Thursday, January 11, 2007

Sinking Ship at "State"

The abrupt transfer of John Negroponte from his perch as Director of National Intelligence to the number two spot at the State Department last week certainly had tongues wagging all over Washington. The completely unexpected move strongly hinted at a seriously escalating problem at the State Department - one sufficiently serious that the White House felt desperate enough to take so publiclly visible a step, even if it reflected badly on Secretary of State Condolezza Rice. According to Robert Novak, the hint was correct.

Republicans in Congress, who do not want to be quoted, tell me the State Department under Secretary Condoleezza Rice is a mess. That comes at a time when the U.S. global position is precarious. While attention focuses on Iraq, American diplomacy is being tested worldwide -- in Afghanistan, Iran, Israel, Korea and Sudan. The judgment by thoughtful Republicans is that Rice has failed to manage that endeavor.

Rice's previous government duties had been as an analyst and staffer rather than as manager. That made it important for her to name a strong deputy secretary to run the building. John Bolton, an under secretary in the first term and an experienced bureaucratic manager, volunteered. Rice instead picked him as ambassador to the United Nations. The conservative Bolton ran afoul of a liberal Senate vendetta, blocking his confirmation for any post.

Novak's column will come as little surprise to anyone who has watched Ms. Rice's increasingly ridiculous conversations with the press, or noted how she seems to return empty-handed from each trip abroad. It lends credibility to the notion that Ms. Rice attained her position at State by a) telling the president exactly what he wanted to hear; and b) being a black woman who told the president exactly he wanted to hear, which Karl Rove must have counted as a Triple Crown. But much as the president has ruined American foreign policy and severely damaged the military by listening only to his AEI-affiliated "yes men," he has apparently thrown the state department into disarray by leaving an obviously-out-of-her-depth Ms. Rice in charge. The results, it seems, are so bad that emergency action needed to be taken. Fast. Unfortunately, at least two of the reasons that compelled the president to make Ms. Rice Secretary of State in the first place will now constrain him from easing her out the door as quickly as she needs to go. But that is what happens when servile window-dressing is chosen instead of competence. Much the same can be said for many of Mr. Bush's other appointments.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Killing Australia

The Christian Science Monitor carries a small story that reveals a huge crime: the destruction of another Western nation's culture.

CRONULLA, AUSTRALIA – It's a sweltering day, and the beach is packed with suntanned bodies. Girls in swimsuits lounge on the sand while their boyfriends cradle surfboards.

Mecca Laalaa is the lone exception. Instead of a barely there bikini, she's in a burqini - a top-to-toe two-piece lycra suit complete with hijab, or Islamic head covering.

Loose enough to preserve Muslim modesty, but light enough to enable swimming, the burqini, taking its name from the burqa, is at the forefront of a dramatic shift within Australia's iconic surf lifesaving clubs.

No longer wanting to be associated only with bronzed, blue-eyed action men, Surf Life Saving Australia is attempting to better reflect the country's multicultural mix.

This is a remarkably sad story. Australia has a distinct ethnic and cultural identity. But, starting several decades ago, the country's political elite, following in the footsteps of the radical leftists in America and Europe, set about deliberately trying to destroy that identity. Australia's former policy of permitting immigration only by European or European-descended people was declared racists - an affront to Australia's non-white neighbors. This is ironic since virtually none of Australia's non-white neighbors permit any immigration to their countries at all, and all are fiercely protective of their native ethnic and cultural compositions. But since Australia was a Western nation, its elite decided that any effort to take pride in that heritage, or defend it, was inherently racist and evil. The result? Australia is increasingly less European, increasingly crime-ridden, plagued by escalating racial and religious conflicts and home to a growing number of Muslims who want nothing more than to destroy Australia's Western nature.

For a century, surf lifesavers have been the embodiment of Australian beach culture, as quintessential an icon as the Anzac soldier and the outback jackaroo, or cowboy. With 115,000 lifesavers patrolling the continent's beaches and more than 300 clubs, Surf Life Saving Australia is the nation's largest volunteer movement, its unpaid members responsible for saving more than half a million lives in the past 100 years.

But the movement has also been deeply conservative, built on a stern, militaristic tradition fostered by soldiers returning from the world wars. Until 1980, women were banned from joining.

The overhaul coincides with the 100th anniversary of the first surf club, at Sydney's famous Bondi Beach, as well as the Year of the Lifesaver.

This initiative, aimed at diversifying the clubs, is also in response to events that shocked Australia and the world just over a year ago.

A few days before Christmas 2005, gangs of whites and ethnically Middle Eastern young people clashed around Cronulla Beach.

The manner in which this story is written leaves one with the impression that local white youths and the Middle Eastern immigrants are equally to blame for the violence. But that is not true. Of course, it is a breach of political correctness to point out bad behavior on the part of non-whites, so such things just go unreported. As we know, Middle Eastern Muslims are always paradigns of peaceful behavior and are always tolerant of others.

The fighting revealed a deep gulf between the white Australians of mainly British and Irish heritage and recent immigrants from Lebanon and other Middle Eastern countries.

The lifesaving program is a small step intended to help heal the wounds left by the Cronulla violence.

"I was shocked by the magnitude of it, so to have a group like this training as lifesavers is of tremendous importance," says Jamal Rifi, the president of the community sports club from which most of the trainees were recruited. "It's about counteracting the negative stereotyping of Muslims, which has been very bad over the last five years. Our greatest enemy is ignorance."

One has to hand it to Mr. Rifi. He has all the talking points down. If people have negative views regarding Muslims, it must be due to their own racist "sterotyping" and not anything Muslims have actual done. Like, for instance, committing terrorist attacks all over the Western world and then celebrating those atrocities. Or demanding "multiculturalist" policies in Western countries, but tolerating no culture save Islam in Islamic nations. Really, Muslims just have bad press. Ask Mohammed Atta.

"We're breaking down social barriers," says Malaak Mourad, a student whose parents emigrated from Lebanon in the 1970s. "Most of the lifesavers are Anglo-Saxon. We've been getting a lot of attention from the public but I think it's admiration more than anything negative."

The barriers being broken down here are the natural defenses of Australian culture. Ask yourself when you read this: what Islamic country permits non-Muslims to immigrate to its shores, freely practice religions other than Islam and then demand that the country's Islamic society change itself to accomodate them? The answer is none.

Of course, Islam isn't the only problem.

To be sure, the push to diversify the surf lifesaving clubs coincides with an overall change in Aussie beach culture.

In Sydney, beachside suburbs that until a decade ago were populated by working class Australians have been gentrified and colonized by professionals, many of them expatriates.

At the Coogee surf lifesaving club, around 15 percent of the 600 active members are foreigners, including individuals from Britain, New Zealand, France, Germany, Chile, and the United States.

The ideological poison (multiculturalism - read: Western self-hatred) that is destroying Europe and America has reached Australia and now seeps its way through the Australian culture, perverting everything it touches. Australians have much to be proud of, including the ethnicity of physical appearance of their ancestors. They have the right to preserve these things, just as the Japanese, Chinese, Indonesians and Phillipinos have the right and duty to preserve their cultures and nations. Of course, those peoples are not possessed by the same self-hatred as the West and none want to tear down their societies for the benefit of others.