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Location: Montgomery Area, Alabama, United States

Former BUFF driver; self-styled military historian; paid (a lot) to write about beating plowshares into swords; NOT Foamy the Squirrel, contrary to all appearances. Wesleyan Jihadi Name: Sibling Railgun of Reasoned Discourse

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Christian Carnival CXXVIII

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The latest Christian Carnival came up last night at Cadmusings. Check it out. As usual, there's stuff worth taking to heart and other stuff that will provoke thought.

Barefoot in the Wilderness has some very interesting musings on the meaning of Christ's "narrow door to salvation" teachings (e.g., Luke 13:22-30). I think I agree with him:

What particularly struck me this morning...was this idea of the narrow door. Whenever I’ve heard this talked about, it’s usually along the lines of it being difficult to find or enter through. But I think that this totally misses the mark. This house, remember, is a large house – a palace, even – for it is the Kingdom of God. Grand houses have several entrances. There’s the wide door, which is for honoured guests, friends and relatives. And there’s the narrow door, which is the servants’ entrance. And this is what I think Jesus was talking about (and what would have been the obvious interpretation for his listeners). If we are to enter the Kingdom, we must not seek to enter through the wide door of honour, but through the narrow door of servitude and dishonour.

Many will try to enter the house, Jesus says, but will not be able to. That is, I think, they will not be able to enter the wide door, for no human being is worthy to enter God’s Kingdom as of right. The fact that God came out of the house into the streets of the town, and ate and drank with us, doesn’t mean that we can enter through that wide door. No, God came and told us that the narrow door is open to all who are willing to enter through it.

Off on another tack, there's "Pope Bans Modern Music" at Nerd Family. In fact, B16 hasn't banned modern Christian music for Catholics, just said he doesn't like it and doesn't think it's appropriate for worship -- personal opinion, not an edict. Still, for me this goes to the heart of what distinguishes true worship from mere ritual. NerdMom agrees, noting a certain distrubing tendency among Catholics (which I have personally seen shared by many Protestants, too):

I have met many who believe that mass (and church) is a time to pay your dues. A kind of attitude that if you suffer through these things, God will have to let you into heaven (because that was the deal?).

In reality, what this attidtude amounts to is fear of the unfamiliar and complacency about what is familiar. This, as Yoda might say, is a path to the Dark Side. True communion with God often is uncomfortable and often drags us out of our complacent selves. Christ is always calling for us to step outside of ourselves in order to better appreciate and serve Him. Many times, we're unwilling to do so. A passionate attachment to older music is fine, but it's not fine to insist upon it merely because it's what we're used to.

Since I've been on vacation, I've missed several other Christian Carnivals. CC CXXVII is at Bible Archive and CXXVI is at NerdFamily. Check them out.


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Monday, June 26, 2006

Freedom of the Press or Treason?

On the front page of the 23 June edition, the New York Times broke the story concerning the US government's monitoring of international bank transactions in order to interdict terrorist funding. Other papers reported the story too, but the NYT broke it. Many, including the President, think the Times went too far and critically jeopardized national security by publishing this story. I agree. The storm of crticism (rounded up admirably at Gateway Pundit and Pajamas Media) provoked an angry and supercilious response from NYT Executive Editor Bill Keller:

Some of the incoming mail quotes the angry words of conservative bloggers and TV or radio pundits who say that drawing attention to the government's anti-terror measures is unpatriotic and dangerous. (I could ask, if that's the case, why they are drawing so much attention to the story themselves by yelling about it on the airwaves and the Internet.) Some comes from readers who have considered the story in question and wonder whether publishing such material is wise. And some comes from readers who are grateful for the information and think it is valuable to have a public debate about the lengths to which our government has gone in combatting the threat of terror.

It's an unusual and powerful thing, this freedom that our founders gave to the press. Who are the editors of The New York Times (or the Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post and other publications that also ran the banking story) to disregard the wishes of the President and his appointees? And yet the people who invented this country saw an aggressive, independent press as a protective measure against the abuse of power in a democracy, and an essential ingredient for self-government. They rejected the idea that it is wise, or patriotic, to always take the President at his word, or to surrender to the government important decisions about what to publish.

The power that has been given us is not something to be taken lightly. The responsibility of it weighs most heavily on us when an issue involves national security, and especially national security in times of war.

To which I say: "who elected you, Mr. Keller?" Who is he accountable to? Perhaps to his ever-declining readership, but does that give him the right to endanger American lives and the US war effort?

Prof. Reynolds the Instapundit has this take on that middle paragraph of Keller's:

A deeper error is Keller's characterization of freedom of the press as an institutional privilege, an error that is a manifestation of the hubris that has marked the NYT of late. Keller writes: "It's an unusual and powerful thing, this freedom that our founders gave to the press. . . . The power that has been given us is not something to be taken lightly."

The founders gave freedom of the press to the people, they didn't give freedom to the press. Keller positions himself as some sort of Constitutional High Priest, when in fact the "freedom of the press" the Framers described was also called "freedom in the use of the press." It's the freedom to publish, a freedom that belongs to everyone in equal portions, not a special privilege for the media industry.

Hugh Hewitt also posted a lengthy and excellent fisking of Keller's letter.

Austin Bay and many others (including most of the Right's talk radio hosts) have called for prosecuting the Times. But Bay puts it this way:

The Bush Administration should prosecute the leakers, but I don’t think the Administration has the spine for this.

I agree and the reason goes hand-in-hand with the Administration's immigration policy: it has no defining concept of citizenship or even nationhood. This is what motivates it (and the Senate) to want to pardon illegal aliens and to refuse to prosecute the compromise of vital classified data (what penalty did Sandy Berger really pay?). The Times' act may rise to outright treason: aiding and abetting the nation's enemies in times of war. There can be no treason, however, if there's nothing to commit treason against and if people aren't citizens, but are just members of factious "constituencies." I hope the President doesn't view the US this way, but it's clear that the NYT does.

A number of today's heroes over fighting the war have responded. Powerline received one of the most eloquent responses from Lt Tom Cotton:

Dear Messrs. Keller, Lichtblau & Risen:

Congratulations on disclosing our government's highly classified anti-terrorist-financing program (June 23). I apologize for not writing sooner. But I am a lieutenant in the United States Army and I spent the last four days patrolling one of the more dangerous areas in Iraq. (Alas, operational security and common sense prevent me from even revealing this unclassified location in a private medium like email.)

Unfortunately, as I supervised my soldiers late one night, I heard a booming explosion several miles away. I learned a few hours later that a powerful roadside bomb killed one soldier and severely injured another from my 130-man company. I deeply hope that we can find and kill or capture the terrorists responsible for that bomb. But, of course, these terrorists do not spring from the soil like Plato's guardians. No, they require financing to obtain mortars and artillery shells, priming explosives, wiring and circuitry, not to mention for training and payments to locals willing to emplace bombs in exchange for a few months' salary. As your story states, the program was legal, briefed to Congress, supported in the government and financial industry, and very successful.

Not anymore. You may think you have done a public service, but you have gravely endangered the lives of my soldiers and all other soldiers and innocent Iraqis here. Next time I hear that familiar explosion -- or next time I feel it -- I will wonder whether we could have stopped that bomb had you not instructed terrorists how to evade our financial surveillance.

And, by the way, having graduated from Harvard Law and practiced with a federal appellate judge and two Washington law firms before becoming an infantry officer, I am well-versed in the espionage laws relevant to this story and others -- laws you have plainly violated. I hope that my colleagues at the Department of Justice match the courage of my soldiers here and prosecute you and your newspaper to the fullest extent of the law. By the time we return home, maybe you will be in your rightful place: not at the Pulitzer announcements, but behind bars.piehole.0

Very truly yours,

Tom Cotton
Baghdad, Iraq

That pretty much says it all.


Update 28 Jun 06:
Iowahawk has found the first draft of Keller's letter in a NYC dumptster. The original version of the first paragraph I quoted above:

Some of the incoming mail quotes the spittle-flecked words of conservative bloggers and TV or radio pundits who say that drawing attention to the government's anti-terror measures is unpatriotic and dangerous. (I could ask, how does somebody that retarded get my email? Cripes, I'm going to have a long chat with Network Services this week.) Some comes from not-quite-as-stupid readers who have considered the story in question and still wonder whether publishing such material is wise. Hey, go figure. Thankfully some comes from a better class of readers who are grateful for the information, and attach e-Vites to fabulous midweek gallery openings on the Upper West Side.

Read the whole thing.

Meanwhile, I agree with Armed Liberal's take on the matter:

think, in simple terms, that they have forgotten that they are citizens, and that they have an obligation to the polity that goes beyond writing the good story. I don't think they are alone; I think that many people and institutions in the country today have forgotten they are citizens, whether they are poor residents of New Orleans defrauding FEMA or corporate chieftains who are maximizing their bonuses at the expense of a healthy economy.


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Saturday, June 24, 2006

Congratulations, Nolan and Susanna!

As I write this, Reverend Nolan Dynamite and his lovely fiance Susanna are getting married at Dauphin Way United Methodist Church in Mobile AL. The entire Vita ab Alto staff (me), as well as KANH and the Monkettes wish them joy as they start their journey together! (Just wish we coulda been there to see it!)

Follow their continuing adventures on Responsive Obedience and Probably the Best Blog You'll Ever Read. Again, congratulations!


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Tuesday, June 20, 2006

California Blogging

Fans of Vita ab Alto (both of you!) may have wondered about the dearth of posting of late. The following pictures will help explain. Disneyland first:

On the way into Disney: Mom, the Monkettes, cousin Noah

The eldest Monkette escorts her youngest cousin, who dresses after the fashion of her heroine, Cinderella

The Monk family and Cinderella meet Minnie

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After Disney came Yosemite. Here's Halfdome from Glacier Point, taken by the eldest Monkette

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The falls were fuller than anyone has seen in recent memory

The runoff from Bridal Veil falls

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The eldest Monkette discovered that she had cel reception at the top of Glacier Peak, so she called all her friends while Cousin Noah and the youngest Monkette looked on

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The youngest Monkette takes in the view. She's a budding photographer.

The valley floor

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The cousins fight it out on the snow still covering meadows near Glacier Point

Anyway, that's what we've been up to lately. More blogging soon.


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Friday, June 09, 2006

Buh-Bye, Zarqman

Light to no blogging of late -- we've been at Disneyland. The real one, not jail.

Meanwhile, interesting things have been happening around the world. The most interesting, of course, has been the death of chief cockroach and headchopper Abu Mussab al-Zarqawi. Charles Johnson at Little Green Footballs links to a site that speculates on the new martyr's 72 virgins. Warning: not politically correct.

Christopher Hitchens offers some cogent thoughts on why Zarqawi's death matters:

If we had withdrawn from Iraq already, as the "peace" movement has been demanding, then one of the most revolting criminals of all time would have been able to claim that he forced us to do it. That would have catapulted Iraq into Stone Age collapse and instated a psychopathic killer as the greatest Muslim soldier since Saladin. As it is, the man is ignominiously dead and his dirty connections a lot closer to being fully exposed. This seems like a good day's work to me.

Me too.

Update 10 Jun 06: Protein Wisdom scores the coveted post-mortem interview with the Z-dude:

protein wisdom: “First of all, I’d like to thank you for taking this time to sit down with me, an infidel dog, and a Jew infidel dog, to boot. But I think it’s important that we as Westerners try really to understand what it is that motivates people like you—21st century Minutemen, the Thomas Paines and George Washingtons of the new Caliphate, to hear some speak of it.”


protein wisdom: “...You know, because of the root causes and such…


protein wisdom: “And, like, blowback.”


protein wisdom: “-- that type stuff.”


protein wisdom: “C’mon, man, you gotta work with me here. Troops on Saudi soil? Israel? Cinemax After Dark?”


protein wisdom: ”Baby-back rib platters...? I know you know what I’m talking about...”


He's never sounded more profound.


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Friday, June 02, 2006

Deterring Those Who Are Already Dead

From the Hudson Institute by way of Powerline comes this brilliant little about deterring the underterrable -- our muslim brethren in Iran and across the globe. A taste:

Deterrence works because one is able credibly to threaten the center of gravity of the enemy: the threat of inflicting unacceptable losses upon him, whether in a bar brawl or in nuclear escalation. The calculus deterrence relies upon is: is it worth it? Is the Price/Earning Ratio of the contemplated action so hugely negative that it would wipe out the capital? Deterrence works if the price to be paid by the party to be deterred hugely exceeds his expected earnings. But deterrence only works if the enemy is able and willing to enter the same calculus. If the enemy plays by other rules and calculates by other means, he will not be deterred. There was nothing the Philistines could have done to deter Samson. If the calculus is: I exchange my worthless earthly life against the triumph of Allah on earth, and an eternity of bliss for me, if the enemy wishes to be dead, if to him the Apocalypse is desirable, he will not be deterred.

When Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was the Mayor of Tehran, he insistently proposed that the main thoroughfares of Tehran should be widened so that, he explained, on the day of his reappearance, the Hidden Imam, Mohamed ibn Hassan, who went into the great occultation in 941 AD could tread spacious avenues. More recently, he told the Indian Foreign Minister that “in two years, everything will be settled,” which the visiting dignitary at first mistook to mean that Iran expected to possess nuclear weapons in two years; he was later bemused to learn what Ahmadinejad had meant, to wit, that the Mahdi would appear in two years, at which points all worldly problems would disappear.

This attitude, truly, is not new, nor should it surprise us: religious notions and their estranged cousins, ideological representations, determine not only their believers’ beliefs but also their believers’ actions. Reality, as it were, is invaded by belief, and belief in turn shapes the believer’s reality. The difference between the religious and the ideologically religious is this: the religious believer accepts that reality is a given, whereas the fanatic gambles everything on a pseudo-reality of what ought to be. The religious believer accepts reality and works at improving it, the fanatic rejects reality, refuses to pass any compromise with it and tries to destroy it and replace it with his fantasy.


Ahmadjinedi wants to hasten the reappearance of the Hidden Imam, whose coming, in traditional Muslim, and especially Shiite, apocalyptics, will be the Sign of the Hour, that the End of Days is nigh. Ahmadinejad’s politics cannot be labelled ‘radical,’ as opposed to ‘moderate.’ His politics are apocalyptic and eschatological. Its vanishing point is not earthly but otherworldly. Famously Ayatollah Khomeini said: “We have not made a revolution to lower the price of melon.” The task of the Mahdi, when he reappears, will be to lead the great and final war which will bring about the extermination of the Unbelievers, the end of Unbelief and the complete dominion of God’s writ upon the whole of mankind. The Umma will inflate to absorb the rest of the world.


Contemporary jihad is not a matter of politics at all (of ‘occupation, of ‘grievances,’ of colonialism, neocolonialism, imperialism and Zionism), but a matter of Gnostic faith. Consequently, attempts at dealing with the problem politically will not even touch it. Aspirin is good, and so is penicillin, but they are of little avail to counter maladies of the mind. I am emphatically not saying here that the jihadis are “crazy.” I am saying that they are possessed of a disease of the mind, and the disease is the political religion of modern Gnosticism in its Islamic version.


Soldiers kill. Terrorists kill. Modern Jihadis lap the blood. Inseparable from
contemporary Arab-Muslim jihad are the idealization of blood, the veneration of savagery, the cult of killing, the worship of death. Gruesome murder, gory and gleeful infliction of pain, are lionized and proffered as models and exemplary actions pleasing to Allah. These are no merely reflections of a pre-modern attitude toward death. I have collected, as can anybody, dozens of examples of human sacrifice inflicted by the Islamic jihadi of all stripes. This pornography of crime is endless, from the gratuitous killing of a Leon Klinghoffer to Mohammad Atta’s instructions, “You must make your knife sharp and you must not discomfort your animal during the slaughter,” and the Behesht Zahra, the ‘Paradise of Flowers’ graveyard near Tehran with its Fountain of Blood, or this report on the killing of an Algerian intellectual: “Dr. Hammed Boukhobza who was killed by a group of Islamist terrorists in the city of Telemly. (…) He was not just killed in his apartment, but his wife and children who wanted to escape were forced to watch how he
was literally cut to pieces, his entrails slowly drawn out while he was just barely alive. The terrorists obviously liked to watch the suffering, and they wanted to family to share their enjoyment.”


The believers – here, the jihadis - are the Elect: they, and only they, know God’s plan for the world; they have been chosen by Him to fight and win the final, cosmic battle between God and Satan, and bring about perfection on earth, in this case, the extension of God’s writ and dominion, the dar al-Islam, to mankind as a whole. Everybody else is wrong and evil, jahili, and an enemy who can and should be killed at will. Reality, Creation, that is, is irretrievably perverted. The Perfect are “an elite of amoral supermen” (Norman Cohn), who know what reality ‘really’ ought to be. They are engaged in transforming the world so that it conforms to the ‘second reality’ that they alone know, thank to their special knowledge, gnôsis. In order to get from A to B, from the evil today to the perfect tomorrow, torrents of blood have to be shed in exterminatory struggle, the blood of all those whose actions or whose very being hinder the accomplishment of the Mahdi’s mission. Owing to their extraordinary status, the Perfects are above all laws and norms. Everything they do is willed and sanctioned by God. Their intent (niyyah) vouches for their acts. They alone are able to determine life and death. The power this ideology confers upon its believers is intoxicating. They love death more than we love life.


Contemporary jihad, like its emanation, terrorism, is an integral chain: as long as it is islamico-glamorous to be a cleric who issues fatwas calling for the murder of Israeli civilians or American GIs, the cleric will go on. Once dead, he will stop. So will the chairman of a charity that funnels money to jihad. So will the senior intelligence officer who trains or smuggles them, the predicator who incites, the madrasa or university professor who brainwashes, the prince who lies for terror, the ayatollah who sends out teams of killers, etc. This is deterrence after the French expression the have been shot pour encourager les autres. Jihad is the operative ideology of a number of states; states can be pinned down and hit. This approach is a variant of the notion of decapitation, or of the formulation of nodal targeting given by air power theorist Col. John Warden. Less than the jihadi hardware, it is the jihadi software that has to be hit – but not by soft power.


One martyr will have followers, ten martyrs will be admired and emulated. One thousand dead martyrs who died unheralded die in vain. If Ahmadinejad and others die in vain and uselessly they will not die as martyrs but as slobs. For the Gnostic, for the jihadi, his death is the only thing that matters to him: take that away and nothing is left. It does not mean, as the jurors of the Moussaoui trial were apparently led to believe, that “you cannot make a martyr out of him, since this is what he wants.” Make his death a lonely, useless, ignored death. Unextraordinary, unromantic, trivial deaths shatter the glory of the jihadi’s death. It was George Patton who said: “No bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by making the other poor dumb bastard die for his country.” The recipe is not pretty nor is it easy.

The author is Laurent Murawiec, a senior fellow at Hudson. And he is absolutely right. His thoughts are sobering, but are ones to take to heart. There is no arguing with these people; little chance of coercion for prices the West is willing to pay. Our only altrernative is to take away their capability to act, by destroying the means of acting or the actors themselves. We can learn this now, while there is still some vestige of our civilization left to save, or we can allow the barbarians to overrun us and declare their fascist umma over the entire globe and all of mankind has sunk into a new dark age. Some remnant of the Visible Church will survive, of course, but Christianity will go through a dark night of persecution such as it hasn't seen since before Constantine. Perhaps this is what we deserve for our decadent secular materialism. The muslims certainly think so. I cannot accept that, however, and will fight (and die, if necessary) to prevent the death of non-muslim civilization. if only more in the West were willing to do so. Jihad is pure evil, currupts everyone and everything it touches (like slavery did), and it must be resisted by whatever means are at our disposal.


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Thursday, June 01, 2006

Iran Update

Here's a few updates on events in Mullahland. First is the text of "President" Ahmadinejad's interview with Der Spiegel is here. Some choice lunacy:

SPIEGEL: First you make your remarks about the Holocaust. Then comes the news that you may travel to Germany -- this causes an uproar. So you were surprised after all?

Ahmadinejad: No, not at all, because the network of Zionism is very active around the world, in Europe too. So I wasn't surprised. We were addressing the German people. We have nothing to do with Zionists.

SPIEGEL: Denying the Holocaust is punishable in Germany. Are you indifferent when confronted with so much outrage?

Ahmadinejad: I know that DER SPIEGEL is a respected magazine. But I don't know whether it is possible for you to publish the truth about the Holocaust. Are you permitted to write everything about it?

SPIEGEL: Of course we are entitled to write about the findings of the past 60 years' historical research. In our view there is no doubt that the Germans -- unfortunately -- bear the guilt for the murder of 6 million Jews.

Ahmadinejad: Well, then we have stirred up a very concrete discussion. We are posing two very clear questions. The first is: Did the Holocaust actually take place? You answer this question in the affirmative. So, the second question is: Whose fault was it? The answer to that has to be found in Europe and not in Palestine. It is perfectly clear: If the Holocaust took place in Europe, one also has to find the answer to it in Europe.

"Did the Holocaust actually take place." Lovely. More:

Ahmadinejad: But the other side is that there are a number of countries that possess both nuclear energy and nuclear weapons. They use their atomic weapons to threaten other peoples. And it is these powers who say that they are worried about Iran deviating from the path of peaceful use of atomic energy. We say that these powers are free to monitor us if they are worried. But what these powers say is that the Iranians must not complete the nuclear fuel cycle because deviation from peaceful use might then be possible. What we say is that these countries themselves have long deviated from peaceful usage. These powers have no right to talk to us in this manner. This order is unjust and unsustainable.

In answer to the question, "does your country want nuclear weapons?" I guess this constitutes an uequivocal "yes." And, oh by the way, he'll use them to "wipe Israel off the map." With talk like this, Ahmadinejad should be on his way to becoming a darling of the Western Left.

Michael Ledeen has some good words of warning here.

Meanwhile, in Tehran and around the country, the high arbiter of "justice" has ordered his troops to shoot the ever-increasing numbers of protesters -- college students, ethnic Azeris, and Turkmens. Gateway Pundit has a wrap-up:

Pan Armenian News is one source reporting a slaughter of Azeri protesters in Tehran:

The elemental rally of South Azerbaijanis next to the Iranian Parliament building on May 28 was suppressed with special cruelty. Iranian authorities used (Yegani Bizhe) the Special Punitive Guard, which opened fire to suppress manifestations of Azerbaijanis, says a statement of the Committee for Protection of Rights of South Azerbaijan. The message says that during mass protest in Iran 50 Azeris were killed, 600 were wounded, over 1000 are arrested.

Iranian authorities used force against peaceful rally participants in Tabriz, Teheran, Urmia, Parsabad, Meshkina, Sulduz. The rally of Azeris scheduled in Tabriz May 28 was drowned in blood.

The "special punitive guard." Again, lovely. This is "justice," Iranian style. More:

The Iranian Turkmens Society issued a statement today is support of the Azeris protesters in Iran:

The Iranian Turkmens consider the insult to the Azeri people as done to them, the Turkmensahra Liberation Organization told APA. The statement reads that the caricature published on the Iran Daily, which is insulting the entire Azeri nation, has been purposefully prepared.

"As a matter of fact, the expressions in the article display the viewpoint of the chauvinistic Farsi dominance in Iran towards the Turks. Farsi chauvinists try everything possible to prevent the Iranian Turks learn and use their native tongue.

Local sources in northwest Iran report that the slogans seen on the display banners were unprecedented during the past quarter century!

The mainstream media may be ignoring this news but Cox & Forkum did not.

What's that you say? You haven't heard about massive protests in Iran? Just about our Marines shooting innocent women and children in Iraq? If these protests had occurred in Iraq and been suppressed by the government or US troops, they would be the talk of the world for months. You'll see numerous stories about US shootings in Haditha and Kabul in the WaPo and the NYT, but not a word about Tehran. That is why the blogosphere is necesary.


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Christian Carnival CXXIV

I inadvertantly dropped off their mailing list and so have not been getting notices about Christian Carnivals for several weeks. Nonetheless, I'm back up to speed now and the latest carnival is up at Parableman.

I haven't had time to peruse most of the articles yet, but this one caught my eye: "The Bible Wasn't Written to You." See if you agree with the author's argument. I agree with him about reading for context, but I don't know that I entirely accept his central thesis. All the Bible's parts are divinely inspired and profitable and the evolution (and reform) of doctrine over the ages has frequently centered on relatively small snippets of scripture or arguments taken out of the context their original recipients would have understood. Still, a well done post.

Check out the whole thing.


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The Agitator

The latest issue of the New Yorker contains this outstanding profile of Oriana Fallaci, who has become one of the few heroic voices standing astride Europe's path to Eurabia and yelling, "stop!" On her aversion to islam:

Today, Fallaci believes, the Western world is in danger of being engulfed by radical Islam. Since September 11, 2001, she has written three short, angry books advancing this argument. Two of them, “The Rage and the Pride” and “The Force of Reason,” have been translated into idiosyncratic English by Fallaci herself. (She has had difficult relationships with translators in the past.) A third, “The Apocalypse,” was recently published in Europe, in a volume that also includes a lengthy self-interview. She writes that Muslim immigration is turning Europe into “a colony of Islam,” an abject place that she calls “Eurabia,” which will soon “end up with minarets in place of the bell-towers, with the burka in place of the mini-skirt.” Fallaci argues that Islam has always had designs on Europe, invoking the siege of Constantinople in the seventh century, and the brutal incursions of the Ottoman Empire in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. She contends that contemporary immigration from Muslim countries to Europe amounts to the same thing—invasion—only this time with “children and boats” instead of “troops and cannons.” And, as Fallaci sees it, the “art of invading and conquering and subjugating” is “the only art at which the sons of Allah have always excelled.”

Fallaci sees the threat of Islamic fundamentalism as a revival of the Fascism that she and her sisters grew up fighting. She told me, “I am convinced that the situation is politically substantially the same as in 1938, with the pact in Munich, when England and France did not understand a thing. With the Muslims, we have done the same thing.” She elaborated, in an e-mail, “Look at the Muslims: in Europe they go on with their chadors and their burkas and their djellabahs. They go on with the habits preached by the Koran, they go on with mistreating their wives and daughters. They refuse our culture, in short, and try to impose their culture, or so-called culture, on us. . . . I reject them, and this is not only my duty toward my culture. Toward my values, my principles, my civilization. It is not only my duty toward my Christian roots. It is my duty toward freedom and toward the freedom fighter I am since I was a little girl fighting as a partisan against Nazi-Fascism. Islamism is the new Nazi-Fascism. With Nazi-Fascism, no compromise is possible. No hypocritical tolerance. And those who do not understand this simple reality are feeding the suicide of the West.”

I started wondering if Fallaci would tolerate any Muslim immigration, or any mosque in Europe, so I asked her these questions by e-mail, and she sent back lengthy replies. “The tolerance level was already surpassed fifteen or twenty years ago,” she wrote, “when the Left let the Muslims disembark on our coasts by the thousands. And it is well known . . . that I do not accept the mendacity of the so-called Moderate Islam. I do not believe that a Good Islam and a Bad Islam exist. Only Islam exists. And Islam is the Koran. And the Koran says what it says. Whatever its version. Of course there are exceptions. Also, considering the mathematical calculation of probabilities, some good Muslims must exist. I mean Muslims who appreciate freedom and democracy and secularism. But, as I say in the ‘Apocalypse,’ . . . good Muslims are few. So tragically few, in fact, that they must go around with bodyguards.” (Here she mentioned Ayaan Hirsi Ali, the Somali-born former member of the Dutch parliament, whom Holland, shamefully, declared last month that it would strip of her citizenship, citing an irregularity in her 1997 asylum application.) She wrote that she found my question about whether she would tolerate any mosques in Europe “insidious” and “offensive,” because it “aims to portray me as the bloodthirsty fanatics, who during the French Revolution beheaded even the statues of the Holy Virgin and of Jesus Christ and the Saints. Or as the equally bloodthirsty fanatics of the Bolshevik Revolution, who burned the icons and executed the clergymen and used the churches as warehouses. Really, no honest person can suggest that my ideas belong to that kind of people. I am known for a life spent in the struggle for freedom, and freedom includes the freedom of religion. But the struggle for freedom does not include the submission to a religion which, like the Muslim religion, wants to annihilate other religions. Which wants to impose its ‘Mein Kampf,’ its Koran, on the whole planet. Which has done so for one thousand and four hundred years. That is, since its birth. Which, unlike any other religion, slaughters and decapitates or enslaves all those who live differently.”

Read the whole thing.

Update: Michael Ledeen has an excellent review of Fallaci's latest book, The Force of Reason:

Her evidence of European surrender is very strong indeed, and the European response to her evidence further buttresses her case. She documents the many times that European leaders--famous men such as Hans Dietrich Genscher, once German foreign minister--have praised the "superiority" of Islam and apologized for the crusades, the many times that great works of theater and literature have been censored (by their own publishers and producers), the many times European police have deliberately ignored their own laws (as the one against polygamy). And she tells us why: "even if your grandparents died at Dachau or Mauthausen, it is not easy to be brave in a country where there are around ten million Muslims and more than three thousand mosques."


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A Good Idea

Appropos of yesterday's last post, this idea from Max Boot seems a good one:

If you listen to the bloviators at Turtle Bay, salvation will come from the deployment of a larger corps of blue helmets. If only. What is there in the history of United Nations peacekeepers that gives anyone any confidence that they can stop a determined adversary?

The odds are much greater that U.N. representatives will instead be taken as hostages by bloodthirsty thugs, as happened in Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1995 and in Sierra Leone five years later. Or that, rather than protecting the people, the peacekeepers will prey on them — as allegedly has happened in Kosovo, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Guinea and Congo, all places where blue helmets have been accused of a horrifying litany of sexual abuses, including pedophilia, rape and prostitution.

Even if these worst-case scenarios don't come to pass, the U.N. is likely to prove ineffectual in the face of determined opposition. Look at what is happening in East Timor, where, after seven years of U.N. stewardship, the capital has been paralyzed by fighting among armed gangs. The situation is even worse in Haiti, where a Brazilian-led U.N. force has done little to stem growing chaos. It is worse still in Somalia — the most lawless country on Earth — where a U.N. deployment failed in the early 1990s. . . .

But perhaps there is a way to stop the killing even without sending an American or European army. Send a private army. A number of commercial security firms such as Blackwater USA are willing, for the right price, to send their own forces, made up in large part of veterans of Western militaries, to stop the genocide.

We know from experience that such private units would be far more effective than any U.N. peacekeepers. In the 1990s, the South African firm Executive Outcomes and the British firm Sandline made quick work of rebel movements in Angola and Sierra Leone. Critics complain that these mercenaries offered only a temporary respite from the violence, but that was all they were hired to do. Presumably longer-term contracts could create longer-term security, and at a fraction of the cost of a U.N. mission.

Yet this solution is deemed unacceptable by the moral giants who run the United Nations. They claim that it is objectionable to employ — sniff — mercenaries. More objectionable, it seems, than passing empty resolutions, sending ineffectual peacekeeping forces and letting genocide continue.

Instapundit comments, "More likely they fear that if it proves effective, they'll lose out on a line of business that has proved profitable so far." Indeed.


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