Was Osama Right?

Bernard Lewis has an interesting essay here. Two sections for your digestion:

“During the Cold War, two things came to be known and generally recognized in the Middle East concerning the two rival superpowers. If you did anything to annoy the Russians, punishment would be swift and dire. If you said or did anything against the Americans, not only would there be no punishment; there might even be some possibility of reward, as the usual anxious procession of diplomats and politicians, journalists and scholars and miscellaneous others came with their usual pleading inquiries: “What have we done to offend you? What can we do to put it right?”

A few examples may suffice. During the troubles in Lebanon in the 1970s and ’80s, there were many attacks on American installations and individuals–notably the attack on the Marine barracks in Beirut in 1983, followed by a prompt withdrawal, and a whole series of kidnappings of Americans, both official and private, as well as of Europeans. There was only one attack on Soviet citizens, when one diplomat was killed and several others kidnapped. The Soviet response through their local agents was swift, and directed against the family of the leader of the kidnappers. The kidnapped Russians were promptly released, and after that there were no attacks on Soviet citizens or installations throughout the period of the Lebanese troubles.

These different responses evoked different treatment. While American policies, institutions and individuals were subject to unremitting criticism and sometimes deadly attack, the Soviets were immune. Their retention of the vast, largely Muslim colonial empire accumulated by the czars in Asia passed unnoticed, as did their propaganda and sometimes action against Muslim beliefs and institutions.”

The second excerpt begins below:

“Now the situation had changed. The more immediate, more dangerous enemy was the Soviet Union, already ruling a number of Muslim countries, and daily increasing its influence and presence in others. It was therefore natural to seek and accept American help. As Osama bin Laden explained, in this final phase of the millennial struggle, the world of the unbelievers was divided between two superpowers. The first task was to deal with the more deadly and more dangerous of the two, the Soviet Union. After that, dealing with the pampered and degenerate Americans would be easy.

We in the Western world see the defeat and collapse of the Soviet Union as a Western, more specifically an American, victory in the Cold War. For Osama bin Laden and his followers, it was a Muslim victory in a jihad, and, given the circumstances, this perception does not lack plausibility.”

Hamas Official: World, Israel, Arabs To Blame For Fighting

When you can’t take responsibility for your own actions you can always find someone else to blame. This speaks volumes.

The international community, Israel and Arab countries are to blame for the current inter-Palestinian fighting in the Gaza Strip for failing to life an economic siege on the Palestinians, a senior Hamas official said Wednesday.

The remarks by Moussa Abu Marzouk, deputy head of Hamas’ political bureau, came as fighting renewed between Hamas and Fatah in Gaza early Wednesday when Hamas gunmen stormed the home of a top Fatah official in Gaza City, killing five bodyguards inside, Palestinian security officials said.

The attack comes after a brutal day of factional fighting between Hamas and Fatah rivals in Gaza that killed 15 people. Four days of intense Palestinian infighting in Gaza have killed 41 people.

“The international community and Arab countries shoulder part of the responsibility for the current events due to their attitudes toward the national unity government,” Abu Marzouk said in Damascus.

“The continued financial and political siege has pushed matters to this simmering tension,” he said. He also blamed Israel and Arab apathy toward the economic sanctions for the fighting.

“The Israelis are behind all these events,” Abu Marzouk said. “It’s illogical that the Arabs stand idle watching the Palestinian arena while it’s on the verge of explosion under the siege…this is a constant pressure that has led to a real explosion.”

Why We Fight

Been visited by all sorts of trolls lately. You want to know why we fight. You want to know what makes us so tough is because we see what happens when we roll over and do nothing. We know that while the world may be full of good people, ultimately evil exists.

So we force ourselves to be painfully shocked out of sweet dreams so that we remember why we need maintain an iron will.

This doesn’t get any easier to watch. Take a deep breath and pray.

Censorship At YouTube

Carl has got a post about some of the challenges of posting videos at YouTube.

Muslims on YouTube have formed several groups where users and videos that criticize Islam (which they define as “Hate Speech”) are listed and mass-flagged as abuse. YouTube seems to remove videos and sometimes even ban users automatically. Muslims claim that they only flag videos that have violated YouTube’s TOS, but this has been been proven false.

For the full story please click here.

The Future of Europe

Daniel Pipes (http://www.danielpipes.org/article/4323) offers several potential scenarios regarding the future of Europe. I encourage you to read the whole piece. Here is a short excerpt for each scenario:

Muslim Rule– To sum up: this first argument holds that Europe will be Islamized, quietly submitting to the dhimmi status or converting to Islam, because the yin of Europe and yang of Muslims fit so well: low and high religiosity, low and high fertility, low and high cultural confidence.[2] Europe is an open door through which Muslims are walking.

Muslim Rejection– Or will the door be shut in their face? American columnist Ralph Peters dismisses the first scenario: “Far from enjoying the prospect of taking over Europe by having babies, Europe’s Muslims are living on borrowed time. … predictions of a Muslim takeover of Europe … ignore history and Europe’s ineradicable viciousness.” Instead, depicting Europe as the place “that perfected genocide and ethnic cleansing,” he predicts its Muslims “will be lucky just to be deported,” and not killed. Claire Berlinski, in Menace in Europe: Why the Continent’s Crisis Is America’s, Too, implicitly agrees, pointing to the “ancient conflicts and patterns … now shambling out of the mists of European history” which could well trigger violence.

This scenario has indigenous Europeans – who do still constitute 95 percent of the continent’s population – waking up one day and asserting themselves. “Basta!” they will say, and reclaim their historic order. This is not so remote; a chafing among Europeans, less among elites than the masses, loudly protests changes already underway. Illustrations of that resentment include the anti-hijab legislation in France, irritation over the restrictions of national flags and Christian symbols, and the insistence on serving wine at state dinners. A movement spontaneously developed in several French cities in early 2006 to serve pork soup to the poor, thus intentionally excluding Muslims.

Muslim Integration– Such optimism, unfortunately, has little foundation. Europeans could yet rediscover their Christian faith, have more babies, and cherish their own heritage. They could encourage non-Muslim immigration or acculturate the Muslims already among them. But such changes are not now underway, nor are their prospects good. Instead, Muslims are cultivating grievances and ambitions at odds with their indigenous neighbors. Worryingly, each generation appears more alienated than its predecessor. Canadian novelist Hugh MacLennan dubbed his country’s English-French split the “Two Solitudes“; one sees something similar, but far more pronounced, developing in Europe. Those polls of British Muslims for example, find that a majority of them perceive a conflict between their British and Muslim identities and want Islamic law instituted.

The possibility of Muslims accepting the confines of historic Europe and smoothly integrating within it can virtually be dismissed from consideration. Even Bassam Tibi, professor at the University of Göttingen, who has often warned that “Either Islam gets Europeanized, or Europe gets Islamized,” has personally given up on the continent. Recently, he announced that he is leaving Germany after 44 years’ residence there, to move to Cornell University in the United States.