Not wishing to be unpatriotic, unhelpful, or lacking seriousness, but if it's true that the police (as they suggest themselves) shot the wrong guy (I mean an innocent man) the other day then it makes me very angry. They expect the British public to identify the bombers by the photographs they issued, and then they fail to notice that the man they're tailing is not one of the four. It's not really tenable to say 'better safe than sorry'. It's just stupid jittery behaviour tinged with criminal negligence that endangers all the activities they need to succeed in at the moment. I want to hear that this man was in some way connected- that he knew the bombers and was associated with them. Otherwise it was just a guy who found the police intimidating, who happened to make the police feel intimidated, too. What is worse is that just a couple of hours ago I watched a smug looking Sir Ian Blair on TV saying with a smile that he was very pleased with how things were going. 'Very pleased' is not how I would feel if the first time my guys had seen fit to use their most lethal power they had hit a man completely innocent of the activity I was trying to combat. I would call it a classic own goal in all sorts of ways, and to smile through it compounding the folly. As Helen at EurRef describes 'not coping', I would call it a symptom of not coping.
Saturday, July 23, 2005
Posted by ed thomas at 4:31 PM
Jihad is real enough to kill any of us.
The BBC's 'Power of Nightmares' sycophancy needn't have waited till July 7th to be exposed, or till the latest round of attempts exposed an ever wider circle of threats to Britain, or till the jihadists proved that jihad has a global intent that doesn't always need to kill 'decadent' westerners- instead targeting Egyptians. They could so easily just have looked at Thailand any time since the tsunami to see a global threat that manifests itself in real murders, as Mark Steyn's letter page's star letter writer points out with direct reference to the Beeb (emboldened by me):
' TERROR IN THAILAND
I have been enjoying your writings for years. I have been living in Thailand for 3 years and Asia for 5 years. As you have recently noted in Thailand over 800 people have been killed this year in the southern provinces next to Malaysia, where Islamic terrorists want to set up an Islamic state under sharia law. The youth who largely commit these murders are trained in ponoh schools where they are taught nothing but Islam. These schools are financed by Saudi Arabia and many of the teachers are from the Middle East. Over 20 teachers have been murdered. Schools have been bombed and torched. Yesterday 7 people were murdered. A few days ago there was a coordinated attack where power lines were blown up, hotels bombed and police stations attacked. There have been 7 recent beheadings including 2 Laotian farm workers who earn a few dollars a day. Everyday there are killings and bombings. Over here there are a few English language radio stations. One broadcasts the BBC news! . I have been listening to the BBC news for a few years now and not a word that I'm aware of has been said about the situation here. Outside of Iraq the fatalities here are probably equal to what is going on in Afghanistan. Yet not a word. But if Israel bombs a suspected arms depot with no fatalities this becomes a featured story. If the item can't denigrate the U.S. or Israel it isn't considered news by the BBC. I also find that the majority of the broadcasters and interviewers are women with a snotty attitude who can't hide their bias. I thought the CBC in Canada was bad but the BBC takes the cake.'
Posted by ed thomas at 3:29 PM
What we need(ed) to hear
Earlier I linked to Enoch Powell's speech, I suppose out of a vague hope that people will cut some slack to one of the most villified men of British politics in recent history. Well, as I mentioned, that inspired me to re-read his speech- which is so well written it's difficult to believe he hadn't intended it to be read rather than heard. Anyway, I defy anyone to say that it isn't with a sublime piece of wisdom that Powell began his speech. How we need such wisdom now, or how we have needed it and now need it more than ever:
'The supreme function of statesmanship is to provide against preventable evils. In seeking to do so, it encounters obstacles which are deeply rooted in human nature. One is that by the very order of things such evils are not demonstrable until they have occurred: At each stage in their onset there is room for doubt and for dispute whether they be real or imaginary. By the same token, they attract little attention in comparison with current troubles, which are both indisputable and pressing: whence the besetting temptation of all politics to concern itself with the immediate present at the expense of the future. Above all, people are disposed to mistake predicting troubles for causing troubles and even for desiring troubles: 'if only', they love to think, 'if only people wouldn't talk about it, it probably wouldn't happen'. Perhaps this habit goes back to the primitive belief that the word and the thing, the name and the object, are identical. At all events, the discussion of future grave but, with effort now, avoidable evils is the most unpopular and at the same time the most necessary occupation for the politician. Those who knowingly shirk it, deserve, and not infrequently receive, the curses of those who come after. '
Posted by ed thomas at 2:29 PM
Friday, July 22, 2005
Great post at Samizdata by Perry De Havilland on our assimilation issues- I am sure Enoch would have approved (and by the way I went on to re-read Powell's famous speech after I linked to it yesterday. It's a model of statesmanship in many ways, and his name really needs rehabilitating).
Posted by ed thomas at 12:29 PM
The dead bomber: CNN carry the fullest account I've read of the last seconds of what looks to have been an intended suicide bomber. It includes a certain ethnic element of the main witness account that the BBC leave out.
CNN: "He looked like a Pakistani but he had a baseball cap on, and quite a thickish coat. It was a coat like you would wear in winter, a sort of padded jacket."
BBC: "He [the suspect] had a baseball cap on and quite a sort of thickish coat - it was a coat you'd wear in winter, sort of like a padded jacket.
The CNN account certainly assists the visualisation process for what it's worth.
Posted by ed thomas at 11:30 AM
Thursday, July 21, 2005
This is why it's no time for joking around with fake 'fatwas'. David Vance pointed me to Jonah Goldberg's direct and devastating article at Townhall. What is being experienced in London is as near as dammit to what a certain Mr Powell, a very decent man by all accounts of those who knew him, envisioned. See also Wretchard's brilliant analysis of our problem- a 'must read' so 'must' I've now linked it twice in one day. Two Americans, a British Ulsterman, and one dead Englishman 'getting it' suggest that the current specifically home grown lot should be doing a lot better. And that's no joke.
p.s. Here's what seems to be a good account of Enoch Powell's life from Wikipedia, including his notable military service and trememdous learning, which provides some perspective. Also ps., I suppose it's only sensible at this point to link to the speech Enoch became notorious for- I'm frequently too squeamish about things like this.
Posted by ed thomas at 6:06 PM
It's with a little fear and trembling that I put together a post about this subject- the subject of the recent fatwa issued by the British Muslim Forum, presumably not on its own authority but on the authority of the scholars and clerics that it called to the task.
For one thing it's complicated- and its complication is enhanced by the BBC's presentation of it, invloving the presentation of two declarations from separate groups (BMF and BMC) side by side. Furthermore, as Melanie Phillips points out, the text of the BMF statement is slippery (though I really only want to concentrate on the quotation from the Koran which underpins the 'fatwa'.)
I'm of the view that statements such as these are as important to us as the Koran is to Muslims, since they regulate the status of our relationship to them, so no amount of scrutiny can be too great. There are several reasons for this scrutiny. One is that muslims take the Koran so seriously that every punctuational mark, every word, is vital for their interpretations. Secondly, the Koran, being written in Arabic, is not valid for them in its English form, so that statements in English that link precisely to the Arabic are the best you can hope for, and even these may not really be felt binding held against backdrop of the the Arabic whole.
As The Adventuress reports, there is a serious problem with some of the quotation from the Koran in the BMF 'fatwa', which the BBC in turn appears to be covering up in its presentation of the 'fatwa' (this latter point is my view in particular, which I explain in an evolutionary way in the comments to the post).
As I understand it the Beeb journalist who listened to the statement quoted the Secretary General of the BMF, Mr Gul, in this article, and inserted ellipses where he quoted the Koran saying '"Whoever kills a human being ... then it is as though he has killed all mankind; and whoever saves a human life it is as though he had saved all mankind."'. Various English versions all include an extra line thusly, 'unless it be for manslaughter or for mischief in the land', where the Beeb's ellipses are (see T.A. for more English Koran versions).
But the statement that was issued by the Muslim Forum, which Mr Gul read and the BBC quoted, had no ellipses- thus '"Whoever kills a human being, then it is as though he has killed all mankind; and whoever saves a human life, it is as though he had saved all mankind." (Koran, Surah al-Maidah (5), verse 32).' - which is, imho, a lovely line when shorn of context.
What's weird is that to know to include the ellipses would require an impressive level of knowledge of the Koran- kudos to the BBC's Islamic education, or their equal opportunities policy, or their links to British Islamism and penchant for affirmative action.
The problem is that it helps to cover up the BMF's dishonesty, highlighted by Melanie Phillips. It might seem insignificant but it's not- it's deadly serious. That little line, which could never have been overlooked by serious muslims seeking a serious resolution, opens the whole issue up to a breadth of interpretation that plays havoc with the BMF's declared determination. It's just typical of the kind of contempt, not just for British non-Muslims, but of the English language (as opposed to the holy one, Arabic), which means that the Muslims in Britain play their poker with two hands, appearing to lose with their 'British' one, while appearing to win with their 'Arabic' one. (nb. please forgive my frequent sins of capitalisation and non-capitalisation- I really need to think it through, and I may update, but I'm impatient to post now)
Oh yes, I almost forgot, this Belmont Club post inspired me to write about this subject, and so did Mark Steyn.
Posted by ed thomas at 12:37 PM
Tuesday, July 19, 2005
Loads o' people talking about multiculti matters. Here's three great takes (and I have to say it's ordinary British bloggers who are shining in this regard, as much as any established journalists. Of course there's Steyn, naturally). So here's a terrific trio: George, and Andrew, and yes, Mark (whose wife is English). Of them all I think perhaps the most startlingly well-written is Andrew Mc Cann's contribution- which is saying something when the competition is from Mr Steyn.
However, I did love this comment on the Blair-Heath axis of pseud:
'Sir Edward's successor, Mr Blair, said on the day of the bombing that terrorists would not be allowed to "change our country or our way of life". Of course not. That's his job - from hunting to Europeanisation. Could you reliably say what aspects of "our way of life" Britain's ruling class, whether pseudo-Labour like Mr Blair or pseudo-Conservative like Sir Ted, wish to preserve? The Notting Hill Carnival? Not enough, alas.'
Yes, but, heartening -and necessary- though it is to do a bit of inward looking analysis of the country we're becoming, I think it's important to see what others are doing. The BBC, realising that they can't immediately make a link between the Iraq war and the London bombing, are attempting to ratchet up the quagmire factor, adding whatever tasty new morsels they can find. It's merely turning the other end of the 'it wasn't worth it' screw, preparatory to a renewed spate of 'Iraq made the bombs' reportage.(incidentally, I've been following the quagmire bandwagon for a long time- I think a history of the BBC's Iraq coverage could be written with their use of this word- occasional, but political, meaningful and totally insistent- as the fulcrum).
David Kaspar, on a slightly different tack, has a good anti-quagmire analysis- at least, taking on the puff-chested idiots who claim vindication with every media opportunity. (via Instapundit)
As Steyn says of a different group of dhimmis, 'Cherie Booth and Dave Brown and the Bishop of Lichfield will get you killed.'. I'd like to add Jenny Tonge to that trio, were it not snappier to leave things triplicate.
What angers me so much about the quagmire BBC is that they basically offer the coverage the terrorists need to achieve their objectives- just to prove themselves right about the whole business. They'd be absolutely welcome to that victory if it were not also a defeat for everything decent that currently exists. I think I'll finish with another little link which I found very telling. I don't always judge people by the language they use, but I found this little exchange reported by Stephen Pollard very telling. The BBC are really something like low-life these days.
Posted by ed thomas at 3:13 PM
Monday, July 18, 2005
Why they hate us. Melanie Phillips does the sensible thing and looks at what Yorkshire Muslims have been taught to think. To use the BBC to understand the thoughts of Muslims in the UK would have left her sadly misinformed, as Laban Tall points out, contrasting this BBC article with this News of the World one. Same guy, different character.
What's interesting about the sermon Melanie quotes is how it grounds the jihadic behaviour not just in ideas of retaliation for violence against Muslims, but the Islamic notion of 'corruption'. What this means in practise is anything which is seen to damage the historic Islamic faith. That means anything which gets up the nose of the faithful- meaning just about anything in Britain these days.
Posted by ed thomas at 10:10 AM
Sunday, July 17, 2005
So, I return from a little absence (I had a long weekend somewhere nice- Vienna actually) to find at least one thing unchanged- the BBC's agendarising of the news. I find them trumpetting each denial of links to the London bombers, especially each potential link to Al Qaeda- at the same time highlighting each bombing in Iraq. Like some endlessly morphing virus, their fervent anti-Iraq war feeling merely grows resistant to every event and fact that challenges its right to dominate the handling of the news. Then I read this.
Posted by ed thomas at 5:11 PM