Saturday, December 24, 2005

Christmas and Mohammeds

Mark Steyn notes that men called Mohammed are responsible for an inordinate amount of violence. But it doesn't follow that we should treat all Mohammeds as bad actors - since it's Christmas, a suspicious stare will suffice.

Here's Steyn (my emphasis):
These days, whenever something goofy turns up on the news, chances are it involves a fellow called Mohammed. A plane flies into the World Trade Center? Mohammed Atta. A gunman shoots up the El Al counter at Los Angeles airport? Hesham Mohamed Hedayet. A sniper starts killing petrol station customers around Washington, DC? John Allen Muhammed. A guy fatally stabs a Dutch movie director? Mohammed Bouyeri. A terrorist slaughters dozens in Bali? Noordin Mohamed. A gang-rapist in Sydney? Mohammed Skaf.

It gets worse (my emphasis):

Hizballah terrorist Mohammed Ali Hamadi, convicted in Germany of murdering US Navy diver Robert Dean Stethem aboard a hijacked airplane, has been freed.

A husband and wife who dedicated their lives to helping African children were murdered in cold blood by Islamic terrorists, an inquest heard yesterday...Det Chief Insp Jill Bailey told the hearing that last month four men, including Mohammed Ali Essa, who fired the AK47, had been convicted of murder and sentenced to death by firing squad. The terrorists shouted "Allah Akbar" (God is Great) after being sentenced and are still awaiting execution.


And then there's Mahmoud, DU's Nuke Target For 2006 (my emphasis):
CAIRO, Egypt - The leader of Egypt's main Islamic opposition group said yesterday the Holocaust was a "myth," and he slammed Western governments for criticizing disclaimers of the Jewish genocide.

The comments by the Muslim Brotherhood chief, Mohammed Mahdi Akef - made on the heels of his group's strong showing in Egyptian parliamentary elections - echoed remarks made recently by Iran's hard-line president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, which sparked international outrage.

Still, the cheerful and efficient guys running the London rental office I visited yesterday looked to be Muslims, and the sales clerk who wished me a Merry Christmas was a Mohammed. So - since it's Christmas - let's be comforted that there are plenty of decent Mohammeds in our societies.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Crime And Punishment, US Style

This is a perfect example of the US criminal justice in action - inconceivable in Europe.
New York transport strike nears end

Transport workers will return to New York's buses and subways today as talks take place to end the illegal strike that has brought the city to a standstill.

The breakthrough, apparently the result of late night talks at a Manhattan hotel, came after a judge in Brooklyn had summoned three senior union officials to consider whether to send them to prison or to levy fines on individual transport workers who have taken part in the strike.

Local 100, which reportedly had $3.6 million (£2 million) in cash at the beginning of the week, has been fined $1 million (£572,000) a day since the strike began.

Crime And Punishment, European Style

European governments' softness on criminals and indifference to victims reflects weaknesses in their democratic mechanisms, while the successful US criminal justice system reflects its democratic strength.

From a utilitarian perspective, societies execute or incarcerate felons to prevent them re-offending - if they're never going to repeat the crime, why waste resources on them?

So how often do felons re-offend? Here are recent numbers for the UK
:

More than 60 per cent of young male thugs and muggers are convicted of another offense within two years of ending their sentence. Three quarters of young male burglars and thieves also re-offend, according to the Home Office figures placed unannounced on its departmental website.

A massive 90 per cent of offenders on the drug treatment and testing order, designed to tackle the link between drug use and prolific offending, go on to commit more crimes. The programme costs the Government £53 million annually. There is also a high dropout rate by offenders given the orders, which were introduced across England and Wales five years ago.

These numbers understate the problem, since not all criminal are caught, and not all those caught are convicted. If we assume a (high) capture+conviction rate of 50%, then all crimes with a re-conviction rate over 50% must have a recidivism rate of 100%!

The criminal justice system in the UK is imposed by its elite and is poorly regarded by Brits - every opinion poll since the abolition of capital punishment has shown that vast majority want to bring it back. European criminal justice systems are similar to the Brit one - no capital punishment, light sentences, and high crime rates.

Here are Interpol 2001 crime statistics (rate per 100,000):

4161 - US

7736 - Germany

6941 - France

9927 - England and Wales

Thus the US has a substantially lower crime rate than the major European countries!


All of which supports the US practice of executing heinous murderers and incarcerating repeat offenders for decades. In contrast, Europeans are victimized by criminals because their criminal justice systems don't take felons out of circulation.

So, not unusually, the US has made much better policy choices than European nations. That's because the US is a genuine democracy whereas European nations are modified monarchies in which elites wield the absolute power previously held by monarchs. Since members of elites live in safe areas and have good security, they don't see crime as important.

All of which explains why a surprisingly large number of Brits I've talked to recently are planning to move to the US.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

A Murdered American Exposes Merkel

The German release of a heinous murderer of a young American tells us all we need to know about Merkel's new government.

U.S. Navy Diver Robert D, Stethem (AP)

Here's what the released Hezbollah terrorist and his buddies did to Petty Officer Stethem (hat tip LGF):

When the plane was at the Beirut airport in Lebanon, Petty Officer
Stethem was singled out because he was in the US military. After many hours of
being cruelly beaten, tortured, and finally killed by the terrorists, they threw
his body from the plane in a final disgraceful, cowardly act. The wounds were so
terrible that his body had to be identified by its fingerprints.

Throughout the ordeal, Robert Stethem did not yield, and instead
encouraged his fellow passengers to endure by his example. He was posthumously
awarded the Purple Heart and Bronze Star for heroism and bravery. He is buried
at Arlington Cemetery.

The release of the killer must have had Merkel's approval, so that tells us that she's another anti-American in the Schroder model, who thinks she'll never need help from the US. German-lovers must hope she's right.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Germany Reverts To Type?

Merkel's new administration has released a Hizballah terrorist serving life without parole for murdering an American - and two days later Iraqi terrorists released a German hostage, so It's probably a hostage swap. This may be typical Eunuch anti-Americanism, but there's a more chilling alternative - Germans may be reverting to type.

The swap:

A Lebanese man serving a life sentence in Germany for the 1985 hijacking of a TWA jetliner and killing of a U.S. Navy diver has returned to Lebanon after being paroled in Germany, security and guerrilla officials said Tuesday.

TWA flight 847 from Athens, Greece, to Rome was hijacked in June 1985 to Beirut, where the hijackers beat and shot U.S. Navy diver Robert Dean Stethem, 23, of Waldorf, Md., and dumped his body on the tarmac.Stethem was the only casualty during the hijacking ordeal, in which 39 Americans were held hostage for 17 days. He received the Bronze Star and Purple Heart decorations, and a U.S. Navy guided missile destroyer is named in his honor.

German Foreign Ministry spokesman Martin Jaeger said there was no connection between Hamadi's release and the recent freeing of former hostage Susanne Osthoff, a German woman released over the weekend after spending more than three weeks as a captive in Iraq.

According to Debka, the Germans are lying:

Hammadi was serving a life sentence without parole for hijacking a TWA airliner to Beirut in 1985 and throwing a Navy SEAL diver, Robert Dean Stethem, out of the window to his death. A US extradition warrant was on file in Berlin with a promise it would take effect if the hijacker were ever released. A few days after the terrorist was flown to Beirut, Osthoff was freed by her Iraqi insurgent captors.

Recent examples of German anti-Americanism include condemnation of the execution in California of the man who murdered an entire family and protests about US "torture" of terrorists. The conventional explanation is that the Germans hate the Anglos for defeating them, and now they're free of the Soviet threat are making up for 50 years of resentment.

Another possibility is that there's a defect in the German psyche that prevents them comprehending degrees of evil. They can't see the difference between the state executing a convicted murderer and the heinous acts of that murderer, or the difference between US infliction of mental stress on terror suspects and the German vivisection of their captives in WW2. If that's the case, they really won't understand why they shouldn't save the life of one of their citizens by freeing a brutal murderer.

German indifference to degrees of suffering led them to wage two terrible wars in the 20th century. Their current actions suggest that, despite their protestations, they have not changed.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Blair's New Friends

The EU MSM confirms that in folding to the French, Germans and Poles, Blair ignored his duties as Brit Prime Minister to buy the votes of foreigners.

BRITS

Daily Telegraph:

Mr Blair has betrayed his word and his electorate. His budget surrender will be hung, albatross-like, around his neck and invoked every time he raises taxes. He will quickly come to rue the day that he embarked for Brussels.

London Times (my ellipsis):

(The Tory leader) said that Mr Blair had set himself three objectives on the budget - to limit its size, ensure fundamental reform of the CAP and keep the British rebate unless reform occurred. "Isn’t it now clear that you failed in every single one?" he asked.


Assorted Eunuchs (my ellipsis):

FRANCE

‘Everyone realized it took a lot of courage from Mr Blair . . . This negotiation shows that Franco-German co-operation was constant at all times and perfect’ President Chirac

(i.e. it was the usual Franco-German sandbagging)

GERMANY
‘The big cloud has been lifted from Europe. This deal is in the European interest’ Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor
(see France)

POLAND
‘I consider myself a young man and I feel young now and all I can say to this is yes, yes, yes!’Kazimierz Marcinkiewicz, Polish Prime Minister

(OK, Poland gets lots of Brit cash, still, better check his medication. The Brits helped Poland into the EU and they've repaid the favor contemptibly).

SPAIN
‘A good result for Europe and certainly Spain’Pedro Solbes, Spanish Economy Minister

(i.e. Spain keeps feeding off the Brits)

GREECE
“The British presidency deserves praise for its constructive role in a complicated negotiation and for the courage it showed in giving up part of its rebate.”Costas Karamanlis, the Greek Prime Minister

(See Spain)

EU

‘It was a great result for the British presidency. . . What would be the signal to public opinion if we can’t agree on a budget?’José Manuel Barroso, European Commission President

("Public opinion" thinks the EU is broken, and this latest refusal to face reality merely confirms it).

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Traitors

A reader criticized as unfair a post which labeled the 16,000 or so news gatekeepers of the MSM Enemies of Freedom. However the publication by the MSM of stolen state secrets to the enemy removes any uncertainty - the writers hate our culture and seek its destruction. That makes them traitors.

Here's the president:
Mr. Bush also expressed outrage that someone leaked to the New York Times information about a National Security Agency (NSA) program to eavesdrop on Americans suspected of communicating with al Qaeda operatives overseas.

"The existence of this secret program was revealed in media reports, after being improperly provided to news organizations," he said. "As a result, our enemies have learned information they should not have, and the unauthorized disclosure of this effort damages our national security and puts our citizens at risk."

Of course terrorists expect their phone calls and emails may be intercepted by the NSA, but they also know that it's impossible for the NSA to review each of the zillions of calls and emails sent each day, and that encryption will red flag their message. So, when they're prepared, they use simple phrase codes.

But when a ring is busted, codes may not be pre-agreed, so real communication has to occur. If the NSA knows who to listen to, the communication is intercepted and quite probably lives are saved.

The New York Times has now revealed who is being targeted and how, so they will switch channels, and next time the bombs may get through.

So the MSM that pontificated endlessly about the "outing" of a worthless CIA cube monkey is now acting as a mouthpiece for individuals who have revealed real state secrets and put real American lives at risk

Enemies of freedom is too mild a term for the MSM. Traitors fits the bill.

Iraq Rises

To the obvious irritations of the MSM and other lefties around the world, about 70% of Iraqis voted, al Queda was marginalized, and the Baathists decided to vote rather than kill. This outcome will have profound and positive effects on the Middle East, and profound and negative effects on the Dems election prospects.

Here's an edited version of an excellent assessment:

Al Qaeda was humiliated during the elections, after having proclaimed that voting was against Islam, and that good Muslims should rise up and prevent this abomination. About 70 percent of eligible voters turned out, and there were few incidents of violence. The word on the street was that al Qaeda had called off its anti democracy campaign. This bothered al Qaeda so much that they issued a statement denouncing it. But al Qaeda claims that they did attack the voters rang hollow. The Sunni Arab community had decided to either vote, or not try and fight those who were.

In areas where al Qaeda still has a presence, local tribal or Mosque based militias put out armed guards to keep al Qaeda away from the polling places. These guys are usually shooting at government or American troops. But on election day, they were left alone by Iraqi troops, as everyone turned out to protect the voters from Islamic terrorists.

This relentless progress of democracy is causing quite a commotion throughout the Arab world. While it is fashionable to denounce the American presence in Iraq, and what the Americans were doing, the Arab language buzz on the net is going in unexpected directions. Because of al Jazeera and the Internet, young Arabs everywhere are not only able to observe what it happening in Iraq, but to
discuss it with young Iraqis. These discussions are not noted much in the West, because they generally take place in Arabic, and often via email and listservs.


The non-Iraqi Arabs are impressed at the proliferation of media in Iraq, and the eagerness of Iraqis to vote, and make democracy work. The economic growth in Iraq is admired, and is already attracting entrepreneurs from other Arab countries. The more cynical non-Iraqis believe that it will all come to nothing, and that another Saddam will eventually emerge and shut down all this democratic nonsense, as is the case in most of the Arab world. But the pessimists appear to be in the minority. Arabs are tired of dictators, economic stagnation, the corruption and living in a police state. Moreover, there’s a nimble quality in Arab thinking that allows them to simultaneously blame the Americans for going into Iraq, and praising the result.

So the objective of catalyzing democratic change in the Middle East now looks feasible. And because the Dems foolishly played the defeatist Quagmire card against the administration and US armed forces, the president and our soldiers who made all these events happen emerge with their stature increased. Their opponents are dishonored and diminished.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Blair Folds

After promising Brits he'd never give up the "rebate" they get in their financing of the EU, which keeps the Brits as number 2 funder of the EU after Germany, he's folded. Winners are the heavily corrupt EU institutions and states that feed off the Brit payments, Brown, Blair's opponent, and possibly the opposition Tories. Losers are Blair who'll have to resign, Brit taxpayers, and ultimately the EU if the Brits pull out.

This was Blair in June::

Mr Blair has made a cut in farm payments a precondition for any renegotiation of the rebate, which was secured by Mrs Thatcher 21 years ago.

Mr Blair publicly rebuffed Mr Chirac, saying that without the rebate Britain would be paying a "quite unfair -proportion" of the EU's budget.


"Britain has been making a gesture, because over the past 10 years, even with the British rebate, we have been making a contribution into Europe two and half times that of France. Without the rebate, it would have been 15 times as much. That is our gesture," he said at 10 Downing Street.


Here's Blair today:

Tony Blair has sacrificed an extra £2.7 billion to salvage an EU budget deal which he insists is in Britain's interests. The Prime Minister had already surrendered £5.5 billion in rebate cash ahead of a crucial summit in Brussels. During fraught negotiations he offered up a further £1.7 billion from the rebate which was won by Margaret Thatcher in 1984. And increases agreed in the 2007-2013 budget after 17 hours of talks will cost Britain another £1 billion.

"This is an agreement that allows Europe to move forward," the Prime Minister said.

Thats £10.9 billion, and all he got in return is an agreement to a review in 2008 of the French snout in the EU trough, with any changes delayed until 2014.

With the Brit public finances in heavy deficit and growth diving to continental levels, it won't be possible for it to fund this out of borrowing. So taxes will rise.


Blair's replacement, Brown, will use the EU deal as cover for a general tax increase. Then everything depends on the economy. If it quickly recovers, the Brits will probably accept with bad grace their financing of the EU. If it moves into recession, the next government will be Tory and the Brits will head for the EU exit.

I think Blair's deal makes the Brits the biggest paymasters of the EU, and will post the numbers when more details emerge.

Friday, December 16, 2005

The March Of Corruption

Low corruption in a nation is crucial to its wealth and freedom. But states must work to stay honest - kids need educating, leaders must set examples, and law breakers prosecuted. Right now, many Germans think their society is becoming more corrupt, and Schroder provides a good (bad) example.

Transparency International reports each year on how outsiders see the corruption of each nation. They just published
a report on how people they see their own nations. Nothing very surprising - just a slight tendency to underrate the corruption seen by outsiders - people get used to dishonesty.

The perceived trends are interesting:
In the United States and in Germany, 65 and 66 percent
respectively of those surveyed believe corruption has worsened in the past three
years, and 56 and 57 percent respectively expect this to continue.

I suspect the US trend is caused by the mess of corruption in Louisiana exposed by Katrina. But the situation in Germany is more serious, here's Schroder just 3 months after ceasing to be Chancellor:
State-owned Russian gas firm Gazprom announced last Friday that Mr. Schroeder will become supervisory board chairman of the North European Gas Pipeline Co., a joint venture between Gazprom and German firms E.ON and BASF to build a pipeline through the Baltic Sea and pump Siberian gas to Germany.

Analysts and politicians from all parties, including Mr. Schroeder's Social Democrats, balked at the notion of a German leader taking Russian paychecks and said the move smacked of favoritism, given Mr. Schroeder's close friendship with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Mr. Schroeder and Mr. Putin were instrumental in arranging the joint venture, announced two weeks before Germany's September election.

The affair also revived criticism that Mr. Schroeder's ties with Mr. Putin led him to overlook abuses of democracy and human rights in Russia.

Germany is still a high-trust, low corruption society, hence the criticism. But Schroder clearly thinks he can get away with it, and if he does, Germany will go further down the slippery slope.

This is not Schadenfreude - Tony Blair has had a succession of rogues in his government.

UPDATE: This full post replaces the partial version accidentally published earlier, apologies to XML feeders.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

At Last, Useful Aid To Palestine

The Brits have figured out that the proper recipients of aid in the benighted land of Palestine are donkeys. The EU and EU should take note and switch their aid to the Palestinian SPCA.

Brits have long judged other nations by their treatment of animals - Brit troops in WW1 held their French allies in contempt because of their cruelty to horses. Their great granddaughters continue the good work, mitigating the sufferings of animals at the hands of another cruel people.

A former British Airways stewardess who is pioneering free health care for Palestinian donkeys received an early Christmas present yesterday when a charity promised £281,000 in support.

The pledge represented a ringing endorsement of the work of Lucy Fensom, 35, from Brighton, who has spent the past five years in Israel running a donkey sanctuary on a shoestring budget.

The money, promised over the next three years by Britain's Brooke Hospital for Animals, will help to develop her resting stations for donkeys, mules and horses from
Palestinian communities occupied by Israel.


What started as a one-donkey operation has grown hugely as word has spread among Arabs on both sides of the barrier that free care is available.

"This is not a touchy-feely exercise, but a project based on common sense," she said. "If the farmer looks after his donkey well, it will work a lot longer and be of greater value in the long run. Some of the animals are in a bad way, with awful saddle sore and cuts from where the harness rubs away at the skin. But with a bit of education and care we are already seeing results."


Learning to care for animals is the first step on the road to civilzation. Contrast the work of this brave woman with this report (not verified by non-Israeli media) on how the Palestinian government uses our aid:

The head of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, has approved a new law, providing monetary grants to the families of suicide bombers.

Abbas gave his approval just six days ago, a day before a suicide bomber struck the HaSharon Mall in Netanya, killing five Israelis and wounding scores of others.


My money's on the donkey lady to rescue these barbarians.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

History Repeats

The French state is stuck on appeasement again - not just their muslim rioters, but their big farmers too. The French people will find to their cost that appeasement delays the inevitable and increases the pain. Sadly, as with previous French acts of appeasement, the rest of the world will suffer too.

Here's the story on the farmers:

...France steadfastly refuses to countenance any reduction in farm subsidies, bringing the EU budget negotiations in Brussels and the World Trade Organization talks in Hong Kong, both climaxing this week, to the brink of collapse.

Dominique de Villepin, the French Prime Minister, declared yesterday that France would veto any EU budget agreement at tomorrow’s Brussels summit, or world trade deal, that entailed cutting farm subsidies before the EU’s next seven-year budget ends in 2013. “We will not accept an accord that obliges Europe to start a new reform of the Common Agricultural Policy,” he told the French Parliament.

The European Commission figures show why French farmers are so attached to the EU subsidies. More than 131,000 French farmers took €20,000 (£13,000) or more from Brussels in 2003, far more than the combined total of 104,000 farmers from Britain, Italy and Germany who receive that amount.

Neil O’Brien, of the Open Europe think-tank, said: “The world trade talks will fail because the EU won’t budge, the EU won’t budge because France won’t budge, and France won’t budge because its farmers have it over a barrel.”

The French want to force the Brits to solve the EU's budget problem by becoming its biggest sponsor. Since the UK is the EU's most reluctant member, the Brits will head for the exit as their tax bills rocket, and the fallout will be messy.

Then, by blocking reduction in farm subsidies at the WTO, France keeps the people of the third world trapped under dictatorships feeding off Western aid, rather than enabling them to trade their way to prosperity and democracy. When this unstable mixture explodes, France will be on the ringside and maybe in the ring.

Unfortunately, the rest of the world will also suffer the consequences of the French government's appeasement - history does repeat itself.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

London

We're in the first world - London - for Christmas and the New Year. On balance it's a good place to be.

The biggest difference between the frenetic first world and the relaxed Southern Med is that you use your time more effectively. Retail outlets are open when busy customers need them to be - late or 24*7, not closed when it suits the shopkeeper.

The city is still thronged with hard working people from Eastern Europe. Unlike the French and Germans, the Brits have opened their borders to workers from the new EU member states, to their mutual benefit. Chirac is whining for the wealthy Brits to pay for EU expansion, when they're already doing so in the most practical way - trade, which dignifies buyer and seller, rather than aid which corrupts and diminishes.

Still, we're going to miss lazing over breakfast in our sunny southern courtyard, sipping juice from our own oranges.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Brits In A Crisis

We observed at first hand on 7/7 the Brit flair for organization, calmness and mutual support in a crisis. Here's another example after the storage depot explosion at Hemel Hempstead near London.

A few hours after the explosion, things are under control:

Ray Holloway of the Petrol Retailers Association said the oil industry had plans in place to deal with such an emergency, including the use of other depots in south east England to supply the Hemel Hempstead area.

He went on: "I understand the concern of motorists, but there is no need to panic.
"This site is strategically important, but not critically important. There will be no market effect and the oil industry will do what it does and manage this extremely effectively."


He added that sites in Northampton, East London and Reading were among those that could fill the supply gap.

Now a very British comment:

Despite the assurance that that there would be no petrol shortages, motorists did indulge in panic buying at service stations.

Mr Holloway went on: "It's not just people in the Hemel area who have been indulging in panic buying. Motorists as far away as Croydon in Surrey have been at it.

FYI, Croydon is just an hour's drive from Hemel Hemsptead.

Time Running Out For Iran

The Israelis are reported to be preparing to take out Iran's uranium enrichment facilities. They're probably just applying pressure - when they do decide to go, they won't give warning. But it does reveal the small window for action, and the efforts the Israelis have been putting in to target identification. The latter is good - accurate strikes and ground attacks may remove the need for Israel to use nukes.

The tactical situation summarized in this post is confirmed in this report (my ellipsis):

Israel's armed forces have been ordered by Ariel Sharon...to be ready by the end of March for possible strikes on secret uranium enrichment sites in Iran, military sources have revealed. The order came after Israeli intelligence warned the government that Iran was operating enrichment facilities, believed to be small and concealed in civilian locations.

Since Israel destroyed the Osirak nuclear reactor in Iraq in 1981, “it has been understood that the lesson is, don’t have one site, have 50 sites”, a White House source said.

A “massive” Israeli intelligence operation has been underway since Iran was designated the “top priority for 2005”, according to security sources.

Cross-border operations and signal intelligence from a base established by the Israelis in northern Iraq are said to have identified a number of Iranian uranium enrichment sites unknown to the the IAEA (the UN group that gives the Iranian nuke program top cover).

If a military operation is approved, Israel will use air and ground forces against several nuclear targets in the hope of stalling Tehran’s nuclear programme for years, according to Israeli military sources.

The March deadline set for military readiness also stems from fears that Iran is improving its own intelligence-gathering capability. In October it launched its first satellite, the Sinah-1, which was carried by a Russian space launcher.

“The Iranian space programme is a matter of deep concern to us,” said an Israeli defence source. “If and when we launch an attack on several Iranian targets, the last thing we need is Iranian early warning received by satellite.”

Russia last week signed an estimated $1 billion contract — its largest since 2000 — to sell Iran advanced Tor-M1 systems capable of destroying guided missiles and laser-guided bombs from aircraft.

“Once the Iranians get the Tor-M1, it will make our life much more difficult,” said an Israeli air force source. “The installation of this system can be relatively quick and we can’t waste time on this one.”

Taking out the Iranian satellite should be easy, but suppressing the Tors will be harder. So if the Israelis are to attack, they'll either need to strike before the Tors are in place, or use ballistic missiles with nukes. The Russians will have cause to regret their sponsorship of Iran.

Yesterday's Men

The new Brit opposition Tory party leader has moved ahead of Blair in the polls. Which is odd, since the new Tory policy support of Kyoto will, if implemented, make the Brits very poor. Even more bizarrely, Blair is right on this issue.

The polls:

The YouGov poll of more than 2,000 people, carried out since Cameron was declared leader of the party on Tuesday, reveals that the Tories have turned a two-point deficit to a one-point lead.

Cameron’s victory has pushed the Tories up to 37% of the vote, two points up on last month, while Labour is down one to 36%. The Liberal Democrats have also been squeezed, down two to 18%.

In another poll, by ICM for The Sunday Telegraph, the Tories have moved into a two-point lead.

The Tory leader's pontifications on Kyoto are here, this is the WSJ's riposte (subscription):

"The blunt truth about the politics of climate change is that no country will want to sacrifice its economy in order to meet this challenge," says British Prime Minister Tony Blair.

He can say that again. India and China, which are exempt from Kyoto's emissions cuts, have no plans to submit to those mandates any time soon, though China is the world's second-largest emitter of greenhouse gases. The U.S. has also consistently rejected Kyoto. This has been true throughout the Bush years, but it was equally so during the Clinton ones.

And then there is the performance of Kyoto's signatories in meeting their own targets. Kyoto requires developed nations to bring their total greenhouse-gas emissions to 5% below their 1990 levels by 2012. Yet in 2003, emissions were above the 1990 baseline by more than 10% in Italy and Japan, more than 20% in Ireland and Canada, and more than 40% in Spain.

Germany and Britain have met their Kyoto targets, but this is the result of one-time events: The collapse of British coal and the shuttering of much of the former East Germany's industrial base. Given Germany's anemic economy and Britain's reduced growth forecasts, the appetite in either country for costly environmental virtue is not likely to increase.

The lesson we draw from all of this is that the uncertainties in climate forecasting remain huge. And given the costly and fraudulent scares we have just lived through -- mad-cow disease, genetically modified foods -- the End-Is-Nigh crowd should be held to a higher standard of proof than it has been before. The needs of the world's poor and sick are too pressing to squander limited economic resources on what could be another false alarm.

Fortunately, there's another game in another town. Next month, the U.S., Japan, China, South Korea, India and Australia -- collectively accounting for nearly half the world's population -- will meet in Sydney to launch the Asia-Pacific partnership. Unlike Kyoto, which pits developing countries against developed ones, the Partnership is a collaboration to develop cleaner energy resources.

By clinging to the failed Kyoto and not supporting the AsiaPac partnership, the Tories reveal themselves in their traditional guise - Yesterday's Men.

Sunni Side Down

The Sunni leadership in Iraq is attempting to emulate the IRA strategy of combining terror with political action - the "bomb and ballot box". It worked for the IRA, but won't for the Sunnis.

The Sunni leadership is now planning to compete in this weeks elections while continuing its terror (my ellipsis):

Defying expectations, (a leading Sunni pol) has ended his boycott of the US-fostered political process and is campaigning in this week's elections for a new Iraqi government.

It is...a tacit admission by some Sunnis that their previous tactic of boycotting the elections in the hope of derailing the process entirely was a mistake, leaving the group that ruled absolutely under Saddam Hussein virtually powerless.

After January's vote, Sunni politicians ended up with only 17 out of 275 seats in the country's national assembly, despite representing about a quarter of Iraq's 25 million people. Apart from Saddoun al Duleimi, the defence minister and a noted secularist, their influence was restricted to minor briefs such as regional affairs and the somewhat redundant tourism.

Giving a Sunni the Ministry of Tousim shows the Shai's sardonic sense of humor.

Since then, Sunnis have become paranoid that the new Shia-led government plans to crush them militarily and politically, doing what Saddam did to them when the boot was on the other foot.

"Even if the Sunnis get positions in the government, the resistance will carry on fighting," said an ally of (the Sunni pol).

The IRA technique has a political wing, which runs for election, and a terror wing that kills people. The political wing benefits because people fear the terrorists, and the terrorist arm gets political top cover - for example Blair's recent granting of an amnesty to all IRA killers on the lam.

The IRA's strategy paid off - its leaders are Members of the Brit Parliament, it runs the drug trade with impunity, and Blair's government has systematically and gone after the IRA's enemies - the Brit Army and Royal Ulster Constabulary.

This approach has been adopted with less success by the Palestinian terror organizations.

The IRA had these advantages:

1. The community that supported it was a large minority.
2. It had very powerful support from the US government under Clinton and from other Dem pols.
3. It had safe harbor across the border in the Irish Republic.
4. Its success did not threaten the existence of most Brits.
5. After the Tories got rid of Maggie, it was negotiating with two very weak men - John Major and then Tony Blair.

The Palestinians have been less successful with this tactic because they're a smaller proportion of Israeli citizens, their EU sponsors are weak, they offer Israel only death and destruction, and Israeli leaders are tough and brave.

The Sunnis are in an even worse position. They're only 20% of the population, have no external sponsor nation, their Syrian safe harbor is crumbling, they do threaten the existence of the Shia and Kurdish communities, and they face formidable Shia politicians. To make things worse, their enemy has the powerful external sponsor - Iran, which also offers safe harbor and political top cover (in the Arab world).

Things don't look good for the Sunnis.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Shock News

In spite of the assurances of Condoleezza Rice and the Palestinian regime, the evacuation of Gaza has had one major result - it's made it easier for killers to tunnel into Israel. The Israelis will possibly adopt the counter-tunneling used in WW1, to the horror of the EU and UN.

Here's today's JPost:

For the first time since Israel's disengagement from the Gaza Strip this summer IDF forces uncovered an underground tunnel, apparently used to smuggle arms, near the Erez goods crossing Saturday afternoon, Army Radio reported.

The tunnel, which reached into Israeli territory, was dug under a garbage site in Beit Hanoun, and was reported to be a few dozen meters in length.The IDF said that it has lookouts in the area, but the tunnel was dug in an area out of the sight of soldiers.

Even though the tunnel was not completely finished IDF sources estimated that the tunnel was ready to have been used to carry out attacks inside Israel.

IDF sources said that the tunnel was found due to intelligence gathering, adding that information about the tunnel was handed over to the Palestinian Authority, but that it "did nothing about it."

Tunnels were routinely used in WW1 to destroy enemy emplacements by undermining them with very large explosions - this excellent book has a fictional but moving description of the horrors suffered by our soldiers in this underground war.

Israel is the world's leading aerial drone developer and could use similar technologies to build tunneling robots that destroyed tunnels and killed tunnelers. Wait for the howls of outrage from the EU and UN when an Israel tunnel wipes out a Palestinian installation in Gaza.

A Third Immoral Compass

Posts a while back noted that Jimmy Carter and Edward Heath provided the world with invaluable guidance on complex issues - the correct solution was always the opposite of the one they supported. Bill Clinton now joins this dopey duo.

Here he is in snowy Montreal (my de-abbreviation):

MONTREAL -- Former President Bill Clinton told a global audience of diplomats, environmentalists and others yesterday that the Bush administration is "flat wrong" in claiming that reducing greenhouse-gas emissions to fight global warming would damage the U.S. economy. With a "serious disciplined effort" to develop energy saving technology, he said, "we could meet and surpass the Kyoto targets in a way that would strengthen and not weaken our economies."

"There is no longer any serious doubt that climate change is real, accelerating and caused by human activities," said Mr. Clinton, whose address was interrupted repeatedly by enthusiastic applause.

A critic might observe that it all depends on the meaning of the word "is".

And all reasonable people can take comfort that climate change (note it's no longer Global Warming) is an artifact of modeling, is not accelerating and (to the extent that it does exist) has nothing to do with the activities of puny humans.

Iraqis Are Like Us

There's a view that the Iraqis (and other Muslims) are incapable of mastering the complexities of democracy, so are condemned to be ruled by dictators. The evidence suggest otherwise - the destruction of al Queda is proceeding apace through the active involvement of the Iraqi people. That's because Iraqis are just like us - they don't like murderous thugs. They're about to get their first proper government and they've earned it.

The Butcher:

BAGHDAD, Iraq — Iraqi citizens turned over a high-ranking Al Qaeda member known as "the Butcher" to U.S. forces in Ramadi Friday a military statement said.

Amir Khalaf Fanus was No. 3 on the 28th Infantry Division's High Value Individual list for Ramadi, wanted for murder and kidnapping in connection with his affiliation with Al Qaeda in Iraq.

"He is the highest ranking Al Qaeda in Iraq member to be turned into Iraqi and U.S. officials by local citizens," Capt. Jeffrey S. Pool said in a statement released from Camp Blue Diamond in Ramadi. "His capture is another indication that the local citizens tire of the insurgents' presence within their community."

On December 15th, Iraqis elect their first permanent 275-member National Assembly.

To expand on a comment on a previous post, we should not expect this new body to be as un-corrupt as Congress or the Houses of Parliament (no laughing at the back). But there's no reason why it can't be at least as honest as the governments of the low trust states of the EU, Louisiana, Greece and Spain, which in spite of their many defects are not murderous dictatorships.

The Iranian Solution

The President of Iran who wants to wipe Israel off the map suggests that its remains should be deposited in Austria and Germany. There's actually a germ of a good idea here.
The nutcase, speaking in the supposedly holy city of Mecca:

“Some European countries insist on saying that Hitler killed millions of innocent Jews in furnaces and they insist on it to the extent that if anyone proves something contrary to that they condemn that person and throw them in jail...”

Actually he has a point there. He continues:

“Although we don’t accept this claim, if we suppose it is true, our question to the Europeans is: is the killing of innocent Jewish people by Hitler the reason for their support to the occupiers of Jerusalem?” he said. “If the Europeans are honest they should give some of their provinces — like in Germany, Austria or other countries — to the Zionists and the Zionists can establish their state in Europe. You offer part of Europe and we will support it,” he added.

I can't imagine that Israelis would be happy to be surrounded by a bunch of miserable Teutons. But when things get really bad and we and the Israelis are in a full blown war with Islam, a similar approach could calm things down, as follows.

1. Israel leases for (say) 200 years an area equivalent to its current size from a trustworthy country with space and resources that Israel can exploit - Australia, for example.

2. Israel relocates, funding the transfer by selling off its non-portable assets, so Israel is left empty.

3. The West introduces an "repatriation policy" of automatic deportation to the old Israel of all immigrant Muslims criminals - families of suicide bombers, inciters of Jihad, families of honor killers, those who refuse to integrate, common criminals etc.

Israel currently supports 6 million people, and with cruder Islamic technologies and expertize could perhaps manage half that. The US, UK, and Europe have between them about 12 million Muslim immigrants. MI5 estimates about 10% of Brit Muslims are terrorist supporters, to which we can add the same percentage that will never integrate, totaling 20% - so there's plenty of room for them in the ex-Israeli desert.

What's not to like? Israel is safe, Australia richer, the West free of Islamic infestation, and if things get nasty we can use nukes in the Middle East without fear of fallout damaging Israel.

If this seems far fetched, consider how the west should react when Iran uses its nukes on an Israeli, Brit or US city.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Saudi Insolence

The ambassador for Saudi Arabia, whose citizens murdered 3,000 Americans on 9/11, which continues to foment sedition in the US and uses torture routinely has chided the US for torturing prisoners and invading Iraq. The sooner we build enough nuclear power plants to stop depending on these false friends, the better.

From an interview with their new ambassador to the US:

The U.S.-led war in Iraq accelerated the spread of terrorism around the globe and reports of U.S. mistreatment of terror prisoners are troubling its allies, the new Saudi ambassador to Washington said Thursday.

Asked whether the war in Iraq made the world less safe, Turki said even if the United States had not invaded, global terrorism would have continued. "Going into Iraq may have accentuated or accelerated that process, but I don't think it is the reason why we are having bombs in London or in Saudi Arabia or wherever," he said.

That's nice, because:

In its annual report on human rights worldwide, the State Department called Saudi Arabia's human rights' record "poor overall," despite some progress. It said Saudi security forces "continue to abuse detainees and prisoners, arbitrarily arrest and hold persons in incommunicado detention."


Turki said five or six Saudis have been released from the U.S. detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and more than 100 still remain there. Discussions about their release are continuing, he added.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Déjà Vu All Over Again

The Brit opposition Tories just elected a centralist modernizer as leader. The last one they tried turned out to be an incompetent liar who got the Tories into power but wrecked the economy and tricked the Brits into a European Federation. On the bright side, the man he beat is smart enough to pick up the pieces, Thatcher-style.

Here's how the
Tory MSM reports David Cameron's first confrontation with Blair:

David Cameron passed his first test as Conservative leader yesterday when he staked his claim to represent the future during an assured confrontation with Tony Blair in the Commons.

He delighted Tory MPs by accusing Mr Blair of being "stuck in the past" and suggesting that New Labour was running out of steam.

"I want to talk about the future," he told the Prime Minister, adding: "He was the future once."

Cameron may want to talk about the future, but his education and background make it unlikely that he'll have anything useful to say. For a more informative account of the same debate, here's
today's WSJ (subscription):

Mr. Cameron's "modernization" of the Conservative Party, however, so far amounts to talking up the need for more female party officers and abandoning the Thatcher legacy of fiscal discipline.

He played a large role in drafting the Tory manifesto for last May's elections, which called for public spending to continue spiraling upward, just at a slightly less dizzying rate than it has risen under the current Labour government. And while his leadership campaign was noticeably light on policy specifics, his suggestion that the government divide any future revenue growth between tax cuts and more spending isn't encouraging.

Yesterday, in his first chance to grill Mr. Blair since becoming party leader, Mr. Cameron proclaimed himself an advocate of setting targets for cutting carbon dioxide emissions. He then asked the Prime Minister, who in recent months has shifted away from that failed relic of the Kyoto Protocol and toward the more sensible approach of using technology to mitigate climate change, whether he supported targets, too.

Edward Heath must be chortling in whatever hereafter he inhabits.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

The Necessary War

An argument against the Iraq war is that Iraq did not have WMDs and did not sponsor terrorists, so had neither means nor motive to facilitate more deadly 9/11s. These assertions are false: Iraq did have WMDs; it did sponsor terrorist killings, and so posed a serious threat to our peoples.

To reassure any moonbats who unwittingly stray onto this blog, I've only used facts from impeccably lefty sources.

WMDs

These are nukes, biological (e.g. anthrax) and chemical (e.g. mustard gas).

Nukes kill between tens of thousands and hundreds of thousands, and biological and chemical weapons between thousands and tens of thousands depending on dispersal and target protection.

Nukes need enriched Uranium or Plutonium, which are expensive to produce and require plant that’s hard (but not impossible) to hide. Biological weapons are much easier to make and hide – they need the equivalent of a micro-brewery. Chemical weapons are easiest to make and hide – from a distance, they’re just another chemical plant.

Nukes

Iraq almost built an
implosion-type nuke, which it planned to use (my ellipsis):

Facing what (Saddam Hussein) viewed as a threat to the existence of his regime, he ordered a "crash program" (Project 601) to extract Iraq's stock of safeguarded HEU (Highly Enriched Uranium) for use in a nuclear device. Saddam's plan was to use the weapon against Israel or coalition forces as they approached Kuwait City.

However, the coalition bombing campaign effectively ended the "crash program."

In the aftermath of the Gulf War, the world learned the extent of Iraq's nuclear weapon program. Much of the information came from defectors—including Saddam Hussein's son-in-law Hussein Kamel, who defected to Jordan, and Khidhir Hamza—was previously unknown, including evidence of the "crash program." Iraq's EMIS program, using declassified data from the U.S. Manhattan Project, had gone undetected.

Chemical Weapons

Saddam not only had these, but, unique among post-WW2 leaders, he used them.

Iran-Iraq War 1980-1988

Iraq invaded Iran and killed or wounded an estimated 1.5 million Iranians. According to a post-war
assessment by the UN, Iraq made extensive use of two chemical weapons.

Mustard gas

Both in vapor and in liquid form its effect is to burn any body-tissue, which it touches. Taken into the body, it can act as systemic poison deadlier, weight for weight, than hydrogen cyanide. Its burning effects are not normally apparent for some hours after exposure…


Tabun

…So powerful a poison is it that even short exposure to small concentrations of its vapor can result in almost immediate symptoms… If a lethal dosage has been taken up, either from inhalation of the vapor or by absorption of the liquid through the skin, a characteristic sequence of toxic manifestations ensues, some of great violence, including running nose, sweating, involuntary urination and defecation, vomiting, twitching, convulsions, paralysis and unconsciousness.

There are allegations that Iraq deployed other WMDs, including the biological weapon anthrax.

Halabja Poison Gas Attack

In March 1988 the Iraqi government
used chemical weapons to kill 5,000 men, women and children in this Kurdish town in northern Iraq.

Iraq in Early 2003

By 2003 the Iraqi nuclear program was probably suspended – but since Saddam was able to conceal his earlier program, I'm still suspicious.

It’s inconceivable that Saddam would not have retained his chemical and biological weapons. He was the only living ruler who’d used them, and he knew they worked.

We didn’t find them because he hid them – thanks to the prolonged build up and the French delaying game at the UN, he had 12 months to prepare.

But why hide them rather than use them? As the invasion took shape, Saddam had to choose between using, losing or hiding his army and WMD. It’s now clear that he chose to hide his army – the die-hards are still fighting, using the artillery shells they tucked away to make IEDs. Hiding his chemical and biological weapons was even easier since they were smaller.

Hiding men and weapons rather than using them has proved a good option for him – he's still alive and if the Dems and their RINO allies continue to fold, he may yet emerge victorious. Whereas if he’d fought to the last and used his WMDs, his army and probably him personally would have been destroyed by conventional or nuclear weapons.

The chemical and biological assets he had to hide were the people, the plants, the production materials and the stock of weapons. Here’s what the MSM has reported as found:

People:
Dr Germ and Chemical Ali.
Chemical weapons agents:
1500 gallons
Warheads: 19 containing cyclosarin, a deadly nerve agent.

Given the size of Iraq, and our inability to find the artillery shells being used as IEDs, it’s not surprising that we haven’t found all the material. But it is there, and will eventually be found.

Sponsoring Terror

Here’s the BBC in early 2003:

Saddam Hussein has paid out thousands of dollars to families of Palestinians killed in fighting with Israel.

One by one, at least 21 families came up to receive their cheques from the Palestinian Arab Liberation Front (PALF), a local pro-Iraq group.

A Hamas suicide bomber's family got $25,000 while the others - relatives of militants killed in fighting or civilians killed during Israeli military operations - all received $10,000 each.

Another banner in the hall described the cheques as the "blessings of Saddam Hussein" and PALF speakers extolled the Iraqi leader in fiery speeches.


"Saddam Hussein considers those who die in martyrdom attacks as people who have won the highest degree of martyrdom," said one.

The party estimated that Iraq had paid out $35m to Palestinian families since the current uprising began in September 2000.


Saddam had good reason to hate Israel – it had taken out his nuclear reactor. He had much more reason to hate the US – it had beaten him out of Kuwait and humiliated him - that’s why he tried to kill Bush Senior in 1993 (FBI report
here).

The 9/11 commission claimed that Saddam’s agents had not talked to al Queda, but Czech intelligence says
they did. But it really doesn’t matter, because we know that Saddam had both the means and motive to facilitate a deadly attack on the US. It was only a matter of time before he put his shoulder to the Al Queda wheel.

Why Would Al Queda Want Help?

Because Al Queda is technically incompetent. All of its attacks have been very low tech, and succeeded through the hard-to-counter suicide element. 9/11 involved a small investment in flight training. The 7/7 attackers used homemade explosives.

Al Queda attacks using Iraqi chemical and biological weapons would have been vastly more lethal. London and New York City after big cyclosarin or anthrax hits would be a huge mess, with tens of thousands dead and the attacked areas off-limits for extended periods.

Has It Been Worth It?

From a utilitarian standpoint, yes. The deaths and costs of the war (to Iraqis and Coalition) pale beside the deaths and economic damage that would have been caused by Saddam providing his WMD for terror attacks.

So Why Not Leave Iraq Now?

Because the Middle East will stay a cesspit as long as it is run by despots. By staying until Iraq is reasonably democratic and stable, we will continue to spark changes in the Lebanon and Libya, and provide hope to the Iranian, Syrian and Saudi Arabian peoples. Improvement in the status of women will trigger economic growth that will bring hope to an area that lives off oil and aid.

It’s not easy and it won’t be perfect, but it’s rational.

On the other hand, we can withdraw, and leave Al Queda to rearm, this time with the help of Mullahs. Then we will see real terror in our cities.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Iranian Train Wreck

The good news is that Israel can now destroy Iranian ballistic missiles. The bad is that the most likely Iranian nuclear assault will be carried out by third parties equipped with nukes by Iran - in the same way it has given shaped-charge IDEs to Iraqi terrorists. Some Israelis are saying that the only defense against an indirect attack is pre-emption. Sadly, they’re right.

First the
good news – the Israeli/US Arrow ABM can shoot down the Iranian Shahab missile:

On Friday December 2, Israel conducted another intercept test of its Arrow ballistic missile defense system…The interceptor, by some accounts the newer, “Arrow-2” interceptor produced and recently delivered by Boeing, successfully destroyed the target…The interception was conducted at a record low altitude….

“We have never before tried the Arrow against the Shahab characteristics, but we know now that we are capable of intercepting all existing ballistic missile threats in the region, whether conventional or non-conventional, and we are developing capabilities to deal with future threats,” Director of the Israel Missile Defence Organisation Arieh Herzog told JDW.

There are two bits of bad news - the Iranians will have nukes very soon; and they’ll use deniable, low-tech delivery, not the Shahab.

After being bought time by the EU team (UK, France, Germany) and covered by the UN, the Iranian nuke program is close to completion – the UN
seems to think so:

IAEA chairman Muhammad ElBaradei on Monday confirmed Israel's assessment that Iran is only a few months away from creating an atomic bomb.

If Teheran indeed resumed its uranium enrichment in other plants, as threatened, it will take it only "a few months" to produce a nuclear bomb, El-Baradei told The Independent.


After building the bomb, they’ll need to test it. Then they have four delivery options:

1. By truck via Gaza – they could do this as soon as they knew the weapon worked.
2. By ship into the port of Haifa – another early option.
3. By airliner – also an early option.
4. By ballistic missile – but, even with Russian and French help, the integration of the warhead and avionics will take several years.

The most likely attack will be carried out by Palestinians using one or more of truck, ship or airliner delivery - the Iranian President said as much in his
recent speech:

…Ahmadinejad said "there is no doubt that the new wave (of attacks) in Palestine will soon wipe off this disgraceful blot (Israel) from the face of the Islamic world. As the Imam (Khomeini) said, Israel must be wiped off the map."

This and his subsequent rants were taken as threats that Iran would attack Israel directly. But he said no such thing, for good reason – if he nukes Israel, he and his country will be incinerated.

Instead, one or more nukes will be detonated as in Israeli cities by suicide bombers. This will cripple the Israeli economy, and damage its retaliatory capability. Iran would disclaim all involvement and offer aid. Iran’s French and Russian allies would threaten a crippled Israel with obliteration if it were to retaliate against the “blameless” Iranians, and also offer aid. The Europeans and the US lefties would all demand that Israel “give peace a chance”.

This leaves Israel with the options of preemption, destruction or surrender, and some Israelis are
thinking about the former:

While Prime Minister Ariel Sharon says the world cannot accept a nuclear Iran, he contends that diplomacy remains the first line of defense. He has not said what should be done if diplomacy fails.


Netanyahu left few doubts about his solution: a pre-emptive strike similar to the 1981 attack ordered by then-Prime Minister Menachem Begin that destroyed an unfinished Iraqi nuclear reactor.

"I will continue the tradition established by Menachem Begin, who did not allow Iraq to develop such a nuclear threat against Israel, and by a daring and courageous act gave us two decades of tranquility," Netanyahu told the Maariv daily. "I believe that this is what Israel has to do."

Because the Iranian weapons facilities are hardened, an Israeli strike will almost certainly be nuclear, and be more effective if carried out before the Russians deploy their
advanced air defenses in Iran.

It’s not clear how this slaughter can be averted.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Freedom Means Tolerating Contrary Opinion

The US Founders wisely decided that the best antidote to false information was public contradiction, not suppression, so the US has the First Amendment. By contrast, Europeans are increasingly criminalizing objectionable opinions as they slide towards their Orwellian future.

David Irving is a historian who wrote the definitive history of the German WW2 V-weapons program, and subsequently wrote a number of books which viewed WW2 from the German perspective. He's in jail in Austria awaiting trial for "holocaust denial".

David Irving, the British historian, has embarrassed Austria's judicial authorities by finding his own books in a prison library while in custody on charges of Holocaust denial.

Irving, 67, who will spend Christmas and the New Year behind bars pending trial, found two of his most contentious books in the Graz prison library after asking for something to read.


He said in an interview he signed both, German translations of Hitler's War and The Destruction of Convoy PQ-17, before returning them to guards.

Josef Adam, the head of the prison, said it was "not possible" to know how the books had ended up in the 6,400-volume library, the contents of which he "could not know exactly".

"Now we will dispose of the books," he said.

I guess, unaware of the irony, they'll burn the books.

Locking people up and burning books to suppress objectionable views is just the tip of the iceberg. The real censorship is hidden - European publishers are under pressure not to put out books that assail the prevailing orthodoxy. Here's the historian Robert Conquest criticizing a pro-Stalin book in today's WSJ (subscription, my emphasis):

A "distinguished" professor of classical philology at Bari University, Luciano Canfora, has produced a book in something like the worst of the neo-pro-Stalinist vein. "La Democrazia: Storia Di Un'Ideologia" is part of the series "The Making of Europe," put out by publishers in five countries under the direction of French Medievalist historian Jacques LeGoff.

It somehow sneaked through publishers' offices into print in Italy, France, Spain and (note title change) as "Democracy in Europe: A History" in England last week, America next month.

Conquest believes that books he disagrees with should not be allowed to "sneak into print".

Censorship is really bad for Europeans, because it suppresses the dissent that has triggered every great move forward in their societies. The above authors, whatever their motives, may help us better understand how Hitler and Stalin became monsters. That's surely worth the risk of tolerating opinions we find unpleasant.

But, absent a First Amendment, Europe's suppression of dissent grinds forward, even in the UK. Tony Blair is battling to pass a law that criminalizes the expression of negative opinions about Brit Muslims:

Peers voted by a majority of 149 in favour of an opposition amendment that would drastically change the contents of the Racial and Religious Hatred Bill.

The Home Office said afterwards that it would not accept the Tory and Liberal Democrat proposals, which were also backed by some Labour peers, because they could make it virtually impossible for the courts to secure convictions.

Ministers are under particular pressure from Muslims to legislate on this issue because they believe it is unfair that they do not enjoy the same protection as Sikhs and Jews, who are covered by the laws banning racial hatred.

Of course, the proper response to Brit criticism of their Muslim immigrants is for the Muslims to cease fomenting mass murder. I wonder how much longer I'll be able to say that without ending up in jail?

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Swiss Probity, Another Victim of UN Corruption:

After re-instating the only staffer fired for its part in the biggest fraud in history, and airbrushing out its peacekeepers' raping kids, the UN is firing a staffer for allegedly shouting at her subordinates. Annan is using a Swiss company to give this credibility, as his son did in his Oil For Food scam. This hurts Switzerland.

Secretary-General Kofi Annan has decided to fire the highly regarded chief of the U.N. office that promotes free elections around the world for harassing staff and management failures, a U.N. official said.

The official, speaking on condition of anonymity because an official announcement is not expected until Monday, said Carina Perelli was being dismissed from the United Nations.

Perelli, a Uruguayan, won wide praise for her work in helping organize elections in Iraq, Afghanistan, and the Palestinian territories and had been considered one of the young rising stars at the United Nations.

But she had been under investigation since April, after a U.N.-commissioned management review quoted staff as saying "sexual innuendo is part of the `fabric"' of the Electoral Assistance Division which she headed.

The review never named Perelli or anyone else in her office in specific allegations of sexual or professional harassment. But it said staff claimed they were subject to shouting and screaming by superiors, while some junior staff were saddled with work they were not qualified to do.

The Swiss-based management consulting firm Mannet S.A.R.L., which conducted the review, said many staff members reported that they "suffered emotionally as a result of the director's behavior in the office environment."

Of course Perelli is is being fired for helping Iraqis, Afghans and Palestinians to conduct fair elections - this will not have pleased the UN's corrupt members and staffers.

A Swiss company paid Annan's son to get a lucrative slice of the Oil For Food scam. Now another Swiss company is giving credibility to a trumped-up charge which wouldn't stand up in any courtroom. Switzerland's reputation is yet another victim of Annan's corrupt touch.

On Not Provoking The Lion

The reported killing in Pakistan of a top al Queda operative by a missile fired by a Predator drone gives a glimpse of the future. History will record that all the Islamofascists achieved was to provoke the US into deploying the capability to locate and destroy enemies anywhere, without risk, so cementing its position as the global superpower.

The operation:

...officials said Rabia was believed to be an Egyptian and head of al Qaeda's foreign operations, possibly as senior as the No. 3 official in the terrorist group that carried out the September 11 attacks. That would put him in a tier just below Osama bin Laden and al-Zawahri.

NBC News, citing unnamed officials, reported last night that Rabia was killed early Thursday morning by a missile launched from an unmanned aircraft, a Predator drone, controlled by the CIA.

The Predator, like the WW2 Spitfire, was developed by a visionary. It's far more complex than the Islamic enemy could deploy, even with Russian and French help (my ellipsis):

A typical Predator system configuration would include four aircraft, one ground control system and one Trojan Spirit II data distribution terminal. The Predator air vehicle is 27ft in length and has a 49ft wingspan. The system operates at an altitude of 25,000ft and at a range of 400nm. The endurance of the air vehicle is more than 40 hours and the cruise speed is over 70 knots. The air vehicle is equipped with UHF and VHF radio relay links, a C-band line-of-sight data link which has a range of 150nm and UHF and Ku-band satellite data links.

The Raytheon Multi-Spectral Targeting System is fitted on the MQ-1 Predator. (This) provides real-time imagery selectable between infrared and day TV as well as a laser designation capability. MQ-1 can employ two laser-guided Hellfire anti-armour missiles with the MTS.

The Northrop Grumman synthetic aperture radar which provides all-weather surveillance capability, has a resolution of 1ft. Other payload options, which can be selected to meet mission requirements, include a laser designator and rangefinder, electronic support and countermeasures and a Moving Target Indicator (MTI).

Other versions of the Predator carry 14 Hellfires.

The remaining problem is reliably locating the enemy. That's hard, but not impossible - the enemy needs to communicate, to transport men and weapons, and to deploy on the battlefield. All of these activities have have recognizable signatures and there is no doubt an huge effort to develop the solutions, mostly software pattern recognition.

So the Islamofascists have merely encouraged the Great Satan to create the ability to hunt them down anywhere in the world and kill them at will. Tough.