My people

November 27, 2006 at 3:48 am (Culture, History, Islam, Judaism, Languages, Oriana Fallaci, Personal, South Asia, The Rest, The West)

This is a bit of a personal post, but I hope you’ll indulge me.

For many years, I have been confused as to who my people are. By “my people,” I mean the people to whom I owe and freely give my allegiance, whose ways and values I adopt, whose civilization I seek to prosper further.

Most often, one determines one’s people by ethnicity. For people of Chinese origin or descent, the Chinese people is their people. For people of Russian origin or descent, the Russian people is their people.

Logically, I would then say that my people are the South Asian people. But then I begin asking: who or what is the South Asian people? And I realize that “the South Asian people” is comprised of many other peoples: Tamils, Malayalis, Rajputs, Rajasthanis, Maharashtrians, Sindhis, Balochis, Pashtuns, Panjabis, Kashmiris, and so on and so forth. I simply cannot call myself a South Asian. Just as there’s little in common between an Irish person and an Italian person, there is little in common between my relatives and Tamils, for example, or practically any other sub-people of the South Asian people. Read the rest of this entry »

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Pet peeve: apologies and demands thereof

November 27, 2006 at 3:24 am (Christianity, Culture, History, International community, Islam, Judaism, Personal, The Rest, The West)

This post reminds me of one of my biggest pet peeves: people apologizing or forced to apologize for actions not under one’s control. People around the world are constantly calling on The West, particularly The United States (and, regarding the liberation of Iraq, The United Kingdom) to apologize for horrible actions it has/they have done. Frankly (and I know many people, even those whom I respect, will strongly disagree), I see no reason to apologize for anything.

This is not to say that we should not admit something is or was bad when it is or was bad. Casting moral judgments on past actions is one key way we learn from history: we see the good and seek to perpetuate it, while we also see the bad and seek to avoid or mend it. But nowhere in this would apologies matter. Read the rest of this entry »

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Map: West and northwest South Asia

November 25, 2006 at 4:55 am (Afghanistan, History, Pakistan, South Asia, The Rest)

Here is a map of the western and northwestern region of South Asia. The key areas are the areas where Pakistan and Afghanistan meet (namely, Balochistan, FATA of the NWFP, and the NWFP). Circles refer to the names of cities; squares refer to administrative units. To the east of Pakistan is India. To the west of Pakistan and Afghanistan is Iran.

Western and northwestern South Asia

  • NWFP = “North-West Frontier Province”
  • FATA = “Federally-Administered Tribal Areas”, an administrative region of the NWFP
  • Karachi = largest city in Pakistan, capital of Sindh
  • Lahore = ancient city, capital of Punjab
  • Quetta = main city of Balochistan, capital of Balochistan
  • Peshawar = main city of the NWFP, capital of the NWFP
  • Wana = capital of the South Waziristan area of FATA, stronghold of the Taliban
  • Islamabad = capital of Pakistan
  • Srinagar = capital of Jammu and Kashmir, administered by India, region disputed between India and Pakistam
  • Jammu and Kashmir (disputed) = the part of Jammu and Kashmir administered by India, disputed between India and Pakistan
  • Azad Kashmir = part of Jammu and Kashmir administered by Pakistan, disputed between India and Pakistan
  • Kabul = capital of Afghanistan

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Token effort or something else by Pakistan?

November 25, 2006 at 4:46 am (Afghanistan, Blogs, Culture, Islamism, Languages, Pakistan, South Asia, War, Websites)

Inspired by “More token efforts by Pakistan?” by geoff of Uncommon Misconceptions, wherein he quotes a Pakistani police official:

They were real Taliban fighters.

As opposed to fake Taliban fighters? (Just being sarcasting: most likely he meant that those captured were determined to be actual members of the Taliban rather than suspected members thereof.)

They could not speak Urdu

Strange. Most people who speak Pashto can speak at least a little Urdu. I’ll grant that some mnilitant Islamist terrorists of the Taliban could have been in an isolated all-Pashto environment.

and had no knowledge where they are

Where they are or where they were? I’d imagine a Taliban terrorist to be quite aware of where he is and why. Taliban terrorists are from that region.

These statements make me quite suspicious. It seems these were more like “Arab” terrorists (that is, terrorists from around the world allied with militant Islamist terrorist networks operating in and from the northwest and far western region of South Asia). These descriptions make it sound as if those captured were completely alien to the region when, in fact, the northwest region of South Asia, where the Taliban predominate, is adjacent to Balochistan. Read the rest of this entry »

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Defeating as-Sadr, defeating Iran

November 25, 2006 at 3:00 am (Arabic, Blogs, Cold War II, Culture, History, Iran, Iraq, Islam, Islamism, Lebanon, Middle East, Military, Persian, The United States, US Government, War)

(Inspired by “Disenfranchising Moqtada al-Sadr the easy way” by geoff of Uncommon Misconceptions.)

We should have taken out Muqtada as-Sadr (سيد مقتدى الصدر, sayyid muqtadā aS-Sadr; titled: حجة الإسلام, Hujjat al-islām, meaning “proof or expert on Islam,” meaning he’s a middle-ranking Shiite cleric).

Within Iraq, one may say that there are two prominent factions: the activists, under as-Sadr, and the quietists, under Grand Ayatollah as-Sistani (السيد علي الحسيني السيستاني, as-sayyid ‛alī al-Hussaynī as-sīstānī; titled: آية الله العظمى, āyatullāh al-‛uZmā, meaning “Great Āyatullāh,” referring to the senior-most level of Shiite clerics).

After a period of time, the activist Shiites, who are organized in political parties and militias, gained control of and prominence in Iraqi politics. As-Sadr is certainly a person to consider. He’s no small fry. But one needs to also see why he seeks this attention. Read the rest of this entry »

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November 24, 2006 at 4:40 am (Blogs, Culture, History, Islam, Islamism, Israel, Military, The Internet, The United States, The West, Websites)

These days, we are somewhat wont to think of the Turks as friends of The West. What greater indication is there of their love of The West than their quite public desire to join us, via The European Union?

But there is more to Turkey’s relationship with The West than meets the eye. The state itself is very secular. The military, which essentially established the modern Republic of Turkey, is quite active in ousting Islamist governments or governments it thinks has not been secular enough. Even today, the Turkish military remains a very important and powerful part of the Turkish government. Compared to other Muslim states in the region, Turkey is very open-minded, liberal, and secular.

But, whether we or the Turkish military like it or not, Turkey has been going through an Islamization phase. Read the rest of this entry »

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The 3, no 4 alternatives of The Armed Forces

November 24, 2006 at 2:45 am (Amusement, Islamism, The United States, Websites)

Chuck Asay has a wonderful depiction of the options the Armed Forces of The United States have while fighting against militant Islamist terrorist networks:
Chuck Asay November 21, 2006

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Thanksgiving: for what I am thankful

November 24, 2006 at 2:08 am (Pictures)

On September 17, 1787, the Constitution of The United States was issued. On October 3, 1789, the first president of The United States, George Washington, issued the first National Thanksgiving Proclamation of The United States, setting aside November 26, 1789, as a day of thanksgiving for The Constitution. Prior to this, Thanksgiving (or, more accurately, days of thanksgiving) were proclaimed by the United States in Congress Assembled (the Republic under The Articles of Confederation), The Continental Congress (the Republic’s government before The Articles of Confederation were issued), and colonial authorities and entities.

This year, I give thanks to The Almighty for:

  • God’s mercy upon me and goodness to me and the same upon and to those whom I value and cherish;
  • my family and friends, regarding the latter, of whom many I know online;
  • brave and virtuous bloggers, who proclaim and detail the truth we all need to read/hear;
  • skilled bloggers who amuse and entertain us;
  • every one who reads and who comments on this blog;
  • The United States, for the unique and wonderful republic that they make;
  • The Constitution of The United States, for the unique principles it enshrines and for the unique government it gave birth to;
  • the Bill of Right of the aforementioned Constitution, for the freedoms it gives us all;
  • the liberties and freedoms enjoyed by us in The West;
  • people who risk their safety and lives to speak up on issues of grave importance;
  • every single member of The Armed Forces of The United States, for their heroic and brave efforts to secure The Republic and its peoples;
  • every person who passed on to Heaven while doing their duty to protect and serve the people of The United States – I implore God, our Father in Heaven, to shed grace and comfort and forgiveness upon them and to bless them with His august Presence, and to strength those these people have left behind, with comfort, assurance, confidence, and devotion to their sacred memory;
  • friends of The United States and of The West, for their much-appreciated love and friendship and support; and
  • all the many people and things my heart gives thanks but which I cannot utter with words or which my mind is presently unaware of.

I give thanks for the goodness and blessings from Heaven this past year, and I hope and pray that Heaven will be more generous in the year to come.

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Damascus to Washington, DC: Make the Jews give us land, then we can be friends

November 22, 2006 at 7:09 pm (Arabs, History, International community, Iraq, Israel, Lebanon, The Rest, The United Kingdom, The United States, US Government)

(Inspired by “@#&@ The Jews” by Isaac Schrödinger of Isaac Schrödinger and by “Naming the Price, Waiting for Response” by AbbaGav of AbbaGav.)

Many people in the Middle East…in fact, many people throughout the world believe that Israel is a puppet under the command of The United States. It is believed that Israel does nothing without The United States’ orders or, at the very least, permission. Such characterizations are most evident in anti-Israeli propaganda when Israel makes the unforgivable mistake of trying to save itself from hostile forces. Consider, for example, how the recent Israeli-Lebanon war was characterized as one between Israel and The United States on one hand and poor, amateurish, ill-equipped freedom fighters (that is, the terrorists of Hezbollah) on the other hand. Except for supporting Israel and agreeing to speed up arms deliveries, The United States had no role with or upon Israel whatsoever.

Shortly before the near-miraculous Six-Day War, Israel consulted with the government of The United States regarding its situation. The Government made it perfectly clear, with no unmistaken terms, that The United States would not support any preemptive strike whatsoever. Were Israel to be attacked by Arab forces (Egypt, Syria, and Jordan were mobilizing to attack Israel), The United States would rush to Israel’s support; but were Israel to strike first, Israel would be in the situation alone, without any help, assistance, or support from The United States. All this notwithstanding, Israel struck first, in essence discarding the stern warning from The United States’ government. Read the rest of this entry »

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It was CNN

November 21, 2006 at 2:35 am (Amusement, The Internet, The Left, The Right, The United States, US Government, Websites)

Prickly City for November 20, 2006
The nightmare continues, thanks to the Legacy Media. Via Prickly City (November 20, 2006) by Scott Stantis.

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How stupid are our opponents

November 21, 2006 at 2:34 am (Idiots, International community, Iraq, Middle East, The Rest, The United States)

Redeyed_Wolf: I approved your despicable comment because unlike other places, I believe in free speech. Indeed, I have lived many years in countries where “free speech” is considered to be blasphemous and anti-Islamic. So I appreciate free speech, for I know what it is like to not have it. Furthermore, I consider myself an American who is devoted to American values, one of which is letting others have their say, no matter how horrid or stupid they may be.

But I would counsel you to read a little more carefully. Regarding the little girl in Chief Master Sargeant John Gebhardt‘s arms, you wrote:

Incidently, if you would like to see more on this little girl, here it
is: .

That’s from “Urban Legends Reference Pages,” but then you probably
don’t believe anything that an American tells you unless they are of
“Liberal Democrats.”

It is true that Snopes – a wonderful website indeed – investigates urban legends. But I am quite aware of how Snopes works, which perhaps you may not know so well.

After having Chief Master Sargeant John Gebhardt‘s name in clear, large letters, the website writes:

Claim: Photograph shows a U.S. soldier comforting an injured Iraqi child.

What you perhaps did not read is:

Status: True.

This means that the claim is true. In other words, the photograph and the story behind it are true. Not that this matters to you, as you would dismiss this as yet another American propaganda site.

To my friends who support America (some of whom may not be Americans themselves): Ignore the ranting and rambling of these fools. Paying attention to them will only unnecessarily raise your blood pressure. Why, were I conspiracy-minded, I might think these idiots were planted by the pharmaceutical industry to drive up their anti-hypertensives sales. But the truth is that these people are blind to reality and to common sense.

These people let us know what kind our opponents are. In other words: we cannot reason with them. We should realize how we’re clearly intellectually and rationally superior, and so not waste time on them.

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A three-tiered world, redux

November 19, 2006 at 5:07 am (China, Cold War II, International community, Middle East, Russia, South Asia, The Rest, The United States, The West)

A proposal of dividing the world based on the reality of Cold War II

The First World:
The United States, The West, countries allied with them, and proxies thereof

The Second World:
Russia, China, countries allied with them, and proxies thereof
(Explicitly: Russia, China; Iran, Syria, Lebanon, North Korea, Uzbekistan, Pakistan)

The Third World:
Countries not actively aligned with or proxies of either the First World or the Second World

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geoff: why he became interested in Russia and China’s combination against America

November 19, 2006 at 4:22 am (Blogs, China, Cold War II, Russia, The United States, US Government)

Because I found it edifying, I thought I would post a comment by geoff of Uncommon Misconceptions in one of my posts about Russia, China, Pakistan, et cetera:

I started the Russia/China/Iran series because I was trying to figure out how to apply economic sanctions to Iran. I did some reading about Russia and China because I wanted to determine how difficult it would be to get them to abandon Iran’s cause in the UN. That’s when I first fathomed how much the geopolitical landscape had shifted since the early 90’s, and how far along the anti-US alliances had come.

That epiphany made me very concerned about our strategy in Iraq, which seems doomed to failure unless the global power struggle is addressed. It also made me moderately concerned about the long-term fate of the US.

Your posts are elevating my concern in both areas. I take some comfort from your hints that people are working the problem, but as far as I can tell we haven’t even slowed the progress of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, let alone reversed it.

One question: If Musharraf ’s government falls, would that give the UN enough justification to invade Pakistan as a continuation of the pursuit of the Taliban and Al Qaeda? Right now he’s ostensibly cooperating, so we can’t touch Pakistan. Would we be better off if the government of Pakistan wasn’t cooperating?

Not that the American people have the stomach for that fight, of course.

(geoff‘s question and some of his statements were addressed in the previos post.)

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Musharraf after Pakistan

November 19, 2006 at 4:15 am (History, Military, Pakistan, South Asia, The United States, US Government, War)

geoff of Uncommon Misconceptions asks:

One question: If Musharraf ’s government falls, would that give the UN enough justification to invade Pakistan as a continuation of the pursuit of the Taliban and Al Qaeda? Right now he’s ostensibly cooperating, so we can’t touch Pakistan. Would we be better off if the government of Pakistan wasn’t cooperating?

Not that the American people have the stomach for that fight, of course.

Very excellent questions, geoff.

This is not a matter of if Musharraf’s government falls but rather when Musharraf’s government falls. Musharraf is not immortal, and there is no one to take up his mantle once he passes on (whether by resignation (not likely) or assassination (most likely)). What will happen once Musharraf is gone will depend on who retakes the reigns of Pakistan. Your point is indeed correct if certain conditions are met: the fall of Musharraf’s government would justify action in Pakistan by allied forces if a hostile Islamist regime comes into power. Read the rest of this entry »

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World War III and Cold War II: northwest South Asia

November 18, 2006 at 12:07 am (Afghanistan, Blogs, Cold War II, Culture, History, International community, Iran, Islam, Islamism, Military, Pakistan, South Asia, The United States, US Government, War)

I don’t know if Dex‘s questions (at the end of “We learn from history” by Dex of ThinkTankers) were rhetorical, but I’m going to be pendantic and try to answer them.

So, I have two questions.

Asking questions is always good. Read the rest of this entry »

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Cold War II

November 17, 2006 at 10:08 pm (Afghanistan, Blogs, Cold War II, Europe, History, India, International community, Iran, Israel, Lebanon, Middle East, Military, Pakistan, Palestinian Territories, Russia, South Asia, The Rest, The United Kingdom, The United Nations, The United States, The West, US Government, War)

geoff of Uncommon Misconceptions has been doing an excellent job posting on what can be called the Second Cold War: the efforts of Russia and China to check, hinder, diminish, and threaten America’s influence (or, rather, that of capitalism and The West) just as The Soviet Union tried to do during the First Cold War. I do lament that this is something that has not been on the People’s mind lately. (Although I do know that certain agencies of the government have kept this on their mind, seeing it as a continuation of a traditional threat or issue rather than the resurgence of a new one.)

For more information, please read the following by geoff of Uncommon Misconceptions:

Regarding some military aspects, please read “Shadowland” by Spook86 of In From the Cold; “The Submariner Community Responds” by the same somewhat tempers the significance of what happened.

Now, let us delve a little into international relations. Read the rest of this entry »

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Good resource: “The Militant Ideology Atlas” by West Point

November 17, 2006 at 4:01 am (Blogs, Islam, Islamism, Military, The Internet, The Rest, The United States, The West, US Government, Websites)

Thanks to “Know Thine Enemy” by Jeremayakovka of Jeremayakovka (who learned of it at “November 15 – 1800Z” by Asher Abrams of Dreams Into Lightning), there is a very important and well-made resource available:
The Militant Ideology Atlas by the Combating Terrorism Center at the United States Military Academy at West Point.

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Academia explained by dicentra

November 15, 2006 at 9:50 pm (Blogs, Idiots, Leftist idiocy, The Left, The Right)

dicentra left this as a comment on my post on academia, but I thought it was good enough to be highlighted as a separate post. She kindly posted it on her blog (“Wacademia and Peer Pressure” by dicentra of Dicentra’s Garden).

This is what makes the academic Left who they are:

As S. Weasel said, they’d rather be dead than uncool. Academics think they score extremely high on the cool scale, and in some ways they do. They tend to like high-falutin’ music (jazz, classical), they are into the arts, theatre, and languages, they are capable of engaging in extremely interesting conversations. And they can be quite clever, too. For this reason, I tend to prefer friends who are academically inclined.

However, academics are universally plagued by the overwhelming fear of being thought foolish by their peers, of not being good enough to be in the Cool Smart People Club. Remember, academics were usually the shy, unpopular kids in elementary through high school. They spent their time with their noses buried in books and encyclopedias, soaking up as much knowledge as possible. Their academic skills earned them the praise of their teachers but the scorn of their classmates.

So when they get to college, suddenly they are the only ones on campus. All of the “cool” kids from high school took other paths. Maybe they’re in the sciences or they went to trade school or they got jobs straight out of high school.

At any rate, all of the formerly uncool kids find each other in college, and they are more than happy to dump on all of the “bourgeoisie” who tormented them as children. All of the stuff that interested the uncool kids becomes cool, and they can easily justify their tastes as “better” than those of the masses because the tastes are not as easily cultivated, and they are not as widespread.

If you want to humiliate an academic, accuse him or her of being bourgeois. Or in other words, “common.” Unenlightened, like the rest of those rotters who didn’t have the brains to go into academia.

So of course, the Left makes a point of seeking out those values that are held by Middle America and deliberately embracing their opposite. They do not in any way make an honest evaluation of traditional or common values to decide which to keep and which to discard; instead, they hold it as a truism that common values are a priori wrong and must be destroyed. They hold up the sacred triumvirate of racism, sexism, and homophobia as societal wrongs that prove that they are in the right.

That’s why they call themselves “progresssives”: they believe that human society naturally evolves toward perfection, and that conservatives object to the changes they propose out of old-fashioned bigotry and the desire to maintain social status. Again, they point to racism, especially, as an example of how everybody in a society can believe something that is totally wrong and how it takes the actions of brave “radicals” to change society for the better. Because no one today can argue with the fallacy of racial superiority, they claim the high moral ground.

But like I said, they don’t differentiate between traditional values that are good and those that should go. They are enamored of the idea that they are at the avant garde of social progress because they, and they alone, are smart enough to see injustice. They, after all, are educated. And education makes you moral.

That’s how they see themselves. What they don’t see is the degree to which peer pressure informs their opinions. While I was in academia, I heard the siren song of conformity, but I didn’t heed it because I knew that the only reason for dropping my old beliefs and conforming to theirs would be to escape ridicule. And no one, especially an academic, likes to be thought a fool.

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The “New Jews”

November 15, 2006 at 4:12 am (Amusement, Blogs, Islam, Israel, Middle East)

I will admit I feel guilty for laughing at this, but here it is anyway:

Of course these days, whenever they are anticipating a post-Allah-Akbar-event backlash, it is the Islamists and their supporters who claim to be the “new Jews.” We can only hope they should be so lucky.

From “What happens to those who take biblical stuff literally?” by AbbaGav of AbbaGav.

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How Islamist terrorists threaten Muslims

November 15, 2006 at 3:42 am (Afghanistan, Arabic, Blogs, History, Idiots, International community, Islam, Islamism, Middle East, Religion, War)

Vital Perspective has another short post: “Yemen Vows to Strike al-Qaeda with ‘Iron Fist’ After Statement by Terrorists”. This is also worth reading.

This should demonstrate how militant Islamist terrorist networks (or however/whatever one wants to call such entities) threaten not only The West and its states and allies but also Muslim states. We don’t really imagine a God-forsaken country like Yemen to be one of our allies such that it would attract the attention of militant Islamist terrorist networks, but such it is. Remember that USS Cole was off the coast of Yemen when it was attacked by terrorists: this shows that Yemen plays a role in The United States’ Armed Forces infrastructure.

But this should also demonstrate why more Muslim states’ governments and, indeed, their people ought to be more active in opposing, destroying, and eliminating militant Islamist terrorist networks. Such networks threaten them as well. Read the rest of this entry »

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