You are currently viewing archive for June 2006
Der Spiegel online is reporting on the brutal treatment received by dissidents in Communist China. Linked by Drudge. The lead paragraph

"China's Communist Party officials are employing brutal methods in dealing with difficult citizens. The most recent victim of what appears to be government-sanctioned brutality was a farmer who suffered a broken cervical vertebra when he was attacked by thugs."

(Okie Gardener) I do not believe the repeated mantra of "economic progress leads to political freedom." For one thing, philosophically I am not a determinist, especially not an economic determinist. For another, it seems to me that a nation can have a strong economy without political freedom--Nazi Germany did very well. I think those who claim that economic development in Communist China will lead to politcal freedom are just trying to absolve themselves of the guilt of making money on the backs of opressed Chinese labor.
This is the last excerpt from the speech of the Rev. Israel Batista Guerra, the General Secretary of the Latin American Council of Churches, that I plan to post. For the earlier posts and comments see here and here. In this excerpt Guerra shares his perceptions and understandings, as one Cuban-born and living in Ecuador, of the animosity toward the U.S. that often manifests itself in Latin America. Whether you agree with him or not, I think we should listen in an effort to understand how others see us. The following is a list of his reasons for the resentment and animosity.

"Manifest destiny: The United States assuming a messianic and missionary role toward the rest of the world: the model of democracy and society that is to be implanted on a global scale.

Individualistic enclave: An individualistic and fragmented understanding of the human being, guided by egoism and excluding [?sic] efficiency. What counts is to be winners, without concern for whoever gets left behind.

Parochial vision: Feeling itself threatened, the country looks for enemies, and in seeking security fosters the ideology lf violence and terrorism. The physical and mental borders are closed and a limited vision of the world acquired.

Corporate interests: In the past the United States was and made itself known through its people. Today it is the corporate interests and their transnational businesses that present the image of its society. The United States is its people and not its corporate interests. We want to be in relationship with the noble citizen who walks the streets of its cities and worships God in the temples." full article pdf link at bottom of page

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Another excerpt from the speech of the Rev. Israel Batista Guerra, the General Secretary of the Latin American Council of Churches. (For an earlier excerpt click here.

"In 1916, at the Congress of Panama, when Latin America was declared a land of mission, there were a couple thousand evangelicals: 14,500 in 1938, a million in 1950, then 37 million in 1980. At the end of the last millenium between 15 and 20 percent of the Latin American population was evangelical. Of that figure less than 15 percent belong to historic Protestant churches." (an okie gardener again) by "historic Protestant churches" he is referring to Lutheran, Anglican, Methodist, Baptist, etc. Most of the growth of evangelicalism is among pentecostal and neopentecostal groups.

(okie again) The shift I think will have political ramifications. In the past Latin American social upheaval has been associated with communism, socialism, Peronism, and assorted mostly secular movements. Protestantism, world-wide historically, has been associated with unrest and even revolution in the direction of democratic or republican government. Lest you say, 'But Pentecostals never will do that,' read below

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Foxnews reports that President Bush, on his European trip has paid tribute to those Hungarians who resisted Soviet tyranny in 1956.

"Bush's tribute to what he called the "unbelievable thirst for freedom" that was exhibited by Hungarians in 1956 officially got under way when he placed a wreath at a black marble Eternal Flame Memorial in honor of those who died in the revolt. The president and first lady Laura Bush bowed their heads briefly as they laid a bouquet of cut irises, lilies and other flowers at the memorial where a bugler played.
In an open-air speech in a Buda Castle courtyard, the president was urging other nations to celebrate the hard-won freedoms in such former Iron Curtain countries by helping to nurture new democracies in places like Iraq. Bush was to recall the difficulty of the transition to democracy in Hungary and other nations as a way of urging patience at home and abroad with the fits and starts of Baghdad's transition to democracy.
"All of us who have the blessings of freedom must remember the spirit that took place here and we must not take freedom for granted," Bush said as he toasted his hosts in a long, opulent hall where they had lunch.
Bush's commemoration of the 1956 uprising comes more than four months early.
The country that endured the Austro-Hungarian Empire, fascism, German occupation and then communism revolted on Oct. 23, 1956 when Hungarians encouraged by anti-Soviet protests in Poland began protesting the Kremlin.
Pro-Soviet forces fired on a crowd of 100,000 peaceful protesters and killed more than 500. The following month, armored Soviet divisions rolled into Budapest, brutally crushing the revolt and leaving thousands dead in the fighting.
The United States did not help the Hungarian protesters — a fact Bush was not expected to mention — and it would be more than 30 years before Soviet rule ended."

(An Okie Gardener again) I have been anticommunist for as long as I can remember, back to childhood. I must give credit to two books for confirming my thoughts and attitudes. One was One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Solzhenitsyn. The other was The Bridge at Andau by James Michener, his chronicle of the Hungarian uprising based on interviews with refugees. Michener allows the events to speak for themselves, conveying the horror and inhumanity of communism as practiced by the Soviets and their subjegated nations. As memories fade and as a new generation arises that only knows a fallen Wall, I think we should encourage people to read these books.
Great article on the war leadership of Winston Churchill related to the present war. Steadiness. Realism. Courage. Honesty. Moral Vision. Read the article. From National Review. Courtesy of Powerline.
An interesting tidbit in these times: according to Richard Morriss' book Witnesses at the Creation, one of the reasons John Jay (one of the Federalist writers) pushed for the adoption of a stronger central government to replace the Articles of Confederation was the inability of the Confederation government to respond to the attacks by the Barbary pirates. These pirates were North African Muslims who justified their attacks as strikes against the infidels. So indirectly Islam helped prompt us to adopt our present Constitution.
In the last two days Islamists have exploded over 70 bombs in Thailand. Full article. From LGF.

I guess it must be the presence of Thai troops in Iraq. Nope, none there. Well, it must be the firm and unequivocal support of Israel that Thailand is know world-wide for. What? Haven't heard that one. Then how about this explanation: for the entire history of Islam there has been conflict as Islam pushed to expand its borders. Islam itself divides the world into the Realm of Submission (lands governed by Islamic law)and the Realm of War (everywhere else). Ask Vienna. Ask Spain. Ask Sicily. Ask Greece. The conflicts have waxed and waned, but we now are in another period of Islamic expansion.
As the armies of Islam spread their faith, they destroyed works of art from Arabia outward. What will happen in Europe as the Muslim population increases? The following article raises this question. Perhaps a good measure of Muslim accommodation to European culture, or Muslim rejection of European culture, will be the treatment of art. Will the statues, paintings, frescoes, mosaics, bas reliefs, etc., many with Christian themes, be left alone or destroyed? Keep an eye on the art in the years ahead.

"Already statues have been vandalized by Muslims in public places, and in churches, in both France and Italy. The destruction of the monuments and artifacts and hence part of the histories of Infidels, that so many Christians, Jews, Zoroastrians, Hindus, and Buddhists in the Middle East, in North Africa, in the Balkans and southeastern Europe, in Central Asia and Hindustan and in southeast Asia know well, now has come to Western Europe. What will happen in Italy, where every street corner in Rome has something that could be damaged by determined Muslims? What will happen to the churches, to the frescoes (including that which Muslims have been taped planning to destroy in Bologna), to the paintings in the Louvre, the Prado, the National Gallery, the Rijksmuseum, the Alte Pinakothek, the Uffizi? Has any organized association of museum curators, or of art scholars, even dared to think of organizing a conference on the protection of art in Europe, and the prohibitions of Islam against sculpture of all kinds, against paintings of living creatures? "

Read the full article from Jihadwatch.
From the Timesonline, pointed out by Jihadwatch:

"ONE of Britain’s most senior military strategists has warned that western civilisation faces a threat on a par with the barbarian invasions that destroyed the Roman empire.
In an apocalyptic vision of security dangers, Rear Admiral Chris Parry said future migrations would be comparable to the Goths and Vandals while north African "barbary" pirates could be attacking yachts and beaches in the Mediterranean within 10 years.
Europe, including Britain, could be undermined by large immigrant groups with little allegiance to their host countries — a "reverse colonisation" as Parry described it. These groups would stay connected to their homelands by the internet and cheap flights. The idea of assimilation was becoming redundant, he said." Read the entire article.


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As I pointed out in this earlier post, one can find many examples of the links between Islam today and slavery. Here is an article from CNN (not a member of the VRWC) on child slavery and Quranic schools in Africa. From Jihadwatch.

Some may object that Christianity has a history with slavery. Yes it did. It now does not. Indeed, Christianity in the 18th and 19th centuries turned itself into a powerful force against slavery. Is Islam capable of reforming itself? If the past is prologue, the answer seems to be "no."
Police in Saudi Arabia have arrested four leaders of an underground Christian worship service. Two of the four are from Ethiopia, the other two from Eritrea. The worshippers were also foreign nationals. From Jihadwatch. Perhaps those who tell us how wonderfully tolerant Islam is would inform the Saudis.

14/06: A Catch 22

Posted by: A Waco Farmer
The President mentioned a "Catch 22" in his press conference today (transcript here).

After expressing his desire to close Guantanamo, he said this:

"Part of closing Guantanamo is to send some folks back home, like we've been doing. And the State Department is in the process of encouraging countries to take the folks back. Of course, sometimes we get criticized for sending some people out of Guantanamo back to their home country because of the nature of the home country. It's a little bit of a Catch-22. But we're working through this."

The President makes an important point: many of the nations criticizing the United States for holding some of these "darned dangerous" people in Gitmo do not want them in their country. Also, many of the civilized nations who castigate Gitmo for ill treatment, do not want these inmates extradicted to their countries of origin because those states are nations who actually practice torture.

I believe the President when he says he wants to close Gitmo. I also believe him when he pleads poor options.

One More Item On the press conference: You heard right.

In addressing one of the reporters, the Presdient really did say "roger, Roger" (in the fashion of the 1980 comedy, Airplane!). After reading the transcipt, I went back and checked the tape. It is there; it was intentional.
Ealier I noted in this post that my denomination, the Reformed Church in America, would consider at this summer's General Synod (big meeting) an overture from Queens in support of Taiwan that would urge the US government to recognize Taiwan as an independent nation, not part of "One China." Our denomination has a strong history of support for Taiwan, and has several congregations made up of Taiwanese immigrants.

Yesterday an advisory committee looked at the overture and recommended that we refer the overture to the executive committee to be brought back next year after reflection and rewriting. The reasons given mostly boiled down to one reason: the committee did not want to jeopardize our relationship with Christian churches in China. The arguments on the floor made by our Taiwanese immigrant delegates were heartbreaking in their passion. They do not consider themselves Chinese, but Taiwanese, members of a free, democratic land that has finally thrown off Chinese dictatorship with the demise of the Nationalist Chinese regime that fled the mainland after the loss to the communists. They spoke of the missles aimed at their nation by China. I argued on the floor that we might not have a year; Taiwan needs statements of support now. But, all to no avail: the body voted to follow the committee's advice and to refer the overture. My consolation is that it was clear the denomination as a whole supports a free Taiwan. My distress is that I fear we are making a deal with the devil to maintain our access (very limited as it is) to China.
I am a pastor and teacher by vocation and training. While I am not a trained and licensed counselor (pastors such as myself are jacks-of-all-trades), I have learned how to spot people who need help. One of the surest signs of a dysfunctional person or relationship or family or institution is an inability to see and/or acknowledge the truth. "He fired me because he just had it in for me," he said at the end of his fourth job in five years. "Daddy slept on the couch last night because he was tired," she explained to the children the next morning after her husband drank himself into oblivion, again, the night before. "I am not angry at anybody," she asserted, her body a signpost of tension.

Many Americans, and almost all American media have a problem that I am going to call American Islamic Dysfunction. They cannot or will not see and/or acknowledge the truth about Islam today. Two recent examples. From an AP story on the death of al Zarqawi, linked by Drudge
For three years, al-Zarqawi orchestrated horrific acts of violence guided by his extremist vision of jihad, or holy war _ first against the U.S. soldiers he considered occupiers of Arab lands, then against the Shiites he considered infidels.
Notice how violent jihad is described--"his extremist vision"--ignoring both the history of conquest in the name of Islam which has occurred from its very beginnings, and the teachings of authoritative Islamic scholars.

And this example from Jihadwatch, in which the words of a leading feminist were edited by USA today in order to omit her references to Islam. (cont.)

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From Jihadwatch this morning, another example of that famous Islamic tolerance toward other religions. Hindu shrines in Malasia, even 100 year-old ones built during British times, are being demolished by official government action as "illegal structures". Commenting on these actions, jihadwatch noted
It says that it [Islamic tolerance] doesn't exist. It says that Muslim authorities are still operating according to the classic provision of the dhimmi laws, that non-Muslims must not build new houses of worship or repair old ones. If they can't get away with that outright because of Constitutional window dressing about freedom of worship, put in no doubt to befuddle easily befuddled Western human rights watchers, then they drag their feet interminably about issuing permits.

"Islamic tolerance," what a crock. If you believe in it I want to talk to you about the Easter Bunny, Santa Claus, and the chaste behavior of Madonna.

I will give the late Ayatollah Khomeini this much--he was and remains an authoritative voice within Islam: much more so that any number of American academics, media types, or spokesmen for Western Islamic groups speaking to the press. LGF gives this excerpt from a recent book containing primary source material on Islamic terrorism. I think the highlighting is from LGF. As I stated in this earlier post, the person writing or speaking controls the possible meanings of a word. When a Muslim says "Religion of Peace" ask him exactly what he means by "peace." It means the "peace" of submission to Allah, whether you want to or not.

Islam is Not a Religion of Pacifists
Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, 1942

Islam’s jihad is a struggle against idolatry, sexual deviation, plunder, repression, and cruelty. The war waged by [non-Islamic] conquerors, however, aims at promoting lust and animal pleasures. They care not if whole countries are wiped out and many families left homeless. But those who study jihad will understand why Islam wants to conquer the whole world. All the countries conquered by Islam or to be conquered in the future will be marked for everlasting salvation. For they shall live under [God’s law]. ...

Those who know nothing of Islam pretend that Islam counsels against war. Those [who say this] are witless. Islam says: Kill all the unbelievers just as they would kill you all! Does that mean that Muslim should sit back until they are devoured by [the unbelievers]? Islam says: Kill the [the non-Muslims], put them to the sword and scatter [their armies]. Does this mean sitting back until [non-Muslims] overcome us? Islam says: Kill in the service of Allah those who may want to kill you! Does this mean that we should surrender [to the enemy]? Islam says: Whatever good there is exists thanks to the sword and in the shadow of the sword! People cannot be made obedient except with the sword! The sword is the key to paradise, which can be opened only for holy warriors!

There are hundreds of other [Koranic] psalms and hadiths [sayings of the prophet] urging Muslims to value war and to fight. Does all that mean that Islam is a religion that prevents men from waging war? I spit upon those foolish souls who make such a claim.

(An Okie Gardener Again) As I wrote earlier, not only the future of the West, but the future of Islam is at stake in this war. I foresee increasing conflict for the near future.

07/06: Slavery Today

Dhimmi Watch today links to this article on a recent State Department report on modern slave trafficking and Iran. The full-text of the State Department 2006 report on Human Trafficking is here.

The article in full reads
London, Jun. 06 – The United States put Iran among the main countries engaged in human trafficking.

A report released by the U.S. State Department described Iran as a “source, transit, and destination country for women and girls trafficked for the purposes of sexual exploitation and involuntary servitude”.

The report cited cased of women and girls being trafficked to Pakistan, Turkey, the Gulf, and Europe for sexual exploitation.

“Boys from Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Afghanistan are trafficked through Iran en route to the Gulf states where they are ultimately forced to work as camel jockeys, beggars, or labourers”, the report said.

“Women and children are trafficked internally for the purposes of forced marriage, sexual exploitation, and involuntary servitude”, it said, adding, “The Government of Iran does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not making significant efforts to do so”.

The annual report downgraded Iran to a Tier 3 trafficking country after “persistent, credible reports of Iranian authorities punishing victims of trafficking with beatings, imprisonment, and execution”.

Iran now joins 11 other nations regarded as the worst offenders on the blacklist.

“The Government of Iran did not improve its protection of trafficking victims this year”, it said, adding, “Child victims of commercial sexual exploitation reportedly have been executed for their purported crime of prostitution or adultery. For instance, one 16-year-old sex trafficking victim was hanged publicly by religious authorities who accused her of engaging in "acts incompatible with chastity." The governor of the town later congratulated the religious leader for his ‘firm approach’”. (cont.)

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Wizbang yesterday posted this observance of the anniversary of Tiananmen Square.

Every dollar you spend on a MADE IN CHINA product helps to support this dictatorial regime. A regime moving to expand power and hegemony throughout Asia. A regime that regards us an an enemy. A regime that rules through fear and corruption on the one hand, and through increasing appeals to nationalism on the other. A regime that oppresses its minorities and destroys their cultures. A regime that in its haste to build a powerful nation inflicts tremendous damage on the environment. A regime that is a continuation of the rule of Mao Zedong, the number one mass murderer in human history. A regime making deals with murderous tyrants around the world in exchange for access to oil. Will your dollar be the one that buys the bullet used to execute a dissident next month? Will your dollar help buy and build the military that likely will one day fight ours?

Or, will you cease to buy MADE IN CHINA.
The US has had "Red Scares" in our history, periods marked by fear of communist infiltration with popular and governmental responses to the danger. While it has been common to dismiss these periods as "scare-mongering," records released since the fall of the USSR indicate that there was indeed cause for concern. An effort was made, directed from Moscow, to infiltrate and influence US culture. Perhaps it is time for a similar "Scare."

LGF today links to this article from the Canadian National Post concerning "homegrown" terrorists in Canada. It appears that now Canada, along with Europe, is facing the problem of Muslims raised within Western culture becoming radicalized and embracing terror jihad.

It seems to me that events, not speculation, but actual events should be propelling Western nations including the United States to pay serious attention to mosques and what is taught in them. We have a long tradition of religious liberty, but it is suicide to pretend that we have no compelling national interest in what is being taught in mosques and Islamic centers across the U.S. "Religious Liberty" does not seem to have stopped the FBI from investigating White Supremacist Churches, and rightly so since these have been connected with acts of violence. We need to get serious about the root cause of Islamic terrorism. Time for another "Scare."
It may be another long, hot summer in France as Islamic "youth" riot once again. LGF has the story.

There seem to be at least two lessons here: (1) do not allow the creation of a large unassimilated group within your nation; (2) if you are a Western nation, be very careful about letting large populations of Muslims immigrate into your country (see number one).
Powerline has a great post this morning on the impossibility of deterence as a workable solution to a nuclear Iran. They also link to other writing on the subject. The thoughts expressed are similar to those I posted earlier as Apocalyptic Times.