Sep 29, 2007

Burma: Victory Through Diplomacy

The video above broadcast by Fuji television network in Japan shows quite clearly a young Burmese soldier pointing his rifle at Japanese photojournalist Kenji Nagai and deliberately shooting him from close range. Kenji Nagai armed with nothing more than a camera, didn't stand a chance.

In a meeting at UN headquarters in New York, Japanese Foreign Minister Masahiko Komura told his Burmese counterpart Friday that the death of Nagai was "extremely regrettable and we will lodge a stern protest."


No, Mr. Komura, the murder of Kenji Nagai is not regrettable. It is an abject outrage. It is an outrage that craven impotent diplomats find themselves powerless to do anything more than issue "stern protests".

One of the most shocking and frightening aspects of the world today is that our nation's leaders continue to find themselves incapable of recognizing totalitarianism and tyranny. It is an outrage that diplomats, leaders and nations today have failed to learn from history and that they continue to find themselves impervious in owning up to the reality that there can never be any negotiation with tyranny. It is this epitome of denial and self delusion that leads to cognitive dissonance.

Even more disturbing is the propensity of those to resolve this cognitive dissonance through acts of diplomacy. It's anyone's guess what Japan hopes to achieve by dispatching a senior official to Burma. But by urging Burma to resolve this situation by punishing the perpetrator Japan and the West, for that matter, only succeed in deluding themselves into thinking that justice in this case can ultimately be achieved through diplomacy. As long as they can remain in power, the military junta of Burma will be all to happy to feed the collective psychosis that hopelessly enslaves Japan and the rest of the world by simply putting a bullet in the head of the young Burmese soldier who shot and killed Kenji Nagai. And as such, the "diplomatic crisis" with Burma ends. Japanese diplomats can return home waving the death certificate of a Burmese soldier and proclaiming à la Neville Chamberlain that justice and victory has been achieved.

How many more Kenji Nagai's and Burmese citizens will have to die before the world musters the courage and resolve to remove this tyrannical totalitarian regime from power?


Sep 27, 2007

Burma: Epitomizing ASEAN's Insignificance

Singapore, one of Burma's biggest foreign investors, urged the country's military rulers on Thursday to exercise restraint in dealing with anti-government protests and to seek United Nations mediation.

Singapore's Foreign Ministry said in a statement that it was "deeply troubled" by the violent suppression of demonstrations in Yangon and called on the junta that has run the country for 45 years to seek a peaceful resolution through the world body.

"We hope that the Myanmar authorities and all other parties in Myanmar will appreciate the broader implications of their actions on the region as a whole and act accordingly," the ministry said.

As Burma's military junta once again attempts to brutally suppress the peaceful calls for democracy, these lofty proclamations eminating from Singapore the current chair of ASEAN would seem to substantiate the accusations not only of ASEAN's insignificance, but of ASEAN's inability to live up to their own charter. As a geopolitical and economic organization who's aims and objectives supposedly include the acceleration of economic growth, social progress, and the promotion of regional peace, it would be expected that ASEAN currently led by Singapore would be willing to lead the initiative to help resolve the crisis in Burma rather than contributing 'lip service' to the crisis and expecting the United Nations to intervene in the matter. Considering that Singapore is one of Burma's largest trading partners and a beneficiary of ill-gotten gains by way of the monthly shopping trips and medical visits of Burma's military elites it's anyone's wonder how Singapore thinks that Malawi and Norway might lend a hand in helping to mediate the crisis.

After ten years it should have become painfully clear to ASEAN that the policy of non-intervention with Burma's recalcitrant regime has failed miserably. The events of the last several days have made it clear that Burma's military junta has no intention to loosen its grip on power and move the country towards democracy. The time for "constructive engagement" with General Than Shwe has long since passed. If ASEAN fails to act immediately and decisively in the matter then a "coalition of the willing" will be forced to handle the crisis.

Now that blood has been spilled, it is not just Burma who's international reputation will suffer, but the entire region of Southeast Asia.


Sep 26, 2007

Burma's Barefoot Rebellion


More than 100,000 demonstrators have now taken to the streets in Burma for another day of protests. Approximately 30,000 red-robed monks protected by a human chain of over 70,000 supporters who prayed and chanted as they walked around Rangoon's city hall.

From late last night and throughout today trucks full of soldiers have been arriving in the capitol, sources have said that the hospitals have been put on alert to prepare for casualties as violence broke out today near the city's famed Shwedagon Pagoda, with security forces firing warning shots and tear gas canisters into the crowd of anti-government protestors. About 300 monks and activists have now been arrested across Rangoon, with reports of monks being being with batons and dragged into trucks.

Burma's military junta has banned all public gatherings of more than five people and imposed a nighttime curfew following eight days of anti-government marches led by monks in Rangoon and other areas of the country.

Both Australia and Malaysia have wisely refrained from imposing economic sanctions at this time for the fear that they will not affect the targeted group and will impose additional hardship on the Burmese citizens. The rash decision by the United States and Britain to impose economic sanctions at this juncture is an unwise move that might result in forcing the hand of Burma's military junta. The Burmese have a right to self-determination without undue interference and it is hoped that others will refrain from moves which might potentially have unintended effects.

There are also unconfirmed reports this evening that family members of Burma's head of State Than Shwe and other top members of the military have departed Burma for Thailand. Hopefully more information on this tomorrow.


Sep 24, 2007

Pakistan: The Whip Comes Down

Pakistani police detained opposition activists on Monday to stop them protesting in front of the Supreme Court as it resumed hearing petitions against President Pervez Musharraf's plans for re-election.

Musharraf, who is also army chief, plans to seek another term in office from an electoral college including the national and provincial assemblies on October 6 despite opposition from an alliance of political parties demanding an end to military rule.

As we have stated here before, Pakistan doesn't need the United States to guarantee its security but Musharraf needs the United States to secure his dictatorship and our State Department seems to think that Pakistan's dictatorship can be a "path leading to democracy". Someone needs to explain to our State Department exactly how a dictatorship operates. There is nothing democratic about it. Even if Pakistan was democratic, the likelihood is that they would elect an Islamic government.

More updates this week and the situation unfolds.

Related Posts

Pakistan: Not Safe For Democracy


Sep 23, 2007

The Habit and the Hijab


It's been said that a picture tells a thousand words. This one however leaves me speechless. There seems to be an incongruity that completely transcends the bounds of reason and sanity.

Hat Tip - Jihad Watch


Totalitarianism Attacks !


Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad arrives in New York Sunday amid a firestorm of controversy surrounding his visit to the United States.

Ahmadinejad, who has called the holocaust "a myth," encouraged the destruction of Israel, supported terrorists in Iraq and defied United Nation's sanctions to halt uranium enrichment, will once address the United Nations General Assembly and then later address a Columbia University forum.

You see it's all been a big cultural misunderstanding.

All that purported rhetoric in the Western media about "wiping Israel off the map" and the pursuit of the nuclear technology that would enable it, all nothing more than semiotic misunderstanding.

One of the central themes of this blog has been the theory of relativism and how cultural relativism inevitably drags moral relativism in it's wake. The inability to distinguish right from wrong, where the truth becomes subjective depending merely on one's point of view. It's ironic and shameful that an academic institution supposedly dedicated to the pursuit of truth would subject itself to ideological indoctrination under the guise of intellectual diversity.

In an environment that eschews moral absolutism and embraces cultural relativism and the "diversity of opinions", Ahmadinejad will find fertile grounds to supplant factual reality and historical truth with propaganda that purports our history and the holocaust to be nothing more than a myth.


You wanna conquer the world, you're going to need liberals, right?


Sep 21, 2007

Iran Issued "Waiver For Terrorism"

According to UN officials, the United States has denied a visa to Iran's U.N. ambassador in Geneva, Ali Reza Moaiyeri, to attend next week's ministerial meeting of the U.N. General Assembly because he was involved in the 1979 U.S. hostage crisis. Asked for comment, Richard Grenell, spokesman for the U.S. Mission to the United Nations, said "although we don't comment about specific visa cases we certainly would not allow a person into the United States who has taken Americans as hostages."


Mr. Grenell you are correct, we would never as a nation knowingly allow a person into the United States who has taken Americans as hostages. Our nation's immigration rules specifically bar visas being granted to those for whom there are reasons to believe have supported or furthered acts of terrorism and Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is no exception. In fact in 2005, Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was found to be ineligible for a visa after an inter-agency review and was only granted a visa at the insistence of Condoleeza Rice.

State Department Spokesman, Sean McCormack said at the time "We did find Mr. Ahmadinejad ineligible", "We then requested a waiver of that ineligibility finding .... [sic]". Stop right there! A waiver?! Since when does our nation give out waivers to terrorists? And since when do we repeatably disregard our nation's laws to accommodate and appease terrorists and the nations that support terrorism?

Fast forward to 2006 and now to 2007, Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad applies for a visa, and in what amounts to nothing more than a despicable act of arbitrary governance by our nation's State Department the visas are granted despite his ineligibility. Not only has Iran failed to answer unresolved questions regarding the holding of American hostages, but continues to this very day to be a sponsor for State terrorism including terrorism in Iraq that has been responsible for the deaths of American and British soldiers. It is inconceivable that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad would be allowed entry to our nation and then be allowed to give a speech at Columbia university where he could possibly be addressing the very siblings of those whom he had murdered.

Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has repeatably denied the holocaust and has threatened to "wipe Israel of the map". Currently Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is in defiance of several UN sanctions and continues to hold the entire international community hostage with his nuclear ambitions.

The visa issued to Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad must be revoked immediately and without further delay. Under no circumstances should Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad be allowed to set foot on American soil. If President Bush or the masochistic, terrorist loving Islamophiles in our nation's State Department refuses and/or fails to do what they must to revoke this "waiver for terrorism", then the last line of defense falls upon our Immigration and Naturalization department at Ahmadinejad's port of entry to refuse Iran's delegation entry.


Sep 20, 2007

Ahmadinejad and The Disgrace of a Nation


Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is to leave for New York on Sunday to address the UN General Assembly, despite calls in Washington for him to be banned from the gathering, the State Department nonetheless issued him a visa and President Ahmadinejad will now give his third speech to the General Assembly on Tuesday, before returning to Iran.

During his visit to New York, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has made two requests, the first that President Bush join him in a debate before the UN General Assembly and the second that he be given a tour of Ground Zero. Both requests have been denied.

According to NYPD Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his entourage never gave any indication of why he would want to visit the site of the terrorist attacks of September 11th and a request was denied based on security grounds. Despite the NYPD's rejection of the request for a tour of Ground Zero tour, Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his entourage, accompanied by a United States Secret Service protective detail, have made clear their defiant intent to visit Ground Zero regardless. Accordingly the Iranian mission to the United Nations has informed the Secret Service that the Iranian president intends to visit Ground Zero Monday at 10 a.m.

Ahmadinejad's defiance under the circumstances should make Iran's objectives painfully clear and that is, that the ignoble intent to visit Ground Zero is not one of mere curiosity or of reverence, but rather an act of profound provocativeness with a strong potential of being misused later for propaganda purposes. Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad shouldn't just be denied access to Ground Zero he should have never been issued a visa to set foot on United States soil.

And to our nation's State Department, who issued visas to Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his entourage, I ask but one question. "What in God's name are you hoping to achieve with your relentless and shameful acts of accommodation and appeasement to tyranny, are you somehow hoping that such acts will pave the road to peace and prosperity?" Shame on you for defiling the memories of those who have made the ultimate sacrifice in defending freedom and liberty so that we might enjoy a world free from tyranny. Shame on you.


Sep 19, 2007

The Jihad of Adam Yahiye Gadahn

Originally this story was to be entitled "Tracking Down 'Azzam the American", however in the course of writing the story, I found it imperative to give a prologue (so to speak) that attempts to delve into the psyche of Adam Yahiye Gadahn. The videotapes of Gadahn and the more recent tape of Osama Bin Laden do provide us with important clues, clues that only become evident though once we establish a framework of what motivates Gadahn and how he thinks. I'm of the firm belief that without a complete understanding of how Gadahn thinks and what motivates him, that tracking him down becomes nothing more than an exercise in the futility.

In a previous segment, I'd dispute the belief held by much of Western intelligence that Al Qaeda's videotaped messages as delivered by Adam Gadhan (a.k.a. Azzam al-Amriki) are intended for Western consumption. A further empirical analysis would seem to indicate that the videotaped messages are designed to nurture not only a self-awareness but a sense of grievance within the non Arabic speaking Muslim world. Gadahn might appear to be solely speaking to the United States, but it is the non Arabic speaking Muslim world who is listening intently to what he says. In many respects, from an overseas perspective, Adam Yahiye Gadahn is no different than Harry Reid, John Murtha or Michael Moore and to paraphrase Marcus Tullius Cicero, the only difference is that Gadahn has the gravitas to carry his banner openly rather than moving through the nation's gates and the halls of government freely. Further, by subjectively singling out Gadahn for punishment while a host of others are given a pass at 'providing aid and comfort to our enemies' creates a dilemma that only substantiates the conspiracy that Gadahn is singled out because of his religion. It's important for Americans to understand the reasons that support Gadahn's credibility with overseas non Arabic speaking audience.

In ultimately tracking down Adam Gadahn, the first thing we need to do it look beyond the hyperbolic threats and Gadahn's mindless musings on Islamic jurisprudence, something that often times is difficult to do for those who find themselves consumed with the notion that Gadhan might directly or inadvertently reveal clues or details of some "credible and imminent" threat. The inclination of many to entertain the thought that Gadahn might be acting with some sort of autonomy or leadership or that he has his finger on the big red button, or for that matter even knows where the hell the button is, is completely ludicrous. We need to appreciate the significance of the fact that Gadahn is merely the tool and not the force behind it.

An Islamophile, who in his role as a collaborator and cultural translator, Gadhan has come to cultivate a predilection for everything Islamic, as evidenced not only by his gross adulation of the dress and mannerisms of his "brothers" but by his adoption of their dualistic worldview where they see themselves as part of a cosmic, Manichaean struggle between good an evil. For Gadhan the adaptation of which would require the complete repudiation of not only his own cultural beliefs, customs and values but everything that could possibly be linked to Judeo-Christian origin, from the food that he eats to the soap that he uses. For Gadahn, baseball and apple pie are now taboo and replaced with camel racing and baklava. Severed from his roots, Gadahn is a man without a past - which begs the question - So how does one join together with his "brothers" in embracing the nostalgia for an idealized past when you yourself have no past? Would you try to hold back from complete submission and subconsciously try to rebuild yourself or would you willingly subjugate yourself? This is perhaps one of Gadahn's biggest dilemmas, the inability to completely sever the link with Western modernity. For Gadahn, the technology of the internet has become not a means of communication, but a cruel seductress, one with the ability to expose his weakness, tempt him and leave his avowals of pious purity unconvincing.

Provocative parallels exist between the ideology of the today's advocate of Islamic totalitarianism and that of the moral relativist, with the extremists often adopting an authoritative and yet cavalier attitude towards their own religion by cherry-picking what they themselves consider to be inerrant passages from their religious texts. It's ironic in this respect that that in Gadahn's quest for the solace of religious objectivity, that he would find just the opposite.

to be continued...


Sep 17, 2007

New Osama Bin Laden Video

Another Osama Bin Laden Video has been released which would seem to indicate that Osama Bin Laden is in fact still alive. This would seem to be the 2007 - 911 Anniversary video - that the media has been talking about.

Our understanding is that Western intelligence experts are still trying desperately to verify the authenticity of this video.

Hat Tip: LGF


Sep 16, 2007

Phuket Plane Crash Photos

More than 110 people are believed to have been killed when a plane of a Thailand budget carrier One-To-Go Airlines - Flight OG269 with 128 people on board slid off the runway after landing and broke into two at the Phuket International Airport. The plane crash-landed at about 3:40pm local time.

The flight was carrying 123 passengers and five crew when it slid off the runway and broke into two before catching fire. According to reports, rescue workers have found 66 bodies. The reports said at least 74 of the passengers were Thais and the rest foreigners. Among the injured were Britons, Australians, Iranians, Germans and Irish while the identities of the dead were not known yet.

Latest reports put the death toll at 88

The following photos of the crash site are from local Thai television.






Sep 14, 2007

Muslim Münchhausen Syndrome


Have you ever found yourself wondering what that peculiar mark was on the forehead of Al Qaeda's top strategist and second-in-command Ayman al-Zawahri was and what was the significance of it?

The mark on Ayman al-Zawahri's head is called a prayer bump, or a prayer scar, often found on the foreheads of Islam's über pious adherents. Dermatologists studying this phenomenon found in a very small percentage of Muslim men have referred to these lesions as "hyperkeratotic nodular callosities". They are often thought to be an inadvertent byproduct caused by prostrating yourself towards Mecca multiple times daily over a period of several years. But lets be honest, simply prostrating yourself regardless of how long you do it, is not going to cause some big massive lesion to appear on your forehead. That is unless you get a little over enthusiastic in your prostrations. From my own empirical observations the majority of these "prayer bumps" seem to be, for the most part, self-inflicted and caused by repeatably rubbing one's forehead against a prayer mat. Which then leads us to the next question... Why would someone in their right mind want a big huge bump in the middle of their forehead? The following verse from the Quran might shed some light on that subject.

"Muhammad is the messenger of Allah. And those with him are hard against the disbelievers and merciful among themselves. Thou (O Muhammad) seest them bowing and falling prostrate (in worship), seeking bounty from Allah and (His) acceptance. The mark of them is on their foreheads from the traces of prostration. Such is their likeness in the Torah and their likeness in the Gospel - like as sown corn that sendeth forth its shoot and strengtheneth it and riseth firm upon its stalk, delighting the sowers - that He may enrage the disbelievers with (the sight of) them. Allah hath promised, unto such of them as believe and do good works, forgiveness and immense reward." -- Al-Fath (The Victory) 48:29

And there you have it, a kind of Muslim Münchhausen syndrome if you will, a definite bonus when recruiting and then leading a bunch of Jihadi wannabes. And despite the fact that the self-infliction would seem to void their overall significance, for the suitably disposed, Jihadi wannabe these "prayer bumps" often serve as an irresistible, prefabricated metaphor for the über pious and for those with a propensity to inspire radicalization.


Washington Post: Enabling The Enemy

Last Sunday, The Washington Post and several other newspapers around the country did not run Sunday's installment of Berkeley Breathed's "Opus," in which the spiritual fad-seeking character Lola Granola appears in a headscarf and explains to her boyfriend, Steve, why she wants to become a radical Islamist. The cartoon that the cowardly Washington Post refused to publish can be viewed right here.


The irony of all this is that a week earlier the Washington Post had no reservations to running a political cartoon by the same artist that took a swipe at the Rev. Jerry Falwell and Christians. Donald E. Graham the Chief Executive Officer of The Washington Post Company shares his views on the free flow of information and leadership below.

"We all share a belief that the free flow of information is essential to a successful democracy. Over the years the company's leaders have taken great risks to ensure that citizens have unfettered access to the news."

Perhaps Donald E. Graham the Chief Executive Officer of The Washington Post Company should respect the freedom and rights of the people and do it's utmost to promote the free flow of ideas and opinions instead of trying to promote or urge tolerance and understanding. Our nation's sons and daughters are at this very moment fighting and sacrificing their lives for freedom and liberty, not for diversity, tolerance or understanding. Shame on you Mr. Graham. Shame on you for continuing to enable the enemy. An enemy who is determined to strip from us those very freedoms that our nation's best have sacrificed their lives to protect.

There are those of us who see through your smokescreen Mr. Graham. We know the real reasons why the Washington Post wouldn't publish the cartoon, and it wasn't because of political correctness and tolerance. It was out of cowardly fear. Fear from the wrath of Rageboy.

I'm sorry Mr. Graham, but as the Chief Executive Officer of The Washington Post Company you ought to be ashamed. Ashamed of using your position in a pathetic attempt to stymy the free flow of information and for inadvertently enabling our nation's enemies.


Sep 12, 2007

Adam Gadahn: Al Qaeda's Weakest Link

Adam Yahiye Gadahn aka Azzam the American, is often described as a loner, a Californian who converted to Islam and has now become the first American to be charged with treason since 1952. According to reports, Gadahn moved from California to Pakistan in 1998 and became an associate of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the architect of the 9/11 attacks. In 2004, the FBI named him as one of seven Al Qaeda operatives planning attacks in the US.


Adam Gadahn has in recent years appeared in a succession of jihadi videos, agitprop where he frequently berates western values and calls on Britain and the United States to withdraw troops from Iraq and Afghanistan. Among the other "English brothers" working for Al Qaeda, Gadahn is thought by Western intelligence to be the leader of Al Qaeda's "media committee" responsible for cultural interpretation, video production and translation services, and effectively he is. The intended audience however is not the West. The presumption by Western intelligence seems to be that Al-Qaeda's demands, threats and propaganda are directed at the United States but this may actually be a red herring.

Osama Bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri have found themselves perfectly capable of releasing videotaped statements directed at Britain and the United States and so the question is -- "Why the need for Adam Gadahn?"

The first reason is that Adam Gadahn as a Western convert to Islam rather than someone who was born as a Muslim, epitomizes a focal point of unity for Muslims thereby transcending the protean beliefs held by Islam's adherents around the globe. Converts like Gadahn who have consciously chosen to embrace Islam are held in high regard by all Muslims worldwide regardless of their denomination or sect. They and considered pure and free of any previous sin and, by the mere fact that they have had to study Islam rather than having inherited it by birth, they are therefore considered to be more knowledgeable of the faith. Posited against Al Qaeda's Arabic-speaking orators, Gadahn serves as a catalyst, designed specifically to help radicalize an increasingly globalized audience of contemporary non-arabic speaking Muslims whom Al Qaeda feels have been corrupted by their prolonged exposure to colonial modernity. Gadahn in this respect is not so much a propagandist as he is a tool.

Secondly, Adam Gadahn an overfed American Muslim convert decked out in his full jihadist regalia turgidly railing on about "Western imperialist aggression" and "cultural decadence" might strike a chord with the non Arabic speaking Muslim world and to the granola munching crowd, but to the majority of Americans he comes across as nothing more than a pathetic jihadi wannabe. If anything Gadahn undermines Al Qaeda's credibility in the United States rather than enforcing it. Gadahn's excitable and passionate "threats" are not only comical, but ludicrous, the only thing this putz could threaten would be a Hostess cupcake. And therein lies Gadahn's greatest weakness.

Armed with his laptop and a satellite internet connection Gadahn epitomizes the hypocrisy of the jihadi anachronism. And yet with one foot in the 6th century and another remaining in the 21st, Gadahn finds himself not only unable to sever his link with with modernity, but incapable of seeing the pharisaical hypocrisy of answering Al Qaeda's austere call to primitive purity with a Miswaak in one hand and a mouse in the other.

In the next segment: Tracking Down Azzam the American


Sep 9, 2007

George Orwell and Today's Truthers

If you can keep your wits about yourself and dare plunge into the depths of websites like DailyKOS and the Democratic Underground, you'll find a den of inequity, hellholes filled to the brim with anarchists, burned out hippies, conspiracy theorists and race-baiting liberals all ravenously feeding off each other's self-induced paranoias. Buried deep within the ninth circle of these hellholes is where you will find the tormented treacherous souls who are often referred to today as the "truthers".

The "truthers" are diverse group all collectively obsessing over a multitude of issues. Whether it's the alleged 9/11 coverup or Karl Rove's mysterious weather machine, the truthers are always able to find a conspiracy to fuel their self-inflicted psychoses. As they delve deeper into their paranoias, the madness eventually begins to manifest itself and many of the "truthers", like this one here seem to ultimately slip from the bounds of sanity. To paraphrase Ann Coulter, it's at this point when perhaps a baseball bat becomes the only key to their salvation.

The common denominator that all "truthers" seem to share is that they are pacifists who have come to the foregone conclusion that the government is being controlled by a evil neocon cabal and that the United States is somehow the root of all the world's evil. The objective of this evil neocon cabal according to "truthers" is the implementation of a totalitarian government reminiscent of George Orwell's "1984". And this is where it gets interesting...

The irony of all of this is that during the second world war, Eric Arthur Blair, better known by his pen name George Orwell also found himself unable to understand what could possibly fuel the madness of individuals like today's "truthers". It's amazing to say the least, the similarities of today's "truthers" and the pacifists of the past.

"...England is perhaps the only great country whose intellectuals are ashamed of their own nationality. In left-wing circles it is always felt that there is something slightly disgraceful in being an Englishman and that it is a duty to snigger at every English institution, from horse racing to suet puddings. It is a strange fact, but it is unquestionably true that almost any English intellectual would feel more ashamed of standing to attention during 'God save the King' than of stealing from a poor box. All through the critical years many left-wingers were chipping away at English morale, trying to spread an outlook that was sometimes squashily pacifist, sometimes violently pro-Russian, but always anti-British. It is questionable how much effect this had, but it certainly had some. If the English people suffered for several years a real weakening of morale, so that the Fascist nations judged that they were 'decadent' and that it was safe to plunge into war, the intellectual sabotage from the Left was partly responsible..." -- George Orwell, "The Lion and the Unicorn" (1941)

"... The majority of pacifists either belong to obscure religious sects or are simply humanitarians who object to the taking of life and prefer not to follow their thoughts beyond that point. But there is a minority of intellectual pacifists whose real though unadmitted motive appears to be hatred of western democracy and admiration of totalitarianism. Pacifist propaganda usually boils down to saying that one side is as bad as the other, but if one looks closely at the writings of younger intellectual pacifists, one finds that they do not by any means express impartial disapproval but are directed almost entirely against Britain and the United States. Moreover they do not as a rule condemn violence as such, but only violence used in defense of western countries..." -- George Orwell, from "Notes on Nationalism" (1945)

Today's truthers represent a dangerous evolutionary development in this sociopsychological phenomenon, one that should not be ignored. In an effort to counter the further development of this widespread hysteria perhaps the government might consider reopening our laboratories at Area 51 so that that the anal probes can commence without further delay.


Sep 8, 2007

Osama Bin Laden's "Useful Idiots"

You might think that after being chided by Osama Bin Laden that America's liberals and Democrats might come to the realization that they have allowed themselves to be duped and manipulated by an enemy of the state or at least recognize that their self-induced radicalization has come to represent nothing more than treason in it's rawest form. Sadly, I fear that they will come to no such realization. America's liberals will either defiantly side with the enemy or they will denounce the speech by Osama Bin Laden as some bizarre Orwellian conspiracy cooked up by the evil Bush regime.

What I've found most disturbing from my perspective as an American citizen living and working overseas is how the United States could have conceivably allowed this relentless national suicide by attrition to go for as long as it has. When and where do we draw the line? When does the instinctive impulse of self-preservation finally kick in?

Several months ago I had the opportunity to attend a private dinner party here in Southeast Asia held by a European diplomat. Two European ambassadors were in attendance and a couple of Asian diplomats as well as a small mixed group of local and international businessmen. As I was shaking hands with the host, whom I have known for several years, I was told that there was another American present, a foreign service officer who worked out of the US embassy here. Grabbing myself a drink I walked over to introduce myself and found myself almost in shock. Holding court with a few other diplomats this gentleman was denigrating and vilifying not only our nation's foreign policies but our President as well who he claimed had stolen the election. I briefly shook hands with the guy and then stepped back a bit from the group and as I looked at the faces of the those listening to this man go on, I wondered to myself what it was that this man was hoping to accomplish. Ashamed and embarrassed, I turned away from the group without saying a word and then glanced over to the host who just grinned and rolled his eyes.

This is not the first time something like this has happened. I've seen the same type of thing many times before in the time I've spent overseas. But there is something deeply troubling when it is the representatives of your own nation's government that openly denigrate their own country overseas. But seditious speech is not a crime, and therein lies the problem, that we are unable to see the forest for the trees. People like Nancy Pelosi and Dennis Kucinich and renegades in our State Department are free to traipse around the world agitating our friends and allies with complete impunity and with complete disregard for the freedom and security of our nation as a whole. Of course they are not completely free to say what they want. While they are free to stir up hatred towards the United States and weaken the morale of our friends and allies, they are not free to dare utter a racial or homophobic epitaph. No, for that we will have them drawn and quartered.

If we are to survive as a nation, we need to have our priorities straight and understand that a line must be drawn between the areas of personal freedom and public authority. There is a well known proverb, that states, "Freedom for the pike is death for the minnows." There are times when limiting the freedom of the pike is the only way to ensure freedom for the minnows.


The American Security Project Jihad

In a recently released report entitled "Are We Winning: Measuring Progress in the Struggle Against Violent Jihadism", the American Security Project, a self-proclaimed non-partisan "think tank" would lead us to believe that the overall war on terrorism is being lost.

Dr. Bernard Finel the main author of this empirical report, lists a total of ten metrics which are purported to effectively gauge America's progress in the "War on Terrorism". Without questioning the veracity in some of the report's data, the compilation of which, seems to presented in such a way that the suitably disposed are led to a self-evident and foregone conclusion.

Despite the ten metrics, the crux of the report seems to focus on what is described as a "dramatic increase in the jihadist violence since 2003". Okay, I know you might be wondering why 2003 rather than 2001? Well therein actually lies the central theme of this non-biased report which is an attempt by the authors to link the War in Iraq to a global rise in terrorism.

Perhaps one of the most disturbing and misleading aspects of the report, besides the obvious bias, is the intent by the authors to draw a correlation between the lack of civil liberties and economic opportunities as somehow contributing to a propensity to inspire radicalism. Not only is erroneous and misleading, but the authors of the report seem to ultimately concede this fact themselves in the conclusion of the report by stating:

"There is virtually no understanding of the specific dynamics within Muslim communities that lead some individuals to radicalism. Further, we have little ability to assess the appeal of religious arguments that may sustain or undermine jihadism."

Considering that the authors of this report in a recent podcast couldn't give a straight answer with regards to Al Qaeda being Shi'a or Sunni, I think the need for a little more time spent in the "think tank" is in order.

It's often been said that if you are not part of the solution then you are part of the problem. Other than political posturing it's questionable as to what purpose this compilation of facts and figures presented "ala Michael Moore" actually serve, and if they are meant to contribute to winning the war on terrorism or just adding more hubris to the national debate. But what would I know, I'm just a blogger sitting here in my pajamas. "Let's let the people decide!"


Sep 4, 2007

Darwin's Finches and The Asian Woman

In an article entitled Kampung Girls, Ross with Indonesia Matters muses not only over the seasonal migratory patterns of a specific subset of the Indonesian female but then delves into an empirical comparative analysis where he mulls over the reasons why Indonesian men would elect to mate with what he perceives to be an inferior subject, which by Ross' analysis should be nonetheless reproductively isolated. Ross comes to the conclusion that Kampung girls are "better", based on his observations that they seem to be more suitably adroit with child-rearing and various other skills needed for the propagation of the species... where to begin?

While I can in some respects agree with some of Ross' observations, I think that Ross attached little significance to beauty and physical attractiveness which are undeniably the primary characteristics that men use in evaluating a prospective mate. And in the spirit of Charles Darwin, I'm also inclined to believe that to establish an analytical division such as Ross does, one needs to understand the Indonesian ecosystem, the effects of urbanization, migratory patterns and the adaptive strategies employed by female Indonesian "birds" in their quest for a suitable mate.


Over the last twenty or so years urbanization has had an interesting effect on the mating patterns of women in Southeast Asia. Unlike in the past, today you would be hard-pressed to find an exquisite specimen such as Amber Chia in the kampung. It's not to say that you can't find a beautiful Asian women in the kampung anymore, but from my own observations there seems to now days be a much higher concentration of stunningly beautiful Asian women in the major Asian cities now, rather than the remote rural villages. Perhaps urbanization's effect on the migratory patterns of the Asian female from the 'kampung to the city' and Darwin's theory of 'decent through modification' might be able to provide some insight as to why.

It's through Darwin's study of finches, that we have come to understand that any population consists of individuals that are all slightly different from one another. Confirming what women instinctively know about what men want and cognizant of the fact that they possess a variation that gives them an decided advantage over the plethora of pug-nosed, short and stumpy Asian females in the kampung, tall, svelte ultra-feminine Asian women represented by Chia typically waste no time in migrating to the country's urban centers such as Jakarta or Kuala Lumpur as soon as they graduate from high school. Needless to say, life in the congested urban centers of Jakarta and Kuala Lumpur differs in many ways from life in the kampung. Fresh from the kampung, the women find themselves having to quickly adopt adaptive strategies and traits in an effort to hopefully exploit the underlying 'sperm competition' between the pool of eligible males and at the same time they often end up spending a tremendous amount of their energy fighting off the other female contenders in a 'survival of the fittest' battle that the males often times are conspicuously eager to exploit.

The females that are eventually successful at landing the man of their dreams will typically end up like Ross so skillfully pointed out, neurotically overdosing on the face whitening cream and slimming pills, spending hours in the spa and then lazing the afternoon away sipping cappuccinos at Senayan City with her friends while Ahmad fetches the children from school.

The females that are unsuccessful will often times eventually succumb to their own promiscuity and find themselves either banging bules for bucks or "comforting" the unhappy and sexually frustrated husbands of the Senayan City ladies in the hopes that they might eventually find themselves sipping cappuccinos at Senayan City while Ahmad fetches the stepchildren from school.


Sep 3, 2007

The Clutches of Colonialism

There is a Malay proverb "Seperti katak di bawah tempurung", the literal translation of which is "Like a frog underneath a coconut shell", the meaning is that a frog which lives his life underneath a coconut shell will have no knowledge of the outside world and will think that the coconut shell alone is his world. Refusing to venture out from underneath the coconut shell the frog is more or less content with his ignorance. The proverb is often used to describe the profound ignorance and indifference that many of the Malays have towards the world around them.

In what was perhaps intended for local consumption, Malaysia's Chief Justice Ahmad Fairuz suggested that Malaysia's legal practitioners possessed a "colonized mindset" and in a divisive twist on the popular proverb suggested that the continued use of English common law was indicative that Malaysia's legal practitioners were nothing more than "frogs under the well of colonization". Further, Chief Justice Ahmad Fairuz would state in Malay, "Is this a sign that the English Common Law is the best law in the world? Is this a sign that our legal experts have yet to escape the clutches of colonialism?" Perhaps attempting to strike a chord with the Islamic fundamentalists, the Chief Justice would propose reforms that would introduce hardline Islamic law in Malaysia.

The extemporized speech given by Malaysia's Chief Justice doesn't seem to explain exactly how the adaptation and implementation of Islamic Shariah law in lieu of English common law would be escaping the "clutches of colonialism" and on a deeper level the mere suggestion itself seems to undermine self-assertion rather than support it. Despite the fact that the proposals have little chance of ever being implemented, the Chief Justice seems to be undeterred, suggesting that the proposals might have some ambiguity in their intent.

What should alarm the West is not the innocuous suggestion that common law be scrapped in favour of Islamic law, but rather the Chief Justices' use of an "us versus them" dichotomy as some sort of theoretical justification for the change. For the suitably disposed, the suggestion of which seems to be, that the continued use of English common law amounts to nothing more than a Faustian reliance on Malaysia's former colonial masters.


Sep 1, 2007

Malaysia: 50 Years of Independence

"Fifty years ago a young democracy came into being on the Malayan peninsula. To secure it's freedom, the people had to defeat a communist insurgency and chart a course that gave all its people equal rights. That democracy, like so many in East Asia, has flourished based on principles of respect for the rights of all in society, regardless of ethnicity or religious belief. Malaysia today is a prosperous nation and a beacon of hope." - President George W. Bush on Malaysia's 50th year of independence

As Malaysians celebrate fifty years of independence, the foreign media reports are hardly celebratory and some, such as the Economist, in an article entitled "Tall Buildings, Narrow Minds" would use the occasion to cite Malaysia's less than stellar record on human rights. Without disputing much of the veracity found in the article, I'm left thinking to myself that there is above all else, a time and a place for everything, and rather than use this occasion to critique Malaysia perhaps it would be wiser to recognize Malaysia's achievements and progress over the years. Progress that I sincerely believe overshadows many of the nation's faults.

The Malaysia of today is almost unrecognizable from when I first landed over here in this part of the world way back in 1987 and even more so since Malaysia first achieved independence on the 31st of August 1957. Over the years I've seen the development of the North-South highway, cutting what used to be a day long trip from Singapore down to three hours. I've seen the small villages of wooden kampong houses and rubber plantations magically transform into a thriving modern day cities and most importantly I've seen how when Malaysians put aside their differences, they can truly achieve greatness.

Needless to say, there are going to be challenges along the way and people who are genuinely frustrated with discrimination and a plethora of other sociopolitical reasons. And not unlike America, or any other country for that matter, Malaysia has their fair share of divisive race-baiting charlatans who seem to be overly eager to unsheathe their krisses and run amok chasing monkeys, but interestingly enough, they are finding themselves increasingly marginalized by of all things, technology. As Malaysia celebrates fifty years of independence, technology rather than politics is proving to be the primary catalyst for liberty and freedom in ways that none would have ever imagined in the past. Patience in this respect will ultimately prove to be a virtue.

In the years ahead, the circumstances might change from time to time but the overall challenge for Malaysia has always remained the same, and that is to keep the economy growing at a brisk rate, continue to lure foreign investment and at the same time wield a 'soft authoritatianism' to constantly, behind the scenes, defuse all the ethnic and religious time-bombs that are ever present in a modern day multicultural country such as Malaysia.

Rather than being overly critical of Malaysia, there might be something to learn here if you just look closely enough.


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