Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Obscene TV

A few weeks ago, I saw something truly obscene on tv.

And in primetime!

It was about 10 minutes to 8pm, and CNN's Wolf Blitzer was on. I was forced to view this as I was on a treadmill at the gym.

And I was musing to myself, gee, I wonder what they're going to do to boost their ratings, now that FOX is eating their lunch.

And I didn't have to wait long.

Paraphrasing what happened, they cut to a perky newscaster, announcing something like, "and now coming up, an accident at the racetrack!"

And I'm thinking, what some kind of racing car crash or something?

And then they start showing this clip of horseracing.

And there's this pack of racehorses galloping towards the camera.

And the captioning continues, to my horror, "a 16-year-old jockey, trampled to death!"

And the camera shows, indeed, the lead horse stumbling, and the child jockey churned under the hooves of the herd.

And the camera then lingered on the body of the child, killed without warning before my eyes, in the mud.

And to my even greater shock, to my amazement, the perky newscaster then said something to the effect of, "that was some nasty spill!"

Nasty spill???

CNN just showed me a 16-year-old get killed!

For ratings!

This was news?

And worse yet, these news agencies are the very same ones who have decided to not show the tapes of the World Trade Center attacks on the anniversaries, to avoid "inflaming" or "upsetting" people. They won't show the true horrors of the innocents being forced to shoose whether to burn or to jump from 100 stories up.

They whitewash the activities of the jihadists regularly.

But they'll show me a kid trampled to death in the mud by a horse as infotainment.

One of these things is important to know as an informed citizen, the other is not.

As a business, CNN can show what it wants. But I surely don't have any respect for it as an information source or arbiter of opinion.

I think this must be the story in question.

Caption Me

Ahmadinejad visiting the tomb of Khomeini. What's with the weird green glow?

I don't know, this photo seems to be crying out for a caption.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

About That Mahdi

The article at the Telegraph linked in my previous post about the Mahdi Army contains a bit of a whitewash in the following lines:
After a cataclysmic confrontation with evil and darkness, the Mahdi will lead the world to an era of universal peace.

This is similar to the Christian vision of the Apocalypse. Indeed, the Hidden Imam is expected to return in the company of Jesus.
It's not exactly like the Christian Apocalypse, and the image of Jesus in this islamic myth is rather twisted.

In their view, Jesus will come to kill the Jews, and even the very trees and stones will cry out "Muslim! There is Jew hiding behind me! Kill him!"

That is mainstream islamic belief, deeply rooted in their theology.

And I find comparing that to Christianity not just offensive, but stupid.

I think the journalists who write about these things imagine themselves too intelligent to believe in any religion, and just lump it all together as equivalently silly hokum. But there really are distinctions.

For example, from a Palestinian sermon translated by Memri,
"The Jews await the false Jewish messiah, while we await, with Allah's help… the Mahdi and Jesus, peace be upon him. Jesus's pure hands will murder the false Jewish messiah. Where? In the city of Lod, in Palestine. Palestine will be, as it was in the past, a graveyard for the invaders – just as it was a graveyard for the Tatars and to the Crusader invaders, [and for the invaders] of the old and new colonialism…"

"A reliable Hadith [tradition] says: 'The Jews will fight you, but you will be set to rule over them.' What could be more beautiful than this tradition? 'The Jews will fight you' – that is, the Jews have begun to fight us. 'You will be set to rule over them' – Who will set the Muslim to rule over the Jew? Allah… Until the Jew hides behind the rock and the tree."

"But the rock and tree will say: 'Oh Muslim, oh servant of Allah, a Jew hides behind me, come and kill him.' Except for the Gharqad tree, which is the tree of the Jews."

"We believe in this Hadith. We are convinced also that this Hadith heralds the spread of Islam and its rule over all the land…"
The Hadith in question can be found at this University of Southern California site. It's Book 41, "The Book Pertaining to the Turmoil and Portents of the Last Hour (Kitab Al-Fitan wa Ashrat As-Sa`ah)", Chapter 16, numbers 6981 through 6985. Here is Number 6985:
Abu Huraira reported Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: The last hour would not come unless the Muslims will fight against the Jews and the Muslims would kill them until the Jews would hide themselves behind a stone or a tree and a stone or a tree would say: Muslim, or the servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me; come and kill him; but the tree Gharqad would not say, for it is the tree of the Jews.
Is Ahmadinejad trying to bring about the last hour?

Verse 6950 explains,
Abu Huraira reported Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: The world would not come to an end until a day would come to the people on which the murderer would not know as to why he has killed and the slain would not know as to why he has been murdered. It would be said: Why would It happen? To which he replied: It would be because of general massacre and bloodshed. And the slaughterers and the slain would be in Fire, and in the narration of Ibn Aban, the name of Abu Isma'il has been mentioned.


Notice the escalation over the last 3 months, and the last 30 days in particular.

Can anyone doubt war with Iran is inevitable?

The only question is, will it be on our terms in the short run, on Israel's (possibly nuclear) terms in the medium run, or on Iran's terms in the slightly longer run?

Oct 26: Iran's "president" calls for genocide:
The State of Israel should be wiped off the map, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Wednesday, underscoring Teheran’s extreme attitude towards the Jewish State.

The Iranian leader's remarks were made during a convention entitled "A World Without Zionists."

“The establishment of the State of Israel was an offensive move. The Islamic nation will not let its historic enemy live in its midst,” he said.
Jane’s Defense Weekly magazine reported yesterday that Iran is assisting Syria, Israel’s neighbor and arch enemy, with acquiring the know-how to produce advanced chemical weapons.
Nov 29: Iran's "president" reveals himself to be a messianic delusional schizophrenic:
Ahmadinejad said that someone present at the UN told him that a light surrounded him while he was delivering his speech to the General Assembly. The Iranian president added that he also sensed it.

"He said when you began with the words 'in the name of God,' I saw that you became surrounded by a light until the end [of the speech]," Ahmadinejad appears to say in the video. "I felt it myself, too. I felt that all of a sudden the atmosphere changed there, and for 27-28 minutes all the leaders did not blink."

Ahmadinejad adds that he is not exaggerating.

"I am not exaggerating when I say they did not blink; it's not an exaggeration, because I was looking," he says. "They were astonished as if a hand held them there and made them sit. It had opened their eyes and ears for the message of the Islamic Republic."
Since the presidential elections in Iran, many bizarre stories and rumors have circulated about Ahmadinejad. Many of them are related to his devotion to the 12th Imam, also known as Imam Mahdi, who according to Muslims has disappeared and will return at the end of time to lead an era of Islamic justice.

During his September speech at the UN, Ahmadinejad called for the reappearance of the 12th Imam.

In mid-November, during a speech to Friday prayers leaders from across Iran, Ahmadinejad said that the main mission of the revolution is to pave the way for the reappearance of the 12th Imam.

In recent weeks, the president's aides have denied a rumor that he ordered his cabinet to write a pact of loyalty with the 12th Imam and throw it down a well near the holy city of Qom, where some believe the Imam is hiding.
Dec 3: Iran vows to block inspections:
TEHRAN, Iran - Iran’s hard-line constitutional watchdog approved a bill Saturday blocking international inspections of atomic facilities if the nation is referred to the U.N. Security Council for possible sanctions, state-run television reported.
Dec 4: Iran demands the EU give it what it wants:
TEHRAN (Reuters) - Iran’s patience regarding Western opposition to its nuclear program is wearing thin and Tehran will give the EU only a few months to settle the issue through talks, the country’s chief nuclear negotiator said on Sunday.

Ali Larijani added Iran would only accept proposals to resolve the dispute which allowed it to produce nuclear fuel on its own soil.
Dec 8: Iran's "president" says Israel should be moved to Europe:
Iran's hard-line President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said that if Germany and Austria feel responsible for massacring Jews, Israel should be moved there instead.

Mr Ahmadinejad, who sparked an international outcry in October when he said Israel "must be wiped off the map", also repeated his view that the Jewish state was a "tumour".
Dec. 9: Moral pipsqueaks and useless fools say the solution, or should I say, Final Solution, is for Israel to unilaterally disarm:
What is this breakthrough idea? That U.S. policies begin not with a country that currently lacks nuclear weapons — Iran — but rather with the one that by virtually all accounts already has them — Israel.

To avert Iran's apparent drive for nuclear weapons, concludes Henry Sokolski, a co-editor of "Getting Ready for a Nuclear-Ready Iran," Israel should freeze and begin to dismantle its nuclear capability.
Dec 11: The clock is ticking:
ISRAEL’S armed forces have been ordered by Ariel Sharon, the prime minister, to be ready by the end of March for possible strikes on secret uranium enrichment sites in Iran, military sources have revealed.
Dec 14: Iran's "president" formally attacks the legal and moral justification for Israel's existence:
TEHRAN, Iran - Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad escalated his anti-Israeli rhetoric Wednesday, calling the Holocaust a “myth” used by Europeans to create a Jewish state in the heart of the Islamic world.
“I assure you that we won’t step back one inch from our nuclear rights,” the president told the crowd, drawing chants of “Death to America!”
Dec 18: Iran calls the West intolerant for not respecting their insane views -- such are the wages of multiculturalism:
TEHRAN (Reuters) - Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s denial of the Holocaust is a matter for academic discussion and the West should be more tolerant of his views, Iran’s foreign ministry spokesman said on Sunday.

Ahmadinejad last week called the Holocaust a myth and suggested Israel be moved to Germany or Alaska, remarks that sparked international uproar and threaten diplomatic talks with Europe over Iran’s nuclear programme.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi defended the president’s remarks, which also drew a rebuke from the U.N. Security Council.

“What the president said is an academic issue. The West’s reaction shows their continued support for Zionists,” Asefi told a weekly news conference. “Westerners are used to leading a monologue but they should learn to listen to different views,” he added.
Dec 25: New revelations about Iran's leaders' mysticism:
Khomeini also outlawed a semi-clandestine group called the Hojjatieh, which emerged during the revolution, and whose members believe that total chaos must be created in order to hasten the return of the Mahdi and the establishment of Islamic rule throughout the world.

Since Khomeini's death, however, the Hojjatieh has reportedly re-emerged in various sectors of the regime, including the Revolutionary Guard, the elite parallel army that was established to protect the Islamic revolution and that bore the brunt of the fighting in the Iran-Iraq war. There are indications that Ahmadinejad and several of his close associates, mostly veterans of that war, are sympathisers or active members of the group. The new president's key supporter among senior Shia clergy, Ayatollah Mohammad Taqi Misbah-Yazdi, is also thought to be associated with Hojjatieh.
Jan 1: Iran's "president" says some more weird stuff:
Hard-line Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who said the Nazi attempt to eradicate Jews in the Holocaust was a “Myth,” has now charged that European countries sought to complete the genocide by establishing Israel, a Jewish state in the midst of Muslim countries.
Jan 3: Secret Services in Europe realize Iran is trying to build a nuclear-capable missile:
The Iranian government has been successfully scouring Europe for the sophisticated equipment needed to develop a nuclear bomb, according to the latest western intelligence assessment of the country’s weapons programmes.

Scientists in Tehran are also shopping for parts for a ballistic missile capable of reaching Europe, with “import requests and acquisitions ... registered almost daily”, the report seen by the Guardian concludes.
Jan 10: Iran removes UN seals from its atomic research facilities:
TEHRAN, Iran - Iran removed U.N. seals on uranium enrichment equipment and resumed nuclear research Tuesday, defying demands it maintain a two-year freeze on its nuclear program and sparking an outcry from the United States and Europe.
U.S. officials denounced Iran’s move, calling it a step toward creating material for nuclear bombs.
Jan 14: The Telegraph notices the religious connection:
The most remarkable aspect of Mr Ahmadinejad’s piety is his devotion to the Hidden Imam, the Messiah-like figure of Shia Islam, and the president’s belief that his government must prepare the country for his return.

One of the first acts of Mr Ahmadinejad’s government was to donate about £10 million to the Jamkaran mosque, a popular pilgrimage site where the pious come to drop messages to the Hidden Imam into a holy well.

All streams of Islam believe in a divine saviour, known as the Mahdi, who will appear at the End of Days. A common rumour - denied by the government but widely believed - is that Mr Ahmadinejad and his cabinet have signed a “contract” pledging themselves to work for the return of the Mahdi and sent it to Jamkaran.

Iran’s dominant “Twelver” sect believes this will be Mohammed ibn Hasan, regarded as the 12th Imam, or righteous descendant of the Prophet Mohammad.

He is said to have gone into “occlusion” in the ninth century, at the age of five. His return will be preceded by cosmic chaos, war and bloodshed. After a cataclysmic confrontation with evil and darkness, the Mahdi will lead the world to an era of universal peace.
Mr Ahmadinejad appears to believe that these events are close at hand and that ordinary mortals can influence the divine timetable.
Jan 15: Iran plans to hold a "scientific conference" to de-legitimize Israel's existence:
TEHRAN, Iran (AP) -- Iran, whose president has denied the Holocaust, said Sunday it would hold a conference to examine the scientific evidence concerning Nazi Germany's extermination of 6 million Jews.
Iran's "president" also threatens the West:
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the hardline President of Iran, launched an angry tirade against the West yesterday, accusing it of a ‘dark ages’ mentality and threatening retaliation unless it recognised his country’s nuclear ambitions.
Addressing a rare press conference in Tehran, he appeared to issue thinly veiled threats against Western countries, implying that they could face serious consequences unless they backed down. ‘You need us more than we need you. All of you today need the Iranian nation,’ Ahmadinejad said. ‘Why are you putting on airs? You don’t have that might.’
Jan 16: (Sunni Arab) Egypt realizes it's in missile range:
Egypt on Monday said it supported using nuclear technology for peaceful purposes but rejected the emergence of a nuclear military power in the region, in its first official reaction to the standoff over Iran’s nuclear program.
Jan 19: France realizes it's in missile range:
Chirac threatens nuclear weapons against 'terrorist' states
ILE LONGUE MILITARY BASE, France (AFP) - President Jacques Chirac for the first time raised the threat of a nuclear strike on any state that launches "terrorist" attacks against France.

He also said France's doctrine of nuclear deterrence has been extended to protect the country's "strategic supplies", taken to mean oil.

"Leaders of any state that uses terrorist means against us, as well as any that may be envisaging -- in one way or another -- using weapons of mass destruction, must understand that they would be exposing themselves to a firm and appropriate response on our behalf," he said.

"That response could be conventional, it could also be of another nature," Chirac said in a clear reference to nuclear weapons during a visit to a French nuclear base in the northwestern region of Brittany.
Jan 22: Satellite imagery shows Iran expanding its nuclear facilities:
Western intelligence agencies are focusing on alarming similarities in satellite imagery of Iran’s nuclear sites, which the regime claims are for civilian purposes, and atomic facilities in Pakistan used to make the raw materials for nuclear weapons, as they try to identify the purpose of the Natanz construction spree.

The building work took place unannounced during a 16-month pause in research and development at the site, while Iran engaged the West in protracted talks over its professed desire to develop nuclear power.
Both Democrat and Republican Senators make clear the military option is on the table for dealing with Iran, which his all the more remarkable given the partisan divisions over the current war in Iraq:
"It is good that we are working with Britain, France and Germany, but the pace [of those efforts] is too slow," he said. "We have to try to take it [the Iranian nuclear situation] to the United Nations. I am pessimistic that Russia and China will let us do what we want to do. And then I think we form a 'coalition of the willing' - first to impose economic sanctions on Iran. Secondly, we can never take the military option off the table."

Senator Lieberman described U.S. armed forces as the most potent military force in the history of the world, and said that, despite heavy military commitments in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere, the United States is fully capable of launching a pre-emptive military strike against Iran's nuclear facilities.

Those words were echoed by his Republican colleague, Senator John McCain.

"We cannot take the military option off the table," he said. "But we have to make it very clear [that] it is the last option. There is only one thing worse than the United States exercising a military option, and that is Iran having nuclear weapons. They already have the missiles to put them on."
Swiss banks get nervous:
ZURICH, Switzerland - Swiss banking giant UBS AG said Sunday it has stopped doing business with Iran because of the company's economic and risk analysis of the situation in the country.

UBS will no longer deal with individuals, companies or state institutions such as Iran's central bank, company spokesman Serge Steiner said. A similar policy is also being implemented in the case of Syria, he said.
Rumours swirl about Iran moving its foreign assets to avoid a freeze:
Iran is under increasing international pressure over its nuclear program and mindful of the freezing of its U.S. assets after the 1979 seizure of the American Embassy in Tehran. The nation has an estimated $50 billion in European banks and Iran's Central Bank governor said over the weekend that it will move its reserves quickly if it deems it necessary to do so.
Jan 24: More big money senses danger:
It has also emerged that Credit Suisse, Switzerland's second largest bank, is looking into ending its business relationships in Iran.

"We are closely looking at the developments and we're increasingly worried," a spokesman told Reuters.
Jan 24: Read Our Lips:
US President George W. Bush will not accept a nuclear Iran, John Bolton, the US ambassador to the United Nations, said Monday.

Bolton, speaking from New York via video hook-up to the Interdisciplinary Center’s Herzliya Conference, said that Bush was determined to pursue the issue through peaceful and diplomatic means, “but has made clear that a nuclear Iran is not acceptable.” According to Bolton, Bush worries that a nuclear-equipped Iran under its current leadership could well engage in a nuclear holocaust, “and that is just not something he is going to accept.”
Jan 25: Iran threatens Israel, again:
Were Israel to attack Iran's nuclear facilities, Iran would respond so strongly that it would put the Jewish state into "an eternal coma" like Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's, the Iranian defense minister said Wednesday.

"Zionists should know that if they do anything evil against Iran, the response of Iran's armed forces will be so firm that it will send them into eternal coma, like Sharon," Gen. Mostafa Mohammad Najjar said.
Jan 27: The Senate is united, at least on the easy calls:
WASHINGTON (AFP) - The US Senate voted unanimously to condemn Iran's nuclear program and to support referring Iran to the UN Security Council for allegedly violating nuclear nonproliferation obligations.
Jan 28: The Oil Weapon is in play:
US crude oil futures ended higher for the second straight day on Friday as supply worries over Iran and Nigeria overshadowed hefty increases in US petroleum inventories reported at midweek.
OPEC is unlikely to intervene to help contain rising oil prices if Iranian supplies grind to a halt in the country's nuclear dispute with the West, the president of the oil exporting group said on Friday.
Iran threatens to attack:
TEHRAN, Iran - A top Iranian commander accused U.S. and British intelligence agents of fomenting unrest in southwestern Iran and threatened to respond with missiles if attacked.

Iran's improved version of the Shahab-3 missile can strike more than 1,300 miles from their launch site, putting Israel and U.S. forces in the Middle East in easy range.

Gen. Yahya Rahim Safavi, the chief of the Revolutionary Guards, said the United States and Britain were behind bombings Jan 21 that killed at least nine people in the southwestern city of Ahvaz, near the southern border with Iraq where 8,500 British soldiers are based.
Jan 29: World leaders in Davos realize we're the only hope:
DAVOS, Switzerland (Reuters) - The United States should reserve the option of bombing Iran's nuclear program into oblivion, but it would be a massive military venture that would invite heavy retribution from Tehran.

That seemed to be the prevailing view from four days of debate at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, where Iran was absent from the line-up of leaders and ministers but figured high on the agenda.

Its nuclear program, which Tehran says is for generating electricity but the United States sees as a front for building an atomic bomb, ranked with the shock outcome of the Palestinian election as the main topic of international concern.

"We have to keep the military option as the last option but not take it off the table," said U.S. Senator John McCain, a leading Republican presidential contender for the 2008 election.
A panel on Iran at the Davos forum identified three other options: diplomacy, Iraq-style "regime change," and doing nothing and hoping for the best.

Straw dismissed the latter as irresponsible and stressed the diplomatic option, "to secure a bargain which would not involve humiliation of either side."
Good luck with that.

I recommend a punitive expedition to back up that bombing, because:
Even if successful, U.S. 'preventive strikes' might set back Iran's nuclear program only by two to four years, Pollack said, given the know-how it had already acquired.
Regime change is the only viable option. Handwringers complain
"If you think it's bad now (in Iraq), imagine 6,000 Iranian Revolutionary Guards and intelligence agents joining in the insurgency."
Imagine the 4th ID cutting through Iran.

Jan 29: It's the time of decision:
LONDON (Reuters) - The European Union and United States will on Monday seek to persuade Russia and China to back tough diplomatic action against Iran over its disputed nuclear program before a crunch meeting on Thursday.
Well would you look at that.

It's NATO against the Commies again.

Even if they don't agree, this is just setting the stage for them to be able to diplomatically "agree to disagree" when we invade.

The military option would be much, much harder without having 1/3 of the Army right next door in Iraq, and already battle-hardened.

And not to mention, if Hussein were still in power, controlling his oil and Scud weapons, to make trouble.

One might almost think Iraq and Iran were some sort of "axis", to coin a phrase, that had to be tackled in order.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Bulls in Baghdad

The bond markets are generally considered "smarter" money than the stock markets, but all markets are expressions of collective judgments.

And times are good for Iraqi bonds:
To understand how big the appetite is for emerging market debt these days, one should look at what has been happening to prices of bonds newly issued by Iraq, a country that has suffered one of the worst economic and political upheavals in recent history.

Since the bonds started trading officially at the beginning of the week, prices have jumped from about 70 to a high of nearly 74 this week. Andrew Chappell, associate director at Exotix, the London-based broker, says: "We are still seeing a lot of demand chasing very little paper."

Prices receded to about 72 yesterday, translating to a yield of 8.95 per cent. That means investors currently perceive Iraq as having about the same credit risk as Jamaica, but as having less risk than both Ecuador and Argentina, say analysts, because the comparable bond yields on the latter two countries are higher than yields on Iraq's bond.
How about that?

Markets see Iraq as being like Jamaica.

No wonder Iraqis are so optimistic!

Wednesday, January 25, 2006


A surprising poll was reported by the BBC:
Iraqis and Afghans are among the most optimistic people in the world when it comes to their economic future, a new survey for the BBC suggests.
And if it's from the BBC, it's got to be true, right?
In Afghanistan, 70% say their own circumstances are improving, and 57% believe that the country overall is on the way up.

In Iraq, 65% believe their personal life is getting better, and 56% are upbeat about the country's economy.
Very interesting.

Who else is upbeat? Anyone who recently elected a more conservative leader, such as Germany, Canada, and the rest of the Anglosphere.

Not surprisingly, among the most pessimistic are tsunami-ravaged Indonesia and brutally mismanaged Zimbabwe and Congo.

But just as downbeat as those failed African states are such places as France, unfortunately. Socialism saps the soul.
Perhaps surprisingly, the war-ravaged Democratic Republic of Congo has similar numbers of pessimists to prosperous Italy and South Korea, where nearly 80% worry about their nation's economy and between 53 and 63% believe their own financial future will be difficult.

Indonesians, meanwhile, still feel the economic aftermath of the devastating tsunami a year ago.

And while France appears to sink in gloom, Germans seem to believe that their economy is turning the corner.
They should de-Carterify and Reaganize themselves!

Sunday, January 22, 2006


A correspondent reminds me of what happened 25 years ago this weekend:
Senator Hatfield, Mr. Chief Justice, Mr. President, Vice President Bush, Vice President Mondale, Senator Baker, Speaker O'Neill, Reverend Moomaw, and my fellow citizens: To a few of us here today, this is a solemn and most momentous occasion; and yet, in the history of our Nation, it is a commonplace occurrence. The orderly transfer of authority as called for in the Constitution routinely takes place as it has for almost two centuries and few of us stop to think how unique we really are. In the eyes of many in the world, this every-4-year ceremony we accept as normal is nothing less than a miracle.
These United States are confronted with an economic affliction of great proportions. We suffer from the longest and one of the worst sustained inflations in our national history. It distorts our economic decisions, penalizes thrift, and crushes the struggling young and the fixed-income elderly alike. It threatens to shatter the lives of millions of our people.
The economic ills we suffer have come upon us over several decades. They will not go away in days, weeks, or months, but they will go away. They will go away because we, as Americans, have the capacity now, as we have had in the past, to do whatever needs to be done to preserve this last and greatest bastion of freedom.

In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem.
As for the enemies of freedom, those who are potential adversaries, they will be reminded that peace is the highest aspiration of the American people. We will negotiate for it, sacrifice for it; we will not surrender for it--now or ever.

Our forbearance should never be misunderstood. Our reluctance for conflict should not be misjudged as a failure of will. When action is required to preserve our national security, we will act. We will maintain sufficient strength to prevail if need be, knowing that if we do so we have the best chance of never having to use that strength.

Above all, we must realize that no arsenal, or no weapon in the arsenals of the world, is so formidable as the will and moral courage of free men and women. It is a weapon our adversaries in today's world do not have. It is a weapon that we as Americans do have. Let that be understood by those who practice terrorism and prey upon their neighbors.

I am told that tens of thousands of prayer meetings are being held on this day, and for that I am deeply grateful. We are a nation under God, and I believe God intended for us to be free. It would be fitting and good, I think, if on each Inauguration Day in future years it should be declared a day of prayer.
Ronald Reagan.

The best President of my lifetime (W's legacy is not yet known).

The worst?

Jimmy Carter.
Carter told CNN in an interview that although Hamas were “so-called terrorists,” so far “there have been no complaints of corruption against [their] elected officials.”

He conceded that “there is an element within Hamas who deny Israel’s right to exist,” but compared the current situation to negotiations with the PLO, which was still outlawed as a terrorist organization during his presidency.
Way to let Iran fall into the hands of the islamists, kicking of the latest phase of jihad, as well as letting them get away with attacking the sovereign American soil of our embassy.

If I were President, at the right moment I'd go before Congress, lay out the case, and demand they recognize that a state of war has existed for 25 years with the theocracy of Iran -- or explain to the People why they're going to continue ignoring it.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006


Well, as we hurtle towards war or submission to Iran,
The devastating nuclear exchange of August 2007 represented not only the failure of diplomacy, it marked the end of the oil age. Some even said it marked the twilight of the West. Certainly, that was one way of interpreting the subsequent spread of the conflict as Iraq's Shi'ite population overran the remaining American bases in their country and the Chinese threatened to intervene on the side of Teheran.

Yet the historian is bound to ask whether or not the true significance of the 2007-2011 war was to vindicate the Bush administration's original principle of pre-emption. For, if that principle had been adhered to in 2006, Iran's nuclear bid might have been thwarted at minimal cost. And the Great Gulf War might never have happened.
Seattle sure has its priorities right!

They've decided it's ok to invade someone's privacy and check their trash to enforce their recycling laws. Make sure you've separated your papers and plastics!
Beginning today, Seattle Public Utilities garbage handlers who eyeball obvious violations of the city's mandatory recycling ordinance will attach a note with a reminder to recycle.
The garbage stays put until the recyclables get sorted out.

A year after the ordinance came out, enforcement is on.
Though I think mandatory recycling is obviously leftwing fascist overreach, I don't really think there's an expectation of privacy in trash.

However I point this out because of the hypocrisy and lack of seriousness on the left.

Because on the news tonight, when I first heard of this, the justification given was to the effect that "Well, they have a pretty left-wing bent up there in Seattle, so the people there don't mind sticking their nose into someone's business if it's for recycling."

The audacity!

These are the VERY SAME people who are shredding library records to protect their precious patrons from possible attempts to "connect the dots" and prevent future mass murder by terrorists, as they feared the evil Patriot Act would cause everyone's library records to be open to the gubmint.

Oh, the horror!
Librarians across the country are rising up against the USA Patriot Act (search), shredding records and making other attempts to thwart the legal framework in the war on terror.

Librarian Cindy Czesak is in the vanguard of the rebellion at the Paterson Public Library (search) in Paterson, N.J., a densely-populated Middle Eastern community.

"We're quiet rebels," she said.
Cindy, care to switch places with Jill Carroll?
Hostage American reporter Jill Carroll appeared in a silent 20-second video aired Tuesday by Al-Jazeera television, which said her abductors gave the United States 72 hours to free female prisoners in Iraq or she would be killed.
Or will you continue to destroy what might be precious evidence that would have allowed rescuers to arrive before her head is sawed off, on film, to be watched with glee by monsters in human form as jihadi porn -- perhaps in your own Paterson, N.J. -- you miserable worthless maggot?

At the UK Islamic supremacist site ummah.com, devoted followers of the Religion of Peace fantasize about murdering Dutch MP Ayaan Hirsi Ali:

- you dont play with our religion and thats the bottom line - people need to learn that -

Does any1 remember what happened to the director in Holland after he made a similar film - A Semi Naked woman got Quranic Verses on her body - The director was shot - May Allah guide us all on the right Path -

That director was gay and ugly! He must be burning in hell!

What about Ayan Hirsi?

She is the one who started the mess, may Allah destroy her.amen
she is wicked.

And i wont feel sorry not even one bit - if the same thing happens to her - she asked for it!
Not to worry about the fact that the 15-year-old library clerk ALREADY has access to your records and is under no particular legal or professional obligation to not tell the whole community that you checked out this book.

AND, these are also the VERY SAME PEOPLE who think privacy for citizens in a legal sense is such a universal concept that it also applies to non-citizens who are not simply committing crimes but waging war, and thus the warfighting power of the Executive has to ask a judge -- so they claim -- before trying to detect enemy communications in the ether!
The Detroit suit, which also names the NSA, was filed by the ACLU, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, Greenpeace and several individuals.
Plaintiff Rachel Meeropol, an attorney at the center, said she believes she has been targeted. "I'm personally outraged that my confidential communication with my clients may have been listened to by the U.S. government," she said.
So, it's the commies, the propaganda wing of the jihadists, and Greenpeace allied together -- Greenpeace showing its true colors here as not being a benign force for ecology and peace, but an actual adversary of the American way of life.

Rachel Meeropol, by the way, is apparently the granddaughter of convicted (and proven guilty from Soviet records) communist traitors and spies, the Rosenbergs.
One of their son’s Robert Meeropol's book, An Execution in the Family, has just been published an autobiography by St. Martin's Press. Tonight there will be a commemoration titled "Celebrate the Children of Resistance" at the City Center in New York City. Susan Sarandon, Harry Belafonte, Pete Seeger and others.
Anti-American dictator-lving communists, every last one of them.
“No matter what the greatest tyrant in the world, the greatest terrorist in the world, George W Bush says, we’re here to tell you: Not hundreds, not thousands, but millions of the American people ... support your revolution,” Belafonte told Mr Chavez during the broadcast.

“We respect you, admire you, and we are expressing our full solidarity with the Venezuelan people and your revolution.”
Did these morons expect Eisenhower or FDR to speak of the "alleged" German troops at Normandy and seek a court order allowing the invasion?

Were we not supposed to intercept and decode Imperial Japanese communications without informing the "suspected" perpetrators of the Pearl Harbor Attack that they had been "searched"?

One would almost think these people want another attack to happen, just to Blame Bush. He is demanded to protect us, but denied the means to do so.

Ah, but you see, Recycling is different.


Snooping into the affairs of enemy agents and warfighters is just an excuse for Bushitler to "squelch dissent."
NEW YORK — Sen. Hillary Clinton on Monday blasted the Bush administration as "one of the worst" in U.S. history and compared the Republican-controlled House of Representatives to a plantation where dissenting voices are squelched.
What is revealed is that the leftist doesn't really believe in any principles, and has no qualms in using raw power to enforce its issues du jour, in a completely arbitrary and capricious manner, hidden behind the rhetoric of civil rights. Collectivist majority will is absolute. There is no such thing as protection of minority thought.

And they completely miss the real threats.

To the death or enslavement of us all.
Iran's acquisition of a nuclear weapon may have more than regional significance. It could mark the final end of efforts to prevent nuclear proliferation and provide Islamic terrorism with a nuclear deterrent. Islamic terrorism will literally be a Great Power. The study comes to the conclusion that only a regime change will remove the sinister edge from these developments.

Eggplant said...

DSmith said...

"The most serious problem we face is our lack of will. All the other issues could be overcome, with effort. But there will be no effort while there is no will. Unfortunately, given the political realities in the West today, the only thing that could possibly cause us to develop the will would be a massive attack on us... ...I think we might as well just resign ourselves to the fact that a city of the West is going to die. The fantasies of the Left make it a requirement."

DSmith has stated the ugly truth about our current situation. I believe the root of our problem is in having been culturally damaged by decades of skillful agitation and propaganda from the Soviet Union. Our western culture swallowed so much poison from that conflict that it will take decades to completely heal.
Recycle, comrade!

Sunday, January 15, 2006

More Canadian Liberal Insanity

When not attacking their own military, the Canadian Liberals are running ads attacking the United States. Links to clips are found here.

One of them ominously asserts, to spooky music, that Conservative challenger Stephen Harper actually made this chilling comment at a secret meeting "off-limits to press and public":
America, and particularly your conservative movment, is a light and an inspiration to people in this country and across the world.
Such a sentiment obviously disqualifies him from ever holding public office, in the eyes of the Liberal Canadian government.

The Canadians, by the way, are supposedly our allies in NATO, fighting with us in Afghanistan at this very moment.

And with whom we jointly conduct the defense of North American airspace via NORAD.

Yet the Liberals speak of us as if we were a threat to their very existence, such that the sentiment that we might be a light to the world would be shameful and despicable.

And the ad ends with
No. We did not make that up.

We're not allowed to make stuff up.
I am not making this up!

Canada Resurgent?

The Anglosphere might just be getting back into business -- and not a moment too soon, as the Iranian Nuclear Apocalypse will soon be upon us.

Bush and Australia's conservative Howard got re-elected, and non-idiotarian Blair is hanging on.

And now even anti-American, terrorist-friendly, Liberal-ruled Canada might swing to the Conservative Stephen Harper in the upcoming elections due to the arrogance and insanity of Paul Martin's Liberals. Though rocked by ever more outrageous scandals, the Liberals finally crossed a line of all decency and morality such that even their own Liberal-biased media had to disown them in a deliciously shocking on-air spanking.

But before we go to video, a little background.

In 1915, Canadian military surgeon John McCrae found himself in the Ypres salient, and wrote of that experience in the classic WWI poem Flanders Field:
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields
No silly unrealistic John Lennon "Imagine" sentiment here. No carefully calculated "where have all the flowers gone" communist propaganda. No magically infantile "the world put an end to war" dreams.

No, despite the horrors of 17 days of treating the steady flow of wounded and dying, a steely resolve.

And for that reason, the Poppy is still important on Remembrance Day in Britain.

Or at least, to those who share its values, as we find, via Melanie Phillips:
The poppy is a symbol of the terrible loss of life in World War I in the fields of Flanders, where these blood-red flowers sprouted above the acres of corpses of fallen soldiers. As the decades have passed, the poppy has been worn to show one’s respect for the millions who have died in successive conflicts as recent as Iraq and Afghanistan. On British television, every presenter and anchor wears a poppy. In keeping with the motto of the British Legion -- 'Wear your poppy with pride' -- every shopkeeper, publican, hotel manager and cabbie wears a poppy. This year I proudly bought mine at my local doctor’s office.

It was therefore all the more astonishing last week when I took a long walk along Edgware Road, the most densely Muslim section of London, and discovered that not one person was wearing a poppy. This all started because I was accosted on my corner, a few yards from where I have lived for twenty-eight years, by a young Arab man who began to get very aggressive with me. Was I, he demanded to know, 'from the Jewish'?

He also wanted to know why I was wearing a poppy. I tried to explain the concept of the Cenotaph and Armistice Day. But he seemed determined to establish that I was a Jewess above all else. No matter how hard I tried, I could not shake him off. I began to get very alarmed. I hailed a taxi and, thankfully, my pursuer, who was by this time shouting, did not get into the taxi. The driver was enormously sympathetic but told me that I had been 'asking for it' by walking in what he called 'Little Beirut.' He then told me that we were in World War III. His white, working class anger at what he perceived as 'the Islamic takeover' of Britain was palpable. He was not the first London cabbie who has told me he would gladly join the far-right British National Party if pushed.
But I digress.

Small Dead Animals, a Canadian blog, cleverly but bitterly contrasts McCrae's poem with what must be the most ill-conceived if not treasonous political ad ever devised!

The text of the ad is:
Stephen Harper actually announced he wants to increase military presence in our cities.

Canadian cities.

Soldiers with guns.

In our cities.

In Canada.

We did not make this up.

- committee to re-elect Paul Martin, 2006
I love the snarky and Freudian "We did not make this up!" Harper, of course, was talking about having the military better able to help in case of disasters, man-made or otherwise, such as it did during the great Manitoba floods of 1997.

But the party in power is basically telling Canadians, what, that they should be afraid of their own military -- who serve this very same Liberal government???

That Canadian soldiers -- "with guns!" -- are something to be disgusted about and fearful of?

That Canadian soldiers in Canadian cities is such a shockingly unthinkable concept that only a baby-eating Conservative could come up with it?

That the defenders of Canadian freedom are evil?

Yep, that's what they're saying.

That attitude will do wonders for the morale of the Canadian volunteer soldiers, who at this very moment are engaged in combat operations in Afghanistan.

We're a long way from Flanders Field.

Talk about "breaking the faith."

Such vicious treason for political gain by the Liberals should disqualify them from ever holding power again.

Now of course, the Liberals are trying to lie about it, saying the ad wasn't aired so they shouldn't be held responsible for it.

But it's stamped "This message has been authorized by the registered agent for the Federal Liberal Party of Canada." It was approved, apparently, by Prime Minister Paul Martin himself. It was sent to the media as part of a package of 12 approved ads. It was released openly on the internet from their website.

And it continued to run in a French language version on Quebec tv!

Your denials are pathetic!!!

Watch the video of the ad here, as well as a clip of a Canadian tv news man -- apparently known as a usually dependable Liberal hack -- delivering a brutal smackdown to a Liberal strategist who tries to evade responsibility for the ad.

It is truly sweet.

Who in their right mind would vote for a party that holds its armed forces in such open contempt?

As Canadian commentator David Warren puts it,
Once again, I don’t feel angry, I feel sick. Even though I have nothing whatever to do with these ads, or any part of the Liberal campaign, the very sight of them makes me feel dirty, tarnished, used, insulted. And the thought that Canadians might fall for such a thing, makes me feel ashamed.
We need more than a clean start with a new Conservative government. We need a Liberal Party brought so low, that it must rebuild from the ground up. A party capable of disowning its immediate past, and the indecency of Paul Martin. Our own decency depends upon this.
We'll know in about a week how the voters feel.


So they're protesting in Pakistan about the airstrikes that were meant to target Zawahiri:
Some 10,000 people demonstrated in Karachi, Pakistan's biggest city, chanting "Death to America" and "Stop bombing against innocent people." Hundreds also rallied in Islamabad, Lahore, Multan and Peshawar, burning U.S. flags.
Two Pakistani intelligence officials said Sunday that al-Zawahri, who has a wife from a tribe prominent in the region around Damadola, had been invited to a dinner in the village to mark last week's Eid al-Adha holiday, but apparently changed his mind.
Harbor our second-most wanted enemy and call yourselves innocent?

Couldn't read Bush's lips when he said no distinction would be made between the terrorists and those who harbor them?

And it wasn't just harboring:
Thousands of men from Bajur [Damadola's region] and other nearby tribal areas crossed into Afghanistan to fight against the U.S.-led offensive that toppled the Taliban after the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks on America.
Take this bitter lesson to heart.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

No Sanctuary

Even if we didn't get Zawahiri in this airstrike (of unclear type -- accounts of the evidence are contradictory as to whether it was as swarm of Predator drones with smallish Hellfire missiles or much heavier bombs from manned aircraft), there's a very good conclusion to be drawn.

And that is that we are not apparently considering Pakistan an inviolable sanctuary.

Good news.

Very good news!

...even if the "Western" news outlets are acting as formal propaganda wings of the Talibanish jihadists, uncritically transmitting their incredible claims of utter innocence of any connection at all to the islamist web.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Blitzer on Diversity

Often when I jog at the local YMCA, I am forced to stare at CNN's Wolf Blitzer and his evening report. It's often amusingly atrocious. I would write about it more often, but I usually try to blank it out of my mind as soon as possible.

But this evening was particularly funny.

One report was about the Hajj, the pilgrimage to Mecca, which recently had its special day of the crowds ritually stoning a pillar.

According to the closed captioning, at least, Blitzer remarked to the reporter on the spot how the images from the hajj showed an amazing "diversity."

I nearly doubled over in laughter!

I mean, poor old Wolf has reached a point where he just sleepwalks through these reports and mumbles some totally insincere buzzwords.

Mentioning "diversity" is always a safe bet for his audience to coo over, whenever showing photos from abroad.

The silly thing is, of course, that all I could see in the photos was mass conformity.

Everyone was dressed in identical white robes.

That's part of the whole point of the pilgrimage!

Everyone, from no matter what station in life, is intended to look exactly the same.

And not to mention they were involved at the time in performing exactly the same ritual.

And not to mention they were, you know, all of the same "religion."

If Blitzer showed, oh, say, a picture of Southern Protestants in identical white sheets performing a ritual with a big cross and called it "diverse", he'd be hauled away as insane!

Yes, very diverse, Wolf.

Especially when the Iranian hajj pilgrims chant slogans like the following all together, as proudly shown on Iranian tv yesterday and translated by memri.org:
Crowd: Israel is the enemy of Allah.

Man: May the hands of the infidels be chopped off.

Crowd: May the hands of the infidels be chopped off.

Man: May the hands of the infidels be chopped off.

Crowd: May the hands of the infidels be chopped off.

Man: (Chopped off) from the land of the believers.

Crowd: From the land of the believers.

Man: The Audience will now split into two groups: One group will settle the score with America, and the other will settle the score with Israel. This group now: Death to America!

Crowd: Death to America!

Man: Death to Israel!

Crowd: Death to Israel! Death to America!

Man: Death to America!

Crowd: Death to America!

Man: Death to America!

Crowd: Death to Israel! Death to America! Death to Israel!

Man: All together now: Death to America! Death to Israel!

Crowd: Death to America! Death to Israel! Death to America! Death to Israel! Death to America! Death to Israel! Death to America! Death to Israel!
The diversity of thought is overwhelming.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Wilfully Blind

More delusions:

Germany's Merkel says Guantanamo should be shut

BERLIN (Reuters) - German Chancellor Angela Merkel, in an interview published days before her first visit to the United States, said Washington should close its Guantanamo Bay prison camp and find other ways of dealing with terror suspects.
Other ways?

Well I suppose if we cranked up the military tribunals and hanged them, sure we could close it down.
"An institution like Guantanamo can and should not exist in the longer term," Merkel said in an interview with the weekly magazine Der Spiegel published on Saturday. "Different ways and means must be found for dealing with these prisoners."
Oh, it can if we will it.

How about the institution of Wahabbi Islam? I say that "can and should not exist in the longer term."

So there.

Talk about mixed up priorities.

So the point is what, we're essentially to stop treating this as a war is what that ninny Merkel is saying.

And if we do that, while the other side has already declared war and will still be waging it, that amounts to unilateral unconditional surrender.

And going back to treating jihad warriors bent on attacking our civilization as common criminals and not warfighting enemies.

Look, I can understand that the problem might be uncomfortable to face, but this kind of delusion and denial at this late stage with what we all know now is just beyond comprehension.

Why do so many in the West so want to die?

Why do they loathe our civilization so much?

Why are they so eager for defeat at the hands of barbarians?

Two essays in the New Criterion talk about the West almost in the past tense. Roger Kimball's After the suicide of the West pronounces his post-mortem: a civilization suicided from despair; death from want of a reason to live. The contradiction within liberalism -- within multiculturalism -- Kimball argues, is that it unwilling to believe in anything definite, even in itself.
From Kimball's perspective the contest between Islam and liberal civilization is not simply between East and West, but between the living and the dying.

Mark Steyn makes a less abstract argument in It’s the demography, stupid. Steyn's key literary skill is to state the obvious in ways that refute conventional wisdom. In this essay he is at his epigramatic best. The challenge now, he says, is no longer to save the West, but to see if anything can still be saved. For the West, make no mistake, is dying.
A further excerpt from Steyn's remarkable piece:
Well, here’s my prediction for 2032: unless we change our ways the world faces a future … where the environment will look pretty darn good. If you’re a tree or a rock, you’ll be living in clover. It’s the Italians and the Swedes who’ll be facing extinction and the loss of their natural habitat.

There will be no environmental doomsday. Oil, carbon dioxide emissions, deforestation: none of these things is worth worrying about. What’s worrying is that we spend so much time worrying about things that aren’t worth worrying about that we don’t worry about the things we should be worrying about. For thirty years, we’ve had endless wake-up calls for things that aren’t worth waking up for. But for the very real, remorseless shifts in our society—the ones truly jeopardizing our future—we’re sound asleep. The world is changing dramatically right now and hysterical experts twitter about a hypothetical decrease in the Antarctic krill that might conceivably possibly happen so far down the road there’s unlikely to be any Italian or Japanese enviro-worriers left alive to be devastated by it.

In a globalized economy, the environmentalists want us to worry about First World capitalism imposing its ways on bucolic, pastoral, primitive Third World backwaters. Yet, insofar as “globalization” is a threat, the real danger is precisely the opposite—that the peculiarities of the backwaters can leap instantly to the First World. Pigs are valued assets and sleep in the living room in rural China—and next thing you know an unknown respiratory disease is killing people in Toronto, just because someone got on a plane. That’s the way to look at Islamism: we fret about McDonald’s and Disney, but the big globalization success story is the way the Saudis have taken what was eighty years ago a severe but obscure and unimportant strain of Islam practiced by Bedouins of no fixed abode and successfully exported it to the heart of Copenhagen, Rotterdam, Manchester, Buffalo …
And he wraps up with this horrifying clincher:
To fret about what proportion of the population is “white” is grotesque and inappropriate. But it’s not about race, it’s about culture. If 100 percent of your population believes in liberal pluralist democracy, it doesn’t matter whether 70 percent of them are “white” or only 5 percent are. But, if one part of your population believes in liberal pluralist democracy and the other doesn’t, then it becomes a matter of great importance whether the part that does is 90 percent of the population or only 60, 50, 45 percent.

Since the President unveiled the so-called Bush Doctrine—the plan to promote liberty throughout the Arab world—innumerable “progressives” have routinely asserted that there’s no evidence Muslims want liberty and, indeed, Islam is incompatible with democracy. If that’s true, it’s a problem not for the Middle East today but for Europe the day after tomorrow. According to a poll taken in 2004, over 60 percent of British Muslims want to live under sharia — in the United Kingdom. If a population “at odds with the modern world” is the fastest-breeding group on the planet — if there are more Muslim nations, more fundamentalist Muslims within those nations, more and more Muslims within non-Muslim nations, and more and more Muslims represented in more and more transnational institutions—how safe a bet is the survival of the “modern world”?

Not good.
The prognosis is grim.

The demographics of collapsing European populations in the face of unassimilated Islamic barbarian immigration (how many cars were torched in France by "youths" this weekend?) are indisputable.

But there is one glimmer of hope.

Just as the eco-doomsayers of the populations "explosion" and resource-scarcity people of the 1970s were wrong by extrapolating a present trend, so might be Steyn's prediction.

At some point, the endgame will be apparent to all, and change will be attempted.

Will it be too little too late?

Or merely "a close run thing"?

What may finally tip the balance, of course, is that God is on our side.

As well as His Vicar on Earth, Pope Urban Benedict the XVI, who apparently understand's Steyn's demography argument:
HH: Father Fessio, before the break, you were telling us that after the presentation at Castel Gandolfo by two scholars of Islam this summer with Benedict in attendance, as well as his former students, for the first time in your memory, the Pope did not allow his students to first comment and reserve comment, but in fact, went first. Why, and what did he say?

JF: Well, the thesis that was proposed by this scholar was that Islam can enter into the modern world if the Koran is reinterpreted by taking the specific legislation, and going back to the principles, and then adapting it to our times, especially with the dignity that we ascribe to women, which has come through Christianity, of course.

And immediately, the Holy Father, in his beautiful calm but clear way, said well, there's a fundamental problem with that, because he said in the Islamic tradition, God has given His word to Mohammed, but it's an eternal word. It's not Mohammed's word. It's there for eternity the way it is. There's no possibility of adapting it or interpreting it, whereas in Christianity, and Judaism, the dynamism's completely different, that God has worked through His creatures.
I mean, Hugh, I wish I could say it as clearly and as beautifully as he did, but that's why he's Pope and I'm not, okay? That's one of the reasons. One of others, but his seeing that distinction when the Koran, which is seen as something dropped out of Heaven, which cannot be adapted or applied, even, and the Bible, which is a word of God that comes through a human community, it was stunning.
HH: And so the Pope is a pessimist about that changing, because it would require a radical reinterpretation of what the Koran is?

JF: Yeah, which is it's impossible, because it's against the very nature of the Koran, as it's understood by Muslims.

HH: And so, even the dialectic that was the Reformation is not possible within Islam?

JF: No.