March 25, 2006

Phony pacifists

Eric at the Popinjays, your one-stop shop for booze marinated, pro-war extreme leftism, reports that the Iraqi embassy in Canada has hit back at the phony pacifists of the Christian Peacemaker Teams.

There are also good editorials in Canada's National Post, opinion pieces in the Ottawa Citizen, by Margaret Wente and Rex Murphy in the Globe and Mail as well as letters (here and here).

Hardly backwards in coming forwards, the Iraqi embassy in Canada, said:

Politically, they are on the other side of this war. Christian Peacemaker Teams are objectively on the side of the fascists, Saddam Hussein's loyalists and al-Qaida in Iraq.

As the great popinjay himself wrote recently:

I shall go on keeping score about this until the last phony pacifist has been strangled with the entrails of the last suicide-murderer.

Feeding them to the lions would be too mild.

Andrew Apostolou (dress down saturday blogger).

Posted by Howard Baskerville at 8:57 PM | Permalink | Comments Off

March 24, 2006

Rally for Denmark!

The attempt in Britain to hold a "March for Freedom of Expression" is having a spot of bother. Problem is, first of all, they had to meet with the Police to let PC Plod know "what banners and signs might say or show."

Is this the same Police force that did nothing about murderous placards at demonstrations by Islamist extremists in London in May 2005 and in February 2006, only responding in the latter case after the event when there was a public and press outcry? Here is what happened in May 2005 according to CNN:

A British policeman said the language was offensive and unpleasant in the extreme. But police overlooked that and the fact that more than a few of the young men in the crowd covered their faces, technically a violation of British law, according to the police.

Shouting, "Down, down USA; down, down USA," the protesters called for the killing of Americans, the death of the U.S. president, the death of British Prime Minister Tony Blair, the bombing of Britain, and the annihilation of the U.S. capital: "Nuke, nuke Washington; Nuke, nuke Washington! Bomb, bomb the Pentagon."

My letter to my MP on this matter elicited a reply from Hazel Blears at the Home Office that read as if it has been copied off a press release website.

These reported comments from the boys in blue to the "March for Free Expression" organizers were interesting:

they [the Police] asked us to consider the cost to the taxpayer of policing a march and the inconvenience it would cause Londoners.

The "inconvenience" of a "March for Free Expression"--wouldn't want that in a free society would we?

Now the "March for Free Expression" has appealed for attendees not to bring copies of the Danish cartoons, leading people to ask if the event is really about freedom of expression. Talk about tying yourself in knots. You'll find a discussions of this led by the indefatigable David T over at Harry's Place

A simple Danish solidarity event, venue easy to find (the Danish embassy), would have sufficed, like this one.

Andrew Apostolou (lego my jim jams).

Pic from the DC rally, courtesy of Corsair the Rational Pirate:

060311_haig_vmed_7p.hmedium[1].jpg

Posted by Howard Baskerville at 5:55 AM | Permalink | Comments Off

March 23, 2006

Foreman of Arabia

Jonathan Foreman (aka Foreman of Arabia) has a long post on National Review Online on Iraq three years after the liberation war began, which starts with the following excellent point:

Confounding the expectations of cynics and terrorists, the majority Shia community has, at least until the Samarra mosque desecration, shown astonishing restraint and faith in a democratic future, despite months of murderous attacks by Sunni klansmen, Baathist diehards, and their al Qaeda Sunni allies. Likewise, Iraq's Kurdish leaders have put the future of a free Iraq before their own sectional interests.

Foreman has recently published The Pocket Book of Patriotism.

Andrew Apostolou (pjs blogger).

Posted by Howard Baskerville at 9:17 PM | Permalink | Comments Off

Masochism (and not of the interesting variety)

Brave members of the Multinational forces in Iraq rescued the three "peace" activists. Here is how they responded (extract from the "Statement By Loney Family" and the identical Christian Peacemaker Teams statement:

We believe that the illegal occupation of Iraq by Multinational Forces is the root cause of the insecurity which led to this kidnapping and so much pain and suffering in Iraq. The occupation must end.

Today, in the face of this joyful news, our faith compels us to love our enemies even when they have committed acts which caused great hardship to our friends and sorrow to their families.

The Multi-National Force-Iraq has United Nations backing in the form of UNSCRs 1511 (2003), 1546 (2004) and 1637 (2005).

The fascists murdered their friend, then they condemn their rescuers. Now where does it say: "love your murderers, denounce your friends"?

The kindest way in which one can characterize these people's attitude is: "What have the Romans ever done for us?"

Andrew Apostolou (seeking salvation in jim jams).

Posted by Howard Baskerville at 9:11 PM | Permalink | Comments Off

Nice try

In the discussion of the jilbab case, which has been manipulated by Islamist groups in the UK, the following comments on the BBC website were classics:

Added: Wednesday, 22 March, 2006, 22:31 GMT 22:31 UK

I feel the judgment was right. School uniforms exist for a reason, to eliminate any prejudice that might cause bullying due to what people ware.

Religious clothes should not be treated any different. its like saying i want to ware my Arsenal cap cos i believe in them.

Authur

Added: Wednesday, 22 March, 2006, 22:19 GMT 22:19 UK

My religion (Flying Spaghetti Monsterism, yes, its real look it up) requires me to wear full pirate uniform at all times, my school uniform obviously won't allow this...so...is this a breach of my human rights? Should I be in the courts?

David H, Newbury

Who has not attempted such a gambit at school to get out of some pointless chore or brutal sport?

Andrew Apostolou (jim jams prevent me from participating in inter-house rugby, sir).

Posted by Howard Baskerville at 8:54 PM | Permalink | Comments Off

Iran policy

An American lady in Iran has some novel suggestions "targeted at the ruling classes":

1. Force the Iranian team to negotiate with itself. (Oops! They already are!)

2. Make them source all materials and services within Iran. (That’ll teach them.)

3. Have the regime try to get money from itself without bribing anyone.

4. Force them to meet deadlines.

5. Don’t serve tea to any Iranian officials.

6. Make them use the Iranian medical system themselves (no intermediaries allowed! Let them see what it’s like to find out the drug they need is only available on the black market.)

7. Don’t let them watch football until they meet the EU’s demands.

8. Force them to drink only homemade Iranian vodka.

Number 8 may be going too far.

Andrew Apostolou (persian pyjamas).

Posted by Howard Baskerville at 8:50 PM | Permalink | Comments Off

Evading genocide with quotation marks

President George W. Bush's second-term National Security Strategy states:

4. Genocide

Patient efforts to end conflicts should not be mistaken for tolerance of the intolerable. Genocide is the intent to destroy in whole or in part a national, ethnic, racial, or religious group. The world needs to start honoring a principle that many believe has lost its force in parts of the international community in recent years: genocide must not be tolerated.

It is a moral imperative that states take action to prevent and punish genocide. History teaches that sometimes other states will not act unless America does its part. We must refine United States Government efforts – economic, diplomatic, and law-enforcement – so that they target those individuals responsible for genocide and not the innocent citizens they rule. Where perpetrators of mass killing defy all attempts at peaceful intervention, armed intervention may be required, preferably by the forces of several nations working together under appropriate regional or international auspices.

We must not allow the legal debate over the technical definition of “genocide” to excuse inaction. The world must act in cases of mass atrocities and mass killing that will eventually lead to genocide even if the local parties are not prepared for peace.

Fine words. However, when the U.S. ambassador to Armenia called the genocide of the Armenians a, well, genocide, the courageous souls of Foggy Bottom sallied forth to oblige the ambo to state that:

Although I told my audiences that the United States policy on the Armenian tragedy has not changed, I used the term “genocide” speaking in what I characterized as my personal capacity. This was inappropriate.

The ambo alluded to the president's annual statement on the genocide, a statement which does not mention it as a genocide:

This terrible event is what many Armenian people have come to call the "Great Calamity."

A year later a rumpus has been started about the ambo's status, eliciting this bit of editing by the State Department:

Armenia: Status of US Ambassador to Armenia Evans

Question: What is the status of U.S. Ambassador to Armenia Evans? Was he recalled for statements acknowledging the Armenian "genocide"?

Answer: U.S. Ambassadors serve at the pleasure of the President. Ambassador Evans and his capable team have the full confidence of the Administration.

Smart! So to show that somebody else said genocide, and that the State Department didn't, the used quotation marks, which means that the genocide was a "genocide", not a genocide. It's different, you see?

The L.A. Times has it right:

It is time to stop tiptoeing around this issue and to accept settled history. Genocide, according to accepted U.N. definition, means "the intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group." Armenia is not even a borderline case. Punishing an ambassador for speaking honestly about a 90-year-old crime befits a cynical, double-dealing monarchy, not the leader of the free world.

If Bush can stand up to Saddam, he can handle a democratic government in Turkey. What is more, given the choice, one day, between EU membership and acknowledging a nearly century old crime that nobody seriously denies, what will Turkey do? When that happens, maybe the State Department will get rid of those quotation marks.

Andrew Apostolou (historian in jim jams).

Posted by Howard Baskerville at 8:40 PM | Permalink | Comments Off

March 22, 2006

Guilty as charged

United Nations Security Council Resolution 687 (1991), passed under chapter seven of the charter and linked to the 1991 Gulf War ceasefire, operational paragraph 32:

Requires Iraq to inform the Security Council that it will not commit or support any act of international terrorism or allow any organization directed towards commission of such acts to operate within its territory and to condemn unequivocally and renounce all acts, methods and practices of terrorism;

According to Stephen Hayes of The Weekly Standard:

SADDAM HUSSEIN'S REGIME PROVIDED FINANCIAL support to Abu Sayyaf, the al Qaeda-linked jihadist group founded by Osama bin Laden's brother-in-law in the Philippines in the late 1990s, according to documents captured in postwar Iraq. An eight-page fax dated June 6, 2001, and sent from the Iraqi ambassador in Manila to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Baghdad, provides an update on Abu Sayyaf kidnappings and indicates that the Iraqi regime was providing the group with money to purchase weapons. The Iraqi regime suspended its support--temporarily, it seems--after high-profile kidnappings, including of Americans, focused international attention on the terrorist group.

According to the Center for Defense Information:

Abu Sayyaf-al Qaeda links are strong.

Some people will have to start laughing on the other sides of their faces.

Andrew Apostolou (pyjamas pongo).

Posted by Howard Baskerville at 10:43 PM | Permalink | Comments Off

More Rebuttals of “The Lobby”

Norm Geras posts a letter by Profs. Jeffrey Herf and Andrei Markovits rebutting the Walt/Mearsheimer paper. Their first point echoes Lee Smith's argument. Their third point is equally important:

Mearsheimer and Walt stand in a long tradition of "realist" political scientists known for naivete regarding the power and import of ideological fanaticism in international affairs. This naivete is the reason that radical Islam and the enduring crises of modernization in the region that produced it receive hardly a word in their long attack.

This actually brought to mind an important point Shalom Lappin made in response to Walt and Mearsheimer (emphases mine):

I also found the article by John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt in the LRB to be a nuanced version of Pat Buchanan's right wing, isolationist-inspired anti-Israel polemic. Mearsheimer and Walt are apparently members of a nascent "realist" coalition of traditional conservative political thinkers coming from the general direction of the Nixon right. I found the article striking on three counts.

First, it contains no new facts or innnovative analysis. It simply appropriates the venerable slogans, half truths, and misrepresentations of the anti-Zionist left, but it tones them down and presses them into service for a realist agenda. The seamlessness and ease with which this line can cross the political spectrum is a remarkable comment on who is pushing it and why.

The convergence of these two currents in the US (under the guise of "realism") is disturbing. Christopher Hitchens has been talking about this rather bizarre, sleazy, and incredibly hypocritical alliance between the Left and the Scowcroft Right on Iraq and US foreign policy in the ME in particular (this is really material for another post altogether).

Also, check out Frank Fukuyama's recent piece in The Guardian, which indirectly touches on the same point.

Back to Walt and Mearsheimer. Check out this detailed dissection by Robert Fine.

Update: Harvard has removed its logo from the Walt and Mearsheimer paper.

Update 2: What about W&M's footnotes?

Tony Badran.

Posted by at 9:53 AM | Permalink | Comments Off
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Winner, The 2008 Weblog Awards, Best Middle East or Africa Blog

Winner, The 2007 Weblog Awards, Best Middle East or Africa Blog

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