really mean power, they really mean the right to destroy because they are somehow superior. They aren't. Decency is worth respecting, power isn't. And those who try to get power by enforcing a mandate to respect them sometimes learn that power works both ways.


A united Iraq died a few days after the withdrawal. The only people who still believe in the fiction of a centrally governed Iraq are holding down desks in the State Department. There are several Iraqs now. There is Iran’s Iraq, the one overseen by Tehran’s puppet in Baghdad, Prime Minister Maliki. Then there is Iraqi Kurdistan which stands on the verge of declaring its independence, an act that will touch off a violent territorial dispute accompanied by ethnic cleansing.

Iraqi federalism is only popular among some in the Shiite majority, for whom it means majority rule. Maliki’s warrant for Sunni Vice President Tariq al-Hashemi and the latter’s subsequent flight and sanctuary in Iraqi Kurdistan has ended the fiction of joint rule in Iraq. The Kurds have branded Maliki a dictator and are swiftly breaking their remaining ties to Baghdad.

President  Barzani of Iraqi Kurdistan declared that, “Power-sharing and partnership between Kurds, Sunni and Shiite Arabs, and others is now completely non-existent and has become meaningless” and concluded his speech by hinting at an independence referendum, a move almost certain to touch off a violent conflict, particularly in oil rich Kirkuk.

... part of the story from my Front Page piece on Iraq's Coming Civil War


Occupy Wall Street is planning the expected freak show for May 1st. There have been stickers all around the city calling for a general strike, they won't get their general strike, this isn't Paris in the 30's, but they may pick up some headlines.

On the other coast though, another sort of strike will be taking place. A Town Hall on Terror. There will be some interesting people there, including Mark Tapson, a friend from another coast, Bosch Fawstin, whose illustrations appear sometimes in these roundups, Nonie Darwish, who knows the problem from the inside out, and Dwight Schultz, whom some of you may know from the A-Team, and a longtime conservative.

This will be a panel discussion on confronting the Muslim Brotherhood and Islamic terror and you can find more details about it on the site.


...This one with Chai95 radio.

And Adam Taxin of Chai95 also read my article on Israel, A Nation Once Again. If your eyes get tired of looking at all the little black dots on the screen, you can take it along with you and listen along.


To just get the audio file, go to a website that turns YouTube videos into MP3 files and insert the Youtube link.


Iranian gangs and dealers prowl Bangkok plying their crystal meth and muscling out locals with a combination of aggressiveness and underselling. And Bangkok, for all its dangerous reputation, is only one stop on the express train of Iran’s meth empire.

Iranian drug rings are a sizable presence everywhere from Europe to Southeast Asia to the United States.  By the spring of last year, Thai authorities had already arrested their twentieth Iranian meth smuggler. The same story repeats itself in Indonesia, Malaysia, Burma and Vietnam. Asia is no stranger to the drug trade, yet it’s being swamped by Iranian meth, Iranian meth labs and Iranian dealers.

In Japan, they were running meth labs, a rarity in the country, and the majority of those arrested on meth charges in the land of the rising sun were Iranians. That pattern too repeats itself in countries with hardly any Muslim populations, such as Korea. Forget oil, Iran is suddenly in the position of supplying the crystal meth needs of half of Asia.

...from my piece on Iran's Meth Empire and the spread of terror


The Forward and the JTA are the rotten leftovers of a Jewish establishment, one with radical left wing roots and the other that used to be semi-legitimate, but is now almost as rotten. So naturally their way to celebrate Israel's Independence Day was by convincing failed singer Neshama Carlebach to sing their Judenrein version of the Israeli National Anthem.

I would say this is sick, and mind you we're talking about a media outlet famous for holding feasts on Yom Kippur, that has now managed to top itself.

The Judenrein lyrics are predictably stupid. Nefesh Yehudi is swapped out for Nefesh Yisraeli, what exactly is a Nefesh Yisraeli? Do you get a soul with your citizenship papers?

The entire point of the anthem was that it represented a Jewish yearning to return to Israel. Take that away and the anthem no longer makes any sense. It no longer has any reason to exist. Much like Israel.

Simply rewriting the anthem not to mention Jews doesn't fix the problem. The anthem is still about a yearning of a people for a land. What people? Did the Arabs yearn to live in Israel? Did Arabs from the Arabian Desert really yearn to move to Jerusalem? Did the Arabs under Ottoman rule yearn to live under non-Muslim rule?

Why was this Israeli eye looking toward 'our country'? Why was it looking east, when the majority of Arabs are to the east of Israel? Why were generations yearning to return to a country that didn't exist? Does anyone seriously believe that Arabs in Israel will be more comfortable singing this nonsense? It doesn't reflect their history, it still reflects ours. Making the anthem multicultural doesn't make it more inclusive, it's still Jewish, just senseless.

One of my Carlebach albums featured a photo of him standing on an IDF tank. His songs always made it clear what he believed. He would never have performed a song erasing Jews from Israel. His daughter is unfortunately another story. He clearly loved her, but her musical abilities were average at best and the only reason anyone paid attention to her was her last name. Now she has managed to drag that through the mud in a desperate bid for attention. I don't have any of her songs, but if I did, I would be erasing them about now.

I would recommend that no one buy her material after this, on grounds of good taste, and because a Jewish singer shouldn't be rewarding for participating in an enterprise to erase Jewish identity. If anyone still needs another reason, here are Neshama Carlebach's comments on the video.

I was honored to have been asked to sing a new version of Hatikva for the Forward, elated to be recognized as someone who prays for and seeks change in our world.

So much ego, so little talent. Seek change in your musical library.


Necrophilia is not a joke.  It is real, and it is being openly ratified and encouraged by the satanic political cult of Islam.  A culture of people who are so far gone that they literally see nothing wrong with copulating with dead bodies is a culture that is capable of any evil imaginable, and cannot be stopped with any appeal to decency, morality, or shame.  What we are seeing in the Muslim world is the final descent of a human society into hell itself, and they will attempt to take as many others with them as they possibly can.

If these people are capable of "sexual pleasure" with not just corpses, but the corpse of the one person in the world who they should have loved and respected above all others, do you honestly believe that they would hesitate for a moment in merely pushing a button that launched nuclear warheads at Tel Aviv, or London, or New York?

Ann Barnhardt via American Digest

The last bullet point on that page reads simply: "We love death more then you love life!"

That timeless little quote was last seen penned in the works of one Nidal M Hasan. It's also a popular Muslim slogan.

Muslim young men are taught to lust for the demon virgins of paradise. They are taught to literally love death. So why not?

Women? They're property. A woman in Islam has no right to refuse the sexual advances of her husband. There is no such thing as marital rape in Islam. If she can't refuse him in life, why should she be able to refuse him in death?

The only issues here are impurity and also fatwas that make Islam look stupid, which is why this one has been pulled again, until the Salafis who insist that real Muslims don't care what anyone else thinks, revive it.


Speaking of death, American Digest also has an extended moral meditation on abortion. There's no one single section to be excerpted, all I can throw in is that we are regularly confronted with the continuing immoralities that make some level of a society work. Whether or not the society should work that way is another question.

Slave labor goods provide a measure of autonomy to millions of Americans, in a minimal echo of abortion. As does wealth redistribution for some and power triads for others. When given power many act only to protect their own interests, their own autonomy and their own power. There is no easy division. The moral solution favors one group at the expense of another. Some die, some live in poverty so that others may enjoy their lives and their autonomy. The interests of the group become the pinnacle of morality.

There are no easy solutions and moments like these can roll back the curtain on a human society that is just as bad as anything in the Veldt, a reminder that we are neither wise nor good, only powerful.


In an open letter published in the Boston Jewish Advocate, Paul Sassieni, treasurer of the JCRC, states that J Street’s Regional Director, Melanie Harris,  “reiterated proudly that J Street would not necessarily support Israel in a conflict, but would weigh the circumstances.”

In other news, J Street's sugar daddy, George Soros reiterated proudly that he did not necessarily enjoy helping the Nazis, but had to weigh the circumstances to decide which particular bit of Nazi collaboration he enjoyed most. (All of them.)

Melanie Harris appears to be a J Street mouthpiece who worked her way up from J Street U and doesn't seem to have done much besides that.


Edward Cline reviews Robert Spencer's new book that explores whether our good friend Mo, that serial killer, rapist and pedophile, actually existed. Or whether he was a fictional character like Hannibal Lecter.

Reading Arthur Conan Doyle's novel, The Hound of the Baskervilles, one cannot help but marvel at the thoroughness of Sherlock Holmes's use of reason to piece together disparate clues and evidence and conclude that the least plausible explanation was the most obvious, true one. The legendary, spectral hound that haunted the Dartmoor bogs for two centuries was a piece of unsubstantiated folklore exploited by a devious criminal whose only purpose was to seize wealth that wasn't his. He bought a hound, coated it in phosphorous, and launched his nefarious designs.

If his plans worked out, everyone would believe that the heir to the Baskerville estate was really killed by an elusive, evanescent hound, just as the heir's uncle apparently was. No one would investigate further. After all, the locals might be offended.

Holmes shoots it as it attacks another Baskerville heir. The Hound from Hell was an invention, based on an apocryphal curse. The Hound was a fraud. A hoax. As insubstantial as marsh gas.

Islam, however, is the very real Hound from Hell now roaming the earth, causing unimaginable suffering and death in nations where Islam rules, invading Western countries with hordes of assimilation-hostile faithful imbued with an implacable enmity for Western values and culture, waging constant violent and stealth jihad in countries its advocates mean to conquer and bring under Islamic and Sharia rule. The aspect that makes it frightening is the phosphorous of moral certainty that it is invincible and ineluctable. But the bogeyman is a phony. A contrivance. A will-o'-the-wisp designed to frighten men into submission or silence. Ignis fatuus. Mere methane. 

To add to that there is a great deal of posturing in Islam. The entire phony cult of martyrdom is one giant bluff. Lies are constantly being told and believed a moment later until no one can tell the lie from the truth. Everything is blamed on vast external powers. The mind is haunted by devils, taunted by women's hair, the wealth of infidels and constant sandstorms of rage. That is the human reality around which the religion has been constructed.


I haven't written much about Noam Shalit, the man who managed to get the country to pay a blood price for his son and then used that to launch his political career, but the man is absolute scum. If Israeli voters need a reminder of what scum he is, he's busy giving it to them.

The father of an Israeli soldier held in captivity for more than five years by Hamas has said he would kidnap Israeli soldiers if he were a Palestinian... He also said he would be prepared to negotiate with Hamas if he were an MP, something the Israeli government, along with Britain and the US, refuses to do.

By now the whole country knows that there is absolutely nothing that Noam Shalit would not be prepared to do.

Now Haaretz is only running this because the left is badly confused as to what to do about the Shalit deal, since they shrieked for it until they get it and now they have to criticize it because it helps Netanyahu politically. Still...

A bereaved father who used his speech at a state Memorial Day ceremony to blast the country's attitude toward victims of terror attacks won a rare round of applause for doing so.

Yossi Mendellevich, whose son Yuval was killed in a 2003 attack on a Haifa bus, aimed much of his criticism at last fall's deal in which Israel traded 1,027 Palestinian prisoners for captive soldier Gilad Shalit.

"The view that we can't abandon a live soldier, whom the state sent into battle and for whom it is responsible, can't be on the same level as the protection of civilians, for if so, there would be no justification for endangering soldiers in battle," Mendellevich said in his address on Mount Herzl in Jerusalem, at Wednesday's state ceremony for victims of terror.
What more needs to be said?


For the Christian Copts amounting to 10% of the population, the potential victory of Mohamed Morsi, a candidate backed by the Muslim Brotherhood, has sparked fears that the interests of non-Muslim minorities will be disregarded in favour of a stricter application of Shariah Law.

Presidential front-runner Mohamed Morsi, who has re-introduced the former Muslim Brotherhood slogan ‘Islam is the solution’, has in the past called for an Islamic scholar’s council to determine legislation, as well as advocating the exclusion of women and non-Muslims from political office.

Democracy and pluralism don't go together in the Middle East. Oh I'm sure that if the Brotherhood takes over all the way, they will have some Christian representatives to trot out and tell the world that everything is fine. Most countries in the Middle East have them, those who have Jews, also have Jewish representatives. Those who only have Christians left, have Christian representatives. But either way they have people to reassure the world that there's nothing to see here.


Has the left in the UK done to Jewish groups there what it did in the US? There's an intriguing post here at the Adloyada blog on the subject.

For some time now, I've been concerned about the way things are going at the Board of Deputies. There seems to have been a bizarre case of covert left/Peace Now entryism, whereby, despite the predominantly small-c conservative and very pro-Israel outlook of the overwhelming majority of the membership and those they represent, the Presidency of the Board is now someone who is or was the leader of Peace Now UK; two of the most senior officers are either Peace Now supporters or signed up supporters of the Labour Party or the Liberal Party.


... was Catholic

Corporal Abel Chennouf was French of Kabyle and Alsatian descent, born in Martigues (south of France) 1986 and moved with his family to Illzach (a town near Mulhouse, Alsace) in 1987. And he was a Catholic.

There is also another "part of the story that has received too little attention": Loïc Liber, the third paratrooper shot in the throat and the spine by Mohamed Merah in Montauban is originally from the Guadeloupe islands... And a Catholic too.

So there appears to have only been one Muslim who was killed by Merah, two Catholics and a number of Jews.

So much for the narrative.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Israel, A Nation Once Again

By On April 25, 2012
Israel's Jewish population is approaching six million. If current birth rates hold steady that significant milestone will be reached in time for next year's Independence Day. If there is to be one.

In the sixty-four years that the revived country has existed, there has been a dramatic population shift. Western and Eastern Europe and Russia, where the majority of Western Jews once lived, now hold a  fraction of the Jewish population. The Muslim world, former location of the majority of Eastern Jews, is barely worth mentioning.

Globally the Jewish population is divided between Israel and the United States. Israel is the home of the majority of the world's Jews, but the combined Jewish Anglosphere is still larger, not so much because of the United Kingdom, but because of North America, which holds the largest number of Jews. In a development that would have been all but incomprehensible a century ago, the majority of Jews in the world speak English or Hebrew. Smaller numbers speak French and Spanish, but in a generation hardly any will speak Russian or Arabic.

The majority of Jews live in the American Hemisphere. If we subtract Israel, the Eastern Hemisphere would barely muster up ten percent of the Jewish population because its Jews have for the most part either moved to the Western Hemisphere or to Israel.

Israel is the last Jewish outpost in the Eastern Hemisphere. The last significant Jewish populations there are either in the far west, in the United Kingdom and France or legacy populations in Russia and the Ukraine. The latter have no future and the former are dwindling under pressure from the growing Muslim population in Europe.

Over the last century, Jews have been moving West, though not quickly enough to outpace the Nazis and the Communists. The migration has gathered up Middle East Jews and Eastern European Jews, leaving a handful scattered on the Western shores of Europe, while the majority have either rebuilt in Israel or moved on to America, Canada or Latin America.

Jews have often been referred to as the 'canary in the coal mine' and accordingly Jewish migrations may foreshadow Christian migrations from the Eastern Hemisphere.

The Christian populations of the Middle East appear to be going the way of the Jewish population. In thrall to Muslim propaganda, the media blames Israel for the vanishing Christians of Bethlehem, but how does one explain a comprehensive regional Christian decline and exodus?

The fall of Egypt into the hands of the Brotherhood, Turkey into the hands of the AKP Islamists and the strong likelihood that the Brotherhood will take Syria and Hezbollah will take Lebanon, along with Muslim control over Gaza and the West Bank represent the end of the remaining centers of Christianity in the Middle East. It is not difficult to foresee a near future where Israel is the last remaining safe place in the region for Christians.

What is happening to Middle Eastern Christians is what has already happened to Middle Eastern Jews. Unlike the Jews, the Christians have no regional state of their own. The closest thing to it is Lebanon, which serves as an ugly example of what the binational Jewish-Muslim state that some called for and are still calling for would truly look like.

Had Christians turned Lebanon into a Christian Israel, then they would have been able to survive in the region. Middle Eastern Christians are on average better educated and more successful than the cult of a mass murderer that has colonized the region. A Christian Middle Eastern state would have stood head and shoulders above its Muslim neighbors, in every sense of the word. But instead coexistence was tried and it failed. Just as it is failing in Europe.

The migration of European Christians is happening at a slower rate, but it is happening as well. A Times poll found that 42 percent in the UK would like to leave. It is a safe assumption that the 42 percent does not come from the ranks of the bearded asylum seekers and the dole-hounds in the East End. The UK is seeing the largest emigration numbers in recent history, as many as three a minute leaving the country, the majority heading out to more distant corners of the Anglosphere.

Not all Europeans have the same linguistic support system of former colonies making emigration more difficult to contemplate. Emigration from the Netherlands has hit an all time high, headed to most of the same places, either outside the hemisphere or to distant Australia and New Zealand. The Portuguese are heading to Brazil, and the Spanish, Greeks and Italians are also hitting the exit doors. While the process doesn't seem all that drastic now, it is the opening round of a migration that will drastically accelerate as the Muslim colonization of Europe, with its accompanying violence goes on.

European Christians are following the path of European Jews, just as Middle Eastern Christians are following the path of Middle Eastern Jews, seeking stability, safety and opportunity outside countries that are on the path to becoming unlivable for anyone who doesn't preach in a mosque, sell drugs or rob tourists. Most are not leaving because they are aware of the problem, but because they are aware of the consequences. 

Had Europe not imploded so badly in the twentieth century, the history of the Jewish State might have been quite different. Israel's Second Commonwealth didn't manage to attract a majority of the Jewish population from Babylon and the various Greek states. Israel's Third Commonwealth was in better shape, despite the tiny borders and constant threats, but it is doubtful that it would have the population that it does today, if Jewish life in the Eastern Hemisphere had not become so impossible.

To survive the hostility and chaos of the Eastern Hemisphere, Jews crossed the ocean to the Americas and rebuilt a fortified republic in their homeland. In the natural course of events, the republic would have mainly picked up idealists, nationalists and the devoutly religious. It would have been a viable country, but a smaller one, with more in common with Ireland than its energetic overcrowded self.

Israel's composition is a fossil record of various periods of persecution, Russian Jews, German Jews, Middle Eastern Jews and then Russian Jews again. Its politics, its technology and its religion have taken second place to its need to protect itself, and the intellectual, the commercial and the religious had to make way for the military. Israel has been defined as much by that external pressure as by the idealism-- and that combination is perhaps the truest summary of the Jewish experience.

An Israel at peace, without constant assault by enemies and a storm of hatred thundering against it would not have truly reflected who the Jewish people had become over the millennia. It is the external pressure which has forced the Jews to find ways out of traps, to survive impossible situations and to accept constant change, while holding on to the things that mattered.

Its founders may have dreamed of a Hebraic European state, with short work weeks, plentiful cafes and vigorous debates over philosophical questions and social justice. But Israel was unable to escape its Jewish destiny, instead it became a country of Jews, a national diaspora, alone among the nations of the world, fascinating, repulsive, beloved, hated, but rarely ignored.

The Jews had defied history, instead of all flooding into the American Hemisphere to take up careers as fair-minded liberals or inhabitants of self-made ghettos, they made a last stand amid the ruins of the Middle East. They built a successful state, defied their enemies and have outlasted the best European efforts to compromise them into oblivion. They survived every Muslim army that came at them, won wars against impossible odds and held on in a region where the one thing that everyone could agree on was that they should be gone. And being Jews, they spread their hands and wondered why they were hated.

Israel is a non-Muslim country in a region where after centuries of conquests there aren't supposed to be any non-Muslim countries. It is an indigenous minority trying to fly the flag in an Arabized region and it can only survive by succeeding at everything it does. It has managed to defy the odds, like the Armenians, it has proven that it is possible for an indigenous minority to build a successful state out of a diaspora and defend it against Muslim aggression. Those ignorant of history might call it colonialism, but it actually represent indigenous peoples rolling back Muslim colonialism.

If worst comes to worst for Europe, perhaps one day Americans and Australians will resettle England and Scotland, the way that Jews resettled Israel. But the larger question may be who will resettle Australia and America? Retreating across the ocean to another continent is no real solution. Not in the age of the jet plane that can just as easily carry thousands of Muslim settlers, as be hijacked by its Muslim passengers and rammed into major landmarks and centers of government.

Israel may be civilization's last stand. Even if it fails, it was a nobler effort than pretending that nothing was wrong while heading out the door to other continents where it would take longer for the Jihad to reach their grandchildren. It is not an ideal state, founded by European Jews, it suffers from most of the afflictions of Europe, it has the labor relations of Greece, the political malaise of France, the intellectual culture of a bygone Germany and yet it also has a military that combines the best of England, Switzerland and Ancient Israel. And most of all it has Jews.

Jews are a peculiar people, there is a great deal of talk about them, good and bad, but like most of the peoples of the world, they simply are. They exist and have gone on existing to the irritation of that part of mankind which was aware of them. There are prophecies about them, in their blood runs the veins of the prophets and kings whose words and deeds are on the lips of even those who hate them. But still they go on living their day to day lives until it seems as if there is nothing particularly special about them, and then unexpectedly they do something extraordinary, cure a disease, unlock the mysteries of the universe or build a country that stands as a bulwark against all the rage and hate of the East.

Few eyes turn to Israel on its Independence Day, not unless there are stories about rock throwing Muslims or outrage over another Jewish house going up in Jerusalem. Even many of the Jews on the other side of the ocean have closed their eyes and their hearts to it. In synagogues those who recognize the new miracles of the Lord, rather than only the old, give thanks and praise for that day. For most it is only another day.

As each of our birthdays reminds us that we are still alive, so too Israel's birthday reminds us that it is still here. It won its independence as an infant, at 19 it defeated seven armies. At 40 it launched its first rocket into space. At 44 it made a terrible life decision that it has still to recover from. It is 64 now, and yet booming with life, with anger, love, doubt, fear and a thousand other human tremors. It has gathered to itself the dead lost in the ashes and seen them born again amid its rebuilt ruins. It has stood on ancient mountains and reseeded the land and made it green again. It has reclaimed a legacy of a lost people and a lost land better than even its dreamers and visionaries could have imagined.

Who knows what it will do next?

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The United Nation's Useless Genocide Trials

By On April 24, 2012

Last year I completed a pamphlet on 10 Reasons to Abolish the UN for the Freedom Center, which you can find at its online bookstore that explores the reasons why the United Nations is a threat to the United States and to freedom around the world. You can learn more about the pamphlet from this video and this excerpt below that discusses the failures of the UN not only at preventing genocide, but at trying those responsible.

How effective is the United Nations at tackling genocide? When it happens or is about to happen, its peacekeeping forces usually find a good reason to be somewhere else. And the Security Council and General Assembly find some pressing Israeli matter to concentrate on. But what about after the fact?

The United Nations boasts of leading the charge against genocide through its tribunals. Warlords and generals who commit mass murder are supposed to fear the wrath of the international community. But how much wrath is there to fear?   

Thirty years ago, the Khmer Rouge Communist Party carried out one of the bloodiest reigns of terror in the region causing the deaths of millions.

During the Cambodian Genocide, the UN Security Council did not issue a single resolution on it. But it did find time to issue a string of resolutions on Israel. While millions were dying, the UN occupied itself with condemning the Israeli expulsion of the Sharia judge of Hebron and the United States for allowing former members of the Rhodesian government to enter the country.

It was not UN action, but the Vietnamese invasion that finally put an end to the worst of the terror. But the United Nations, after being approached by the Cambodian government nearly two decades later, finally got down to the task of trying some of those involved for genocide.

That was 1997. An agreement to conduct the actual trials was signed six years later. Another three years after that, actual judges were finally approved to preside over the tribunal. It had taken nine years just to get to this point.

In 2007, the first indictment was issued against Pol Pot's second in command. Nuon Chea had been 70 when the UN was first approached. He was now almost 80. Today he is 84 and the trial is still going on. The odds are very good that he will die before it is all over.

So far the only man convicted of anything in the proceedings, whose origins date back to the 90's and have budgets in the hundreds of millions of dollars, is Kaing Guek Eav who ran the Tuol Sleng prison.

The Khmer Rouge Tribunal could hardly have sent a louder message of UN impotence in the face of genocide, demonstrating that even when there was no risk and the defendants were out of power—their trial would still become nothing more than another UN employment and fundraising opportunity. A forum for its officials to prattle about justice and law, while practicing it as little as possible.

Is the Khmer Rouge Tribunal exceptionally incompetent? The International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia has been going on for 18 years. Slobodan Milosevic, its key defendant, died after being on trial for 5 years. Possibly of boredom. So did 16 other defendants. It might be reasonable to conclude that any court where defendants routinely die before the end owes a little too much to Kafka.  

The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda has been going on for 17 years. In 1998, Resolution 1165 urged "the organs of the International Tribunal for Rwanda actively to continue their efforts to increase further the efficiency of the work of the International Tribunal in their respective areas" and mentioned "an exceptional measure to enable the third Trial Chamber to begin to function at the earliest possible date." 

7 years later, citing a long string of previous resolutions, Resolution 1503, recalled and reaffirmed "in the strongest terms" a deadline to end all investigations in 2004, to end all activities at first instance in 2008 and to shut down by 2010. It's 2011 and the tribunal is still going strong. The latest deadline is 2014. Or 20 years after the actual genocide took place.

After 17 years, only 38 convictions have been completed with no appeal. That isn't even 2 convictions per year. 19 more cases are still pending appeal. 8 were acquitted. 10 cases are still going on.

The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda has 25 judges and only 92 defendants over the course of 17 years. That's not even four defendants to a judge for a caseload stretching over nearly two decades. This may make the Tribunal the least efficient justice system in all of human history. The biennial budget for the tribunal is around 250 million dollars with nearly 700 posts. This is actually a reduction, as there used to be well over a 1000 posts. The total cost of the whole affair has long ago run into the billions. In 2005, some 15 million dollars alone was spent on the defense teams. There are entire countries with a smaller judicial budget than that. Half of Africa could have been fed with the money spent on the tribunal.

While the United States and its victorious allies had managed to begin the Nuremberg Trials less than half a year after the war in Europe, and end it on the next year... the United Nations was not able to act on the Khmer Rouge Tribunal without the consent of the Cambodian government almost two decades after the fact. And even then it set into motion, a long series of procedures that have been going on in one form or another for 14 years.

There is no comparison between the effectiveness of the United States and the United Nations approach in punishing genocide. The Nuremberg Trials sent a message. The Rwanda Tribunal and the Khmer Rouge Tribunal have sent a contrary one. It does not take a scholar of international law to determine which one tyrants fear the most.

And even the convictions are often farcical. Vincent Rutaganira was charged on eight counts, including genocide, extermination and murder. He pleaded guilty to one count of a Crime against Humanity, Extermination as an Accomplice by Omission. After three years of assorted hearings, it was decided that due to his "good behavior" and “advanced age of 60”-- that he should be released in three years time. And he was.

If such a short sentence for Crimes against Humanity from a billion dollar genocide tribunal was not ridiculous enough, the case notes make it clear that Vincent should probably never have been tried at all. Rather than being tried for perpetrating genocide, he was charged with failing to prevent it. A number of Tutsi survivors however testified that he had saved their lives, given them shelter and false identity cards.

The tribunal had arrested the Hutu version of Oskar Schindler and dragged him through the system and imprisoned him on what basis? For failing to prevent the massacres. And what was he supposed to have done?

According to the judgment, "the Chamber finds that the Accused had the power to convene a meeting of the inhabitants of the secteur to initiate and conduct discussions on the tragic events that were taking place in his secteur, in order to prevent participation in the massacres that occurred at the church, at least, by civilians."

With the conclusion being that, "Vincent Rutaganira’s intervention saved some people who had been targeted by attackers. It can be inferred from such a finding that a similar intervention by the Accused against some civilians who participated in the attacks on Mubuga church would have had the same decisive effect in sparing human lives." Vincent's very attempts to save lives were used to indict him for not averting larger massacres.

Yet if a failure to prevent genocide is a cause for indictment, then why has the entire UN not been indicted?

(The full pamphlet 10 Reasons to Abolish the United Nations is available at the Freedom Center) 

(Polish Translation at Racjonalista)

Monday, April 23, 2012

The Savage Lands of Islam

By On April 23, 2012
The Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia has ruled that ten year old girls can be married off, because in his words, "Good upbringing makes a girl ready to perform all marital duties at that age." The Mufti, who also recently called for destroying churches in the Arabian Peninsula, is descended from Mohammed Wahhab who gave birth to Wahhabism and his descendants have controlled the Saudi religious establishment, which has given them control of Islam around the world. For all his power and influence, the Mufti is blind and hasn't seen a thing in the last 52 years, an apt metaphor for his entire religion.

The Grand Mufti
Saudi Arabia, the heartland of Islam, still tries and executes witches. What sort of religion can come out of a place that marries off ten year old girls and murders old women on charges of witchcraft? Exactly the sort of religion you would expect to fly planes into skyscrapers, murder teenage girls for using Facebook and base their entire society on a ladder with Muslim men at the top, Muslim women a few rungs below and everyone else somewhere at the bottom.

The Saudis are not some aberration, they are Islam in its purest and truest form. This is where Islam originated, these are the people whose brutality and cunning spread it across the world, whose clans killed each other, then killed or enslaved minority groups, and then embarked on a wave of conquest that destroyed countless cultures and left behind seeds of hate that linger to this day.

Unlike Egypt or Syria, they were never colonized by European powers and the impact of Ottoman influence was limited. Oil has brought in massive amounts of money, but it has changed very little. There are limousines instead of camels, the slaves have foreign passports, though they are often still slaves, there is still a brisk trade in imported luxury goods, harems for princes and clans staggering under the weight of their indolent progeny.

Religiously, Wahhabism has done its best to recreate the "pure" Islam of its origins. Economically, oil has allowed the Gulf Arabs to prosper without reform or change. And if Mohammed were to ride out of the desert tomorrow, he would have little trouble fitting in, as soon as he developed a taste for Porsches. Anyone who wants to see the world as it was in Mohammed's day can visit Saudi Arabia and see inbred clans, slave labor, veiled women and thugs enforcing the will of Allah on every corner.

But you don't even need to visit Saudi Arabia because diluted forms of it can be found everywhere from Cairo to London and from Islamabad to Los Angeles. A hundred and fifty years after the United States freed its slaves, Muslim immigrants have brought back slavery, importing young girls to live as their slaves. Ninety years after American women won the right to vote, the ghosts of Islam tread the streets in sheets that hide their personhood and mark them as property.

The religious wars of the desert have not stayed there as the immigration Hegira has brought them here and everywhere. And that is the source of the Clash of Civilizations. Immigration has brought Muslims into closer contact with different cultures and religions who don't defer to them or give Islam the privileged status that its adherents are used to enjoying.

To know the truth of this all you have to do is measure the respective tolerance levels of America  against the average Muslim country. There is no comparison with even the more secular Muslim countries, not in law and not in public attitudes. The sole benefit of the Arab Spring has been to expose the fraud of the moderate Muslim country. Egypt's transition to theocracy reminds us that a moderate Muslim state is a completely unrepresentative dictatorship. The alternative is majority Muslim rule.

The endgame of the Arab Spring and the immigration Hegira is to reduce the entire world to the level of Saudi Arabia. And that means eliminating outside influences in a long march to purification.  Islamists know that they cannot enjoy complete cultural dominance over their own people until their rivals in the West are obliterated. To turn Egypt and Malaysia into Saudi Arabia, and to purify Saudi Arabia, the infidels must be brought down, their religions subjugated and their nations replaced with proper Islamic states.

Islamic leaders are under no illusion that religion is a spiritual matter, they know that it is a numbers game. Wage enough wars, terrorize enough nations, marry enough barely post-pubescent girls and use them to crank out an endless supply of babies, intimidate or trick enough infidels into joining up and you win. That was how Islam took over so much territory and spread around the world, that is how it is doing it again now.

Islam is not a spiritual religion, even its paradise is a materialistic place, a fantasy harem where the physical pleasures of life can be enjoyed without restraint. That gives it an advantage over Judaism and Christianity, just as it gives the Saudis and the Pakistanis an advantage over the Americans and Israelis. There is no angst in Islam, no spiritual seeking and no room for doubt. The marching orders are always clear and individual deeds and thoughts matter less than a willingness to always obey.

Islam came out of the desert and it has never left the desert, instead it has brought the desert with it along with its codes, its deep hatreds, its constant deprivation, its deceptiveness and its nomadic expansionism. Where Islam goes, the desert rises, its tents, its red knives and its insecurities. It was backward even at the time of its birth and it has only become more so, but its singlemindedness is an advantage in an age of effete leftectuals and eurocrats dreaming of a transnational world.

While the leftectuals dream of windmills, the Saudis hire foreigners to pump their oil and then sell it to them, the money goes to fund the Hegira, its mosques in every city from Dublin to Moscow to Buenos Aires and Toronto, the fatwas, the bombs, the websites where the masked faithful hold up AK-47's, the Islamic science courses and sessions on learning to love the Hijab and then the Burqa,

The Saudis just want what everyone wants, for everyone to acknowledge their greatness and live like them. They can hardly be blamed for that when the West spends almost as much money promoting democracy and its own way of life to people who still execute witches and blasphemers. They may be savages, but they fell ass backward into enough black gold to fuel a global religious war, and they're using it cleverly and cunningly to transform our societies and wage war against us even while attending dinners at the White House. It's smoother work than our diplomats are capable of.

You can hardly blame the desert bandits for being what they are, but you can blame the apostles of reason for preaching about a golden age of tolerance and enlightenment from every purloined pulpit and then turning away the heartland to a religion that is nakedly brutal and intolerant at home.

An honest look at Saudi Arabia, at its cruelty, its slaves, its intolerance of other religions and even of women, should be enough to tell even the dimmest Eton or Harvard grad exactly what the West is in for. No matter how many specialists in Muslim tolerance show up at universities, there is the Grand Mufti explaining that Mohammed commanded the eradication of Jews and Christians from the Arabian Peninsula, and therefore there can be no churches allowed there.

Even few apologists for Islam will defend Saudi Arabia for the simple reason that it is indefensible. The media will run the occasional story about the House of Saud's commitment to reform, much as Charles Manson keeps committing to becoming a better person, but even they don't really believe it. Yet even though Saudi Arabia is the heartland of Sunni Islam, and its fortunes shape and control mosques and teachings around the world, they insist on treating Islam and Saudi Arabia as two separate things.

It is brutally telling that the two centers of Islam, Saudi Arabia for the Sunnis and Iran for the Shiites, are genuinely horrifying places. Neither can remotely be associated with tolerance or human rights. It is simple common sense that the spread of Islam will make Western countries more like Saudi Arabia and Iran, rather than less like them.

If Saudi Arabia is not an example that we wish to emulate, then why must we bodily incorporate the religion of Mecca and Medina into London and Los Angeles? What other possible outcome do we imagine that there will be but fewer rights and more violence, dead women, abused children, bomb plots and polygamy?

There are two Islams. The real Islam of the Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia and an imaginary Islam that exists only in the mosques of air and card table korans of academics apologists and political pundits who have decided that Islam cannot be bad, because no religion can be bad, not even one which kills and kills, it must just be misunderstood.

But then why not tell the Grand Mufti that he has misunderstood his own religion, the religion that he and his ancestors have dedicated themselves to purifying and reforming back to its roots? Telling him that would be a dangerous thing on his own turf, but it would also be foolish. The Grand Mufti's controversial statements contain nothing that Mohammed had not said and can the founder of a religion misunderstand his own teachings?

Islam is savage, intolerant, cruel and expansionistic, not due to a misunderstanding, but because it is what it is and no amount of wishing will make it otherwise. We have opened the door to the desert and a hot wind blows through into the northern climes. Either we can shut the door or get used to living in the Saudi desert.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

The Universalist Holocaust

By On April 22, 2012
Everyone deals with trauma in different ways. Getting violently attacked on a street late at night. Watching a loved one murdered in front of your eyes. Feeling the fire on your skin as your home burns. It's not just the pain of the experience, it's realizing afterward how your world has changed and that your life will never be the same.

There are two basic human responses to an assault. I will protect myself. I will make the world a better place. The first deals with the risk of an attack. The second with your feelings about the world. The first leaves you better able to cope with an attack. The second makes you feel better about the world.

The Jewish response to the Holocaust fell into these two categories. Never Again and Teach Tolerance. And the two responses were segmented by population. Never Again became the credo of Israel and Teach Tolerance became the credo of the Western Diaspora. There were many Israelis who believed in teaching tolerance and many Western Jews who believed in self-defense, but for the most part the responses were structural. And yet the divide between Nationalists and Universalists also predated the Holocaust.

The Holocaust was a transformative event, but only to a degree, the responses to it came out of earlier debates that had been going on for two generations. Before the Holocaust, the Czarist pogroms had led to the same fork in the road between a collective struggle for a better world and national self-defense. The current debates about Israel revisit an old argument that has been going on for well over a century.

To the Nationalists, the Holocaust was not an unexpected event. Nationalist leaders like Jabotinsky had warned repeatedly that it was coming. To the Universalists however, it was an inexplicable event because it challenged the entire progressive understanding of history as a march to enlightenment. Violent bigotry was a symptom of reactionary backward thinking, not something that modern countries would engage in. There might be anti-semitism in Berlin, but there wouldn't be mass murder. That was for places like Czarist Russia, but not for the enlightened Soviet Russia or Weimar Germany.

The Universalists seemed to have a point. The Beilis blood libel case had been treated as a medieval freak show by Western newspapers. Czarist pogroms received widespread coverage and condemnation. Some on the Russian left, Jewish socialists among them, justified and even excused the atrocities, but they were a minority. And when the Daily Worker, the organ of the Communist Party in New York, praised the Hebron Massacre, it resulted in a news vendor boycott that banished it from the shelves.

Even clear thinkers could have been forgiven for seeing two worlds, one modern and one backward. These worlds could worked best in the big picture, the details were often a little fuzzy. The USSR had begun repressing its Jewish minority, along with a whole range of groups the Communists did not care for, with no protests from the same press and intellectuals who had denounced the same behavior by the Czarist regime. And many liberal intellectuals had a habit of engaging in gutter anti-semitism that seemed at odds with their enlightened status, but like the followers of cult leaders who preached chastity and practiced debauchery, everyone knew better than to mention it.

The Holocaust dissolved that mirage of a better world. It was a mugging in broad daylight on the biggest street of the biggest city in the world. Its message was that there is no law or progress, that the world had not changed and that human beings had not magically become transformed into better people because Berlin had a subway and phone calls could be made across the Atlantic. Most people did not understand that message and to the extent that they did, they resisted it.

The Holocaust did not heal the divide between the Universalists and the Nationalists, it deepened it. Israel was the issue, but it wasn't the real issue, it was what a Jewish State symbolized, a turning away from the great dream of the Brotherhood of Man for another reactionary ethno-religious state. Beinart may play the fool and pretend that there is something new in a clash between liberalism and Israel, but that clash was there all along. It is the conflict between Never Again and Teach Tolerance.

To so many Jewish liberals, Israel is coded with the dangerous message that Jews are no longer committed to the great humanitarian revolution and the dream of a better world. That they would rather claim a chunk of real estate and protect it, than join the workers and peasants of the world in the ranks of the social justice movements, that they would rather cling to a narrow identity than melt into a borderless brotherhood of man.

That was why Israel was controversial long before 1948. It was why everyone on the left from Lenin to H.G. Wells denounced the idea and denounced the Jews as selfish counterrevolutionary bastards for wanting such a thing. It is why it is still controversial today.

The Holocaust temporarily silenced some of the criticism, not just because it made anti-semitism slightly unfashionable, but because it badly weakened the Universalist argument. And a showdown between the British Empire, some of their royal Arab puppets and a bunch of Jewish militias made it harder for the left to side against Israel-- that had to wait until the Arab puppets joined up with the Soviet Union and the progressive camp.

 As the Nationalists began steadily winning elections in Israel, and the country became more of a madcap combination of Hong Kong and Amish Country, rather than the Kibbutz and cafe radical poets meeting that many Jewish liberals imagined it to be, the incompatibility deepened. Sure Israel has equal rights, gay bars, people who play guitars in public places and chant for a better world. But it also has skyscrapers, soldiers and soccer riots. It's a country with a capital C, a real place, rather than an ideal one.

Zionism led to a schism on the left, a raw angry split slowly being won by the Anti-Zionist camp which has been plugging away at the same bad universalist ideas that Jewish liberals like Beinart occasionally drag out of the trash can and display like some new discovery. The Zionist left tried to bridge the gap through bad economics and wishful thinking. The Peace Process was its last gasp. Israel has a Zionist center and a Zionist right, but no Zionist left.

Western Jewish liberals have always been vaguely ashamed of Israel. They used to understand the need for it and the desire for it in their gut, even as their ideological minds struggled against it. As time passed and the dust and ashes settled, that unspoken gut feeling faded, because things you do not say and cannot rationally defend are hard to pass down to future generations.

The Holocaust museums were built, the books were written and tours conducted into Anne Frank's attic, but the understanding of what these things meant was not passed down. The only lesson was to make the world a better place by teaching everyone to be tolerant so that history would not repeat itself. As if any amount of courses and slides on tolerance could stop history from repeating itself.

There are nice Jewish boys and girls who have read Anne Frank's diary, visited Holocaust museums and even Auschwitz and come away as anti-semities. They don't of course call themselves that. They call themselves human rights activists, they board flotillas, they boycott Israeli products, smash Jewish store windows, hug terrorists and rationalize suicide bombers. And it's not entirely their fault. The lessons that they drew from their education is that the underdog is always right, that people in uniforms are bad, and that you always have to stand up for minorities.

That is the Holocaust in its universalized form. Never Again made the Holocaust a teachable moment for Jews. Teach Tolerance made it a teachable moment for all mankind. The Nationalist and the Universalist draw two opposite lessons from the Holocaust. The Nationalists focus on resistance while the Universalists focus on persecution. The Nationalist aspires to be a ghetto fighter while the Universalist aspires to be a good German.

The Universalist version of the Holocaust is a lesson on how we must all aspire to be good Germans, its natural lesson is that our governments, at least the non-progressive ones, are embryonic Third Reichs, which are only one flag waving leader away from opening concentration camps, and must be opposed and undermined. And so there are plenty of young Jewish and non-Jewish boys and girls who smash Jewish store windows and throw stones at Jewish soldiers, out of a desire to be good Germans. If they manage to destroy Israel and all its Jews, then they'll be the best Germans of all.

This madness follows naturally from Universalist doctrine which does not mention the English boys, who were being good Germans before the time when those words meant anything to anyone, were gathering at anti-war rallies or the role of the left in undermining military action against Hitler, particularly after the Hitler-Stalin pact. It does not mention the leftist intellectuals who insisted that the Allies were no better than the Nazis. Why would they? People might draw sordid conclusions about their modern peers who insist that America is no better than Al-Qaeda or that Israel is no better than Hamas.

The Holocaust did not divert most Jewish Universalists from their course, no more than the pogroms or any other pivotal event did. For every Herzl who realized that the Universalist vision was bunk and worked toward a Jewish state, there were far more who went on preaching the same tired mantras of peace and justice for all, a new red dawn for the human race. And when the gulags and gas chambers were done, after wars of extermination launched three times by Arab Muslim alliances and all the rest of it, they are still holding on to the podium and denouncing Zionism as an obstacle to the progress of mankind.

The debate over Israel is only one of many such fights between Universalists and Nationalists of every creed and from every nation. It is a struggle between those who believe that nations, religions and cultures have innate worth, and those who believe that they can only exist on sufferance as vehicles of progressivism, until the time comes when mankind will have moved beyond the need for such crutches and becomes one great jello bowl of togetherness.

The Universalists go on commemorating the Holocaust, but they don't understand what it means. They don't believe that they are living within history, but at some tail end of history, a cosmic event horizon before a new era of global awareness kicks in. To them left-wing anti-semitism is "The New Anti-Semitism", though only people who have not been paying attention could call it that. And the Holocaust was also a new event  to them, rather than part of the continuity of Jewish history which had seen massacres in every age. To them there is no Pharaoh, Haman, Chmelnitsky, no sack of Jerusalem, poisoned wells and bodies burning in the public square. Everything is new to them and they are always being surprised by all the old things that keep showing up.

Anti-Semitism? Didn't that go away in 1945? The Holocaust? Do you mean the one in Sudan or Rwanda? And on and on, they step out of doors only to find its raining and then debate the need for an umbrella and its impact on the environment. They are forever being surprised by events because they have no context. They are certain each time that the world has become a better place, and there is no need, as Einstein testified shortly after the Holocaust, for a Jewish State, as surely such an event could never happen again. History to them is always ending, and yet it never seems to finally end.

The significance of the Holocaust is the significance of history, and those who do not believe in history, who have cut themselves off from their own history, have no hope of grasping it. When the left looks at the Holocaust, as when it looks at anything else, it sees only the mirror of its own ideology, it manipulates everything into its own template until all the organic significance is gone, and its agenda sits enthroned on the corpse of history.

Israel did not emerge out of the Holocaust, it emerged out of a history in which the Holocaust was only another link in a chain of events, a pattern of outcomes. To say otherwise is to reject history, which is a thing the Universalists habitually do. The only way for them to continue repeating their folly is to kill history, so that everything is always new and so that no one learns anything from the past except to repeat their homilies and history becomes their educational theme park.

The Universalists, like the Nazis, sought to wipe out the Jewish people, as they seek to wipe out all people. Their genocide was to be a soft genocide, as H.G. Wells envisioned in a book that was published the year that Hitler became Chancellor of Germany, "Between 1940 and 2059 in little more than a century, this antiquated obdurate culture disappeared. It and its Zionist state, its kosher food, the Law and all the rest of its paraphernalia, were completely merged in the human community."

The method of the Wellsian final solution was fundamentally different from the Hitlerian one, where Hitler believed that the Jewish people had to be exterminated by physically forcing them out of the body of the Aryan race, Wells believed that they had to be exterminated by forcing them into the body of a shapeless human community. The final outcome either way was the same.

The Nazi Holocaust failed, but the Universalist Holocaust is still ongoing. Every time a leftist gets up to denounce Israel and to look forward to the day when the Zionist state, its Kosher food, and its Law and all the rest of it disappears, you are seeing the Universalist Holocaust grinding on. It is a slow process, but the willingness to wait, to pace the revolution, is where Wells differed from Lenin in their conversation, which Wells recorded in, "Russia in the Shadows".

While we remember the Nazi Holocaust, those who want the Jewish people to disappear are still working toward 2059. And they have no shortage of Jewish assistants who are eager to complete the task, believing that a humanitarian utopia waits on the other side of the gas chamber door. The Jewish Universalists lost faith in G-d, but they did not lose faith in humanity. They still believe with all their hearts that if we strum the guitar loudly enough and sing, "Imagine", that a better world will appear behind that door. Disbelieving in history, they have forgotten that the last time that door was opened in Russia, there was barbed wire and bitter cold on the other side.

Jewish Nationalists understood what was coming last time. They understand what is coming this time. Yet no matter how many times they are proven right, from Warsaw to Jerusalem, the beautiful dreamers refuse to listen to the pattern of history which proves them wrong. They're still waiting for the European Union, the United Nations, for the dead hand of history to let go and the better world to be born out of the ashes of the old, out of the ashes of the Zionist state, its kosher food and its law.

We all die, sooner or later. It is what we leave behind that ventures into the uncertain future that gives us life. History is the road map that charts where the past lives that made ours possible has gone and shows us where the lives that we make possible may go. The Universalist Holocaust would burn those maps and kill our future for their better world. The Nazis have been defeated, the last of them is dying now, but the Universalists continue their long war against us.


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