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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Blood for Fifteen Minutes of Fame

The Wikileaks are out, and now the American public knows that American allies in Afghanistan have a corrupt, incompetent, and none-too-trustowrthy regime. Why, it's even said that a senior police official in Afghanistan is actually an Iranian spy.

I was never much of a fan of going into Afghanistan. It would have been far better to wait until Osama Bin Ladin decided he wanted to crow about bringing down the Twin Towers and the front of the Pentagon, let him get on an airplane, and then send in fighters to grab him the way the Achille Lauro hijackers were grabbed. Afghanistan is one of the dark places of the earth, where there is little save rocks, poverty, and extremely bigoted Islam which, within not-to-distant historical memory prided itself on closing down the ancient Syriac Christian communities that once made the country home, and now, within living memory, have liquidated a Jewish community that has existed since before the book of Esther was written.

But I hope that if the authorities catch the real perpetrator of the leaks and convict him in court, they have the good sense to hang him.

One important group that has been "outed" in the leaks is a large number of people who have provided America and its allies with information on the movements of key Qaida and Taliban actors. These were people who thought we offered something better to their country (such as the right to educate one's daughters and listen to music), and trusted us enough to give us real help. And, before Michael Moore starts tarring such people as the equivalents of the Vichy and Quisling collaborators of World War II, let us remember that the people outed were those who were helping us hunt down some criminals who killed 3,000 of us on 9/11. It is now almost certain that these outed Afghans and Pakistanis will probably be butchered by their pro-Taliban neighbors, whose "Religion of Peace" thinks that if a neighboring Christian or Hindu girl is pretty, she is fair game to be kidnapped, raped, forcibly converted to Islam, and married off to her abductor.

Congratulations, Mr. Leaker. You've signed the death warrants for hundreds, if not thousands, who saw 9/11 as a crime, and were helping us bring its perpetrators to justice. And for this, you've gotten your fifteen minutes of fame.

Monday, July 26, 2010

The Judgement on Comrade Duch--a Travesty

Today, a tribunal in Cambodia sentenced Comrade Duch, former supervisor of Tuol Seng Prison, to a lengthy prison term. I join the chorus of those who see a miscarriage of justice. Instead of justice, it is yet another instance of the ghost of the former Soviet Union hijacking the conscience of the world, and, in so doing, corrupting it.

First of all, it is wrong to identify only the Pol Pot Democratic Kampuchea movement as responsible for the Cambodian horrors of 1975-78. Second, it is a travesty to turn the Tuol Seng prison into a monument, and focus on what happened behind its walls as the symbol of Cambodian suffering. Tuol Seng was simply the place where the Khmer Rouge regime incarcerated its own, while ordinary Cambodians suffered and died in their own villages or resettlement areas. Tuol Seng is a monument to that portion of the Cambodian Communist Party which fell afoul of its own movement's propensity for internal intrigue and purge.

Immediately after the Khmer Rouge victory, the faction associated with Hun Sen was equally culpable in the mass murders of mostly non-Communist countrymen. Only following a personal falling out between Hun Sen and Pol Pot did the former rush to seek "rescue" from the Vietnamese. Prior to that falling out, Hun Sen and his henchmen were very much part of the Angka Loeu, aquiescent in the "revolutionary catharsis" taking place across their country, and part of the relatively privileged ruling elite.

The mass of the Cambodian democide's victims fell and went into unmarked graves in the countryside, especially in the northwestern portion of the country. These were the people who had the misfortune of having more than an elementary education, proficiency in a language other than Khmer, adherence to a traditional religion, myopia, or the peasant stubbornness that cannot understand why it must give up the family buffalo and farm tools to the abstraction known as the collective.

However, the people who suffered at Tuol Seng are remembered because they, like so many 20th century people, smoked the Marxist opiate of the intellectuals. Ultimately, their faction came into alliance with the Soviet Union, the power under whose benign supervision the mass of the European intelligentsia hoped to live and work. Never mind that this idea whose time had come between 1917 and 1989 proved to be a singularly bad one. Never mind that it counted more killed, imprisoned, or exiled for the political or ideological crimes in seventy years (indeed, still does in North Korea and Cuba) than suffered for the wrong kind of Christianity or none at all in the fifteen centuries between the conversion of Constantine and Ruggles v. New York (1811). Never mind that when "The Revolution" failed to unleash the unheralded productive forces promised by Marx and Lenin, its adherents began to blame those fortunate enough to escape the revolutionary wrath. Never mind that, after loudly accusing all who questioned it of racism, it blamed the Slavic Untermensch, primitive Asiatic, and Caribbean Mulatto for the backwardness it imposed on all lands it conquered. Too many invested their minds and consciences in the Soviet Marxist project to reconsider when it failed. Well spoke Eugene Ionesco when he accused his Communist colleague Sartre of being the "unconscience of Europe".

But Hun Sen had the fortune to ally himself with the Soviet Union before it was too late.

The faces on the walls of Tuol Seng are those of cannibals eaten by their own colleagues; the Ernst Roehms who fell to a Southeast Asian Hitler. The ordinary victims of the Cambodian horrors have no monument apart from the memories of their relatives between Poipet and Long Beach.

As with the corruption of conscience and memory by the Marxists of the West, Tuol Seng is a hijacking and corruption of the world's conscience concerning the Cambodian democide. For Comrade Duch to stand in the dock while Hun Sen's people enjoy power and honor is yet another modern travesty masquerading as justice.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

What the dickens is this?

Jihad Watch's Robert Spencer reports the following:


July 24, 2010
Sharia in New Jersey: Muslim husband rapes wife, judge sees no sexual assault because Islam forbids wives to refuse sex

Muhammad said: "If a husband calls his wife to his bed [i.e. to have sexual relation] and she refuses and causes him to sleep in anger, the angels will curse her till morning" (Bukhari 4.54.460).

He also said: "By him in Whose Hand lies my life, a woman can not carry out the right of her Lord, till she carries out the right of her husband. And if he asks her to surrender herself [to him for sexual intercourse] she should not refuse him even if she is on a camel's saddle" (Ibn Majah 1854).

And now a New Jersey judge sees no evidence that a Muslim committed sexual assault of his wife -- not because he didn't do it, but because he was acting on his Islamic beliefs: "This court does not feel that, under the circumstances, that this defendant had a criminal desire to or intent to sexually assault or to sexually contact the plaintiff when he did. The court believes that he was operating under his belief that it is, as the husband, his desire to have sex when and whether he wanted to, was something that was consistent with his practices and it was something that was not prohibited."

Luckily, the appellate court overturned this decision, and a Sharia ruling by an American court has not been allowed to stand. This time.

"Cultural Defense Accepted as to Nonconsensual Sex in New Jersey Trial Court, Rejected on Appeal," by Eugene Volokh in The Volokh Conspiracy, July 23 (thanks to CameoRed):

From today's opinion in S.D. v. M.J.R. (N.J. Super. Ct. App. Div.), a domestic restraining order case:

The record reflects that plaintiff, S.D., and defendant, M.J.R., are citizens of Morocco and adherents to the Muslim faith. They were wed in Morocco in an arranged marriage on July 31, 2008, when plaintiff was seventeen years old. [FN1] The parties did not know each other prior to the marriage. On August 29, 2008, they came to New Jersey as the result of defendant's employment in this country as an accountant....

[Long discussion of the wife's allegations of abuse, which included several instances of nonconsensual sex as well as other abuse, omitted for space reasons. -EV]

Upon their return to the apartment, defendant forced plaintiff to have sex with him while she cried. Plaintiff testified that defendant always told her

this is according to our religion. You are my wife, I c[an] do anything to you. The woman, she should submit and do anything I ask her to do.

After having sex, defendant took plaintiff to a travel agency to buy a ticket for her return to Morocco. However the ticket was not purchased, and the couple returned to the apartment. Once there, defendant threatened divorce, but nonetheless again engaged in nonconsensual sex while plaintiff cried. Later that day, defendant and his mother took plaintiff to the home of the Imam and, in the presence of the Imam, his wife, and defendant's mother, defendant verbally divorced plaintiff....[...]

While recognizing that defendant had engaged in sexual relations with plaintiff against her expressed wishes in November 2008 and on the night of January 15 to 16, 2009, the judge did not find sexual assault or criminal sexual conduct to have been proven. He stated:

This court does not feel that, under the circumstances, that this defendant had a criminal desire to or intent to sexually assault or to sexually contact the plaintiff when he did. The court believes that he was operating under his belief that it is, as the husband, his desire to have sex when and whether he wanted to, was something that was consistent with his practices and it was something that was not prohibited.

After acknowledging that this was a case in which religious custom clashed with the law, and that under the law, plaintiff had a right to refuse defendant's advances, the judge found that defendant did not act with a criminal intent when he repeatedly insisted upon intercourse, despite plaintiff's contrary wishes.

Having found acts of domestic violence consisting of assault and harassment to have occurred, the judge turned to the issue of whether a final restraining order should be entered. He found such an order unnecessary, vacated the temporary restraints previously entered in the matter and dismissed plaintiff's domestic violence action....

The appellate court reversed this absurd decision, saying:

As the judge recognized, the case thus presents a conflict between the criminal law and religious precepts. In resolving this conflict, the judge determined to except defendant from the operation of the State's statutes as the result of his religious beliefs. In doing so, the judge was mistaken.

A close call. But no doubt more of this is to come.


My comment:

How culturally relativistic have we become? With any other demographic, this case would've been called rape. How is it that a supposedly "secular" American jurist now gives a Muslim male a blank check to abuse his wife because of something in Bukhari?

American liberalism has apparently become so open-minded that its brains have fallen right out of its head.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Bad Faith in the Middle East--and Israel is not to Blame

The Oslo Peace Process is dead, or at least proven to have been stillborn.

Reuters reports that on July 9, Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas told the Arab League that he would support a war with Israel if the Arab League joins in. Yet the following day, he received a telephone call from President Obama thanking him for his contributions to the Mideast Peace Process. Hasn't anyone else noted that there is something terribly wrong with this?

To Americans, the Palestinian Authority speaks of seeking peace and desiring negotiations with Israel. Yet with its fellow Arabs and Muslims, it speaks of another war. Taken against a backdrop of persistent holocaust denial (and, worse yet,the lack of any admission that the post-1948 policies of Arab governments throughout the region may have had something with the mass emigration of Jewish communities that had been in existence since before Arabic was a written vernacular). This does not bode well for the future of a peace process.

A peace process can go on only if both sides desire peace, and are willing to reach compromises to enforce it. Israel showed such a desire in its complete withdrawal from Gaza; which was followed not only by the destruction of every trace of Israeli occupation includidng greenhouses built to aid the Gazan economy, but also by frequent rocket and other terror attacks launched from the Gaza Strip into Israel.
Indeed, Hamas' record since being voted into power in Gaza is one of continued provocation, testing defenses, strengthening ties with Iran and Iranian proxies in Lebanon, plus ceaseless agitation while basic services and all non-patronage employment come to a standstill.

Nor have the supposed "moderates" of Fatah on the West Bank been much better. Suicide bombers continue to be lionized as heroes and martyrs,and lower level attacks on Israel continue to be launched from the West Bank. Nor has Mr. Abbas' administration taken any concrete steps to reduce such attacks--if it has any ability or even desire to do so.

Now, as Mr. Abbas attempts to enlist the Arab states in a renewed shooting war with Israel,it is clear that all talk of peace from Abbas and his associates has been in bad faith, a ploy to gain aid from the United States. Israel has been criticized for its building of Jewish housing in eastern Jerusalem and stopping a Turkish aid flotilla organized by a group that has supported terrorism. Perhaps it is now time to demand more action from the Palestinian side.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Where is the State Department's Public Diplomacy?

The following News item was reported not too long ago (

NASA Administrator Charles Bolden revealed his plans to improve relations between America's space exploration agency and the Muslim world to Al Jazeera before Congress, the Washington Examiner reported.

Bolden called a couple of lawmakers with the news on June 28, after his interview with the Middle East news organization but before it aired, the newspaper reported.

"He ran down some of the things from the president's new space policy, and mentioned outreach to Muslims," Rep. Pete Olson, the top Republican on the House Subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics recalled to the newspaper. "That stunned me. I didn't believe it."

Bolden's interview with Al Jazeera ignited a firestorm of controversy that has gone largely unreported by major news outlets. Michael Griffin, the NASA administrator during the latter half of the Bush administration told that he believes the Muslim outreach plan is "deeply flawed."

"NASA ... represents the best of America. Its purpose is not to inspire Muslims or any other cultural entity," he said...

[End of Quote.}\\

News likes this leads one to wonder why NASA was asked to engage in outreach to the Muslim world rather than some agency of the US Department of State or US Information Service. After all, NASA is theoretically about space exploration, astronomy, engineering,and other empirical sciences; public diplomacy seems rather far from such concerns.

One wonders what the current administration is thinking!