Saturday, November 19, 2005

Calming Down:

Denis Boyles, now in Texas rather than Chiracian Euroland, made a welcome return to the NRO, shortly before the puff went out of the rioting in France. It's funny, Boyles' opinion seems almost anti-climactic, until you realise that he just couldn't muster any more cynicism or lack of optimism about France than he already had:

'This "serious social crisis" will be solved exactly the same way Chirac solved that far more serious social crisis two years ago: by lying low and waiting it out. The summer of 2003, after all, finally waned. The weather broke and the crisis was solved, by God. Curfews won't cut it now. One of these nights, the rioters will run out of matches and Citroens, the weather will turn cold, and Chirac's France will once again be at peace.'

Well, the weather has turned cold (at least where I am- not my photo, I hasten to add, but a nice one. And not right now, though the weather's not million miles away from that in the photo), and I did run out of matches as it happens- though needed for my gas cooker rather than for any nefarious purposes, and I discovered that in Prague the price of matches is utterly, mind-bogglingly cheap (-but try getting them during the night- not so easy); and no-one burns anything in particular unusual. Of course there are almost zero muslims as well, but I'm sure that's totally unrelated...

Just to add one thought though: I think Boyles is a little too steady-state in his analysis of France. More than any country I know it seems the French are masters at pretending that nothing is really changing, that the heart of France beats strong etc cant etc- when in fact France bottles all its change up for pyrotechnic displays of earth-shattering significance. Fair enough, the recent weeks' events weren't that, but they were a significant tremor which shows where we seismologists of history have been forgetting to put our ears to the ground.

For analysis of the phenomenon of revolutions, one could do worse than go here. The comments are most interesting too. For what it's worth, I'm a 'human agent' man myself.

Friday, November 18, 2005

More news the BBC won't bother too much with.

Well, there's the recurrent one about Iraq's actual WMD programs- yes, I know, yawn (me too). It's not that there isn't a great deal of interesting stuff to understand, just that I'm utterly fed up with it being ignored, soft-pedalled, and fitted into a narrative that's been the same for years. The UN, the BBC, the Franco-Europeans and the US Democrats (plus or minus assorted weasels) in lockstep for so long they could have fitted a random headline generator by now (and maybe they have).

Then there's the one about the Al Qaeda connexions (yawn, again- bored not that the news has been reported, but that it hasn't had any penetrating coverage, creating a kind of news wheel-spin which just digs a rut, since without deep coverage and laurels offered to the newshounds, nothing gets done). I actually read it first at the always interesting WS- but this guy picked it up too, and I've just linked him, along with sundry others. I've also just realised that the Hayes article has gone from the Weekly Standard's frontpage, thereby necessitating the link anyway.

Finally (but, you know, not finally...) there's the old UN-Oil-for-Food thing, which just a few journalists are bothering with- almost in directly inverse proportion to its significance. Just enough to put the historians straight, I feel some what melancholily (a word? Well, good enough I reckon).

The Beeb reports the French end of things, and the Arse of Coarsai says to the effect that

'the allegations concerned only the two men's private activities after their retirement and did not involve the French government.'

And that's the best they can do as one of their own takes a fall! To my mind the UN Oil for Food scandal is the stand out best argument for the war in Iraq- thus I am not surprised that it is largely ignored. One interesting fact the Telegraph point out which is lost to us through the BBC is the relative recentness of the corruption- as late as 2002! This was long after the French Government had dispensed with his frontline services (apparently)- so what in that case was Saddam getting for his money? Answer: the Telegraph may appear a little bumptious in pointing out his 'Ambassador for Life' status, but they're really just being on the money, so to speak.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

George Galloway Reveals All.

Yep, it's a sick thought, and a sick reality. In this Memri report you can find out all about George's latest treasonable comments in the Arab media. It seems that George has something in common with the rioters in anti-Gay Paree: they're both big fans of Eurabia.

'"This is not a dream, you know. In the European Union, there is almost 100 languages, there is many religions, there is countries who only 50 years ago were slaughtering each other by the million in war - totally different cultures with nothing in common except living on the mainland of Europe. But we are making a European Union which in 20 years will balance the power of the United States of America, inshallah."'

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Maybe I should say Eurabia...

I'm a bit depressed about continuing casualties in Iraq. Yes I know that this website is unreliable and includes accidental deaths, heart attacks and anything else it can find to boost the body count- but still it shouldn't be at the level it is given all the hoped for political improvements and elections etc. The rise seems a little inexorable.

What to say? I don't know- one can point out that the prospects for Iraq are better than the prospects for, say, France, in the medium term. Some have done that- but it seems a rather impractical observation (though I think followed sensibly it's a perfectly helpful one, as I'll point out shortly).

But rather than stew over the fact that GWB is still having to defend his decision to go to war, that the MSM is still harping on about US 'iniquities' in iraq (yes, that'll be the BBC in full warcry), and that Bubba Bill is showing which way his antennae are twitching, I prefer to dwell on the fact that we're engaged in a fight for our lives- which would justify the most radical action, which necessitates action, even though the action may not be well executed. This was brought home to me by a devastating American Thinker article. I live in Europe, or maybe I should say Eurabia- so this much is clear, the inadequacies of the US in Iraq should be the least of our concerns.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Returning to Simpson.

Yesterday my reaction to the BBC's World Affairs Editor's view of the Jordan bombings was swift and visceral. I think that some commenters at Biased BBC were right in saying that it was a piece of propaganda, and I would say that's a tendancy the BBC are showing more and more frequently. Not that I care that much, but it endangers their future in broadcasting.

Trying to drag King Abdullah in as a critic of the US, and effectively blame the US for the bombings in Jordan is really extraordinary. I wonder how such reporting would be viewed by the Jordanian royals, should they encounter it- even though Simpson couched it in diplomatic and ingratiating language.

Simpson claimed that the Al Qaeda bombings represented 'a wave of anger and violence' which had been predicted by Abdullah might be the consequence of the invasion of Iraq in 2003. C'mon Simpson, that's nonsense. Two years have passed since that time, and this is the result, not of the Arab street which was the anti-war argument behind such warnings, but of vicious Islamist terrorism, which was vicious and violent in the region long before 2003.

From Simpson's report you would anticipate that the reaction of the Jordanians would be to blame GWB for Zarkawi's terrorism. In fact it seems rather different to that.

According to NYS's Eli Lake

'Only hours after the suicide bombings Wednesday, citizens marched silently in the streets in solidarity with the victims. Banners damning Mr. al- Zarqawi and his band to hell hang on storefronts and apartment buildings. But the effect of the bombings is perhaps best observed in the hometown of the man who ordered them.

When asked about Zarqa's most notorious son, Mr. Suleiman's craggy face tightened under his red and white headdress and he pointed holes in the air to emphasize his disdain. "Zarqawi is kufr," Mr. Suleiman said, using the Arabic word for a nonbeliever, the preferred slur of Islamic fundamentalists like Mr. al-Zarqawi who favor it when speaking of infidels.'

In other words, what we are seeing is more of the results of the central front in the War on Terror becoming Iraq: the isolation of the Islamofascists within the Islamic world of their origination, as they are forced to do ever more desperate works of evil to preserve their 'face' in the region.

Simpson though is almost blind to this. His notion of reasoning is to say that 'it was King Abdullah, and not Mr Wolfowitz or Mr Feith, who got it right.'

This is madness- Bush-derangement syndrome- such that Simpson has to use a murderous (but one must say isolated, in the Jordanian context) bombing, twisting it unfairly in with Abdullah's reasoning over two years ago, all to bash a couple of people to whom Simpson feels ideological and maybe personal anatagonism.

But then let's move onto John Simpson's notion of 'investigation'. When he talks about Knight-Ridder's report about one of the terrorists who was allegedly involved he says that this man was radicalised in his hatred of the US by events in Fallujah- he attributes this to Knight-Ridder's 'investigation'. In fact, the information was simply direct from the Mufti who was in charge of Fallujah before the US retook it. A great impartial source no doubt who 'said Ali's anti-American stance was hardened after he was detained by U.S. forces in the same mosque where a Marine shot to death an unarmed Iraqi man in a controversial incident captured on video by an embedded American TV journalist. The military ruled the shooting justified.'
KR go onto say that he was aready fighting the US troops at the time.

And there is of course the little problem that the terror attack was in Jordan, and therefore not where the majority of Americans in the ME are to be found at the moment.

All in all then we can see that Simpson's analysis, such as it is, represents a terribly ingrained kind of spin, and journalism as settling scores. If that's what the BBC calls good journalism- and they certainly tried to adorn his article with unadulterated praise from the lickspittle leftists of the online world- then they're finished.

PS- this is a good article from the Weekly Standard dealing with the issue of terrorism and the Iraq war, and the supposed link between the two in terms of events like Jordan. I shudder to think by now what would have happened in terms of the terrorism threat internationally had the US not invaded Iraq. It's the parallel history Simpson and others can conveniently ignore.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Simpson senility?

That's the only explanation I can think of for John Simpson's inflexible and dogmatic approach to the news at the moment. Everything goes back to the war in Iraq- the source of all evil. Hear this Mr Simpson- you were a friend of Saddam's regime; you assisted its members. You are totally partial where it is concerned, and rabid in your contempt for the US administration. That would be ok were it not that you continually use your pedestal at BBC News online to peddle your politics- but you show contempt for impartiality and a totalitarian concept of what is 'given' in your analyses. I really can't stand it- it's repulsive.

Isn't it disgraceful when a BBC journalist talks about the 'victory' of an anti-Iraq war analysis instead of analysing the aftermath of a terrorist bombing in Jordan?

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