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You Never Know When You'll Encounter A Unitarian Terrorist
In another idiotic P.C. move, the European Union has drawn up guidelines for government spokes-tools to refrain from linking Islam and terrorism when they make a statement. After all, they wouldn't want to give the utterly true impression that the Koran is filled with statements advocating violence against non-Muslims!...and, which barbarians, whose only hope of sex is probably 72 virgins in a place there's no evidence exists, carry out! From a Telegraph/UK story by Bruno Waterfield, in Brussels:

Brussels officials have confirmed the existence of a classified handbook which offers "non-offensive" phrases to use when announcing anti-terrorist operations or dealing with terrorist attacks.

Banned terms are said to include "jihad", "Islamic" or "fundamentalist".

The word "jihad" is to be avoided altogether, according to some sources, because for Muslims the word can mean a personal struggle to live a moral life.

Oh. Please.

One alternative, suggested publicly last year, is for the term "Islamic terrorism" to be replaced by "terrorists who abusively invoke Islam".

An EU official said that the secret guidebook, or, "common lexicon", is aimed at preventing the distortion of the Muslim faith and the alienation of Muslims in Europe.

"The common lexicon includes guidance on a number of frequently used terms where lack of care by EU and member states' spokespeople may give rise to misunderstandings," he said.

"Careful usage of certain terms is not about empty political correctness but stems from astute awareness of the EU's interests in the fight against terrorism.

Luckily, one guy gets it:

...UK Independence Party MEP Gerard Batten claimed that the EU was in denial over the true roots of terrorism.

"This type of newspeak shows that the EU refuses to face reality," he said. "The major world terrorist threat is one posed by ideology and that ideology is inspired by fundamentalist jihadi Islam."

Excuse me, but I don't think Theo Van Gogh was killed by a Tibetan monk, a little old Jewish grandmother, or an astrology buff. As for the Unitarians, lemme know when somebody blows himself up in a mall after quoting liberally from fellow Unitarian, Ralph Waldo Emerson.

Posted by aalkon at April 3, 2007 1:12 PM


What a fun tidbit to which I've awoken. God bless the beautiful people of Europe. Or Allah bless, or Yaweh. Or who the hell cares.

So, when a person kidnaps someone, and the suspect is, say, Hispanic should we refrain from using race as a descriptor? B/c OBVIOUSLY if it's a 5 foot 11 Hispanic male wearing a red shirt and black sweat pants that is will cause an uprising against all Hispanic people. Is it racist to point out simple facts? Well apparently it is in the EU and I'm sure that type of semantics-fucking will arrive on our shores shortly...

My university sent a mass email to "let us know" about "an act of racial insensitivity" that occurred last weekend. Four guys got into a screaming match and one guy threw out the N word. That is a bad, bad, bad word and I don't use it - the history behind it is dense and powerful. I think we can all agree about that. However, I do feel that if someone wants to use it they should be able to (despite that I personally find it morally reprehensible). Too bad the "campus police" rent-a-cops didn't approach my car's hood being fucked up by some asshole who decided to use it as a couch with the same rigor and resolve. Pigs. Oh, wait, sorry that was offensive.

Coffee time.

Posted by: Gretchen at April 3, 2007 4:02 AM

Actually, that happened to me at the LA Times. In the one piece I did for them (that got me banned from the paper), I wasn't allowed to refer to my car thief as Latino. I lost the argument: "But, he was Latino."

Posted by: Amy Alkon at April 3, 2007 4:09 AM

New Headline. "Theo Van Gogh Dies in Bicycle Accident."

Posted by: Pat Patterson at April 3, 2007 5:18 AM

The continuing ignorance on Jihad does make me laugh by the PC crowd.

They are partially right about Jihad can be about a spiritual struggle. It goes back to my past comments that the spiritual and physical are one and the same within Islam. It does have multiple meanings, but an overriding theme. Militancy in every aspect of a proper Muslim.

The Sunni view of jihad fi sabilillah: (conflicts in the spread of God's word)

1. Jihad bis saif: this is in reference towards armed fighting and the use of violence in the spreading of Islam or protecting its status from perceived threats. The Arabic term used is: Qital fi sabilillah.

2. Jihad bil yad: this is the conflict created by politically and socially active Muslims. It means the Struggle by hand in Arabic. It can mean charitable acts from believers to the faithful. Outsiders need not apply.

3. Jihad bil lisan: this is the fight for the Muslim to have the correct spiritual views in daily practice. When it comes to Khutbas (sermons) and dawah. (preaching) In Arabic it means the struggle for proper use of the tongue.

4. Jihad bil qalam or Jihad bil ilm: This is the struggle for proper scholarship and jurisprudence (ijtihad) It can refer to the medicine too, because the physical purity of the believer is just as important as the spiritual. Physical sciences have major conflicts with this particular form of Jihad, because they defy Imshallah on a constant basis. Qalam means pen. Ilm means knowledge or knowing.

5. Jihad bin nafs or Jihad bin qalb: is the spiritual struggle for every Muslim through tawhid or the One True God concept. The Arabic expression for the other gods of the world is called shirk. (idolatry) Nafs mean heart and qalb is soul in Arabic.

Shias have a more simplified approach towards Jihad: Lesser (physical warfare) and Greater Jihad (spiritual warfare) through the practices of Ithna 'Ashariyya or Twelvers. The Twelvers is the largest religious school of thought within Shia Islam and it concerns the succession of the 12 official Imams starting with Muhommad. This is roughly 75 to 80% of Shias. The lesser schools are known as Ismaili and Zaidi.

DO NOT let the English terms of Lesser and Greater fool you. In Arabic, it has a slightly different meaning than our literal one. Especially, for nonbelievers. Greater does have importance, but this deals with the individual relationship a Muslim has with Allah. The expression Lesser means the contact a proper Muslim will have in the defense of Islam against infidels. Now which expression would have a direct impact on us nonbelievers and the correct physical display??? Do we care about the relationship a person has to an imaginary friend or the armed struggle??? Hell, I haven't even discussed the various forms of militant Jihad sanctioned in the holy writings. You can’t fit all that into a simple sound byte on the evening news or the various religious infomercials on PBS.

Just remember one simple expression in dealing with the current dominant interpretation of Islam: The spiritual is the personal and vice versa. This extends in everyday behavior we take for granted. From washing your hands, entering/exiting a room to strapping explosives to your body and entering a building full of nonbelievers or the faithful of a different interpretation of Islam.

Posted by: Joe at April 3, 2007 5:52 AM

By the way, I learned from an army officer who reads my column in Iraq in Stars&Stripes that access to all blogs is blocked by the army. Anybody with knowledge care to comment on that?

Posted by: Amy Alkon at April 3, 2007 6:07 AM

Joe, thank you for all these amazing insights.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at April 3, 2007 6:08 AM

Joe, even those of us raised in Christian churches where the faith is practiced largely in english can't keep track of all the sects, schisms and sictures surrounding those beliefs. There are several reasons for this. These matters are technocratic and mundane. And in a free society, we needn't be bothered: It's their own beeswax and they can be expected to keep it to themselves if they're going to earn any admiration from us at all.

To be compelled to care enough about these things to learn the details is to submit. A friend at a new job takes Judaism very seriously, and steers every conversation toward Israel, so I smile and walk away. Same with the Christians. No doubt this will soon happen with Islam as well.

Everything that you've said in recent weeks (and we're all sincerely grateful for your patient writings and they benefit of your experience) leads me to believe that I don't need to learn more about the miraculous world of Islam. Rather, Islam needs to learn more about the power of secular freedom if it expects to survive these years.

Jihadists of all types will be more surprised by us than we will by them.

Posted by: Crid at April 3, 2007 6:47 AM

sictures = strictures. It's not a word the comes up a lot for a nonbeliever.....

Posted by: Crid at April 3, 2007 6:49 AM

The bloody Lesser/Greater Jihad concept...

For those in a particular faith, the concept of the Greater Jihad for the shi'a (or the the four other than jihad bis saif for the sunni) is (I suppose) a wonderful thing. For folks of all faiths (or none), one should always struggle to make oneself closer to the ideal.

Although I am not as learned in these matters as Joe seems to be, what has struck me is the fact that islam views the world as broken into two: dar al-islam and dar al-harb - the muslim world and the non-muslim world. Although faiths such as christianity have as a central goal the conversion of others to their own faith, the qu'ran and the hadith make it clear that islam must/will spread by an extension of the borders of the caliphate (e.g. via warfare).

Am I off-base Joe?

Amy, on the blogs: family members serving in Iraq and Afghanistan have told me the same thing. The justification I have heard is that it is to keep them from inadvertently posting comments which provide the enemy with actionable information. Conceptually, I understand and agree. Side bonus for the brass is that dissension in the ranks cannot get blatantly exposed. Picture it: the poor slobs who have their time in country extended start bitching on blogs. Next thing you know...

Posted by: André-Tascha at April 3, 2007 7:44 AM

Forbidden words: "Enemy" is a word which appears to be banned from American news media.

Posted by: dchamil at April 3, 2007 8:07 AM

You are not off base, Andre.

I agree Crid.

Most people are not going to open and start reading the Qu'ran, the Hadiths or any of the other religious writings.

Just refer the posts as cheat sheets. All these details will give an insight to the psychological make-up of the area and why it hasn't reformed itself in 1,400 years. That is my personal agenda.

Don't worry. I won't ask for a pop quiz. But the message was still received.

Posted by: Joe at April 3, 2007 8:17 AM

> Just refer the posts
> as cheat sheets.

You're not off the hook that easy, we may have many questions in teh times ahead...

Posted by: Crid at April 3, 2007 8:24 AM

dchamil: Oops, my fault. I forgot to update my manual with the latest version. Amy, can you please remove my posting wherein I am referring to the folks our soldiers are fighting as the enemy?

My fault, sorry...

Posted by: André-Tascha at April 3, 2007 8:24 AM

Also, Andre. What is the main cause of the spiritual struggle for the faithful? The presence of the infidels. We are the extentions of Satan and Iblis. Especially, our liberated women.

By the way, the name I was referred to in the M.E. was Yusuf al-Kafiri... Joe, the Infidel.

Posted by: Joe at April 3, 2007 8:35 AM

Andre', you need to understand the words if you are to understand the reality. Islam has a very foundational connection to the legal i.e. to the usage and definition of the word.

We need to go no further than the words you used to define the world according to Islam: "Dar el Islam" and "Dar el Harb".

You stated that this means the Moslem world and the non-Moslem world. The fact that you do not state the TRUE meaning (if you know it) belies the problem that the West has in dealing with this conflict.

Dar el Islam means "The land of Peace". Islam itself translates as "peace" and "brotherhood" and is bound in obediance to Allah as written in the Q'uran.

Dar el Harb means "the land of War". A place of conflict where the Jihadi moves to conquer infidels by any method and where patience, ruthlessness, and deceit are virtues. ALL THINGS (ACTS) ARE RIGHTEOUS when bringing this land into Islam (or peace and brotherhood).

It is important to be aware of their words when speaking of the West's relationship to the Islamic world.

There is another word you need to look up and be aware of. That word is "dhimmi" and its situation is "dhimmitude". This is very important.

Posted by: Wayne at April 3, 2007 11:03 AM

Wayne, I cannot decide if you are an apologist or not. I do understand the meaning of dar al-islam and dar al-harb. I also understand the meaning of dhimmi.

Rather than discussing at length the translations of the terms, I sought to boil them down to the key aspect: muslim lands versus non-muslim lands. It is quite clear from numerous sura in the qu'ran and the hadith that the goal if islam in is the conversion of all. Am I wrong in stating this? The prophet mohammed was quite clear in this. Any land that was not islamic would be made islamic (through conquest, if by no other means).

If you are attempting to cast the status of dhimmi as a good thing ("see, they let people practice their own faith"), please be accurate and state that dhimmi are allowed to live in islamic lands, but not as equal members of society. Period.

Posted by: André-Tascha at April 3, 2007 11:27 AM

I wouldn't get hung up on the many variations of Arabic terms and expressions. You can spend hours just typing out the multiple ways of spelling words. There are 26 different, but correct ways to spell Muammar al-Gaddafi's name. My nickname in Arabic alone has 11 variations.

Personally, I use the Egyptian dialect and spelling. It is the most common through out the Middle East.

Posted by: Joe at April 3, 2007 12:21 PM

My point Andre' was that you need to use the words.

We all do.

We need to grind into the stupid and unenlightened that we cannot coexist with Islamists.

We need to make sure with every word they speak, every breathe they breath, and every act that they commit that the Western World knows they will not allow us to exist upon the surface of this world unless we convert or are enslaved. Their can be no peace, no negotiation, no understanding, no stepping back or backing off.

The only interaction we can have with them and their ideology is when we kill them and wipe the lie that is their life from the face of this world.

The original Crusades occurred AFTER Islam had annihilated half of the Christian world and was threatening the rest. We have to have a new Crusade to finish them off and break their faith forever or be reduced to slavery.

Posted by: Wayne at April 3, 2007 1:08 PM

Amen, Joe...

Posted by: André-Tascha at April 3, 2007 1:09 PM

But Starbucks also serves a series of decaffeinated and unsweetened beverages which deserve our consideration.

Posted by: Crid at April 3, 2007 1:11 PM

Perhaps it is the bloody all-nighter I pulled for a royal pain-in-the-ass client (who takes her sweet time paying the bill). Perhaps I am just a bloody idiot (grin). I misunderstood your posting Wayne - my apologies.

Posted by: André-Tascha at April 3, 2007 1:13 PM

We need to grind into the stupid and unenlightened that we cannot coexist with Islamists.

Would you be satisfied with educating those who are searching for a systematic and factual basis for understanding, not the Islamic "faith", but the West's relationship to Islamic societies. Those who practice political correctness have the same certainty of moral superiority that you are indicating.

For starters, does your definition of Islamist include all Muslims. It's a critical question. I read Infidel based on Amy's recommendation. Ayaan Hirsi Ali, if I interpreted her correctly, believes that war against the infidel is a correct interpretation of Islam. She managed to state this without calling her readers stupid or unenlightened.

Amy started this particular issue with a reference to the Unitarians. I am also a Unitarian and an Atheist. We had a book discussion group of End of Faith wherein Harris is blunt about his conclusions about Islam. Our minister was upset with Harris's position, as far as we could determine because he wasn't nice to Islam. This didn't change his evidence or reasoning.

I stated that I disagree with Harris about moderates of a faith. I think they are a rich source of closet atheists. Part of what our society needs to do is to get atheists to come out of the closet. I don't think grinding will help.

Posted by: Machida at April 3, 2007 1:31 PM

The Crusades, especially the early two, were fought by a barbarian culture against a more advance civilization. I am by no means defending Islam, but I think Wayne overstates the analogy. Maybe I shouldn't take the analogy too far...

But in Spain for example, as Christianity retook (today's)Spanish cities, they found thriving secular cities with great libraries and Jews, Christians, Pagan and Muslims living together. Sure, perhaps the Muslims were in charge, but I guess 1000 miles away from the center of Islam, it was a pretty relaxed and vibrant area.

I think our main fight is within our own culture. Is Western Civilization worth saving? How do we save it?

The left may answer the first question wrong, but the right can't seem to answer the second question. The Forward Strategy of Freedom is an abysmal failure.

Posted by: Jon at April 3, 2007 2:55 PM

I disagree with your general assessment, Wayne. Guard against the actual threat, but avoid all aspects of a religious crusade. Create a strong North Atlantic and Pacific alliance of secular nations to stem the tide of Islamic terrorism.

Isolate certain areas and use an indirect/invisible hand approach of killing off various leaders of the Islamist movement. Open dialogue in certain areas that show promise. Terrorism is a virus and it should be treated like one. Always show visible signs of strength via the US Naval Fleet within the M.E. Also, change our public image in certain areas that is being piped into the M.E. through our media outlets. (i.e. the public image of US soldiers)

One thing that does worry the saner elements within the Middle East is the history of the USA. Out of all the nuclear powers in the world... there is only one nation that used nukes on another country. In their minds, they believe if the USA did it once... the USA will do it again when push comes to shove. They knows this and fear another Islamist inspired terrorist attack within the USA.

I do admire President Jacques Chirac’s public statement that if France is ever attacked by a terrorist group similar to 9-11 in scale. He would use France’s nuclear arsenal in retaliation. We have a similar policy, but it was never announced by our Dear Leader. It became public through an ‘accidental’ leak of a National Security directive in 2002.

The reason behind the upswing of Islamic fundamentalism is based on one simple overriding concept: The literal interpretation of Islam and its cultural baggage is on the way out. They know it and a certain section of its population doesn't like it. The other part of the population has accepted the notion, but is silent out of fear.

Posted by: Joe at April 3, 2007 3:31 PM

Amen, Jon.

Posted by: Joe at April 3, 2007 3:38 PM

When Saudis attacked the U.S.A., they were chased around Waziristan as prelude to the Invasion of Iraq. At that time nobody know the difference between Sunni and Shiite - and in secular Iraq nobody much cared. Now nobody can tell the difference between al Qaeda, the Taleban and Islam.
Reigniting the Crusades does not strike me as a likely precursor to world peace and security. Nor does refusing to recognize that prejudice and ignorance are not the sole condition of "the other guy".

Posted by: opit at April 3, 2007 3:57 PM

The unsung heroes of the Middle Ages trying to stem the tide of Islamic expansion was the Eastern Byzantine Empire and not the Crusaders. Western Europe's treatment of the Eastern Empire was a major atrocity and blunder of history.

Let us hope a contemporary Western Europe doesn't commit the same mistake again.

Posted by: Joe at April 3, 2007 4:05 PM

Thanks Joe,
I'd advocate striking Iran. I think if the mullahs are brought down, Syria could be threatened into diposing Assad. KAS could be told to stop funding the fundies. Other states would fall into line.

Then they would take us seriously. There is no middle ground with killers. But the masses don't need to be slaughtered, they will follow the strong horse, or at least not threaten it.
What do you think?

Posted by: Jon at April 3, 2007 5:57 PM

A first strike would be a disaster. One must understand that Iran is a schizoid nation within the Middle East:

1. They are non Arabs.
2. They are not a homogenous nation.
3. Lowest birthrate in any M.E. nation.
4. One of the largest concentrations of elderly populations.
5. Highest educated population (especially among the women) of all the M.E. nations.
6. Never been successfully invaded in 3,000 years.

The Mahmoud Ahmadinejad government is not stable and already purges have been occurring in the Majilis (there legislative body) with the removal of 2 primary Ministers of his government. Massive public student demonstrations have been occurring and more in the planning with popular chants: "Death to the Dictator" of Iran. Also the ruling Mullahs have been outspoken in their views of stockpiling nuclear weapons. The Grand Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has issued a fatwa on how nuclear weapons are against the will of Allah. Not a vote of confidence in Ahmadinejad's policies.

One must understand the political process of Iran first. Ahmadinejad's election victory in 2005 was engineered by the Ruling Clerics, because they pick which political parties can stand for the Majilis' elections. The reform parties were banned, because of various Oil Ministry scandals under Mohammad Khatami's presidency. Ahmadinejad's campaigned as a reformer and get the rich issues.

Iran is 2 nations. Pre-Islamic and Post Islamic Iran. They are very proud of their Persian Empire and historical roots and see themselves as noble and an agent of civilization in the region. The last Shah of Iran identified with the pre-Islamic Iran (Zoroastrian Era) and tried to downplay the importance of Islam within Iranian society. After the Islamic Revolution of 1979, Ayatollah Khomeni endorsed massive de-Zoroastrian campaign nationwide. Famous ancient buildings were torn down. Tombs were removed. The outlawing of Zoroastrian names such as Darius, Xerxes, Cyrus, Phraates, Musa and many others. This has left a huge amount of resentment among the native Persian population. Along with the gross corruption of the Mullahs.

The best way for the US to approach Iran would be through 3 methods:
1. Maintain our presence in the region through Iraq. It keeps them in check. Also a stabilized independent Kurdistan.
2. Commit a Voice of Iran propaganda campaign that is essentially Pro-Iran in message. The Iran of pre-Islamic Revolution and their past as the “Cradle of Humanity” in the region.
3. Let the Ahmadinejad government collapse on its own accord. This will be the first strike of real reform and boldness among the dissidents within Iran.

What will put the final nail in the coffin of the Islamic Revolution is their lack of a pension system and the lowest birthrate of all the major M.E. nations. Presently, Iran’s elderly population is 8%. In 10 to 15 years it will jump roughly 30% and continue to grow. This will destroy the already unstable economy.

Being a highly educated population, Iranians are aware of the strict Imshallah philosophy that has ruled their nation for 28 years has created this looming disaster by being isolated from the rest of the world.

Posted by: Joe at April 3, 2007 8:57 PM

I especially like #2. Their population is (presently) young and horny. I think we should help their boomers distinguish the differences between their generation and others,

Posted by: Crid at April 4, 2007 4:47 AM

I don't see how patting them on the back via #2 helps. People have been saying the real Iranians are fed up and will revolt at any time for the past 10 years. The facts just don't bear it out.
There were demonstrations in Communist countries for decades which never amounted to anything. I think the leadership refusing to fire on their own people in East Gerrmany and in Moscow at crucial points led to the fall of Russia. The leadership themselves no longer believed their own propaganda. That is why they fell, when they didn't resort to the gun in the face of trouble. (And now they are almost back to where they were.)

The Mullahs have not been defeated intellectually as the communist ideology had been for 50 years. The Mullahs believe Islam is on the rise and they will never be defeated. I don't think students dying all over their streets will bother them much if the students push them to it.

Additionally, time is running out. Hoping their economy will be bad in 10-15 years is an untenable position. We must be concerned with our own self defense. We can't outsource the defeat of the terror masters when they are on the verge of acquiring state-destroying and city-destroying weapons.
I assume you don't doubt their intent to use them?

Posted by: Jon at April 4, 2007 5:23 AM

I think threat display is not what we're about. Talking tough can avert conflicts and needless death, but it can also cause people to forget the good things you have to offer them. As I understand it, the Mullahs are not so firmly in control of the public as they are elsewhere. There's a firm layer of ice on top, but most of the lake is liquid, and we shouldn't forget that our interest is with the wet stuff. I don't want our ideas of sexual freedom and personal liberty to take hold in Iran merely because it would offend the Mullahs, though that would be gratifying... I want them delivered to the Iranian street because they're blessings in their own right, as well as a means to regional and global peace.

I supported Afghanistan, I supported Iraq, and am not afraid of going to war. But if we spend our time telling people how dangerous we are, they might forget how cute and successful we are.

Yes, the commie leadership eventually lost its support. Why couldn't this happen to the Iranian theocrats?

What I had in mind for #2 was not "patting them on the back." I wanted Britney Spears to go over there and shake her tits at them; I want all the erotic, financial, and personally expressive fulfillment that happens in Western secular life to be made tantalizingly apparent. They got the oil, but our lives are better than theirs, and I want them to know it.

This book review was interesting:

Unfortunately the web version doesn't have the author photo, which clearly shows the teenage-kinda narcissism at work in the girl's heart. The attachment these people have to their regal, authoritarian figures is as shallow as the fascination a 1990's housewife in Akron felt for Princess Diana... Just a horseshit distraction, and it when it's over nobody can really claim to miss it.

These people can be converted.

Posted by: Crid at April 4, 2007 6:34 AM

Also, if you put that woman's book title into Google in order to find that photo, you get back to Amy Alkon.

Six degrees, babe.

Posted by: Crid at April 4, 2007 6:48 AM

My point isn't that the commies in power lost support, but that the leaders lost belief in the very system they were running and let it fall themselves by not cracking down.
The mullahs are in power and are self assured. That is a very different scenario.

The Iranians on the street may very well be more rational, but I disagree that they can just get off their asses and take back the power. I think that view may prove to be naive. If they really did attempt to do so which is most certainly not assured, the elites may simply open fire in the streets to quash it. Where would you be then?
If you think the uprising would get stronger and world opinion would affect them, just look at the Prague spring or what happened in Poland, or most recently, Tiananmen Square.

And again, we are on a timetable. You and Joe seem to be of the opinion that Amadinnerjacket will simply lose power and when Iran gets Nukes after his reign things will proceed business as usual under some more moderate ruler. Then eventually, the economy will cause them to fall or the students will rise up... Nothing to worry about, the mullahs will lose power. I just don't see it being that easy.

Essentially you are saying don't worry, go back to sleep. Let them deal with it themselves - Perhaps pump some "Papa Don't Preach" into the country to speed things up.

Posted by: Jon at April 4, 2007 7:47 AM

Also - couldn't that stockholm syndrome be interpreted in reverse.

That normal people can be cowed into any kind of irrational behavior under duress and constant threat of force. I don't know the details, but I assume she did not rise up and punch him in the face, take his gun and shoot him after she saw Spears's tits out the window.

Posted by: Jon at April 4, 2007 7:55 AM

> let it fall themselves by
> not cracking down.

Nope- They sent the tanks to the town squares during the Gorbachev coup, but the babushkas called the soldier's bluff: What were they going to do, shoot their own mothers?

We'll never know how close Tony Blair's 48-hour standoff came to violent conclusion this morning. I personally think his penis is probably larger than it looks. I was kind of looking for something a little more dramatic than what appears to have happened. But it shows again that this is a corner of the world that acknowledges strength above all else. Our best response is not to tell them, and each other how strong we are, but actually be strong when the time comes.

I have no idea what you mean about Stockholm and windows and Spears. At no time did I recommend slumber, but we have more to offer than fisticuffs or bribes.

Posted by: Crid at April 4, 2007 8:09 AM

Yes - they could have shot their own mothers - or ordered troops from far-away towns, like the ChiComs did in '89. I don't think the mullahs will shy away from shooting the students when they feel they need to.

The Stockholm thing? Isn't that the book review link you sent. She fell in love with her captor.
I didn't think it showed a shallow facination. I think it could show how a rational population can be cowed into acting irrationally and supporting their own captors indefinitely.

I know you don't recommend slumber, but I am skeptical of these hopes that they will fix the problem themselves. You can't forget the nukes are coming in a couple years or less.

Posted by: Jon at April 4, 2007 8:28 AM

OIC. Well, I think what you got here more than anything else is a self-centered young woman. And no one does better sucking up the weird energy of those people, and their boyfriends, than the pop culture of the United States.

After work I;ll post a link to Reynolds article you might enjoy. Short version: Elvis cures Nazi culture.

Posted by: Crid at April 4, 2007 8:38 AM

Also, I remember reading about an exchange between the babushkas and the soldiers, and the women made exactly that point: We are not percisely your mothers, but our sons have a tank aimed at yours in the next village.

Posted by: Crid at April 4, 2007 8:53 AM

On the question of Islamists verses Moslems, I know there is a vast difference. There are many decent people of the Moslem faith in this world who are a threat to no one.

With those folks I have no other beef than that it would be mighty helpful to us and to them were more of them to step up and give us a hand in dealing with the troublemakers. More and more are starting to which is a good thing.

However there are a lot of seriously evil scum out there to whom our only recourse should be to deal with them as we would a rabid dog: put it down quickly before it bites somebody.

The biggest threat that we face is really no longer without but resides within our own borders and is supported and abetted by the untouchable freind of much of our government and Exxommobil: Saudi Arabia.

We should have nuked the Saudi's on 912. They are a filth and a pox on the face of this world. Their whole country is a cancerous infection the repository of the whole Islamist movement.

They have been spreading their agents of chaos throughout the civilized world and the media refuses to name them due to political correctness and the government is too afraid of their economic might to risk offending them. They have CAIR out their ready to assault anyone who tries to point their finger at the ones calling problems.

You see the nature of their games in the antics of the 6 dogspawn imams who simulated an Al Qaeda operation in the air and are now suing anyone who tried to warn the authorities about them. Its about intimidation and media manipulation. To make us all afraid of them, ready to back down and surrender like what is happening in Europe now.

Those 6 should be in Gitmo receiving a "reeducation"...that or they should be dead with their slaughtered corpses hanging in public view as a warning to the Islamofascists that the only thing for them in these lands is death and disgrace.

Posted by: Wayne at April 4, 2007 10:59 AM

You totally miss the joke man. She tries so hard. I find it HIGHLY ironic that she complains about PC speech and holds up Unitarian's as unlikely terrorists. I find this amusing as PC speach is almost a tenant if there were any of my religion. We are very PC, many congregations have a ban on the G word "G*d". Now the whole idea of the unlikelyness of a Unitarian Terrorist. We did recently discover a escaped felon who was convicted of Murder 20 years ago, completely integrated with one of our congregations. Unitarians are unlikely to require referances for the new members (does anyone still do that?) So we are at the mercy of terrorists being obvious about their behaviour so we can notice it and weed it out! All religious institutions have to be careful not to let terrorists in. It might cause bad press. However Unitarians are open and non-judgemental, and lack dogma so a terrorist might feel able to hide there, although our first principle would negate their action "Respect for the inherant worth and dignity of each person" To act in a terroristic way you'd have to be a poser because injuring strangers speaks to disrespect.

I appreciate your humor.

Posted by: Myra at April 4, 2007 11:26 AM

Myra, I'd say you're both overanalyzing and missing Amy's point. She's not saying that Unitarianism is antithetical to political correctness - she's saying that it is not a religion that would ever be used to justify or spark terrorism.

As for overanalyzing - forget the First Principle (inherent dignity and worth of all people) - the reason that there aren't any Unitarian terrorists is because we do everything by committee and consensus, and that's no way to run a holy war! ;-)

And here I thought virtually all UUs were highly educated - Myra, you're letting our side down with all the grammatical mistakes in your post - too many to be viewed as simply typos. You put an apostrophe in a plural non-possessive word, and your post had multiple incorrect capitalizations, not to mention misspellings.

And I cannot fathom why you would write "G*d," unless perhaps you were raised Jewish. While UUs may take references to "God" out of our hymnals, we are certainly allowed to write and say the word God - it's observant Jews who are forbidden to and thus use "G*d" instead.

Posted by: Melissa, the lifelong UU at April 10, 2007 1:52 PM

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