Monday, July 31, 2006

NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT: The Good News

"Even so, most Americans continue to moan and groan about our situation, and to yearn for the holiday from history we seemed to be enjoying in the 1990s. As Barnett argues, "Time is on our side, as are all the major dynamics that count -- energy, investments, demographics, sheer firepower, enduring ingenuity, strength of our societies, our enduring resilience." With fits and starts, the core is expanding, connectivity is increasing, and the gap is closing."

DOES TRUTH EVEN MATTER ANY MORE ?

Mona Charen captures some of the gloom and anguish I am feeling this day:
We (and this also includes Israelis, Brits, and a few others) would never dream of targeting civilians for any reason – not even in self-defense. In 2002, the Israelis used ground troops going house to house in Jenin rather than attack from the air — though it cost the lives of 23 of their men – in order to spare civilians.

Our enemies can not imagine not targeting civilians – ours – and when they can be used as human shields/propaganda fodder, theirs.

Our people are beheaded on videotape and the world ignores it. We fail to offer the full panoply of the Bill of Rights to the beheaders and the world groans at the inhumanity of it all.

The United Nations Security Council condemns Israel for defending herself from naked aggression and manages to overlook Chechnya, the Chinese occupation of Tibet, every terrorist attack against Israel, the massacre in Rwanda, the Indonesian occupation of East Timor, Serbian acts in Bosnia, and pretty much the entire continent of Africa, which as Kofi Annan surely knows better than most, is a human rights cesspool. As Jeane Kirkpatrick put it: “What happens in the Security Council more closely resembles a mugging than either a political debate or an effort at problem-solving.”

There are millions of Americans who are not deluded by this madness (and we draw our military recruits from their ranks), and yet you cannot escape the times you live in. Lack of self-confidence is eroding our civilization like dry rot. We are not as far gone as Europe – but the glide path is worrisome.

The question I have is, does reality even matter anymore? Or is the only important thing that you are able to put out your narrative first? Does truth matter? Or do we just admit that language does not have to have any connection with reality; that facts are irrelevant; that reality is whatever you want it to be for as long as you can get away with it? (Then put the correction on page 12 Section C)

These subtle cults of tyranny that are springing up all over the world disguised as "social justice" (in our educational system); as "political correctness" (in our media); victimhood promotion (in our political and cultural institutions) cannot hope to remain viable in a world where human thought is free; therefore, the goal is nothing less than to undermine mankind's perception of reality itself.

If you can convince people that objective reality is an illusion; that A does not equal A; that black is white; and that good is bad; if you can make them accept that everything is subjective and relative; then you can breath new life into doctrines that by all objective measures and standards have led to the death and misery of millions of people. Through the manipulation of language, everything can be distorted, without the messy need to resort to facts, logic, or reason.
We see the results of this manipulation of language and events on a daily basis. Look in the comments of my last post, for example:
What we're witnessing is folk who don't want to see Israel OR Hezbollah commit crimes - especially when dozens (hundreds?) of children are the ones being maimed and killed.

This is nothing but a desire for law and order and outrage when children are killed. This is a normal and healthy phenomena.
I just want to scream when I read BS like that. NO RATIONAL AND COMPASSIONATE PERSON WANTS TO SEE CHILDREN KILLED! The question is, what is killing them? Where is the responsibility? Who is placing them under the rockets? Was it Hezbollah who warned civilians to leave the area where they were fighting? Or was it Hezbollah who prevented them from leaving, even as they used them as shields? Was it Israel who launched attacks from apartment buildings where civilians live? Which ideology promotes death and genocide; and which tries to preserve life?

If an adult thows a child out in front of a speeding car, who is to blame for the death of the child--the adult who flung the child carelessly in front of the car? Or the driver of the car? In this particular case, the driver actually called in advance to say that he would be driving that way in the morning and to make sure that all children were out of the middle of the street. So this makes the Hezbollah adults decide to arrange a children's party in the middle of the effing street? And they are not morally responsible??

If you have a "desire for law and order" then you must ask yourself these kind of questions, Mr. Morally Confused. If it is justice you want, then you must consider the differences between a terrorist group like Hezbollah who clearly state they wish to annihilate the Jews and deliberately and intentionally target civilians; and the Israelis who are fighting against them and try their damndest in this morally asymmetric war. No matter how hard the left tries to fit Israelis or Americans into the role of the repugnant racists, or the vile aggressors, or the child-murdering villains in these little planned-out scenarios ; the real racist-aggressor-death cult is operating right there in front of your eyes.

Just open them up and look if you want to see truth and reality.

What matters to the co-conspirators of evil like that commenter above is not the truth or falsity of their language--only its effectiveness. Lies, distortions, ad hominem attacks; attempts to silence opposing views--all are strategies that are perfectly satisfactory if they achieve the desired effect. Ideas and reason must make way for reification of feelings. They care care care so much for all the innocent life that is being lost. Don't you see?

So why is it then that they only show how much they care when they can blame the Americans or the Israelis?(or, the Republicans, or Bush?) Why is it that the innocent life taken by the terrorists is never worthy of their comments? Or their caring; or their rage? Only innocent life that they figure they can pin on Israel and America?

It's funny how the demands to attend to "root causes" always seem to disappear when the "roots" turn out to be something other than what the left wants them to be--something they definitely don't want to look at.

The memes that are coming out of this latest conflict have been developing and transforming people's perception of reality for several years now. The old-fashioned ideas of good and evil that used to be the foundation of "law and order" don't seem to exist anymore for them. Now the "law" part only applies to one side and not the other. It is no longer "order" that is the objective, but the perception of order--our hands are always tied for morality's--for "the sake of the children!"--but the enemy is free to do as it pleases to the children without the concomitant anger and rage.

There used to be outrage at the manipulation of truth and some degree of repugnance at a moral relativism that equated good and evil. In those good old days, debate could have closure because there was agreement on what was true and what was false. Our underlying shared values were deemed worth fighting for.

But not today.

Today, we are constantly told that our values of life are not any different than the enemy's cult of death. That the children who die are all our fault. Not the fault of a sick ideology that values them only as fighters in a jihad and which worships death.

Over the last few years--since 9/11--we have come to understand the Muslim world very well. Their leaders and the angry people on the street repeatedly tell us clearly and unambiguously what they think and what they intend to do to us. Signs that say "Behead Those Who Disrespect Islam," "To Hell With Free Speech" and "Get Ready for the Real Holocaust" should make their aims obvious even to the most dhimmi-witted.

But that is exactly the problem. For some in the West, the denial and displacement are too deeply entrenched in their frightened little minds. For the Islamic fanatics in the Middle East, the projection and paranoia are a way of life that will not easily revert to any kind of normal humanity when its rage and destructiveness are only countered by an excess of denial and displacement in the West.

Those of us who are not deluded by this madness must continue to fight in whatever way we can against it. While I cannot be on the physical battlefield fighting--and honor those who are-- I will continue to fight on the rhetorical battlefield of this war.

The enemy cynically uses our own virtue against us, and, even as they demand we apply that virtue to them; they hold to no restraint; have no remorse; and no hesitation in using the very tactics they blithely accuse us of. Fifty children die, and we agonize over our culpability--even as their suicide bombers kill a few hundred innocents here; a couple of dozen there.

They use their unmitigated hatred to kill and destroy; and their enablers in the MSM and the left use language as the weapon of choice against the forces of civilization. Both attempt to silence us by calling us the racists, the bigots, the fascists..the murderers. But it is all an illusion of the psychotic spell they have woven with their magic words, whose meanings change depending on the day of the week.

Reality matters. Truth matters. And both will eventually win out.

UPDATE: Perhaps the dark soul of Hezbollah is finally going to be exposed in this latest ploy for internatinal sympathy. They are contemptible, and capable any atrocity to achieve their aims. Remember that fact the next time you read their latest slick and polished propaganda press releases reported by a clueless MSM.

UPDATE II: This from a Lebanese blogger (via Michael Ledeen at The Corner):
The situation in Ain Ebel is unbearable. Thousands of civilians have fled to the village from nearby villages and more than 1000 rockets have hit the village, there is no more food neither clean water and diseases r spreading.

Now here comes the most sickening part:

Hezbollah has been firing rockets from the village since Day 1 hiding behind innocent people’s places and even CHURCHES. No one is allowed to argue with the Hezbollah gunmen who wont hesitate to shoot you and i ve heard about more than one shooting incident including young men from the village and Hezbollah.

Urgent appeals have been done through phone calls from terrified people who wouldnt give out their name fearing Hezbollah might harm or even eliminate them.

This is the true image of our brave Islamic Resistance, putting the civilians and their homes as body shields to the Israeli bombardements.

Let the message spread and let those criminals move out of the village once and for all.

Free Ain Ebel from the terrorists !


Tell me again how morally equivalent the two sides are, and I will spit in your face.



"Cry to those Who Use Babies As Shields"

DENIAL AND DISPLACEMENT

This piece raises a very interesting point from a psychological perspective (read it all):
Here is a man who has been in public life for more than 50 years (he was an assistant to Anthony Eden in the general election of 1955), and yet he compared Israel's attack to the most famous genocide of the 20th century. What possessed him?

I ask the question, not because I am interested in Sir Peter - he is not an important figure in the current debate, though he may differ on this point. I ask, rather, because his remark seems to me a symptom of a wider unreality about the Middle East, one that now dominates. It tinged the recent Commons speech by William Hague, the shadow foreign secretary. It permeates every report by the BBC.

You could criticise Israel's recent attack for many things. Some argue that it is disproportionate, or too indiscriminate. Others think that it is ill-planned militarily. Others hold that it will give more power to extremists in the Arab world, and will hamper a wider peace settlement. These are all reasonable, though not necessarily correct positions to hold. But European discourse on the subject seems to have been overwhelmed by something else - a narrative, told most powerfully by the way television pictures are selected, that makes Israel out as a senseless, imperialist, mass-murdering, racist bully.
What we are witnessing is a psycholgoical defensive maneuver that has become perhaps, the most common response to the worldwide threat of Islamofascism. It is a very specific kind of psychological denial, known as displacement.

It is the same defense that is at the root of Bush Derangement Syndrome. And it is alsothe dynamic behind the current rise of anti-semitism and anti-American sentiment that exists right here in America--even among relatively normal individuals otherwise.

You can think of psychological displacement as a process analogous to how attenuated viruses work when a person is immunized with them to prevent the catastrophic consequences of an otherwise life-threatening virus.

Psychotherapy itself revolves around, and works because of the temporary displacement of the patient's psychopathology onto the therapist--which is called transference. Let's say, that the patient has a conflict with his father. For all intents and purposes, the therapist becomes the psychological brother and the therapeutic relationship plays out the drama in a less threatening, and more manageable setting.

The entire purpose of displacement is to gain control over the conflict. By focusing on something you have some control over, the psyche is much less threatened. You can fire your therapist; you can express your hatred unreservedly and there will not be the consequences if that hatred were directed toward the real object of conflict. You can even pretend, that if it weren't for the therapist, everything in your life would be perfect.

Displacement can be thought of as an slightly more mature type of projection. In projection, the individual remains oblivious to the fact that he owns and is responsible for the emotions that he imagines are in the person or group into which he is projecting. In other words, ownership of the idea and/or affect is banished from the self.

In displacement, the idea or emotion is deflected from one object to another, less threatening one, but the ownership of the negative emotion or idea (e.g. animosity, anger) is retained--and is often raised to a virtue. A common example is the person who is angry at a loved one, but settles for kicking the dog. The anger is evident in the action and is still owned by the person experiencing it.

At its most primitive, anti-semitism is a form of psychological projection (just as all racism is). We see this infantile defense used repeatedly in the Arab/Islamic world. They seem unable to appreciate the irony of their labelling of Islam as a "religion of peace", for example, and dismiss the barbarism done in the name of Islam as misunderstandings or the actions of only a few. In other words, they dismiss their own aggression in toto; asserting that it is the Jews who are always the aggressors; that it is the Jews who are out to destroy them; and that they are the poor, helpless victims of the Jews. By distancing themselves from their own aggression and projecting it onto Israel and the Jews; they have retained their honor as the peace-loving people they claim to be.

It is essential to the success of the defense that they portray themselves as the victims and be seen as the victims in the eyes of the world. Even when their own behavior is responsible for the deaths of innocents, it is rationalized away and ultimately also blamed on the Jews.

Displacement, too, is also an effective method for psychologically avoiding reality. It is a step above projection and is considered simply neurotic. While projection can often appear to be completely uncoupled from reality, displacement has the advantage of allowing someone filled with unpleasant emotions to have an acceptable object onto which to express those emotions. Note that in projection, the individual completely denies that he or she even possesses or is capable of possessing those unacceptable emotions--it is the "other" who possesses them, and wants to inflict them on you.

Historically, the Jews have been the offical scapegoat (object of displacement) for many societies. If only the Jews were gone, then all would be well. The world would be perfect.

We see something similar in much of the rhetoric of the left. If only Bush were gone, everything would be perfect. None of these awful things--like 9/11 would have happened and the U.S. could go back to the idyllic days of the Clintonian utopia.

Likewise, if only the world put a halt once an for all to Israeli aggression, then the Middle East would be at peace.

As one commenter in a recent thread phrased it:

The cure must be a potent septic that can kill the patient (Israel) and the problem is finish.--Nightmare


This is as clear a case of "blaming the victim" as you will ever see. It is far too threatening to blame the real aggressor; and the real source of hatred and genocidal intent-- who is incapable of being rationally dealt with or deterred anyway. This real aggressor repeatedly states its intentions clearly and unambiguously. Yet, for some curious reason, those in the West to whom it is stated refuse to believe them! Their words are dismissed, and the actions that logically derive from their words are minimized or ignored. No rational person can deal with someone who glories in victimhood to a degree hardly paralleled in human history and who screams "god is great" even as he blows you and himself up in a nihilistic frenzy. To say the least, this is fairly frightening and inexplicable behavior for the modern man to psychologically metabolize. Thus, it must be defended against and prevented from being digested and analyzed.

The dynamic of displacement goes a long way to explain the remarkable and sometimes lunatic appeasement of Islamofascists aggression and violence by so many individuals and governments and around the world, even as they trash the US (and particularly Bush) and Israel. Denial and displacement give you the illusion that you are in control of the situation and that the solution is simple.

The only problem is that reality doesn't go away simply because you have found a way to satisfactorily (and temporarily) deflect it; and have managed to hide the unpalatable truth from yourself.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

A REMINDER ABOUT THE CARNIVAL OF THE INSANITIES

I am very grateful to all my readers and for other bloggers for making the Carnival of the Insanities a popular destination every Sunday. It has grown beyond my wildest imaginings. That means that it has actually become a lot of work each week. I now routinely get 30 - 40 submissions in addition to the various links I collect during the week.

This is good! This is great! But it means that sometimes a particular submission doesn't "fit" well into the Carnival for that week. I don't always have a theme, but I try to put similar topics together--or else just free associate as I organize them. That results in some getting left out because I try to keep the Carnival down to a manageable number of links each week.

I am particularly partial to any submissions that:
(1) come in early in the week and not on Saturday night, when I have pretty much orgranized that Sunday's list;
(2) have a funny, ironic, or really crazy aspect to them
(3) are not too obscene
(4) have an amusing twist to them (amusing to me, at least)
(5) are completely unfair and/or unbalanced in some manner

I don't care for submissions that:
(1) are mean-spirited or vile (unless they happen to be my own posts)
(2) aren't at all amusing in any way, shape, or form that I can see
(3) cover a topic that has already been beaten to death in previous Carnival of the Insanities or in the news media in recent weeks.

So, what I'm trying to say in a roundabout way is that I appreciate your submissions and will continue to try to use as many as possible each week; but please don't be offended if one of your submissions don't make it into the Carnival.

The deadline is listed as Saturday at 8 PM, but the earlier you send in a post, the better; and it has a better chance to be included for that week.

Thanks again for all the interest, and keep sending those insanities my way!

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THIS AND THAT

Several things you should definitely read today:

First, Mark Steyn's Chicago Sun-Times Op-Ed and here's an excerpt:
We live in an age of inversely proportional deterrence: The more militarily powerful a civilized nation is, the less its enemies have to fear the full force of that power ever being unleashed. They know America and other Western powers fight under the most stringent self-imposed etiquette. Overwhelming force is one thing; overwhelming force behaving underwhelmingly as a matter of policy is quite another.

So even the most powerful military in the world is subject to broader cultural constraints. When Kathryn Lopez's e-mailer sneers that "your contribution to this war is limited solely to your ability to exercise the skillset provided by your liberal arts education," he's accidentally put his finger on the great imponderable: whether the skill set provided by the typical American, British and European education these last 30 years is now one of the biggest obstacles to civilizational self-preservation.


Second, Varifrank's post suggesting that things are not necessarily what they appear to be in the Israel-Hezbollah conflict:
But that was 12 days ago, and frankly things certainly appear to have changed. For the first time in my life, Arabs that kill Israelis are not being given the cover of “peace missions” and “cease fire” calls for “dialog” for their actions. Arab terrorists have started a war, and they have for once – gotten exactly that in return. And I have to say as revolting as war is, I find this fact to be downright refreshing. Finally, starting a war has consequences beyond who sits on what side of the negotiation table. Finally starting a war might mean that you will lose! What a concept! (It certainly takes all the fun out of it, doesn’t it? – which is precisely why I think the President is following that idea. Terrorism isn’t any fun if it doesn’t get you what you want, but instead costs you everything you have. The first step towards ending terrorism is to stop making it pay as a strategy for engaging the enemy. )

Oh, and all this noise about "international support for peacekeeping". Uh,huh. Yeah right you betcha. International peacekeeping brigades populated by the ghostly Family Circus Character known as "Not Me".


Third is a revealing series of photos showing clearly how Hezbollah is using civilians as shields.

And, if you haven't already read this bit of military analysis, cleverly disguised as "pulp fiction", you would be advised to do so.

All these pieces should give you a bit more perspective on what might be going on right now in the middle east--perspective you sure won't find in most of the MSM.

CARNIVAL OF THE INSANITIES

Image hosted by Photobucket.com Time for the weekly insanity update, where the insane, the bizarre, the ridiculous, and the completely absurd are highlighted for all to see! This has been a week of rare idiocy (as always!). So, if you want to remain sane, the best thing is to poke some fun at the more egregious absurdities.

Send all entries for next week's carnival to Dr. Sanity by 8 pm ET on Saturday for Sunday's Carnival. Only one post entry weekly per blogger, please. Thanks for all the submissions. I try to use as many as possible! SO MANY INSANITIES! SO LITTLE TIME!!!

1. An "Infidel Doctor of Insanity"? That sounds familiar. But I can help him with a job.... At least I'm not one of those "neo-conservatives and American extremism ("millennial" or end-time Christians and Zionist zealots). " From hysteria to paranoia.

2. Move along, nothing to see here. CNN does it again.

3. Secrets the media will keep! More evidence of the MSM decline.

4. Did the Post ever run an op-ed by Slobodan Milosevic to "broaden" its readers' thinking?

5. Southern X-posure... And desperately narcissistic grandmas. (Feminists all growed up?)

6. Kofi's koffin.You might think that the UN Human Rights body had important issues to focus on. You would be wrong.

7. The Middle East's got talent!

8. A perfect example of the Sociopathic Selflessness that characterizes today's left.

9. There's "psychic ability"; and then there's "psychic disabililty". So why not put it to good use? And more thoughts on the subject.

10. Yeahhhhhh! Four more years....of Howard Dean!

11. Oh no! Bush has set off an epidemic of groping!

12. Not another hunger strike! How's that other one doing, I wonder?

13. It's a strange confluence of not wanting to be noticed and dying for attention. Well, maybe not.

14. Whatever this guy did, don't do it.

15. Straight from mewling and puking to whining and bitching. That's harsh.

16. And he couldn't use his influence to save her career? He really is evil.

17. Don't put words in his pants. It's already pretty crowded in there. I didn't know Clinton was British!

18. She's going to be a presidential bust in so many ways. Case in point. And another. But she is entitled to her cleavage.

19. ACLU urges proportionate response?

20. No fries with that sheikh, please. Watch your language with these guys, or else.

21. I don't think I could speak to the validity of this counseling technique, either. Maybe one of the dogs could?

22. Top 10 ways to destroy the earth. The top 10 ways to end your career!

23. Some things just don't go well together.... Kids don't go well with fanaticism either -- it makes their brains pudding.

24. Knee-jerk opposition to national defense.

25. How to get your war covered on TV: A guide for dummies.


Carnival of the Insanities can also be found at The Truth Laid Bear's √úberCarnival and at the BlogCarnival.

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Saturday, July 29, 2006

ISLAMIC SEPTICEMIA

Roger Simon commenting on the shootings yesterday at the Jewish Federation in Seattle:
I have to admit I am beginning to view the whole world as a battlefield, a far cry from my outlook during my more traditionally liberal "give peace a chance" days. So I wince when I see various rightthinking folk putting the squeeze on Israel for a cease fire, because I have no reason to believe that spells anything but disaster. Hezbollah, a collection of vastly better armed and better trained religious psychopaths with the exact same values and attitudes as the Seattle Pakistani, will simply take the opportunity to resupply and attack again. Why wouldn't they? It's what they are sworn to do and what they believe. God told them it's so.

And yet Israel is expected to stand down. After all, they are the superior "developed" nation. The grown-ups. Actually the whole thing is inherently racist on two levels at once. Jews are treated anti-Semitically (differently from other nations) and the Arabs are treated as irresponsible "Wogs", children essentially. These two are incapable of solving their own problems. Only a multi-national force will save the day.

Oh, really?


Andy McCarthy notes:
The Muslim man has obviously not only carefully chosen the target but cased the place. There's a security system, so he waits until someone attached to the Federation enters using her access code, then he pounces, forcing his way through the open door. He brandishes a large caliber, semi-automatic handgun. He announces that he's a Muslim angry at Israel. Then he randomly, wantonly opens fire — shooting six women, one of whom is pregnant, one of whom is killed.

So what happens? The police don't even want to admit that he's Muslim ("You could infer that," the police chief tells the reporters who press this patently relevant question). And the FBI insists it's not terrorism.

Now, it could not conceivably be more clear that it is terrorism.


Jihad Watch has more on the shootings and discusses the spin that is being brought to bear:
So that is what the focus will be upon: mental illness and lewd conduct. And once again the media will ignore the question of why a man who describes himself as a Muslim American angry at Israel would think that murder of innocents was an appropriate outlet for his anger. No one will ever consider whether such behavior is encouraged by the texts and atmospherics of Islam, and if so, what can be done about it.


I think of it this way. Septicemia is a very serious illness caused by the spread of bacteria and their toxins in the bloodstream. It is also sometimes called "blood poisoning". Usually the infection starts in one place and becomes deeply entrenched there. Soon it reaches local blood vessels and the bacteria and toxins of the infection leak into the blood, spreading the infection throughout the entire body. Without potent antibiotics, administered intravenously, the patient will soon be overwhelmed by the infection as it takes over organ after organ.

Just the seeding of one bacteria in an organ far from the main infection is terribly dangerous.

The Middle East is the source of the world's virulent infection, and it is sometimes referred to as "Islam". The islamic bacteria has mutated and is no longer able to be contained by the usual medical-political treatments. The infection entered the bloodstream some time ago, where it has been taken to all parts of the world. The patient is now septic.

Even as that single virulent bacterium of that infection is taken out in Seattle, there is no telling how many others are around, waiting to release their toxins. If not recognized as a symptom of the larger, more pathological infection, then, even if taken out locally (i.e., with topical Bacitracin for example; or the local police) the seeds of the infection continue to spread everywhere, bringing the poison to all parts of the world and threatening the life of the patient.

It is not enough to eliminate a single bacterium of this spreading illness; or to pretend that it is only present in one small site in the body. If you ignore the main infection, there will be other seeds disseminated to your locale, until eventually, every cell in the body is at risk.

The cure must be a potent antibiotic that wipes out the main infection even as it kills all the lesser bacteria spreading the illness in the bloodstream.

This is not a disease to mess around with. It kills.

VERY SOON

Hezbollah has not allowed the Red Cross to visit the two Israeli soldiers they kidnapped to ensure they are being treated humanely: (hat tip: LGF)
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said it had not received agreement so far to its request to visit two Israeli soldiers abducted by Hezbollah guerrillas.

"To this day we have not received a positive response," said Pierre Kraehenbuehl, director of operations at the ICRC.

The approach to the Lebanese Shiite group was first when the soldiers were seized during a border attack on July 12, he told reporters.

The Geneva-based humanitarian agency carries out visits to detainees captured in conflicts worldwide, including in Israel, to ensure they are treated humanely.


I'm truly shocked! Doesn't the terrorist group strictly adhere to international law and the Geneva Convention? Aren't they at the forefront of moral integrity and virtuous behavior? Soon, I expect we will see scathing op-ed pieces in the international press and angry marches by the outraged left to denouce this inhumane and uncivilized situation. I think I also heard that Cindy Sheehan plans to camp outside the Beirut Iranian embassy and start a hunger strike for "as long as it takes" until Hezbollah sees the error of its ways. I hear she's bought some property next to the little cave that Nasrallah lives in (or was it Osama? I forget).

Soon, some big, famous Hollywood stars plan to make international appeals that Hezbollah stop using disproportionate civilian shields or UN observers to courageously hide behind as they fight against Israel. The Dixie Chicks will announce a benefit concert to help the captured Israeli soldiers and provide relief for the hundreds of thousands of displaced Israelis who have had to suffer through Hezbollah rockets raining down on their homes.

Very soon.

Friday, July 28, 2006

ALL THE INGREDIENTS FOR CHOCOLATE CAKE FOUND IN SOUTHERN IRAQ !

Via The Anchoress comes a story that documents the WMD that have been found in Iraq. Didn't know that, did you? Yes, that is our informative media at work. Alexandra at All Things Beautiful has all the details and links and has this to say:
My friend Antimedia, has been interviewing Gaubatz, with extensive articles published here, here, and here. In this series of must read articles he has been revealing exclusive information about what Gaubatz, found in Iraq, including post-1991 chemical weapons and banned missiles, Iraqis who have been threatened with expulsion from the US and forced return to Iraq (which is almost certain death for them) if they reveal what they know about the WMD sites and two Congressmen who are actively attempting to obstruct any investigation into the WMD sites. Although some of the information is public knowledge, he has been putting it together with information gleaned from his ongoing interviews with Gaubatz as well as confirmation of details from multiple sources.

It is a disgrace that a decorated ex-intelligence officer has to resort to acrobatics for three years to get the Pentagon and the media to listen. I guess it is a good thing that Karl Rove reads the Blogosphere, he may have discovered some intelligence he never knew he had.


You must read the links provided by Alexandra for the whole story, but basically four sites in southern Iraq now have documented chemical and biological weapons found. Why this news is not being trumpeted by both the Bush Administration and the MSM (well, we know why the MSM is not trumpeting it) is very interesting.

Eventually the American public will be given the evidence and perhaps a reason why it has not been exploited.

In the meantime, this is a good time to reprint a post of mine from January 14, 2005 called "WMD and Death By Chocolate Cake".
________________________________________________________

Since Saddam's WMD's are in the news again, I think this is a good time to refer you to Alpha Patriot's excellent roundup from last July of the WMD's that supposedly don't exist in Iraq. Why the press persists in pushing the delusion that no WMD's were found is beyond me. Why President Bush does not trumpet this information is also a mystery, since what is listed at the link are real, verifiable items that were found and are known.

I suspect it is a type of "concrete thinking" (see here) that is to blame for this situation; or possibly an unbelievable lack of imagination. Presumably, the skeptics expected to find nuclear missles conveniently lined up and pointed at the U.S. ; or warehouses of biological weapons with labels and detailed plans of how to distribute the stuff attached to each vial. Or maybe they even expected to find a written, signed confession by Saddam admitting that he had plans to develop and use whatever weapons he could find that would kill large numbers of people. Or maybe, just maybe, no amount of evidence would ever convince some people that Saddam was a threat to the U.S. and the entire world and that he had WMD's.

Time for an analogy. Let's say that people in my neighborhood got together and voted (in the interests of neighborhood health) that I couldn't bake my "Death by Chocolate" cakes anymore (these cakes have been known to be lethally caloric). I reluctantly agree, and say I am complying with this order, but refuse to let anyone check by looking in my pantry.

Finally, tired of being manipulated by me, and concerned that I might go ahead and bake one of those destructively high calorie cake things, my neighbors force their way into the house and find THAT I HAVE NO CAKE SITTING ON THE COUNTER WAITING TO BE EATEN! How foolish they were to doubt my word! How stupid they were to imagine I might be up to my old chocolate baking tendencies!

On the other hand, they discover while carefully going through my pantry that there are 2 boxes of devil's food cake mix; chocolate bars, cake pans, pudding mix, flour and sugar, mixing bowls and a number of other questionable items. They even find a recipe book which includes several variants on the "Death by Chocolate" Cake theme--muffins, breakfast loaf, etc. And, on top of that, they have a video showing me carrying a cake-like item out of the house the day before they barged in to verify my compliance with their silly order. They suspect that I took one of the cakes to work to share with my co-workers. I calmly refuse to tell them anything.

So what is the conclusion? That I had no pre-existing cake, waiting to be eaten? Or, that I had all the ingredients to make that cake at a moment's notice, despite my having said I wouldn't; and that I even made one just before they came to check, but had taken it somewhere else to eat?

I don't know about you, but I think if you conclude that I haven't been making my famous "Death by Chocolate" cake because one isn't sitting out on the counter for you to find, then you are more foolish than even I could possibly have imagined. BWAHAHAHAHA!
_______________________________________________________

For Chocolate Cake lovers, here is the recipe:

Death-By-Chocolate Cake (without WMDs!)

It's very simple to make and my family really likes it. I've been making it for several years now and probably originally got the recipe from some magazine, which one I've long forgotten (otherwise, I'd mention it). I prefer to eat it either unadorned, or with a high quality vanilla ice cream, but if you are a purist, you are free to use chocolate ice cream instead.

1/4 c. oil
2 eggs
1 1/3 c. water
1 chocolate cake mix (get your favorite--I like devil's food chocolate cake)

Mix the above ingredients by hand (do not use electric mixer). Pour into greased 9x11 inch pan. Sprinkle 12 ounces Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips on top (I like Hershey's). Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes.

Cool about 5 minutes. Poke holes in cake (it should still be warm) and spread with 1 large jar of Smuckers Hot Fudge Topping. ENJOY

A LEXICON OF UNTRUTH

Victor Davis Hanson has drawn one up to clarify current events in the Middle East. Check it out.

BARBIE AND KEN IN AN ISLAM WORLD

Reading this article about a young girl who was accused in Iran of "crimes against chastity" and executed, my mind wandered to 1997, when the group called Aqua came out with a catchy little tune called "Barbie Girl" (listen to part of it here ) that lampooned the mindless Barbie bimbos who have no existence or sense of self without a male in their life.

I started to wonder... what if Barbie and Ken were Muslim and lived in Iran; or Saudi Arabia, or Somalia or....?

[- Hi Barbie!
- Hi Ken!
- You shouldn't be talking to me, you know?
- I know, Ken!
- Now you will have to die because you have deliberately aroused me and shamed your family.
- Ha ha ha ha! ]

I'm an Islam girl in an Islam world
Life in hijab, simply so fab!
You can't see my hair, you don't even know I'm there
Try to escape, and I'd be raped

Just a glimpse of skin, drives our men to sin
They're afraid, you see, of my sexuality

I'm an Islam girl in an Islam world
Life in hijab, simply so fab!
You can't see my hair, you don't even know I'm there
Try to escape, and I'd be raped

I'm a veiled ghostly girl in a fantasy world
Made by men who are frightened by my sex.
I'm a drudge, with no grudge, cause my feelings don't count
I can't work, I can't drive, I can't even go out.

You can hide me away
Cause it makes you feel so manly
You can beat me at night
So your honor works out just right

I'm an Islam girl in an Islam world
Life in hijab, simply so fab!
You can't see my hair, you don't even know I'm there
Try to escape, and I'd be raped

Let's be honest, why be modest? ha ha ha, yeah
If I get hit, I provoked it-- oooh, oooh, ooh
Let's be honest, why be modest? ha ha ha, yeah
If you feel shame, I am to blame-- oooh, oooh, oooh

Make me hide, make me pray, do whatever you please
I am worth half a man, that's what Allah decrees
All I do is bring shame, I am always to blame
If a man goes insane with desire

You can hide me away
Cause it makes you feel so manly
You can beat me at night
So your honor works out just right

I'm an Islam girl in an Islam world
Life in hijab, simply so fab!
You can't see my hair, you don't even know I'm there
Try to escape, and I'd be raped

Let's be honest, why be modest? ha ha ha, yeah
Men are leaders, girls are breeders-- oooh, oooh, ooh
Let's be honest, why be modest? ha ha ha, yeah
If you feel shame, I am to blame-- oooh, oooh, oooh

[- Oh, Ken, I'm having so much fun!
- Well, Barbie, you're alone with me and that makes you an evil temptress.
- Oh, please, can I be a suicide bomber?]

UPDATE: Michelle Malkin has more, including this cartoon from Cox and Forkum about the Iranian girl:

Thursday, July 27, 2006

SPEAKING OF "DISPROPORTIONATE"

THE BRILLIANCE OF THE NEW BARBARIANS

With Hezbollah's use of human shields; with their hiding in the midst of populated areas;with their sophisticated use of propaganda ("children are DYING!"); and with their reportedly preventing any civilians--including children-- from escaping areas where they are likely to be hurt; we see the beginning of a new conundrum that the forces of civilization must resolve as they fight the onslaught of these barbarians, whose nihilism and fanatacism knows no bounds.

In a comment on this thread at The Belmont Club, Wretchard notes:
The brilliance of the new barbarism is that you cannot fight it without destroying your own value system into the bargain.

Traditionally the solution has been to consider wartime a discontinuity, when civilization's rules are suspended. It becomes possible, for example, to lay waste to the Monte Cassino Abbey. Berlin was bombed without regard for its buildings, churches or people.

The alternative is to create methods of fighting so discriminating that we can literally shoot between the raindrops. But that creates a different problem, for we will need an intelligence system so comprehensive that it will become intrusive.

Either way, the war cannot be won without cost. And the fundamental fraud foisted on the public is to claim we can have war without horror, conduct an intelligence war without dishonesty and cunning and obtain victory without sacrifice.


Amen.

I am confident that we will not lose our values; and that our overall moral heading can be recovered should we need to temporarily deviate from the course of the moral compass that guides us. Because, in order to combat and defeat this new barbarism, we must confront it and be willing to do whatever it takes to defeat it.

If we appease or ignore it, it will continue to menace everything we hold dear; and sooner or later, it will sink us--no matter how moral we are or how much restraint we demonstrate to their provocations. Morality and restraint will not win this conflict. We must be sure in our own hearts and minds of the endurance of our own values in order to do what is necessary.

Our uncertainty is sinking us already. Value by value. Look how willing much of the West was to compromise our freedom of speech in the Danish cartoons (no matter how "offensive" they might be taken) in order to accommodate the enemy's threats. Soon, we will have compromised away all that matters to us; and our civilization will drown, little by little as it is taken over by the barbarians.

If we continue to appease them, we will drown in their ruthlessness and love of death.

The cost of this war will be more than all the lives lost; it will also be for the humanity and civilization we must temporarily abandon to win. I love to read fantasies as much as anyone, but in the real world, the good and virtuous whose cause is just do not always win.

When we are finally cornered and must allow our own barbarism to surface to combat theirs head to head, then we must be prepared to live with the consequences, including the agonizing guilt that will ensue--or everything we hold dear, everything we aspire to become, will forever perish from this earth.

I've said it before, but this reality is what I hate and despise most about these Islamic fanatics--who do not let reason or life interfere with their jihad; who abide by no treaties, follow no rules, and scorn the very values upon which western civilization is founded. We could have lived with them they did not insist that we must become what they are or die. But they have defined the groundrules (or the non-rules) of this conflict; and eventually, we will have to meet them at their level--or they will win. We should hold tight to the thought that it is they who have set the playing field.

"Good people sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf." - There is controversy over who said this, but for a discussion of this quote, see Mudville Gazette.

UPDATE: One of the leaders of the new barbarians has this to say today:
In the message broadcast by Al-Jazeera television, Ayman al-Zawahri, second in command to Osama bin Laden, said that al-Qaida now views "all the world as a battlefield open in front of us."

The Egyptian-born physician said that the fighting between Israel and Hezbollah and Palestinian militants would not be ended with "cease-fires or agreements."

"It is a jihad (holy war) for the sake of God and will last until (our) religion prevails ... from Spain to Iraq," al-Zawahri said. "We will attack everywhere."


So, what should civilization's response be? Should we pretend we don't hear him? That he doesn't really mean it? Even if you hate the idea of violence and death --and what sane and rational person doesn't?-- isn't it time to get really serious about this threat and stop pussyfooting around pretending it doesn't exist?

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

MALIGNANT NARCISSISM - Sociopathic Selfishness and Sociopathic Selflessness

The following is an example of a certain type of person who considers herself caring, loving, and compassionate:
NOBEL peace laureate Betty Williams displayed a flash of her feisty Irish spirit yesterday, lashing out at US President George W.Bush during a speech to hundreds of schoolchildren.
Campaigning on the rights of young people at the Earth Dialogues forum, being held in Brisbane, Ms Williams spoke passionately about the deaths of innocent children during wartime, particularly in the Middle East, and lambasted Mr Bush.

"I have a very hard time with this word 'non-violence', because I don't believe that I am non-violent," said Ms Williams, 64.

"Right now, I would love to kill George Bush." Her young audience at the Brisbane City Hall clapped and cheered.

This precious little story helps me segue into a topic that I have been meaning to discuss for some time, that relates to a form of narcissistic sociopathy (also called "malignant narcissism") that dominates the mind of the collectivist. The typical leftist collectivist, however, considers his or her sociopathy as a form of altruism, or "selflessness".

Thirty years ago when I first studied object relations theory and became familiar with the ideas of Heinz Kohut, Otto Kernberg and others; I remember thinking, "THIS is important!" Over the years, both in my personal and professional life, that initial response has been reinforced repeatedly.

The longer I have thought about it, the more applicable these concepts are in appreciating the psychological elements that underscore all aspects of human endeavor. Understanding the development and optimization of psychological health is tantamount to understanding the essence of human nature; and understanding human nature--both the good and the bad--is essential to be able to develop an integrated view of human existence--i.e., a philosophy of life that advances and enriches not only one's own life, but all of human life.

This seems like a rather grandiose goal (did I mention how grandiose I am? But I will leave it to a future post to discuss those tendencies); but one which I consider extremely important for every individual to undertake.

Several earlier posts on this blog have begun to lay a foundation for integrating human psychology into various aspects of philosophy. Those posts include:

Narcissism & Society Parts I-III
The Narcissistic Dialectic
The Narcissistic Synthesis

As a suggestion, you might want to review those articles prior to reading this one.

In "The Narcissistic Synthesis", I proposed that the optimal synthesis of the two opposing ethical imperatives of the developing self--the Grandiose Self (GS) and the Idealized Object (IO) -- was Individualism, or as it is sometimes called, "Enlightened Self-Interest". The two ethical imperatives that derive from the GS and IO, and which form the dialectic are in the table below in red and blue:


The study of Ethics is concerned with the question of what constitutes ethical ( good) human behavior; as well as unethical (bad) human behavior.

Through Ethics, we are able to develop our values and take action in the real world to pursue those values. The study of Ethics answers such questions as: "Should I only pursue my own happiness?" or "Should I sacrifice myself for the greater good of others?"

These two questions are at the heart of the narcissistic dialectic in the area of Ethics, and they appear to be completely the opposite of each other. But somehow, a healthy individual must find a way to creatively synthesize an effective and life-affirming value system from both sides of that ethical dialectic.

It is not an exaggeration to say that most of human history has been a battle between forces which advocate one or the other of these two absolute ethical imperatives. The self-GS says unequivocally that I should always pursue my own happiness, regardless of its impact on others; while the self-IO demands that I always sacrifice myself for others and/or the "greater good"; or, that an individual's happiness is nothing compared to the happiness of others.

Individuals, as they go through life, often run head-on into this seeming dilemma; and if they do not find a way to resolve it within their psychological self they will forever bounce back and forth between what I have termed "sociopathic selfishness" and "sociopathic selflessness".

It is my contention that the adoption of either of the extreme ethical systems derived from the developing self will inevitably leads to disastrous consequences for both for the individual and for society, and is the cause of most human suffering. Both extremes represent a form of malignant narcissism with which our world is plagued.

The unopposed Grandiose Self gives rise to tyrants big and small; to megalomaniacal dictators and dictator wannabees; to unbelievable corporate greed and plundering; and to the typical criminal sociopath in all his/her glory. The damage that such individuals do in individual relationships, in business, in politics and in all spheres of human behavior, is well documented and appreciated in the world. Most children are abjured repeatedly never, never to be "selfish". To always consider others. Laws are set up to protect people from victimization at the hands of these unrestrained grandiose monsters, unable to see other people as distinct individuals separate from their own self. These "others" exist only as the means to achieving their own desires.

But far more menacing to humanity is the unrestrained IO, which has unlimited potential to cause human misery and death; and whose destructiveness we have seen dominate the 20th century. The countless dead bodies that are the direct result of this form of malignant narcissism are quickly forgotten because they died as some nations, religions, ideologies attempted to implement their IDEAL in the real world.

This second type of evil is more subtle, and it derives from the ethics of the IO side of the self. The IO also does not see other people as distinct individuals with needs and desires of their own, but only as fodder for the expression of an IDEAL; or as pawns for the wishes of a deified GS. People with this narcissistic defect completely reject the needs of the individual and enslave him or her to the service of their IDEAL. Eventually, the enslavement--whether religious or secular--snuffs out human ambition, confidence, energy, self-esteem, and life. These mindlessly malignant "do-gooders" -- like our Nobel Laureate mentioned at the start of this article-- do far more harm than good and their ideologies can lead to genocidal practices and unbelievable atrocities on a grand scale, all in the name of an IDEAL or GOD.

The malignant and sociopathic potential of both the GS and IO are inherent in the human species. They are flip sides of the same human coin, you see. One side cannot exist without the other. Either a way is found to synthesize the two, or an individual will forever flip-flop between them--coldly and viciously tyrannical toward all humans in pursuit of his own desires on the one hand; and on the other, coldly and viciously determined no matter what the cost in human lives and suffereing to implement his IDEAL in all human society.

We are always warned about the individual narcissitic sociopaths; but most people don't appreciate the sociopathic qualities of groups, religions, nations, and ideologies that demand all individuals sacrifice themselves for the good of the latest utopian ideal or some blood-thirsty god.

In our modern world, the Islamic Jihadists have perfected this ethical demand; and the suicide-bomber is the ultimate expression of their ethics. (see the post "Union With An Evil God" and "Narcissistic Rage and Awe" for more on this).

But they are not alone in their disregard and contempt for the individual, who they see as only existing to serve the IDEAL, or to bring about the utopia/paradise/caliphate/[insert fantasy delusion here].

Extremes of both the political left and the political right are also dominated by the malignant narcissism of the GS and the IO.

If we go back to our understanding of healthy narcissistic development, we appreciate that the GS and the IO in adults is a result of the failure of narcissistic synthesis. The developmental process that should lead to a healthy self is broken; or fractured; or poisoned.

This can happen under many and varied circumstances--some of which can be prevented and some of which cannot (but that is for another post). We see it happening to the Palestinian children, taught from birth to hate the other/Jew; taught to die for the IDEAL. We see it in college students who are encouraged by their malignantly narcissistic professors to reject traditional moral values; embrace nihilism, and transform the world according to the professor's utopian fantasy. We see it in the postmodern rhetoric of the socialists who still dream of a universal socialist utopia, no matter how many people they have to kill to make it happen.

We see glimpses of it, in fact, in a Nobel Peace Laureate who is so concerned for the IDEAL of some abstract "suffering children" that she is willing to poison the minds of the very real children right in front of her with her own undiluted ideology--knowing full well those minds aren't capable of mature judgment and analysis. She is so unswervingly sure that the source of all suffering children must be…George Bush. How is she different from the Imams of Islam who preach hate --but in the name of some universal Islamic "good".

She doesn't want to face the truth, you see, that it is one variation or another of HER beliefs; HER ideology; HER behavior that is behind most of the unnecessary suffering of--not only children--but all human beings.

She, and many of the others that have been referred to as "useful idiots", has made herself into a willing agent of the malignant narcissism of the Idealized object. They are actually worse than idiots; they are true co-conspirators with the enemies of life itself.

So, how does the self, torn between these two potentially malignant outcomes resolve the conflicting ethical imperatives and come out whole and fully integrated?

The solution lies not in a compromise between the two extremes, but in a synthesis that creates a new and wholly unexpected perspective for the self. It is a synthesis that rejects the pathology of either extreme and recognizes that the individual self has worth; that the needs and desires of the Individual self are worth pursuing for their own sake; and that because of the affiliative nature of human beings that an individual can value another individual or individuals enough to sacrifice himself for that other person or persons when it is rational and necessary to do so.

One might say that true "selflessness" actually requires a healthy and whole self; and that contrary to common wisdom, when a psychologically mature individual chooses to sacrifice himself for someone or something, it simultaneously reflects a situation of true "selfishness" as well.

ALL THINGS CONSIDERED

Kofi Anan says that the Israelis "apparantly deliberately" targeted the UN observers.

Wretchard has a detailed analysis of UNIFIL activities in southern Lebanon in recent days. And in it he notes that the one UN observer injured prior to this most recent bombing was injured by Hezbollah; and that the Israelis evacuated the individual back to Israel for medical treatment (did Kofi praise that action, one wonders?).

And, to put things in context, you might read all of Wretchard's post and consider this piece of information; and just think about which side the UN might be on here.

Finally, John Podhoretz reminds us of a famous line from Shakespeare when considering the Secretary General: "One may smile, and smile, and still be a villain."

Consider all this when deciding what really might be going on.

UPDATE: Rich Lowry:
When I was in Israel three weeks ago we went up to the northern border to look at some Hezbollah bunkers and observation posts (it was quiet then, and everyone assumed it would basically stay quiet). One of the Hezbollah observation posts—where you could see a Hezbollah guy moving around it was so close to the border—was right next to a U.N. post. I'm talking right next to. When I was peering over there with binoculars, at one point I thought the U.N. guy was actually talking to the Hezbollah guy. Hezbollah obviously did this so if things got hot, there would be a chance that Israel would hit the U.N. post by mistake.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

CALL THEM UNRELIABLE

Call them UNresponsible - call them UNreliable...



Throw in UNacceptable too...



And,yes they're UNrelevant, too

Well they're not too clever - They just consistently hate the Jew...

Not so UNpredictable - extremely UNbelievable,
Terrorists they're always willing to woo...
Call them UNresponsible - yes they're UNreliable
And it is UNdeniably true - they UNequivocally hate the Jew.



[You can find more UN songs here!]

A VERY BRIGHT LINE

I am going to be in meetings most of the day, but I will leave you with some reading that should highlight the bright moral line that has been exposed by the recent events in the Middle East.

Dennis Praeger comments on the "decent" vs the "indecent" left:
But we now have a bright line that divides the decent -- albeit usually wrong -- Left from the indecent Left.

The Left's anti-Israel positions until now were based, at least in theory, on its opposition to Israeli occupation of Arab land and its belief in the "cycle of violence" between Israel and its enemies. However, this time there is no occupied land involved and the violence is not a cycle with its implied lack of a beginning. There is a clear aggressor -- a terror organization devoted to Islamicizing the Middle East and annihilating Israel -- and no occupation.

That is why the Israeli Left is almost universally in favor of Israel's war against Hezbollah. Amos Oz, probably Israel's best-known novelist and leading spokesman of its Left, a lifetime critic of Israeli policy vis a vis the Palestinians, wrote in the Los Angeles Times:

"Many times in the past, the Israeli peace movement has criticized Israeli military operations. Not this time. . . . This time, Israel is not invading Lebanon. It is defending itself from daily harassment and bombardment of dozens of our towns and villages. . . . There can be no moral equation between Hezbollah and Israel. Hezbollah is targeting Israeli civilians wherever they are, while Israel is targeting mostly Hezbollah."


While Ralph Kinney Bennett has this to say at TCS:
Maybe, as this terrible business in Lebanon unfolds, we'll finally get it:

Guerrillas like to hide behind civilians.

Muslim guerrillas take it a step further: "Civilians" are a weapon to them -- as much a part of the fight as the AK-47 or RPG they carry.

Those who have visited any Hezbollah installation in Lebanon over the years always remark on the fact that there are families, women and children, in and around the place. "Secret" bases are usually hidden in plain site. Houses or apartment buildings become weapons storage or even operations centers. An innocent shed or garage may contain a Toyota or a missile launcher.

Seldom, if ever, has a guerrilla movement been able to so openly and exquisitely weave itself into the fabric of a society as Hezbollah has done in Lebanon.

If the civilians in and around what are in effect operational bases happen to be of Hezbollah's own brand of Islam they automatically become a part of the "sacrificial," suicidal equation. Often without choice or foreknowledge, they die an "honorable" death in the battle against infidels or apostates.

If the civilians happen to be of some other persuasion, Islamic or otherwise, their deaths are not even worth a shrug. However, these mangled bodies and wailing women with arms outstretched do provide an immense propaganda payoff, especially in the Western "crusader" media -- which still places a quaint value on human life.


Is it possible that some on the left are finally going to "get it"? Is it finally going to penetrate their thick skulls that there is a fundamental difference between the Islamofascist terrorists and the people that fight them?

There is indeed a 'bright line' that should be obvious to anyone who looks at the situation, but don't hold your breath that the extreme left will be able to see it. Even in the comment section of this blog; in almost any post that points out the moral differences between the Israelis and Hezbollah/Hamas, there is the leftist who continues to mindlessly apply the old template. You know, the template that maintains that Israel is the "occupier" and "oppressor"; that Israel isn't any different than the Palestinians or Hezbollah and that they target civilians, too. The same template that proclaims that George Bush is as much a terrorist--even worse--than Osama Bin Laden; blah, blah, blah. The moral equivalency template.

Back last August when the Israelis withdrew from Gaza I said:
I am hopeful that the Israeli withdrawal from Gaza will clarify for the whole world the real motives of the Palestinians. I don't believe that their leaders really want their own Palestinian state--they could have had that long ago. What they want, pure and simple is the destruction of Israel, even if it means continued suffering for their own people.

At least the suffering of these settlers in being evicted from homes they have lived in for decades will make it easier to Israel to defend itself without all the irrational screams of "occupiers!" being hurled their way from the rest of the world.

Ok, maybe that's is too much to hope for. Nevertheless, what the Palestinians do with this gift will be revealing.... [but]I believe they will squander it in order to continue to express their hatred of the Jews. That hatred has been the dominant focus in their culture for some time, and they are not about to give it up for a Palestinian state-- or for Peace.

Perhaps the rest of the world will begin to notice that.


Well, many are finally beginning to notice the bright line. But the minions of the political left are still funbling around in moral darkness.

The best explanation for this is at One Cosmos where Bob discusses the left's broken moral compass:
The philosopher Michael Polanyi pointed out that what distinguishes leftist thought in all its forms is the dangerous combination of a ruthless contempt for traditional moral values with an unbounded moral passion for utopian perfection. (This is all explained very clearly in a nice introduction to Polanyi’s thought, entitled Everyman Revived.)

The first step in this process is a complete skepticism that rejects traditional ideals of moral authority and transcendent moral obligation. This materialistic skepticism is then combined with a boundless, utopian moral fervor to transform mankind. However, being that the moral impulse remains in place, there is no longer any boundary or channel for it. One sees this, for example, in college students (and those permanent college students known as professors) who, in attempting to individuate from parental authority and define their own identities, turn their intense skepticism against existing society, denouncing it as morally shoddy, artificial, hypocritical, and a mere mask for oppression and exploitation. In other words, as the philosopher Voegelin explained it, the religious hope for a better afterlife is “immamentized” into the present, expressing the same faith but in wholly horizontal and materialistic and terms.

What results is a moral hatred of existing society and the resultant alienation of the postmodern leftist intellectual. Having condemned the distinction between good and evil as dishonest, such an individual can at least find pride in the “honesty” of their condemnation. Since ordinary decent behavior can never be safe against suspicion of sheer conformity or downright hypocrisy, only an amoral meaningless act can assure complete authenticity. This is why, to a leftist, the worst thing you can call someone is a hypocrite, whereas authentic depravity is celebrated in art, music, film, and literature. It is why, for example, leftist leaders all over the world were eager to embrace a nihilistic mass murderer such as Yasser Arafat--literally. Yuck.


Yuck, indeed. Bob goes on to further expose the destructive cynicism and boundless moral fervor of the left, both anchored with its primordial envy.

Finally, ShrinkWrapped sees this primordial envy as the place where the left and the Islamists intersect:
They both believe in managing envy by using the tribal template. They are both terrified of a future in which they cannot compete and in which they may lose their privileges. They have differing, and mutually exclusive, ideologies, but they agree on the basic problem and the basic solution, which is why so many on the far left have found a home in alliance with radical Islam.
[...]
Today, it is the Jew and the American both who are the objects of envious hatred. Americans (and Australians, and some Europeans) are all Jews now.

The suicide bomber is the epitome of the tribal system gone into nihilism: If I cannot have what you have, you will not have it either. We will all be equal in death!


It really is a very bright line.

Monday, July 24, 2006

LIKE THE ENERGIZER BUNNY...

...outrage over the Danish cartoons is still going going.... The latest:
The Mosque of Paris has filed suit against a satirical weekly for publishing three cartoons of Islam's prophet - two of which were among those published by a Danish newspaper that triggered violent protests five months ago, judicial officials said Friday.

The suit was filed against Philippe Val, executive editor of Charlie-Hebdo, a satirical magazine known for its caustic humor, and against the Rotatives publishing house for the cartoons, which appeared in a February edition.

The Mosque of Paris considers the publication of the cartoons to be "a deliberate act of aggression aimed at offending people of the Muslim religion in their attachment to their faith," the officials said. They were not authorized to speak publicly on the matter and asked not to be named.


I suppose we should be grateful that they filed a lawsuit instead of just going out and killing the editor.

Andrew Stuttaford at The Corner asks: "What, I wonder, will the courts of the land of Voltaire have to say about it?"

As a great admirer of Voltaire, let me paraphrase him and say that while I don't necessarily agree with what the cartoons say, I will defend anyone's right to look at them; print them; laugh at them and be offended by them.



Anyone who has the power to make you believe absurdities has the power to make you commit injustices. - Voltaire

THE VICTIM SCAM

Isn't it interesting that Hezbollah is suddenly willing to talk? After all their huffing and puffing of the last week?

Isn't it interesting that Hamas is ready to talk, after all their posturing and certainty of victory?

What's happening? I suspect that the leadership of both terrorist organization are really confused right now.

Every time they behaved this way before, it led to simultaneously enhancing their eternal victimhood, and that, in turn inevitably led --not to a victory; but it certainly never led to defeat, and it always improved both their status in the world as well as their fortunes.

Doesn't look like that's gonna happen this time. Enough momentum has been generated by the Bush policies in the Middle East to preclude yet another award for victimhood (although, Allah knows that they are sure trying to play that card out on the table, and, of course, they have help from all the usual suspects- and here, here too).

I think they must be in shock. Like the child whose parents finally and firmly said, "No. Not this time. You can't have it." And meant it. Initially, the child cannot believe that they have changed, so he'll try again to get what he wants. It always worked before. Why isn't it working now???

But if the adults are firm and make sure he understands that THEY MEAN WHAT THEY SAY, he will reluctantly-- and usually very sullenly-- cease his bad behavior.


(cartoon by Sandy Huffaker)

Children will learn from this sort of experience and will mature. They will learn to trust what people say; they will learn that their omnipotent fantasies must be reined in by reality; and they (and society) will be the better for it.


The omnipotent fantasies of the Islamic fascists must be reined in by the adults of the world. But these particular children, whose growth stopped back in the 8th century, are capable of wreaking quite a bit of damage. They tend to become suicidal and homicidal when they run into a reality they don't care for, or which thwarts their activities.

They have figured out a fundamental flaw in the supposedly adult west's thinking process. And it is this: The political correctness of western society has deified the state of victimhood to such an extent, that, if the Islamists can discover a way to make the foolish among us believe that they are the poor, helpless victims and not the aggressive, murdering thugs they are; then they will achieve true omnipotence. All will be forgiven, and any atrocity they commit will be acceptable and thus excused. The extremely and suicidally foolish will themselves accept responsibility for the Islamists' atrocities (root causes and all, you know)and their "mea culpas" will echo like the wails of the muezzin call to prayer.

Wait for it. Hezbollah and Hamas will make a last ditch effort to snatch victory from military defeat by exploiting the victimhood scenario. If the forces of civilization do not stand firm; if the west refuses to take off those PC sunglasses so the light can illuminate these type of shenanigans--then the victim scam can still work for Hezbollah and Hamas and their handlers.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

LIEBERMAN IN SHAR'IA LAND

The humiliation and oppression of Joe Lieberman by his own party continues:

CARNIVAL OF THE INSANITIES ***Special Middle East Edition***

Time for the weekly insanity update, where the insane, the bizarre, the ridiculous, and the completely absurd are highlighted for all to see! This week the Carnival is focusing on all the insanities swirling around the recent events in the Middle East! As might be expected, it has been a week of rare idiocy. So, if you want to remain sane, the best thing is to poke some fun at the more egregious absurdities.

If your submitted post was not relevant to this week's special theme, it will automatically be considered for next week's Carnival.

Send all entries for next week's carnival to Dr. Sanity by 8 pm ET on Saturday for Sunday's Carnival. Only one post entry weekly per blogger, please. Thanks for all the submissions. I try to use as many as possible! SO MANY INSANITIES! SO LITTLE TIME!!!

1. New England as the Middle East? Interesting.

2. The man in the driver's seat? Or is he just a back-seat driver to this guy? Hezbollah's a poppin' ! And an exclusive interview with the real driver!

3. Zapaterror! (scroll down for the pic) . A proud member of the "Prairie Dog Colony of Anti-Semitism"....But there are signs of courage.

4. Grannie get your gun? And don't forget your human shields!

5. What a shocker. All Politically Correct- thinking people know this is not the terrorists' usual modus operandi!

6. Hostilities must cease! But, what the UN keeps forgetting is this...and then there's the fact that the UN is actually an accomplice to the terrorists. Very UNhelpful as always.

7. Israel is just a great big meanie. And all these fantastic guys agree.

8. I.R.O.N.Y....Bakri the Brave!

9. This bozo should just start a group blog along with his pals. Then he could get a message out every day. I know! He could call it "TERRORISTS 'R' US".

10. Eeeexxxxcellent. Hmmmm.

11. "God gave reason to the Muslim; it is the Muslim who has forgotten what he possesses. Almost seems at times that some magician has said to the Muslim 'Be you stone.' " What the Qu'ran does and doesn't say...

12. And this is considered a "positive change " by certain groups?

13. An American professor runs to the aid of Hezbollah and terrorism. Yawn. What else is new? Keeping nutcase professors on your faculty who teach delusional 9/11 theories has an economic impact? That's good to hear! And, what about imaginary professors quoted to support your opinions?

14. Ideological hubris? Or, creating a strategic advantage that can potentially [finally] lead to real peace? I tend toward the latter view myself. Either way, (repeat after me) "IT'S ALL BUSH'S FAULT!" Or, maybe not.

15. With their progressive and compassionate attitudes, it's simply a wonder they don't win more elections.! Here is an example of their new focus. And, they do have an definite advantage for things like this.

16. Looking for a 'Katrina moment' in the Middle East, perhaps? Journalism for dummies dhimmis. And, Hezbollah calls in the reinforcements!

17. Oh, and thanks so much for the Hezbollah view. Even more help for Hezbollah!

18. The left has made war itself a war crime. For some, even imagining that war might be an option is a sin. Imagine ...nothing worth fighting and dying for.

19. Say what? Hoist on their own petard (or fatwa, as the case might be)

21. I have the sense that this is an allegorical tale that has some relevance to current hostilities...but I could be over-analyzing. What do you think is the moral?

Carnival of the Insanities can also be found at The Truth Laid Bear's √úberCarnival and at the BlogCarnival.

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Saturday, July 22, 2006

THE TRUTH THAT EVERYONE KNOWS, BUT DARES NOT SPEAK

As usual, Victor Davis Hanson integrates all the essential facts into his latest op-ed on the situation in the middle east:
What should the United States do? If it really cares about human life and future peace, then we should talk ad nauseam about “restraint” and “proportionality” while privately assuring Israel the leeway to smash both Hamas and Hezbollah — and humiliate Syria and Iran, who may well come off very poorly from their longed-for but bizarre war.

Only then will Israel restore some semblance of deterrence and strengthen nascent democratic movements in both Lebanon and even the West Bank . This is the truth that everyone from London to Cairo knows, but dares not speak. So for now, let us pray that the brave pilots and ground commanders of the IDF can teach these primordial tribesmen a lesson that they will not soon forget — and thus do civilization’s dirty work on the other side of the proverbial Rhine.

In this regard, it is time to stop the silly slurs that American policy in the Middle East is either in shambles or culpable for the present war. In fact, if we keep our cool, the Bush doctrine is working. Both Afghans and Iraqis each day fight and kill Islamist terrorists; neither was doing so before 9/11. Syria and Iran have never been more isolated; neither was isolated when Bill Clinton praised the “democracy” in Tehran or when an American secretary of State sat on the tarmac in Damascus for hours to pay homage to Syria ’s gangsters. Israel is at last being given an opportunity to unload on jihadists; that was impossible during the Arafat fraud that grew out of the Oslo debacle. Europe is waking up to the dangers of radical Islamism; in the past, it bragged of its aid and arms sales to terrorist governments from the West Bank to Baghdad .

Some final observations on Hezbollah and Hamas. There is no longer a Soviet deterrent to bail out a failed Arab offensive. There is no longer empathy for poor Islamist “freedom fighters.” The truth is that it is an open question as to which regime — Iran or Syria — is the greater international pariah. After a recent trip to the Middle East, I noticed that the unfortunate prejudicial stares given to a passenger with an Iranian passport were surpassed only by those accorded another on his way to Damascus .

So after 9/11, the London bombings, the Madrid murders, the French riots, the Beslan atrocities, the killings in India, the Danish cartoon debacle, Theo Van Gogh, and the daily arrests of Islamic terrorists trying to blow up, behead, or shoot innocent people around the globe, the world is sick of the jihadist ilk. And for all the efforts of the BBC, Reuters, Western academics, and the horde of appeasers and apologists that usually bail these terrorist killers out when their rhetoric finally outruns their muscle, this time they can’t.


Go and read it all.

I think that one result of Bush's policies in the middle east that should be clear even to the most knee-jerk critic is that they have brought out into the open what has been a decades-long shadow war. This shadow war between Islam and the west--started back in 1970's with the taking of American hostages in Iran against the backdrop of never-ending attacks on the state of Israel--is now out of the shadows and obvious to everyone. Additionally, Bush's policies in Iraq and Afghanistan have had the effect of bringing to the foreground a long-standing conflict between various sects of Islam ; and pitting the two major powers in the region (Iran and Saudi Arabia) against each other for dominance.

For too long the world has pretended that peace plans, treaties, cease-fires and talk--lots and lots of talk--would bring about a change for the good in the culture of hatred and death that is being nurtured in that part of the world. But none of these things have helped the situation; only enabled the hate; facilitated the deaths; and emboldened those who thrive on the resultant chaos.

The world's insistent denial and smiling pretense that it was dealing with reasonaable people who sought peace and stability and a future for their children can now be seen for the delusion it was. The west's good intentions have only managed to pave the road and make it easier for the Islamofascists to travel down it.

It is unquestionably true that this new landscape is fraught with danger and challenges; and that it has the potential to bring about violence and suffering and death. But what do you think has been going on for the last 50 years or so? There has been continual human suffering and death as a result of the never-ending shadow war; and its toll must also count the poisoned minds of the next generation of children there, who are already marinating in the culturally-sanctioned and religiously-promoted hatred.

Just because the daily mayhem and practiced victimhood that was the hallmark of the old middle east has remained under the radar does not make it acceptable to continue it into perpetuity. And, when it came to making peace plans repeatedly and then having them fall apart and leading to even more protracted violence-- perpetuity was exactly where it all was headed.

And after 9/11 it became obvious that it was not confined to one small part of the world anymore; and that what happened in that small art of the world had enormous repercussions for the entire planet.

What Bush has done is radically changed the playing field and shaken up the players who had come to expect that they would never be held to account. Slowly, surely, and sometimes subtlely, the balance and focus in this war has been shifted; as one after the other, the old players have been held to account.

What we are seeing is the chaos that occurs when a static system is disturbed. But the old equilibrium never stood a chance to bring peace, only constant war and calls for jihad. The old equilibrium permitted the jihadis to operate under the radar and grow strong. And more importantly, the old equilibrium did not offer much of a strategic advantage for the forces of freedom and democracy.

The world is indeed becoming sick of the "jihadist ilk". There is less and less tolerance for their lies, their agenda, and their behavior. Lines have been drawn in the sands of the middle east--on one side is a path that leads to a real peace; to increased freedom and to participation in the civilized world; the other side offers only perpetual war and a one way ticket to martyrdom and death. Undoubtedly, many will choose the latter path as that has been drummed into their heads as the only path. But for the first time, there is another choice available.

Events have been set in motion for good or ill. The times are both interesting and very dangerous. But at least the good has a fighting chance.

Finally.