Friday, July 22, 2005

A Voice of Comon Sense from Britain

Pre-eminent British novelist Ian McEwan displays a level of common sense sorely lacking amongst the remainder of the British intelligencia in a recent interview with German magazine der Spiegel.
McEwan: Inevitably, we're going to start seeing around the preposterous political correctness that allows us to have radical clerics preaching in mosques and recruiting young people. We have been caught too much by a sense that we can just regard these clerics as being like English eccentrics at Hyde Park Corner. But the problem is that their audience has already been to training camps.

SPIEGEL: But isn't the West providing the best advertisement for terrorist recruiters by being in Iraq and killing Islamic civilians, torturing Muslim prisoners a la Abu Ghraib and spreading pictures of the deeds around the world?

MCEWAN: I don't think terror needs a breeding ground. I don't buy the arguments in the Iraq war. What keeps getting forgotten here is that the people committing massacres in Iraq right now belong to al-Qaida. We're witnessing a civil war that's taking place in Islam. The most breathtaking statement was the one of al-Qaida claiming responsibility for the London bombings saying it was in return for the massacre in Iraq. But the massacres in Iraq now are being conducted by al-Qaida against Muslims. I also think it's extraordinary the way in which we get morally selective in our outrages. When there was a rumor that someone at Guantanamo Bay had flushed a Koran down the lavatory, the pages in The Guardian almost caught fire with outrage, but only months before the Taliban had set fire to a mosque and destroyed 300 ancient Korans.

SPIEGEL: In your book, the Iraq war still hasn't happened yet. And the day in which the book takes place, Feb. 15, 2003, is the day in which massive peace demonstrations took place in London. Henry's daughter Daisy is among the protesters and he is full of ire and sarcasm about them. He doubts they can rightfully claim morality for themselves. Do these passages echo your own ambivalent views on the matter?

McEwan: Yes, it does. I never thought that in the run up to the war we were discussing simply the difference between war and peace. We were discussing the difference between war and continued torture and genocide and abuse of human rights by a fascist state. I missed any sense of that complexity in the peace camp. I certainly had the feeling that whatever the strong moral arguments were for deposing Saddam, the Americans would not be good nation-builders. But I had a moral problem with this view among the 2 million protesters that you should leave Saddam in power in a fascist state with 27 million Iraqis under him. The problem is that they felt good about it. I thought they should have opposed the war but also felt bad about it.

SPIEGEL: Do you think invading Iraq was a mistake?

McEwan: I think if Bush and Blair could press a button and we could all fast forward backwards, rewind the tape, they'd probably do this differently. But I don't think they fully grasped, and even the anti-war (movement) could have never fully grasped the fantastic viciousness of the insurgency against its own people.
Mr. McEwan's analysis is spot-on, as the British would say. The lesson emerging from Iraq is not so much to reveal the Wilsonian lunacy that prompted the White House to try and bring democracy to a part of the world culturally unsuited for it, but to expose the sheer savagery of Islamism, which thinks nothing of slaughtering even a crowd of Muslim children to advance its own cause. The moral relativism currently offered by the international Left, which tries desperately to deny the existance of Muslim militancy whilst simultaneously trying to blame Muslim violence on the West. Islamist violence has exposed not only the ideological and cultural problems within Islam, but the moral and intellectual bankruptcy of the international left, which is so consumed with knee-jerk anti-Americanism and hatred for all things Western that it will contort itself into increasingly untenable positions to excuse the Islamists, no matter what atrocity they carry out.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Surprise, Surprise...

Hatred and violence begin at home ... or with one's religion. Let's hear all the "moderate Muslims" come out and denounce the following statements.
The father of one of the September 11 hijackers said today he had no sorrow for what had happened in London and claimed more terrorist attacks would follow.

Egyptian Mohamed el-Amir, whose son Mohamed Atta commandeered the first plane that crashed into the World Trade Centre in New York, said there was a double standard in the way the world viewed the victims in London and victims in the Islamic world.

El-Amir said the attacks in the US and the July 7 attacks in Britain were the beginning of what would be a 50-year religious war, in which there would be many more fighters like his son.

Speaking to a CNN producer in his apartment in the upper-middle-class Cairo suburb of Giza, he declared that terror cells around the world were a "nuclear bomb that has now been activated and is ticking".

Cursing in Arabic, el-Amir also denounced Arab leaders and Muslims who condemned the London attacks as being traitors and non-Muslims.

He passionately vowed that he would do anything within his power to encourage more attacks.

This would be the same father who, immediately following the September 11th atrocity, publiclly denied that his son was in any way involved in the attacks.

Mohamed Atta, one of the alleged hijackers on American Airlines Flight 11 that flew into the northern tower of New York's World Trade Center on 11 September, is innocent of the charge, according to his father, lawyer Mohamed El- Amir Atta.

At a news conference at the Foreign Press Association on Monday, the father said his son had telephoned him three days after the attacks from Hamburg, Germany, where he is studying. He denied his son had travelled to the US.

Atta Sr believes his son had been kidnapped and that he might have been killed by his kidnappers.

"I was in Alexandria when my son called. I had no knowledge of the attacks as I don't read newspapers or watch television while on vacation. We had a normal father-son chat," Atta Sr said.

Upon his return to Cairo, the father was apparently informed by his daughters of the attacks and the accusations against his son. "I saw his pictures in the newspapers and was dumbfounded and upset that my son was accused of mass murder," he said.

At the time, Atta's father roundly denounced the attacks, calling them against Islam.

Atta Sr began the news conference by condemning the assaults on the US, citing a verse from the Holy Qur'an that may be translated as: "He who unjustly takes a soul has, in effect, taken so many more lives." He then gave an account of his son's childhood, describing him as a "wonderful" and "pious" boy.

Atta's father then accused the US of faking his son's involvement in the attacks.

Atta Sr said the photo published in American newspapers showing his son along with an alleged Saudi suspect, Abdel-Aziz El-Emari, on their way from Portland airport to Boston was a fake.

El-Emari was later said to have been found alive in Riyadh.

Commenting on reports by US officials that an Arabic airplane navigation manual, the Holy Qur'an and a United Arab Emirates passport in Atta's name had been found in a car at Boston airport, he said, "I need the US officials to tell me how my son could have been at two places at the same time? If he was heading for Boston when his photo was taken at Portland airport, how could he have parked his car at Boston airport?"

Asked why his son was seen on video at Boston airport on the same day of the attacks, Atta replied: "I have strong evidence that this video recording was forged. The man in the video is bigger than my son. Moreover, the Saudi national [El-Emari] who appeared behind my son in the shots was in Riyadh at the time of the attacks and is still alive. Now, you tell me how this could all be authentic."

Finally, Atta's father laid the blame for September 11th, not at the hands of Islamic extremists, nor his son, but at a much more likely foe.

Atta Sr accused the Israeli intelligence service, Mossad, of being behind the New York and Washington attacks.
When Atta's father blamed Israel and the Mossad for September 11, it should have been immediately clear that his facade of grief and righteous indignation were merely a front. The younger Atta clearly learned his Islamist zeal and thrist for violence at the feet of his father. The senior Atta's differing statements - the latter presumably made now that, almost four years later, he no longer fears American retaliation for his son's crimes, and now speaks his mind frankly - offers a reality check regarding Muslims who claim to denounce Islamist terror. In short, talk is cheap. People lie. And Atta Sr.'s comments reflect the opinions of far more Muslims than the West's PC/multiculturalist-deluded leaders want to believe.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Immigration Insanity

As President Bush busies himself with a Supreme Court appointment, he continues to fail breath-takingly in his sworn duty to defend the territorial integrity and national sovereignty of the United States. Not to mention protect the American people from threats foreign and domestic. The sheer lunacy of immigration enforcement under the current administration (continuing the idiocy from previous pretenders-in-chief) can be demonstrated in the slightly different treatment received by Mexican and non-Mexican illegal aliens entering the US.
Illegal immigrants from Brazil, Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala and other nations routinely descend on the bus station just steps from the New World discount store in this bustling, sweltering city 10 miles from a U.S.-Mexico bridge.

They openly gather in groups, make phone calls and buy bus tickets to cities across the United States. They have little fear of being arrested: Most already have been. Happily.

Many, in fact, illegally crossed the border hoping to get caught right away and slip through a crack in the nation's immigration system known as 'catch and release.'

Although Mexicans can be easily bused back to their country, arranging to deport non-Mexican immigrants can take months. There are few jails to hold them while arrangements are made. So non-Mexican immigrants deemed not to be a safety or security risk are given a summons for a distant court date at the nearby Harlingen immigration court and set free.

Between the time they are released and the date they are supposed to appear in court - which more than 90 percent of them will not do - they can legally move about the country and ultimately meld into an illegal immigrant population now estimated at 11 million.

Central and South Americans - Brazilians in particular - represent a new and rapidly multiplying wave of illegal immigration from countries other than Mexico, a trend that is frustrating the Border Patrol and federal lawmakers.
In the wake of September 11th, one would think that it would be the US government's top priority to prevent aliens of unknown origins and intentions from entering the US. But quite clearly the Bush administration and Congress simply don't care. What should that tell your about this administration's rhetoric regarding the "war on terrorism?" What does it tell you about the administration's excuse de jure for the war in Iraq - that "we're fighting the terrorists over there to keep from fighting them in America's streets? If the administration were truly worrried about terrorists flocking to America's streets, it would deploy troops along the borders to prevent them coming here in the first place. Terrorists - as demonstrated sadly in London, most recently - can walk and chew gum at the same time. They can wage an insurgency against American troops in Iraq and send operatives to the US to conduct attacks there at the same time. The administration's failure to do anything to prevent unknown aliens from entering the US is a clear and unambiguous indication that the White House does not consider that a real threat, or has concluded that kowtowing to Hispanic voters is worth more than protecting American lives.

The stupidity of the current border policy is readily acknowledged in Washington.
Critics charge that the relative ease with which non-Mexicans can enter the United States through Mexico, which doesn't require visas for Brazilians, reveals a weakness in the post-2001 era of homeland security.

'It simply means that an avenue by which a worker could come into the country illegally is available also to a terrorist who would want to come into our country and do us harm,' U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, said last month in Austin.

'I think it's unconscionable that at a time when (President Bush) talks about homeland security, that he allows a catch-and-release policy for non-Mexicans,' said Democratic U.S. Rep. Silvestre Reyes of El Paso, a former Border Patrol chief in McAllen and El Paso.

'If an attack like (the London bombings) occurs here and it's traced back to one of these people who were released in south Texas, I think it could be grounds for impeachment.'
And yet, for all the rhetoric, Congress has done as little as the president to protect the border.
A White House spokeswoman referred questions to the Department of Homeland Security.

'No one is released from Homeland Security custody that is considered to present any risk whatsoever to public safety or national security,' said Russ Knocke with the department.
How would Homeland Security know which alien represents a threat and which does not since we know nothing about the aliens who do get detained to begin with? If Mr. Knocke means that their names don't appear on a terrorist list, does he grasp the possibility that Islamist terrorists might use false, Hispanic sounding names? Or that they might choose people who, like the London bombers, are not on terrorist lists? This is what passes for Homeland Security under George W. Bush.

The trend of non-Mexican aliens illegally entering the US is only getting worse. The illegals themselves recognize the almost comedic nature of US border enforcement, which for Americans is anything other than funny.
Nationally, with about four months still left in this fiscal year, Border Patrol agents have caught about 115,000 non-Mexicans - 153 percent more than during 2004, which itself was a record year. Of those, more than 26,000 were Brazilians, more than three times the number arrested last year.

'We have instances where they are actually flagging down our agents, and they are asking local residents to call the Border Patrol so they can get what they call their permiso,' Spanish for permit or permission, Reyes said on the House floor in May. Agents are demoralized, he said.
Once an illegal is detained, it's only a matter of hours until he or she is back on the streets, free to travel wherever he or she wants inside the US. Why? Because this oh-so-tough-on-security administration refuses to adequately fund enough detainment facilities.
Federal officials are supposed to return undocumented immigrants to their home countries. But with 85 percent to 90 percent of the nation's detention beds already taken by immigrants considered mandatory holds, officials release immigrants who don't have criminal records or pose a security risk.

Arrest warrants are issued for those who miss court dates, and the agency has a fugitive operations team working nationwide that 'has become effective for us,' Deason said.
Yes, so effective that a recent study found as many as 11 million illegals currently residing in the US. That really very, very effective, Mr. Deason.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Merkel Says No to Turkey

Angela Merkel, leader of Germany's opposition Christian Democrats who is favored to beat Gerhard Schroeder in Germany's upcoming national elections, has re-affirmed her strong opposition to European Union membership for Turkey.

Mrs Merkel also repeated her opposition to Turkey becoming a member of the EU, saying that it was possible to bring Turkey closer to Europe without granting it full membership.

"We need to talk about the limits of enlargement. We need borders. People need to know where these borders are," she said.

"We need to find solutions, within a privileged partnership, which make it possible to bring Turkey and Europe together without going as far as accession."

Ms. Merkel's sensible stance on EU membership for Turkey comes amid a wave of Islamist extremism sweeping across Europe. If Turkey were granted EU membership, Turks could pass freely throughout Europe, settling where ever they chose. Given the great disparity between Turkish and European birth rates, this would constitute an open invitation for Turkey to colonize Western Europe, vastly increasing the numbers of Muslims already living there and giving them added political clout. Ms. Merkel, along with a number of other European leaders, have realized the dreadful mistake Europe made decades ago when it opened its borders to the Middle East. A great deal of damage has been done, permanently, but at least Ms. Merkel seems ready to staunch the flow and prevent a demographic disaster for Europe.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Chavez to Confiscate Private Businesses

Radical leftist Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez continues to desperately try to rescusitate the moribund Venezuelan economy with the usual menu of failed socialist policies. Having secured power for himself through class war rhetoric, and then stacked the government with his cronies, Mr. Chavez is now proposing to "revive" closed businesses by confiscating them and re-opening them under government management.
The Venezuelan government has warned it will confiscate hundreds of private companies that are lying idle if they fail to re-open.

President Hugo Chavez said the firms' workers would be given help to set up co-operatives and re-start production for the benefit of the community.

He said the move was needed to fight poverty and end Venezuela's dependence on "the perverse model of capitalism".

Some business leaders fear it may lead to a wider attack on private property.

The "perverse model of capitalism" seems to work pretty well just about everywhere. But the socialist model that Mr. Chavez seems so keen on has failed in every country in which it has been tried. But don't tell that to Africans and South Americans, who appear not to learn from each decade of economic ruin brought to their continents by Marx-loving demogogues like Mr. Chavez (or Mr. Castro, or Mr. Mugabe, etc.).

Speaking on his weekly television programme, Mr Chavez said the measures were necessary.

"It's against our constitution," he said. "Just as we cannot permit good land to lie uncultivated, so we cannot allow perfectly productive factories to stay closed."

The Venezuelan leader said that more than 700 companies in the country were idle.

Of these, 136 were being examined for possible expropriation and a small number were already in the process of being taken over, he said.

The president's TV show was broadcast from a cocoa-processing plant in eastern Venezuela, which is re-opening as a workers' co-operative after shutting down nine years ago.

Private companies usually shutter their doors when the economic conditions prevent them from earning a proper return on operations. That is to say, it costs them more to run the company than they receive in revenue. When a government tries to run a private enterprise, the same economics apply, save that the government can keep the operation running at a loss by subsidizing that loss with taxpayer money. Unfortunately, the money is still being lost. Now it's just being drained from the treasury, which means additional taxes will need to be raised to cover the short fall. But since economic activity hasn't actually improved, there's no additional wealth in the economy to tax, therefore, more private property gets confiscated to hide this fact. This process continues until virtually all wealth in the nation has been appropriated by the government and squandered, at which point the government falls or turns into a really nasty, and very bloody dictatorship, which promptly blames everyone else for its problems. Sadly, Venezuela seems headed for the second fate.

But Mr Chavez did hold out an olive branch to employers.

He said more than 1,000 firms in Venezuela had partially closed down simply because of economic difficulties.

"We want to work with you to help restore your production," he told company owners.

Venezuelan business leaders have expressed concern that government policies on land reform and co-management in industry could signal the beginning of a wider attack on private property.

Earlier on Sunday, Venezuela's most senior Roman Catholic Cardinal, Rosalio Castillo, accused the president of acquiring dictatorial powers.

But in his broadcast, Mr Chavez again insisted that Venezuelans have a clear choice.

"Either capitalism, which is the road to hell, or socialism, for those who want to build the Kingdom of God here on Earth," he said.

That last bit will only increase Mr. Chavez's popularity on American college campuses, where socialism and communism are still regarded as the premier economic models. However, it should make Venezuelans' blood run cold. If Mr. Chavez really believes that socialism leads to the "kingdom of God on Earth", then Venezuela is in for a long, dark and bloody night. People who try to establish 'kingdoms of God on Earth" usually end up creating scenes straight out of a Heironymous Bosch painting. Socialists who try this typically end up killing a great many people before they are stopped.