Thursday, February 26, 2009

Muslim support for terror attacks on Americans increasing

Over at Jawa Report, Rusty reports on some worrying findings in an opinion poll on public opinion in the Muslim world:

The good news, of course is that large majorities in Muslim countries reject killing American civilians. But that's about where the good news begins and ends.

The worst news? Support by Muslims for attacks against American civilians has actually increased over the past two years.

This is true even in so-called "moderate" countries, like Indonesia where 5% of the population think civilians are legitimate targets for attack and another 8% have mixed feelings about attacking civilians. What's 5% of 237 million people? That's over 10 million terror supporters living in Indonesia alone, with another 19 million of their neighbors who might not feel inclined to turn them in should they ever decide to go on a killing spree.

A related question showed -- with the exception of those asked in Egypt -- that support for killing American civilians working in Muslims countries is even greater than support for killing American civilians in the US. A full 18% of Palestinians either directly support killing Americans living in the Middle East or had mixed feelings about the prospect.

Hooray two-state solution!

If you read the full report linked at Rusty's, you'll find that Steven Kull, director of pollsters World Public Opinion, manages to put an anti-American (or rather anti-Bush's America) spin on the findings:

"The US faces a conundrum. US efforts to fight terrorism with an expanded military presence in Muslim countries appear to have elicited a backlash and to have bred some sympathy for al Qaeda, even as most reject its terrorist methods."

See, it's all Bush's fault for provoking these noble, peace-loving people!

I have written about WPO, and their buddies at GlobeScan and PIPA, a couple of times. These people are anti-American (or at least they were when Bush was in charge), anti-globalisation, global warming hysterics, multi-culti fetishists and terrorist apologists all the way. They also work closely with the BBC, which tells you a lot.

I imagine that if a polling organisation that was ideologically neutral conducted similar research, the findings would be even worse.

After Wilders, will Smith ban Hezbollah extremist?

Earlier this month, Jacqui Smith, the middle-management chav who passes for Britain's Home Secretary, banned Geert Wilders from the UK, ostensibly because he engaged in 'hate speech', but in reality because she feared violence from British Muslims angry at Wilders' portrayal of Islam as a religion that preaches violence.

Now she's under pressure to ban Ibrahim Moussawi, an Islamic extremist who's a key figure in the propaganda machinery of the terrorist groupl Hezbollah, and James Slack at the Daily Mail isn't optimistic that she'll do so.

Coming so soon after the Wilders row Smith may feel she has no option but to ban Moussawi, who's been allowed into the UK twice before. But if the usual suspects in the 'moderate' muslim community start making a noise it won't be a surprise to see her back down - after all, it's not as if British Jews are going to threaten to lay siege to Parliament, as Lord Ahmed (who will have plenty of time on his hands for campaigning from his prison cell) promised British Muslims would if Wilders was allowed in.

Watch this space.

When is a monkey not a monkey? When the left decides it's a coded reference to Obama

I have a new piece up at Pajamas Media on the row over the New York Post's chimp cartoon, wondering what we're now to make of the Planet of the Apes movies, and in particular Tim Burton's 2001 remake of the 1968 Charlton Heston film, which ends with Mark Wahlberg returning to Earth to find the Lincoln Memorial statue in Washington DC has been replaced by a statue of ape leader General Thade.

On the same subject, David Harsanyi has a good piece at the Denver Post on the whole subject of intentional, unintentional and perceived offence, and Sharpton's attacks on the Post.

Friday, February 20, 2009

A conversation on race? The Amercian Left can't stop talking about it

City Journal's Heather Mac Donald rips Eric Holder over his claim that Americans are "cowards" for not talking more about race:
The Clinton-era Conversation also purported to be frank, and we know what that meant: a one-sided litany of white injustices. Please raise your hand if you haven’t heard the following bromides about “the racial matters that continue to divide us” more times than you can count: Police stop and arrest blacks at disproportionate rates because of racism; blacks are disproportionately in prison because of racism; blacks are failing in school because of racist inequities in school funding; the black poverty rate is the highest in the country because of racism; blacks were given mortgages that they couldn’t afford because of racism. I will stop there.

Not only do colleges, law schools, almost all of the nation’s elite public and private high schools, and the mainstream media, among others, have “conversations about . . . racial matters”; they never stop talking about them. Any student who graduates from a moderately selective college without hearing that its black students are victims of institutional racism—notwithstanding the fact that the vast majority of black students there will have been deliberately admitted with radically lower SAT scores than their white and Asian comrades—has been in a coma throughout his time there.
Read the whole thing. There is, of course, one group of Americans who are truly cowardly when it comes to matters of race: the Democrats, for stoking racial tensions, and conjuring alleged instances of racism out of thin air (see the New York Post cartoon 'controversy') to advance their political and social agendas, regardless of the harm done to race relations, and to black families.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Inside the mind of the celebrity activist

It's a couple of weeks old, but this is probably the best thing I've read on the mindset of the celebrity activist, and on what drives 'creative' people to fall for leftist ideas. Endre Balogh is an acclaimed concert violinist and award-winning photographer, and now he's turned to writing and he's pretty good at that too (read his new piece on socialism while you're there). Here are a couple of paragraphs, but do read the whole thing:
It’s easy to understand how creative people fall into this pit. By definition, entertainers have to be in far closer touch with their feelings than most people or they couldn’t dip so easily into the pool of emotion that informs their work. Leftist positions appeal to the emotions because they are easy to understand and seem compassionate, even if they lead to larger problems in the long run. And, since they don’t necessitate a lot of facts to clutter the mind, they are easy to embrace and promulgate. I know from my own past that I accepted a lot of Leftist rhetoric simply because it was easier to allow myself to be swept along in the feel-good tide it engendered without being forced to think my positions through with any depth.

Big problems arise, though, when the media gives unfettered permission to entertainers to express their feelings in all areas of life. The Left has been very careful to nurture its relationship to celebrity “artists” and since so many are high profile entertainers, they are constantly giving what amount to Leftist product endorsements via the roles they portray or the interviews they give. Then, sadly, when their pronouncements are taken too seriously, society gets led into a ditch. As a result, even those of us who feel that being an entertainer is a dignified calling are forced (like myself) to opine in areas that we wouldn’t otherwise, simply to counteract the pernicious effect of “artists” spouting their feelings-based claptrap.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Remember the 'global cooling' hysteria?

There are many good reasons not to believe global warming hysteria – the complete lack of evidence is an obvious one. But perhaps the best reason to be skeptical is the fact that, as George Will reminds us, the same newspapers and scientists who keep predicting imminent catastrophe got it spectacularly wrong last time:
In the 1970s, "a major cooling of the planet" was "widely considered inevitable" because it was "well established" that the Northern Hemisphere's climate "has been getting cooler since about 1950" (New York Times, May 21, 1975). Although some disputed that the "cooling trend" could result in "a return to another ice age" (the Times, Sept. 14, 1975), others anticipated "a full-blown 10,000-year ice age" involving "extensive Northern Hemisphere glaciation" (Science News, March 1, 1975, and Science magazine, Dec. 10, 1976, respectively). The "continued rapid cooling of the Earth" (Global Ecology, 1971) meant that "a new ice age must now stand alongside nuclear war as a likely source of wholesale death and misery" (International Wildlife, July 1975). "The world's climatologists are agreed" that we must "prepare for the next ice age" (Science Digest, February 1973). Because of "ominous signs" that "the Earth's climate seems to be cooling down," meteorologists were "almost unanimous" that "the trend will reduce agricultural productivity for the rest of the century," perhaps triggering catastrophic famines (Newsweek cover story, "The Cooling World," April 28, 1975). Armadillos were fleeing south from Nebraska, heat-seeking snails were retreating from Central European forests, the North Atlantic was "cooling down about as fast as an ocean can cool," glaciers had "begun to advance" and "growing seasons in England and Scandinavia are getting shorter" (Christian Science Monitor, Aug. 27, 1974).
Read the whole thing. I recommend printing Will's piece out – or at least the above extraxt – keeping it in your pocket and flourishing it in the face of the next eco-moron who tries to tell you the science is settled.

Do as we say, not as we do: prominent eco-fanatics' homes are wasting energy

A survey by the UK's Times newspaper has found that some of Britain's leading environmental campaigners are living in energy-inefficient homes (via Instapundit):
An audit of properties, measuring heat loss, has revealed that Chris Martin, the pop star, Boris Johnson, the mayor of London, and Sir David Attenborough, the broadcaster, are among those who reside in homes that are “leaking” energy. Some lack even the most basic energy saving measures such as cavity wall insulation and double glazing.

Thermal images of the residences of 10 high-profile green campaigners found that their heat loss was either worse or no better than that found in the average family home.
Hypocrisy is, of course, one of the cornerstones of the environmentalist movement. The problem in this case appears to be that these people are all very rich, and live in large, expensive houses in the most exclusive parts of London, so making energy-saving improvements is both costly, and difficult because of planning restrictions in – irony alert – 'conservation areas'.

So, for example, double glazing has to be 'in keeping' with the both the building and the surrounding area – you can't just bolt on some uPVC job, because it would look ugly. The rich and famous residents of these areas, and the planners, won't allow energy-saving improvements that don't look nice, but they don't want to pay extra for 'sympathetic' alterations. It's the Ted Kennedy/wind turbines problem on a smaller scale.

If these celebrities and politicians are really so concerned about the environment you would think they would either stump up the money to get the insulation work done, or put pressure on their local councils to relax planning restrictions and so bring down the cost of the work.

But then why should they, when from the comfort of their heat-leaking but character-filled mansions they can simply lecture the rest of us on where we travel, what we eat, and every other aspect of how we live our lives?

Sunday, February 15, 2009

It would be funny if it weren't so scary: Miliband and Vaz support Wilders ban but haven't seen Fitna

I have a piece up at Pajamas Media on the British government's appalling decision to ban Geert Wilders from entering the UK. In it I mention that the idiotic Labour MP Keith Vaz appeared on the BBC's Newsnight to condemn Wilders and his film Fitna, but then admitted he hadn't seen the film.

Here's the video. The fun starts around 3.00:
Also in the piece, responding to Foreign Secretary David Miliband's claim that Fitna contained "extreme anti-Muslim hate" I wrote:
If Miliband has seen the film, then he’s lying; if he hasn’t seen it, he’s guessing.
Turns out he was guessing. From Harry's Place, via Andrew Stuttaford at The Corner:
Miliband, having watched Fitna, obviously feels it does ’stir up hate, religious and racial hatred’.

But, hold on… When asked by the interviewer if he had actually watched Fitna he responded that he had not and didn’t need to as he already knew what was in it!

Fitna is a 16 minute film, easily accessible online. Is it really so much to ask that our political overlords bother to watch a film before condemning it and supporting its creator being barred from the country? How is Miliband any better than Muslims who screamed about The Satanic Verses without bothering to read it?
Also at The Corner, Mark Steyn has a good post on the subject:
If young Muslim girls are being kidnapped and forced into marriage with their first cousins, the British Home Office minister will suggest that these matters are best handled discreetly and informally. If young Muslim girls are being murdered in "honor killings", the Chief Commissar of the Ontario "Human Rights" Commission will explain that they're a "small commission" and they have to be able to prioritize and that Mark Steyn is a far greater threat to the Queen's peace than killers of Muslim women.

But, if you don't threaten violence, if you don't issue death threats, if you don't kill anyone, if you just make a movie or write a book or try to give a speech, the state will prosecute you, ban you or (in the case of Ayaan Hirsi Ali) force you to flee your own country.

In their appeasement of thugs, buffoons like Miliband and the Tory squishes across the House of Commons on the Opposition benches are making it very clear that the state accords more respect to violence than to debate.
It's truly terrifying that Britain is being run by people this ignorant, and this arrogant. With the Tories apparently not offering much more in the way of backbone than the fascist bureaucrats of Labour, it's hard to see how Britain can pull out of this tailspin towards what Steyn calls 'civilizational suicide'.

Update: Thanks to Hot Air for linking.

I've also been linked by a blog called Het Vrije Volk, which appears to be a conservative outfit based in the Netherlands - thanks guys, and welcome freedom-loving Dutchmen! If anyone would like to tell me what the blog's called in English (and what the '100%' line under the title means), I'd be grateful. And make sure you visit Pajamas Media too.

Update 2: From Ed in the Comments...


"Het Vrije Volk" translates as: "The Free People". The "100%" line says that the blog is 100% free from any government control or interference. You may have noticed that the url links to a provider in the USA and that's why the Dutch Government can't touch it. It is, nevertheless, as sad sign of the state of my country that the blog's adminstrators thought that necessary.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Hamas steps up aid thefts - where's the outrage?

Don't hold your breath waiting for celebrity-led protests in European capitals...

From the Jerusalem Post:

UNRWA informed the IDF on Friday that it is suspending its humanitarian aid deliveries to the Gaza Strip after Hamas stole supplies the United Nations organization had transferred to the Palestinian territory.

The seizure of the 200 tons of supplies took place Thursday night and in response, UNRWA officials informed the Gaza Coordination and Liaison Administration that it was suspending its deliveries to the Gaza Strip until further notice. The supplies confiscated included flour and other basic commodities.

The transfer of 40 truckloads of humanitarian supplies - some 800 tons - planned for Sunday has already been canceled.

It was the second time this week that Hamas stole UN supplies transferred to the Gaza Strip for impoverished Palestinians.

The first incident took place Tuesday evening when armed Hamas police broke into a Gaza warehouse packed with UN humanitarian supplies and seized thousands of blankets and food packages.

In Gaza, the ownership of aid confers power, and Hamas desperately needs to hold on to power after starting a war which wrecked the Strip, and damaged it militarily.

At least the UN locally is starting to speak out. But what about the UN bosses in New York? What about the EU, and all those politicians who are so quick to protest about suffering Palestinians when the suffering is inflicted by Israelis? And where's the media outcry?

Then again, the MSM is fond of reminding us that Hamas is a legitimate government, and a 'humanitarian organisation' - maybe they're just frustated by the UN's inefficiency.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Another unfortunate connection between Islam and the Nazis

The links between radical Islamists and the Nazis, forged when the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem allied himself with Hitler during World War Two, have been well documented.

And now it's emerged that Aribert Heim, a concentration camp 'doctor' who butchered hundreds of Jewish inmates, and who was number two on the Simon Weisenthal Center's wanted list, converted to Islam and apparently spent the last 30 years of his life in Egypt.

The Telegraph reports:
Nazi hunters had believed Aribert Heim, who reportedly killed hundreds of inmates with poison injections to the heart and removed his victims' organs without anaesthetic, was hiding out in Chile, where he was believed to have an illegitimate daughter.

However, the German state broadcaster ZDF announced on Wednesday that it had discovered that Heim spent nearly 30 years in the Egyptian capital before dying of bowel cancer.

In a joint investigation with the New York Times, ZDF said it had discovered that Heim became a Muslim in the early 1980s and renamed himself Tarek Fared Hussein.

After the war, he practised in West Germany as a gynaecologist but went missing in 1962 as police prepared to prosecute him.

The New York Times piece on Heim is here. It's a fascinating story, but the Times plays down the significance of Heim's moving to Egypt and conversion to Islam.

It's no coincidence that Heim made his home in a country that at the time was hell-bent on destroying the state of Israel, and found a spiritual home in a religion whose more radical adherents aspire to the mass-murder of Jews, and have a predilection for cruelty, murder and mutilation. But the Times apparently doesn't want its readers jumping to any conclusions.