Saturday, August 20, 2005

Rhetorical highs and leading in the modern age

Quite a grand title, eh? But relevant to the subject that's on my mind most at the moment, which is Israel's Gaza pullout and where it will lead to- and to the more general question of our time, which is, 'do our leaders know what they're doing?', which you can apply to everything from the Europroject to the war in Iraq, to abortion to speed cameras and surveillance.

But turning to Gaza for a moment- here is a really great analysis of the strategy of Ariel Sharon, as well as some vital statements from his recent speeches trying to reassure his people that he knows what he's doing. To me there's a fascinating parallel between Sharon's inarticulacy, lamented by writer Herb Keinon, and Bush's, which many people regret who support the President. I personally was reassured by this from Sharon:

'"Now the Palestinians bear the burden of proof," he told the nation Monday night. "They must fight terror organizations, dismantle its infrastructure and show sincere intentions of peace in order to sit with us at the negotiating table. The world awaits the Palestinian response-a hand offered in peace or continued terrorist fire. To a hand offered in peace, we will respond with an olive branch. But if they choose fire, we will respond with fire, more severe than ever."'

I highlight the last part; I love it bacause it shows that the warrior Sharon has not hung up his holster just yet, but loaded it with a greater readiness to make use of it than previously. That, to me, is what the Gaza pullout is about. The idea that some endorse that it's about creating a judenrein is to me a bit absurd- 8000 Jews in a population of 1.3 million is practically judenrein already. You stand a greater chance of long term Jewish presence in the area by giving it over to a process of gradual civilianisation, to the point where reciprocal arrangements for free movement might allow for a significant Jewish presence on a sustainable long-term basis. A long way off, I realise- but the only choice for Palestinians if they're not to be singed by Sharon's avenging military flame as the consequence for creating a terrorist haven and launch pad (which, incidentally, it already seems to be). Provided Sharon will flay the abusers of his gesture, and flay them hard, I see no problem.

I reccommend you read it all though, and read carefully- there's a tremendous amount of subtlety in Sharon's thinking that is perceived and teased out by Keinon (I'll let him make the presumptions of Sharon's thinking process).

So, given that Sharon is right, as I believe, and believing that Bush is right, though with an unenviable scale of problems to deal with- first and foremost being Isalmofascism- what are we to make of their inarticulacy? Is it that in today's society words have been debased such that real thinkers use them less and find them less useful? Is it that society is too childish to chew on deep reasoning expressed in words, and unable to sustain the concentration to listen for sufficiently long? Is it that the press actually has all the wrong things in mind when it addresses the news, being far more trustworthy with the presentation of simple gossip than with ideas and announcements? I think all of those- which is why we can analyse a politician today in terms of the number of words they like to use- the more, the worse being a general rule. That's why Cindy Sheehan and John Kerry, are, to say the least, a bit suspect- and we should be listening for the still small voice instead. What a pity the Conservatives in Britain ditched their Quiet Man.

Friday, August 19, 2005

And here seems to be the place to lament the failures of the Met. Ok, they got the bombers- thanks to the public- but they've lost the P.R. battle, thanks to their own incompetence and dishonesty and well, downright viciousness, over the Menendez case. Sadly- as Bill Quick comments (more gratitude to Instapundit).

And since I'm not always right, but about this I was quickly on the case, I'll remind you, should you care to follow the link, what I said about it, and how I supported Mark Steyn's sterling response.

Roll up roll up- one of the great attractions behind what Hugh Hewitt calls 'the Information Reformation' is the chance to see the freakishly large hidden undergirth of the revealed news on the world these days. Brought up on the BBC's thin P.C. pickings, I really larded it when I came across the blogosphere and realised what lay beneath. Well, I didn't find out precisely what lay beneath, but just that there was a lot of it.

And this is typified by the Oil-for-Food scam, which, as a certain Miss Rossett points out, is a kind of interwoven sub-plot for the history of our times, enwrapping all manner of unsavouries into the same globalised samosa.

These, it turns out, included Enron. Rossett points out that Enron's involvement doesn't appear to have been illegal- like so many they just seem to have been 'ask no questions' types, useful to the kind of folks more intimately soaked in the juices of Oil-for-Food.

But she also comes up with a meaty little nugget about Saddam's business principles, which links with another issue de nos jours: Israel's legitimacy. Apparently Saddam's men solicited from 'business partners' this kind of assurance:

"We herewith confirm never to have sold directly or indirectly to Israel and further confirm that this policy will remain permanently in force during the entire validity of our contract."

Which brings us to the Presbyterian Church of America- naturally. Let me say first that six years ago I discussed this church with a hispanic-American Pastor who happened to be in Spain and who had got to know their hierarchy through close association, and he partly condemned them for anti-semitism. So, it was no surprise to read James Lileks:

The Presbyterian Church (USA) -- not the members, but the learned elders -- has announced it will use its stock holdings to target Israel for being mean to the Palestinians.

Interesting in this context how Enron chief chappy Ken Lay, though no Presbyterian, but rather a Baptist like GWB, came out of the US religious heartland. Not that I think that US church as a whole is corrupted, but I think it is sailing close to that wind. I just think it's amazing how widespread is a de facto conspiracy against Israel- either endorsed explicitly or tacitly (and explicit endorsement may be less malign than tacit endorsement, when it comes to it).

But when speaking of corruption, can we pass George Galloway by on the other side? No, even obliquely he needs a mention. 'Can we get him for treason?' is a question every honest Brit should ask, but funnily enough it takes a Jewish American to ask it thoroughly.

(there- I've basically done the Instapundit round, in my own fashion- where, incidentally, I found this a little disquietening)

Meanwhile, as DumbJon ably reported, the BBC have been a little queasy about blogs recently (too much samosa, I'd guess).

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

I mentioned I went to Cracow at the weekend. Well, I have written about it, but I've put it on my odds and ends of longer writing site, here.

I'm also thinking alot about the Gaza situation, which is moving in lots of respects, but comment will have to wait for another day.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

What's BBC headline news
- This, about 'a racist man' who just happens to be white; who is headlined a 'thug' (quotemarked); who nicely backs up the BBC's maligned 'backlash-against-Muslims' thesis. (actually we're talking about a pathetic person little more than a boy, without plans, schemes, self-control or a future- as far as I can see.)

What's Not- This interview, via Frum, which details the mindset of an Islamofascist. It produces some fascinating nuggets about the concept of terrorism, the thinking of the jihadis- and the cold-hearted evil of them. Also the cleverness, combined with an utter willingness to ignore whatever logical processes and matters of fact they please. Definitely we need to understand them as they have big plans.

Some might say one's news (a crime committed, a judge sentencing), the other's just someone's expressions of their views- not even precisely current. Yet where's the BBC's Islamofascist page to go alongside all the other social trends they love to chronicle so lavishly? You can have this, or this. You pays your money, you get no choice.

And, btw, what in whoever's name is the news value of this article? (about Laura Bush's appointment of a chef). [post updated to reflect a second reading!]

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Update: I'm unsure if the link is working. You get to it via Steynonline, naturally.

Self respect.

It's all we need in the current world, actually, which is why I think Steyn is so right in his analysis of what we need and what we don't (and by the way, I don't mean the kind of self-respect that self-regarding agony aunts preach). Delicious. I am sure multiculti rubbish could survive Islamonazi bombers, but can it survive Steyn? Read on, Macduff.

'Like the Innu, they’re a dysfunctional amalgam of traditional and Western culture, fundamentalist Islam filtered through an old-school European fascist movement. Like the Innu, they’re hooked on welfare and the glorification of self-destruction. Like the Innu, they’re the creations of Western largesse — from the firebrand imams bilking the British welfare state, to the bananaphobic imams of taxpayer-funded Aussie schools, to Osama bin Laden himself, who took his pa’s dough from the US-fuelled Saudi construction boom and sunk it into a hole in the ground in Tora Bora'

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