The New Terrapin Gazette

Number 304
29 April, 2013

…no man asks the other to act the villain unless he believes him inclined to be one. No man attempts to seduce the truly honest woman. It is the supposed looseness of her mind that starts the thoughts of seduction, and he who offers it calls her a prostitute. Our pride is always hurt by the same propositions which offend our principles; for when we are shocked at the crime, we are wounded by the suspicion of our compliance.

Islam And The Obama Administration

Introduction

There is a lot more to Washington’s relations with Islam than was expressed by the US president’s bow to the Saudi king and apology to the Muslim world. True, those gaffes were significant because they allowed the president’s intended audience to take him for what he is — an amateur — but subsequent events show how profoundly naive and biased US policy is.

In spite of the overwhelmingly uncritical press, the significant assumptions, attitudes and tendencies of Team Obama are discernible. As policy evolves and stabilizes, the world can see how the US administration thinks. You are therefore requested to look.

Begin with awareness of your opinions: do you feel the USA is well served by the federal “anti-terrorism” agencies?

Political Correctness

It is customary to think of censorship as simply a limitation of freedom of speech. It can also be an indication that bigoted ideology is shaping policy.

“…the FBI’s failure to look carefully and long enough at Tamerlan-the-terrorist has a lot to do with our leaders’ reluctance to call a terrorist a terrorist or to accept the fact that radical Islamist terrorists exist.” (Emphasis added.) (Source)

“Terrorist” is certainly the wrong word, but it captures a fraction of the truth: Islam is a shockingly violent faith, often at war even with itself, and those who take it literally are irrationally sheltered by the political correctness of the West. Clear thinker Mark Steyn explains that this too often results not just in favoritism, but in a false attribution of malice that betrays vicious bias:

Steyn reminded his listeners of the media reactions to other terrorist attacks tied to Islam, including U.S. Army Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, who was accused in the November 2009 shooting of 13 people and wounding of 29 others; the so-called “underwear bomber” Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, who attempted to detonate plastic explosives hidden in his underwear on Christmas in 2009; and the Times Square bomber, Faisal Shahzad, who was a Pakistani-American citizen arrested for an attempted May 1, 2010 car bombing.

“None of these guys, none of these lone wolves, none of these lone wolves stretching as far back as the eye can see, are ever typical of anything,” Steyn said. “We don’t know that any of these lone wolves belong to the United Amalgamated of Lone Wolves and Isolated Extremists. They’re all just one-offs — all jihad is local.”

Steyn compared that to the treatment of conservatives when anything else as happened, even if there isn’t necessarily a direct link to conservatives.

“[I]f some guy shoots up a grade school, even if he has nothing to do with the NRA and he has nothing to do with the tea party and he’s not the father of Sarah Palin’s youngest child, he is nevertheless, those people are nevertheless responsible for the entire conservative movement. Sarah Palin, NRA, tea party is always responsible and that is why we need to gut the Second Amendment.” (Source)

Steyn is not alone in accusing Team Obama of appeasing radical Islamic groups.

In fact the government’s institutionalized ideological bigotry is compromising public safety. Read this commentary, and, rather than dismiss it because the source is a “wingnut” website, consider whether the report and its claimed implications are factual and rational.

This subject can be expanded somewhat to include information on how political ideology can, by virtue of its presence or absence, affect outcomes when a ruthlessly violent faction attempts to impose its will. Here is an interesting comparison of the IRA with Islamic violence/colonialism.

With the British experience in mind, consider John Kerry, the new US secretary of state. A rational observer cannot ignore the obvious fact that Kerry’s recent statements are beyond stupid. Note that he claims “no faith” is the problem. One can only wonder how far Obamoid policy will go to avoid mentioning, let alone dealing with, the reality of a purely faith-based blood lust.

Now consider “wingnut” rage over Obamoid lies about the Benghazi disaster. You do not have to agree with the political viewpoint of the author of this critique in order to see that the facts are impossible to dispute. Both The One and Hillary have expressed contempt for the electorate, the Congress, and the media.

Amateur Hour In Foggy Bottom

Do you miss Hillary yet?

Perhaps some of Israel’s friends do. The other day Commentary ripped US secretary of state Kerry for “indefensible moral relativism”, which means he might just be doing what Obama told him to.

This newsletter is not comfortable with the president’s fundamental attitude toward the Jewish state. Yes, a strong suspicion that entirely too many Obamites are bigots does jaundice NTG’s view.

Now you have probably read that Kerry asked Turkey to cooperate, and got his head (metaphorically) handed to him on a platter. Evidently Erdogan is not awed by The Presence. Perhaps the Turks looked into Kerry’s bizarre biography….

Because of the press embargo, criticism of the fumbling and stumbling is common only in outlets like Commentary. The infrequently expressed facts are, on-the-job training does not always work, and it almost never succeeds when the trainee thinks he knows everything and fantasizes that he can talk anyone into or out of just about anything.

Well (heavy sigh). Though the rules are simple, nobody in Washington agrees on all of them. Here they are anyway:

1. A “Palestinian” state that borders on Israel is wildly impractical because it will only lead to more violence.

2. Israel’s security is paramount. Accordingly, the “West Bank” and the Golan Heights must remain within Israel.

3. The ideal solution would involve relocating all “Palestinians” in an existing state or states. No Muslim nation will accept them; “Palestinians” are widely and profoundly disliked throughout the Arab and Muslim world. All predominantly Muslim nations want them to remain in very uncomfortable circumstances, for that will intensify and prolong “Palestinian” enmity to Jews. Accordingly, US policy should be to make these circumstances and motives clear to the world and shame Muslim nations into backing down. That will prove intensely difficult.

4. Above all else, US policy should from the first recognize facts. They include:

4.a. Laboring at impossible tasks is futile.

4.b. A comprehensive solution to the problems posed by “Palestinians” must be insisted upon, in spite of the current and foreseeable impossibility of attaining it.

4.c. Arab and Muslim resistance to resettling the “Palestinians” away from Israel is likely to remain in place for at least a half century.

Unfortunately, the facts describe a total impasse. There is no likelihood that the “Palestinian” problem will be soluble for decades. Accordingly, the West and Israel must plan for stalemate, the continuing failure of diplomacy, and future conflict.

Can A Truly Peaceful Islam Be Created Or Effectively Encouraged?

Obviously what is needed is a way to convince suicide bombers and jihadis to give up violence. There are three ways to do that: first, by killing them all. Second, by killing most of them and preventing the survivors from accomplishing their political goals; that would prove to them that their efforts are and always will be futile. Third, talk them out of violent jihad.

While many tens of millions of Muslims — perhaps hundreds of millions of them — are disinclined to violence, they remain overwhelmingly and unhelpfully passive. These are the Muslims this newsletter has described as “keeping their heads down”, practicing Islam nominally in order to avoid being targeted by zealots, and usually preferring to avoid violence. Very few of these people proclaim their peaceful ways and dispute the preaching and exhortations of the enthusiastic adherents to Koranic teaching. (To repeat: a genuine “moderate” faction disputes the issues, accusing extremists of being misguided; in Islam, the true moderates are very quiet, while in Christendom, they debate and denounce the fanatics. Silence can be an effective tactic, but if it is the only way a rational majority can oppose a violent minority, its value is uncertain at best.)

Now read and consider this commentary, and note in particular that it disputes this newsletter’s views. Relevant excerpt:

Everyone who ignorantly drones on about Islam being inevitably radical based on religious texts doesn’t know how hard Islamists have had to work for forty years or more in the real world to create what exists now, nor how many people who are Muslims oppose this movement in Iran, Arabic-speaking countries, Turkey, and other places.

Rather than refute this assertion, NTG suggests that it be considered a positive contribution. It is worth exploring.

The reason: of the three ways to counter jihadi violence listed in the first paragraph of this section (kill them all, kill enough of them, talk them into pacifism) the first is absurd, and the second would be intensely difficult to accomplish.

Yet…recall the British experience with the IRA, mentioned above. (Read the commentary at the link if you skipped it!)

Now suppose one combines the (hugely difficult) second choice with the (naively idealistic) third choice. Would that produce a more effective defense of the West?

Perhaps — just perhaps, mind you — it is time to set aside the facts that (1) genuine Muslims revere the Koran as the inerrant word of the creator of mankind, that (2) all Muslims are divinely enjoined to wage eternal war against the infidels, and that (3) entry into heaven is guaranteed only to martyrs in the holy jihad and their families. Perhaps it is time to try to frustrate and propagandize the holy murderers.

Talking sense to potential jihadis might be combined with killing confirmed jihadis.

Who knows, it might help.

Meanwhile….

Both the scriptural malice of Islam and the bigotry of non-Muslims draw “proof” of their bloody-minded myths from transparently false evidence. Note this example of the insanity:

Sophisticates heaped abuse on the Anti-Defamation League and others who protested a comedic routine at the Oscars ceremony this year about Jewish control of Hollywood. Host Seth MacFarlane’s jokes — spoken by his animated bear, Ted — raised the idea that Jewish identity and support for Israel were required if an actor wanted to work in Hollywood. There’s little doubt most of those at the ceremony and watching at home in the United States understood that this was not an endorsement of prejudice but, like MacFarlane’s animated television comedy shows, mere satire. However, the ADL’s dudgeon should not be dismissed as clueless or hypersensitive. Throughout most of the globe, Ted’s jokes are not a laughing matter but widely held beliefs promoted by radical Islamists and other forces for hate. Even in enlightened Europe, there is, as the (US) State Department reported last year, a rising tide of anti-Semitism. In that context, what is merely an inside joke in the United States must be seen in a very different and quite sobering light. (From Commentary, behind registration.)

Hatred of Jews is a cardinal virtue, according to the Koran. If anything can shatter the potential of the strategy outlined immediately above, it will be Jew-hatred. While some Muslims are above this accursed sentiment, the fact remains that even an event as cataclysmic as World War II cannot eradicate the demonic curse of hatred of Jews.

The outlook must be rationally developed and critically judged. One can hardly be optimistic, though of course hope always exists.

Decyphering US Foreign Policy Produces Intense Hand-Wringing

This newsletter is not always correct. Consider the possible factuality of this commentary, for example; it claims that Hagel and Obama are not Israel-haters, and that they are giving Israel the weapons to end the Iranian nuclear threat. It’s a viewpoint that could be accurate.

Note as well that the USA has often gifted many nations with money, food, assistance, weapons and praise, though in many cases the recipients have been very nasty indeed — meaning they were despised by the highest officials of the US government. Sometimes the excuse was a version of, “We don’t like the rascals running Pathetica, but if we want to help the Patheticans, there is nobody else there but the rascals to give the aid to”. Other times the administration said frankly that it wanted to coax naughty folks into playing nice. There are, in other words, justifications for a carrot-and-stick approach.

The article linked above implies that the hardware going to Israel will enable a strike on Iranian weapons shops. The implication is false. The planes and radar may be necessary, but they are insufficient, and the author ignores that fact. Two essential elements are not mentioned: the biggest, heaviest bunker-buster bombs in the world are in the USA, and they cannot be delivered by any known Israeli aircraft. Those bombs might be able to crack the granite that protects the centrifuges, but smaller bombs simply cannot. Second, a way must be found to defeat the Iranian air defense system.

What follows is speculative, and very probably incorrect in all or part: when Israel wiped out the Syrian nuclear facility some years ago, the Syrians had no idea what had happened until hours later. Radar screens in Syria were blank; that was probably due to US technology, loaned or gifted to Israel for the raid. If the USA agrees to support another Israeli raid, Iranian radar will fail. When Syria was hit, its air defense system was the latest Russian model, and was almost certainly better than the current Iranian network. Iran is believed to be hopelessly vulnerable to a sophisticated air attack.

This mix of known facts and speculation means the Obama administration might want to appear to both Iran and Israel to be taking sides.

Perhaps in fifty years the full story will come out.

From Commentary (behind registration):

The West made serious concessions at the latest round of talks — concessions that would, if accepted by Tehran, allow the Iranians to keep their underground facility at Fordow and enable them to go on enriching uranium. The Iranians did not accept these terms, but the retreat may have reinforced their conviction that neither Obama nor America’s allies are the least bit serious about preventing them from realizing their nuclear ambition.

Meanwhile, everyone must guess and speculate and fret. If the USA is implicated in the bombing of Iran, however indirectly, the Muslim reaction could be staggering. Imagine bombings and assassinations and assaults that make Benghazi and Boston look like gentle pats on the cheek; imagine Jewish hospitals and schools in the USA necessarily become garrisons. Imagine sporting events and concerts canceled; imagine night clubs, libraries and universities closed for indeterminate periods; imagine freeway interchanges, bridges and dams and neighborhoods adjacent to airports patrolled by the National Guard.

The Obamites are playing with nitroglycerin. That calls for fastidious preparation and painstaking care. Even more important is a firm ethical conviction that the interests of the nation and the world can only be served by US policy; that in turn requires the presence of highly principled and intelligent people in positions of power.

In this newsletter’s view, the world is already at war. This is not admitted by the Powers That Be, of course, nor is it recognized by most people. The complexity and unconventional nature of the conflict are bemusing, leading to the misunderstanding that “terrorism” is akin to burglary and robbery — a law enforcement and security problem.

That mistake cripples the effort to defend the West against its ancient blood enemy. Don’t forget, Pilgrims: the West did not start The Crusades.

The Future Is Not Islam’s

The foregoing commentary is intensely depressing. It predicts stalemate; it proposes goofy-sounding measures (the West is supposed to reason with and reform religious nuts?); and it claims current policies have been drafted by a cabal of numbskulls.

Clearly, as there is no rational hope that positive change will take place, one cannot depend on the current leadership of the West. No nation is showing the way to peace and prosperity.

Yet this newsletter is optimistic, for technology and free markets in at least one sector of the world economy are poised to make positive impacts that politicians cannot.

Rather than describe the promising developments, NTG urges you to read this excellent summary of what has already started to happen — and what will change the world for the better. A tip of the hat goes to reader JY for directing this newsletter’s attention to the report. Its author provides a clear view of what is rapidly unfolding.

Do not skip the article at the link. It will fundamentally alter your understanding of what your future holds.

Once you have read the text, you will understand that as long as a vestige of innovative capitalism remains, the prospects for a reduction of the financial power of malevolent nations like Saudi Arabia are in sight. Imagine Iran unable to threaten to choke off deliveries of petrochemicals to an energy-hungry world. The many implications of that circumstance are a joy to contemplate.

Unfortunately this revolutionary technical and economic development will be recognized by Obamites and their kind everywhere as a lethal threat. Collectivism demands control; it must regulate, mandate, and censor. Free markets, Obama insists, “do not work”. He fears and hates the very idea that the economy and the citizenry should be at liberty to make prudent choices. Abundant cheap energy would literally empower the populace, for it would foster small businesses, open up astronomical investment opportunities, and literally liberate large numbers of people.

For collectivists, that is very scary indeed. Anything that multiplies the individual’s choices reduces his need to depend on government aid and submit to government planning. Utopia can never be achieved without planning and regulation, and lots of inexpensive energy increases chaotic activity and multiplies networks that are not engineered by bureaucrats who can license and restrict economic activity. The more freedom the individual has, and the more successful he is absent government programs and controls, the less likely the imposition of Utopia becomes.

Lots of cheap energy is a dagger in the heart of collectivism, unless that energy is firmly controlled and carefully dispensed by the government.

Obama knows all this. He understands how the availability of petrochemicals impact his plans for the reform of the USA. He intends to disarm and disenfranchise the culturally inferior and those suffering from what Marx called “false consciousness”, thereby reducing virtually the entire polity to dependency on the government.

That would necessarily shatter the constitutional emphasis on the individual. If the second amendment can be revised and redefined and parsed according to the ideology of the current Ruling Elite, then why not the first, or the fourth — or any amendment that restrains the federal government from imposing its mandates for security, equality, fairness, correctness and corrective patronage? What hindrance would be placed on that “national civilian security force” (mentioned in six previous numbers of this newsletter) that Obama insisted the nation needs?

As this newsletter has recently reported, the price of gasoline in the USA is too high, due entirely to the confluence of unscientific ecological fanaticism and misguided federal regulation. Accordingly, one can only expect the increased supply of petrochemicals to be greeted with horror by Team Obama. Taxes on gas and oil will be driven up, if the administration has its way.

Obama’s veto of the Keystone pipeline indicates he will ally himself with crackpot environmental groups. He will preach alarmist sermons, decrying the horrors of pollution, spills and industrial accidents, demonizing fracking, exaggerating the dangers.

Those predictions are based on precedents. Obama has abandoned ethical advocacy, strongly implying that if you do not support firearms control, you have no concern for the lives of children. Threatened with loss of control, he will react instinctively, spouting yet more shamelessly untruthful alarmist propaganda.

One might wonder why. The Obamites do not intend to lose the culture war against Flyover Country. Those mouth-breathers who cling to guns and religion have to be brought to heel; one dare not allow them to be empowered economically. Their values are simply too toxic.

Collectivists like Obama plan to impose social and economic change that will be possible only if the individual is under firm control.

It does not have to happen, for the future is yours to seize.

Coda

There are virtually no isolated events or policies in politics, economics, or technology. The antiquated Utopian fantasies of Obama are linked to the engineering advancements that have made cheaper and more abundant energy possible; the insane injunctions of the Koran are linked to the everyday lives of people in Kentucky, Russia and Caracas. Some call it the Butterfly Effect; many people don’t ever think about it. Yet one thing is clear: what happens next depends on the choices you make. To the extent that you can participate at whatever level in influencing, changing or initiating some aspect of political reality, you must act.

Freezing, Then Cold, Then Warmer, Then Stable…

AGW alarmism is still abroad because it is faith-based, rather than the result of true scientific investigation. Yet some Warmers are moderating their approach. Here are short quotes from a recent commentary.

“Deniers also can’t declare the issue settled and that global warming is not going to happen, it could come roaring back even worse than expected.” Well, that’s partial rubbish; this publication, for one, has never insisted that global warming will not occur; quite the contrary. To repeat: it will get cooler and it will get warmer, but the flat predictions of warming due to human activity are unjustifiable. Carbon dioxide is not physically capable of warming the earth to dangerous levels. Its effect on temperature is logarithmic, which means that with each incremental increase of the gas, the effect on climate diminishes (and it does so sharply).

Criticism of “green” generation of energy “…doesn’t mean that pollution is not bad for us, it certainly is, but there is a basic research problem that needs to be solved before a technology investment should be made.” Nobody likes pollution, but what does that have to do with AGW? The two issues are absolutely separate, a truth that Warmers dispute either implicitly or overtly. Carbon dioxide does not pollute the atmosphere. It is plant food, and it contributes to the literal greening of the earth.

“Just because warming has not continued to climb does not mean it won’t….” Now that’s downright silly. Just because your neighbor has not moved a Shetland pony into his back bedroom does not mean he won’t.

“…temperatures are still far higher than a century ago, assuming data from then are accurate.” That’s an interesting claim; it’s almost certainly false (what does “far higher” mean, after all?), and it utterly ignores the fact that for some time the earth has been coming out of what is called The Little Ice Age. (You may recall tales of the frozen Thames, and all that; if you don’t, use a good search engine and inform yourself.) Charts showing recent warming vary depending on their creators; some are absurd, some are hoaxes, some are imperfect, some are pretty good, and it is not clear which ones are reliable. “Data from then” come from what sources? Proxies, such as tree rings? Which data sets are truly indicative of global temperature? By cherry-picking the evidence, one can prove just about anything.

The Forgotten

From Air America From World War II to Vietnam, By Christopher Robbins (ISBN 974-8303-51-9):

More bombs were dropped on Laos than America dropped on Nazi Germany in the Second World War; three times more than the tonnage dropped in the Korean War. America’s ally the Meo (Hmong) lost 100,000 dead in the war, and when they were finally abandoned, a further 300,000 refugees went into exile to live in camps surrounded by barbed wire. Those who stayed behind faced the vengeful recrimination of the victorious Vietnamese in the form of “re-education” or death, as the new communist government announced it was necessary to exterminate the running dog Yankee imperialist hilltribesmen “to the last root”. As there were only half a million Hmong living in Laos in the first place, the equivalent would be as if America had lost fifty million dead in the Vietnam War, with most of the remaining population forced into impoverished exile in Mexico.

Links

From Dennis Prager: “Good intentions cause most of the world’s great evils.”

This is important: “Several US intelligence officials contacted by The Long War Journal refute the steady stream of press reports that al Qaeda’s leadership is ‘shattered’ and ‘broken.'” (Source)

A “Texan twang“? Hmpf. The Guardian demonstrates its smug ignorance yet again.

Memo to John Kerry: according to this post on the internet, the Iranian military is running the country. And: “The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps views Obama’s public overtures as a sign of weakness,” or so it is claimed. You might want to check it out, John, in the event this is the first you have heard of it (and if this is news to you, the words “who” and “why” might prove useful). You know, John, Foggy Bottom is a tough neighborhood for new kids on the block. Hillary had her problems, too; remember Mexico City?

The Senate’s Republicans lost Round One to the harridan with the bag lady hairdo; lesson learned, so the Republicans in the House are opening Round Two with a written challenge that avoids face-to-face confrontation. (This reminds of the heraldic motto, “Touch not the cat bot a glove”.)

This poll sheds light on the US cultural divide.

Cognitive dissonance“? Is that how political insanity and ethical ignorance are labeled? Could that academic-sounding nomenclature be an attempt to pass sins off as virtues?

So who is the problem, anyway? Who really, really needs their attitudes adjusted? Guys like this.

Was this appropriate? Almost certainly not. It was a “fishing expedition”, not at all a standard search. Was it constitutional? Heck, these days, you can’t know what the courts would say! It was certainly a stupid over-reaction. Shame on the Boston PD.

“The Tsarneavs need not have been sleepers. It is enough that they were Muslims.” More.

Do you remember Pigford? You should! It was a classic.

A comprehensive “wingnut” attack on Obama is also a prediction that his presidency will be a catastrophic failure. That is no consolation to the Knuckle-Draggers of Flyover Country; it’s a measure of their disappointment in the electorate. There is no delight in being able to say, “We told you he was incompetent and dangerous”.

Should CNN have televised this, or changed its report and/or video documentation of the facts in some way? Perhaps more to the point, do you think those questions were discussed by the executives in charge of the network?

Songbirds
frozen in their flight
drifting to the earth
remnants of forgotten dreaming
Calling…
answer comes there none
Go to sleep, you child
Dream of never-ending always

The masthead includes a quote from the works of Thomas Paine.

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Publisher: The Eagle Wing Palace of The Queen Chinee.