February 11, 2005

Bat Yeor at Columbia

Posted by Mary Madigan

I went to hear Egyptian scholar Bat Ye’or speak at Columbia University on Tuesday. Yes, the pro-Israel Ye’or walked directly into the belly of Columbia's leftist beast. Despite the documented anti-Israel attitudes of some of Columbia’s Middle East and Asian languages and cultures department, there were no sign-waving activists protesting her appearance. The crowd was mostly low-key and graying. The room was so crowded that a few professorial types had to sit on the floor.

Before the talk began, two journalists who, to all outward appearances were liberal (one even had a grey ponytail) admitted that the many "breaches of journalistic ethics" that the New York Times had committed since 9/11 had convinced them not to read the Times anymore. They agreed that New York Sun was the best alternative.

I discovered Ms. Ye’or’s work when I read this article, Culture of Hate, about a year after 9/11. Her description of the current Islamist culture of jihad, "a racism which denies the history and sufferings of its victims" was confirmed by what I knew about the bias, inequality and brutality that ruled terror-supporting nations like Saudi Arabia, Iran and the Sudan.

Under Shariah, non-Muslims, or dhimmis, are legally classified as less than human.

Before reading Culture of Hate, I knew that bin Laden was inspired by a philosophy of hate, Wahhabism. But I also thought that al Qaeda was one of the few organizations that used mass-murder to express that hate. Ms. Ye’or made it clear that, not only was this culture of hate murdering and enslaving non-believers around the world, the hatred for non-believers was based on established laws that prohibited the idea of equal rights.

The petite Ms. Ye’or had a talent for seeing the big picture. I couldn’t wait to hear her talk.

She discussed her new book, Eurabia: The Euro-Arab Axis which concerns:

..the transformation of Europe into Eurabia, a cultural and political appendage of the Arab/Muslim world. Eurabia is fundamentally anti-Christian, anti-Western, anti-American and anti-Semitic. The institution responsible for this transformation, and that continues to propagate its ideological message, is the Euro-Arab Dialogue, developed by European and Arab politicians and intellectuals over the past thirty years.
According to Ms. Ye'or, this Arab/European alliance was motivated primarily by anti-Americanism, anti-Zionism and a desire to import oil and cheap labor.

More information about this organization can be found at Arab/European alliace website, Medea.

Ye'or didn't go into the details of why an organization that was founded in the interests of subjugating the future of western culture in the interests of "multiculturalism" and opposition to America would name itself after the tragic story of a woman who murdered her own children out of jealousy and spite.

The main points of the book, according to Ye’or:

  • The concept of Eurabia began in the Universities. It has been influenced by Edward Said's book, Orientalism. Said sought to discredit all Western analysis of the Middle East, since, in his words, "every European, in what he could say about the Orient, was consequently a racist, an imperialist, and almost totally ethnocentric."

  • Many Europeans agree with Said’s theories. Many don’t believe that their culture is worth preserving.

  • The policies of the EU towards Israel mirror Arab policies.

  • This multicultural 'alliance' is currently cemented by European fear of terrorism.

  • Europe seems to accept its current dhimmi status, and does not seem to be willing to defend traditional Western, Judeo-Christian values.

  • In Europe and in the UK, Muslim gangs are a threat and anti-Semitic attacks are increasing
Despite Columbia’s famed leftist leanings, the question and answer session was surprisingly balanced. But, as is usual in academic settings, the ‘questions’ were usually short lectures disguised as questions.

Questions:

  • The moderator found it hard to believe that Europeans wouldn’t defend themselves.

  • A man whose sister had converted to Islam and married a Muslim said that, while his sister was happily married and he loved his brother in law, he was shocked by their attitudes. The sister, a westerner raised in America, believed that Salman Rushdie should die for what he said about Islam. His brother in law told him that eventually, the state of Israel will not exist. "We are a patient people" his brother-in-law said.

  • A woman sitting next to me asked Ye'or about the influence of Arab money on American colleges. Given that the concept of Eurabia originated in European Universities, and given that our Universities, particularly Columbia, are heavily influenced by Saudi money, I though that was a good question. Ms. Ye'or agreed that this was a threat.

  • One man who identified himself as Muslim asked Ye'or "What is your problem with Muslims?" (Obviously he’s never read Culture of Hate) Ms. Ye’or said that she would have no problem with Muslims if they were willing to recognize that Dhimmis should have equal rights. "Unfortunately," she said "they’re not willing to recognize that" Most of the room applauded her answer.

    Humiliated, the questioner shook his head in disbelief and said "I don’t understand, but then again, I’m just a dirty Muslim"

  • The student said "I am an Arab, we are a Semitic people, so you can’t accuse me of being an anti-Semite." The crowd reacted with sarcastic laughter, and the quality of the student’s question went downhill from there. Ms. Ye'or's response was, basically, "you have a lot to learn."

  • One questioner said that she believed Europe was doomed, and asked if America could be saved. Ms. Ye’or’s believed that George Bush’s policies offer the only reasonable alternative to European dhimmitude. This brought a predictable number of boos.
Will Europe continue to accept this Euro-Arab alliance, and the resulting anti-Semitism? Will academics in America encourage the same sort of alliance? The situation, as described by those who have been paying attention to these things, does not look good. Once again, it seems that Bat Ye’or sees the big picture.

UPDATE – An important point made by Ye'or (and commenter Vanya); This European/Arab alliance was the brainchild of the European academic and political elites – not the European people or the Arabs.

Posted by Mary Madigan at February 11, 2005 06:42 AM

Comments

It sounds like Bat Ye'or is simplifying Europe's dilemma a bit. In my experience the European "common man" has a fear and hatred of muslims that is far stronger than anything you would ever see in the US. At the same time the European elites are trying to push the EU "common europe" idea on a population that often hates the people from the next city over. It's the EU that is responsible for a lot of Europe's weak response to jihadism. In an effort to keep "Europe" alive, the elites keep pushing this multicultural pablum down everyones throats hoping that somehow they can dictate attitude change. Of course as a result the nationalist feeling is repressed and becomes even more violent. It is not clear whether the elites will be able to hand over Europe to the muslims before nationalist groups manage to take power and turn Europe back into the 1930s. Either way the outlook is not too sunny. The US is in a much stronger position. So far we seem to be assimilating our muslim immigrants much better than Europe is, partly because we are still allowed to be patriotic.

Posted by: Vanya at February 11, 2005 07:05 AM

As someone noticeably to the right of, for example, Michael J. Totten, I have to ask how much more grey I will need to have in my ponytail (so far only my beard has as much salt as pepper) before I can be presumed to be liberal on the basis of outward appearances.

Posted by: triticale at February 11, 2005 07:42 AM

I second most of what Vanya says.

Both the concepts of Eurabia and European dhimmitude are highly misleading. Europeans by and large dislike their Arab/Muslim populations, who are socially, economically and politically marginalized. Even in those countries where attitudes are more open and tolerant (closer to the U.S. model) such as Great Britain and Holland, these populations have been difficult to assimilate.

The economic and geopolitical relations with Arab and Muslim countries are for the most part an entirely separate issue. It is misleading to talk in terms of "cheap oil" or "access to oil". Oil is fungible. What is far more important are the huge markets for European manufactured goods, infrastructure, armaments and services brought about by oil wealth. This lure, and a desire for geopolitical, economic (and to some extent cultural) triangulation vis-à-vis the U.S., is far more important than either access to oil or local Muslim populations per se. Appeasement and realpolitik are far better descriptors of this relationship than "dhimmitude".

I agree with the point about Said. Said is only part however of the insidious multi-culturalist, post-Christian, anti-globalist intellectual, cultural and social zeitgeist prevalent in Europe and infecting Western civilization (incl. the U.S.) as a whole.

I would argue however that, despite what might be implied by its name, post-modernist "multiculturalism" is itself part of the Western tradition of inquiry involving self-criticism, self-doubt and Christian guilt. It has nothing to do with the non-Christian Third World. Said himself was Western educated, catered mostly to a Western audience, and his "Orientalism" itself reflects a thoroughly Western "cross-cultural" (note quotation marks) perspective.

There may be a de facto alliance of convenience between the anti-U.S., anti-globalist, anti-imperialist, post-modernist, multi-cultural European populations and Third World elites - which by the way has little if anything to do with advancing the economic or social development interests of the masses in those countries - but this is not the same as saying that Europe is becoming an "appendage of Arabia".

Gabriel Gonzalez

Posted by: Gabriel Gonzalez at February 11, 2005 07:45 AM

Vanya – It's the EU that is responsible for a lot of Europe's weak response to jihadism. In an effort to keep "Europe" alive, the elites keep pushing this multicultural pablum down everyones throats hoping that somehow they can dictate attitude change.

That’s true. One of Ye’or’s points was that this European/Arab alliance was the ‘brainchild’ of the European academic and political elites – not the European people or the Arabs (I should probably add that to the post).

Nationalism and patriotism are definitely discouraged in Europe. For instance, the Germans (and a lot of Europeans) seem to love flags. They have flags in front of their malls, their businesses, everywhere. I was there a few months before I realized that none of those flags were their national flag. They were all kind of generic.

A commenter on Jihad Watch, Hugh, described the situation in France:

"…You realize, at some point, that something has gone irreparably wrong with your own country, the country of France, and you, and your children, are in danger of losing that country. And you do not know what to do, or how to explain this feeling to others, or in whom to confide your secret fears, or what can be done. It is so confusing, and so upsetting."

"You cannot vote for Le Pen. You cannot endorse "cowboy" Bush or those ridiculous Americans. You have no place to go."

....

It does seems that the only choice is between EU pablum and Le Pen nationalism. Center-right types, like Chirac, seem to encourage the Euro/Arab alliance.

Posted by: mary madigan at February 11, 2005 07:56 AM

"It does seem that the only choice is between EU pablum and Le Pen nationalism."

This is not a distressing happenstance - it reflects the deliberate policy of the EU elites to ensure that no real alternative to their own ideas is ever available to voters.

Europe's culture is one of aristocrats ruling peasants, to this day. The elites are more committed to retaining this social structure than they are to developing a modern economy or defending the EU. They want one more generation to be on top, even if there are no more after that. It's an interesting choice.

The EU voters beneath all this believe, as your commenter shows, that it's hopeless.

Posted by: ZF at February 11, 2005 08:19 AM

Two thoughts. The strong role of Christianity in the
US is one of, if not the, most important cultural
resources we have in avoiding the kind of death-cycle the Euros have gotten themselves into. I
say this because the Euro elites hate religion
and are themselves without it; consequently they
neither understand it nor can they stand up to it
when it comes packaged in brown skin. Their own
guilt-based ideology commands silence. Robust believers can stand up to the theocratic fascism
of Islam and ask hard questions of the "religion
of peace".

Second, James Burnham's book of liberalism is the ideology of Western suicide, over 40 years old,
strikes me as sadly relevant.

Posted by: EssEm at February 11, 2005 08:24 AM

I bet Sistani & The Najaf School loves Bat Ye’or.

I hear Sistani pluralism is all the rage in Iraq.

Posted by: NeoDude at February 11, 2005 08:42 AM

Vanya -

I don't have recent first-person experience with the European street... but watching the EU beauracracy go about insulating its executive power from electoral control has been very troubling to me.

The "common man" here in America can be heard in the halls of government every two years. I don't know what combination of continental elections it would take to seriously change the agendas of the Lords of Brussels, but I fear they may have already passed the point were mere parliamentary maneuvers can prevent collapse.

I don't want to live in a world where Americans have to go "over there" again. We've buried enough of our kids in their fields.

Posted by: TmjUtah at February 11, 2005 08:43 AM

Wait, wait.

Let's try a confirm-your-views check, here.

Who owns the New York Sun? Is it unbiased, or is it biased to the right? Does this confirm or contradict your views about liberal appearances?

You write "there were no sign-waving activists protesting her appearance." Does this confirm or contradict your views about the tolerance of campuses to academic, rather than polemic disagreement?

You link to something that says that "The Comparative Defense Studies Program, The Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies, and The Middle East Institute of Columbia University host...Bat Ye'or." Does this confirm or contradict your views about the tolerance of the Middle Eastern Studies department of Columbia University to academic disagreement?

You write that Columbia has "famed leftist leanings," but that the Q&A was "surprisingly balanced." Does this confirm or contradict your views about the leanings of Columbia?

You write that "Most of the room applauded her answer." Does this confirm or contradict your views about the leanings of Columbia?

You write that "The crowd reacted with sarcastic laughter" to a questioner insisting that an Arab saying they could not be anti-semetic. Does this confirm or contradict your views about the civility of the right?

Given that your views might have changed while thinking on these questions, do you think that asking if "America encourage the same sort of alliance?" is a question akin to asking "Did you stop beating your wife?" Perhaps, given the overwhelming agreement by the academics who cared to listen to the speaker, and the lack of any academics attempting to disrupt the speaker, the unbiased question is "Would academics in America discourage the same sort of alliance?"

See, that's me, trying to change my beliefs to fit the facts, rather than the facts to fit the beliefs. Why don't you try it. It's refreshingly honest.

Posted by: FC at February 11, 2005 08:51 AM

I believe there are TWO root causes for European dhimmitude:

(1) EXHUASTION - they are worn out by the bloody 2oth century.

(2) this exhaustion has led to rationalizions and modalities which now permeate NOT only the "Academe" and trhe elites but the masses:

(a) colonialism and imperialism were bad and their wealth is the result of pillaging the third world -which woulod be wealthy if it weren;pt for European Hegemony. This has caused MASSIVE GUILT and SELF-LOATHING.

(b) nationalism and etnocentricity led to a lack of acceptance of neighbors and bloodshed; therefore we must blindly accept anythign that another nation or culture does that is value-related or we riosk more pointless bloodshed.
Thius had led to pan-Eurpoeanism and cultural relativism - een as they try to protect their cultures from so-called "American Cultural Hegemony" - which is a misonomer for mass culture free from elitist constraints (which I blogged about here: http://astuteblogger.blogspot.com/2004/12/myth-of-american-cultural-hegemony-or.html).

As Seinfeld once humorously noted (paraphrasing): the French fought harder to keep out Disneyland than they did the NAZIS!"

Of course, the proper response to "cultural exhaustion" is picking oneself up by one's bootstraps, and not namby-pamby relativism.

Continental Europe needs a Thatcher or a Reagan - who can foster a rebirth of cultural pride and free market/anti-socialist universalism. or it is DOOMED, I tell you DOOMED.

Seriously.

And sadly, except for Sarkozy, there are VERY FEW potential candidates around.

Perhaps - when the Pope crosse over, may it not happen for a thousand years - the Catholic church (thorugh the College of Cardinals) has a chance for some MAJOR input: if they select a European with Charisma he could lead a resurgence NOT JUST OF FAITH AND THE CHURCH, but of pride within all of Europe for universalism and Judeo-Christian values.

If they select, for instance, French Cardinal Jean Louis Tauron - and IF, REPEAT IF, he were to return the church to a married clergy THEN the church miught have a resurgence in France, and through France all of Europe.

It ewill take something this bold to change the dynamic.

IMHO.

Posted by: reliapundit at February 11, 2005 08:55 AM

So, in other words, you went to see a conspiracy theorist. Someone who believes that Muslims are trying to take over the world, that they are working through a secret organisation, and that rootless cosmopolitan European intellectuals are aiding and abetting them because of their lack of healthy patriotic vigor. Apparently the Muslims do not believe that infidels are human beings.

Michael this is transparent idiocy. Next week, perhaps we will be hearing about the Muslim conspiracy to pollute our precious bodily fluids. All this is, is the Protocols of the Elders of Zion with the names crossed out.

Posted by: dsquared at February 11, 2005 09:33 AM

Wow - a controversial speaker whining about Arabs comes to Columbia and ...

nothing happens.

What will you wingnuts have to complain about now?

Posted by: name at February 11, 2005 09:44 AM

dsqured: it aint a secret consoracy; its a thousand year old plan - a basic tenet of islam called JIHAD.

the saudis OPENLY proclaim this s their mission in their wahhabist mosques all over the world.

wake up dsquared: dhimmitude is a conceot in the QURAN; it is REAL, not a figment of anyone's imagination.

Posted by: reliapundit at February 11, 2005 09:58 AM

NYSun, unbiased?

Sheesh. It's hardly a newspaper.

Glorified neoconservative press release.

Posted by: praktike at February 11, 2005 10:03 AM

Hey, anybody remember what happened the last time cool Leftist started to fall in love with Ayatollahs:

The Seductions of Islamism: Revisiting Foucault and the Iranian Revolution

Enjoy!

Posted by: NeoDude at February 11, 2005 10:13 AM

It's in the Bible that the Jews are the chosen people of God. But it's a bit of a leap from that to believing in conspiracy theories, and it's a bit of a leap from hearing about jihad in Saudi mosques to concluding that specific European Union committees are plotting to take over the world.

Posted by: dsquared at February 11, 2005 10:15 AM

Next week, perhaps we will be hearing about the Muslim conspiracy to pollute our precious bodily fluids. All this is, is the Protocols of the Elders of Zion with the names crossed out

Dsquared – one elder professor at Ye’or’s conference made that very same comment. (He then struck up a conversation with the pretty Arab student). Odd coincidence.

Muslim extremists groups like the Muslim Brotherhood and Al Qaeda, following their interpretation of Islamic law, openly admit that they have imperialist goals. Islamist governments, like the government in the Sudan, are slaughtering and enslaving thousands of people, following a similar interpretation of Islamic law. Other Islamist states, like Iran and Saudi Arabia, following a similar interpretation of Islamic law, support terrorism worldwide. Extremist Muslim groups in Europe hope to install a similar version of Islamic law in European nations & the UK. They’re threatening elected officials, and the officials are not always able to protect themselves.

Many Europeans are starting to pay attention to this, and they’re starting to worry. But worldwide Islamist-funded terrorism wasn’t the point of Ye’or’s talk. She was discussing the problems that the Euro/Arab alliance (an alliance that was initiated by Europeans) are currently causing in Europe. The fact that these problems exist can be verified by reading any newspapers - even the back pages of the New York Times.

Posted by: mary at February 11, 2005 10:18 AM

Since I am not nearly knowledgeable enough to comment intelligently on this subject I will refrain. But I would however like to say three things.

1.) Thanks a hell of a lot Mary! You just extended my "To Read" list even further. If this continues it's going to be a book in and of itself.

2.) Excellent contribution Vanya, through the eyes of someone who is fairly ignorant on the subject of Eurabia, but well read on 20th century Europe, I think you're quite right. Especially in regards to the preserving effects of Patriotism.

3.) To TmjUtah, your statement "I don't want to live in a world where Americans have to go "over there" again. We've buried enough of our kids in their fields." rings painfully true. I constantly have to combat my isolationist tendencies, as it is in my nature to "escape within", and I truly fear the day may come when Europe joins with others in the world and decides something has to be "done" about America.

Posted by: Mike T. at February 11, 2005 10:31 AM

Europe seems to accept its current dhimmi status, and does not seem to be willing to defend traditional Western, Judeo-Christian values.

Oh, I'm dying to hear what Ms. Ye'or defines as "traditional Western, Judeo-Christian values."

Because she didn't use "traditional Western, Enlightenment values," so I think she's reaching a little farther back than I would.

Posted by: Kimmitt at February 11, 2005 10:31 AM

But traditional Western Enlightenment values are not in the bible!

Posted by: NeoDude at February 11, 2005 10:37 AM

It's about time Michael.

Posted by: David at February 11, 2005 10:46 AM

"Oh, I'm dying to hear what Ms. Ye'or defines as "traditional Western, Judeo-Christian values."

Kimmitt,

it's like a "black thang." If you have to ask, then you'll never know.

Posted by: David at February 11, 2005 10:50 AM

TMJ-

You're on the right track. Outside of london you'd be stunned at the average brit's attitude towards muslims. There's a great deal more racism in europe than in america nowadays. Its just that there are few viable right-of-center political parties.

Posted by: Raymond at February 11, 2005 10:55 AM

Where have I heard this critique of Liberalism and traditional western Enlightenment values, before?

___________________________________

Liberalism tore down the structures that held races and peoples together, releasing the destructive drives. The result was economic chaos that led to millions of unemployed on the one side and the senseless luxury of economic jackals on the other. Liberalism destroyed the people's economic foundations, allowing the triumph of subhumans. They won the leading role in the political parties, the economy, the sciences, arts and press, hollowing out the nation from inside. The equality of all citizens, regardless of race, led to the mixing of Europeans with Jews, Negro, Mongols and so on, resulting in the decay and decline....We have seen firsthand where Marxism leads people, in Germany from 1919 to 1932, in Spain and above all in Russia. The people corrupted by Liberalism are not able to defend themselves against this Jewish-Marxist poison.

From:
Der Reichsführer SS/SS-Hauptamt, Rassenpolitik (Berlin, 1943)

German democracy was always a particular playground of European liberalism. Its innate tendency towards excessive individualism was foreign to us, which lost it any connection to real political life after the war. It had nothing to do with the people. It represented not the totality of the nation, but turned into a perpetual war between interests that gradually destroyed the national and social foundations of our people's existence.

From:Goebbels Speech at the 1933 Nuremberg Rally

Posted by: NeoDude at February 11, 2005 11:05 AM

She was discussing the problems that the Euro/Arab alliance (an alliance that was initiated by Europeans) are currently causing in Europe. The fact that these problems exist can be verified by reading any newspapers - even the back pages of the New York Times.

The problem with this thesis is:

1) There is no Euro/Arab alliance
2) The problems, such as they are, in Europe, are created by small communities of disaffected immigrants
3) The European states are visibly and obviously opposed to the troublemaking Muslim immigrants
4) Anyone with eyes in their head can see this.

It was absolutely possible to put together all sorts of "evidence" of a similar standard to support the view that the Jews were taking over and subverting what used to be known as "Christian" values (without the "Judeo-"). Doesn't mean that anyone making that claim wasn't a loony and so, as far as I can tell, is Bat Ye'or.

Posted by: dsquared at February 11, 2005 11:23 AM

I have a hard time seeing France capitulating to another culture unless by force. Love 'em or hate 'em, the French typically reject anything thats not..well...French.

Same thing with most of the Brits I've met, while they like to seem so very worldly, when their own culture is threatened they historically have defended it with uncharacteristic zeal.

Raymond: Its just that there are few viable right-of-center political parties.

How can they? Everytime one starts to pick up steam, their leader gets killed. Rest in Peace Pim Fortuyn.

Posted by: Mike T. at February 11, 2005 12:22 PM

NeoDude – Thanks for the link to Foucault and the Iranian revolution. At least Foucault and the Iraqi leftists who supported Khomeini have an excuse for their cluelessness – they didn’t know how the story would end.

Leftists like Lynne Stewart and Islamist/Marxist alliance groups have no excuse.

By the way, who was critiquing traditional Western Enlightenment values?

Posted by: mary at February 11, 2005 12:43 PM

FC, you've got a good point even if you do have a bad attitude. Bat Ye'or at Columbia was treated better than I would have expected, and that's good news. But my expectations come from years of observation (both direct and indirect) and not from what the preacherman told me to expect from those heathen libruls when I wus 2, contrary to the flipside stereotype.

So yeah, I can note a positive change in a culture, but I'm going to hold off on my conversion to evangelical collectivism.

And along those lines, dsquared, have you ever heard of demographics? Put aside whether there's a formal Euro/Arab alliance and whether European governments get upset when terrorists bomb their trains, how can you ignore the differnece in population growth rates between the dominant cultures and the unassimilated immigrants (and of course since we're talking demographics, the unassimilated children)? How do you think they felt in France when the dominant culture said "your girls can't cover their heads in school"? The dominant culture made a damned-near unanimous decision that appalled this "conservative" American. That ham-fisted intrusion by the state into a belief system is sure going to put them in their place, ain't it?

The crash is coming. Anyone with eyes can see.

Posted by: Mark Poling at February 11, 2005 12:48 PM

Dsquared -

There is no Euro/Arab alliance

? There’s a link above to ‘Medea’, which is also called the European Institute for Research on Mediterranean and Euro-Arab Cooperation [with the support of the European Commission]. They're located in Belgium.

The problems, such as they are, in Europe, are created by small communities of disaffected immigrants

According to the US Treasury, extremist mosques, funded by Saudi Charities like the al-Haramain Islamic Foundation are partially responsible for creating those problems.

According to the Center for Religious freedom, Saudi Charities are still responsible for the spread of hate ideology.

At no point did Ms. Ye’or say that the EU had plans to take over the world. As far as I can tell, she believes that they’re not working hard enough to defend Western values.

Posted by: mary at February 11, 2005 12:52 PM

dsquared - whoa!

whodoya think has been aiding the Iranians and their nuke program!?!?!

The EU!

And they were Arafat's biggest supporters.
And they always voted with the Arab block against Israel - STILL the lone PLURALISTIC democracy in the area (except for the emerging one in Iraq).

There is NO CABAL: it is totally OPEN for all to see.

Except for lefty denialists (like you and so many others) - IMHO.

BatYeor has DOCUMENTED the alliance from PUBLIC aggreements. WHY DON'T YOU GO TO FRONTPAGE.COM and google her name and read some of her stuff.

Or buy her book.

It'll OPEN YOUR EYES!

Posted by: reliapundit at February 11, 2005 12:57 PM

The recent drive to include "Judeo-Christian values" is new. It was created and placed into our vocabulary by American Fundies trying to combat the tradition, they believe cut them out. The Enlightenment! Placing the "Judeo" was a hope to co-opt Fundie Jews, but even more so the Apocalyptic Christians who believe there are two covenants for one for Christians and the other for Jews.

Evangelicals was Co-opted by the Fundies because "Fundementalist" comes with bad PR.

Fusing traditions and ideas which never existed, really before and during the Enlightenment. Totally Modern Day American Right-Wingery.

Posted by: NeoDude at February 11, 2005 12:58 PM

Mike T. – Europeans are getting fed up. Even the Euro/Arab cooperation group is reconsidering things. From the Medea site:

"As President of MEDEA Institute for the last 4 years, it is with conviction, but also with certain realism that I address you this message. With conviction because over these last few years, a web of trust, mutual respect, and collaboration was woven with many key actors and intellectuals from the Mediterranean and Arab region. With realism because the recent events and declarations do not augur well for the future of relations between Europe and the Arab and Mediterranean region."

This may be a hopeful sign.

Posted by: mary at February 11, 2005 01:08 PM

Neodude: "The equality of all citizens, regardless of race, led to the mixing of Europeans with Jews, Negro, Mongols and so on, resulting in the decay and decline."

That’s why its termed “Islamofascism” – because the Islamist ideology (which separates out Muslims as superior to everyone else) resembles fascism. But you prefer to call the people who object to such an ideology the fascists.

Dsquared: It was absolutely possible to put together all sorts of "evidence" of a similar standard to support the view that the Jews were taking over and subverting what used to be known as "Christian" values (without the "Judeo-")

Why are you flatly ignoring the millions upon millions of people who have been killed in the name of Islam over the course of history (continuing today)? Tell us about the millions of people who have been killed by the Jews to spread Judaism and you might have a point. But if there were any evidence for the latter, then it wouldn't be "conpiracy theory" - it would be reality.

Posted by: Caroline at February 11, 2005 01:10 PM

Thanks, but no thanks on the Front Page push. That site is a right-wing propaganda rag, consistently gets facts wrong, and has a front page dominated currently by an anti-semitic image. I prefer to avoid people like that.

On Bat Ye'or? Crazy conspiracy whacko. I'm shocked and dismayed that she got floor time at Colombia. I'm shocked that the right can't find someone credentialed to be their academic front man on bigotry.

Posted by: FactCheck at February 11, 2005 01:16 PM

Mary,

I sure do hope it's hopeful. I'm heartened by what I'm seeing in Holland. Host Nations need to stand up for their culture and identity. Nationalism can be a dangerous thing, but Patriotism is not.

NeoDude,

The term Judeo-Christian values did not come about because of fundamental Christianity trying to bring Jews on board with them. It came from a need to identify our own value system as it becomes more and more contrasted by other value systems. A large component of Western Enlightenment values can still be considered "Judeo-Christian". You can't discount a whole value system because a deranged segment of the population shares a portion of it.

FactCheck,

MJT has warned you about your handle. Don't be a dick, change it. Second, are you equally as shocked that Ward Churchill not only makes appearances at American universities, but is employed by one? He certainly qualifies as a "whacko".

Posted by: Mike T. at February 11, 2005 02:00 PM

Boy, I'm sure glad that it's only fantasy and conspiracy theory. Just for a minute there I thought there was a group of muslim fanatics supported by a Theocracy in Iran and a Theocratic monarchy in Saudi Arabia who are openly calling for the killing of Americans and the overthrow of the western democratic system . Silly me. On the plus side I guess I can make Valentine's day dinner reservations at The Top of the World restaurant for Monday.

Posted by: BladeDoc at February 11, 2005 02:18 PM

Mary

Your post contains a lot of valid points and others are made above. But I do think that the discussion is erroneously framed in a way that can only lead to incoherence and confusion. As stated in my earlier comment, I have no problem with the notion of some type of Euro/Arab/Muslim alliance nor with the reality of European appeasement. I do have a problem with the any notion of "Eurabia" or "Dhimmitude" as it conflates the social problems and security risks posed by margininalized (and in some cases radicalized) local Muslim populations mostly from the Maghreb (or Turkey and Pakistan in the cases of Germany and UK respectively), who have little power or political influence, with Middle East petro-nations, who do yield enormous power and political influence over European foreign policy in particular. In addition, there is a third problem of demographics. These problems may be interrelated over the long term, but not in the way that is implied here. This leads to confusion with commentators here wondering why the UK or France would become subservient or fail to defend Western culture against the onslaught of the Muslim masses. That is not currently the main issue: Europe (and France and Germany in particular) have taken a pro-Arab anti-Israeli stance mostly because it is the oil-rich Arab countries that represent both highly profitable markets for their products and services, including in particular defense industry and infrastructure, as well as a source of geopolitical leverage against the United States. This has much more to do with appeasement and commercialism than with any attitude of dhimmitude towards Arabs.

To draw an analogy, assuming that Black Africa were the World's number one source of oil and the U.S. supported authoritarian regimes there in order to further important U.S. commercial interests, would we be saying that the government was merely giving in to street gangs in Harlem? If Venezuela and Mexico had as much oil as the Middle East and the U.S. supported those governments in order to pursue commercial interests, would it be enslaved by its local Hispanic population? To apply this logic to Europe is doubly wrong since, in my view, local Muslim populations in Europe are significantly more marginalized than are, for example, hispanics in the U.S.

Some good points. Wrong framing on important issues that are widely misunderstood in the United States.

Gabriel Gonzalez

Posted by: Gabriel Gonzalez at February 11, 2005 02:19 PM

Mike T.,

Can you name a Western philosopher, theorist or anything Euro, American, Anglo that have used Judeo-Christian?

It's all-American. It's modern all-American!

Posted by: NeoDude at February 11, 2005 02:20 PM

To put it differently, France's "Arab Policy" has little to do with the actual presence of Magrébins on French soil.

Posted by: Gabriel Gonzalez at February 11, 2005 02:22 PM

Judeo-Christian usually refers to the set of religious beliefs that stemmed from the Jewish faith. These include the idea of monotheism, the belief that the Jews once were (some say still are) the 'chosen of God'. The use of the Pentatuch and the Prophets as holy books, and a number of basic religious beliefs (though the most notable of Christian beliefs are not traditionally held by Jews (nor have ever been) including imortality of the soul, hell, the Trinity etc)

Interestingly, the Muslim faith is closely related to the Judeo-Christian belief. They both have heavy roots in the same early adoption of Patriarchal Monotheism.

In fact, there are some interesting similarities between the Muslim ideologies and early Christian (and Jewish) ideologies. Both Christians and Jews have, at one time or another, believed that they were commiting genocide as part of Gods Will. Christians have also used the "If you die fighting against *** then you will go to heaven." Early Jews, on the other hand, believed that if God was on their side, none of their soliders would die. (Check out Exodus, Numbers and Joshua for examples of this).

Tosk

Posted by: Ratatosk at February 11, 2005 02:30 PM

FactCheck:

"Thanks, but no thanks on the Front Page push. That site is a right-wing propaganda rag, consistently gets facts wrong, and has a front page dominated currently by an anti-semitic image. I prefer to avoid people like that."

"Right wing"-definately
"propaganda rag"-unsupported assertion
"gets facts wrong"-unsupported assertion
"anti-semitic" ??? outright lie! Front Page is David Horowitz's magazine, strongly pro-Israel and [I assume] he's Jewish.

Try again.

Personally if I were you I'd "try to avoid" dishonest smears. Especially given that you're not intelligent enough to make up believable smears.

Posted by: Joshua Scholar at February 11, 2005 02:57 PM

OK,

Help me out here!

Where, in the Western tradition, do you have referances, within theological and/or philosophical discourse, on "Judeo-Christianity"?

Kant? Hegel? Jefferson? Augustine? Locke? Tom Paine? Luther? Freud? Marx? The Puritian preachers, for goodness sake? The Federalist Papers? Darwin? John Calvin?

"Judeo-Christian values" as a concept is a modern American construct. It is not "traditional" it is very new. It may well start to be known as a concept/ideas that were responses/rebellion to the Enlightenment but it was and is anti-Enlightenment.

The Bible as THE source of THE TRUTH is not an Enlightenment type belief.

Don't worry, you are in good company. Postmodernist and deconstructionist agree with the "Judeo-Christian"critique of the Enlightenment. But those consepts are anti-Enlightenment also.

Posted by: NeoDude at February 11, 2005 03:15 PM

NeoDude,

The difference, I think is in the defination of the term "Judeo-Christian". There is an argument, that the word was coined by American politics (some say to promote Jewish as equal to Christian, others say its to create a pseudo-distinction between the jews, christian and their red-headed step brother islam).. However, that is a point of view, and an argument, not documented fact.

No matter what the word was coined as, the term in this day and age, usually is not to indicate some equality between Jews and Christians. In most modern usages, it refers to the specific similarities in belief systems and the common history. Some people have begun to say Judeo-Christian-Muslim, in order to specify the three monothestic "Abrahamic religions".

While the term may have had some conspiratorial origin, its modern usage is much more anthropological.

(Though the "Judeo-Christian Values" catchphrase that everyone loves bandying about does appear to be a questionable use of the term.)

Tosk

Posted by: Ratatosk at February 11, 2005 04:01 PM

And another thing.

Conservative, Orthodox, traditional Protastants and Roman Catholics and Jews do not believe there are two covenants, one for Jews and one for Christians...that is total Apocalyptic Christian stuff.

In other, if you believe in "End-Times" and crap like that you believe there are two covenants...other than that, you ain't traditional at all.

Posted by: NeoDude at February 11, 2005 04:04 PM

Ok, Neodude, say we rewrite Michael's article to read "Europe seems to accept its current dhimmi status, and does not seem to be willing to defend Western values" instead of reading "... defend traditional Western, Judeo-Christian values," (I think the "Judeo-Christian" phrase is a distraction)... Do you have a comment on the meaning of the article in that case?

Are Europeans willing to stop enforcing any Western values that contradict Islamic values?

For instance there are many forms of freedom of expression that are illegal under Sharia:
1. The right to critisize religion
2. The the right to make non-libelous critisms in general (Muslim writings don't distinguish between truthful critism and untruthful critism of a Muslim - both are considered a sin or even a crime under many circumstances). This attitude shows up often in public conficts with Muslims.
3. The right of women and girls to be free from threats of domestic violence.
4. Society's right to expect religious tolerance, even the right of society to be free of sectarian violence or religiously mandated oppression.
5 The right of all citizens no matter what their background to "the pursuit of happiness" within the limits of the law?

If Europeans are willing to compromize on even one of such values then they're surrendering Western values.

Posted by: Joshua Scholar at February 11, 2005 04:12 PM

NeoDude,

Good point on the "Two Covenant" thing. The official Catholic and (most) mainstream Protestant religions, is that Jesus fufilled the Mosiac Law Covenant, thus ending it and putting into place the New Covenant (with Jesus replacing Moses and the Priestly Class as the mediator between Perfect God and Imperfect Man).

Also, I may have to revise my statements about Judeo-Christian after reading the following:

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article4803.htm

I am not yet sure if this information is accurate, or merely a perception shared by some group. However, its definately worth more poking.

Thanks for the reality check... whatever reality is.

Tosk

Posted by: Ratatosk at February 11, 2005 04:13 PM

Well why don't the religionists use "Monotheistic Traditions"?

That was the "traditional" use.

Posted by: NeoDude at February 11, 2005 04:19 PM

Neo-Dude -

"Judeo-Christian" is a modern term referring to a Western culture as it was informed by jewish-Christian religious traditions. Like it or not, modern Western culture, including the Enlightenment, is a child of those religious traditions. The Enlightenment occurred in the context of the Reformation, and probably would not have happened at all without the Reformation. Both modern Western liberalism and conservatism have their roots in the Judeo-Christian religious tradition.

Your argument against use of the term is more form than substance.

Posted by: Ben at February 11, 2005 04:38 PM

So Europe is in danger of succumbing to sharia law. The first one to point me to legislation of either the EU or one of its member state, which would support such a wild claim gets a twinkie. Otherwise this fact-free conspiracy tripe is indistinguishable from the ugly pronouncements of the far right wing parties, who have been blaming every problem on the face of the earth on the "damn foreigners". Your treading a dangerous line here.

Posted by: novakant at February 11, 2005 04:41 PM

NeoDude -

"Religionists" don't use the term "monotheistic" traditions because they are speaking about the Jewish and Christian traditions, not about all monotheistic traditions. As I understand the Muslim view, the Muslim religion is the perfection of the original Jewish religion, which was first improved by Christianity. Mohammed is the "last word" on the matter. Neither Jews nor Christians accept this view.

Posted by: Ben at February 11, 2005 04:47 PM

Look - I am not an historian but I think what we are talking about here is defending Enlightenment values (equality, tolerance, reason and so on) - but which happened to blossom historically WITHIN the Judeo-christian, Western tradition. I don't think anyone wants to argue for defending pre-enlightenment, Judeo-Christian culture. But it is obvious that Islam is fundamentally at odds with Enlightenment values. Chrenkoff had a post the other day re whether Islam needed a "Reformation" vs an "Enlightenment". Folks were arguing that that the Islamist movement DOES represent the Reformation and that what is needed instead is for Islam to confront the Enlightenment. But the Enlightenment is based on concepts that are fundamentally at odds with Islam itself - most basically reason. I don't think Islam will withstand rational scrutiny, based on the facts of Muhammed's life and the question of whether he could have been a "prophet", let alone the "last" prophet sent by God with the "final" word. IMHO - that means that Islam is fundamentally at odds with the enlightenment values that define western civilization - including even tolerance for rejecting God altogether. In Islam - that merits a death sentence. It's a major problem, Bat Y'or is quite right to speak out about it (even at the risk of being labeled a "fascist"), and I am very happy that Mary has dedicated a post to it, not to mention being jealous that she got to see Bat speak. :-)

Posted by: Caroline at February 11, 2005 04:47 PM

novakant -

You are being ridiculous. Under your logic, Churchill was wrong to be concerned about Hitler in the 1930s because we couldn't be sure he was interested in conquest and racial "purification" until he actually started to conquer other countries and exterminate Jews. Apparently we are supposed to ignore what people say they intend to do until they actually start to do it (at which point it may be too late to stop them).

Posted by: Ben at February 11, 2005 04:50 PM

Caroline -

Islam needs both a Reformation and an Enlightenment. The rise of Islamic Fascism is more like the Counter-Reformation than it is like the Reformation.

Posted by: Ben at February 11, 2005 04:52 PM

novakant, not LEGALLY succumb to Sharia, but simply to fail to protect society from the oppressive actions that Sharia encourages.

The state isn't the only possible source of authority backed up by the threat of violence.

A violent parent is probably the smallest unit of oppressive authority. A few neighbors can can form a gang and oppress a neighborhood...

Consider the fact that thousands of non-Muslims have been lynched in Nigeria over the last decade and that even the President of Nigeria was intimidated to the point of condeming "insensitive" (if innocuous) speech by a nonmuslim who made the mistake of mentioning a point of Islamist hypocracy in passing on the radio, and triggering riots and lynching of Christians.

The attitude of Nigrian Islamists - that mob violence is their birthright, can exist outside of Nigeria. And it can wreak havoc wherever it is allowed to gain a foothold.

Posted by: Joshua Scholar at February 11, 2005 05:00 PM

Ben - like I said - I'm not an historian. You should read Chrenkoff's post (as well as the comments), which also addressed the counter-reformation. But tell me - how do you envision Islam surviving an encounter with the "enlightenment". Every tenet of Islam is fundamentally opposed to enlightenment values - except for the parts that Muhammed ripped off from the local Jews and Christians. What's left of Islam once you strip away the Sharia , apostasy, jihad, the infidels and so on? Halal food? Fasting at Ramadan? What's left are cultural habits. Nobody cares about those.

Posted by: Caroline at February 11, 2005 05:02 PM

Ben,

Just because you have an intense love for a term, that doesn't place it in the Western Canon [?]

Again...a challenge, show me within the Western Tradition and Canon[?} where Judeo-Christian is used?

For traditionalist, you guys sure like to work against the traditions.

Where is this mysterious "Judeo-Christian" tradition...when was it discovered? Why do not the forefathers mention it? Is there Rabbinical studies that have been hidden?

Or are you in love with some deconstructionist identity language game?

It's not a traditional term and concept within the whole Western Tradition. There were lots of faiths and beliefs within the Western tradition as well as the Enlightenment that grew from the tradition.

Platonic-Christian Values?
Judeo-Marxist Values?

It's a political word that is not part of the Enlightenment project!

It's part of the American Right-Wing political project...it's Western, in that sense...was Plato part of the Judeo Christian Values movement?

Posted by: NeoDude at February 11, 2005 05:11 PM

You guys are so hard up to change another culture and religion, but don't even know your own.

This is quite telling.

Posted by: NeoDude at February 11, 2005 05:22 PM

You guys are so hard up to change another culture and religion, but don't even know your own.

Pure irony coming from you. As if someone had to call it "judeo-christian" for it to BE judeo-christian. Did cavemen refer to themselves as cavemen? No. But they still lived in caves. I can't believe you've gone on for the entire thread making such an incredibly stupid argument. Truly amazing at how courteous people have been given it's stupidity.

Caroline said it best. The Enlightenment isn't a culture. It's a phase in our culture's development--the culture being "judeo-christian." And do you think people went around 300 hundred years ago saying 'hey, look at us, we live in the Enlightenment! Yippeee!' No, they didn't. Only in retrospect do we call it the Enlightenment. It is nearly as modern a term as "judeo-christian."

So get off your broken record already. You have no idea how sad it is to see people hang their entire worldview on such patently and obviously flawed premises. AND you think your illogic is brilliant to boot. Talk about annoying.

Posted by: Carlos at February 11, 2005 05:40 PM

NeoDude -

Your entire argument is nothing more than a red herring. "Judeo-Christian" is a term with a commonly understood meaning - it's not an attempt to mis-state anything, and it is utterly irrelevant when the term was first used.

Posted by: Ben at February 11, 2005 05:41 PM

Caroline -

I'm not enough of an expert on Islam to respond to your question regarding how Islam would survive an encounter with enlightenment. That said, the two most troubling aspects of Islam from my p.o.v. as a Westerner are the complete lack of separation between religious and secular law and the concept of the dhimmi. Islam could presumably survive mitigation of those principles.

Posted by: Ben at February 11, 2005 05:46 PM

Neodude: "You guys are so hard up to change another culture and religion, but don't even know your own"

yeah - well our culture included slavery less than 150 years ago. It was OUR culture after all -sacrosanct and immune to criticism according to your logic. Or did everyone need a Ph.D to in order to dare to criticize slavery? Or perhaps criticizing a culture is only permissable in your view when the culture in question is majority white and western?

Posted by: Caroline at February 11, 2005 05:54 PM

Wher are the books on this Judeo-Christian values movement/culture?

Please, enlighten me. The Western tradition is great at recording its ideas. Where are the texts that speak about it?

Or is it just a feeling you have?

There are books and texts on eveything...where are the Great Western texts that spell this phenomena out?

Posted by: NeoDude at February 11, 2005 05:56 PM

Neodude,

just about every book written in the last 2000 years.

Posted by: Carlos at February 11, 2005 05:59 PM

If "Judeo-Christian" is a culture where are all the discourses on it?

Posted by: NeoDude at February 11, 2005 06:08 PM

Can you give me a specific book taht speaks of "Judeo-Christian"?

Posted by: NeoDude at February 11, 2005 06:10 PM

Gabriel -

To put it differently, France's "Arab Policy" has little to do with the actual presence of Magrebins on French soil.

That’s exactly the point. Europe’s “Arab Policy” has everything to do with the presence of violent, extremist groups on European soil

The man who killed Theo Van Gogh was influenced by the El Tawheed mosque in Amsterdam. That mosque is considered epicenter of extremism in Amsterdam.

Not coincidentally, that mosque was funded by the Saudi-based charity, Al Haramain.

The mosque was "criticized" for selling books espousing extremist views, including female circumcision and the punishment of homosexuals by throwing them off tall buildings.

According to the IHT article, "several legislators have called for the mosque to be shut down, but under the Dutch constitution it is difficult to do."

Those same extremists are threatening the lives of elected legislators in the Netherlands.

"Dutch leaders issued with the death threats since the murder include: Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a Somali refugee and former Muslim who is a liberal member of the Dutch parliament and high-profile critic of Islam; Geert Wilders, a right-wing populist opposed to Turkey joining the EU; the Immigration Minister Rita Verdonk, and Job Cohen, the Mayor of Amsterdam."

Those legislators were so unable to protect themselves that some had to leave the country for awhile.

These Islamist paramilitary groups have basically established a base on European soil. They’re so threatening that elected legislators feel that their own army can’t protect them. I think that’s a sign that there’s a problem.

After hundreds of people were killed in the Saudi/al Qaeda sponsored Madrid bombing, the Spanish government traced the group to another
Saudi funded mosque:

"The Spanish government deliberately ignored a mosque known for fundamentalist preachings and frequented by suspects in the Madrid train bombings because the facility was financed by Saudi Arabia, an academic expert testified Wednesday.
Spanish authorities knew for years the city's largest mosque, the Islamic Cultural Center, adhered to the Wahabi fundamentalist movement sponsored by Saudi Arabia, Islam expert Jesus Nunez told a commission investigating the March 11 bombings.
Authorities did nothing to monitor the mosque because Saudi Arabia provides Spain with oil, Nunez said.

Syrian-born Sheikh Omar bin Bakri, based in London, belongs to The International Islamic Front for Jihad against Jews and Crusaders, founded by Bin Laden.

Mr. Bakri also heads the London branch of Hizb Al-Tahrir (Islamic Revolutionary Party), which has some branches all over Western Europe.

The spread of hate literature is also taking place in America.

When Europe and America ally themselves with the states that spread this kind of hate, they encourage this hate to grow. Despite their stronger efforts to appease these states, (or maybe because of them) Europe is, almost literally, under attack.

The problem isn’t the Turkish immigrant selling baklava in the corner bakery. The problem is the organizations, the mosques and the states, like Iran and Saudi Arabia, that spend their billions spreading hate around the world.

Posted by: mary at February 11, 2005 06:16 PM

Neodude - define "western" from an historical perspective.

Posted by: Caroline at February 11, 2005 06:17 PM

Judeo-Christian is a Right-Wing American term.

A tradition/culture/belief system based on the rules of Public Relations and poll numbers.

Posted by: NeoDude at February 11, 2005 06:19 PM

NeoDude – I’m not Jewish or Christian, and I’ve never been able to stay awake during any sort of sermon, so I'm not an expert on the Judeo-Christian issue. I was just wondering what you meant when you said:

Where have I heard this critique of Liberalism and traditional western Enlightenment values, before?

..and then you offered a series of references to Nazi literature.

I find it hard to believe that someone who is smart enough to criticize Foucault would be comparing Bat Ye’or or Judeo-Christian values to Nazisim.

When she spoke of the need for equal rights for non-Muslims and Muslims, was that an example of "Nazi" values? When she speaks out against the Islamist laws that institutionalize apartheid, slavery and genocide, is that proof that "Judeo-Christian values" are synonymous with fascism?

I must be misunderstanding what you wrote.

When you talk about Enlightenment values, are you referring to Montesquieu’s views or Rousseau’s?

Posted by: mary at February 11, 2005 06:28 PM

NeoDude,

you're just an atheist hack with an axe to grind. That's all you are, no more no less. You offer up silly non-arguments and even dumber questions. When you ask me to give you a list of judeo-christian books that have been written, you might as well have asked me to give you a list of Western books that have been written. They're just about the same thing. But that simple fact sails right over your head because of the axe you're grinding. You ask useless and nonsensical questions borne of an illogical mind. I expect to engage people on the merits, but you offer so little to engage aside from your anti-christian rhetoric, you're a waste of time. Truly, I'm amazed at the courteousnnous you're affored on the this blog.

Posted by: Carlos at February 11, 2005 06:31 PM

"That’s exactly the point. Europe’s “Arab Policy” has everything to do with the presence of violent, extremist groups on European soil"

Mary

One last reaction before I go to bed.

I do not dispute all of the various points you make in your reply above re: a local Islamist threat (immediate and long term). All of the examples you cite are relevant in that respect.

But that is largely separate from the origins and continued motivations underlying French (and more broadly European) Arab Policy. The roots of that policy were planted in the lated 1960s.

France, having been a key Israeli ally in the 1950s and the 1960s, abandoned Israel and began its alliance with Arab autocracies, including Saddam Hussein's Iraq. It was during that period (in the mid 1970's) that Jacques Chirac, for example, decided to sell arms and weapons capable nuclear technology (Osirak) to Iraq.

That policy had very little to do with a perceived Islamist threat from local French (or European) Muslim populations. And it had everything to do with the rise of OPEC and the financial and stategic importance of Mid-East oil states.

France aligned itself with the Arab states against Israel (and to some extent the United States) not because of a local Islamist threat, but rather commercial interests and strategic interests in triangulation vis-à-vis the U.S.

Those same considerations are the core of Gaullist Arab Policy today. The misleading notions of "Eurarabia" and a supposed European "Dhimmitude" only serve to obscure this and greatly misrepresent European motivations in their policies towards the Arab World, the United States and Israel.

My point was limited to that.

Gabriel Gonzalez

Posted by: Gabriel Gonzalez at February 11, 2005 06:34 PM

The Nazi's were notorious for being "anti-intellectual" and Illiberal, so they would make up words all the time. They even changed the whole notion of Western Civilization to revolve around a mythic Germanic ideal. Excluding cultures they hated, and giving other aryan cultures credit for things they never did. they used the term "Judeo-Marxist" many times. Liberal values (Enlightenment, humanism, scientific method, traditional scholarly research) were to be rejected, unless they flattered the German spirit.

Fucault was part of the new movement (Post-Structralism, Postmodernism) that rejected/denied the enlightment and liberal projects as well. (Derrida, another one). They began to embrace mytsticism and other etherial type beliefs.

Heidegaar anyone?

Paganism and Christian mysticism?

Posted by: NeoDude at February 11, 2005 06:41 PM

Carlos,

If you do respect the Western tradition, name the texts that argue for, speak of, defend, analyze and trace "Judeo-Christian".

Posted by: NeoDude at February 11, 2005 06:47 PM

hey NeoDude,

it's as simple as going to Amazon.com and typing in judeo-christian, and see about 250 books pop up. I did it, you can do it too.

Posted by: Carlos at February 11, 2005 06:55 PM

Gabriel – I agree. The original intent of this agreement, made decades ago, was to improve trade and, in part, to unite against American ‘hyperpower’.

But, as the President of the Euro/Arab alliance said, things change. Recent events do not "auger well"

Posted by: mary at February 11, 2005 07:02 PM

Neodude- just out of curiosity - is your (apparent) defense of Islam based on a defense of Sufism? In other words - do you equate the essence of Islam with Sufism (as opposed to say - Wahabbism?)?

Posted by: Caroline at February 11, 2005 07:03 PM

NeoDude - I asked if you meant Rousseau's version of 'Enlightenment' because, as I understand it, in his time, he was as much of an infantile Leftist as Foucault.

In any case, are you seriously comparing Judeo-Christian values to Nazism? First of all, those values are not all anti-intellectual, and second, there are lots of genuine anti-intellectual groups out there, like the Amish. They speak German, too. Are they Naziesque?

Posted by: mary at February 11, 2005 07:09 PM

I'm not defending Islam, I'm trying to defend the Western tradition.

Many of you guys have heard a word that speaks to you, seems to sum up certain feelings you have about your culture, and you have imagined a whole history of this word that really has no tradition within the culture you come from. You have convinced yourself of this words foundation in fact and truth, yet where did it come from?

I'm sure Judeo-Marxist was a word that explained a lot for the Germans who were convinced of it's reality.

Islam has the Sufis, Judaism has the Kabbala, Christianity has Gnosticism and Pentacostalism/charasmatics.

It's all mysticism to me.

Posted by: NeoDude at February 11, 2005 07:13 PM

Carlos,

Are those 250 books ALL right-wing American productions?

Posted by: NeoDude at February 11, 2005 07:20 PM

Are those 250 books ALL right-wing American productions?

NeoDude,

I don't know. Are they? And if they are, so? Would you have me read Leftist moonbat literature instead?

But your request for books about "judeo-christian" operates from the same flawed premise that because the term is a modern one, therefore the concept or "movement" as you call it, must be a modern one too. Just like cavemen must be modern I guess. It's a flawed premise from the get go, and I've explained to you why, and your request for books on the subject is flawed for the very same reason.

Yet I could give you a list of Western books on christianity or judaism, or books influenced by christianity or judaism that go back 2,000 years and that would be enough proof that you are, sorry to say, living in a judeo-christian culture and don't even know it. How you could possibly miss it boggles the mind. You don't even know what the source of your values are! Yet you would presume to enlighten everybody around you. The irony is killing me.

Posted by: Carlos at February 11, 2005 07:35 PM

Neodude - OK - I get a little where you're coming from. You embrace mysticism - which is in many respects at odds with enlightenemnt rationalism. But you should check out Ali Sina - at faithfreedom.org. He's an Iranian (Persian) who claims that Sufism is a Persian invention - perhaps a century later than Muhammed - that represents a kind of "Uh-oh" moment for Islam in which folks recognized that Muhammed was out of his gourd. (That means not a prophet - and not a mystic. Just a psychopath!). (I am not on expert on the origins of Sufism but I am pretty confident that it does not represent Islam as stated in the Koran and as "channeled" by Muhammed, the psychopathic mass murderer.)

The problem is that Islam will always come back to the Koran - written by Muhammed - as its source (which is NOT mysticism). In contrast, a good case could be made that the original teachings of Jesus WERE mysticism but they were perverted by the authority of the Catholic church. That's a fundamental difference. IMHO it places Jesus firmly within the mystical tradition, while any attempt to squeeze mysticism from the stone of Islam represents a baasic perversion of Muhammed's basic teachings.

You may prefer to live in the utopian world of mysticism, but the reality is that Islam - as based on the Koran - teaches everything that is opposed to not only enlightenment - but real spiritual values - death to non-believers (and apostates), superiority of Muslims as opposed to everyone else, inequality of women, hatred of Jews. It's ugly and fascistic and its adherents have slaughtered millions upon millions of people.

Your unwillingness to confront its ugly reality indicates that you are living in a fantasy world.

Posted by: Caroline at February 11, 2005 07:37 PM

As a French American ;et me say that Mary'spost is increcdibly silly. France is no danger of being "islamic" any more than America is in danger of being "african". About 6% of hte Fr, pop. is muslim - and 12%o fthe US pop. is of African descent. Sorry Amy, but you're az racist I see no reason why the Fr. republic should't accomodate its muslim population,, within the rules of democracy. Also a historic fact de Gaulle parted ways with Israel because after the 68 war Israel decided it wanted to hold on to the conquered territories - a claim that the Fr. and de Gaulle w/ reason thought was illegimate. It seems to me that the Fr. are level-headed and reasobable. The problem is American racism against muslims and arabs,and Americna nationalism and claims to exceptioanlism, which distorts the truth. Re. the enlightenment -it seems to me that the U.S. these days, with its nationalistic faniticism, its religious dogmatism is a lot farhter away from the enlightenment values of universality and tolerance than Europe. What ios happening in American these days is pretty ugly and Marys; post is a case in point.

Posted by: Antoine at February 11, 2005 08:04 PM

Antoine, let the little muslim girls wear the headscarves. Figure out how to live with The Other instead of putting it in the ghetto and then I'll listen to you.

I figure I've got about 20 years to wait.

Posted by: Mark Poling at February 11, 2005 08:10 PM

Caroline,

I wasn't being nice when I caled them mysticism.

Carlos,

Embrace it all you want, but it isn't "traditional" and all of the Western traditions (Jewish, Christian, Sociology, Philosophy, History, etc) have viewed it as a right-wing public relations term based on feelings and not on the traditions it claims to represent.

A very mystical way to understand reality...screw rationality and method, what ever you feel good about is enough for you. Very mystical indeed.

Posted by: NeoDude at February 11, 2005 08:11 PM

If you're a fan of the Enlightenment, it's hard to get away from the fact that all the founders were, well, caucasian Christian males. (Unless you want to get Greco-Roman, in which case you have to ammend it to be caucasian-pagan-judeo(REALLY judeo)-Christian males.)

But the great thing about a good idea, you blithering fool, is the source doesn't retain ownership. What was a good idea for humans in the thirteen colonies might be a good idea for people with bones in their noses. (Hell, I know bluebloods from the thirteen colonies who don't wear bones in their noses only because surgical steel looks better and doesn't harm an innocent animal).

But having said that, cut the dudes who can read a history book some slack; obsessing on the label instead of the thing is so Warhol, you know?

Posted by: Mark Poling at February 11, 2005 08:29 PM

Mark,

In the Western tradition, from Plato to Hayek, words have meaning. There is a sytematic and rational explaination and definition. Being Jewish and being Christian and being monotheistic are not the same as "Judeo-Christian"

For mystics and postmodernist, and sophist words are grounded in emotion, feelings and sentiment and force of will

"If I have to explain it, then you could never really understand." Is not a traditional Christian or traditional Judaic or enlightened or rational way to describe reality.

Posted by: NeoDude at February 11, 2005 08:59 PM

Mark,

You sound like a postmodernist, "The Death of the Author."

So you would believe we could never go back to the source?

I hope you do not claim to interpret the Constitution's "original intent"?

Do you believe you can bend reality to your will, because it sounds good? Or it feels good to you when you say it, so that's reality enough?

So reality is so radically subjective and relative to the way you feel?

Posted by: NeoDude at February 11, 2005 09:06 PM

The Myth of a Judeo-Christian Tradition

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article4803.htm

Thanks Ratatsk, that was a good article.

Posted by: NeoDude at February 11, 2005 09:17 PM

Interesting post. I blogged about a lecture I saw Ye'or make at Brandeis a year ago here:
Report on Lecture by Bat Ye'or - 'Eurabia'

(She signed my book!)

Also watched Rehov's film, "The Silent Exodus" with a discussion featuring she and her husband a couple of days before. Here:
Bat Ye'or and "The Silent Exodus" Update

If you're interested.

She'll be in Boston again in a couple of weeks and I'll be sure to try to make it.

Her message is so important, I wish she were a little easier to understand (very strong accent) and her writing a bit more accessible

Posted by: Solomon at February 11, 2005 09:24 PM

Neodude, you so misread my remark I have to hope it was intentional.

And the fact that you could find two alternative misreadings in consecutive posts means I have potential in academia.

The mistake is to equate the words for the things. Tossing out pro-Enlightenment arguments because someone you don't like calls them Judeo-Christian is, in fact, mistaking baby for bathwater.

And I don't know where that "feelings over rationality" thing came from. If anything, I'm arguing for the reality of Platonic ideals, which is about as far from feel-good rationality as you can get. But then again, you started with accusing me of Original Intent heresy. And while I tend to believe writers mean what they say, I also know the authors of the Constitution were quite comfortable with it being a document that would change over time. So I have to conclude your criticism comes down to "nanny nanny boo boo, I know what I am but what are you?"

Posted by: Mark Poling at February 11, 2005 09:30 PM

Sorry,

But the notion of "Judeo-Christian" is quite a mystical one. Grounded on feeling, not rationality or traditional faith.

Posted by: NeoDude at February 11, 2005 09:52 PM

Neodude, the notion of the Enlightenment, I hope, isn't so mystical.

The grand thing about rationality is that it's reasonable. Lobachevskian geometry is more universal than the one Newton used; so be it. But at the root, both share 4 of the same 5 axioms, and on a day-to-day basis both work. (The fifth being pretty damned esoteric.) So tossing Newton (who's hard enough as it is) for Lobachevsky seems non-utilitarian.

"Judeo-Christian" at the root assumes certain things that are useful. The most useful of which (in my opinion) is that the relationship of the individual to the devine is quite personal. (Adam and Eve, Jonah and the Whale, Abrahams' offered sacrice of his son, Christ's passion on the cross, etc.) Luther got that Old Time Religion when he posted his Theses, Joan of Arc had a real personal relationship with the Devine, again, etc. And of course Gallileo could feel confident that "Nonetheless, it moves."

The theme running here is that the Devine (or reality, if you will) speaks to the individual. It does not require the mediation of Authority. This is the rock-solid basis of the Enlightenment; any person can perceive reality (which is by definition Devine) with his own senses, should she or he be inclined to do so. And in the history of monotheistic religions, it's pretty damned rare.

(Get pedantic and ask about polytheistic religions, and I'll argue that they are inherently inimical to the idea of a fixed reality. The existence of multiple gods implies a reality than can never be trusted from one moment in time to another. And yes, I read too much trash fantasy.)

Anyway, a personal relationship with a single Divinity was such a basic idea that it was pretty damned radical. (Humans being so enamored of vanity and authority -- rationality in the end leads to the idea that we're just animals, only more so -- that an obvious point could be ignored across countless civilizations.) It was persecuted from the start (long walk there Moses -- sorry you didn't get to buy the tee shirt in the end) but has proven to be a really powerful concept.

And once you begin to believe that an individual, using the tools at hand, can actually work out how things work on their own, then you've joined the perpetual revolution against authority and stagnation, which is what we call the Enlightenment. (If you can't say "screw you" to the dominant paradigm -- and worse, if you can't identify the dominant paradigm, well, you fell off the boat.)

So yes, the mystical informs the rational, if only because as mystical animals it is nearly impossible to avoid it. But the mystical proposition that each of us can perceive the devine is crucial. So crucial that it seems to be reflexively suppressed by most anyone with a club and a sense of purpose. (And the hunger for the the club seems to be pretty innate in humans; Christians end up with Popes -- and worse -- Moslems end up with various Immams pronouncing fatwas, and Jews end up with everyone else telling Jews what they should do.)

Of course, the most beautiful thing, the thing that makes this whole silly (yet bloody and tragic) argument sublime, is that rationality seems to have proven that rationality has limits. If Kurt Gödel's were alive today I would kiss him. (Or maybe not. There are enough variables in the equation that, even if all were fixed, I believe there's a fighting chance that my heterosexuality could not be definitively challenged.)

Most cultures shy away from the idea of an uncertain reality. Ours does not. That makes Enlightenment culture a very, very rare bird. Maybe unique, but I'm not certain enough of that to make it a postulate. What I do know is that societies built upon fundamentalist (or even authoritarian) foundations seem to be inherently hostile to what you and I take for granted, vis a vis, the right to question anything.

The question "why" is the most powerful tool in the universes. I will fight to my dying breath for my right to use it. Don't be on the wrong side of that fight.

Posted by: Mark Poling at February 11, 2005 11:16 PM

Neodude you're an effing broken record. I can't believe I wasted my time reading your posts

Posted by: andrewf at February 11, 2005 11:18 PM

Mark,

If the term "Judeo-Christian" is such a universal phenomena that all Jews and Christians throughout the Western traditions know it, why are American right-wingers the only ones using it?

Outside of Christian Fundemtalist communities and their political allies, where is "Judeo-Christian" discussed?

Which Western institutions (outside of Fundie schools?) discuss "Judeo-Christian"? Are there courses in "Judeo-Christian values" at the elite secular and religious schools of Isreal?

It's a word that got tested in focus groups, and it makes Fundies look less anti-semitic. It's a safe word for people who don't like to admit they themselves are very sympathetic to fundementalist impulses. Fucus groups realized "Judeo-Christian" will get more traction than Fundamentalist.

Posted by: NeoDude at February 11, 2005 11:43 PM

Don't know, neodude. I came up with my analysis with my own little brain. Maybe it's original. Want to brand me a heretic? Part of some VRWC? Go ahead. And tell Karl Rove. I could use the paycheck.

Personally, I haven't been to church since I was twelve (discounting the occasional marriage) and religion-wise, I'm agnostic at best. But I do care about the history of ideas, and my thinking is "are you now, or have you ever been" is not a good way to start an honest debate of philosophies. But maybe I'm just hard-core.

We could talk about the importance of the individual's right to perceive reality as they see fit within the confines of a mutually-respectful society, or you could call me a Whinger. Which you choose to do is up to you.

Posted by: Mark Poling at February 12, 2005 12:13 AM

The headline image of a jew holding the strings of the leftist party is right out of a 1930's playbook.

Posted by: FC at February 12, 2005 12:30 AM
neodude:
If the term "Judeo-Christian" is such a universal phenomena that all Jews and Christians throughout the Western traditions know it, why are American right-wingers the only ones using it?
It's a word that got tested in focus groups, and it makes Fundies look less anti-semitic. It's a safe word for people who don't like to admit they themselves are very sympathetic to fundementalist impulses. Fucus groups realized "Judeo-Christian" will get more traction than Fundamentalist.

And of course I said no such thing. As a matter of fact, I said the opposite. What we're calling the Enlightenment Culture is always under the attack of whoever has the club at any given time. Ratatosk instinctively understands this, I just think he takes things a little too far. What I hypothesize is that certain elelments of Judaism and Christianity, when mixed with Plato, Aristotle, and their antecedents, produced a system of thought that led to societies where individuals were allowed to flourish outside the parameters set by their masters.

(Think feudal here, dude. It may be hard, if can't imaging a job where you couldn't just say "fuck you" to your boss and walk out one day without worrying about a crossbow bolt in your back.)

What I was saying is where we are now is a pretty remarkable thing. Our society seems to be remarkably robust (people keep trying to get into the our countries for some reason), we are the strongest block of nations on this planet (I am charitably including Europe in the "we"), and what "we" have in common is heritage from Greek and Roman pagans, Jews, and Christians. So maybe to be fair all of us "right wingers" should identify our cultural values as "Greco-Roman-Judeo-Christian."

But then the Epicureans might get pissed. And hell, Algebra (and hence the mathematical foundation for Cartesian mathematics and philosophy, and of course everything after) came from Arabia. So in chronological order let us call it Epicurean-Greco-Roman-Judeo-Christian-Arabic values. Happier, dude?

Theyse are still the values that your average suicide bomber wants to blow to oblivian. But if that thought causes you less stress if you call them "Judeo-Christian" instead of the long form (or the more elegant "Enlightenment") well, sleep tight.

Posted by: Mark Poling at February 12, 2005 12:49 AM

neodude:

I guess you lost the argument about Bat Ye'or, so now you're obsessing over semantics. By the way, I'd like you to prove that the term "Judeo-Christian" has "right-wing" origins.

Antoine:

DeGaulle and France did not abandon Israel in 1968, they abandoned Israel before the Six-Day War so your claim that France was motivated by Israeli desire to hold on to (some or all??) territories is pure crap. The US was the only major country that gave a damn when the Arabs announced their intention to "finish what Hitler started", and we were too bogged down in Vietnam to do anything about it.

Posted by: Gary Rosen at February 12, 2005 01:43 AM

neodude:

I guess you lost the argument about Bat Ye'or, so now you're obsessing over semantics. By the way, I'd like you to prove that the term "Judeo-Christian" has "right-wing" origins.

Antoine:

DeGaulle and France did not abandon Israel in 1968, they abandoned Israel before the Six-Day War so your claim that France was motivated by Israeli desire to hold on to (some or all??) territories is pure crap. The US was the only major country that gave a damn when the Arabs announced their intention to "finish what Hitler started", and we were too bogged down in Vietnam to do anything about it.

Posted by: Gary Rosen at February 12, 2005 01:43 AM

Sorry for the double post.

Posted by: Gary Rosen at February 12, 2005 01:44 AM

But the notion of "Judeo-Christian" is quite a mystical one. Grounded on feeling, not rationality or traditional faith.

Sorry NeoDude,

your non-argument relies purely on a rhetorical device. You still haven't shown me how cavemen were able to live in caves even though they never used the word. It's simple logic.

Posted by: Carlos at February 12, 2005 06:43 AM

There have been many books written by many different thinkers and scientists conserning "caveman"

"Judeo-Christian" is strictly a Christian Fundementalist phenomena. An attempt to soften the racist and anti-semitic theology.

If only Leftist Buddhist spoke of "caveman" in the entire history of the Westen tradition, I would be suspicious of it's use.

People who would like to find a common bond to hate and lie about other people, hide behind a sloppy feel-good word. It is only supposed to make those who use it exist in a world where they are not responsible for thinking and investigating. You heard the word, you liked it, and use it....that's very irresponsible.

It also shows that those who use it have know knowledge of the religions they are misusing (Judaism and Christianity). These religions are only poltical tools to hate...since you have no knowledge of these faiths and really do not care for them, but in only a cynical political way. You assist a right-wing attempt to create a culture/idea/philosophy that only exist in a Christian Fundementalist mindset.

The Myth of a Judeo-Christian Tradition
http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article4803.htm

Posted by: NeoDude at February 12, 2005 08:08 AM

NeoDude (and Ratatosk?) - Are you seriously linking to Information clearing house??, the place that links to Nation articles like "Democracy=Criminality"

Talk about anti-Enlightenment. What’s next, links to the Weekly World News? At least they’re trying to be funny.

Did you know that al Qaeda is planning to use suicide camels?

Posted by: mary at February 12, 2005 08:24 AM

Mary,

Can you show me "judeo-christian" being used outside of an American right-wing/Fundamentalist politics/context?

If you were such a Western traditionalist, you would be able to investage the essay's truth value. If you are so knowledgable about the Great Judeo-Christian culture, then point to its academic legacy? Has there been rabbinical and theological papers on this grand culture?

Or are you embarssed that you have been holding water for the Falwell and "End-Timer" types?

Secular Jews and believing Christians, beware, the great Judeo-Christian culture is a sham, to get the less informed on board.

Posted by: NeoDude at February 12, 2005 09:13 AM

Neodude: "People who would like to find a common bond to hate and lie about other people, hide behind a sloppy feel-good word"

You mean like the word "kufr"?

Explain how people's using the term "Judao-Christian" represents a political tool to hate and lie about others. Does it make any difference to you if we use the term "enlightenment values" to describe what it is the "west" seeks to defend?

Posted by: Caroline at February 12, 2005 09:22 AM

Jewish-Christian Dialogue and Relations

Salutary reading for all who speak glibly about the Judeo-Christian tradition. Also offers extremely helpful ideas for sensitizing participants in Jewish-Christian dialogue to the plain fact that Christianity and Judaism are not on all fours for the purposes of comparison and identification.

-----------------------------------------------

© 2005 International Council of Christians and Jews

Posted by: NeoDude at February 12, 2005 09:45 AM

Neodude reads just like a thread trasher who used to haunt The Diplomad's site. Diplomad's gone now, and up pops Neo here- just ignore him, he doesn't know his philosophy, his religion or his history well enough to contribute here. We all know what happens when you feed a troll.

Posted by: les at February 12, 2005 09:50 AM

It's fascinating, really, that there is a line drawn between the "Judeo-Christian" God and the "Islamic" God; that is akin to uniting Hindu and Muslim views of the divine, and then opposing them, together, to Christian views of the divine. That doesn't mean anything, it's just the strategy of racists and dull supremacists, who can't think through a problem if their lives depended on it (Isn't it odd that the Jewish idea of the divine is somehow seen as compatible with the Christian one?)

Posted by: NeoDude at February 12, 2005 10:13 AM

neodude:

Once again I challenge you to prove that the term "Judeo-Christian" is strictly a phenomenon of Christian fundamentalists and/or the right wing. I have heard the term used for decades, before 9/11 it never had the implications you are insinuating. You are the one making these pronouncements - do some research and prove the origins of the word if you are so sure of yourself.

Posted by: Gary Rosen at February 12, 2005 10:16 AM

Neodude - I don't think Bat Ye'or is concerned about whether the Islamic God is or is not the same God as the Hebrew God or the Christian God. We're talking about showing tolerance and granting equality for people who worship different Gods, or choose to reject God altogether. Islam has a different historical track record, which continues TODAY - on that issue than do western democratic societies, which adhere to enlightenment values. Unless you want to make the claim that living in Iran is similar to living in the United States?

Maybe I should take Les's warning to heart about feeding the troll...

Posted by: Caroline at February 12, 2005 10:22 AM

The severe anti-semitism of Early Christianity was not happening by accident. They are two seperate traditions. Do you think any survivors of the Holocaust considered themselves "Judeo-Christian"

Many Christians and Jews (Conseravtive, Orthodox, whatevr) who are in discourse do not and would not use judeo-Christian because they knew it is a right-wing Christian parlor trick.

They are fused to fit a Right-Wing poltical agenda and not grounded in tradition and respect for the two cultures.

The pograms and violent anti-semitism of Christianity were not a fluke. You are playing with history to satisfy a right-wing Christian political game.

I know why right-wing Christians do it, but many of you Secular Jews and Secular Christians should be ashamed of yourselves being used this way. Are you that hard-up to get along that you have to just go with the flow, cause it makes you feel good?

Posted by: NeoDude at February 12, 2005 10:39 AM

Neodude: Are the right-wing Christians persecuting the Jews here in the US? Persecuting the Hindus? Persecuting the Buddhists?

What does the point you are trying to make have to do with what Bat Ye'or is talking about, which concerns Islam and dhimmitude?

Posted by: Caroline at February 12, 2005 10:53 AM

Right-Wing Christian preachers have increasingly used the term 'Judeo-Christian' to cover up anti-Semitism sentiments. This became popular in the early 1980s with Jerry Falwell's attempt to appease Jews regarding his secretarian rhetoric. Right-Wing Christian preachers aim to emphasise Christianity's Biblical and Jewish origins through the use of the term, however, they omit 'Judeo' when speaking to Christians alone. This indicates the merely external usage of the term to hide racist attitudes against Jews. Furthermore, the belief that Christianity originated from Judaism is inaccurate

Posted by: NeoDude at February 12, 2005 10:53 AM

An increasing number of Christian politicians are employing the term Judeo-Christian in their speeches to general audiences. In the last few years I've read variations of the phrase ad nauseum: "Judeo-Christian traditional values"; "Judeo-Christian political effort"; "Judeo-Christian theism"; "Judeo-Christian Republicans"; "Judeo-Christian lifestyle of Bible-believers."

This curious construct, while not new, gained currency in the early 1980s. At that time, the sectarian rhetoric of the Reverend Jerry Falwell's Moral Majority alarmed the Jewish community. To ease Jewish concern the Falwell camp began to employ the term Judeo-Christian, saying that, after all, Christianity is based on Judaism. Cynically, the forces of exclusion embraced a terminology of inclusion.

When the religious right uses "Judeo-Christian" to whom does the term actually refer? According to Charles R. Phillips, author of a popular political handbook used by the religious right, people who embrace "Judeo-Christian values" are those who oppose abortion, homosexuality (they call it sodomy), "pornography as an art form," and "sex education that neglects chastity and condones free distribution of condoms."

Robert Simonds, head of the National Association of Christian Educators, a group dedicated to electing candidates who hold "Judeo-Christian" values to school boards, writes, "America is great because devout Christians and courageous politicians have used biblical values to shape our political institutions." "America," he adds "is not the product of secular humanism, atheism, or any other false religion. America is the fruit of God's eternal truth in Christ, the Ten Commandments...."

When speaking exclusively to Christians, however, Simonds drops the "Judeo": "The Christian religion (the Bible) is the basis for all morality (right and wrong)."

In 1989, the Reverend Pat Robertson formed a powerful new political organization. Although he continually preaches on "Judeo-Christian values," he named his group the "Christian Coalition," not the Judeo-Christian Coalition.

And lest there be any confusion among "the faithful" as to whom the term truly applies, Jimmy Swaggart, writing in The Evangelist, used the term Judeo, but added "Christian" in parentheses.

Christian politicians employ "Judeo-Christian" in their external appeals because they know that overt expressions of anti-Semitism are political suicide.

An examination of Christian history fails to support the hypothesis that Christianity has its roots in Judaism. In fact, Christianity borrows more of its customs from paganism than from Judaism. Two of Christianity's central holidays, Christmas and Easter, have their roots in paganism. And Sunday worship is pagan, not Jewish--even Jesus kept the Sabbath on the seventh day. The question remains, "Isn't Christianity derived from the teachings of Jesus, who was Jewish?" No, Jesus never intended to start a new religion. Paul founded Christianity, using a mythical Jesus as a basis.

If people need to link Christianity with its roots, then "Pagan-Christian" is the proper term. "Judeo-Christian" is false and misleading. While "Judeo-Christian" may be used to placate Jews, they should be aware that the use of the term does not include them.

Skipp Porteous' commentaries on the religious right appear regularly in FREE INQUIRY.

Posted by: NeoDude at February 12, 2005 10:56 AM

I see. So you are comparing right-wing Christians like Jerry Falwell to the preachings that go on in Saudi-funded mosques, the hate rhetoric that is widespread in the Muslim world, the teachings of violent jihad (kill or convert the non-believers or force them to pay a tax), the slaughter of Hindus, Buddhists, and Christians taking place in Muslim dominant societies today, the treatment of women under Sharia law and so on. And because Jerry Falwell (or whomever) is using some sort of poitical code language to disguise his anti-semitism, western society is full of hate and has no business criticizing Islam or being concerned about its spread? Is that what you're getting at here? God knows I am probably spending more time struggling to understand your point than I perhaps ought to.

Posted by: Caroline at February 12, 2005 11:05 AM

The Right-Wing attempt to distort history with words like 'Judeo-Marxist' or "Judeo-Christian" is dangerous.

Blind Fundementalism (Christian or otherwise) usually relies on these distortions to manipulate the uneducated. Whether, in the US or Saudi Arabia.

Fundemntalists should not be trusted, Falwall or Sistani or what ever cleric...and you shouldn't help them.

Posted by: NeoDude at February 12, 2005 11:35 AM

To return to the original post, there are a couple of glaring flaws in the theories of Ye'or:

1. What's going on in parts of Europe right now isn't 'Islamization' or 'dhimmification' but a gradual process of secularization that's been going on from the time of the Enlightenment. This process is equally puzzling to (vast minority) Islamic threads in our societies as it is to Christian sections. There is no zero-sum game between Christians and Muslims going on - they are both gradually losing a battle to separate church and personal belief from public life. Indeed, were it not for 9/11, there is a good chance that Christian fundamentalism and its Islamic counterparts would have begun a tentative alliance - viz. the cooperation between the Vatican and Arab states over the AIDS/condom issue in the 'Third World', an agenda that a Bush administration may have had some sympathy with, for better or worse. Chrenkoff has blogged on this, and I agree with his analysis.

2. Note: this applies only in some parts of Europe. Anyone who has spent any time in southern Europe would know that talking about 'Arabization', of elites or otherwise, in these societies is ludicrous. These are societies where the church (Catholic or Orthodox) plays a far greater role in public life than even supposedly God-fearing America. Neatly packaging 'Europe' as Ye'or does is ignorant stereotyping. Secular traditions are long and strong in UK/France etc. Not so in Spain, Italy, Greece.

Only those commentators in Europe on the extremes of left and right take this 'dhimmi' stuff seriously. It's crazy conspiracy nonsense.

And on a couple of Ye'or's specific claims:

"Many Europeans agree with Said’s theories. Many don’t believe that their culture is worth preserving."
- rubbish. 99% of people have never heard of Said. And it only takes about 5 mins anywhere in Europe to see that we are individually and collectively proud of our cultures.

The policies of the EU towards Israel mirror Arab policies.
- rubbish. If the Palestine situation continues to improve, Israel will be signing special trading relationships with the EU for sure. And perhaps 'associate member' status will be a logical conclusion here. The ties of cash and democracy are far stronger than extremists might like to think.

This multicultural 'alliance' is currently cemented by European fear of terrorism.
- rubbish. Multiculturalism predates the major terrorist threat by more than a decade, and is only now being questioned.

Europe seems to accept its current dhimmi status, and does not seem to be willing to defend traditional Western, Judeo-Christian values.
- rubbish. Christianity is on the decline here, though still dominant in many countries. Our traditional 'Enlightenment' values are however held as tightly as ever.

Believe this stuff if you want to. It's a neat theory. But it has no relationship with reality.

Posted by: Jarndyce at February 12, 2005 11:39 AM

Solomon – thanks for the link to your post on Ye’or’s lecture at Brandeis. Interesting stuff, especially the information about Dawa, Dar al Suhl and Dar al Harb.

This was also helpful -

"Ye'or feels that people in Europe have welcomed this Islamization because they are more interested in opposing Christianity. Europe is actively rejecting its roots [Aside: Given the negative way many in Europe view their history, this is not at all surprising.] This is in stark contrast to the United States and President Bush where they are proud of their Judeo-Christian background.:

Ye’or anticipates this divide-and-conquer anti-Judeo-Christian argument, and she understands its purpose. I knew she was a big-picture kind of person.

Posted by: mary at February 12, 2005 11:52 AM

were it not for 9/11, there is a good chance that Christian fundamentalism and its Islamic counterparts would have begun a tentative alliance - viz. the cooperation between the Vatican and Arab states over the AIDS/condom issue in the 'Third World'

Now it’s my turn to say rubbish. What do you know about Muslim fundamentalist attitudes towards Christians? What are their attitudes towards kufr, what is najis, what do Wahhabis think of polytheists?

Fundamentalist Muslims would probably object to the use of condoms in the third world because it would reduce the population of potential slaves. Slavery is legal under fundamentalist Islamic law. But considering that the Saudi Wahhabi state confiscates bibles and prosecutes Christians for practicing their religion (trying to convert people from Islam brings a sentence of death) within the Kingdom, the possibility of an alliance between established Fundamentalist Arab & Christian churches is very unlikely.

Most Europeans have never heard of Said, but most European & UK elites would agree with his opinions on the prejudices of a Western viewpoint and the evils of colonialism and imperialism. Just read Le Monde or the Guardian.

Can you prove that the stated policies of the EU towards Israel do not mirror Arab policies? From what I’ve seen, it appears to have been true in the past. But, like you, I can’t see into the future, so speculation as to what will happen if Arab nations decide to stop fighting Israel is irrelevant.

Is Christianity and strong national identity generally on the rise in Europe, or is it in decline? It’s not clear from your comment.

Ms. Ye’or’s point was that the Euro/Arab alliance exists, and its existence does not seem to be helping Europe in the fight against terrorism. You can call it dhimmi status or you can call it a commitment to multiculturalism. Either way, anti-Semitic violence and Muslim gang violence are a problem, things aren’t getting better and the question is, what will Europe do about it?

Posted by: mary at February 12, 2005 12:22 PM

Neodude - frankly the Islamists make Falwell look like a flaming left-winger in comparison but the fact that you are so concerned about the Christian fundies makes me feel less paranoid for being concerned about what Bat Ye'or is describing. So thanks for that.

I hope Jarndyce is correct and that the concept of Eurabia is "overwrought" and "hysterical" as I beleive Michael put it once. I get the impression that it's one of those "time will tell" sort of things. One issue e.g. concerns the Palestinian-Israeli issue which Bat Ye'or sees as part of the global jihad. Evidently the Europeans (like Jarndyce) don't see it that way. What unfolds in the next few years in terms of the I/P peace process should give us some idea of who is right.

Posted by: Caroline at February 12, 2005 12:33 PM

Mary
Most Europeans have never heard of Said, but most European & UK elites would agree with his opinions on the prejudices of a Western viewpoint and the evils of colonialism and imperialism. Just read Le Monde or the Guardian.

I don't know about Le Monde, but I'd bet that most writers for The Guardian have heard of Edward Said.

As for the 'dhimmification' thing, people everywhere are likely to choose safety to freedom especially when conditions change slowly. There are already laws being proposed (?already passed?)in Britain in order to appease Muslim demands that Islam not be critisized. Whether people willing to call that the beginning of 'dhimmification' depends on whether they're too proud to admit that they're cowards who gave up their freedom under a little bit of pressure.

It comes down to questions like this one: in twenty years will critisizing Islam start riots in the streets in Europe? Will Europeans have already accomidated to Islamist mob violence? Will the holcaust still be taught in schools? Will Muslims be given a pass for domestic violence?

- I hear that these changes have already shown up in France where, for instance, teachers are afraid to teach the history of the Holcaust in schools.

In this context 'dhimmification' will just mean that Muslims have used threats of violence to intimidate European society to lowering it's standards toward Arab levels.

I don't know exactly how likely this is, but it's certainly not an impossible.

Posted by: Joshua Scholar at February 12, 2005 12:47 PM

One or two ripostes:

1. Saying Christian and Muslim fundamentalists are prepared to ally on some issues is not the same as saying they are one and the same. Far from it. But the fact that they HAVE allied in the past makes this not just some pointless counterfactual. It's a 'fact on the ground'.

2. _ Christianity and strong national identity generally on the rise in Europe, or is it in decline? It’s not clear from your comment._
They are both on the decline, but Islam is a zero factor in this. Both have been responsible in part for centuries of bloodshed here (includinmg Christians slaughtering other Christians in droves e.g. 30 Years War). So, now we have, for the majority, come to the accommodation that such views are perfectly legitimate to hold personally but unacceptable as government ethoses (is that a word?).

3. Either way, anti-Semitic violence and Muslim gang violence are a problem, things aren’t getting better and the question is, what will Europe do about it?
Anti-Muslim violence is equally problematic among the far right in many parts of Europe. In fact the platforms of most far right parties here are far more directed in an Islamophobic direction than an anti-Jew one. Neither of course is acceptable. Both are problems. But again I stress: don't conflate 'Europe' as if it is one place. Most countries here have no issues with Islamic minorities because they just don't exist. Also, for example here in the UK, the leader and deputy leader of the main opposition party are both Jews, and the party has a level of support among wealthier Muslims. Are there other non-Israeli states where that has happened? Just look at all the fuss when Gore named Lieberman in 2000.

4. The Guardian is very much a minority read in the UK. c. 3% of the market, I think. And yes, the thread is anticolonial. But then colonial powers from Europe were and are responsible in part for some of the mess we are dealing with right now.

5. Laws here are already laws being proposed (?already passed?) in Britain in order to appease Muslim demands that Islam not be critisized.
True, though Christian fundamentalists are equally supportive of these laws, which by the way command little intelligent support outside Labour Party HQ. They are a lame attempt to shore up the traditionally solid Muslim support in key marginal constituencies before the May election. They have already lost that support though. I wouldn't be surprised if these proposals disappear quietly.

6. European support for Palestinian claims to currently Israeli-held land are IMHO based mostly on international law not anti-Semitism. This is unprovable though, so largely irrelevant. It is a fact, however, that Israel is a major trading partner of the EU, in fact the largest by far in the ME area.

But none of the critiques offered in any way contradicts my proposal: Ye'or's theory just has no relationship with facts. Only one or two of my assertions have to be true to disprove her ridiculous hypothesis.

Posted by: Jarndyce at February 12, 2005 01:22 PM

Jarndyce I'm thinking that Bat Ye'or could be wrong in her theory and right in her prognosis. By way of analogy, imagine that someone goes to a witch doctor who tells her that her arthritis is caused by evil spirits infesting her bones and that it's likely to get worse with time. Well maybe arthritis isn't caused by evil sprits, but that doesn't mean the prediction is wrong.

In the end it doesn't matter WHY people do things, it matters what they do.

Perhaps there's no powerful alliance between European elites and Arab elites - that has no bearing on the question of whether Europe is going to maintain it's freedoms and civility in the face of a growing population that holds those values and civilization and history they represent in contempt and which may well be willing to support violent counterweights to civil authority.

Truthfully I don't believe that the worst outcome is necessarily happening, but I admit that the progressives' unwillingness to stand firm against the most unprogressive force of our time bodes badly. I'd rather see progressives standing against religious indoctrination to jihad, against religiously inspired oppression and intimidation, against religiously sanctioned domestic violence etc. than see it left to groups as unsuited to this role as Le Pen's.

If progressives are a sort of conscience of society, they're currently firmly committed to harrasing the wrong people.

Posted by: Joshua Scholar at February 12, 2005 01:40 PM

Re: Laws against critisizing religion:
True, though Christian fundamentalists are equally supportive of these laws,

Are you SURE of that? Maybe it's because I live in the US, but I have NEVER heard ANY fundamentalist Chritistian demand that the law forbid the criticism of religion. I've heard Muslims demand their critics be silenced early and often, but I've never heard the like from any Christian.

Are you just ASSUMING that there must be some Christian support, or do you have some evidence?

Posted by: Joshua Scholar at February 12, 2005 01:48 PM

It's late here so I'll be brief.

1. Progressives are standing firm on real freedom of speech in Europe. Try the UK Harry's Place blog for the kind of people you are talking about. There are pseudo-left idiots who can see no further than their opposition to the Iraq war, and hence end up in an intellectual dead-end backing everyone who the US opposes. They are a soon-to-be-extinct breed supporting an empty credo.

2. Christian fundamentalism: I suggest you look up any UK news site for info on the Christian opposition to the BBC screening of Jerry Springer: The Opera (January sometime). The issue of the proposed law was brought up in the course of that controversy. I'm not saying by the way that mainstream Christian thought is opposed to free speech, but then neither is vast majority opinion in the predominantly Turkish-Muslim area of London in which I live. These antiliberal threads are more powerful among Islamic, esp. Wahhabist, teachings but that doesn't mean they are not there elsewhere. Principle demands consistency in dealing with this sort of oppression whoever it is coming from. Crude stereotyping and broad-brush hypothesizing like Ye'or proposes doesn't lead anywhere.

I bid you goodnight.

Posted by: Jarndyce at February 12, 2005 03:11 PM

Neodude - frankly the Islamists make Falwell look like a flaming left-winger in comparison but the fact that you are so concerned about the Christian fundies makes me feel less paranoid for being concerned about what Bat Ye'or is describing.

Caroline,

I'm kind of like that too. Just when Lefties get me to start being a bit paranoid about my politics, they keep blabbing and remind me of why I'm right and they're wrong. Give them enough rope and they'll hang themselves everytime. Just let the Loonbats talk I say.

Posted by: Carlos at February 12, 2005 03:21 PM

I noticed Harry's Place blog a couple of weeks ago (as well a few places he links to) and was pleasantly surprised. But the reasonable voices seem vastly outnumbered at the moment. I live in epicenter of leftist America and I see nothing but hysteria around me.

Posted by: Joshua Scholar at February 12, 2005 03:39 PM

Carlos - thanks for the kind words :-)

The truth is that when people much more knowledeable about history than I am get going - I am really out of my element but I am trying hard to understand - like the little engine that could!

I will say that what I am still concerned about in all this dismissal of my "concerns" - where Islam's compatibility with enlightenment values goes - is the Islamist notion (represented in the Koran itself) - that in the interest of spreading Islam - one should "make peace" while in a position of powerlessness (even practice "taqiyyah" - deception in the goal of spreading Islam) - until one is in a position of relative power and potential dominance - at which point - make all out war. When has history itself so far disputed this notion? That is my understanding of Islam as represented historically in the life of Muhammed himself. It's what Bat Ye'or is talking about and I'm glad she is! I do not wish to be paranoid - and neither do I wish to be a sucker. I merely think it is prudent to be watchful and alert. In the meantime, I shall watch closely what happens with the Israeli's and Palestinians. I have seen alot of evidence to suggest to me that this is "jihad" pure and simple - and not a simple issue of willingness to compromise once Israel makes certain political concessions. But time will tell...

Posted by: Caroline at February 12, 2005 04:03 PM

Jarndyce:

If those who oppose everthing Bush does just because he's Bush are "are a soon-to-be-extinct breed supporting an empty credo" in Europe then European leftists are in MUCH better shape than American leftists who are currently busy with the Hari Kari knives. I don't expect to see an American liberal stand up for a liberal idea again in my lifetime. If the Republicans are going to be championing liberal ideas, then American liberals will be again' those ideas until the day they die.

Principle demands consistency in dealing with this sort of oppression whoever it is coming from. Crude stereotyping and broad-brush hypothesizing like Ye'or proposes doesn't lead anywhere.

I don't think principle is involved here. I think APPEARANCE is what the problem is. And appearing to oppose an external group is such a taboo among progressives that cliterectomies, honor killings and fascism don't even register though the fear of appearing prejudiced. Or gasp, standing up against something on the same side as a conservative hawk.

So you worry about appearing to broadbrush and "principle" and I'll worry that progressives will prefer to live in absolute denial and lie to themselves than admit that the situation is every bit as bad as the evidence suggests.

Posted by: Joshua Scholar at February 12, 2005 04:22 PM

I have seen alot of evidence to suggest to me that this is "jihad" pure and simple - and not a simple issue of willingness to compromise once Israel makes certain political concessions. But time will tell...

Caroline,

you can pretty much count on the Left getting it wrong every time on jihad. Take for instance the the new paleostinian chief. He seems willing to return to the table even though Hamas said this is only a temporary truce and not a ceasefire. You can count on them not honoring it.

But the only thing that brought the paleonstinians back to the table was that Sharon proved to be uncomprising towards paleo terrorism. Was not Barak the good guy? And Sharon the bad guy? Surprise. Arabs respect toughness. Sharon launched a massive invasion of the palestinian territories after the Passover massacre of 2002. Leftists and the media were practically unanimous that this would achieve nothing. Completely wrong. As usual.

It is precisely Israel's aggressive counterattack against palestinian terrorists, coupled with the defensive wall (which has prevented practically all suicide attacks wherever it has been built), that has brought the parties back to the table. You can count on the Left getting it wrong just about everytime.

And the reason they get it wrong everytime is that their entire analysis is built on hating the Rightwing, i.e., "Bush." That hatred informs their entire analysis. That's how they ended up in bed with the islamofascists. They'll end up in bed with invaders from Mars if it means getting at "Bush" and the Right. Other Leftists go after "christianity". That informs their entire analysis.

They are anti. They stand for nothing, only against. That's why their analysis is always such a failure.

Posted by: Carlos at February 12, 2005 05:28 PM

WoW, Carlos you American Nationalists talk about Muslems like German Nationalist use to talk about the Jews.

Whenever the existence of a people is threatened, the foundation of their development and rise becomes important. The history of every great nation shows a clear idea of its uniqueness and a rejection of foreign races. This attitude is as innate in people as it is in animals. This becomes problematic only when peoples disobey god-ordained laws, when the destructive ideas of equality destroy their instincts, when racial mixing develops. It is then usually too late to turn around, and the decline of the peoples can no longer be stopped. Warning voices were raised in the 18th and 19th centuries when Liberalism began to destroy the peoples of Europe.

From:
Der Reichsführer SS/SS-Hauptamt, Rassenpolitik (Berlin, 1943)

Posted by: NeoDude at February 12, 2005 06:46 PM

Neodude: "The history of every great nation shows a clear idea of its uniqueness and a rejection of foreign races."

Dude - pardon me but you are out of your bloody mind. Either that or you are completely ignorant regarding US history. This "great nation" is comprised of nothing BUT a comingling of "foreign races". Where the hell do you live anyway?

Posted by: Caroline at February 12, 2005 07:15 PM

NeoDude,

I don't think I talked about "muslims." But I did refer to jihadists and islamofascists. Is that the same as "muslims" to you? If it is, that would help explain why you Loonbats have taken the jihadis under your wing--you can no longer tell the difference--which pretty much goes to the essence of my post at 05:28 PM, doesn't it?

Posted by: Carlos at February 12, 2005 07:24 PM

and ps, NeoDude, you've not only attempted to misrepresent what I said by choosing to insinuate "muslims" into it, but your response was just a cut and paste about Nazi Germany with little discernible relevance to what I said. Essentially, you called me a nazi, and in case you haven't yet heard, that little tactic has become little more than an exercise in Lefty self-parody at this point. In other words, you're the butt of jokes because it. It lost you an election.

Would you care to address the merits or lack thereof of my post instead? Cutting and pasting shows such little imagination, and it will never get a response on the merits from me.

Posted by: Carlos at February 12, 2005 07:53 PM

Carlos, if you're right, how do explain the long-time relationship between the right and the Islamofascists? Saddam and bin Laden were old friends of the right, the Sauds still are. All the left has ever done is suggest that mass slaughter is a bad thing, even if the people being slaughtered have brown skin and a different religion - I know that's a shocking idea for the right. You may think the left is misguided in its attempts to seek greater understanding and progressive alternatives to conflict. But you'd have to be seriously deluded to think that the left has formed any kind of alliance with Islamofascism. However, the right did, and that's why we find ourselves where we are today.

Posted by: Kiri at February 12, 2005 08:21 PM

What's interesting with Neodude is not just how wrong he is, and ill informed ... the Enlightenment in the American, British/Scottish, and French branches all drew heavily on both Jewish and Christian thought (as well as the Greeks, and those early Christian philosophers who discussed them) ... but WHY he is so resistant to the notion of the values of tolerance, freedom, intellectual inquiry being associated with religious beliefs.

It's as if the idea of committed rationalists who are also devout (Einstein, Descartes, Spinoza, C.S. Lewis, Jefferson, and Locke) just can't be comprehended, like telling an ancient Babylonian about planetary orbits, instead of the Sun God pulling a chariot across the sky every day. It would require a fundamental re-ordering of his world view. Something he won't do.

The Left is simply incapable of comprehending (for the most part) the religious base of most of the Enlightenment "liberal" reforms; from the religiously inspired (often led by Quakers in both the UK and US) anti-Slavery movement; to theorists like Jefferson and Thoreau (who were deists, but religious none the less), to the most important figure in America save perhaps FDR in the 20th Century, the Rev Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

The idea of the Civil Rights movement has been deliberately suppressed or forgotten; "God's Drum Major for Justice" does not fit with the pseudo-marxist cant of ANSWER, MoveON, and the Platonic Ideal of the Philospher King mixed with Heidigger's post-Modernism/collectivism.

If the INDIVIDUAL is supposed to stand up based on his concience to carry out the gospel of love, peace, and justice ... well that's a far cry from the collectivist orientation under some Caudillo that forms the intellectual basis of the Left.

Hence the concerted effort to deny the past (and obvious); that Judeo-Christian values of individual concience, love, peace, and justice form the intellectual heritage of the Enlightenment (as opposed the factually wrong Leftist myth that the Enlightenment was all anti-Religous folks opposed to the horrific and ignorant witch burners). This also explains the love and defense of Islam against Christianity; in that Islam posits a collective, with an undisputed leader, and is openly hostile to the idea of peace, justice, toleration that informs modern Christianity (even including Catholicism post Vatican II).

Arguing the validity of this with Neodude is pointless, simply because Leftists have not actually READ or studied the intellectual tradition of the West, merely absorbed the collectivist cant spewed out by clever but Heiddigger-types like Chomsky, Said, etc. The Left is similarly uninformed about military affairs, preferring to believe myths than the real truth.

How sad.

Posted by: Jim Rockford at February 12, 2005 08:27 PM

Carlos,

I called you a right-wing american nationalist and compared you to a right-wing german nationalist...but if the shoe fits...

Posted by: NeoDude at February 12, 2005 08:50 PM

But you'd have to be seriously deluded to think that the left has formed any kind of alliance with Islamofascism.

Kiri,

I don't think you've made an alliance. In fact I'm sure the jihadis would cut your decadent head off as soon as they cut off mine. I merely said you're in bed with them--taking it from behind. That's not an alliance, it's an ass raping. And you have no choice in the matter because to recognize islamofascism is a threat means you might have to admit Bush is right. And we all know you can never ever do that. Isn't that the basic thesis of my post at 05:28 PM? --that your entire worldview is a product of Right-hatred?

Carlos, if you're right, how do explain the long-time relationship between the right and the Islamofascists? Saddam and bin Laden were old friends of the right, the Sauds still are.

I must admit that I would never have expected a Lefty to call Saddam an "islamofascist" in my lifetime. Haven't you guys spent the last 2 years denying Saddam had any connection to the jihadis, that thus he wasn't a terror threat? and that Bush was wrong to go after him for the purposes of his war on terror? You're moving the goalposts again.

And regarding the bin Laden family, do you consider everybody with that last name to be a terrorist? Isn't it a fact that Osama has been basically disowned by his family? I consider that family no more dangerous than most muslims, and nor do I consider the House of Saud to be islamofascists. Are there any muslims you won't tarnish with that label? All for some cheapy points against Bush. So you too, like NeoDude, confirm my basic thesis at 05:28 PM that your analysis--driven solely by Bushitler hatred--is always wrong.

Posted by: Carlos at February 12, 2005 08:51 PM

Jim,

Outside of your right-wing world, where do ANY of the great Western minds (Jewish or Christian) ever refer to themselves as "Judeo-Christian"?

Posted by: NeoDude at February 12, 2005 08:52 PM

I called you a right-wing american nationalist and compared you to a right-wing german nationalist...

I know. You called me a nazi. You self-parodied.

Posted by: Carlos at February 12, 2005 08:53 PM

Jim,

Please, if you value Western thought, then start using it. Where have Locke, John Calvin, Einstien, Spinoza, Adam Smith and any of these thinkers you pretend to value, refer to themselves as being part of a "Judeo-Christian" Culture or values?

Western Civilization is notorious for documenting its history...outside of American right-wing and Christian Fundementalist circles, where is this tradition discussed and explored?

I mean talk about anti-intellectual, you guys eat up what ever is served at Party headquarters.

You can't...c'mon, even letters from these great thinkers any thing..."Judeo-Christian" is the Fundies little trick you all have fallen for, hook-line and whatever.

Posted by: NeoDude at February 12, 2005 09:02 PM

And American foriegn policy has always backed dictators.

Tyranny in the Name of Democracy

If your dedication to ideas created in a public relations lab is any indication of knowledge then we will be backing dictators forever.

Posted by: NeoDude at February 12, 2005 09:06 PM

Outside of your right-wing world, where do ANY of the great Western minds (Jewish or Christian) ever refer to themselves as "Judeo-Christian"?

NeoDude,

your little rhetorical device has been measured and found wanting. Cavemen didn't call themselves cavemen, but they still lived in caves. People living during the Enlightenment didn't go around calling themselves "enlightenists" either. The gig is up.

Posted by: Carlos at February 12, 2005 09:15 PM

Carlos,

So, outside of American right-wing circles, who is TODAY, discussing "Judeo-Christian" do the universities of Isreal and Europe have courses?

When any of you went to school where was "Judeo-Christian" discussed? Does Oxford, Yale, Harvard, Stanford have courses on this valued tradition?

I can find courses on cavemen at those institutions, yet there are no courses on "Judeo-Christian tradition or values"

They certainly have courses on Jewish ethics and Christian ethics, Jewish history and Christian history, Jewish traditions and Christian traditions...there are courses on the Enlightenment, Western Civilization,...yet only the Right-Wing Fundementalist seem to understand this term: "Judeo-Christian"

Posted by: NeoDude at February 12, 2005 09:33 PM

NeoDude,

you're repeating yourself. You're using a rhetorical device, not offering a substantive argument. And you've been answered already.

Posted by: Carlos at February 12, 2005 09:38 PM

Suggestion: Unless you want to explore some idea in some depth and you need to kick the crap out of a bad argument in the process, don't feed the trolls. I'm guilty as hell, but even I'm getting tired of wading through the same drivel for 100+ comments.

But hey, that's me. Senseless troll kicking may work for you, so do what seems right.

Posted by: Mark Poling at February 12, 2005 09:39 PM

You can't...you have been busy spreading a word you really have no clue about.

I mean your 250 authors...and not one of them was NOT an American Right-Winger?

You claim to value the Western tradition and Enlightenment ideals...yet you are more than willing to engage in ideas with no foundations.

Posted by: NeoDude at February 12, 2005 09:54 PM

Look, it's like this -- Bat Ye'or didn't say "Enlightenment" values. This may have been simply because she considers the Judeochristian tradition to have become the Enlightenment tradition, or it may be because she considers Islam to be incompatible with Enlightenment values. Or maybe she misspoke and simply meant "Enlightenment values." But this interesting view that the Enlightenment represented anything other than a full-scale rejection of contemporary religious doctrine in favor of a synthesis of Greco-Roman philosophy and materialism based on new scientific discoveries is worthy of discussion. If that is what she meant -- and she got that very basic thing wrong, what is she really trying to say?

And you have no choice in the matter because to recognize islamofascism is a threat means you might have to admit Bush is right.

Right about what? About forgetting to include Afghanistan reconstruction money in his previous budget? About forgetting to go after bin Laden? About invading one of the few secular states in the region? About kowtowing to the Saudis? No, you moron, the reason the Left is worried about Bush is because we actually take the threat posed by Muslim extremist terrorists seriously enough to:

1) Not use facile and meaningless words like "islamofascism" to describe it, and

2) Have some interest in understanding and addressing the problem.

If Bush were right, why did September 11th happen on his watch, why is Al Qaeda still a global force more than three years later, and why hasn't he caught bin Laden? The man's relentless record of failure speaks for itself. It is the Right's unseriousness about the threat which is so terrifying. It is used exclusively as a rhetorical club to provide post-hoc justifications for whatever policy they'd planned to implement previously -- with the bright, shining exception of the Afghanistan intervention, which, you will notice, was supported by a broad spectrum of Americans.

Posted by: Kimmitt at February 12, 2005 10:07 PM

with the bright, shining exception of the Afghanistan intervention, which, you will notice, was supported by a broad spectrum of Americans.

Kimmitt:

I didn't notice it then, but I have noticed more of this "broad spectrum" jumping on the bandwagon as of lately. What I did notice early on, however, is that according to your "broad spectrum", Bush went into Afghanistan for Unocal pipelines. Didn't you see Farenheit 9/11? You've since changed your tune somewhat, and that's good. I don't want to rub your face in it, after all, because we want you to stay on board. And I suspect that it won't be long before you're onboard re Iraq as well. And when that happens, you will be sure to remind me of how it too was supported by a "broad spectrum" of Americans.

I'm curious though. You don't use the word 'islamofascism' like us morons do because it's meaningless and "fascile". What word then do you use? I'm asking because you Lefties hardly refer to terrorism at all, unless when you're referring to our GIs and all the Iraqi civilians they've killed. Why has 'islamofascism' fallen out of favor?

Re 9/11 on Bush's "watch." We all know that the operation was years in the planning. Probably not long after the first attack in '93. So it was on Clinton's watch actually. We've not been attacked on our soil since Bush declared his war on terror (much to the dislike of the Left).

Posted by: Carlos at February 12, 2005 11:01 PM

What I did notice early on, however, is that according to your "broad spectrum", Bush went into Afghanistan for Unocal pipelines.

Please do be so kind as to list the Democratic Congressmen and women who spoke out against our intervention in Afghanistan. It's pointless to argue with someone who thinks that fringe cranks represent the movement; it'd be like me claming that you represent the best conservatism has to offer.

Posted by: Kimmitt at February 13, 2005 01:41 AM

You guys don't even know what "Judeo-Christian" is and now you want to spread "Eurabia: The Euro-Arab Axis"...sad....really sad.

Classic illeralism and anti-intelectualism.

A total afront to Western Enlightenment Values.

Posted by: NeoDude at February 13, 2005 01:59 AM

RE: RE: Judeo-Christian tradition
Gordon Silverstein
Thu, 26 Feb 2004 20:40:25 -0800

This discussion is a bit of a reminder of the striking parallels between constitutional debate and scriptural debate ....

By-the-by, is Judeo-Muslim any more of a stretch, really, than Judeo-Christian?

Just as Christians accept the Jewish tradition as the Old Testament, and their own as the New Testament, so too do Muslim's accept the Jewish bible as the first book, and Christianity as the second -- and the Koran as the Third and final testament.

This has led to a certain surge in the interfaith world of references to the "Abrahamic-tradition" (which all three share) though each gets off the bus at a different point .... a fairly popular new book on the subject (about 3000 on the Amazon sales chart) called .... "Abraham: A Journey to the Heart of Three Faiths" has gained some attention of late.


- gs

Posted by: NeoDude at February 13, 2005 02:16 AM

Kiri: "All the left has ever done is suggest that mass slaughter is a bad thing, even if the people being slaughtered have brown skin and a different religion"

No Kiri - the left doesn't give a damn about "mass slaughter". If they did, they wouldn't be apologists for communism, or Islam for that matter. The left only cares about people getting killed when the perpetrators are white, Christian, western (mainly U.S.) males, especially if they are of the "republican" political persuasion. Leftists are bigots - reverse-bigots as it were. Maybe they've simply become everything they despise.

Posted by: Caroline at February 13, 2005 03:27 AM

Neodude: "Just as Christians accept the Jewish tradition as the Old Testament, and their own as the New Testament, so too do Muslim's accept the Jewish bible as the first book, and Christianity as the second -- and the Koran as the Third and final testament."

neodude- As far as I'm concerned, people can accept that the tooth fairy is the prophet of the "final testament" of God. I just have a minor objection when the tooth fairyists insist on forcing me to live in their "tooth fairy" world.

Posted by: Caroline at February 13, 2005 03:40 AM

Please do be so kind as to list the Democratic Congressmen and women who spoke out against our intervention in Afghanistan. It's pointless to argue with someone who thinks that fringe cranks represent the movement;

Kimmitt:

Two things. First of all, my comments have been directed for this entire thread at the Left. It is you, Kimmitt, who's now talking about "Democrat Congressmen." So don't change put words in my mouth or change the subject. I didn't say Democrat Congressmen and I didn't say "muslims." I said the Left, and I said jihadis. If you're going to bother to argue with me, argue with what I said, not with what you wish I had said.

Second, your crank fringe Left has gone mainstream. The Democrat party is following the money. The energy and the dough is in the MoveOn.org wing, which is not even a wing of the party, but the head and the wallet. We haven't forgotten how Democrats gave their crank fringe Left a seat of honor at the table. Michael Moore was practically in Jimmy Carter's lap. Nor do we believe his F/911 propaganda piece became such a box office hit because of a few on the crank Left. How many times you go watch it? I'm willing to bet you even own a copy. Nor were all the people who showered accolades on it during Cannes consist of a few crank Leftists. Crank fringe Left indeed. You'll be carrying the Berkeley vote decades to come.

Also, I wouldn't expect you to believe I represent what you, Kimmit, would consider "the best" about conservatism. If you did, it would no longer be the best about conservatism.

Posted by: Carlos at February 13, 2005 07:00 AM

“The energy and the dough is in the MoveOn.org wing”

And that’s why they cannot be effectively marginalized. The far Left wing can always get money via its wealthy billionaires and the Internet blogs. The national Democratic Party will thus be unable to field a viable presidential candidate.

Posted by: David Thomson at February 13, 2005 07:13 AM

Is the history of American foriegn policy an example of "Judeo-Christian" culture and tradition?

Tyranny in the Name of Democracy

Posted by: NeoDude at February 13, 2005 08:36 AM

NeoDude - Again you link to a cheesy, Foucault-inspired moonbat conspiracy-theory site to prove that you are an "Enlightenment" thinker with "Enlightenment" values.

You link to "Tyranny in the Name of Democracy" at the anti-American Third World Traveler site, which also has the work of noted anti-Democracy leftists like Harold "Free Slobodan Milosevic!!" Pinter, Robert "beat me I’m a dirty white man" Fisk and Noam "the Vietcong will show us how to overthrow Amerikkka" Chomsky.

Pro-totalitarianism is not usually recognized as an Enlightenment value. You do not represent Enlightenment values and you don't understand them.

In any case, we’re not fighting a Christian vs. Muslims religious war, we’re fighting a political war. Islamists are bashing in the skulls of Buddhist monks in Thailand, they burn Hindus in India, they slaughter moderate Muslims, atheist NGO workers and Australian surfers, all in the name of establishing Islamic Taliban-style governments under fundamentalist Shariah law.

Jihad vs. the world is a political and military conflict. Europe is involved but they’re choosing to sit on the sidelines and watch. Ms. Ye’or is asking why. It’s as simple as that.

If you want to spin your wheels wondering about the re-labeling of "Judeo-Christian" go ahead. Mark, Carlos, Caroline and a few others have already decimated your argument, but that hasn’t stopped you.

Do you have issues with the concept of re-labeling? Were you traumatized at a young age by the "New Coke" debacle?

Posted by: mary at February 13, 2005 08:44 AM

Jarndyce – I did disagree with one aspect of Ms. Ye’or’s presentation. On Tuesday, she framed the conflict as the US & Israel vs. Europe and the Arab world. This wasn’t consistent with her previous, more factual recognition of the fact that this war is an extremist jihad vs. the rest of the world.

Extremist jihad is an awkward phrase that describes a political movement, based on Saudi Wahhabism and the writings of Sayyed Qutb, whose work, Milestones, is the current jihad’s Mein Kampf. In Milestones, Qutb describes his hatred of Americans, blacks, Muslims who don’t live under Shariah laws, Communists, Democracy, and everything that does not conform to his beliefs.

Paul Berman wrote about Qutb in Terror & Liberalism (linked to by MJT on the front page)

Qutb wrote Milestones in the mid-twentieth century. Wahhabi Puritanism has been around for centuries, but the Wahhabi & Qutb inspired Salafist movement has only been around for a few decades. This well-financed political movement is what we’re fighting.

In this talk, Ms. Ye’or made too many generalizations about ‘Islam’ vs. Judeo-Christianinty, leaving herself open to the argument that Christianity is equivalent to Islam, and thus it has the same potential for causing destruction.

As a religion, Christianity is comparable to Islam, but that has absolutely nothing to do with the recently formed extremist jihad. The jihad is a political movement, it’s often opposed to conventional Islam, and moderates like Irshad Manji believe that Muslims need to revive the currently abandoned idea of ijtihad (questioning authority) to fight it. As a primarily political movement, this jihad is comparable to Hitler’s Thousand Year Reich.

Islamists target anyone who is not a member of the Salafist movement – Buddhists, moderate Muslims, Falun Gong, Masons, atheists. This is a fact that Ye’or publicized in Culture of Hate, and it’s important to stress now.

The question is, why isn’t Europe defending itself against this violent jihad? For the most part, her book tries to answer that question. I don’t agree with all of her answers, but I’m glad she’s asked it.

Posted by: mary at February 13, 2005 09:37 AM

Is this your "Judeo-Culture"?

The relationship between Christianity and antisemitism is a symbiotic one. Christianity extolled its distinctiveness, superiority, and cultural mission, by using Judaism, of which it was an outgrowth, as a contrast conception. By vilifying Jews and Judaism, by denying that they were the chosen people, Christian theologians sought to assist in the proselytising of their own religious ideology. Unlike the Nazis, they did not advocate the destruction of Judaism, or the extermination of all Jews. They were, in a sense, necessary, and useful as occasional scapegoats on which violent propensities of Christian communities could be unleashed; a form of social pressure valve. Although "Christianity did not call for the death of the Jews, since it had “theological need” for them, one cannot ignore the fact that this was an a posteriori need. Degradation of the Jews was the substitute for their extermination. Christianity could not demand the [total] killing of the Jews… since their extermination would have cast doubt on the Christian demand to be considered the legal heir of the Jewish creed: “No jury would agree to grant a legacy to someone who won it through murdering the testator.” ” (Bachrach, p.72)

Posted by: NeoDude at February 13, 2005 09:40 AM

Here is a dose of "Judeo-Christian" values!:

And so today, as we look back on the last 40 years, we are deeply moved by the forgiveness we have experienced from Jewish people and by the bonds of friendship uniting us. Despite all this, however, there remains a heavy burden on my heart. This burden has to do with our history as the Christian Church in the last 2000 years. Paul writes in Romans 11 that the Jewish people are loved for the sake of their forefathers. Yet love has not been characteristic of Christianity's attitude to the Jews these past 2000 years.

After the age of the apostles, the theory arose that God was through with the Jews, that the Church was the New Israel and that the Jews were being punished for the crime of killing God. Later, when Christianity became the state religion, this theology was used as the basis for anti-Jewish policies In time, the Jews were blamed for every calamity. A case in point is the Black Death, said to have been caused by the Jews poisoning the wells. In the name of Jesus unimaginable atrocities were committed: Jews were humiliated, deprived of their rights, baptised by force, burnt at the stake -- thousands upon thousands of them. Christian festivals, such as Easter, were sometimes chosen as a time to attack Jews. While burning the Jewish population in the synagogue in Jerusalem, the Crusaders sang 'Christ, We Adore Thee'.

Whether it was the Crusades, or, more recently, the pogroms, or, most horrific of all, the Holocaust -- Christian anti-Semitism paved the way for these atrocities. Is it any wonder that the name of Jesus is not loved by Jews -- and that the cross is, for them, a symbol of persecution?

http://www.cdn-friends-icej.ca/antiholo/comm2000.html

Posted by: NeoDude at February 13, 2005 09:44 AM

WoW, You were right all along, look at that "Judeo-Christian" tradition go!

Origins of Anti-Semitism in the United States

Russian anti-Semitic propaganda was also circulated in the United States, where prejudice against Jews previously had assumed such forms as covert social discrimination. In the United States, the upsurge of anti-Jewish feeling was part of a general wave of resentment of minority groups, also including Roman Catholics and African-Americans, that swept the country after World War I ended in 1918. Another element in United States anti-Semitism in the 1920s was its identification of Jews with political radicalism. A notable event was the temporary embracing of anti-Semitism by the American automobile manufacturer Henry Ford, who reprinted the discredited Protocols of the Elders of Zion in his newspaper the Dearborn Independent. Condemned widely, Ford later apologized for this action. The immigration legislation enacted in the United States in 1921 and 1924 was interpreted widely as being at least partly anti-Jewish in intent because it strictly limited the immigration quotas of eastern European nations with large Jewish populations, nations from which 2.5 million Jews had immigrated to the United States by 1920.

http://www.candles-museum.com/antsem.htm

Posted by: NeoDude at February 13, 2005 09:59 AM

How many times you go watch it? I'm willing to bet you even own a copy.

How much? Hm, on second thought, maybe I shouldn't. It's mean to take money from people who can't even afford verbs.

The national Democratic Party will thus be unable to field a viable presidential candidate.

What, because the Republican Party so consistently fields centrists?

Posted by: Kimmitt at February 13, 2005 10:01 AM

NEODUDE: "A total afront to Western Enlightenment Values."

The latest phase in the evolution of our culture, what we call "The age of Reason", began the modern assault on what we call Judeo-Christian values. NeoDude is one of their missionaries. This age ushered in the modern atheist era, a time when the men of "the Enlightenment", such as NeoDude, hoped they would be liberated from the superstitious shackles of religious faith and rely on reason alone for guidance. Reason, without God or the Bible, would guide them into an age of unprecedented moral greatness.

As it happened, the era following the decline of religion in Europe led not to unprecedented moral greatness, but to unprecedented cruelty, mass murder and genocide. But believers in Reason without God, such as NeoDude, remain unfazed. Such atheists have ignored the vast amount of evidence showing that evil on a grand scale follows the decline of judeo-christian values.

Their morality is Reason divorced from God. And that is utter folly. Why? Because Reason itself is amoral. Not "un" moral, but amoral. Reason is only a tool and, therefore, can just as easily argue for evil as for good. If you want to achieve good, reason is great; if you want to do evil, reason is just as helpful. But Reason alone can't determine which you choose. It is sometimes rational to do what is wrong and sometimes rational to do what is right. Reason is wholly incapable of leading to moral conclusions. Reason will argue both ways.

It's sheer nonsense -- nonsense believed by the godless atheists like NeoDude -- that Reason always suggests the good. Mother Teresa devoted her life to feeding and clothing the dying in Calcutta. Was this decision derived entirely from reason? To argue that it was derived from Reason alone is to argue that every person whose actions are guided by Reason will engage in similar self-sacrifice, and that anyone who doesn't live a Mother Teresa-like life is acting irrationally.

Did those christians in Europe who risked their lives to save Jews during the Holocaust act on the dictates of Reason? Of course not. In fact, it was irrational for any christians to risk their lives to save Jews.

Even when Reason does lead to a moral conclusion, it in no way compels acting on that conclusion. Imagine that a Jewish family knocks on his door, asking to be hidden. Imagine further that on rational grounds alone, the christian decides that the moral thing to do is hide the Jews. Will he act on this decision at the risk of his life? Not if Reason alone guides him. People don't risk their lives for strangers on the basis of Reason. They do so on the basis of faith -- faith in something that far transcends Reason alone.

Does all this mean that reason is useless? Of course not. But when you make a religion out of it, it can be worse than useless. Reason and rational thought are what makes us special among God's creation. But alone, Reason is largely worthless in the greatest quest of all -- making human beings kinder and more decent. Were the atheistic societies of the 20th century kinder and more decent? Look at Stalinist Russia, Pol Pot, and N. Korea for atheist societies devoid of faith and relying exclusively on Reason. It's beyond frightening.

Closer to home, if you want a cursory evaluations of where godless Reason leads, look at the irrationality and moral confusion that permeate our modern universities.

Posted by: Carlos at February 13, 2005 10:21 AM

Great Moments in Judeo-Christian Culture!

The writings of several church fathers reflect a theological invective directed toward Jews. John Chrysostom, the "golden mouthe," is a noted example. He taught that "the synagogue is a brothel and a theater,. . . a den for unclean animals. . . Never has a Jew prayer to God. . . They are all possessed by the devil."

http://mb-soft.com/believe/txo/antisemi.htm

Posted by: NeoDude at February 13, 2005 10:32 AM

When the Nazis came on the scene in Germany they were able to draw upon the legacy of Christian anti-Judaism even though biologically-based antisemitism went well beyond classical Christian anti-Judaism by arguing for the annihilation of the Jews rather than only for their misery and marginality. Christian antisemitism provided an indispensable seedbed for the success of Nazism on the popular level. It led some Christians to embrace the Nazi ideology and many others to stand on the sidelines as masses of Jews were exterminated.

Posted by: NeoDude at February 13, 2005 11:01 AM

NeoDude,

who are the anti-semites TODAY? The Left, and most muslims

Note: here, I DID use the word 'muslims'.

Posted by: Carlos at February 13, 2005 11:16 AM

Tell me, is "Judeo-Christian" like "Jews for Jesus"?

Hey, was "Judeo-Christian" supposed to cover this up?:

A study by the Institute for First Amendment Studies found a prevalence of anti-Semitism within the Christian Right. While some of the prejudice and hostility toward Jews is concealed, much is blatant. Stereotyping of Jews is widespread; and anti-Semitism in the form of aggressive missionary activity threatens the very existence of Judaism.

Several disturbing trends indicate that — unless sweeping changes are made — anti-Semitism within conservative Christianity will not only continue as a long-term problem, but will escalate sharply. Thousands of private Christian schools and Christian home schools utilize anti-Semitic textbooks. These textbooks include the "original" McGuffey's Readers, which have enjoyed a tremendous resurgence in recent years, and books published by Bob Jones University Press for use in Christian schools.

Additionally, the Christian Right's anti-abortion movement has anti-Semitic overtones. Anti-abortion groups such as Operation Rescue and Life Dynamics list "Jewish doctors" as the leading performers of abortion.

So-called "humanism" is under attack by the Religious Right in schools and other institutions across the country. Condemnation of humanism has anti-Semitic roots. Though seldom mentioned, Christian Right leaders link humanism with Judaism, saying "Judaism grew out of the rejection of Jesus Christ and steadily became humanism."1

http://www.sullivan-county.com/id3/right_jews.htm

Posted by: NeoDude at February 13, 2005 11:31 AM

A study by the Institute for First Amendment Studies found a prevalence of anti-Semitism within the Christian Right.

NeoDude,

these are the same Leftists who predicted and warned us about the anti-semitic violence that would follow the release of the Passion of the Christ. I guess they were wrong--again.

see my post at 5:28pm yesterday for the reasons why they always get it wrong.

Posted by: Carlos at February 13, 2005 11:50 AM

Mary - I find that I agree with much of your last post, bar a couple of points:

1. The question is, why isn’t Europe defending itself against this violent jihad?
This is back to Ye'or again. About 40 posts ago I explained why I think that her theory, while intellectualy neat and tidy, suffers from the basic problem of bearing no relation to current European reality. I would caution anyone against believing this.

2. I don't really want to get involved in the other debate going on in this thread, to be honest, but for myriad reasons the Judeo-Christian tradition is just not a real phenomenon. It has become a convenient construct as it fits the alliance between mainly Christian countries and Israel since 1945. In fact, in the European context it is supposed to refer to, there is no 'tradition'. Jews were persecuted here almost from the minute Christianity took over from paganism. Much of their historic suffering has been at the hands of supposed Christians. For example, the Jews were treated better in Spain under the Moors than after Christian monarchs took over the Iberian peninsula. Still, that is largely irrelevant to current debates about 'what now?'.

I do agree that the major enemy right now for Europeans and the US is Salafist jihadis. We do not help ourselves when we allow extremists to get away with lazy stereotyping of all Muslims in this way, however. Most find these nutters repugnant.

We also do not help ourselves when we allow our governments (UK and US very guilty of this) to get away with selling arms to the Saudi regime and backing Mubarak (see latest arms export data and latest Congress foreign aid budget and weep). You say this:

This well-financed political movement is what we’re fighting.

Well, we're not just fighting them. We're arming and funding them too. Go figure, as you say in the States.

Posted by: Jarndyce at February 13, 2005 12:35 PM

What do you mean by "well, we're not just fighting them. We're arming and funding them too. Go figure, as you say in the States?"

Do you mean that they buy their oil (as the whole world would even if we somehow stopped buying specifically Saudi oil)?

Do you mean that they take some of the trillions they make from their oil and buy weapons? Do you think a worldwide arms embargo against the middle east would succeed?

Posted by: Joshua Scholar at February 13, 2005 01:29 PM

It has become a convenient construct as it fits the alliance between mainly Christian countries and Israel since 1945.

That is incorrect. The alliance to which you refer is political. But the term 'judeo-christian' is about the culture's value system. You're speaking about apples and oranges.

When the culture votes against gay marriages, for instance, they do so on the basis of their judeo-christian moral/values code, not some alliance with Israel.

The Left is out to lunch on values. Fine with me though. You've basically written off more than half the electorate.

Posted by: Carlos at February 13, 2005 01:57 PM

NeoDude - strange name for someone so determined to live in the past.

I'm a 35-year-old Presbyterian minister. Hardly part of the Christian right, our General Assembly voted to divest from Israel to support Palestine. Guess this is just more anti-semitism, right Neodude?

I've heard people of all political stripes use the word "judeo-christian". I see two sources for it.

Number one is the Enlightment-driven Historical-Critical school of biblical scholarship, that noticed among many things, that Jesus and his followers quoted a heckuva lot of Jewish scripture. Christians came to realize that our savior was (and is) indeed a Jew. Hence the "My boss is a jewish carpenter" bumper stickers.

Number-two was that many Christians and Jews started to notice that we have more in common than divides us, especially compared to some of the typical alternatives the world offers.

For your information, the phrase New Covenant comes from the Jewish Scriptures (also known as the Old Testament). Specifically Jeremiah:

Jeremiah 31:29-34 In those days they shall no longer say: "The parents have eaten sour grapes, and the children's teeth are set on edge." But all shall die for their own sins; the teeth of everyone who eats sour grapes shall be set on edge. The days are surely coming, says the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah. It will not be like the covenant that I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt-- a covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, says the LORD. But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. No longer shall they teach one another, or say to each other, "Know the LORD," for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, says the LORD; for I will forgive their iniquity, and remember their sin no more.

Several of the common themes of the "judeo-christian" tradition are here: personal responsibility, the importance of personal conscience, the hope of redemption (as opposed to fatalism).

Sorry that the conspiracy theorists got to you, it can happen to the best of us.

Posted by: Ged of Earthsea at February 13, 2005 02:11 PM

Personally, I'm not going any further into this J-C thing. As I said before, IMHO it is largely irrelevant and backward-looking, though very interesting. Simply this: There is no reason why countries that share completely different outlooks on e.g. abortion but that broadly share liberal/democratic polities can't share common foreign policy aims. The EU is proof of this, for a start.

But, Joshua S., I will reply to your specific point:

Do you mean that they take some of the trillions they make from their oil and buy weapons? Do you think a worldwide arms embargo against the middle east would succeed?

I'm not proposing a worldwide arms embargo on the ME area. I'm proposing that the Western world stop funding and arming specifically Saudi Arabia, and that e.g. Saudi held assets in the US and Europe be frozen lest they be used to fund atrocities. By almost any account, parts of the Wahhabist regime are up to their necks in blood, not just from 9/11 but also Madrid. I will stop shy of self-promotion here, but I have posted on our blog a short piece today on hard proof that is emerging. I will try to keep an eye on this story, but as one commenter has already noted, the common defence pact signed by NATO members actually obliges all treaty signatories to act if this link is proven. It is insane that we should be arming them when I think it likely that those arms will be used against us ultimately.

Posted by: Jarndyce at February 13, 2005 02:31 PM

Ged of Earthsea,

If you really are so familiar with the "Judeo-Christian" tradition and a man of the cloth, could you guide this psudeo-heeb to some text books on the matter?

And please, no Amercian right-wing political essays by pundits and hacks...some solid scholarship, researched and peer reviewed.

Oh, and by the way, I understand the Presbyterians stop believeing the Pope to be the eternal chair of The Beast, until the early 70's, are proud of that move also?

Posted by: NeoDude at February 13, 2005 04:46 PM

And another thing, High-Church Protestants should know better. You guys tend to be more educated and knowledgeable than the Fundie counterparts....or are you hard up to "feel" apart of this right-wing wave of touchy-feely?

Posted by: NeoDude at February 13, 2005 05:02 PM

Does sounding like a broken record make someone a troll?

I mean we all pretty much have consistent themes, but I haven't seen anybody on this blog whose every post is virtually indistinguishable from the last.

Posted by: Carlos at February 13, 2005 06:14 PM

Neo, you are accidentally coming close to getting something right.
Christian anti-Semitism is coming from the liberal Protestant denominations. Conservative Jews like Daniel Lapin and Michael Medved consider conservative Christians to be Israel's best friends.
The PCUSA has taken the side of the Palestinian terrorists for years. I hasten to say that the General Assembly--generally assembled in order to be massaged by the denominational staff--is not notably anti-Israel but will usually vote that way out of confusion. The fulltimers are head cases who, as far as I can tell, came from the SDS. Or if they didn't, there's no sure way to know the difference.

Posted by: Richard Aubrey at February 13, 2005 06:18 PM

Richard,

as an ex-Presby (pcusa), I can confirm every word you said. The "high" "churches" as NeoDude calls them, are primarily centers of Liberal politics now, not religion. They're like Rotary or Lions clubs with a religious patina.

Posted by: Carlos at February 13, 2005 06:30 PM

Carlos, I would except many congregations. Louisville survives primarily by the fact that the pewdwellers pay it so little attention.
Although the shrinking of the church is not exactly "survival".
You might be interested in Roy Beck (On Thin Ice), which is dated--many more egregious offenses have happened since--but a good look at the inside of the libProts by an ex-UMC Reporter reporter.
As Rabbi Lapin said, "Who would you rather have supporting Israel, somebody who thinks the votes are in it or somebody who thinks God told him to?"
He also said the traditional Jewish fear and loathing of conservative Christians gives the lie to the myth of Jewish intelligence.
It appears--the source may have had an agenda--that many of the Righteous during WW II, Schindler aside, were conservative Christians.

Posted by: Richard Aubrey at February 13, 2005 06:46 PM

Richard,

that's true. I've lumped in the pewsitters with the bureaucracy. There are several strong lay groups that are resisting the Lib bureaucracy, and they have the Libs pretty nervous about losing their money and their jobs. They should all be fired.

Posted by: Carlos at February 13, 2005 06:53 PM

It appears--the source may have had an agenda--that many of the Righteous during WW II, Schindler aside, were conservative Christians.

Richard,

even the high churches were conservative back then. Certainly by today's standards.

But I was watching a documentary on Bonhoeffer and how the German church was resisting the Nazis, and in interviews with friends and family of Bonhoeffer, they would say they were resisting the Nazis "because we were conservative." From the horses mouth.

From their perspective, the Nazis weren't conservative, but something else, possibly even Liberal.

Posted by: Carlos at February 13, 2005 06:59 PM

So Carlos and Richard ARE undercover Fundies, hiding behind "Judeo-Christian", secular Jews and Christians beware...they still cannot provide evidence of Judeo-Christian outside of their anti-semitic theologiacl bent.

Posted by: NeoDude at February 13, 2005 07:05 PM

Carlos,

You calling NAZIs liberals proves your distored right-wing Christian Fundementalism.

Posted by: NeoDude at February 13, 2005 07:10 PM

NeoDude,

I didn't know there was anything to prove. I'm a rightwinger. And a christian. Is that news to you? That would be like me "proving" you're an atheist. You're not too bright if you think I've been "undercover."

Posted by: Carlos at February 13, 2005 07:18 PM

Jarndyce – that’s an interesting post. Evidence also exists that proves that the Saudis financed 9/11 (the Royals control all charities and religious organizations. They employ the Imams who encourage extremism. Direct connections between Prince Bandar and terrorists cells were made. The Saudi govt. can keep a woman in Jedda from showing her ankles in a mall, but supposedly the terrorism they finance has gotten ‘out of control’ despite their best efforts. Are we supposed to believe that?)

Westerners don't understand the control a Totalitarian state has over its subjects. The Royals control a lot.

Saudis have also been connected to the Beslan massacre, the Bali bombing and to just about every act of terrorism that has taken place around the globe.

Our government (Republicans and Democrats) continued their long standing policy of appeasing Saudis after the unprovoked act of war that was 9/11. If they’re not willing to stop appeasing Saudis after the slaughter of thousands of Americans, it’s not likely that they’ll do anything about the situation now.

The Spanish and the Russians continue to go out of their way to appease this cult. And the British have always given the Wahhabi cult a legitimacy that they don’t deserve.

I thought that the Saudi govt. should have been dismantled immediately after the war in Afghanistan. But the US, and the world in general, shows no sign that it will break their long standing policy of appeasement.

At least the US and the UK are willing to disagree with Saudi policy towards Israel, Iraq and the Sudan. (Well, the UK doesn't disagree with Saudi policy towards Israel, but two out of three isn't bad) I wish Europe could manage to at least do that much.

Posted by: mary at February 13, 2005 07:22 PM

oops - Saudis have been connected to nearly every act of Islamist terrorism.

Posted by: mary at February 13, 2005 07:28 PM

de Gaulle parted ways with Israel because after the 68 war Israel decided it wanted to hold on to the conquered territories - a claim that the Fr. and de Gaulle w/ reason thought was illegimate.

Antoine, according to the 1968 Encyclopedia Britannica Book of the Year: Events of 1967 de Gaulle was out of step with French public opinion on this issue (as well as many others).

Posted by: Solomon2 at February 13, 2005 07:32 PM

Bonhoeffer was not a literalist, and perfered metaphorical understanding of the Old Testament, which does not make him a Fundie. Fundies were a strict minority in America, during WW2.

Many conseravtive christians would never have accepted literalist interpretations of scripture! Why do you think there was Fundementalism, to counter-act the Christian establishment.

Conseravtive christians did really well during the Third Riech. Most Christians who were sent to death camps were not sent because of their faith, but there involvememnt with Liberal and Leftist political organizations. More homosexuals died than conseravtive Christians, I assure you.

What made Boehoeffer was how rare those of the Christian elite would sacrifice. Mostly ALL right-wingers of every stripe perfered the NAZI than Social Democrats or any leftist.

You play a dangerous game when you have to distort history to protect your quenstionable interpretation of histry. At least many conseravtive christians of Germany were honest about their complicity.

It was a Right-Wing State, and liberals and Leftist were not welcomed.

Posted by: NeoDude at February 13, 2005 07:40 PM

NeoDude,

I doubt you've read even a single essay by Bonhoeffer. In fact, I'm sure of it. But feel free to speak authoritatively about him, as you do about everything else you have little clue about, including history, and the role of the church in Nazi Germany.

The death and destruction of WW2 was brought to us courtesy of the nihilism which your atheist philosophies naturally spawn.

Posted by: Carlos at February 13, 2005 07:52 PM

Where in Bonhoeffer's writings do you find hime advocating a literalist interpretation of scripture. Paul Tillich and Karl Jaspers resembled the man's theology, and they were not Fundies!

You are a right-wing nihilist, because your moral universe is relative to your Party's Alpha-Male.

Right-Wing American Nationalist resemble Right-Wing German Nationalist.

Posted by: NeoDude at February 13, 2005 08:16 PM

NeoDude,

and I doubt you've read even a single essay by Tillich or Jaspers either. But keep spouting authoritatively.

You've been on this blog for only about two days and already you've already established yourself as the resident blowhard.

Bonhoeffer is one of the few theologians who are embraced by both liberal and conservative Christians.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bonhoeffer

And I would know, because I include him in my own collection.

Posted by: Carlos at February 13, 2005 08:22 PM

Did Bonhoeffer ever claim to be a Judeo-Christian?

Posted by: NeoDude at February 13, 2005 08:41 PM

Did Bonhoeffer ever claim to be a Judeo-Christian?

Was it a requirement?

Posted by: Carlos at February 13, 2005 08:57 PM

Episcopalian "High Church" judeo-christian reading list:

2004-2005 Judeo-Christian studies book list
http://www.episcopalhigh.org/students/JCSbooks.htm

Knock yourself out.

Posted by: Carlos at February 13, 2005 09:11 PM

Religion Reading List:

Bible Translations
Judeo-Christian
Islamic and Sufic
Hindu
Buddhist
Taoist
Other traditions

http://www.dogchurch.org/narthex/rrl.html

you like apples?

Posted by: Carlos at February 13, 2005 09:21 PM

University of British Columbia, Graduate & Faculty Christian Forum: DEL RATZSCH, Professor of Philosophy, Calvin College, Michigan

ABSTRACT:
The Death of Religion: It is widely claimed that not only has science demolished a variety of specific traditional religious positions, but that science, its methodologies, and its results have undermined the rational defensibility of religious belief in general. But what exactly are the arguments, and do they stand up to scrutiny? In this talk, some of the most prominent arguments are examined - and in fact found to fail in withstanding rigorous scrutiny. As for the Birth of Science, what does it owe to theology? The type of investigation we identify as characteristically “scientific” developed in Western Europe in (roughly) the 16th and 17th centuries. Why there and why then? Perhaps surprisingly, the answer involves a general Judeo-Christian theological perspective on nature and even more crucially involves such specific doctrines as that of creation and divine voluntarism.

Posted by: Carlos at February 13, 2005 09:27 PM

Your link proves my point, a local right-wing Christian school (and yes, Fundementalism is more popular with the High-Church, than its ever been) distorting theology and history to a Fundementalist world-view.

All Christian writers and theologians placed under the heading "Judeo-Christian studies book list", does not a Western tradition make.

And where are the "Judeo" writers and thinkers in that "Judeo-Christian" wish list.

Your little example is proof that it is only Right-Wing American Christian phenomena...and really doesn't include Jews at all.

Posted by: NeoDude at February 13, 2005 09:30 PM

Episcopalians are "rightwing"? LOL!

You're a fraud.

Posted by: Carlos at February 13, 2005 09:32 PM

Yeah, who do you think wants to split their church?

Right-Wing Episcopalians

Posted by: NeoDude at February 13, 2005 09:45 PM

Rightwingers with Taoist books on their reading lists?

you're quite done, fraud.

Posted by: Carlos at February 13, 2005 09:48 PM

Hey, but you found a Canadian using the term...that counts for something...huh?

Posted by: NeoDude at February 13, 2005 09:49 PM

NeoDude,

It's been fun. Turn out the lights when you're done.

Posted by: Carlos at February 13, 2005 09:54 PM

You want the last word?

Go ahead, this was fun.

You seem like an interesting dude.

Posted by: NeoDude at February 13, 2005 10:03 PM

You want the last word?

LOL! NeoDude, I can already tell it's you who always gets the last word. But thanks.

Posted by: Carlos at February 13, 2005 10:11 PM

Will someone ban Neodude or can we all just agree to ignore him? I'd like to actually debate the content of Bat Ye'or's ideas instead of quibbling over a widely used word.

Posted by: lindenen at February 13, 2005 11:16 PM

Neo-cons like Michael Novak use "Judeo-Christian" because of the Ten Commandments. (Ask him -- he's got a web site/ email address/ etc.) Much of the "Christian" morality that gets legislated comes from the 10.

Have Jews been racist? Racist in the mild form: "gentiles are fine to do business with, but I wouldn't want my daughter to marry one." Yes, Jews are guilty of racism. Does that justify pogroms or the Shoah -- NO.

But let's remember, the Jewish decision to remain segregated, to NOT integrate at the family level, has kept their culture alive AND has generated counter-discrimination. As the Kingpin said: nobody is innocent.

Posted by: Tom Grey at February 14, 2005 01:18 AM

Mary

I read your 2004 post and agree with some of it, but the general thrust of your source neglects one key point: right now the only opposition to Saudi inside the country is EVEN MORE radical than them. Destabilizing them would be a big risk. Not that we should abandon the idea, but proceeding carefully I think is advisable. (plus, BTW, no govt. in the ME area, not even the new pro-US one in Iraq, could sanction Israel attacking Syria and Iran with US support.)

Anyway, to some of your specific points above:

Our government (Republicans and Democrats) continued their long standing policy of appeasing Saudis after the unprovoked act of war that was 9/11. If they’re not willing to stop appeasing Saudis after the slaughter of thousands of Americans, it’s not likely that they’ll do anything about the situation now.
Well, quite. Much the most interesting part of Fahrenheit 9/11 was the links that Moore exposed between US and Saudi big chiefs (you could do the same in the UK: the biggest arms deal in UK history, al-Yammamah, was brokered by Mark Thatcher in the 1980's - yes, that Thatcher). Unfortunately Moore spent most of the film on his usual Bush-baiting thing and probably spoiled the effect.

The Spanish ... continue to go out of their way to appease this cult.
I really don't agree here. I assume the Spanish case you are referring is the sudden switch in electoral allegiance after the Madrid bombings? The standard right-reading of that situation is a myth. I followed the story closely from the hour after the bombs went off right through the election weekend. What swung that election was the Aznar govt's immediate eagerness to pin the blame on ETA when they had no evidence to back that up (incidentally, I never believed it was ETA myself - one only need know very little about them to know that they would never condone that level of carnage). Blaming ETA suited Aznar in his pointless grandstanding with them which had led precisely nowhere from when he was elected, and was political opportunism of the sickest kind. Usually politicians have months or years for us to forget their lies and deceptions. Aznar was unlucky in that people were entering the polling booths just as his was fresh in their minds. I'm actually surprised he did so well, as it turned out.

At least the US and the UK are willing to disagree with Saudi policy towards Israel, Iraq and the Sudan. (Well, the UK doesn't disagree with Saudi policy towards Israel, but two out of three isn't bad) I wish Europe could manage to at least do that much.
I've said before that UK and European policy towards Israel has nothing at all to do with anti-Semitism, and it has even less to do with Saudi Arabia. In fact, until recently Saudis had done almost nothing to help Palestinians either, and in fact were not wanted there. Let's face it, if they really wanted to make the US sweat their policy re Israel they could have hiked oil even further in the 1980s. They chose money over 'principle', and the Palestinians knew it. Also, I might add, it has become lost in the midst of rancour, but I don't think much of Europe would have hesitated to back the US in Iraq if things had been managed better at the diplomatic end. But that is largely academic now, and I think you will find the EU involved in training and arming the Iraqi defence forces in the coming months. And Sudan? Last time I checked nobody was doing anything...lots of words from all parties, but no action. This fluff over calling it genocide or not is irrelevant. Only action is worth anything.

Posted by: Jarndyce at February 14, 2005 02:34 AM

Neo. With one exception, I wasn't talking to you. With an even smaller exception, I wasn't paying attention to you.
Can you think of unit of measurement small enough to quantify my interest in your arguments?
No. There isn't one.

Posted by: Richard Aubrey at February 14, 2005 06:24 AM

Jarndyce - I also followed the story in Spain closely after 3/11. Seems to me ETA as prime suspect was a normal assumption to begin working with as there recently had been other thwarted attacks by ETA and the explosives used were the same as used by ETA. Also ETA had a habit of attacks during election campaigns. I also thought AQ was to blame, but the gov't did not dismiss evidence pointing elsewhere as Aznar explained this in a public appearance the day after.

It was the accusations of lying that swung the eleetion in favor of the opposition. Aznar had nothing to gain by grandstanding against ETA.

Posted by: d-rod at February 14, 2005 10:26 AM

Jarndyce - It’s true, any action taken against Saudi Arabia would have to target all radical elements, not just the Royals. This was the mistake we made in Iraq – we acted as if Saddam was the only problem, ignoring other extreme groups in the region.

As you admit, the so-called Israeli-Palestinian conflict is really a conflict between Israel and the surrounding Arab/Islamic states. Saudis have been funding Hamas for years. Europe treats Hamas like an NGO. Arab states & Europe both maintain the fiction that they sympathize with the poor, oppressed Palestinians, but they’re willing to fight this war against Israel to the last Palestinian. If I were a Palestinian, I’d figure that with friends like these…

About Spain - I wasn’t referring to the elections, (although every time the issue comes up, Euros shout ‘the Spanish were not cowards!’ They protest too much). I was referring to Zapatero’s efforts to build more mosques in Spain, and his efforts to build "an alliance of cultures" between Europe and the Arab states.

For years, Europe has pretended that the fundamentalist, genocidal Hamas is a charity. I don’t know if Europe’s pro-Arab stance is due to anti-Semitism, the Euro/Arab alliance or just the need to keep the oil flowing, but it’s hard to deny that it exists.

Speaking of genocide, as far as the Sudan is concerned, the 1948 U.N. convention defines genocide as a calculated effort to destroy a national, ethnic, racial or religious group in whole or in part. The convention requires states “to prevent and to punish” genocide.
The UN avoided classifying the slaughter in Rwanda as genocide. They’re doing the same thing in the Sudan. As usual, taking action is against their principles. Which is a shame, because the government of the Sudan, as an Islamist terror-supporting state, is second only to their Saudi sponsors.

Posted by: mary at February 14, 2005 10:30 AM

Well, we're back to the 'Euro-Arab alliance' that I just don't think exists. An impasse, I think. The only sympathy I have ever detected with the Palestinian cause is for them as 'poor and oppressed' as you put it. I don't know of anyone serious on the left or right here who has anything but repugnance for Hamas and their tactics. So, we'll just have to disagree. Spain does have a historical link to Islam, and Moorish traditions there are real. Its proximity to Morocco does mean that a cultural accommodation of sorts does have to exist. That is a long, long way from saying that Spaniards are pro-Islam or somehow condone Sharia etc.

On ETA: they have never carried out an attack like Madrid that could in no way be justified. Whether you follow their logic or not, there has always been some of sorts used to justify their campaigns. I don't agree that Aznar et al ever really thought it was them. And he did have something to gain by pinning it on the Basques: one of his platform was to stand firm against ETA, whereas the socialists were proposing new talks.

On Sudan: I don't accept your theory that because the UN aren't calling it genocide that it somehow lets our governments off the hook in doing something about it. If one were to step forward and take action, do you really think they would get anything but support from other parties? I don't buy that.

Posted by: Jarndyce at February 14, 2005 11:19 AM

RE. Spain again even thuogh mary wasn't refering to your original point: Terrorists including ETA are hostile to elections and ETA had a history of killing during election campaigns (do you get the logic or "justification"?). A few days earlier, ETA had tried to carry out an attack with a 500 kilo bomb.

Less than 24 hours had passed when those who were themselves lying began to accuse the government of a coverups and lying. That's what most people might deem "political opportunism of the worst kind".

Posted by: d-rod at February 14, 2005 12:02 PM

On ETA: they have never carried out an attack like Madrid that could in no way be justified.

There is no justification for terrorism. ‘Standing firm’ against it is the very least you can do. That may explain the difference in American/European attitudes towards the Arab-state sponsored "Palestinian" war against Israel.

This anti-slavery organization blames the UN for the situation in Darfur:

"The UN Security Coucil has failed to pass a tough resolution demanding the Sudanese government stop its campaign of genocide. Due to the efforts of veto-wielding China – a nation with oil ties to Sudan – as well as Russia, Pakistan and Algeria, resolutions have been stripped of any sanctions against Khartoum if the the regime in Sudan refuses to end its genocidal campaign against its African population."

Posted by: mary at February 14, 2005 12:43 PM

After quite a bit of research this weekend. I've come to the following tentative viewon the issue of 'Judeo-Christian':

1. Judeo-Christian is used by sombunal (some, but not all) historians/theologians to differentiate between monotheistic and polytheistic religions. However, the statement doesn't include the third (major)monotheistic religion, Islam.

2. Judeo-Christian is used by sombunal historians/theologians to describe the common history of Abrahamic religions... yet again it doesn't include Islam.

3. Judeo-Christian Values is often used by lots of people to describe something and this seems to be where things get dicey.

Some people defend the term as describing similar religions and the 'striking' similarity between Jewish and Christian beliefs. However, these striking similarities are rather simplistic and there is quite a contraversy over how 'striking' the similarities might be.

The Jewish belief system is extremely nationalistic, it believes that salvation for mankind will come through Gods chosen people, namely the Jews. The Christians, however, believe that salvation of mankind comes through Jesus, and that any nationality that worships God, through Jesus is part of God's Chosen people (very helenistic).

The Christian belief system places the responsibility for Evil and Sin at the feet of Satan. The Jew does not believe in Satan as an individual. Instead, they see sin-tut-nun as a description or title which (in the Hebrew Scriptures) is applied to spirit beings and humans. The only time that sin-tut-nun is used to describe a specific angel is in Job. There this angel acts as a prosecuting attorney, following Gods orders and acting in obedience to God. This view of sin-tut-nun is strikingly different from the Christian's view.

Sombunal Christians believes that they will go to heaven, hell, purgatory etc when he dies. Sombunal Jews don't believe in the Afterlife at all, opting instead for nothing after death, or a resurection at some future point.

There are some similarities to be sure, but even in the 10 Commandments, there are striking differences in interpertation.

The first Commandments in the Jewish Tradition deal specifically with their God. Adonai, or HaShem is not the same God worshipped by the Christians. The Christian and Jew do not follow the 'same' ten commandments (in fact, they aren't even listed in the same order). Beyond those basics, the rest of the Ten Commandments are no different than you would find in many other cultures. Do not Steal, Do not Kill, Do not Lie.

Sombunal Jews also focuses on honoring their parents in a much more defined and literal way than sombunal Christians.

So while there are similarities between Judaism and Christianity, they are not 'traditionally' compatible from a theological perspective.Only in the past 40 years or so, can I find references to "Judeo-Christian" anything.

"Judeo-Christian", it would seem, suffers from multiple definations, some of which may be built on false pretenses.

As an aside, I spoke to a couple Jewish friends and a Rabbi, they said that while Christians may share some of their holy books and some of their ideologies, they differ in the interpertation of those beliefs, sometimes greatly.

The Rabbi pointed out twice that Jews do not take all of the writings in the Pentateuch or Teuch as litteral, while the Christian does. He felt that this was due in part to a poor understanding of the Jewish language useage by early Christians and the co-opting of Christianity to act as a mass religion in the Middle Ages.

I think there is also a question as to the "Judeo-Christian Values" and how that ties to Democracy, Freedom and the other modern political ideas that are more usually termed "Western".

Jewish and Christian values, have traditionally been seen through the eye of "the chosen". The Jew and Christian of the Middle Ages hated one another, because they believed that only 'they' were the chosen of God, whereas Western Values attempt to get rid of all classing by religion, race, creed etc. Jewish and Christian values supported Slavery, Patriarchial control and the view that women are unable to equal men in religion or secularly, whereas Western values, usually state that men and women are equal.

So I think, that in the original post, Western Values (instead of Western, "Judeo-Christian" Values) is appropriate.

Is Judeo-Christian a secret conspiracy to out the Muslims, or promote the Jews? I don't think so, I think its just bad neuro-linguistic programming.

Ratatosk

Posted by: Ratatosk at February 14, 2005 01:50 PM

PS - Sombunal Jews are actually offended by the term Judeo-Christian, feeling that its a Christian view that patronizes the Jewish system in a "Well, we really worship the same god after all" sort of way.

Posted by: Ratatosk at February 14, 2005 01:53 PM

It's late here but I will make one or two final points:

1. It's really not the place to go into ETA's history, but suffice to say that Franco, a US and European tolerated fascist dictator, also labelled them terrorists. Margaret Thatcher labelled Nelson Mandela a terrorist. Had the word been in common parlance, the Boston Tea Party and the like would have been labelled terrorist attacks. There are a variety of interpretations. It is not as simple as throwing labels around. I don't seek to defend ETA, however. But their case is pretty complex. (and they aren't 'hostile to elections' - their main political party has been banned)

2. Mary - you seem very keen to exonerate our governments in Sudan. There are recent precedents for acting morally without UN approval (Kosovo, Iraq). If they wanted to do something about Sudan they wouldn't let a Pakistani or Algerian vote stand in their way. You let them off the hook by lazily blaming the 'UN', everyone's favourite whipping boy right now.

3. Mary - also, you are convinced about this Euro-Arab alliance against Israel, so there's going to be no convincing you. However, by far the worst Arab states' most important ally is the US. Egypt receives c. $1.2 billion a year in aid (your taxes into a despot's pocket); massive Saudi business interests are tightly wound up in the highest circles of US power, as you yourself have conceced. Any European influence and role here is minimal in comparison, sugar coating no more. I'm still waiting for a proper US, or indeed European, response to the jailing of the leader and deputy of Egypt's main opposition party (Tomorrow) last week. Still waiting....er, still waiting. Expressions of mild disapproval while you're writing out a 10-figure cheque don't wash. Many of our governments are guilty of financing and supporting the most hideous regimes imaginable. This whole 'Eurabia' thing is an irrelevant sideline.

4. Arab state sponsoring of the Palestinian situation is mere opportunism. Sure, the crazies there will take Saudi money. But they were at war with Israel long before the Wahhabis got interested.

Posted by: Jarndyce at February 14, 2005 02:38 PM

I think ETA has no place in the 21st century, and I believe the final pages of its history are being written right now. Violence is not the way to support any argument. You defend ideas democratically, respecting the ideas and the rights of everyone else. Basque President Juan José Ibarretxe

ETA Does not represent the people of the Basque region anymore than GAM represents the people of Aceh.

Posted by: d-rod at February 14, 2005 04:53 PM

Thanks, Rat, for your informative post, but I think you're making it a little more complicated than it is. JC is a term that Christians of all stripes (in my limited experience, but then again, I'm just a fish out here swimming in the sea of the people, so what do I know - right, Neo?) use to refer to our tradition and have since we got the clue that our Lord and Savior is a (doh!) Jew.

When the guy you worship as the Word of God made flesh spends a great deal of his time on earth spouting Jewish scripture, you'd think it would have hit us sooner. Blessedly, we share a patient God with our Jewish brothers and sisters.

We freely admit that we all fall short of the glory of God (hence, we need a Lord and Savior), so repeating ad infinitum the list of Christian sins is just telling us something we already know.
Perhaps I should be more eager to be reminded, but somehow I doubt the state of my soul is Neo's primary motivation.

= )

Then again, I may be mistaken. Ironically, our willingness to continue to engage Neo is a sign of some Judeo-Christian values we still tend to share, even if we no longer recognize their providence. Nor is the Presbyterian Church beyond hope - we've fouled up before (Neo can fill you in on the details) and will again, but I can report that the cavalry (calvary?) is on the way.

Posted by: Ged of Earthsea at February 14, 2005 07:01 PM

I find it funny when right-wing Fundies want to play kumbia and multi-cultural games when they are out decieving secular Jews and secular Christians who do not know any better.

If you are a right-wing "Bible believeing" Christian, then Judeo-Christian is almost like saying atheio-Christian (hey athiest like the ten Commandments!). Like it or not, if the Jew denies Jesus as Lord s/he is dirty! s/He is hopeless and condemeded to hell! If the Jew believes Jesus was a clever Jewish carpenter who blasphemed and spit on the Patriarchs, that Jew is cursed!

Christianity looks more like Neo-Platonism than Judaism! You and I can still respect each other, but let's not fool each other with these false attempts at multi-cultural theological attempts. Coming from right-wingers, it looks like white dudes, pretending to be street-rappers.

Jesus is God, or did you Fundies forget that. It's your theology, it is your belief system, so why are you backing off it now!

Jesus was a very disturbed Jew who thought he was God on earth, that is sick to me! People who go around and pretend they are God are dangerous...am I still Judeo-Christian, now?

Jesus is not "just some taecher" to Christians, he is THE LORD GOD creater of reality, and many believeing and secular Jews find that disturbing! He mocked the temple and cursed his own people. That's a real traitor! And because we believed these things, we were persecuted for it!

And Jews so desperate to befriend these right-wingers and join in on all this new prejudice against arabs and Muslems are acting like the bootlicking Jews who thought the German nationalist "may have a point" maybe Jews just are not pure enough, maybe they should respect their Christian masters more.

I know in Isreal they are desperate for allies, and will speak some of the right-wing language but Christians are not allowed to convert in Isreal for a reason! And it isn't the loving nature of Christianity.

Posted by: NeoDude at February 14, 2005 09:48 PM

Let me say, that many Christians (on the Left) are way more honest about theology and history than you right-winging judeo-christians.

At least it's all policy in politics and not salvation through politics.

Right-wingers are playing a dangerous game when they reduce ALL reality to religion in everything. Even for those who do not share their beliefs.

Posted by: NeoDude at February 14, 2005 09:56 PM

It's like many Jews are so thrilled they are no longer the boogey-man (for the moment), it will be fun to the be person doing the rabid racist theories conserning the biology of Arabs/Muslems.

Posted by: NeoDude at February 14, 2005 10:00 PM

Margaret Thatcher labelled Nelson Mandela a terrorist. Had the word been in common parlance, the Boston Tea Party and the like would have been labelled terrorist attacks.

Aagh. Not "one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter". If you can’t tell the difference between Paul Revere and Abu Abbas then there really is no hope.

I’m not keen to exonerate our governments in the Sudan, or in their dealings with Saudi Arabia. I’m just pointing out the facts as reported. I’ve been to some anti-slavery rallies, I’ve spoken to Sudanese, and they blame the UN and Kofi Annan for their situation. If you have issues with that, speak to them yourself.

The Arabs started the war with Israel and they lost. The Six Day war proved to the world that Arab armies are pathetically weak. No wonder these weak states turned to terrorism.

If the Euros and the Left would stop blaming the US and the UK for everything, if they’d think about things for a minute, they’d realize that Belgium alone could probably kick Saudi Arabia’s ass. Even Holland could. But the Euro/Left never does break old habits.

Posted by: mary at February 14, 2005 10:02 PM

And Ratatosk, those things you wrote that Western Values tried to get rid of, is wrong (though much of what you wrote is enlightened). It was Liberal Values that attempted to do those things.

Don't forget, many of the most depraved ideas came came from the West also. Liberalism brought radical doubt onto the traditions of the West. One of the reasons it was hated by right-wing nationalist (who were more Pagan than Christian) and traditionalists who hated Liberalism.

Posted by: NeoDude at February 14, 2005 10:23 PM

Liberalism, by its very nature, is subversive.

And thank God, Liberalism does not claim to be pure nor absolute.

Liberalism is not afraid of doubt, it embraces doubt. Radical doubt is good for the soul...you should try it sometime.

Posted by: NeoDude at February 14, 2005 10:46 PM

There are more things in heaven and earth, Neodude, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.

Dream better.

Posted by: Ged of Earthsea at February 14, 2005 10:49 PM

ah, shit I thought I was done, with this.

(Soory for the mess, but English is not my first language and my Word software is not working)

Posted by: NeoDude at February 14, 2005 10:49 PM

You may be right, but your self-rightiousness is no excuse for opression.

Posted by: NeoDude at February 14, 2005 10:52 PM

Hey NeoDude,

there, there. Does that feel better? Let it all out.

That was quite the display of atheist love and tolerance. I haven't sensed that much negative emotion behind a post in quite some time. It almost takes your breath away. Scary.

I have an idea. We'll keep being intolerant towards jihadis, and you can keep hating christian "fundies" if that makes you feel better (and boy, do you ever hate fundies!). And you can keep being irrelevant.

Breathtaking.

Posted by: Carlos at February 14, 2005 11:06 PM

Liberalism is not afraid of doubt, it embraces doubt. Radical doubt is good for the soul...you should try it sometime.

Tell me, have you ever heard a Liberal express doubt? I haven't. And I battle them everyday, including in my own family. I've never once heard a Liberal admit he might be wrong. On the contrary, he's usually too busy calling me a nazi. And that takes a remarkable assuredness.

So go ahead and keep believing your little myth about Liberal "tolerance" and "self-doubt" and "self-reflection" and "shades of gray." It's a myth, a fantasy that exists only in our mind. I've never seen it. Nobody has. The only Liberals I've ever met are of the orthodox variety, and they have not one scintilla of doubt about anything.

So when you call others "intolerant", you are projecting, nothing more. Sometimes cliches are true. Hard Liberals, otherwise know as The Left, when given free reign, have turned their "tolerance" and "self-doubt" into a high art which has literally cost the lives of tens, even hundreds of millions of lives at the hands of your atheistic paradises on earth. All in the name of "egalite."

The nihilists had their chance. The only reason you are now able to co-existence amongst civilized men is because we allow you to at our pleasure--which is far more than you'd do for us if our positions were reversed. So content yourselves with your little Bushitler street puppets, and your wacko university professors because this is America my friend. A judeo-christian nation. Live with it. Or get...the...hell...out.

Posted by: Carlos at February 14, 2005 11:35 PM

I'd feel a lot safer if we used rational thinking and Western Enlightenment values to go after Jihadist, than faith-based notions of reality.

Posted by: NeoDude at February 14, 2005 11:39 PM

The only Liberals I've ever met are of the orthodox variety, and they have not one scintilla of doubt about anything.

You know, when a nice lady always ends up dating losers, we eventually let her gently know that perhaps she's getting what she's looking for. Just a thought.

Posted by: Kimmitt at February 15, 2005 01:20 AM

d-rod
I think ETA has no place in the 21st century, and I believe the final pages of its history are being written right now. Violence is not the way to support any argument. You defend ideas democratically, respecting the ideas and the rights of everyone else... Basque President Juan José Ibarretxe
I agree with him entirely, every word.

On GAM, I freely admit I have no idea where their levels of popular support stand. So, can't comment.

Carlos
The only Liberals I've ever met are of the orthodox variety, and they have not one scintilla of doubt about anything.
I guess I'm probably a 'liberal' to you (it means something different in Europe). I doubt things all the time, and change my mind in the face of new evidence regularly. So you've 'met' one now.

Mary
_The Arabs started the war with Israel and they lost. The Six Day war proved to the world that Arab armies are pathetically weak. _
I agree.

_they’d realize that Belgium alone could probably kick Saudi Arabia’s ass. _
That is hopelessly naive. Saudi is likely to be the single trickiest transition ahead. If we send the Dutrch in as you suggest, what do you suggest we do when the lunatics circle the wagons round Mecca and Medina? Another Fallujah, only 1000 times bigger? It will undo every single bit of good work the US has done in Iraq and Afghanistan. All that spilt blood will be in vain.

_If the Euros and the Left would stop blaming the US and the UK for everything, _
I don't blame them. I happen to be better informed about the US and UK's recent actions, but if you want to start a thread about Rwanda or the DRC or Angola, I will happily spread the blame around a bit. I blame our collective European and N American governments for their share; I blame the misguided fools who take up jihad in the first place for a much greater share. It is you and Ye'or et al who blame the Euros and the Left for everything. It's insane.

Not "one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter"
I won't argue this with you because this is a self-evident fact. It doesn't mean we can't make moral judgements. It just means that disagreements on those judgements is likely.

And you still haven't addressed the question on Sudan. So what if one or two people you have met blame the UN? Much of the Arab world blames the US and Israel for their sorry situation, but that doesn't make it correct. In fact, it's rubbish. If senior figures in the US think Darfur is genocide, then they have a moral imperative to act whatever the UN says.

Posted by: Jarndyce at February 15, 2005 01:50 AM

So, France, a nation that bans the hijab in classrooms and is militantly secular, is willfully supplicating itself to the seething Islamic masses? Wankery.

Bat Ye'or is a mirror image of Pat Buchanan.

And the idea of "liberal looking" people agreeing that a rightwing rag like the New York Sun is the most credible news source they can find is freaking joke.

Excellent piece, in the "so bad it's good" way.

Posted by: Geek, Esq. at February 15, 2005 04:15 AM

I'd feel a lot safer if we used rational thinking and Western Enlightenment values to go after Jihadist, than faith-based notions of reality.

Do the Europeans qualify as an example of people not operating on "faith-based notions"? They're a joke. You Liberals are a joke. Islamofascism will eat you alive. You will get us all killed. The Dutch are starting to catch on, even if you aren't.

And fyi, your atheism is entirely faith-based.

Posted by: Carlos at February 15, 2005 07:17 AM

Do the Europeans qualify as an example of people not operating on "faith-based notions"? They're a joke. You Liberals are a joke. Islamofascism will eat you alive. You will get us all killed. The Dutch are starting to catch on, even if you aren't.

Sorry, Carlos, in in six sentences you have just proven how little about 'Europe' you know. Less than little, nothing in fact. You clearly are somewhat of an expert on Christian traditions and thought, and I happily bow to your greater knowledge there. I'd stick to that.

(FYI the Dutch are the most liberal population in Europe and tend to object to Islam and other faiths on liberal grounds, not something you'd appreciate I don't think if you lived there; there is still an established church in most of southern Europe, and Catholicism plays an extremely important part in lives there. and so on...)

Posted by: Jarndyce at February 15, 2005 07:33 AM

For your information, I'm probably more like the "Judeo-Christian" Immanuel Kant, when it comes to "God".

Posted by: NeoDude at February 15, 2005 07:58 AM

Dutch are the most liberal population in Europe and tend to object to Islam and other faiths on liberal grounds, not something you'd appreciate.

Jarndyce,

For the record, "islam" was your choice of words, not mine. But what is a "liberal" grounds for objecting to islam, vs a conservative grounds? If you could show me, for my own education, an example or two, that would be helpful.

But it is my belief that there aren't Liberal or conservative objections to islamofascism, only the people doing the objecting. Conservatives are doing the objecting, you Liberals aren't. That's our main source of contention. Because if you let the problem get out of control, then it's too late, and mosques end up getting burnt down:

Dutch mosques attacked after killing:

http://tvnz.co.nz/view/news_world_story_skin/457567%3Fformat=html

And when this happens, you know that you've ignored the problem for far too long. It ends up in extremism. You can't tolerate islamofascism in the name of tolerance. Your Liberal notions are going to get people killed.

Posted by: Carlos at February 15, 2005 08:01 AM

carlos,

You and right-wingers like you, make words and ideologies and cultures up! How would you even know how to deal with real ideologies and cultures? Many conseravtives are no acting like you right-wing sheep. Pat Buchannan, a nationalist if there ever was one, doesn't believe half the Neocon crap floating around.

It seems "conseravtives" in other countries are using Liberal values to battle with religious fanatics!

Posted by: NeoDude at February 15, 2005 08:36 AM

Yes, NeoDude, paleo Pat Buchanan agrees with your opinons about NeoCons.

Doesn't that tell you something? Isn't PaleoDude a better pen name for you?

Posted by: mary at February 15, 2005 08:53 AM

No.

Pat B., isn't going to kill thousands of Arabs and Muslems while pretending to save them.

Posted by: NeoDude at February 15, 2005 09:00 AM

Carlos, I have to be brief but I think much of what you say in your last post is pretty accurate. This bit especially:

You can't tolerate islamofascism in the name of tolerance.

I agree absolutely that fascism cannot be tolerated, whatever guise it comes in. Freedom of speech and religion, yes. But once it's incitement to hate or violence the line has been crossed. If liberals and conservatives, as you call them in the US, would stop shouting at each other for five minutes I think you might find they could agree on that.

Where I (I don't pretend to speak for 'Liberals' here) have problems is:

1. When things descend to a 'clash of civilisations' level. there is nothing really major in essence and scripture that divides people of monotheistic faith (I'm not including the jihadi crazies here). Secular people like me and evangelical Christians have got along just fine for quite a long time in Europe and N America, and have kept their legitimate differences within the bounds of acceptable democratic norms. There is no reason why Islamic inhabitants of my country cannot do the same - indeed, 99 per cent do already. Both my neighbours are Muslim Turks and we get along just swell. 'Clash of civilisations' theories are divisive and ignore realities on the ground.

2. When the debate departs from the realms of reality into whole Eurabia theories like Ye'or's and others like her. This is also divisive nonsense, and simply feeds back into 1. above. It is also doubly damaging because it splits the 'West' at a time when we should be united. One could almost think these theories were hatched by jihadi agents. And so far it seems they are working, in some quarters at least.

(an aside: 'liberal' objections to Islam in Holland include the religion's general attitudes to gay rights, legalised drug use, abortion and women's rights, some of which I guess you share, but I don't like to make asumptions. 'Conservative' objections in my part of Europe tend to focus on the dilution of national and/or Christian culture and at the extremes the Ye'or / Eurabia stuff I have referred to earlier, plus plain racism/send them home stuff.)

Posted by: Jarndyce at February 15, 2005 09:05 AM

It is you and Ye'or et al who blame the Euros and the Left for everything. It's insane.

Jarndyce - What part of my statement: "Our government (Republicans and Democrats) continued their long standing policy of appeasing Saudis after the unprovoked act of war that was 9/11" don’t you understand? I believe that our inaction in the Sudan, like Euro inaction, is part of that policy of appeasement. When it comes to making grave mistakes and bad alliances, the West is united.

The Iraqi people already successfully confronted the ‘insurgents’, on election day. When I said that Belgium could kick Saudi Arabia’s ass, that’s a recognition that the jihadi armies and the terror states that support these ‘insurgents’ are only as powerful as we allow them to be. How long will the world wet its collective pants in fear of the scary car bombers and the fierce Arab armies? They’re at war with us and they are militarily weak.

Unfortunately, because of outdated alliances, America refuses to directly oppose the Saudi Kingdom.

Because of outdated alliances, Europe refuses to take any action at all (other than complaining about headscarves).

When Bat Ye’or points this out, she’s the bad guy?

Oh, by the way, do you really believe that Paul Revere is equivalent to Abu Abbas? No wonder you have trouble sorting things out.

Posted by: mary at February 15, 2005 09:45 AM

jarndyce,

conservatives object to a great many things, including a dilution of our national culture/heritage, identity, etc. etc. And for good reason I think (see Eurabia). But we've been good about getting along to get along up till now, and we've been good about living and letting live until now. Nobody has rocked the boat, despite what you perceive as our objections.

It is only now, with the threat of islamofascism within our very gates that our conservative objections have been stirred to action. And perhaps this means conservatives were right after all? Right again. But I won't jump to that conclusion just yet. I'm still of the thinking that islam can coexist as just another peaceful minority within the judeo-christian majority culture. Time will soon tell though.

But the Liberal fetish for "tolerance" has become self-parody, and it has blinded you to the threat that has been growing even within our very borders. You're afraid of being branded "racists". What you need to begin to appreciate is that these islamofascists hate you as much as they hate any neocon. You don't seem to realize that. You still think this is about "U.S. foreign policy" and about "mossadeq". Understand this, islamofascists would have cut off mossadeq's head as soon as George Bush's. They hate secular Arabs, and they hate you Libs despite your peaceloving nature, for your pot smoking, your fucking and your abortions, your nudity, you name, they hate it. And you are opening the door to them to live amongst us in the name of tolerance and diversity. If you object to islam because you wish to continue indulging your Liberal hedonism, then good! Then do something about it! Your hatred of Bush has paralyzed you in your tracks! And you are ceding the field to the extremists who then go out and burn down the mosques! It's action reaction. If Liberal government policies are exacerbating the problem, the extremists will take to the streets. That's reality. It has to stop. Bat Ye'or is right.

And in the end, perhaps even you Libs will find that there is something to be said about "national identity" after all.

Posted by: Carlos at February 15, 2005 09:51 AM

Jarndyce - My point in bringing up Ibarretxe, president of the Basque region, was that ETA is hostile to elections and the idiocy of your other ridiculous assertions about the Spanish situation. Likewise GAM, operated from Europe, is hostile to the legitimate aspirations of its people or it would accept an autonomy arrangement like Bali enjoys in Indonesia. Recent Indonesian elections seemed to demonstrate popular support for this idea to affirm their liberties too.

But going back to the short time between 3/11 and the Spanish elections since you “followed it closely”, Ibarretxe, the secretary general of Catalonia's Esquerra Republicana and others also initially attributed the March 11 attacks to ETA. Are you suggesting they were guilty of political opportunism too? Why do you malign Aznar?

On what basis in your brilliant analysis would you not have suspected ETA? You wrote that ETA had never “carried out an attack like Madrid before”. Did you know the terrorists detained in the failed ETA attack a few days earlier had a map highlighting the zone of the Henares Pathway, through which the targeted 3/11 trains traveled. On Christmas Eve, ETA attempted another mass murder at Madrid's Chamartin station which was foiled. In 1999 ETA brought two vans with a ton and a half of explosives to Madrid in another foiled attempt at mass slaughter. Do you think perhaps that these folks should be on the ballot?

Posted by: d-rod at February 15, 2005 10:01 AM

Well, I can't argue with all of you...

Carlos - clearly you are so pathological in your hatred that you see no need to even bother to debate any of my points. End of discussion, I think.

d-rod - For some reason you think I'm an ETA apologist, which isn't true. Fortunately they are on a slow but sure path to extinction (but note: some of their original demands have been met, that is why you have a Basque president right now). However, the situation in the Basque country is complex. They don't feel, and indeed are not, entirely part of Spain - much more so than the Catalans. They are the oldest 'nation' in Europe and were treated brutally by Franco. In part the ETA phenomenon is a hangover from then. Like I said, extinct-to-be. I would also point out that you have a lot of foiled plans and secret maps in your argument, but no actual comparable atrocity to Madrid to point to. Because there isn't one. It is highly likely though not certain, for starters, that ETA would have given a warning, as they usually do for bombings (though not 'political assassinations'). I'm not going to argue with you about GAM, because I don't have info to hand. I would say this though: if you think the Indonesians are the good guys in all this then you are deluded. In effect you have a military state there behind a pretence of democracy, not even a pretence in provinces like Aceh and e.g. the Moluccas. But on GAM specifically, I am ignorant.

Mary - we do agree on much, it seems. But i think I would place far more emphasis on sorting those 'outdated alliances' first than you. For me, these are the key. It leaves the West open to hypocrisy when we hand Mubarak 1.2 bn and complain about human rights abuses in Syria. It's a grand plan of sorting the whole thing out that is needed, not just troops fighting jihadis, unless you think the US and European public have the taste for a never-ending occupation of the ME area (and Pakistan). As Mr Rumsfeld said, right now the medrassas are pumping out more jihadis than you could possibly kill. Kill their PR first - starve them of the oxygen of the moral high ground. That would be my strategy. Right now we're making it way too easy for them to score propaganda points. Bush seems to think that way, too, if you take his state of the union speech at face value. However, I don't hear much criticism from anyone about the arrest of the democratic 'opposition' leaders in Egypt last week. That is the first test. We'll soon see whether Bush's words are empty rhetoric. Fingers crossed.

I'm not going to argue with you about Paul Revere. I barely even know who he is. To me, it is a statement of fact that the people some look on as terrorists, others will call freedom fighters. Thatcher thought Mandela was a terrorist; I thought he was a freedom fighter. QED.

Posted by: Jarndyce at February 15, 2005 10:29 AM

"You know, when a nice lady always ends up dating losers, we eventually let her gently know that perhaps she's getting what she's looking for. Just a thought."

Brilliant, Kimmit. I'd imagine it applies as well to Neo as to Carlos. I don't envy having to deal with the kind of folks they evidently have to deal with every day. Perhaps if we could look at one another as fellow MJT enthusiasts, we could find some more common ground.

It is there, I'm quite confident of that. For instance, I'm a hearty supporter of the enlightenment, which makes me somewhat unique in my neck of the woods, but which conversely helps me feel comfortable here. This place could use some more light, and less heat, however.

Posted by: Ged of Earthsea at February 15, 2005 10:39 AM

Neo,

I appreciate the trust you have shown us in revealing some personal details of your life. Your willingness to do this belies the force of your words. Should your comfort level continue to improve, perhaps you can be a productive contibutor to the conversation here. I know this sounds self-righteous and condescending, but I don't know any other way to say it, and it seems to need saying.

You are correct that self-righteousness is no excuse for oppression. Nor is guilt over past oppression an excuse for inaction in the present. This is why effective social systems have means of atonement for past sins, as I'm sure you are aware - your particular one invented it.

If you truly seek the truth, you may find some pieces of it in the book of Jonah. He shared some of your concerns.

Posted by: Ged of Earthsea at February 15, 2005 10:51 AM

Well, I can't argue with all of you...

Seems like you can.

I don't think you're a ETA apologist. My main issue was stated above: The real "political opportunism of the worst kind" was that liars, accusing the government of lying and coverups, won an election.

Posted by: d-rod at February 15, 2005 11:02 AM

d-rod. I guess you're right that the socialists didn't come out of the whole affair smelling of roses either. However, the Spanish people kicked back who they thought were the worse liars. And I tend to think they made the right choice in this case - you obviously disagree, which is fine. The one thing you can be sure of, however, is that politicians are all liars. Voting is moral relativism in action.

Posted by: Jarndyce at February 15, 2005 12:03 PM

And you are opening the door to them to live amongst us in the name of tolerance and diversity.

Preach on, Father Coughlin!

Posted by: Kimmitt at February 15, 2005 12:12 PM

Preach on, Father Coughlin!

Kimmitt:

You did it again. You attempted to insinuate 'islam' into my comments. That's the second time on this thread. But the only person on record against islam on this thread is Jandyce (at 07:33 AM), not me. She objects to it because of her hedonism.

You are cutting off your nose to spite your face by inviting in your own killers, just to spite rightwingers. But the more you do that, the more marginalized you Lefties will become, the more shrill you will become, the more marginalized you will become. It's a downward spiral for you, and there's not even an attempt to prevent it that I can see.

Posted by: Carlos at February 15, 2005 12:50 PM

Carlos
But the only person on record against islam on this thread is Jandyce (at 07:33 AM), not me. She objects to it because of her hedonism.

Lame. I'll make no further comments to you, thanks. Good night.

Posted by: Jarndyce at February 15, 2005 01:15 PM

Carlos, I can only read what you write:

And you are opening the door to them to live amongst us in the name of tolerance and diversity. If you object to islam because you wish to continue indulging your Liberal hedonism, then good!

Seriously, you have your opinions. Stick by 'em.

Posted by: Kimmitt at February 16, 2005 08:47 AM

Carlos, I can only read what you write:

Kimmit:

not my words, Jandyce's words:

Jandyce: 'liberal' objections to Islam in Holland include the religion's general attitudes to gay rights, legalised drug use, abortion and women's rights, some of which I guess you share,

Thus my response: If you [jandyce] object to islam because you wish to continue indulging your Liberal hedonism, then good!

And "islam" was her choice of words, not mine.

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Author of Director's Cut

"Lively, vivid, and smart"
James Howard Kunstler
Author of The Geography of Nowhere


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Essays

Terror and Liberalism
Paul Berman, The American Prospect

The Men Who Would Be Orwell
Ron Rosenbaum, The New York Observer

Looking the World in the Eye
Robert D. Kaplan, The Atlantic Monthly

In the Eigth Circle of Thieves
E.L. Doctorow, The Nation

Against Rationalization
Christopher Hitchens, The Nation

The Wall
Yossi Klein Halevi, The New Republic

Jihad Versus McWorld
Benjamin Barber, The Atlantic Monthly

The Sunshine Warrior
Bill Keller, The New York Times Magazine

Power and Weakness
Robert Kagan, Policy Review

The Coming Anarchy
Robert D. Kaplan, The Atlantic Monthly

England Your England
George Orwell, The Lion and the Unicorn