You are currently viewing archive for January 2007
When Islamic scholar Bernard Lewis speaks, it is a good idea to listen. Here is a summary of recent remarks.
Many in the West seem to think that Islam is simply reactive. That is, the motivation to war with others simply is a reaction to actions or characteristics of non-Muslims. While reactive motivation probably is present, it is simplistic reductionism to believe militant Islam is purely reactive. Similarly, here in the mostly secular West, many disbelieve in religious motivation. The actions of militant Muslims are explained simply in terms of social and economic factors. This also is simplistic reductionism. Islam, in all its forms, is a life-and-belief system with its own inner dynamism. To ignore this inner dynamism is to misunderstand. To prove my point, this BBC interview with a Taliban leader. Here is a portion of the interview. Link from Jihadwatch.

With a black-dyed beard, 34-year-old Baitullah greeted us in a big room with several of his armed men beside him. We sat on a new colourful quilt spread on the ground.

Baitullah seemed a man with only jihad (holy war) on his mind. During the interview he quoted several verses from the Koran to defend his stance that foreign forces must be evicted from Islamic countries.

"Allah on 480 occasions in the Holy Koran extols Muslims to wage jihad. We only fulfil God's orders. Only jihad can bring peace to the world," he says.

The militant leader on several occasions in the past had openly admitted crossing over into Afghanistan to fight foreign troops.

"We will continue our struggle until foreign troops are thrown out. Then we will attack them in the US and Britain until they either accept Islam or agree to pay jazia (a tax in Islam for non-Muslims living in an Islamic state)."
I think these items need to be a bigger deal on the American media

Here. Shia kill and threaten Palestinians in Iraq, prompting exodus. From Gulfnews. Link from Instapundit.

NIBRAS KAZIMI in the New York Sun, points to evidence that "staying the course" may have reached a tipping point against the insurgency in Iraq. Here.
Posted by: A Waco Farmer
Tocqueville attached this essay to the prior post, and, in response to off-line requests, Iam featuring it as a stand-alone post:

It's the Demography, Stupid
By Mark Steyn

"Most people reading this have strong stomachs, so let me lay it out as baldly as I can: Much of what we loosely call the Western world will not survive this century, and much of it will effectively disappear within our lifetimes, including many if not most Western European countries. There'll probably still be a geographical area on the map marked as Italy or the Netherlands--probably--just as in Istanbul there's still a building called St. Sophia's Cathedral. But it's not a cathedral; it's merely a designation for a piece of real estate. Likewise, Italy and the Netherlands will merely be designations for real estate. The challenge for those who reckon Western civilization is on balance better than the alternatives is to figure out a way to save at least some parts of the West."

Full essay here.
Gaypatriot has a link to this site on Terror-Free Oil. That is, a list of gasoline companies broken down into those whose product contains oil from countries of the Persian Gulf and those who do not. Here is the list.

Who are we funding when we fill up?
Worth Looking at: Martian Mariner takes exception to the Okie Gardener's post (read here in its entirety), which featured S. K. Malik's The Quranic Way of War. In conclusion, The Gardener commented: "We are not in a War on Terror. We are in a war with radical Islamists. This is not a new war. We are in another hot period of the nearly 1400 year-long war of Islam against everyone else. We need to understand the enemy in order to defeat him."

Guest Blog Rebuttal: Martian Mariner

"Understand the enemy."

Pakistan and its army is an important ally of our current War on Terror, misnamed as it may be. The reason that every Arab government, and most Islamic governments, are cooperating with us is because radical Salafism is as threatening to their regimes as it is to us. I'm certain that these secular but assuredly Muslim leaders do not consider themselves in the midst of a 1400 year-long war against the West.

My point here is that you're giving the Salafists more credit than they are due, by granting them the point that their brand of Islam is the true Islam. This point is not decided within Islam, and we shouldn't help legitimitize the side which would be most harmful to us.

I for one am not looking for a fight, and to claim that we're in the midst of an epoch-long war can have no benefit in a search for peace.
This may be the biggest current under-reported news today. From iTWire here

The seizure of some crucial diaries and papers from people arrested in connection with the attack in Bangalore and Hyderabad led the police to alert IT companies in India to be more security conscious because they had found out that some militants had surveyed IT and call-center companies, to zero in on potential targets for future attacks.

Stratfor has a recent article on the threat, the full-text requires subscription, but this lead is free On Jan. 5, [2007] Indian police arrested a suspected militant near Jalahalli, a village just north of the important high-tech center of Bangalore. The arrest, the latest in a series of incidents connected to the high-tech industry, demonstrates the increasing militant focus on this vital sector of the Indian economy.

Terrorists appear to be targeting India's high tech and information centers. Success against these targets would be devastating for the Indian economy.

Important to America? Yes, India now is linked in with our own economy. India may be our staunchest long-term ally against Islamic terror. India is an important military ally as China expands its power.
A must read for anyone striving to understand the current conflict, this review of S. K. Malik's The Quranic Way of War. Malik is/was a Pakistani military officer. From Jihadwatch.

An excerpt:

The Quranic Concept of War

The Quranic Concept of War, by Brigadier General S. K. Malik of the Pakistani Army provides readers with unequalled insight. Originally published in Pakistan in 1979, most available copies are found in India, or in small non-descript Muslim bookstores. One major point to ponder, when thinking about The Quranic Concept of War, is the title itself. The Quran is presumed to be the revealed word of God as spoken through his chosen prophet, Mohammed. According to Malik, the Quran places warfighting doctrine and its theory in a much different category than western thinkers are accustomed to, because it is not a theory of war derived by man, but of God. This is God’s warfighting principles and commandments revealed. Malik attempts to distill God’s doctrine for war through the examples of the Prophet. By contrast, the closest that Clausewitz comes to divine presentation is in his discussion of the trinity: the people, the state, and the military. In the Islamic context, the discussion of war is at the level of revealed truth and example, well above theory—God has no need to theorize. Malik notes, “As a complete Code of Life, the Holy Quran gives us a philosophy of war as well. . . . This divine philosophy is an integral part of the total Quranic ideology.”

(Okie again) We are not in a War on Terror. We are in a war with radical Islamists. This is not a new war. We are in another hot period of the nearly 1400 year-long war of Islam against everyone else. We need to understand the enemy in order to defeat him.
The government makes life for Christians in Nigeria increasingly difficult. From Dhimmiwatch.

So what will happen when Muslims achieve majority status in some Western European nations by the end of this century?
Michael Yon is doing the best reporting, in my opinion, from on the ground in Iraq and other places. Here is the start of another series. Here is the webpage. Make it a Favorite.
What to make of these reports recently out of Iran? (I am late with this, but between a visit from my son in the service and the stomach flu, I'm behind on everything.)

From Gateway Pundit: Iranian Cellphone Users Report Eruption of Navy Clashes With US. Apparently Iranian cell phones displayed this news, which was later denied by the governor of the southern province.

Also from Gateway Pundit: More on the ... "Iranian UFO Mega-Blast" and here : 3 Explosions In the West & 1 MASSIVE UFO BLAST In Central Iran! The Fars News Agency (official) reported the blasts and the UFO.

What conclusions may be drawn? One freak-out news story could mean nothing, two in short succession could mean something. (1) There may be more tension within Iran over the possibility of conflict with the US than we have thought, in those circumstances rumors become "news" quickly. This is, I think, the most likely explanation. (2) The US government has begun a psy-ops campaign to raise the tension level in Iran. We sometimes forget that the Iranian regime is not inherently stable. The dominant ethnic group within Iran makes up not much over 50 percent of the population and so the nation may be susceptible to destabilization. I don't this it likely, though, that we have started psy-ops on Iran since I don't think it likely that we are about to start an "Iranian project" with support slipping for our Iraq project. (3) The war against Iran has started and the US media just do not know it yet. The UFO was really a US missle. Least likely explanation, I think, see (2) above.
LGF has links to the documentary in which undercover reporters go inside UK mosques to see if what is said on the inside inside matches what is said to the outside. (It doesn't) To quote LGF, evidence of Islamic supremacism, shocking misogyny, and support for violence at a number of Britain’s leading mosques and Muslim institutions.
OneFreeKorea has excellent commentary on and a link to an op ed by the US Special Envoy for Human Rights Jay Lefkowitz. Link from Gateway Pundit.

In a nutshell, the North Korean government is hiring out groups of its citizens to various nations as laborers to earn hard currency (for the government, not the workers). Countries are named. North Korea helps put the Evil in Axis of Evil.
An excellent essay at Blackfive on a comprehensive strategy for the Long War with Radical Islam. Well worth reading. It is long enough to take some time to read, and more time to reflect upon. Link from Instapundit.
From Nazareth: it appears that Muslims are trying to intimidate the dwindling numbers of Christians in the boyhood home of Jesus into leaving. Here

From Cordova: the Christian bishop has rejected Muslim requrests to conduct prayers in the cathedral, a former mosque. Here. Good for him. Notice the history of this church: He was quoted as saying that joint use would not help relations and that in any case the church was there first, as the eighth-century Córdoba Mosque from the Moorish rule of Spain had been built on the ruins of a church erected by the Visigoths. In the Muslim mind, your holy places deserve no respect and once Islamic always Islamic.

From Thailand: two Buddhist teachers killed and bodies burned. Here

From France: 400 cars burned on New Year's Eve. Here

From Iran: Christians arrested. Here.

Links from Jihadwatch, Gateway Pundit, and Wizbang.

02/01: Worth Reading

Writing from the Middle East, Michael Yon has a post worth reading on the world situation. Here. Link from Instapundit.

Some excerpts:

This war has a thousand faces. A couple weeks ago in Singapore, an opportunity arose to speak with a clutch of field-grade officers, most of whom were foreign veterans of the worldwide war. These officers were from countries such as Singapore, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, New Zealand, Australia and the United States. A common theme among our foreign allies is a concern that we Americans seem to think we are standing alone against a world teeming with enemies. Our military leaders of course know that we are not alone and that enemies do not lurk in every cave or under every rock. They know, too, that we have more allies than enemies, and even more who fit into neither category.

This war is strange. I never hear soldiers worried about their own morale sagging. Contrary, the war-fighters here are more concerned to bolster the morale of the people at home. Here in Kuwait, where the dining facilities are bedecked in Christmas decorations, soldiers stream in from Iraq on convoys and stream back north along those bomb-laden roads. The service members here are not all rear-echelon people who never see fighting or blood. Yet their overall morale obviously is high. Few of them know I am a writer, and so they speak freely at the tables around me. In Qatar, from which I’d just departed, I spoke with troops taking four-day R&R passes, some having just returned from the most dangerous parts of Iraq, and others heading straight back, and their overall morale was also very high. The morale at war is higher than I have ever seen it at home; makes me wonder what they know that most Americans seem to be missing.

01/01: Happy 2007

According to this report, with links, the official web site of the nation of Iran is proclaiming that the return Mahdi is near, possibly by the spring equinox.

For those of you who have not kept up, in Shiite apocalyptic, this means the end of the present world order with lots of bloodshed in Armageddon style. Given that the Iranian government has spoken of itself as an agent of the Mahdi's return, this announcement makes me wonder if the Irananians expect to have usable nuclear weapons by spring equinox. Peace on earth postponed again. For previous posts see here.