Usual Suspects

August 21, 2005

Take Back The Memorial wants the rebuilt Ground Zero site to have:

…a fitting and proper memorial to be built for those who perished on September 11th, and to tell the story of that fateful day – and that day alone.

The usual suspects are trying to tunnel this, and seeking advice about an alternative display from Bangladesh, which shares with Haiti the distinction of being Most Corrupt Nation In The World.

Here’s the story. (My emphasis).

A global network of human rights museums is urging the International Freedom Center to downplay America in its exhibits and programs at Ground Zero, the Daily News has learned.

The outrageous request is the latest controversy to torment the Freedom Center, whose leaders have tried to dispel the perception that it would be a home for America bashers.

“Don’t feature America first,” the IFC has been advised by the consortium of 14 “museums of conscience” that quietly has been consulting with the Freedom Center for the past two years over plans for the hallowed site. “Think internationally, where America is one of the many nations of the world.”…

“No one in the civilized world would ever defend what happened on 9/11,” said Sarwar Ali, the coalition’s chairman and a trustee of the Liberation War Museum in Bangladesh.

BUT what happened after 9/11 – with restrictions placed on human rights and the cycle of revenge and the allegations of human rights abuses in prisons – must also be explored,” Ali said in a call from London.

Great, he’s in London, that makes him a candidate for a deportation order – to sunny Bangladesh!


Time To Go

August 21, 2005

Condoleezza Rice has become the Carly Fiorina of the Administration. The President should replace her.

Here’s her comment on the agonies Israel has suffered to hand Gaza to the Palestinians.

“Everyone empathizes with what the Israelis are facing,” she said, but added, “It cannot be Gaza only.”


If this woman really empathized with Israelis, she would give Ariel Sharon time to repair the awful fractures in the only democratic MidEast state caused by this withdrawal. And to determine if Israel’s security situation has been improved or damaged by giving terrorists a sea coast and a state to operate from. And to build the weapons he’ll need to protect a country that would be as little as 9 miles wide if she has her way. And to comfort the people who have seen their synagogues desecrated and their homes destroyed.

Israel is essential to the defense of the West. It’s what the historians call a Marches state – it provides the barrier of a civilized but warlike people against barbarians – like the Russian Cossacks who held off and then destroyed the mongol hordes. The Arab states are today’s hordes – they create no intrinsic wealth, living off oil and handouts; they produce no new art or literature; no technology and no science. Their contribution to the world has been the head-hacking snuff movie and the suicide bomber.

As Mark Steyn has suggested, Islamic societies most resemble the collapsed culture of the Canadian Innu, who live subsidized but brief and squalid lives, fueled by alcohol and resentment.

Like the Innu, they’re a dysfunctional amalgam of traditional and Western culture, fundamentalist Islam filtered through an old-school European fascist movement. Like the Innu, they’re hooked on welfare and the glorification of self-destruction. Like the Innu, they’re the creations of Western largesse — from the firebrand imams bilking the British welfare state, to the bananaphobic imams of taxpayer-funded Aussie schools, to Osama bin Laden himself, who took his pa’s dough from the US-fuelled Saudi construction boom and sunk it into a hole in the ground in Tora Bora.

I’m sure that Ariel Sharon will face Rice off and the Israeli withdrawal (or advance) will stop exactly where Israelis decide it best suits their interests. And the US will thank heaven that it has such a stalwart and competent ally in the GWOT.

The biggest damage Ms Rice is inflicting is to people’s respect for women as managers – like Carly Fiorina, she’s soft on adversaries and hard on allies – a terrible role model.

Now, Meg Whitman, CEO of eBay, would make a great replacement.


Here’s what a decent Secretary of State would have said (my ellipsis).

In the coming months, Mr. Abbas (Palestinian Prime Minister) may seek to deflect attention from his government’s shortcomings by demanding further Israeli withdrawals from the West Bank. (Israel already intends to remove four small settlements in the northern West Bank.) If history is any guide, his plea will find sympathetic ears in European capitals and probably some pockets of the U.S. foreign policy establishment.

But Israel cannot be expected to make further wrenching withdrawals if the message from the international community is that they are never enough. And Palestine will have no hope of becoming a functional and civilized state if no serious demands are made of it to reform its institutions and eliminate its culture of terrorism and hooliganism.

The problem with Palestine today isn’t the absence of land–Singapore isn’t much larger than Gaza, and is four times as populous–but the poverty of expectations as to what it ought to be and might become. Israel has now done what it had to. It’s time the Palestinians follow suit.

Australian Restraint

August 21, 2005

Gangs of wild Australians are roaming the Brit countryside. But after a clergyman killed one of their number, the Australian government has refused to demand reparations.

Rector on wild wallaby watch after 70mph collision on M1

Mr. Trott, a member of the General Synod, was returning from a holiday in France with his family when his Peugeot 407 struck the animal at night. The accident left the car badly damaged and the wallaby, normally a native of Australia, dead.

“I was simply relieved to keep the car on the road. My children were upset – they like cuddly, furry things,” he said yesterday. “I suppose it shouldn’t have been such a surprise because about 15 years ago I saw a kangaroo sitting on the hard shoulder of the M1. My wife thought I had been drinking but I was stone, cold sober at the time.”

Although the police were called in to investigate, it is not yet clear where the white wallaby came from. A spokeswoman for nearby Woburn Safari Park in Bedfordshire said none of its wallabies was missing but there were thought to be pockets of wild wallabies in the region.

Just as well for the Reverend it wasn’t one of the pockets of wild Brazilian three-toed sloths.


August 21, 2005

The Brit private soldier is traditionally called Tommy (Atkins). Today a Brit general claims that the Army is losing respect because Tommy comes from a “morally corrupt and dysfunctional society”. So confirming my thesis that the present Brit officer corps is ignorant and incompetent.

Here’s the story.

One of the Army’s most senior officers has warned that it is in danger of losing its reputation as a “highly respected British institution” because it is being forced to recruit soldiers from a “morally corrupt and dysfunctional” society, where young men idolise foul-mouthed footballers.

Maj Gen Graeme Lamb branded many recruits as “cocky and arrogant and brought up on a diet of football brats and binge drinking. . . who are not educated in and able to recognize self-discipline”.

Sandhurst (the Brit military academy) is doing a terrible job to produce idiots like this. Every officer should know that the Brits have always recruited their soldiers from the bottom of their society.

For example, the Battle of Waterloo was won by a Brit army led by the Duke of Wellington (the Dutch, Belgians and Prussians helped!). After inspecting his drunken and unruly troops on the eve of battle he famously remarked:

I don’t know what effect these men will have upon the enemy, but, by God, they frighten me.

Adding later:

“Ours (our army) is composed of the scum of the earth – the mere scum of the earth.”

The following day the scum of the earth beat the crap out the legendary Napoleonic legions that had terrorized Europe for a decade.

Later Victorian armies were recruited from the bottom layer of society, yet built the largest empire the world has seen. Kipling in his ballad Tommy says it all, here’s part of it:

Yes, makin’ mock o’ uniforms that guard you while you sleep
Is cheaper than them uniforms, an’ they’re starvation cheap;
An’ hustlin’ drunken soldiers when they’re goin’ large a bit
Is five times better business than paradin’ in full kit.

Then it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ “Tommy how’s yer soul?”
But it’s “Thin red line of ‘eroes” when the drums begin to roll,
The drums begin to roll, my boys, the drums begin to roll,
O it’s “Thin red line of ‘eroes” when the drums begin to roll.

We aren’t no thin red ‘eroes, nor we aren’t no blackguards too,
But single men in barricks, most remarkable like you;
An’ if sometimes our conduck isn’t all your fancy paints:
Why, single men in barricks don’t grow into plaster saints;

These poor, rough men fought so successfully because they were led by brave and experienced officers.

So Maj Gen Lamb and his fellows are the problem, not Tommy. The sooner he makes way for decent leadership, the better.