Friday, June 30, 2006

Searching for Ghazala Khan

Ghazala KhanGates of Vienna has been reporting recently on the trial, conviction, and sentencing of the family of Ghazala Khan for her honor-killing murder in Slagelse, Denmark. During a 36-hour period on Wednesday and Thursday I noticed that a lot of internet searchers were finding their way here, looking for Ghazala Khan. Out of 295 searches during that time, 119 (more than 40%) were trying to find out more information about her.

Re-creating some of the searches showed that Gates of Vienna was indeed in the top three sites listed, in most instances.

I’ve standardized the spelling and punctuation of the search strings involved in order to consolidate the statistics in the table below:

Search string #  Pct
denmark ghazala 1 0.3%
denmark honor-killing 2 0.7%
denmark killing women 1 0.3%
father jail danish honor killing 1 0.3%
ghazala khan 23 7.8%
ghazala khan abu laban 1 0.3%
ghazala khan blog 1 0.3%
ghazala khan convicted 1 0.3%
ghazala denmark 25 8.5%
ghazala father brother denmark prison aunt in law years 2 0.7%
ghazala khan ghulam abbas 1 0.3%
ghazala khan honor 2 0.7%
ghazala khan denmark honor killing 4 1.4%
ghazala khan kill 1 0.3%
ghazala khan killing 3 1.0%
ghazala khan malkin 1 0.3%
ghazala khan murder 3 1.0%
ghazala khan 1 0.3%
ghazala khans 1 0.3%
ghazala khans husband 1 0.3%
honor killing case denmark 1 0.3%
danish honor killing 30 10.2%
honor killing ghazala 1 0.3%
honor killing of ghazala khan 1 0.3%
honor killing sentence denmark 1 0.3%
honor killing slagelse 1 0.3%
honor killing trial in denmark 1 0.3%
honor killings viking 1 0.3%
news ghazala khan 1 0.3%
nine family member denmark 1 0.3%
sentence killing daughter denmark 1 0.3%
stories of honor killings ghazala khan 1 0.3%
symbols of courage in denmark 1 0.3%
true story about murder of ghazala khan in copenhagen 1 0.3%
Totals 119 40.3%

Most of the searches seemed to originate from within Denmark. I couldn’t pull the countries of origin for the ISPs directly from the site meter statistics, since I was dealing with a subset of all the searches; instead, I had to go through the details of each search individually. It was a laborious and time-consuming process, and I ran out of steam after doing 58 of them, but here’s the breakdown for those:

Location # Pct
Denmark 33 56.9%
The rest of Europe 6 10.3%
Other 19 32.8%

Of the non-Danish Europeans, three were from Sweden. Most of the “other” locations were in the USA and Australia, but there was one from the UAE and one from Turkey.

The murder of Ghazala KhanWhat puzzles me is why the Danish searchers were looking in English-language sources for information about the case. On Wednesday and Thursday, when I was looking for information in the online Danish newspapers, there seemed to be plenty of stories available about Ghazala Khan and the trial; there was no news blackout. So why would Danish readers need to do English-based searches in Google?

Do the Danes doubt the accuracy or completeness of information in their own media? Or are there other reasons for these searches? Scandinavian readers are welcome to venture their opinions in the comments.

Dymphna’s theory is that the Danes want to see how the news media in the Anglosphere are handling the story. If that’s the case, they must have noticed by now that our MSM outlets — the keepers of Truth, the guardians of the portals to all news worth reading — were almost completely silent on the topic.

"Sergey, there is a need for improvement..."

It’s good to know that the Secretary of State is in agreement with Gates of Vienna.

Of course, she had to travel all the way to Russia to express her concern re their attitude, while we could do it from the comfort of our pajamas, right here at home.

It seems yet another microphone got left on, allowing the whole world a glimpse behind the scenes of the diplomatic curtain, a chance to hear the real conversation for a change:

The ScoldSecretary of State Condoleezza Rice, speaking unknowingly into an open microphone, chastised her Russian counterpart yesterday for bemoaning the killing of five Russian diplomats in Iraq, saying it was wrong to focus on the deaths of diplomats when so many others are dying there.

“The implication that by somehow declaring that diplomats need to be protected, it will get better, I think is simply not right,” Miss Rice said during a closed luncheon as the foreign ministers from the Group of Eight leading industrialized countries negotiated their meeting’s final statement.

I love the folks who leave these microphones on. It makes life more real for all of us when we get to hear the real deal for a change. Had we not had this glimpse into the G8 luncheon, who’d have cared about whatever got reported. It would be one of those usual fill-in-the-blanks diplo-speak joint communiqués.

Or maybe the audio-visual people are doing everything right. Maybe they are leaving those microphones turned on. Perhaps this is another case where the devil angel is in the details.

Hmm...wonder what Vlad’s thinking right now? I pity the poor guy who had the microphone detail. Hope he likes Siberia.

Hat tip: Commenter eatyourbeans.

UPDATE: Commenter Ypp gives us the real reason Vlad is mad:

Why russians are really outraged is not so much because the victims were diplomats, but because they considered themselves friends of insurgents. In reality they are very disappointed and are trying to hide that by producing angry resolutions.

For those fortunate few who can read Russian, here’s Ypp’s blog: Янки После Пьянки.

Standing With the Heroine

Through no desire of her own, Oriana Fallaci will spend her final days as the focus of a trial in her native country. She has been charged with defaming Islam in eighteen separate statements in her book, The Force of Reason.

Defamation is the politically correct term for telling unpleasant truths about extremely thin-skinned cultures who refuse to acknowledge that their own leaders have previously proclaimed what Fallaci says is their goal: the subjugation of Western civilization. Surely everyone by now has heard the imams in Britain who boldly state that their goal is to have the flag of Allah flying from No. 10 Downing Street, or the grandiose “speeches” from Osama bin Laden telling the West how Islam will conquer us all. Not to mention Iranian leaders who scold American presidents and warn of our destruction, or the inciteful propaganda put out on a global basis by Saudi Arabia.

However, in our Alice in Wonderland world, such statements are not hate speech. Killing Jewish Frenchmen after torturing them is not anti-Semitism. Israel’s incursion into Gaza to retrieve its soldier is “revenge.”

If you have read The Force of Reason you will have been moved by Fallaci’s own force and passion. She lays it out, chapter after chapter: the Muslim version of Khrushchev’s promise to bury us. After they finish with the pigs and apes in Israel, that is.

Oriana Fallaci9/11 was a conversion experience for Fallaci, as it was for many people. In fact, for those who did not awaken to a new world on 9/12, one must wonder if they are not the walking dead. If the annihilation of thousands of innocent Americans — Ward Churchill’s “Little Eichmanns” — did not change minds and hearts, then a hundred more falling buildings or chemical and biological weapons let loose in this country will not change them either. As the Pslamist says, they have hearts of stone.

Now Fallaci’s book has her on trial in Italy. She faces prison time — should she return to Italy — for saying things like this: “Over the last twenty years terrorists have killed six thousand people to the glory of the Qur’an.” Such are the strictures binding free speech in Europe that even factual statements or tentative opinions can get you in trouble via the “anti-incitement laws,” laws which can mean imprisonment:

Britain’s then-home secretary Jack Straw remarked in 1999 on criminal activity by people, many of whom posed as gypsies or “travelers”—hardly a slur on all gypsies even without that qualifier. But a travelers’ group filed a complaint of inciting racial hatred, prompting a formal investigation and extensive media coverage asking whether Straw was racist. In 2002, the prominent French novelist Michel Houellebecq was charged with inciting racial hatred in a novel and interview in which he referred to Islam as “the stupidest religion.”

Fallaci calls Islam much more than stupid. And for doing so, Adel Smith, president of the Muslim Union of Italy has brought charges of defamation against her. This is the same Adel Smith who is up on charges himself for defaming the Catholic Church. But, of course, Mr. Smith sees his statements about the criminal church as merely truth and will have his day in court to make his case.

Now comes (as they say in American legal documents) That’s the name of the site dedicated to solidarity with Fallaci in her latest — and probably last, given her terminal cancer — ordeal. It is aimed at collecting signatures from around the world from those interested in standing with her in this battle for freedom of speech in a land which looks increasingly like a cross between Orwell’s 1984 and Alice in Wonderland. What genre exists for a mixture of farce, tragedy, and systemic, sleep-walking injustice?

Gates of Vienna has received an email, as surely other blogs have, requesting that we publicize their efforts:

I write on behalf of Future Europe association (Europa Przyszlosci) from Poland. We have organized an action, “The end of free speech - the end of democracy”. One point of that action was a letter of solidarity with Oriana Fallaci that was signed by prominent Polish politicians, journalists, scholars and artists. The letter itself and description of Oriana Fallaci’s case and freedom of expression is on our page Since we would like to make our action more visible, could you please put a link to the above-mentioned page on your web page. Attached you will find the logo for our action.

Thank you for support.

“The End of Free Speech = The End of Democracy”Here is the image this group — The “Europa Przyszlosci” (FUTURE EUROPE) association — is using in association with their campaign. Go here to read the petition and sign onto it if you wish. Note that Lech Wałęsa is one of the signatories.

In a world of worthy causes, in a universe of injustice and suffering, this one remains important. An old lady, still an icon of journalistic integrity, is dying. Like Saint Sebastian, she is also being tortured with arrows from moral midgets and cultural imbeciles.

It behooves all of us to do the little that we can.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Danish Subversion

Minut posterA Danish guy emailed us yesterday with a tip about his website, “Minut”. Since it’s mostly in Danish, it’s largely mysterious to me. I can see that it has a blog (also in Danish), and an articles section. It also features a comic strip, which is tantalizing, because (based on the images) it’s probably quite amusing, but I’ll never get the joke.

Minut posterThe reason he emailed us was to offer us the use of some of Minut’s excellent posters, which are found in the Propaganda section of the site. The tag with the link says, “Konservativ propaganda lige til at printe ud.” Almost makes sense, right?

I’ve reproduced a few of the English-language examples here (click one of these small images to bring up the full-sized poster). Some of the Danish-language posters are very good, too, even if I don’t understand all the text. One of them features Abu Laban in a clown suit as a part of the “Arabiske Statscirkus”.

Minut posterAnway, I recommend that all our readers, Anglosphere and otherwise, drop by Minut and take a look around. Use the contact page and send those guys a note (English is OK — that’s how they wrote to me).

These Danes may be boring from within, but they’re certainly never boring.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Don't Mess Around With Vlad

As anyone knows, Vladimir Putin doesn’t tread lightly. Thus, the obviously mentally challenged terrorist group calling itself the Mujahideen Shura Council — the idiots who posted their video of the bloody executions of two of those Russian diplomats kidnapped in Baghdad — are in doo-doo so deep that even the Coalition Forces won’t be able to save them... even if they were inclined to do so.

Of course, per Putin, it’s our fault his diplomats are dead, because if we weren’t there, well, no problemo, right? They could have been carrying on with their oil-for-food corruption without all this malarkey about freedom and elections and associated balderdash (what is the Russian equivalent of “balderdash”?).

The BBC reports the story (and carries a great picture of Putin that is worth clicking the link to see):

Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered special services to “find and destroy” the killers of four Russian diplomats taken hostage in Iraq.

The head of Russia’s security services immediately pledged to see Putin’s order carried out.


The head of the Federal Security Service (FSB), Nikolai Patrushev, promised to carry out the task “however much time and effort it requires”, Interfax reported.

Separately, the lower house of the Russian parliament approved a statement condemning the killings, and appearing to blame Iraq’s “occupying powers”.

“The whole responsibility for the situation in Iraq, including guaranteeing the security of its citizens, and also foreign specialists, as before lies on the occupying powers,” the statement said.

Meanwhile, back at the Mujahideen Shura Council, what do you suppose the perps are doing? Besides writing out their last wills and testaments, I mean? Americans play by all these silly little rules that don’t impede the Russians and never will. Perhaps they are considering finding some less freshly-stained boxers and cleaning up a bit before throwing themselves on the mercy of the coalition forces? Fat lot of good that will do. Mere walls do not a safe prison make... not when the Russkies are after you.

Somehow, Mr. Putin’s visage brings to mind the unforgettable wisdom of Jim Croce’s admonition:

You don’t tug on Superman’s cape
You don’t spit into the wind
You don’t pull the mask off the old Lone Ranger
And you don’t mess around with Jim Vlad, da do da do...

Start counting the virgins who await you, boyos, ’cause your film careers are over. It won’t be long now until you are the unlamented Mujahideen Shura Council, lately of Baghdad.

We Need to Stand With the New Europe

Note: I have closed the comments section on this post. Things were getting ugly, and I don’t want to monitor the comments all the time to weed out the nastiness and obscenities.

Those who wish to exchange epithets, and you know who you are, should move on to other blogs.

The New EuropeThe deafening silence you heard last week was the sound of the world’s “human rights” NGOs and the major media of Europe condemning the barbaric torture, mutilation, and murder of American servicemen in Iraq. Or maybe their condemnation was drowned out by the wailing over the poor Gitmo detainees, or the outcry about the horrors of extraordinary rendition by the CIA, or the protests over hideous tortures inflicted on terrorists at Abu Ghraib prison, or some such. In any case, there was no evidence that people whose primary concern is human rights had even tertiary concern over the human rights of Americans in Iraq.

We posted a couple of times about this issue, and the resulting comment threads became quite contentious. Anger at the hostility of “Old Europe” — and its indifference to American casualties in the struggle against Islamofascism — eventually boiled over into recriminations against Europe in general. Some of our commenters have gone beyond pessimism about Europe, and have ended up in dogmatic certitude that the continent is a lost cause, mired in a mixture of dhimmitude, passivity, and anti-Semitism.

The arguments became so toxic that they drove away at least one of our frequent Danish commenters. He emailed me yesterday to say this:

Well, most commenters here are Americans and accordingly it seems to me that every discussion winds up in a cul-de-sac, namely:

  1. Europe is doomed and lost, no matter what.
  2. All Europeans are anti-Semitic dhimmies.
  3. No European will stand up for Israel.

Okay — I’m a busy man. I have a job and a family. Not much time for rubbish. So, in my spare time I’d prefer to concentrate on the task at hand — which is to help revving up the momentum of European resistance in general and Danish resistance in particular.

You may call it “friendly fire”, but taking flak from remote echelons stateside forces me to fight a two-front battle. And I don’t want that. There’s a war going on over here. So far it’s quite “phony”, but when things start to roll I won’t waste too much effort in guarding my rear…

The ScoldIt pains me that this doughty Dane was forced to defend himself against attacks by those who should be his allies. I’m not talking about trolls here: the folks who were arguing so strenuously are in broad general agreement with one another. None of us wants to see the reign of Multiculturalism extended. Each of us is primarily concerned with the struggle against the Great Islamic Jihad. And all of us are pro-Israel.

It may well be that Europe is completely lost, and there’s no hope, and the vast majority of Europeans are imam-appeasing anti-Semites. But I don’t think so, and, in any case, the evidence isn’t all in yet. You can’t go by the major European media, which are firmly controlled by the socialist appeasers. And you can’t even go by public opinion polls — not only are the questions in MSM polls always phrased in such a way to evoke the “correct” response, but many people are afraid to display their true opinions, even in a supposedly anonymous poll. The true feelings of Europeans will not be evident until the real crisis comes.

In the meantime, the people who show up here are a self-selected group who are already standing in opposition the smelly little orthodoxies of our time. Some have painstakingly acquired English so as to engage in conversation here, and many of them go to the trouble to translate Danish, German, Swedish and Norwegian sources so that we monoglots can find out what’s going on outside the Anglosphere.

We do a disservice to these brave and dedicated people by lumping them in with the dhimmis and Jew-haters. If change is to occur in Europe, it will come from people like them, people who are primarily from the “New Europe”, with Denmark leading the way.

And I hope the New Europeans who have honored us here with their presence will continue their patient and civil arguments against the nay-sayers. I hope their optimism eventually will infect us all.

No one’s mind has ever been changed by insults and angry accusations. If the anti-Semitism of Europe is to be overcome, it will happen in the same way that anti-black racism was overcome here in America, by decent-minded people speaking out opposing it, by patient repetition of the moral case against it, and by reasonable and humane argument. Invective convinces no one. Racial prejudice in America is still with us, but it was made vulgar and publicly unacceptable by the efforts of the non-racists among us.

The change starts out small, and then grows. It starts out with ordinary, average people taking a quiet stand.

The flag of IsraelI won’t have an effect by screaming at people who will never listen anyway. I won’t make a difference by calling you or Nils or Friedrich or Stanislaus or Henrik or Pierre an anti-Semite. I will make a difference by saying this:

I Stand With the Jews.

The world can only be changed incrementally, one mind at a time.

Update: Exile has responded to this post. A quote:

If ‘divide and conquer’ is still the same tactic that it has always been, then this has worked. Is there a hidden agenda here? Or have these people merely been so blinded by their own obsessions that they don’t recognise support even when they see it?

He also has advice for our Danish commenters.

No Slap on the Wrist

UPDATE: Rune has given us the actual sentences meted out:

The sentencing is just in. According to preliminary reports, the murdered girl’s father received life in prison for the killing of his daughter. The brother and two uncles were sentenced to 16 years. The aunt and a cousin got 14 years. The remaining three got between 8 and 10 years.

While this is much less than one could wish for, it must be said that in a Danish context, these are very severe sentences indeed. I don’t remember a single case at all wherein the convicted persons received such long sentences, or where such a large number were sentenced. A few days ago I would have though between 8-12 for the killer, somewhat less for the father and less than 4 years for the rest. So this is definitely, for me, a positive result. Though apparently only three will be expelled from Denmark after their prison time (the rest have Danish citizenship). There have been suggestions in the parliament that serious crimes should automatically result in a stripping of citizenship. I think that is a route we now should pursue.

Ghazala KhanI reported yesterday on the Danish trial conviction of nine family members and friends for the “honor killing” of Ghazala Khan last September. There was some apprehension that the perpetrators would receive light sentences as sop to political correctness, but that does not seem to be the case.

According to a translation made by commenter Rune:

No reduced sentence

Eight of the nine will receive a minimum of five years prison time for the “honour” killing on Ghazala Khan. One may possibly receive a lesser sentence.

That was the verdict of the jury this evening. The penalty range goes from five years to life in prison.

One of the convicted persons — a 30 year old man, whom was employed as a taxi driver by the family — is the only one who could possibily get a sentence of less than five years, decided the jury. But he also can receive a sentence of greater than five years.

Prior to the sentencing, Rune had offered these observations on the situation in Denmark:

Perhaps the positive in the case is not so much that the actual sentencing likely will be much less what we could wish for (I’d guess less than 4 for all but the brother and the father), but that, for the first time, the whole network behind the killing has been unravelled and convicted. Likely it will set a precedent throughout Europe, whereby not only those who do the actual killing can be convicted — but also all the those who support the killing. Reportedly much of the immigrant community is in shock over the verdict. In a longer perspective it is expected the verdict will have a great preventive effect. But also that we in the future should be more aware that girls will be abducted to their homeland in the Middle East and murdered there.

What is nearly mind boggling is the massive support the killers have received from their community, even after the killing. Several of the jurors have received anonymous threats and have had some of their things vandalised. Immediately following the killing a group of unknown people visited several hospitals asking for the wounded husband of the murdered girl, supposedly to finish off the job. He had to witness in court heavily disguised and in a separate chamber — a thing that has also been witnessed in other similar cases with violence against women from the immigrant communities. Women’s shelters in particular have had many problems with family members of fled women who try to locate them and force them home. Most now have several policemen to protect them; they never order a taxi with an immigrant driver to transport women, always only have one women of each nationality at the shelter (since it was becoming common that a woman’s female relatives would enter the shelter and try to pressure the women to come back to the violent husband) etc.

There will always be maniacs. There have also been sad cases where children have been killed by their ethnic Danish fathers. But it’s the whole tacit or active support of the community that sickens me.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

In the Nick of Time: Council Winners for June 16th

Watcher’s CouncilAs usual, I’m huffing and puffing to catch up on past due Council posts, announcing the winners. So this week I am taking the penitent’s route: two weeks in two days. I’d do two days in one go, but I’m too ADDled to stay the course and you wouldn’t be able to decipher the second part. I know: having tried to write it, even I couldn’t read what I'd written. Better to spare you and make two posts. Besides, it allows more focus on the winners.

So here’s the first late edition, for the week of June 16th:

Rightwing Nuthouse’s essay on the Dem/MSM alignment when it comes to peeing on the Cheerios of the good guys was done in his ususal brilliant style. Talking about the Coalition-caused death of al Zarqawi, Rick notes that the Unwholesome Twosome - the Democratic Party and the MSM outlet of your choice - had, by the end of the day returned to their tired old “what-have-you-done-for-me-today” mantra, this time demanding to know why Osama was still stalking the streets. One certainly has to give them credit for chutzpah in their gratitude.

As Rick says:

That the media began to spin the story every which way from Sunday was no surprise. In any other context, their desperate attempts to deflect attention from the death of Zarqawi and put the emphasis on the unsuccessful hunt for bin Landen could be seen as a pitiful attempt at comedy, so riotously off kilter their killjoy attitude became by day’s end. It makes one wonder what kind of headlines they would have generated during World War II following the death of Hitler: “German Chancellor dead: No Effect on Quagmire in the Pacific Seen.”

Gates of Vienna tied for second place with Done With Mirrors. The Gates entry was a rant, I’m afraid; one of the hazards of blogging and having one’s ankles bitten too often. Apologies to all who snoozed through it. Mirrors, however, has a gem, and I will give you only his headline, so as not to spoil the post. Go read “Hix Nix Chix.” You’ll be jealous you didn’t think of such a splendid title for such odiferous behavior.

In the non Council posts, A Newer World earned first place with his explanation of “One Liberal’s Argument for Still Staying in Iraq.” While the premises of his argument are not to my thinking, I admire the conclusions he draws from them, and the courage it must take to make his stand based on those ideas:

Can anyone seriously argue that this situation will improve rather than worsen if U.S. forces were to immediately withdraw? Can anyone seriously argue that it will be good for the people of Iraq if we just pick up and leave?

The invasion and occupation of Iraq was and remains an unforgivable castatrophe. The United States has created a humanitarian disaster. Leaving now will only make that disaster worse.

IMHO, Saddam Hussein was a “humanitarian disaster” of a greater order of magnitude than anything the United States has done in Iraq or will ever do anytime, anywhere. I find what we have done not only forgivable but as far from a catastrophe as one can get and still understand the meaning of that word. In fact, for me, the liberal mis-use of the English language by Liberals is one of the problems I have with their “side” of this issue.

Those who stand and do nothing but wring their hands will never have the gratitude of the families of those skeletons rotting in the mass graves we respectfully unearthed so they could have decent burials. And for all the chaos, we have not begun to approach the suffering that Stalin’s biggest admirer imposed on his own people. The only thing they had to look forward to was rule by Uday and Qsay.

A Newer World’s ideas will not create anything novel if they are in this vein. Instead we will have more Pol Pots, more Che Gueveras, more Idi Amins, more corrupt ngos pretending to do something besides line their own pockets.

I’ll go with the karma we’ve created, thanks anyway. Full of mistakes, we still dare to act. And for that we stand proud.

Wretchard at the Belmont Club was second for his fisking of Malloch Brown’s criticism of the U.S.

Remember Mr. Brown? He’s the UN Deputy-Secretary General who gave us a good talking to for being, oh, I don’t know...maybe just so unalterably, unattractively American.

Here’s part of the speech Wretchard quoted: underlying message, which is a warning about the serious consequences of a decades-long tendency by US Administrations of both parties to engage only fitfully with the UN, is not one a sitting United Nations official would normally make to an audience like this.

But I feel it is a message that urgently needs to be aired. And as someone who has spent most of his adult life in this country, only a part of it at the UN, I hope you will take it in the spirit in which it is meant: as a sincere and constructive critique of U.S. policy towards the UN by a friend and admirer. Because the fact is that the prevailing practice of seeking to use the UN almost by stealth as a diplomatic tool while failing to stand up for it against its domestic critics is simply not sustainable. You will lose the UN one way or another.

Oh, please, Mr. Brown. From your mouth to God’s ears. For all our sakes, move your organization lock, stock and barrel to Belgium. Steal the silver on your way out -- whatever -- be our guest as long as you’re no longer our boarder. Just gooooo.

They’d love you in Brussels and we’d breathe free, having gotten rid of the rotten mollusk on Oyster Bay...

Be sure to read Wretchard’s amusing fisk, done in a table, of Mr. Brown’s speech. Needless to say, John Bolton had a few choice words for Kofi’s stand-in.

The ever-patient Watcher still has the links up. Go here and read the rest.

Historic Verdict on Family Honor Killing in Denmark

*** UPDATED***

Thanks to Rune for the corrections.

Honor killing in DenmarkDymphna wrote earlier this month about the honor killing of Ghazala Khan in Denmark. In a precendent-setting move, the Danish authorities put nine family members on trial, and not just the actual killer.

Now the verdict is in: Guilty. Reader kepiblanc, translating from Danish sources, has kindly provided the following summary:

The trial of an entire family of nine for the September “honor” execution of Ghazala Khan (18) ended today…

The trial marks a turning point in Danish judicial history. It sets a precedent and there will be no turning back. Until now contemporary jurisprudence would imply that the killer (executioner) is the one to blame and accordingly face punishment. But as from today not only the man who actually pulls the trigger, but his family and friends as well are held responsible and must face the consequences of their barbaric deeds.

The jury deliberated for about 20 hours and the verdict was very clear: All defendants were found guilty of premeditated murder as charged. They will face anything from 3 years to life in prison. Sentences can be appealed to the Supreme Court, but the verdict stands.

Deportations will likely be enforced.

The trial was unusual in more than one respect, even in these “honor killing” cases. Members of the jury were threatened, witnesses openly feared acts of violence from the Muslim community and thus were reluctant to testify. Several times during the proceedings the judge had to warn the Muslim audience that he would not tolerate intimidation. Seemingly unaware of the Islamic tradition of lying through one’s teeth whenever it suits one’s purpose, he had to warn several witnesses of severe punishment if they continued to do so.

The verdict sends ripples of shock across the Muslim community in Denmark…

Those convicted are as follows:

Ghulam Abbas: 57 years old
(father) Convicted for urging the murder of his daughter and her husband
Aktar Abbas: 30 years old
(brother) Convicted for the murder of his sister and for attempted murder of her husband.
Perveen Khan: 40 years old
(aunt) Married to the brother of the mother of the murdered girl. Convicted for setting up the trap that led to the murder of the girl.
Walayat Khan: 46 years old
(mother’s brother) Helped setting the trap for the girl, by way of a trick “reconciliation meeting”.
Anser Iqbal: 45 years old
(father’s brother) Convicted for participating in the hunt on the girl.
Asghar Ali: 42 years old
(the elder) 
Naweed Sharif: 30 years old
(friend of the family) Taxi-driver; helped in the hunt for the girl.
Asghar Ali: 31 years old
(the younger; brother of aunt) Helped in the attempts to track down the girl.
Ghulam Ahmed: 36 years old
(friend of the family) Taxi-driver; helped in the hunt for the girl.

I had originally thought those were sentence lengths, and not the ages of the convicted perpetrators. Sentences have not yet been handed down.

I don’t know how early a parole the Danish system will allow, but in many European countries 15 years is what the average murderer will serve.

This does indeed seem to mark a turning-point in European jurisprudence dealing with Islamic honor killings. It will be interesting to see if other countries follow suit.

Note: I had Rune’s help in the translation of the lsit of conspirators and their relationships to the victim. There was some discrepancy between Rune’s version and the original Jyllands-Posten list. Further corrections from our Danish readers will be welcomed; I’ll amend the list and update the post if changes come in.

Monday, June 26, 2006

“Half-Hearted”, Indeed

The Secretary of the Treasury, Mr. John W. Snow, has a letter to the dissembling editor of The Old Grey Doxy. In his epistle, which appears here through Editor and Publisher Mr. Snow makes it plain that the administration’s efforts were anything but “half-hearted” as the paper – in its paper-thin and seditious defense – claimed:

Dear Mr. Keller:

The New York Times’ decision to disclose the Terrorist Finance Tracking Program, a robust and classified effort to map terrorist networks through the use of financial data, was irresponsible and harmful to the security of Americans and freedom-loving people worldwide. In choosing to expose this program, despite repeated pleas from high-level officials on both sides of the aisle, including myself, the Times undermined a highly successful counter-terrorism program and alerted terrorists to the methods and sources used to track their money trails.

Your charge that our efforts to convince The New York Times not to publish were “half-hearted” is incorrect and offensive. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Over the past two months, Treasury has engaged in a vigorous dialogue with the Times - from the reporters writing the story to the D.C. Bureau Chief and all the way up to you. It should also be noted that the co-chairmen of the bipartisan 9-11 Commission, Governor Tom Kean and Congressman Lee Hamilton, met in person or placed calls to the very highest levels of the Times urging the paper not to publish the story. Members of Congress, senior U.S. Government officials and well-respected legal authorities from both sides of the aisle also asked the paper not to publish or supported the legality and validity of the program.

Indeed, I invited you to my office for the explicit purpose of talking you out of publishing this story. And there was nothing “half-hearted” about that effort. I told you about the true value of the program in defeating terrorism and sought to impress upon you the harm that would occur from its disclosure. I stressed that the program is grounded on solid legal footing, had many built-in safeguards, and has been extremely valuable in the war against terror.

Additionally, Treasury Under Secretary Stuart Levey met with the reporters and your senior editors to answer countless questions, laying out the legal framework and diligently outlining the multiple safeguards and protections that are in place.

You have defended your decision to compromise this program by asserting that “terror financiers know” our methods for tracking their funds and have already moved to other methods to send money. The fact that your editors believe themselves to be qualified to assess how terrorists are moving money betrays a breathtaking arrogance and a deep misunderstanding of this program and how it works. While terrorists are relying more heavily than before on cumbersome methods to move money, such as cash couriers, we have continued to see them using the formal financial system, which has made this particular program incredibly valuable.

Lastly, justifying this disclosure by citing the “public interest” in knowing information about this program means the paper has given itself free license to expose any covert activity that it happens to learn of - even those that are legally grounded, responsibly administered, independently overseen, and highly effective. Indeed, you have done so here.

What you’ve seemed to overlook is that it is also a matter of public interest that we use all means available - lawfully and responsibly - to help protect the American people from the deadly threats of terrorists. I am deeply disappointed in the New York Times.


John W. Snow, Secretary
U.S. Department of the Treasury

The bloody hands of The New York Times write their treason, and having writ, move on to the next bit of treason on their agenda.

It is time to boycott this noxious blood-letting organization and all its little imitators.

Whole-hearted liars: that’s what they are.

Slumming Around the Gates Again

Mining for TruthAs I noted last year, one can judge the character of a man by the quality of his enemies.

Thus, it gives me great pleasure to report that James Wolcott, the éminence grise of Vanity Fair, he of the impeccably tailored raiment and the delicate ocicats, a man of exquisite taste and sartorial refinement — James Wolcott Himself has taken notice of Gates of Vienna again!

Dymphna has instructed me not to link to his post. She said, “He doesn’t deserve it.” I said, “Hey, fair is fair; he gave us a link.” Increased our traffic considerably, as a matter of fact. So who cares if all the new visitors were members of the Comintern?

But she is adamant. Anyway, here’s what he said:

For readers willing to don miner’s [sic] helmets to explore a smoke-filled ass just off the main highway, behold the cavern of Baron Bodissey.

How did we come to deserve such favor? With all the other juicy and low-hanging fruit on the tree of the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy, why pick us? Why not the succulent plum of Little Green Footballs? Or the ripe red apple of Instapundit? Or even the tempting pomegranate of Roger Simon?

But, no, he chose Gates of Vienna. I guess today is just our lucky day.

I’m floating on a cloud!

“The Queen of Saboteurs”

Built on land the Old Grey Apparatchik grabbed through eminent domainThat’s what Larry Kudlow calls the New York Times for its latest criminal release of information re the United States’ attempt to track terrorists and to protect the integrity of our country.

That royal appellation is a much nicer title than this treasonous, duplicitous, hubristic, and deeply biased yellow rag deserves for its ongoing treachery.

The New York Times has been undermining our country for years. In the past we could ignore it – “the past” being pre 9/11. Sure, they had their traitors like Walter Duranty and their prevaricators like Jason Blair, and their ignorant “economists” like Paul Krugman (Somewhere there may be an economist with a worse record, but if there were, surely the Old Gray Whore would have had him/her on board by now. But Krugman is so thoroughly and frequently wrong that he couldn’t survive outside the Times or some soft spot, equally removed from reality, in academia. Just to keep the record straight, some blogs even keep a running record of his idiocies, mistakes, and ignorance).

Larry Kudlow sums it up:

The saboteurs at the Times provided secret details into the Bush administration’s use of subpoenas to gather large troves of data from the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT), a Belgium-based consortium that handles international bank transfers. Financial data is used to identify terrorists before they get a chance to kill. It is an eminently sensible program, and one that has reaped rewards.

In one instance, the SWIFT program was used to capture a top Al Qaeda operative, Riduan Isamuddin, in Thailand in 2003.

The folks running the printing presses at the Times don’t seem to care about any of this. They went ahead and made the determination that the SWIFT program was “a matter of public interest.”

President Bush met with the press in the Roosevelt Room this morning. He had something to say about the resident enemy journalism in New York City:

Q: Sir, several news organizations have reported about a program that allows the administration to look into the bank records of certain suspected terrorists. My questions are twofold: One, why have you not gone to Congress to ask for authorization for this program, five years after it started? And two, with respect, if neither the courts, nor the legislature is allowed to know about these programs, how can you feel confident the checks and balances system works?

THE PRESIDENT: Congress was briefed. And what we did was fully authorized under the law. And the disclosure of this program is disgraceful. We’re at war with a bunch of people who want to hurt the United States of America, and for people to leak that program, and for a newspaper to publish it does great harm to the United States of America. What we were doing was the right thing. Congress was aware of it, and we were within the law to do so.

The American people expect this government to protect our constitutional liberties and, at the same time, make sure we understand what the terrorists are trying to do. The 9/11 Commission recommended that the government be robust in tracing money. If you want to figure out what the terrorists are doing, you try to follow their money. And that’s exactly what we’re doing. And the fact that a newspaper disclosed it makes it harder to win this war on terror.

Frothing at the mouthSuch criticism is necessary but not nearly sufficient. With all due respect, Mr. President, it is time to call in some favors. It is waaay past time to sic Congress on this seditious, disgusting bunch who are so tightly focused on your ruin that their snipes never sleep. You must lead a miraculously sinless life, because if there was one iota, one scintilla of scandal, they would’ve found it by now. Since they can’t bring you down that way, they’ll bring the house down around the rest of us in their deranged fervor to destroy you.

Gabriel Schoenfeld gave his opinion to the New York Sun on this latest revelation:

“They’re courting prosecution. ... They’re increasingly behaving like if we were in the middle of World War II and they learned of plans to invade Normandy. Because they decided it’s a matter of public interest, they’d publish it,” Mr. Schoenfeld said. “I think this is reckless and likely to encourage Attorney General Gonzales to prosecute them, if not for this story, for some of the other things they’ve done.”

Mr. Schoenfeld said that the latest disclosure by the Times about the financial surveillance was less clear cut as a legal violation because it did not appear to involve communications intelligence, which is specially protected under federal law.

Mr. Schoenfeld said the new report would increase anger against the paper. “They really are testing the limits of congressional and executive branch patience. There’s a lot of displeasure with what they’re doing,” said Mr. Schoenfeld, who edits Commentary magazine and writes a weekly column on chess for the Sun.

However, the editor said he still considered a prosecution unlikely, on balance. “I’m not sure the Bush administration has a stomach for a fight with the media of that magnitude, but it’s become more and more clear that it’s necessary,” Mr. Schoenfeld said.

Well, some members of Congress may indeed have “the stomach” for this overdue confrontation:

The chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee called yesterday for criminal prosecution of The New York Times, saying that its report Friday on U.S. government surveillance of confidential banking records “compromised America’s anti-terrorist policies.”

Interviewed on Fox News Sunday, Rep. Peter T. King, a New York Republican, accused the newspaper of compromising national security when it exposed a Treasury Department program that attempts to track terrorist financing by secretly monitoring worldwide money transfers. The program, instituted after the Sept. 11 attacks, bypasses safeguards put in place to ensure against government abuse.

Of course, not every member of the Imperial Elected Capitol Hill agrees with Representative King. Thus, the usual suspects, like Senators Biden and Specter, are putting their fingers up to test the political wind. They are no better than the perfidious Times. And more scared of the MSM than they are concerned for this country’s integrity. Scurrilous, that’s what they are. Combined with the Times, and other elitists, they are concerned to bring this President down – and if the US goes down, too, hey… that’s the breaks, huh?

Larry Kudlow put it best:

The New York Times is blinded by its hatred of George W. Bush. And, because of this, these boneheads compromise the lives of all Americans.

Here’s the link to research your congressman’s or senator’s position, or simply to register your desire to see the Old Grey Doxy and her companion yellow journalists brought to heel before they literally kill us all.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

What Did Jesus Drive?

Christ’s vehicle of choiceYou’ve undoubtedly heard the news by now: the Earth is warmer than it has been for 2000 years. Al Gore was right, the rest of us were wrong. We’re all sinners, and we’re all going to Global-Warming Hell.

Or, as some news stories are putting it, today it’s “warmer than it was when Jesus was hanging around.”

Now, implicit in these statements is the fact that it must have been even warmer before that. Sometime previously, the Earth was warmer than it is now. Can you believe it? How did civilization survive such a catastrophe? Was that what put Atlantis under the waves — ancient global warming?

What do you think caused it? Was it those coal-fired generating plants the Romans built all over the Empire? Or maybe the SUVs that Jesus and His disciples tooled around the desert in?

What this all goes to show is that the world has been colder than it is now, and it has also been warmer — presumably considerably warmer at times. Regardless of the effects of atmospheric carbon dioxide, there are natural, cyclical fluctuations in global climate that far exceed any changes in temperature that have occurred since the Industrial Revolution.

It’s too early to identify the effects that the human activity has on global temperatures; serious and reliable data have only been available for a micro-instant in climatological terms. The apocalyptic stampede by the cognoscenti to embrace Kyoto and destroy the world’s economy is one of the more foolhardy ideas to come down the pike.

But the elites are certain that Global Warming is Truth; all else is Heresy.

By the way — Biblical scholars have determined that Jesus’ preferred mode of transportation during His temptation in the desert was the Toyota Highlander.

The PC Dike is Breached

Public opinion in the Netherlands has joined that of Germany in a refusal to accept the multicultural party line. Despite the state-sanctioned politically correct ideology about Islam, despite the notorious dhimmitude of their leaders, despite the message saturating the media that Islamophobia, and not Islam, is the big worry — despite all that, the Dutch aren’t buying.

According to The Jerusalem Post, a public opinion poll has revealed the Dutch public to be positively paleolithic in its ideas regarding Islam:

The poll conducted by Dutch research firm Motivaction for the GPD newspaper chain on June 2 found that 63 percent of those surveyed believed Islam was incompatible with modern European life.

More than a quarter of respondents said Muslim immigrants were rude, lazy, intolerant and prone to criminal behavior. They said the increase in Muslim immigration has had a negative effect on civic and social life, with almost 80 percent saying relations between Muslims and non-Muslims had become strained.

If the Dutch poll was anything like those on this side of the Atlantic, the questions were undoubtedly phrased in a way designed to elicit the “correct” answers. Even so, the opinion makers were not able to cook up the desired results.

And now some members of the government are deviating from orthodoxy:

According to the justice and interior ministers, the threat of terrorism from radical Islam is “substantial.”

The ministers told parliament that a “rapid spread of the Jihadistic ideology” was underway, with a number of moderate mosques passing under the control of Islamist ideologues.

“Radical movements, like Salafism, are currently gaining influence rapidly, both on the Internet and in more and more mosques. They prefer to use the Dutch language so that more and more young Muslims are reached, with all possible radicalization risks as a result,” the ministers said.

The next event to watch out for is the release of Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s new movie, Submission 2, which highlights the intolerance and repression of homosexuals under Islam. Don’t expect the event to pass unnoticed by the radical imams, who will view it as another opportunity like the Danish Mohammed cartoon crisis. Expect the “Muslim street” to be offended. Expect the honor of Islam to be impugned. Expect demands for an apology from the Dutch government, and for more “outreach programs”.

The Islamists tasted blood in the water after Europe went into full dhimmi mode over the Motoons. Watch for the jihad sharks to start circling again for this one.

Somewhere in Europe right now, warehouses are being stocked with large quantities of Dutch flags and butane lighters, with instructions for their use printed in Urdu, Arabic, and Turkish…

Hat tip: Reader JCM.

Friday, June 23, 2006

“Telling the Rest of the World to Go to Hell”

Concerning the murder and mutilation of American soldiers by the mujahideen in Iraq, Bill, as usual, cuts to the quick:

I am, unlike George Bush (or any male of the Bush family, for that matter) a Jacksonian:

The whole point of Jacksonianism is “You leave me alone and I’ll leave you alone. You play fair with me and I’ll play fair with you. But if you f**k with me, I’ll kill you.”

I believe that, at core, America is a Jacksonian nation. And when America finally realizes with what loathing we are regarded by the rest of the world, the result will not be what the rest of the world thinks will occur. There will be no sudden American need to apologize and submit ourselves to the world’s judgment. We are a nation founded on telling the rest of the world to go to hell, and shedding our blood to send it there.

When Americans realize that much of the rest of the world is not our friend, then they will regard much of the rest of the world as our enemy. And I can guarantee you that the rest of the world really does not want a Jacksonian America as its enemy.

Donnah would undoubtedly ascribe this characteristic to our Celtic blood. And the great thing about the Celts in this country is that they tend to have large families and don’t object to exogamy, and thus have spread their bloodline around.

Haggis, Guinness, leeks, and an Andrew Jackson attitude — what a combination.

Nobody Says It Better Than You, Wretchard

Here’s another take, this one by Wretchard in a post titled, Thanks for Nothing, on the butchery of American soldiers by Allah’s mujahideen. W has a suggestion for what Amnesty International can do with its transparently half-hearted condolences and condemnations:

Sir Wretchard of the Belmont Boarding HouseMy own testament, for the record, [is] that if I should ever be tortured, have my throat slit, beheaded, mutilated and then have booby traps planted round my corpse so that they might kill any relatives and friends -- should any of this ever happen to me -- that Amnesty International kindly refrain from extending its “sincerest condolences” and weasely condemnations and offering its insulting and gratuitous advice. I don’t want them. I would much rather lie forgotten in some open field than have one of Amnesty International’s sick letters on my casket...

To which one of Belmont Club’s commenters, Wu Wei, responds:

Amnesty International is just a few liberal British attorneys who formed an organization to further their views. At least that’s how they started out, though perhaps they employ more people now. It always amazes me that just because of the name “Amnesty International” the world accepts them as independent experts. This is like if three conservatives started calling themselves “International Law Consulting”, and then started appearing on talk shows offering opinions.

He’s right, of course. It would just take three guys in a room somewhere to dream up a good name. The problem is the mandarin press: it gives access only to the America-haters. Thus, any reasonable group could try to disguise themselves as, say, the League of Peace and Justice, but the seven second delay in broadcast communications would have them off the air in three sentences. And when the imperial Senator from Arizona gets finished mangling the First Amendment they’ll probably be in legal trouble of some sort anyway.

So as attractive as is Wu Wei’s notion of an ex nihilo conservative version of Nasty International, there’s not much hope for any practical application. The very notion is itself defeated by conservatism’s first principles, one of which is that the end does not justify the means.

NOTE: I have read in a few places (which I now don’t recall) that there is some move to have a number of national memorial services for these two soldiers. If any of our readers know of such, please send the information to be included in either an update or a new post. You guys get around more than I do…

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Down the Memory Hole

When LGF reported that, according to ABC News, “African-Americans” were among the terrorists arrested in today’s Miami bust, it made alarm bells ring for me. Could these be Jamaat ul-Fuqra operatives?

I followed Charles’ link to the ABC story, but there was no mention of “African Americans” in it. Strange — LGF had the quote. So I went to Google News and looked at story after story — Reuters, AP, whatever — no mention.

Finally I searched on Google News for “sears tower” “african americans”, and I got exactly one hit. Here’s a screen cap (click the image to enlarge):

Google News

So originally the Google summary had “African Americans” in it, but —surprise! It’s not in the ABC News story anymore. The only place you’ll find it now is in this Google screen cap.

Here’s what LGF quoted:

The suspects are described as African Americans and at least one man of Caribbean descent.

Google said:

Federal Agents Raid Suspected Terror Cell in Miami
ABC News - 1 hour ago
... planned to bomb the FBI building in Miami and the Sears Tower in Chicago. ... The suspects are described as African Americans and at least one man of Caribbean ...

But here’s the relevant paragraph in the ABC story as it is now, minus any mention of our African American brothers:

Among those arrested, five were U.S. citizens, one was a permanent legal resident, and one was a Haitian who was in the United States illegally on a visa overstay, federal officials told ABC News. [emphasis mine]

Amazing! Somehow, in this country of the color-blind MSM, the African American terrorists have been transmogrified into “U.S. Citizens”. This is the same transmogrifying machine that gave us “youths” rioting in France.

Ah, well… Another day at the George Orwell Ranch.

Giving and Taking Offense

Frothing at the mouthDymphna’s post on the barbaric slaughter of American servicemen, and New Sisyphus’ take on it, sparked a lot of controversy in the comments. What I noticed was the offense taken by some of our regular European readers, and their unhappiness with the contempt for and dismissal of Europe.

First of all, let’s clarify that it’s “Old Europe” that we’re holding in contempt here. Newly assertive European countries from the former Soviet Bloc (or even from the late unlamented Soviet Union itself: Fellow Peacekeeper, this means you) are not included in this contempt. And not all of “Old Europe” should be included, Denmark being a case in point.

And another important thing to remember is that Dymphna and New Sisyphus are referring to the governments and major media of the European countries. After all, those are the filters through which most Americans understand Europe. I presume that, like their counterparts in the USA, they do not represent the people of their respective countries very well. Based on the European blogosphere, or at least the English-language portion of it, the opinions of the people and the opinions of their elite gatekeepers are quite divergent.

But you, who come here to Gates of Vienna to argue and discuss, are a self-selected sample of your respective countries. You come here, for the most part, because you can find intelligent conversation with like-minded people on topics of mutual interest.

How representative of your home countries are you?

Zonka, kepiblanc, Fellow Peacekeeper, Exile, and others whose names I can’t think of right now: Do your fellow citizens line up mostly with you? Or do they mostly sneer at America, hate George Bush, and back the Palestinians?

We know what your media and governments say, but how do your fellow citizens feel?

Dymphna and I are members of the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy, and thus in a small minority here in America. I don’t confuse our opinions with those of most Americans. We’re fighting a rearguard battle against overwhelming opposition, what with the permanent bureaucracy, the Academy, and the Legacy Media all in the hands of the Treasonous Left. Americans may wake up eventually to the Islamist menace, but they won’t be giving up their Medicare prescription drug plan or state-subsidized day care anytime soon. I’m under no illusions about that.

If it’s the same in your countries, then we’re not talking to you and you have no need to feel insulted; you are in opposition to the PC power structure, and we are on the same side.

If we’re wrong, and the vast majority of Europeans are ready to rise up as one against their elites, assert their rightful claim to govern themselves, and throw their support behind the United States of America, then…

Well, then Gates of Vienna will have to eat some crow.

When America Finally Looks Away

I don’t often put up posts from other blogs, especially not in their entirety. And I certainly haven’t ever posted a Watcher’s Council nomination before the votes are in.

However, this one blew me away. Even after all the killing, all the injustice toward the United States -- including insults and frothing from some of its own benighted citizens – even after all that, NewSisyphus manages to articulate what is at the bottom of many hearts in this country.

Read. Weep for the fallen. Then make your own silent resolution:

Srebrenica, Kosovo, Unknown

Two U.S. soldiers missing since an attack on a checkpoint last week have been found dead near a power plant in Yusifiyah, south of Baghdad, according to U.S. officials, and Iraqi officials say the soldiers had been tortured.

Maj. Gen. Abdul Aziz Muhammed-Jassim, head of operations at the Iraqi Ministry of Defense, said the soldiers had been “barbarically” killed. U.S. officials would not confirm or deny that the men, who were identified Monday as Pfc. Kristian Menchaca, 23, of Houston and Pfc. Thomas L. Tucker, 25, of Madras, Ore., had been tortured by their captors.

-- Washington Post, June 20

It was a small event, but a taste of things to come, the way things would be. Early on in the Afghan Campaign--you remember that one, the one that was an illegal war of mass punishment, doomed to failure due to the harsh Afghan winter, the one that would cause no less than 200,000 civilian casualties and set off a horrific famine, the one that was foretold would tie us down for years just as the Soviets were, the self-same war that the self-same critics now praise as a model of a “good” war they could support, unlike, sadly, the Iraq War--an American soldier was caught on a mountainside by a rush of Taliban fighters. A circling American helicopter filming the battle caught the moment.

Just prior to realizing that he was without escape, the American soldier turned to face the onrushing mob of Taliban and raised his hands. He was grabbed by the head and forced to his knees and a man with a knife cut his torso open from side to side. The American soldier, in full uniform, fighting in a declared war, having just surrendered, was executed on camera.

There were no thundering editorials in the New York Times decrying this violation of the most basic of the rules of war, nor sophisticated leaders in the Guardian worrying aloud what this latest violation of international human rights bode for the future of humanity.

This is how the world works: American soldiers are supposed to be brutally executed as a matter of course. A simple prisoner of war camp where men such as that that executed our soldier are treated to Muslim chaplains, three halal meals a day, an exercise yard and calls to prayer, however, is clearly illegal and a matter of grave international concern.

The pirated tape of the execution is available for download at any number of Muslim websites or, if you lack Internet access, as a video or DVD at any number of Muslim bazaars from Indonesia to London. Act now and we’ll throw in the beheading of the Jew spy Daniel Pearl for half-price. No need to hide such things. They are sold openly. Actually, not very far from the Guardian’s offices, which doesn’t strike me as entirely coincidental. After all, speaking truth to power in the form of George W. Bush won’t get you killed. Printing a cartoon or saying the wrong thing, however....

Best to be smart and play it safe.

And any minute now footage of the deaths of Tucker and Menchaca will be added to the list of attractions, though given the fact that they weren’t paraded around before cameras before being tortured and killed I hold out hope that these two soldiers fought on. From the air conditioned palaces of Dubai to the shanties of the West Bank, Al-Sturmer will thrill the masses with yet another bloody spectacle.

But there will be no outrage, no expressions of sorrow more than perfunctory messages of official regret. From London to Paris to Berlin to Madrid, knowing sneers will return to all-knowing faces: we are getting what is coming to us. For liberating 50 million from a nightmare regime, for building schools that teach female children, for pouring billions in reconstruction money that dwarfs the Marshall Plan, for believing that even a Muslim people brutalized for decades by the degradations of a totalitarian state deserve a chance to breath free. We are getting what we deserve. Only when we learn to roll over and play dead like a good Spaniard will we ever know wisdom.

Another day, another dead American. We are expected to die. The world has long since past expected that Americans be treated with honor and respect or according to the basic rules of war.

In Korea, we were expected to take the lead in the fight. Our captured soldiers were horrifically tortured. In Vietnam, we were on our own. Our captured soldiers were horrifically tortured. In the Iraq War, we were expected to take the lead in the fight. Our captured soldiers were horrifically tortured and, since our captured then included, for the first time, women, raped.

None of which was or is thought by the world community as a weakening of the laws of war, of the Geneva Conventions. Those are what Americans fight by. You can’t expect those oppressed people who America is unjustly fighting to respect those, can you?

And through it all, the American people, quietly but intently, are watching.

They are listening, reading, thinking, weighing, reasoning.

The time has almost come for them to make their voices heard. When they speak it will be a terrible thing to behold and the world, displeased now, will be more displeased then.

There will come a time after that, sooner rather than later I think, when eyes will turn to America seeking help. And the great silence that will arise in this busy nation, content in its understanding and newly aware of the rules of the game, will cause despair in the onlookers.

We see you and what you think of us. We see our deaths and what you think of them. We know you and what you are worth.

Oh, you smiling young men of Barcelona, Lyon, Antwerp, Swindon, Rotterdam, Munich, Turin: fate comes for you, and soon, and no hope from over the ocean will ever, ever again arrive.

It’s over, over there.

(To which I would only add, let us close the military bases that have operated for some sixty years, guarding the safety of our faithless friends. We have real allies in other countries who can take up the task with more attention to duty and to honor. Friends who remember only too well their own oppression and will fight to prevent ever going under again.)

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Breaking the Rules of Engagement

In the comments on one of our recent Denmark posts, Charro99 said:

I’ll never forget the Danish tank commander who was sent home from Yugoslavia in the 1990’s by the UN when the UN concluded he was “too aggressive in returning fire”. (I’ll never forget that phrase.) His platoon of white UN tanks was ambushed by Serbs, and the Danes destroyed all of the Serb tanks, suffering no losses on their part. I realized then that Danes were different than most Europeans.

His story piqued my interest, so I did a careful internet search and finally found an account of the plucky Danish tank commander. The incident occurred in Bosnia in 1994, near the town of Tuzla. There is very little information available about it on the web — the few entries I found were on military forums, and seem to be re-posting material taken out of the print copy of a Newsweek story.

There were two separate accounts on a Danish forum, one credited to Newsweek, and the other uncredited; I’ll quote from them both.

First, from Newsweek:

Frustrated Danish Tank Crews Punch Back

It was late at night when the Bosnian Serbs began to shell a United Nations observation post called Tango Two in the Sapna Finger, a Muslim-held salient near Tuzla. Danish Lt. Col. Lars Moller of the Nordic Battalion ordered two platoons of his Leopard tanks to charge to the rescue, which was just what the Serbs expected. As the seven tanks reached the foot of Sugarloaf Mountain, the Serbs opened fire with antitank missiles, artillery and machine guns.

“It was an ambush, and a damn good one,” Colonel Moller said. “Tango Two was the cheese, and we were the mouse. But this time the mouse ate the cat.”

One Danish platoon took cover behind buildings; the other maneuvered to high ground and counterambushed. When it was over, nine Serb soldiers were dead.

The “Nordbat” suffered no casualties. More important, it had done what no other U.N. peacekeepers in Bosnia had done before: strike back at the Serbs with force.

The April 30 battle of the Sapna Finger does not signal a change in U.N. strategy; in fact, U.N. officials in Sarajevo later played down its significance and hinted that Moller’s troops had overreacted.

Don’t you just love the UN? If you shoot back at the enemy, you’re “overreacting.” Things haven’t changed much in the last twelve years.

There’s more in the second account:

“Things were getting out of hand,” Moller said. He and [tank commander Maj. Carsten] Rasmussen agreed to hold their fire and ensure that Serb shelling of Tango 2 had ceased. After 30 minutes of quiet, the forward tanks began moving back to Saraci — but the Serbs began attacking them again.

Moller said he “began to get [ticked] off.”

The officers ordered the tanks in Saraci to reopen fire. Continuously. For 15 minutes.

One round plowed into a Serb ammunition dump, igniting a massive, concussive blast. Not since a 1943 battle against the Nazis — and before that an 1864 clash with invading Prussians — had Danish forces been in such a fight, the Danes reckoned.

The trouble had begun when the UN representative allowed the Serbs to move tanks into the area from which they had previously been banned.

The tanks reportedly were redeployed on the Serbs’ southern front. Incensed, Bosnian government authorities demanded [UN special representative, Yasushi] Akashi’s resignation as the top U.N. official in the former Yugoslavia.

Other U.N. officials in Sarajevo tried to cover up the continued presence of 100 Serb soldiers within three kilometers of Gorazde and some heavy weapons within the no-go zone around that city, too, despite NATO’s orders that they withdraw or face airstrikes.

In contrast, the Nordic Battalion, drawing on a long history of peacekeeping work by its Danish, Swedish and Norwegian troops, has showed how a tough stance can work in Bosnia.

No wonder Lt. Col. Moller had to be sent home — the last thing the UN wants is somebody displaying a tough stance.

And Lars Moller does sound like the kind of guy you want watching your back:

Lars MollerMoller, 40, the battalion’s deputy commander and its top tank officer, is a past karate champion; his father was a Danish Resistance fighter in World War II, and his brother is also a U.N. soldier in Croatia.

He speaks English sprinkled with American slang he picked up on NATO maneuvers, but with an English officer’s accent that seems to match his walking stick. “Turning your cheek is the wrong way down here,” he says. “There’s a lot of macho bulls**t down here and you have to adapt your behavior accordingly.”


“The ambush was bad juju on their part. We are not here to take incoming,” Moller said. “Fortunately for them, we are not here to get involved either. We could have destroyed all of them and been in Zvornik by morning.”

Here’s the part that I like best, from the second account:

Moller said the Danes spared three Serb T-55 tanks because, while the Leopards’ infrared detectors found the Serbs’ aiming systems turned on, they also determined that the enemy tanks’ barrels were cold. Under the restrictive U.N. rules of engagement, only guns actually caught in act of firing may be hit. [my emphasis]

That’s the way the UN fights a war. No wonder the United States is loath to get sucked into the “peacekeeping” tar baby. A peacekeeping mission always assumes that fighting has stopped, and that new fighting is to be avoided at almost any cost. Even if the UN were not an inherently corrupt and ineffective bureaucratic organization, “peacekeeping” contains a structural imperative that all but guarantees that UN forces will cover up, ignore, and explain away any breaches of the peace.

The Danes experienced a problem that would have been familiar to the US Army Rangers in Somalia:

Although the Serb attacks have grown intense, the U.N. political command in Zagreb, Croatia — directed by special envoy Yasushi Akashi — has rejected at least four of the battalion’s requests for NATO planes to fly close air support for U.N. troops here, Moller said.

Boy, I’ll bet that was good for troop morale…

Most U.N. troops on peacekeeping duty in Bosnia have been neither as aggressive nor as successful as Nordbat. Although last week U.N. commander General Sir Michael Rose praised the tank action during a visit to Copenhagen, many U.N. officials privately have criticized the Scandinavian troops.

It’s obvious that the Nordic Battalion deserved the criticism. An aggressive response defeats the purpose of the UN and goes against its mission statement. When your imperative is to have peace at any price, the aggressor holds the trump card, and must be appeased, rather than defeated.

But Lt. Col. Moller didn’t see it that way:

“The U.N. should not bow its head to any of these people,” he said. “Once you do that, you lose your dignity and, even worse, the other guy will keep walking over you. In the Balkans, you’ve gotta stand tall.”

Fast-forward to February 2006, and reissue these words on behalf of the Danish people in the face of the Mohammed Cartoon Crisis: Denmark should not bow its head to any of these people. Once you do that, you lose your dignity and, even worse, the other guy will keep walking over you.

It’s worth remembering that the Nordic Battalion was defending the Bosnian Muslims back in 1994. Their efforts on behalf of the Prophet’s followers didn’t bank them much credit twelve years later, did it?

Gates of Vienna is on Tammy Bruce Today

The New American RevolutionDymphna and I will both be guests on Tammy Bruce’s radio show later today (i.e. Wednesday June 21st). Our scheduled time is 9:30 a.m. on the West Coast, or 12:30 p.m. EDT. What’s that — maybe 18:30 in Copenhagen? Our tentative topic is Denmark, so all our Scandinavian readers will want to tune in via the weblink. Tammy’s program can be heard on Talk Radio Network. Go to the site and click on her image.

I’ll leave this post at the top until air time. Look for new posts below it.

On Tammy’s blog is an interesting post by Maynard. It dovetails nicely with Dymphna’s piece from last night about the decline of the mainline American Protestant churches as evidenced in the their emergent anti-Semitism.

Maynard poses a provocative question, and then answers it:

…consider this choice: If you’re in a public arena — maybe on an airplane — which of these activities would make you most uncomfortable to be seen doing: Flipping through a copy of Playboy, or reading the Bible? You’d probably have to think about this question, because there are elements of awkwardness in either action. But on the whole, you’ll likely be concerned that somebody nearby will judge you harshly for reading the Bible, whereas Playboy is more mainstream.

This leads him into a meditation on the difference between Christianity and Judaism, which includes this paragraph:

Jewish tradition has it that the reason God created the Jews was to bring the message of ethical monotheism (that is, the concept of a single Supreme Being who is fundamentally concerned that humans choose good and reject evil) to Mankind. This God demands we first pursue Justice, which is a different perception from the Christian view of a God of Love. The God of the Jews does not demand that everyone be Jewish; He promises a place in the afterlife to the righteous of all faiths; contra-wise, a Jew who does evil will not be saved. Thus the Jewish dogma is fundamentally at odds with the Christian assertion that the sole path to salvation lies in accepting Christ into your heart. The Christian does not believe he can earn his way to Heaven through good deeds, although there is likely to be a linkage that will encourage the true Christian to perform good deeds. In other words, the Jewish God demands that Man be good; the Christian God demands that Man be Christian, and it follows that the true Christian will in fact be good, albeit (like all humans) fallible.

It’s worth going over to read the whole thing.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

American Protestant Pogroms

Tell me again about Europe and her pains,
Who's tortured by the drought, who by the rains.
Glut me with floods where only the swine can row
Who cuts his throat and let him count his gains.
It seemed the best thing to be up and go.

               — From “Aubade”, by William Empson

There are so many degraded behaviors and beliefs in our culture that attempting to delineate them quickly devolves into the feeling that one is watching a train wreck in slow motion. Only this time it’s a disaster with many people you love and used to respect on board and there is nothing you can do to alter their zombie-like condition. In fact, you wonder if you can even save yourself as the train continues to plow on through, hurtling in your direction…and you’re tied to the tracks, directly in its path.

We keep comparing ourselves to Europe and her plight, hoping to draw some comfort from the fact that while we may be trying to divert this evil train from its rails, Europe’s train has long since wrecked and the bloody survivors are trudging down the road to oblivion.

Well, dream on. Whatever cultural superiority we can derive from that comparison is cold comfort when you look at the depth and breadth of the problems that face our republic. These are problems that ought to be able to be rectified in a country allegedly governed by and for the people, but who could have dreamed the form into which our imperial and corrupt governance has metastasized? It defies full comprehension, much less full discussion.

So I’m going to take, for the purposes of examination, one small piece of this poisonous, malformed tumor that has begun to pass for American culture: Christian religion. In general, aside from the secularized fraction of the intellectual elitists, Americans pride themselves on the fact that religion in the public square is still possible, and that the majority of us seem to profess some kind of belief beyond the Tivo selection in front of us.

But that belief is part of the problem, because the general direction of mainstream Christianity has taken a malign and destructive turn. In fact, it has become downright anachronistic on a number of levels. It used to be that the “fundamentalists” and the Catholic Church were the groups accused of looking back to some Golden Age where Christian values and behaviors reigned supreme. This view was considered anti-intellectual and the leading lights sniggered over their dry chablis at the collective stupidity and atavism of such fools.

Now it is the progressive, anti-knowledge intellectuals who long to return to a more pristine past, whether it be the peace and harmony of the American Indians Native Americans (and here’s a prediction: soon, the word “American” will be stricken from that term and some more politically correct, less hateful noun will be found to describe the descendants of those who made their way through the Bering Strait and began to settle here millennia ago. “Native American” will be added to list of Verboten Usage, where it will join Negro, Black, lady, etc) before the evil white man arrived, or the tribal coherence and tranquility of the African tribes before the white man dragged so many thousands to their deaths or to the living death of slavery in Amerikkka. And, of course, there is the paradisiacal, persecuted Cuba which, if we would only leave them alone, would blossom fully into the people’s heaven on earth. For some reason, China is no longer au courant in the paradise department. Too much truth leaked out, perhaps. Or maybe China, with its increasing appetites for technology and modern life looms larger as a threat than it used to for the utopian movers and shakers. China kills utopians; that information may have finally gotten through the elitist barricade erected against reality. It happens sometimes.

But there is another side to their nostalgic backward glances, though they have managed to find some half-plausible cover for their designs — which are as ancient as early recorded history and as new as today’s front page. And that nostalgia is concerned with the eradication of the Jews. The Joos. The Zionist Entity. The swine and apes. The sub-human ones. Don’t kid yourself: rabid anti-Semitism is alive and well in the higher reaches of American society. It has always been there, but only lately has it learned to cloak itself as something else.

One of the most appalling features of our cultural disaster is this anti-Semitism as it is currently practiced in mainline Christian churches in this country. The edicts, committee reports, and resolutions pouring out in the name of the poorpalestinians — for that is now one word among these leaders — all have the same goal. Their stated purpose is to alleviate the suffering of the poorpals, and their committees all seem to have anachronistically Marxist-sounding names with words like “Justice” and “Peace” and “Concern” in the titles. Just like the good old fronted Communist groups in the fifties, the ones aimed at labor groups and later at civil rights organizations. Let’s face it, the Communists stole all the good titles and now the churches must steal them in turn. They might as well, given that their goals are often similar, and equally malign.

Let’s call this posturing by the churches at least one of the things it is: willful blindness to the reality on the ground. A visiting Martian would ask what these Methodists and Lutherans and Presbyterians have been smoking to bring on this stone-blind demonstration of Jew-hatred disguised as Palestinian love. And the alien’s question might explain it all. That is, all the drugs ingested by these people in their youth (and now risen to positions of power) have left a residual brain damage. Instead of the cognitive deficits some substance abusers exhibit, church leaders seem to suffer from a sort of drug-induced cortical inability to parse moral differences. This deficit leaves them with an overweening need to find victims to whom they can show tolerance, while also searching for villains on whom to project the world’s problems. Enter the Jews, those eternal scapegoats that all the righteous Christians love to loathe.

Before the drugs arrived, the parents and grandparents of these church leaders had no problem discerning the need for a Jewish state. They were clearly able to see the valor of the remnant left after Hitler’s orgy and the world’s indifference, the remnant that made it to Israel and built a flourishing civilization out of desert and sand fleas. As waves of envious Arabs swept in to drive the Judenschwein into the sea, American aid and American good will cheered on the amazing efforts of the Israelis to stand fast in the face of such personally directed evil. After all, they were used to it. “Never again,” they said — and at the time they meant it.

No sane person questioned their strategy of holding onto parts of the territory the fleeing, defeated Arabs were forced to leave behind. After all, have not nations done that from time immemorial? It makes it harder for your enemies to attempt another attack. Not impossible, just more difficult. Large parts of southwestern America were acquired in just that way during our war with Mexico.

But that’s history, and Christian churches are weak on history, even and especially their own. Besides, can there be any doubt that Mexico’s histrionic envy is on the agenda for mainstream American churches? It’s a subject sure to be addressed after they’ve finished off Israel, our racism, and the victimization of gays. Yes, Mexico’s former territory is on the agenda all right; it’s just too far down the list to see as yet. First, there are all these other burning issues.

A pogromLeaders in our churches are working actively on the destruction of Israel under the guise of aid to the poorpals. In that respect, they are not one whit different from the righteous Christian hordes of old, with their pogroms and viciously dependable destruction of Jewish communities. Actually, there is one whit of difference: they are more sophisticated at disguising their homicidal projections onto their chosen scapegoats, tricking out their hatreds in the finery of brotherly love for the down-trodden, peace-loving poorpals. These are the same poorpals who kidnap Christian workers, torture and kill them, hold them for ransom, and destroy or desecrate Christian churches in the Palestinian Territories. These useful church idiots serve well in their masochistic piece of the sadomasochistic drama that Palestine plays with reality. In that respect, Palestine and American church leaders are equals. Neither of them is wired real tight to the facts on the ground. It is not in their interests to be so.

Ask yourself: what moral imperative informs the attitudes of these church leaders toward Israel? What is it that drives them to help obliterate the very root from which their churches spring? What in God’s name permits them to close their ears to the wishes of those in the pews, who disagree almost totally with their secularized, pomo vision. Where is the ecclesia in this witches’ brew of hatred, intolerant tolerance, and politically correct insanity? It is behavior which provokes one to ponder the reality of a personification of Evil out there somewhere, pulling the strings of a group of addled do-badders.

Ask yourself: who gave them the right to judge Israel and find it wanting? Is it the fact that Israel was the only democracy in the Middle East (and may return to that status if Iraq does not succeed)? Is their judgment at all connected to their similar judgments about America and her presence in the Middle East? And how do they manage to blind themselves to the presence of Hezbollah in Beirut or Hamas in Palestine? What part of “jihad” do they fail to understand?

Ask yourself: why Israel instead of Somalia or Pakistan or any of the miserable failed states where Christians are persecuted, driven from their homes without recompense and forced to convert? Why aim your sights at Jews when it is others who are killing Christians? What kind of emotional perversion leads to a situation in which those in authority do not feel called upon to speak up for their own?

Ask yourself all these questions, as I do, endlessly. If you come up with any responses that could possibly redeem behavior which seems driven by evil, hubris, or moral stupidity, please let me know. I could use some understanding here.

Meanwhile, as the Presbyterians vote, let me remind you that these whited sepulchers are giving a new meaning to post-Christian.

Let me also remind you that despite appearances, God is not dead. He is simply waiting for us to wake up and boot these money-changers out of the temple.