It is easy to damn the 1930s appeasers of Hitler such as Stanley Baldwin and Neville Chamberlain in England and Edouard Daladier in France given what the Nazis ultimately did when unleashed. But history demands not merely recognizing the truth post facto, but also trying to reconstruct the rationale of something that now in hindsight seems inexplicable.
Appeasement in the 1930s was popular with the European public for a variety of reasons. All of them are instructive in our hesitation about stopping a nuclear Iran, or about defending the right of Western newspapers to print what they wish or about fighting radical Islamism in general.
First, Europe had nearly been destroyed during the Great War, a mere 20 years prior. No responsible postwar leader wished to risk a second continental bloodbath.
Unfortunately, Hitler understood that all too well. In a game of diplomatic chicken, he figured many responsible democratic statesmen had more to lose than he did, as the weaker and once-beaten enemy.
British intellectuals, like European Union idealists today, wrote books and treatises on the obsolescence of war. Conflicts were supposedly caused only by rapacious arms merchants and profiteers at home, not by anti-democratic dictators who interpreted forbearance as weakness. Winston Churchill was a voice in the wilderness and demonized as a warmonger and worse.
Today, the 50-year Cold War is over, and Europe is at last free of burdensome military expenditure and the threat of global annihilation. Like Osama Bin Laden, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad senses a certain weariness in much of the West as it counts on perpetual peace.
He assumes that most sober Westerners will do almost anything to avoid military confrontation to stop a potential threat even though, unlike Hitler, Ahmadinejad not only promises to liquidate the Jews but reveals his method in advance by seeking nuclear weapons.
Some naive conservatives in prewar Europe thought the German and Italian fascists would prove a valuable bulwark against communism, and so could be politically finessed. So, too, it has been at times with Islamic fascism. Arming the mujahadeen in Afghanistan, Pakistan or Saudi Arabia was once seen as an inspired way of thwarting Soviet communist imperialism.
At the time of the Ayatollah Khomeini's homicidal fatwa against Salman Rushdie, religious conservative commentators from Patrick Buchanan to New York's Cardinal O'Connor attacked Rushdie, rather than defended the Western right of free expression. Apparently, they felt such Islamic threats to supposed blasphemers might have positive repercussions in discouraging left-wing anti-Christian attacks as well.
In the 1930s, the doctrine of appeasement fobbed off responsibility of confronting fascism onto the League of Nations. Both France and England were quiet about the 1936 Italian invasion of Ethiopia and the German militarization of the Rhineland. They counted on multilateral action of the League, which issued plenty of edicts but marshaled few troops.
Likewise, the moral high ground today supposedly was to refer both the Iraqi and Iranian problems to the United Nations. But considering the oil-for-food scandals and Saddam's constant violations of U.N. resolutions, it is unlikely that the Iranian theocracy has much fear that the Security Council will thwart its uranium enrichment.
As fascism spread, France worked on fortifying its German border with the Maginot Line, Oxford undergraduates voted to refuse "in any circumstances to fight for King and Country," and British newspapers decried the Treaty of Versailles for unduly punishing Germany. This was all long before the "no blood for oil" slogan and Al Gore in Saudi Arabia apologizing to his Wahhabi hosts for the supposed American maltreatment of Arabs.
But deja vu pertains not just to us, but our enemies as well. Like the Nazi romance of a exalted ancient Volk, the Islamists hearken back to a mythical purity, free of decadence brought on by Western liberalism. Similarly, they feed off victimization not just recent defeats, but centuries-old bitterness at the rise of the West. Their version of the stab-in-the-back Versailles Treaty is always the creation of Israel.
Just as Hitler concocted incidents such as the burning of the Reichstag to create outrage, Islamist leaders incite frenzy in their followers over a supposed flushed Koran at Guantanamo and several inflammatory cartoons, some of them never published by Danish newspapers at all.
Anti-Semitism, of course, is the mother's milk of fascism. It is always, they say, a small group of Jews whether shadowy cabinet advisers and international bankers of the 1930s or the manipulative neoconservatives and Israeli leadership of the present who alone stir up the trouble.
The point of the comparison is not to suggest that history simply repeats itself, but to learn why intelligent people delude themselves into embracing naive policies. After the removal of the Taliban and Saddam Hussein, the furious reply of the radical Islamist world was to censor Western newspapers, along with Iran's accelerated efforts to get the bomb.
In response, either the West will continue to stand up now to these reoccurring post-Sept. 11 threats, or it will see the bullies' demands only increase as its own resistance weakens. Like the appeasement of the 1930s, opting for the easier choice will only guarantee a more costly one later on. .
He assumes that most sober Westerners will do almost anything to avoid military confrontation to stop a potential threat even though, unlike Hitler, Ahmadinejad not only promises to liquidate the Jews but reveals his method in advance by seeking nuclear weapons.
The writer should read Read "Mein Kampf". Not only did Hitler discuss the destruction of the jews, but also the invasion of Russia.
Unfortunately, Mr. Ahmadinejad is right about Europeans doing anything to avoid military confrontation. The entire point of European society is easy living. The cost of arming and the act of fighting would reduce the quality of their lifestyle.
Today, the 50-year Cold War is over, and Europe is at last free of burdensome military expenditure and the threat of global annihilation.
Sorry VDH, Western Europe well before the 80s achieved equality in both combined GDP and population to the US and the US still carried the defense burden for Europe. They're welfare queens when it comes to defense and it isn't something new. They rationalized that their drafts made up for real military power and the American expense and cost [like the willingness to trade New York for Berlin if push came to shove]. They sleepwalked through the affair, with the exception of the Brits. There were and are still military welfare queens. Its just that while Washington has the guts to kick layabouts out of free room and board around New Orleans, it doesn't have the guts to tell kill NATO.
One other piece of the 1930's appeasement puzzle that should be remembered is the Soviet Union - much of the West regarded Stalin as a greater threat than Hitler, and (sort of) mistakenly thought that a stronger Germany would provide a valuable 'buffer' against Soviet expansion.
When the new Palestinian legislature is sworn in Saturday, Hamas's installation as the new majority will be hailed by clueless reporters and wishful thinkers as an electoral milestone for the fledgling Palestinian democracy. But a brewing dispute between the Islamic militants and the deposed Fatah Party is already calling into question the stability of a new government: How will authority be divvied up between the Hamas prime minister's cabinet and the higher-ranking post held by President Mahmoud Abbas?
Small arms at 30 paces, is my guess.
"Palestinian legislation is slippery and elastic. There's unclear constitutional lines," says Bassem Ezbidi, a political science professor at Bir Zeit University in Ramallah. "We will have a power struggle from now on from these two heads of government. And that will impact everything: the mandate, the authority, the politics that will emerge."
Setting the stage for the standoff will be a speech expected by Mr. Abbas to lawmakers Saturday in which he'll ask Hamas, which calls for destruction of the Jewish state, to embrace his vision for peace with Israel. Hamas is expected to remain steadfast in its opposition to Abbas's approach, deepening the divide between Fatah and Hamas lawmakers as negotiations begin to form the new government. One of the most sensitive points of tension between the two parties is who will control the gunnies 60,000-strong Palestinian paramilitary police. At stake is whether the policemen will reinforce Abbas's preference of extending a year-long calm in violence with Israel, or possibly collude with militants to launch new attacks.
We'll take "Collusion" for $500, Alex.
Palestinian basic laws designate the president as a commander in chief. The prime minister is responsible for the national security council and appointing an interior minister - powers stripped away from the president three years ago to weaken the former Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat. In its last session on Monday, the outgoing Fatah Parliament passed a law setting up a special court to resolve disputes between the prime minister and the president - a move condemned by Hamas. But underlying the legal confusion are years of bad blood between the Islamic militant underground and the guerrilla leaders who Mr. Arafat installed as the security chiefs of the self-rule government when it was set up a decade ago. Two weeks ago, a predawn blast on Suleiman Abu Mutleq's front stoop ripped a hole in his iron doorway and shattered the windows of his villa. The Khan Younis preventative security chief has yet to make an arrest, but has been quick to accuse. "It's clear from the information we have that Hamas is responsible," says Mr. Abu Mutleq, who heads a force charged with pursuing militants who launch attacks on Israel. "They are acting blindly because they won. I don't understand how they can act like an opposition and form a government. It's unacceptable."
Although Hamas has denied involvement, Abu Mutleq's allegation reflects the mutual resentment between Fatah loyalists, who have dominated the Palestinian police, and newly elected Islamic militants who will now oversee security personnel who were once their jailers. "How can they make a truce with Israel without giving political orders to arrest people?" asks Abu Mutleq. "No one from Hamas has shown up and said how they're going to manage the Palestinian street. There is something mysterious about it."
No mystery at all, Mutleq. Hamas will impose shariah, install the Learned Elders of Islam to pass judgements, and then start shooting anyone who disagrees. The Paleo street will suffer as never before.
Indeed, there's a Pandora's box of questions about the future role of the police. If Abbas ordered security forces to disarm Hamas militants firing rockets into Israel, could the cabinet block the president? Will police chiefs continue to cooperate with Israel? Would a Hamas interior minister merge the movement's Izz-a-dine Al Qassem military wing into the police, only to still allow it to initiate strikes on Israel?
The Paleo voters have spoken. Anything that makes Jooos dead will be allowed. Nothing else matters.
Hamas has paid lip service to unifying Palestinian militias with the security forces, but observers say they will wait before merging the Qassem brigades into the police. A decade ago, Sheikh Ahmed Bahar was one of several Hamas leaders who were locked up in a crackdown by Arafat against the underground that dispatched suicide bombers to Israel. The newly elected Palestinian legislator said he hasn't forgotten the experience of nearly three weeks of torture, even if he has tried to forgive. "I stayed 18 days, and I could barely open my mouth. They pulled out three fingernails and three toenails," he says. "There was a lot of anger [at the police]. We could escalate that issue, but we don't want internal fighting between the Palestinian people." Mr. Bahar insisted that Hamas had gotten assurances from Abbas that the security services would be the province of the Interior Ministry. The Islamists will seek to collect illegal weapons, but will allow members of the "resistance" to arm themselves.
But Hamas also has a bone to pick with police chiefs who are widely suspected of corruption. "The security forces will be much better than they were before," says Bahar. "We will threaten the corrupt people who have stolen Palestinian money." And yet, Hamas will have to tread carefully if it wants to give the security services a makeover. That's because the ranks of the police are almost exclusively made up by Fatah. The same is true for other parts of the Palestinian government. "They are the most important manifestations of the Fatah legacy. Fatah used to think of itself as the cream of the cream," says Mr. Ezbidi. "Those people have been exposed to the Fatah political culture, and Hamas knows to change the composition will take time. I don't rule out Hamas facing these challenges directly, and getting into clashes, and arm twisting."
At the Gaza police headquarters, Alaa Husni, the chief of the West Bank and Gaza civilian police, responds sarcastically when asked about whether he'd take orders from a Hamas interior minister. "What's the problem?" "If Hamas is coming to create a conflict this will be unacceptable," he continues. "If they don't disarm themselves, if they don't stop distributing illegal weapons, they shouldn't be talking about security. If Hamas intends to annex the Palestinian security services to its militias, the general public will not accept this."
The Paleo public will accept the mandate of them what has the bigest guns and the bloodiest hands. They made their own bed, now it's time to lie in it.
Very good article, a5089. You're on a roll! Oh, and I didn't comment on your Europeann nihilism/suicide post yesterday, but I think you nailed it there. Please consider yourself and your family invited here should you find yourself seriously threatened by events -- we need analysts of your calibre on this side of the Pond. No reason for you to swallow the poisoned Kool-aid with the rest.
Intersting bits from the article:
Now that Israel has pulled out of Gaza, there is a clear, firm Jewish majority in the territory west of the Jordan River. 67 percent, in fact.
...this majority is assured to continue well into the future, in light of a shrinking Arab population in Judea and Samaria (1. 8 percent), a rising Jewish population in Israel (2.1 percent), large scale Arab emigration since 1950 and Jewish aliya (immigration to Israel) that began in 1882.
Hamas' victory will spur on Arab emigration (especially amongst PA employees and their families), and growing anti-Semitism in France and the former Soviet Union will spur aliya (Jewish immigration).
...the demographic establishment ignores the quick drop in natural growth in the third world, the Muslim world (1.9 children per woman in Iran), and the Arab world (2.9 children per woman in Egypt).
...developments that have led to a drop in natural replacement rates amongst Palestinians: The introduction of family planning (52 percent of married women use birth control), a rising median age of marrying couples and divorce rates, better education, higher awareness of women's careers and the drastic move from villages to cities.
...The demographic establishment ... minimize[s] Jewish natural growth and exaggerate[s] that of the Arabs, to dismiss the potential of Jewish immigration to Israel and to ignore Arab emigration from Israel.
...Jewish productivity over the last five years (2.7 children per woman) is higher than the highest scenario considered by the Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics, whereas the Arab numbers (4 children) approaches the lowest scenario.
According to UNRWA, Arab productivity in the West Bank has plummeted, from 5.4 children per woman to 3.24.
...In 1900 Jews constituted just eight percent of the population west of the Jordan, in 1948 it was 48 percent, and today we are 60 percent. Without Gaza, the Jewish majority is stable at 67 percent within the "green line", Judea and Samaria....
These kinds of stats need to be shouted from the rooftops. This gives me (some) hope for Europe too. In fact, of the Muslims I know here in the States, they're only having 1-2 kids, because they can't afford any more in the U.S. Not quite the idealistic "melting pot" (they still tend to keep to themselves, hang out around the mosque, etc.), but in this arena, they are becoming "Americanized."
Welfare reform is the big hurdle in the EU. They pay to keep 25-50% of males between 20 and 30 enemployed as part of their social contract. That's why the muzzies can multiply there without the penalties that accumulate here. Also, we assimilate immigrants the Euros isolate them, at least if they're muzzie.
1. Counting the area west of the river as including Israel and the WB but excluding Gaza is a tad artificial. Do you really think Israel can successfully wall off Gaza while retaining the West Bank?
2. Demographic data on the number of Pals, rates of growth, etc are matters of considerable controversy in Israel. Theres been revisionist attacking the demographic threat idea for several years. Theres also counters to them. From what I understand, the majority of professional demographers in Israel dont agree with the revisionists.
3. when I saw the headline, I thought it was about europe, and was surprised to see it here. In fact IIUC second generation birthrates there are much lower than immigrant birthrates.
Israel needs to think like the Boer Repulics (Transvaal Republic and the Orange Free State). By that I mean they should create two Jewish states. Israel in the current borders and Judea in the west bank. Borders could be arranged nicely and Israel could not be held responsible for any misdeads of her sister state since it is an independent republic.
Eventually, if Judea pushed things too far Israel could step in with a coup or bloodless coup and absorb the region.
Such an arrangement wouldn't fool most people but neither has the current one.
It needs to be remembered that dictators lie. It's what they do best. Even when they would like to tell the truth, their underlings lie to them. The Soviets never published realistic demographic data. They even lied about things as verifiable as the population of Moscow. The paleos are no different. It's all about what numbers would best help their arguement.
Posted by: Formerly Dan ||
02/16/2006 16:28 Comments ||
How did a million Palestinians "disappear"?
Why, the Zionists butcherd them, drank their blood, and gave their Korans to their children to flush down the toilets and draw cartoons all over the words of the Prophet, of course!
I used to like Ann Coulter. I now view her the same way I view Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell: while she's not a leftist moonbat, she's most certainly an idiotarian. My comments added at 11 am CST.
The amazing part of the great Danish cartoon caper isn't that Muslims immediately engage in acts of mob violence when things don't go their way. That is de rigueur for the Religion of Peace. Their immediate response to all bad news is mass violence. That's a "dog bites man" story and belongs on page B-34, next to the grade school hot lunch menu and the birth notices.
After an Egyptian ferry capsized recently, killing hundreds of passengers, a whole braying mob of passengers' relatives staged an organized attack on the company, throwing furniture out the window and burning the building to the ground. Witnesses say it was the most violent ocean liner-related incident since Carnival Cruise Lines fired Kathie Lee Gifford.
Was that a result of their religion, or a recognition that in their country and present culture, there was no other way to get justice? In the U.S., we get a grand jury empaneled and hire some junk-yard lawyers to get justice after a tragedy like this. Remind us how that works in Egypt, Ms. Coulter. Right -- it doesn't. Tell you what, as a mild-mannered Catholic, I also might have rioted against the shipping company if there was no other way to get justice. Then again, I might pick up a rifle.
The "offense to Islam" ruse is merely an excuse for Muslims to revert to their default mode: rioting and setting things on fire. These people have a serious anger management problem.
So it's not exactly a scoop that Muslims are engaging in violence. A front-page story would be "Offended Muslims Remain Calm."
Most Muslims did, Ann. Didya notice that? Muslims across America handled the cartoons the same way I handled 'Piss Christ' when the that first came out. I was mighty unhappy that a dumb-assed 'artist' took an object I consider holy and dunked it into a jug o' urine, and I said so at the time. I didn't riot over it. Likewise, my Muslim friends here at the University have been unhappy about their holy man being portrayed in unflattering ways, and they said so -- calmly. We didn't have any riots in Chicago.
What is stunning about this spectacle is that their violence is working. With a few exceptions, the media won't show the cartoons that incited mass violence around the globe (cartoons available at www.anncoulter.com). And yet, week after week, American patriots endure "The Boondocks" without complaint. Where's the justice here?
Perhaps we could put aside our national, ongoing, post-9/11 Muslim butt-kissing contest and get on with the business at hand: Bombing Syria back to the stone age and then permanently disarming Iran.
No, we don't want to bomb Syria back to the stone age, any more than we bombed Iraq back to the stone age (Iraq was practically in the stone age due to Saddam, Uday and Qusay looting the country blind; that's different). We want Pencilneck gone and his thugocracy dismantled, but we have nothing against the Syrian people. Mostly.
Furthermore, there's no 'butt-kissing' of Muslims by the more critical parts of our power structure -- I say that recognizing that some Rantburg citizens will disagree with me. GWB, Condi, Rummy et al have had this right all along: we're not going after Muslims or Islam, we're going after those who use and pervert that religion for their own nasty political ends. I don't have any problems with peaceful Muslims, though I wish more of them would get on the same side as us. I have big problems with the ones who want to build a caliphate, kill all the Jooos, and make me and my family dhimmis. The solution isn't mindless violence, it's targeted violence against evil people.
When stupid people riot, you bring out the water cannons and the baton-swinging police to restore order. But you don't indict an entire religion for the rubes amongst them. The key is to get at what's going on behind the scenes. What we have in the Middle East today is a long-term, careful-conceived plan by several different groups, including al-Q and the Mad Mullahs, to remove the West from world power and replace us with a caliphate. Each group plans to be the one wearing the bejeweled turban, and each is antagonistic towards the others plotters as well as towards us. That's the story. Ann surely knows that, but she doesn't write about it, because that would require calm logic and reasoning, and she doesn't do calm.
The mass violence by Muslims over some cartoons reminds us why we have to worry when countries like Iran start talking about having nukes. Iran is led by a lunatic who makes a big point of denying the Holocaust. Indeed, in response to the Muhammad cartoons, one Iranian newspaper is soliciting cartoons about the Holocaust. (So far the only submissions have come from Ted Rall, Garry Trudeau and The New York Times.)
That's called 'slander' Ms. Coulter. As far as I know, none of the three have done that. I think Ted Rall is slime (that's not slander, that's an opinion), and I have a similar low regard for Mr. Trudeau and for the NYT. But none of the three have entered this idiot contest, so Ms. Coulter is just playing to the cheap seats. It's not necessary and it brings her down to the level of Mr. Rall -- not that she has far to go these days.
Iran is certainly implying that it has nukes. Maybe they do, maybe they don't, but you can't take chances with berserk psychotics. What if they start having one of these bipolar episodes with a nuclear bomb?
If you don't want to get shot by the police, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, then don't point a toy gun at them. Or, as I believe our motto should be after 9/11: Jihad monkey talks tough; jihad monkey takes the consequences. Sorry, I realize that's offensive. How about "camel jockey"? What? Now what'd I say? Boy, you tent merchants sure are touchy. Grow up, would you?
Oh, har-har. Like I said, she doesn't have far at all to go to be indistinguishable from Ted Rall.
In addition, I believe we are legally required to be bombing Syria right now. And unlike the Quran's alleged prohibition on depictions of Muhammad, I've got documentation to back that up!
Muslims in Syria torched the Danish Embassy a few weeks ago, burning it to the ground. According to everyone, the Syrian government was behind the attack -- the prime minister of Denmark, Condoleezza Rice and White House spokesman Scott McClellan. I think even the gals on "The View" have acknowledged that Damascus was behind this one.
McClellan said: "We will hold Syria responsible for such violent demonstrations since they do not take place in that country without government knowledge and support."
We are signatories to a treaty that requires us to do more than "hold Syria responsible" for this attack. Syria has staged a state-sponsored attack on our NATO partner on Danish soil, the Danish embassy. According to the terms of the NATO treaty, the United States and most of Europe have an obligation to go to war with Syria.
If the Danes ask us to do so -- that's a quirk of 'Article V' of the NATO constitution that somehow has eluded Ms. Coulter. And, something else Ms. Coulter misses, if it's smartest, best way to respond. Burning an embassy is an act of war, but you don't necessarily respond to it by bombing a country 'back to the stone age'. If Saddam had burned a Western embassy, we would have bombed him -- in fact, we did anyway. But what we want is for Pencilneck to go, and we have a plan in place to get that done without losing other things that we also consider valuable to us. That's called 'strategy', a concept on which Ms. Coulter is clueless.
Or is NATO -- like the conventions of civilized behavior, personal hygiene and grooming -- inapplicable when Muslims are involved? Liberals complain about "unilateral action," but under the terms of a treaty created by Dean Acheson and the Democrats, France, Germany, Spain and Greece are all obliged to go to war with us against Syria. Why, it's almost like a coalition! OK, Mr. Commie: Saddle up!
It's easy to toss rhetorical bombs around when you don't have to put your own ass on the line. It happens at most blogs (us included) from time to time. We're smart enough to understand that, as do most other commentators at most reasonable blogs, newspapers, etc. It isn't clear to me that Ms. Coulter is that smart. If she is, she hides it well.
War is a serious business, Ann: people die. Good people die, including your own soldiers, people you truly care about. You don't go to war to prove how macho you are, and you don't do it on a whim. You go to war when you're faced with certain choices in which war is the least unappealing. We went to war with the Taliban because the other choice, leaving them in place and leaving their country as a giant training camp for al-Q, was utterly unacceptable. Ditto Iraq: no way could we let Saddam slip past sanctions, develop new weapons, threaten all our friends in the region and arm terrorists. So we went to war. In the process we've lost a couple thousand smart, wonderful men and women in uniform. Is it worth it? Yes. Hell yes.
But that doesn't mean we go to war to prove to anyone that we have big brass ones.
Ann Coulter has become trapped by her persona: she thinks she has to say outrageous stuff to make her point, and over time she has to become more outrageous to continue to be noticed. She's been over the line frequently in her attention-seeking behavior, and this piece of tripe is one more example of that. Feh.
Or, as I believe our motto should be after 9/11: Jihad monkey talks tough; jihad monkey takes the consequences. Sorry, I realize that's offensive. How about "camel jockey"? What? Now what'd I say? Boy, you tent merchants sure are touchy. Grow up, would you?
You gotta love Ann! An extremely witty attorney (very rare) who's not hard on the eyes, to boot! She has more cojones than many "metrosexual" American men, these days!
But you don't indict an entire religion for the rubes amongst them.
Unless it turns out that they're all rubes.
Jihad monkey talks tough; jihad monkey takes the consequences. Sorry, I realize that's offensive. How about "camel jockey"? What? Now what'd I say? Boy, you tent merchants sure are touchy. Grow up, would you?
I remain amazed at how often infantile invective is deemed a suitable replacement for wit or erudition. Grow up, indeed.
My husband is a liar and a cheat. He has cheated on me from the beginning, and when I confront him, he denies everything. What's worse, everyone knows he cheats on me. It is so humiliating. Also, since he lost his job four years ago, he hasn't even looked for a new one. All he does is buy cigars and cruise around and bullshit with his pals, while I have to work to pay the bills.
Since our daughter went away to college, he doesn't even pretend to like me and hints that I am a lesbian. What should I do?
Grow up and dump him for Pete's sake, you don't need him anymore. You're a United States senator from New York. Act like it!
I know about 100 bloggers and a few Rantburgers as well who are funnier and smarter than Ann Coulter. Why does she get all this attention? She doesn't speak for me, she embarasses me and I'd bet that the number of voters who are repelled from ever giving conservative view points even a perfunctory listen is greater than the number of conservatives she entertains. I am frequently disgusted by the actions of the NYTimes but I don't see any humor in joking that McVeigh out to have blown up 43rd St. That's not squishy political correctness on my part either, that's common sense.
Another bit of common sense: You don't wage war on a billion people. Even if we hawks had a strong consensus to do so at home (which we obviously don't).
You oppose the Nazis, not all Germans. You oppose the Militarists, not all Japanese. You oppose the Soviets, not all Russians. One day, as I hope, we will be rid of the Mullahs and the radical Imams and the tin-pot Assad/Ghaddafi/Saddam/Saud/Mumbarak crime families that mis-rule the Middle East. But there will always be an Ummah where 1 billion people live. Do you want them to be our eternal enemies or can they become our strategic allies, the way that 100 million Japanese are today?
To focus our attack on their race, religion and culture is stupidity of the highest order. War is political and ideological. We need to focus our firepower (political and militarily) the Wahhabist clerical class and corrupt elites who have cynically exploited this cartoon conflict and are the same ones who have fanned the flames of hatred, incitement to violence and indoctrination for the past 3 decades.
I have changed my mind about the reprinting of the cartoons. I orginally felt that all media outlets needed to reprint them. I now feel like this whole "to reprint or not to reprint" debate is taking away the focus from where it should be on the methods and the timeline used by Danish Mullah Laban and his cohorts and allies to spark this outburst and charting the way it spreads. If we're going to use drawings as weapons, we ought to be caricaturing Laban, Qawradawri, HuT, MB, Amhaddenejad, and all the other superstitious old goats who are trying to bend the Islamic world's opinions to their will with their incitement apparatus.
Sorry, 'Moose, we've got to disagree. I think Ann Coulter's insults to the lefties and the Muzzy nutballs are all well-deserved and exactly what they need to send them into frothing rage. The more she goads them, the more ridiculous they sound when they try to hit back or restrict her freedom of speech. Inspiring lefties and Muzzies to make public asses of themselves is always a good thing and I thoroughly approve of it. On top of being extremely bright, quick-witted, and discerning about her enemies, she's also damned good-looking. Brains and beauty; that's a tough combination to beat. Moose, if you took Ann on in person I suspect you'd get your hindquarters handed to you and she'd just laugh all the way to the bank. You've got a losing dog of an argument on this one. Better luck next time.
Confused by the wave of protests, threats, boycotts, and attacks against diplomatic facilities that have shaken their idyllic tranquility after the publication of cartoons depicting the Prophet Mohammed on Jyllands-Posten, the Danes are asking themselves questions. They wonder if an attack will take place in their country, as threatened by various jihadi groups, and if freedom of speech is in jeopardy. But a more immediate question is puzzling some: Why has the outrage of the Muslim world exploded only now, in February, when the cartoons were published last September? At the time of the initial publication, international media had reported news of the blasphemous caricatures, not only in Danish, but also in English. Yet nothing happened, aside from timid protests from the Muslim community of the tiny Scandinavian kingdom. So what is different about the situation now? More than the question, it is the answer that is keeping a good chunk of Denmark's political and cultural elite awake at night. The recent anti-Danish emotional wave coming from the Muslim world, in fact, is far from a spontaneous reaction, but it has been cunningly orchestrated by a knowledgeable insider, a real snake in the grass who has been creeping in Denmark for the last 15 years.
Ahmed Abdel Rahman Abu Laban, a 60-year-old Palestinian imam who has been residing in Copenhagen since 1993, has become over the last few years the face of Islam in Denmark, creating his own persona of a moderate cleric who seeks dialogue but who is victimized by the widespread "racism" of the Danes. Despite his poor command of the Danish language, Abu Laban is a frequent guest on Danish television and in meetings with government officials, where he claims to represent the voice of the local Muslim community. Even though part of the establishment has always looked at him with suspicion (Prime Minister Rasmussen has always refused to meet with him), Danish intelligentsia has made him a celebrity so much of one that even the Washington Post recently profiled him as "one of Denmark's most prominent imams."
But Abu Laban's real face has now been revealed. In September, the imam immediately condemned Jyllands-Posten's cartoons and led protests at the local level. Danish politicians and media, busy with local elections, ignored him. But Abu Laban is not the kind of person who gives up easily. After having contacted ambassadors from Muslim countries in Copenhagen, he put together a delegation with the goal of touring the Middle East to "internationalize this issue so that the Danish government would realize that the cartoons were not only insulting to Muslims in Denmark but also to Muslims worldwide," as he explained in an interview with "Islam Online". The delegation met with, among others, Arab League Secretary Amr Moussa, Grand Imam of Al-Azhar Sheikh Mohammad Sayyed Tantawi, and Sunni Islam's most influential scholar, Yusuf al Qaradawi. The delegation showed each of these leaders the 12 cartoons published by Jyllands-Posten, along with others that had never been published by any Danish publication. The new cartoons were every more offensive, as showing the Prophet Mohammed with a pig face or having sexual intercourse with a dog. While the delegation claimed that the differentiation was pointed out to their interlocutors, there is no other evidence, and rumors about the more blasphemous images began to circulate in the Middle East. Moreover, the booklet that was presented by the delegation contained several other lies about the "oppression" of Muslims in Denmark, claiming Muslims do not have the legal right to build mosques and are subjected to pervasive racism.
With emotions about the cartoons mounting, Qaradawi, the real brains of the Muslim Brotherhood's international network and a key opinion maker in the Middle East thanks to his weekly show on al Jazeera, attacked Denmark directly, warning that an apology would not be sufficient, and that "a firm stance" should have be taken by the Danish government. As Prime Minister Rasmussen refused to intervene, referring to the cherished tradition of freedom of the press in his country, Qaradawi and his ilk unleashed their propagandistic war against Denmark. Abu Laban, from his mosque in the Copenhagen suburb of Nørrebro, is now happily reaping the fruits of his hard work. But, in a quintessential exercise in taqiya (double-speak), Abu Laban has tried to hide his satisfaction to the Danes. Speaking on Danish television, Abu Laban has wept crocodile tears, condemning the boycott of Danish goods and the other consequences of his actions. Yet, interviewed by al Jazeera, the imam has said just the opposite, praising the outrage of the Muslim world at his adoptive country.
So just who is Abu Laban? The Danes are slowly getting a fuller portrait. Friday night, Danish state television DR broadcasted a long report on him and Danes have begun to understand more about the self-proclaimed voice of Islam in Denmark. According to DR, Intelligence documents reveal that Abu Laban has been in close contact for years with members of various terrorist organizations, and in particular with leaders of the Egyptian Gamaa Islamiya. In the beginning of the 1990s, in fact, several leaders of the Gamaa escaped the long arm of the Egyptian mukhabarat and relocated to Europe. Copenhagen became the new hometown of two of the group's leaders, Ayman al Zawahiri, currently serving as Osama bin Laden's right-hand man, and Talaat Fouad Qassimy. From the quiet of the Scandinavian capital, the men published Al Murabitoun, the Gamaa's official publication. Abu Laban worked as a translator and distributor of the publication, which glorified the killing of Western tourists in Egypt and urged the annihilation of Jews in Palestine. Then Abu Laban worked closely with Said Mansour, a Moroccan man currently charged in Denmark for running a publishing house that distributed jihadi material.
All of this is not news to Danish security officials, but now Danes are slowly becoming aware of the facts. And Abu Laban's celebrated celeb status is about history in Denmark. Danes have no more patience for those who preach love in one language and war in another, those who publicly play the role of the victim, demand tolerance and then secretly incite hatred. While much of Europe has been asleep at the wheel, oblivious to the monumental threat radical Islam poses to its future, at least one country is increasing awake. Denmark's first battle is domestic, unmasking the enemy's fifth column inside its borders. As embassies burn, the rest might want to catch on, too.
Lorenzo Vidino is a senior terrorism analyst at the Investigative Project and author of the book Al Qaeda in Europe: The New Battleground of International Jihad.
A multi-volume chronology and reference guide set detailing three years of the Mexican Drug War between 2010 and 2012.
Rantburg.com and borderlandbeat.com correspondent and author Chris Covert presents his first non-fiction work detailing
the drug and gang related violence in Mexico.
Chris gives us Mexican press dispatches of drug and gang war violence
over three years, presented in a multi volume set intended to chronicle the death, violence and mayhem which has
dominated Mexico for six years.