Sunday, July 31, 2005

The 'Real "Quagmire"

Iraq is a quagmire, all right. But not for the U.S..

Great quote:
If al-Qaida is indeed shifting personnel out of Iraq, expect to hear more about Iraq as an "incubator" for terrorism. But what, pray tell, do the promoters of this theory imagine Zarqawi and his minions would have been doing these past two years if there had been no war in Iraq? Origami?

Carnival of the Insanities

Image hosted by Time for the weekly insanity udate, 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!). Calling all bloggers! Be sure to send in your entries to the Carnival, which will be posted every Sunday. Entries need to be in by 8 pm on Saturday to make their way into the list that week. This week we have a record number of insanities thanks to all the submissions and the way the world turns. SO MANY INSANITIES! SO LITTLE TIME!

1. Sign me up! And, by the way, I'm not sure JK Rowling will use this title.

2. We have met the enemy and he is...NOT us.

3. Blame is on the bossa nova Rumspringa.

4. The religion of homophobia.

5. The, breast of the anti-war crowd. ***Warning warning!** May be hazardous to your mental health!

6. Somebody should write a rock opera about this...

7. Tired of being shot by security forces? This Canadian has the solution, sort of.

8. Perhaps he was trained by Howard Stern?

9. Brave new world, indeed!

10. The fishmonger of the DNC.

11. Yes, who wouldn't fall for such a clever trick?

12. The medical tragedy of "Huff-Lag".

13. A sequel to the movie "The Wedding Crasher".

14. Cocaine users are justifiably upset by this brilliant plan.

15. An unwanted visitor to the Gates of Vienna.

16. Top Secret Democratic strategy meeting--exposed!

17. Some people never grow up or mature.

18. But it was just a joke, for heaven's sake!!

Saturday, July 30, 2005


Let us take just a moment to list some recent examples of delusion, denial, paranoia, and projection in Islam that were in the news in just the past two weeks. It will be illuminating.

Money quote: Mohammad Naseem, the chairman of the city's central mosque, called Tony Blair a "liar" and "unreliable witness" and questioned whether CCTV footage issued of the suspected bombers was of the perpetrators.

He said that Muslims "all over the world have never heard of an organisation called al-Qa'eda".

Money quote:Last month, an attack on contractors at the Saudi oil facility in Yanbu killed six Westerners, two of them Americans. Senior Saudi officials told the world al-Qaida terrorists were to blame and al-Qaida claimed responsibility.

But tape obtained by NBC News reveals that, inside Saudi Arabia, on Saudi television, Crown Prince Abdullah told a strikingly different story about who was to blame.

NBC News translated Abdullah's remarks from Arabic: “Zionism is behind it. It has become clear now. It has become clear to us. I don’t say, I mean... It is not 100 percent, but 95 percent that the Zionist hands are behind what happened.”

Other senior Saudi officials reaffirmed the claim that supporters of Israel — Zionists — were behind the terror attacks.

Prince Nayef, the Saudi Interior Minister said, “Al-Qaida is backed by Israel and Zionism.”

Money quote: Several Egyptian "security experts" and "political analysts" interviewed by Arab TV stations after the Sharm e-Sheikh bombings on Saturday claimed that Israel and Jews were behind the carnage.

The accusations were made despite a claim of responsibility by a group citing ties to al-Qaida, according to a statement posted on an Islamic Web site.

Money quote: But in his sermon Friday, he said the "evil phenomenon" of terrorism "stems from the policy of arrogance (by the United States and Israel)."

At a small mosque in Cairo's Heliopolis suburb, the Friday preacher appealed to his congregation, trying to explain the proper meaning of "jihad" - a word often translated as "holy war" but more broadly meant as a "struggle" for Islam against oppression.

Money quote: A news agency run by the office of Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei claimed that Israel was “using the mask of Al-Qaeda and [Abu Musab] Zarqawi to hunt down diplomats based in Iraq” and that “the London bombings were also part of the mischief by Israel”.

“Israel is now in control of religious extremists, particularly the Wahabis and the Salafis, in Arabia and North Africa”, it claimed.

Money quote: Al-Jozo: "America and Israel... There is no doubt that Israel plays a major role in distorting the image of Islam. Even in London – I said that Zionists are involved in that operation – they want to distort the image of Islam in Britain and Europe, and to drive a wedge between Muslims and the West. This is obvious.

What really is obvious is that there are many leaders and followers of Islam who are living in a paranoid delusion of massive proportions.

Ask yourself what function a delusion like this serves for the user--what painful truths it serves to cover up, and what unacceptable thoughts or feelings it disguises--and you will understand why both paranoia and denial are powerful and immature/psychotic psychological defense mechanisms that are completely out of touch with reality.


Two perspectives that are remarkably similar on how the media distort reality. The first from Neo-neocon:

Kundera has described a great deal of what drives public opinion today, and how public opinion in turn shapes the perception of reality in a circular feedback loop facilitated by polling. He doesn't mention the MSM directly here (he does get to it later), but of course it's a big part of this loop.

I found his analysis of why it is possible for the process to work this way particularly compelling; the scale of modern life makes it impossible to know about things in the way people in a village used to know what was going on in that small arena. And so we are dependent on image shapers and the media to construct a reality for us, and we are often none the wiser that it is a distorted reality.

And now Dymphna at the Gates of Vienna, who demonstrates how the media distort reality by what they DON'T report:

Sources say Hamas operations coordinators in Gaza use the station to provide terrorists with directions such as the exact coordinates in and near Gaza City from which to launch the rockets and mortars and the trajectory to be used in firing the Qassam missiles.

But the best part is the punchline. Want to know why Hamas and the Voice of Al Aqsa are coordinating this effort? Because then Hamas can say it drove the Israelis from Gaza, rather than the truth of it, which is that the Israelis decided to unilaterally withdraw from the area.
Analysts expect the rocket attacks to increase as the evacuation date gets closer so that Hamas, popular in the Gaza Strip, can claim to its Palestinian supporters it drove Israel from the area.

That’s Islamofascist manly warrior priniciples in action, folks. The kind of military that indoctrinates its kindergartners in Jew-hatred and trains them with toy missle launchers. The same people who make their women hide weapons in their underwear.

There is no question that Manipulation is a powerful tool to control the masses. Distorting what is said and carefully choosing what is not said is a part and parcel of that process. One that the MSM appears to have perfected since the unfortunate series of events that led to a Republican president.

Robert J Lifton in his book Thought Reform and the Psychology of Totalism: A Study of Brainwashing in China, identifies 8 basic requirements for total thought control and manipulation:

1. Milieu Control, or the control of communication.

2. "Mystical Manipulation" or extensive personal manipulation that seeks to provoke specific patterns of behavior and emotion in such a way that these will appear to have arisen spontaneously. A good example of this is the pervasive and obsessive use of POLLS by the media to demonstrate the unpopularity of causes or people to whom the MSM are opposed. Any dissenting polls are minimized or simply not reported. Thus people are continually pressued to go along with the opinions of the group that runs the MSM. I might mention that the use of polls and and opinion data are interestingly selective, of course, and are often very carefully worded to obtain the response desired. Wouldn't want people to get the incorrect message (a good example is the fact that most people are not even aware of how resiliant and robust the economy is right now. Somehow all the positive economic indicators have not made it to the MSM outlets).

3. The Demand for Purity - this encompasses the insistence that people they don't like be completely perfect in every way; that wars need to be completely perfect in every way --otherwise they are not "moral"; that everything, everywhere must turn out perfectly otherwise it is a "failed" policy--except of course for the policies of which they approve, which have considerable leeway for imperfection.

4. The Cult of Confession - the constant calls to confess sins--especially sins one hasn't committed; to admit mistakes; and to bow before the altar of ideological purity.

5. Reference to "Sacred Science" - "an aura of sacredness around its basic dogma, holding it out as an ultimate moral vision for the ordering of human existence. This sacredness is evident in the prohibition (whether or not explicit) against the questioning of basic assumptions, and in the reverence which is demanded for the originators of the Word, the present bearers of the Word, and the Word itself. While thus transcending ordinary concerns of logic, however, the milieu at the same time makes an exaggerated claim of airtight logic, of absolute "scientific" precision. Thus the ultimate moral vision becomes an ultimate science; and the man who dares to criticize it, or to harbor even unspoken alternative ideas, becomes not only immoral and irreverent, but also "unscientific." In this way, the philosopher kings of modern ideological totalism reinforce their authority by claiming to share in the rich and respected heritage of natural science."

6. Loading the Language-"The language of the totalist environment is characterized by the thought-terminating cliché. The most far-reaching and complex of human problems are compressed into brief, highly reductive, definitive-sounding phrases, easily memorized and easily expressed. These become the start and finish of any ideological analysis. In [Chinese Communist] thought reform, for instance, the phrase "bourgeois mentality" is used to encompass and critically dismiss ordinarily troublesome concerns like the quest for individual expression, the exploration of alternative ideas, and the search for perspective and balance in political judgments." We see this manipulation of language everywhere in the MSM in the hopes that we won't notice that the word "bomber" or "insurgent" has replaced the word "terrorist".

7. Doctrine over Person - which means the subordination of human experience to the claims of doctrine. This is perfectly exemplified in Neo-neocon's post by Kundera's description of the Communist's rage over reality: "For example, communists used to believe that in the course of capitalist development the proletariat would gradually grow poorer and poorer, but when it finally became clear that all over Europe workers were driving to work in their own cars, [the communists] felt like shouting that reality was deceiving them." Actually, though the voices in the MSM, they are still shouting it and actively trying to cover-up reality by resorting to the old slogans and empty rhetoric--hoping perhaps that reality will simply go away.

8. The Dispensing of Existence - this is seen in all totalitarian regimes: drawing a sharp line between those whose right to existence can be recognized, and those who possess no such right. In the MSM this is implemented by what they choose not to tell, as well as which special interests they promote over others. For example, speaking out against Islam is taboo; but raving aboutCatholicism is perfectly appropriate. Trashing Islam is harassment; but trashing Christianity or Judaism is OK because they had it coming. You can see this in many other areas besides religious preferences (e.g., speaking of "The Federalist Society" as if it were a secret cult of black magic intent on destroying all freedoms. Fortunately, for the reading public, the MSM has not yet achieved the power to determine who shall live and die--but just remember that the "pen is mightier than the sword"; and when the pen is in the hands of a totalitarian thug or apologist, it can be pretty powerful.

Interesting, isn't it, how similar are the tactics used by the so-called "free" press to those used by the Communist Chinese (the subjects of Lifton's analysis) to control their large population?

The Boo is Back !

My husband and I travelled up to the Petosky area last night so we could pick up the Boo this morning! They let parents in the gate at 11:00 sharp.

As you can see, I survived her first extended stay away from home--though it felt like I wouldn't when she first left! Miracle of miracles, we actually received THREE letters from her and they all said exactly the right thing ("Hi Mom and Dad. I miss you, but I'm having a fabulous time!")

I missed her terribly, but on the other hand there wasn't nearly so much laundry; the bathroom stayed spotless; and I was finally able to clean my way through to the bed in her room, removing weeks old trash, debris and unmentionable crud (How can teens live like this? I've consulted with other parents and they all give me reason to believe the Boo might actually spend more time cleaning her cave room, than their kids do! Hard to believe.)

But she is coming home now, and all seems right with the world!

The Council Has Spoken !

Image hosted by
This week's winners in the Watcher's Council are now posted at the Watcher's site. Every week the Council nominates posts from the blogs of the Council members, and posts from around the blogsphere. The Council then votes to select the "Best" of all these posts.


First Place

History and Fantasy Right Wing Nut House

Second Place

Responses to Nuclear Terrorism The Glittering Eye


First Place

Anonymous Rectal Intercourse Hog on Ice

Second Place

And Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep The Belmont Club

Be sure to check out all the winners at the Watcher's site!

Friday, July 29, 2005

Yet More Glorification of "Martyrdom"

This should be shocking, but since I no longer believe that Islam is a religion of peace, I'm immune from the stunning revelation from the President-elect of Iran on Al-Arabiya TV:

Ahmadi-Nejad on the Art of Martyrdom

The following are excerpts from a speech by Iranian President-Elect Mahmoud Ahmadi-Nejad, which aired July 25, 2005 on Iranian Channel 1. In it, he praises martyrdom operations and states that Islam will conquer the world. (To view this clip, visit

Ahmadi-Nejad: "We want art that is on the offensive. Art on the offensive exalts and defends the noble principles, and attacks principles that are corrupt, vulgar, ungodly, and inhuman.

"Art reaches perfection when it portrays the best life and best death. After all, art tells you how to live. That is the essence of art. Is there art that is more beautiful, more divine, and more eternal than the art of martyrdom? A nation with martyrdom knows no captivity. Those who wish to undermine this principle undermine the foundations of our independence and national security. They undermine the foundation of our eternity.

"The message of the [Islamic] Revolution is global, and is not restricted to a specific place or time. It is a human message, and it will move forward.

"Have no doubt... Allah willing, Islam will conquer what? It will conquer all the mountain tops of the world."

We have been adequately warned.

Infinitely Less Stupid

As I sit here watching on FoxNews the latest British raid on a flat to take one of the London bomb terrorists, I am also reading an excellent column at by Charles Krauthammer:

Britain is now desperately trying to correct its never-neverland hospitality to agitators and inciters. It is proud of its long history of harboring exiles, misfits and revolutionaries from just about everywhere. After all, Karl Marx lived, wrote and died in London. But 52 dead and the near-miss two weeks later are helping Britain place necessity above nostalgia.

The American response to tightening up after London has been reflexive and idiotic: random bag checks in the New York subways. Random meaning that the people stopped are to be chosen numerically. One in every 5 or 10 or 20.

This is an obvious absurdity and everyone knows it. It recapitulates the appalling waste of effort and resources we see at airports every day when, for reasons of political correctness, 83-year-old grandmothers from Poughkeepsie are required to remove their shoes in the search for jihadists hungering for paradise.

The only good thing to be said for this ridiculous policy is that it testifies to the tolerance and good will of Americans, so intent on assuaging the feelings of minority fellow citizens that they are willing to undergo useless indignities and tolerate massive public waste.

Assuaging feelings is a good thing, but hunting for terrorists in this way is simply nuts. The fact is that jihadist terrorism has been carried out from Bali to Casablanca to Madrid to London to New York City to Washington by young Islamic men of North African, Middle Eastern and South Asian origin.

This is not a stereotype. It is a simple statistical fact

Krauthammer proposes that we follow logic instead of PC and specifically scrutinize young Islamic males of North African, Middle Eastern, or Southeast Asian origin.

You object that either plan -- giving special scrutiny to young Islamic men, or, more sensitively, just eliminating certain demographic categories from scrutiny -- will simply encourage the jihadists to start recruiting elderly, Norwegian women.

OK. We can handle that. Let them try recruiting converts, women and non-usual suspects for suicide missions. That will require a huge new wasteful effort on their part. And, more important, by reducing the pool of possible terrorists from the hundreds of millions to the, at most, tens of thousands, we will have reduced the probability of an attack by a factor of 10,000. Those are far better odds at far less cost to us in money and effort. And infinitely less stupid.
Sounds good to me.

Harry Potter and US History

What does Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince have to do with American history as it is taught in schools today? Read this excellent piece by David Broder to find out!

Broder's thoughts about what our schools are NOT teaching matches remarkably well with my own.


The Counterterrorism Blog says that the "fatwa" issued by American Muslim leaders is bogus.

The terms "hudna" and "taqiyya" come to mind. The former is a truce entered into by Muslims in order to give themselves time to rearm and prepare for when the truce is called off (see history of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict for numerous examples of this tactic used in modern times). The latter is the deliberate deception about Islam to non-believers for the purpose of preventing harassment, while remaining true to the faith.

It is rather disheartening to think that these are some of the fundamental principles of Islamic discourse. Especially because we really really want to believe good of everyone.

May I remind all of you about the natural history of many battered women? After the woman is brutally beaten, the apologies, remorse and promises of good behavior come pouring from the abuser. I remember one woman whose hospital room was filled with flowers, balloons and cards from the husband who had made her face black and blue and caused her to have to undergo major surgery to stop the internal bleeding from his "love". I talked about her in this post when I was discussing Islam's oppression of women. Her case is equally appropriate to consider here, when we might fall for the same kind of false sincerity.

Words are cheap. If the fatwa is part of of a strategy of hudna or taqiyya, then the words of these "leaders" are meaningless --no matter how much we wish they actually reflected the "true" Islam.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Sad, But True....

Consider this opinion by Michael Graham in Jewish World Review (and you ought to read the entire thing):

The Council on American-Islamic Relations is outraged that I would dare to connect the worldwide epidemic of terrorism with Islam. They put it down to bigotry, asserting that a lifetime of disinterest in Islam has suddenly become blind hatred. They couldn't be more wrong.

Not to be mean to the folks at CAIR, but I don't: Care, that is. I simply don't care about Islam, its theology, its history — I have no interest in it at all. All I care about is not getting blown to smithereens when I board a bus or ride a plane. I care about living in a world where terrorism and murder/suicide bombings are rejected by all.

And the reason Islam has itself become a terrorist organization is that it cannot address its own role in this violence. It cannot cast out the murderers from its members. I know it can't, because "moderate" Muslim imams keep telling me they can't. "We have no control over these radical young men," one London imam moaned to the local papers.

Can't kick 'em out of your faith? Can't excommunicate them? Apparently Islam does not allow it.

Islam cannot say that terrorism is forbidden to Muslims. I know this because when the world's Muslim nations gathered after 9/11 to state their position on terrorism, they couldn't even agree on what it was. How could they, when the world's largest terror sponsors at the time were Iran and Saudi Arabia — both governed by Islamic law.

I must agree with the author. I DON'T CARE ABOUT ISLAM except insofar that people of that faith want to destroy me, my family, my country and my way of life. For more than 50 years of my life, Islam and I got along famously. I completely ignored it; and praise be to Allah, it completely ignored me.

After September 11th, I no longer had that option.

This reminds me that there used to be cute little rabbits that gamboled and cavorted in my peaceful neighborhood. I was able to safely pay no attention to them--until they started to eat my garden. Then steps had to be taken. I found to my dismay that my neighbors also were victims of their interminable ravaging for food; so we combined forces and eventually got rid of the nuisance.

Poor rabbits. They have no free will and were doomed by their nature, so I feel sorry for the poor critters. I still feel they would be welcome in my neck of the woods, if they could refrain from getting into my garden and destroying it.

A friend just today sent me this article, which says in part that American Muslim scholars have issued a "fatwa" against terrorism. But, the article also says:

Many Muslim leaders overseas have issued similar condemnations in recent weeks, but some have left an opening for violence to be used. British Muslim leaders who denounced the July 7 attacks in London said suicide bombings could still be justified against an occupying power.

Sorry, but as long as there is an "opening" it won't be good enough. The rabbits used to sneak through, under or over whatever fencing I put up, too.

Islam has been welcome in my neighborhood, along with all other faiths and religions-- but not under these current conditions and not under Jihad. If they can't control what is being done in their name to all the gardens of the world, then I MUST pay attention. And it will not go well for them, I guarantee it.

Sad, but true.

(cartoon hat tip: Indonesian blogger, Indcoup )

UPDATE: Then there's this, from the Internation Herald Tribune:

Most commentators argue that Islamic terrorism is a fanatical perversion of Islam which deviates from its true teachings. They call for a Western-style modernization of the Muslim world, hoping thereby that radical Islam will be tamed.

This analysis misses the point. The nature of the terrorist threat is unambiguously Islamic and is not so much a deviation from Muslim tradition as an appeal to it. Al Qaeda's ideology draws on two traditions to legitimize itself: one classical, the other modern.

Read it all.

UPDATE: Michael Graham has been suspended w/o pay for writing the column quoted above. Michelle Malkin has the details. Meanwhile, we will wait for civil libertarians like Michael Moore to protest this outrage. (7/29/05 2:00pm)

UPDATE II: A blogwave of support has started for Michael Graham and Free Speech. Check it out at the Strata-Sphere.

An Alternative to the Unthinkable?

ShrinkWrapped has an excellent post up that discusses an alternative to the Tancredo response to a nuclear attack on the U.S. by Islamic Jihadists. My thoughts are here.


"House Passes LAFTA: Relieving Liberal Guilt"

Check out Scrappleface!

Reality is the Ultimate Rorschach Test

Rand Simburg at Transterrestrial Musings mentions a well-known psychological test that can still provide useful information and uses it for understanding current issues: "A Political Rorschach Test"
There's an old diagnostic tool in psychology--the ink-blot test, named the Rorschach test for the man who invented it. In it, the test subject is asked to look at a series of randomly produced ink splotches (usually made on a folded paper for symmetry) and describe what he or she sees--a mother cradling a baby, a man stabbing a woman, or perhaps nothing at all. The answer tells us nothing, of course, of the actual nature of the ink blot (the same could be done with clouds), but does provide some insight into what's going on in the person's mind.
Similarly, many seemingly seek to look into the mind of a terrorist and his actions, and see what they want to see: anger at Israel, anger at the apparent impotence of the Arab world against the west, frustration at the inability to raise your children as properly Islamic in a secular West, even the desire for the reestablishment of the Caliphate.
Sadly, I agree that all of the above are motivating the bombers, and many of the people who agree with them. But if these are the grievances, they cannot be assuaged, they cannot be appeased. They are what we call in American divorce courts, "irreconcilable differences."

Some look at the Rorschach of the terrorists and see a people struggling for justice. I look at it and see one struggling for injustice, with a desire to spread it throughout the world, and to return us to a medievel dreamworld of their imagination that is centuries old.

The Rorschach is an example of what is called a "projective test" (there are a number of them I have used over the years--Sentence Completion Test; the Thematic Aperception Test etc.), where the examinee "projects" his own thoughts or feelings or conflicts/issues onto a neutral image.

It is one thing to do this in a testing situation, where one is being asked to do it deliberately so that the examiner might get some idea of the preoccupying thoughts, conflicts etc. It is another thing to routinely do it when facing reality.

In the latter case, the behavior is an example of the psychological defense mechanism we call "Projection"--a primitive form of paranoia; where one's own unacceptable thoughts, feelings, conflicts etc. are externalized onto another individual or group in the real world. As a way of coping with the world, Projection is an abysmal defense, which is why after childhood, most psyche's give it up in the main and only resort to it in extremis if there are really serious conflicts that the individual cannot resolve.

To a certain extent, we all project our selves and our personal issues and conflicts onto reality. But that does not make reality an amorphous ink blot. Reality exists independently of any of our thoughts, feelings, issues and/or conflicts. To the extent that we can see and appreciate what is real without the distortion of the unresolved emotional baggage we all carry around--then we are psychologically healthy. The more we project onto reality--instead of seeing it for what it really is-- the more we become immersed in a fantasyland that is made up of our internal desires and wishes; and the more we distance ourselves from the real world.

For example. I really want things to work out in Iraq. I am pleased to find many instances of really good things happening there and real progress against the terrorists who reject freedom and democracy. But I am also cognisant of many of the challenges and roadblocks that Iraqis face in embracing democracy; and that we face in helping them. I cannot fail to notice the continued deaths of innocent Iraqis, and hope that a solution or strategy will be implemented to diminish them.

Dymphna suggests that we should back off on our demands that the Iraqis hurry up with their constitution and that it should be perfect in every way:

It would be salutary to remember at this point that our constitution was a very long process. From the surrender of Cornwallis at Yorktown in 1781 to the ratification of the United States Constitution in 1788 was a long and winding road. In the process, the question of slavery got shelved just so we could be done with it and get on to making a country. Thus our hurry and our fear led us to a bloody and ruinous Civil War seventy three years later. We are still feeling the effects of that “hurry-up” back in the years from the Declaration of Independence to the final states’ ratification. We left out Negroes because we were afraid and we are still paying for our cowardice.

We had 7 years to write our constitution, and we made a BIG mistake and didn't end slavery until 73+ years later. Just as in our country in the 1780's there were factions with mutually exclusive non-negotiable demands; so in Iraq are there competing visions of what their country should look like. Let's let them sort it out and they can both learn from our mistakes and then from their own. And isn't that what having freedom is all about?

So, when I contemplate the situation in Iraq, I try to put things in perspective. Things will happen that are bad; and things might happen more slowly than we would like; but overall, I observe that we have started in the direction of freedom and democracy in Iraq. Undoubtedly there will be setbacks. But for good or ill, it is in their hands now, and all we can do is protect the nacent process that has begun there.

Contrast this perspective with that of people who demand instaneous democracy in Iraq or "all is lost!" Or those who maintain that the "insurgency is growing stronger!" despite the lack of support from Iraqi citizens and considerable evidence to the contrary. Or those who look at terrorist bombings and lay the blame on BushBlairHoward and/or the victims (e.g. "little eichmans") instead of the terrorists; or those that blame America for all the terrorist activity, then in the same breath maintain that terrorism is an illusiion. Or those that say Islam is a religion of peace, as its imams refer to Jews a pigs and women of the west as whores. Or those who liken the deliberate targeting of civilians as an act of war to the attempts to minimize such targeting during a war. Or those who constantly shout "BUT THERE WERE NO WMD'S" or "SADDAM HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH 9/11"; Or those who are outraged about someone's lack of support for Gay marriage, but are silent when homosexuals are slaughtered because they committed a sin against Allah. And so on, ad nauseum.

What do all these people have in common? They refuse to actually look directly at REALITY and instead, project their hatred of Bush and Republicans and their desire for them to "fail" in Iraq; More than that, they are letting that hatred and the need for Bush to be wrong completely distort what is going on in the world.

All this internal mishmash of anger, rage, hatred is unacceptable to them, so they purify themselves and identify with the aggressor terrorist (who would kill them if they could, just as easily as they would be willing to kill anyone); they use the actions of a Timothy McVeigh--as one of the commenters on this blog did--who was most certainly a delusional murderer given the ultimate punishment for his crimes, to point out the deficiencies in the American system; falsely reasoning that that we can't possibly take the moral high ground and that we are as bad as the terrorists.

Or they bring up the fact that Christianity 1000 years ago crusaded against the "infidel" Muslims to prove... what? That the terrorists are no better or worse than we are? Just because Christianity was infected with an evil virus 1000 years ago and brought death and destruction, does not mean I cannot condemn Islam now, since it is the religion doing it today. If Christianity were doing today what it did centuries ago, then I would be condemning Christianity. If McVeigh were alive and part of Al Qaeda, I'd be condemning Al Qaeda (just as I judged McVeigh when he committed his vile act).

The refusal to look at what is happening now; the evasions and distortions is part and parcel of a pattern of projection and denial.

Who is saying that American society is perfect? No one that I know. We make lots of mistakes. But we ARE moral. We ARE compassionate. We have the rule of law. We can change our leadership if we don't care for the policies. And may I gently remind many of the naysayers, that we just had that opportunity less than a year ago to change course and that THEIR CANDIDATE LOST? Too bad. So sorry. But that is the reality.

The point is that we ARE better than those barbarian, murdering thugs that have declared jihad and use their religion as a justification for indiscriminant murder and mayhem.

What we are seeing when we witness the constant and repetitive talking points, distortions, and evasions of the Left/Democrats/enablers of terrorism--no matter what evidence is presented to them, is their inability to come to terms with their own unacceptable feelings or rage and hatred so they attribute those feelings to Bush et al. We are witnessing the Left's own inability to come to terms with their intense fear that their ideology is dead and --even worse--doesn't, and has never worked.

The same emotion that motivates the battered woman to defend or minimize the actions her batterer; or any victim to identify and enable his tormentor is at work here.

Ask yourself what emotions, conflicts and issues these people are using to filter the reality of the Islamic Jihadists-- who would indiscriminantly and joyfully kill a million people in this country if they could?

Reality is the ultimate Rorschach Test, isn't it?


Wednesday, July 27, 2005


Anticipation is a mature psychological defense mechanism that involves the realistic planning for future inner discomfort. It also includes goal-directed and premature planning behavior for a variety of future scenarios.

George Vaillant has this to say about Anticipation:

As a coping mechanism, anticipation permits the user to become affectively aware of an event before it happens, and thus attenuates anxiety and depression. In some ways, anticipation is synonymous with what psychiatrists call "insight."

An alternative method of coping with with a threatening event is Denial. As a psychological defense mechanism, Denial is one of the most primitive (sometimes called "psychotic") and immature mechanisms available to the psyche. Its goal is identical to Anticipation, which is to attenuate anxiety and depression about a future event.

So, while both psychological mechanisms have a similar goal and are effective in mediating anxiety and depression, the two have markedly different long-term consequences.

Jeff Jacoby's column today discusses "Failures of Intelligence" and provides an excellent example of how the outcomes can differ:

THREE WEEKS before the London bombings of July 7, Britain’s Joint Terrorist Analysis Center advised policymakers that ‘‘at present there is not a group with both the current intent and the capability to attack the UK.’’ That reassuring message from the country’s top intelligence and law enforcement officials, The New York Times reported last week, prompted the British government to lower its terror alert. Less than a month later, 52 people were murdered and 700 wounded when three subway trains and a bus were blown up in the worst act of terrorism the United Kingdom has experienced since the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 in 1988.

Obviously this was a serious intelligence failure. Undoubtedly there will be investigations into the cause of the blunder. Perhaps heads will roll for failing to ‘‘connect the dots’’ in time to prevent the 7/7 atrocities. (Or perhaps not: CIA Director George Tenet not only retained his job long after Sept. 11, 2001, he was even awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.) Whatever is ultimately learned, we can safely assume, will promptly become political fodder for British partisans of every stripe.

But the botched terror assessment raises a question for us, too: Which kind of intelligence failure is better — the kind that badly understates a threat, such as the one in London, or the kind that overstates a threat, such as the insistent warnings before the invasion of Iraq that Saddam Hussein was armed with weapons of mass destruction?

Another way to say this, of course, is to ask, is it better to downplay, understate, and even deny a threat; or to take potential threats perhaps overly seriously, but to aggressively anticipate them?

Jacoby goes on to pose this extremely relevant question:

So what kind of culture do we want intelligence agencies to foster among their operatives and analysts: one that tends to be overly focused on possible threats, or one that is more likely to downplay them? In general, would we rather take action to eliminate a danger that turns out to have been overstated — or take no action, and then be stunned when the enemy strikes?

Then, as any mature, reasonable and psychologically healthy person would, Jacoby answers that question this way:

If intelligence failures are inevitable — and in a world of human fallibility, they are — we are better off worrying too much about our enemies and taking steps to defeat them than worrying too little and being caught, unready, when they attack. Worrying too much led the United States and Britain to topple a brutal tyrant. Worrying too little led to 9/11 and 7/7.

Those who continue to scream that Bush "lied" about intelligence regarding Iraq; and vociferously maintain (despite all evidence to the contrary) that Saddam had no WMD; and even heatedly insist that worries about terrorism are being deliberately overblown to "frighten" the masses--these are the people who are living in a fantasy world of Denial.

By forcing themselves not to face reality, they are, after a fashion, decreasing momentarily the anxiety and depression that the horrendous events of our age quite naturally have stimulated. But, unlike those who, with grim determination, are planning for the worse and using Anticipation to do the best they can to prevent the worse while psychologically preparing for it; the Deniers will be stunned and paralyzed when the worse happens. They will also be the first to blame those who tried to prevent it for not doing enough--all the while they actively impeded the Anticipaters from doing anything (this is another psychological defense called Displacement, but we'll talk about that later).

There is no guarantee that using Anticipation and developing insight will successfully prevent or even prepare us adequately for the unthinkable kinds of things that our enemies wish to inflict upon us. Using Denial, we can put off feeling bad and anxious for a while. And for that time we might even feel intellectually superior and enlightened compared to those stupidly worked-up people who prepare for the worse. But in the end, the denial of reality can only lead to grief, victimhood, despair, hopelessness, and even death.

That's why psychiatrists refer to it as "primitive", "psychotic", and "immature", after all.

Spreading Darkness To Every Corner of The Earth

What do terrorists want? Daniel Pipes has a chilling answer:

In nearly all cases, the jihadi terrorists have a patently self-evident ambition: to establish a world dominated by Muslims, Islam, and Islamic law, the Shari'a. Or, again to cite the Daily Telegraph, their "real project is the extension of the Islamic territory across the globe, and the establishment of a worldwide ‘caliphate' founded on Shari'a law."

Terrorists openly declare this goal. The Islamists who assassinated Anwar el-Sadat in 1981 decorated their holding cages with banners proclaiming the "caliphate or death." A biography of one of the most influential Islamist thinkers of recent times and an influence on Osama bin Laden, Abdullah Azzam declares that his life "revolved around a single goal, namely the establishment of Allah's Rule on earth" and restoring the caliphate.

Bin Laden himself spoke of ensuring that "the pious caliphate will start from Afghanistan." His chief deputy, Ayman al-Zawahiri, also dreamed of re-establishing the caliphate, for then, he wrote, "history would make a new turn, God willing, in the opposite direction against the empire of the United States and the world's Jewish government." Another Al-Qaeda leader, Fazlur Rehman Khalil, publishes a magazine that has declared "Due to the blessings of jihad, America's countdown has begun. It will declare defeat soon," to be followed by the creation of a caliphate.

Or, as Mohammed Bouyeri wrote in the note he attached to the corpse of Theo van Gogh, the Dutch filmmaker he had just assassinated, "Islam will be victorious through the blood of martyrs who spread its light in every dark corner of this earth."

Bruce Thornton at VDH Private Papers also discusses this theme:

The jihadist enemy, on the other hand, is operating on principles and values squarely in the tradition of Islam, and thus unlike fascism and communism is expressing a spiritual need and an orthodox religious mandate: to fulfill by force the will of Allah that all the world be subject to Islam and an Islamic state, the caliphate, ruled by sharia, Islamic religious law. Those conquered infidels who refuse to convert are reduced to dhimmi, subordinated and humiliated peoples whose restricted rights, diminished lives, and circumscribed behavior testify to the superiority of their Muslim overlords and their divine right to oppress the infidel and exploit him economically. This dynamic of jihad and dhimmitude has been extensively documented by Bat Ye'or and other scholars, and is apparent on every page of Islamic jurisprudence, theology, and history from the eighth century to today.

Those who, like Hadley and Townsend,[article referenced in the piece- PS] suggest otherwise are contradicting not just that history but also the beliefs and sentiments of millions of contemporary Muslims, who understand clearly what their own religion teaches and how it should be practiced. How else do we make sense of the continued widespread support for homicide bombings and Al Qaeda visible in poll after poll of Muslims worldwide? Even so-called “moderates” and Westernized Muslims can't help letting slip their true beliefs even as they try to spin the latest terrorist murder. Dr. Azzam Tamimi, a senior member of the Muslim Association of Britain and a Hamas member who is frequently featured on the BBC, has made clear his support for Palestinian Arab murder of Israelis, his belief that Islamic religious law (sharia) should not be compromised to coexist with liberal democracy, his admiration of the Taliban, and his desire to see Israel destroyed.

Inayat Bunglawla, another “moderate” spokesman for the Muslim Council of Britain, has been all over CNN since the bombings in London. In a recent BBC4 interview, this is how he “condemned” homicide bombings: “Let me make clear then, once and for all, we condemn the killing of all innocent people wherever they are, human lives everywhere are of equal value, whether they are British, American, Iraqi, or Palestinian. Jewish lives are not worth more than Palestinian lives, all are worth equal, and it's been quite nauseating over the past week to see how Israel and its highly-placed supporters in the media have been trying to make political capital out of last week's atrocities against Londoners. It is shameful on them and shameful upon those who are trying to help Israel improving its PR image after the brutalities it commits against the Palestinian people.”

Here is a classic example of so-called “moderate” double-talk. Notice how Jews are left out of the list of “human lives” that have “equal value.” Notice how the statement “Jewish lives are not worth more than Palestinian lives” is not followed by the logical corollary, “Palestinian lives are not worth more than Jewish lives.” And finally, notice the usual hysterical smokescreen of alleged Israeli “brutalities” to shift the focus away from Muslim murder of innocents by concentrating on its supposed causes.

While one of the definitions of the word "martyr" is a person who sacrifices their life for a principle, in practice the entire Islamic concept of martyrdom is quite bizarre. If there is an underlying principle, then it is hatred, pure and simple.

Traditionally -- in Christianity, at least--a "martyr" was someone persecuted and killed by others for their religion's sake. In the lives of many martyrs, their shining love for their religion was so inspiring that it might even convert those who were responsible for the martyr's death.

But in Islam a "martyr" is a person who persecutes and kills others for their religion. Note the difference. By any rational definition, a person in this latter group is a monster. The indiscriminant slaughter of innocent lives inspires only the utmost revulsion in normal people. Converting to a religion that supports and encourages martyrs like that would be the height of insanity and self-delusion.

The blood of that kind of "martyr" can only spread an awareness of the fundamental darkness of the Islamic soul that that created it; and will bring only darkness and misery to every corner of the earth.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005


I am using for the first time the Verizon Air Card with broadband access all across the U.S. to blog from my car on the way to Detroit! It's fabulous, it's fast; it's easy! I love it.

After my vacation, I became determined never again to be dependent on hotels or cafes for internet connection.

Isn't technology wonderful?

Shall We Dance ?

Check out the Cotillion Ball! Also posted at Fistful of Fortnights; My Vast Rightwing Conspiracy, e-Claire, and Who Tends The Fires. It's a conglomeration of fabulous posts by conservative lady bloggers!

The New Pied Piper

See Also:

Friday Sermon By Leading Saudi Imam Al-Sudayyis in Mecca

Saudi Prince says Zionists responsible for Terror Attacks

Imam warns Canadians to back off Muslims

One in four Muslims sympathize with the motives of London Bombers

Lebanese General on Hizbullah TV: "Global Zionism" Behind London Bombings and 9/11

British Muslim leader denies that mosques should moderate the views of jihadists

Are Palestinian leaders preaching hatred of Jews?

Blowing up in the west

Teaching hatred in Saudi Arabia and Egypt: The UN Response

Senior Iranian Cleric: How I Sent My Son To The Firing Squad

UPDATE: And here's another: Criticism of suicide bombers censored at the UN--by Islamic nations. (hat tip: LGF)

Monday, July 25, 2005

Before Iraq There Was Jihad

For those who are arguing that Iraq is responsible for the London bombings, a splash of cold water in the face from Wahid Phares:
Back in November of 1999, I was on a trip to meet leading members of the House of Lords in London to discuss the “Jihad threat to minorities in the Middle East” and make few presentations on the subject in different locations in England. My travel across the country was very informative, and I was able to compare the findings with my previous trips in the 1980s. My observations that year found them very troubling: The Salafi Jihadi presence in Britain was on the rise, six years before the London bombings, four years before the Iraq war, and two years before September 11.

This post is from the invaluable Counterterrorism Blog. I wonder why it so hard for some people to understand that the Jihadis are using psychological ops against us; and that the knee-jerk response--that the latest barbaric Islamofascist outrage simply must be because of the Iraq war-- of so many on the Left is exactly what they are going for?

Before London there was Jihad. Before Iraq there was Jihad. Before Madrid there was Jihad. Before 9/11 there was Jihad.

Stop letting Islam off the hook and making excuses for terrorism.


Michael Barone:

This summer, one big story is replaced by another -- the London bombings July 7, the speculation that Karl Rove illegally named a covert CIA agent, the nomination of John Roberts to the Supreme Court, more London bombings last week. But beneath the hubbub, we can see the playing out of another, less reported story: the collapse of the attempts by liberal Democrats and their sympathizers in the mainstream media -- The New York Times, etc., etc. -- to delegitimize yet another Republican administration.

This project has been ongoing for more than 30 years. Richard Nixon, by obstructing investigation of the Watergate burglary, unwittingly colluded in the successful attempt to besmirch his administration. Less than two years after carrying 49 states, he was compelled to resign. The attempt to delegitimize the Reagan administration seemed at the time reasonably successful. Reagan was widely dismissed as a lightweight ideologue, and the rejection of his nomination of Robert Bork to the Supreme Court in 1987 contributed to the impression that his years in office were, to take the title of a book by a first-rate journalist, "the Reagan detour." As time went on, as the Berlin Wall fell and Bill Clinton proclaimed that the era of big government was over, it became clear that Reagan was a successful transformational president -- something the mainstream media grudgingly admitted when he died in 2004 after a decade out of public view.

You think they'd learn. But for the past five years, the same folks have been trying to undermine the presidency of George W. Bush.

Read the whole thing. I can almost hear the screaming of the trolls at the merest suggestion that the person they despise so much is weathering their incoherent rage --and not only that--his policies are thriving!

I feel your pain. (NOT)

Wake-Up Calls

Mark Steyn says it all so clearly:

And yet, The Age's editor Andrew Jaspan still lives in another world. You'll recall that it was Jaspan who objected to the energy and conviction of certain freed Australian hostage, at least when it comes to disrespecting their captors: "I was, I have to say, shocked by Douglas Wood's use of the 'arsehole' word, if I can put it like that, which I just thought was coarse and very ill-thought through ... As I understand it, he was treated well there. He says he was fed every day, and as such to turn around and use that kind of language I think is just insensitive."

And heaven forbid we're insensitive about terrorists. True, a blindfolded Wood had to listen to his jailers murder two of his colleagues a few inches away, but how boorish would one have to be to hold that against one's captors? A few months after 9/11, National Review's John Derbyshire dusted off the old Cold War mantra "Better dead than red" and modified it to mock the squeamishness of politically correct warfare: "Better dead than rude". But even he would be surprised to see it taken up quite so literally by Andrew Jaspan.

Usually it's the hostage who gets Stockholm Syndrome, but the newly liberated Wood must occasionally reflect that in this instance the entire culture seems to have caught a dose. And, in a sense, we have: multiculturalism is a kind of societal Stockholm Syndrome. Atta's meetings with Bryant are emblematic: He wasn't a genius, a master of disguise in deep cover; indeed, he was barely covered at all, he was the Leslie Nielsen of terrorist masterminds - but the more he stuck out, the more Bryant was trained not to notice, or to put it all down to his vibrant cultural tradition.

That's the great thing about multiculturalism: it doesn't involve knowing anything about other cultures - like, say, the capital of Bhutan or the principal exports of Malaysia, the sort of stuff the old imperialist wallahs used to be well up on. Instead, it just involves feeling warm and fluffy, making bliss out of ignorance. And one notices a subtle evolution in multicultural pieties since the Islamists came along.

Read it all, and while you're at it, read this piece by Irshad Manji, a person I greatly admire for her courage, who asks a Muslim community in denial: "Is Islam to Blame?"

believe thursday's bombings in London, combined with the first wave of explosions two weeks ago, are changing something for the better. Never before have I heard Muslims so sincerely denounce terrorism committed in our name as I did on my visit to Britain a few days ago. We're finally waking up.

Except on one front: the possible role of religion itself in these crimes.

Even now, the Muslim Council of Britain adamantly insists that Islam has nothing to do with the London attacks. It cites other motives — "segregation" and "alienation," for instance. Although I don't deny that living on the margins can make a vulnerable lad gravitate to radical messages of instant belonging, it takes more than that to make him detonate himself and innocent others. To blow yourself up, you need conviction. Secular society doesn't compete well on this score. Who gets deathly passionate over tuition subsidies and a summer job?

Which is why I don't understand how moderate Muslim leaders can reject, flat-out, the notion that religion may also play a part in these bombings. What makes them so sure that Islam is an innocent bystander?

What makes them sound so sure is literalism. That's the trouble with Islam today. We Muslims, including moderates living here in the West, are routinely raised to believe that the Koran is the final and therefore perfect manifesto of God's will, untouched and immutable.

This is a supremacy complex. It's dangerous because it inhibits moderates from asking hard questions about what happens when faith becomes dogma. To avoid the discomfort, we sanitize.

While silly artists in the U.S. paint pictures of America in the john; the reality is that Islam as a religion is being flushed down the toilet by all this sick behavior done in its name. It may never recover, and most of the rest of us don't much care anymore.

From all around the globe, you can hear the din of all the voices finally shouting at those who deny, placate, enable and sanitize: FOR GOD'S SAKE, WAKE UP!


Oh, dear! This morning I woke up to find that I have evolved in the TTLB Ecosystem up to Playful Primate, and that my ranking is #97 ! I've been a Large Mammal for so long, that it sort of feels funny to evolve like this....

Actually, like many of you who have blogs, I have absolutely no idea how the algorithm works for the Ecosystem, or why I'm suddenly a Playful Primate instead of a Large Mammal. Additionally, it could be likely that tomorrow it will all be updated and I'll drop back down again. But today, TODAY! all my bad blogging habits have been positively reinforced!

This is very very bad news for my family who rarely see me now without my laptop in hand!

Thank you to all my readers! Have I mentioned that monetary DONATIONS (see side bar) are also a very good positive reinforcement?

Denial and Delusion, Part II

From the Jerusalem Post:

We, the nations of the world, are in a strange war. It is strange because its outcome hinges primarily on whether the side being attacked will admit that war has been declared against it and decides to fight back.

The 9/11 attacks were the culmination of years of Western denial, despite devastating attacks over many years directed at Americans and others. If the pre-9/11 level of denial was, in retrospect, surprising, the post-9/11 refusal to recognize the war that we are in is even more striking.

How many "9/11s" does the world have to experience before we get it? A seemingly offhand sentence in The New York Times news report of the horrific bombings in Sharm e-Sheikh yesterday, killing over 80 people, perhaps inadvertently illustrates how widely the current conflict is misunderstood.

"The bombings provided a gruesome coda to a week in which suicide bombers had threatened cities from Iraq to Britain to Egypt, lending to the impression of a rising tide of terror spilling from the conflicts of the region." [emphasis added].

Yes, the terror epidemic seems to have returned.

But in reality, it never left. And it is not spillover from "conflicts in the region" but from the refusal to systematically address a particularly potent epidemic: of the symbiotic/parasitic relationship between militant Islam and the dictatorships of the Muslim world

Just what I was saying the other day. Shall we decide that we are all in this together, unite for victory and and fight back with all that we have? Or will some persist in their denial and delusion?

Sunday, July 24, 2005


Noah Shachtman writes from Iraq about a truck bomb that went off, killing the driver and ripping the truck to pieces (go see the other pictures and read Shachtman's account of the incident and of the troop's feelings about the news coverage). It was likely a botched suicide bomb attack, since the truck did not make it into the base. Lying nearby was this Koran, shredded by the blast. (hat tip: J.O.)

Desecration? It's a good question. But what struck me in the account was the added worry and concern that our soldiers must deal with every day as they wonder what kind of news is being reported on the front pages of newspapers and in the ledes of CNN et al.

I could care less about a Koran ripped apart by a suicide blast. What worries me is the disrespect the media routinely demonstrates toward the soldiers on the frontlines of a war that threatens our very way of life. Here they are doing a difficult task and facing a cowardly enemy that only knows hate from their religion. What worries them the most is how the media is reporting their work, and how their loved ones must feel when they see the news that makes it seem like everything is falling apart all the time.

Like today in the NY Times. A story on the front page above the fold that starts out; "THEY JUST KEEP GETTING STRONGER" Isn't that marvelous? They are, of course, talking about the terrorists in Iraq and how resourceful and determined they are. Clearly they believe we should just give up and go home in the face of such resourcefulness, determination, and sassiness!

I should mention that none of the military sources I read believe that this is actually the true state of affairs; and that repeatedly it is emphasized that the US cannot be beaten militarily by the terrorists in Iraq. But, who cares! It sounds good to say it and it saps the will and determination of those at home. The MSM knows it can win this war; that it has the ultimate power, and that that power is psychological, not military. How strong they must feel to wield such power without any limits! Imagine in WWII after all the defeats inflicted on the US and its allies, the news reporting that the Japaness just "keep on getting stronger" and how hopeless the war was? Would the media have changed the course of history?

As LGF notes-- the media have become the enemy. They fight alongside the terrorists, cheering them on; egging them on. They care nothing for the Truth, since they define Truth as what they report and how they report it.

That is the real desecration.

Carnival of the Insanities

Image hosted by Time for the weekly insanity udate, 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!). Calling all bloggers! Be sure to send in your entries to the Carnival, which will be posted every Sunday. Entries need to be in by 8 pm on Saturday to make their way into the list that week. This week we have a record number of insanities thanks to all the submissions and the way the world turns. SO MANY INSANITIES! SO LITTLE TIME!

1. Yeah, that's what she said about Clarence Thomas too. And here's another absurd response.

2. And while we're on the Supreme Court nomination topic, read this "generic" Critical Urgent Community Action Bulletin from Iowahawk!

3. Funniest sentence ever printed in the NY Times. Hands down.

4. A disturbance in the Force? No, just Windows

5. What Ted should have known....

6. Pet hoarding?

7. Brain dominance and political views (hat tip: My Vast Right Wing Consipiracy). I'd take this kind of research with a grain of salt--but it is interesting.

8. Maybe it's someone's idea of paradise, but most people won't be too enthusiastic about it!

9. Guess who's responsible for the London Bombings?

10. Those crazy crazy Canadians.

11. Remember the song, "Teach your children well..."? I wonder what this kid is learning in school? And then there's this bit of idiocy reported by Shamalama.

12. Was Glenn correct, or not? Except for his post, I saw NOTHING about this on the news.

13. The Bank of Bin Laden.

14. California tax dollars at work.

15. Does this explain whay all those blue-staters are so miserable? Not really. They just think they're intelligent.

16. The Midnight Ride of Hilary Clinton?

17. Till Life Do Us Part. Or until I get bored.

18. You must remember this....a kiss is still a kiss--or is it?

19. Can someone PLEASE get this woman some psychiatric help?

20. Well this is jolly. Would they be willing to tell us what the motive is?

A Ticking Suicide Bomb

I think this cartoon from Cox and Forkum captures the essential aspect of the connection between Islamofascist terrorism and those who enable and support them.

Of course, they think they do it out of "good" motives; because they are caring and compassionate people.

The Islamofascists think they do it because they are stupid and weak.

I think they are doing it because they can't come to grips with their own hostility and anger and need the image of being universally caring and compassionate to cover that up. (Who after all keeps bringing up homosexuality as an issue and "outing" various people they don't like? Who caricatures all minorities as "Uncle Toms" if they don't behave according to a prescribed set of "authorized" minority scripts? They aren't very caring and compassionate to anyone who disagrees with them.) That they refuse to recognize reality, even when it hits them over the head is blatant stupidity. That they have no real insight into their own motivations and inner conflicts is their great weakness.

This may be the only situation where the Islamic extremists and I might come to a similar conclusion.

And Cox and Forkum are absolutely correct in thinking that this kind of enabling behavior and political correctness represents a ticking suicide bomb in the middle of western culture.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

You Never Know What's Going to Happen Yesterday

The Belmont Club examines the notion of the Left that international terrorism is an "illusion":

Although the proposition that organized international terrorism does not exist may seem funny, many writers on the Left seriously believe that terrorism is a derivative phenomenon with no independent existence of its own. It is simply a reaction to Western, and particularly American oppression. It is the shadow, as it were, of the USA, which would cease to exist once the solid being that gave rise to it vanished. According to this point of view, it is entirely correct to refer to terrorists as 'insurgents', 'resistants', 'militants' or even 'freedom fighters', because they have no actual violent goals arising from their consciousness except as are suggested to them by their oppressor; entirely correct refer to them as 'phantoms' because they do not exist of themselves, except as emergent phenomenon in relation to the United States.

Thomas Joscelyn spends two whole pages in the Weekly Standard article The Four-Day War reminding us that after President Clinton launched Operation Desert Fox in 1999 to prevent Saddam Hussein from acquiring Weapons of Mass Destruction the press widely reported that Hussein had turned to Osama Bin Laden to exact revenge on the United States.
Recalling the recent past inconveniently undermines the thesis that an "organised terrorist network is an illusion". It is data that would be swept out of sight without the vigilance of writers like Joscelyn. (And it didn't used to be hard, at least in the days before the Internet. One Soviet historian working in the days of Stalin complained of the difficulty of his task because "You never know what's going to happen yesterday".) It would then be harder to deny the existence to an international terrorist network with actual goals of its own, with a will to power of its own, acting in the world today. Then we might have to conclude that the skein running through today's headlines is terrorism; that it is warring on us and that we might have to return the favor.

The Left calls international terrorism an "illusion." I call the the views of the Left "delusional". Thier illusion is a concoction of wishful thinking, projection, and outright denial of reality.

What we see in the delusion that "terrorism does not exist", is a desperate attempt by the Left to explain-- in terms they can understand, their own fall from power and influence in the world. They would rather believe this illusional "nightmare enemy gives so many groups new power and influence in a cynical age - and not just politicians"; rather than to deal with the fact that they no longer have the power and influence they once had, prefering to believe that it has been stolen away from them by vague conspiratorial forces.

Additiionally, they unknowingly demonstrate the typical cold grandiosity and arrogance of the true paranoid, by asserting that their own superior intellect allows them to see beyond the obvious facts that we mere mortals must deal with.

Although I don't know what's going to happen yesterday, I have a fairly good idea of what will happen in the near future: I will get dozens of angry emails regarding this pst--all people claiming that by pointing out this behavior that I am the one who is coldly arrogant and grandiose; and that I am delusional.

Further projection and paranoia are fairly common when one attempts to confront delusion. The confronter almost always becomes incorporated into the delusional "plot" in the eyes of the paranoid (that is why so many on the Left accuse Right-leaning bloggers of being "paid off" by the Republicans or that they are merely regurgitating the "talking points" of thw Administration--as if we don't have independent thinking faculties that have logically brought us to the same conclusions).

If I were dealing with a patient, I wouldn't bother to confront him so directly, as it doesn't work very often in inducing them to change. The stakes are too high because their sense of Self is on the line. And for those on the extreme end, that identity would shatter into a million pieces without the glue of delusional fantasies.

But we are not dealing with a single patient. We are dealing with a delusional group whose committment to the group delusion varies. No, it is with the hope that there are some Democrats and others on the Left who still retain enough rational capability; and who are not inextricably tied to the failed ideologies of the 20th century--whose adherents are desperately attempting to regain the power and influence they accuse others of stealing from them--it is with the hope of reaching them, that I bother to write about these issues at all.

As much as the Left would like us to believe that "terrorism" doesn't exist, the objective proof exists in the world around us; and anyone who opens their eyes can see it. Just as they would like us to believe that the U.S. is "responsible" for something that doesn't exist in the first place; the refutation of that is the historical record that anyone can investigate (and which one often must investigate for one's self, since history is constantly being distorted in our news media at the moment).

So, to them I say: open your eyes. Check the facts. Check the history. Go back and read what was said then versus what is being said now.

I dare you.

Friday, July 22, 2005

They Should Be Proud....

I just saw Elian Gonzalez on Fox as an 11 year old graduating sixth grade. He said, " Long live Fidel!"; "Long live communism!" to a cheering Fidel Castro, who presented him with a book and uses him as a symbol of the effectiveness of his putrid system.

How nice.

Janet Reno and Bill Clinton should be very proud of the way this child's future in freedom was sacrificed on the altar of political correctness.

I, on the other hand, feel sick.

The Council Has Spoken !

Image hosted by
This week's winners in the Watcher's Council are now posted at the Watcher's site. Every week the Council nominates posts from the blogs of the Council members, and posts from around the blogsphere. The Council then votes to select the "Best" of all these posts.


First Place

Is Britain Too Decadent to Survive? Gates of Vienna

Second Place

In for the Long Haul: What Needs to Happen in the War on Terror The Glittering Eye


First Place

Apologists Among Us Normblog

Second Place

Not Getting It Department Vodkapundit

Check out all the winners at the Watcher's site!

NASA Sets Shuttle Launch

NASA has set the next try to launch Discovery on Tuesday of next week.

NASA will try to launch Discovery on the first shuttle mission in more than two years next Tuesday, after tracing last week's fuel gauge failure to, most likely, an electrical grounding problem lurking inside the spacecraft.

Shuttle program manager Bill Parsons (search) said the only way to thoroughly check the system is to fuel Discovery and have all its equipment running.

"We believe the best way to go through this is to do a countdown," he said. "If the sensors (gauges) work exactly like we think they will, then we'll launch on that day. If anything goes not per the plan that we've laid out in front of us, then we'll have a scrub and we'll have to talk about it." (emphasis mine)

Well, this sounds an awful lot like faith/magic rather than science.... Perhaps they better call in a consultant?

Islamic Totalitarianism

If this analysis by Reuel Marc Gerecht is correct, it is very bad news for the hope that "moderate" Islam will rise to stop the Jihad mentality:

Quite likely the British will reach the same conclusion the French already have, to wit: Islamic terrorism on European soil has its roots in the Middle East. "British Islam"--the behavior and spiritual practice of Muslims in the United Kingdom--it will be said, is by and large a progressive force standing against pernicious and retrograde ideas emanating from the Middle East. There are big problems of acculturation at home in mother England, all will confess, but the holy-warrior mentality is imported.

This view, however, may turn out to be dead wrong. What was once unquestionably an import has gone native, mutated, and grown. Some of what the Europeans are now confronting--and for the United States this is very bad news--is probably a locally generated Islamic militancy that is as retrograde and virulent as anything encountered in the Middle East. "European Islam" appears to be an increasingly radicalizing force intellectually and in practice. The much-anticipated Muslim moderates of Europe--the folks French scholar Gilles Kepel believes will produce "extraordinary progress in civilization," a new "Andalusia" (the classical Arabic word for Moorish Spain) that will save us from Osama bin Laden's jihad--have so far not developed with the same gusto as the Muslim activists who have dominated too many mosques in "Londonistan" and elsewhere in Europe. Moderates surely represent the overwhelming majority of Muslims in Europe, but like their post-Christian European counterparts, they usually express their moderation in detachment from religious affairs.

Though Europeans often fail to see it, the secularization of the Muslims living in their midst has been, by and large, a great success. It explains why Muslim activists gain so much attention, be they arch-conservatives, like the devotees of the Tabligh movement in Britain and on the continent who espouse segregation in Europe, or "progressives," like the Switzerland-based intellectual Tariq Ramadan, who refuses forthrightly to declare the Muslim Holy Law null and void as a political testament for Muslims in a European democracy. The moderates have abandoned the field. They have become European. The militants, who perhaps should be seen as deviants from a largely successful process of secularization, are the only ones left ardently praying.

This analysis seems to be spot on. It obviously explains why the so-called "moderate" Muslim has not taken up opposition to the extremists with the ferver that the West anticipated. Gerecht goes on to say:

In Europe as elsewhere, Westernization is the key to the growth and virulence of hard-core Islamic radicalism. The most frightening, certainly the most effective, adherents of bin Ladenism are those who are culturally and intellectually most like us. The process of Westernization liberates a Muslim from the customary sanctions and loyalties that normally corralled the dark side of the human soul. Respect for one's father, an appreciation for the human need to have fun, a toleration of eccentricity and naughty personal behavior, the love of art and folk music--all are characteristics of traditional mainstream Muslim society wiped away by the arrival of modernity and the simultaneous spread of sterile, esthetically empty, angry, Saudi-financed Wahhabi thought. In this sense, bin Ladenism is the Muslim equivalent of Western totalitarianism. This cleaning of the slate, this break with the past, is probably more profound in the Muslim enclaves in Europe--what Gilles Kepel called les banlieues de l'Islam--than it is in the urban sprawl of Cairo, where traditional mores, though under siege and badly battered by modernity, nevertheless retain considerable force. Cairo gave us Ayman al-Zawahiri, al Qaeda's great intellectual; it's not unreasonable to fear that London or Paris or Berlin will give us his successor.

There is so much insight in this article, that I urge you to read it all. Gerecht is correct in asserting that the rise of the Muslim Jihadist fills a gaping hole made by the almost total eradication of the lethal leftist totalitarianisms of the 20th century. As he says, they represent the Muslim equivalent of Western totalitarianism--and they are the natural heirs to all those monsters throughout human history who have sought power in order to enslave other humans to their desires.

The only way to fight this mentality is to continue the slow march toward universal human freedom and democratic nations that embrace life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Battered-Left Syndrome

The diagnosis: Battered-Left Syndrome (hat tip: gumshoe)

The aftermath of the London terrorist bombings has demonstrated that the antiwar Left is severely afflicted by the political equivalent of battered-wife syndrome. With each new beating, the scarred and bruised victims of spousal abuse tend to excuse and rationalize the actions of their tormentors. A stubborn unwillingness to accept the proposition that their partners are violent louts plunges these woeful women into a morass of self-deception that spawns only further violence.

The far Left has similarly proved unable to liberate itself from the web of rose-tinted delusions that it has spun about the nature of Islamic extremism. After each al Qaeda outrage, leftist ideologues are quick to castigate their own countrymen for a catalogue of sins, both real and imagined. With a perverse combination of self-loathing and adoration of the enemy, the radical Leftist mantra preaches that if only we were nicer, the jihadists could not fail to love us. It’s our own fault if Osama bin Laden doesn’t realize what good people we are.

And all the while, these “progressive” academics, pundits, and politicians engage in ridiculous intellectual contortions designed to mitigate the guilt of the terrorist perpetrators. When push comes to shove, some intellectuals believe that Islamism is simply an understandable reaction to what they describe as “Western imperialism.”

The streets of Britain’s capital city were still damp with innocent blood when the same obscene dance of political self-flagellation began. Within hours of the explosions on the Underground, author Tariq Ali was blaming these attacks on George Bush and Tony Blair. The architects of the London bombings were exercising their just entitlement to vengeance for the “violence being inflicted on the people of the Muslim world,” he wrote.

Journalist Robert Fisk rushed to sing from the same song-sheet in the left-wing British daily The Independent. “It was crystal clear Britain would be a target ever since Tony Blair decided to join George Bush’s ‘war on terror,’” Fisk thundered. The true arch-terrorists of our time, he argued, could be found in the White House and 10 Downing Street.

And if the causes of Islamist terrorism were being falsely diagnosed by leftist ideologues, then the policy proposals being advanced by these same voices were morally bankrupt as well. Rather than pursue the fanatics had who visited such death upon the innocent of London, George Galloway, a radical member of Parliament, urged Britain to adopt the Spanish model of crumpling under pressure.

Lapkin, the author of this article hits the nail on the head, I think. You must read the whole thing.

Let me tell you about my experience with many Battered Women. I wrote about it previously on this blog , when I discussed the complacency many Muslim women show with their own oppression under Islamic law.

When I started my career in psychiatry, one of my earliest and most difficult cases was a woman--I'll call her Alice--who was seen frequently in the ER because her husband used to beat her fairly regularly. She had been hospitalized several times because of internal injuries from these beatings, but despite our trying to convince her to get help, Alice vehemently refused, claiming that she loved her husband and that he loved her. Her hospital room would be filled with flowers and cards from the repentant spouse. Both Alice and her husband would have nothing to do with us, and denied they even had a problem.

The last time I saw Alice, she was unconscious and being wheeled into the operating room after a particularly savage beating from her loving husband. She never made it off the operating table. I thought of how we tried desperately to warn her that the violence would not stop unless something changed. We literally had pleaded with her to let us help her the last time she was discharged from the medical unit.

Rarely since then have I felt so helpless or impotent as a professional. Rarely have I felt so angry about the kind of psychopathology and lack of insight that lead to situations like Alice's.

Since then I have come to realize you cannot force someone to change psychologically. The professional part of me understands that Alice had many opportunities to make a change in the toxic relationship she had with her husband. She had the opporutnity to get help; she could have stopped accepting his way of expressing his "love". She could have faced the reality of her situation. But she didn't, and now she was dead. The husband was convicted of her murder. And Alice, who was without doubt a tragic victim of domestic abuse, was at the same time a willing accomplice to her own murder.

The behavior of the Left, as Lapkin notes, is very similar to cases like Alice: denial; distortion of reality; appeasement; enabling behavior; and ultimately, the willing accomplices to their own murder.

Will they change? Can they change? Before that crocodile gets around to eating them?

Trainee Terrorists?

Michael Yon continues his excellent reporting from Iraq and tells us about progress made in Mosul. Along the way, he makes an excellent observation:

Part of the persistence of the insurgency results from a staggering availability of fighting materials. There are tons of explosives and munitions here in Mosul, with more streaming in every day, though mounting evidence strongly suggests this flow is abating. For example, the street price of 60mm "mortar bombs" was about $3/shot 9 months ago. Now it’s up nearly seven-fold to over $20. Car bomb incidents in Mosul, while still causing major damage to both military and civilians, have been declining. Whether this is a temporary dip or steady trend remains to be seen. Even if the ongoing flow were completely cut off, there is still a deep well of material on hand.

Even Zarqawi and Bin Laden are subject to the laws of supply and demand.

Meanwhile, Chrenkoff has "A Postcard from A Quagmire":

A majority of U.S. soldiers in Iraq say morale is low, according to an Army report that finds psychological stress is weighing particularly heavily on National Guard and Reserve troops.

Which is true, except that the report actually notes improvements on all accounts compared with a similar study one year earlier:

Wednesday's report said the number of suicides in Iraq and Kuwait declined from 24 in 2003 to nine last year...

The overall assessment said 13 percent of soldiers in the most recent study screened positive for a mental health problem, compared with 18 percent a year earlier. Symptoms of acute or post-traumatic stress remained the top mental health problem, affecting at least 10 percent of all soldiers checked in the latest survey.

In the anonymous survey, 17 percent of soldiers said they had experienced moderate or severe stress or problems with alcohol, emotions or their families. That compares with 23 percent a year earlier.

And what about the morale?

The report said 54 percent of soldiers rated their units' morale as low or very low. The comparable figure in a year-earlier Army survey was 72 percent.
So, as the US sinks ever deeper in the Iraqi quagmire, the mental health and morale of its troops are actually improving.

I guess that's actually bad news as far as the media is concerned.

Whether we call it the "Media Insurgency" or "Media Terrorism"; it still adds up to a concerted effort by many in the MSM to minimize the positive and accentuate the negative. One can even catch a whiff of admiration for the terrorists.This, from a "trainee journalist" at the Guardian, who also happens to be a member in good standing of a violent Islamic group.

People like Yon and Chrenkoff provide an objective assessment of what is going on in Iraq; without all the pandering to and enabling of the murderous thugs that are indiscriminantly blowing up fellow Muslims and "occupiers" alike.

Perhaps we should refer to some of the MSM journalists as mere "trainee terrorists"?

UPDATE: Maybe I'm being too kind to journalists. Glenn Reynolds says what he really thinks about their assinine questions to Blair and Howard. And here is Howard's response also.
The terrorists who tried to kill more people in London today are pathetic, incompetent losers. BUT SO ARE THE JOURNALISTS WHOSE BEHAVIOR ENABLES AND ENCOURAGES THEM.

You've got to wonder what is the matter with these people? To figure out the answer, simply look at the agenda these journalists advocate. In trying to lay the blame for terrorism on those who are actively fighting it (and they have tried to do this repeatedly and every chance they get), they manage to distort and deny the last 10 years of history; exonerate the Islamofascists who carry out the brutal and psychopathic acts; and demonstrate what a completely useless source of information their so-called "reporting" represents.

So the answer is: (1) they are filled with hatred toward the current leaders of the West and would prefer that the West lose the war on the Islamofascist terrorists, who are more compatible with their own world view. In order to accomplish that goal, they --consciously or unconsciously (does it really matter? Their behavior says it all)--strive to support anyone who might make the objects of their hatred look bad. How mature. How objective. How disgusting.

What they are doing is usually referred to as bias. But these "trainee terrorists" are oblivious to the implications of their own behavior. They are in reality suicidally biased; and like the suicide bombers they feel grudging awe and admiration for, they explode their venom in measured, calculated explosions that will do the most harm. (2:41 pm 7/21/05)

UPDATE II: Check out the Anchoress, who has a eries of photos that answer most of the dumbass reporter questions that imply Iraq is the "cause" of terror attacks. She visually shows us everything that came before Iraq. (2:55 pm 7/21/05)