Monday, December 31, 2007

The True Identity of the Palestinians

Gentile Warrior says it all - and quite succinctly - so I won’t reinvent this here particular wheel, though I have added to his ideas the real reason that Palestinians still exist:

…As long as Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and Al Aqsa operate in Gaza then there will be no peace. The “palestinians” that live in the region have supported one or all of these groups therefore they are not without guilt.

Though Israel has not won a war in the last 30 years it is not the IDF’s fault. A government that has allowed itself to be pushed around and eventually given in to world demands is to blame. Every time Israel has been on the verge of victory it has pulled back or withdrawn for one inane reason or another. It has allowed itself the false hope that the enemy really wanted peace and not war. It fooled itself into believing that the islamists actually could live next door to the children of Israel. Jew and muslim living side by side in peace despite the hatred the muslim has for the Jew. In short, insanity has ruled both the islamist and the Israeli government for quite some time.

cannon fodder The “palestinians” have been nothing but canon fodder for their arab/islamist brethren for quite some time. They have been the public reminder of arab/islamist failure over the last century or so. However they are a useful propaganda tool used against the guilt ridden, compassionate to a fault, western world. Enough is enough.

It’s time to put an end to all of this. The “palestinians” are starving and dying because of their own lunacy, ignorance, and hatred. It’s time to hold them responsible for their own actions. Americans and other western nations take full blame for their government’s actions so therefore the Middle Eastern nations should be held to the same standard. When the world went to war in the 1940’s the enemy was identified and the enemies were nations not just ideas.
[my emphasis -- D]

I would also add that the Palestinians will die along with Israel if Iran goes nuclear, as it constantly threatens to do. When Israel ceases to exist, so will Palestine. What cynics their fellow Muslims are. And how ignorant these people are not to be able to see that their name is not Palestinian, it is “Collateral Damage.” Two troublesome birds will be annihilated with one nuclear stone.

We are not just at war with islam or terrorists. We are at war with Iran and Syria. Add in the nations that provide financial support to the terror groups in the region… Either declare friendship or prepare to be treated as an enemy.

Too many people are dying in the name of shuttle diplomacy and false hope. Either get to fighting or watch as more people die while politicians eat good meals, drink expensive wine, and travel the world achieving nothing while claiming hope for something that doesn’t exist.

In the 20th century millions of people were crushed under the wheels of shuttle diplomacy. It looks likely to continue unless someone puts duct tape over the mouths of the professional “diplomats” and refuses permission for take-off.

[post ends here]

"We have a responsibility for each other..."

Zonka has kindly translated and posted Queen Margrethe II’s New Year speech, which appeared in Jyllands-Posten.

As many of our readers know, I am a great fan of Denmark’s Queen. In America we have, what… Hillary Clinton and Nancy Pelosi? And Denmark has Margrethe. Are Hillary and Nancy our just desserts, or simply the whims that Fate thrusts at us, laughing all the while?

Whichever, it remains a fact that one speech of the Queen’s is worth a dozen of Hillary’s sermons - even the ones she does in her inimitable Southern dialect.

Here are some excerpts from the Queen’s New Year’s Eve address:

Queen Margrethe II of Denmark
New Years Eve is one of the strangest highlights of the year. Tomorrow is yet another day; the sun will rise at the late hour as is customary for the season, and the weather will hardly be different than what the latest weather forecast tells us.

Yet we look forward to this evening as something special, whether we are gathered with good friends or perhaps prefer to celebrate it in quiet thought. Because this evening is special; tomorrow we suddenly find ourselves in a new year: year 2008; tonight we will say goodbye to the year of 2007.

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Here in Denmark many of us experience in these years times with increased wealth, with optimism and with safety. We believe that we have become good at forming our society, such that everybody is able to get the essentials, at least when it comes to material goods.

We are very keen on trying to achieve the perfect, the frictionless and comfortable life. The country must be lovely [reference to national anthem] - but it must not smell. The city must be full of life - but it must not be noisy. All our wishes should come true - but without costing anything. We prefer our lives to be filled with challenges; but they shouldn’t be too demanding or have incalculable consequences.

Particularly the young families are run hard. They are smokingly busy, they have high ambitions, they set high goals for themselves, and many also see them come true, perhaps to a higher degree than their parents and grandparents could ever dream of. But for some of the young it is different; they may never get as far as to set themselves any goals; they are outside before they even get started.

We have a responsibility for each other; that is one of the principles that our society is built on. Maybe we understood that better when there was less to share; now it is so easy to think that somebody else can take care of the problems, as long as we ourselves get on with our lives…

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The wealthy society that we belong to, with its many advantages and the inbuilt care also for the weaker, attracts people who comes from other places in the world, who nourish the same hope as we do: A good and active life with family and friends, with happiness both nearby and in the community. It isn’t easy for anybody to change their way of life, as it must happen, when one settles in a new country. And it cannot be completely avoided, that some people look disapproving at the stranger, who has other fashions, other types of clothing, and who doesn’t yet master the language. But it is necessary, that one has an open mind and a will to find their place in society. In the same way it is important that the society, which has received the newcomers, is ready to help and support and explain which demands they are required to follow and which rules apply. They need us and we need them. This New Years Eve, I would like to send a greeting to the many who in the last generation have settled in Denmark. I wish for them all that every new year they experience here among us, despite all the troubles, may bring them further, so that they can see themselves and their descendents as a part of the Danish society.

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Tonight my thoughts go to the Danish soldiers, who are serving under foreign skies and under difficult conditions and work to create peace and stability and a better life for the local population, in countries far from Denmark. Special thoughts go to those under very demanding conditions in Afghanistan. They have in the latest months suffered sad losses, but I know that they still hold their heads high and stand together. We at home can hardly imagine what they have to go through, but we can be proud of their doings and we should let them know that we think of them. To all in the Danish military I send my New Years greeting and my thanks for the year that went. My deepest compassion for the families, who now sit with the grief and the loss of a loved one, who have given their life in Afghanistan or Iraq; they too are in my thoughts.

When the darkness of the winter comes and the wind blows over the roofs, my thoughts often stray north to the Faroe Islands and Greenland. There Christmas and New Year’s are rightfully the celebrations of lights. However, now the Sun has turned and we slowly march towards more light. May the new year bring all good things to the people of the Faroe Islands and Greenland.

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Every year the review has its own face. This year the Prince Consort and I have had the great joy that our family has been increased with another little grandchild, when the Crown Prince couple had their daughter Isabella. It has warmed us to feel how everybody shared our joy, as we have felt the warm interest in Prince Joachim and his fiancée, Marie Cavallier. That so many take part in everything that takes place in our family and rejoices with us, gladdens us, touches of deeply and fills us with gratitude. It is a source of daily inspiration, and an obligation to always give our very best. So we all feel young and old.

On the last night of the year, it is my wish that the new year may be a good one for Denmark and for all of us. May also those who are ill or filled with worries of heavy thoughts find a beam of light that can lead them on: A loving hand, a kind look, that can show them that they are not forgotten.

Then we will all wish each other a happy New Year and with confidence meet and greet the new year 2008 welcome.

Happy New Year.


And bless Zonka, too, for this translation. You can read the whole speech posted at his site.

A Shift to the Right in the Netherlands

Our expatriate Dutch correspondent H. Numan sends this evaluation of the current political landscape in his home country:

The NetherlandsThe situation in Holland seems to spiral into chaos: the queen took a very political stand — which she is not allowed to do, by convention as well as by law. For the first time, her speech was openly questioned. All thanks to bloggers and the Internet.

The prime minister stands firm behind (the skirt of) the queen. So he should, as he is the chap responsible for whatever she says in public. As the queen is politically invulnerable, it’s his head that will be on the block.

The speech wasn’t too bad, actually. Just the common platitudes, and some sneering from a “have” about the have-nots who should be happy.

It’s rather hypocritical to speak about egoism and lack of solidarity when one earns €8 million, plus bonuses and benefits, tax free. All the more so, since the crown always finds ways to place the tax burden on somebody’s else shoulders: the royal yacht is maintained by the navy, the palaces by the IRS directly, and royal hunts are also diverted to the taxpayer.

The rub was what happened before. The Argentinean wife of the crown prince said in public that the Dutch identity does not exist. This went down quite badly.
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After that blunder the royal family went on a state visit to India where another two blunders were added: first, the fact that child labour is extensively used was neatly avoided. And the crown prince, who specialises in water “something” (presumably management, but he is much better in managing lager) said that Indian farmers should not drink water or wash themselves, but use it to grow crops.

As a kind of penance Princess Maxima was dressed in orange much of the visit.

One might expect some leeway from the queen given the aforementioned bloopers.

What was taken badly in her speech were the barely veiled threats to the PVV (Mr. Wilders’ party, Partij voor de Vrijheid). “Some” forces were rude, brutal and polarising society. Wilders took offense here, although personally I wouldn’t. Because I feel that those “some” forces are the chappies who cannot speak Dutch, and lift their butts in the air five times per day.

The government let out “by accident” the date Mr. Wilders will air his video: 25 Jan 2008.

Already many Muslims voice veiled and not-so-veiled threats against Geert Wilders and public order. If this video is aired… (violence, plunder, chaos) the ‘moderates’ play good cop (“something we cannot prevent”) while the other 99% plays bad cop by publishing pamphlets calling for violence if the ‘noble’ Koran is threatened.

What is good is that the public opinion is changing rapidly. The Socialist Party dropped a massive 50% in popularity. Wilders is steadily rising, and TON (Trots op Nederland, a breakaway right-wing faction of the conservatives of VVD, Volkspartij voor Vrijheid en Democratie) polls at least double the size of the VVD. Actually, the first breakaway right-wing faction of the VVD was Wilders himself.

If elections were held now, a coalition of TON (25), PVV (15), VVD (14(!)), and CDA (Christen Democratisch Appèl) would become a right wing majority cabinet. It is almost possible to form a cabinet without the CDA. And if Wilders’ video causes havoc, that is what is likely to happen.

New Year’s Fireworks Fizzle in Brussels

As a follow-up on our Belgian Christmas terror alert post, our Flemish correspondent ProFlandria has translated excerpts from an article on the situation in Brussels:

The Flemish Daily De Standaard explains today that the fourteen suspects who were arrested — and subsequently released — may still pose a threat:

BRUSSELS — Security services remain convinced that the fourteen Muslim extremists who were detained on Friday 21 December, and were subsequently released, had nefarious intentions.

[There will be] no fireworks in Brussels tonight; the Christmas market and the skating rink will close early. These are the newest anti-terror measures taken yesterday, after a meeting of the Home Affairs, Urban Policy, Housing and Civic Integration Ministry’s crisis cell and an evaluation of the terror threat. In addition to these measures, at least until 3 January, extra security will remain in place in the Brussels metro and train stations, the airport, and in places where large numbers of people are present such as the Grote Markt [“Grand Place” — the main market square; it is ringed by medieval guild houses and is one of the main tourist attractions in the city].

Not surprisingly, apart from some purely political objections some lawmakers also question the validity of the threat perception:

Senator Jean-Marie Dedecker (LDD) [Lijst Dedecker - a small pro-Flemish party] called the measures ‘a Christmas show by the interim Government that will cost our country a fortune.’ His colleague Anne-Marie Lizin (PS) [Parti Socialiste - Walloon Socialists] requested an investigation into the quality of the information that led to what she considers to be an overestimation of the terror alert. Both parliamentarians consider the best proof of their position to be the fact that the fourteen suspects who were detained on 21 December were released that same evening.

Note that their argument basically follows the “terrorism as crime” paradigm, which should have been abandoned after 9-11. In this view, absence of evidence is evidence of absence (of a crime). The crisis cell, however, is not buying it. The cell does not disclose specific intelligence, but it explains its nature:

[The cell] bases its position on the analyses of OCAD. This information-sharing forum has been in existence for about one and a half years and comprises all federal security and intelligence services involved with combating terrorism. None of those involved have been willing to divulge anything regarding the specific indicators [on the terror plot] they possess. They only state that ‘We received information from several independent sources - both domestic and foreign - that Muslim extremists wanted to free Nizar Trabelsi from jail and that they wanted to execute a terror attack somewhere in Brussels, in a crowded place’.

The fact that the cell came to its conclusion based on independently sourced information shows that their conclusion was likely no mistake. The mention of “foreign” sources possibly refers to a foreign security or intelligence service, which would make the assessment even more solid. While the editors consider the possibility that it could always have been a case of innocent boasting, they continue to deconstruct that argument:

According to our [the newspaper’s] information, at first the suspects only talked about freeing Trabelsi. That changed midway through December. Suddenly the talk was about a ‘blind’ attack. At that point, the Judiciary obviously went into overdrive.”

What is certain is that these past few weeks [i.e., after their release] the fourteen suspects […] have been acting very suspiciously in phone and mail communications. All fourteen belonged to Nizar Trabelsi’s entourage. Trabelsi is serving a ten-year sentence in our country because he planned to execute an attack with a car bomb. Among the fourteen is also Ahmed Temsamani, robber and ex-cellmate of Trabelsi’s, as well as two other detainees. Naïma, Trabelsi’s second wife, also belonged to the fourteen. She was also detained on 21 December, together with two of her majority-aged children. One of those is a chemist. She can make a bomb’, Naïma said on the phone several times. ‘I was just making a joke’, Naïma says now.

In other phone conversations the suspects made other ‘jokes’ as well. Naïma’s majority-aged son talked to his stepfather Nizar Trabelsi about becoming a kamikaze. In still other phone conversations, the suspects mentioned a ‘reconnaissance’ they would conduct in the metro. ‘We will surreptitiously hide some tins in the trash cans. Then they [security] will take action and we will know if we’re being followed’, they said.

These people, who are part of the inner circle of a man who is already in jail for planning a car bomb attack, are talking about making bombs and conducting reconnaissance. Even if they are legally still “untouchable”, from a purely preventive standpoint there is definitely enough here to merit close scrutiny. Finally, here’s a surprising semi-endorsement of the threat perception:
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The police and Judiciary received support from a non-suspect source. Malika El Aroud, one of the fourteen [suspects], reacted to the police action the day after her release on the internet forum Malika is the widow of Abdessatar Dahmane, the man who, in a suicide attack, killed Afghan opposition leader Ahmed Shah Massoud the day before 9-11.

[On the forum, she writes:] ‘It may surprise you but for once, I believe the police were right to act. One of the detained persons has told me over the phone several times that there would be a violent hostage-taking if Nizar Trabelsi’s prison regimen was not relaxed. Obviously [?] she was just talking trash. But is it really a surprise that the police react to that?’

Apparently Mayor Thielemans decided to take the security precautions following a phone call from Patrick Dewael, Minister for Home Affairs, Urban Policy, Housing and Civic Integration. I don’t think either one would have let anyone publicly impugn their new electorate by implying that Muslims were planning a terror attack. The threat may never materialize now that extra security is in place and people are (indirectly) discouraged from attending crowded events, and undoubtedly that will be seen in some quarters as proof that there never was a credible threat in the first place.

Still, it’s encouraging that the professionals charged with countering the terror threat seem to do their utmost, in the face of political skepticism and shackled by judicial constraints meant for criminal cases.

VH, our other Flemish correspondent, adds this:

Fresh news: In Rotterdam the Special Intervention Team arrested two Moroccans and a Sudanese. The suspects were planning an attack. Its not clear yet if there is a connection with the planned subway attack in Brussels.

About the Rotterdam arrests nothing further is known yet, only that five houses have been searched and that the attack was expected to happen very soon.

As a contrast, there will be New Year’s Fireworks on the Finnish tundra — a special kind of fireworks

The EU Tries to Silence a Critic

Our Swedish correspondent HL has translated the following article, which was published yesterday in Svenska Dagbladet, Sweden’s biggest daily newspaper:

The enemies of the open society — The journalist Hans-Martin Tillack, working for the magazine Stern, exposed corruption within the EU. That caused the police to turn his house upside down in the hunt for his informants inside the EU body. EU’s democracy-supervisor Margot Wallström dodged and did not defend Tillack and the right to protect sources, writes Nils Lundgren of the Juni List.

Wallström Kept Quiet About the Tillack Affair

Hans-Martin TillackAbout a month ago the German journalist Hans-Martin Tillack was acquitted in the European Court of Justice. The case was principally important for freedom of speech and democracy, and the political process which preceded it cast a grim revealing light on how things are done in Brussels.

The background is dramatic. At dawn on March 19, 2004 a Belgian police squad moved in on Hans-Martin Tillack, who at that point was tracking the EU in Brussels for the magazine Stern. He was arrested in his home wearing only his underwear.

The police searched his home and office and confiscated two computers, four cell phones, one metal locker, sixteen boxes of paper, and two documentary files. He was not allowed to call his wife, who was on a business trip to Ukraine, and he was released only after ten hours of interrogation.

What had Tillack done? Well, he had written an exposé about, among other things, the EU’s Bureau of Statistics, Eurostat, known for its corrupt insider culture, and about the EU’s Anti-Fraud Office, Olaf.

On February 11, 2004 Olaf therefore reported Tillack to the prosecuting authorities in both Brussels and Hamburg and demanded a house warrant. The charge was that Tillack had been given access to in-house documents from Olaf by help of bribery.

The leadership of the administration even went as far as to hint that there was a leak in the committee which had been put in place to supervise Olaf. And it was more important to find leaks within the own organization than to expose fraudulent activities inside the EU’s administrative offices. The German prosecutor found no juridical basis for a house warrant, whereas the Belgians approved it.

Tillack as well as Stern’s Chief Editor have consistently denied all the accusations of bribery and have of course refused to reveal their sources. The European Journalist Federation determined early on that the charges of bribery were unfounded.

Margot WallströmThe reactions of the various branches of the EU are revealing. What did the commission, parliament and EG-court do? Did the commissioner in charge of supervising democracy, Margot Wallström, defend the right to protect information sources, and Nordic openness?

The answer is no. Was the issue ever raised for debate in the EU parliament with a fiery speech to defend freedom of speech? The answer is no. On the contrary, the EU parliament recently voted with a crushing majority to terminate its study of the Tillack case.
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And what about the EG-court in Luxembourg, the last bastion whose purpose is to make sure European values such as justice and democratic openness are upheld? Tillack turned to it to have his research material returned and to protect his sources. The EG-court said no.

The EU is treating its citizens as subjects. Criticism is stopped with an iron fist, the media is held on a short leash, and any employee who blows the whistle is fired.

The European Journalists’ Federation considered the sentence a direct threat against the freedom of the press in Europe, and Tillack took it to the European Court of Justice in Strasbourg. This one has nothing to do with the EU, and is tied to the European Council where almost all European states are represented. And, lo and behold, the European Court of Justice’s ruling was in favor of Tillack.

It concluded that the purpose of the police raid was to expose Tillack’s sources, that journalists have the right to protect their informants, and that this protection of the source must be given utmost care. The police confiscation was therefore a crime against the freedom of speech. The Belgian state was sentenced to pay damages to Tillack and to reimburse him for his trial expenses.

What does the Tillack affair teach us? First and foremost that the EU’s institutions are more interested in protecting themselves against any criticism than in freedom of speech and the right to protect sources.

Secondly, that it is not in the best interest of democracy and to the citizens to strengthen the power of the EG-court. But that is what is currently happening, now that the EU’s new constitution is being pushed forward despite the “no” vote in referendums held in France and Holland. The result will be that politically-appointed judges of the EG-court are given even greater opportunities to interpret the EU laws so that they will better fit the Eurocrats.

Thirdly, that we must stop the EU’s plans to push through a law covering all the media. If Sweden’s Freedom of the Press Act is conformed to the EU, it will be much easier for the political establishment to control the media.


It is time to move the spotlights of the media from politicians’ unregistered nannies to the EU’s handling of democracy and the open society. The enemies of the open society are found even here in Brussels.

Nils Lundgren
Chairman of the Juni List
First Vice Chairman in the EU-parliament’s budget control committee

The Dangers of Christianity

Algeria is worried about the impact that Christian evangelism is having within the country. Whole families are — gasp! — becoming Christian. An Islamic political party is determined to put a stop to this menace.

According to AKI:

Algeria: Islamic MPs ask for action against Christian missionaries

Lawmakers from the Algerian Islamic political party of al-Nahda have asked the government to intervene to slow down “the activities of Christian missionaries in the country”.

Algerian MP Muhammad Hudeibi was quoted as saying this in the local el-Khabar newspaper.

“We want the government to cut down this type of activity because the expansion of evangelisation in Algeria has become an important problem and is not marginal as some think it is,” said Hudeibi.

For some years, the local media in Algeria have reported on the activities of a number of missionaries, particularly those from evangelical and Protestant churches, who have succeeded in converting entire Algerian families to Christianity, particularly those who come from the eastern area of Kabilia.
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“We condemn the government’s silence with regard to this phenomenon,” said the Algerian MP.

“We are collecting the signatures of other lawmakers in order to begin a discussion in parliament on this problem,” he said.

“All 11 parliamentarians of al-Nahda have been mobilised, but we are convinced that others will also help us.”

The Islamic party also asked the Algerian ulema or Islamic scholars and imams to give their opinion on the issue of Christian evangelism.

Hat tip: insubria.

Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes?

A phalanx

Looking back over 2007, particularly the last couple months of it, I realize that I have learned a sobering lesson:

We cannot rely on the major blogs to police themselves.

Blogs are extraordinarily adept at finding and publicizing errors of fact in the mainstream media. When Reuters and CNN and France 2 unquestioningly report hoaxes, falsely attributed material, staged photographs, and all the other manufactured propaganda of the Left and the Islamists, the distributed intelligence of the blogs exposes them immediately. Major American blogs with their large readership are particularly important to the process of discovering and reporting the truth as it pertains to the MSM. Without these blogs, corrections and retractions would be extremely unlikely.

This is not true, however, when it pertains to one of their own. For whatever reason — professional courtesy, a reluctance to get into a flame war, or just a general distaste for conflict amongst one’s peers — it seems that large blogs shy away from reporting on factual errors committed by other large blogs.

Blogging success relies on a reputation for trustworthiness. We expect the truth from a popular and respected blog. Trust is earned over a long period of time through scrupulous accuracy and a rapid correction of errors.

Ultimately, the trustworthiness of a blog depends on the character of the blog’s writers. People with a natural sense of probity and the ability to accept criticism will build up a record that deserves our trust.

Unfortunately, if a blog with a large enough readership falls away from these standards, no mechanism exists to expose and correct it.

It brings to mind the age-old question:

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

Who will guard the guardians?
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A hopliteThe Latin adage is from Juvenal’s Satires (iii.347), but the question derives originally from Plato. In his dialogues with Socrates, as recounted in Book III of The Republic, Plato describes the ideal polis, a tiered city-state with guardians who protect and govern the city by means of their wisdom and special training.

Socrates is asked, “Who will guard the guardians?” Plato’s answer is that they will in fact guard themselves. In order to do this, they will be told the Noble Lie:

The noble lie will inform them that they are better than those they serve and it is, therefore, their responsibility to guard and protect those lesser than themselves. We will instill in them a distaste for power or privilege, they will rule because they believe it right, not because they desire it…

In Plato’s view, the noble lie was a necessary evil, designed to avoid despotism and at the same time prevent the state from falling into chaos and anarchy. In the centuries since Plato political philosophy has grappled with the same problem — how to prevent the accumulation of power in the hands of those unfit to exercise it — but has never arrived at a satisfactory answer. Solutions suited to particular times and cultures have emerged — the separation of powers, constitutional monarchy, various caste systems — but none is perfect.

And, in any case, the lie may be a noble one, but it is still a lie. The guardians are not better than ordinary people.

The hoi polloi of Blogopolis are just as capable of discerning the truth as are the aristocrats.

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A hopliteSo what is an alert reader to do? The major blogs are guarding the MSM, but who is guarding the major blogs?

Regular readers will not be surprised when I offer a distributed solution.

Smaller blogs are more competitive, and an aggregate of the truth is likely to appear among them. This argues for a variegated base of news sources. Include the big blogs in your reading, but look for independent sources among the smaller blogs. If possible, find more than one original source for any given important fact. The wisdom of crowds will arrive at the true story, but you’ll need a crowd of information sources in order to find it.

Readers and commenters have an important function in maintaining the standards of any given blog. Provided that the group can avoid becoming an echo chamber, if the expertise of these contributors is acknowledged, then they are performing their custodial duty to truth.

We bloggers have a responsibility to acknowledge our readers’ acumen. We need to recognize that we’re communicating with our peers.

It’s also important to beware of undisclosed biases. Virtually no one dispenses information from an unbiased point of view, so a source that is up front about its natural biases is inherently more trustworthy than one that claims to be dispassionate.

That’s my two cents’ worth. It’s a rather meager reward for cashing out of 2007, but it will have to do.

Happy new year, everybody!

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Putting Geert Wilders Beyond the Pale

Update: Late-arriving material from VH has been added to the first section of his report.

Yesterday I reported about the Youssef & Kamal rap music video from the Netherlands, which includes a mock beheading of the anti-immigration Dutch politician, Geert Wilders.

Out of a combination of fear and political correctness, the Dutch media and the political elites have put Mr. Wilders beyond the pale. For all intents and purposes, it is as if they are saying, “If anything happens to Geert Wilders, it is because of his abhorrent politics, and he will be getting what he deserves.”

Several comments on the Vigilant Freedom version of yesterday’s post assert that the rap video is a hoax, and that “Youssef & Kamal” do not exist, but are the handiwork of a young ethnic Dutchman.

Our Flemish correspondent VH weighs in on this and other aspects of Geert Wilders’ situation. At the bottom of this post is his translation of the lyrics of the Youssef & Kamal video.

Here’s what VH has to say:

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Youssef & KamalGeen Stijl indeed posted a follow-up with links to translations, slagging Youssef & Kamal for becoming famous even though they are just a bunch of slimy little cowards. Geen Stijl ends by suggesting it was made by a white 20-year old little s***head.

The rap and clip is real; there is no hoax about that. The only vague thing is Youssef & Kamal themselves or “himself”.

Already there are fierce and nasty comments coming up. Even if it’s a young white scumbag or whoever, he certainly seems to speak on behalf of a group of quite intolerant idiots who love this rap, just because it does threaten Wilders:


@kalesky, If you don’t see the sarcasm of it, you must be an extemist jew, jou make yourself an idiot here, what about spindoctoring about a trreat? the book? all while it concerns an adolescent responding to the stigma wilders spreads


and all those rage bokito’s [bokito is the name of the recently escaped gorilla from the Blijdorp zoo] make a fool of themselves, you shouldn’t run behind the asses of geen stijl and wilders, this is also freedom of art, eat your heart out, its clearly sarcasm towards the stigma that the jewish fascist wilders stirred up

I just found a rap with a similar voice from the previous Wilders threat (sounds like a kid with no pure Dutch accent). At the end of this rap he says:

Ewa Geert Wilders, contact with me [sic], I have the address of Youssef for you

By the way, just a few lines from this rap just for the local color:

Fatneck I stab you death
Fatneck you dirty kanker jew
Fatneck fat homo

I don’t trust the picture, but the rap is sick. A very sick guy, anyway. If he is the one behind the recent rap, he hasn’t been doing it on his own.

Update: This guy Appa appears in the rap:

Newsreader: “He said: If I ever meet Wilders, he is mine.”
Interviewer: Wilders filed a complaint about you. What did you say?
Appa: I don't care when somebody puts a bullet through his head, that’s honestly my opinion, I wouldn't shed a tear about it.
Interviewer: Why not?
Appa: I find him a sickening person, I find him inhuman, so...
Interviewer: Can you imagine he reports when he hears something like that?
Appa: No, not somebody like him, somebody saying things like he does, I can't understand that.
Interviewer: In the Netherlands it’s not done, saying things like that, you can't do that
Appa: Then Wilders can't say the things he says as well, but I don't hear anybody nagging about that.
Interviewer: Well, there's a lot of criticism against him though...
Appa: Not like the criticism delivered at me.
Interviewer: What do you mean?
Appa: That much fuss is never being made about it; why is he never called to account for it for the way I am now?

After his threat, Appa was charged and sacked from his job giving workshops in youth prisons.

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In the meantime, Geert Wilders has reported it to the police, and remarked, “I haven’t seen it this dirty before.” Quite a remark for Wilders, who receives piles of death threats a day and is quite used to it, although he has protection around the clock and lives in safe houses.

Adding to this, the Dutch Government started preparing for major Muslim riots once Wilders’ Koran film is shown on TV. They even suggest it might have an impact similar to that of the Jyllands-Posten Mohammed-cartoons, and spread through the Muslim world outside the Netherlands.

These actions have been taken:

1. Wilders will get extra protection.
2. In Amsterdam, Utrecht, and the Hague, extra measures will be taken (what exactly is not said).
3. The Amsterdam Police have talked with local Imams and the Muslim community to prepare them for the film, hoping to prevent riots.
4. An emergency scenario is in preparation or already adjusted in case major riots occur.

The film may be shown on January 25. Of course, not by the regular networks, but in the broadcasting time of the PVV (Geert Wilders’ Freedom Party). Every party in the Netherlands has some time available yearly on the radio and the TV; it’s not much, but might be enough to use it for the Koran film.

To give an idea about Wilders’ protection there’s an interesting quote following the first clip of Youssef & Kamal in 2005:

…The young MP [Wilders], who represents the one-man faction Groep Wilders in Dutch Parliament [at the moment his Freedom Party has 9 out of 150 seats], has adopted an aggressively anti-Islamic position, claiming that Islam and democracy are “not well-matched, not even in a million years.”

Since airing his views, Wilders has been under constant threat by Islamists who want him dead. On the web several video clips have appeared which called for his beheading. Wilders has six bodyguards and has slept [even] in a prison cell to protect himself against possible attacks.

By the way, the prime minister admitted by accident that the yearly Christmas message of the Queen indeed was directed to Wilders and his electorate. The quote from Balkenende: “Wilders says he defends the interests of the Netherlands, but in the meantime tears down what makes Netjerland the Netherlands: our royalty, our tolerance, and the solidarity with others, also across the borders.” With this the prime minister makes a connection between the message of the Queen and Wilders.

What strikes me about this panic in the Dutch government, with the Queen, the usual leftist appeasers and the Dutch Muslims, is that Wilders didn’t make or do anything yet, only announced the plan to make a film critical of the Koran.

Balkenende — through his mouthpiece the Queen (or vice versa) — recently called upon the native Dutch to be more tolerant, and told Wilders (she didn’t mention his name, but Balkenende admitted it was aimed at Wilders) to stop his behavior, which is causing a rift within society.

With this the government shows they are exactly where Youssef & Kamal and similar people want them: shaking in a shady corner, soiling their pants.
- - - - - - - - -
As a side note: Hizb Ut Tahrir, an extreme Muslim group that is banned in many countries but seemingly not in the Netherlands was handing out flyers against Geert Wilders a few days ago. This organization is known having links even spreading out to Al Qaeda.

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Here are excerpts from two articles about Y&K. First, from Eindhovens Dagblad:

The clip was made by rappers Youssef & Kamal, youths from Eindhoven with Moroccan background. It is posted also on Geen Stijl. Halfway through the clip two staged pictures flash by in which a decapitated Wilders can be seen. At the end of the film they show a man, a Wilders look-alike, surrounded by masked men. One of them cuts his throat.


The clip starts with the text “Eindhoven Mocros”, meaning Moroccans. In the rap lyrics Woensel and Vaartbroek are also mentioned. There are street pictures of the Limburglaan, de Roosje Vosstraat and the shopping center Vaartbroek. In the latter neighborhood there has been trouble before, caused by Moroccan youths.

Wilders beheadedThe clip also shows a masked guy waving a knife and a crowbar, mixed with (security) images from robberies and a ramkraak. The title roll at the end points at the anti-Islam film Wilders wants to make. In the photo at right, Geert Wilders appears with a sign saying “THUG LIFE” over his eyes.


In the neighborhood Vaartbroek a lot of citizens found on a leaflet on their doormats on Christmas day calling for resistance against Wilders’ film about the Koran. This letter also has been delivered in dome areas of Hertogenbosch, Amsterdam, and Zaandam. The senders, calling themselves the “ youths of Hizb ut Tahrir“, come forward to “defend the noble Koran as an Islamic duty”

The duo Youssef & Kamal already made a controversial rap about Wilders in 2005 [“De Kelder”, The Cellar], which can be listened to on a music-website. In this rap Wilders is being tortured and threatened with assassination. Wilders the also reported this rap to the police. Whether it will lead to a conviction is not known to the politician. Youssef & Kamal did release an “excuse” rap (“Sorry, Geert Wilders, I didn’t want to hurt you, please don’t lock me up, because I do appreciate your hairdo”).

All the way at the end of the clip a text announces the following: “Soon available with the soundtrack of the Geert Wilders film containing the hits: Woensel, Get away, Station Whores, The Cellar, F**k the Jews, Ambitionz as a Ridah [also the title of a Tupac-rap], I don’t give a s**t, Pour Ceux [also a rap by Mafia K1 Fry], 180 cc, Hit ’em Up and many others.”

This is from State Hiphop Magazine:

In response to the previous rap [in 2005] against Geert Wilders that made headlines, they gave an interview:

Why the rappers [Youssef & Kamal] aim at Wilders is as clear as anything: “Ewa, he is a f**king [kanker] racist [the disease kanker (cancer) is rudely used for adding power to a curse]. Simple as that. He offends the Moroccan community continuously. No respect. He must have been raised by apes.”

That it makes Wilders feel threatened, the guys understand. “We are ‘gatar,’ but reporting it because of this, says something about the current state of the Netherlands. The Dutch became pants-s**tters.”

After the terror attacks in, amongst others, the United States, Madrid and recently in London and after the ritual massacre of [Theo] Van Gogh last year, the atmosphere in the Netherlands is far from ideal. The tension between the Dutch on one side and the immigrants [allochtonen] on the other became quite high in the last few years. In some places it resulted the arson attacks on mosques and an Islamic primary school. In Limburg [province in the Netherlands] Dutch locals [autochtonen] got into a fight with Moroccan Dutch.

Comment: The prime minister Balkenende shortly after the murder of Van Gogh went to visit the torched Islamic school, and the Queen visited the Moroccan community in Amsterdam. Neither of them visited the family or friends of Theo Van Gogh.

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Here is the text of the Youssef & Kamal rap, the best I can do in a quick translation. A few words were not understandable because of the lousy recording, and some parts were untranslatable for me because they are in Berber-Arabic (I used the soundtrack from the rap “Woensel”).

Eindhoven is a large city in the mid-south of the Netherlands. Philips used to be the biggest employer. Also Eindhoven has a Technical University. Woensel is one of the districts of Eindhoven and the neighborhood where these Moroccans live. The other names like Limbeek, Vlokhoven, and Fellenoort are all smaller neighborhoods of Eindhoven/Woensel.

Eind-ho-ven Woen-sel Mocros [as Moroccans call themselves] all together

Smack as my …

[0:10] Eindhoven that is s**t, only that, only that! O.k. [Berber-Arabic]

[0:18] Aeeewah I’m just back from Vught [the city Vught has a prison where Muslim terrorists like the murderer of Van Gogh are locked up], I was infamous, on the run, but now I’m relieved, f**king Police [ibahesh] is making my life sour, like a lemon.

Give me a chair next to Ehsan Jami [politician of the PvdA (Socialist Party), who became an apostate, founded a committee for ex-Muslims, and therefore got banned from the PvdA, who feared losing their much-needed Muslim vote], our life is difficult as a rap [wahed gedicht], you be quiet my friend, or else I push a glass in your face;

One eight seven [187 is the police alarm-code for homicide] on a white police officer, Palestine neighborhood [referring to their Woensel area or maybe referring to the recent Slotervaat-Amsterdam attack on police officers, not sure] where the Jews are on the run, (hé!); Eleven September has been invented here, because of our terrorism America’s been butchered;

Woensel has the largest concentration of f**ks, all chickies [Dutch girls] are coming over here with their legs spread …

[0:57] Yeeesss we break the law with pleasure, Youssef, Kamal and I, we stay thieves, do kick, crowbar in hand searching for the swag, only the dinky [white Dutch] stuff, only what dinky cares for;

Yes, I told the bastard [meaning Wilders], I’m going to take your life, motherf**ker I shoot you dead, tremble Wilders [this word has been censored with a beep, but the first and last letters are left], I break your legs, I take your life, I take you downstairs, chain you, so forget about begging;

Kamal calls me and tells me to come over to the petrol station, I felt ill but still I walk to the petrol station, pull my knife and stab instantly and have … [1:32 — some Arabic/Mocro] I tell you, and give it to this Woensel or your body’s in pieces;

[1:34] (Woen-sel Bitch!), the Gaza strip of Eindhoven (Woen-sel Bitch!), from Limbeek up to Vlokhoven (Woen-sel Bitch!), Woensel here Woensel there (Woen-sel Bitch!), together is together …

Raise your legs very high …

[1:47] Youssef is back, move away, because this is for Ed [?], Vaartbroek, Vlokhoven, Limbeek and Fellenoort, Woensel motherf**kers and the building (as is supposed to be). I am the true Moroccan, nobody can understand me anyway [indeed, a lot of Berber-Arabic here] ;

[2:11] Kruisstraat, Europalaan [streets in Woensel], that’s where we come from, flashing in Vaartbroek, T-Genie [the Technical University as well as the old Philips factory is in Woensel] is the name, Gaza is there so your little safebox [sounds like double meaning here] is in danger, mussels [referring to Muzelman, an old Dutch word for Muslim] here, mussels there, hide, Woensels are a danger;

[2:24] I enter as a ramkraak [Dutch word for a using a car to crash into a shop for a robbery], look how I on this side of the hard song carry off the swag, Eindhoven, Woensel, Mocros [short for Moroccan] are going there, 180 cc […] fast;

Look how we rob full speed through the streets hunting for the froes [might have something to do with girls], or a microwave, or a plasma-screen TV, or jewels, or a safe, or car keys [Berber-Arabic];

Youssef, most call me the fighter, when Youssef’s been around they need to stitch you, pop pop pop-pop, Youssef hits you dead, and when I’m tired I stab in your head;

[3:01] (Woen-sel Bitch!), the Gaza strip of Eindhoven (Woen-sel Bitch!), from Limbeek up to Vlokhoven (Woen-sel Bitch!), Woensel here Woensel there (Woen-sel Bitch!), The Moroccans are a danger [2x]

[3:31] [screaming idiot here while a Wilders look-alike is beheaded];

Youssef how do we fix this.

Update on the Fuat Deniz Case

Fuat Deniz was an Assyrian Christian university professor in Sweden who was murdered several weeks ago. For a more detailed background on this case, refer to the list of links at the bottom of this post.

Our Swedish correspondent Carpenter sends this brief report on the status of the case, which seems to have stalled:

Fuat DenizAs far as I can tell, this murder was ideological/political, and the servants PC of the Swedish regime do everything they can to mislead on this. As, for instance, Jerzy “Stockholm Bob” Sarnecki, of whom you already know and have blogged about.

The National Police board failed to enhance the pictures from the surveillance tape from the store in Örebro, where the presumptive murderer may have walked in suspiciously covered with blood, and without buying anything.

So now the tape has been sent to the State Laboratory of Crime Technology [Statens Kriminaltekniska Laboratorium], according to Länstidningen (December 28th). It has been in the same camera for years, daily rewound and used for recording.

Thus, the quality is rotten, and Lotta Lindblad, press spokesperson of the Örebro police, isn’t optimistic: “The quality is so bad, that nothing can be seen […] SKL is going to give it one last try, but it will be difficult.”

Earlier posts on the topic:
- - - - - - - - -
2007 Dec 15 The Long Arm of the Assyrian Genocide
    16 Silencing Any Discussion of the Assyrian Genocide
    18 Remembering Fuat Deniz
    19 A Political Murder? Unlikely, Says Swedish Expert
    22 Soft-Pedaling the Murder of Fuat Deniz
    25 The Swedish Keystone Cops

Saturday, December 29, 2007

An Interview With Ville Ranta

Update: There were problems with the links to the original cartoon page, so they have been replaced with links to a somewhat lower-resolution version of the same comic strip.

Most Gates of Vienna readers are familiar with the “Motoons”, the cartoons of Mohammed that were drawn by various Danish artists for Jyllands-Posten and caused a major international crisis almost two years ago.

Cartoon by Ville RantaBut few people outside of Finland have heard of the Finnish comic strip that featured Mohammed, or Ville Ranta, the artist who drew the strip. I was unaware of the story until KGS gave the country report for Finland at Counterjihad Brussels 2007. He mention Ville Ranta in his talk, and subsequently arranged for an interview with Gates of Vienna.

Mr. Ranta’s cartoon conversation with Mohammed — whom he depicted in a mask to avoid drawing a likeness of Mohammed — caused an uproar in Finland. His editor refused to withdraw the comic strip, and was fired as a result.

Ville Ranta agreed to answer a series of questions by email for the following interview:
- - - - - - - - -
Q: I heard about your situation from KGS at Tundra Tabloids, but I know little about the story except the bare outline—- that you drew a comic strip for a Finnish cultural magazine, Kaltio, depicting a conversation with Mohammed (in disguise); that your editor, Jussi Vilkunaa, was fired for refusing to remove the comic strip; and that you have been marginalized as a result of the controversy. Could you please tell us the story of what happened, in your own words?

A: You’ve got the correct basic information. At the time I and Vilkuna had to receive a huge amount of accusations of being irresponsible, provocative and even racist. The accusations were made by Finnish local politicians and other conservative thinking people, but also by some left-wing persons who seemed to think that any criticism towards anything that has something to do with minorities or the religions of European minorities is racism.

The situation got this bad because the board of Kaltio magazine had closed its own websites to prevent anyone from seeing the comic. So, almost everybody who attacked us hadn’t read the comic I had made.

Most of the Finnish newspapers and other media, though, were supporting us all the time. So, after the panic was over, I don’t think me and Jussi had too bad a reputation. Still there are people who think that I’m some kind of provocative racist as an artist but there aren’t many of them.

The funny thing with the Finnish press was that, even though they supported us quite loudly, they didn’t publish my story. Nobody did. This made the comic almost mystical and legendary. Of course those who could use internet well, found it, but majority of the Finnish public never read the comic in its full length.

As you probably have seen, the comic itself is very clearly against racism, violence and war.

Today I’ve found new papers to draw for. After a year’s break in publishing critical comics anywhere I started to draw for Ilta-Sanomat which is one of the biggest newspapers in Finland and the critical magazine of Finnish Journalists Association, Journalisti.

Q: Have you been threatened as a result of having drawn the comic strip?

A: No.

Q: Were there any demands from people that you apologize, and, if so, did you apologize?

A: I didn’t apologize to anyone. I had a few discussions with these local politicians and the imams of Oulu and Helsinki. The town of Oulu apologized to me for having fired me in a panic from a project I was doing at the time. I accepted the apology but didn’t take my job back. I think my comic was a decent and very communicative attempt to create discussion between artists, politicians and religious people. Of course I knew that my satire and straightforward way of saying will upset religious Muslims here. But the comic isn’t offensive. Everybody has to be able to say honestly what they think and feel. As well as others have the right to feel upset. The imam of Oulu also admitted this to me. He said that we both are obviously for peace but our ways are different.

Q: Have you been able to find work or sell your drawings since the crisis occurred?

A: Yes. I already answered this above.

Q: What happened to your editor, Mr. Vilkunaa? Has he been able to get a new job?

A: Yeah. Jussi is at the moment the general manager of The Cultural Institute of Oulunsalo, which for example organizes music festivals and such in the area of Oulu.

Q: How did public opinion react to what happened? Do you feel that the Finnish people support you?

A: Well, they didn’t. As I told you, most of the people hadn’t read my comic and they were very suspicious. Traditionally, in Finland, people don’t easily like the ones who speak up. Here, critical speaking is often seen as an attack. People are very prudent and compromising when it comes to difficult subjects. But that is to change. Many people welcomed the open discussion on foreign politics, power and religions when we published the comic.

Q: Is the climate in the Finnish media repressive, or is there some room for freedom of expression as it concerns Islam and other sensitive topics?

A: Generally speaking, Finnish media is very free and works well. The other thing is that people themselves aren’t used to talking about things that concern foreign politics, countries, religions, things like that. That is absolutely the tradition that comes from the era of the Russian empire and the Soviet Union. And Islam is a difficult subject. There’s very few Muslim immigrants in Finland, a few tens of thousands. Finnish media and public don’t know Muslims or Islam. That, of course, makes the subject uneasy. People are afraid of racism and becoming accused of racism.

Q: Are you optimistic about the future in Finland?

A: Sure. We just should take a lot more immigrants and open our society to Europe. We should not be so afraid anymore, not even of the Russians. Finland is like a man that has been beaten up too many times as a boy. He’s afraid of raising his head.

Q: What are your own personal plans for the future?

A: I focus on my art. I want to dance in the service of thought, as said Kierkegaard.

Q: If you had it to do over again, would you still draw the comic strip?

A: Yeah. I’d make it a bit shorter, though. Five pages were all too much for today’s public.

Q: Thank you, Mr. Ranta.

Once again, visit Ville Ranta’s website here, and read the comic strip (in English) here.

Beheading Geert Wilders

Geert WildersIt’s often been pointed out that the Dutch politician Geert Wilders is being set up to be the next Pim Fortuyn. His anti-immigrant positions are construed to put him beyond the pale, consigning him to that twilight zone outside the boundaries of polite discussion.

When the time comes, and a Muslim or an anarchist takes it upon himself to solve the Wilders problem, it will be regrettable, even criminal, but hardly a surprise, given the man’s dangerous political proclivities…

The most recent step in the demonization of Geert Wilders is an obnoxious video made by immigrant rappers. One of our Flemish contacts has translated an article about the video, first giving us his introduction:

The most popular blog in the Netherlands, Geen Stijl picked up a new and really nasty threat against Geert Wilders today, related to his plans to make a film about the Koran. The threat is by the Moroccan rappers Youssef & Kamal. In the end of the video clip Wilders is symbolically beheaded.

And now the translation of yesterday’s Geen Stijl article (the text in square brackets is explanatory material inserted by the translator):
- - - - - - - - -
Youssef & Kamal hate Geert Wilders. Again.

The new video clip of Youssef & Kamal is out now. The skinny squeaking little voices you perhaps remember from the song “Cottonpicker” are gearing up a again for a bit more in this latest issue. Two years ago the duo attracted a lot of media attention with their hateful Wilders-rap which Uncle Geert immediately reported to the police. The kids with the hakbar beard [hakbar = a mixture of Allahu Akhbar and Hakkenbar, a shoe-repair shop] in their throat [as they say of adolescents] were scared off so much that they immediately “apologized” with a song called “Sorry”. Sorry. Useless apologies, because they continue to produce songs against Wilders. This can be seen in their freshly-published low-res video clip that was released today. The small blokes this time dragged out all the tools they could find. Threatening and waving with hammers, saws, knives and firearms. And at the end of the clip they suggest that they behead Wilders. Also “Appa”, now a celebrated and much in demand excuse rapper [excuus = an anti PC slander, meaning being cheered at only because of belonging to a minority, roughly equivalent to the American “token”], joins in very cosily in this tiny clip of this tiny club of AIVD-targets [AIVD = the Dutch intelligence service]. That’s again something to report to the police, Geert…

CLIP: Youssef & Kamal — Eindhoven Represent

I’m hoping to receive a translation of the lyrics of the “song”. As soon as I do, I’ll post them as an update.

All Information Warfare is Local

The chess playersThis is the second in a series of information war-gaming posts. The content of each post in the series will be determined by the discussion that follows the previous post.

In other words, I have no precise idea of what is coming next.

In the comments to last week’s “War-Gaming in Cyberspace” post, A Jacksonian had this to say (in part):

Not only is the MSM a vast wasteland of carrying pain and ‘feel goodism’ of everything being exactly equal, but government that is centralized and unaccountable is then beholden to those that can leverage power via threat and coercion. That is why extremist minority organizations target governments first — it has the power of punisher and it is that power that they want.

Information warfare in this arena is difficult, but not impossible, as the ’net yields asymmetrical tools, if you think about the internet as a tool and not just a message transportation system. As a tool system the internet is discriminating: multiple cultures and languages interoperate but rarely overlap beyond cross-over points. Thus, in larger, common MSM you will see a wide message given on a one-to-many paradigm and to do that the message must be simple and repeated multiple times as the cost barrier for rich information interchange is not present. What the MSM cannot do, and something that it will have problems tracking, is the concept of a many-to-many information system. These are described as a ‘Friend of a Friend’ or FOAF, and they are highly used by organized crime and terrorist organizations because they are ‘trust networks’. The positives of FOAF systems are: high degrees of internal trust, low degrees of penetration, and low degrees of outside interference due to the first two.

Putting these into a COIN paradigm, the methodology of going after the problem is, like in Iraq, not addressed at the highest scale first but at the lowest scale. National governments are too far out of the decision loop (or OODA loop) to be able to respond to anything but long, long term massive threats or immediate military ventures. The last place you want to venture for positive reinforcement of messages is National government and the best that can be hoped for is holding it to keep message systems absolutely open to everyone… whenever government bias is seen or encountered or promulgated it must be given high visibility and denounced. But you cannot do that as single individuals what is needed are internal nets of trust networks.

Yes, steal a page out of the other guy’s playbook and utilize the exact same outlook and methodology as it is effective. Then you do the one thing the enemy cannot do: apply it locally in the language discriminating parts of the internet that do not cross-operate well. These are havens that are language-dependent and should be a source of localize support and networking. The primary use of such networks cannot and should not be political — that is a secondary function given the Tom Paine paradigm of society. What it is good for are those things that support society, tradition, and keeping faith within trust networks between individuals and the local society as a whole.

The #1 weak point of modern societies is that of cutting off the modern from the past. By seeing the past as barbaric, backwards and quite nasty, the negative emplacement of those ideas by individuals supported by government is a continuous problem. From schools to the MSM to localized political groups espousing ‘progressive’ views, past culture is being removed from the modern culture and with that goes the direct support of the modern culture. By making it without attachment, culture can be molded into different forms, the worst of which is unable to stand for anything. If the modern West and other societies depending upon Western cultures cannot identify what they are then the entirety of those societies is up for grabs for those that can coerce government to do its bidding.

A Jacksonian has outlined the exact characteristics of the network needed to fight the information war against the Great Jihad.

Our governments are all but useless in waging this aspect of the conflict, being huge, unwieldy, slow to respond, tied up in red tape, and hobbled by political correctness. By the time any government understands the nature of this information war, the new Caliphate will already be in place.

It’s very difficult to turn our minds away from our central governments. We are long accustomed to looking to them for information, instructions, and solutions. But in our current struggle, not only is the government of no help, it is an active impediment to success.

And not just our governments. No large, centralized, hierarchically organized bureaucratic structure will be of any assistance against the worldwide networks of mujahideen. Anything that follows the government model — corporations, large religious groups, national charities, political parties — will exhibit the same inadequacies as our governments. If it has a head office and a chain of command, then for our purposes it’s useless.

The model of a hierarchically organized command network looks like this:

Hierarchical network

As you can see, it has a fractal nature, exhibiting an organizational structure similar to that of a central nervous system, or a lung, or the flower clusters of a butterfly weed plant. Hierarchical branching fractals of are found throughout nature, in both organic and inorganic systems. Wherever a flow gathers and aggregates into fewer and fewer channels, or is broken up and successively dispersed, a hierarchical structure will form.

But other organizational network structures are possible, and are quite common. The one we are looking for is a flat or distributed network. It’s what A Jacksonian calls a FOAF network, and looks like this:

Flat network

A familiar example would be a collection of small towns within a given region connected by road, rail, and the power grid. A prairie dog colony provides another analogy, with its separate burrows joined to one another by narrow tunnels.
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In terms of social organization, the model for a hierarchical network would be the Catholic Church, with the Pope sitting in the Vatican in the heart of the central node. In contrast, Baptist churches form a more distributed network, with individual churches occupying more or less the same level, without answering to a command node.

The nerve net of the hydraIf a hierarchical organization is exemplified by the central nervous system of a vertebrate, a distributed network is best represented by the nerve net of a hydra, which wraps itself throughout the structure of the animal without ever forming a branched fractal structure or aggregating into ganglia.

The vertebrate central nervous system has proved the more successful in Darwinian evolution, so it obviously has its advantages. But distributed networks are still well-represented in biological systems.

From time to time they may even prove crucial to survival. We are currently at war with an enemy which has formed very effective distributed networks and is defeating us handily with them. We will be victorious in the current struggle only if we form flat networks that are at least as effective as theirs.

One way or another, it will be a distributed network that wins.

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Why is it that decentralized non-hierarchical information systems are proving so effective now, after all the centuries in which centralized bureaucracy has been in the ascendant?

The primary explanation is the nature of modern electronic communication systems. Within an environment in which communications are slow and unreliable, the centralized model has all the advantages. In the hierarchical design shown in the diagram above, there is a maximum of ten connecting links lying between any two given nodes in the network.

The distributed model, on the other hand, may require many more intermediate links — hundreds or even thousands — to connect a given pair of nodes. When communication is by courier, or pony express, or even by postal truck or telegraph, this method is unworkable, and is easily defeated by a reliable hierarchical model.

But with almost instantaneous electronic communications over a worldwide network — cell phone, internet, radio, and so on — the advantages of a hierarchical system are lost. When all messages have to pass through a central node, the system chokes at the command point. In contrast, distributed structures in a flat network can form, emerge, perform their mission, and disappear in less time than it takes for a presidential memo to make its way from the Oval Office to an assistant undersecretary of defense.

That’s how Al Qaeda gets inside our informational OODA loop and stays there.

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Another advantage of a distributed network is its ability to sustain and recover from damage. Depending on how close it is to the center, the removal of a node in a hierarchical network can cause major disruptions:

Hierarchical network

As you can see from this example, removal of the central node isolates the five sub-networks and makes them autonomous. In order to re-establish the full network, one of the sub-nodes must reconnect with the rest and assume supremacy over the others.

Removing a node from a distributed network causes much less of a disturbance:

Flat network

The remaining nodes are analogous to routers in a computer network, and will find the most efficient route around the gap. As soon as a few new links form across the gap between the neighboring nodes, the architecture of the network will be restored, and will remain essentially unchanged.

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How does all this apply to the Counterjihad?

Obviously, the nature of communications among real human beings is far more complex than the models described above. But for our purposes, the added layers of complexity only increase the advantages enjoyed by the distributed model.

Increased complexity tends to add layers to a hierarchy, thereby making it even more ponderous and unwieldy. The president adds a new cabinet department; a corporation creates a new layer of middle management; archbishops are inserted between bishops and cardinals in the organizational charts. The bureaucracy becomes more and more sclerotic and resistant to change.

The biological analogy would be the nervous system of the brontosaurus, in which three full seconds were required for a nerve message to travel from tail to brain and back again.

In contrast, adding complexity to a distributed network allows it to become more flexible through self-organization. Prior to instantaneous electronic media, networks were constrained by physical location. Nowadays they can be self-selecting within the entire global communications system. Like-minded people can discover each other, share functions, and create nodal links that amplify those functions.

These things are already happening. None of us has to be conscious of the process or direct it in order for it to occur. The nerve net of the hydra emerges naturally and performs its functions without any of the neurons involved planning what happens.

In fact, any attempt at conscious direction within the network will tend to convert it into a hierarchical system in which orders are given and carried out along a chain of command.

If we choose to inhabit a distributed network, a global overview is all but impossible to achieve. Our understanding of the entire system will of necessity remain within the realm of analogy and metaphor.

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What each of us can do from within our limited perspective is to learn how to contribute more effectively to the immediate environment of our network. We can recognize our own abilities and utilize these talents to build stronger links to our neighboring nodes. It’s not necessary for us to know and understand what goes on in the distant regions of the network, but we can become adept at functioning in our chosen local environment.

Later posts in this series will cover more specific applications of distributed networks to our information war. But there’s one thing we all should remember: the architecture of our networks is always mutating. Nothing we plan for should assume any permanency. The only constant is continuous change.

One of the changes that may lie ahead is that we will be forced underground. Right now, even though I blog anonymously, I can communicate and organize relatively freely here in the USA. But in some European countries the things I do and say are already illegal, and it may not be long before the same restrictions emerge in the United States. Mark Steyn has recently discovered the chain-link fence that surrounds “free” speech in Canada.

Each of us should be prepared for an internet crackdown, and any organizing we do should allow for alternative means of maintaining our networks. The old ways are slower and more cumbersome, but if we build them wisely, when the time comes they will suffice.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Benazir Bhutto’s Death Will Stabilize Pakistan

On yesterday’s thread, Afonso Henriques, a commenter from Portugal, had some interesting things to say about the assassination of Benazir Bhutto.

He requested a new thread in which we could further discuss the situation in Pakistan, so I am supplying it here by reproducing his comment in full. I have corrected the spelling, and regularized punctuation and idioms to reflect current American usage.

Here is what Afonso Henriques had to say:

I am no expert, but I will give you my contribution so that I may help you to form an independent opinion. I hope to elucidate you too, Baron, with my humble contribution.

First we have to look to what Pakistan is. Pakistan is not a nation per se as the nation-states in Europe, nor a relatively successful bastard (USA, Argentina) or legitimate (Canada, Brazil) son of such nations.

Pakistan is a country born from a desire of some Muslim Indians to have their own Muslim land in order not to be ruled by the Hindu majority (which means in order for the Muslim elite to rule).

We also have to (sorry, I am a European, a Portuguese to be more accurate and as so I am sorry to offend your naïve ideals or your profound beliefs as Americans) look at the ethnic makeup of the country and realize that in that country, the loyalties are firstly within one’s tribe, and secondly within one’s ethnic group. The only “common ground” for that country is Islam but Islam can only unite people against a non-Islamic thing/person/nation/state, and not within an Islamic entity, because once the consensus of Islam is reached, other conflicts will arise, and those conflicts can not always be solved simply by addressing to Islam.

As I was saying, the ethnic composition of Pakistan is the following:


We have Indo-Aryans (Indian stock) in the West and in the East we have Aryan-Iranians. The latter are very tribalistic, and are the ones who are helping the Taliban in Afghanistan, mainly because they are the same ethnic group (the would-be nation). The power of the state is all in the hands of the Indo-Aryans.

So we reach an important consensus. Nothing is mingling the Pakistani people together except for Islam. That is why the country focuses so much on it. And these enormous ethnic groups I mentioned are like races, which can be divided into countless ethnic groups, which are divided into countless tribes, just to give an idea of how fragmented Pakistan is and of how Islam is so important there to blend the community.

Now I will strike with these: Benazir Bhutto would never made it to power and her death, despite being a drama, is a blessing to stabilize Pakistan.

Now you find yourself asking: Why?
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Well, because Pakistan is (as is every Muslim country, especially the poorer and miserable ones like Pakistan) engaging in a fight between two versions of Islam. The same evil Islam. The Islam which was weakened by colonialism (Musharraf) and the Islam of the Taliban against the Superpower Soviet Union, of the (what the hell, I am going to say it) Turks against Europe (especially Serbia) in Bosnia and Kosovo, of Al-Qaeda against the Hyperpower, the United States of America of 9/11, the Islam of Hizbullah not losing a war against the almighty state of Israel.

Summarizing, the Islam which made Paris a Third World place in 2005, and simultaneously made the United Arab Emirates a thriving land after centuries of desert. A new and much too powerful Islam which has come to the World to conquer it. An Islam which it seems cannot be stopped. This is a new generation of Islam.

Returning to Pakistan, that country will inevitably fall to the second type of Islam, but the longer Musharraf has power the better for us, because the second type of Islam will not mind exporting the bomb, not only to Saudi Arabia but to every Muslim state, be it Indonesia or the gangster state of Kosovo or Greater Albania in the heart of Europe. It is an Islam that would help with all the resources (including terrorism en masse) the Chechens.

Benazir BhuttoSo, and… who was Bhutto and who backed her?

Well, she a was a woman of an high caste, and she was backed up by a westernized elite which did not represent the Pakistani people at all. Or do you think that Muslims wanted a woman to rule their heads? A pro-Western, maybe feminist woman? Come on!

If we complain about the EUSSR, what kind of people are we when we try to impose on another people a leader which is not the one they want? It’s like Bush trading democracy for oil! They want Islam, let them live with it, but in their own lands!

Benazir Bhutto’s campaign would only favor the second type of Islam (which some call, I guess, fundamentalist) in a country where young women are already gang-raped for showing their legs in public. It would do no good.

So now Musharraf can breath a bit safer, knowing all too well both that the Western countries have not seen enough of Benazir to support her and to intervene for her and that the Islamists of the aforementioned second type (do you remember the Red Mosque in Islamabad?) will kill everybody who may be a candidate to the throne of Musharraf once they seem not to be capable of eliminating Musharraf himself. Which I am not so sure of in the long term (two, three years).

And that is it. We are safe with Musharraf; whoever succeeds him will either be a second type Islamist or will lead the country to a civil war which will open the path for that kind of Islamist to gain (even) more power, which means nothing less than a nuclear arsenal.

It’s a reminder that looking down the road, a conflict with India seems too plausible at any moment, and in that case, we have to somehow assure the victory of India and not permit a mobilization of the Muslim countries like we saw in the nineties against Serbia. Which would be difficult because such conflict could easily escalate to a conflict against Israel in the West.

This is the first time I have commented on this excellent blog and so I expose to you my humble opinions and visions about all this I talked about.

May I have the discernment to propose Baron (or Dymphna) to make another thread or compilation of all these comments to enlighten us all about what happened in Pakistan and its consequences? Keep the good work! And I kind of miss a Fjordman post folks!

P.S. Sorry for my English, but it is not my native language.

Lighting the Jihad Fuse

Muslim knickers are in a twist again. Or maybe it’s just leftist knickers — the difference between the two types of lingerie is getting harder and harder to distinguish.

According to the Grauniad:

‘Terrorist’ firework ads spark row

L.A.A.F.Dutch government firework safety ads featuring a spoof Islamist terrorist group have been criticised as insensitive and depicting a negative stereotype of the Muslim community.

The online ads, made for the Dutch government’s consumer safety institute, have been made to look like a video message filmed by an Islamist military organisation called the Liberation Army Against Freedom.

Featuring a group led by an Osama bin Laden lookalike figure at their camp, the viral ads are dubbed into Iraqi-accented Arabic and have versions with subtitles in Dutch and English.

The tone is intended to be humorous, with the terrorist group seen receiving a shipment of fireworks like an arms cache, wearing suicide vests made of firecrackers, and bungling efforts to “demonstrate to you our true power” by blowing themselves up.

Load up the Grauniad article and watch the video; it’s quite amusing. And if you visit the L.A.A.F. website — yes, they have their own website — you’ll find more videos there. How refreshing to think that the Dutch government actually funded these productions!

Unfortunately, not everyone is amused:
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However, the light treatment of such a serious issue has angered some industry insiders.

“What is the campaign hoping to achieve by depicting a negative stereotype of the Muslim community in a fireworks advert?” said Saad Saraf, the chief executive of multicultural marketing specialists Media Reach Advertising.

Notice the name of this “industry insider”, and notice the specialized nature of his company: “multicultural marketing.”

Hmm… who are the clients of Media Reach Advertising? Who funds their operations? Is there really enough of a demand for multicultural marketing experts to allow such a firm to stay afloat without government subsidy?

Just wondering.

Saraf, an Iraqi, was particularly offended by images in one ad that show one person strap fireworks around him in a style similar to a suicide belt, which later explodes.

“Are the producers aware that the actors in the advert are speaking in an Iraqi accent; with the current state of affairs in Iraq and the loss of lives as a result of suicide bombing, I question, what were the creatives [sic] thinking?,” said Saraf.

My guess is that they were thinking, “Who can we get to do the Arabic for these videos?” Presumably there are a lot of Iraqi expatriates looking for work.

Or was it an evil conspiracy by the Dutch authorities to humiliate the world’s 1.5 quintillion Muslims?

“This is insensitive to society as a whole. Suicide bombings have destroyed many thousands of lives — using them in a humorous way is totally inappropriate. Are these adverts then for people who have not been affected by terrorism, suicide bombings and the invasion of Iraq in some way?”

For crying out loud — Muslim terrorists already make videos that look exactly like these, except that they’re no joke, and real people are murdered and mutilated in them!

And we’re supposed to object to a satire video because it makes those monsters look bad?

Give me a break.

Fortunately, not all Muslims in the West lack common sense:

However, Inayat Bunglawala, the assistant secretary general of the Muslim Council of Britain, did not think the ads were particularly offensive.

“I thought they were very humorous public safety films,” he responded by email after being sent several links to the ads.

“Obviously there will always be some who find it to be in bad taste, but I thought it was done light-heartedly and funny and with clear educational value.”

The whole campaign was apparently designed to be viral:

The ads were first seeded on YouTube with Dutch subtitles around two weeks ago. Since then, versions of the ads have appeared with English subtitles.

There are some interesting conclusions to be drawn about all this. First of all, the people who designed this ad campaign must have known it didn’t have a prayer of being aired through regular channels, so they designed it for viral marketing.

It was a shrewd move. Even though the PC vise is clamped tight on the testicles of the Western media, these videos would obviously become immensely popular, as is most anti-jihad humor. People all over the West love these politically incorrect samizdat jokes. What better way to get an important safety message out than to wrap it in such a naughty forbidden package?

And then there’s the fact that the Dutch government funded the operation. Could there be more to this than meets the eye?

Probably not, but still…

Some poor mid-level functionary in the Ministry for Public Health will no doubt be demoted to Deputy Paperclip-Counter after this little caper.

Hat tip: Paul.