Tuesday, September 26, 2023

As readers of this site well know, the Flemish politician Filip Dewinter of the Vlaams Belang party in Belgium is one of the great heroes of the movement to stop the Islamization of Europe.

Thanks to Gates of Vienna, here is an English translation of Filip Dewinter's latest speech. It is, as I'm sure they don't say in Dutch,  a barn-barner.

A little background: Flemish schools in Belgium recently instituted a head scarf ban, Muslims have rioted over Filip's speech (below) in Antwerp, and Moroccan security services rolled up an al Qaeda network with ties to Belgium and other European countries -- in other words, a typical week in...

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Writing at a brand new blog created by John Bernard, Jim Sauer, a retired Marine Corps Sergeant Major and combat veteran with over thirty years of service (including post-retirement work in Iraq, Afghanistan and Israel), offers a most robust and enlightening commentary on "counterinsurgency," Afghanistan, Iraq, Islam, "hearts and minds,"  "our geniuses," and more.

There have been some phony arguments put forth for another “surge” in Afghanistan. We need not a surge of troops, we merely need to let our forces there do what needs to be done – kill the enemy. There is this misconception of Afghanistan in particular (and Islam in general) that somehow we can bring Central Asia (and the rest of the Islamic world) kicking and screaming into the 21st Century through good will. This is simply not the case. There is no amount of money to spend, infrastructure to build, schools...

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Over at Commentary magazine's blog, Max Boot writes:

Various pundits on the Right—Byron York, Ralph Peters, and Diana West—are having conniptions over the Rules of Engagement that Gen. McChrystal has promulgated in Afghanistan, which stress the need for restraint in calling in fire support. "Conniptions"? Not a word I'd choose to describe the gravely serious debate now, finally, beginning over Gen. McChrystal's Afghanistan policy, something I've have been tracking for a while now, and which is expanded upon by the general himself in his Afghanistan assessment.

Of course, my disagreement isn't at all limited to "the Rules of Engagement," as egregious as they...

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One overlooked nugget of pure gold from the Afghanistan assessment by Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal (what, is he still here?) appears in an article by Walter Pincus in today's Washington Post. Having determined that the failure to win Afghan "hearts and minds" is, for various reasons, all our fault, McChrystal gets around to his thoughts on the "battle of perception," which is the subject of the Post article. The Post writes:

As an initial step, McChrystal wants to change the goal of public relations efforts in Afghanistan from a "struggle for the 'hearts and minds' of the Afghan population to one of giving them 'trust and confidence' " in themselves and their government.

Send in, not the Marines but the ... life coaches? Joint Chiefs Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen has been talking about winning the Afghan people's trust for a long time (a variant on "hearts and minds"). Now, we're asking our military to win the Afghan people's trust ... in themselves. Is there a shrink in the house (Pentagon)?


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There is something palpably worse about the "hearts and minds" madness in Afghanistan than Iraq, partly because it is being promoted so brazenly by Gen. McChrystal (even before the Woodward "assessment" scoop), partly because we are identifying casualties directly related to it, and partly for less tangible reasons I am still sorting out.

Still, the Afghanistan COIN doctrine, as manifested in its de-emphasis on "force protection" in favor of "population protection," is the natural extension of the Iraq COIN doctrine, as a look back at the famous 2007 Army counterinsurgency field manual by Gen. David Petraeus tells us. A few excerpts (caps as printed in original):

SOMETIMES THE MORE YOU PROTECT YOUR FORCE, THE LESS SECURE YOU MAY BE Ultimate success in COIN is gained by protecting the populace; not the COIN force.......

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Photo: Lance Cpl. Joshua Bernard, 21, hours before his death last month in Helmand Province, killed by "hearts and minds" zealotry.


My fellow Washington Exainer columnist Byron York today adds his voice to what I hope is a growing chorus against Gen. McChrystal's increasingly restrictive rules of engagement. (Ralph Peters forcefully weighs in here.)

Important to keep in mind: These ROEs should not be seen in a vaccuum. They are merely symptoms of the "hearts and minds" disease that is debilitating our military and civilian establishment. They are also the tactics of choice in what Gen. McChrystal styles as "the struggle to gain the support of the [Afghan] people" (fireable offense No. 4 in today's column). It isn't our ROEs alone that are killing our men; it is the bankrupt premise behind them: winning hearts and minds as military strategy. Not to paraphrase George Bush or anything, but the fact is, They are already either with you or against you.


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This week's syndicated column:

There are many reasons to fire Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, and all of them are contained within his 66-page "assessment" of the war in Afghanistan.

The document is fascinating, just as the work of zealots is always fascinating. As a high priest of the politically correct orthodoxy, McChrystal has laid out a strategy to combat Taliban jihad in the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan without once mentioning Islam, and forget about jihad (fireable offense No. 1).

[Update: The assessment does mention the "Koran" -- as in erroneously declaring that the Islamically correct, jihad-waging insurgents are "acting in flagrant...

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The quick read on Gen. Stanley McChrystal's Afghanistan "assessment" is that the general is asking for more troops -- and, as the refrain always seems to go, who can argue with the commander on the ground?

But McChrystal isn't just asking for more troops, and he makes this very clear at several points in his paper. He writes:

Additional resources are required, but focusing on force or resource requirements misses the point entirely. The key takeaway from this assessment is the urgent need for a significant change to our strategy and the way that we think and operate.

I spent this week's upcoming column dealing with this "significant change" -- -- which officially and emphatically repeats his unconscionable call for "population protection" at great peril to our troops --  but just wanted to note in advance that this strategy change is so important to McChrystal that he also writes:


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US Marines in Helmand: No time for teatime.


Now that all eyes are on Afghanistan, it is more important than ever that we keep our experience in Iraq in view. We must now assess the net effect of the Iraqi "surge" strategy, however shocking that may be, before we recommit to that same disastrous strategy in Afghanistan. The simple lesson of Iraq is that nation-building in Islam builds a nation that is Islamic, and, therefore, constitutionally, legally, religiously, and culturally incapable of standing as an ally against global jihad.

The fact is, we don't "get" anything from our heavy investment in Iraq, just as we won't "get" anything out of our heavy investment in Afghanistan. We urgently need a new line of battle drawn around the West served by a multilevel strategy organized and coordinated around a simple...

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A stock photo of ret. BG Mark Kimmitt, West Point Class of '76

The title of this post was the title of a panel this week sponsored by the Foreign Policy Initiative (FPI), the same group that sponsored a conference last spring I wrote up as "What Do You Mean `If We Ever Want to Leave' Afghanistan?" The group includes many of the conservative/neoconservative champions and theorists of the Bush war strategies, including the vaunted "surge" in Iraq, and now supports a similar strategy for Afghanistan as specifically laid out in what I consider to be the appalling terms of population protection by Gen. Stanley McChrystal. GIven softening Democratic...

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Is it just me, or does Gen. Stanley McChrystal's increasingly pathological obsession with "the people we seek to protect" -- Afghans -- to the exclusion of everything else, including the body parts of his own troops, begin to resemble the pathological obsession of another famous, albeit fictional, commander (whistling begins ... )? Key is the shared blndness to national interest and enemy strategy.

From the Washington Post today:

McChrystal is equally critical of the command he has led since June 15. The key weakness of ISAF, he says, is that it is not aggressively defending the Afghan population. "Pre-occupied with protection of our own forces, we have operated in a manner...

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Funny what you learn from obituaries. Since Irving Kristol passed away at age 89 a couple of days ago, I have picked up a few things I never knew about his career and "neoconservatism" during the time I worked for Irving as an assistant editor -- intern -- at The Public Interest magazine, then in its original midtown Manhattan location at 10 E 52nd Street.

That was back in the fall of 1983. I was straight out of college, and the job paid about $10,000 a year, plus lunch (a very large lunch, usually from Burger Heaven across the street), and the occasional lottery ticket purchased with office petty cash on the condition, laid down by Irving, that if we won and all became millionaires, none of us could quit our jobs. And it was a great job  -- lots of reading, talking, smoking (too much) going on in that one room that contained the entire magazine staff, including, of course, Irving.

It was...

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US foreign policy looks like a seesaw this week as we pull up stakes in Europe by abandoning missile defense in Poland, and push on with what certainly looks and feels like long-long-long-term nation-building in Afghanistan. The construction of massive military bases there, the mega-transfer of equipment and lumber and wheat seeds (and fertilizer), the expected "surge" of tens of thousands of new troops, all of it fastens us down deep into the Islamic world as we prepare to lighten up our presence in mother-Europe.

Note that the pivot here is probably Russia. While much of the analysis tends to focus on whether Russia will now respond to our missile retreat by cooperating with the US on UN sanctions on nuke-seeking Iran -- tepid compensation at best -- it is also worth considering something else: how Russian cooperation in the Afghanistan war with our supply lines may have played...

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From Time magazine: "A U.S. Marine is badgered by an irate villager in the Korengal Valley. The Afghan man was complaining about U.S. mortar strikes landing near his village, while the Marine was pointing out that Taliban fighters consistently attack U.S. forces from the hills near the village. This is a conversation that takes place on a regular basis between American troops and Afghan villagers, with no resolution."

Remember when Lenin said capitalists will sell communists the rope they will use to hang us? Well, Mr. Marxist gave us way too much credit. These days, in a different struggle, we are giving our enemies the fertilizer they will use to make bombs to kill and maim US soldiers.

Along with 300 metric tons of wheat seed shipped into Helmand Province this month as "as part of an initiative by the Afghan government" (oh, come on, it's USAID)  "to provide an alternative crop to poppy for farmers in the region," went 1,050 metric tons of fertilizer. This is supposed to give "farmers a better opportunity for success," but it will surely give Taliban a better chance at making bombs. Paticularly because the distribution is being handled by the "Afghan government," which, as we know, has "weekend jihadis" on its payroll.

Earlier this month -- before that 1,000-plus metric tons of fertilizer went into Helmand Province -- the New Jersey Star Ledger reported on the dangers of buried bombs in Helmand, where 90 percent of Marine operations are taking place on foot:


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The answer, of course, is when we elected president a Marxist with an African father. Used to be, what with lefties of the Caucasian variety in the White House, or in the majority in Congress, political opposition was marginalized as "partisanship" (often modified by "rancorous"), and denounced as the "politics of personal destruction." The people didn't like partisanship, we were incessantly told, an argument that ultimately peters outs into nonsense.

But "racism" -- what a gift. People abhor racism, and certainly don't want to tarred as racists. Thus, the new tack: opposition as racism, which is the subject of this week's column. Jimmy Carter has taken the lead in this shameful strategy, attempting, as noted below, to asphyxiate democratic...

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Royal Marine Corp. Liam Elms'  "proudest achievement was receiving his beloved green beret," said his family, but he died delivering goat -- a hearts- and-minds mission ordered in execution of a politically correct, See-No-Islam policy to make them like us. The fatal incident took place on New Year's Eve of this year in Helmand Province. That's where US Marines recently deployed in a "surge" to, yup, win hearts and minds some more by, in the words of Marine commander Gen. Larry Nicholson, setting out to "eat lots of goat, drink lots of tea, get to know these people."


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Former Muslim Rifqa Bary is a 17-year old apostate from Islam who has sought refuge in the state of Florida.

John D. Guandolo is a 12 ½ year veteran of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. 

The Center for Security Policy asked Guandolo to assess the Florida Department of Law Enforcement’s investigation of the Ohio-based parents of Rifqa Bary. The Florida law report is provided here.

Guandolo found significant errors and omissions in this Florida investigation that show a failure in Florida's professional responsibility in handling...

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Behold Sgt. Tyler A. Juden, 4th Squadron, 73rd Cavalry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division.

Sgt. Juden died from injuries sustained  during an ambush on a convoy of both Afghan National Army and International Security Assistance Forces providing security for the World Food Organization in Farah, Afghanistan. The convoy, including 14 contracted trucks carrying 500 metric tons, was targeted by roadside bombs and mortar fire on Saturday.

In other words, the 23-year-old from Arkansas City, Kansas died on a mission to win Afghan hearts and minds.

Lily pads are better in every way.

Read about the accomplishments this excellent young soldier already had to his name here,...

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Mark Steyn writes:

We don't do a lot of product endorsement here at SteynOnline, but I'm making an exception for these cute-as-a-button golden retriever puppies - in part because they're family. One of the two litters are the nieces and nephews of my dog Lola, and the other are the half-brothers and half-sisters of my other dog Knuckle (don't blame me, I didn't name him).

These American Kennel Club-registered golden retriever puppies are being offered for sale by my friend Ruth Dwyer. A few years back, Ruth ran for Governor of Vermont against Howard Dean and, despite a vicious campaign against her by The Rutland Herald and his other protectors in the media, made it a damn close run thing for the Screamer and helped return the State House to GOP control. (The Weekly Standard's Andrew Ferguson wrote...

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Don't even get me started on the successful assault by cultural Marxists on womanhood  -- and manhood -- and thus our civilization through the long march of women through the military. The issue at hand, in that picture above worth at least 1,000 words, is the institutional degradation of US Marines under orders to submit to Islamic law in the line of duty. Forcing free American women-warriors into Islam's symbolic shackles of the female sex -- the hijab -- goes beyond Pentagon social engineers' pathetic efforts to make them like us. It is cultural humilation. And far from winning Afghan "hearts and minds," it will only make them despise our own.

From the AP:

KHWAJA JAMAL, Afghanistan - Put on body armor, check weapons, cover head and shoulders with a scarf. That was the drill for female American Marines who set out on patrol recently with a mission to make friends with Afghan women in a war zone by showing...

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Photo: Who needs a ballot box when you have a burqa?

From a group called the Afghan Research and Evaluation Unit, a UN- and variously European-funded research group (via Andrew Bostom) an assessment of the Afghan voter that goes beyond the "defying the Taliban" snap-narrative of the MSM. In its report, titled "Why Afghans Voted?" AREU opens by noting international media predictions of low turnout due to Taliban threats and general malaise. The report continues:

Despite these concerns and six attacks on polling stations in the capital by midday, these expectations in certain areas proved exaggerated, with voters in some parts of the province waiting in long lines and enthusiastically displaying their newly dyed fingers after exiting the polling stations. International media then interpreted these scenes as voters “defying the Taliban,” but AREU research suggests that there were other, more complex reasons for public participation in Kabul...And what might such reasons be?


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Lily Pads at work (via Fox News). Neat, small-scale, and lethal. And nobody stopped to nation-build:

Navy Seals from US Special Operations Forces conducted a raid in southern Somalia on Monday that killed Saleh Ali Saleh Nabhan, one of 4 co-conspirators wanted in the 2002 bombing of an Israel owned hotel in Mombasa, Kenya, two senior U.S. military officials told Fox News. Ten days ago President Obama signed the Execute Order for Nabhan, who since 2006 was on the FBI's list of most wanted terrorists. He was also wanted for the attacks on the U.S. Embassy in Kenya in 1998. They called it operation Celestial Balance: at least two AH-6 Little Bird helicopters deployed from one of two U.S. Navy vessels near Somalia's coast strafed a vehicle Nabhan was using to go back and forth between meetings. Intelligence operatives had been monitoring...

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Kagan, Kagan and Dubik is not a law firm, but the by-line of a Washington Post op-ed arguing for more, deeper, longer US presence in Afghanistan. Their argument against withdrawal goes like this:

Withdrawal now would allow Afghanistan to again become a haven for terrorists.

Sorry, K,K &D. Many, many nations serve as havens for terrorists. Indeed, thanks to large-scale, unfettered immigration from the Islamic world, it is hard to find a country where "terrorists" (i.e., jihadists) do not exist in dangerous concentrations.  But somehow safe havens from Iran to the UK, from Gaza to Thailand, do not require costly build-ups of US troops levels to address the threats the "terrorists" within them pose to the US and its allies. It is only when you add on the disastrous policy of nation-building that the US presence is required.

It would destabilize...

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One of the most fascinating essays I've ever read about Islam in all these many years since 9/11 (when I first started reading essays about islam) is in the essential book, The Legacy of Jihad, by Andrew G. Bostom.

It is by the French theologian Jacques Ellul and it is called "The Influence of Islam." The essay discusses the influence of Islam on Christianity -- namely, what was "imported into Europe" from Islam that took root in Christianity.

Among other things, Elllul links the elevation of canonical law, the entrenchment of the divine right of kings, and the emergence of "holy war" as evidence of what he notes was a one-way cultural exchange propelled by contact, competition and war with Islam. Islamic influence was an import...

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I have found a new definition of insanity, and it is not in the Journal of Psychiatric Medicine.

It is in a story that ran last month in The Guardian (UK) newspaper, and it was brought to my attention by a mother of Marines who is outraged by the Afghanistan ROEs. The story, which is in the insult-to-injury department,  describes a sickness so profound, so dangerous that I think in order to save these nuts from hurting anyone else or themselves, we will need to activate an urgent, bigtime "intervention" -- send in the Marines or something.

Oh, wait a minute. It is the Marines themselves who are subject to this insanity, or at least at least one Marine is -- Marine Commandant James T. Conway. Last month, as Marines were digging into their self-sacrificing "hearts and minds" war zone in Helmand Province, Gen. Conway was sounding off at conference in...

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Photo: Afghan government worker Mohammad Gul fights for the Taliban on weekends.


What I have been calling our war on civilians casualties in Afghanstan is getting hideously complicated. Not only are we throwing away men's lives in a misguided infidel effort to win the "trust" of a primitive Islamic people (see column below), that same people is blatantly proving itself to be un-trustworthy -- as in treacherous. Surprising? Only to our presidents, pundits, analysts and military leaders who irresponsibly persist in formulating See-No-Islam policy and strategy.

From the BBC...

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Separated at birth?

Another resounding defense of liberty at Yale -- not --  this time from Tony Blair, another world-stage actor at liberty and with no appreciation for liberty.

From the today's -- 9/11's -- Yale Daily News:


Q: I wanted to ask you about the cartoon controversy at Yale. How would you have approached that matter and is that an example of the sort of ails of globalization? A: It’s certainly an example — I mean, the whole fury is an example of how it’s important to get a better and easier way of having a dialogue about things of religious sensitivity for sure. Oh, I seeeeee. Mum's the word then, is it?

But I mean, I was heavily...

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Photo: "Safe haven" for al Qaeda in Chatsworth Road in Hackney, east London -- not Afghanistan.


One of the platitudes on war in Afghanistan is that we must remain to prevent al Qaeda from returning to Taliban safe havens, just as though the Taliban offered the only potential safe havens to al Qaeda in the world. Sorry, folks:  what we know as "al Qaeda" is everywhere -- from Gaza to Thailand to Mumbai to Madrid to Yourtown, USA, all of which seems somehow disconnected to the national security debate.

Al Qaeda is also, of course, in London.

Today's UK Telegraph reports on Rashid Rauf, a British-born Pakistani they call the "British al Qaeda commander," who has navigated...

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I just received the following letter from a good friend of mine -- a Marine who served in Vietnam from 1967 to 1968, 7th Marine Regiment, Hill 55, Quang Nam Province, south of DaNang. He is also a Marine who, as he puts it, "became, and continues to be, totally disillusioned in the way our country prosecutes war." 

Here's why:

Diana,   I don’t know where to begin on the piece you wrote about the four Marines killed yesterday in Afghanistan.  It’s just mind crushing. Rules of Engagement.  Maybe they should redefine ROE as Rules of Execration – something hated or cursed (not sure I used the right word, so let’s bring it down to something anyone could understand – Rules of Excrement).  ...

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Q: What killed four US troops in Afghanistan yesterday?

A: US rules of engagement. The story is from McClatchey by Jonathan S. Landay via Gen. Paul Vallely. Read, but don't weep -- get angry.

[UPDATE: I just realized that the McClatchey text I linked to (above) in the Miami Herald is heavily edited, perhaps for space at least in part. Also snipped out, however, are some very damning facts about Afghan complicity in the deadly ambush the piece reports on. (Here is a more complete version.) I will add and underline below the lines the Miami Herald saw fit to remove.]

Here's the McClatchey nut graph:

U.S. commanders, citing new rules to avoid civilian casualties, rejected repeated calls to unleash artillery rounds at attackers dug into the slopes and tree lines...

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Kenneth Sikorski of The Tundra Tabloids reports here on the verdict of a Finnish court that has convicted Helsinki Councilman Jussi Halla-aho of  "defamation of religion" --  i.e., blasphemy about Islam -- for criticizing Mohammed/Islam on the councilman's (Finnish) blog Scripta.

What did Halla-aho say? As far as I can tell from scarce English-language posts about the story, he called Mohammed, a man who married a six-year-old, infamously consumating (if you can call it that) the marriage when the child was nine, a pedophile, and "insulted" the lawlessnes prevalent in Somali immigrant culture.

The penalty, a thirty-day fine of 330 Euros, is of little consequence, but the verdict is a milestone marking the official deployment of thought police deep into Finnish society -- into monitoring and controlling speech. The Finnish state, with this verdict, has assumed the role of protector...

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Looking for an old quotation, I came across this April 2007 column (below).  Change a place name, a proper name (or not), and it could slip right into tomorrow's paper. Unfortunately.

The 'limited' war for 'hearts and minds' Diana West Saturday, April 28, 2007

Someday, when the war in Iraq has become a historical episode, we will tally up the lessons learned -- if, that is, we ever learn any. Here are two worth mastering because failing to do so probably means we will no longer exist.

1. Nation-building in a war zone is nuts. Nation-building in an Islamic war zone is suicide.

When the United States embarked on its most successful cases of nation-building in Germany and Japan, both countries lay in ruins, their cities and infrastructure devastated, their populations decimated. These appalling conditions worked wonders toward opening both countries to all...

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The news isn't all bad; Gary Cooper is being comemmorated in a new stamp later this month.

Here he is on Youtube, mugging a bit as Marlene Dietrich serenades. He, an American tourist, thinks she's after him, but she, an international jewel thief, only has eyes for the string of pearls she had to hide in his pocket .... From "Desire," ultra-sophisticated froth 1936, directed by Frank Borzage. 

This week's column continues to examine the intense conservative opposition  to George Will's call to withdraw from Afghanistan, which I, for one, and only one, agree with. (David Hirsanyi calls himself  a libertarian.) I thought Mark Steyn was tending in this direction, but someone told me he was still talking about "victory" in Afghanistan today while hosting the Rush Limbaugh Show, so I'm not sure. More to come, I'm sure.

The column: Finally, some debate over U.S. war policy in Afghanistan. Or at least debate over George F. Will's call to pull the plug on U.S. war policy in Afghanistan, headlined "Time to Get Out of Afghanistan."

The negative response from conservatives was revealing. It showed that after eight years of America's post-9/11 war efforts, which started out as President Bush's vaguely named "war on terror" and never crystallized into a cogent strategy...

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In George Will's column this week, he urges an "offshore" alternative to the pointlessly costly, logistically nightmarish policy of basing and supporting a massive American army in Afghanistan. What Will describes sounds like something in the same ballpark as the "lily pad strategy," discussed here with Maj. Gen. Paul Vallely (USA ret.). As Gen. Vallely put it:

"This doesn't mean giving up battle. What it means is you transition to a more realistic, affordable strategy that keeps them (the jihadist enemy) from spreading."

Such a strategy, Vallely explained, relies on "the maximum use of unconventional forces," such as Navy SEALS and other special forces, who can be deployed as needed from what are known in military parlance as "lily pads" -- outposts or jumping-off points in friendly countries (Israel, Northern Kurdistan, India, Philippines,...

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If we ever understand the spread of Islam into heretofore non-Islamic societies as the spread of Islamic law, rather than the spread of just another "religion," we might actually perceive the danger it poses to our own law and liberty -- and act accordingly. This means, for starters, halting Islamic immigration as a means of preventing the adoption of sharia by popular demand. As we can see in Britain, where sharia courts are now recognized by the government, a Muslim population of just 3 percent can produce a lot of popular demand. Whether this understanding comes in demographic time is the big question.

Meanwhile, back at the White House, it's Ramadan time, which, of course, is universally treated and regarded as merely a religious holiday...

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"Time to Get Out of Afghanistan" is the headline of George Will's column today, a welcome affirmation by a conservative of my own rather lonesome position as first expressed five months ago in "Let Afghanistan Go", which  draws on the military expertise of Maj. Gen. Paul Vallely (USA ret.), and in various writings since.

Will's heavy-weight weighing in prompted headlines everywhere, driving Surger-cons at NRO's The Corner and Hot Air, into rapid-response-mode to bat down Will's heterodoxy. This is a good thing because there has been no debate on the Right on this vital national concern. 

It will be a hard slog, however. What animates and drives the more or less institutional Right is its vision of Iraq as a "success," and its desire to repeat that "success" in Afghanistan. But, as noted here, "an infidel nation cannot fight for the soul of an islamic nation."...

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Mohammed the "Gratuitous"?


Not that anyone is keeping score, but among the "experts" Yale turned to for agreement, I mean, advice on censoring the Danish Motoons and other imagery of Yale's prophet Mohammed in that extremely tiresome book Yale is publishing about them without them, is John Negroponte, Yale '60, former Bush administration official, and new Yale professor. He has now confirmed that he voted Yes to Dhimmitude. From the Yale Daily News:

Q: What advice did you give Yale about publishing the cartoons?

A: I agreed with the decision by Yale, and I certainly think that publishing the cartoons and the likenesses of Muhammad in the way they appeared in those cartoons would have been a gratuitous act....

"Gratuitous." They all call publishing the cartoons "gratuitous."

Q: When would the...

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Was out of pocket for the past few days, but not entirely oblivious to the Kennedy funeral -- a media-ginned orgy of hypocrisy, imperial pomp and inflated circumstance. I tuned in in the a.m. and caught live coverage of a priestly disquisition on "justice" I assume in improbable relation to the life of Ted Kennedy at the Boston service and turned it off in a Chappaquiddick huff. I looked in again at the end of the day when the scene had changed to Washington and the continuous coverage now focused on the black-limo-and-Peter-Pan-bus cortege making its way to Arlington. There, the attempted apotheosis continued as Kennedy was interred in hallowed ground. The photos in the next day's paper captured the scene: Kennedy kin playing a new death scene in American history, this time in the dark.

Something I missed last week: "One of his favorite topics of humor was Chappaquiddick."


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This week's column examines the embargo the media, from left to right, slap on fact after death. They may think it's good manners (or good politics), but it's not only a disservice to readers and viewers, it's dangerous for democracy.

Something about the death of a famous liberal person turns the media into grieving widows whose dictum against speaking "ill" of the dead eliminates all sober analysis of the life in question. Once, death in the passing parade came to us, more or less, in "just-the-facts, ma'am" obituaries. Now, breaking, live and for the duration, a celebratory loop plays on about even the most mixed and controversial public lives.

Notice I said "mixed" and "controversial," restrained terminology to describe the life and times of Sen. Ted Kennedy, whose death triggered a media dump of Hallmark-curlicued...

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It is bad enough -- awful enough, dispiriting and dangerous for the Republic -- for our own media to airbursh away Ted Kennedy's criminal behavior at Chappaquiddick, where Mary Jo Kopechne died 40 years ago this summer, kicking into action the Kennedy fixers and shills that kept the first-term senator politically "viable." (More on this in this week's column.) But being told that the American media set a good example of "forgiveness," or that America is to be congratulated for being the "land of second chances" is almost worse. It's no compliment; it's just evidence that our shamefulness is world-renowned.

From The Telegraph:

Ted Kennedy’s career shows that America is indeed the land of second chances.

In Britain, as today’s...

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The Times Online (UK) today notes:

"Four British soldiers die for sake of 150 votes."

The story is about British losses to secure Election Day safety in a sector of Afghanistan where thousands were eligible to vote and 150 showed up.

Regardless of how many showed up, there is something wrong here -- something that the headline-writers could have emphasized with one more word. The headline should read:

Four British soldiers die for sake of 150 Afghan votes."

It makes you wonder: Why are British (and, of course, American) soldiers dying for the sake of Afghan votes? If Afghans want to vote so much (and that is debateable), why aren't Afghan forces fighting for their own people? More important question:  Why do we care so much about whether...

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Iraqi strongman wannabe Nouri al-Maliki has failed to join the latest incarnation of Iraq's leading parliamentary bloc, the United Iraqi Alliance.

Reports the Wash Post:

The new Shiite coalition will be led by the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq, a conservative party that is among Iran's closest allies in Iraq. It also includes the movement of anti-American cleric Moqtada al-Sadr; the Fadhila Party; former Pentagon ally Ahmed Chalabi; and former prime minister Ibrahim al-Jafari.

In other words, it's old home week at the Shiite coaltiion: All of these characters and parties have been in and out of Iraq's leading political alliance, with its list headed by the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq, since the 2005 parliamentary elections. All that's really missing this time around is Maliki and his Dawa Party.

Alliance leaders said they invited Maliki to join but refused to guarantee that he would keep his job if the alliance obtained a majority of seats.


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I interupt the wall-to-wall coverage of the death of Lionofthesenateted Camelotisgonekennedy (sick-making) to bring another breaking obituary. This news isn't exactly breaking, because the death in question, that of Saudi billionaire and serial libel tourist Khalid bin Mahfouz, took place on August 15. But it's fresh, all right, as there has been no coverage of it that I can find in Western media. As the subhead below notes, "Libel tourism is so effective that the Western media apparently fears even to report serial suer Khalid bin Mahfouz's death."  Rachel Ehrenfeld and Millard Burr assess the Saudi's death -- and why...

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Turki's two faces (thanks to Ruth King): Neither likes the idea of US oil independence.


Turki al-Faisal is extremely upset with talk, just talk, of US oil independence, even from the vassal-in-chief. Today, in Foreign Policy, the Saudi  inveighs against such "demagoguery."

It's an amusing read, actually, and quite revealing of the depth of fear even the lip-serviced prospect of American Independence from Saudi Arabia inspires in the desert chieftains.

He writes:

"Energy independence" has become a byword on the American political scene, and invoking it is now as essential as baby-kissing....

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When Nathan Hale, Yale Class of 1773, was caught in New York gathering intelligence on the British, he was hanged as a rebel spy. His very famous last words are said to have been: "I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country." He was 21 years old. Notably, his statue by Bela Lyon Pratt, which stands on Yale's Old Campus, was a gift of Yale alumni 141 years after Hale's death --  testament to the reverence sucessive generations of Americans at Yale felt for him.

In a description of the statue of Nathan Hale, there is this suddenly pertinent fact about this 1914 gift from Yale alumni:

Unable to afford the renowned Gilded Age sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens, they commissioned the piece from his former assistant, Bela Pratt.

"Unable to afford" ... they economized? They didn't turn to a Saudi Arabian oil well, I mean, "prince" for cash?

How times have changed. I wrote extensively...

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Andrew Bostom illuminates the reason the media is blind to the significance and potential consequences of the Riqfa Bary story at the American Thinker today: why, as he puts it, "Rifqa Bary faces death for her apostasy from Islam, while the media ignores the solid religious and institutional grounding for the practice."

The story of the 17-year-old apostate from Islam who says she ran away from home in Ohio and sought refuge with a Florida church group to avoid becoming a victim of an "honor killing" at the hands of her Sri Lankan Muslim family has largely played out online at such blogs as Atlas Shrugs and Jawa Report. Big Media have ignored the story -- Fox News excepted. But, as Andy notes, Fox's "coverage...

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Warning: The following images may be "inflammatory" and/or "tasteless."   It is up to you to determine which are so.

1) The Saudi Arabian flag.

Earlier this summer in Copenhagen, speaking in the Danish parliament, Wafa Sultan projected an image of the Saudi flag on the wall behind her and explained the symbolism:

Would you please take a look at the Saudi flag. The writing on the flag translates, "No God but Allah and Mohammed is his prophet." Underneath that religious statement there is the large sword. It represents the superiority of Islam and its desire to impose it by force on the non-Muslim. This statement is the underlying foundation of Islam.


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No, I have not just raised the curtain on a new Mel Brooks musical number, with the "imam," center stage, about to break out singing: "Autumn ... at Ya-le ... means Ram-adan...."

Behold Yale's Coxe Cage where in October 2008 hundreds of area Muslims, including Yale students, gathered for an Islamic service. (Story and slide show here.) I found this stunning East-meets-absorbs-West image while researching this week's column in which I make the case that Yale probably censored the Motoons in accordance with Islamic law to please potential Muslim donors who fund the extension and entrenchment of such law.

Along the way, I found a bumpy trail of disjointed factoids that, even though they don't ...

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