Where’d the Buddhists go?

Where’d the Buddhists go?

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AP’s caption:

Britain’s Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales, and his wife Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, are seen during a visit to the ruins of an ancient Buddhist monastery at Taxila, Pakistan, Tuesday Oct. 31, 2006.

Where did the Buddhists of Taxila go?

Oh yes: they “averted” a “clash of civilizations” by “following the teaching of Islam and Quraan.” Whether they wanted to or not.

The future belongs to Islam — This is also true of Mexican illegal immigration –We must stop both in the U S A

 

October 20, 2006The future belongs to IslamThe Muslim world has youth, numbers and global ambitions. The West is growing old and enfeebled, and lacks the will to rebuff those who would supplant it. It’s the end of the world as we’ve known it. An excerpt from ‘America Alone’.MARK STEYNSept. 11, 2001, was not “the day everything changed,” but the day that revealed how much had already changed. On Sept. 10, how many journalists had the Council of American-Islamic Relations or the Canadian Islamic Congress or the Muslim Council of Britain in their Rolodexes? If you’d said that whether something does or does not cause offence to Muslims would be the early 21st century’s principal political dynamic in Denmark, Sweden, the Netherlands, Belgium, France and the United Kingdom, most folks would have thought you were crazy. Yet on that Tuesday morning the top of the iceberg bobbed up and toppled the Twin Towers.This is about the seven-eighths below the surface — the larger forces at play in the developed world that have left Europe too enfeebled to resist its remorseless transformation into Eurabia and that call into question the future of much of the rest of the world. The key factors are: demographic decline; the unsustainability of the social democratic state; and civilizational exhaustion. Let’s start with demography, because everything does:If your school has 200 guys and you’re playing a school with 2,000 pupils, it doesn’t mean your baseball team is definitely going to lose but it certainly gives the other fellows a big starting advantage. Likewise, if you want to launch a revolution, it’s not very likely if you’ve only got seven revolutionaries. And they’re all over 80. But, if you’ve got two million and seven revolutionaries and they’re all under 30 you’re in business.For example, I wonder how many pontificators on the “Middle East peace process” ever run this number:The median age in the Gaza Strip is 15.8 years.Once you know that, all the rest is details. If you were a “moderate Palestinian” leader, would you want to try to persuade a nation — or pseudo-nation — of unemployed poorly educated teenage boys raised in a UN-supervised European-funded death cult to see sense? Any analysis of the “Palestinian problem” that doesn’t take into account the most important determinant on the ground is a waste of time. Likewise, the salient feature of Europe, Canada, Japan and Russia is that they’re running out of babies. What’s happening in the developed world is one of the fastest demographic evolutions in history: most of us have seen a gazillion heartwarming ethnic comedies — My Big Fat Greek Wedding and its ilk — in which some uptight WASPy type starts dating a gal from a vast loving fecund Mediterranean family, so abundantly endowed with sisters and cousins and uncles that you can barely get in the room. It is, in fact, the inversion of the truth. Greece has a fertility rate hovering just below 1.3 births per couple, which is what demographers call the point of “lowest-low” fertility from which no human society has ever recovered. And Greece’s fertility is the healthiest in Mediterranean Europe: Italy has a fertility rate of 1.2, Spain 1.1. Insofar as any citizens of the developed world have “big” families these days, it’s the anglo democracies: America’s fertility rate is 2.1, New Zealand a little below. Hollywood should be making My Big Fat Uptight Protestant Wedding in which some sad Greek only child marries into a big heartwarming New Zealand family where the spouse actually has a sibling.As I say, this isn’t a projection: it’s happening now. There’s no need to extrapolate, and if you do it gets a little freaky, but, just for fun, here goes: by 2050, 60 per cent of Italians will have no brothers, no sisters, no cousins, no aunts, no uncles. The big Italian family, with papa pouring the vino and mama spooning out the pasta down an endless table of grandparents and nieces and nephews, will be gone, no more, dead as the dinosaurs. As Noel Coward once remarked in another context, “Funiculi, funicula, funic yourself.” By mid-century, Italians will have no choice in the matter.Experts talk about root causes. But demography is the most basic root of all. A people that won’t multiply can’t go forth or go anywhere. Those who do will shape the age we live in.Demographic decline and the unsustainability of the social democratic state are closely related. In America, politicians upset about the federal deficit like to complain that we’re piling up debts our children and grandchildren will have to pay off. But in Europe the unaffordable entitlements are in even worse shape: there are no kids or grandkids to stick it to.You might formulate it like this:Age + Welfare = Disaster for you;Youth + Will = Disaster for whoever gets in your way.By “will,” I mean the metaphorical spine of a culture. Africa, to take another example, also has plenty of young people, but it’s riddled with AIDS and, for the most part, Africans don’t think of themselves as Africans: as we saw in Rwanda, their primary identity is tribal, and most tribes have no global ambitions. Islam, however, has serious global ambitions, and it forms the primal, core identity of most of its adherents — in the Middle East, South Asia and elsewhere.Islam has youth and will, Europe has age and welfare.We are witnessing the end of the late 20th- century progressive welfare democracy. Its fiscal bankruptcy is merely a symptom of a more fundamental bankruptcy: its insufficiency as an animating principle for society. The children and grandchildren of those fascists and republicans who waged a bitter civil war for the future of Spain now shrug when a bunch of foreigners blow up their capital. Too sedated even to sue for terms, they capitulate instantly. Over on the other side of the equation, the modern multicultural state is too watery a concept to bind huge numbers of immigrants to the land of their nominal citizenship. So they look elsewhere and find the jihad. The Western Muslim’s pan-Islamic identity is merely the first great cause in a world where globalized pathologies are taking the place of old-school nationalism.For states in demographic decline with ever more lavish social programs, the question is a simple one: can they get real? Can they grow up before they grow old? If not, then they’ll end their days in societies dominated by people with a very different world view.Which brings us to the third factor — the enervated state of the Western world, the sense of civilizational ennui, of nations too mired in cultural relativism to understand what’s at stake. As it happens, that third point is closely related to the first two. To Americans, it doesn’t always seem obvious that there’s any connection between the “war on terror” and the so-called “pocketbook issues” of domestic politics. But there is a correlation between the structural weaknesses of the social democratic state and the rise of a globalized Islam. The state has gradually annexed all the responsibilities of adulthood — health care, child care, care of the elderly — to the point where it’s effectively severed its citizens from humanity’s primal instincts, not least the survival instinct. In the American context, the federal “deficit” isn’t the problem; it’s the government programs that cause the deficit. These programs would still be wrong even if Bill Gates wrote a cheque to cover them each month. They corrode the citizen’s sense of self-reliance to a potentially fatal degree. Big government is a national security threat: it increases your vulnerability to threats like Islamism, and makes it less likely you’ll be able to summon the will to rebuff it. We should have learned that lesson on Sept. 11, 2001, when big government flopped big-time and the only good news of the day came from the ad hoc citizen militia of Flight 93.There were two forces at play in the late 20th century: in the Eastern bloc, the collapse of Communism; in the West, the collapse of confidence. One of the most obvious refutations of Francis Fukuyama’s famous thesis The End Of History -- written at the victory of liberal pluralist democracy over Soviet Communism — is that the victors didn’t see it as such. Americans — or at least non-Democrat-voting Americans — may talk about “winning” the Cold War but the French and the Belgians and Germans and Canadians don’t. Very few British do. These are all formal NATO allies — they were, technically, on the winning side against a horrible tyranny few would wish to live under themselves. In Europe, there was an initial moment of euphoria: it was hard not be moved by the crowds sweeping through the Berlin Wall, especially as so many of them were hot-looking Red babes eager to enjoy a Carlsberg or Stella Artois with even the nerdiest running dog of imperialism. But, when the moment faded, pace Fukuyama, there was no sense on the Continent that our Big Idea had beaten their Big Idea. With the best will in the world, it’s hard to credit the citizens of France or Italy as having made any serious contribution to the defeat of Communism. Au contraire, millions of them voted for it, year in, year out. And, with the end of the Soviet existential threat, the enervation of the West only accelerated.In Thomas P. M. Barnett’s book Blueprint For Action, Robert D. Kaplan, a very shrewd observer of global affairs, is quoted referring to the lawless fringes of the map as “Indian territory.” It’s a droll joke but a misleading one. The difference between the old Indian territory and the new is this: no one had to worry about the Sioux riding down Fifth Avenue. Today, with a few hundred bucks on his ATM card, the fellow from the badlands can be in the heart of the metropolis within hours.Here’s another difference: in the old days, the white man settled the Indian territory. Now the followers of the badland’s radical imams settle the metropolis.And another difference: technology. In the old days, the Injuns had bows and arrows and the cavalry had rifles. In today’s Indian territory, countries that can’t feed their own people have nuclear weapons.But beyond that the very phrase “Indian territory” presumes that inevitably these badlands will be brought within the bounds of the ordered world. In fact, a lot of today’s “Indian territory” was relatively ordered a generation or two back — West Africa, Pakistan, Bosnia. Though Eastern Europe and Latin America and parts of Asia are freer now than they were in the seventies, other swaths of the map have spiralled backwards. Which is more likely? That the parts of the world under pressure will turn into post-Communist Poland or post-Communist Yugoslavia? In Europe, the demographic pressures favour the latter.The enemies we face in the future will look a lot like al-Qaeda: transnational, globalized, locally franchised, extensively outsourced — but tied together through a powerful identity that leaps frontiers and continents. They won’t be nation-states and they’ll have no interest in becoming nation-states, though they might use the husks thereof, as they did in Afghanistan and then Somalia. The jihad may be the first, but other transnational deformities will embrace similar techniques. Sept. 10 institutions like the UN and the EU will be unlikely to provide effective responses.We can argue about what consequences these demographic trends will have, but to say blithely they have none is ridiculous. The basic demography explains, for example, the critical difference between the “war on terror” for Americans and Europeans: in the U.S., the war is something to be fought in the treacherous sands of the Sunni Triangle and the caves of the Hindu Kush; you go to faraway places and kill foreigners. But, in Europe, it’s a civil war. Neville Chamberlain dismissed Czechoslovakia as “a faraway country of which we know little.” This time round, for much of western Europe it turned out the faraway country of which they knew little was their own.Four years into the “war on terror,” the Bush administration began promoting a new formulation: “the long war.” Not a good sign. In a short war, put your money on tanks and bombs. In a long war, the better bet is will and manpower. The longer the long war gets, the harder it will be, because it’s a race against time, against lengthening demographic, economic and geopolitical odds. By “demographic,” I mean the Muslim world’s high birth rate, which by mid-century will give tiny Yemen a higher population than vast empty Russia. By “economic,” I mean the perfect storm the Europeans will face within this decade, because their lavish welfare states are unsustainable on their post-Christian birth rates. By “geopolitical,” I mean that, if you think the United Nations and other international organizations are antipathetic to America now, wait a few years and see what kind of support you get from a semi-Islamified Europe.Almost every geopolitical challenge in the years ahead has its roots in demography, but not every demographic crisis will play out the same way. That’s what makes doing anything about it even more problematic — because different countries’ reactions to their own particular domestic circumstances are likely to play out in destabilizing ways on the international scene. In Japan, the demographic crisis exists virtually in laboratory conditions — no complicating factors; in Russia, it will be determined by the country’s relationship with a cramped neighbour — China; and in Europe, the new owners are already in place — like a tenant with a right-to-buy agreement.Let’s start in the most geriatric jurisdiction on the planet. In Japan, the rising sun has already passed into the next phase of its long sunset: net population loss. 2005 was the first year since records began in which the country had more deaths than births. Japan offers the chance to observe the demographic death spiral in its purest form. It’s a country with no immigration, no significant minorities and no desire for any: just the Japanese, aging and dwindling.At first it doesn’t sound too bad: compared with the United States, most advanced societies are very crowded. If you’re in a cramped apartment in a noisy congested city, losing a couple hundred thousand seems a fine trade-off. The difficulty, in a modern social democratic state, is managing which people to lose: already, according to the Japan Times, depopulation is “presenting the government with pressing challenges on the social and economic front, including ensuring provision of social security services and securing the labour force.” For one thing, the shortage of children has led to a shortage of obstetricians. Why would any talented ambitious med school student want to go into a field in such precipitous decline? As a result, if you live in certain parts of Japan, childbirth is all in the timing. On Oki Island, try to time the contractions for Monday morning. That’s when the maternity ward is open — first day of the week, 10 a.m., when an obstetrician flies in to attend to any pregnant mothers who happen to be around. And at 5.30 p.m. she flies out. So, if you’ve been careless enough to time your childbirth for Tuesday through Sunday, you’ll have to climb into a helicopter and zip off to give birth alone in a strange hospital unsurrounded by tiresome loved ones. Do Lamaze classes on Oki now teach you to time your breathing to the whirring of the chopper blades?The last local obstetrician left the island in 2006 and the health service isn’t expecting any more. Doubtless most of us can recall reading similar stories over the years from remote rural districts in America, Canada, Australia. After all, why would a village of a few hundred people have a great medical system? But Oki has a population of 17,000, and there are still no obstetricians: birthing is a dying business.So what will happen? There are a couple of scenarios: whatever Japanese feelings on immigration, a country with great infrastructure won’t empty out for long, any more than a state-of-the-art factory that goes belly up stays empty for long. At some point, someone else will move in to Japan’s plant.And the alternative? In The Children Of Men, P. D. James’ dystopian fantasy about a barren world, there are special dolls for women whose maternal instinct has gone unfulfilled: pretend mothers take their artificial children for walks on the street or to the swings in the park. In Japan, that’s no longer the stuff of dystopian fantasy. At the beginning of the century, the country’s toy makers noticed they had a problem: toys are for children and Japan doesn’t have many. What to do? In 2005, Tomy began marketing a new doll called Yumel — a baby boy with a range of 1,200 phrases designed to serve as companions for the elderly. He says not just the usual things — “I wuv you” — but also asks the questions your grandchildren would ask if you had any: “Why do elephants have long noses?” Yumel joins his friend, the Snuggling Ifbot, a toy designed to have the conversation of a five-year old child which its makers, with the usual Japanese efficiency, have determined is just enough chit-chat to prevent the old folks going senile. It seems an appropriate final comment on the social democratic state: in a childish infantilized self-absorbed society where adults have been stripped of all responsibility, you need never stop playing with toys. We are the children we never had.And why leave it at that? Is it likely an ever smaller number of young people will want to spend their active years looking after an ever greater number of old people? Or will it be simpler to put all that cutting-edge Japanese technology to good use and take a flier on Mister Roboto and the post-human future? After all, what’s easier for the governing class? Weaning a pampered population off the good life and re-teaching them the lost biological impulse or giving the Sony Corporation a licence to become the Cloney Corporation? If you need to justify it to yourself, you’d grab the graphs and say, well, demographic decline is universal. It’s like industrialization a couple of centuries back; everyone will get to it eventually, but the first to do so will have huge advantages: the relevant comparison is not with England’s early 19th century population surge but with England’s Industrial Revolution. In the industrial age, manpower was critical. In the new technological age, manpower will be optional — and indeed, if most of the available manpower’s Muslim, it’s actually a disadvantage. As the most advanced society with the most advanced demographic crisis, Japan seems likely to be the first jurisdiction to embrace robots and cloning and embark on the slippery slope to transhumanism.Demographic origin need not be the final word. In 1775, Benjamin Franklin wrote a letter to Joseph Priestly suggesting a mutual English friend might like to apply his mind to the conundrum the Crown faced:Britain, at the expense of three millions, has killed 150 Yankees this campaign, which is £20000 a head… During the same time, 60000 children have been born in America. From these data his mathematical head will easily calculate the time and the expense necessary to kill us all.Obviously, Franklin was oversimplifying. Not every American colonist identified himself as a rebel. After the revolution, there were massive population displacements: as United Empire Loyalists well know, large numbers of New Yorkers left the colony to resettle in what’s now Ontario. Some American Negroes were so anxious to remain subjects of King George III they resettled as far as Sierra Leone. For these people, their primary identity was not as American colonists but as British subjects. For others, their new identity as Americans had supplanted their formal allegiance to the Crown. The question for today’s Europe is whether the primary identity of their fastest-growing demographic is Muslim or Belgian, Muslim or Dutch, Muslim or French.That’s where civilizational confidence comes in: if “Dutchness” or “Frenchness” seems a weak attenuated thing, then the stronger identity will prevail. One notes other similarities between revolutionary America and contemporary Europe: the United Empire Loyalists were older and wealthier; the rebels were younger and poorer. In the end, the former simply lacked the latter’s strength of will.Europe, like Japan, has catastrophic birth rates and a swollen pampered elderly class determined to live in defiance of economic reality. But the difference is that on the Continent the successor population is already in place and the only question is how bloody the transfer of real estate will be.If America’s “allies” failed to grasp the significance of 9/11, it’s because Europe’s home-grown terrorism problems had all taken place among notably static populations, such as Ulster and the Basque country. One could make generally safe extrapolations about the likelihood of holding Northern Ireland to what cynical strategists in Her Majesty’s Government used to call an “acceptable level of violence.” But in the same three decades as Ulster’s “Troubles,” the hitherto moderate Muslim populations of south Asia were radicalized by a politicized form of Islam; previously formally un-Islamic societies such as Nigeria became semi-Islamist; and large Muslim populations settled in parts of Europe that had little or no experience of mass immigration.On the Continent and elsewhere in the West, native populations are aging and fading and being supplanted remorselessly by a young Muslim demographic. Time for the obligatory “of courses”: of course, not all Muslims are terrorists — though enough are hot for jihad to provide an impressive support network of mosques from Vienna to Stockholm to Toronto to Seattle. Of course, not all Muslims support terrorists — though enough of them share their basic objectives (the wish to live under Islamic law in Europe and North America) to function wittingly or otherwise as the “good cop” end of an Islamic good cop/bad cop routine. But, at the very minimum, this fast-moving demographic transformation provides a huge comfort zone for the jihad to move around in. And in a more profound way it rationalizes what would otherwise be the nuttiness of the terrorists’ demands. An IRA man blows up a pub in defiance of democratic reality — because he knows that at the ballot box the Ulster Loyalists win the elections and the Irish Republicans lose. When a European jihadist blows something up, that’s not in defiance of democratic reality but merely a portent of democratic reality to come. He’s jumping the gun, but in every respect things are moving his way.You may vaguely remember seeing some flaming cars on the evening news toward the end of 2005. Something going on in France, apparently. Something to do with — what’s the word? — “youths.” When I pointed out the media’s strange reluctance to use the M-word vis-à-vis the rioting “youths,” I received a ton of emails arguing there’s no Islamist component, they’re not the madrasa crowd, they may be Muslim but they’re secular and Westernized and into drugs and rap and meaningless sex with no emotional commitment, and rioting and looting and torching and trashing, just like any normal healthy Western teenagers. These guys have economic concerns, it’s the lack of jobs, it’s conditions peculiar to France, etc. As one correspondent wrote, “You right-wing shit-for-brains think everything’s about jihad.”Actually, I don’t think everything’s about jihad. But I do think, as I said, that a good 90 per cent of everything’s about demography. Take that media characterization of those French rioters: “youths.” What’s the salient point about youths? They’re youthful. Very few octogenarians want to go torching Renaults every night. It’s not easy lobbing a Molotov cocktail into a police station and then hobbling back with your walker across the street before the searing heat of the explosion melts your hip replacement. Civil disobedience is a young man’s game.In June 2006, a 54-year-old Flemish train conductor called Guido Demoor got on the Number 23 bus in Antwerp to go to work. Six — what’s that word again? — “youths” boarded the bus and commenced intimidating the other riders. There were some 40 passengers aboard. But the “youths” were youthful and the other passengers less so. Nonetheless, Mr. Demoor asked the lads to cut it out and so they turned on him, thumping and kicking him. Of those 40 other passengers, none intervened to help the man under attack. Instead, at the next stop, 30 of the 40 scrammed, leaving Mr. Demoor to be beaten to death. Three “youths” were arrested, and proved to be — quelle surprise! — of Moroccan origin. The ringleader escaped and, despite police assurances of complete confidentiality, of those 40 passengers only four came forward to speak to investigators. “You see what happens if you intervene,” a fellow rail worker told the Belgian newspaper De Morgen. “If Guido had not opened his mouth he would still be alive.”No, he wouldn’t. He would be as dead as those 40 passengers are, as the Belgian state is, keeping his head down, trying not to make eye contact, cowering behind his newspaper in the corner seat and hoping just to be left alone. What future in “their” country do Mr. Demoor’s two children have? My mother and grandparents came from Sint-Niklaas, a town I remember well from many childhood visits. When we stayed with great-aunts and other relatives, the upstairs floors of the row houses had no bathrooms, just chamber pots. My sister and I were left to mooch around cobbled streets with our little cousin for hours on end, wandering aimlessly past smoke-wreathed bars and cafes, occasionally buying frites with mayonnaise. With hindsight it seemed as parochially Flemish as could be imagined. Not anymore. The week before Mr. Demoor was murdered in plain sight, bus drivers in Sint-Niklaas walked off the job to protest the thuggery of the — here it comes again — “youths.” In little more than a generation, a town has been transformed.Of the ethnic Belgian population, some 17 per cent are under 18 years old. Of the country’s Turkish and Moroccan population, 35 per cent are under 18 years old. The “youths” get ever more numerous, the non-youths get older. To avoid the ruthless arithmetic posited by Benjamin Franklin, it is necessary for those “youths” to feel more Belgian. Is that likely? Colonel Gadhafi doesn’t think so:There are signs that Allah will grant Islam victory in Europe — without swords, without guns, without conquests. The fifty million Muslims of Europe will turn it into a Muslim continent within a few decades. On Sept. 11, 2001, the American mainland was attacked for the first time since the War of 1812. The perpetrators were foreign — Saudis and Egyptians. Since 9/11, Europe has seen the London Tube bombings, the French riots, Dutch murders of nationalist politicians. The perpetrators are their own citizens — British subjects, citoyens de la République française. In Linz, Austria, Muslims are demanding that all female teachers, believers or infidels, wear head scarves in class. The Muslim Council of Britain wants Holocaust Day abolished because it focuses “only” on the Nazis’ (alleged) Holocaust of the Jews and not the Israelis’ ongoing Holocaust of the Palestinians.How does the state react? In Seville, King Ferdinand III is no longer patron saint of the annual fiesta because his splendid record in fighting for Spanish independence from the Moors was felt to be insensitive to Muslims. In London, a judge agreed to the removal of Jews and Hindus from a trial jury because the Muslim defendant’s counsel argued he couldn’t get a fair verdict from them. The Church of England is considering removing St. George as the country’s patron saint on the grounds that, according to various Anglican clergy, he’s too “militaristic” and “offensive to Muslims.” They wish to replace him with St. Alban, and replace St. George’s cross on the revamped Union Flag, which would instead show St. Alban’s cross as a thin yellow streak.In a few years, as millions of Muslim teenagers are entering their voting booths, some European countries will not be living formally under sharia, but — as much as parts of Nigeria, they will have reached an accommodation with their radicalized Islamic compatriots, who like many intolerant types are expert at exploiting the “tolerance” of pluralist societies. In other Continental countries, things are likely to play out in more traditional fashion, though without a significantly different ending. Wherever one’s sympathies lie on Islam’s multiple battle fronts the fact is the jihad has held out a long time against very tough enemies. If you’re not shy about taking on the Israelis and Russians, why wouldn’t you fancy your chances against the Belgians and Spaniards?“We’re the ones who will change you,” the Norwegian imam Mullah Krekar told the Oslo newspaper Dagbladet in 2006. “Just look at the development within Europe, where the number of Muslims is expanding like mosquitoes. Every Western woman in the EU is producing an average of 1.4 children. Every Muslim woman in the same countries is producing 3.5 children.” As he summed it up: “Our way of thinking will prove more powerful than yours.” Reprinted by permission of Regnery Publishing from America Alone © 2006 by Mark Steyn  

E-Mail Ballots for Military Questioned — Democrats set up denial of military vote as usual

 E-Mail Ballots for Military QuestionedThursday, November 02, 2006WASHINGTON — A New Jersey congressman raised questions Thursday about a new military voting program that lets service members request and submit their ballots by fax or e-mail.The Defense Department, however, said the program is as secure as possible, and any risks are detailed for the military members when they access the e-mail system.In a letter to Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, Democratic Rep. Rush Holt said the electronic registration and voting service is well-intentioned, but could expose troops to identity theft, or allow hackers or others to tamper with the ballots when they are in transit.“After the Defense Department was stopped from implementing a program like this two years ago because it was full of security holes, I’m angry and astonished that they’re doing it again without review, scrutiny, and oversight,”said Holt.He said that while U.S. military personnel should participate in the political process,”no one is served by introducing possibilities for error, insecurity, and fraud.”Pentagon spokeswoman Cynthia Smith said the Defense Department has set up a secure absentee voter program that will allow military members to request and receive absentee ballots. The new program, she said, lets people vote without relying on the regular mail system.As part of the program, many states allow military members deployed overseas to return their completed ballot via fax or the Internet. Those ballots, Smith said, will not pass through the hands of any government officials until they are received by a local election authority.“The e-mail-to-fax operation does have risks, but we have taken every precaution to limit those risks,”said Smith. She said U.S. service members have been told of the potential privacy concerns with the system, so they can make an informed choice about whether to use the program.___On the Net:Federal Voting Assistance Program:http://www.fvap.gov/Defense Department:http://www.defenselink.mil

 

Shots fired in Turkey pope protest

Shots fired in Turkey pope protest

ISTANBUL, Turkey (CNN) — Police say they have arrested a man who allegedly fired a pistol into the air outside the Italian consulate in Istanbul, then shouted slogans in protest of Pope Benedict XVI’s upcoming visit.

The man, who was identified by police sources as Ibrahim Ak, according to CNN Turk, threw the gun on the grounds of the consulate shortly before his arrest on Thursday.

“I don’t want him here, if he was here now I would strangle him with my bare hands,” the suspect, who identified himself as Ibrahim Ak, 26, told a Dogan news agency television camera as he was detained by police, according to The Associated Press.

“I fired the shots for God,” Ak said as he sat handcuffed inside a police van outside the consulate. “Inshallah (God willing), this will be a spark, a starter for Muslims.”

“God willing, he will not come, if he comes, he will see what will happen to him Inshallah,” Ak said.

No one was injured in the incident, which comes a day after Turkish Prime Minister Recep Erdogan announced he would not meet the pontiff during his November 28-30 visit.

“I believe (the shooting) is a very isolated and marginal act,” chief Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi, told CNN. He said he did not believe it would jeopardize the planning of the pope’s trip, which was being carried out calmly.

Erdogan will be at a NATO summit during the pope’s visit, but some see the move as a snub.

The pope’s trip follows a controversial speech in Germany in which he quoted a 14th-century emperor who said the Muslim Prophet Mohammed’s teachings are “evil and inhuman.”

That speech in mid-September prompted widespread criticism from Muslims. The pope has made a series of increasingly apologetic statements since then.

Copyright 2006 CNN. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Associated Press contributed to this report.

 

The Islamization of Europe: Vicar Sacrifices Himself. Others Sacrifice Others

The Islamization of Europe: Vicar Sacrifices Himself. Others Sacrifice Others

Created 2006-11-02 02:58

On Tuesday a Lutheran vicar set himself alight in the German town of Erfurt. The 73 year old Roland Weisselberg poured gasoline over himself and set fire to himself in the Erfurt monastery, where Martin Luther took his monastic vows in 1505. Tuesday was a national holiday in parts of Germany to celebrate the Protestant Reformation. Bystanders rushed to extinguish the flames. Weisselberg later died of his injuries.

In a farewell letter to his wife the vicar wrote that he was setting himself on fire to warn against the danger of the Islamization of Europe. During the past four years the vicar had frequently expressed his concern about the expansion of Islam, urging the Lutheran Church to take this issue seriously. As the fire started the vicar cried: “Jesus and Oskar!” Oskar Brüsewitz was a 47-year old German vicar who died after setting himself on fire 30 years ago, on 18 August 1976, in the market square of the German town of Zeitz in protest against the Communist regime in East Germany. Both Erfurt and Zeitz are situated in the former East German province of Saxony.

Axel Noack, the Lutheran Bishop of Saxony, said he is shocked by the tragic event in Erfurt. Bishop Noack emphasized that the motive for the suicide complicates matters. He said he hopes that the affair and the question of how Christians should relate to Muslims will not lead to unrest. The Bishop emphasized that Christians reject a culture war. “Fear of other cultures is the result of our own insecurity,” he said, adding that since there are not many Muslims in what was once East Germany, there is not much of a debate about Islam there.

Another famous case of self-immolation in Europe was that of Jan Palach, a Czech student who sacrificed his life in Prague in 1969 to protest the Communist occupation of his country.

While some set themself alight others in contemporary Europe sacrifice others. Last Saturday Mama Galledou, a 26-year old Senegalese medical student, suffered severe burns in an arson attack by Muslim thugs, a.k.a. “youths,” on a public transport bus in the French city of Marseille. Muslim thugs have torched eight buses in France during the past days. They hijack the vehicles and empty jerrycans of gasoline into them. Sometimes they allow the passengers to get off first, sometimes they do not.


Source URL:
http://www.brusselsjournal.com/node/1625

The Islamization of Europe: Vicar Sacrifices Himself. Others Sacrifice Others

The Islamization of Europe: Vicar Sacrifices Himself. Others Sacrifice Others

Created 2006-11-02 02:58

On Tuesday a Lutheran vicar set himself alight in the German town of Erfurt. The 73 year old Roland Weisselberg poured gasoline over himself and set fire to himself in the Erfurt monastery, where Martin Luther took his monastic vows in 1505. Tuesday was a national holiday in parts of Germany to celebrate the Protestant Reformation. Bystanders rushed to extinguish the flames. Weisselberg later died of his injuries.

In a farewell letter to his wife the vicar wrote that he was setting himself on fire to warn against the danger of the Islamization of Europe. During the past four years the vicar had frequently expressed his concern about the expansion of Islam, urging the Lutheran Church to take this issue seriously. As the fire started the vicar cried: “Jesus and Oskar!” Oskar Brüsewitz was a 47-year old German vicar who died after setting himself on fire 30 years ago, on 18 August 1976, in the market square of the German town of Zeitz in protest against the Communist regime in East Germany. Both Erfurt and Zeitz are situated in the former East German province of Saxony.

Axel Noack, the Lutheran Bishop of Saxony, said he is shocked by the tragic event in Erfurt. Bishop Noack emphasized that the motive for the suicide complicates matters. He said he hopes that the affair and the question of how Christians should relate to Muslims will not lead to unrest. The Bishop emphasized that Christians reject a culture war. “Fear of other cultures is the result of our own insecurity,” he said, adding that since there are not many Muslims in what was once East Germany, there is not much of a debate about Islam there.

Another famous case of self-immolation in Europe was that of Jan Palach, a Czech student who sacrificed his life in Prague in 1969 to protest the Communist occupation of his country.

While some set themself alight others in contemporary Europe sacrifice others. Last Saturday Mama Galledou, a 26-year old Senegalese medical student, suffered severe burns in an arson attack by Muslim thugs, a.k.a. “youths,” on a public transport bus in the French city of Marseille. Muslim thugs have torched eight buses in France during the past days. They hijack the vehicles and empty jerrycans of gasoline into them. Sometimes they allow the passengers to get off first, sometimes they do not.


Source URL:
http://www.brusselsjournal.com/node/1625

A Recipe for Defeat: Europe is Pelosi’s America – The gays take every opportunity to dress up. Consequently Halloween has become a gay festival in LA. The first people I met when leaving the hotel were a group of men dressed up as ballerinas. This is Pelosi Land. – Americans can already see what their country’s future will be if they vote for Pelosi and her band. They only need to watch Europe. That is what America will be like 20 years from now if the Liberals succeed in turning the U.S. into a European-style welfare state.

A Recipe for Defeat: Europe is Pelosi’s America

I am in Los Angeles at the moment, and do not have the opportunity to write about events in Europe as much as I would like to. I will not be back in Brussels until 12 November. Over here in the U.S. all attention is focused on the upcoming elections. There is a possibility that the Democrats will become the majority in the House of Representatives and that Nancy Pelosi, the California Liberal, will become the next Speaker of the House. I was in West Hollywood on Halloween. A friend described this area as one third retiree, one third Russian and one third gay. Sounds a bit like Europe to me.

The gays take every opportunity to dress up. Consequently Halloween has become a gay festival in LA. The first people I met when leaving the hotel were a group of men dressed up as ballerinas. This is Pelosi Land.

Americans can already see what their country’s future will be if they vote for Pelosi and her band. They only need to watch Europe. That is what America will be like 20 years from now if the Liberals succeed in turning the U.S. into a European-style welfare state. The latter is the cause of all Europe’s problems. It has led to secularization, because people who are catered for from the cradle to the grave no longer need God. It has led to the immigration debacle, because Europe has attracted welfare immigrants who only come for the benefits and not to contribute to the host country’s wealth creation. It has led to the loss of the citizens’ ability to care for themselves, because they expect everything from the state.

However, the current American elections are relevant for Europe, too. If they lead to the American withdrawal from Iraq, Europe will face a widespread intifada. The withdrawal will be perceived as a defeat of the West and the Muslim “youths” in Europe’s cities will become even more arrogant. They utterly despise the Europeans, whom they perceive (not entirely without reason) to be men dressed up as ballerinas, and they hate America because it fights back. In a world ruled by men who only understand the language of power it is better to be hated than despised. If America withdraws the Islamist fanatics will despise America for it. They will take this as a sign that the West has been defeated and that the world is theirs.

In this scenario Europe has more to lose than America. That makes it all the more surprising that Europe’s politicians refuse to support America. They seem to be hoping that the Muslims, although they despise the Europeans, will leave them alone so they can carry on paying the taxes that the immigrants live off. I fear it will not turn out this way. Moreover, the funds are running dry because the welfare state hampers wealth creation.

I have ambivalent feelings about the war in Iraq, but once a country has decided to go to war it has got to make sure it wins. Europe no longer knows this, which also goes to explain why it does not want to help America win the war and why, on a micro level, the situation in France is deteriorating day by day. Last year the French Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy decided to reestablish law and order in the French immigrant suburbs which have become territorial pockets ruled by thugs and Islamists. Instead of fighting this battle with all available means the French authorities are waging a half-hearted war which has led to the current debacle in France’s no-go areas. Last year “youths” developed a habit of setting parked (and empty) cars on fire, but this year policemen and firefighters are being attacked in paramilitary raids and crowded buses are being hijacked and arsoned. Still the French Republic refuses to crack down on the Islamic hooligans.

Yesterday Le Figaro reported that the police in Roubaix, a town in the North of France, had been ordered not to search the house of a suspected drug trafficker because he lived in a no-go part of town. Police officers reported in an official but confidential document that “the Prefect [the Governor] of the Nord Department [Province] currently does not authorize police actions in that sector for reasons concerning public order.” The house of the suspected drug dealer was situated in “a sensitive area.” Here the thugs can do as they please.

Following the publication of the confidential police report both the French Interior Ministry and the Defence Ministry have denied its content, saying that the police officers misunderstood the orders given to them. The suspected drug trafficker was not arrested, they say, because the police had to wait for reinforcements. Meanwhile the authorities have announced an official investigation into the leaking of the document. This attitude is a recipe for defeat.

ACORN Workers Indicted For Alleged Voter Fraud — ACORN and Project Vote recruit and assign workers to low-income and minority neighborhoods to register people to vote.

ACORN Workers Indicted For Alleged Voter Fraud

POSTED: 5:02 pm CST November 1, 2006UPDATED: 10:25 pm CST November 1, 2006KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Four people have been indicted on charges of voter fraud in Kansas City, officials said Wednesday. Investigators said questionable registration forms for new voters were collected by the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, a group that works to improve minority and low-income communities. The four indicted — Kwaim A. Stenson, Dale D. Franklin, Stephanie L. Davis and Brian Gardner — were employed by ACORN as registration recruiters. They were each charged with two counts. Federal indictments allege the four turned in false voter registration applications. Prosecutors said the indictments are part of a national investigation. ACORN and Project Vote recruit and assign workers to low-income and minority neighborhoods to register people to vote. The Kansas City Election Board told KMBC they found suspicious forms, such as seven applications from one person and an application for a dead man. “There is some motive behind it — this is not accidental,” said Ray James with the Kansas City Election Board. Election officials said some of the application cards had false addresses, signatures and phone numbers. ACORN officials in Kansas City said they turned in the four people who were indicted. “We’re very happy that they were indicted,” said Claudie Harris with ACORN. Harris said ACORN workers are paid by the hour and not by the number of voter registration cards they turn in. “When you fraudulently defraud this, that gives us a bad name and what we’re trying to do a bad name,” Harris said. ACORN officials said the four indicted have been fired. Harris said ACORN workers check every voter registration card before sending it to the Election Board. Last month, ACORN claimed to have processed more than 35,000 voter registration applications in Kansas City since the summer.

ACORN — a Sixties radical group sponsored by George Soros commits election fraud – Thursday, November 02, 2006 4:56 PM
ACORN is the largest radical organization in America. It operates in 100 cities. It is funded by George Soros and is a key component of his Shadow Party. It helped Hillary Clinton to win her Senate seat in New York. ACORN is conducting massive voter fraud in key battleground races the Talent-McCaskill Senate race in Missouri where four of its workers have been indicted for fraudulently registering tens of thousands of voters in inner city areas. According to a CNN report, 40% of the voters they registered were fraudulent. Richard Poe and I have described ACORN’s evolution as a radical organization and its place in the Shadow Party in our book of that name, which is available here.

Iran test-fires missile that can reach Israel

Iran test-fires missile that can reach Israel

It has been awhile since we had a 1938 Alert. “Iran Test-Fires Longer Range Missile,” by Nasser Karimi for AP, with thanks to James:

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) – Iran test-fired dozens of missiles, including the Shahab-3 that can reach Israel, in military maneuvers Thursday that it said were aimed at putting a stop to the role of world powers in the Persian Gulf region.The show of strength came as Iran remains locked in dispute with the West over its nuclear program, which Washington says is geared to producing atomic weapons but Tehran says is only for generating electricity. The maneuvers came three days after U.S.-led warships finished naval exercises in the Gulf that Iran branded as “adventurist.”

State television reported that several kinds of missiles were tested, and broadcast footage of them being fired from mobile launchers.

Let Israel Fight Back

Let Israel Fight Back
By P. David Hornik
FrontPageMagazine.com | November 2, 2006

Israel’s leading daily Yediot Aharonot reported this week (translated on Yediot’s English site) that so far this year 202 Israelis have been rushed to hospital for injuries suffered in attacks of Qassam rockets fired from Gaza. The total for all of 2005 was 87. Israel’s disengagement from
Gaza having occurred in August 2005, the math is easy: the disengagement led to a sharp increase in violence against Israeli citizens in the area.

Behind
Gaza is the Sinai. Although the simple Qassams are home-manufactured, they carry explosives that are shipped into
Gaza from Sinai in massive quantities along with other munitions like Katyusha rockets, rifles, bullets, antitank and anti-aircraft missiles. That phenomenon, too, has risen sharply since the disengagement. Like Gaza in 2005, the Sinai was evacuated by
Israel, with all military personnel removed and civilian settlements dismantled, in 1979-1982.

 

Whereas the Sinai withdrawal was by bilateral agreement with Egypt and is ritually cited as “proving” that Arab-Israeli peace agreements can work, the Gaza withdrawal was more or less unilateral and was seen by some as a clever solution to the problem of having no negotiating partner but needing to leave a place where
Israel’s presence was supposedly untenable. The upshot is that bilaterally evacuated Sinai and unilaterally evacuated
Gaza now form a continuous zone of aggression that destabilizes the region and increases the risks of an Israeli-Egyptian or larger confrontation.

 

When one adds to this the increased risk and destabilization—now clear to all after the summer 2006 war—caused by Israel’s unilateral withdrawal from southern Lebanon in 2000, the conclusion is that Israel’s current problem of encirclement by terrorist forces backed by state actors like Iran, Syria, and Egypt is a direct result of its land concessions. Although Israel also paid dearly for transferring parts of the West Bank to the PLO in the 1990s, at this moment Israeli security forces have returned to intensive activity in the
West Bank and are containing the threat.

 

The situation also increases the risk of an eventual Iranian nuclear attack on Israel—by increasing the already-great risks for Israel of attacking
Iran before it is too late. A situation where an Israeli air strike on Iran could be met by possibly catastrophic retaliation by the well-entrenched terrorist forces surrounding Israel complicates
Israel’s prospects.

 

Back in 1975, Secretary of State Henry Kissinger told Iraqi foreign minister Saddun Hammadi: “We can’t negotiate about the existence of
Israel, but we can reduce its size to historical proportions…. So I think in ten to fifteen years, Israel will be like
Lebanon—struggling for existence, with no influence in the Arab world.” Roughly double Kissinger’s fifteen years, and his words emerge as roughly prophetic.

 

It was in the 1970s that the American push to gradually feed
Israel’s 1967 land acquisitions to the Arabs got under way. By 2006, land ceded by Israel—a pro-Western, intensely pro-American, perhaps-still-powerful democracy—is now infiltrated or ruled by forces hardly friendly to America like Al Qaeda (Sinai, Gaza), Hamas (Gaza), and Hizbullah (Lebanon, Gaza), not to mention all these and more in the simmering West Bank. The Arab and Muslim state backers of these organizations have been encouraged to believe that aggression against Israel pays and that
Israel’s destruction remains feasible. The net loss in terms of peace and stabilization is for Israel, the
United States, and the West generally.

 

Is it too late to repair the damage? With Syria and Iran continuing to arm Hizbullah in Lebanon and with Hizbullah now shielded by an enhanced UNIFIL force,
Israel now faces greater obstacles than previously in trying to deal with the threat to its north. Israel has, however, been acting against arms-smuggling tunnels on the Sinai-Gaza border and against terrorist forces within Gaza, amid calls from senior political and military figures for a reconquest of at least parts of Gaza before it becomes another
Lebanon.

 

The Bush administration could at least passively support Israel in pushing back the Gaza-Sinai-Egypt threat instead of eventually stopping Israel as it did in summer 2006 in
Lebanon. The lack of an active Israeli military presence in Gaza means not only that Israeli civilians get shelled but also that Hamas, Hizbullah, Al Qaeda, Egypt, and the overall jihad advance toward Israel and conflagration. To keep refusing to realize this is to disengage from rationality.

 

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