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Reza Mortadi, a 29 year old Iranian, has been summonsed by the Police and charged following complaints made at the “March for Free Expression.” Mr Mortadi had displayed some of the Danish cartoons. Here is Reza at the rally. Here is Maryam Namazie’s speech.

Update: here is a picture of the Police speaking to Mr Moradi (from Yahoo! News).

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Andrew Apostolou (indignant pyjamas).

Bawer bites back

Bruce Bawer has a great, amusing response to a very silly review of his book in The Washington Post. Norwegians may find his comments about their country lacking sophistication “offensive.”

Andrew Apostolou (yes, we have no pyjamas).

Hitch on Walt and Mearsheimer

Christopher Hitchens offers his two cents on “The Lobby.”

Rather than focus on Saudi Arabia, as Lee Smith has done, he instead chooses Pakistan and Turkey:

For purposes of contrast, let us look at two other regional allies of the United States. Both Turkey and Pakistan have been joined to the Pentagon hip since approximately the time of the emergence of the state of Israel, which coincided with the Truman Doctrine. Pakistan was, like Israel, cleaved from a former British territory. Since that time, both states have carried out appalling internal repression and even more appalling external aggression. Pakistan attempted a genocide in Bangladesh, with the support of Nixon and Kissinger, in 1971. It imposed the Taliban as its client in a quasi-occupation of Afghanistan. It continues to arm and train Bin Ladenists to infiltrate Indian-held Kashmir, and its promiscuity with nuclear materials exceeds anything Israel has tried with its stockpile at Dimona. Turkey invaded Cyprus in 1974 and continues in illegal occupation of the northern third of the island, which has been forcibly cleansed of its Greek inhabitants. It continues to lie about its massacre of the Armenians. U.N. resolutions have had no impact on these instances of state terror and illegality in which the United States is also partially implicated.

But here’s the thing: There is no Turkish or Pakistani ethnic “lobby” in America. And here’s the other thing: There is no call for “disinvestment” in Turkey or Pakistan. We are not incessantly told that with these two friends we are partners in crime. Perhaps the Greek Cypriots and Indians are in error in refusing to fly civilian aircraft into skyscrapers. That might get the attention of the “realists.” Or perhaps the affairs of two states, one secular Muslim and one created specifically in the name of Islam, do not possess the eternal fascination that attaches to the Jewish question.

Then there’s this:

There has been some disquiet expressed about Mearsheimer and Walt’s over-fondness for Jewish name-dropping: their reiteration of the names Wolfowitz, Perle, Feith, etc., as the neocon inner circle. Well, it would be stupid not to notice that a group of high-energy Jews has been playing a role in our foreign-policy debate for some time. The first occasion on which it had any significant influence (because, despite its tentacular influence, it lost the argument over removing Saddam Hussein in 1991) was in pressing the Clinton administration to intervene in Bosnia and Kosovo. These are the territories of Europe’s oldest and largest Muslim minorities; they are oil-free and they do not in the least involve the state interest of Israel. Indeed, Sharon publicly opposed the intervention. One could not explain any of this from Mearsheimer and Walt’s rhetoric about “the lobby.”

But it’s the concluding paragraph that’s classic Hitch:

Mearsheimer and Walt belong to that vapid school that essentially wishes that the war with jihadism had never started. Their wish is father to the thought that there must be some way, short of a fight, to get around this confrontation. Wishfulness has led them to seriously mischaracterize the origins of the problem and to produce an article that is redeemed from complete dullness and mediocrity only by being slightly but unmistakably smelly.

Unmistakably smelly?! Top that, Lee!

Tony Badran

More Hollywood silliness

The popinjays, your after hours resource, have a prime example of Hollywood moonbattery. This goes beyond the combined silliness of Sean Penn, George Clooney et al.

Andrew Apostolou (pyjamas in the drier).

Not so independent journalism

The New York Times had the usual, and now standard, credulous article about al-Jazeera, with a focus on its new attempt to enter the English-language market. We are significantly informed that on al-Jazeera:

Guests have questioned the right of the Saud family to rule Saudi Arabia.

No surprise there given that the channel is controlled by Qatar which does not have close relations with the next door Gulf kleptocracy. Such questions do not elevate al-Jazeera to the level of true journalism.

As for the notion that al-Jazeera is about debate, the questions that The New York Times did not ask were: how much debate has their been on al-Jazeera about the right of the al Thani clan to rule? Has al-Jazeera given extensive coverage to one of the al Thani prince’s criminal behaviour and his subsequent outrageous release? What debate has there been of Qatar’s role in sheltering Khalid Sheikh Mohammed? What debate has there been of the issues of class and race, covered in this article about Dubai?

Update 1: They sell Carlsberg in Qatar, by the way.

Andrew Apostolou (yes, we have no pyjamas).

Three Reviews of Fukuyama

Here are three very interesting reviews of Francis Fukuyama’s latest book that are worth a click. Unfortunately, I don’t have the time now to comment on them at more length, but would be interested to hear your thoughts in the comments section.

First, Paul Berman’s in the NYT. A few quotes:

Now, I notice that in stressing this strategic argument, together with the humanitarian and human rights issue, and in pointing out lessons from the Balkans, Fukuyama has willy-nilly outlined some main elements of the liberal interventionist position of three years ago, at least in one of its versions. In the Iraq war, liberal interventionism was the road not taken, to be sure. Nor was liberal interventionism his own position. However, I have to say that, having read his book, I’m not entirely sure what position he did adopt, apart from wisely admonishing everyone to tread carefully. He does make plain that, having launched wars hither and yon, the United States had better ensure that, in Afghanistan and Iraq alike, stable antiterrorist governments finally emerge.

He proposes a post-Bush foreign policy, which he styles “realistic Wilsonianism” — his new motto in place of neoconservatism. He worries that because of Bush’s blunders, Americans on the right and the left are going to retreat into a Kissinger-style reluctance to promote democratic values in other parts of the world. Fukuyama does want to promote democratic values — “what is in the end a revolutionary American foreign policy agenda” — though he would like to be cautious about it, and even multilateral about it. The United Nations seems to him largely unsalvageable, given the role of nondemocratic countries there. But he thinks that a variety of other institutions, consisting strictly of democracies, might be able to establish and sometimes even enforce a new and superior version of international legitimacy. He wants to encourage economic development in poor countries, too — if only a method can be found that avoids the dreadful phrase “social engineering.”

The bit about strictly democratic multilateral institutions (outside the UN) is intriguing. I’ll have to read what he has to say about it in depth (I have yet to read Fukuyama’s book which is another reason why I’m reserving comment for now). We’ve seen the potential benefits with the American-French-British cooperation over Lebanon (while Russia continues to hint at a spoiler role). But then again, it’s not without problems. It would be interesting to see what Fukuyama has in mind.

As anyone who has read Terror and Liberalism knows, Berman is interested in the ideological component of the war on radical Islamism, and finds that lacking in Fukuyama’s book:

In “America at the Crossroads,” Fukuyama describes the Hegelianism of “The End of History” as a version of “modernization” theory, bringing his optimistic vision of progress into the world of modern social science. But the problem with modernization theory was always a tendency to concentrate most of its attention on the steadily progressing phases of history, as determined by the predictable workings of sociology or economics or psychology — and to relegate the free play of unpredictable ideas and ideologies to the margins of world events.

And yet, what dominated the 20th century, what drowned the century in oceans of blood, was precisely the free play of ideas and ideologies, which could never be relegated entirely to the workings of sociology, economics, psychology or any of the other categories of social science. In my view, we are seeing the continuing strength of 20th-century-style ideologies right now — the ideologies that have motivated Baathists and the more radical Islamists to slaughter millions of their fellow Muslims in the last 25 years, together with a few thousand people who were not Muslims. Fukuyama is always worth reading, and his new book contains ideas that I hope the non-neoconservatives of America will adopt. But neither his old arguments nor his new ones offer much insight into this, the most important problem of all — the problem of murderous ideologies and how to combat them.

The second review is by Niall Ferguson in the Telegraph. Ferguson comments on Fukuyama’s U-turn and its possible significance:

It coincides with a sea-change in the public mood. Disillusionment with Iraq has even begun to penetrate Bush’s once-loyal base in the American heartland.

The worst of all this is that all those who from the outset opposed the war in Iraq now appear vindicated, no matter how dubious their arguments. We are rapidly reverting to the default setting of the Democratic Left, that it is preferable to leave tyrants in power than to sully the republic with the taint of imperialism. Better a multitude of Attilas abroad than Rome at home.

I agree that the neocons got it wrong, but my reasons are different from Fukuyama’s, and they do not lead me to conclude that the Left was correct all along.

Ferguson goes on to outline his reasons, and ends up reaffirming his own thesis (from his book, Colossus):

And yet the logical conclusion from all this is not that the United States should pack up and march off home. For what precisely is the alternative to American hegemony, benign or blundering? Fukuyama pins his hopes on a new multilateralism, trying to breathe life into the corpse of the United Nations and other kindred institutions. The French fantasise that the European Union should somehow act as a counterweight to American power.

Yet when people in other countries are asked: “Would the world be safer if another country were as powerful as the United States?”, they generally say “No”. We and the Turks are evenly split, but a majority of Russians, Germans and even Jordanians, Moroccans and Pakistanis think the world would be less safe with a second superpower.

What all this tells us is not that American hegemony is finished and should be wound up. It tells us that there is no better alternative available. Pace Fukuyama, the United States does not need to say “sorry” for getting rid of Saddam. What it needs to do is to be more realistic, better informed historically and less fiscally profligate; and to get more boots on the ground.

I’m all for admitting to error. But let’s get it right about what has gone wrong.

As I mentioned above, I’ll need to read exactly what Fukuyama wrote, but one gets conflicting remarks from Berman and Ferguson about his attitude towards the UN. It seems that Fukuyama is trying to find a way to have both legitimacy and efficiency (esp. when, as Berman points out, UN action is often crippled by authoritarian states).

These issues are touched on in the third review by Gary Rosen in the WaPo:

His [Fukuyama] own tool of choice is what foreign policy types call “soft power” — the less coercive means at America’s disposal, from foreign aid and election monitoring to the sort of civil affairs know-how that was so conspicuously lacking when U.S. forces arrived in Baghdad. Indeed, so important is this aspect of Fukuyama’s newfound “realistic Wilsonianism” that he devotes a third of his slender book to it. We learn about the “huge” body of technical literature on democratic transitions, state-building and economic development. And we receive a long tutorial on how the United States might better use “overlapping and sometimes competitive international institutions,” practicing what Fukuyama calls “multi-multilateralism.” It’s all very instructive in its scholarly, wonkish way — a kind of primer for Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

This summary, if accurate, begs a series of question which Rosen goes on to ask:

But can such “soft power” succeed without sterner stuff behind it? Is it an answer to the multiple pathologies of the modern Middle East? Short of military intervention, it is difficult to see how any sort of democratic spark could have penetrated Iraq’s police state. For that matter, in a region flush with petrodollars, dominated by strongmen and sheikhs, and threatened by Islamist insurgency, reform-minded leaders are unlikely to emerge anywhere without considerable pressure from the outside — at the very least, of the economic and diplomatic variety. Fukuyama prefers carrots — “our ability to set an example, to train and educate, to support with advice and often money” — but the job plainly demands sticks as well if we hope to see results in our own lifetime.

Of course, anyone familiar with the track record of such an approach in the ME may snicker bitterly upon reading that last quote from Fukuyama. A cynic might add a clause in there: “we train and educate, they jail and crack down!”

Again, I don’t have time right now to go into this, and furthermore, I’ll hold back till I’ve read the book.

But Rosen explains further:

And that may be the point. Fukuyama is in no hurry to confront the chronic problems of the Middle East. It isn’t just that he doubts the feasibility of the neocons’ nation-building schemes or their claims that democracy is the best antidote to Islamism. For Fukuyama, the challenge posed by Osama bin Laden’s brand of radicalism is simply not that serious — not, in his carefully chosen word, the sort of “existential” threat that should trouble our sleep. There’s something to this view, of course, after more than four years of peace on the home front. But it depends too much on the good fortune we’ve enjoyed — and underestimates an enemy whom we’ve underestimated before. A spectacular American encore by al-Qaeda would not literally destroy the country, but it could well cripple it for a time, with far-reaching effects on our way of life. Neocons have refused to discount such dire prospects.

According to Rosen, it seems that this position emanates to a certain degree from an assumption — or a theory — on Fukuyama’s part about Islamism:

More surprising is Fukuyama’s rejection of the very idea that liberalization in the Middle East would make us safer. His point is not merely the obvious one that the short-term beneficiaries of any political opening are likely to be extremists like Hamas. Rather, as he sees it, jihadism itself is “a by-product of modernization and globalization,” not a return to tradition but a thoroughly 21st-century balm for alienated young people whose communal identities have been shattered by the West’s aggressive, often vulgar materialism. The Islamist wave is emphatically not, in his view, the result of any lack of freedom or democracy in the countries across which it has swept in recent decades.

Here Fukuyama commits apostasy of a different kind: against the thesis that made him famous. His new rendering of “the end of history” — of liberal democracy as the culmination of humankind’s ideological development — verges on economic determinism; it is, as he recently put it, “a kind of Marxist argument.” Just as he finds the roots of jihadism in the confounding material bounty of the West, so too does he define modernization itself as little more than the longing for “technology, high standards of living, health standards, and access to the wider world.” Politics is an afterthought, the icing on the economic cake.

Again, I’ll have to read Fukuyama first, but prima facie, this strikes me as quite the problematic assumption.

Fukuyama elaborated a bit on this theory in an essay co-written with Adam Garfinkkle and featured in the Opinion Journal.

There are so many problematic statements and assumptions in this piece, it would take me a while to give them their due (and this is not to say that the authors don’t make good points). But a lot of the statements are perplexing to me, and seem to give legitimacy to certain cretinous theses about the ruling regimes in the region (e.g., that they are “secular Arab nationalists”). For instance, the notion that free elections would bring “the mosque into the public square” simply does not take into account that in Egypt, e.g., the regime has long ceded the public sphere to the clerical institution.

In other words, what some of us have been saying for a while is that the regimes and the Islamists are in many ways two sides of the same coin. That includes violence, illiberalism, the strangling of free and liberal voices, etc., resulting in a battered socio-political culture. It’s a game that the regimes have perfected. So, for example, while the only serious challenger to Mubarak’s regime is the Muslim Brotherhood, his crackdowns are against liberals!

I will stop here, but when you keep such matters in mind, parts of the essay will simply make your jaw drop. The implications they might have on policy, of course, are deeply worrying (esp. when we keep in mind the remark by Ferguson about “the default setting of the Democratic Left” or Berman’s “Kissinger-style reluctance to promote democratic values”). Other parts are simply wrong. It wasn’t “extremist Islamists” who rioted against the Danish cartoons. It was very much “traditional pious Muslims.” And by the way, these “secular” regimes were deeply implicated in fanning the flames, as happened in “secular” Baathist Syria for instance.

In the end, I find Fukuyama’s assumptions on Islamism (and “traditional Islam” — ed.’s note: the dominance of traditional Islam is already asserted in the region!), modernization, the ME and its discourses and socio-political culture, and the role of liberalism, to be highly problematic (and that might explain Berman’s dissatisfaction with the lack of a proper discussion of ideology). We can’t make this only about “us” (e.g., “Islamism is a by-product of modernization” and that somehow it should be seen as separate from the socio-political culture of the ME).

There are lots of questions that need to be asked, and critical points to be made, but again, I’ll reserve further comment till I’ve read the book.

Tony Badran

London policing

One of the ways in which the police in repressive societies intimidate people is by turning up at protest meetings and taking pictures of them. What, then, are we supposed to make of this behaviour in London yesterday? Note that this is the same Metropolitan Police that did nothing about demonstrators who incited to violence in May 2005 and then only responded in February 2006 after a public outcry. Many thanks to Nordishblog.

As Tatchell speaks, note the policeman with the peaked hat tell the policeman with the baseball hat which citizen to photograph. Is this how we do policing in Britain?

Update 1: click on this link to see the pic, it is the 53rd picture down.

Update 2: A correspondent who must remain anonymous writes that “I also include photos of the cops who maintained a very intimidating presence, photographing everyone, including tourists and little old ladies. They were far more aggressive than at Islamist demos apparently.”

The caption with this pic is “snapping a curious canadian tourist, female, around 70.”

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Here are the boys in blue again.

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The correspondent writes: “an Iraqi named Ali who made a powerful brief speech in which he referred to the severe restrictions on freedom of speech under Saddam and the Taliban”

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Our correspondent writes that: “The people wearing danish flags were doing so because they were forbidden to wave them. I persuaded one of them… to wave it despite the ban — the police moved in behind us so we eventually stopped.”

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The police intervened at one point. More details on my site and here, note the gentleman that they spoke to was Iranian.

Andrew Apostolou (pyjamas in the wash, finally).

Phony pacifists

Eric at the Popinjays, your one-stop shop for booze marinated, pro-war extreme leftism, reports that the Iraqi embassy in Canada has hit back at the phony pacifists of the Christian Peacemaker Teams.

There are also good editorials in Canada’s National Post, opinion pieces in the Ottawa Citizen, by Margaret Wente and Rex Murphy in the Globe and Mail as well as letters (here and here).

Hardly backwards in coming forwards, the Iraqi embassy in Canada, said:

Politically, they are on the other side of this war. Christian Peacemaker Teams are objectively on the side of the fascists, Saddam Hussein’s loyalists and al-Qaida in Iraq.

As the great popinjay himself wrote recently:

I shall go on keeping score about this until the last phony pacifist has been strangled with the entrails of the last suicide-murderer.

Feeding them to the lions would be too mild.

Andrew Apostolou (dress down saturday blogger).

Rally for Denmark!

The attempt in Britain to hold a “March for Freedom of Expression” is having a spot of bother. Problem is, first of all, they had to meet with the Police to let PC Plod know “what banners and signs might say or show.”

Is this the same Police force that did nothing about murderous placards at demonstrations by Islamist extremists in London in May 2005 and in February 2006, only responding in the latter case after the event when there was a public and press outcry? Here is what happened in May 2005 according to CNN:

A British policeman said the language was offensive and unpleasant in the extreme. But police overlooked that and the fact that more than a few of the young men in the crowd covered their faces, technically a violation of British law, according to the police.

Shouting, “Down, down USA; down, down USA,” the protesters called for the killing of Americans, the death of the U.S. president, the death of British Prime Minister Tony Blair, the bombing of Britain, and the annihilation of the U.S. capital: “Nuke, nuke Washington; Nuke, nuke Washington! Bomb, bomb the Pentagon.”

My letter to my MP on this matter elicited a reply from Hazel Blears at the Home Office that read as if it has been copied off a press release website.

These reported comments from the boys in blue to the “March for Free Expression” organizers were interesting:

they [the Police] asked us to consider the cost to the taxpayer of policing a march and the inconvenience it would cause Londoners.

The “inconvenience” of a “March for Free Expression”–wouldn’t want that in a free society would we?

Now the “March for Free Expression” has appealed for attendees not to bring copies of the Danish cartoons, leading people to ask if the event is really about freedom of expression. Talk about tying yourself in knots. You’ll find a discussions of this led by the indefatigable David T over at Harry’s Place

A simple Danish solidarity event, venue easy to find (the Danish embassy), would have sufficed, like this one.

Andrew Apostolou (lego my jim jams).

Pic from the DC rally, courtesy of Corsair the Rational Pirate:

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Nice try

In the discussion of the jilbab case, which has been manipulated by Islamist groups in the UK, the following comments on the BBC website were classics:

Added: Wednesday, 22 March, 2006, 22:31 GMT 22:31 UK

I feel the judgment was right. School uniforms exist for a reason, to eliminate any prejudice that might cause bullying due to what people ware.

Religious clothes should not be treated any different. its like saying i want to ware my Arsenal cap cos i believe in them.

Authur

Added: Wednesday, 22 March, 2006, 22:19 GMT 22:19 UK

My religion (Flying Spaghetti Monsterism, yes, its real look it up) requires me to wear full pirate uniform at all times, my school uniform obviously won’t allow this…so…is this a breach of my human rights? Should I be in the courts?

David H, Newbury

Who has not attempted such a gambit at school to get out of some pointless chore or brutal sport?

Andrew Apostolou (jim jams prevent me from participating in inter-house rugby, sir).

Masochism (and not of the interesting variety)

Brave members of the Multinational forces in Iraq rescued the three “peace” activists. Here is how they responded (extract from the “Statement By Loney Family” and the identical Christian Peacemaker Teams statement:

We believe that the illegal occupation of Iraq by Multinational Forces is the root cause of the insecurity which led to this kidnapping and so much pain and suffering in Iraq. The occupation must end.

Today, in the face of this joyful news, our faith compels us to love our enemies even when they have committed acts which caused great hardship to our friends and sorrow to their families.

The Multi-National Force-Iraq has United Nations backing in the form of UNSCRs 1511 (2003), 1546 (2004) and 1637 (2005).

The fascists murdered their friend, then they condemn their rescuers. Now where does it say: “love your murderers, denounce your friends”?

The kindest way in which one can characterize these people’s attitude is: “What have the Romans ever done for us?”

Andrew Apostolou (seeking salvation in jim jams).

Foreman of Arabia

Jonathan Foreman (aka Foreman of Arabia) has a long post on National Review Online on Iraq three years after the liberation war began, which starts with the following excellent point:

Confounding the expectations of cynics and terrorists, the majority Shia community has, at least until the Samarra mosque desecration, shown astonishing restraint and faith in a democratic future, despite months of murderous attacks by Sunni klansmen, Baathist diehards, and their al Qaeda Sunni allies. Likewise, Iraq’s Kurdish leaders have put the future of a free Iraq before their own sectional interests.

Foreman has recently published The Pocket Book of Patriotism.

Andrew Apostolou (pjs blogger).

Iran policy

An American lady in Iran has some novel suggestions “targeted at the ruling classes”:

1. Force the Iranian team to negotiate with itself. (Oops! They already are!)

2. Make them source all materials and services within Iran. (That’ll teach them.)

3. Have the regime try to get money from itself without bribing anyone.

4. Force them to meet deadlines.

5. Don’t serve tea to any Iranian officials.

6. Make them use the Iranian medical system themselves (no intermediaries allowed! Let them see what it’s like to find out the drug they need is only available on the black market.)

7. Don’t let them watch football until they meet the EU’s demands.

8. Force them to drink only homemade Iranian vodka.

Number 8 may be going too far.

Andrew Apostolou (persian pyjamas).

Evading genocide with quotation marks

President George W. Bush’s second-term National Security Strategy states:

4. Genocide

Patient efforts to end conflicts should not be mistaken for tolerance of the intolerable. Genocide is the intent to destroy in whole or in part a national, ethnic, racial, or religious group. The world needs to start honoring a principle that many believe has lost its force in parts of the international community in recent years: genocide must not be tolerated.

It is a moral imperative that states take action to prevent and punish genocide. History teaches that sometimes other states will not act unless America does its part. We must refine United States Government efforts — economic, diplomatic, and law-enforcement — so that they target those individuals responsible for genocide and not the innocent citizens they rule. Where perpetrators of mass killing defy all attempts at peaceful intervention, armed intervention may be required, preferably by the forces of several nations working together under appropriate regional or international auspices.

We must not allow the legal debate over the technical definition of “genocide” to excuse inaction. The world must act in cases of mass atrocities and mass killing that will eventually lead to genocide even if the local parties are not prepared for peace.

Fine words. However, when the U.S. ambassador to Armenia called the genocide of the Armenians a, well, genocide, the courageous souls of Foggy Bottom sallied forth to oblige the ambo to state that:

Although I told my audiences that the United States policy on the Armenian tragedy has not changed, I used the term “genocide” speaking in what I characterized as my personal capacity. This was inappropriate.

The ambo alluded to the president’s annual statement on the genocide, a statement which does not mention it as a genocide:

This terrible event is what many Armenian people have come to call the “Great Calamity.”

A year later a rumpus has been started about the ambo’s status, eliciting this bit of editing by the State Department:

Armenia: Status of US Ambassador to Armenia Evans

Question: What is the status of U.S. Ambassador to Armenia Evans? Was he recalled for statements acknowledging the Armenian “genocide”?

Answer: U.S. Ambassadors serve at the pleasure of the President. Ambassador Evans and his capable team have the full confidence of the Administration.

Smart! So to show that somebody else said genocide, and that the State Department didn’t, the used quotation marks, which means that the genocide was a “genocide”, not a genocide. It’s different, you see?

The L.A. Times has it right:

It is time to stop tiptoeing around this issue and to accept settled history. Genocide, according to accepted U.N. definition, means “the intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group.” Armenia is not even a borderline case. Punishing an ambassador for speaking honestly about a 90-year-old crime befits a cynical, double-dealing monarchy, not the leader of the free world.

If Bush can stand up to Saddam, he can handle a democratic government in Turkey. What is more, given the choice, one day, between EU membership and acknowledging a nearly century old crime that nobody seriously denies, what will Turkey do? When that happens, maybe the State Department will get rid of those quotation marks.

Andrew Apostolou (historian in jim jams).

Great American export

One of the best British blogs is The Daily Ablution, written by ex-pat Yank Scott Burgess. In his daily evisceration of The Guardian, Burgess alights upon absurd details missed by that newspaper and those other sections of the British media that have become apologists for the Islamo-fascists. For example, commenting on the treatment of British traitor Feroz Abbasi in Guantanamo Bay:

While all of these acts are undeniably horrifying, being on a par with the worst excesses of Torquemada, even their totality pales in comparison with the most extreme of the tortures to which Mr. Abbasi was subjected.

Of course, countless abuses have been committed against war prisoners throughout the ages – no one denies that. But, while not downplaying their suffering, it must be admitted that even the most unfortunate of these victims can only breathe a sigh of relief that he was not subject to what Mr. Abbasi was forced to endure when he:

had his peanut butter eaten by a guard “right in front of him”.

One needn’t be a bleeding heart to shudder at the inhumanity thus displayed.

But Scott, was it crunchy or smooth?

Andrew Apostolou (no need to clean them yet).

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