Saturday, March 31, 2007

The Media - Like Stink on Gaza

Once again Richard Landes finds the story no one in the mainstream media will tell and few in the west have the courage to hear. A huge, open cesspool, part of an immense network of festering waste products has burst this past week and swept away an entire village of 25 houses. At least four people were killed and an unspecified number are still missing. Here’s the BBC story about it.

Note that, in the article cited, the Palestinian leaders immediately attempted to blame Israel and the west for the problem but were cut off at the knees when, “Stuart Shepherd, the UN's humanitarian aid officer in Gaza, said the Umm al-Naser plant had not been affected by the aid boycott, noting there had long been warnings about the plant.” This is especially damning as most UN officials are quick to unfairly accuse Israel and excuse Palestinian incompetence.

This is not anything to gloat or make smug about, this is a tragedy but it is also a crucial opportunity to learn a lesson about the Palestinian plight and the reasons for it. It is the very epitome of the problem with the Arab world.

My Father served in the Merchant Marine during WWII. He told me that at every North African or Eastern Mediterranean port he sailed into, he could smell it from 25 miles out at sea. That smell was the palpable odor of a people trying to live in the modern world with a governmental organization that was not up to the task of providing the services required. The stink that must be emanating from Gaza now is just more of the same.

As Landes puts it:
”The Palestinians still have an insane war to conduct, so they continue to do what little damage they can, while in an Israeli headlock. But rather than say uncle and get on with their (potentially, powerful lives as the cutting edge of an Arab/Muslim entry into the world of modern productivity), they prefer to struggle till they sprain their muscles, as in this sewage spill."

My only Quibble with Landes is that this is much more than a “muscle sprain”. If they thought they felt humiliated by Israel and the west before this, how must they feel now? Unable to make the rational choice of taking some small part of their assets and energy that they continually put into acquiring, stockpiling and discharging weapons toward Israel, they have created a colossal mess. They have ignored the third (food, shelter, sanitation, etc…)most basic need of human life to such a degree that they are now literally awash in their own excrement.

It seems insane, and it is. Here is a people who, along with the Lebanese, once were thought of as the most modern, secular and sophisticated Arabs in the world. The Caliphists and the despotic Palestinian ruling class have them and much of the western media and left wing convinced that they are reduced to wallowing in their own excrement because of Israel. Israel is no more the cause of Palestinian misery than it is the Syrian-led destruction of Lebanese civil society. How much longer can their leaders divert their attention from this insanity by blaming Israel and America? How much longer will they allow the dark forces of Caliphist Islam and the ruling elite of the Arab world to use those excuses for their venality and incompetence? How could this people have allowed their leaders to stunt the growing financial prosperity, social progress and modernization?

Once upon a time, Beirut was known as the Paris of the Middle East. Then Syria moved in and for the past thirty years it has been a terrorist haven and a place of religious intolerance, sectarian violence and fear. It is a terrible irony that now that tired old metaphor has been turned inside out under the same Caliphist pressure. These days, Paris is fast becoming the Beirut of Europe.

The leadership of the Caliphate movement and the presidents and dictators of the despot states of Arabia knew that they would not stay in power long if they allowed the freedom and modernity that was growing in Lebanon to survive. This is why they forced the Palestinian refugees to remain in camps in Lebanon and fed them guns and Islamic mind control. They knew if they kept the Palestinians in poverty and strife and pitted them against the free Lebanese state, there would be trouble.

It was no accident that the nephew of the Mufti of Jerusalem (that infamous ally of Hitler and the man who, more than anyone else, succeeded in encouraging the Arabs living in the land when Israel was created to rise and flee, creating the refugee problem to begin with) rose to become the leader of the Palestinian people. That unprepossessing, grimy little man with his receding chin and irritating speaking voice rose to power not on charisma but on power-broking, outside financing and murder. The Arabs put him in place and set up the Palestinians to be eternal refugees because they knew that this formerly secular, better educated people, like their neighbors the Lebanese, left alone to find better leaders on their own, would settle in (as the Lebanese did after WWII and the “Nakba“) and create a new, more modern and greater Arab entity than the oil-rich, culture poor majority can even dream of.

The despots, ruling families and clerical elites of the Arab world would sacrifice anything to maintain their positions of power. They foment eternal war, poison the minds of their children, starve their people to buy weapons, murder millions of innocents - their own and ours, they would even see their people literally drown in excrement rather than help them to live better lives.

This is why they raped and ruined Lebanon.

And it is also why they backed and financed the terror stooge Arafat to keep the war against the Israelis alive. Arafat knew nothing about making a state work; he didn’t even know how to stop making war when he had an opportunity to make a state, but he certainly know how to secure arms and siphon billions off for his own fortune. This is his legacy, a people helplessly awash in their own excrement- not because they are stupid or dirty but because their leaders have been both for too long.

Even now, our media does not inform us about the stench of mismanagement, repression and corruption. Could it be that they are so dumb they can't even identify the smell of shit? No, they smell it all right and when they encounter any whiff of it here in the U.S. they revel in it. They roast the Mayors, Governors, Representatives, Senators and Presidents responsible. They blow the small ones out of proportion and the make careers out of the big ones. Look at the two years of bathos in aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in Louisiana. As bad as Katrina was, it is not a hair on a flea in comparison with the ongoing, rolling human tragedy that is the entire Arab world. Oh, but it would be racist and ethnocentric to mention that- wouldn’t it?

By exaggerating the peccadilloes of the open, self-policing west on one hand and not reporting the utter catastrophe that is life in the Arab/Islamic world, our own western media is playing a critical role in excusing and enabling the Caliphists. Only holding the responsible people to account will make the situation better. The media has to stop shrinking from reminding the “Poor Palestinians” (and us) that their leaders have betrayed them and that the priority they place on struggle is not just unsanitary but suicidal as well. They need to understand that their behavior does nothing but deepen their humiliation.

Shame on the Arab leadership, shame on the Arab people for suffering such leaders and, most of all, shame on the western media, for failing to inform us of the stink.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

A New Name for the Beast

Well, I’m still working on another big post but this idea actually came out of that one the other night. When I say "came out", I mean, it tore it’s way out like one of the baby aliens in the movie of the same name. The problem is that I have become very frustrated at the lack of what I feel to be a truly accurate and descriptive name for the enemy. Here is my attempt to solve that problem. I’d like to know what you think. If anyone would like to add new warning signs to the list at the end, I’d like to see them…

Despite my defense of the term Islamofascism (which I stand by as a definition of the repressive and terrorized totalitarian condition of much of the Islamic world) I have been unable to settle on a terminology that adequately describes and isolates the strain in Islam that poses a grave danger to freedom and liberty in today's world. I like “Islamofascism” still but I’m afraid that the word fascism has lost a lot of its impact, not because it is not accurate but because its meaning has become blurred by the constant misuse it receives. I have also used “Islamism” but it strikes me that it is not informative enough- even something of a tautology. Political Islam has some value too. It is especially good in that it reminds us that the politicization of any religion leads to the same place. Thus it also suggests a commonality with the Presbyterian and Episcopalian Churches, in their movement to divest from Israel. In fact, all the mainstream liberal churches seem to be having an attendance problem because of their political nature LINK . However, in the sense that it does not specify the violence that goes along with the current variety, of political Islam, Political Islam too does not satisfy. Radical Islam has been somewhat useful too but the word, radical, is also over-used and as become fuzzy with constant misapplication.

I have come to believe that we still lack a title that focuses on the critical difference between the kind of Islam that gives rise to terror and intolerance and the rest of Islam that to some degree is amenable to living in the modern world with co-operation and tolerance.

The name I keep coming back to is “Caliphate Islam” (or Caliphatism). Here is my reasoning. As far as I am concerned, anyone is entitled to believe that their religion (whatever it may be) is the “one true faith”. What they are not entitled to is, in any way, to believe that non-members of that blessed faith should have any fewer rights or less human dignity than “the faithful”. It is the underlying assumption of those who believe in The Caliphate that the entire world should live under Muslim rule and Shari’a law and you can only be a good Muslim if you believe in bringing it about.

The Caliphate, by the way, is not the jolly, rollicking world of Walt Disney’s Aladdin. Nor is it even the hell on earth that was Afghanistan under the Taliban or the Insane purgatory of today’s Iran. The world-wide Caliphate is the entire earth gone mad. Women being beaten, hung and stoned to death for no other crime than having been raped by a gang of perverted Caliphists who have been raised to think of women not as human beings but as “meat” or weapons of the devil. The Caliphate will be a place where the ancient dhimmi status will be revived. Dhimmi-hood in the ancient Caliphate meant that Christians, Jews and anyone else who is not a Muslim will have protection under the law only in so far as the mercy of the local mullah allows.

It is Caliphate Islam that won’t accept a Jewish state in the Middle East because it is considered an affront to the will of Allah that Jews should not only not be subject to Islamic rule but might have Islamic citizens living in a Jewish country. It is Caliphate Islam that so stultifies the lives of its people that they have to emigrate to western countries only to reject the values that make those countries better places to live. Belief in the Caliphate justifies the mass murder of innocent office workers in Manhatten, school children in Beslan and tribal rivals in sub-Saharan Africa. The belief in and desire for the Caliphate is the difference between conservative Islam and the pernicious terrorists that endanger all of mankind for the sake of a utopian nightmare.

Is it fair to call it a Utopian nightmare? A cursory reading of Islamic history proves that the Caliphate idea deserves to be thrown into the same garbage dump of bad ideas and hideous failures that now holds Communism and Nazism. Would it be peaceful as they claim? Well, we know that the track record is not good. The Prophet Mohammad established a vast and secure Caliphate across a great expanse of territory, yet as soon as Mohammed died people began murdering each other to determine his successor. Right down to the present day, the issue of who the true leader should be (and should have been) is the primary divider in the Islamic world. Shias and Sunnis kill many more of each other than Americans do of either over it; and the Sunni,/Shia divide is entirely derived from the original disagreement about who should have been the first Caliph after Mohammed. Still, some Muslims continue to believe that as soon as they get Israel out of the way and they take over the western governments by demographic means there will be a world-wide peaceful caliphate. That way lies ruin and madness.

A word of caution, Caliphists are sometimes aware that this belief may be a red flag. Often their belief is so strong and insensitive to reality that they acknowledge and talk about it openly. The ones who are most dangerous know enough not to mention this belief in public. In these cases it is important to know how to recognize them by other behavior. At the risk of being accused of behavioral profiling, lets look at a few of the indicators that come to mind:

1. Dehumanizing language- calling non-Muslims names like kuffar (nonbeliever) or referring to them as pigs, monkeys dogs etc…

2. Inability to engage in reasonable discourse without flying into a rage- see my post Don’t Just Stand There, Dhimmi, Humiliate Me about Imam Al Husainy. (below)

3. Refusal to accept the existence of Israel.

4. Extreme Misogyny and gender inequality

5. Blaming all of the incompetence, inefficiency, misfortune, and rage in the Islamic world on: a. The Jews, b. America, c. The West, d. Women, e. Anybody else, f. All of the above

I know there are a lot more but you get the idea… Send me your suggestions!

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Even Reuters Reports on Their Evil

Interim post-
Sorry for the lack of activity in the last few days- I’m working on a big new post- a major article (give me another day on that).

In the meantime, this is too important and devastating for me to let it pass without a comment though. Here is a news item that is buried on the Boston Globe web site (Reuters story) but should be on the front page.
Here’s a brief quote:

Major General Michael Barbero, deputy director for regional operations in the Joint Staff at the Pentagon, said adults in a vehicle with two children in the back seat were allowed through a Baghdad checkpoint Sunday.
The adults then parked next to a market in the Adamiya area of Baghdad, abandoned the vehicle, and detonated it with the children still inside, according to the general and another defense official.
"Children in the back seat, lower suspicion, we let it move through," Barbero said. "They parked the vehicle, the adults run out and detonate it with the children in the back."
"The brutality and ruthless nature of this enemy hasn't changed," he said.

Could anyone need any more proof that they will destroy the entire world to avoid admitting that they are failed human beings, that they have no future and that their religion is a jape and a sham? The question is: why does Reuters and the Globe even cover it? Can it be that even they are beginning to wake up?

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

No, Its Not All Their Fault...

It's up to all of us to insist on a free world.

Islamism, Islamofascism or just plain Islam- however you feel the definition should be framed, is a problem but it can only be as big a problem as we allow it to be. Western civilization, like any other natural phenomenon, contains the seeds of its own destruction that exist as part and parcel of the properties that make it grow and thrive. People grow and learn only to become old, brittle and moribund. The object of the game in civilizations, as it is for living creatures, is to accentuate the healthy properties and minimize the effect of those defects as much as possible for as long as possible. The challenge is to survive, fight entropy and create a greater and more satisfying life in the process.

The west has been driven by an engine of dynamic change tempered by ethical benevolence greater than any other the world has ever known. It is not necessarily the case that the world-wide Jihad has been so damaging, it is just that it has found was of taking advantage of our vulnerabilities. It is these vulnerabilities that we have to address before we can stop the process by which the Jihad threat has accelerated the sapping of the moral courage of our entire civilization.

Dr Jacob Bronowski identified the key aspect of the problem back in the early 1970’s. It is crucial for us to understand that, as evil and immediate as Islamofascism is today, it has only been able to make the inroads in the west that it has because of the crucial flaws that Bronowski eloquently exposed in his brilliant BBC series, “The Ascent of Man”.

Islamofascism, of course, was not even on anyone’s radar screen at the time, and Bronowski’s concerns centered on the “popular”, non-rational intellectual fads of the day, but Bronowski’s words are prophetic. Long before Islam re-emerged as a threat he had a clear vision of the vulnerability to it that was, then, in its embryonic stage. His words echo across the decades with a warning and an exhortation.

“And I am infinitely saddened to find myself suddenly surrounded in the west by a sense of terrible loss of nerve, a retreat from knowledge into--into what? Into Zen Buddhism; into falsely profound questions about, are we not really just animals at bottom; into extra-sensory perception and mystery. They do not lie along the line of what we are now able to know if we devote ourselves to it: an understanding of man himself. We are nature's unique experiment to make the rational intelligence prove itself sounder than the reflex. Knowledge is our destiny. Self-knowledge, at last bringing together the experience of the arts and the explanations of science, waits ahead of us.

It sounds very pessimistic to talk about western civilization with a sense of retreat. I have been so optimistic about the ascent of man; am I going to give up at this moment? Of course not, the ascent of man will go on. But do not assume that it will go on carried by western civilization as we know it. We are being weighed in the balance at this moment. If we give up, the next step will be taken- but not by us.”

It is a striking passage. Leading up to this point, through twelve preceding episodes, Bronowski has dramatized the critical intellectual and scientific personalities and their discoveries that have brought western civilization to the pinnacle of human progress. He is neither apologetic nor tentative. Even in speaking of his reservations about the use of the atomic weapons on Hiroshima and Nagasaki he never wavered from his full confidence that the intellectual honesty, tolerant respect for new ideas, adventurous thirst for discovery and rigorous insistence on testing in reality that are the strengths of western science will lead to continual advancement and higher evolution. Now he confesses a deep concern for the continuity of that evolution.

Although it is true that Bronowski was a Jew, his real faith was in science and rationality. Born in Poland and raised in England he mounted a passionate defense of science even as he cathected personal loss and anguish in another memorable scene. This one filmed in Poland, standing by the swampy shore of a pond.

“Look for yourself. This is the concentration camp and crematorium at Auschwitz. This is where people were turned into numbers. Into this pond were flushed the ashes of four million people. And that was not done by gas. It was done by arrogance. It was done by dogma. It was done by ignorance. When people believe that they have absolute knowledge, with no test in reality--this is how they behave. This is what men do when they aspire to the knowledge of gods.

Science is a very human form of knowledge. We are always at the brink of the known; we always feel forward for what is to be hoped. Every judgment in science stands on the edge of error, and is personal. Science is a tribute to what we *can* know although we are fallible. In the end, the words were said by Oliver Cromwell: "I beseech you, in the bowels of Christ: Think it possible you may be mistaken."

(Now, as he begins this next sentence, he seems to forget that he is wearing a suit and dress shoes and walks, as he is speaking into the water at the edge of the pond) We have to cure ourselves of the itch for absolute knowledge and power. We have to close the distance between the push-button order and the human act. (Here he squats down over the shallow water and reaches down to pull up a hand full of muck) We have to touch people.”

How sickened he would be to see what is happening in the Country he loved, where political correctness and multiculturalism have allowed the world’s most irrational and repressive ideology to use the tolerance he so prized to allow intolerance to gain a foothold. Bronowski understood better than anyone that tolerance is a two-way street. I has to lead to real debate and genuine give and take. If you agree to tolerate, you must insist on being tolerated in return. If the west continues to grant unidirectional tolerance to Muslims who refuse to accept western values, persist in anti-western behavior (in which classification I put such activities as wife beating, plotting terror attacks, honor killing, advocating the institution of Shari a Law and advocating the overthrow of the government)

“I, whom England made, whom it taught its language and its tolerance and excitement in intellectual pursuits, I should feel it a grave sense of loss (as you would) if a hundred years from now Shakespeare and Newton are historical fossils in the ascent of man, in the way Homer and Euclid are.”

Unless we in the west find a way to restore our own faith in the values that have made our civilization the shining light of humanity, that day is coming- and soon.

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Phyllis Chesler's Personal Encounter with the Beast

Reproduced here, with Ms Chesler's permission, is a story that preempts our natural reactions by its juxtaposition of one of the most agile and powerful minds alive with the most archaic and atavistic social systems on earth. If the young firebrand that Ms Chesler must have been could find herself in this situation, how careful we must be ourselves...

How my eyes were opened to the barbarity of Islam
Is it racist to condemn fanaticism?

Once I was held captive in Kabul. I was the bride of a charming, seductive and Westernised Afghan Muslim whom I met at an American college. The purdah I experienced was relatively posh but the sequestered all-female life was not my cup of chai — nor was the male hostility to veiled, partly veiled and unveiled women in public.

When we landed in Kabul, an airport official smoothly confiscated my US passport. “Don’t worry, it’s just a formality,” my husband assured me. I never saw that passport again. I later learnt that this was routinely done to foreign wives — perhaps to make it impossible for them to leave. Overnight, my husband became a stranger. The man with whom I had discussed Camus, Dostoevsky, Tennessee Williams and the Italian cinema became a stranger. He treated me the same way his father and elder brother treated their wives: distantly, with a hint of disdain and embarrassment.

In our two years together, my future husband had never once mentioned that his father had three wives and 21 children. Nor did he tell me that I would be expected to live as if I had been reared as an Afghan woman. I was supposed to lead a largely indoor life among women, to go out only with a male escort and to spend my days waiting for my husband to return or visiting female relatives, or having new (and very fashionable) clothes made.

In America, my husband was proud that I was a natural-born rebel and free thinker. In Afghanistan, my criticism of the treatment of women and of the poor rendered him suspect, vulnerable. He mocked my horrified reactions. But I knew what my eyes and ears told me. I saw how poor women in chadaris were forced to sit at the back of the bus and had to keep yielding their place on line in the bazaar to any man.

I saw how polygamous, arranged marriages and child brides led to chronic female suffering and to rivalry between co-wives and half-brothers; how the subordination and sequestration of women led to a profound estrangement between the sexes — one that led to wife-beating, marital rape and to a rampant but hotly denied male “prison”-like homosexuality and pederasty; how frustrated, neglected and uneducated women tormented their daughter-in-laws and female servants; how women were not allowed to pray in mosques or visit male doctors (their husbands described the symptoms in their absence).

Individual Afghans were enchantingly courteous — but the Afghanistan I knew was a bastion of illiteracy, poverty, treachery and preventable diseases. It was also a police state, a feudal monarchy and a theocracy, rank with fear and paranoia. Afghanistan had never been colonised. My relatives said: “Not even the British could occupy us.” Thus I was forced to conclude that Afghan barbarism was of their own making and could not be attributed to Western imperialism.

Long before the rise of the Taleban, I learnt not to romanticise Third World countries or to confuse their hideous tyrants with liberators. I also learnt that sexual and religious apartheid in Muslim countries is indigenous and not the result of Western crimes — and that such “colourful tribal customs” are absolutely, not relatively, evil. Long before al-Qaeda beheaded Daniel Pearl in Pakistan and Nicholas Berg in Iraq, I understood that it was dangerous for a Westerner, especially a woman, to live in a Muslim country. In retrospect, I believe my so-called Western feminism was forged in that most beautiful and treacherous of Eastern countries.

Nevertheless, Western intellectual-ideologues, including feminists, have demonised me as a reactionary and racist “Islamophobe” for arguing that Islam, not Israel, is the largest practitioner of both sexual and religious apartheid in the world and that if Westerners do not stand up to this apartheid, morally, economically and militarily, we will not only have the blood of innocents on our hands; we will also be overrun by Sharia in the West. I have been heckled, menaced, never-invited, or disinvited for such heretical ideas — and for denouncing the epidemic of Muslim-on-Muslim violence for which tiny Israel is routinely, unbelievably scapegoated.

However, my views have found favour with the bravest and most enlightened people alive. Leading secular Muslim and ex-Muslim dissidents — from Egypt, Bangladesh, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Pakistan, Syria and exiles from Europe and North America — assembled for the landmark Islamic Summit Conference in Florida and invited me to chair the opening panel on Monday.

According to the chair of the meeting, Ibn Warraq: “What we need now is an age of enlightenment in the Islamic world. Without critical examination of Islam, it will remain dogmatic, fanatical and intolerant and will continue to stifle thought, human rights, individuality, originality and truth.” The conference issued a declaration calling for such a new “Enlightenment”. The declaration views “Islamophobia” as a false allegation, sees a “noble future for Islam as a personal faith, not a political doctrine” and “demands the release of Islam from its captivity to the ambitions of power-hungry men”.

Now is the time for Western intellectuals who claim to be antiracists and committed to human rights to stand with these dissidents. To do so requires that we adopt a universal standard of human rights and abandon our loyalty to multicultural relativism, which justifies, even romanticises, indigenous Islamist barbarism, totalitarian terrorism and the persecution of women, religious minorities, homosexuals and intellectuals. Our abject refusal to judge between civilisation and barbarism, and between enlightened rationalism and theocratic fundamentalism, endangers and condemns the victims of Islamic tyranny.

Ibn Warraq has written a devastating work that will be out by the summer. It is entitled Defending the West: A Critique of Edward Said’s Orientalism. Will Western intellectuals also dare to defend the West?

Phyllis Chesler is an Emerita Professor of Psychology and Women’s Studies at the City University of New York

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

The Hammy Awards- A Proposal

Here is an idea I have been toying with for some time- I posted as a comment at Augean Stables yesterday. What do you think?

The “Hammy” Awards

The name of the awards derives from MoHAMed the first name of the 9-year-old boy whose faked death scene was the defining image that led up to the "Al Aqsa" intifada. It also has the added implication that comes along with the practice of calling hack actors "Hams".

It is high time we step back and admit that we have to hand it to the the Islamists, the left and, in particular, the Palestinians. When the staged film clip of Mohamed al-Dura’s faked death was allowed to burn itself into the consciousness of the world, it was the crowning triumph of many long years of an increasingly bold-faced effort that uses the mainstream news media to slander and libel the Jewish State. It should have then been apparent to Jews all over the world that we are losing the media war. The more we are confronted with lies and rage from the “Arab Street” the more we stiffen up and try to be reasonable. The result is that we look like the poor dumb kid in the schoolyard whose only answers are “I didn’t do it” or “He hit me first”. It doesn’t matter that we are telling the truth- those answers don’t fly in the schoolyard and they don’t fly in the mass media either.

As American Jews and Israelis we have to admit that we are not “good copy. We Jews in general and Israelis in particular, grimly pursue ethics and truthfulness. We are dogged researchers and careful about our language. We have a touching but boring faith that being right and dignified will “win out”. We have been repeatedly dumbfounded that we are ignored and even ridiculed.

Its not just Jews who don’t get it. Michael Moore has been able to get away with all kinds of fraud disguised as documentary for decades. He is just beginning to get a little of his own treatment.

We just don’t get it. Most westerners and, especially, Jews don’t think intimidation and deception are the way to win arguments. We despise those who threaten people’s lives (let alone kill them) or riot in the streets when someone says something we don’t like, we answer them with reason, logic and a sincere expectation that if we do a good enough job at investigating and explaining the situation, the truth will win out. Dull, dull, dull. It just doesn’t play well for the news cameras. Apparently, while we weren’t paying attention, the court of world opinion has become the equivalent of the audience of the Jerry Springer Show where the crowd cheers most for the loudest, most obscene threats, the most violent lunges and the wildest haymakers.

That’s why we need to take a moment to recognize how out-classed we have been in the battle for world opinion. It’s not that we are going to abandon our love of truth and the pursuit of justice, it’s just that we have to find a way to make our side of the story both appealing and understandable. We need to repackage it in a “sound bite”.

By acknowledging the success of the other side’s tactics by instituting the Hammy Awards we:

1. Condense our message into a bumper sticker that is more attractive and eloquent than “they are liars and fakers”.

2. Put them on the defensive- for once the will not be “taking credit” for attacks on civilians or accusing anybody of anything.

3. Put aside our serious faces and our dogged pursuit of justice aside for one day and showcase the Jewish sense of humor that the world has loved in so many Jewish comedians, artists and writers. This is a lot more appealing than the usual humorless Israeli generals and politicians who are the traditional spokespeople. It would be great if we could get some well-known Jewish comedians to host the presentations- that would assure media coverage.

4. Embarrass the News Agencies and Media outlets and put them on notice that we can do more than just complain. We can convincingly impugn their reputations in a way the world will pay attention to if they allow the propaganda machine to use them.
5. Raise the indignation of the intelligent News Consumer who will, no matter what their feelings about Israel will be angry at having been fooled by the media’s carelessness and propagation of such transparent fakery.

The awards could be given in various categories of false news. Possible categories might include: Spurious Massacres, Faked Civilian Target Damage, Photoshop Tampering and “Trick Photography”, Untrue War Crime Accusations and Stage Managed Media Events.

Each award could be given to recipients in two divisions one for the originators (be they Islamic agents or biased Nongovernmental Agencies) and one for the complicit media stooges. So, for instance, in the Spurious Massacre category there will be two recipients, one for the fabricator or Non-Governmental Organization official who did the most to create the impression that it existed and the other for the Mainstream Media stooge who was most responsible for it becoming a reality in the eyes of World Opinion.

How about it? Anybody out there have any muscle or lucre to put behind this idea?

Lorraine Ali's Travesty in Newsweek

Dennis Prager, who is a hero of mine, has a nice response to the now infamous review of Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s book “Infidel”. Prager gets some of the details wrong (see comments)but he nails the historical comparison just right..

I’d like to add my say in the form of an address to Lorraine Ali. This is based on a comment I left on Prager’s article.

Dear Lorraine Ali,

Toward the end of your review of Infidel, you unconsciously betray the fatal flaw in your rhetorical stance when you write:

“Hirsi Ali is more a hero among Islamophobes than Islamic women. That's problematic considering she describes herself in "Infidel" as a woman who "fights for the rights of Muslim women, the enlightenment of Islam and the security of the West." How can you change the lives of your former sisters, and work toward reform, when you've forged a career upon renouncing the religion and insulting its followers? Hirsi Ali says overhauling Islam is not her responsibility: she just lays out "the facts" and leaves it to others to go about fixing this supposedly broken faith.”

You have missed the point completely. Here is the point Lorraine, pay attention this time: Hirsi Ali is NOT A MUSLIM ANYMORE. She left because her experience with Islam was worse than the death she has been threatened with for leaving. Yes, even after her friend, Theo Van Gogh who was director and producer of her ground-breaking film, Submission was brutally murdered on a public street by a Muslim man, she had the courage to speak out in public and fight for what she believed to be the truth. She believes that Islam at its core is dangerous and repressive. She is telling the world what she thinks and why she thinks it. She has no interest in reforming Islam. The responsibility se feels toward her former sisters is to urge them to leave too. Hirsi Ali’s experience tells her that she cannot, as you do blithely dismiss the connection between Islam and the “patriarchal society” and “messed-up people” YOU blame for her life experience.

Lorraine Ali, you, who have grown up in America, sheltered by the finest example of free society the world has yet seen, have no idea what it is to be Hirsi Ali. You have no right to imply that she should work from the inside and fight for reform. How do you have the presumption? Women across the Islamic world are hanged, raped, beaten, stoned, stabbed and shot to death every day just for being women- let alone speaking up about inequality.

The final giveaway is that last phrase "leaves it to others to go about fixing this supposedly broken faith." Oh, Lorraine, don't look now but outside of the posh Mosques you might have been raised in here, most mosques in the world are seedbeds of hatred, repression and vile prejudice. Not a day goes by that they don't call for death to America, The Jews, the Bahais, the Dutch etc... According to many if not most Islamic clerics the majority of the people in the worlds are no more than pigs, dogs and monkeys. In Islamic countries the women and children are systematically terrorized (see my last two posts). This does not strike you as broken?

Just as Catholicism was during the Inquisition, Islam IS a faith that has become seduced by power and convinced that it has God’s blessing to convert, kill or subjugate every human being on earth. The Catholics grappled with their demons and are now a civilized sect. I would rather not have to wait several centuries for Islam to follow suit.

It is true that we have nothing to fear from you while you live here under our laws but what if your Islamic Mullahs had their way and there was a world-wide caliphate… Think about it. You’d no longer be allowed to peddle your silly, self important “criticisms” of western music to Newsweek, Rolling Stone and GQ. There’d be no glossy magazines and music store would be fire bombed by the world-wide Taliban.

Also, I’m not sure you know this but the Mullahs say you can’t quit if you want to. According to a preponderance of religious authority in the Islamic world, if you are born a Muslim and decide you no longer want to be, you are automatically a heretic and under death sentence.

And you? You’d be allowed (provided you kept your westernized trap shut) to hide yourself under 30 pounds of burkha and hope that your husband/father/brother/uncle is in a good mood.

If that is not broken, what is?